A smoothie can improve your health, your mood, your appearance, and your energy.
The old saying that you ‘are what you eat’ is literally true. Your muscles, your bones, your hormones, your brain cells, your immune system, and your digestive enzymes are all made from nutrients in your food and that’s what makes it so important. When you consume fruits, meats, or vegetables, your body will proceed to break them down and then use the constituent parts to perform numerous jobs throughout your system. These help you to grow, to develop, to fight illness, and function optimally.
And it’s no coincidence that we need fruits, vegetables, and other ingredients to thrive. After all, these are the things we evolved eating. It’s not that our biology forced us to seek out these foods – the foods were available and so our biology adapted to survive on them.
And this isn’t the exception. This isn’t a rare and unfortunate scenario that only some people experience… this is the norm.
Did you know that a huge number of diseases and illnesses that affect us in old age are actually highly avoidable degenerative diseases? Your body was built to last you your entire life. In theory, you should be able to stay healthy, active, and engaged right up until you keel over. But malnutrition allows all sorts of problems to slowly creep up on us from weak bones to heart disease, to high blood pressure, to arthritis, to dementia. Not all of these conditions are avoidable but in many cases, they are.
So what’s the problem with our modern diet?
The biggest issue is that we eat far too much processed food. What is processed food? Simply put, it’s food that has been manufactured and prepared in such a way that it bears little resemblance to the
original ingredients. A good example might be a sausage role. Here, you think that you are getting some meat and pastry.
The pastry is made from flour and egg but at least the sausage is real meat, filled with real amino acids and minerals, right?
Wrong! That meat is most likely a combination of all the cast-offs from countless other meals that have been blended together and mushed into a pulp. That means you’re getting the gristle and the parts of the meat that no one would eat in any other format.
From there, the sausage meat then has copious amounts of sugar, salt, and fat added. This helps to preserve the sausage and make sure it still looks that appetizing grey color when you come to eat it.
What about the fruits and vegetables you get in your cereal and your breakfast bars?
Nope, they’re just as bad! These fruits have been ‘freeze-dried’. That means that they have been subjected to vacuum and sub-zero temperatures. The low temperature will have frozen the moisture
to the point that it becomes tiny icicles and the low pressure will then have forcibly removed them from the fruit.
Apart from anything else, when you consume something containing vitamin C, you need moisture in order to absorb it. Vitamin C is literally a ‘water-soluble vitamin’ and you can’t use it if it’s not presented correctly. And once again, lots of sugar and other additives will be added which will make your fruit look colorful and remain edible.
Something like crisps or chocolate bars meanwhile barely have any nutrients in them, to begin with!
How Empty Calories Are Destroying Your Health
All this means that you are consuming empty calories. An empty calorie is a food like sausage rolls, unhealthy breakfast cereals, and ready meals that contain lots of calories but very little actual nutrition. You’re temporarily filling yourself up and spiking your blood sugar but you’re not providing any actual sustenance.
Plus, these empty calories take the form of simple carbs. Because there’s nothing ‘real’ left in them, you’ll digest them too quickly resulting in a spike in blood sugar. This provides a short energy burst but that then runs out just as quickly, leaving you craving real food.
Moreover, you’ll be malnourished and fail to get the vitamins and minerals you need. And what’s more, is that this will eventually translate to the build-up of more serious diseases and conditions.
Failing to get proper food in your diet is also what causes snacking behavior and weight gain. This is partly due to the fact that your blood sugar troughs so soon after it spikes and partly due to the fact that your body will ‘crave’ the things it needs.
If you’re not getting enough vitamin C, then your body will tell you it wants something sweet. It’s trying to communicate that you need an orange or an apple – but years of training mean that you’ll interpret this as needing a chocolate bar!
And even before that happens, you’ll find you gain weight easily and you have to drag yourself through the day like some kind of zombie! When you view food just as fuel and forget that it is also sustenance, that is when your body starts to fail you.
Why Are Smoothies the Solution?
The answer is simple: fruits and vegetables are particularly high in many of the micronutrients that we really need. They also provide them in a manner that is highly convenient and that is easy for the body to absorb. And thus, when we drink smoothies, we provide a ‘hit’ of great stuff that will help to power us through the day.
There are alternative options of course. One is just to try and get more home-prepared fruit and veg in your diet. This will definitely help to supply all the same nutrients but let’s be honest – it’s also a lot of hard work and something many of us will fail at.
Will you really commit to cooking dinner from scratch every night?
Are you really likely to stick to your five fruit a day as well?
Note as well that the whole ‘five fruit and veg daily’ guideline is highly arbitrary. The reality is that we need more nutrients than five fruit and vegetables will really supply us with. It’s also important to note that it’s more about what we’re eating than how much.
Eating a kiwi fruit, an avocado, a mango, some blueberries, and A banana will have a far different impact than eating 5 apples – or any other collection of fruits and vegetables. And don’t even get me started on sauces and ready meals that claim they offer ‘one of your five a day’.
