Smoothies can be a quick and convenient way to incorporate more fruits and vegetables into your diet every day and are especially great after a workout or for people with gut issues who have a hard time absorbing nutrients.

While I’m more of a fan of eating whole, nutrient-rich foods rather than liquid meals, smoothies have their place. But not just any smoothie!

Most smoothies have WAY too much sugar. Take a break from the sugar-laden fruits like bananas, mango, and papaya. Stick to low-sugar berries, rich greens and avocados instead. Your body will get the nutrients it needs to remove toxins, boost weight loss, and help to strengthen your immune system, minus the blood sugar spike that comes alongside most smoothie recipes.

Smoothies: A Safe Way to Help Cleanse Your Body

Smoothies help cleanse your body naturally, unlike most of the juice cleanses and detoxes we see everywhere these days.

If you’ve tried one of these drastic cleanses, I’m guessing you probably had a hard time sticking to it.

Long-term cleanses can lead to muscle breakdown and vitamin deficiencies, and cause diarrhea and/or constipation. Plus, there’s not much point to it, since cleansing your body should be done on a daily basis through food and lifestyle habits.

Supporting your liver with a cleanse can be beneficial–BUT only if you’re eating a diet consisting of fresh vegetables, quality meats, healthy fats, low-sugar fruit, etc.

Detoxes and cleanses can be dangerous and should be done under the guidance of an expert, such as a naturopath, since there are different phases to a detox. If too many toxins are released at once and the body can’t handle it, you could end up feeling pretty horrible.

If you’re new to making smoothies, here’s how to get started.

Smoothie Basics

  • Liquid (about a cup), such as water, unsweetened coconut milk or nut milk (check ingredients), kefir or yogurt, if you tolerate dairy (make your own with raw milk, if you can find it).
  • Fruit (about 1/2 – 1 cup), preferably low sugar types such as berries or green apples.
  • Greens (1 – 2 cups), such as kale, spinach, zucchini, lettuce, cucumber, cilantro, or parsley. (If you follow The Bulletproof Diet and are concerned about plant toxins, lightly steam and cool kale and spinach first.)
  • Healthy fat, such as nuts or nut butter, coconut oil or MCT oil, pastured eggs, or avocado. Fat slows down the sugar spikes you can get from smoothies and helps you feel full longer.
  • Protein powder, especially if your smoothie is a meal replacement. Unfortunately, most protein powders aren’t great quality. Here’s some I recommend: grass-fed collagen and whey protein powders, or this one. Or a vegan powder. Many people like the brand Vital Proteins and Dr. Josh Axe makes a good line of bone broth protein powders.
  • Upgrades, such as ginger, hemp seeds, cacao, aloe vera, Goji berries, maca, turmeric, cinnamon, and matcha.

Smoothie Tips

  • Be sure to chew your smoothie. Moving your jaw activates enzymes in your mouth and starts the digestive process so you can absorb all the nutrients. Chewing also releases hormones that help you feel full. Chewing is especially important for people who have digestive problems–you don’t want your smoothie to ferment in your gut and cause more digestive issues. One way to remind yourself to chew it is to add crunchy toppings such as cacao nibs, unsweetened shredded coconut, pumpkin seeds, hemp seeds, or healthy granola.
  • One smoothie a day is sufficient (I like them for breakfast or a snack).
  • Keep in mind that smoothies are not necessarily low calorie, so go easy on what you add to them.
  • Many people like to add ice, but cold drinks can stop the digestive process, so you might just want to add a couple of cubes if you like your smoothies cold.

Here’s a couple of low-sugar smoothie options to incorporate on a daily basis anytime you need a quick energy boost! (Add a scoop of protein powder if you’re using as a meal replacement.)

Green Magic Smoothie

  • 1 cup coconut milk, nut milk or water
  • 2 cups spinach
  • ½ avocado
  • ½ teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon coconut oil
  • 1 teaspoon raw cacao powder

Wellness 101 Smoothie

  • 1 cup coconut milk, nut milk or water
  • 2 cups spinach
  • ½ avocado
  • ½ orange, peeled
  • 1 tablespoon flax seeds
  • Dash of cinnamon

For both smoothies, simply add all ingredients to your blender and pulse until smooth and creamy. Try to drink them right away as these fresh and natural smoothies don’t last too long in the fridge.

xo,

Kate

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