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    Natracure Blog — smoothies

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    8 Things Nutritionists Want You to Stop...Right Away!

    Nutritionists have had enough. They’re up in arms over the misinformation people are being fed and the healthy choices people are failing to make! These health experts are looking out for us and our wellbeing. It’s certainly in our best interest to take their advice and it’s high-time we start doing so! I’ve compiled a list of 8 things nutritionists want us to stop doing in order to achieve better health and longevity.   1. STOP CUTTING CALORIES – Jennifer Pullman, MA, RDN, LDN Jennifer Pullman has a problem with many of her clients cutting out calories. The idea that taking in less calories will cause weight loss is true to a point. However, Jennifer states that you will hit a level where your calorie intake is just too low. Your body will adjust to the new reduced amount of calories and actually slip into starvation mode! Make healthier choices on the foods themselves, not the numbers they carry.   2. STOP DETOXING – Monica Reinagel, MD, LDN, CNS Reinagel has a bone to pick with those claiming they are “detoxing”. She claims the idea that foods and beverages working to clean out the toxins from your body does not have legs to stand on. Instead, she suggests limiting the amount of toxins you put in your body in the first place!   3. STOP STARVING AND THEN BINGEING – Abby Langer, RD In Abby Langer’s opinion, too many people are skipping breakfast and eating light lunches, only to make up for it by bingeing at night.  One of the worst things you can do to your body is starve it during the day and then binge at night. She recommends eating multiple protein-heavy meals and snacks throughout the day to combat the snacking urges and general hunger at night.   4. STOP THE “CLEAN EATING” DIETS – Julie Upton, MS, RD, CSSD and Elizabeth M. Ward, RD Both Upton and Ward agree that people need to stop using the term “clean” eating and just refer to it as healthy eating. Clean is becoming a buzzword among marketers and they are using it to fool consumers. Clean isn’t a defined term at all in the food world and it can mean anything. Also, they feel as if people who say they eat “clean” may look down on others who they perceive to not be eating clean. In addition, this labeling can make people feel that they may be eating “dirty” if it’s not clean. We need to stop labeling our diets and just make conscious efforts to eat healthier!   5. STOP ASSUMING ALL SMOOTHIES ARE HEALTHY – Marisa Moore, MBA, RDN, LD Marisa Moore has noticed what she refers to as a “health halo” surrounding smoothies. She feels people assume that by having a smoothie, they’re making a healthy choice. However, many smoothies and fruit juices are loaded with sugar and empty calories. We need to make sure we are reading nutritional value labels and are aware of the ingredients. Only then can you be sure you are actually having a healthy drink.   6. STOP EATING PROCESSED DIET FOOD – Alexis Jospeh, MS RD, LD Alexis Joseph swears against processed foods, but not just any processed foods. She specifically advises avoiding foods that marketers tout as “fat-free”. These products are actually loaded with chemicals and other unnatural ingredients. Although they are marketed as diet foods, these processed options are absolutely terrible for you. Avoid them at all costs. As Joseph proclaims, “Eat real food!”   7. STOP AVOIDING FRUIT – Dawn Jackson Blatner, RDN, CSSD, LDN Dawn Blatner does not want to hear that you aren’t eating fruit because of the high sugar content. Not only is this sugar natural, but fruit brings a plethora of other nutritional values along for the ride. Fruit boasts antioxidants, vitamins, fiber and more. There are few ways to get more natural nutrition than from fruit! Blatner suggests two cups or pieces of fruit daily.   8. STOP SKIPPING PROTEIN AT BREAKFAST  – Marisa Moore, MBA, RDN, LD Moore is sick of people that are not only skipping breakfast, but when they do have a morning meal, they avoid protein. Having meat, eggs, yogurt, and nuts can all provide you with protein. It will keep you full for longer and will help you avoid trips to the office vending machine or local coffee shop for snacks.   Take this advice from nutritionists to heart. Avoiding certain foods, being smarter in the grocery store and having the right mind-set are all tools to use in your quest to be a healthier and more fit you.   By Pat DeRiso Sources:, HuffPost Blog

