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The Great Smoothie Debate – Fitness Monday

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The Great Smoothie Debate – Wow! That 20-ounce smoothie from the new store on the corner was amazing. But was it good for me?

I hate to break it to you, but it’s a crap shoot. Everyone loves smoothies because they are a great pick me up, the fruity flavor is out of this world and they can be a great source of protein, calcium, Vitamin D and B-12. All of that by itself — plus some more natural ingredients — is a great start toward energizing yourself in the morning or to refuel after a killer workout with yours truly (had to throw in that shameless plug).

But alas, some of the tasty concoctions you find at the grocery store, smoothie/coffee shop and local fast food restaurant can also feature high-fat and/or high-sugar items like ice cream, syrup and chocolate. If you really think about it, other than that one scoop of protein, you have no idea what else they put in there.

According to WebMD, “What you can end up with is a drink that has upwards of 600 calories.” Geez. For that, you might as well go eat a double cheeseburger for lunch.

I’ve heard a lot of people talk about how they love places like Smoothie King and Jamba Juice, and the last thing I want to do is bash a reputable company. A quick look at Smoothie King’s menu, for example, shows they do offer some sensible options with their fitness and slim blends, and their online menu goes into great detail on each smoothie’s nutritional value, from calories all the way to saturated fat.

You gotta respect a company that’s completely open about what they are selling. But there is some tasty decadence on that menu, and I just don’t think most patrons give it much thought. For example, a 20oz Hulk Strawberry fitness smoothie has 964 calories. The Hulk Chocolate and Vanilla each come in at 801 calories. Those three items alone have at least 31 grams of fat and at least 12 grams of saturated fat.

They can also be expensive, which is not just a knock on Smoothie King. In general, most smoothies are pricey. For most smoothies, you’re at least going to spend close to, if not more than, six bucks after tax.

So what’s the answer, Karma? One way to make sure your smoothies are healthy, that you know what’s in them and to get them for a fair price, is to make them at home. You need a blender and fresh ingredients from the store to make it happen. Quite simply, it’s a difference between cooking from home and eating fast food … if you cook from home, at least you know what you are putting in there.

If you would rather get your smoothie from somewhere, I recommend Shakeology.  It is one of the most delicious, nutrient-dense, superfood-packed protein and Vitamin Shakes on the planet! I have personally written blog after blog on my website with reviews on its natural benefits.

And it’s affordable. I actually cut out Starbucks for an entire month and saved money by replacing it with one Shakeology shake per day. We can make the same swaps for dinners out, drive thru, eating lunch at the office a few days per week or to stop buying processed foods at the grocery store.

So in the end, there really shouldn’t be a debate at all. This is all about fueling your body with the highest quality ingredients at the most natural level.

Please check out my website www.KarmaNelsonFitness.com for more information on other great healthy living tips.

Let’s make a better YOU.

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