Smoothies and Shakes

Smoothies and/or shakes- what is good and what is bad? Let’s face it- we’re all busy and I’m sure we have all thought how easy it would be to drink a meal replacement shake and not have to worry about grabbing something to eat. Does this sound good and convenient? Yes. Is it good for our body? Not so much. Read more to find out why…
Meal Replacement Shakes – Why they are bad:
If you drink a meal and don’t eat anything else (like some diets ask you to) you may lose some weight, but you are likely losing muscle instead of fat. AND as soon as you go back to eating regularly (even if it’s healthy), you will probably gain the weight back (and maybe even more). Most people who follow these types of plans plateau quickly and then start gaining again.
Bad Shakes vs. Good Shakes – How to tell the difference:
Pre-packaged shakes contain fillers, bad ingredients, sugars, artificial sweeteners or cellulose (and maybe all of the above). Do you know what powdered cellulose is? It’s wood pulp! I could go on and on about the fillers and other ingredients in these shakes but we’d be here all day. Let’s just say, making a shake at home is the best way to go (see below for recipe ideas).
Digestion – What Happens to Your Body When You Drink a Meal:
Liquids are digested differently from food. With a drink, there is no digestion - meaning it doesn’t need gastric acid, pancreatic juices, or bile. It just goes in and out. It does however, cause an insulin response which will spike your insulin and cause you to deposit fat.
Protein Shakes – Unless You Are Arnold Schwarzenegger, Just Say No:
Unless you are a body builder training for competition, you do NOT need a protein shake. Here’s why, let’s say you go to the gym and work out for an hour; you’ve burned 400 calories. GREAT! Now you immediately drink a ‘protein shake’, you are putting all of those calories right back in your body. Not only that, but you never got the chance to burn what is already stored before you added more. Don’t get me wrong, when you work out you should add in more fuel but you don’t need a shake.
Shakes Do Not Replace Whole Foods – You Can Still Drink Them…Try This:
A lot of customers like to blend fruits and vegetables into a smoothie; this is okay BUT you do not want to use this as a substitute for a meal. Anytime you make a smoothie, you should also make sure that you are also chewing some real food. Here’s an example of an acceptable smoothie at breakfast:
Smoothie - ½ cup Banana + ½ cup Plain Greek Yogurt + ½ cup Strawberries + Ice
Food – 1 boiled Egg + 1 cup Cucumbers
With this meal, you have met all of the requirements for breakfast (2 proteins, 2 carbs & 1 veggie) and although you had a smoothie, you also had to chew the Egg & Cucumbers and therefore, your brain realizes that you ate! And now your insulin will be in check. There are many great ideas for natural smoothies you can make on your own. Don’t get duped into purchasing ready-made shake mixes or even worse, protein powders. These are marketing ploys to make money for companies who don’t care about your health.
Do you have a good recipe for a homemade shake or smoothie? Tell us about it in the comments!!
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