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Smoothies Guide



I thought about the juice v blend a lot and here's a good article on the differences
But let me tell you why I ultimately am firmly in the blending camp for my family:

1. Satiety

One of the main reasons the SAD (Standard American Diet) eating approach has caused obesity:
the stretch receptors in your stomach give you a sense of satiety. Fiber helps you get and maintain a sense of fullness that juicing will absolutely not. So nutritional density and absorption aside (not to trivialize it), you can really end up screwing your diet if you feel hungry more quickly and end up eating something less healthy.
The 200-300 calories of a smoothie have an amazingly even curve for energy and satiety, but when it runs out, I find it's a pretty hard crash about 3 hours after I drink it.
Most americans eat about 4lbs of food a day, the question is how nutritionally dense and how much water/fiber will you intake. The less fiber/water, more likely it will be filled with more calorie dense and less nutritionally dense foods. BTW, my family does eat meat and some fats/oils which are important, it's just that the SAD lifestyle is way too high on meat and oil. So blending gives our family a better shot at eating healthier. BTW, for my wife I mix in 2 tablespoons of flaxseed with her smoothie -- so we are further increasing the fiber. Helps tremendously with bowel movement. The problem with so many people who try to lose weight is that they stick with calorie dense foods, eat smaller amounts to control calories, but they put up with being hungry because stretch receptors are not activated (which saps their frontal lobe and causes the diet to be unsustainable once they no longer can maintain that prefrontal cortex-based effortful self denial) AND they have no bowel movement because there's not enough volume for their system to push leading to toxins staying in their system and severe crankiness. Does this sound familiar to anyone?

2. Sugar spike and ensuing crash

Compare a cup of apple juice vs. eating an apple. Satiety aside, the juice is going to spike your blood sugar leading to the famous sugar crash we see in our children all the time:

3. Feels wasteful

Really just feels odd to throw away extracted water and fiber.

4. Easier Clean Up

Clean up is much easier with a blender vs. juicer. Pitcher and top take a few seconds to rinse. I scrub it maybe once a month.

5. Gut Health

Interesting interview at the 2018 Aspen Ideas Festival of gastroenterologist Dr. Ari Grinspan from Mount Sinai discussing how to foster a healthy gut microbiome. Most interesting part as it relates to smoothies is his recommendation for promoting healthy microbiomes in your gut... "Fiber, fiber and fiber."


Blendtec Designer Series

I tried both the Vitamix and the Blendtec and HANDSDOWN the Blendtec is better than the Vitamix. Why? Tom Dickson, owner and CEO of K-TEC, which markets its products under the Blendtec brand, came up with a solution that solved a decades-long problem with blenders–cavitation, or the tendency for blenders to create a pocket of air around the blender blade. By adding a shorter fifth wall to the blender, Dickson shifted the vortex or cyclone that blending creates so it was not centered over the blade, which makes the contents roll over instead of cavitating.
With Vita-Mix I always had to "tap down" the ingredients. With the Blendtec I just stuff the pitcher full and fire it up. Never even considered a Bullit, not in the same class of motor. I have the Designer series. Love the iPad flat interface for cleanup and didn't feel like I needed all the jars that come with the Signature series. Raw utility in a sleek looking design. Wider pitcher mouth is easier to clean. Less drip when you pour (still a little drip).
For IP geeks, here is the press release about the patent suit between K-TEC and Vitamix about the pitcher:


Compostable Cups/Lids

If you want the smoothie store experience, you can also buy compostable cups, lids and straws here (we use 12 oz cups and domed lids):

Reusable straws

Silicon tips

To make it more comfortable sipping:

Reusable Cups

I recommend using Bell jars with a smoothie friendly lid. Years ago they didn't have smoothie friendly lids so I DIY'd my own by drilling a hole and adding a 12mm (interior measurement) silicon washer. Now there are several new solutions...


