By Janine Delaney, Psychologist and Fitness Expert
Diet and nutrition can be a tricky thing, especially when there’s so much misinformation about nutrition floating around the internet. How do we know what’s actually healthy and what is just marketed as such? Sadly, I don’t have the answer to that question as the science is changing all the time, but there’s one topic I want to discuss that’s generally perceived as “healthy”. You know what I’m talking about, the fitness fanatic’s go-to treat and one that’s even inspired hundreds of chain stores – the smoothie
Smoothies can be bad, but don’t have to be!
Mixing fruits and veggies in a blender seems like a great option for a quick on-the-go-to snack. Fruit in moderation should be enjoyed, it’s got many great benefits like antioxidants and vitamins you can’t find in other food sources. But in the smoothie, the added fruit may holding you back. Oftentimes, store-bought or online recipes for “healthy” smoothies include loads of added sugary fruit juice, sorbet and yogurt that pack on extra calories and sugars. In addition, they can put a big dent in your wallet if you are buying them after your daily workout at the gym.
Here’s the good news: If you still love smoothies, you should enjoy them. But try your best to avoid adding juices and excess fruits by making your own smoothies at home. Blenders are relatively cheap, and if you’re buying from a store, the blender will pay for itself after a few uses. Fruits you should add to your rotation should have higher levels of antioxidants, including polyphenols, anthocyanins, lutein, and beta-carotene than their fresh counterparts (blackberries, blueberries, plums, etc.) Further boost the benefits of your smoothie by adding a protein powder. Quest’s Vanilla Milkshake Protein Powder tastes great, adds 22g of protein per scoop, and won’t overpower your smoothie.
Once you find a smoothie that works for you, branch out and experiment! I like to add a teaspoon of almond butter for a daily dose of healthy fat. There are also a bunch of protein powder flavors from Quest for those with more of a sweet tooth – my pro-tip is to add Quest Salted Caramel flavor powder and a sprinkle of cinnamon for some natural anti-inflammatory post-workout deliciousness.