Rhode Island Monthly Whole Woman 2014 : Page 2

N NUTRITION Raise A Glass By Michael Colbert The skinny on making smarter, healthier smoothies. Depending on what’s in them, smoothies can be calorie-rich indulgences or they can be nutritious meals that are easy on the digestive system because their ingredients are broken down and blended. Christelle Debeuf, from Wildfl our Vegan Bakery and Juice Bar in Pawtucket, shares the lowdown on how to make great drinks and recommends changing it up and experimenting to fi nd smoothies that taste great and are good for your body. GMO 101 Learn how to shop GMO-free. Organic, natural, GMO…the buzzwords used to identify foods can make your head spin. The World Health Organization defi nes GMOs, or geneti-cally modifi ed organisms, as “organisms in which the genetic material (DNA) has been altered in a way that does not occur naturally.” While this is done to keep insects and weeds away from crops, some consumers question the short and long-term health effects of consuming GMO foods. Wendy Fachon of Right to Know RI, a local coalition that supports GMO labeling, shares some simple steps to help you navigate the grocery store. Avoid products that are, by and large, GMOs. Corn, sugar beets, canola oil, soy, zucchini, summer squash and aspartame are frequently GMO prod-ucts. Can’t give up the corn for summer barbecues? Try certifi ed organic sweet corn for a fl avorful, healthy alternative. Read up. It’s crucial to look at nutrition labels and read the ingredients in the products you buy. Fachon says that products made with high fructose corn syrup often contain GMOs. If sugar, rather than organic or cane sugar, is listed among the ingre-dients, GMO sugar beets are likely the source. Shop locally. Hit a farmers market, where you can ask individual vendors about their growing tech-niques. Don’t have time to browse a farmers market? Whole Foods and Trader Joe’s do a great job of labeling their products, and all of Trader Joe’s brand food is GMO-free. Follow the butterfl y. Buying products that are certifi ed 100 percent organic, or have the Non-GMO Project sticker, ensures that what you’re eating is GMO-free. —M.C. 1 For the classic, sweet base. Fill your smoothie glass with blueberries, rich in anti-oxidants, or strawberries. Maybe try a little banana in a smoothie with tart ingredients, but don’t overdo it as bananas are starchy. Debeuf says, “As long as you have a good variety, then all fruits can be good for you.” ¼ 3/4 to 1 cup 2 Vitamin-rich and nutritious, greens make smoothies well-balanced meals. Add some kale or spinach on top of your fruit. Both are fi brous, calcium-and vitamin-rich and nutrient-dense. For a milder taste, try baby spinach. Coupling these with fruits gives you the greens’ benefi ts while disguising their taste. ¼ A couple of handfuls 3 Diff erent spices and seeds enrich fl avor and add fi ber and protein. Chia seeds are great if you’re trying to shed a few pounds: They’re fi brous and fi ll up with water, keeping you full longer. They also have omega-3s and are a good source of this fatty acid for vegetarians and vegans. Oats bulk up breakfast smoothies well and help keep you full. Ground fl axseed or fl axseed oil are also great, but make sure to grind them as our bodies have a diffi cult time breaking their shells open for digestion. Use nut butters in modera-tion: They are full of protein but can also be loaded with sugar. Look for naturally processed butters without added sugar. Almond, peanut and cashew butter all work well. Ginger is simple and fl avor-ful and promotes healthy digestion, helping you feel good. Cayenne packs a punch, adds fl avor and gets your body going. ¼ TOP IT OFF Put the smooth in smoothies without sacrifi cing nutrition If you already have enough tasty ingredients you can simply use water: no calories or sugar, but it still helps to thin your smoothie. Green tea is a great juice sub-stitute fi lled with antioxidants and phytonutrients. Are you an OJ fi end? Try adding some citrus-fl avored green tea to get the fl avor without the sugar. Fresh vegetable juices are a good, non-sugary substitute. Try cucumber juice, instead of OJ, to get nutrients and taste. Carrot juice balances well in fruit smoothies, too. Almond, hemp or cashew milk can also add some fl avor. Unsweetened coconut milk is generally creamier but still healthy. Be careful of adding too much dairy, though, as it can sneak some extra sugar and fat into your smoothie. 82 WHOLE WOMAN 2014 | Rhode Island Monthly’s guide to a woman’s health and wellness

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