Table of Contents
Chapter 1: How Smoothies Can Transform Your health ……. 4
Why We Need Nutrients … 5
The Problem With Modern Diets ………….. 6
How Empty Calories Are Destroying Your Health ……… 7
Why Smoothies Are the Solution ………….. 7
What You Can Expect When You Start Drinking Smoothies ………………… 8
Chapter 2: Before We Begin – The Downsides and Dangers of Smoothies 10
How to Avoid Harming Yourself With the Sugar in Smoothies …………… 12
Chapter 3: How to Make the Perfect Smoothie …………….. 13
The Basics 13
Liquid … 14
Base ….. 15
The Ratios ……………….. 15
And Blend!………………. 16
Tips for Getting More From Your Smoothies ……………… 16
Chapter 4: Fitting Smoothies Into Your Routine …………….. 17
The Equipment ……………. 18
Prep and Pick-Up …………. 18
Easy Smoothies …………… 19
Bought Smoothie ………… 19
Chapter 5: Energy and Defence Smoothies 20
Morning Wakeup Smoothie ……………. 21
Stress Buster Smoothie ………………….. 23
Brain Fuel Smoothie …. 24
Breakfast Smoothie ….. 25
Chapter 6: Sleep Aid, Digestive and Hangover Smoothies . 27
The Bed Time Smoothie …………………. 27
Hangover Smoothie …. 29
How to Create a Smoothie to Improve Digestion ……….. 30
Chapter 7: Weight Loss, Muscle Building and Performance Smoothies ….. 32
The Long Distance Smoothie…………… 32
Muscle Building Smoothie ……………… 33
Fat Burning Smoothie . 34
Conclusions . 35
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Chapter 2: Before We Begin – The Downsides and Dangers of Smoothies Before we dive right in though, you need to be aware that there are some downsides and risks involved with smoothies too. Smoothies can do a world of good and throughout the rest of this book you’ll be learning the ingredients, the techniques and tricks to enjoying some seriously healthy and tasty juices. But unfortunately, as with any health trend, there are also those on the web who are pushing false information and generally causing harm to the good name of smoothies! The first thing to be aware of is the idea of ‘juice fasting’. Here, people will use smoothies as meal replacements and will only survive on juice for a period of days or weeks. The claim is that this is a great way to ‘detox’ the body and to remove ‘toxins’ and other things, as well as being a good way to jump-start your fat loss. This is not a good idea. As far as detoxing goes, what’s important to keep in mind is that this is another arbitrary term that doesn’t really have any meaning. There is no scientific proof that we need to detox in any way or that we have a ‘build up’ of toxins.
The truth is that our body has its own system of detoxification and this works just fine without our help. Your body will have no difficulty in removing toxins over time and they are not likely to build up or increase in number in any way. In one study, researchers asked the makers of ‘detoxing hair products’ to name some of the toxins that their shampoos and conditions could combat – they found that the manufacturers could give no good explanation. We like the notion of detoxing because it seems to make intuitive sense but the reality is that this is actually just a waste of time. And what you also need to be aware of, is the high sugar content found in smoothies. Now, sugar is not always a bad thing and over the course of this book, you will learn to mitigate the sugar found in your smoothies. However, when you remove the food from your diet, you remove the buffer to protect you from the sugar and the acidity of your smoothies. This can then result in some serious damage to health and a diet consisting purely of smoothies is likely to damage the stomach lining and more importantly: the teeth. I actually know someone who tried a ‘smoothie fast’ (despite my protestations) and they ended up eroding all of the enamel from their teeth. They had to go to the doctor and lost two teeth after just one week. So think long and hard before you jump on board any juice fasts or other trends. The last thing to think about is whether or not a diet is sustainable. If you are going to ‘kick start’ a diet by using an extreme fast, then you’ll be putting your body through hell only to return to a normal type of eating. That means your weight will simply return to what it was before the fast and you won’t have benefited. Moreover, when you fast for this long, you actually increase your likelihood of storing fat. Numerous processes in the body ensure this but one key example is that your body will produce a lot of cortisol as a response to low blood sugar. This cortisol then encourages lipogenesis – the creation of new fat stores. Oh and it also destroys muscle (via the release of myostatin) which makes you less metabolically active. It depletes testosterone significantly too, which further slows down your metabolism.
But you’re getting sugar right? From all that fruit? Yes – but only simple sugar. Fruits absorb very quickly into the blood stream and that means that you’re going to be getting three massive spikes of energy throughout the day and nothing more. This is not good for your insulin sensitivity and it means you are highly likely to store all that sugar as fat. So in short: avoid juice fasts and smoothie ‘cleanses’. Instead, focus on adding smoothies to your diet!
