Why you should always read the labels on juices and smoothies

Smoothies,  juices, and protein shakes are super popular, but sometimes they are just sugary drinks disguised as health food.  And I'd rather have a real milk shake than fake health food because chocolate... #duh. 

So how do you know what's good for you and what isn't? I'll teach you what to look for on a label if you are trying to choose a healthy option + give you tips on what to avoid. 

Why should always read the nutrition label on smoothies and juices! Tips for helping you make the healthiest choice.

 

First, what to look for if you are buying a juice or smoothie from the grocery store or at a juice bar or restaurant:

  • Minimal (or NO) fruit juice. Fruit juices add extra sugar and carbs. Calories that will raise your blood sugar and make you hungry. 
  • Lots of veggies. Veggies are very low calorie and provide a lot of healthy fiber, vitamins, and minerals. 
  • Whole fruits. While fruits can add some sugar, if they are whole (i.e. not concentrated juice) they will add extra fiber and sweeten your drink naturally-- just make sure there is more than just fruit in it!
  • Protein. If you are getting a shake or making one at home, aim for about 20g of protein. This will fill you up, stabilize blood sugars,  and keep you full.
  • Fats. Healthy fats from nut butters or coconut oil are amazing for keeping you full. 
  • If you are at a smoothie shop, beware of smoothies that contain sorbet or sherbet. Again, you might as well have an ice cream shake!! 

Here are a few examples of juices and smoothies that are health food imposters. 

Why you should always read the label on smoothies and juices. Tips for reading the nutrition label + what to look for if you are trying to choose a healthy option

**The photos on the right are the corresponding nutritional information to the pictures on the left** 

Pair number 1: Kale-ribbean Breeze from Jamba Juice. This one is a very good imposter. It's on the "whole food nutrition" menu at Jamba. Plus it has kale, which is a trendy superfood. A small contains 320 calories, a medium 410, and a large is 500 calories! Just because it's green does not mean it's healthy! This one does have 10 grams of protein, which is good, but the first ingredient is a "mango juice blend" AKA lots of SUGAR. 

Pair number 2: Suja Green Supreme. For the most part I do like Suja, but some of their juices are super high in sugar. This green juice looks like it would be a good option (I mean it's grean so...), but not so fast. The first ingredient is APPLE JUICE!! It's super sweet, and provides no fiber. Skip the $8 drink and just buy some apple juice if that's what you want. 

Pair number 3: Banana Berry Smoothie from Jamba Juice. Since the name is banana berry we expect a good amount of sugar. But, the first ingredient is Apple-strawberry juice! Sugar sugar sugar. This one has a very low amount of fiber, and will basically just spike your blood sugar and leave you starving in no time. p.s. this is a size SMALL. a medium will set you back 390 calories, and a large a whopping 510! 

**just as a comparison, a Snickers bar has 245 calories. 22g sugar and 5g of protein. While smoothies and juices do provide more vitamins and minerals, this example shows you just how much sugar is in these juices! Also, if you want a treat and have 200-300 calories to spend... just get something satisfying!**

why you should always read the nutrition label on juices and smoothies. plus what to look for to make the healthiest choice!

Cutest Water Bottles to Help you Stay Hydrated this Summer!

You know you're supposed to be drinking plenty of water, especially in this summer heat-- but what if you hate drinking plain water?? Just like any other habit, it helps to ease yourself into it! Here are 5 tips to help you stay hydrated plus what to do if you hate drinking plain water. 

5 tips for staying hydrated (even if you hate plain water!)
  1. Flavor! I love adding fruit or citrus juice, herbs (like mint leaves), or even flavored stevia drops to my water. You don't actually have to drink water "plain" to get the benefits! Try using an infuser like the one linked below, or drink tea and then slowly dilute it. 

  2. Take it with you. Having a water bottle with you wherever you go is super helpful if you are trying to stay hydrated. Bottles like the swell ones below are perfect because they are insulated and won't leak in your purse!

  3. Water first. If you like having a soda or cocktail when going out, drink a full glass of water before each beverage. This also works when eating at home! Having a glass of water before each meal has also been proven to assist in weight loss (#winwin). 

  4.  Fill your bottles everyday. Simply making sure you have 2 or 3 filled and chilled water bottles ready at the start of each day can help you to drink more! I suggest either making this part of your evening routine and filling your bottles and sticking them in the fridge, or first thing in the morning so they are ready to go! 

  5. What about if you love bubbles?? If you love carbonation there are a million types of flavored sparkling waters. If you need to, add some stevia drops or a squeeze of lemon or grapefruit for a refreshing drink without the calories (or aspartame) of other bubbly beverages. 

And of course, having a few cute water bottles laying around doesn't hurt either! Check out these cute water bottles below ;) 

 

5 tips for staying hydrated (even if you hate water) plus the cutest water bottles ever!

1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7

Tips for staying healthy this weekend...

With date nights, going out with friends, running errands and the temptation for fast food, it’s difficult to make healthy choices on the weekend (plus, I rarely want to cook dinner come Friday night). I encourage everyone to live a little and enjoy some treats every now and then, but there’s nothing worse than waking up on Monday morning and thinking “I blew it this weekend!” You can avoid that feeling by keeping a few tips in mind.

8 ways to have a healthy weekend! Tips for balance and moderation to make your weekend a little healthier.

 

  1.  Plan ahead. If you aren’t familiar with a restaurant’s menu, look at it online ahead of time. Most restaurants have a healthy option menu these days (my favs are CPK and Cheesecake factory). If all else fails, order grilled meat or fish with grilled veggies or a salad.
  2. Go Halvsies. if you don’t want to eat off the lower-cal menu (or if there isn’t one) split an entree with someone. Restaurant portions are WAY too big for one, and this is a good way to make sure you don’t over eat while saving some cash and enjoying something tasty!
  3. Drink water. sodas and alcoholic beverages are filled with calories. If you are drinking alcohol skip the fruity (calorie-laden) drinks and go with something simple. Or just drink water with a little lemon or lime. 
  4. Skip the bread basket. I can sometimes control myself if there’s bread at the table and just not eat any of it, but if I do take a piece, there is no turning back. Don’t fill up on a meals worth of calories before your dinner even gets to the table.
  5. Choose the restaurant. If you can, choose a restaurant you’re familiar with. I always do better going to places I know (where I know what I like and that it’s tasty). Sometimes I will go to a shopping center with multiple places to eat for lunch and I’ll eat at Chipotle and my husband will grab Five Guys or firehouse subs or something and then we will meet up and eat together- do what works for you! (My husbands metabolism is much better than mine, sadly).
  6. Don’t show up starving. I know your parents always told you not to ruin your appetite before having a meal, but it’s ok to ignore their advice. Have a healthy snack filled with plenty of protein and fiber so that you aren’t starving when you arrive. This will cause you to eat less, and make less impulsive decisions (appetizers, anyone?)
  7. Stay active. Don't worry about slaving away in the gym if you do over indulge, but balance out your weekend with a fun activity like a hike, family walk, trip to the beach, or some other outdoor fun. 
  8. Balance. If you do plan on eating a heavy meal or are going to an event or party, just enjoy it! Balance it out by eating like you normally would throughout the day and then just enjoy yourself. Don't over think it! 
healthy-weekend

Enjoy your weekend! 

P.S. want some recipes and workouts to prepare you for the upcoming week? Click here!