Sugar-free Holiday Smoothies

For CBS News

The holidays usher in a season of sugary treats that can sabotage a healthy diet, pack on pounds and zap our energy. While it’s easy to get swept up in the madness of holiday overeating, starting your day off with an energizing, healthy and sugar-free smoothie can help you set yourself up for diet success, while still letting you enjoy your favorite flavors of the season.

Dana James, the founder of Food Coach NYC, shared some of her favorite holiday smoothie recipes with CBS News. She says that beginning the day with one these superfood smoothies will help people reduce their daily sugar intake and inspire them to take charge of their eating habits for the rest of the day. She suggests making this a habitual way to start your morning.

On James’s website she has a top ten list of nutrition and lifestyle tips. Number one: “You can’t control the number on the scale. But what you can control are the processes and habits you put in place that lead to weight loss.”

Studies have shown that sugar can be highly addictive, and according to the American Heart Association, the average American consumes about 20 teaspoons of sugar daily.

Sweet treats without the sugar
Taking control of your sugar habit may require extra effort now when seasonal treats are rampant. A peppermint mocha from Starbucks may taste festive, but with 54 grams of sugar, this drink more than doubles the World Health Organization’s daily recommended sugar intake for an adult.

And, logging in at 49 grams of sugar, a pumpkin spice latte is hardly any better for you. To stay on track with your diet this season, try swapping the peppermint mocha or pumpkin spice latte for James’s sugar-free cacao mint or pumpkin pie smoothies.

Pumpkin Pie Smoothie:

10 oz of almond milk

1/4 cup of Beautifuel (created by Dana James)

1/2 cup of pureed pumpkin

pinch of nutmeg

1/4 tsp of cinnamon

1 tsp coconut oil

2 or 3 ice cubes

Add all ingredients to blender and blend for 30-60 seconds until smooth. She also suggests freezing this and having it for dessert. Enjoy!

Cacao and Mint Smoothie:

10 oz of almond milk

1/4 cup of Beautifuel (created by Dana James)

1/2 dropper of mint chlorophyll

1 tsp of cacao nibs

1/4 avocado

handful of spinach

2 or 3 ice cubes

Add all ingredients to blender and blend for 30-60 seconds until smooth. Delicious!

Photo Credit: Getty Images