Because of the majority of the content of this blog, I’m sure you are aware that I put a lot of time and effort into keeping myself and my family healthy. We eat copious amounts of fruits and vegetables, consume heaps of good fats and fermented foods and don’t even allow processed, packaged or sugary foods into the house.
Everyone has a flaw though, right?
Here’s ours. We work a lot and we work late. Our schedule is not ‘normal’ or ‘efficient’ and honestly, we could be getting more sleep at a better hour – sleep is the glue that holds our health together and I really should know better. We work late, we sleep late, we use coffee as a coping mechanism in the morning, afternoon and night. That is, until we found the salted caramel shake at Sonic.
Yes, I’m sorry to say, but sadly it’s true – I have been indulging a little too much and have been supporting a food chain that represents everything that’s wrong with America’s diet these days. I’m weak, I’m tired and I gave into the delicious, sugary content of that shake on more than one occasion. But then, awful things started to happen. I broke out, I got sluggish, I was waking up with a headache EVERY SINGLE DAY, I was bloated and irritable and just not feeling good. That’s when my actions really hit me and I realized I couldn’t be so ignorant and had to make a change.
Last week, I said NO MORE and began detoxing. Which is just a fancy way of saying I drank more water, turmeric tea and ate probiotic foods a lot. I wake up today without a headache, in a good mood, with clear skin and a conviction to inform you that while the symptoms I described above are icky and undesirable, the reality of what something as simple as a shake or soda a day can lead to is a lot more grim.
First of all – all calories are not the same. They’re not. You can consume 310 calories in a large Dr Pepper and it will have absolutely no nutritional benefit, will not aid your body in any way and will shut down your immune system for 8 hours or more. Consume the same amount in fruits and vegetables, you’ll have eaten 3 meals (just for starters) and consumed countless beneficial nutrients and vitamins that equip your body to perform the way it needs to in order to keep you healthy, happy and disease free.
Oh, by the way, don’t think that just because you opt for the calorie free version of your preferred soda that you are safe. Not only are you probably aiding weight gain by consuming diet soda, you are also killing off brain cells (a reaction caused by caffeine and aspartame) and worsening any other pre-existing conditions you may have. Don’t believe me – check it out here.
Sugary drinks are the number 1 source of calories in young people’s diets
I cannot be the only one who sees something wrong with this. Your children, teenagers and young adults need to be nourishing themselves, not setting themselves up for a worst case scenario.
Consuming 1 to 2 sugary drinks a day increases the risk of type 2 diabetes by 25%
Couple that with the amount of processed sugar in everything else you eat (trust me, if it comes in a package, it’s probably full of sugar and other killer chemicals), you’re just pushing that percentage higher.
Americans consume close to 50 billion liters of soda per year
For those of you (like me) without calculator brains, that’s about 57 gallons (216 liters) per person. Dude.
Every 10 seconds, someone dies due to Diabetes related complications
If you could personally ensure the health and longevity of yourself and your loved ones, wouldn’t you?
This is why I am now making a commitment to never purchase a sugary drink again. I just can’t do it knowing what I know, after all the study I’ve done. I implore you to join me, even if it’s your first step on the road to a healthy lifestyle, it’s a huge one!
But don’t worry, I’m not going to make a morbid post without following it up with something fun and delicious, so without further ado, here are my favorite, HEALTHY, shake alternatives! YAY!
Salted Caramel Shake
1 cup of dates (medjool are preferable), pitted
1/2 tsp salt (Himalayan or sea salt)
1 tbsp hot water
1 cup of milk/cream of your choice (my favorites are coconut or almond, but a good quality or raw dairy would be amazing, depending on your dietary preferences)
1 frozen banana (optional, replace with ice if you aren’t a banana fan)
1/2 tsp organic vanilla extract (optional)
Place the dates, salt and hot water into a food processor or high powered blender and blitz until the mixture looks smooth and creamy (it will take longer in a food processor, so be patient). Allow sauce to cool for about 10 minutes and if you resist the urge to eat it all with a spoon, place 3 Tbsp of the sauce into blender with the remaining shake ingredients. Blend for 20 seconds or until smooth and enjoy!
For something a with a little more edge, you can brew a cup of coffee and either wait until it cools and add it to the shake or freeze it in an ice cube tray for a thicker texture. Oh. My. Coffee.
Peanut butter coffee shake
MY TWO FAVORITE THINGS IN THE WORLD
1 cup of brewed (organic) coffee, cooled
2 frozen bananas
2 cups of coconut cream or a good quality dairy cream
1 tsp organic vanilla extract
1/2 peanut butter (or sub out for another nut butter – almond, sunflower, whatever you like)
Place all ingredients into blender and blitz until smooth. Serves 3
Pina Colada (Almost)
1 cup pineapple juice, fresh or with no added sugar
1 cup coconut milk
1/2 lime, juice only
1 banana (frozen for a thicker result)
A few cubes of ice
Blend all ingredients together until smooth and drink immediately.
Watermelon & Lime Frappé
2 cups chopped watermelon
1 lime, juice only
1 tsp honey
1/2 cup crushed ice or ice cubes
Place all items into a blender and blitz until smooth, drink cold.
The ‘Who needs Starbucks when you have this frappucino’ Frappuccino
1 1/2 cups of brewed organic coffee, cooled
1/2 cup almond milk
2 Tbsp cacao or cocoa powder
2 organic pitted dates
1 frozen banana
10 cubes of ice
Place all items into a blender and blend well. Makes 2 servings.
There you have it, just a small collection of my favorite blended drinks. It’s worth the switch, seriously. You have NO idea how good your body was designed to feel – give up the crap today!
Sources: Diabetes.org, NationMaster, Mercola.com, Food Babe