Preaching about healthy habits is one thing but bringing yourself to do them is another. You felt it too each time you had to set the alarm for a 5am workout or scrolled the online menu of a restaurant, trying to choose a waistline-friendly dinner. Yet, as any couch-potato turned health-nut knows, one day you suddenly wake up not remembering a time when you weren't snacking on kale chips.
My addiction to smoothies perfectly demonstrates this. The mere thought of blended spinach made me gag, but when I did caved in, it was for all the wrong reasons. In my mind, smoothies were part of an ever-expanding "toolbox" that women use to keep the pounds off their frames. Something used for maintenances – like a screwdriver – rather than major repairs. Thank God my body knew better than me.
A month into my new health regimen, which consisted of two creamy concoctions a day, as a snack, the needle of the scale didn’t budge. By that time I had a routine and had grown to love the taste – you can’t really taste the green stuff once you add fruit– so I kept going anyway.
My weight hadn't changed, but there were plenty telltale indicators of my thriving wellbeing: brighter skin, fewer mood swings, better sleep and, yes, a flatter tummy. Still, getting here took more than just pressing the "High Speed" button of my blender. Here's what I learned during my one-year “affair” with smoothies:
There's a fine line between a tasty smoothie and a gross one and you can cross it by adding too many greens. There were several smoothie-fails in the beginning, mostly because I was trying to cram a week's worth of salads in a glass with minimal amount of fruit. The perfect greens-to-fruit ratio? 60% fruit and 40% greens.
Which reminds me: not every smoothie has to be a green one. Make it red by mixing strawberries and watermelon, or purple by using blueberries and beets; live a little. Don't mistake white sugar for natural sugar from fruit. If anything, a fruit smoothie is going to kill two birds with a stone. First, it provides fiber, keeping you full and preventing binges later on. Second – and most importantly – it's going to tame your sweet tooth, without those crazy spikes and dips the blood sugar linked to type 2 diabetes.
Like with most foods, your love for smoothies will go through phases. The "gimme-all-the-pineapple" or "can't-get-enough-avocado" phase. At some point, you'll get bored. You'll forget for a while about your buzzing friend and when that happens, do what I did: turn to Pinterest or Instagram. Because there's nothing like perfectly curated photos of swirling acai bowls to get you excited and ready to break out the blender.
Expect to raise some eyebrows. Not even the prettiest of mason jars is going to help you get away without a weird look from a relative, co-worker or a fellow bus passenger. My advice: brush it off. At times, choosing to get healthy feels a lot like being the weird kid asking to be send to science camp, while everyone else goes to Disneyland. But you know what? Twenty years later, that nerd figures out a way to space travel and saves the world. Or something along those lines.
You will find yourself craving one like there's no tomorrow, particularly after a booze-filled night or during a stressful time at work. You will marvel at how quickly it makes your mind and body bounce back, and if that’s a goal of yours, effortlessly taper off caffeine.
You’ll have smoothie drinkers problems. Confession: I may or may not freak out if I ever see the bottom of my frozen banana stash. The same goes for lemons. You don’t know how toned your biceps are, until you had tried to squeeze the last drop out of a dry, sad-looking half of lemon, because that is what’s going to take a smoothie from fine to fabulous.
Unlike other wellness crazes, smoothies are here to stay. They are a clean slate to our overextended bodies, a canvas to paint new health stories using fruit and vegetables. And that’s more than enough to get me hooked!