The Art of the Smoothie – How to make perfect smoothies

Apple Smoothie recipe - herbalife protein shake mix

The perfect smoothie. It’s easy, it’s healthy and it tastes amazing!

Smoothies are an excellent way of meeting the recommended daily allowances for important nutrients like iron, calcium, amino acids and omega 3s.  Another beautiful thing about smoothies is that they are incredibly easy to make, yet have a wide range of health benefits.

 

Health Benefits of Smoothies

 

  • Natural Weight Loss: Smoothies can help with weight loss because they are cleansing, energizing, and keep your body healthy by providing everything needed to function properly.  Some smoothie ingredients can also help boost your metabolism.
  • Packed with Nutrients: Depending on how you make your smoothie, it can provide antioxidants, fiber, vitamins, minerals like calcium and iron, and many other nutrients.  Because the fruits and veggies in the smoothie are broken down by blending, it is also easier for the body to absorb these nutrients.
  • Makes It Easy to Eat Your Greens:  If you don’t like eating vegetables, then you can add them to a smoothie.   Over a cup of greens (like spinach) can easily go into a smoothie without overpowering the taste.
  • Improved Energy: Because smoothies are so nutrient dense, they help keep your energy levels high.  Consider having a smoothie instead of your morning coffee!
  • Antioxidant Boost: Smoothies usually contain fruits which are packed with antioxidants, such as blueberries or raspberries.  Antioxidants help keep your immune system strong, fight cancer, and reduce inflammation.

 

 

How to Make the Perfect Smoothie

 

If you want to get health benefits from smoothies, then you need to make them with the right combination of ingredients.   This does NOT, however, mean that you must follow a prescribed recipe for a smoothie.  You simply need the simple, essential components on hand that go into a perfect smoothie, and you can customize to your taste and goals.

1. Liquid Base

 

For starters, you need to have a liquid base for your smoothie.  The most common choices are milks (including dairy, soy, or nut milks) or a juice.  If you use store-bought juice for your smoothie base, just make sure that it is 100% juice with no sugar added.  Along with milk and juices, you can also get creative with bases like coconut water, yogurt, or tea.

 

2. Thick Base Fruit

 

Part of what makes smoothies so good and satisfying is their creaminess.  To get that great smoothie texture, you want to use a thick, creamy fruit as part of the base.  Bananas are a common choice because they are cheap and available year round.  For more exciting smoothies, consider fruits like avocados, melons, apples, pears, or coconut meat.

 

3. Vegetables

 

Yes, adding greens to your smoothies may sound gross.  However, the other ingredients hide the bitterness of the greens so the smoothie still tastes delicious.  Spinach is particularly good in smoothies because it blends down so well.  With tougher greens like kale or beet tops, you may need to cut them up into pieces first if your blender isn’t very powerful.  Spirulina is also a good choice for green smoothies and is available in powder form.

 

4. Protein

 

Protein is not only good for your muscles and cells, but it also helps you feel full longer.  You can easily add proteins like nut butters (almond butter is great) to a smoothie.  There are also many protein powders which blend up well in smoothies.  (We recommend these Herbalife shake recipes.)

 

5. Frozen Fruit

 

The sweetness of fruit is what makes a smoothie such a tasty treat, and the fruit is also what provides a mega dose of fiber, antioxidants, vitamin C, and other nutrients.  Choose fruits that are packed with flavor, such as berries, mangos, or kiwi.  Tip:  Using frozen fruits in your smoothie makes it nice and cold without being too icy-cold.

 

Optional Smoothie Additions

 

Once you get the five core ingredients of a perfect smoothie down pat, you can start experimenting with add-ons.  Spices like cardamom and cinnamon go great in smoothies, as do ingredients like maca root and cacao powder. For a dose of Omega 3 fatty acids, add some flax seed powder or flax oil to the smoothie. Or for a little shot in the arm, adding chili powder gives your smoothie a kick and can help weight loss by boosting metabolism.

Have a favorite smoothie recipe?  Share it!

 

 

Kettlebell Benefits

For decades, dumbbells have been the standard type of free weights used during training. However, there has been a recent explosion in the popularity of kettlebells – weights that have a big handle with the weight hanging off of it like a bell. The popularity of kettlebells has nothing to do with aesthetics, though. The kettlebell shape makes it possible to achieve benefits not possible with other weights.

