Here are some frequently asked questions about green smoothies, health, and nutrition. If you have a burning green smoothie question that is not answered here, head to the Incredible Smoothies Facebook Page and get answers.
Use the links below to skip the appropriate section below:
- Green Smoothies & Weight Loss
- Calorie/Sugar/Fructose/Carb Concerns
- Nutrition Goals: Calcium, Iron, Protein
- Detox & Cleansing
- Uh Oh! Something Went Wrong (Troubleshooting No Weight Loss, Gas & Bloating, etc…)
- Smoothie-Making Tips & Tricks
- Blender & Juicer Recommendations
- Keeping & Storing Green Smoothies (and Fresh Produce)
- What To Eat Besides Green Smoothies
- Green Smoothies for Specific Medical Conditions
- Controversies: Addressing Nutritional Alarmism About Green Smoothies
- Miscellaneous Questions
Green Smoothie Weight Loss Questions
How do I make a green smoothie for weight loss?
Do you have meal plans that I can follow? Yes, I do! I have a 10-Day Green Smoothie Cleanse called BLEND.
I also have a 28-day green smoothie and plant-based, whole foods meal plan called Reset 28.
Can’t Lose Weight: Why am I not losing weight despite drinking green smoothies daily?.
Need To Gain Weight: How Do I Gain Weight With Green Smoothies?
Green Smoothies & Calories/Sugar/Fructose/Carbs
Calories: Many people ask me if a 350-calorie green smoothie has too many calories. The answer is no, not if you’re drinking your green smoothie as a meal (which is what I do and recommend). Green smoothie meals should have no fewer than 300 calories. If your daily calorie requirements are 1600 per day, and you eat three times per day, you’ll need 533 calories per meal.
Sugar Concerns: Is The Sugar In Fruit Bad For You? – This indepth article looks at the most up-to-date scientific literature on the subject of dietary sugar, fructose, fruit consumption and how it relates to weight loss, obesity and diabetes.
Low Sugar/Low Fructose Smoothies: If you are diabetic, then check out these green smoothies for diabetics, 30 low-carb green smoothie recipes, and then try these tips for consuming leafy greens without smoothies.
Green Smoothie Nutrition & Health Goals
Need Iron: How to get more iron in your smoothies.
Muscle-Building: Use protein-rich green smoothie boosters like protein powder, spirulina, goji berries, chia seeds, and leafy greens.
Adding protein to your green smoothies will not automatically build muscle, however. You also need to actively pursue strength training, to signal your body to build muscle.
Detox & Cleansing
Should I do a green smoothie-only diet, or a juice fast? I do not recommend doing a long-term green smoothie-only diet long term. A green smoothie cleanse (not to exceed 10 days) is good for busting through a weight loss plateau, or kick starting a change in diet and lifestyle. However, attempting to do a 100% green smoothie diet long term can lead to problems.
A juice fast is a starvation diet that can screw up your metabolism, put you at risk for nutritional deficiencies, and won’t promote long-term weight loss and health benefits.
Are you experiencing detox symptoms? Find out what they mean and what to do about them.
Uh Oh! Something Went Wrong…
Gas & Bloating: What do do about gas and bloating after drinking a green smoothie.
Constipation: Why am I constipated after drinking a green smoothie?
Not Losing Weight: If you started drinking green smoothies but you’re not losing weight, or you are gaining weight, “>then read this.
Why Don’t My Green Smoothies Look Like Yours (I made your recipe exactly)? You might be surprised that your green smoothies aren’t as green, or don’t look anything like the recipe photos I post.
No, I do not photoshop the colors, and I don’t use food coloring (yuck!)
So here’s why your green smoothie might look completely different than mine even if you follow the recipe exactly.
The bright green smoothie on the right was made in a Vitamix. The one on the left was made in a 1000-watt Ninja Professional blender.
High-powered blenders like the Vitamix and Blendtec release more of the chlorophyll in leafy greens, making my green smoothie greener than the exact recipe made in most other blenders that are not as powerful and that don’t blend as thoroughly.
Blending & Smoothie Making Tips
Banana Substitutes: Try using mango, papaya, pear, apple, or peaches. For more tips (and recipes), visit: Banana-Free Smoothie Recipe Tips
Mango Substitutes: Try using bananas, papaya, pear, apple, or peaches.
Best Time Of Day: What is the best time of day to have a smoothie?
Cold Weather: Cold weather green smoothie ideas.
