How this Fast Diet Lifestyle works: Eat meals from the tomorrow, for a calorie total of less than 600. On another day this week, eat the meals from a different post, another day of eating 600 calories or less. Eat sensibly the other days of the week. That’s it. Simple way to lose weight and be healthier.

For the 150th blog post, I will discuss smoothies. Lots of people like ’em, for lots of different reasons.  ‘Number One Son’ used to drink them in the morning as a fast way to get out the door to work.  Some think that a smoothie is healthier than juice.  Some think that a smoothie is an easy way to get nutrition.  Some of those ideas are correct, some are not.

A smoothie should be a blended mixture of fruits [and/or vegetables] with a liquid like juice or yogurt or some sort of milk.  This produces a ‘whole-fruit’ beverage, unlike the way most juicers extract the fiber and leave the juice. Now that The Big Corporations have gotten into the game, goodness knows what’s in their smoothies, and goodness has little to do with it! Lots of fat, calories, and additives.

At our house, we always used to drink orange juice from concentrate, the stuff our parents served us.  In fact, my husband’s grandfather helped to develop the beverage during WW2.  Then we thought that smoothies would add a healthy dose of vitamins, so we added fruit such as berries and bananas.

Fruit Smoothie, chez nous: 88 calories  0 g fat    1.0 g fiber    0.2 g protein      21.7 g carbs 15 mg Calcium PB GF  HINT: enough for 4 [four] 5-6 oz servings                                                             2 oz banana                                                                                                                                                                2 oz fruit [all one variety or mixed; we like raspberries, strawberries, black currants, blueberries]                                                                                                                                                           20 oz [2.5 cups] orange juice                                                                                                                             Put the fruit in the blender with 4 0z of the orange juice. Run it on “High” to break up the fruit and make it all smooth. Switch setting to “Low” and add the remaining juice. Run blender to combine the liquids. Save the rest for other mornings. HINT: I make these up in ‘kits’ and keep them in the freezer. They could go into the blender frozen or leave the ‘kit’ on the counter overnight to thaw. Another time-saver!

M&Ms Fruit Smoothie: 80 calories   0.4 g fat       3.5 g fiber    4.2 g protein       16.2 g carb 131 mg Calcium This recipe is from the Fast Diet book, further quantified by me. PB GF When we started the Fast Diet, we went right to smoothie in the Fast Diet Book!  HINT: this makes enough for 2 servings, so reserve the rest for another breakfast which will save you time.                                                                                                                                                       6” of banana [3.0 oz]                                                                                                                                              ½ cup plain, non-fat yogurt                                                                                                                                2 oz fruit. [either ½ cup mixed berries or 7 one-inch strawberries]                                                              8-10 ice cubes                                                                                                                                                      Blend at low speed at first to break up the fruit, then at higher speed to puree.  HINT: I make up ‘kits’ in advance. In a freezer-safe container, I place all the ingredients except the ice cubes and freeze it days to weeks in advance. The night before a Fast Day, the Smoothie Kit comes out to thaw on the counter overnight. Much simpler.

Then a doctor told us that we needed to add Green Smoothies to our diet.  The benefit of pulverized greens is that they are easier for the intestines to process, which is good for all the bacteria which inhabit your gut and help you to digest your food.  So we tried this for a while.                                                                                                                                                                Fruited Green Smoothie    77 calories       0.3 g fat       1.6 g fiber      1.7 g protein       31.3 g carb       30.7 mg Calcium PB GF        HINT: this makes enough for three 6-oz servings, so it will save you time on the next 2 breakfasts.                                                                                                                   2 cups mixed greens – spinach, kale, chard – roughly chopped                                     2 oz banana, sliced                                                                                                                                                      2 oz berries                                                                                                                                                                                           ½ of an apple or pear                                                                                                                                          12 oz tomato juice [such as Knudsen’s organic]                                                                                           10 ice cubes                                                                                                                                                                            Put the fruit and greens in the blender and swirl it together on ”high” just long enough to break them down. Set blender to “low,” add the juice and ice cubes. Process until smooth. Put what you don’t drink today into a jar in the ‘fridge. Next time you use it, shake it well. If you think it has become too thick, feel free to thin it with water or OJ.

Or you could drink a combo of the previous two…..                                                                           Fruit Smoothie w/ greens, ME:        74 calories      0.1 g fat     1.0 g fiber     0.5 g protein       16.5 g carbs    29.4 mg Calcium PB GF      HINT: this makes enough for several breakfasts, so make it once and use it often. A real time-saver.                                                       2 oz banana 2 oz berries [black currants, strawberries, blueberries, red or black raspberries, blackberries – any combo] 1 cup raw spinach or Swiss chard or kale or beet greens                                                                            1 1/2 cups orange juice or natural apple cider                                                                                                    1 cup tomato juice                                                                                                                                                  Toss the fruit and greens into the blender. Add 1/2 cup orange juice. Process on high to blend the fruits and puree the leaves. Turn down to lowest setting and add the remaining juice. Process until smooth. Keep the setting on ‘low’ at this point, unless you like your smoothie with a huge head of foam! HINT: I make these up in ‘kits’ and keep them in the freezer. They could go into the blender frozen or leave the ‘kit’ on the counter overnight to thaw.

You will notice that none of these beverages is a meal in itself — low in calories, yes; but low in protein as well.  We like to drink a fruit beverage with breakfast, so we have one of these. Do you have to drink them?  No. Go ahead and skip them. Smoothies are not mandatory parts of the Fasting Lifestyle.  You can do the arithmetic and see how many calories, etc, it would remove from your menu. You could spend those calories adding more whole fruit to the meal, or save those calories for a fruit snack later in the day if you are at a low ebb.

What if you wanted a smoothie for breakfast? I’ve got one for you. I used to take this for lunch, back in the pre-Fasting Lifestyle days.  You are missing about 80 calories to make it a 300 calorie breakfast, but it would get you through the morning.              

 Banana-Strawberry Tofu Smoothie:   199 calories    3.4 g fat     3.7 g fiber         14 g protein      26 g carbs 360 mg Calcium       PB   GF                                                                                                                             2 oz banana                                                                                                                                                             ½ c plain, fat-free yogurt                                                                                                                                            ½ cup sliced strawberries                                                                                                                                 2.8 oz soft tofu, which is 1/5 of a package  [firm tofu has more protein and Ca.]                                          Put everything in the blender and wizz it on “Low” until it is all blended. Then run it at a higher speed until it is smooth.      NB: If you want to, add another ½ cup of yogurt, or skimmed milk which will add more volume and bring the calorie count to 159.

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