Green Smoothie Red Alert! Are Green Smoothies Actually Bad for You? : Exculsive Renegade Health Article

Monday Oct 6 | BY |
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are green smoothies really bad
My exchange with Rio, promising this article…

A while ago, I received a Facebook message from Rio…

He was concerned.

Here’s what he wrote:

“Greetings Kevin!
Wishing that all is well and beautiful in your days!
Because I value your opinion so highly, based on the personal research that you have done… I would like to ask your for your personal opinion and thoughts on this article. It does’t seem to be the entire truth. I do agree with parts of it, but certainly not all. If and when you have time, can you take a moment to offer your thoughts on this please ?

“much gratitude for all you do!
namaste”

He had just read on someone’s blog that they had stopped eating green smoothies because Dr. Caldwell Esselstyn stays it’s a bad idea. Rio also linked to an article written by the woman who decided to give them up that has actually since been removed, so I can’t share it with you.

Anyway, even though it’s not there anymore, the gist of it was simple.

The blogger read something somewhere on the Internet that was written by Dr. Esselstyn about the negative effects of eating green smoothies and took it bait, line and sinker. Then she posted her decision publicly.

It created quite a stir.

In this post, I’m going to breakdown all aspects of this green smoothie, Internet fever, and the Dr. Essy debate.

First up, let’s not take anything away from Dr. Esselstyn.

This guy, if you don’t know who he is, has revolutionized the way people at the Cleveland Clinic look at heart disease. He’s the type of guy that we love at Renegade Health.

He’s helped hundreds of thousands of people get better when everyone else was telling them that it wasn’t possible.

He also recently (and publicly) helped Bill Clinton lose a ton of weight and look better than he ever did — just by changing his diet.

Classy guy.

So, again, I don’t want to take anything away from Caldwell Esselstyn by any means…

I just want to redirect his thought process a little.

So let’s not waste any time, are smoothies not really healthy?

First, let’s look at Dr. Esselstyn’s argument…

“Avoid smoothies. The fiber is so finely pureed that its helpful properties are destroyed. The sugar is stripped from the fruit, bypasses salivary digestion and results in a surge of glucose and the accompanying fructose contributes to inflammation and hypertension.”

So here it begins, with a statement that applies to all people, in all cases.

Fire alarm number 1. (Yes, pun intended, for those who’ve red his son’s book, The Engine 2 Diet.)

Nothing applies to everyone — with the exception of birth, death and breathing. (The rest can be debated.)

Dr. Esselstyn comes in with a hard line that basically classifies all humans as one very simple machine that functions similarly in all cases — like a Ford Mustang or a Ferris Wheel.

Unfortunately, while I wish it were true, it is not.

We’ve all come into finding better health with certain circumstances that may require different plans than the factory specific guidelines.

So for instance, if your digestion is poor or you have gut inflammation, then you may not absorb your food and nutrients appropriately. In this case, it might be beneficial to have a smoothie — which is finely “pre-masticated.”

Secondly, someone in this case may get even more benefit from drinking a smoothie with fresh aloe that can soothe their gut. So in this case, the smoothie goes from villain to hero quite quickly.

But I’m not going to dwell on the “everyone is different” clause so deeply here. There are other things to address, like “what about the people who get great results by drinking smoothies?”

Clearly all people who drink green smoothies have inflammation and hypertension, don’t they?

I’d like to cite Victoria Boutenko’s work with green smoothies.

In her book Green for Life, she — with a doctor — fed about 40 patients green smoothies every day. This was the only change that was made in their diet. They were allowed to eat whatever else they wanted the rest of the day.

All patients were medically examined before and after.

The results?

Besides weight loss, better sex drive and lower cholesterol, they all had lessened inflammation and lower blood pressure.

Apparently, the fructose in their smoothies wasn’t enough to cause them to have the negative health benefits Dr. Esselstyn mentions.

Now, it’s true that fructose alone (and lots of it) can contribute to fatty liver and metabolic disease — see: high fructose corn syrup and agave nectar — but when you have a smoothie, you do retain the fiber and accompanying nutrients. (More on the fiber issue later…)

Even Dr. Robert Lustig, the fructose avenger himself, says low to possibly moderate fruit sugar is ok.

It’s also true that Victoria’s study isn’t a double blind clinical trial either — so tread at your own risk — but all in all I think it’s worth paying attention to.

If smoothies were so incredibly unhealthy, we’d be seeing the evidence.

We’ve taken thousands of people through the Weekend Cleanse program and inflammation is not a side-effect. In fact, it’s quite the opposite. They almost always lose weight, their blood pressure drops, their blood sugar levels drop and — with all this — their inflammation levels drop as well. The biggest complaint we have from participants is that they’re bowels are more regular and it’s more of an inconvenience than anything else!

On an even more personal note, my blood pressure is perfectly normal, my inflammation markers perfect and my liver enzymes and markers are stellar. I’ve been drinking green smoothies almost every morning for 6-7 years.

I’m also young, but it’s still a little more evidence to show that the doc is a little off base.

So now we’re left with a few more questions…

Does fiber actually get destroyed?

Doesn’t fruit sugar bypass salivary digestion anyway?

Can smoothies elevate blood sugar?

I’m going to start with the fiber issue.

I think a lot of people give blenders more credit than they should.

Yes, high speed blenders like the Vitamix and the BlendTec make really smooth smoothies, but they don’t chemically alter the molecular structure of fiber — or at least enough of it to make it suddenly ineffective or destroy it’s helpful properties.

At a very non-molecular level this is untrue. Just ask anyone who drinks green smoothies regularly if they have a lack of fiber issue — or if they are having a problem with their regular BMs. I’m sure they’ll gladly engage and tell you that they are quite regular and haven’t had any negative side effects from unhelpful fiber.

Now, Dr. Esselstyn is correct about the blender separating nutrients from the fiber and making them more readily absorbable.

But this isn’t always a negative thing — as referenced before for someone who needs more nutrition — which actually may be all of us. (Our food has less mineral content than ever before, so couldn’t it benefit to mechanically separate the minerals from the fiber?)

Moving on to the second question, fruit sugar has different rules than complex carbohydrates, so I think Dr. Esselstyn is actually incorrect in his statement about the sugar bypassing the salivary digestion process.

The saliva does little — if nothing — in the fruit sugar digestive process (or at least this is my understanding.)

So I’m wondering how Dr. Esselstyn is coming to this conclusion.

Enzymes in the saliva work to break down complex carbs, not sugars that are already in their simplest form.

If anyone knows otherwise, please correct me here, but I’m pretty sure that fruit sugar and saliva have no interest in each other.

So, if I’m not completely incorrect, this part of his argument is somewhat false.

Now, the third question…

Will drinking a smoothie elevate blood sugar?

Yes!

In this case, Dr. Esselstyn is 100% correct.

Drinking smoothies will elevate blood sugar — and for some people this is not a good thing — particularly diabetics and pre-diabetics who aren’t able to keep their serum glucose levels in check.

But for those who are healthy — and don’t eat a lot of fat in their smoothies — their blood sugar will drop quite quickly after eating their smoothies. (Fat will slow the effectiveness of insulin in the blood stream and cause blood sugar levels to stay higher for a longer period of time.)

So, again, not a black or white issue, just somewhere in between.

I think it’s safe to say, Dr. Esselstyn — on this issue — is…

… a purist who’s oversimplifying the complexity of modern human nutrition.

I say “modern” human nutrition, because we’ve never before had as many health changing factors as we have around us now — excess stress, chlorinated water, medications, EMFs, toxic chemicals, etc.

There’s nothing wrong with being a purist and only wanting to eat whole foods, but in many cases, there are certain hacks that can bring you better results even if they’re not as natural as you’d like them to be. See: B12 shots, Vitamin D3 drops and countless others.

Maybe smoothies and juices are just another shortcut to getting the results we really want. (Yes, he recommends not drinking juices either.)

So what’s the final verdict?

As you know, my mission is to help you find what works best for you… not for me, Dr. Esselstyn or anyone else.

So the best way to prove if someone is right or wrong is to show them your own medical history through your blood tests — and I’m sure the doc would agree with me.

If you’re drinking smoothies and your blood tests look great, keep doing it. If they’re not looking so hot, you may want to consider switching it up — whether it’s the smoothies or something else.

This is almost always the best way to cut through any confusion and actually find the long lasting health you’re searching for.

Otherwise, you’ll end up reading (or writing) a blog post, panicking, making a rash decision and then taking away a factor that was actually contributing to your health in a positive way.

Wouldn’t that be a shame…

Beware of the green smoothie, my friends.

Known health risks: Mineral saturation, phytonutrient overwhelm and taste bud explosion.

Stay tuned, the rest of the week I’ll address how blending destroys 90% of all nutrients, how salad can kill you, and the negative health effects of taking a walk in the park on a beautiful day.

(Just kidding.)

Your question of the day: Smoothies… good, bad, indifferent?

Live Awesome!
Kev

Kevin Gianni

Kevin Gianni is a health author, activist and blogger. He started seriously researching personal and preventative natural health therapies in 2002 when he was struck with the reality that cancer ran deep in his family and if he didn’t change the way he was living — he might go down that same path. Since then, he’s written and edited 6 books on the subject of natural health, diet and fitness. During this time, he’s constantly been humbled by what experts claim they know and what actually is true. This has led him to experiment with many diets and protocols — including vegan, raw food, fasting, medical treatments and more — to find out what is myth and what really works in the real world.

Kevin has also traveled around the world searching for the best protocols, foods, medicines and clinics around and bringing them to the readers of his blog RenegadeHealth.com — which is one of the most widely read natural health blogs in the world with hundreds of thousands of visitors a month from over 150 countries around the world.

162 COMMENTS ON THIS POST

Comments are closed for this post.

  1. Eileen says:

    very funny Kevin. Loved the last paragraph 🙂

  2. Debbie says:

    For most people, (I think) we wouldn’t come close to consuming near enough greens in our diet if we weren’t either juicing or blending them, I know I certainly would not get enough otherwise.

  3. Sarah says:

    Nice post, Kevin! A thought: If you want to slow down the metabolism of the sugar in the smoothie, why not add a tablespoon of coconut oil to it? If you have posted a recipe for green smoothies before could you include a link here? Thanks!

  4. Page says:

    The only fruit I put in my green smoothies is organic lemon with the peel. This does not spike my blood sugar. And there is most certainly still have more than enough fiber in them to keep my gut quite regular.

    I am going to keep consuming them.

  5. Sarah says:

    I think it’s beginning to split hairs, the suggestion of green smoothies possibly being not-so-good. With the majority of the population eating the SAD diet, eating meat and processed and chemicalized foods, the least of anyone’s problems (I *guess* except those with serious conditions) would be whether a green smoothie is good for you or not!

    Great breakdown of this in this post!

  6. Kathy says:

    Absolutely yes! I drink a smoothie every day in the morning, and lately I have switched them from fruit to more celery, cucumber, aloe, spinach and chard. Not quite as tasty, but sooo good for me!

    Blend on!!

  7. marijke says:

    Cathy, all yr smoothie needs to be oh so tasty, is a ….. Banana, or a piece of pineapple, or a date, or an apple and its till excrutiatingly healthy and the same old healthy, except more so, because you added more health.

  8. artcafe says:

    Kevin, this is just great and I was sitting down to drink my smoothie so it was perfect timing…I was slurping right along as I read b/c common sense was telling me that taking healthful ingredients and making them more bioavailable had to be a win-win.

    I would, however, like to throw in what I’ve been drinking for open debate and since I am drinking this almost daily, on an empty stomach, I’d really appreciate your weighing in to Kevin. It’s all organic
    1/2 apple, 1/2 banana, @ 2 cups greens (which I rotate, not in the Ferris wheel sense, lol),
    1 carrot, mixed frozen berries, @ 1 cup yogurt, @1/2 cup OJ, probiotic powder, ground flax seed (and if it’s post work out I’ll add Solgar Whey protein)

  9. Pam Jones says:

    I add avocado to mine for healthy fat. Nothing keeps me full longer than a green smoothie in the morning.

  10. jAVA bADGER says:

    I’m about to play semantics with you as it relates to “eating” a smoothie. My contention is you “drink” a smoothie. And,If you did eat it, you would automatically bring in the mastication process, thus, using the saliva glands. I realized, early on, that it would not be a great idea to just dump a glassful, or pitcher of smoothie into my belly without “pretentiously” chewing it before swallowing. And,as you mentioned, everyone is different, so perhaps each of you is right on one level and different on another. That’s my input. Let thy food be thy medicine; let thy medicine be thy food. (Hippocrates) That is my motto. Thank you for the opportunity to respond.

  11. Jocelyn K. says:

    From my personal experience, smoothies are excellent! Been consuming about 1 smoothie a day for the past 6 years and my health has been great overall. Recently, I’ve started to juice more often as well. Love smoothies and juicing! I agree with Debbie (comment #3) about how many people probably would not get enough greens in their diet if it weren’t blended or juiced. That would be me! 🙂

  12. Avi says:

    Smoothies – Great!!

