If there is one thing I’ve learned when it comes to nutrition, you can’t just put a patch on your arm, pop a pill, apply a special cream, or gulp down a powdered vitamin or protein drink to achieve great health. There is no pill or supplement that is going to reverse the damaging effects of eating a diet full of processed, nutrition-less foods and (although it sounds boring at first) the healthiest thing you can do for your body is eat a diet rich in whole additive-free foods that haven’t been tampered with by food manufacturers. That’s not to say that you have to eat a perfect diet all the time – because none of us are perfect.
If making sweeping changes to your diet is hard, there is one thing that you can commit to doing every day that will make a huge difference – it’s fast and easy, and something I do every day!
I’m a huge advocate of drinking fresh green drinks, and drinking one daily is one of the habits that I live by. By green drink, I mean a smoothie or a juice made mostly from kale, romaine lettuce, spinach, and other leafy veggies.
If you’ve never had a drink like this before, that might sound disgusting to you… but just hear me out!
Leafy greens are some of the healthiest foods you can eat, and you can make them taste delicious when you use the right combination of ingredients. Some of my go-to-starter recipes taste like banana bread or a peach smoothie – so don’t worry these drinks don’t taste anything like a glass of broccoli!
A simple green drink is the best fast food available and a superb way to add more veggies to your diet. I’ve found, too, that this alleviates food cravings because it provides a burst of nutrition – one that’s not usually present in the typical American diet. When your body doesn’t get what it needs nutritionally speaking, cravings kick in. And if you give in to those cravings, you’re on the road to gaining weight. Once you start to pump your body with greens, you’ll start craving them instead!
Not convinced? Here are three reasons why adding green drinks to your diet can transform your health!
1. Get your six (or more) daily servings of veggies and fruits. I’m sure you’ve heard health experts say that we should eat six to eight servings a day for good health – but that can be hard to do! If you blend or juice your fruits and veggies though, getting all you need is a cinch. Consider this: A 12-ounce glass of fresh vegetable juice can supply an entire day’s serving of fruits and vegetables.
2. Compensate for depleted soil. Modern farming practices and their rampant use of herbicides, chemicals, and monoculture GMO crops are depleting important nutrients from our soil. A stalk of today’s broccoli, for example, doesn’t yield the same amount of vitamins and minerals as broccoli did twenty years ago. Studies published within the past 15 years indicate that much of our produce is low in “phytonutrients,” which are natural disease-fighting chemicals in fruits and vegetables. Consequently, we need to overcompensate by eating a diet that is plentiful in vegetables and fruits – and green drinks are a great way to do it!
3. Detox your body naturally. Some people try to bash the whole idea of drinking green drinks and their ability to help detox organs in the body – and I think that’s pretty ridiculous! Our bodies are inundated with toxic chemicals in our food, water and air every day, and consuming green drinks is the most natural way I’ve found to help the organs in your body naturally work better to detox the system. For example, Chlorophyll-rich green vegetables can help to repair DNA damage and specific fruits and vegetables (like Cilantro) have been shown to bind with toxins and carry them out of the body.
Green Juice vs. Green Smoothie… which is better?
To make green juice you use a juicer that extracts the pulp/fiber from the produce, while you use a blender to make a smoothie (leaving the fiber intact).
I think they are both important in one’s quest for wellness and vitality and I drink both types of green drinks for different reasons. (Here are my top favorites for both juicers and blenders).
I drink juice to deliver as many nutrients to my body as possible at once – and don’t juice many fruits because of the sugar content. Drinking juice gives you a ton of energy. When juice is separated from the fiber of fruits and vegetables, it is easier for your body to absorb all the nutrients, giving you an instant boost of energy. I love the feeling I get when consuming the abundance of enzymes, vitamins and minerals in juice all at once.
I drink green smoothies for the beneficial fiber and to increase the amount of vegetables (especially dark leafy greens) I am eating per day. I also love making smoothies for FAST FOOD. If I don’t have time to cook or prepare food, a green smoothie with additional enhancements like hemp seeds, chia seeds and pumpkin seeds make a great meal replacement. Here’s how I make a protein shake without using processed protein powders.
But you have to remember to chew your green juices and green smoothies!
As long as you chew your green drinks your body will be able to digest and receive the benefits. It’s important to swish around the juice or smoothie in your mouth or move your jaw up and down for a couple of seconds before swallowing it to release your saliva, which contains important digestive enzymes that are crucial in delivering key nutrients to your cells. So, don’t just slam down a smoothie or juice – you need that chewing action for digestive enzymes to do their magic!
Ready to try a green drink? Here are 3 ways to start!
The simplest way is to knock back a shot of wheatgrass juice, but let me warn you, it’s going to be strong in taste, so it’s not for the faint of heart. Wheatgrass, however, is one of the best sources of living chlorophyll available. Having a mere ounce of wheatgrass is the nutritional equivalent of eating two pounds of dark green leafy vegetables!
