Jen Rulon

Alright, if you know me by now and watch my Instagram Stories, then you know that I LOVE some Smoothies, and I probably consume one a day. They are quick, easy to make, and contain have plenty of calories, especially after a hard workout. So, today, I am chatting with you about smoothies and how you can build yours and make it easier for your days!

What Are Smoothies?

Smoothies are smooth, blended drinks containing fresh fruit and other assorted ingredients. They are trendy in health and fitness circles due to their great taste, high nutritional value, and low calorie count. However, since they’re sweet, satisfying, and refreshing, they also have a broad general appeal. In this article, I will be taking a deeper look at smoothies, the ingredients they contain, and why they’re so popular.

What’s In A Smoothie?

Smoothies typically contain a combination of ice and fruit. They may include fruit juice, milk, nuts, protein powder, seeds, spices, and yogurt. Since they’re made using natural ingredients but contain the right amount of ice, they’re relatively low in calories and very hydrating. In addition, they have a very high fiber, vitamin, mineral, and phytonutrient content and enhance your health by supporting your vital organs, protecting against chronic disease, and much more.

Why Are Smoothies So Popular?

1) They are Versatile: Smoothies are incredibly versatile, and you can make a wide range of smoothies based on your preferences and tastes. Depending on your ingredients, you can make creamy smoothies, crunchy smoothies, fizzy smoothies, slushy smoothies, sweet smoothies, and much more, so you’re bound to find plenty of smoothies you love.

2) They’re Great For Weight Loss: As mentioned above, smoothies contain lots of fiber, can be very filling, and can be low in calories (depending on what you put in!). As a result, they’re incredibly serving, and a great way to satisfy your appetite, and to drink them won’t cause you to pile on the pounds.

3) They’re Healthy: Due to their high nutrient content, smoothies are very good for your health and a much better choice than milkshakes or soda.

4) They Save Time: If you’re busy (aren’t we all alive), you may not have time to sit down and eat a few portions of fruit. However, drinking your fruits and greens in liquid form is much quicker, and even if you don’t have much time to spare, you can always enjoy a smoothie.

5) They are Portable: While certain fruits (such as apples and bananas) are pretty portable, other fruits (such as blueberries, mangos, and watermelons) are less mobile. Smoothies take care of this problem and allow you to enjoy any fruit while moving. Blend it up, place the smoothie in a sealable bottle or flask, and enjoy it whenever you want.

“Rulon Rules to Making Smoothies”

On the surface, making smoothies is a simple process. However, if you want to make a super smoothie every time, there are a few tips and tricks that you need to implement. In this article, I’ll share 5 of these smoothies-making tips with you and show you how to blend like a pro.

1) Be Creative With Your Ice Cubes

Ice cubes are a staple ingredient in any smoothie, but that doesn’t mean you must use water every time. Coconut water, fruit juices, and tea are all excellent alternatives to water which can be frozen just as quickly and make perfect ice cubes.

2) Clean The Blender Straight Away

Cleaning may not be the most enjoyable part of the smoothie-making process, but the longer you leave it, the harder it gets. Fruit puree takes just a few minutes to clean off the blender while it’s still moist. However, if you let it harden, it’s a much more complicated task and requires lots of soaking and scrubbing. So even if you don’t feel like it, clean your blender as soon as you’re finished blending.

3) Don’t Overfill Your Blender

This may sound common sense,, but many people pack their blenders to the brim and are left with uneven, poorly blended smoothies. Always leave a small gap at the top of your blender for the best results. By doing this, you’ll get a much more consistent, evenly blended smoothie.

4) Keep An Eye On Your Total Calories

Another mistake many people make when blending up smoothies is focusing on the healthy, natural aspect and ignoring the overall calories they contain. While smoothies are very good for you and have many health-boosting nutrients, the calories can quickly add up if you ignore them. So make sure you’re aware of the total calories in your smoothie, and if the number gets too high, swap out some ingredients for ice. Use My Fitness Pal to see how many calories you are consuming in your smoothie!

5) Use A Range Of Ingredients

While it’s OK to have your favorite ingredients, blending up the same smoothie every time will limit the nutritional benefit you get from them. So make sure you’re blending up various ingredients each week, which provide you with a mixture of fiber, vitamins, minerals, phytonutrients, healthy fats, and protein. Doing this will give you the maximum nutritional punch and also allow you to enjoy a range of great-tasting smoothies.

And let me share my “Top 5 Smoothie Ingredients:”

1) Almonds

Almonds are a concentrated source of calories, so you need to use them sparingly in your smoothies. However, a 1-ounce serving adds lots of healthy fats, magnesium, manganese, vitamin B2, and vitamin E at the cost of just 161 calories. In addition to this, almonds give your smoothies a thick, crunchy texture.

2) Banana

A large banana contains just 121 calories, and high levels of fiber, manganese, potassium, vitamin B6, and vitamin C. It’s also less juicy than other fruits and gives your smoothies a satisfyingly thick and fluffy texture.

3) Blueberries 

Blueberries contain just 84 calories per cup and are packed full of health-boosting anthocyanins, fiber, manganese, vitamin C, and vitamin K. They’re one of the sweetest and juiciest fruits around and a great way to naturally sweeten your smoothies without loading up on calories. FYI: Berries, in general, are excellent, and the best way to go with berries is frozen organic!!

4) Chia Seeds

Like almonds, chia seeds are a calorie-rich food, so you need to limit the amount you put in your smoothies. However, a 1-ounce serving contains a good 137 calories. Be VERY mindful of consuming TOO much Chia Seeds because if you are a runner, you will need to eliminate things during your run. HA!

5) Almond Milk

It is lower in calories, 40 calories per cup, and lower in CHO than milk.

6) Protein Powder

I use Whey Protein. There are many benefits to whey but I know not everyone can handle the dairy.  Here is an excellent infographic of the difference between Whey and Plant-Based Protein from Ideal Raw.

I hope that gives you a little idea of how to make smoothies, what to put in them, and what you could use. I would play around with it. The key is to figure out how many calories are in your smoothies. My favorite smoothie is about 500 calories, so be careful, as calories and your macros can add up in smoothies alone.

What is your go to smoothie? Share below! 

AUTHOR: Jen Rulon

I have been coaching triathletes, runners, and cyclists for over 21+ years; I received my Master's Degree in Kinesiology with an emphasis in Exercise Science. And as you may have learned, there is more to life than swimming, biking, and running. It is a lifestyle, and I am here to help you cross that finish line with a smile, whether it is an Ironman Triathlon or the Ironman of Life. You can find my knowledge shared in Triathlete Magazine, Runners World, on the TEDx Stage, the Health and Wellness Expo in San Antonio, TX, Southwest Research Institute Human Performance Summit, Training Peaks Workshops, "Self Motivation Strategies for Women" on Amazon, Men's Journal Online, and the New York Times. I also practice what I preach—she's a 15x Ironman Triathlete who participated in the Ironman World Championship in Kona, Hawaii, on October 14, 2017.

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