    I dont have hbp but am a bit hypoglycemic so i throw in more of the bitter greens and try not to put a ton of blueberries or any at all in there. maybe some kiwi or papaya, pear. once i threw beets in the blender chopped small w/a ginger chunk. and cacao beans, blackberry, def. cilantro, parsley and chard to balance out, some maca root or acai powder in there. i basically experiment but, the results are awesome!

    I also dont smoothie everyday because of a little laziness ;p

  13. Victoria says:

    My cousin recently made herself a green smoothie. She included brocolli, celery, and spinach and enough water to blend it. Now she won’t even try one of the recipies from Victoria B’s book or any other.

    Suggestions to help her try again, with better flavor results?

  14. Victoria says:

    broccoli

  15. But Kevin, what about Oxidization of smoothies? This wasn’t addressed.

    Blenders have *high* RPMs ranging up to 37,000 which can be a LOT of oxidization to veggie nutrients. John Kohler from discount juicers makes note of this.
    That’s why for me, juicing is the better option in healing my body from disease. I like the Gerson Therapy’s approach. I use an Omega 8006 to juice with a low RPM of only 80!
    Less Oxidation = More Nutrient Yield! 😀

  16. Kristin says:

    I love smoothies, I want a better blender as mine doesn’t handle greens so well, I juice those. I have had someone express concern about the “fiber” being lost in juicing too and am sure I’m getting while not all the fiber, I’m certainly getting more than I was prior to regular veggie juice/smoothie consumption!!

    I just got my test results back, first in close to two years and I am doing MUCH better on all counts. In addition to my consuming smoothies and juice from the juicer (kale/cucumber/carrots/apples/ginger/garlic/other stuff mostly) I’m taking good probiotics and consuming meat…grass fed and organic. I’m following a closely primal diet though do sometimes eat some stuff not on the “list” but it is easier for me to follow it since I’ve had myself tested and found I’m allergic to almost all grains/legumes/nuts.

    I love this blog and recommend it to anyone looking to optimize their wellness!!

    Oh, and I’m also a heavy coffee drinker…I’ve heard that it can block the absorption of minerals so I have committed recently to drinking my veggie juice PRIOR to my coffee…giving my body a chance to absorb the good stuff before succumbing to the caffeine rush…

    I also love growing the greens in my diet as much as possible…

  17. First off, the Esselstyn quote does not mention green smoothies at all. He just says smoothies and references sugar being separated from the fiber.

    I would agree with him that smoothies made with just fruit should be avoided by many if not most people, especially the commercially made ones that also contain fruit juice.

    These can create havoc on blood sugar. Even eating fruit with the fiber can mess up blood sugar for many. Especially if you take the importance of thorough chewing to heart and chew your fruit to liquid.

    When you add greens, especially when the smoothies are half or more greens, many of the minerals necessary for proper sugar processing are added, the fiber in greens is more, well, “fibrous” cellulose which slows the absorption of sugars, and blood sugar rises more slowly.

    Over he past few months I have been extensively monitoring blood sugars of participants in my blood sugar balancing program and found, as you say, Kevin, there is no black or white. We’ve been running at home glucose tolerance tests and have found a wide range of responses. For the first month of the program, I only recommend foods that keep sugars below 110 and some people need to eliminate smoothies completely, others are fine with smoothies if they avoid sweet fruits like banana, and still others are fine with lots of green and small amounts of fruit.

    To stop green smoothies because of a comment like this that does not specifically refer to green smoothies is irresponsible. You may deny yourself the incredible benefits of green smoothies, as so beautifully documented by Victoria Boutenko, based on one opinion.

    Everyone needs to determine for themselves.

    The best investment you can make is an inexpensive glucose meter available on Amazona and at all the national pharmacy chains. For a very small investment (sometimes as little as $10), you can test your own sugars and really know for sure what’s best for you.

    In my blood sugar support program, I teach exactly how and when to monitor, provide tracking charts and recipes for low and no fruit green smoothies for balanced blood sugar and lots of nutrition I have some free videos and more info at byebyeb4.com

    Thanks for always being on top of things, Kevin

    Dr. Ritamarie Loscalzo, drritamarie.com

  18. You didn’t mention goitrogens, oxalates, and other anti-nutrients in raw greens.

    I think greens are great, as long as they are cooked.

    A better smoothie would be one with coconut milk, kefir or yogurt, fruit, and raw egg yolks.

    http://www.westonaprice.org/food-features/plants-bite-back

  19. Stephanie says:

    You are leaving out a major part of the article. First, she cited an article by Dr. Esselstyn, but she actually talked to him IN PERSON, with a green smoothie in hand, about this topic. The also goes on to say that she personally did feel a drop in her own blood sugar when she consumed green smoothies, and given both of these pieces of information she decided PERSONALLY to stop drinking smoothies. She also said that people who may not be consuming greens on their own, or who were just starting to, it might be more beneficial to consume green smoothies than no greens at all.

    Not once did the post attack green smoothies or the people who consume them. Although there were opposition posts (myself included, to a point), it wasn’t taken off the blog until people got accusatory and just plain nasty with their disagreeing with the post. Saying, even in this article, that everyone’s bodies are different, getting nasty about a difference in opinion was uncalled for, especially since there is part truth in both sides of the argument.

  20. Debra says:

    I love my smoothies…3 to 4 times a week.

  21. Michael says:

    Kevin,

    I have done some testing an blood glucose changes with smoothies. I have found that banana-based smoothies do cause a small spike in my own blood sugar. But when I add ground flax seed to the smoothie it causes a flat blood sugar response without inhibiting the absorption of added vitamin C (testing done on myself). In other tests I have found that fiber does not inhibit the absorption of carotenoids. This is in agreement with the scientific literature. Fiber does not inhibit the absorption of nutrients when the nutrients have already been separated from the fiber.

    Michael

  22. chris says:

    I drink gr smoothies every day a big blender full, no problems at all ! ( since 2 y)
    I think juices elevate bloodsugar, because there is no fiber

  23. Jonathan says:

    I have been drinking green smoothies for 5 years…lost 30 pounds gradually & effortlessly.
    Used to have diverticulosis with occasional attacks- no more! I drink approx. 3/4 gallon per day, which usually consists of 6 bananas 2 pears or apples, fresh or frozen berries. Never felt healthier!

  24. vgr says:

    Absolutely, yes, they are good. Adding a piece of sweet fruit to dark leafy greens in the blended offsets the bitterness. I have juiced for a few years, and have tried everything…onion is the only thing I could not drink, it smelled like an Italian dinner, but tasted awful. Mustard greens= spicy in mouth/ throat but not so much in your gut. Ginger=has a bite to it, but great energy. Collared greens, kale,spinach,red cabbage,beets…some of my favorites.You just have to find your preferences…you can even add parsley, cilantro,Basil or other green herbs to jack up the flavor. Pretty soon, you will be craving them. It’s amazing how some people talk themselves out of great health!!

  25. Jacque says:

    What if you don’t use a lot of fruit? Usually if I want fruit in the AM, I’ll have an orange or banana. But I don’t have them every day.
    What I do have every day though is a green smoothie with mostly non-fruit. Today I had one with an avocado,sprouts, head of romaine lettuce (yesterday dandelions), 2 tbsp almond yogurt, 1 tbsp flax oil (high lignan), 2 tbsp green drink powder, 2 oz apple juice (to lightly sweeten), 1 1/2 c H2O, 2 walnuts.
    I feel best when I have this before solid foods to start my day.

  26. Michael says:

    Thank you! Well written!
    Kevin Thanks for all you do! You bring such value to my day.

    From a satisfied reader and customer

  27. Jonathan says:

    I have been consuming a green soup every morning for several days now, and I think it gives me more energy. The only fruit I use is half a lemon (peel and all). I usually put in a couple handfuls of greens, a large cucumber, a clove of garlic, some cultured vegetables, a dash of cayenne pepper, about 1/2 tsp stevia, 1-2 tsp raw apple cider vinegar, and about 1 tbs of kelp powder or dule (plus a little water). For healthy fats, I usually add about 1-2 tbs cold-pressed pumpkin seed oil, and 1 tbs hemp seed oil. It is really tasty!

  28. Gary Collier says:

    Fruits should be eaten alone and on an empty stomach. You can’t mix fruits with veggies. The digestive enzymes conflict with each other. A fruit salad (or mixed fruit smoothie) is an invitation to indigestion and bloating. There are a few (very few) exceptions to the rule, but in the main, smoothies should contain no fruit.

    Kev, you are right about fructose – there is no enzyme in the mouth similar to amylase to break it down. For this reason, it gets absorbed by the system much more slowly.

  29. Mary says:

    I prefer to juice my veggies which include kale, celery, cucumber,green apple, parsley and ginger and sometimes red cabbage.I then add powdered chlorela and maybe a little super green pwdr. I agree that it may be best to drink this before your am coffee. My one year old granddaughter also loves the green juice out of her sippy cup. I must admit that green juice does improve the frequency of your BM’s. I cannot say that I have ever experienced any negative effects. After drinking green juice I feel more energized whereas eating any type of simple carb will give me a weakened feeling. I would love to find out if this is truly a healthy way to eat and if juicing will maintain any minerals,fiber and enzymes which is why we eat in the first place. My appetite isn’t big enough to eat large portions of veggies or any other food any time of the day hence juicing works for me. I do own a Vitamix but don’t enjoy the chunky texture (or should I?).

  30. Vlad says:

    Boy do we ever like to make things complicated. And when we start using technology to process food, yes we are making some changes too.

    Saliva does make a difference – the 1st digestive mixing bowl – saliva does makes a difference when it comes to ASSIMILATION of food. That is why there is a quote, “Drink your food, chew your juice” to explain you have to mix saliva with your food, juices and smoothies in order to digest it and assimilate it properly.

    So yes smoothies are safe and effective – green, purple, yellow or red. Does not matter what smoothie it is. Just important to remember to chew your food.

  31. Dixie C. says:

    Good article! I panicked for a minute…then remembered whose blog I was reading!! I drink a green smoothie every morning (for 2 years now)…I would be hard-pressed to give it up! I am not a coffee drinker, and this is what gets me going…so probably a sugar high.I put about a teaspoon of coconut oil in mine to help mineral absorption (this is in a two serving recipe),lots of frozen fruit, lots of greens, protein powder, flax seed (or chia). I have not lost weight doing green smoothies…but I feel so much better! My cranky arthritic feet (due to a stupid moment involving gravity)are SO MUCH BETTER! Hallelujah! My only concern with my regiment is I probably need to vary my greens and fruits more (I tend to stay with what I know I like and can get easily).

  32. Teresa says:

    After all the research and work Victoria Butenko did on Green Smoothies, showing how it improved her family’s teeth and made them so much healthier, I vote with her. They’re great! Also, I’ve taken green smoothies and filtered out the juice and pressed the fiber, and there’s still a whole lot of fiber left after pressing. So it seems to me, no matter how finely it’s ground, it’s still fiber, and the grinding just makes it more easily digestible.

  33. One for All says:

    I do a berry smoothie – they have TONS of anti-oxidants….fresh blueberries, raspberries, blackberries, one banana, pineapple chunks – they have lots of digestive enzymes, TURMERIC Powder anti-cancer anti-parasitic, Cinnamon anti-bacterial anti-parasitic, 3 tablespoons of hemp seeds for protein and omega 3s. no veggies.. is that too much sugar? I think if you have seeds and fruits / berries 1st thing in the morning you are fueling your body, as long as you work it off with a good workout or move around to burn that fuel and sugar…I have read that berries are low in sugar although bananas are high and so is pineapple but if you burn that sugar you should be ok? I tend to have low blood pressure. I also put in Carraluma powder – helps to lower blood sugar AND is the best product out there to stave of hunger.

    I have heard that there is some STRANGE plastic coated on all organic lettuce / greens so I have stayed away from the greens for a bit. check out on youtube – they show videos of people pulling a sheath of plastic off of greens / lettuce. Just sharing, not trying to scare anyone.

    http://www.organicconsumers.org/articles/article_24842.cfm

    PEACE.

  34. HawaiiAna says:

    Hey Kevin, great topic!
    I used to drink them every day, but now do it only once a week or so. That’s too bad, cuz I love the convenience and benefits of smoothies, so much faster than salads and you get so much more at a time. But I must admit, something is not working for me, I mean for my digestion. Plainly stated, my stomach hurts after I drink a glass, which never happens when I eat salads. Could be lack of digestive fluids, I don’t know. I wonder if anyone experiences anything like it too?
    And also, after drinking smoothies does anyone have, ahem, green bm? Is it normal? Thanks.

  35. HawaiiAna says:

    @Garry Collier
    You know this could be my problem, thanks Gary for reminding me. Fruit SHOULD be eaten alone.
    I’m sure the taste would suffer terribly, though. Maybe I’ll try blended soups.

