Do You Smoothie?

A lot of folks slurp smoothies. In general, I don’t. Here’s why.

  • I’m just not that hungry. A smoothie wouldn’t be satiating enough for a meal and would be too much in-between meals. It might work for breakfast, but I make my daughter an egg every morning, so I usually just piggyback and add a few more for me.
  • I’m lazy. I don’t like to pull out major equipment like a blender unless absolutely necessary. I know manufacturers sell these devices as being time-saving and convenient, but they don’t feel that way to me.
  • You can argue with me about this, but I feel like the nutritional value of fruits and vegetables has been oversold. This may warrant it’s own blog post someday, but for now, let’s just say that I don’t think they yield anything magical. Of course I enjoy them and eat them, but I don’t glorify them. So a kale-blueberry-flax seed-cod liver oil smoothie just isn’t impressive to me. For some antioxidant debate, see this and this from Slate.
  • There’s some evidence to suggest that many things we eat, including the aforementioned kale, shouldn’t be eaten raw. See here for more on that.
  • I try not to drink my calories. Or, at the very least, I try to reserve that niche for alcohol. Liquids just aren’t going to trigger your satiety signals as well. You also run the danger of consuming far more than if you were eating the fruit, veggies, and other ingredients whole.

With that said, I can see some reasons for whipping up a liquid concoction, aside from having your broken jaw wired shut. Besides, I like to argue with myself.

  • These guys can't wait to earn that smoothie!

    You’re an endurance athlete. There is not a single gene in my body that codes for “endurance athlete”, so this is not a concern of mine. But I know there are folks out there who have a hard time keeping weight on and need quality calories. Smoothies are probably great for recovery as long as there’s some good fat and protein involved (almond butter, coconut oil, full-fat yogurt, eggs, etc.)

  • Smoothies differ from juice in that, as long as you’re using whole fruit and veggies, you’re getting the benefit of all the fiber and nutrients. I do think you’re unlocking the sugars a bit and the Glycemic Index will go up since you’re absorbing them faster. (See? I have counter-arguments for my counter-arguments!)

So should you smoothie? The answer is yes, if:

  • You enjoy them. Just keep them small to make sure you’re not sucking down too many calories.
  • You make your own. Jamba Juice does not make smoothies. They make a sugar-laden liver bomb flavored with fruit-flavored syrups.
  • You’re not fooling yourself about the sugar content in the fruit. Keep your sugar intake low for the rest of the day or try a savory smoothie. Mark Sisson has some recipes here. Primal Toad has some too (here), and while I can’t vouch for it, he has an e-book of smoothie recipes available for sale on his site.
  • You’re not trying to lose weight. The calories, carbs, and sugars can certainly frustrate those efforts.

Do you smoothie?


7 Responses to “Do You Smoothie?”

  1. I do smoothie… not often these days, but I do whip one up – maybe twice a week or so – which I know isn’t overly significant. When I was in my (very short lived) vegan phase, I was drinking green smoothies like it was my job. It’s no wonder I felt foggy, tired, and low-energy…

    This post, however is really making me think… and re-think my stance on smoothies… going to go read some of the other posts you suggest. Very interesting thoughts here…

  2. You and I might be twins. I have never felt the urge to smoothie. Too much bloody trouble for one – like you said, hauling out the blender (or having to clean it!) doesn’t appeal to me a bit.

    I also don;t eat any fruit or fruit juice. None. And haven’t for over 4 years. I could do veg smoothies, I know, but … well, Meh. If I get the urge for some cabbage I’d much rather fry it down in bacon grease and throw the lid on until it’s steamed to cabbage-y goodness. Spinach? Is lovely with EVOO and vinegar drizzled on. And so on and on.

    Great post! Thank you for sharing. :)

  3. I do smoothie. The research I’ve seen about the micro/macro nutrients you can get from green smoothes in particular convinced me. You can simply consume many more vegetables in one sitting if you are drinking them — and they dont’ have to be heavy in calories or natural sugars. My green monster smoothie includes kale, spinach, celery, 1/4 cup of blueberries and 1 small green apple. There is enough fiber in this to keep my body very happy and honestly, it makes me feel good. I try to make this my mid-morning meal. I do not snack any longer.
    Have you seen this documentary? I’d highly recommend it: Fat Sick + Nearly Dead.

  4. I’m new here (found you on Chowstalker) and I do smoothie, and here’s why: I don’t pretend they are good for me. My kids looooove smoothies, and so many of my daughters favorite foods have become off-limits in the last 2 years. So, smoothies are a way to allow an indulgence that a) isn’t filled with grains, artificial foods, dyes or any other non foods and b) doesn’t send the family into a but-I-had-a-cookie-yesterday-so-why-can’t-I-have-one-today tailspin. They are way high in sugar and in carbs (both bad for me as I’m trying to drop major poundage) but for a friday night movie night indulgence there are reasons to compromise. Occasionally. And only if it’s really tasty! However, like I said, I don’t claim they are healthy. They are a planned part of my family’s 80/20.

    • Welcome, Jenn!

      I don’t think there’s anything wrong with a treat, that’s for sure. And as far as kids go, sure we should watch their sugar intake, but fruit just isn’t as much of a concern to me with my daughter. She’s 2 and she probably eats 2 pounds of the stuff a day, in addition to plenty of vegetables, meat, and nuts.

      If you can get your kids excited about the occasional smoothie, go for it! :)


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