 

What Makes Kettlebells Unique

 

With most free weights, the weight is in the center of the hand. With kettlebells, the weight hangs away from the hand. This may seem insignificant, but it actually makes a big difference to how kettlebells should be used. They should NOT be used in the typical lifting motions used with dumbbells, and they should NEVER be lifted overhead. Rather, kettlebells should be used with a swinging motion. Note that using kettlebells can be dangerous, especially if you are used to training with dumbbells. It is best to have a professional show you how to use the kettlebells properly before you start using them in your exercise routine.

 

Benefits of Kettlebells

 

Since kettlebells are used with a swinging motion, they are used for a more specialized weight training instead of traditional strength training. If your main goal is to build strength, you should stick to free weights such as dumbbells. If you want to intensify your aerobic routine and burn fat while building strength, kettlebells are a good choice because of the benefits they provide.

 

  • Work More Muscles: The swinging motion requires you to use dozens of muscles throughout your body.
  • Real-Life Motions: Kettlebell exercises mimic motions you use in your everyday life. This will help you improve resistance to injury and cause you to get lean instead of bulky.
  • They’re Aerobic: Unlike dumbbell exercises that involve fewer, slower reps, kettlebell exercises involve quick reps in greater quantity. This approach makes using kettlebells more aerobic in nature, improving your heart health while you also burn fat.
  • Results Come Faster: Because kettlebells use so many different muscles and muscle groups while combining aerobics and strength training, they produce results more quickly.
  • They Are Versatile: Kettlebells can be used in numerous ways, such as with HIIT(high intensity interval training), with squats, or in numerous swinging exercises. This variety allows you to achieve broader results using kettlebells than you can with most other types of weights. And, as an added benefit, it also means that your workout is less likely to get boring.

 

The three worst sweeteners you could possibly use, especially if you are on the HCG Diet

Which sweeteners can wreck your HCG Diet experience, not to mention your health?

Aspartame

This sweetener is an excitotoxin, according to Russell Blaylock, and it can make you hungrier and fuel addictions to sweets and starches. Aspartame-induced DNA damage was shown in the Trocho Study in Barcelona in 1998, caused by the free methyl alcohol converting to formaldehyde, which then accumulates in cells to damage your DNA, causing toxicity in the liver and fat cells. Other studies show aspartame causes cancer in mice and rats. Aspartame (found in the blue packets in restaurants) is sold as NutraSweet, Equal, and other names now that the original patent has expired. Neotame is the newest patent on a similar sweetener, also to be avoided due to similar concerns.

Splenda

“Made from sugar, so it tastes like sugar,” was the original slogan. In reality, Splenda (sucralose) is closer in molecular structure to many pesticides than it is to sugar, after the pairs of oxygen and hydrogen atoms in sugar are replaced with chlorine, a known carcinogen. Like many pesticides, sucralose is a chlorocarbon, a type of organic compound containing at least one covalently bonded chlorine atom.

Studies show that only 70-80% of Splenda is excreted. Wonder where the rest goes?  Ironically, although most folks will only absorb about 15% of sucralose, the healthier your gastrointestinal tract is, the more likely that more of the chlorine in Splenda will be absorbed by your body.

In a particularly disturbing study by Duke University in 2008, rats that were fed Splenda (sucralose) for only three months gained 9%-12% more weight than those that were not. Even more frightening, those rats continued to gain more after the Splenda was discontinued.  Splenda is the yellow packets in restaurants.

Stevia in the Raw

I consider this one the sociopath of sweeteners, with no conscience at all. How can you name something as being “IN THE RAW,” therefore implying that it is all-natural and healthy, while loading it with sugar? So many HCG Dieters have been taken in by this name, it is just horrifying. They use the product thinking that they have the very best pure stevia, since it is called “IN THE RAW,” all the while sabotaging their chances for completing the diet successfully and maintaining. We see it all the time, the poor HCG Dieter who can’t figure out why they aren’t losing weight as they had expected to do. I’ve had coaching clients that came in to their coaching experience using this product, only to discover that it was probably the single most harmful choice that they had made. I’ll do another blog later on label-reading, which would have prevented this bad choice had it been done correctly and consistently. Don’t rely on the name of the product, no matter how beguiling and health-promoting it might sound. Look at the ingredients list at a minimum.

