My green smoothie guide, in a nutshell

Green smoothies are all the heat – or un-heat, for that matter. One of the chief reasons you’d want to swap your dead, sugar-laden, complex breakfast with a “pre-chewed” fibrous, living greens smoothie is to get your daily dose of bioavailable nutrition whilst preserving your precious digestive fire. In this way, your body can focus its energy on other important tasks, like cellular repair, detoxification, and the metabolism of that not-so-healthy late-night snack. Oh yeah, and on productivity at work 🙂

Unlike popular belief, it’s not necessary to start your engine in full force from the moment you wake up. Have your lemon water, take your vitamins, breathe, and get blending.

Confused about the process? Let me offer some simple tips.


Add more greens

If you want your smoothie to be healthy, keep the alkalizing greens dominant (60-80%). Know that these greens shouldn’t ever compromise the taste. Get them in, mask them with some low to medium GI fruit and a few delicious supplements, and both your belly and your palette remain satisfied.

Easy, neutral tasting greens include romaine and spinach. Start with these and you may get hooked. Other fun greens to play with include kale, collard greens (stems removed), butter/red/green lettuce, fennel, celery, cucumber and herbs (cilantro, mint, parsley – in smaller quantities). If you’re overwhelmed by the taste of a pungent or bitter greens, halve the amounts and substitute with romaine or spinach.


Be fruit smart

A spike in blood sugar is not necessary for any of us, no matter what time of day. Because that’s usually followed by a crash, and we certainly don’t want to feel like we need a nap at 11 o’clock in the morning. To keep your blood sugar levels balanced, use a mix of low and medium glycemic-indexed fruit, combined with good protein and fat sources (see below). Low GI fruits include apples, pears, grapefruits, kiwis, oranges, strawberries and plums, while medium GI fruits include bananas, mangoes, papayas and pineapples. If you can, stick to organic varieties. If this isn’t possible, shop from the Clean 15 – you’ll be surprised at how many delicious fruits and veggies make the cut!

It’s important to mention that each body will react differently to food combinations and health claims. The key is to experiment with yourself, cautiously and mindfully. I personally add a ripe banana to my daily smoothie and have never experienced a crash – or felt poor in any way (bloating, gas, headache). Others may beg to differ. I say stick to 20-40% fruit, 60-80% greens, and listen to your body.


Use supplements 

These days, it’s just not enough to trust our fruits and vegetables alone to provide us with adequate nutrition. Not because they’re not amazing for your health, but rather it has to do with the quality of the soil in which they were grown – their source of health. If the soil is deficient in the first place, how do we expect our whole foods to live up to our expectations? This is where organic and local also come into play. If we only opt for organic, often those varieties must travel the globe to get to our kitchens. Similar to globe trotting humans, the mere process of air/ship/land distribution is tiresome, energy depleting and potentially toxic.

So, back to supplements. These babies are nutritious, balancing, specific, delicious (some, anyway) and accessible. Some supplements may improve the absorption of nutrients from living foods into your gut, while others work to regulate the entry of sugar into your blood. Therefore, I argue that these are key to getting that extra umph out of your daily smoothie. I’ll offer my suggestions based on the desired health benefits themselves – and look out for the multi-functional duplicates!

Here are my top supp suggestions, with some key, but non-exclusive benefits noted:


  • chia seeds (soluble and insoluble)
  • flax seeds/oil


  • spirulina
  • chlorella
  • nuts (and their respective unsweetened butters)
  • seeds (and their respective unsweetened butters)
  • mesquite
  • lucuma
  • carob

healthy fat

  • coconut (meat, oil, butter)
  • avocado
  • nuts (almonds, walnuts, brazil nuts)
  • seeds (sunflower, pumpkin, sesame, chia, flax, hemp, with the latter three offering omegas 3 and/or 6)

vitamins and minerals

  • maca (B12, iron, calcium, libido boost)
  • lucuma (potassium, magnesium, phosphorus)
  • ashwagandha (antioxidant, adaptogen, great for men)
  • shatavari (calcium, zinc, excellent for women)
  • cacao (antioxidants, magnesium)
  • carob (potassium, calcium)
  • mesquite (calcium, magnesium, potassium)
  • matcha green tea (antioxidant)
  • camu camu berry (antioxidant)


  • vanilla bean powder
  • cinnamon (blood sugar regulator)
  • ginger (digestive)
  • turmeric (anti-inflammatory)
  • cayenne (gut cleaner)
  • sea salt (hydration)

natural sweeteners

  • lucuma (naturally sweet)
  • mesquite (sweet, caramel flavour)
  • coconut nectar
  • medjool dates
  • maple syrup
  • yacon syrup
  • stevia leaf powder or extract


Switch it up, frequently and mindfully

This one holds true for most things in life. Doing the same thing over and over can get boring and overwhelming, physically, emotionally and in the case of health, internally. There is quite a bit of talk about dark leafy greens like spinach and chard containing oxalates, which block or reduce the absorption of calcium. This shouldn’t stop anyone from using these greens unless indicated professionally. This also applies to fruits and supplements. If you’ve been adding an apple to your smoothie this week, use a pear next week. Add flax today and hemp tomorrow. On days when your sweet tooth dominates, throw in some extra lucuma and/or mesquite. Maybe even a pinch of stevia or a date or two. Substitute your water base with coconut water or a homemade nut milk. For the daring, or for those pre-empting a cold, use a tea base, like immune-boosting chaga or reishi.

Switch it up, make healthy green smoothie prep fun and you’ll see how quickly it becomes part of your routine.


My final tips and thoughts 

  • Blend your greens first and then add the remaining ingredients and blend again. This creates more room for other goodies.
  • If you’re hooked on blending, consider investing in the almighty vitamix or blendtec. These babies will turn your smoothies into pure decadence.
  • If you’d like to ‘creamify’ your smoothies, add a tiny amount of whole-food healthy fats, like avocado (½ is sufficient), coconut butter (1 tbsp), nuts and seeds (nut/seed butters and their milks included).

Don’t forget that digestion starts in your mouth! Activate those salivary enzymes by “chewing” your smoothie. If you draw unnecessary attention from bystanders, simply embrace and welcome it (unless it’s warranted by your green moustache:).

Take advantage of the opportunity and flaunt that green drink like it’s a trend-setter. Why? Because it is.

Health is the new wealth – period.

Check out my fave green smoothie recipe here. 

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