We love them - delicious, easy and fun. Smoothies are a great time saver and good way to add nutritious veggies to our diet without a lot of effort or having to really taste them if they aren't the favorite food. There are a couple of important points to know about from the TCM perspective though, things that can really affect the body over time. Temperature of food is very important for digestion. This is not just the physical temperature you could measure with a thermometer - it is also the character of the food. Sometimes this is pretty obvious, like cinnamon is warming, but if the food is unfamiliar or the character is complex we cannot just intuit what its temperature impact will be. Fortunately the nature of foods and medicinal substances is a feature of TCM and Oriental science so we can look it up. This site: http://dog2doc.com/chi-files/TCVM_Diet/FOOD%20Energetics.pdf is readily available like others online, but it is always wise to compare and consult several references then try for yourself to see of the material is accurate.
Digestion is the breakdown of raw materials into easily utilized molecules, temperature strongly effects this process. Some enzymes which are part of how the breakdown occurs only work in a certain temperature range. At cold temperatures all processes are slowed which is why we have refrigerators. We don't want this to happen inside our bodies though! The other part of digestion is mechanical, enzymes are mixed with the food we eat when we chew it thoroughly, and this prepares the system for the arrival of food, since smoothies are smooth we may miss out on the important role this plays in digestion. If your smoothie is chewie its even better for you.
So what can we do to harmonize our smoothie experience? Don't use frozen foods, use room temperature or refrigerated produce. Add warming spices like cinnamon, ginger, to balance cold fruits and veggies. Balance is the key, represent all five flavors regularly rather than focusing on just one. Not necessarily always in one meal but over the day or week be sure to have some of each color, temperature, flavor, and texture in your diet. Mix it up.
The crockpot or slow cooker is actually the better alternative for your digestive system than a blender. It does more of the work ahead of time and we evolved to eat cooked foods because heat softens, begins the breakdown process and destroys harmful bacteria and parasites. I made the move from blender to crockpot a year ago and I think it made a big difference in my health. Before that I experienced a lot of the perimenopausal symptoms a lot of women face like brain fog, indigestion and fibroids. Today that is all under control and diet dependent. If I eat poorly I know it. When I use the crockpot wisely I know that too.
"The pursuit of health is invariably a spiritual quest."