Chop Chop! 'Sugar Detox' Author Brooke Alpert Helps Us Build A Slimmer Smoothie
I don't know about you, but I usually take the 'everything but the kitchen sink' approach to making my morning smoothies: Globs of Greek yogurt, a past-its-prime banana, a splash of coconut oil, a dash of some mysterious powdered beauty substance that's supposed to improve my hair, skin + nails.
(And actually in fact does improve my hair, skin + nails. I'll get to that in an upcoming post.)
In short, there's no real game plan with my smoothies. And given the fact that I seem to be getting chubbier by the nano-second, I wanted to know if I should point my fat finger at my trusty blender.
So I reached out to Brooke Alpert, a New York-based 'nutritionist to the stars' and author of the tres fantastique book 'The Sugar Detox: Lose the Sugar, Lose the Weight - Look and Feel Great.'
Although my Qs are mostly targeted to my own particular smoothie idiosyncrasies, I think they're universal. And I toss in a booze query at the end - something all you party hearty FBP-ers might want to laser-in on.
Before I get to the Q + A, here's a pic of Brooke so you can see that she most definitely practices what she preaches and leads a sugar-free, looking-great lifestyle. Cute, cute, cute.
Brooke Meets Blender
FBP: When making their own smoothies, what are some typical 'calorie crimes' women commit? Personally, I think I might be dumping too much Greek yogurt into mine. I also worry about the calorie counts of the coconut oil and scoop of chocolate Spiru-Tein protein powder I typically add. Are any of those "bad"?
ALPERT: While too much yogurt and protein powder may add a bit more protein than you need into your smoothie, that’s not the real culprit behind most people's smoothie mistakes. My biggest complaint when it comes to smoothies is the SUGAR! I see people adding tons of fruit and then a sweetener! You might as well get a milkshake. One serving of fruit is all you need and no sweetener should be necessary at all.
FBP: What are some good guidelines for adding fruit? I usually toss a banana into my smoothies, and those seem like the "carb-iest" fruit out there. But a lot of times I use frozen berries instead.
ALPERT: While a banana is still a fruit and provides solid nutrition, I always recommend berries as a fruit of choice for smoothies. Lower in sugar, higher in fiber and loaded with antioxidants- can’t beat that!
FBP: Is almond milk a good smoothie bet? It's better, from a calorie standpoint, than regular cow's milk, right?
ALPERT: I’m fine with any milk that you prefer providing it’s unsweetened. If you tolerate cow's milk dairy, then it’s a fine option. If dairy isn’t your thing, unsweetened nut milks that do not have carrageenan in them are the way to go!
FBP: If you want to make a low-cal morning smoothie - but don't want to be hungry an hour later - what are some great ingredients you swear by?
ALPERT: You need protein and fat if you want to make your smoothie work for you best! Nut butters are a great two for one punch for this. I love adding almond butter into a smoothie - fills you up and keeps you satisfied. Half an avocado or a tablespoon of coconut oil are both great ways to add some fat. I love adding collagen powder for protein, as it keeps you full, helps heal your gut and is amazing for your skin. My pick is always Reserveage’s Collagen Replenish powder.
FBP: I'm cutting out sweets and booze for Lent this year, so I have a few sugar-related Qs to ask. Besides the obvious sweets (i.e., stuff you know is packed with sugar), what are some good items to cut out of your diet if you're trying to cut back on sugar? A lot of regular sandwich bread that we get at the supermarket is packed with sugar, right? And jar spaghetti sauce? What are some other "sneaky" sources of sugar we should watch out for?
ALPERT: Sugar is in everything! That’s why I always recommend reading the ingredient label of anything you buy in a package. Be extra careful with things like bread, salad dressing, tomato sauce, cereals- all things you wouldn’t normally expect sugar to be in since they’re not necessarily sweet foods.
FBP: Does alcohol have a lot of sugar in it? My husband is a total Carb Cop (and he looks amazing!), but he doesn't want to believe that his nightly red wine is packed with carbs and sugar. Who's right - Dana or Hubby?
ALPERT: You’re both right! Yes, red wine has carbs and sugar, but if that’s his main carb of choice and he doesn’t feel restricted from how he’s eating, then I say enjoy that drink. BUT don’t fool yourself and pretend there’s no sugar in it.