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Recipe: Super Summer Slim Down Smoothie

While summer’s almost over, it’s not over yet. What better way to enjoy the last weeks of the season than with a delicious smoothie that celebrates all the flavors of the season and aids in your efforts to stay healthy & fit this summer.

This super smoothie recipe will cool you off, give your body lots of good vitamins and antioxidants, and keep your slim-down going strong. Oh, and it doesn’t hurt that it’s awesomely delicious, either!

Note: This smoothie is filling and nutritious enough to serve as a meal replacement for breakfast or lunch. In other words, don’t add this one to your diet meal plan as an afternoon or evening snack, or you might just counteract the slimming effect of the smoothie.

Super Summer Slim-Down Smoothie

½ medium banana (ripe)

1 cup frozen mixed berries

¼ cup low-fat Greek yogurt (get plain for no added sugar)

¾ cup milk (soy, almond, skim, rice—your choice)

2 tablespoons dark chocolate chips

Optional: 1 tsp. pure vanilla extract

Chuck everything into your blender and give it a whirl until smooth and well-mixed. If you need to thin it, add 3 to 5 ice cubes. It makes 1 large glass of delicious, cold, refreshing smoothie.

How Does This Smoothie Help Your Slim-Down Efforts?

Bananas are filling. They also add a natural sweetness, but are bland enough to mix well with just about any flavor. Their texture helps with the creamy consistency. And they are a natural source of energy. They provide a steady stream of energy, enough to get you through a 45-minute workout or that after-lunch slump that hits like a ton of bricks every afternoon. Unlike caffeine or sugar, there’s no crash or hard comedown from a banana high, either. Let’s not forget that some of this energy comes from carbs, but a great deal of it comes from all the vitamin A, iron, phosphorous and potassium that bananas contain.

Berries are filled with antioxidants. They are also naturally sweet and high in water content. Including a mix of berries ensures that your smoothie will be packed with vitamin C and phytochemicals of all sorts. They also add some fiber to your smoothie, helping you to keep feeling full longer. Plus, fresh berries are the ultimate summertime treat.

Greek yogurt is a great low-fat, low-carb source of protein. It’s also filled with bone-strengthening calcium and belly-friendly probiotics. Greek yogurt has been shown to aid in weight loss, and can help reduce bloating and gas.

Whether you choose soy milk, almond milk, or just ordinary skim milk, adding milk to your smoothies is another great way to add tummy-pleasing protein and calcium.  You need protein to stave off hunger pangs longer.

Monounsaturated fatty acids (MUFAs) have been shown to be vital in weight loss efforts, especially in fighting belly and midriff fat. Sources of MUFAs are dark chocolate, nuts and nut butters, flaxseed oil, and avocado. Adding some dark chocolate chips to your slimdown smoothie aids you in your slimming efforts, making your smoothie just that more effective in doing what you want it to do. Plus, this ingredient (and the optional pure vanilla extract) makes this smoothie taste like a treat—without any of the guilt.