Smoothies. They're worth loving for a multitude of reasons. They're quick, they're easy, they're nutritional and portable. There's so many products out there that are promoting the bullet or the whizzer, aiming at the growing fast-paced, power-packed, punchy protein laden pocket of pizazz. As for me - give me a good ol' Breville anyday. But the smoothie market is part of a growing population and I've been experimenting with my own value of nutritional smoothies and have found some important aspects to consider.
The smoothie revolution came about as a great way to blend a variety of fruits and vegetables and even herbs and spices into one meal. There is no cooking, no recipe required and just a little imagination. If you're short on time for preparation and even short on time to take a meal break. As massage therapists we know all about that! In this instance, you can throw a smoothie together in the morning and take it to work. It's convenient, tkaes up little space compared to a conventional meal and can still be filling
As far as what makes a great smoothie consider the following:
- Choose you're ingredients for their nutritional value.
There is no point consuming too much fruit as even natural sugars are still bad for you but in moderation they are necessary and well received by the body. Vegetables are awesome for their low carb, high mineral and nutrient value.
- Remember flavour is as important as ingredients. If it tastes awful you won't integrate smoothies into your daily diet.
- Eat in season.
Choose your ingredients when they are in season. Fruit and vegetables flown in from the northern hemisphere have a high carbon footprint. Plus I believe our bodies have evolved to consume only what is in season. Something to think about.
- Texture is an interesting topic for discussion.
Advertising for upmarket food blenders suggest that the finer the juice the easier it is for our bodies to extract the goodness. For me the thicker the texture the better. I get to chew a little and this increases acid production in the stomach. The acid, of course, breaks down the food to allow extraction of everything good in the smoothie.
When it comes to ingredients, the choice also comes down to nutritional value as well as portion size. You can literally drink a meal. Take the time to understand the value of eating specific fruit and vegetables for their nutrition. You'll learn more about your food and your body. Breaking the mould of 'meat and three veg' is way easier with a smoothie and can be adjusted to suit your own taste.
Eating too many smoothies is a risk as is eating too many meals. If you know what you're consuming and you consume for quality over quantity, you can meet the needs of your work/life balance nutritionally. There is no point replacing meals with smoothies. All things in moderation is a great rule of thumb so you're in a really good position to remain motivated and eating well.
I've been experimenting with fermented products for quite a while now and they are great for adding probiotics into your diet. With the invention of refrigerators a modern diet is lacking significantly in probiotics. This in conjunction with a high sugar/ carb diet is toxic. They can't be heated in cooking so a smoothie is perfect. I ferment my own foods and an ideal topic for another newsletter. Fermented foods have always been used as a way of inducing good gut health. Before the advent of refrigeration, salt served as a natural form of fermentation. The byproduct of this was probiotics. The food stored over the winter months formed a significant part of what is now fashionabally labelled 'the paleo diet'.
Fermentation actually enhances the nutritional value of food The action of bacteria acting on the food makes the minerals more readily available for the body as well as helping to produce vitamins and minerals that benefit and assist digestion. This is especially good for utlizing the excess of vegetables when they are in season. Having these 'seasonal foods' available in fermented form is a great way to boost function and food types in the off seasons as well as getting extra balance in the digestive tract.
So exprimenting with the addition of fermented products alongside the liquifying form of smoothies, can be a real benefit to someone who is finding it difficult to balance the multitude of food stuffs into the office/mobile diet plan. I mean, not all of us can take an esky full of vegetables and various raw foods like a bricklayer. Can just imagine how that works on the public transport of Sydney? So a little creativity and experimentation can sometimes be just the beneficial boost you need to change things up from the usual Chicken breast or can of tuna. Experiment and Enjoy
Smoothie pictured - ingredients: Kale, almonds, lemon juice, capsicum, fermented black beans / Buck wheat, spear mint, water.