The Shake Dressed as a Smoothie

Samantha Hicks
A public relations student at Humber College.

Face it. You’ve been lying to yourself. In fact, you’ve told this lie to yourself so many times now that I doubt you think twice about it anymore. It gets worse. You tell the very same lie to your friends. To your loved ones. They come by your place, get comfortable, and believe you full heartedly when you say you have their best interest in mind. But you don’t.

“Let me make you a smoothie,” you say. So your best friend is sitting there thinking she’s about to meet her recommended fruit serving for the day; maybe, she’s thinking, you’ll even sneak some kale into that smoothie. What are friends for if not to build up your immune system, boost your energy, and cram you full of antioxidants? With any good friendship comes trust. This friend of yours, she feels no threat. Checking up on you doesn’t even cross her mind. She’s in the other room, sprawled across your couch waiting for her “smoothie”.

All that trust is misplaced. You and I both know how deep your lie runs, but she doesn’t, and you’re not about to tell her, are you? Little does your best friend know, you’re going to your fridge and pulling out sugar-infested ingredients. You’re stuffing preservative loaded substances into that blender with your eyes closed. You’re hoping she doesn’t notice the sugar rush twenty minutes from now. Fingers crossed, the diarrhea (she is sure to get from your concoction) doesn’t hit her until she leaves.

It’s time for you to stop referring to your root beer float as a smoothie. Never again will you add a few frozen berries to your chocolate milkshake and call it a meal. Aside from the very obvious (ice cream), there are a few ingredients that you should stop including in your smoothies.

Fruit Juices –

Store bought juices contain a lot of sugar and very little nutrition. This means that not only are they high in calories, but they will also have negative effects on your blood sugar levels. Try making your own juice at home or substituting juice for water or green tea. All Women’s Talk provides a number of healthy juice recipes, check them out here http://food.allwomenstalk.com/healthy-homemade-juice-recipes.

Non-Organic PB –

Skippy tastes delicious, but just like your orange juice it is packed with sugar. If you are like me and feel that no smoothie is complete without peanut butter, opt for an organic alternative. They are a little less sweet but now that I have been using them for a while, I’ve actually come to prefer the organic.

Agave –

Agave has been all the rage, made popular by franchises like Starbucks and Davids Tea. Agave seems like a good idea at first, but actually has a really high fructose content. You’re thinking fructose, you’re thinking natural… thereby healthy. Our bodies, however, can only tolerate fructose in small amounts. Exceeding the normal amount of fructose gets a little scary because our livers can’t metabolize it efficiently. Look to Kimberly Snyder’s blog for the health effects of over-doing your fructose: http://kimberlysnyder.com/blog/2012/09/27/unhealthy-smoothies/.

I don’t want to see you turn down root beer floats for the rest of your life. It is, however, important to know when you’re taking something in for health and well-being, and when you’re indulging. We need to be able to make the distinction between a green, kale and broccoli smoothie and a shake made with mint-chocolate chip ice cream. Be honest with yourself and with your loved ones. Don’t dress your shake up like a smoothie, be a good friend.  

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One thought on “The Shake Dressed as a Smoothie

  1. elizabeth April 13, 2015 / 3:28 am

    Hi Samantha, I really like the direction you’ve taken on this whole smoothie trend. I think it’s important for people to know that smoothies are a great way to get your daily dose of the nutrients your body craves. I myself have made the silly mistake of adding fruit juice or agave to my smoothie mix and even though it tasted delicious it’s interesting to learn that it wasn’t as beneficial to my health as it could have been. On another note, along with the smoothie craze I think agave has become a “trendy” food. I think the ideas we have with natural looking or sounding product has propelled their popularity. “Agave, a natural plant derived sweetener,” when I read that I personally think that it’s so much better for me because A) it’s coming from a plant, and B) it kind of looks like honey. I think, as consumers we quickly forget that granulated white sugar once came from a plant as well, and just like your shake dressed as a smoothie, we dress this equally unhealthy substance as being the more natural sugar. Fruit juices as well can be dangerous. A combination of sugary juice and a sweetener might taste amazing as you’ve mentioned but continuous consumption of these things can lead to lasting health problems, such as diabetes. http://www.clermoka.com/food-trends/agave-nectar-a-sweet-new-trend/ This is another blog that really gets into the agave trend. The girl who publishes this blog really gets into the uses, benefits and downfalls of this sugary syrup, it’s a good read and I’d love to hear your opinions about it!
    April 12,2015 By:Elizabeth Voss

    Like

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