Saturday, April 2, 2011

Shake it up Baby.

Smoothies. Become a fan.

I love smoothies. You can read all about them all over the net but I'm just going to give you a few reasons why I think they are great.

1. You can use them like a meal replacement. I don't usually like using the 'meal replacement' term because it brings to mind images of certain money-grabbing brands where you 'have 2 shakes a day and a palm full of protein and you'll lose weight', but when you make a good smoothie, it is often nutritionally better than what you might have chosen for a meal (obviously, depending on what you would have chosen).

2. They are fun to make! Add a bit of this, a bit of that and you have a power packed drink.

3. No grains necessary! How many meals a day do you include some form of grain? Because a lot of the time you find yourself saying, 'well, all of them'. Not that grains are the devil, but everything in moderation.

4. You can include your supplements in a smoothie without having to take lots of tablets.

So in the picture I've shown you what I've been using lately. I'll give you a quick recipe:
1/2 cup coconut water
1/2 cup Elgaar Farm Organic Fat Free Milk (yum!)
1-2 tablespoons 100% pure whey protein concentrate (from dairy not soy)
1/4 teaspoon Lifestream calcium powder (which you can also cook with because it's heat stable)
1/2 teaspoon Hawaiian spirulina powder (only a little or it tastes like a fish tank)
1 chopped banana
1 teaspoon raw cacao powder

Put everything in a blender and enjoy!

I have my smoothie only after exercise. The function of my smoothie is to provide nutrients (I take no multivitamin), to help muscle recovery after exercise (protein content) and to give me breakfast.
To formulate your smoothie, figure out what function(s) you want it to have and adjust the ingredients from there. Here are some very simple suggestions:

Function : Ingredient
Body building : a big serve of better quality protein (eg whey protein isolate)
Electrolyte balance : coconut water or a good rehydration mix (I like the Endura range - I don't like Powerade/Gatorade with artificial everything)
Anti-aging : green tea powder or acai powder
Fat burning : L-carnitine powder
High fibre (for digestion) : psyllium

There is so much out there to choose from, and it is so much better for you and so much more fun that a couple pieces of toast for breakfast.
Also, you can get almost everything I've mentioned at Go Vita stores ;)


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