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SUDENKORENTO1 SparkPoints: (5,908)
Fitness Minutes: (5,707)
Posts: 27
6/17/13 7:16 P

One school of thought suggests that by blending the veggies and fruits (not juicing, but in a smoothie which retains the fiber) gives an added energy boost because the body can more readily digest the blended foods, therefore the body is not using excess energy in digestion. I haven't really researched it beyond a couple of sources, but I, and a couple of family members, have had some great health benefits from drinking a green smoothie every morning.

I have found that drinking a smoothie in the morning gives me massive amounts of energy and I'm not hungry for hours. I was easily able to give up coffee. I don't have horrible heartburn anymore, and my skin has improved (no more odd rashes and chin acne). My morning recipe is as thus:

1/2 Cup cold water
3 Cups Romaine lettuce, chopped
4 Cups spinach
2 Tablespoons ground flax seeds
1 Granny Smith apple, cored and chopped
1/4 Cup parsley
1/4 Cup cucumber, chopped
4 - 5 Tablespoons fresh lemon juice
(sometimes I add 1/2 of a small banana, or a bit of coconut nectar if I'm really craving some sweetness - which is happening less and less!))
Puree all ingredients in a blender (a VitaMix is awesome, but poor folks like me can just use their late 70s model Osterizer) until smooth. It helps to blend the greens first, then add the other ingredients, so that the greens get very smooth.

Granted, when you're accustomed to a nice sweet cup of coffee with toast and fruit or oatmeal and berries, the flavor of the smoothie takes some getting used to, but once you do, you're rewarded with a healthy breakfast that's both refreshing and filling.

I think the initial response by nutritionists and dieticians to smoothies is due to all the unhealthy (sugary, fatty) smoothies out in the marketplace. The smoothie one can get at Jack In The Box is NOT a healthy choice. However, a smoothie made at home with fresh produce, unsweetened almond milk (for fruit smoothies); protein powder free of whey, casein, and soy; and easy on super-sugary fruit like bananas is a healthful option (and fun to make too, as you pointed out!)

So, I say enjoy your smoothies! You're getting nutrients and fiber, and that is soooo much better than the nothin' you get from skipping breakfast altogether.



DIXIEMCCALL SparkPoints: (12,099)
Fitness Minutes: (10,111)
Posts: 96
6/8/13 6:21 P

I do the same thing - nonfat yogurt, frozen peaches and spinach for breakfast in my Vitamix. If I didn't have a delicious smoothie, I would either stop at a convenience store on the way and buy something to mindlessly much on my commute (expensive and high in calories) or overcompensate with lunch (High calories and guilt.) So I figure that although a liquid breakfast isn't ideal, it's better than no breakfast at all. I try to keep it low cal and enjoy!

TNSFAN Posts: 41
6/8/13 3:05 P

Thanks so much for the Livestrong article. I wonder if my friend was referring to the "drinking vs chewing" portion of the article; that indicated chewing is slower and will provide the feeling fullness quicker than drinking. This was the only somewhat negative aspect to smoothies vs whole food, which seems very minimal and can be controlled with a calorie conscious smoothie and drinking it slowly. I also wonder if she thinks I am using smoothies as a "liquid diet" which is not the case. I just needed a way to "eat" breakfast and really up my fruit/veggie intake. It's funny because I LOVE eggs...but only for lunch or dinner! Ha ha, so messed up!

Thank you all for your thoughts...it is really appreciated!

DRAGONCHILDE SparkPoints: (57,757)
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Posts: 9,666
6/8/13 2:58 P

Honestly, EATING your food is generally going to be better, nutritionally thank drinking your calories pretty much any day of the week; there's a whole host of reasons, but what it comes down to in the end is which is better: struggling with or skipping a meal first thing in the morning, or just grabbing a smoothie or protein shake (my vice of choice) instead?

This isn't a zero-sum game. It's not all-or-nothing where you always have to make the "best" choice based on a certain set of criteria. "Good" is certainly acceptable! Smoothies are an easy way to grab nutrition, and the endless variety of them makes it so that you'll always have something new to try.

So why feel bad about starting your day with a smoothie? It's certainly not going to slow your weight loss. I don't advocate for replacing meals that you would otherwise be eating, but some of us don't care for eating breakfast first thing in the morning. And that's fine.

It doesn't always have to be "best". (And best is so subjective anyway that one person's "best" is another person's "not in this lifetime.")

After all, it's probably "best" to eat an all-organic, locally-grown diet with no processed foods any time, anywhere, all home-cooked meals, etc. For some of us, that's simply not practical. Maybe we don't have time, maybe we don't have money. Maybe the only place we have to buy food is Dollar General, or Walmart. Maybe you just don't have TIME to do home-cooked 3+ meals a day.

That's okay. Work with what you've got. :)

Edited by: DRAGONCHILDE at: 6/8/2013 (15:00)
OLGA18 SparkPoints: (12,436)
Fitness Minutes: (3,719)
Posts: 665
6/8/13 2:23 P

I also struggle with breakfast...I have to force myself. I was curious about your question because smoothies sound like an awesome solution for me so I googled it and this is what I found:

http://www.livestrong.com/article/463643
-is-drinking-a-smoothie-like-eating-so
lids/

Time for me to buy a blender.

MEG-NATALIA07 Posts: 679
6/8/13 2:19 P

Um... I would think that blending up WHOLE FOODS is even better for absorption in your body than chewing... And especially if you combine it with a teaspoon of a good fat like coconut or olive oil, as fat is necessary for many nutrients to be absorbed.

EBWHAT SparkPoints: (2,233)
Fitness Minutes: (1,168)
Posts: 25
6/8/13 2:14 P

I have no professional information concerning that subject, but anecdotally - I've NEVER heard that before and I read a lot about nutrition. It sounds like baloney to me, how could the method of blending change the way its absorbed in your body? I mean, I know that there are certain digestive enzymes in your saliva that begin to activate to break down your food before it reaches your gut, but seriously, it can't make that much of a difference. Why do they treat malnutrition victims with nutrient IV drips if that is the case? And regardless smoothies are freakin' delicious, yo! I love smoothies! Especially ones like the one you shared with greens and protein powder, and in the summer they're kinda the best breakfast ever. I say you do you.

TNSFAN Posts: 41
6/8/13 1:45 P

I have found "smoothies" to be the most amazing way to "drink" a nutritious breakfast. (I've always struggled to eat breakfast as I rarely feel hunger in the morning) I am getting wonderfully creative and having such fun with my smoothies. For example, today I blended a banana, 2 strawberries, handful of shredded zuchinni, handful of fresh spinach, scoop of protein power, a little almond milk and ice. Heaven!
However, my question...

A friend (who is working on her degree in nutritian) rained on my smoothie parade and said I am not really able to absorb these great nutrients as "drinking" is a different absorption process in the gut than chewing. She claims it would be much better if I put everything in a bowl and ate it like a salad as "whole food" trumps blended food. I apologize if this has already been addressed in posts, but I am curious if any of you (especially the dieticians) have heard thes claims? Am I getting anything positive from my smoothie experience? I really thought I had finally found a good breakfast....

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