The Rungry Health Coach

Smoothies vs. Juices: What's Better?

Juices and smoothies are awesome--they can pack a lot of flavor and a burst of nutrients. But despite being delectable liquids, they are very different beverages each with their own benefits.

Purple Smoothie

Team Juice

Juices go far beyond apple juice concentrate or little yellow juice boxes. Fresh-pressed juices are filling store shelves and coolers at coffee shops. They're often green or bright orange, and often come with a hefty price tag, too. Pre-bottletd fresh-pressed or cold-pressed juices use both a slow pulverizer and hydraulic press to create a tasty beverage. This extracts a lot of the beneficial nutrients out of the fiber, and removes the insoluble fiber from the end product. You're getting up to 70 percent of the fruits' and veggies' nutrition right there in your glass. This cold-pressing method does not create heat which helps keeps the nutrients of the juice in tact. These juices also have a short shelf life. 

Juices, however healthy, do have some downsides. The fiber of the fruits and vegetables is removed, and fiber is needed to keep our digestive tracks healthy and running smoothly. But, fiber is also needed to help slow down the absorption of sugars--something that juices have a lot of. Fiber also makes you full, so you may not be satisfied after your drink. When made with more fruits than vegetables, not only does it become higher in sugar, but juices also become very high in carbohydrates. 

If you're not eating enough fresh vegetables or fruits, or don't like the taste, juicing may allow you to fill a nutrition gap. When making a juice at home, selecting a pre-bottled juice, or picking one out at your local juice bar, opt for lots of vegetables. The taste will be more bitter or tart, but the sugars will be low. Great juice inclusions include ginger, kale, parsley, cucumber, aloe or beet. 

Team Smoothie

If you can think of it, odds are you can put it in a smoothie. Smoothies have a reputation for being able to contain a host of different good-for-you things. They can easily mask the flavor of vegetables and can be full of protein, fiber and healthy fats. You can pump your smoothie full of Greek yogurt, protein powder, nut butters, seeds, frozen vegetables and fruits, avocados, cinnamon, flavored liquids and so much more. Because of this, smoothies are great for meal replacements or after a tough session at the gym. (When your body is tired, smoothies are easy for your body to digest because some of the work is already done for it!)

Unlike juices, smoothies contain beneficial fiber. When the fruits and veggies are whirled up, both the soluble and insoluble fiber remains. 

But, calories in smoothies can add up quickly. When you're blending up a smoothie, you can easily eat several servings more of fruits and veggies than you'd normally eat. This may seem like a good thing, but you could easily gulp down a few more calories than you mean. And as you start adding nutrient-dense foods like avocados, nut butters, milks and yogurts (to name a few), your smoothie does become calorically dense and more like a meal than a snack. And don't forget about what goes on top--that comes with with a nutrition price tag, too. 

Play for Both Teams

Both smoothies and juices have their places in a healthy diet. They're both great at promoting the inclusion of fruits and veggies in the diet. Juices are a good way to sneak in a few extra vegetables on a chaotic day. Or, they're great when you're feeling under the weather because they have so much nutrition. Smoothies are great meal replacements and can taste indulgent, but be full of good-for-you ingredients. 

Have more questions about juices and smoothies? Ask away!

The Rungry Health Coach

What's a Superfood?

It's not the ability to fly, shoot lasers or run at record-shattering speeds that makes superfoods super. 

Superfoods are called as such because they contain compounds, nutrients and other good-for-you things in large and beneficial quantities. 

Banana and Peppers

From chia to blueberries, maca to salmon, the word gets thrown out a lot these days. Often when it is used, it is describing not only a nourishing food, but also a fad food. When a food is in the spotlight, it gets much praise for its qualities. And it remains in that light until another food bumps it off the pedestal. (Many of these also come with a hefty price tag and may not be available to all.)

Kale, chia seeds and even cauliflower have all had their time in the spotlight; and for good reason. Kale is high in fiber and important vitamins, and is naturally anti-inflammatory. Chia seeds are tiny powerhouses full of antioxidants, protein and healthy fat. Aside from making a great rice substitute, cauliflower is packed full of potassium, nutrients, and wait for it...protein!

Despite not having a marketing campaign, there are many foods deserving of the "superfood" title. These unsung heroes of the food world are truly super. They're bursting with nutrients and have many benefits--from cancer-fighting compounds to helping you feel more energetic.

Did you know red peppers have more vitamin C than an orange? Or that dates have more potassium than a banana? And did you know that the entire egg is full of good-for-you things?

Add these super foods to your daily diet:
  1. Sweet potatoes
  2. Eggs
  3. Sardines
  4. Blueberries
  5. Limes
  6. Apples
  7. Grapefruit and other citrus
  8. Red Pepper
  9. Bananas
  10. Dates
  11. Beets
  12. Quinoa
  13. Almonds
  14. Prunes
  15. Cucumbers
  16. Butternut Squash
  17. Pumpkin
  18. Tempeh
  19. Ginger and Turmeric 
  20. Cinnamon 
Whether it be sprinkling cinnamon on your oatmeal, trying sardines for lunch or roasting up a batch of beets to pair with a piece of salmon, give these "superfoods" a try! 

Need some tasty recipe ideas to try some of these foods out? I've got you covered


The Rungry Health Coach

The Problem with Detoxes

After long weekends, holiday breaks, vacations or other times full of indulgences, the word "detox" gets thrown around a lot. There's a hope that plenty of fruits and vegetables--often in the form of juices--will help undo extra indulgences. 

Unfortunately, that's not how it works.

Grapefruit

Cleansing diets or juice cleanses advertise that they can reverse damage and maybe even help us shed a few pounds. If the cleanse is advertising it can remove toxins be wary--unless you were eating cookies and cakes laced with arsenic, your body does not have excessive toxins. 

The problem with cleansing diets is that they can be very restrictive. These diets often eliminate a macronutrient (protein, carb or fat), and want you to follow this diet for upwards of a week. Any weight loss is usually water weight.

A week on drinking nothing but juice sounds rough. (And we're not talking tasty apple juice.)

These diets also act as Band-Aids, not long-term solutions. If you feel a cleanse is right for you, think back to what lead you to this point to begin with you. Do you find yourself thinking of doing a cleanse often? Do you feel guilty after you overeat?

What may help is adjusting your mindset when it comes to parties and eating "fun foods" like cookies, cakes or other sweets not typical in a daily diet. When you address those concerns, "detox" diets aren't needed. Guilt should not be felt after an evening of overeating and enjoyment. You should not be made to feel shame after eating a bit too much. 

Our bodies are amazing computers that are able to detox themselves through the liver and the kidneys. These organs are able to flush out our systems and keep us healthy. They do become overloaded--especially with one too many alcoholic beverages. 

There are foods we can eat to help support our body's natural detoxification systems. Foods like avocados, lemon, mint, beets, cabbage, Brussels sprouts or kale are great and restoring balance within the body. Try to eat the rainbow everyday. 

If you're coming off of a splurge and want to reset yourself, start filling your plates and bowls with plenty of fruits, vegetables, lean proteins and whole grains. These foods will naturally help your body reset--no structured short-term diet needed. 

A year-round healthy diet and an exercise routine also help our bodies combat any over-indulging. When we create these habits, we are protected against the effects of overindulging. Cakes, cookies, alcoholic beverages, greasy fries and other treats can absolutely be a part of a well-rounded diet, but it's all about moderation. 

Need some whole-food recipes? I got you covered