I was a difficult child. Meal time was especially taxing (just ask my mom) because I did not like fruit unless it was coated in sugar. Even as an adult (read: older child), the texture of certain fruits still throws me. I prefer unripe fruit and struggle to eat anything ripe – I can’t do the mush. Then there’s the taste issue – some fruit was too sour, others too sweet.
All these me-problems are the reasons I like smoothies so much. There are no texture issues (if you can get passed the thicker consistency) and no taste issues because sweet and sour are blended together.
While I have made a few absolutely heinous concoctions, (especially when I thought blending arugula was a good idea), there is no wrong way to make a smoothie. Some green arugula mush that makes me gag might be perfect to the next person. However, my issue with smoothies began when, after drinking a smoothie before work for a few days, I realized that by 10:30 I was ready to chow down on just about anything. I couldn’t figure out why I was ravenous on smoothie days, especially because the smoothies I was drinking were not exactly small.
Being the naturally scientific person I am, I consulted Dr. Google to find the cause of the tummy rumblings. According to an MBG article, chewing is one of the most important parts of digestion. Because we don’t chew smoothies, they head straight to the stomach, bypassing the first part of digestion. Smoothies are also already liquefied, eliminating yet another job of our digestive system. Because the smoothie coasts through our esophagus and stomach, we do not feel full as long, thus explaining the desire to devour my lunch like a mid-morning snack.
So, how do we stop our smoothies from coasting straight through our digestive tract? The answer is protein, protein, and more protein. Adding nut butters, chia seeds, teff, Greek yogurt or even protein powder (if it doesn’t taste like chalk) can help slow the digestion of your smoothie and keep you fuller longer. Half the time you won’t even taste the addition, with the added benefit of not eating a loaf of bread before lunch. If changing your smoothie recipe sounds like blasphemy, consider some peanut butter toast or an egg on the side. It will save you from the pre-lunch snack attack.
Half the time you won’t even taste the addition, with the added benefit of not eating a loaf of bread before lunch. If changing your smoothie recipe sounds like blasphemy, consider some peanut butter toast or an egg on the side. It will save you from the pre-lunch snack attack.