  36. Deb says:

    I have been drinking green juices for over 20 years. Currently, I drink them 3 times a day. I use Gary Null’s green and red powders mixed together. Thus, it is no effort. Put a scoop into filtered water and stir. Done. No cleanup.

    Gary’s red powders have the fructose removed. Given that the different powders range from 5 to 40 calories per scoop, they can’t spike my blood sugar.

    I don’t worry about getting fiber in my drinks. My diet is mostly fruits and vegetables, whole grains, nuts, and seeds. Plenty of fiber there.

    In between green drinks I refresh with a red drink where I flavor my filtered water with a dash of Gary Null’s berry blast powder. Tastes great; less filling. 😉

  37. Gail says:

    Awesome job on this, Kevin. I too had read somewhere where ‘they suddenly determined green smoothies were bad’, and I thought – BS!
    But, the ol’ saying of “whatever you’re looking for..you’ll find’ is so true.
    Victoria does say to ‘chew’ your smoothies so it mixes with the saliva in the mouth.
    I disagree with Gary, #15, on the fruit/veggie combining. Not necessarily true for all fruits, nor all veggies.
    I know Jay Kordich, lifetime/longtime juicer, only combines a very few fruits with veggies: apples, citrus, and I believe pineapple.

    I haven’t made smoothies as much as I used to, and actually do more juicing than anything else these days. I’m not really sure why.
    Victoria, #9 – good grief! No wonder your friend didn’t want to try again! Why in the world did she try that to begin with? Tell her to read Victoria Boutenko’s book for EDUCATION first, and then she will retry.

    Kevin, I think when people are making comparisons between raw, and cooked and tried to cross over the lines, it won’t work. He has done remarkably with paring down a cooked food diet to heal the body; weight loss; improve/reverse heart disease, but cannot even begin to assume what applies in a cooked sense is the same in the raw sense. If that were true..say about the sugar spikes – that diabetics could NOT eat the fruit, then look at all the diabetics who went on FRUIT ONLY and were cured of their diabetes very quickly??!
    I did a month’s program of Raw Food Bootcamp http://www.rawfoodbootcamp.com Her regimen is very strict. Many of the participants were diabetic, morbidly obese and really afraid of the vast amounts of fruit to consume. She prefers no smoothies for awhile, or very infrequently. She wants you to get used to eating fruit in its real, whole form! But these participants had normal blood sugar levels in the first week!

    Wow. I’d love to taste some of everyone elses’ smoothies/soups – they sound very interesting for sure!

    Great blogpost, Kevin!

  38. Renee says:

    To One for All
    I doubt you have to worry about that..not to say that biofilms are not used – I would not assume that 100%. Just that reports here are these films are natural response to cold temps.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_1dQYayCwHs&feature=related
    A woman grows into a homegrown organic garden of lettuce and finds the same thing.
    Here is another link more or less showing the same thing and telling that it is natural:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OWcWm6PU9_U&feature=related
    You decide whether it is natural or not.

  39. Michael says:

    I have drinking green smoothies everyday for over 2 years. I juice the veggies first in a slow juicer (Omega). Then I add this to a blender with coconut oil and fruit. Never have had a problem with the veggie-fruit combo at all. Blenders don’t work well when trying to process vegetables. Juice them first. The blender leaves too much indigestible fiber.

    Have used high speed juicer (Breville) but find the slow speed juicers like the Omega does not oxidize the veggies as much.

  40. Kat says:

    Great post Kevin! I’ve been drinking a green smoothie or green juice daily for well over 7 years and my health just keeps getting better and better! It’s one of the best things I do for myself and my family. Before she died Ann Wigmore wrote a book called Blending. In it she explained that she had changed her stance and discovered blending was superior to juicing. I think they both have their place and am pleased to be able to enjoy them on a daily basis.

    In regards to the plastic coating, I’ve only noticed it on non-organic romaine and lettuce. So far it hasn’t been an issue on the organic varieties I’ve purchased. But I make sure to check them out!

    The first time I noticed the coating was 4-5 years ago during a 92 day juice feast. It was very gross to find coagulated globs of gunk floating around in my beautiful green juice!

  41. Dyana says:

    I’m soooo confuuused…:( and I LOVE SMOOTHIES with lots of fruit and protein powder and greens, but the truth is they do spike my sugar. I thought the tearfulness and fatigue was from detox, but I’m burning out my adrenals, again(really struggling with healing the endocrine system) and so the smoothies are being put to the side or at least modified with less fruit and only in the afternoons when my body can handle sugar more easily. BUT I REFUSE!…I SAY…to let go of fruit completely. My life turned around when I began to incorporate more fruit into my diet. More frequent and healthy BMs is the first thing I notices..brain fog gone, better stamina and I had strength at the gym…calm demenor and could handle more stress. Back to the drawing board.
    Thanks for the article.Very informative.

  42. Susan says:

    Excellent job of bringing some sanity and common sense to this.

  43. SS says:

    Thanks Kevin. I love green smoothies and crave them everyday. My body wants the nutrients. It’s better to make your own though, and not buy the stuff in the freezers or at some restaurants because you don’t know what’s in them. More veggies than fruit is better.

  44. faith says:

    When I first started smoothies and raw food I over did the fruit creating issues with candida and energy highs and lows. After many years of experimentation, my “green” smoothies really are green…with none or very little fruit. For me, green smoothies are the biggest health game changer. I am a busy mother. I rarely eat enough in a day, let alone enough good, raw food. I certainly can’t eat two to three handfuls each of Spinach, Kale, Collards, Chard, Wild Greens, Cucumber, Celery, Avocado, etc,etc. I can drink a quart of these things blended up while running errands and kids to and fro or while at work. My blood levels are AWESOME for once.. No longer anemic or low in magnesium. Victoria also addressed this issue in her Raw Family Newsletter:

    “Are Green Smoothies Good or Bad?         
    Dear Friends,
    Recently several people have sent me the link to a blog post at http://www.happyherbivore.com, asking me to comment. I was very surprised to read the post, as I am so used to seeing and hearing nothing but positive results from green smoothie drinkers. I took several days to research where this information came from.

    The blog post criticizing green smoothies referred to the words of Dr. T. Colin Campbell. I was not able to find similar statements anywhere in Dr. Campbell’s books or articles. On the contrary, I found a soymilk/fruit smoothie recommended by Dr. Campbell in a sample diet on his homepage. You may find it in the last paragraph in the grey box here: http://www.tcolincampbell.org/courses-resources/article/a-guide-to-healthy-weight-loss Also on another page of Dr. Campbell’s website, there is a wonderful article by Brendan Brazier, recommending smoothies as easy and convenient and packed with nutrition, especially when “green foods” are added. http://www.tcolincampbell.org/courses-resources/article/continual-cleansing-for-optimal-health-and-vitality/

    The blog post criticizing green smoothies also referred to the comments of Dr. Esselstyn. I read the entire article by Dr. Esselstyn, from which it is clear that Dr. Esselstyn did not refer to green smoothies. He was asked about smoothies right after he talked about fruit juice. He definitely referred to fruit smoothies and didn’t say a word about green smoothies. In one statement Dr. Esselstyn said, referring to fruit smoothies, “the fiber is so finely pureed that its helpful properties are destroyed.”

    There are several scientific articles studying finely vs. coarsely ground fiber. One such article compared bran particles of 2 mm to less than .7 mm. This study found that both fine and coarse fiber have only 2% difference in performance. Moreover, the researchers stated “Fine bran causes less disturbance of gastric physiology than coarse bran” 1 and discussed how finely ground fiber increases nutrient absorption, and reduces bloating, heartburn, and constipation.

    In other articles I found similar statements: “particle size of the fiber source did not affect performance.” 2 As you can see, both doctors didn’t state that green smoothies were bad and their words were used out of context. I invite you to try drinking green smoothies for a week and see for yourself if you feel better. To observe is our birthright. If we utilize our ability to observe, we can free ourselves from the labyrinth of confusions. I believe that our own conscious observations are a thousand times more important than any rigid scientific claim.

    When people remove green smoothie from their diet, I wonder what they replace it with? Are they going to eat more salads, which will inevitably include oil and salt? Are they going to increase the consumption of cooked food? More grains and soy? It is not easy to replace green smoothie with anything equally beneficial.

    I know some people, including my daughter, who can eat a large bag of romaine or arugula without anything on it. But even Valya cannot consume a bunch of dandelions, or lambsquarters. or stinging nettles on their own. One of the top benefits of green smoothies is that I can see with my own eyes what I put in my blender. Green smoothies are a food I can trust.

    During the last several years, I have conducted fifteen week-long green smoothie retreats. I had the opportunity to observe almost a thousand people living on green smoothies for seven days. The positive effects of green smoothies exceeded all of our expectations. Driven by the desire to share this valuable observation with as many people as possible, Valya began to videotape the participants who wanted to share a testimony. You may watch many of them at no charge here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jY1EMozPzRM&feature=fvsr
    Sincerely,
    Raw Family”

  45. Velda says:

    Great information, Kevin. Thank you, I do smoothies and juices both. Mostly juices, but with both of them I put fruit, because they just don’t taste good without fruit. But it seems if you are juicing or mixing the fruit, that the digestion concerns would not be the same.

    By the way, what do you think of the Naked Green Smoothies? Thanks again, for the great information, Kevin!! I really appreciate the information and knowledge you bring to us.

  46. Jeff says:

    I love green smoothies and I look forward to them every day. It’s a good thing there are so many options in the world to choose from for the folks that green smoothies don’t work for!

  47. Terri says:

    I don’t do well with fruit, so my smoothies very rarely include them. For a little sweet, I add red bell pepper – they’re mostly assorted greens, cucumber, garlic, ginger, radish, maybe some sprouts, a bit of chlorella sometimes & turmeric, depending on what I have or what sounds good to me at the moment. I’m maybe 70% raw but adding green smoothies has made a huge difference in how good I feel. So, my body, my #1 nutritional expert, says smoothies = good. 🙂

  48. Susan says:

    Thank you Gary for reminding/informing us about food combining. Fruits and veggies do not mix. One exception is lemon. As several folks have mentioned–half a lemon–peel and all is a great addition to a green vegetable smoothie. And the lemon amazingly kicks up the flavor of the smoothie. I do celery, one quarter sour apple, lemon (peel and all), zucchini, romaine lettuce or kale, parsley and fresh ginger root. Add to that Donna’s green Vitality powder and Potent Proteins along with a heaping tablespoon of Klamath Lake AFA algae. I’ve been doing green vegetable smoothies for about 4 months now. I have lost weight and lowered my BP. Will get some blood results tomorrow. I expect nothing but improvement–particularly after a year of toxic cancer treatment–which I highly DO NOT recommend. I didn’t find you Kevin, and your blog site, in time to prevent myself from falling into the standard cancer treatment. Never again!

  49. Dee says:

    Thanks for settling the dispute, Kevin. People have been drinking green smoothies for years with very little side effects. As you mentioned, if you are a diabetic or have other related problems then you should seek the advice of a nutritionist otherwise continue enjoying your smoothies!!!

  50. Carolyn says:

    Ever tried keeping left over mashed banana or other baby puree after the spoon has been in it? The enzymes are catalysts and so you need only a smidgin, like a licked spoon smidgin then the reaction rolls on once initiated until all substrate ( the food) is used up or it meets a complementary stopping process – this one doesn’t even need body temp. to function.

    The original did not say RAW GREEN smoothies just smoothies – probably he was thinking ‘common idea of a smoothie’ like those from juice bars which are commonly all fruit and some dairy, even icecream or sorbet with sugar, and possibly not even the loosest definition of ‘fresh’ let alone raw. How many mom’s think they are being healthy by getting a mac smoothie i wonder? When starting my raw food diet I read in a few places the commonest mistake new raw foodies make is to eat to much fruit, not enough greens, and funny enough get too much fibre.

  51. Carolyn says:

    oh and it was true – i had too much fruit not enough greens and too much fibre -> bowel upset. Even if they are green my gut is happier without a lot of smoothies. I guess unless you are trying to heal something a gut is happier when things are old school – just teeth and enzymes.

  52. My husband has a feeding tube due to throat cancer that was close to choking him to death; no exaggeration at all – I saw the MRI. Gave me the shivers. Anyway, he uses green smoothies all the time in his tube feedings (he actually likes it; his are very green and he puts in things that wouldn’t taste too good but are very good for you, so the tube has worked out well for him and he also eats some by mouth) and couldn’t do without them,as they add the micronutrients he might be missing in what he is able to eat by mouth. When he can’t get the green smoothies in, he really notices the difference, and it is not a positive difference; he drags and feels fatigued after a while. When he gets them in adequately he does very well, both in energy levels and physically, as in strength/appearance, etc. He needs about 4 pints of green smoothies per day for optimum health results, plus he does a separate fruit smoothie with blackberries, blueberries, raspberries, etc. for the good stuff in the fruit. He is not diabetic, so doesn’t have to worry overmuch about BS spikes. The fruit smoothies generally have raw goat, cow, or sheep yogurt, depending on availability, plus the fruit and whatever else he chooses to toss in when he makes them. He always uses a fat, both in fruit and green smoothies, generally coconut oil and/or olive oil/flaxseed oil. He also uses sprouts we grow in both types of smoothies. Sometimes in the green smoothies he also uses raw meats (from farmers we trust – animals that are pastured – he noticed a real improvement in energy and general feelings of good health when he added meat). He had been vegan after the cancer, but it wasn’t working for him and he wasn’t getting what he needed. The meat and/or raw eggs have proved to be the missing element for him. Not everyone can do well on pure vegan; he is one that couldn’t. The difference after he added meat was night and day compared to before he added it.

