I had a request for a blog post on smoothies. So, dust off your blenders ’cause today I’m mixing it up (pun intended) with some truth on smoothies.
A lot of people can successfully incorporate smoothies into a low calorie, healthy diet. But, I am not one of them. Let me explain:
I love smoothies. They’re delicious. But to me, they’re like lemonade or margaritas – delicious, but just a high calorie drink. And if I’m going to drink a smoothie, I prefer it to be for a special splurge….and for it to have tequila in it. #imtalkingaboutmargaritas
See, like I’ve mentioned in the past, I like food. No, correction – I LOVE food. So, to me, when I drink a smoothie, it’s like a drink that I want to accompany my dinner. I prefer to actually eat my snacks and meals instead of drink them. It’s personal preference, but I would rather eat an apple than drink it. It’s the same reason I don’t drink fruit juice (a blog topic for another time….)
Now, that being said, I do feel it’s only fair to address how the pro-smoothie folks successfully incorporate them into their diet and the tips you can use if you want to try it, too.
Smoothie or Food: When it comes time for a snack, you can choose a smoothie or a snack. Don’t do both. Don’t fall into the trap of thinking of smoothies as a drink to have with your snack. Your smoothie should be a substitute for what you would normally eat, not a supplement to what you eat.
Low Calorie: I can’t even begin to count the number of people who I have heard say, “it’s a smoothie, it’s healthy.” Listen, those two things do not always go hand in hand. Do your research. Just because it has strawberries in it doesn’t mean it’s healthy or low calorie. Some smoothies can run up to 800 calories for one serving. Ouch! That’s more calories than a Big Mac. If you decide to use a smoothie for a snack, make it equivalent to the calories you would have in a snack. My snacks run around 100-200 calories. A smoothie should be the equivalent. Read labels and nutrition facts to make sure you know the calories you’re drinking. Also, be sure to watch serving sizes. Places like Smoothie King list the calories for a small size (20oz) but they sell much larger sizes and the calories can add up quickly.
Think about this: some smoothies will have a full orange, one whole banana, some strawberries and a tub of yogurt. Wow, that’s a lot of food. Think about it this way – if I sat down at a table and had those same ingredients on my plate, I would be shocked at the amount of food you would expect me to eat. However, people drink that all in just one smoothie.
I have a friend that is the Smoothie Queen (hi, Cassie!) Her smoothies are pretty legendary. So, I hit her up for a few of her healthy, lower calorie smoothie recipes. (Check out the recipes at the bottom of the page.) She blends up smoothies as her breakfast in the mornings.
I decided to try out one of the smoothies for you guys. I tried the Green Smoothie recipe below. It’s spinach, banana, pineapple and oranges. It was yummy. Definitely pineappley (which, after an unfortunate night with Pineapple Rum in college, is not my go-to flavor.)
It was a total of 115 calories for my serving, which is about my normal calories for an afternoon snack. But even though it’s good, I still would’ve rather eaten a snack of an apple and peanut butter. (I told you, I’m biased to chewing my food.) 🙂 But, if you’re a smoothie person, this one is pretty yummy.
Now before you pro-smoothie folks start hitting up my email – I know you all drink them successfully. That’s awesome! But for me and my body (and really, it’s all about finding out what works for YOUR own body specifically) they just don’t fit into my lifestyle and daily diet. But cheers to those that can. 🙂
If you’re going to try adding smoothies into your healthy diet and still continue your weight loss goals, make sure you use the tips above. Watch the calories and serving sizes and be sure you’re counting those calories in your daily log. Because, if not, those “healthy” smoothies may end up adding extra unwanted pounds instead of helping you reach your fitness goals.
Makes two servings – 115 calories each serving
3/4 cup water
1 cutie (or half an orange)
1 cup frozen pineapple
1 cup packed fresh spinach
Add in order listed (so the spinach isn’t at the bottom by the blades) and blend until smooth.
Makes two servings – 200 calories each serving
1 cup frozen mixed berries
1 frozen banana
1 orange peeled and segmented
4-6 oz Vanilla Greek Yogurt
Blend until smooth