Smoothies

In today’s world the clock dictates everything.  Our work, our sleep, and our free time are all subject to the swing of the pendulum, and often there seems to not be enough hours in the day to complete what we feel needs to be completed.  Unfortunately, we usually end up rushing through, or skipping over altogether, one of the most important parts of our daily lives:  our nutrition.  Instead of cooking homemade meals we opt for fast food; instead of taking the time to prepare fresh vegetables we choose to microwave frozen veggies.  One thing that I have found works very well for me as far as being quick, easy, and nutritionally sound are smoothies.  Not only can these be prepared in a matter of minutes, but you can also make them in bulk and pack in a lot of much-needed nutrients.

Smoothies are versatile and simple to make, only requiring a blender and the basic ingredients.  They’re also great because you can put the blender top in the fridge and the smoothie will still be good for a few days, depending on the expiration dates of the ingredients.  I like to experiment with different flavors, but one that I’ve been making more recently is a mix of frozen berries, fat-free milk, vanilla soymilk, vanilla whey protein powder, fat-free plain yogurt, and ice.  I think this formula in particular makes a great pre-workout shake because of the slower digesting carbohydrates and the fast-digesting protein.  You can mix and match with different quantities of each ingredient.  I have yet to find one that is absolutely perfect, but all of the flavor is there for a great smoothie.

One word of caution for those of you who are looking to skip over the actual creation of the smoothie for a more convenient store-bought smoothie:  most, if not all, chain smoothie joints use sorbet in their smoothies.   Sorbet is, essentially, pure glucose that is added to enhance the flavor.  Nutritionally, this is not what you want unless it is immediately post-workout.  If you do opt to buy smoothies instead of making them yourself, make sure to ask that they leave the sorbet out.

Charlie Cates

Fitness Quest 10, intern trainer

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One Response to Smoothies

  1. chellwood says:

    Hey Charlie,

    I totally agree, smoothies are an ideal on-the-go balanced meal, if they are done right. Even more so, I agree with your point that home-made smoothies are very different from smoothie shop drinks. First of all, as someone who worked at Jamba Juice making smoothies for 3 years, the point people often miss is that smoothies are a meal, not the drink to go along with your burrito or lunch plate. Having a whole wheat carb to eat with it can help with satiety as well as using the right yogurt for filler. Speaking of which, a non-fat yogurt, even plain, can be as dangerous as the sorbet because of sugar content. Fat intake curbs hunger, so using a low-fat greek yogurt with sugar content less than 15 grams per serving (1 cup) is ideal. Just some thoughts from an smoothie junkie!

    Chels

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