How To Create the Perfect Smoothie

IMAGE SOURCE: @SMOOTHIE_PLANET

IMAGE SOURCE: @SMOOTHIE_PLANET

Smoothies are a delicious and easy go-to snack, post workout meal, or even breakfast;  but creating a healthy and balanced smoothie can be difficult! To have a healthy smoothie, you need the perfect balance of vitamins, minerals, protein, and fats. We are going to break down what each of these are, how much you need, and what foods will help you maintain balance!


NECESSARY NUTRIENTS

VITAMINS are substances your body needs in order to grow normally. You can meet your daily vitamin requirements by simply eating vitamin rich foods! The exception is vitamin D, which you obtain from the sun! The vitamins you need are A, B (thiamine, riboflavin, niacin, pantothenic acid, biotin, vitamin B-6, vitamin B-12 and folate), C, D, E, and K. Each vitamin is responsible for different bodily functions. In a nutshell, vitamin A keeps your immune system, vision, and cellular communication healthy; vitamin B keeps your blood and genetic material healthy; vitamin C helps repair tissue, aids in the absorption of iron, and helps decrease bad cholesterol (LDL); vitamin D keeps your digestive system and skeletal system healthy; vitamin E helps boost your immune system; and vitamin K regulates blood clotting.

MINERALS are compounds found in nature required to keep the body functioning healthily. Mineral functions include, but are not limited to, bone health, heart health, muscle health, organ health, and enzyme and hormone production. There are two types of minerals: macrominerals and microminerals. Your body requires more amounts of macrominerals (calcium, phosphorus, magnesium, sodium, potassium, chloride and sulfur) and small amounts of trace minerals (iron, manganese, copper, iodine, zinc, cobalt, fluoride and selenium).

PROTEIN is found everywhere in the body and makes up the enzymes responsible for carrying out all bodily functions. Proteins are made of amino acids (the building blocks of tissue, muscle, organs, hair, and skin, and are responsible for all metabolic functions), and amino acids are either made in the body or must be consumed. Essential amino acids are those we must consume through foods such as meat, nuts, seeds, fruits, vegetables, and grains; however, only meat contains all essential amino acids. Vegetarians must eat a variety of these other foods to get all of the amino acids they need.

FAT is essential to have a healthy body, though some fats are healthier than others. Healthy fats, or unsaturated fats, help lower cholesterol and reduce the risk of heart disease. Unsaturated fats can be divided into two categories: polyunsaturated and monounsaturated fats. Polyunsaturated fats include both omega-3 and omega-6 fats. Both are healthy, but increasing your omega-3:omega-6 ratio is recommended. A great way to know if a fat is unsaturated is if it’s liquid at room temperature! Bad fats, or saturated fats, are found in dairy, fatty meats, coconut, palm oil, and most manufactured and packaged foods. Trans fats, another bad fat, are unsaturated fats that have been processed to behave like saturated fats. They are found in processed and packaged foods. Both of these types of fats should be avoided or eaten on occasion. Also, saturated fats are solid at room temperature!



CREATING THE PERFECT SMOOTHIE

BASE (½-1 cup) The base of your smoothie is essentially the liquid ingredient in your smoothie. Great options include 100% fruit juice, milk (regular, almond, soy, rice), coconut water, brewed tea, etc. Try to use a base with no or low sugar content. If your smoothie is too thick, try adding more base!

FRUIT (1-1½ cups) Choose complimentary fruits for both flavor and sugar content. Almost all fruits contain vitamins A-C (remember you get vitamin D from the sun!), and a mix of minerals. We add fruit to our smoothies for both yummy flavors but mostly for the vitamin content! Be cautious of the sugar content in the fruit you are adding. If using a fruit juice as a base, or fruit high in sugar (bananas, apples, pineapple), try balancing with another fruit lower in sugar such as berries! If using frozen fruit make sure there is no added sugar.

VEGGIE (1-2 cups) Veggies are the greatest source of minerals for your smoothie! Go-to veggies should be kale or spinach. Both are high in iron, calcium, and magnesium, as well as vitamins A, E, and K! Carrots, squash (butternut and pumpkin), and sweet potatoes are also amazing sources of vitamins and minerals. We love spinach in our smoothies because it is essentially flavorless compared to all of the other ingredients and blends into tiny pieces that don’t thicken up the smoothie! You can also use veggie juices (no added sugars), to smooth out your smoothie and add more flavor!

PROTEIN (varies) The amount of protein you need in your smoothie depends on why you are drinking one. If it is just a snack, you do not need more than 10 grams of protein, just enough to fill you until your next meal. If your smoothie is for breakfast you need between 15-25 grams of protein. If it is a post workout meal, your protein intake should be much higher, between 20-40 grams to help build and maintain muscle mass. Great sources of protein are cottage cheese, Greek yogurt, silken tofu (vegetarian), or protein powder. For breakfast or a snack, Greek yogurt is our protein of choice! For a post workout meal, we like using both protein powder and Greek yogurt; the yogurt plays a huge role in the smooth and thick consistency of the smoothie! Again be wary of the sugar and fat content in your protein. Choose a protein low in fat and with no added sugar.

HEALTHY FAT (varies) Healthy fats are often forgotten when making a smoothie but they are equally important as any other ingredient! Great healthy fats include ¼ avocado, 1-2 tbsp. seeds (chia, flax, hemp), or 1 tbsp. nut butter. Our favorite fat to add is chia seeds. Chia seeds are packed with omega-3’s, and are additionally full of protein, fiber, antioxidants, magnesium, and calcium!

EXTRAS (varies) Give your smoothie some extra flavor with cocoa powder (80%+ dark), extracts (vanilla, almond, mint), herbs and spices, fish oil, etc. Make sure these extras are low in sugar and only add flavor or more nutrients!