  53. Dan C says:

    Kevin, great info and I agree with what you wrote. I am a veterinarian but along the way I have extensive training as a fiber chemistry and nutritional biochemistry. Also I began drinking green smoothies this summer after being diagnosed with stage 4 colon cancer. As of this posting all my tests are coming back normal. My anemia has cleared, my diarrhea has cleared oh yes and my cancer marker(CEA) has dropped from 80 to 1.7. I will stay with my green smoothies thank you very much.

    Namaste

    Dr Daniel A Cirnigliaro DVM CVA

  54. kaara says:

    I’m a breast cancer patient and I can’t have a lot of sugar, so I find the recipes in the books a little too sweet for my taste, but they can be modified to suit the individual.

    As for whether they work…I lost 15 lbs and my antioxidant levels rank up with Dr. Oz. I use my blender to make smoothies and soups that we eat and drink daily.

  55. Erica says:

    October last hear I had an emergency op, 20 cm cut off my bowel and now I live with a stoma and a bag to collect by BMs. I blend a lot of my food, especiall spinach and any salad leaches, all fruit with skins and anything that might cause a blockage in the stoma –
    I do blend my greenies with fruit.
    Now I am confused with the idea of not blending fruit and vegetables!
    My favorite blend is frozen mango slices, big handful of spinach, several mint leaves – I find adding mint to any drink makes it so much more refreshing,
    Surprised that I have never seen it mentioned, I might add a couple of nuts to that too.
    Any advice you can give me regards diet with a stoma will be appreciated. Many thanks

  56. My husband used to skip breakfast so I started making him green smoothies a couple of years ago. I started by putting in about 1 cup of kale or collards with a protein powder and hemp powder and then frozen fruit (mangoes or peaches, blueberries), a half banana and juice. After he got used to drinking it, I started cutting the juice and now just use water. If it needs to be sweeter, I add a date.
    I vary the fruit according to the time of year and what’s available, always adding berries of some sort because they are high in antioxidants and lower glycemic and make the smoothie look better.

    I don’t drink my breakfast as I prefer to chew my food but this is a great solution for my husband. He feels wonderful after he drinks his smoothie.

    I agree that the “good Dr.” (and he certainly is), wasn’t thinking the green smoothie issue through when he commented. Not all green smoothies are created equally.

  57. Scout says:

    I recommend green smoothies to all of my friends as I think that it’s probably the easiest way to increase the amount of greens people eat. But they don’t serve me well. 🙁

    I find them very binding and my bowels slow way down and sometimes screech to a halt for a couple of days if I keep drinking the smoothies. My bowel function is generally EXCELLENT and greens prepared in other ways don’t have this effect on me (raw, cooked, juiced, even Vitamineral Green powder in water). I don’t know why and it doesn’t make sense, but there it is.

    Green smoothies also leave me HUNGRY. A quart of smoothie satisfies me for maybe half an hour and then I’m more hungry than if I had eaten nothing at all. Like, I get ravenous! This may be due to the small amount of fruit I use, but none of my tests (including A1C) point to a blood sugar problem.

    So I love the idea of smoothies, just not for me, at least not on a regular basis. I do best with just green powder in water for my morning “meal”.

  58. Margaret says:

    For more than 3 years I had about 2 quarts of green smoothie every day. I am older (56 now) which could make a difference but I am active and very healthy. I used a head of greens in my smoothie and a lot of fruit to counteract the bittetness of greens like kale. I was really surprised that my triglycerides, bad cholesterol and risk factors were raising on a relatively low fat 100% raw food diet with lots of fruit and greens. (I have been vegan for over 12 years and vegetarian for 25 and my bloodwork had never shown any problems except low Vit. D. After reading Dr. Mercola and doing some more research and thinking it might possibly be the fruit I cut right back to hardly anything containing fructose. Three months later my blood work was better than it ever had been for the 10 or so years I’ve been with that dr., with a really, really low heart disease risk rate. I still stayed 100% raw vegan, incorporating just a bit of fruit after that, and the good bloodwork has been maintained. My bloodwork never got into the dangerous zone but I do think those of us who like their smoothies really sweet should watch for signs. Every one is different and I do think young people can get away with more but get your bloodwork done and don’t be dogmatic if your current diet isn’t working for you.

  59. I would like to add that some of the things he puts in his tube are things he won’t eat by mouth, such as fermented raw meats and fish. (shudder) He really feels a lot of positive benefits from ingesting them, but would not consider eating them by mouth, so in this case the tube is a very handly thing indeed.

  60. Way to go green smoothies. I put hemp, chia, maca, msm, greens, cucumber, celery, berries, small piece of banana, herbs like parsley or celantro. Gives me energy all day and I make enough for lunch most days. You can just feel the energy from other things you eat as the smoothies keep you alkaline; keeps inflammation away too.

  61. Andrew says:

    Hi, being a relative newbie to a smoothies and the health scene i can say that i feel that i can easily be shaken by unwise comments by “professionals” in this field, but on this topic, one thing is sure: green smoothies(or whatever colour) are far better than MacDeath for breaky :}

  62. George says:

    David Wolfe is a great champion of “smoothies”, but his can be quite complex, with the addition of exotic chinese extracts and the like. Perhaps the answer is that smoothies may serve as a part of one’s healthy lifestyle if the combination and preparation is correct. They are not a replacement for quality, healthy, solid food. It follows that you have to be able to afford all that organic food you are going to put through the juicer, or blender. On the alkaline question, too many of us are too acidic internally

  63. I honestly need to have my own blood work looked at in order to answer your question accurately, BUT based on how I feel I would say emphatically green drinks are GOOD!

    My Dad was recently (Nov. 2011) diagnosed with an inoperable pancreatic neuroendocrine tumor (pNET) and has his blood examined every 28 days. Since November he has had a green drink everyday. He has also has hypoglycemia though, so perhaps he is an exception in this discussion?

  64. Sandra says:

    I started juicing veggies about 6 months ago. Have type 2 diabetes, so used lemon juice instead of fruit, stevia to sweeten, and be sure to include broccoli and brussel sprouts with pretty much any other kind of veg that appeals. Delicious! A blood chemistry done by my doctor was the best she had ever seen for me in all the years of going to her. The main reason for this diet change, besides just to get healthy, was to starve a sarcoma tumor on my left arm, ( tumors love sugar). Tumor since removed surgically, but I will tell you something I found out…when I gave in to a sugar craving, that tumor would tingle, and I knew it was feeding! So there is a bit of valuable knowledge for anyone fighting cancer, or to try and avoid it, cut the simple sugars in every way from your diet.

  65. eve says:

    Kevin dear,

    another tricky topic handled with grace and wisdom – thank you!

    YES – “nothing applies to everyone” (with your noted exceptions – hehe).

    And not only are all PEOPLE different, but all SMOOTHIES are different! How can one imagine that a fruit smoothie I buy at some commercial smoothie chain is comparable to the brilliant green smoothies so many of us enjoy?!

    The commercial version is blended to a pulpless texture to please an ignorant public. Mine has lovely little bumps and tiny mini-chunks of recognizable fruit that prompt occasional chews. If you strain my smoothie, you will trap a lot of small-sized but significant fibers – they are still intact.

    The commercial smoothie adds fruit to fruit juice (sometimes sugar-enhanced!). Mine starts with 1/2 cup of water, then adds 2 cups of raw spinach which releases additional liquid when blended.

    The commercial smoothie often adds sherbet or frozen yogurt – again, dosing with extra sugar or (worse) corn-syrup! Mine has green powder (which provides additional fiber, not sugar), fresh raw ginger (fiber again!), and either hemp oil, hemp meal, or flax oil or flax meal…all things that LOWER the Glycemic Index / Glycemic Load of the green smoothie.

    Are these two beverages — commercial vs home-green — going to affect blood sugar the same way? NO WAY!

    Yet Esselstein lumps all smoothies into the same category and prohibits his “followers” from drinking them.

    I challenge ANYONE to come up with a more nutritious AND delicious breakfast than my green smoothie. Here’s the fiber content alone (I use different fruit on different days, this combo is just one of my fav’s):

    Fiber count, green smoothie:

    Fiber: ingredient:
    1.5 g = 2 cups raw spinach
    0.75 g = ½ cup mango
    3.75 g = ½ cup frozen blackberries
    1.8 g = Vitamineral Green powder

    ——-

    7.8 g Fiber Total

    Add in a 1″ cube of raw ginger, some hemp meal or flax meal, (or as one reader recommends, coconut oil) – these all help stabilize blood sugar! I also add vitamin D drops and ice cubes… heaven in a glass, and is there anything, anywhere, better for you?

    If you want to know whether your smoothie is jacking up your blood sugar, get a home blood sugar test kit! Diabetics use them every day (I once had to use one on my cat) and I just now found one on the internet as cheap as $17:

    http://www.wayfair.com/Prodigy-Diabetes-Pocket-Blood-Glucose-Monitoring-System-5036-PZN1000.html?refid=GPA49-PZN1000_6268194&PiID=6268194&gclid=CPTFgMnHra4CFRN3hwodel98Rg

    It comes with everything needed for ten readings, so you can test your blood sugar on waking, drink your green smoothie, and test your blood sugar again ten minutes later, 30 minutes, an hour, and 2 hours…or whatever seems reasonable to you.

    Then decide for yourself.

    Just because a guy helps a president lose weight, doesn’t mean EVERYTHING he says will be valid or perfect!

    A quick scan of this guy’s diet recommendations provokes skepticism, for me:

    – he says ALL oils damage the lining of the blood vessels… that’s only true of “good oils” if they are turning RANCID. Yet no one on his diet is allowed any flax oil, olive oil, hazelnut oil, coconut oil…

    – he says coconut water is bad for you because of its sugar and fat content (has he never heard of MCT’s, and does he think all fats are created equal?)- and again, no distinction between fresh and commercially packaged coconut water…

    Like most experts, it sounds like he knows some things very well and also has opinions that are sometimes based in fact, sometimes in extremist dogma. He helps people, and that’s great, but extremism will also turn a lot of people away from otherwise helpful ideas…

    Anyway, that’s my rant. How dare he villify my precious green smoothie! It’s not a freakin’ Egg McMuffin!

    But thanks, Kevin, for handling the question in such a thoughtful and well-mannered way. You really are a prince among men.

    🙂

  66. wendy green says:

    great article kev. as you know we only have smoothies for breakfast. sometimes we add parsley,BG algae, coco oil and or ginger, more often than not, just fruit. BEST way to start my day. OH and we CHEW our juice,eating it with a spoon, no gulping. so satisfying and fun!

  67. Good for sure.
    I applaud the work of Dr. Esselstyn, but I believe his comments were taken out of context and this wonderful response from Victoria Boutenko(green smoothie queen.) proves my point.
    http://www.rawfamily.com/newsletters/raw-family-newsletter-archive-2012
    Scroll down to Feb 2012 Vol. 1

  68. lana says:

    great now i am so confused, i was really doing alot of fruit smoothies, feeling i was doing something good for my body and trying to lose weight..now i really dont know what to do….

  69. Lola says:

    For too many years advice to diabetics was to avoid fat. Oops! Now we have been told, and I believe rightly so, that fat (the right, healthy kind) is necessary to keep sugar from spiking! For instance, some butter on a baked potato (which translates into sugar) not only tastes better, but the butter reduces the glycemic index of the starchy (sugary) potato. Who’d a’ thunk? Go easy on baked potato, but when you imbibe, have a bit of real butter (NOT margarine) and real sour cream with the potato and ENJOY! I love coconut oil, but haven’t tried it on potato. Might be good! Actually, since childhood (and I’m in my late 60s now)I’ve always enjoyed chewing on RAW Yukon Gold potatoes (without peel). Yummy! Crunchy! In the “old days” my mother mostly fried potatoes, but I’d stand at her elbow begging for raw potato slices as she was cutting them. My body seemed to know what what good for me. I’d enjoy reading some comments on this.

  70. Pam says:

    Well, Kevin, I totally agree with Eve. You have done an exemplary job on a subject that is hot. My husband and I have been drinking a quart of green smoothies every day for a year now. We have nothing but benefits to report. Yes, we get our blood tested, with nothing but good results. We keep our smoothies simple. The way Victoria Boutenko and her son Sergei teach. Nobody here has emphasized the words LEAFY greens. I got that early on from Victoria. (In one of your interviews with her.) She says the healing power is in the LEAVES. They aren’t regular veg, so can be mixed with fruit. Sergei explains it in a You Tube. Very different to blend only leaves and fruit.