The second way is to juice your greens. When juice is separated from the fiber of fruits and vegetables, it is easier for your body to absorb all of the nutrients, giving you an instant boost of energy, like a natural version of Red Bull! If you’re trying to drop pounds but you’ve got hard-to-control food cravings, it might be because your body is deficient in some vitamins and minerals. Drinking juice replenishes those elements and zaps your cravings to help you lose weight. Since learning how to juice a few years ago, my body weight stabilized, and I’ve been able to fit easily into everything in my closet. To get started, all you need is a good juicer or blender (my recommendations here) and a batch of organically grown fruits and vegetables. You’ll find that once you start to pump your body with greens, you’ll actually start craving them! ***It is very important to remember to keep the fruit juice to a minimum – my general rule is no fruit at all or one fruit per 12 ounce juice***
The third way is to make a green smoothie. I like to blend chlorophyll-rich foods like spinach, kale, and collards with 1 to 2 servings of fruit, which adds a dash of sweetness, cuts down on any bitterness that might come from greens, and gives me extra fiber to regulate blood sugar. I take a handful of kale and throw it right in my blender along with frozen fruit (usually berries) and some good fat and protein (like chia and hemp seeds). Depending on the kinds of fruits or vegetables you toss in your smoothie, you’ll get a healthy, hefty dose of vitamins, minerals, live enzymes, and phytonutrients. All of these nutrients boost your antioxidant intake and enhance your body’s natural detoxification process.
Need help planning meals? I invite you to join my Eating Guide program…
You’ll get recipes for new healthy meals every month (easy to make green drinks, breakfasts, lunches, dinners), a meal schedule, and a shopping list, along with my Starter Guide full of budget tips, organic living strategies, and a list of the “Terrible 20” ingredients that keep you from losing weight, where to spot them, and what to eat instead. You can download all of these guides to your computer and keep them forever. Hundreds of pages of knowledge at your fingertips INSTANTLY.
This entire program is setup to keep you accountable and on the wagon so you never fall off. Weekly emails, monthly recipe plans, community forum, and new content is delivered every month to keep you inspired and healthy. Even if you don’t have any weight to lose, this program will save you time with meal planning and shopping lists, so that you are always able to eat nutritionally dense meals on the fly that taste better than any restaurant.
You check out all the details here.
See you there and I can’t wait to chat with you in the private forum!
P.S. If you know anyone who needs to up their green smoothie game, please share this post with them!
18 responses to “Green Juices or Green Smoothies – Which One Is Better?”
Completely agree with you Food Babe! I have a green drink every single day because it helps me feel happy, healthy and hot! A typical drink is made in the Vitamix with a huge chunk of fresh ginger, a whole lemon or lime with outer peel removed, and a generous amount of dark leafy greens (dandelion, kale, arugula). I add a lot of water and blend till smooth. Have a huge glass in the morning and sip the rest throughout the day. I talk about this a lot on my happy, healthy and hot blog. Glad you are spreading the word to a much larger audience. Thank you!
I am a type 2 diabetic and I love peanut butter and jelly sandwiches. Besides Ezekiel 4:9 bread, what kind of peanut butter (not almond) and jelly/jam can I use with no sugar or Splenda type sweeteners?
I’ve used Santa Cruz organic, which has no sugar and is GMO free, USDA. I found it at Walmart and their Neighborhood Store. Smuckers also has a USDA organic peanut butter that lists no sugar. I’ve enjoyed both on Good Life 7 sprouted grain organic bread I found in the Organic freezer section at our Smith’s Store which is Krogers. Good Life lists no cane sugar, etc. I’ve also tried Rudi’s organic bread, but it has cane sugar and is definitely and noticeably sweeter than Good Life. Hope this helps.
If you are going to have peanut butter, which I often have, you should be aware that if not compensated for by other foods eaten along with it, then it will most probably create a system inflammatory reaction in the body due to it’s super high omega-6 content without sufficient omega-3’s in the peanuts. We can get away with this stress when we’re young and have lots of reserves, but it catches up to us. From my studies, and preliminary findings it appears that this may be a significant contributing factor in progressive atherosclerosis and very possibly Alzheimer.
The solution is easy! Add about 3 tsp. (~0.30 oz.) chia seeds to your smoothy or chia seed gel (3 tsp. ground chia seeds mixed with 3 Tbsp. water and about 1/8 tsp. of unrefined, mined, sea salt) to your meal. This will bring the omega-6 to omega-3 ratio down to about 1:1.
I’m in my mid 70’s and have noted that I think clearly when I include the chia seeds in meals with peanut butter and tend to get fuzzy headed when I don’t.
0.25 oz. of flax seeds will also work. However, hemp seeds won’t as they have more omega-6 fats than omega-3 fats and hence can’t compensate for the omega imbalance that’s inherent in the peanuts.