Apart from the fact that they don’t offer any of the same fiber that you’d get from real fruit, there is barely a more meaningless phrase in existence!
Smoothies offer a convenient way to make sure you’re getting a BIG helping of vitamins and minerals that are ready to go and that makes them an excellent solution that can combat many of the ill effects of a modern diet. Smoothies also let you get much more creative and not spend hours peeling or cutting up your fruits.
What You Can Expect When You Start Drinking Smoothies
Well, you should expect to see your energy change in a BIG way.
You can also expect to feel better in a ton of other ways. You’ll find that your skin, hair, and nails look better, you’ll find that your eyes are whiter and people will comment that you have a ‘healthy glow’. You’ll feel healthier too. You’ll sleep better, you’ll find you get ill much less often and you’ll find you need to snack less throughout the day. You’ll lose weight too, thanks partly to the smaller intake of food (a nice side effect of reduced cravings and hunger) and partly to the increased metabolic rate of your body that will help you to burn through fat.
Best of all, you’ll be reinforcing your body and improving your long-term health so that you are less likely to develop cancer, Alzheimer’s, heart disease, or countless other conditions.
And this shouldn’t come as a surprise. This is no alien supplement that is supercharging your body.
This is how you are MEANT to feel.
This is how we felt ALL THE TIME.
Before we forget that we were meant to eat real food…
How to Make the Perfect Smoothie
We don’t have any smoothie recipes to start making yet but to start with, that isn’t going to matter. Instead, we’re going to look at the basics that apply to any smoothie. Because really, you don’t necessarily need a recipe. But to get creative, you need to know the basic rules that will apply regardless of your ingredients.
How do you make sure that your smoothie is ‘basically tasty’ and doesn’t leave you cold?
The first thing to do is to choose the fruits and vegetables that you’re going to add to your smoothie. As mentioned, you should choose fruits and vegetables based on the goals you want to achieve and the nutrients that you’re interested in.
Of course, you should aim for a balance but ask what your primary goal is too. Is this a fat-burning smoothie? An energy smoothie? Or a fiber-packed smoothie?
Think too about the sugar content and the acidity. Something like a banana or an avocado will be much less sugary than something like an orange or a mango. If you have one or two ingredients that pack a lot of sugar, then consider adding a few less sweet ingredients to try and even the score. What’s also very important, is to make sure that you get your ratios correct and we’ll come to this in a moment.
The first thing to add to your blender or juicer before you start making your smoothie is some form of liquid. This of course is going to be what keeps your drink a drink and not a mush! What’s also important though, is that you think about how much liquid you want and the type of liquid you’re going to use.
The most common choice of liquid will be water. However, it’s also fairly common to use milk (which comes packed with its own nutrients) or to use fruit juices. It’s also normal to use 1 to 2 cups for one person’s worth of smoothie. Note though that your smoothie’s consistency is very much dependent on what you do now. If you want the drink to be very runny, then adding a lot of water and juice is fine.
If you prefer a thicker consistency though, then you’ll want to add a little less and/or choose something that is thicker, to begin with, such as milk or even yogurt. Whether you prefer your drink to be runny or thick is entirely a matter of preference and might also vary depending on the recipe and the goal!
Common liquids you can use for delicious smoothies:
Organic fruit juice
Freshly squeezed juice
Have fun and experiment!
The next thing to think about is your base texture (often just referred to as the base). This is what is going to provide the body of your smoothie and give it that thick consistency so that it is a smoothie and not a juice.
The aim here is to pick something that has a thicker consistency itself then and that means something along the lines of bananas, mangos, pears, peaches, or avocados. Yogurt also works well, as do nut butter (like peanut butter), coconut meat, chia seeds, ice, frozen fruit, or even ice cream (though this last option is not so healthy!).
Good bases include:
The next thing to do is to insert the additional fruits and/or vegetables in the necessary ratios. You’ve already set them aside, now you need to choose the specific quantities and add them in.
For instance, if you’re going to make a green smoothie, then you’ll probably be adding spinach, kale, beet greens, dandelions, lettuce, broccoli, cauliflower, etc. For juicy ones, you’ll likely have things like berries, oranges, apples, etc.
You already have your base and this is going to give the most flavor, to begin with. Choosing fruits from here then is a matter of choosing what goes well with that base and you can work this out by thinking about what works well on a plate together! For example, a great dessert is to have berries with yogurt and for that reason, you can get the same delicious effect by adding berries to a yogurt base.
This will give you a ton of antioxidants, while the yogurt, in particular, will help you to get digestive benefits (we’ll talk more about this in a subsequent chapter). Conversely, strawberries are known to go very well with bananas. Likewise, mango and orange are a great mix!
With all that done, add your fruits into the blender (de-seeded and stones) and then blend them up into a pulp. You can always add more water at this point if you decide it needs it. Remember to keep your hand over the lid!
Okay, so you know why smoothies are so good for you, you know how to make them and you know how to avoid the common pitfalls…
So I guess it’s time that we started looking at some actual recipes to help fortify your health and transform your energy and looks.
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