Rethink Your Drink: a second look strategy to supercharge your healthFeb 26, 2023
Let's dust off an old, but solid nutrition strategy
It's time to take a second look at this amazing nutrition strategy, yeah, today I’m talking about Super Shake Smoothies!
Smoothies are one of the most convenient and tasty ways to get a boost of nutrition,
not all smoothies are created equal.
Especially, commercially available options, whether grocery store pre-packaged or walk-up / drive-thru retail options.
While the fruity concoctions from food courts, food trucks, drink box shops, and other retail outlets can be tempting, convenient, and delicious,
9 times out of 10 often they come loaded with added sugar, syrups, and even ice cream and have minimal or “junk” protein.
Added sugars in the wrong context contribute to weight gain, blood sugar imbalances, and other health issues.
- some bottled smoothies contain up to 60 grams of sugar in just one serving, far above the recommended daily limit for added sugars.
- Smoothies made with fruit juice or sweetened yogurt can be particularly high in sugar. Some popular smoothie chains use sugary fruit juice blends or sweetened yogurt as a base for their smoothies, don’t be fooled by the benefits of “real juice” claims, which can make them way less healthy than you might think.
- Some bottled smoothies can also be high in calories and low in protein, fiber, and other important nutrients. This can make them less filling and satisfying than a whole-food meal, and can lead to overeating and weight gain over time.
- Many bottled smoothies and other healthy beverages also contain added vitamins and minerals. While this might sound like a good thing, it's important to remember that these added nutrients are not always well-absorbed by the body and can sometimes even be harmful in excess.
The Result: a lot of empty calories and inflammatory factors which are not your friend!!!
But fear not! There's a better way to enjoy a smoothie that's both delicious and nutritious - enter the Super Shake!
The Super Shake is a delicious meal (or snack, or post-workout fuel) in liquid form. It contains:
🥑 Whole fruits and vegetables
😋 Fiber and healthy fats
💪🏽 Enough calories to feel as satisfying as a meal (without overloading you)
This tasty drink is packed with all the goodness of a whole food meal to keep fueled and satisfied for far longer than their commercial counterparts.
Plus, they only take minutes to make and—once transferred to your cool hipster Mason jar or favorite tumbler—can be consumed on-the-go.
In fact, if you have a busy day planned, or are going to be out and about for the day, or work outside of the home, I recommend you don’t leave home without at least one in tow.
"Having a few pre-made in your fridge at any time, ready to grab and roll, isn’t a bad strategy either."
So, whether you're looking for a quick meal option or an easier way to add calories and nutrition between meals, the Super Shake is a great choice.
Here's My Win-Win Super Shake Formula
Step 1: Pick a liquid
If you’re trying to lose weight, use water or other lower-calorie drinks like unsweetened almond milk or skim milk. If you’re trying to gain weight, use whole milk or whole-fat plain yogurt. Kefir can be a great addition as well.
Step 2: Pick a protein powder
Whey is the most common option and has the best-tasting products. But Casein, rice, pea, soy, and hemp proteins can all work, too.
Step 3: Pick a fruit
Bananas, berries, pineapple, apples (core removed), and dark cherries (pits removed) are all great options. You can use fresh or frozen fruit.
Step 4: Pick a vegetable
This may sound weird (or even gross), but spinach is usually the best vegetable to use as it doesn’t affect the taste at all. Other options are cooked or canned squash or pumpkin, beets (cooked), cucumber, and celery. Don’t be afraid to experiment!
Step 5: Pick a healthy fat
The best options in shakes are nuts and seeds, such as walnuts, almonds, cashews, flax seeds, chia seeds, and hemp seeds. Avocado, unsweetened coconut, and dark chocolate—along with almond, cashew, and peanut butter—all work well, too.
Step 6: Pick an extra
If you used fresh fruit, you may want to add ice for a thick and refreshing shake. If you need extra carbs, you can include more fruit or a handful of uncooked oats. You can also add cinnamon and other spices for more flavor and health benefits.
Step 7: Blend it up, Baby!
So, when you're hankering for a Super-Size Pack of Reese’s Cups or Dairy Queen Blizzard, reach for this Smoothie Love Win-Win instead:
Chocolate, peanut butter, and banana smoothie
6-12 oz (180-360 mL) water, unsweetened almond milk, whole milk, etc.
1-2 scoops chocolate flavored protein powder
1-2 fists of spinach
1-2 thumbs of peanut butter
Add ice if using fresh fruit and uncooked oats if you need more carbs
😘 And don’t be put off by the spinach: Though it’ll turn your smoothie green, it’s nearly undetectable flavor-wise, but power-packed with nutrition!
➡️ Download the Recipe Card Here
Overall, while smoothies and other healthy beverages can be a convenient and tasty way to get in some extra nutrients, it's important to be aware of the sugar, calorie, and nutrient content of the options available at retail locations.
Whenever possible, make your own smoothies at home with whole, minimally processed ingredients and you'll have a healthier and more cost-effective option!
- According to a study published in the Journal of Nutrition, people who regularly consume sugar-sweetened beverages are more likely to develop type 2 diabetes (source: https://academic.oup.com/jn/article/146/8/1610/4584710).
- The American Heart Association recommends limiting added sugars to no more than 25 grams per day for women and 36 grams per day for men (source: https://www.heart.org/en/healthy-living/healthy-eating/eat-smart/sugar/added-sugars).
- Many commercial smoothies contain high amounts of added sugars and calories, which can contribute to weight gain and other health problems. (source: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6684243/).
- A report from the Center for Science in the Public Interest found that some commercial smoothies from popular chain restaurants can contain up to 1,000 calories and 135 grams of sugar per serving (source: https://cspinet.org/resource/cspi-releases-new-calorie-and-sugar-data-drinks).
- The World Health Organization recommends limiting daily sugar intake to no more than 10% of total daily calories (source: https://www.who.int/news-room/fact-sheets/detail/healthy-diet).
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