I would first switch from Ezekiel bread to Rudi’s Organic Spelt Bread. Spelt is an ancient form of wheat that appears to be safe for most people to eat. Ezekiel bread is made using soybeans, and it doesn’t matter whether it is sprouted and/or organic. It is still and estrogen disruptor. Diabetics have enough problems without eating foods that can mess up their hormonal balance.
Second, I would stop worrying about a very small amount of organic fruit preserves, about 1/2 tsp. at the most. This amount is large enough to sweeten a peanut butter sandwich, but usually doesn’t provide enough glucose or fructose to mess up a diet if one is willing to constrain themself. I suggest that you keep away from all artificial sweeteners. Stevia is not an option either. It is so sweet in its natural form that it is usually supplied adulterated with sugar alcohols, which are not good to included in a healthy diet.
You might also consider using only 1 slice of bread for making your peanut butter sandwiches. I’m a type two diabetic also and using only one slice of bread in my sandwiches is usually sufficient to allow me to eat food like peanut butter sandwiches with or without 1/2 tsp. of fruit preserves and still not require diabetic medication. For me, not taking diabetic medication is a healthy choice. When I required surgery last year of a heart condition, I required insulin shots with my meals for the two weeks that I was hospitalized, but I didn’t require insulin or any other diabetic medication once I left the hospital, with my blood sugar stabilized and low safe levels. This could be the case for a lot of diabetics if they would be willing to eat small portions of appropriate foods, in conjunction with extra meals during the day so that they don’t starve from eating the smaller meals.
If you need some questions answered you can find me through the web. I’m retired so my site could use some revision. I plan to eventually get around to it.
Ezekiel bread is made with the following ingredients: organic sprouted wheat, filtered water, organic malted barley, organic sprouted rye, organic sprouted barley, organic sprouted oats, organic sprouted millet, organic sprouted corn, organic sprouted brown rice, fresh yeast, organic wheat gluten and sea salt.
@ Deb Gibson: If you have a hand blender (I call mine a magic wand!) you can make your own peanut butter (or any nut butter, for that matter) by just dumping in a handful or two of nuts and whizzing them around until they turn to butter (and they will). I make pecan butter all the time because I love pecans. If you’re going to make almond butter, you should probably soak the almonds overnight because otherwise they’re pretty darn hard. I buy raw spanish peanuts to make my own peanut butter and if I’m lazy I buy the stuff our local food co-op makes fresh every day – it’s delicious.
Also, I can give you a recipe for a great “berry” (your choice) jam but plan ahead because it takes overnight to do this, and you can make just a small batch at a time, If I know I’m going to need more than just 1/2 to 3/4 cup for company breakfasts or something, I make up several small bowls at one time. Here’s what you do: take a glass or ceramic ramekin sized bowl and put in several small pieces of dried pineapple, preferably organic and from a health food store. Then take FROZEN strawberries or whatever you want to use and put a handful or a little more over the top of the pineapple, cover with a paper towel hunk or a small plastic bag (jus to keep out flying critters overnight). Then in the morning just dump the bowl into the hand blender bowl of choice (mine came with an attachment rather like a very small food processor so I use that one – same one I use to make nut butters) or put everything into a big blender if it will handle small amounts and whiz until completely incorporated and smooth. Done!
Hope you enjoy,.
It’s true that once you start making green drinks a regular thing, you crave them if you miss a day! Try adding a scoop of collagen peptides or powdered gelatin (Vital Proteins has some great products) to your smoothies for extra protein, gut healing, and super strong skin and nails– it’s made a HUGE difference for me. : )
I subscribed to the program for three months a number of years ago. Will the first three months be a repeat of the same recipes?
No, not the same recipes. A new set of recipes come out every month.
Would you consider extending the offer a few days? I already planned on joining the food program but I get paid monthly…which will be after the 10th. I love the blogs and have been learning my own way of eating right but need the boost in ideas. Food Babe is my go to website….I’d hate to miss such an incredible opportunity.
Amy – send us an email to [email protected] and explain what you need, we may be able to accommodate. Thanks!
yes it cured my leaky gut!!!
The fresh greenies make ya-high (a little), probably do to the pain relieving enzymes & yet to be known hormone enhancers & other phytochemical ingredients? I bought some organic beets to add to my green celery, a little papaya & carrots today, I don’t always like everything looking green!
I prefer smoothies and just wrote an article in this area. I exclusively have smoothies for mornings.
This article claims that http://www.mindbodygreen.com/0-7334/the-right-and-wrong-way-to-juice.html kale should not be juiced raw. “Stay away from juicing raw cabbage, collards, bok choy, kale and broccoli. All cruciferous veggies are goitrogenic, meaning they contain substances that suppress thyroid function when consumed raw. They may also cause gas, bloating and stomach upset in some folks. Don’t get me wrong; the cruciferous have wonderful health benefits when cooked or lightly steamed. Cooking deactivates the goitrogens.”
Hi Andrew – check out this post: