RED Hearts: A Junk Food Addict Turns to Smoothies

smoothieRED Hearts are guest posts on I Heart Daily from the authors of RED: Teenage girls in America write on what fires up their lives today. Today’s RED Hearts post is from RED author Lisa Chau, 24, in Chicago who avoids junk food with a healthy smoothie:

When I assess my life to date, I admit that processed and fast foods have been a huge part of how I survive. I love chips, candy, Nutella, chicken in a shape other than a chicken, pizza rolls, Girl Scout cookies and basically anything involving cheese. Sometimes as I'm stuffing my face, I’ll accidentally catch a glimpse of the horrific nutritional facts. DUN DUN DUN!!! What a terrible, terrible mistake.

It's come to a point where one can either avoid looking at the small print, quit the junk food altogether or -- the only option I find realistic and effective -- do your body a favor and try eating the unhealthy stuff in moderation.

This is where smoothies work their magic. I’ve turned to making them when I start to crave fatty (or sweet, or fatty and sweet) foods, and I swear, they can be just as satisfying and a world healthier than french fries. I don't have a specific measured-out recipe; I just throw whatever fruits and veggies I have into a blender with some ice until it turns into a pretty shade of orange, pink or green.

A banana and three clementines work great as a base to start any of the combos below and make even the veggie concoctions taste sweet. Fruits are, of course, always better if they’re fresh, but if it’s off-season -- or if running to the store will risk sending you to the cookie aisle -- frozen berries and mangos are delicious, too.

GREEN SMOOTHIE: Add kale, spinach and mango chunks to taste. Add ice. PINK SMOOTHIE: Add cherry tomatoes, red peppers and berries to taste. Add ice. ORANGE SMOOTHIE: Add bananas, orange juice, carrots and mango chunks to taste. Add ice.

Instead of snacking on a bag of god-knows-what and feeling gross for the rest of the day, you’re full of fruits and vegetables, happy, healthy -- and free to read something more entertaining than the tater tots stats.

RED Hearts guest poster Lisa Chau is an author of RED: Teenage girls in America write on what fires up their lives today, which is out in paperback.