How to Avoid Harming Yourself With the Sugar in Smoothies
Smoothies do a ton of good but as we’ve learned, they can also carry a few risks with them. If you’re now concerned at the potential damage that the sugar in smoothies can do, it might have put you off of the idea of adding smoothies to your diet. But don’t worry – when you add just one smoothie of a reasonable size to your morning routine, you have nothing to worry about. This is especially true if you also make sure that you reduce sugar from other sources in your diet. If you have particularly sensitive teeth though, or if you don’t react well to sugar, another option is to focus more on vegetable smoothies or to look for fruits that are lower in sugar. There are plenty of good options to choose from and adding more water to your smoothie can also help to dilute it. When we go through the recipes and tips, you’ll see that there are a number of different options that are lower in sugar than average.
Chapter 3: How to Make the Perfect Smoothie
We don’t have any smoothie recipes to start making yet but to start with, that isn’t going to matter. Instead, we’re going to look at the basics that apply to any smoothie. Because really, you don’t necessarily need a recipe. There’s nothing wrong with just experimenting with different combinations of fruits and vegetables and tweaking the ratios to find things you like. Elsewhere in this book, you’ll find a guide to the different health benefits of various fruits and vegetables, as well as the benefits of different nutrients – that can serve as a good starting point. But to get creative, you need to know the basic rules that will apply regardless of your ingredients. How do you make sure that your smoothie is ‘basically tasty’ and doesn’t leave you cold?
The first thing to do is to choose the fruits and vegetables that you’re going to add to your smoothie. As mentioned, you should choose the fruits and vegetables based on the goals you want to achieve and the nutrients that you’re interested in. Of course, you should aim for a balance but ask what your primary goal is too. Is this a fat burning smoothie? An energy smoothie? Or a fiber-packed smoothie?
Think too about the sugar content and the acidity. Something like a banana or an avocado will be much less sugary than something like an orange or a mango. If you have one or two ingredients that pack a lot of sugar, then consider adding a few less sweet ingredients to try and even the score. What’s also very important, is to make sure that you get your ratios correct and we’ll come to this in a moment.
The first thing to add to your contain before you start making your smoothie is some form of liquid. This of course is going to be what keeps your drink a drink and not a mush! What’s also important though, is that you think about how much liquid you want and want type of liquid you’re going to use. The most common choice of liquid will be water. However, it’s also fairly common to use milk (which comes packed with its own nutrients) or to use fruit juices. It’s also normal to use 1 to 2 cups for one person’s worth of smoothie. Note though that your smoothie’s consistency is very much dependent on what you do now. If you want the drink to be very runny, then adding a lot of water and juice is fine. If you prefer a thicker consistency though, then you’ll want to add a little less and/or choose something that is thicker to begin with such as milk or even yogurt. Whether you prefer your drink to be runny or thick is entirely a matter of preference and might also vary depending on the recipie and the goal! Common liquids you can use for delicious smoothies include:
– Almond milk
– Coconut milk
– Coconut water
– Organic fruit juice
– Freshly squeezed juice
Have fun and experiment!
The next thing to think about is your base texture (often just referred to as the bsae). This is what is going to provide the body of your smoothie and give it that thick consistency so that it is a smoothie and not a juice. The aim here is to pick something that has a thicker consistency itself then and that means something along the lines of bananas, mangos, pears, peaches or avocados. Yogurt also works well, as do nut butters (like peanut butter), coconut meat, chia seeds, ice, frozen fruit or even ice cream (though this last option is not so healthy!). Good bases include:
– Peanut butter
– Frozen fruit
The next thing to do is to insert the additional fruits and/or vegetables in the necessary ratios. You’ve already set them aside, now you need to choose the specific quantities and add them in. For instance, if you’re going to make a green smoothie, then you’ll probably be adding spinach, kale, beet greens, dandelions, lettuce, broccoli, cauliflower etc. For juicy ones, you’ll likely have things like berries, oranges, apples etc.
You already have your base and this is going to give the most flavour to begin with. Choosing fruits from here then is a matter of choosing what goes well with that base and you can work this out by thinking about what works well on a plate together! For example, a great dessert is to have berries with yoghurt and for that reason, you can get the same delicious effect by adding berries to a yogurt base. This will give you a ton of antioxidants, while the yogurt in particular will help you to get digestive benefits (we’ll talk more about this in a subsequent chapter). Conversely, strawberries are known to go very well with banana. Likewise, mango and orange is a great mix!
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