Meal replacement still trends as a big way that people are sold on weight loss. For some it helps people break the habit of eating so much, and for others it’s for convenience – ie, just chug down this drink instead of taking the time to prepare a healthy meal, carefully. It’s a busy world. I get it.
5 red flags when it comes to ‘meal replacement’
1. It’s still a meal. You’re still ingesting something with a nutritional / chemical profile at a meal time. Are you getting the fuel you need?
2. What people often buy into to replace meals is a chemical minefield of additives and subsequent addictions and side effects, because of what’s in the meal replacement cocktails. No fun at all long term and a big cause no doubt for yo yo’ing dieters who opt for the pills, potions and promises path, instead of the holistic lifestyle change over time.
3. We remove the chewing component, vital to the digestive process kick start.
4. We don’t consider a smoothie packed with all sorts of nutrients, and can sometimes overfeed ourselves… it’s just a drink, right?
5. OR protein powders that are predominantly whole food but the protein element might not suit the individual’s digestion (peas, whey, nuts… All depends on you rather than what someone announces as ‘healthy’.)
So, here are the 4 solutions to the issues with meal replacement.
1. Treat a liquid meal as you would a meal, taking care to ensure it’s nourishing, suits your body, feels good to eat and is sustaining both in its energy release and brain food. Enjoy putting it together at a less busy time for when you’re on the go in the next 48 hours. Freeze to defrost if longer…
2. Do not fall for trash like this or any of those heavily marketed breakfast shakes for ‘busy mums and fussy eaters’. They are filled with junk and high in sugar. Look at this one, sold as an ‘easy option’ or weight loss tool in the impulse buy area at the cash register when I was picking up an AYAM coconut milk stash the other day. This is essentially a whole bunch of processed, artificial junk that further addicts you to chasing garbage or consuming more food in general thanks to the fructose and maltodextrin, along with the oxidised cholesterol (the stuff to stay right away from in the milk powders) and then a whole bunch of synthetic vitamins, topped with a little sprinkle of artificial sweetener sucralose (955), which according the Chemical Maze has the ability to shrink the thymus glands and enlarge the liver and kidneys. Fun!
3. When you make a meal shake / smoothie, make sure you ‘chew’ through it to activate the very first enzymes that start breaking down food in the mouth – 2 of them being for fats. The ‘chewing’ also sends a message to your whole digestive system to get ready for action. Guzzling a smoothie or shake, can mean a harder time digesting if you don’t take your time, as you haven’t initiated digestion phase one. Take. Your. Time for solid and liquid foods alike.
4. If you’re going to make a smoothie to replace a meal, replace it. Don’t add extra meals full of nut butters, rich milks, fruits and more… unless intensively training, or you eat very small snack sized meals, or instructed on a health recovery plan with your practitioner, you probably don’t need all that extra nourishment. Over eating means the digestive system is over working which means your body spends too much time processing food and not enough time building immunity and regenerating!
So, what to make for inspiration?
There are bucket loads of inspiring smoothies on pinterest, instagram and more – just have a little look around. Yoghurt, coconut milks, whole milk, activated nut milks, coconut oil, berries, banana, activated nuts and seeds, other fruits, veggies, avocado, chia, honey, rice malt syrup, cocoa powder, carob, sweet spices, probiotic kefir… There are even some great pure pea proteins if your tummy doesn’t mind that form and you’re not a meat eater… The list goes on as to how you could nourish yourself on the go, or if you’re trying to not be around kitchen / food for part of the day to break any browsing or excess snacking habits… You could try my super speedy chocolate shake if you’ve not done already it’s yummy, and if you’re packing a school lunch treat, why not freeze a little jar of it for little ones, to defrost nicely by lunch time! I also have a couple of options in my book, Real Treats.
An important note if you include raw veggies, or anything for that matter, is to listen to your body. When I think about me, raw kale and large-leaf spinach aren’t really friends with my tummy. They had a bit of a blow out a while back and haven’t spoken since! Baby spinach however is great for me. You are your own unique blue print. Don’t let a blanket notion of what’s healthy be your truth if it isn’t promoting your healing or feeling awesome. We’re all different.
Do you love the odd smoothie on the go? What are your favourite combinations?
Ever fallen victim to the meal replacement trap?
I still don’t think smoothies are a great common thing to have. We risk mindless food consumption if we make them too often. Preparing, sitting, eating and enjoying seems much more natural to me.
Lastly, if drastic weight loss is needed, don’t trust a chemist shelf or an infommercial, trust a holistic practitioner you click with, to follow and support your specific needs.
Real Food = Happy Bodies
Why not post your smoothie pics and tag me on instagram @lowtoxlife
Also, I’ve finally dusted off my pinterest account. Would love to see you there! http://www.pinterest.com/alexxstuart/