Hi everyone, welcome to my very first blog post!
I thought I would kick things off with the age old question of what is actually better for you, smoothies or juices?
I think its safe to say that most of us have dabbled in all the wonders of a juice cleanse once or twice before. Whether it’s summer approaching, or we just aren’t feeling our best, it (for me) was always the go-to quick fix. With that being said, I never felt too good during, or after these “magical” cleanses. I’m usually left feeling tired, ravenous and irritable. So, after many hours spent googling, chatting with peers and experimenting myself, I have drawn somewhat of a conclusion on this topic.
Here are the fundamentals –
I’m sure you have heard this one before, but yes, when you juice something you are losing all of that great fiber. Blending your ingredients means you get to keep all of that goodness, plus you have the option of adding things like chia and flax seeds to up the fiber content of your smoothie even more.
Not only does fiber promote regular bowel movements to ensure a healthy gut, but it actually slows down the absorption of sugar within the body. This helps to prevent sharp rises in blood glucose that will end up expanding your waistline.
If you are juicing you can hold onto that fiber and re-purpose it in your next meal. You can throw it into a soup or make delicious veggie burgers out of it, get creative!
Fun fact: Your body can’t digest fiber! I like to think of it as a little broom that helps sweeps your insides ☺
If you are going to take up juicing as a hobby, you will need to purchase a specialized appliance. The juicer unfortunately doesn’t have many functions other than juicing. Smoothies on the other hand just require a traditional blender (a food processor will even do the trick!).
Juicers can also tend to be a pain to clean out. If you clean the blender right after you use it, all it should need is a quick rinse.
Make sure not to let either sit for too long because it is no fun cleaning all of those nooks and crannies once everything has dried!
Fun fact: You want to give juicing a try without the initial investment of a juicer? Combine your ingredients in a blender and then strain out the fibrous pieces through a nut milk bag or a piece of cheese cloth.
Have you ever made yourself a giant smoothie, packed with what seemed to be a hefty amount of ingredients, and found yourself hungry not so long after finishing it? This is because liquids clear your stomach 4 times faster than solids. So whether it be a juice or a smoothie you are going to find yourself hungrier sooner than if you had eaten a solid meal.
I find this works out perfectly for a pre-workout meal if you don’t particularly like to exercise on a full stomach.
Both juices and smoothies can be high in calories and I prefer them as a meal replacement instead of something to quench my thirst (try fruit infused water for that!).
I struggle replacing a meal with just a juice, so smoothies tend to work for me a little better in this regard.
So, with that being said, just make sure to keep an eye on what is going into your juices and smoothies because they can become calorie dense pretty quick.
Try to be wary when adding nuts, seeds and yogurt in your smoothies, and try to have a limit on the amount of fruit you put in your juice.
It takes about 4 apples to make an 8 oz cup of apple juice which tends to be more fruit than we could handle eating solid.
Although naturally occurring sugars are a big step up from refined sugars, we need to be aware of how much sugar (in any form) is too much for our bodies.
Fun fact: These days, sugar really is hiding in everything. You will find 1 teaspoon of refined sugar in just 1 tablespoon of Ketchup!
Making smoothies and juices at home can get a little pricey sometimes, especially if you’re buying organic.
My best advice is to purchase according to the Dirty Dozen and Clean 15 lists.
These are respectively the fruits and vegetables that are most and least contaminated by pesticide use.
Why does organic matter so much?
Pesticides are designed to be toxic. Some of the pesticides widely used have been linked to a variety of health problems including, cancer, hormone disruption and toxicity of the brain.
This information is good to know, but don’t let it discourage you from eating the dirty dozen if you can’t find them organic! Eating whole fruits and vegetables is always better than processed foods (which contain their own slew of chemicals).
Ok, so now that I have gotten that off my chest, time for the fun stuff!
My “This is it” green smoothie recipe!
I came across this combination of ingredients trying to find the balance between those smoothies that dare I say it, just taste TOO green and the smoothies that taste too good to be true (probably because they are).
So, I took it upon myself to take this dilemma into my own hands, or should I say, into the hands of my Vitamix, and fiddled around with some different combinations, and viola! Here it is, the “This is it” of all green smoothies.
The avocado makes it super creamy, and the frozen banana eliminates the need for any ice and gives it a great texture.
I think the underdog in all of it though is the cinnamon. It really ups the “sweetness” without any added sweeteners.
If you still feel the need to add a little something, choose raw honey or a good brand of pure maple syrup.
Feel free to throw in any add-ins of your choice, I usually go with some ground flax seeds.
- ½ Avocado
- 1 Frozen Banana
- 2 Heaping handfuls of Baby Spinach
- 2 cups Almond Milk (Unsweetened)
- Heavy hand of cinnamon
- 1 tbsp ground flax seeds (optional)
Toss your handfuls of spinach into the blender.
Add the almond milk and blend together until all leafy chunks are gone.
Add the remainder of the ingredients and blend until smooth.
Top with a little more cinnamon for garnish, then drink up!