With the overwhelming variety of options presented to customers at a smoothie bar, how do you know which smoothie is the right fit for you? You may want to begin by asking some questions before ordering your drink.
What exactly is in the additives and what are they designed (or processed) specifically for? Are the ingredients organic? Is the produce locally sourced? And those with special dietary needs may want to know: Is it dairy-free? Is it nut-free? Do any of the additives contain wheat? Is it made from truly raw plant-based foods?
Menus may include fruit smoothies (usually combinations of frozen fruit, ice and optional powders); green smoothies (sometimes the same as fruit with green powders added); and then there is the addition of milk (which could be dairy); coconut milk or coconut water as a base; protein shakes (powders and additives); and of course booster drinks (superfoods, maca, etc).
What about pure, simple, delicious, nutrient packed smoothies? Smoothie bars may offer only minimal advice about the benefits of doing it the natural way, and one of the best people I know to keep you well informed is Victoria Boutenko http://www.rawfamily.com/ I hope you will tour her website, which is an excellent source on the healing benefits of greens in our diet. (Click on the Events tab above for VICTORIA'S 2nd visit to ABBOTSFORD on AUGUST 8.)
You can always ask for a natural supergreen smoothie with wheatgrass, mango, bananas and water. Or how about trying dandelion greens, cucumber and water, or broccoli sprouts, blackberries and water? And have you ever considered adding kale, carrot tops, beet greens, cilantro, sprouts, or miner's lettuce in combination with different fresh or frozen fruits and water? These are all powerhouse drinks that will energize you.
While fruit smoothies can be light, delicious and refreshing, savory smoothies can be prepared from greens and nonstarchy vegetables like tomatoes, cucumbers, celery, bell peppers, etc. If you want your smoothies to be less sweet, start by adding low-glycemic index fruit such as berries and apples.
We can get plenty of phytonutrients, protein, vitamins, and minerals from fresh greens. One pound of kale contains more protein than the USDA daily recommentation. And while adding green powders may be better than eating french fries, they are still a processed food, where the nutritional content may be altered in the process. I believe in consuming large quantities of fresh organic greens and fresh organic fruits for optimal health benefits.
When I began my journey with smoothies, I went the expensive route of adding protein powder, maca, flax oil, superfoods, etc. But as I gradually evolved into making pure green smoothies with no additives (other than Chia seeds for Omega-3), that is when I began noticing extra energy. Finally, a blender combination that was easy to digest, without additives, nuts, seeds or oils - that made me feel ohhh so good!
The bottom line is that you must have your own experience - what is right for one is not right for all! So try each version of a smoothie for at least a week, and pay close attention to what your body is telling you.