Smoothies came onto the weight loss and health food scene sometime in the late ’90s. They were lauded as healthy meal replacements, a great way to get your veggies, and the ultimate weight-loss secret. However, some nutritionists warned that some of the store-bought smoothies could contain more calories than a bowl of ice cream.
Not long after the smoothie trend started, the juicing trend hit. The 2010 documentary Fat, Sick and Nearly Dead follows Joe Cross on a 60-day juice-only diet. Over the course of two months, he ends up losing 100 pounds and discontinuing use of medications he’d previously been taking because of obesity related issues. The documentary is said to have contributed to doubling the sales on home juicers.
Though both blending and juicing can offer a lot of health benefits, these trends work best when balanced with other healthy habits. If you’ve been wondering which to add to your diet, the answer is…both! Blending and juicing at home can offer a bunch of delicious, nutritious benefits. Here’s a few easy ways to add them to your daily routine.
JUICING TIPS & TRICKS – What You’ll Need: A Juice Machine
- Go Green.
Juice machines make it easy to get many of the high-nutrition, low-calorie benefits of leafy greens. While you may not find yourself sitting down to nibble on eight cups of kale or celery, drinking that same serving in a single glass of green juice takes just minutes. And you can sweeten it with a freshly juiced apple.
- Get More Veggies
Sip the equivalent of seven salads in a single sitting. Carrots, greens, beets–even sweet potatoes–can all be combined. These delicious juices pack a nutritional punch!
- Boost Your Nutrition
Sip your vitamins with fresh, vibrant juice you make at home! A juicer makes it easy to get some serious vitamin C and other vital nutrients in a delicious way. Citrus fruits are especially flavorful, making naturally sweet juices that start your morning off right.
BLENDING TIPS & TRICKS – What You’ll Need: An Industrial-Strength (aka High Speed) Blender
- Sip Hearty, Sip Healthy
Smoothies can combine enough healthy fats, proteins and nutrients to fill you up. Blend in blueberries for maximum antioxidants, add avocado for heart-healthy fats, and pop in a banana for some serious potassium.
- Protein Packed
Smoothies offer a surprisingly simple way to create your own protein shakes. Tofu, almond, peanut butter and creamy Greek yogurt can all be easily blended. Starting the day off with proper protein helps satiate you, keeping you from crashing into mid-afternoon cravings. Smoothies also offer a great base for hiding the sometimes chalky flavors of protein powders. Blend them in with bananas and berries and you’ll have a simple, sweet treat in no time at all.
- Forget the Sugar
Smoothies can be easily sweetened without sugar. Using frozen fruits and naturally sweet eats (like bananas and pineapple) can get you all the enjoyment of a decadent sipper without the sugar. Honey, agave, maple syrup or even Stevia can be added in small amounts.
Before You Shop: To get started with a healthy eating habit, swap certain meals with a blended smoothie or juice. You’ll be able to cut calories and soak up some plant-based nutrients. And this might be the best $450 you’ll ever spend for your healthy eating options.
Brooke McLay is a professional recipe developer, food photographer, food writer, and single mom to four rad kids. Author of two cookbooks and the beloved blog, CheekyKitchen.com, her creative approach to fast, fresh, family-friendly foods has garnered her regular gigs with Disney’s Babble.com, Tablespoon.com, Good Cook, and Coupons.com.