Smarten-up your summer beverages
VAIL CO, Colorado
Summer wouldn’t be the same without chilled beverages, but some of the sweet drinks aren’t the most nutritious.
“The best way to meet your fluid needs is water,” said Kristen Schiller, clinical dietician at Vail Valley Medical Center. “You can fit drinks like smoothies into your general meal plan, but you just have to be careful on what you put in them. Pay attention to the added sugar and calories that you are adding to beverages.”
Schiller said that incorporating smoothies into a healthy diet can add convenience and refreshment, but she said that they are often put under a “health halo” so they are over-consumed. She said everyone’s personal needs are different and the extra calories and carbohydrates should be monitored.
“People training do need extra calories and carbohydrates, and smoothies and juices can help to provide that,” Schiller said. “It really depends on what someone’s goal is and what types of activities they are engaged in.”
Schiller said that juicing often leaves out certain nutrients like protein and fiber that you need on a daily basis.
“I prefer smoothies more than juices because you can blend up a whole fruit and get all the fiber, and you can add a protein source to smoothies,” Schiller said. “I do drink smoothies occasionally for a fast breakfast or a post-workout snack.”
Nicola Farrer is a local yoga teacher and mother of three, and she said she has been juicing for eight years.
“I try to drink a juice every day, usually at breakfast,” Farrer said. “Then two or three times a year I do either a three-day, five-day or seven-day juice fast to clean out the body and lighten up a little.”
Farrer, who is originally from England, said she feeds her body for energy and functionality, but doesn’t try to meet specific recommendations for levels of nutrient intake. She believes it’s important to buy as natural and organic as possible to get the highest level of nutrients and the best tasting fruits and vegetables.
“My body gets what it needs to stay healthy,” Farrer said. “There is a lot of protein in leafy greens and veggies like broccoli. I just feel like whatever nutrients my body needs to survive and be vibrant I get from a variety of fruits and vegetables.”
Farrer said she often takes the leftover pulp from her juices and uses them to make raw-food veggie patties.
On her juice fasts, Farrer said she does feel a bit low-energy the first couple of days while her body is adjusting, but she said by day three she actually has increased energy.
“That was the main reason I started juicing,” Farrer said. “I felt it gave me the energy I need to keep up with my children and my health and my teaching.”
Farrer said her children like to help her juice and try all the different combinations.
“The more you juice, the more you enjoy it,” Farrer said.
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