Category Archives: smoothie

Super WebMD Item on Food Frauds

Regular readers know that I have written lots of posts based on WebMD items. I think their latest one – Food Frauds That Can Wreck Your Diet is one of their best.

Here are some of the highlights:

Caesar Salads: “You might think that because it’s a salad, it’s fine. But just a small bowl has 300-400 calories and 30 grams of fat, thanks to loads of dressing.”

Banana chips are not a healthy fresh fruit snack

Banana chips are not a healthy fresh fruit snack

This is an element in most salads. You really need to watch out for how much salad dressing you add.

Fresh Smoothies: “That berry blend at a smoothie shop can have a whopping 80 grams of sugar, 350 calories or more, little protein, and often no fresh fruit. Fruit concentrates are often used instead of fresh fruit.”

Energy Bars: They recommend, “Choose bars that have 200 calories or less, some fiber, and at least 5 grams of protein, which helps provide energy when the sugar rush fades.”

Latte with 2% Milk: “Reward yourself with whipped cream on top. But this trade-off still adds up to 580 calories and 15 grams of saturated fat in a 20-ounce white chocolate mocha. That’s more than a quarter-pound burger with cheese.”

In my opinion, designer coffee drinks are really diabolical when it comes to watching your weight. I found out years ago that more often than not they set you back instead of helping you out.

Microwave Popcorn: “The word “snack” can be a little misleading on microwave popcorn. One popular brand packs 9 grams of fat into each “snack size” bag.”

This is another calorie trap. Popcorn is usually a healthy snack, depending on how you fix it. The microwave way, while very fast, is one of the worst in terms of health. Lots of bad fat and calories.

Banana Chips: “Deep-fried bananas don’t look greasy, but just one ounce has 145 calories, 9 grams of fat, and 8 grams of saturated fat: about the same as a fast-food hamburger.”

How can anything made from fresh fruit be a calorie bomb? Easy, deep fry it. WebMD suggests snacking on a fresh banana for four times the food, no fat and only 100 calories.

There are a total of 21 of these examples of what they term food frauds. I have picked out the ones most meaningful to me. Do yourself a favor and go back and click on the link for the full series. They also give suggestions on how to tweak them to make them less unhealthy.

As always, it pays you to be alert to serving size and portion control. I grew up snacking and most of the weight problems that I experienced resulted from that.

Check out my Page – Snacking – The Good, The Bad and The Ugly for more on this.

Tony

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Filed under smoothie, snack foods, Snacking

Secrets to Making a Great Smoothie – Infographic

I have been a smoothie fan for years. I started with them around 20 years ago when I got my first blender and then moved in to the big leagues with my first Vita Mix machine around eight years ago. I am not a big breakfast eater, but making a smoothie first thing allows me to fuel up for my first bike ride. Smoothies are a great way to incorporate a lot of good nutrition into a single meal element. It is also handy to throw in all my vitamin and mineral supplements, so I don’t have to swallow them one-by-one.

Here are some really good suggestions on making a great smoothie.

smoothie

Tony

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A St. Patrick’s Day Green Smoothie – Vita-Mix

I have recently decided to up my consumption of leafy green veggies. My diet falls short in that department. I don’t make many salads, so it isn’t the easiest thing to add. I decided to go the smoothie route.

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Herewith my first attempt to consume more green leafy veggies:

One cup of apple cider, 1/4 avocado, one slice pineapple, several strawberries, one cup kale, one cup arugala, one tablespoon of chia seeds, one tablespoon of hemp seeds.

Toss it all in the Vita-mix machine, add a half cup of ice cubes and let ‘er rip.

I got lucky and it tasted lovely. I think the avocado and strawberries smoothed out and sweetened up the taste with the pineapple.

Here is the nutritional breakdown:
Calories 265
Total Fat     13.6 grams
Saturated Fat 1.7 grams
No cholesterol
Sodium   84.3 mg
Carbohydrates 47 grams
Sugar 20 grams
Fiber 12 grams
Protein 11 grams

All in all a very successful first attempt.

Tony

Other Vita Mix recipe posts include:
How to Vita Mix a Low Cal Copy of the Jamba Juice Orange Dream Machine,
Vita Mix – Drinking a Watermelon
Vita Mix – Hot Chicken Soup
Vita Mix – Another Green Smoothie
Vita-Mix – Cold Peach Summer Smoothie
Vita-Mix – Cold Green Soup
Vita-Mix – Green Smoothies
Vita-Mix – Watermelon Sorbet Recipe
Vita-Mix – Garden Fresh Cocktail

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Filed under green smoothie, hemp seeds, leafy green veggies, smoothie, St. Patrick's Day, Vita-Mix

How About a Super Breakfast Smoothie?

I wake up slowly. As a result, one of the problems I have had in maintaining my weight was meal management. I don’t feel like eating in the morning. For years, I started the day on coffee and a donut or something equally inadequate. I drank coffee all morning at work and then found myself starving by lunchtime. If I had a busy workday and was only able to get a small lunch, I would be uncomfortable all afternoon. If I had time for lunch there was a good chance I would eat too much which of course cut into my productivity that afternoon. There’s no way a bad start worked out well for me.

Your first meal should be your biggest. What could be more logical? You are fueling up for the day. Fill your tank early and spend the rest of the day burning it off. You will be healthier, happier and more productive. If you wait and load up at lunch, or worse, at dinner, you are adding a lot of calories that you might not have time to burn. This is a sure recipe for weight gain.

I have replaced my original blender with a Vita Mix machine.

I have replaced my original blender with a Vitamix machine.

How do you solve it if you, like me, start out kind of foggy and don’t feel like eating first thing?

My solution was a happy accident. I bought a Vitamix machine at Costco. With my new toy, I found myself looking forward to mixing up stuff in the morning to drink. For some reason it was easier for me to drink a smoothie than to think about preparing and eating a breakfast. Go figure. As a result, I now have a morning smoothie that I call my rocket fuel. I include a banana, strawberries, blueberries and salad greens. Also, green tea for all its nutritional value and apple cider vinegar for the same. Another benefit of the smoothie is that I can put in my vitamin and mineral supplement pills. That way, I don’t have to swallow a bunch of pills every morning – one by one. I have been doing this for around 15 years and continue to tweak the ingredients.

After reading about and writing up raw cacao, I have begun including it in my morning smoothie, too. The slight tartness in the cacao is softened by the sweetness of the berries.

Tony

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