Wining & Dining
Building a Better Smoothie
2/13/2015 11:49:19 AM

It’s a new year, and for many, the holiday bloat has to go! It’s time to get serious, and a healthy option to consider is a smoothie.

There are many versions including fruits, vegetables, green drinks, weight control, muscle makers, energy, lean mass, and more. A smoothie can be a healthy choice if it’s balanced with fruit and healthy ingredients, and can even serve as a meal substitute.

Terri Stovall, owner of Get Healthy, a full service health food store, coffee house, wellness center, and spa, serves up tasty and healthy smoothies.

"Most people have a hard time getting in their servings of fruits and vegetables on a daily basis,” Stovall said. "Skipping a meal or having a meal without protein can wreak havoc on your health.”

A good smoothie should have protein, fat, and carbs. Calories can add up, and non-dairy options include almond, coconut, hemp, cashew, oat, or quinoa milks.

"Smoothies just may be the perfect nutritional boost,” said Stovall.

Begin with fresh, pureed, or frozen fruit, veggies for vitamins, and healthy thinners such as water, ice, apple or white grape juice. In lieu of white sugar, consider stevia, cane or beet sugar, xylitol, honey, or agave nectar. Throw in a banana for texture.

Popular fruit smoothies at Get Healthy are strawberry, strawberry banana, mango, peach, banana, apple, carrots, and butternut squash.

Keep a meal replacement smoothie under 300 calories, with 20 grams of protein. Whey, soy, hemp, and pea or brown rice are good choices when it comes to protein sources. Use three servings of fruit or vegetables in each smoothie.

Fresh vegetables and greens balance flavor and nutrients. Vitamineral Green, a powdered formula, contains spirulina, wheat grass, chlorella, dulse, algaes, and enzymes. Bee pollen, ginseng, probiotics, vitamins, and ginkgo biloba are just a few of a wide array of popular additions.

Get the glass you will drink your smoothie from, add in fruit, vegetables, protein, additives, and liquid. Pour it all into a blender, blend on high, and enjoy!

Keep track of calories, including liquids, and be creative. Tofu or low-fat yogurt can be mixed with wheat germ, blueberries, and honey. A summer smoothie can be made from watermelon, banana, and yogurt. Berries, banana, yogurt, and orange juice is a great morning drink.

Stovall is a traditional naturopathic doctor and a certified natural health professional.

Get Healthy is located in historic downtown DeRidder at 107 S. Washington St., and is on Facebook.

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