How-To: Friendsgiving

Image Source: House of Jade

Image Source: House of Jade

Thanksgiving is one of the best holidays of the year; you can eat as much food as you want, drink yummy cocktails, and lounge around all day watching (or pretending to watch) sports and chatting with your family. However, not everyone can celebrate with family and that is OK! In lieu of Thanksgiving, have yourself a Friendsgiving with all your closest friends! Friendsgiving is the perfect way to show your friends how much you appreciate them and a lot less stressful than hosting for your family (no more unwelcomed questions about your love life from Aunt Martha). Never hosted a Friendsgiving before? Well, we’ve come up with a how-to Friendsgiving hosting guide to help you in your quest for throwing the perfect holiday celebration!


INVITES

Take the time to send your guests invites to your Friendsgiving gathering. This little extra action shows your friends you really want them to attend, and it’s a refreshing reminder that paper invites are much more elegant than e-vites (plus who doesn’t love getting mail?!). Make sure your invites include your address, RSVP-by date, and any instructions about bringing a dish or dessert to lessen your cooking load!


FOOD

Let’s be real, food is the most important part of this holiday, so make your spread the star of the night.

Appetizers: Appetizers should be light finger foods that won’t fill up your guests before dinner. Charcuterie boards are the perfect appetizer option; you can customize it however you’d like and it offers a great number of options for your guests.

Dinner: The sit down dinner is the highlight of the party. Serve food family style (in your most stylish serving dishes) and enjoy the quality time you have with your friends. Go around the table and give thanks for all things you appreciate in your life.

Dessert: Dessert should be placed on its own table before dinner. This will alleviate the task of setting up the dessert table after you’re stuffed with turkey and potatoes. Offer coffee and tea so your guests can wind down and digest with a warm drink.


DRINKS

Prepare a signature drink, such as a sangria or cranberry cocktail, for everyone to enjoy. Have a selection of wine, beer, and non alcoholic beverages to cover everyone’s preferences. Now is a great opportunity to utilize that dusty bar cart in the corner of your living room!


DECOR

Your decor should be festive and sophisticated. Gravitate towards fall decor (leaves, gourds, pumpkins) and Thanksgiving staples (turkeys and cornucopias). Put up wall art, decorate the mantle, and add floral arrangements to each room. Place a festive wreath on your front door for a notable first impression of your decorative skills.


TABLESCAPE

The dining table must be inviting, comfortable, and beautiful. Let your table settings be neutral and add color with a table runner or centerpiece. Decorate the table with festive items such as pumpkins and corn, and incorporate candles to elevate your tablescape. Make sure there is enough room for your serving dishes!


Guide to Brown Shaping

 
Image courtesy of:  Harper's Bazaar

Image courtesy of: Harper's Bazaar

 

Eyebrow Shaping – How It’s Done

I’ve always lived by this rule: have good eyebrows and anyone will take your seriously. Here are some great tips to help you get those sexy eyebrows you’ve always dreamt of!

Tweezers

Use tweezers that have a straight, flat edge, and avoid tweezers with a point. Do yourself a favor and skip the at-home waxing kits – I’ve learned the hard way… trust me.


Embrace Your Shape!

Take a good look at your own pair of brows - Do they have a high or low arch?  Are they thick or thin? Is one higher than the other? This is a crucial step because your eyebrow shape is specific to your face. Embrace your shape!

Images courtesy of: Birch Box


Images courtesy of: Kouture Kiss

Images courtesy of:Kouture Kiss

Beginning and End

If you’re a beginner try using a white eyeliner pencil to map out the shape you’re aiming for by outlining the brow in your desired shape.

Map it out

An easy way to tell where your eyebrow should begin is to line up a pencil from the outer edge of your nostril, to the inner corner of your eye. Wherever the pencil touches your eyebrow is where your eyebrow should begin. Same goes for finding where your eyebrow should end – just line up the pencil with the outer corner of your eye instead.

find your arch

You can also use the pencil technique to find where the arch of your eyebrow should be. Line up the pencil from your nostril, through the pupil of the eye when you’re looking straight. Your eyebrow should arch where the pencil reaches the brow.


eyebrow razors

Single blade facial razors work magically to erase any leftover hairs you couldn’t get with your tweezers. Holding the skin taught as if you were plucking, lightly skim the razor over your brow bone at a 45-degree angle toward the beginning of the brow. Be very careful and take your time! Contrary to belief, the hair will not grow back in any thicker than if you were plucking, but it will grow back quicker. You can find these little razors at most drugstores.

trim long hairs

This technique can be used to thin out bulky eyebrows. Simply use an eyebrow brush to fan hairs upward. Any hairs that are visibly longer than the majority should be trimmed with eyebrow sheers.

Image courtesy of:  Michelle Bouse

Image courtesy of: Michelle Bouse


fill your shape

Use a brow pencil 1 to 2 shades darker than your hair color. Lightly fill in your eyebrows to define your wanted shape. The key is to work lightly, making it look natural. You don’t want it to look like you used a sharpie! After trying many different types of eyebrow pencils and powders I’ve found that Anastasia’s eyebrow pencil works magically!

Image courtesy of:  Teen

Image courtesy of: Teen

over plucking

If you’ve gone a little overboard while tweezing, don’t worry! Do your best to avoid plucking your brows for 1 to 2 weeks to let them grow back. Use a brow pencil to define your shape during the regrowth process. Be patient, once your brows have begun to grow back, you can use the pencil to manipulate your shape until they reach brow perfection!

sisters, not twins

Remember, your eyebrows should be SISTERS, not TWINS! Everyone’s eyebrows are different and it’s okay for your left and right eyebrow to vary from one another –  that’s the beauty of those eyebrows being yours!