Disclaimer: Please consult your doctor before beginning any diet, exercise or clean eating (nutritional) program. Particularly if you have been diagnosed with any diseases that may harm you while being on a weight loss program. Consult with your doctor and make sure these ingredients are suitable to meet your health needs and not cause an adverse reaction or harm.
By Somaya Reece
Are you ready for a challenge? For the next five days I want you to make at least one smoothie a day as a meal replacement, two is ideal and will bring you the best results! This is what I personally do everyday and it’s proven to work for me. I began drinking these smoothies when I was a plus size 18 and it helped me get to where I am now, a size 8 medium. I know first hand that this really works.
I usually make my smoothies for lunch or dinner. I don’t recommend these for breakfast as it’s important to eat a full breakfast meal–but it won’t hurt if you do. On rare occasion I will have one for breakfast, particularly if my IBS (irritable bowel syndrome) is acting up. Please don’t misunderstand this smoothie challenge. This is NOT what you are going to have all day. You are simply replacing a solid food meal with a smoothie juice. These recipes contain all the daily nutrients, vitamins, proteins, and the green veggies you need. You will be eating regularly on your other meals. This will take lots of discipline but you can do it! It’s not hard to make these delicious juices, they don’t contain expensive ingredients and you don’t need a super expensive juicer. All you need are the basic ingredients.
HEALTH FACT: All of these smoothies are amazing for detoxing, cleansing, blood circulation, better digestion, and the energy you get from them is phenomenal.
Your basics are the following:
· A blender, Vitamix, NutriBullet, Ninja, or any compatible blending
machine like an Oster brand. As long as it can crush your frozen fruits and ice, a regular blender works just fine.
· Kale or spinach or both
· Protein powder
· Milk, one percent or unsweetened non-dairy milks like Almond Breeze milk (milk can be skipped if you’re allergic or don’t like milk)
Your fruit and other veggie choices. Small pieces of fruits like 3 strawberries, 1 small or medium orange, 3 pieces of papaya, 1/2 a banana, beet root, celery, small carrots, a few chunks of pineapple, and apples. Try any combinations of your favorite fruits, you can also freeze your fruits but be careful about using pre-packaged frozen fruits. Why? Because they generally contain added artificial sugars, chemicals and other preservatives. It’s also hard to tell which ones are truly 100 percent fruit. I personally skip it all together and freeze my fresh fruits myself. I don’t want to take the risk. Use one long kale leaf or a handful of spinach. You want veggies in your smoothie juicing shakes. It is important, not just for the vitamins but for proper digestion benefits too.
Always add protein powders. Even if you have to wait to start the challenge until you can go buy one, it’s worth it. Look for low to no sugar and low carb protein powders. It’s really important that the sugars are low. You are already adding natural sugars from the fruits, you don’t need any more sugar. It will turn into fat. There are many on the market to choose from and they are all great depending on your needs and preference. Natural, soy, whey, isolate, and raw forms. The flavor is your choice. Stay away from any protein powders that are for “mass gains” those are for body builders. Do not add pre-packaged already made protein shakes. Always use a protein powder. Remember that this is a “liquid meal replacement.” If you were having a solid food “whole meal” you would be eating protein with your meal. Since this is a “liquid meal replacement” you will be using protein powder.
SOMAYA TIP: If you don’t have protein powder skip it but you must eat at least one source of protein when you drink your juice (eggs-chicken-fish-vegan beans/quinoa etc.) I would rather you not do it that way because it defeats the entire purpose of having a meal replacement in liquid form and I can guarantee that you may not get the results you desire.
Always add water or milk. Add water and unsweetened milk brands are preferred. For my lactose intolerant folks, there are many non-dairy brands out there. My favorite one is Almond Breeze or unsweetened Silk brand milks are EXCELLENT! I use non dairy brands due to my IBS. You want to use unsweetened milks to keep your sugars as low as possible. Will it make or break your smoothie? No, yes, kinda. Sorta. Here’s the thing. Whole milks have up to 13 grams of added sugar. This is why I stress using unsweetened milks. Fat free and one percent milk is do-able but they also contain lots of sugars, when you get into the two percent, the fat and calories all around start climbing. Remember, fruits already have natural sugars so it’s important to not add any extras. You don’t need the extra sugars and fat calories. Every commercial chain grocery store carries them. They are not hard to find.
SOMAYA TIP: You can use ice cubes to thicken your smoothie. When using peanut butter or other butters, use natural or organic brands, only use one teaspoon. Try almond/cashew or peanut butter, skip the nuts if you’re allergic. You can also add flaxseed, Chia seeds, and bee pollen as extras. That optional and a matter of preference. Flaxseed is incredible for digestion. It helps you “go.”
There will always be a little left over in your blender, do not throw it away, drink it! That’s how you are going to stay full.