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How To Build A Weight Loss Smoothie

How To Build A Weight Loss Smoothie

A large scoop of nut butter here, a couple servings of fruit there, sweetened ‘mylk’, don’t forget the add-ons, perhaps top it with sweetened granola and you have yourself……half your daily caloric intake ready to go before noon.

 

Don’t get it twisted, I LOVE smoothies. Smoothies are a major staple in my diet but it’s easy to get carried away making this healthy beverage a McDonald’s cup short of a milkshake.  Over the years, with a lot of trial and error, I’ve now mastered how to make smoothies goal supporting AND delicious. No sacrificing taste here friends!

 

As much as I love telling my clients what to do (I’m the eldest child, what do you expect?) I believe in educating them on the effects certain foods have on their body.  When you truly understand the process and how particular foods can make or break your weight loss efforts, it’s much easier to make an educated decision on what to eat.

 

In this blog we’re going through the in’s and out’s of building a healthy smoothie. I’ll walk you through how to create satiating smoothies ensuring your morning bev will keep you focused, full and away from the croissants and cookies.

 

Let’s begin! Class is now in session.

 

 

Smoothie Education 101

 

You know in the deep south when people say ‘bless your heart’ after you’ve attempted something that may not have been successful. I feel like saying that to every person who uses high sugar fruit as their smoothie base.

 

In very simplified terms, this is what happens when you use multiple servings of high sugar fruit in your smoothie. Because it’s blended, it’s absorbed into your system faster, which skyrockets your blood sugar. And what goes up, must come down. Hard. Your blood sugar levels dip below what they were prior to drinking your smoothie leaving you feeling tired, reaching for more food to pick up your energy.

 

 

 

Your body needs insulin to help your muscles and cells absorb the sugar converting it into energy for everyday essential use. When we have too much sugar in our system, the excess is stored in the liver. When the liver’s ‘tank’ is full, it is then stored in the muscles. When the muscle storage is full, it is then converted into fat. This is why having fiber and healthy fat in your smoothies is essential for fat loss. It slows the absorption of the sugars lessening the blood sugar spike. It also will slow the digestive process of the smoothie, meaning maintaining feeling satiated longer and not reaching for post-breakfast snacks.

 

To break it down even further, see the difference in chain reaction between a fruit smoothie and a Body Confident approved fibre and fat smoothie:

 

Loaded fruit smoothie -> Quick Absorption-> High energy-> Crash & Hangry-> Reaching for ‘pick me up’ snacks-> Higher intake of calories -> Weight gain

High Fibre & Fat Smoothie-> Slow absorption-> Sustainable energy-> It’s 12:30 and I’m still not thinking about food-> Less caloric intake -> Losing weight & feeling great!

 

So now that you have that fresh in your noggin’, let’s go through how to build a Body Confident approved smoothie.

 

 

The Base

 

I like my smoothies thick. Like, have to eat it with a spoon thick. Personally, if they’re thin and somewhat watery, I’ll down the whole thing in minutes wondering why it’s gone and I’ve only walked 2 blocks.

 

Now, I add my secret smoothie ingredient which is cheap to buy, hydrating and full of fiber and such a staple in my weight loss tips that I almost don’t want to share it with the world….but shit, this is my job so here it goes

 

Frozen zucchini.

 

Adding ¼-½ of cut up frozen zucchini adds a voluptuous volume to my smoothies without racking up the calories. Zucchinis are like chameleons changing to match their environment. Adding up to a cup of frozen zucchini to your blender won’t alter the taste of your smoothie but enhance the creaminess and taste of other ingredients.

 

Another unsuspecting low-calorie vegetable acting as a great smoothie filler is broccoli’s albino cousin cauliflower. Tear or chop into small pieces, and store in a ziplock bag in the freezer. Grab a handful and add to any smoothie for additional thickness at no overpowering taste- cost.

 

Protein

 

Being vegan, I opt for plant-based proteins like this one( use promo code: CHARA10 for 10% OFF), especially after a workout, in which I’ll add 1 full scoop. On a rest day, I’ll opt for 1-2 tbsp of chia seeds and/or 1-2 tbsp of protein powder mainly for taste.

 

“Protein helps to support growth and energy levels, build our strength, repair our tissues and muscles, and is essential for the production of enzymes and neurotransmitters that work constantly to keep our digestion and metabolism working and our brains functioning.”

– Mindfood.com

 

Fat & Fibre

Similar to Kelly Leveque’s Fab Four smoothie formula, I believe in the importance of adding fat and fiber to your smoothie for a number of reasons. In order to keep a strong immune system and healthy digestion, we have to keep our good bacteria fed like a good pet owner. Lucky for us, it thrives off of fiber not expensive raw kibble. Hemp seeds, flax seeds, and dark leafy greens are all great sources of fiber that can easily be added to your smoothie.

 

‘Fiber slows down the release of sugars into the bloodstream, slows down digestion, and in the meantime, it sweeps out the harmful invaders in your body too.’ 

-OneGreenPlanet.com

 

Fats.  A word that used to have people running for the hills. Oh, how times have changed. It’s no secret (anymore) that we need fat! Fat fuels our brain, our energy, promotes healthy hair, skin, and nails, helps deliver fat-soluble vitamins like vitamins A, D, E, and K and more.

 

Coconut oil, nut butter, cashews, flaxseed oil, and avocado are all delicious healthy fat add-ons for your smoothie. Because they make your smoothie delicious, creamy and….delicious, it can be very easy to overdo it. Try to stick with 1-2 tbsp per smoothie, alternating your fat sources every other day.

 

 

Greens

Increased energy, improves digestion, boosts the immune system, strengthens hair, skin, nails, AND bones, and gives you glowing skin….shall I go on?