Green - Spinacado or Kalocado

12 cups/oz. of spinach OR 10 cups/oz of Kale - we get the pre-bagged stuff from Trader Joe's and try to use it within a few days since the nutrients are decaying quickly (Optional: I microwave for 3-4 minutes to activate nutrients, breakdown the oxalic acid and take the "green" taste down a notch")
1 large avocado - fat in avocado is supposed to help the body absorb the nutrients from the green leaf veggies. we have a buffer of avocados to ensure they are always ripe - (i.e., we buy about 7 avocados a week, but consume the ones from the week before since they take a week to really ripen. if they ripen too fast we toss them in the fridge to slow down ripening)
1 granny smith apple
1-2 bananas - we also have a buffer of bananas. We buy about 15 a week, but eat the ones from the previous week. I find bananas are never "too ripe" to put into a smoothie.
1 sweet potato if you want it sweeter and smoother (Steaming or boiling is best as it provides a better glycemic index)
1 cup Greek Yogurt for protein if you want a longer calorie burn
1 tablespoon of frozen orange juice if you want to give it a tangier/more refreshing taste on a hot day
1 cup of milk if you want to give it a milkier taste and get calcium
1-2 cups of frozen berries to taste

Orange - Orange You Glad I Made This

8 Medium Carrots
1 Cooked Sweet Potato (Steaming or boiling is best as it provides a better glycemic index)
5 Tablespoons of Frozen OJ
2 Cups of Frozen Mango
2 Bananas
1 Cup of Milk
1 Cup of Greek Nonfat Plain Yogurt

Red - We Got the Beet (Served with the Go Go's song playing)

10-12 beets (We get them from Trader Joe's pre-cooked, each beet is about 2" in diameter)
1 bag of frozen strawberries (12 oz.)
2 bananas
1 Cup of Milk
1 Cup of Greek Nonfat Plain Yogurt

Blue/Purple - Brocoberry

1 bag of frozen blueberries (12 oz.) or blackberries (but if you use blackberries I think you need one more banana and another half cup of juice)
2 cups of broccoli (I recommend cooking by steaming or microwaving)
1 cup of Greek Nonfat Plain Yogurt
2 bananas
1 large avocado
1 cup of acai

Yellow - Les Deux Mango (named after Paris's Les Deux Margots)

1 bag of frozen mango (12 oz.)
2 bananas
2 Cups of Milk or 1 Cup of Milk and 1 Cup of Greek Frozen Nonfat Yogurt (Depends how much you want it to taste like a Mango Lassi)

Yellow - Amy's One Rough Cup

1 Cup of frozen mango
1 Cup of frozen pineapple
1 Cup of banana (1 large or 2 small)
1 Cup of vanilla yogurt
1 cup of apple juice
1 cup of milk
Optional: wheat grass or flax

Add In's

You can add in chia, bee pollen, flax or protein powder or wheat grass. I have tried all of them. Kids don't really like flax, protein or wheat grass. Chia is a definite winner and bee pollen is neutral. We get our Chia seeds from Trader Joe’s. I usually add one tablespoon per person.

Vegan Tweaks

I have a vegan daughter and figured out I can swap out dairy milk for almond milk and greek nonfat yogurt for soft tofu without much loss in flavor.


12 oz. smoothies contain about 2-3 servings of fruit/vegetables in each. My daughter did a calculation of the nutritional facts for a few of the smoothies based on a 12 oz. serving....

Orange You Glad I Made It Nutrition Facts

2 bananas Total Fat 2.7 g
3 carrots Cholesterol 7.5 mg
2 cups frozen mango Sodium 444.125 mg
1 cup milk Potassium 2671.375 mg
2 cup yogurt Dietary Fibers 27.8 g
0.5 or 1 sweet potato Sugars 181.75 g
5 tablespoons frozen orange juice Protein 462.4125 g
Optional: 1-2 cups apple juice Calories 1182.5 calories
Nutrition facts are without apple juice

We Got the Beet Nutrition Facts

3 baby beets Total Fat 2.7 g
1 bag frozen strawberries Cholesterol 7.5 mg
2 bananas Sodium 306 mg
1 cup apple juice Potassium 1967 mg
1 cup milk Dietary Fibers 13.8 g
1 cup yogurt Sugars 108.5 g
1 sweet potato Protein 456.6 g
Calories 875 calories

Les Deux Mango Nutrition Facts

1 bag frozen mango Total Fat 5 g
2 bananas Cholesterol 15 g
1 cup Green Plant (?) Sodium 185 g
2 cup milk Potassium 1230 mg
Dietary Fibers 32 g
Sugars 200 g
Protein 30 g
Calories 1030 calories

Blueberry Frozen Yogurt Nutrition Facts

1 avocado Total Fat 21 mg
1 bag frozen blueberries (2.5 cups) Cholesterol 0 g
2 bananas Sodium 81 mg
1 cup greek nonfat plain yogurt Potassium 2252.5 mg
1 cup apple juice Dietary Fibers 26 g
Sugars 98.9 g
Protein 227.2 g
Calories 887 calories

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