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January is here and so are the “new year, new me” kind of people. Nearly everyone I know wants to get back on the healthy bandwagon which has tumbled over the Christmas period. Over the last few years I have noticed that Juicing and smoothie making has become ever so popular; in my household also! But are juices and smoothies a benefit to our health? Can it help us to realistically lose weight?

In my opinion I think if you make homemade juices and smoothies they have a great benefit to our health and we can squeeze in those all important veggies and fruits into our diet with just one drink. However I think if you go out and buy shop bought ready made smoothies/juices a lot of these can be packed with excess sugar and can have as much sugar in as a can of coke. You need to be careful when making your juices/smoothies there isn’t a too high amount of sugar in them which can be detrimental to our health and not help us to lose weight at all!

My perfect smoothie would be made up of a little fruit, a dairy such as milk or Greek yoghurt and a little protein to keep us feeling fuller for longer. My perfect juice would be mainly veggies (usually leafy greens such as spinach or kale) combined with a little fruit (an apple) to add for a sweeter tasting drink without too much sugar. I own both a juicer and a blender so am able to do both. I tend to have a juice or smoothie in the morning also; usually mixed in with a scoop of protein powder after a workout so that it fills me up and stops me from being hungry an hour later. They can be a great breakfast alternative especially as they don’t take long to make so are great if you’re stuck on time in the mornings but still want to get that healthy breakfast in.

Juices and smoothies are also a great way of staying hydrated as usually they contain a lot of water found in the dairy in smoothies and in the veggies in juices. If made properly and without any added sugars and preservatives they can help you to lose weight. Just add protein or veggies to keep you feeling fuller for longer and to get those all important greens in! For example today I had a Apple, Carrot and spinach juice. It contained one whole apple, 3 whole carrots and 2 cups of green leafy spinach. The apple and carrots were juiced and the juice added to the spinach in a blender. This tasted delicious and has a calorie count of around 167 calories. (worked out using www.myfitnesspal.com). I have to admit I didnt make this myself but went to a local juice bar where they make everything from scratch; so it was just as good as doing it yourself!
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My favourite way of getting juice and smoothie ideas is to look on Pinterest

Go ahead get those juices and smoothies in to add to your healthy lifestyle. Just make sure they are adding health and not just extra sugar and calories to your diet. Just because they are in liquid form doesn’t mean you shouldn’t count them into your daily calorie allowance.

I am not a nutritionist or a personal trainer, these are just my opinions so please consult your doctor before embarking on a drastic diet or exercise change.

Enjoy! Xxx