Slim Down Smoothies
You don't need to hire a personal chef (as if!) or resign yourself to starvation to get bikini-ready. All you need is a blender. "Blending is one of the quickest, easiest ways to prep healthy foods, especially fresh fruits and veggies," says FITNESS advisory board member Harley Pasternak, trainer, nutrition expert, and author of the new book The Body Reset Diet. Get his favorite smoothie recipes plus details on how they can kick-start your metabolism and keep it fired up for good.
Build a Better Smoothie
Here are the four things you need to create your own tasty, healthy combos.
A Liquid Base
Pasternak favors milk — 1 percent or nonfat — because it's rich in vitamin D and calcium, which can help your body break down fat. But nondairy milks, like soy and almond, are fine too, he says, as is flavored water.
Getting protein at every meal helps you maintain lean muscle mass, which means you burn more calories throughout the day. Your best bets: plain nonfat yogurt, silken tofu, or unflavored protein powder.
Healthy Fats These give you energy, make your smoothie satisfying, and help your body absorb vitamins. Use up to two tablespoons of an ingredient that contains the good — that is, monounsaturated — kind, like avocado, seeds, or nuts.
High-Fiber Carbs Any fruit will do, but raspberries and blueberries deliver the most fiber and the least amount of sugar. As for veggies, spinach and cucumber have the mildest, easiest-to-mask flavors.
Delicious Smoothie Recipes
You know your diet should include a variety of colors. Consider these recipes your ticket to that pot of gold at the end of the rainbow: a bikini body! For each, put the yogurt in first, then add the solid ingredients and blend until smooth. Depending on how thick you like your smoothies — and how powerful your blender or food processor is — you may need to thin these out with a little liquid, such as nonfat milk.
4 ounces plain nonfat Greek yogurt 2 cups chopped fresh or frozen strawberries 1 frozen banana, chopped 2 teaspoons smooth peanut butter 1/2 cup ice
Nutrition facts per smoothie: 327 calories, 18g protein, 55g carbohydrate, 7g fat (1.4g saturated), 9g fiber, 94mg sodium
Tropical Morning Smoothie
6 ounces plain nonfat Greek yogurt 1/2 cup fresh or frozen mango chunks 1/2 cup fresh pineapple chunks 1 frozen banana, chopped 2 tablespoons ground flaxseed
Nutrition facts per smoothie: 368 calories, 22g protein, 60g carbohydrate, 7g fat (0.9g saturated), 9g fiber, 68mg sodium
Sweet Spinach Smoothie
6 ounces plain nonfat Greek yogurt 2 cups spinach leaves, packed 1 ripe pear, peeled, cored, and chopped 15 green or red grapes 2 tablespoons chopped avocado 1 to 2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lime juice
Nutrition facts per smoothie: 316 calories, 21g protein, 52g carbohydrate, 6g fat (0.9g saturated), 9g fiber, 115mg sodium
(We came across the above article at Fitness Magazine, and wanted to share it with you. For more information visit www.fitnessmagazine.com,