YYC Nutrition

Why the Blender is a Busy Athletes Best Friend



The people that know me best know that I am obsessed with blending. My Vitamix and or Nutri bullet are used on the daily, often a few times. Why? Well, let’s delve into the big benefits of blending and the odd but healthy foods you can safely put in your blender.


The top 6 Benefits of Blending

1. Blending is fast and easy.

Those who have jumped on the juicing bandwagon understand that juicing can take a very long time. There’s prep, waiting for the juice to be extracted and the cleanup. Oh man that clean up. Time, efficiency and nutrient density is important to me, especially in the morning. That’s why tossing a bunch of ingredients from the freezer, fridge and pantry and pressing “on” for 30 seconds sounds pretty darn simple to me! Plus, you can always make 2 portions and save the other half for a post spin recovery snack!


2. Blending is filling (if you like’em thick).

I blend my smoothies super thick so that I can almost “chew” the smoothie and eat it with a spoon. This actually allows digestive enzymes to pre-initiate digestion and make us feel more satisfied. It takes a bit longer to eat and also signals Peptide Y and Cholecystokinin (hormones) which slow digestion, suppress appetite, and tell you to reduce food consumption.

Cholecystokinin is released in response to high-fat or high-protein meals. It signals the brain to produce a sense of fullness or satiety. Fats are an especially effective trigger in the release of CCK.

3. Blending doesn’t spike your blood sugar as much as juicing.

Fiber is one great way to lower the glycemic index of a food. Blending doesn’t eliminate all the fiber. It’s simply breaks down the tough cell walls of plants, making the fiber easier to digest. By blending, you break up rigid cellulose walls into small, more easily digestible and absorbable materials, and also increase nutrient and mineral availability.
So go ahead. Damage that fiber. Your body will thank you.


4. Blending reduces waste.

Ever see those Vitamix videos of people tossing in whole fruits and veggies, core, stems and all? Believe it or not but, most of the typically discarded portions of fruits and veggies are edible. With a super powerful blender, you won’t even notice they’re in there! Bonus: Less waste

5. Blending makes eating your vegetables easy + delicious.

Just like juicing, making giant salads can also be extremely time consuming. I like to use my lunch breaks as opportunities to head outside for a walk. Don’t get me wrong: I love sitting down to lunch, but often don’t have the time. So I’ll often put the entire day’s serving of kale, spinach, cilantro, parsley and, avocado, coconut milk and protein powder into my smoothie and pack that jar with me for the day.

6. Blending allows you to easily pack in Superfoods

Let’s admit it: superfoods like chlorella, maca, spirulina, cacao, goji berries, chia seeds, flax seeds and protein powder are hard to eat with your hands or just on their own. Tossing these things into a blended smoothie makes it easier to deliver a ton of nutrients to your body in one delicious “cocktail”.


4 Odd But Healthy Foods You Can Safely Put In Your Blender


1. Avocado Seeds
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Boom! You can just drop the whole avocado into your blender Avocado seeds have 70% of the antioxidants found in the whole avocado, and avocado seed oil is also full of antioxidants that limit oxidation of cholesterol, help to prevent cardiovascular disease and strokes, and assist with joint repair and autoimmune function. Avocado seeds have more soluble fiber than oatmeal.

These giant seeds can be nourishing and healing for inflammation in your gastrointestinal tract, and for diarrhea. In South America, avocado seeds are used to treat diarrhea and other gut issues.

Avocado seed oil can also increase collagen formation, helping to keep your joints supple and your skin moist, young and wrinkle free, along with bringing shimmer to your hair.

Warning: They’re slightly bitter, but when you drop them into your blended smoothie, you won’t notice any bitter taste - especially if you add some ginger.

2. Broccoli Stems

Sick of wasting that giant stem under the broccoli’s “tree”? Good news, broccoli stems have a fantastic mild sweet flavor and are much higher in fiber than the florets.

Although broccoli’s florets are rich in B-complex vitamins and minerals, the stem contains other compounds you don’t get in the florets. Bonus, tossing the stems into a blender is much more pleasant than gnawing them whole.

3. Your Supplements

Taking supplements one after another can take time. Not to mention the importance of taking fat-soluble vitamins with a fat containing meal. Why not toss them into the mix?


4. Egg Shells

Eggshells contain 27 essential minerals and trace elements, including calcium carbonate, a form of calcium that’s very biologically compatible with and similar to the calcium in our bones and teeth. Research shows these shells contain calcium that increased bone density, reduced arthritic pain, and stimulated of cartilage growth.

Note: If you plan on adding the shells, consider spraying and wiping down the outside of the egg quickly with a vinegar and water solution, and rinse. This will ensure you kill any germs that might be living on the eggshell.

So voila! Many more reasons to blend. Try this nutrient dense and delicious recovery smoothie after your next spin class ;)

Recovery Smoothie

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Ingredients:
1 cup Almond or Coconut milk
½ cup Blueberries
2 big hand fulls of Spinach (can use frozen)
1/2 Avocado
1 Scoop Protein Powder
1 small piece of fresh Ginger
1 hand full of Ice
Pinch Cinnamon


Enjoy!

- Amy Karl RN, BN, RHN
The Pristine Body
www.thepristinebody.com