    4 Ways to Fight Pain with Ginger

    The lingering effects from day-to-day physical activity can be debilitating. Soreness and pain can vary in intensity and are caused by a multitude of sources. Whether you are a runner, weight lifter, or casual exerciser you are sure to experience some type of pain from your efforts. This is mainly due to inflammation in your joints and muscles. Additionally, strenuous exercise will release proinflammatory cytokines that will work to suppress your immune system. This doesn’t mean you should stop your physical activity. Thankfully, there is a natural way to combat bad cytokines, inflammation and general pain. The answer lies in the ginger root. Multiple studies have been released proving the benefits of ginger to faster recovery and pain relief.  The first study in 2014 revealed that ginger did effectively lower harmful cytokines in endurance runners. Another study that followed in 2015 showed ginger will speed-up muscle recovery following weight-training. The latest study discovered that ginger aids pain caused by running or resistance training. What does this all mean to you? Your diet needs more ginger to help fight pain and decrease recovery time. The next question is how do you get it? Read on to find out.  

    1. Tea Time Tea is a perfect way to add ginger into a daily routine. Simply grate fresh ginger into some hot water and you’re good to go. To enhance taste, add some lemon juice and/or honey. Another benefit is that teas like this will also work to fight cold symptoms!
    2. Stay Smooth Smoothies are a fun and nutritious way to sneak ginger into your recovery and pain relief regiment. You simply add a tablespoon of fresh ginger to a smoothie of your choice and you’re instantly on your way to a more pain-free life. Melaina Huntti of recommends a great Ginger Recovery Smoothie recipe.
    Blend the following ingredients for one minute:
    • 1 cup almond milk
    • ½ of a banana
    • ½ of a pear
    • 1 cup of Greek yogurt
    • 1 and ½ cups of ice
    • 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract
    • And, of course, 1 tablespoon of fresh ginger
    Enjoy the deliciousness!  
    3. Supplement Your Recovery Taking ginger supplements is perhaps the easiest way to get ginger into your body. You can easily purchase ginger supplements online or at your local pharmacy. Just pop a ginger pill daily to ensure constant recovery aid.
    4. Stir It Up Easily the most delicious method to ingest ginger is through stir-fry. You can do this at home by whipping up some meats and veggies in peanut oil. Simply stir in some chopped garlic and ginger to make a delectable Asian-inspired dish. You can make a night out of it by going to your favorite local Japanese restaurant. The Japanese are known for using ginger in their recipes and these meals can provide ginger in a fun and appetizing way for the whole family!
    Whatever your method, if you are an active individual it is clear you need to add ginger to your daily diet. Your sore muscles and joints will thank you and you’ll be able to get back to the pain-free you even faster!
      By Pat DeRiso

    Take Your Smoothie from Ho-Hum to Delicious

    Make a delicious smoothieSmoothieStrawberry, banana, chocolate – blend, sip and enjoy for good health!Make a delicious smoothie A smoothie can be an almost perfect meal in minutes. You can blend the fruits and vegetables of your choice with protein and healthy fats, and even drink it on your way to work. Smoothies are the ultimate convenience food for a quick, nutritious meal. They are perfect for days when you don’t feel like cooking but want a tasty, balanced meal or snack. The the best thing about smoothies is that they are so versatile. You can customize them to your food preferences, dietary restrictions, or the ingredients you have in your fridge or cupboard. And you can design them to address anything from blood purification, to anti-inflammation, to promoting greater energy, and more. The terms “protein shake” and smoothies are often used interchangeably, and when you use the right ingredients they can provide the perfect stable energy you need. But smoothies can also become blood sugar-spiking concoctions if you load on the fruit. Making a perfect smoothie doesn’t require a lot of skill, but there is an art to making a drink that tastes yummy and is nutritious. Here are 10 tips for the ultimate smoothie: 1. Start with a great base: Whole organic milk or yogurt, goat milk, or unsweetened hemp milk or almond milk, avocado or organic kefir are all great. 2. Choose an unsweetened protein: Whey protein boosts serotonin levels and raises glutathione, a detoxifying compound in the body. Make sure it’s either cross-filtered or ion-exchange. Or you can pour in raw milk or goat milk instead of using a protein powder. Hemp and pea proteins are newer options, and offer fiber that is highly digestible. Avoid soy protein isolates. They are highly processed foods which are usually genetically modified. Read the labels for any protein powders, and avoid any with artificial sweeteners or chemical preservatives. Look for the fewest ingredients possible. 3. Add fruit, but don’t go overboard. Piling on the fruit will create a very sweet smoothie that can spike your blood sugar. Stick to 1-2 fruits per smoothie. Choose fruits in season, such as apples and pears in the fall, or peaches, nectarines and berries in summer. Blueberries, strawberries or any seasonable berries are delicious and low in sugar. You can also buy organic berries to keep in your freezer and add to your smoothie. Add a half a banana to create a creamy texture, and try pineapple to relieve aching joints. 4. Add greens for chlorophyll. You can use a green powder, or throw in a small handful of spinach, kale or Swiss chard. Parsley, cilantro and mint are excellent blood purifiers and make the smoothie taste fresh and invigorating. 5. Spice & sweeten. Customize your smoothie to your taste by adding your favorite spices and herbs. Cinnamon, ginger, cardamom, nutmeg add wonderful flavor. Vanilla, peppermint and almond extracts all add subtle nuances that can bump your smoothie from ho-hum to delicious. If your smoothie isn’t sweet enough, add Stevia (you can even find Stevia flavored with hazelnut and vanilla). Maple syrup is delicious and natural, and there are many kinds of honey that provide vitamins as well as sweetness. You can also blend in a few dates for natural thickness and sweetness. 6. Liquid luxury: Most people think of water to increase the liquid (especially if you used yogurt or kefir as a base), but you can add leftover tea or coffee instead. Simply pour any leftover coffee or tea from your pot into a jar and store it in your fridge so you always have a tasty liquid to blend into your smoothie. Try matching coffee with cacao powder for a mocha smoothie, or green tea with pineapple and ginger for a refreshing and energizing lift. You can also experiment with coconut water, which adds flavor and electrolytes, or antioxidant-rich pomegranate, dark cherry, or blueberry juice. Be careful not to add too much, as it can spike your blood sugar. 7. Go nuts…and seeds or oils: Add a small handful of sesame seeds (look for black sesame seeds to boost antioxidants) or hemp seeds. Or add a spoonful of hemp, flax or coconut oil, which is anti-inflammatory and anti-fungal. Adding these oils will increase the energy-stabilizing, satiating, and (believe it or not) weight loss effects of your smoothie. 8. Super-food it: To make a powerhouse smoothie, you can add chia seeds, maca powder, matcha powder, goji berries, cacoa nibs or powder, camu camu, lucuma powder, spirulina, or any number of superfoods. Some of them can be a little pricy, but you only need a spoonful at a time, so a little goes a long way. 9. Blend in the right order. Add ingredients in the order of how smooth you want it. For example, kale is not great when it’s chunky, so put it in first with the liquid and blend until smooth. Fresh strawberries can become mushy, so add them at the last minute and blend gently. If you’re adding ice, add it at the last minute so you don’t over-blend it into water. 10. Customize it: The temperature and consistency make a big difference. Bananas and strawberries blend better when frozen than when fresh. Experiment with fresh verses frozen fruit, and try adding a little ice to find the temperature that works best for you. Also experiment with the consistency. If you like a milkshake-like consistency, add nut butters, more banana, or oats. To thin your smoothie, add more liquid. Don’t be afraid to experiment. It’s easy to get into a smoothie rut, so switch it up. Challenge yourself to buy a new ingredient each time you visit your health food store, and incorporate it into your smoothie. You can also get inspiration from your favorite desserts by recreating them into your favorite smoothie. Chocolate cream pie, anyone?

    Joint-Loving Recipe!

    Ginger Berry Anti-inflammatory Smoothie

    Ingredients: 3 Tablespoons hemp protein powder 2 stalks of celery (with leaves on) 1 handful of leafy greens (kale, spinach, chard, cilantro) 2-inch piece of fresh ginger (peeled if not organic) 1 cup of frozen berries of your choice (blueberries, strawberries, raspberries or blackberries) ½ cup water or coconut water Instructions: Blend greens and ginger with water first, then add other ingredients. Note: choose all organic ingredients whenever possible.