The folks that make this imposter say that the amount of dextrose used as a filler is not significant, but it is the first ingredient in the list, meaning that it has more dextrose than any other ingredient, including stevia! Even more troubling, when I researched this, I found postings on diabetes forums indicating that diabetics are seeing blood sugar spikes with Stevia in the Raw (as documented by readings of blood samples after ingestion), but not with Truvia or other products that use non-dextrose bulking agents.  Not surprising at all, since dextrose has a glycemic index of 100, same as table sugar.

Next time, we’ll look at the four BEST sweeteners for the HCG Diet…

And always remember, you DESERVE to be thin!

Love with Blessings,
Harmony

New editor and contributing author for the hcgdietinfo.com blog and moderator of hcgdietinfo.com forums
Author of HCG Diet Made Simple book and The HCG Diet Book of Secrets

Real hCG Drops

Along with Doctor Oz.

It has been said by many that the real hCG diet protocol is the way to weight loss success. On February 22, Dr. Oz had a show that focused on the hCG Diet and the use of hCG drops.  What the results showed was that not only did the hCG diet work for the majority of individuals who tried it, BUT it also revealed that people were keeping the weight off using hCG drops – even after other diets and exercise programs had failed.

Dr. Oz did a decent job of presenting the pro’s and con’s of the hCG diet and using oral hCG, he even emphasized the use of REAL hCG in drops or Injections. However, where Dr. Oz failed is in not exploring the falsehoods of homeopathic hCG. Yes, he did say it contained either trace amounts or no hCG at all, but what he failed to add was the FDA came out and said “it is not recognized in the Homeopathic Pharmacopoeia, therefore it is NOT recognized by the FDA as a homeopathic drug, so they are unapproved.” Elizabeth Miller FDA health fraud team.

There was a homeopathic hCG seller in the audience who gave the typical propaganda say “It is made in a FDA approved lab” however, that isn’t the point or issues. Unlike real hCG, the homeopathic version contains NO hCG and would need a prescription if it did have a trace amount in there per the FDA and HPUS own guidelines.

The majority of the audience who were there that went on the hCG diet had nothing but success in losing the weight and keeping it off. The few who did not expressed it was because they had stopped by week 2 when they felt dizzy or had felt they lost energy.

On the other hand, the Doctor who prescribed the hCG diet to her patients did a fantastic job of explaining the hCG diet protocol and why it works!  She did advocate the use of real hCG drops or injections.

Although his wife did the hCG diet protocol, Doctor Oz agreed that he may not be a fan simply because more studies needed to be done. But he also recognized the true evidence is that people really are losing weight and keeping it off using real hCG with the hCG diet protocol.

People losing weight on the hCG diet and keeping it off happens to be typical results when real hCG is correctly used. That’s why we support real hCG drops for the hCG diet plan as you need between 125 iu and 200 iu to do the diet properly, prevent muscle loss, rest your metabolism and release your abnormal stored fat!

FDA & Homeopathic hCG

On December 6, 2011 the FDA has targeted several Homeopathic hCG suppliers who  sell over the counter hCG.  The FDA has stated that these products are fraudulent and contain 0 hCG.

The hCG diet does work however it needs to be done with real prescription strength hCG as Dr. Simeons has outlined in his manuscript.  Homeopathic hCG doesn’t follow what Dr. Simeons manuscript requires from hCG.  Any hCG you buy must test positive on a pregnancy test strip.

hCG Diet Info has been the official source of hCG diet information for several years and we will be providing to you a directory of Real hCG sellers that are online so you, our readers can do the hCG diet correctly as intended.

Remember there are only 2 ways to get real hCG.  Doctor prescribed (some have online nationwide services) or from an online pharmacy that is not in the USA (and their affiliates).  Remember the FDA will allow you to import up to a 3 month supply of any drug for personal use.

hCG Diet – Oral drops Vs. Injectables

You’ve made the decision to follow the hCG diet and now you face your first choice – oral hCG drops vs. injectables?  With a little knowledge, you can determine which form is right for you.
The hCG diet protocol, developed by Dr. Simeons in the 1950’s has not changed since its inception, due to the amazing results achieved by those who follow it correctly. Only one thing has changed –
injectable hCG used to be the only choice.  Thanks to advanced technology and our changing timesyou now have an added choice between that or oral hCG drops. The oral drops are taken with a dropper under the tongue, no more need for needles to be injected into yourself, which alone kept many people from trying the hCG diet.