  71. Lyn says:

    #20 DEB – Just so you know, it is not the number of calories but the number of carbohydrates that determines blood sugar levels.

    #25 VELDA – Are you aware Naked Juice pasteurizes their products? Including their green smoothies? It IS possible, however, that they DO have raw products that are simply ‘outlawed’ in our county. So, if you want only a raw smoothie, check NJ’s label to be sure.

    And I have a question. I am just trying to start green drinks. Because I am diabetic I am trying to limit fruit & find non-fruit green drinks that are ‘savory’ good vs. sweet good. I’ve only tried a few so far but none yet that I will try again. Besides taste, I have not liked the texture of the smoothies,so far. So I’ve wondered if there is any reason to ingest the fiber of a smoothie vs. a non-fiber juice.
    Any advice or ‘starter’ recipes from anyone?
    Thank you!
    P.S.–I am using a BlendTek.

  72. ken says:

    not very nice but my daughter has to chew and spit her food out nad rechew spit it out and rechew of course docs tried to say it was in her mind and she was becoming anerixic however £2000 of private medical test showed severstomach probs and when we took her to a naturopath she totally agreeded that it was due to a lack of digestive emnzys that she was not produce enogh nor enough silva to start the break down of the food..she has been told to go on the body ecology diet and for the first step only allowed liquid foods including smoothies ..she is allowed a few berries in the smoothie but only if she takes BED probotic drink b4 her smoothie therefore the sugar in the fruit will feed the probotic and not the candida/blasticysus hommins (sp) and she has majour inflamtion after eating and she only can eat 2 foods now which are veg she looks like she is 9 months pregnant and then within an hour she will pass out.

  73. roni says:

    i LOVE LOVE LOVE my daily blender bash!
    i have a banana and/or papaya, a teaspoon of coconut oil, or coconut cream I make ahead, a few soaked almonds, and as many greens as I can (gently) stuff in from the greenhouse – including cilantro, mint, parsley, katuk, chard, hibiscus, etc. enough liquid to cover, (weak juice, water or herb tea) and it is my power meal of the day. what i have noticed is more energy, better skin, better mood, and “smooth moves”…

  74. LynnCS says:

    Hi Kevin. Good post. I assume some of that was tongue in cheek!!

    I have been a vegetarian for almost 32 years and suffered all those years from all sorts of digestive disorders and some that cannot be fixed. They can, however, not be made worse and maintained with the proper conditions. Every doctor I have had in 40 yrs. has told me to use Metamucil. I did. I tried to do the right things. I took the medicine to reduce inflammation and it still occurred. I took stuff for gas, for constipation, diarrhea, and tried to eat every 2 hours to keep things even. In spite of that more and more diverticula formed. I have been miserable for my whole adult life. Constipation, diarrhea, vomiting, upper GI pain, reflux, lower abdominal pain. All this has caused a lot of structural damage. So far I haven’t been operated on for any of these particular issues and now hopefully won’t need to.

    Now..Green smoothies have changed my whole being. I can only hope it is OK. The Metamucil never did what it was supposed to and I think it hurt me. I have not been perfect about my food, but am doing better and when I am, it works as it should. As I understand it should. It feels right, so I am going with it. I really do hope that anyone who needs the consistency of a fiber and nutrition rich food will seriously consider smoothies as a real solution. I don’t know why I didn’t get it sooner, but there’s no time like the present. I am sorry to hear that Dr Esselstyn has taken this stance on this amazing source. I also have been hypoglycemic for years and was advised to not eat fruit. What an awful thing to tell a patient. Now I know better about how the fiber in fruit aids in how the fruit sugars are used, and how it maintains a consistent blood sugar. Now I know how the fibre of the smoothie assists in intestinal health. Now I don’t get all that pain and misery.

    I do eat whole fruit too and big salads, but I couldn’t chew and eat enough raw greens and vegis to deal with my (former) ailments. Yes, former. A lifetime of misery changed by dropping dairy and adding raw green smoothies. I was a vegetarian for a long time, so I ate salads and vegis, but until I found the green smoothie and started eating more fruit, I was as much as dying and it was only a matter of time that I would need surgery or worse. My mother died of colon cancer and everyone in my family suffers. My sister had a colon resection from scaring/blockage. I still isn’t right and she induces diarrhea just to get through each day. She also has reflux that goes all the way up into her sinuses and eyes. She is fed up with doctors and won’t go. She doesn’t understand the value of the smoothie and won’t eat fruit. (Carbs.) She thinks carbs are part of her problem, thinks she might have cancer and “doesn’t want to feed it.” As much as I wish I had found this sooner, I am ever so grateful to find this way of life now. The smoothies are definitely part of making life tolerable, even a little fun. Thank you all for being part of this journey. Many other things are improved too and that is for another rant, I think!! 🙂

  75. Lyn says:

    #32 EVE – I just read your post & liked what you said.

    When I read 1-2 cups of greens, I wonder if it means loosely, tightly, or moderately packed?
    I also made my smoothies with LOTS of greens (maybe too much for a beginner?) a lot of carrots, tomatoes, cilantro, some onion, & lemon jc. OR LOTS of greens with pineapple, an apple, & some carrot. Can’t remember the other smoothies I tried. Is there a better way?

    BTW, as a diabetic, I have learned blood sugar usually reaches its peak about 2 hours after food is eaten but can rise up to 3 hours after. So generally diabetics test about 2 hour after food. When 1st testing, I tested @ 1, 2, & 3 hours after eating until I learned my general peak pattern of about 2 hours.

  76. Rebecca says:

    Your analysis is as near to perfect as it could be. Keep it up. And keep drinking them down.

  77. Mil says:

    I’ve been drinking green smoothies since 2005 when Victoria’s article about them came out. That’s a long time. My partner and I can only report great benefits. We’ve even gotten waaayyy into wild greens.

    All I know is that when I attended one of Victoria’s green smoothie retreats, I saw people get healthier. One woman stopped taking her diabetes medicine and another woman stopped having massive headaches.

  78. Rosanna says:

    That nothing applies to everyone is SPOT ON.

    The problem lies with the western philosophy’s view of one-size-fits-all (i.e. X DIET is highly beneficial for EVERYONE or green smoothies are good for everyone).

    Whereas it can easily be explained when you look into the ancient eastern healing systems that see everyone as a unique individual (yin/yang) that is a mix of all the elements (fire-earth-water-metal-wood), and need different kinds of foods with different elements to balance the system. One man’s poison is another’s medicine so to speak.

    The lady who suffered bad effects from the smoothie obviously had a constitution that would not benefit from it. For instance, sick bodies are very yin; and a body that is too yin needs heat which you can’t get from the green smoothie.

    Blessed Health to one and all 🙂

  79. Brianne says:

    I was doing green smoothies for awhile, but then read that cruciferous vegetables should be cooked before eating because they contain chemicals that actually block the production of your thyroid hormone. And they also contain oxalic acid. Recently I’ve found out that I do have a large kidney stone that is too big to pass, so I’m afraid to eat too many oxalates. What is your take on that?

  80. Susan says:

    Victoria Boutenko addressed these issues on her website, raw family in her monthly newsletter. Victoria researched and clearly made her case point by point. If you have been drinking green smoothies for any length of time, you have seen the benefits. There is always someone out there trying to rain on our parade. Rock on green smoothies!

  81. Ritika says:

    A much needed post for me! Was he trying to say that patients would have better outcomes chewing green salads than imbibing green smoothies? Would large green salads always be better due to their intact fiber? Or are both salads and smoothies equivalent due to the fact most people don’t chew their food well..?

    Thanks!

  82. Kathy says:

    As a physician who also studies nutrition, I think its important to define green smoothie. If the smooth is 3 peices of kale and 3 peices of fruit each with a higher fructose concentration, (ie sum total of fructose > 15grams, see Dr Joe Mercola’s site), then potentially the Smoothie is proinflammatory; however, if the smoothie is all greens and has less15g fructose or is sweetened with a small amount of green stevia then the proinflammatory process set up by fructose is minimal. It’s all in how you prepare it.

  83. lizzy says:

    since trying to eat more raw I have badly wanted to use green smoothies. But I find the greens don’t blend quite so well, even in my blendtec, they still taste like mushy salad greens to me, and I can’t quite get myself to put in more than one fruit knowing that I will just down a couple of fruits in one cup.

    I have found that the sugar from the fruit does feed the fungus in my body immmediately I can feel it going to the sites that bother me.

    Honestly as much as I have wanted to love green smoothies, I have never quite figured out the fruit greens ratio.

    I find vegetable juices without fruit to be amazing nutrition.

  84. I have a fruit smoothie every afternoon. I rarely put veggies in it – I would rather eat my greens in a salad. But I use lots of fruits starting with a banana, adding pineapple, sometimes strawberries, sometimes kiwi fruit, sometimes melons, then add half an avocado, a chunk of ginger root, sometimes half a lemon, sometimes frozen blueberries, always plain yogurt, organic carrot juice (I don’t have a juicer so I buy it), and organic almond milk. Occasionally I add a spoonful of peanut butter and sometimes some cocoa powder for a change of flavor.

    I have also been told by my doctor and have read elsewhere that fruit should be eaten by itself an hour before or two hours after other food. Fruit digests in about an hour whereas meat and veggies take a couple of hours. But if you have both in your stomach at the same time, the already-digested fruit has to sit there while the other foods digest, and it will ferment and cause gas and bloating.

    Thanks for a great post, Kevin.

  85. Sharon C. says:

    When I first read about green smoothies four years ago, I thought about the incompatibility of fruits and veggies together, but Victoria B. stated that leafy greens are not the same as veggies, and that fruits and greens combine very well, and I found that to be true. At that time, I had the usual fears about consuming too much fruit, so did mostly greens with some apple. Last year I changed it up. Now I do about 1/4-1/2 cannister of fruit ( like bananas, date, berries, etc) and the rest of the cannister all greens with about two cups of water. ( about 1 quart) I often add some raw ginger, and a little Cinnamin. Started feeling more mentally clear, more energetic, and happier. I follow Dr Morse’s work, and he encourages fruit consumption, even for those with diabetes. The greens with the fruit feels very balanced to me, and seems to be working just fine. I have lost all cravings for cacao, raw desserts, etc. and my weight remains low and stable. So far, so good.

  86. Julia says:

    I love the way you answered this, Kevin, great job! Good discussion, good analytical process, good critical thinking on this one. I couldn’t agree with you more on this one. As a healthcare practitionar I believe so strongly in the individualized approach as well.

    I’ve personally been juicing my veggies and blending my fruits then I combine the two, because I have malabsorption/digestive issues and read that the plant fibers are harder to digest but the fruit fibers are easier and have more/different medicinal values as well, so I’ve been trying that for a while and think it’s working out well for me for now.

  87. Russ says:

    It’s interesting you mentioned Dr Lustig. In a lecture I attended last summer at Berkley he was actually asked about his thoughts on green smoothies. His response was “They Suck”. he didn’t elaborate on his answer but he is clearly not a fan of these smoothies and I suspect it’s probably because of the sugar getting into the bloodstream quicker.
    My suggestion to people is to go heavy on the greens and try and minimize the fruit as much as possible, maybe even just a half of a fruit then sweeten more with stevia (that’s what I do)

  88. Mary Kay says:

    I read this his article quite a while ago and dismissed it because I believe he’s thinking like mainstream America and thinking about the all-fruit smoothies you buy in the stores! The ones where they take pineapple, and apple juice with mangos and sherbet! or sweetened yogurt and sometimes even add some powdery sugary concoction!!

    Folks, you are all so health oriented, you just assume he’s talking about green smoothies, and I think he’s not.

    that being said though, I feel I cannot do much fruit in smoothies any more. I will gain weight and I have been fighting candida….I’m doing more the savory ones–cucumber, tomatoes, celery, lemon, spices etc.

    Lately, I’ve been able to eat more salads by mixing about half of a huge salad into my dressing and blending it….Then I get the best of both worlds where some of the salad becomes the dressing, and I still have some crunch….

    It’s the store-bought fruity ones that the doc may be referring to…..the all-fruit sugary smoothies.

  89. Sharon says:

    Kevin, does this apply to juicing too?
    After all, there is no fiber left after juicing. I am very careful with carbs and sugar and I only eat fruit in very small quantities these days. When I juice, I use veggies only. I always test my sugar after eating a poached egg and then a juice and it’s always a healthy level. I don’t have a VitaMix (I would love to afford one) so I haven’t tried the smoothie trend yet. I’m just worried now that juicing is a problem too. Does Esselstyn have an opinion on juicing?

