Welcome to our first Fitness Friday post! The goal is to share with you, the benefits and consequences, of a healthy lifestyle that we have learned in the school of hard knocks on the journey to becoming fit. From food and drink, exercising, all the way to topical appliances, we intend to inform you of what will help or hurt your quality of life. How many times have you thought, “should I put this on/in my body”, “how healthy is this really”, “will this make me feel horrible” or “what the hell is this stuff I can’t pronounce”? Believe me, everyone has been there, especially us. We want to share with you our experiences, together and apart, now without further ado, lets talk smoothies.
About three years ago my husband and I came to a point in our lives where we were overweight, had no energy, and poor health. So my witty husband started to show me how to make a “smoothie”, which was more of a milkshake with fruit, but never the less, it was the start of a wonderful journey. We started researching about health, but nothing seemed to make sense. The food pyramid seemed skewed and impossible to follow, while more exercise claimed to fix the problem, it was hard to find the time. Thankfully we found some better sources of health information, such as Dr. Fuhrman, that helped us tweak our habits and make an actual healthy smoothie.
All you need to make a good smoothie is a blender, any will do, but we really enjoy using our Blendtec. A healthy smoothie contains a liquid base, at least three different fruits / vegetables, which should vary from week to week, and some variety of seed, preferably ground. You can use fruit juices, coconut water, nut milks, or even yogurt as the liquid base. Always put your liquids in the blender first, as the blender will mix better with less stirring. Next we add the fruit and veggies. We recommend using, slightly thawed, frozen fruit, as it gives good consistency and temperature. Last but not least, add seeds, as they’re a natural fiber additive and help your digestive system absorb nutrients more efficiently. Frozen fruit is comparable to fresh, but avoid canned fruit due to added sugar and loss of nutrients.
Now there is some buzz going around about the sugars in fruit not being healthy and a smoothie not being the healthiest choice. According to Dr. Fuhrman, an M.D. specializing in nutritional medicine, fruit not only provides us carbohydrates for energy, but also phytochemicals to prevent illness. Dr. Fuhrman says, “We have a natural sweet tooth designed to direct us to those foods most critical to our survival”. Fruits fight cancer, specifically, oral, esophageal, lung, prostate, pancreatic, and colorectal. Aside from that, other researchers have found that substances within fruits prevent aging and deterioration of the brain, such as berries. Certain fruits contain pectin like kiwis, oranges, and pomegranates that lowers cholesterol and protects against cardiovascular disease.
In addition, plant foods contain cells with walls, made mostly of cellulose, which humans can not break down due to a specific enzyme needed, so the only way to break them down, is to thoroughly chew or blend them. The blender aids in breaking down and assimilating nutrients, which actually guarantees that a higher percentage of nutrients will be absorbed into your bloodstream. If you’re wondering about juicing vs blending, the best would be to blend, because you’re going to get everything from the food. Juicing removes certain nutrients, such as the micronutrients bound to fiber and even the fiber itself. Remember, you should only have one juice or smoothie a day, ideally, mostly vegetables, with fruit as a flavoring, but we believe you should work your way to that in order to wean your taste buds off of refined sugars.
Smoothies have changed our life! We are much more energized, excited to eat breakfast in the morning, and in a happier mood all day. We naturally have a sweet tooth in the morning, so why not satisfy your cravings and get healthy at the same time? We found this to be the easiest change towards being fit. The best way to ensure getting your smoothie the next morning and get the right consistency is to make it the night before. Yes, just like laying out your clothes for the next day, it’s better to be over prepared than under prepared. We had gone through making our smoothies that morning and waiting 15 minutes for the frozen fruit to soften in the toaster oven is not better than taking 5 minutes to make it the night before. It may take a couple of weeks to acclimate to the changes but we guarantee you will have much more energy and be happy you added it to your routine. What do you think? Feel free to post your recipes, thoughts, or comments below, because sharing is caring. Thanks for reading, hope you enjoy this week’s recipe, and I look forward to seeing you next Fitness Friday!
- Eat For Health – Dr. Joel Fuhrman
- “Sugar: Enough is Enough!” – Dr. Joel Fuhrman
- “Which is Better for my Health, A Green Juice or A Green Smoothie” – Dr. Joel Fuhrman