 

Adding greens to your diet is one of the most beneficial things you could do for your overall health. Luckily with smoothies, we can get a massive dose of greens in without even trying (or crying if you hate the taste of greens).

 

Spinach is one of my go to’s as it is very bland and easily hidden amongst other flavors. Kale, collards, and chard carry a bit of a stronger taste which is why I tend to use them with smoothies containing sweeter fruit.

 

“Believe it or not, consuming green smoothies makes you more likely to engage in other healthy habits. Because the human mind thrives on consistency, one healthy habit leads to another. So after adding kale or spinach to your smoothie, you may be more likely to try out that yoga class you’ve been thinking about or opt for a side salad instead of fries when eating out”

-GreenBlender.com

 

Fruit

Blueberries, strawberries, blackberries, cherries, lemons, limes, pears, and Granny Smith apples are my fruit staples. These fruits are the lowest on the glycemic index scale (how much they spike blood sugar) and all contribute a variety of benefits.

 

On low carb days or rest days, I’ll stick with ¼ cup or less. On a highly active day or a heavy workout day, I’ll opt for up to ½ cup.

 

If you desire your smoothies a bit sweeter, opt for a natural sweetener such as Stevia, Monk fruit or Xylitol. Because their dense sweeteners, 1-2 drops or ¼ tsp is often more than enough.  These choices of sweeteners won’t have a strong effect on your blood sugar levels. When purchasing, always look for certified organic and contains zero additives.

 

 

Superfoods & Ad On’s

Maca, Bee Pollen, Cacao, Ashwagandha, Chaga (and other mushroom variations), superfood and green powders are among of the many other superfoods that make great additions to smoothies. With another superfood popping up as fast as the Kardashians keep multiplying, it’s easy to become overwhelmed on which one to go with.

 

Did you know it takes up to 6 weeks of consistent use for you to notice the effect a superfood or supplement to have on your body? My recommendation for you is to pick 1-2, maybe 3 superfoods and sticking with those choices for a couple months to see if you notice a difference. After that, you can continue, or choose to supplement with a different one.

 

Liquids

Non-dairy milk and water are my smoothie liquid go to’s. If I’m feelin’ fancy and creative I’ll add either coconut water or green tea.  But let’s touch on what to look for when purchasing non-dairy milk. Another category that seems to have endless options.

 

This small but effective list of items to look out for will help you with the process of elimination. Less time spent in front of the Whole Foods fridge with your phone out googling ingredient definitions….No? Just me?

 

Put it down if it contains:

-Evaporated Cane Juice, Cane Sugar or Cane Syrup

-Large amounts of oil, specifically GMO oil

-Emulsifiers- Xanthan and Guar Gum

 

‘Xanthan and guar gum are two other popular emulsifiers found in many non-dairy milks. These have been linked to digestive problems and even weight gain’

-OneGreenPlanet.com

 

 

Tip: For those busy mornings when you don’t have enough time to make breakfast try this no-excuse, fool-proof tip to ensure a healthy start to your day, every day!

Pick a few of your favorite smoothie recipes. Wash, cut and prep smoothie ingredients. Place all the individual solid smoothie ingredients into to a ziplock bag. 1 smoothie recipe per bag. Place the bag in either the fridge if enjoying in the next day or two, or freezer if longer. Empty bag into a blender along with liquid of choice. Blend up and enjoy.

 

 

Ok Smoothie Class of 2019. You have been educated on how to make your smoothie work for you, support your goals and not get too carried away.

 

For those who aren’t quite ready to jump out into the real world of making smoothies, feel free to start by making one or all of my favorite smoothie recipes below.

 

Post Workout Smoothies

 

 

   Red Velvet

½ cup frozen cherries

¼ cup frozen zucchini

1 tsp raw organic cacao

1 scoop vanilla protein

Large handful of spinach

1 cup unsweetened vanilla non milk

Dash of cinnamon

 

 

 

 

Hulk

½ frozen zucchini

½ cup mixed berries

Large handful of mixed greens (kale, spinach, romain, chards, etc)

1 tbsp greens powder

¼ avocado

1 cup coconut water (no added sugar)

 

 

 

Can’t Stop Won’t Stop

1/2 banana frozen

1 tbsp peanut butter

1 tsp maca powder

Large handful of spinach

1 scoop chocolate protein

1/2 cup non-dairy milk

½ cup cold coffee

Dash of cinnamon

 

 

 

Put Out The Fire

½ banana

½’’ fresh ginger

1 tsp turmeric

¼ cup frozen cauliflower

Crack of black pepper

1 scoop vanilla protein

1 cup vanilla non-dairy milk (unsweetened)

Top with 1 tsp bee pollen

Rest Day Smoothies

 

 

 

Classic PB & J

1/4 cup mix berries

¼ cup frozen cauliflower

1 tbsp peanut butter

1/2 scoop vanilla protein

Large handful of spinach

 

 

 

Cinnamon Toast Crunch

1/4 Granny Smith apple

1 tbsp almond butter

1 tsp maca powder

Large handful of spinach

½ scoop vanilla protein

1 tsp ground flaxseed

1 cup vanilla non-dairy milk (unsweetened)

 

Chocolate Fiend

½ frozen zucchini

1 tbsp raw organic cacao powder

½ scoop vanilla or chocolate protein

1 tbsp chia seeds

Large handful of spinach

1 cup coconut milk

1 tbsp coconut oil

 

Strawberry Shortcake

¼ cup strawberries

1 tbsp almond butter

1 tbsp ground flaxseed

1 tsp cinnamon

½ scoop vanilla protein

¼ cup frozen zucchini

¼ cup frozen cauliflower

1 cup vanilla non-dairy milk (unsweetened)

 

 

    

     

 

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