You may be confused as to if the oral drops are as effective as the injectable hCG. Many hCG centers have claimed that their clients taking the oral drops actually have even more energy and feel fuller than those taking the injectable form. The reported weight loss is just as much as those taking the injectable form.

You will need to know as much as possible before beginning the hCG diet, as following the diet protocol is essential to the program’s success. You must be truly dedicated to losing the weight, or this may not be the diet for you. If you have done the research and are prepared to follow the program, then you will soon be on your way to a healthier, slimmer body!

Pharmaceutical hCG drops can be ordered online and shipped to your home with no doctors visit required. You’ll experience the same amazing weight loss as with the injectable hCG, but at a much lower cost.  Always choose a oral drop that come with a test strip so you will always know you have real hCG in your drops!

HCG DIET FOOD GUIDELINES

FOOD GUIDELINES ON HCG DIET

If you are new to the hCG diet, you may be confused about which foods are okay or not. Most of this is common sense – grilled meats and salads are a satisfying meal that can be easily changed up from day to day.


Chicken and fish are, of course, the ideal meats but sirloin is okay as long as you cut off all visible fat before cooking. There are many types of lettuce and greens that can be switched up to add variety to your meals, anything from iceburg to romaine to spinach to blends. Even small changes can make a meal seem fresh and new so that you don’t feel as if you are eating the same thing day after day.

Let’s talk about the food items we need to avoid – again, common sense goes a long way!

OILS

Most oils should be avoided completely…absolutely no cooking with them, except for coconut oil. Which of course leads to NO fried foods! This may take some getting used to, but you will be amazed at how much better you feel when you leave them from your diet.

SUGARS

Sugars are to be avoided..small doses in some foods may be okay, but its best to cut them out. There are a lot of sugar free options out there for our sweet tooth, but calories are of course important, so stick to things like sugar free popsicles that won’t significantly affect your calorie intake for meal times.  Stevia is the best sweetener for the hCG diet.

CARBS

You do not have to cut out every trace of carbohydrates, but you need to cut out the main sources of them, ie – breads, potatoes, pastas. Melba toast is a good choice for people who find it impossible to give up breads with their meals and can be easily found at the grocer’s.

And for fiber, Miracle Noodles is always the best bet!

FATS

These are like carbs, nearly impossible to avoid, but okay in small amounts. When grilling meats, be sure to cut off all visible fat before cooking. Not only will it be leaner, it allows you to have a little bit more meat.

hCG Diet Fiber

hCG Diet Psyllium Husk or Miracle Noodles?

Getting your daily requirement of fiber on the hCG diet can be tricky. You want to stay focused on the diet because the hCG diet food is a delicate balance, too much can slow or stall weight loss. Not to mention the variety of foods are limited.

Psyllium husk are a great way to increase your fiber and feeling of fullness without interfering with the hCG diet plan. But, psyllium husk are a tad boring and you would have to drink or ingest a lot psyllium husk to achieve that full feeling.

This is why many hCG dieters turn to the hCG diet approved food Miracle Noodles. Miracle Noodles has the same benefits of psyllium husk, water soluble fiber, no fat, no sugar or starch, no protein, no carbs no calories, Kosher and Miracle Noodles is gluten and wheat free.

And Miracle Noodles has the same health benefits of psyllium husk, but now all those benefits; lower risk of diabetes, aids in digestive health and promotes bowel regularity, are now wrapped up in a tasty and enjoyable hCG diet approved food aka, Miracle Noodles.

While on the hCG diet and you feel a little hungry or want to feel full, you can have a pack or two of Miracle Noodles and not only conquer those feelings but you won’t have the guilt of cheating or eating a food with calories.

And due to the limited foods on the hCG diet protocol, Miracle Noodles can help save you from diet boredom because they come in a variety of styles and can be used in place of rice with a meal or in soups and they are definately a replacement for pasta.

So if you would rather have pysllium husk go ahead, but you will find Miracle Noodles much more enjoyable for meals and overall more filling.

And now they come in so many varieties!  Angle Hair, Spinach Angle Hair, Garlic Herbel Fettuccini and many more!