10 Smoothie Mistakes That You're Probably Making - Especially #4
Updated: May 27, 2020
Smoothies are one of the easiest ways to get all of the nutrients your body needs to feel satisfied and stabilize your blood glucose levels - while also sipping it on the go if necessary. BUT... not all smoothies are created equal. In fact, it's really easy to go from a gut healing, fat burning smoothie to a bloat-y sugar bomb in just a few swaps.
I see these mistakes made all the time with my clients and #AENpeeps. It can be the difference between seeing amazing wellness results and being confused why you aren't making any progress toward your goals.
Today I'm breaking down the 10 most common smoothie mistakes that you're probably making so that you can side step them with tomorrow's smoothie and feel GOOD again!
1. You're using a fruit juice base.
10 oz. of orange juice will have about 26g of sugar. Read that again. 26 grams of sugar!! That's more than a Reeses Peanut Butter Cup! And that's not even including any of the other ingredients you may be adding! Starting off with this high level of sugar will throw your blood glucose levels on a roller coaster ride of spikes and falls, leaving you feeling tired, hungry and bloated.
Instead, opt for an unsweetened nut milk base or water. You can even make your own coconut milk in 5 minutes HERE!
2. You're using a TON of protein.
A scoop of plant-based protein. A scoop of collagen. A scoop of BCAAs. A scoop of whey. This adds up to a TON of protein. Protein is an important component of your smoothie, but you don't want to overdo it. The body doesn't need quite as much protein as you may think. Overdoing it can lead to protein converting to sugar in the body through a process called gluconeogensis. Plus, when you're doing your smoothie the RIGHT way, you'll also be getting protein from your various fat sources too!
3. You're adding in raw kale.
Veggies are a great addition to smoothies! But using a handful of raw kale every morning can cause GI distress and bloating, especially if you suffer from IBS. Plus, raw kale contains goitrogens that can impair the thyroid. If you still want to incorporate kale into your smoothies, try steaming them first then freezing individual servings. This will make the kale easier to breakdown and remove the majority of goitrogens.
4. You're skimping on the fats.
This also ties into tip number 10. Fats are needed to stabilize blood glucose levels and boost the satiety of your smoothie. That's why you'll see a variety of fats used in smoothies within the Complete Intermittent Fasting Bundle. Without them, your smoothie isn't a MEAL and you'll feel hungry within an hour.
5. You're using way too much fruit.
I remember going to places like Jamba Juice as a kid and getting smoothies that were just PURE fruit. Orange juice, pineapple, strawberries and raspberries - all. the. fruit. And I would be full for a little bit, but then within an hour or two be STARVED. The pure fruit smoothie didn't contain any fat or protein to slow down the release of the sugars. This can lead to a massive spike in your blood glucose levels and an immediate drop, leaving you hangry and in search of your next meal.
6. You're not getting in any variety.
I'm constantly switching up the fruit, nuts, seeds and butters that I'm throwing in my smoothies. Each food provides different nutrients - for example, almond butter is a great fat source and contains vitamin E, but chia seeds have a much higher level of fiber. That's why you'll see in my smoothie recipes that I'm alternating the fats as well as the fruits and superfoods so that your body gets everything it needs!
7. You're never adding in spices.
It's okay to not add a spice in every time you're drinking a smoothie. But incorporating spices into your smoothies will significantly boost the benefits of your breakfast. For example, adding in ground ginger and cinnamon (like in the Ginger Cacao Superfood Smoothie) will help to decrease inflammation - with the ginger - and stabilize your blood glucose levels - with the cinnamon. Turmeric is another amazing spice to add in for anti-inflammatory perks. Try the Turmeric Pineapple Smoothie from the Level Up Guide for some tropical anti-inflammatory vibes.
8. You're using nut butters with added nonsense.
There can be some crazy added sugars and oils to nut butters! Seriously! Go take a look at the nut butter you're using and check the ingredients label. If it doesn't just say "peanuts" or "almonds" or whatever other nut/seed you're using, then you don't want to be using it. Often times you'll see that some form of sugar is added to your nut butter, which is something we want to avoid in order to get the most out of your smoothie and avoid bloating.
9. You're using boxed nut milk in the "original" form.
If you choose to use boxed nut milk vs. making your own (which is actually really easy and takes only 5 minutes - learn how HERE.), it's important that you're opting for the unsweetened not the original flavors. Original contains added sugars that will contribute to your blood glucose levels spiking and throw your body into storage mode. Always opt for the box that specifically says unsweetened.
10. You're trying to keep it "low calorie".
You've probably heard that you shouldn't drink your calories. To some extent, this phrase is true. It's mostly referring to soda and sugar sweetened drinks (ahem... like the Starbucks Mango Dragonfruit Lemonade Refresher). These sugary drinks are one of the leading causes of obesity in the U.S. But here's the thing - when you make your smoothie properly, it will be packed with blood glucose stabilizing fiber, fat and protein. It'll also be remarkably low in sugar.
Plus, with this nutrient dense smoothie as your meal, you want to make sure that it's SATIATING. Otherwise, this will lead you to crave sugar and snacks later on in the day (get the deets on that here). Keeping it low calorie ironically is working against your health and wellness goals. Plus, counting calories is not the way to go anyway.