So, this week was the first of my workplace fundraising events, for the Miles for Wishes challenge, in aid of Make-A-Wish UK…
…and so was born the cleverly (if I do say so myself) named ‘The Great Bracknell Shake Off’…
January is chock full of healthy resolutions, advertising and promotions all aiming to get us more active, eating better and losing weight. So for me this seemed a great opportunity to showcase how my colleagues can benefit from smoothies in their own routine and to shake off those January blues.
I roped in five of my colleagues, who brought their own or their favourite smoothie recipes and pitted them against my own personal favourite. Staff from across the business came along and sampled each of the different smoothies and shakes and voted for their favourite. I’ve included the recipes below, but Laura’s Lean Loon Shake won the day following a three way tie at the top. There were some great reactions (not always good) and lots of laughing, but more importantly we raised just over £40 towards the challenge and therefore Make-A-Wish.
Smoothies are super quick and easy to make and are totally customisable to when you want to drink them or the outcome you want – either as part of your workout routine, as a meal replacement, to increase your fruit and vegetable intake, to aid weight loss or to support muscle growth and repair. So for my ‘star shakers’ it was a great opportunity to swap recipes, tips and advice, while we were blending up a storm. The ability to listen to others and learn from their own experience is, whether it’s through workplace events or through the social media communities, is becoming a really enjoyable part of my challenge journey.
So, here’s what I’ve learnt about smoothies and some staples ingredients;
Avocado – Often used smoothie thickener as it adds a certain creaminess to the drink. Avocados supply healthy fat, helping to keep you feeling full, as well as a number of vitamins and minerals.
Banana – Like avocado, it provides a creamy smoothie base and is a great complement to a variety of other fruits. Bananas provide a range of vitamins and antioxidants and the carbohydrates give you a great energy and mood boost.
Berries – Strawberries, blueberries, blackberries, and raspberries all add flavour and are high in fibre, which helps to keep you full, and antioxidants.
Cinnamon – This spice helps regulate blood sugar levels by improving the metabolism of glucose. Studies have shown that belly fat, more than any other, is more sensitive to the effects of cinnamon. 1/2 a teaspoon in your blend can help to melt away your middle.
Greek yogurt – High in protein, which means you will feel fuller longer, this is for me a smoothie staple. Be mindful that some flavoured varieties usually have added sugar, so stick to natural, plain Greek yoghurt.
Healthy fats – Healthy fats are vital to your overall health and help keep you fuller for longer. Including fats in your smoothies by adding avocado, coconut oil, or nuts and nut butters can play an important part of any weight loss plan.
Just a final point about fruit and smoothies, particularly if your dieting – it is important to remember portion control. Without thinking about it you can dramatically increase your sugar and calorie intake if your adding lots of fruit and/or juices, so its important to remember to get the right balance of ingredients. Using some of the ingredients above, in this simple smoothie for example, can still fuel your weight loss goals and give you the energy you need to get through the morning / afternoon;
1 cup of Greek Yoghurt or Milk
1 portion of fruit
2 Tbsp. of Peanut Butter or 1/4 of an Avocado
So if you want to be a bit more adventurous, give one of our recipes a go…Enjoy…
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