I recently came across an article on a reputable news site that, frankly, pissed me off.
You've probably seen articles just like it.
Yogurt - sure, the kind with tons of added sugar, chemicals, chocolate, pretzels, and whatever else they throw in there these days.
Granola - yeah, the kind that has candies, hydrogenated oils, and, oh, tons of added sugar.
Oatmeal - definitely the prepackaged kind that has preservatives, artificial coloring, and, again, tons of added sugar.
What are you proposing people eat instead?
Chemical-laden, overly processed frankenfoods that stay shelf stable for 100 years? (You know, the kind you donate during a food drive because, well, it's been in the pantry forever and you haven't eaten it.)
There is absolutely nothing wrong with a smoothie in and of itself. You've got some plant-based milk or water, some greens, some fruit, some veggies, some nut butter or seeds, maybe some superfood add-ins like cacao, Medjool dates, maca, or lucuma.
I'm getting hungry.
When someone chooses a smoothie over frozen waffles smothered in butter and syrup and whipped topping, I think that's a good choice. That person is probably getting a few extra servings of fruits and vegetables that they might not be getting otherwise. And cutting out some enriched flours, preservatives, and vegetable oils.
Yes, when you start adding extras in, things can get out of control quickly. Things like chocolate syrup, frozen yogurt, ice cream, and sherbet. These are things that have no business being in a green smoothie.
(Who the fuck puts sherbet in a smoothie, anyway? My friend, if you are putting sherbet in a smoothie, you may no longer call it a smoothie.
You can call it a dessert.
But a smoothie it is not. Stop kidding yourself.)
And if you have more Caesar dressing, croutons, and crunchy noodles than greens and veggies on your plate, that is not a salad.
It's a hero submarine masquerading as a salad.
A salad should have greens. Lots of glorious greens like kale, spinach, and arugula.
Fresh vegetables like tomatoes, carrots, and bell peppers. Maybe a jalapeño for a little jolt or some edamame. How about a roasted sweet potato?
Drizzled with some healthy fat like olive oil or avocado oil and a splash of lemon juice. Topped with a handful of sunflower seeds or pepitas or toasted nuts.
See? Nothing bad there.
And I'm still hungry.
Yes, the salads you find on most menus are full of unhealthy fats, fried toppings, and drowning in dressing. Just because it's in a bowl and there might be some greens on the bottom doesn't mean it's a salad in the true sense of the word.
But a homemade salad? Ain't nothing wrong with that.
Don't let anyone tell you that something you know is good for you isn't. Whether it's food, a self-care ritual, or getting up from your desk more than once a day.
Don't fall for scare tactics. Don't give in to gluttony because some people will have you believe there's nothing healthy anymore.
That's not an excuse. You know what's healthy, and you know what's not healthy. Yes, deep down you really know the kinds of food your body craves.
Now get out there and feed it some real food.