  90. Anne says:

    I have been doing a green concoction of spinach, broccoli, celery, carrots, parsley, garlic, onion,2 lemons, spirilina,kale and blend that then cut it in half and add water to thin it down some. I have been doing this since May 2011 and have no ill effects of my green smoothy concoction. But I create my own green smoothies that might be different than what you buy on the market

  91. cadie says:

    Everyone has an opinion, how is it that something as simple as raw veggies or fruit can cause so much disagreement. I am completely confused anymore, I was diagnosed with breast cancer in Aug of last year and since then have been researching diet and nutrition daily. Each day there is conflicting information. I would love to go with the idea that you have to figure out for yourself what works, but with healing the body and self treating cancer the confusion is tripled. I have been vegetarian for 18 years prior to this and when diagnosed I started on a raw vegan diet…including lots of juicing. I’ve lost 33lbs, I didn’t think I had that to lose. I feel wonderful, energized..blah, blah, blah. Anyway, I came across some info. stating that spinach and chard contain oxalic acid and should not be consumed often, as oxalic acid blocks the absorbtion of calcium. Is this valid? Anyone else read this or anyone concerned? I have also read that we should be consuming lots of saturated fats for the absorbtion of vitamin A and D, and the last one is that our vegetables should be lightly cooked to benefit. I research the footnotes, cross references etc. WHY SO MUCH CONFLICTING INFORMATION???
    I think your site is full of wonderful, much need information. Thank you

  92. artcafe says:

    As per Gary – I guess I’m one of the exceptions as I have no bloating, or any other ill effects,
    from mixing veggies and fruits in my smoothies.

  93. John Michael says:

    Hmmmmmmm! Lots of fun with this one! I am 68 years very young and was part of the natural products industry for 25 years before selling my biz and moving to Thailand. I have been studying nutrition for 40 years independent of my limited experience learning about nutrition from the health food industry and observe that the only constant is change. I have been eating/drinking smoothies for 25 years and changing the ingredients as new additions became available. I have enjoyed all of my smoothies over the years with little to no distress.
    Now my smoothie consists of:
    Organic everything (when possible) beginning with coconut water base, raw cacao, maca, gogi berries, chia seeds, bee pollen, spirulina, organic flax seeds, himalayan salt, whey ( from Doc Mercola), papaya seeds from papaya from my garden, and, either but not both of banana from my garden or blueberries and passion fruit. I eat this after I begin my day with a full lemon juice and then coconut water. I take digestive enzymes and pro-biotics also as well as many other supplements (chlorella, kelp, co-enzyme Q-10, asthaxanin, zinc, B-12, turmeric, multi vitamin from the Doc), all muscle-tested with my naturopath or tested with my pendulum. I have only had a few stomach pains in my life up to now. I suggest that instead of listening to every Tom, Dick and Mary about what serves you and what does not, that you learn how to use a pendulum and/or learn how to muscle test with your thumb and ring finger for your own truth and then you will be free from others unintentional deception and illusion and self-responsible.
    Kevin is great about this and hence he does not “over share” with his knowledge. He is conscious in his language and belief systems knowing we are in a vastly evolving world where one person’s medicine is another’s poison and what was OK yesterday, today may be unacceptable today.

  94. Rebecca Cody says:

    Dr Esselstyn has a 20+-year track record of reversing heart disease in his patients and followers, so that’s nothing to sneeze at. However, I find him extreme on fats – NO added fats at all, and NO nuts, because he says the omega 6:3 ratio is too high. I disagree with him on nuts and a bit of coconut oil, possibly olive oil. However, I think it’s really easy to eat too many fatty foods, especially nuts when you’re all raw.

    I alternate green smoothies with oatmeal or other breakfasts, but I always get more nutrition on the smoothie days. Here’s my fave, and it isn’t too high in fruit:

    1/2 apple, seeds and all (for B17)
    juice of 1/2-1 lemon
    12 ounces water
    1″ chunk of ginger, minced
    two or three big handfuls spinach
    stevia to taste
    1-2 tablespoons flax meal

    Blend away. It’s really delicious and not too sweet. Some days I add mixed berries or blueberries. You have to add quite a few to get a nice reddish color. But even if it is the color of an old Army blanket, it tastes great!

    However, I do find myself becoming hungry before lunch time when I drink only this smoothie for breakfast. Maybe a little coconut oil would solve this problem.

  95. Ruth says:

    I am somewhat confused about your reply. Your response deals with Dr. Caldwell Esselstyn, but the woman’s original post mentioned Dr. T. Colin Campbell. Explanation, please?

  96. zyxomma says:

    I like my green smoothies green, so no sweet fruit. I do put fruit in them: avocados, limes, ripe peppers, cucumbers, tomatoes, but nothing sweet, so no blood sugar spike. I can’t get into banana with my kale!

  97. Kaila says:

    I have a heaping mug of a smoothie every morning these days (roughly 30 ounces). It includes the following raw/organic ingredients: 2 scoops Garden of Life raw meal, 1 scoop AmazingGrass acai/berry green superfood, orange juice, Bulgarian yogurt, chia seeds, blueberries, frozen mixed berries.

    The Garden of life raw meal and the supergreens have been amazing for me so far. I’m a raw foodist in spirit and have done periods of 100% but havent been able to stay raw vegan because of my “crazy” profession. I’m a musician so I travel quite a bit, living about two-thirds of my life in hotels or guest houses. Most of the places I stay offer very little in the way of real nutrition and in the beginning I’d go faint eating mound upon mound of iceberg lettuce and cherry tomatoes minus dressing for fear of all of the added chemicals in commercially prepared food. After I discovered and slowly tweaked my shake I find my body nourished enough to get through the more unfortunate fare I’m forced to eat to survive. Check out the ingredients and you’ll see all kinds of good stuff inside…Everytime I’d read a new health book recommending I add something to my diet I’d find out it’s already inside my smoothie. One of these days I’ll have to get a blood and allergy test do I can truly figure out what’s good for me.

    I’m glad you brought this subject up Kevin. I’ve actually been thinking about asking you what YOU think about raw meal replacements and if they can be suitable for a short/long term total food replacement. I feel sometimes I could be totally satisfied on 2-3 shakes a day with a little salad or fruit snack. But I get afraid that even though i could stand to lose 50 Lbs i would get too little calories. I loved being raw 50 lbs ago and live it now, but for some reason even with Jon Gabriel in my head and a super health conscious life, I stay stuck ballooned up…So I’m curious about your thoughts! Thank you for all you do!

  98. Danny says:

    I have been drinking green smoothies almost daily for the last 3 years and for me it feels very good. I am also doing blood tests and the results are good.
    To make it enjoyable I always put in fruits – apple, banana, citrus fruits, papaya, mango – whatever is available at the moment, so that i can do a rotation between the fruits. In winter (here in Israel) I try to put in as much wild greens as possible – freshly picked daily, I have some 5-10 different kinds of leaves. At other times I get greens from the store – but I still try and rotate and put in a few different things every day (lettuce, kale, arogola, spinach, mangold, etc.)
    In addition I usually add some tahini, ground flax seed, coconut oil (helps with flax seed absorption), maybe some goji, chia, cranberries and dates which I have soaked overnight.
    For me this is definitely a winning formula – lots of energy, and very tasty – so that I look forward to it every day.

  99. Carole Tracey says:

    Hi Thank you Kevin I enjoyed reading your post and agree with you that we all have to work out what is right for ourselves. I have Diabetes type 2 and was recommended green smoothies by a doctor (UK GP who also specialises in chinese medicine). her recipe was 2 tablespoons of Superfood (algea combo) a green apple, handful of spinach, kale, chard type leafy green veg and half pint of water. I used that for a few years adding cinnamon once I read it was good diabetes and brought my sugar levels down to near normal within 8 weeks. Lately I have modified my recipe and stopped the Superfood as it’s expensive. Now I use half a bramleys (cooking apple)spinach and kale (can’t find easy chard here)half an avocado (coz it makes lovely texture)and some broccoli though I’m wondering if I should omit either the broccoli or the apple given the discussion on combining veg and fruit and I do tend to be a bit bloated so maybe that’s why. Will experiment. I don’t have a high tech blender as mine burnt out after a year and I’ve gone back to my 20 year old food processor which makes the smoothie a bit more lumpy but have got used to that and I guess is better on fibre issues. I definitely feel better on days when I make a green smoothie but not sure if that’s psychological!!
    Anyway thanks for all the comments everyone…I’m off to buy some root ginger to try :o)

  100. Amanda says:

    Hi Kevin. Terrific information. Thanks. I know it is anecdotal evidence but my digestion has improved enormously from taking green (and other) smoothies. This is probably the only food that I have really been able to digest properly. Bowel movements are spot on so the fibre is good to go. Dr. Esselstyn has probably done some good work and I find it sad that he should put out this sort of misinformation about smoothies. If people listen to him they will be losing out. Smoothies rock.

  101. Bryan says:

    Good!

    It has probably been said somewhere in the 58 posts above, but if you don’t put fruit or simple sugars in your smoothie, how much of a sugar spike can you have? I have green smoothies at least 5 days a week. I get a little lazy on the weekend as the rest of my family is cooked and animal foods people and I do the cooking, so the weekends I give them a little more balance and me a little less smoothie action.

  102. Wendy says:

    This morning’s smoothie was half a banana, a handfull of strawberries, an orange, and a beet, dandelions, spinach, celery, ormus greens, and coconut juice. Fruit for flavor and greens for me!

  103. My first smoothie some years ago was freshly washed Kale, bananas and filtered water. I was blown away. Simple, green, just added to mixture till got the consistent texture I wanted, with some bits of green obvious, that I did have to chew. After several mornings in a row I was happy with the results. I got the idea for simple from a Fred Patenaude recipe. Worked for me.

    I do think people have to experiment with what works for them and not make it so complicated. Certainly experimenting with simple healthy ingredients has got to be better than Standard American Diet, any day.

    Thanks Kevin for another interesting article!

  104. Dee says:

    His comments don’t appear to be about green smoothies. He may be commenting about smoothies that are all fruit that you find at McDonalds.

  105. bob says:

    Great blog and responses. Huge topic. I learn so much from you and readers. To balance smoothies, experiment with adding some oil (coconut as cited above) for mouth feel, calories and facilitate absorption and also add some protein- soaked seeds/ hemp/ protein powder of your choice. Most importantly, as you continue to propose, educate yourself, explore new things, and follow the sense-experience of your bodymindspirit. Thanks!

  106. erin b says:

    Green smoothies are and have been one of my best healthy things I do. Fruits and veggies are a no no, but fruits and greens a super great thing, well at least for me.
    My health has improved tremendously and my weight loss is continuously correcting it’s self with having all my nutrients and minerals I need.
    Rotation of greens, sprouts and herbs are important. If I want a savory smoothie I make it like a raw soup. They are fantastic and help us obese people have a fighting chance. To be obese is so unhealthy and after battling this for so many years I have finally found my answer to weight loss. To date 75 pounds down.
    Thank you both for helping in this journey of mine!

  107. Ray. says:

    Very Good with less fruit.

  108. Cindy says:

    I love smoothies, but I go through phases of having them daily & then not having them for a while. I always add coconut oil, chia seeds, raw eggs, plain yogurt, &/or greens to help balance out any fruit I add.

  109. Barbara says:

    I think anyone who posts, especially a doctor needs to be sure what he or she is putting out there. It is a great responsibility.
    And I do wonder why people are so ready to believe blogs?

    Everything written isn’t gospel.

    As to smoothies, I used to do all fruit for the longest time. And well, duh, didn’t get the, too much sugar, connection for a while. Possible brain fog!
    Then I cut that back and added carrot, celery, ginger, beets, with a banana, half an apple, and one fruit depending on what’s at the market.

    I did wonder about the digestion idea and fiber, but I have had no problem.

    Also, I do think the idea of the same thing every morning, (no matter what) isn’t the best idea either. Shake it up.
    An omelet (organic eggs) with mushrooms, raw cheese.
    Oatmeal with dates, cranberries or any other dried or fresh fruit.

    The variety adds to our varied nutritional needs.

    And Kevin you are right on ( I think) ; )) with the idea that all people are not the same. We have varied needs our bodies are different from each other.

    One other issue about the women who stopped. I don’t know why she did, but if it was that she didn’t feel well afterwards, she should know that if you are ill, for any reason, and you start on a regiment the healing process can make you worse for a while, from dispelling all the toxins, that needs to be considered also.

  110. Chris says:

    Blood glucose meters at Target are $8.99 and 25 test strips are about $11. There is nothing like fact checking on you own body to find the truth. I love smoothies that have chia, walnuts or pecans, sunflower seeds, buckwheat seeds (no gluten) cocal (sometimes) psyllium husk, spring water. I always soak nuts and seeds at least over night, more is better, rinse well before blending I can only use stevia, No agava in any form period. It skyrockets every one I tested it on. On the fiber issue blending it still doesn’t make it digest and it still does its job, (for me)

  111. Katherine says:

    I was having problems with releasing my waste. I tried everything. I was desperate… I even tried medication. Nothing worked! I should also mention that i am a raw vegan So i was getting my veggies but not enough. I met this herbalist whom told me about green smoothies and it worked wonders. I find now that if I don’t have one I don’t feel good. My smoothie consist of mainly greens and very little fruit..such as blueberries. Love that woman… My herbalist!!!

