Author: Amber French
Let me just be up front…. I LOVE juicing and I LOVE smoothies! Helpful, I know. But it kind of depends on what your goals and/or issues are.
Let’s start by defining both…
Smoothies are made in blenders and utilize all of the food placed in the blender. They tend to be thick in consistency and are great meal replacement or post workout/game/home renovation session.
Juices – are thin in consistency, they are made in special juicers and only utilize the juice in the fruit or veg you use, discarding the pulp and pits. They are killer for fighting colds, reversing disease and squashing inflammation.
The “pros” around Juicing and Smoothies are endless. The “Cons” are what trip people up and stifle the promised benefits for some.
Both drinks can become extremely high in calories and natural sugars. Smoothies have the benefit of bulk you are consuming everything you put in your blender. But it can quickly add up if you are adding pre-sweetened dairy alternatives like almond milk that can come in at 100 calories per cup. Paired with protein powders or nut butters (90-100 calories per TBSP) and sweeteners like maple syrup or honey (an additional 90-100 calories) and you haven’t even added your fruit yet!!!! Sweet fruits contain more calories. Throw some Pinapple in your above concoction and you are now tipping the caloric scale at around 500 calories!!!
All of a sudden your healthy breakfast smoothie is rivalling your lunchtime Big Mac and Fires! Now granted the healthy content of your smoothie can not rival the nutritional wasteland of fast food, but, if calories are a concern for you it still matters. For Smoothies you need to plan ahead and measure even if you have mastered your morning smoothie. it’s easy for those eye-balled measurements to slowly increase over time. Choose Lower calorie dairy alternative like unsweetened original almond milk and let the fruits you choose sweeten you smoothie. Add a few greens to pair with the sweeter fruits and limit you fruits to 1/2 cup per serving. Now a humongous serving can ring in at less than 200 calls.
Juicing is similar except it doesn’t have the luxury of stomach filling fibre and sheer quantity that the smoothie does. You are looking at consuming pretty close to the same amount of calories as you would if you ate the actual fruit or veg. again it is the sweet fruits that send those calories soaring. Apples, carrots, beets, pears etc. can add up quickly. For the most benefit nutritionally and calorically your juice should contain mostly greens (lettuce, spinach, kale, parsley etc.) a few low cal veggies like cucumber or tomato and 1/2 a cup of fruit. Adding things like limes and ginger or garlic can send your juice to the next level.
As long as you are willing to head the above advice the Juicing and Smoothie world can be life changing! You can cure colds and flus, increase your protein and micronutrient levels exponentially and hit all the RDA for your vitamins without shelling out big bucks for supplements and multi-vitamins.
Incorporating both of these techniques will increase your fruit and vegetable intake and leave you feeling energized, hydrated and refreshed.
My Go-To Green Juice
6 romaine leaves
Handful of baby spinach
1/2 a green apple.