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Recipes

The Skinny on Smoothies. Do They Help You Maintain Your Weight?

Brittany Carlson

Many people view smoothies as a vehicle to weight loss. If the scale isn't budging, it is most likely because of too much fruit in your smoothie. 

Fruit naturally contains fructose, which is not directly absorbed into the blood (unlike glucose). Fructose requires more energy for our bodies to metabolize-- it needs to go through the small intestines and the liver before it can be used as fuel. When our cells have enough glucose to function, the excess is stored as glycogen in our muscles and liver to be used on a rainy day. When these glycogen reserves are full because of more sugar than your particular body needs, sugar is stored as fat. That's right, excess sugar is stored as fat. Dietary sugar increases blood triglycerides more than any other macronutrient. Essentially, sugar = Fat. 

Furthermore, when we eat fructose (or any sugar for that matter), blood sugar rises. The rise in blood sugar results in a short-lived boost in energy. You end up feeling hungry quickly and crave something sweet to feel balanced again. So not only are you fueling yourself with something ineffective that wont help you lose weight, you wind up eating more shortly after to get your body back to a balanced state. 

So what can you do differently? My recommendation is to incorporate healthy fats and proteins into your smoothie and cut the fruit. Good fats and protein are digested slowly, which will keep your blood sugar stay balanced and leave you feeling satiated for longer. Avocado, a source of fiber and fat, is a perfect base for a smoothie. A high quality protein powder is also a good alternative (Vega is my favorite brand). And if you do decide to have fruit in your smoothie, limit it to half a cup and try a fruit with a low glycemic load such as a peach or a pear.  Try these recipes out to get you started!


Green Cleanse Smoothie (Inspired by Kelly Leveque's #bewellsmoothie)

Ingredients

  • ½ organic cucumber, skinned and chopped

  • ¼ cup parsley, stems removed

  • ½  squeezed lemon

  • ½ avocado

  • 1 ½ cups full fat coconut milk

  • 5 ice cubes


Chocolate Madness

Ingredients

  • 1 serving vanilla protein powder. Here is what I use.

  • 1 Tablespoon Cacao Powder 

  • 1 Tablespoon Chia Seeds

  • 1 Tablespoon Coconut Oil

  • 5 ice cubes