The smoothie bandwagon, green or fruit, is a trend in wellness and weight loss that this Mean Nurse simply cannot get behind. Why? Sugar and calories. While there is no calorie counting on the Mean Nurse plan, you still have to be a bit mindful so you don’t overdo it. Any time you drink your calories, you are going to consume more calories than you probably intend because liquids never give you that “full” feeling that comes from the fiber in whole food. Sure, you can add a scoop of fiber to your smoothie, but why would you choose a pulverized and dried vegetable that has to be rehydrated to expand? Just eat the damn food! And if you say, “it’s more convenient….,” uh huh. Convenience has caused a lot of obesity and fat pockets of the food companies at the expense of our health and to the delight of the food companies and your doctor (well, maybe he’s not that delighted, but he is getting paid).
We think way too much about how to make food faster and easier to eat in the U.S., instead of enjoying our food the way it was meant to be enjoyed. The food companies compete by making their foods faster and easier to eat and sway the consumer with attractive and convenient packaging (Nutella sticks, anyone?) and empty claims of “natural” products. There is nothing more natural than a farmer’s market (that hopefully carries organic produce). Smoothies can be made fresh at your gym, health food store deli, or at home. Many consumers buy them already mixed at the store (processed with artificial ingredients). If you’ve ever made a smoothie at home, how much stuff do you put in it? A whole apple? Half a grapefruit? Some strawberries? A bunch of kale? Any protein powder added to that? What about some plain greek yogurt? Ever figured out the sugar content of what you’re consuming? You might wind up with a couple pieces of fruit, some vegetables (those are fine), and sugar in the protein powder (go read the label and look for words that end in -ose or any other form of sugar, malt, syrup or grain). The yogurt, if you use it, contains lactose, a milk sugar. Again, just eat the damn food!
From an environmental standpoint, many smoothies cause a lot of waste. A lot of people juice the vegetables and fruit and then add the yogurt and ice. Unless you are making muffins every day from the scrapes (like my local coffeehouse), you’re wasting a lot of food that you paid for and a lot of fiber that could benefit your digestive tract. Your grocery bill is also higher than it needs to be.
So, sorry, I’m not on the smoothie bandwagon as much as an unpopular position as that may be. I’ll live with it. I also don’t indulge in frappuccinos or any other frozen-style drinks unless it’s got alcohol and an umbrella in it. If I’m going to drink my calories, I want it to be with friends on a night out, so it’s an occasional indulgence, not an everyday thing because I’m on my way to work or coming home from the gym; then there’s no spare room in the calorie budget for chocolate. And that’s DEFINITELY a bandwagon I’m on!