Just Harried

Little Harrys on the Prairie

Smoothie Basics

I’ve been incorporating home-made smoothies into my diet for nearly six months now, and I’ve learned lots of tricks of the trade.

I started out by getting into Herbalife, and I got out pretty fast.  I know a lot of people that swear by the product line, and I believe it is a good fit for some lifestyles, but it simply was not for me.  First, it was really expensive, especially compared to the way I approach smoothies now.  I’d rather spend my money on whole nutrients instead of processed powder.  The powders they recommend that go into a smoothie (there are two of them) contain about 200 calories alone, not leaving much room for calories from fruit and extras that make the shake yummy.  Plus, it messed with the lower half of my digestive track, and I felt like 100% crap when I would run.  When I couldn’t even make it through a 5 mile run one morning, I knew I couldn’t keep up with Herbalife.  Again, Herbalife wouldn’t be as popular as it is if it didn’t help many people feel great and reach goals, but it just wasn’t for me.

Then I found Spiru-Tein.  It is a protein powder with a good amount of protein and a clean taste with only 90 calories, allowing me to add more fruit and yummy stuff to the smoothies.  I kept a trick I learned from Herbalife and added a tablespoon of sugar-free pudding mix to create different flavors like pumpkin cheesecake, Butterfinger, etc.  I was still making my shakes with these ingredients until I decided to try to eat clean with no sugar added for the month of January.

I also purchased several smoothies at places like Smoothie King, GNC, etc.  Never again.  Too much guesswork goes into how they are prepared, and again, too much sugar and too many additives.  I’d rather have one when I get home.

So, how do I approach a smoothie now?  It depends on what I have on hand and what I am in the mood for, but the following are always true:

  • No sugar added.  Now that I am desensitized from sugar, I find that I don’t need additives to sweeten a smoothie – the sweetness from the fruit or the kick from some spice is all I need.
  • If I want protein in my smoothie, it’s coming from something in its whole form, no processed powders.
  • It’s going to be green.  I add spinach that ends up tasteless, and it gives me another dose of power food in a really easy way.
  • I will whip it up in one of these bad boys from GNC (the non-deluxe version).  I’ve had mine for almost 6 months now, and it’s still going strong (AND it came with two cups with lids).  I only paid $20 for it, and I would gladly pay $20 for it again whenever mine poops out.  It takes up very little space and the cleanup is way less than a traditional blender.

The reason why I decided to post about smoothies is because they are a regular part of my diet now, they are super awesome, I’ve learned a lot through trial and error, and I made a damn good one this morning that was totally my own creation!

That means…

my first smoothie recipe will be posted tomorrow!  But there will be no food porn shots because 1) I’m still working on my skillz, and 2) if you do a search in Google images for “green smoothies,” you will see that pretty much every smoothie with spinach in it looks the exact same – nasty!  But believe me, you cannot even tell there is spinach in them, so don’t be afraid!

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