Ask Jen about smoothies

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smoothie and fresh fruit

“Jen, we need help making the ultimate healthy smoothie.”
— New to the health movement

Dear Newbie,

I love food. There, I said it. To narrow it down, I super-love vegetables. Maybe it’s just me though, but the thought of dumping a bunch of spinach and beans into a blender kind of grosses me out. It seems like it would probably taste a bit like mud.

People do it, though, I’m sure. Do you just plug your nose and chug it? Do you choke one down every single morning? (The reluctance on my face right now is astonishing, by the way…)

There has to be a better road to take.

First, get it out of your mind that vegetables don’t taste good. They are all delicious. Train your mind. Your health will thank you for it.

Don’t overdo it on the fruit. Pulverized fruit = sugar.

I don’t like adding water or ice. To me, all it does is water the smoothie down, and wreak havoc on your blender blades. I like thick smoothies. Try adding a fresh frozen banana or peach instead of ice to make it cold.

Try as hard as humanly possible to use only fresh ingredients. The syrups that canned fruits come packed in are also loaded with sugar. Yikes! Not healthy!

Lastly, try to stick to less than 5 ingredients. The more ingredients you have, typically, the more calories you have.

I don’t have a recipe for a perfectly healthy smoothie, but I do have a couple words of wisdom: Remember that whole foods are good for you. Eating an apple, for example, is much more healthy for you than drinking a glass of apple juice. One of the main reasons is that any liquified form of a whole food may leave you less satisfied, less full, and may then lead you to eat more calories during the day than you would have if you ate those foods in their original, solid form.

I usually make smoothies on the weekends when life isn’t so crazy. This one is my favorite:

2 frozen apples, peaches or bananas
6 frozen strawberries or 1/2 cup frozen blueberries
2 cups fresh spinach or other leafy greens
1 stalk of celery (including leafy top)

Blend until smooth and enjoy! (If you don’t like such a thick smoothie, go ahead with a little water or almond milk.)

Go make something awesome,
—Jen

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