Saturday, May 19, 2012

Your Calorie Intake (and Extra Smoothie Tips)

As I recently expressed, I love having my Power, Sunrise Smoothie every day.  But how do you add it in when you’re trying to lose weight?  Or just maintain your weight? 
This brings us to the topic of calorie intake.  As the experts say, your weight is determined by the about of calories you take in compared to the amount of calories your burn throughout the day.  If you are trying to lose weight, you need to burn more than you take in; if you want to maintain your current weight, you need to take in and burn the same number of calories.  Now, I personally find counting calories to be stressful and I have known people that have obsessed about it.  Therefore, I recommend finding out what your daily intake of food should look like, on average, and make adjustments from there.  If you are overweight, then you need to cut back a bit, plain and simple.

Being healthy at maintaining a healthy weight takes 2 things:  eating right and exercising.

To find out how what your daily intake of food should look like, go to:  You input information about your height, weight, and activity level and it shows you how many calories a day you should consume.  Then, and this is what I think is the best part, it shows you how many servings (expressed in easy to understand amounts such as ‘cups’ and ‘ounces’) of fruits, vegetables, protein, fat, and dairy should make up your calorie intake.  This is what you can use as a guideline for what to eat throughout the day; count your servings of fruits, vegetables, etc. (instead of every calorie). 

And now we’re back to the smoothie.  Each 20 oz. glass of my Power, Sunrise Smoothie has:

ü  1-1.5 Cups of vegetables
ü  2 Cups of fruit
ü  ½ Cup of dairy
ü  .5-1.5 oz. of protein

Although each 20 oz. smoothie will be between 450 and 600 calories, you have to remember that everything in the smoothie is like a super-charged dose of vitamins, minerals, protein, fiber, healthy fats and antioxidants…all that your body needs to function optimally.  I am a firm believer that it is the quality of calories that you take in that matters.  For example, sure you could drink something that is ‘sugar-free’ and ‘fat-free’ but all you’d be left consuming is artificial sweeteners, colors, flavors, etc., none of which your body can use to create it’s optimal health (this is an important subject that I will go over in more detail the future).  If you want or need for the smoothie to be fewer calories, you could make them smaller (or….that other end of the teeter totter – you could increase the exercise you enjoy! J

Here are a few additional smoothie tips:

·         If you are trying to lose weight, or if you are not very active, try eliminating the almond/peanut butter to take out some of the calories; keep the protein powder.
·         Use the smoothie as a meal replacement once or twice a day.
·         For a smooth consistency, add all fruit, vegetables and liquids and blend thoroughly.  Once smooth, add coconut oil, (almond butter), and protein powder.  Blend on low until just mixed.
·         Rotate which fruits and vegetables you use so that your body gets a wide vitamins and minerals.
·         Try a ‘raw and vegan’ protein powder.  All the protein will be from vegetables and grains such as sprouts and sprouted brown rice. (Right now I am using Garden of Life’s RAW Meal – you can pick it up at Whole Foods and other vitamin shops.
o   NOTE:  Whole Foods has RAW Meal on sale for ~ $20 off (until the end of May)

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