Do I have to put greens in my smoothies? You don’t have to, but we highly recommend that you do! Greens are rich in calcium, iron, magnesium, vitamin A (as beta-carotene), C, K and many B vitamins. They are also rich in chlorophyll and antioxidants. Most people do
not eat enough leafy greens each day so blending them with fruit in a smoothie is the best way we have found to sneak more greens into our diet.
If adding leafy greens to a fruit smoothie just seems too alien of a concept, or even disgusting to you, try it out by adding just one small handful of fresh baby spinach to a fruit smoothie. You won’t taste it! Once you’ve taken this
first step, add another small handful and work up to 2 handfuls of leafy greens per smoothie. Before long, you’ll be blending an entire bunch of kale or dandelion greens!
Find out more about the health benefits of green smoothies.
Is it okay to use frozen fruit in a smoothie? I regularly freeze strawberries and bananas when they are on sale and I frequently buy frozen wild blueberries.
Freezing does destroy some of the nutrients but not enough to really worry about as long as you eat plenty of fresh, ripe, non-frozen and raw foods. Try not to use too much frozen fruit, though. Drinking and eating ice cold (or steaming hot) foods can interfere with digestion or cause damage. It’s best to drink a green smoothie at room temperature, but if you do not like to, then add a few frozen berries to chill it slightly.
My green smoothies come out too foamy! In your next smoothie, be sure to use a good base fruit like banana or mango. Add no more than 4-6 ounces of water (if using two bananas) and steer clear of watery fruit like citrus, watermelon and grapes. If your smoothie turns out frothy, it’s probably your blender. Low-cost blenders tend to whip excess air into a smoothie, making it frothy or foamy.
If your smoothie comes out normal, then you were probably adding too much liquid, or you weren’t using a creamy-textured fruit for a smooth, creamy base.
Blender & Juicer Recommendations
My green smoothie blender of choice is the Vitamix. I have the 780, 5200, and S30 series blenders.
Here are my other blender recommendations (for any budget).
Looking for juicer recommendations?
Buying, Storing & Keeping Greens Fresh
How Long Will Green Smoothies Last In the Fridge? Green smoothies will stay fresh in the refrigerator for up to 24 hours, but you will lose some nutrients as it sits in the fridge. It will also not taste as fresh after the first day and water separation may occur. Some people make up a big batch of smoothie and drink it over 2 to 3 days. Personally, we don’t like the way smoothies taste after the first day. Fresh is best!
If you are looking for ways to save money on your grocery bill, try these tips.
What I Eat When I Am Not Drinking Green Smoothies
I am frequently asked about what other foods I eat, besides green smoothies.
Green Smoothies For Specific Medical Conditions
I am not a medical doctor, so I cannot “prescribe” green smoothies or any other food to treat a medical condition that you have.
However, there is some information on this website that may help you. If you have…
Diabetes: Here are some diabetic-friendly green smoothie recipes submitted by readers who have type 2 diabetes.
All Other Medical Conditions: Browse a growing compilation of green smoothie recipes for specific health concerns.
Green Smoothie Controversies
If you have read something that has you concerned about your green smoothie habit:
Green Smoothie Controversies Addressed: This post goes through all of the major controversies surrounding green smoothies including sugar content, carbs, weight loss/gain, diabetes, teeth, kale & thyroid, oxalic acid/oxalates, nutrients destroyed by blending (and fiber), food combining, and blending vs. chewing.
Blending vs. Juicing: Which is better, green smoothies or green juices?
Rotating Greens: Why (and how) you should rotate your leafy greens.
How many green smoothies should I drink in a day?
I recommend drinking at least one green smoothie every day. I have found that people get the most benefit from replacing one meal each day with a green smoothie (preferably breakfast).
You can replace up to two meals each day with a green smoothie, provided each smoothie is at least 350 calories (for a woman) or 400-500 calories (for a man), even if weight loss is the goal.
I do not recommend replacing all meals with a green smoothie or doing a green smoothie-only diet.
Why do your green smoothie recipes not have milk or yogurt?
None of my green smoothie recipes call for milk or yogurt because dairy is not necessary for making a rich, creamy smoothie. Dairy doesn’t facilitate detoxification, it contains hormones and promotes animal cruelty (as well as providing young calves for the inhumane veal industry). It is easy to make a thick, creamy smoothie using the right types of what I call “base” fruits like banana, mango and durian. Read Smoothie Making 101 to find out how to make a creamy smoothie using fruit as the base.
If you still want to use milk, try these nut milk recommendations or make your own. You can find brands at most supermarkets that are fortified with calcium and vitamin D as well. They are much healthier alternatives to cow’s milk.