While I am a fan of cake, ice cream, and most of all MILKSHAKES (HEARTEYESHEARTEYESHEARTEYES), I don’t consider smoothies to be
Okay…OKAY! I felt you get SUPER offended just now, so let me clarify: I don’t think they are shitty food, per se, but to me, they are a boring convenience food, which compromises digestion, and are only convenient if someone decides they want to clean my blender for me.* (AM I RIGHT, OR AM I RIGHT?)
*That’s why I prefer my Magic Bullet over my Vitamix…yes, I am an infidel.
Uuuuuuh, but WTF does that have to do with digesting, Carlie?
Okau, let’s talk about that compromised digestion part. Every step in the digestive process is important, but arguably the most important part of digestion begins in your brain.
Let’s start with what prompted you to make that smoothie. I’ll gander a guess that it was not because you were super relaxed and love spending your free time crafting blended drinks, was it?
It was likely because you needed something that is quick to make (because you are out of time), easy to eat (in your car or at work), and/or because you are starving (because you didn’t take the time or put effort into making sure you had something healthy to eat earlier).
What do ALL of these situations have in common?
Oh, wait. That doesn’t sound like you…?
No problem! I fully respect that everyone’s situation is different. Smoothies can be a nutrient-rich option for many people who do not have the energy (or option), to make other foods. There are single parents with picky children, people who live with chronic pain and fatigue, and those who are trying to figure out how to eat more healthy foods. And all of those situations are stressful too!
Okay, so stressed out you has made a smoothie, now what?
Well, the blender has already chewed everything up for you and physically broken down the food, so now you can just suck it down!
But, when you hoover a bunch of fruits, fruit juice, and even veggies, you are bypassing a vital component of carbohydrate digestion: your saliva!
Basically, your mouth is all,
Our saliva contains an enzyme called amylase, which begins to chemically break down carbohydrates in your mouth, and it finishes in the intestines. If food is not fully broken down it can irritate the lining of your intestines and contribute to leaky gut.
Here’s the rub though, stressed out you is barely sitting down, probably not thinking about the smoothie you are suckin’ on, so you don’t really taste it or chew it, it’s not in your mouth very long, and you don’t produce much saliva to break down much of anything.
Okay, genius Carlie, how the hell am I SUPPOSED to drink a smoothie then???
Well, dear reader, by ENJOYING it!
By being present with your food, you will help to relieve stress and engage your digestive system, preparing your mouth, stomach, and intestines to break down your food as efficiently as possible.
Take your time to sit and think about your food while you are eating (or drinking). Taste it by chewing (yes, even smoothies!) or holding it in your mouth. If you are having trouble calming down or being present, try counting your breaths, meditating or praying, or even sitting on the floor can be grounding for some.