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I had a challenge today to come up with a new smoothie recipe. I have so many patients who have problems with candida, yeast overgrowth from eating too much sugar. They have to really cut down on all sugar, even natural sugars like fruit. Sometimes when you go to a juice bar or smoothie place, I watch them put scoop after scoop of sugar in there. Usually it’s bananas which are the highest content of sugar fruit there is. I usually go to organic places for a smoothie, like Erewhon Market, Whole Food, the Santa Monica Food Coop, MoonJuice, are my favorites. One day I was running an errand and got starving so went to Jamba Juice & tried the peanutbutter moo’d smoothie. It was really tasty. But the medium size has 20 grams protein, 770 calories and 109 grams of sugar!!!   109 is so much. That’s like eating six protein bars (most have 17grams of sugar).

I work a lot with people trying to lose weight (myself included) and then I’m also focusing on protein intake since I’m lifting weights. I never used to do smoothies daily, but having been vegetarian for 30 years, I do find it’s a challenge to get enough protein so I started making smoothies daily. I get really bored with repetition, plus my training in nutrition always taught that variety with foods is so important. 

I was putting 2-3 pieces of mango and 1.2 oz coconut meat in order to make the smoothie creamy. I find my body doesn’t like banana, it’s too sweet. I was really happy with my weight loss, then I hit a plateau, and a new trainer I met said try to cut fruit out 100%. I was eating so little but I decided to give it a try. I did feel better and feel less swollen. I think some people are just sugar sensitive and any kind of sugar tends to make us retain water. But I was like, what else can I put in there? I”m not going to have just protein powder and ice. It’s awful. I could do it one time, but I’m not going to be able to do that regularly. 

I was in NYC a few weeks ago and went to the juice bar at Equinox and had a mint chip smoothie that had steamed cauliflower on it. I was so excited! I thought, that is so smart! I use cauliflower a lot in soup since it makes it creamy when you puree it. I also love paleo rice with cauliflower and gluten-free pizza crust made out of cauliflower. I was skeptical, but tried it and it was great. I went home to make it and it tasted awful!  I could taste the cauliflower. But then, after getting a rut with my smoothies, tried to make it again. I figure I didn’t have enough flavoring or natural sweetener in it. and it worked! 

For those of you who are not trying to lose weight this may not excite you. But for those who are trying to lose weight and count calories, you probably understand that every good tasting thing you can find that has some flavor but won’t put you over your daily allotment of calories it a great find. I help actors prepare for films sometimes, and I’m always amazed when I people are just eating boiled chicken and steamed broccoli for months, even years!  that’s crazy!!  You can and should have variety in your meals in order to have good nutrition too. You just have to know your calorie allowance, and then stay within it. When you are really trying to cut, I have people do no grains, and for sure, no cooking with oil. (no sauteeing of vegetables, no roasted nuts, no chips). This does leave a lot of variety. But smoothies with 20-30 grams of protein and very low carb/sugar are very helpful. It tends to curb your appetite too. A little fiber helps as well to be an appetite suppressant. Try it and let me know what you think!

1 cup fresh almond milk
1 cup steamed cauliflower
1 packet of xylitol
10 drops of chocolate stevia
1 tsp chocolate flavoring
1/2 tsp peppermint flavoring
1 scoop chocolate whey protein
1 tsp maca powder
1/2 tbsp super seed fiber (or ground flax seeds)
Ice and water to taste
Blend and enjoy!

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