Guidelines for a healthy green smoothie + recipe!

Portland is incredible. Flouride-free water, compostable containers, water bottle refill stations and a farmers market that is like walking into the most vivid painting of colors ever. It was as if the city put its citizens, their basic human rights and common sense first. Imagine that!

When being healthy is this easy, it’s a sobering reminder of how much effort goes into being healthy in the “real” world. The green smoothie was supposed to make us feel like healthy was within an (easy) grasp.


Originally drank by the “alternative” crowd for its nutritional potency and ease, the green smoothie concept is now viewed by corporations as dollar signs. Profits aren’t bad when there’s a fair exchange of value. But in the case of the green smoothie, you might not be getting your money’s or nutritional worth.

For starters,  we aren’t what we eat. We are what we absorb.

In most store bought smoothies, sugar masquerades as a green smoothie. Take a look past the cartoonish characters on Odwalla’s (owned by PepsiCo) Original Superfood smoothie. It’s the best of the worst with 37 grams of sugar. That’s over nine packets of sugar. And it has less than one gram of fat, and only two grams of fiber for all that sugar.

This means two things:

  1. You end up hungrier than before your green smoothie because your blood sugar has risen and now crashed.
  2. You aren’t absorbing as much of the vegetable nutrients as you are paying for because you need fat to absorb vegetable nutrients.

Green smoothie love can endure as long as the contents come from a garden or farm, not a factory.  The guidelines below are for making your own or for when you want to build your own at a juice bar.

  1. Create a smoothie with a 3:1 ratio of vegetables to fruit. For every three servings of veggies, one fruit is added. If you are new to the smoothie world, start with milder veggies like spinach, romaine lettuce and cucumber or by adding more fruit to create a 3:2 ratio. In a week or two after your taste buds change, you’ll enjoy the 3:1 ratio equally as much.
  1. Add fat for a great nutritional return on investment! Avocados and full fat coconut milk are my favorite choices.
  1. Store in an air-tight glass container in your fridge to maximize nutrient retention. Bell jars do the trick beautifully.

I love changing my smoothies up so I don’t get bored. Here’s what I’m drinking this summer.


Stick with the guidelines above and you’ll satiate your hunger and absorb the nutritional stick to your ribs (or cells) kind! Feeling relaxed and refreshed, dream with me a day when farm-fresh green smoothies are as easy to find as a diet coke no matter where we live.

Be well,


P.S. I know many of you here are health coaches. Tara Gentile, a business strategist, is coming to Philly and offering a content creation workshop to better be able to help your clients and community. She’s amazing and I say that as one of the toughest judges of coaches out there. Here are the details.