Ridiculously smooth and creamy, this chocolate smoothie packs a serious nutritious punch thanks to the help of a special secret ingredient. It’s vegan, gluten-free, refined sugar-free, and totally delicious!
Let’s talk about calorie counting.
A pretty common question I get from readers is “how many calories are in [X recipe]?” and my answer 97.5% of the time is that I’m not quite sure. I don’t calculate the nutritional information for my recipes, and the only reason I might know what it is the other 2.5% of the time is because a reader calculated it and left it in a comment, or another site featuring one of my recipes decided to include it as well.
It’s not that I don’t know how to calculate it myself or that it takes too much time… The reason that I don’t include nutritional information with my recipes is because I don’t believe in counting calories and I don’t want to promote it here on my blog. Spoons is calorie-free.
I can only think of a handful of instances where calorie counting might be beneficial, with all of them being related to specific medical conditions or professions. The rest of the time, and how it’s most often used (read: abused) these days, I think calorie counting is, at best, unnecessary and unnatural, and at worst, harmful.
It really is.
Take it from someone who used to spend up to two hours a day planning out meals, weighing food, and plugging it all in to online fitness trackers. I felt like a little kid who had just gotten her allowance and was trying to figure out what to spend the money on… Okay, I’m allowed this many more calories, this many more grams of carbs, and this many more grams of fat… what’s the best [read: cleanest/healthiest] thing I can spend that allowance on?
I was obsessed with calorie counting and the comfort it brought me. Not to mention the feeling of accomplishment that came with knowing that I ended the day under a certain number of calories.
And that’s one of the biggest problems that I see with calorie counting — it puts too much focus on the wrong kinds of things. You end up listening to dead numbers instead of your living body. You end up restricting and undereating because you can’t believe that you could possibly need that many calories to function (hint: you really do). You end up fearing food instead of seeing it for what it is — a beautiful (and delicious!) source of sustenance that lets you live the kind of life you want and deserve.
Take this Secret Ingredient Chocolate Smoothie, for example…
I have no idea how many calories it has. I could probably figure it out in my head based on the extensive ingredient library that years and years of calorie counting left me with, but I’d rather not let my thoughts go there.
Instead, I’d rather focus on the fact that it’s made with wholesome ingredients. That it’s refined sugar-free and sweetened with the natural sugars from dates and bananas. That it boasts an impressive dose of vitamin A thanks to the sweet potato, which you can barely just taste. That it’s delicious, filling, and soooo silky, smooth, and creamy that the fact that I didn’t stick a straw in it makes it look more like a jar of nut butter than a smoothie…
See? There are so many more important things to focus on than how many calories something has! How it makes you feel (both mentally and physically). How much of it your body wants and needs. How it lets you connect with other people… Counting calories makes you miss all that! And what’s worse is that it gets you completely out of tune with your own body, to the point where you stop being able to hear the signals it’s sending you.
I could probably go on and on about this topic, but this probably isn’t the proper time or place. So I’m going to get off my soapbox and tell you to stop counting calories if you don’t absolutely have to, grab a spoon, and dig right in!
- 1/2 cup (120 g) cooked sweet potato*
- 1/2 medium-size ripe banana, frozen (~50 g)
- 2 Medjool dates (30 g)
- 1 tbsp (5 g) cocoa powder
- 1/2 cup (120 ml) unsweetened vanilla almond milk
- 1 tbsp (16 g) almond butter (optional, but recommended)
- 1 scoop (30 g) protein powder (optional)
- Place all the ingredients into your blender and blend until smooth. This smoothie can be made in advance and stored in the fridge for later!
Looking for more creamy smoothie recipes? Try one of these!
What are your thoughts on calorie counting?
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