This month, I wanted to write about one of my all time favorite things…aside from you know, my family and what not. No, one of my favorite things in my life is my morning smoothie. It’s right up there with, dare I say, coffee. Every morning, I get giddy with anticipation of that sweet protein and nutrient packed breakfast treat (which really can be enjoyed all day long).
I am so in love with my dear reliable morning go to that I wanted to share my obsession with all of you. Because, my friends, I’ve been noticing a trend that can lead you down a dangerous and unhealthy path taking you from a healthy option to just another breakfast dessert. So, let’s dive in shall we?
If you’re anything like me, the Internet is the God of all food resources, especially Pinterest. I have my own Pinterest board strictly dedicated to my smoothie obsession, but lately, I’ve been noticing something disturbing about many smoothie recipes. I’ve been pinning less and less smoothie recipes because lately, they seem to be FILLED with sugar. And in sneaky ways, too. Ways that could lead someone to believe they were actually making a healthy smoothie when they were, in fact, eating dessert. I’m not joking, even just a little bit. I saw one just the other day that called for chocolate chips and chocolate syrup and another that called for brown sugar. Now, it wasn’t claiming to be a “healthy”smoothie, but it certainly claimed itwas a breakfast smoothie. If I was going to have that for breakfast, I’d rather just have a donut instead.
Let me clarify that I am not anti-yogurt. Yogurt is an excellent source of calcium and probiotics and it has many benefits, but you HAVE to check if it has added sugar because if so, chances are it is a fair amount. If you are trying to cut out added sugar to your diet, you need to be careful here. If you are truly looking for a sweet treat, without a TON of additional sugar, you need to just get that sugar out of there. Need calcium? Add greens or use whole milk. Any fruit you put in your smoothie will have plenty of natural sugars and will be sweet enough that you shouldn’t need to add sugar to it. If you must sweeten your smoothie, do it the responsible and nutritional way and choose honey or stevia. And, for Pete’s sake, don’t even think about adding ice cream. If you need a thicker shake, try adding some ice cubes to it. It makes it thicker.
So, don’t allow yourself to be fooled by imposters. Be on the look out for add-ins like chocolate, cookies, ice cream (hello, that’s a milkshake), flavored yogurt or even regular yogurt.
And finally, eat your veggies, folks. Smoothies are a great way to sneak in greens without tasting them. Let me tell you, I was not a believer of this until I tried it. I sneak in a handful of greens with every smoothie I drink. Spinach, kale, chard, whatever I have on hand, I put it in. Sure, I can see it a little bit, but I cannot taste itand I feel good about the fact that my sweet treat came with an additional power green punch.