  112. Rcahel says:

    I adore green smoothies. I took a medication when I was younger that messed up my digestive system. A smoothie a day really helps me to get an extra punch of nutrition and to make my body feel better over all. I always feel so fresh after drinking one! I typically make mine with probiotic greek yogurt, spinach, banana, frozen berries and fresh orange juice. Yum!

  113. […] Here’s the back story (plus, the previous article here)… […]

  114. Deirdre says:

    I’d like to see some discussion about kale and its effects on the thyroid gland.

  115. What is a green smoothie? Generally greens don’t have fructose. Obviously everybody with a vita-mix creates their own variations and to claim anything about them as a group shows a lack of scientific thinking and therefore should be ignored.

    On the other hand I am at the peak of health and fitness and got there partially from my green smoothies! They are fabulous:)

  116. The comments got so long they outran your background!

    “SMoothie” means a lot of different things to different people. ANd quality of ingredients has a lot to do with it. When I started having smoothies, I would use store bought standard Yogurt (Think Dannon or Yoplait which in the US is probably packed with hormonally altered dairy and GMO corn syrup, as well as coloring), frozen strawberries, and add a few chocolate chips.

    I honestly thought I was being healthy.

    I think the green smoothies that you’re probably talking about here are much different than the mainstream idea of smoothies, which do tend to be unnecessarily oversugared and made with hormonally (if not genetically) modified dairy.

    Smoothie means lots of different things, so it’s very difficult to generalize, but in general, mainstream smoothies probably are not very healthy.

    Jonathan
    http://www.CarrieAndJonathan.com

  117. Karen says:

    I am a nurse who has worked in the Heart Vascular Center at Cleveland Clinic. There are some incredible things going on there, but there is still some “dark ages” thinking going on there. I got into many a “discussion” with doctors about the effects of diet changes on disease. What bothers me most about the doctor’s article is that “green smoothies” are lumped into one category. No consideration seems to have been made to the individual ingredients in the smoothie. I, personally, use very little fruit in my smoothies because of the sugar issue and inflammation. I have lupus so keeping inflammation down is very important to me. Generally, my smoothies consist of Vitamineral Green, cucumber, carrot, kale, spinach, celery, stevia, and either 1/2 apple or a handful of blueberries. I challenge any doctor to find anything “bad” in this smoothie. The results I have obtained will challenge any argument. Kevin, keep doing what you do and hope to see you again in Costa Mesa in May.

  118. Eva says:

    I drink a red cabbage leaf mixed with a collard green leaf smoothie every morning. Veggie smoothies are best! Since doing this I have no arthritis or fibromyalgia pain.

  119. Stacie says:

    I reeeaallly, reeeaaallly, reeeaaallly hope smoothies are healthful and nutrient-dense! I love to make a huge pitcher in the morning!!

  120. jackie says:

    OK…I know this is somewhat off the point, but it’s somewhat related. Kevin, what is your opinion on Juice Plus? Their proponents say they have tons of scientific studies that prove how wonderful these whole food based nutritional products are, and we should take them because we don’t get enough fruits and veggies. The juices are dehydrated and put into gel caps, from what I can understand. They seem good….do you give it a thumbs up or thumbs down?

  121. Angela says:

    Hi Kevin,
    Thank you for addressing this. Green smoothies have given me the benefits you mentioned above, plus I’ve noticed that I sleep deeper, wake up easier, nails stronger, and my hair is shinier and thicker. Nothing but praise for me. Victoria Boutenko has diabetics on her retreat every year, for which they have miraculous results after having a fast of green smoothies daily. I see no reason not to praise and recommend them.

    Cheers

  122. LynnCS says:

    To #34…That is just part of the plant. It is the outer membrane of the leaf. It’s natural. Eat and enjoy. Makes it crispy. You can find all kinds of crazy things on the Internet.

    Kevin. Thanks for the discussion. I started raw by finding out about green smoothies. I was already mostly vegetarian and eating a big bowl of greens (salad) most evenings. As soon as I found out about the smoothies, I knew I had found the answer to my dilemma, which was basically microwaved oatmeal and pnut butter sandwiches, ice cream, yogurt, tuna, cheese. I was often eating really overeating compulsively all the things that are the worst possible things for someone with digestive, and inflammation problems. I was really sick and knew I should be on a more alkalizing diet, but didn’t think I knew what to do. I had learned some of these things back when I was macrobiotic. Where I went off the tracks, I don’t know, but when I read Victoria Boutenko’s book about how she discovered the green smoothie and helped her family. I knew it was the answer. I have only got healthier. Osteoporosis, Fibromialgia, Spastic Colon/IBS, Esophageal Reflux, and on and on. All on the run. I have asked my doctor to be patient with me and give me a year to work on my health with the raw vegan diet. He reluctantly agreed. I am off all but one med and am weening off it.

    My basic green smoothie is chia seeds, greens, and an apple for taste. I have been trying a lot of new combos lately, but I’d rather eat my fruit whole and stick with the basic smoothie. I prefer it to juice as I need the fiber for the IBS/Diverticulitis etc. I’ve lost a lot of weight and have better energy than when I was drinking coffee. Got off coffee. Horrid stuff. Had some a couple times since then and was messed up both times. Some people are thick headed. ME!!

    I don’t have a lot of time to get this health thing right. These green smoothies are heaven sent, as far as I am concerned. They are the most highly concentrated nutrition I can imagine. I love my fruit, smoothies, and salads. Maybe someday I will get into the more “gourmet” raw vegan foods, but for now I am just so very grateful to have found this simple, healthy way of life.

  123. Franko says:

    Maybe the doc who made such a vague comment, was perhaps moved to do so by higher ups that’s are afraid of the green juice movement, so to speak. The panic of an industry who thrive off the sick enough, to fear the edification of the curious, now educated consumer, may leed us, as threw time, to there back alleys of lies ,only to bring us to there freshly paved streets of ; Next! Fill this out, wait on line for your snake oil…Shame on you! I would hope from his prior work that the article that this women so rapidly made a conclusion to dismiss all good information on juices was poorly understood. And just a horrible inconvenience.

  124. Bill Murphy says:

    Well, I am no nutritionist but I have been personally consuming Green Smoothies daily for the last five years and have seen nothing but improvements in my overall health. My bowel movements were always erratic throughout my life and I thought that this was normal. These days, I am incredibly regular and most of the time I feel awesome.

    As a raw food business owner I have sold thousands of blenders to very happy customers over the same period who have had similar results to me. No one is complaining, there has been nothing but praise for the mighty smoothie.

    I have also spent a week at a Boutenko Green Smoothie retreat and witnessed several fantastic health improvements in just a week.

    So for me, the proof is all around me. I do not need testing to know that smoothies are great. I know that not everyone gets the same reactions from foods, but seriously, how can anyone debate that Green smoothies are not beneficial for the majority of us?

    Keep up the awesome work Kev!

  125. kitten says:

    Dr Esselstyn said nothing about GREEN smoothies he said smoothies!
    Big difference. He was most likely referring to those junk smoothies made with ice cream, sorbet, pasteurized dairy and juices, sugary yogurts, etc. Green smoothies with lots of healthy greens and no junk are an entirely different matter. Many of us are living proof of how they can change your life for the better in so many ways!

  126. Jorge Medeiros says:

    I read Victoria Boutenko book, and added greensmoothies to my daily breakfast.

    I also read The China Study, and several debates from The Great Health Debate.

    Two blood tests, one in September 2010 and the other last January, produced results to be framed, so normal, or great were they.

    I take DHEA, a multivitamin, and some other supplements, as recomended by Stephen Cherniske.

    My DHEA is within the range of a man between 25 to 34 years old.
    I am about to reach 67, next May 30.
    I do exercises, have an athletic body, and the weight of my adolescence (64.5 – 65.9 kg,or around 143 pouds).

    I feel extremely agile and energetic. I “fly” up staircases, lift weights and myself everyday; and I feel like I will be young forever.

    My wife of 18 years, with bad habits (smoking, drinking, meat eater, no exercise) died of cancer 2 years ago, at 48. A loss I’m still to recover.

    My girlfriend, a 48 y.o. woman eats very healthily, adores green smoothies, and has a body of a 30 y.o. woman (not American).

    Will I quit green smoothies. You bet I will not!

    Obviously the rest of my nutritions is at least 95% plant based, my salads are unbeatable, and my sauces …, you could eat grass with it.

    Sorry, Mr. Esseltyn. I’m a great admirer of yours.

    Keep it running Kevin.
    It is important to “listen” to all opinions and EXPERIENCES.

  127. I learned about green smoothies when we were offered a freshly blended sample in a lecture by Serge Boutenko here in Western Australia a few years ago, and cannot thank him enough for this Elixir- of- Youth, Green- Dream Mocktail.
    Seriously, this is chlorophyll protein power at its best!( Interesting, to read that it was the cholorophyll enzyme research done lone hundred years ago that was earning a German biochemist by the name of Willstaetter a Nobel Prize! He found out about the nitrogen/magnesium ‘power pack’ that turns all green leaves into solar energy panels for plants, and so, for us, too; for ‘Plants are Us’!
    So we use it as our solar energy ‘sun-downer’ drink whenever we can; and try out ever-new combinations with our ‘staple’ banana, like, wild fennel fronds, which give a heavenly aniseed aroma, or young vine leaves, and mulberry leaves, and even freshly ‘hand-fished’ sea lettuce from our Indian Ocean, far outside town ..
    You are welcome to visit our website from Downunder, Youthevity.com for our ‘child’s-play’- recipes -for free, as the best things in life should be!

  128. Selene says:

    Kevin,

    You’re being silly.

    Dr. E was referring to all-fruit smoothies and you’ve made it about green smoothies.

    I count on you to be thoughtful and careful about YOUR blog postings.

  129. trevor says:

    This might have some validity….I make a green smoothie 2 – 3 times a day in my vitamix that includes kale, apples, spinach, bananas, etc. and I am extremely constipated. This isn’t the “adapting to amount of fiber” constipated, I’ve been doing this for close to a year drinking well over 8 glasses of water a day and eating healthy besides the smoothies but have found myself irregular completely due to fiber. I don’t want to get too detailed but it’s been communicated by health professionals just be the appearance of my stools that I’m not getting enough fiber. There is something to this….

  130. It always kills me when doctors tell people not to eat fruits and veggies. Ya gotta be kidding!!!?!?!?!?!?
    Instead of a smoothie, go back to bacon and eggs with some pancakes and syrup. Ya, that’s better!

  131. Eat2Breathe says:

    As someone with severe insulin resistance (diet does not ‘cure’ it and life-saving medication enables it) I wish there was more recognition of the point Dr. Esselstyn was making. I have literally spent days googling this very topic, finally landing here.

    Smoothies, no matter their color, are food and like all food they impact our blood sugar among other factors. If you have known issues with insulin, then you should proceed with caution.

    It is too bad no one seems to want to help individualize smoothies. That the position seems to be ‘we’re right, they made a mistake.’ Life is not one-size-fits-all. Medicine is not one-size-fits-all. Why would one approach to smoothies fit everyone?

    I have been looking at green smoothie recipes exhorting me to use three apples and a banana, when I can’t eat them without weight gain in their intact form.

    Sugar matters, even if it’s ‘wholesome’ and this is something that deserves serious conversation as well as recipes that help newcomers work around their limitations.

    Michelle

  132. Bob says:

    I wouldn’t juice apples with the seeds as the body will convert chewed up appleseeds into Cyanide- a poison. Only if they go into your system whole, they might make it out safe, but even then, why take the chance when you are all trying to be healthy.

  133. Rani Nato says:

    I have been mixing green smoothies and getting great results. If green smoothies are bad for you then the vegetables are. When mixing my smoothies I put only ice. Soooooooooooooooooo, tell me. Rani Nato

  134. William Mack says:

    I started drinking Green Smoothies 2 years ago. What a change! Irregularity disappeared, my blood pressure became normal, and my arthritis has almost disappeared! I truly thank God for them. Another benefit is that the veggies I tried and tried to include in my diet (without success) have now been incorporated into my every “drink”. My doctor is elated with my health. She said, “Your heart, lungs and general health are remarkable!” I couldn’t agree more.
    Thank the Lord for Green Smoothies!! 🙂

  135. William Mack says:

    In my comments, I meant “everyday” not every.
    Thanks….

  136. Jennifer says:

    There are so many comments so I haven’t read them all, and maybe someone already mentioned this … cinnamon. Cinnamon is supposed to help regulate blood sugar. So I put one-quarter teaspoon in each smoothie I drink. Also helps make smoothies much tastier.

