A Blender Diet, as is evident from the name itself, is simply a blend of certain healthful ingredients to prepare a low calorie nutritious meal. A blender is typically employed in combining these ingredients together and hence the name of a diet comprising such blends is known as blender diet. Using some simple ingredients, a wholesome, delicious meal/shake can be prepared in no time with the assistance of a blender right at home. Hence this proves to be a convenient and hassle-free diet which may be easily adhered to. The desired calorie or protein intake can be suitably adjusted through the day.
- An essential ingredient that most often forms the base of such recipes is milk. It is not only a good protein source but also provides Vitamins A, C, D and some B-vitamins like thiamine and riboflavin; minerals like calcium, phosphorus, magnesium, zinc, sodium, potassium, chloride and fat depending on the type of milk used. Thus milk or yoghurt prove to be important especially in those recipes where no other protein source is used.
- Proteins form the all-essential nutrient, especially when one is dieting; one needs to ensure an adequate intake of protein. This is crucial as it will help prevent muscle wasting, which could slow down the metabolism. Depending on the diet requirements, a protein powder can be chosen. These can be picked up off the shelf as they are available in a variety of brands and flavours today. Powders labelled low carbohydrate are likely to have the lowest calorie content. Selection must be based on calorie count as well as protein content.
- A variety of fresh seasonal fruits may be included as part of the blend. In fact such fruits may be sliced, placed on a cookie sheet, frozen and then stored in a plastic bag to be used later at times when they are not as easily available. Strawberries, blueberries, raspberries, peaches, mangoes make delicious additions to shakes in the blender diet.
- Sugar-free syrups that come in different flavours like almond, mint, cinnamon, vanilla may also be added to enhance the taste of the shake or smoothie.
- Fruits chosen must be weighed accurately to determine the calorie intake, particularly if one is following a weight loss diet. A standard recommendation is to use ½ a banana and 3 oz of another kind of fruit like oranges, berries or pineapple.
- Following the same dictum, measured quantity of skim milk, fruit juice or water may be added. Soy milk too maybe a good option, but skim milk is considered best especially after a resistance workout in order to replenish protein to assist in muscle regeneration. A standard recommendation is to use either 1 cup skim milk, ¼ cup fruit juice or ½ to 1 cup of water.
- Protein powder is measured using the scoop provided with it. Directions on the pack should be followed to confirm that each serving provides a minimum of 2.0 g leucine which happens to be the amino acid that stimulates muscle protein synthesis. 1 to 2 scoops of powder should suffice.
- Liquids are poured into the blender, followed by the protein powder. Lastly the fruits are placed into the blender, covered and blended together into a smooth, thick shake. Ice cubes are optional.
Benefits of Blender Diet
- Consumption of blended foods or drinks can help one lose weight by creating a feeling of satiety. At the same time it, helps one feel energetic and stronger – both mentally and physically.
- A blended soup or smoothie takes very little time to prepare.
- Just one meal can provide as many as 3-4 servings of vegetables or fruits at a time.
- There is little or no visible (added) fat in such a blend.
- Additionally, the body’s efficiency of extracting nutrition from food is enhanced by blending.
- Nutrient losses by cooking can be avoided by blending instead.
- Blending fruits and vegetables increases fibre intake in a natural manner. Green leafy vegetables can be added to substantiate this effect.
Thus we see how a simple blender can create low-calorie, tasty recipes, in a jiffy, right at home. Myriad variations can be tried using innovative combinations of fruits, vegetables, dairy products and flavourings. Further, blending food makes it possible to extract and derive maximum nutrients from food, with little time and effort.