With many shops now displaying Nutribullets, Kitchen-Machines, Juicers and many other appliances for healthy eating, I thought, it’s time to give my opinion on the NutriBullet.
First of all, there are also many copies out there now, and I can honestly not say which ones are good, but I’d suggest like for any of those appliances that you google the reviews on the technical side of them.
I’ve had my NutriBullet now for 2 years and I have to say I am loving it. And I am not using it to the full potential really. There are so many things you can do with it when you look up and google NutriBullet recipes. I basically use it mainly for my smoothie which I have every day that I train as post-training drink or on days where I simply don’t have the time to sit down to eat.
I would also use it to make pesto. There are so many recipes out there, my favourite is still the traditional one with basil, parmesan, fine nuts, garlic, olive oil. But closely followed by the Kale pesto with hazelnut from Rachel Allen. I regularly use pestos instead of salad dressing over salads. This way, you're getting extra nutrients and flavour but also know that there are no nasties in it.
Another favourite what I use it for is hummus, simply mix chickpeas, tahini, water, garlic, spices, for a super healthy protein snack.
The other time I’d use it is to mill flaxseed, sesame and chia seeds, or almonds if I need them really finely ground to create almond flour.
Talking about the chewing bit again, that is exactly where the “danger” lies though with the NutriBullet. We are meant and designed to eat in a relaxed state of mind and we are supposed to chew our food so that it becomes liquid before swallowing.
If we eat in a stressed state of mind – at our desks or in front of the TV for example – we are still in the sympathetic mode, which means the blood is diverted away from the digestive organs to the legs and arms and heart, so that you are ready to run away. You might not think you are stressed at your desk or in front of the TV, but often our bodies can’t distinguish between those terrible images on a news report and reality, it is proven that it effects our sympathetic system. And when you are eating while at your desk you might have your head full with deadlines or other work related things that you can’t focus on your meal.
The other thing is, that if we are not chewing our food properly, the parts that get to the stomach, where it is supposed to be broken down by stomach acid, are simply too big and can then cause further digestive issues further on. They might not be properly digested and not properly absorbed. Also, when eating too quickly, your body doesn’t have enough time to mobilize all the enzymes that are required to break down the food properly.
I know from my own experience though that it can’t always be avoided that we eat and do other things at the same time. Therefore, the following tips: Before you start to eat, take 5 deep slow breaths in and out to calm yourself down and bring yourself into the relaxed state. Try to focus on your food, try to concentrate on what you are eating, don’t listen or read anything else. And chew properly, so long at least until it is liquid.
But what has all this to do with the NutriBullet?
On the one hand, it’s a good thing to use a Nutribullet liquid meal instead of something that requires a lot of chewing. So, if instead of guzzling down your chicken salad without chewing properly and leaving it half digested, you are better off drinking a smoothie instead where at least the food is already somewhat broken down.
However, since NutriBullets did not exist when our bodies were designed, we are not designed to deal with huge amounts of food arriving all at the same time without any warning. Our bodies start producing enzymes already by just thinking about food and then more are activated when we are chewing. So, if those two processes are left out, our bodies also often can’t deal with the sudden arrival of all that food, and this is especially the case for carbohydrates and sugars.
If there is a lot of fruit in your smoothie, you will get that spike of insulin that we don’t want, this often sets up a blood sugar roller coaster between high and low blood sugar levels, and energy bursts and energy dips, but worse of all it could lead to too much insulin constantly being released and this will prevent you from fat burning. Using too much fruit is one of the most common faults when using the Nutribullet. Now, it is still much much better than using a juicer where you don’t get any of the fibre that’s in fruit and which is still present by using the Nutribullet, but it is still a lot of sugar if you are only using fruit.
My tips are therefore:
- Always use some greens in your smoothie. I freeze spinach and kale (after cooking it) and use it straight from the freezer.
- Always use some healthy fats: I use half a frozen avocado (you can’t get them in Tesco now), chia seeds, flaxseeds, and/or some nut butters, preferably almond. Sometimes I’d also add some coconut oil or butter.
- Always use some protein: the nuts and seeds are also a source of protein, also delicious is a raw egg (try it if you don’t believe it), and/or some good quality protein powder, such as SunWarrior or Beef isolate, especially when you are training a lot. You know a good quality protein powder when it doesn’t have any nasty additives or sugar.
- Add some green powder: there are plenty of supergreens out there that you can add, such as spirulina, chlorella, wheat grass, etc. There are many health claims out there about them which I can’t proof or disproof, some people swear by them but I have to admit I haven’t really noticed a difference.
- Use fruit sparingly: if you need some sweetness, add some berries preferably as they are lower in sugar, if you want something more filling add a banana or pineapple. I would always have a banana in my post-exercise smoothie but if I’m not exercising I’d go more towards the berries.
- Use coconut water or coconut milk (the milk substitute not the cans) for extra sweetness. If you can tolerate yoghurts use only natural yoghurts, not fruit yoghurt. If you are only using water and vegetables it can be a bit bland.
- Spice it up: it’s interesting how a bit of a spice can take you away from needing more sweetness, for example, ginger, turmeric or cinnamon are brilliant for giving a smoothie that extra kick without the sugar, a bit of lemon or lime or mint works really well with a fresh green smoothie (spinach, cucumber, kale, celery etc)
I don’t think I need to give you a recipe here if you are following all the above guidelines. There are so many options out there, and even though I always use pretty much the same ingredients, the smoothie always tastes differently.
I have my smoothie only on training days or on days where I can’t sit down for my lunch/meal, for example on busy days at the clinic or on the golf course.
The other time I use the NutriBullet is with the nut grinding function for milling flaxseed mainly. I find other nuts and seeds are better chopped in a kitchen-blender as they tend to go real mushy in the Bullet. I don’t buy flax- or chia seeds milled as they keep longer as whole, and once they are milled I keep them in the fridge. The NutriBullet is really great for that, or for milling almonds into almond flour, or oatflakes into oat flour. Again with both you know they are fresh and not been stored for ages and left open to go rancid when you buy them already milled.
Hope, this brings some clarity on the NutriBullet. Let me know if you have any further questions.