  137. peggy says:

    Speaking of GREEN DRINKS, I received an Ad in the mail for a product, ALL DAY ENERGY GREENS, It looked like it might be Great. Of course these Companies are Going to say that they are great. People saay that they feel Great, feel Years younger. i looked and dsaw that one of the 38 Ingredients is Echinacea. i rswad once that Echin acea can be taken when you are Ill with a Colkd, it helps you get ovet the Cold faster. i hear that it is supposed to help with the Immune System, yet it should not be taken Every day. i hear trhat if taken Daily it can actually hurt the immune System, so that Stopped me from buying it. Has anyone heard of ALL DAY ENBERGY GREENS? i hear trhat Echinbacea shoukd not be takjen Every Day, and it is one of therir ingredients.

  138. Ben Fairbanks says:

    Dude that was a great article. I loved it, well put together. I would like to add something important. If you are diabetic or pre-diabetic, you don’t have to put any sweetener in them. Me & my family do not. I put 16oz of water in my blendtec in the 96oz carafe & a whole bunch of spinach cut a few times & blend. You don’t need to put fruit or sweetener in them. Spinach is really neutral tasting & in this blend it just tastes like a tasteless smoothie. It’s not bad tasting at all & its not like candy either. We almost lost my dad 2 years ago. We had to go extreme. His doctor told him he absolutely needed medications. He had congestive heart failure, cardiomyopathy, diabetes & they wanted him on insulin, & skin cancer. We had him on Usana vitamins, green smoothies of spinach, kale, red swiss chard & collard greens mainly with no fruit or sweetener at all & ate all natural with nothing cooked whatsoever, & they went for walks. My dad’s cardiologist told my mother he had 1 month to live at this point. I helped them get on all of this. My dad refused medications & was determined to earn his life back. Within 4 weeks they told my dad he no longer needed any medications but he still needed to keep doing everything. It has been 2 years & he is still alive & has reversed all his diseases that I mentioned above. I am so proud of him. He is living proof you can come back even on your deathbed!

  139. April says:

    Wonderful post! Quick question: do you recommend not mixing fat in a green smoothie? I usually add a tablespoon of Chia seeds to mine every morning because I read that fats help our bodies absorb the nutrients in the greens. Thanks!

  140. Mary says:

    I find it funny that someone says we should NEVER mix fruits with veg and should always eat them alone. He mentions that mixing fruits/veg causes indigestion and gas.

    I just started smoothies about a week ago. I try to create a “balanced meal” of fruit/veg/seeds/nuts in each smoothie. The FIRST thing I noticed, besides some great energy, was that I suddenly have almost no gas for the first time in my life. Maybe smoothies cause digestive problems for some people, but they are paradise for me! Plus, I am getting at least 5x the fruit/veg that I ate before in my diet. It’s amazing. Even if only half of it is getting absorbed “correctly,” that’s still a great improvement in my diet. 🙂

  141. Noilyn Saray says:

    Excellent article. Thank you! I came across a few articles about smoothies being bad for you and, as you said, I started to freak out! I drink either a protein or green smoothie everyday. What you explain makes a lot of sense. I believe a thing might be good but if abused might become bad for you. One smoothie a day, like taking a vitamin supplement, is ok. I think living on smoothies only, probably not ok. 🙂
    Also agree on the subject on Internet confusion. There is so much information out there, it gets daunting at times. I just started writing a blog on foods ands nutrition and I really pay attention and do a deep research before adding an article. I love sharing information but I want to do so thoughtfully and and making sure is accurate and will not confusing my readers.
    I will happily keep enjoying my green smoothies…

  142. Greg says:

    Thanks Kevin!

  143. Chef Nancy says:

    Great commentary Kevin!

    I’d like to add, that
    a. Dr. Esselstyn’s comments are about “Smoothies”, NOT GREEN smoothies, which, in my world, have considerably more fiber and less fructose than say, a Strawberry/Banana version.
    b. For individuals who claim that preparing salads for their raw greenery are too much bother (I’m in this camp), green smoothies offer nutrition that may otherwise be left uneaten.

    A question for you, Kevin, based on your statement
    “But for those who are healthy — and don’t eat a lot of fat in their smoothies — their blood sugar will drop quite quickly after eating their smoothies. (Fat will slow the effectiveness of insulin in the blood stream and cause blood sugar levels to stay higher for a longer period of time.)”
    Do you feel all fats are created equal in relation to this statement? For example, will EFA’s from whole seeds or medium chain triglycerides from coconut meat also slow insulin’s effectiveness (regardless of the source, be it a green smoothie or a cookie)?? Very curious to know your thoughts on this please!

  144. Ryan says:

    I used to make green smoothies in the mornings. Right now I can’t seem to get into it with all the shopping for fresh ingredients involved. I did notice the spike in my blood sugars after drinking them so I cut way back on apples, grapes and carrots. What I’m interested in knowing is how much sugar is contained in the green leafy vegetables like spinach, romaine and kale. Do they contribute to higher sugar levels if I completely cut out the other ingredients?

  145. Eric says:

    Let me remind you all that Modified Citrus Pectin in micronized, so the idea that blending destroys the goodness of fiber is incorrect. In fact, the opposite may be true. If you sit down, and drink a large amount of sugar, you are abusing yourself. Take it slowly, a few ounces at a time. Even drinking a lot of cold water all at once isn’t a good idea.

  146. Marge says:

    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23017441

    The link above is a study done on “Pureed fruit and Vegetable drinks.” Or you could say “fruit and vegetable

    smoothies”.

  147. Thank you for the info on smoothies! I have two questions that I would like you to answer for me, please.
    I have read that mixing green veggies and fruit in the same drink is not good to do. Also, is including whey powder in fruit smoothies an okay idea?
    I have found green veggie smoothies are a good way to get your fiber and hope they are something good to do overall. I had uterine cancer in 2007, am now in good health and believe that smoothies are an excellent way for me to cleanse and purify my body and also to boost my immune system. (I did not have chemotherapy, and I am a believer in good nutrition and a balanced life.)
    Thanks for all you do for health!
    Loving Regards,
    Alice Theriault

  148. Jeanette says:

    Thank you Kevin. You are amazing! Really appreciate that your answer is forthright and articulate.

  149. Lawrenzymes says:

    There’s a little truth in everything and I mean a little. Years ago when I was a strict non flesh , fowl or fish predator. It used to piss me off when the winos and druggies seemed on the outside healthier than most zealot vegans w/ their various holier than thou foodie attitudes that just didn’t quite measure up physically and mentally to the hype they were preaching. However they were trying at least.
    And as the years roll on things got worse in the environment w/extreme pollution inside and outside our bodies & sadly this collectively bad human behavior that is now going on w/merchandising death by over consumption of everything and by the way increasing exponentially. This destructive mass marketing madness of humanity will take most of the planet out in these upcoming decades unless of course there is alien or divine intervention.
    A “medical” doctor Esselstine or whatever blowing smoke about a green smoothie is beyond ridiculous because someone that may be saved by it (consuming a green smoothie possibly altering at least their perception of what food is ) instead chooses a hamburger/sugared junk or other insidious substitutes for genuine nutrition … just because of a silly statement ? / They won’t change their nasty habits and depend completely on the corporate greedy muggers in the medical industries $$$ to save them from themselves and we know how that ends. Siga la lucha.

  150. Walt says:

    I am a green smoothie veteran and got started with V. Boutenko’s book.
    If anyone wants to end their personal debate over this I suggest they investigate The Gerson Therapy and what it has done for many people. I have attended their conference and read their books-what they claim and have proven is real and very common sense. I agree that each person and their needs are different, yet believe that some modified version of The Gerson Therapy could benefit everyone who tries it. Just Google Gerson Therapy and go from there. One more comment, if you plan to follow it to any great degree you should only pursue it under the guidance of a Gerson Certified Doctor. The Gerson Institute in San Diego California can assit with that. Keep up the GREAT work Kevin, we got started with your Great Water Debate several years ago. We now have a Vitasalus Filtration and Fluoride removal system feeding an Aquasana Descaler, Whole House Filtration and UV Light system. We are waiting for the test results to come back. Had it not been for your Water Debate we would not have known where to begin. Thank you!

  151. Sammy says:

    Kevin,
    Thanks for another right on discussion. I am hoping that Dr. Esselstyn’s statement were taken out of content from the beginning . But if not , may be we all can shed some light with our own individually experiences in the school of life. One of the main reason I am drawn to your articles is you have the common sense to use your common sense that everyone is different.We are in a different frame or state of mind , and that you have to look at the body , mind and spirt of a person when it comes to health . Different stages of life and /or illness are also a factor. Lots of bleed tests don’t hurt any either for family and friends that are non believers. My wish is to see the medical field and agro corps get on the right track . We have decades of case studies and now modern scientific prove.
    I am a cancer survivor ! It works !!!

  152. Sammy says:

    P/S
    There are many great wed sites to help you learn how to make a great smoothies or even juices and healthy food in general from a nutritional value. Use them , they are easy. Only you know your own body . Take a few short minutes and listen to it .

    https://cronometer.com/

    http://nutritiondata.self.com/

    http://www.myfitnesspal.com/

  153. LINDA says:

    Well done Kevin!!!!! Well Done! I agree with what you’ve said. A TEE HEE to the lol

  154. Meri says:

    Excellent article. Very balanced and reasonable arguments. I really enjoyed reading this! I haven’t been making smoothies for a while now but I’m tempted to start up again and see how it works out for me.

  155. Jackie says:

    Thank you for this article. I have been getting a few links sent to me by people who are questioning why I drink green smoothies everyday. Could you please address the issues in this attached link?
    I have had it sent to me several times. I trust your opinion.

    http://www.thehealthyhomeeconomist.com/how-green

    Blessings,
    Jackie

  156. Monica Leal says:

    Your article is timely! This just happened to me! I’ve been eating 1-2 green smoothies per day for many years and my blood pressure was always normal, no problem. I was vegan, with green smoothies in the morning, then cooked and/or raw vegan the rest of the day. A few months ago, I dramatically increased my smoothies. I did a 100% raw 80-10-10 with only green smoothies and additional fruit all day, then a salad with a very small amount of nuts, seeds and/or avocado in the evening. I felt fabulous the first few weeks, but then started feeling bloated and less energy. It did me a lot of good because I was sleeping better and my gum problems vanished – yes vanished!! BUT I didn’t lose the weight I wanted to. So, I switched to Raw til 4, except it was more like Raw til 8…still had several green smoothies, heavy on the bananas, but a cooked vegan meal in the evening. I had been doing this for another couple of months, then had my blood pressure checked on a routine dentist visit, just 2 days ago! HOLY CRAP MY BLOOD PRESSURE HAD SKYROCKETED!!! Not just high but VERY VERY VERY high! I have never, EVER had high blood pressure in my life! Even when I was much more overweight! The only thing I did different these past 3 months was lots of high-banana green smoothies. Would it have mattered whether they were smoothies or just fruit? Was it too many bananas for my personal metabolism? Would it have done that if I had eaten the bananas by themselves instead of in smoothies? All I know is that the issue of blood pressure being raised is definitely a valid one. This just happened to me! Now I just hope it comes back down on its own, now that I’ve stopped the banana smoothies. =(

  157. I drank green smoothies for years after attending one of Victoria’s workshops, and I know her standards for herself are impeccable. But my nutrition guru–a local sport coach, former health food store owner, full-time nutrition researcher with a photographic memory–has warned about the alkaloids in raw greens. Victoria also mentions this but believes simply alternating the greens used is sufficient protection. My source doesn’t think so. He claims that they need to be neutralized with cooking. By the way, he was a vegetarian for 30 years, a raw vegan for 10, and found that serious health problems resulted. He claims that there are 17 essential nutrients–which we have to get from food–that are NOT present in plant foods.

  158. joey says:

    Kevin,

    Need to clarify a few things … If an individual in good health is making smoothies and does not use any fruit whatsoever is there still a negative health effect according to your article?

    I use Baby Leaf Spinach, Kale, Nutritional Brewers Yeast, Swiss Chard, Turmeric et.. most times and stay on the green side. here and there an Avocado with a green supplement. NO FRUIT whatsoever no sugar in any form, does the same negative health effects surface? Fruits are energizers and cleansers and greens revitalizes and builders. I did not find to date that green smoothies has been cause of any adverse side effects. Sugars cause Glycation, speed up oxidation and tampers with gut flora? Please share your thoughts…thanks Joey

  159. Alan says:

    Erratum: “it’s helpful properties” it’s = it is

  160. Rebecca says:

    So at 6 days in on my 10 day green smoothie cleanse why does my tongue feel weird. Its been sort of coated for last 3 days. Any thoughts? My smoothie is spinach, apples or bananas, lots of berries and peaches 1 scoop protein and 2 scoops of ground flax seeds. I mix it up every day on the greens and fruit using kale or spring mix and not just spinach. Other than that I feel great and have lost 10 lbs so far. What role do hormones play in this process and hormonal reactions?

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