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Real-Life Insights and Takaways

  • A healthy green smoothie will not taste like the sweet smoothie you are used to from your favorite smoothie store. That’s a good thing 🙂
  • Start with spinach or romaine lettuce in your green smoothie as they are less bitter than many other green, leafy vegetables.
  • The more flexible or tender the green leafy vegetable, the better it will blend into a smoothie.
  • Focus on ease and simplicity when measuring serving sizes. A serving of raw spinach is what you can easily fit into your two hands cupped together. As a result, the serving size will vary from person to person.
  • Ask yourself, “What is my purpose in making this smoothie?” This will help you to determine what goes into your smoothie. (i.e. Using protein powder if the smoothie is a meal, addressing taste if you are making it for children, servings of vegetables needed, etc.)
  • There is no one “right” formulation for a smoothie.
  • Do not expect your children to eat something that you won’t. Model healthy eating and your children will observe and learn from you.
  • The first time you try something bitter you may not like it, but understand that the taste of bitter is an acquired taste.
  • A green smoothie is the single most concentrated source of real food nutrition you can take in and is a great way to heal your body from a variety of ailments.
  • April and Jonathan’s top ingredient list for a basic green smoothie:
    1. Spinach or Romaine lettuce
    2. Low fructose fruits like lemon, oranges, or strawberries
    3. Boosters such as Garden in my Glass
    4. Cinnamon (helps with blood sugar and appetite)
    5. Undistilled apple cider vinegar (adds flavor and aids with digestion)
  • The standard smoothie from a smoothie shop typically has 70 grams of sugar, which is equivalent to the amount of sugar in two cans of Coke.
  • You can freeze spinach to use in a smoothie later, but lettuce does not freeze well.
  • Blend a large amount  of smoothies at once and save the remaining in the refrigerator for later. You can also blend the contents of an entire bag of spinach, label, and store for later use.
  • Your child’s goals are probably different than your goals when drinking a smoothie. We want them to enjoy drinking it. Take small steps toward making the smoothies more healthy.
  • Garden in my glass is a product in the SANE store which is composed of powdered fruits and vegetables sweetened with Stevia. It is a true smoothie boost.
  • Invest in a quality blender (check out the SANE store for refurbished, basic Vitamix smoothie that cost less, but will blend great).
  • If your goal is just to get more vegetables, you are not necessarily trying to make the smoothie taste good, you just don’t want it taste bad.
  • April’s favorite smoothie recipe includes: UMP vanilla protein powder, spinach, orange, zest of orange (included in the book, The Calorie Myth)
  • Carrie Brown found that adding some guar gum and/or avocado makes the smoothie a nice consistency.

—NEXT ACTION—
Drink a green smoothie with Spinach or Romaine lettuce, blended with strawberries and/or oranges as often as you can. This is one of the easiest ways you can transform your life, your health, and that of those you love.

Reflection Questions

  • How can you get more green smoothies into your diet?
  • How much spinach do I put in my green smoothie?
  • Do I need to put protein powder in my smoothie?
  • Are there protein powders that taste good?
  • What ingredients do you put in a green smoothie?

SANE Soundbites

Scroll up to pin and share the sexy infographic versions of these 😉

  • 5:27 – 6:12, “In a SANE lifestyle, we’re not doing ounces, calories, precision, or scale measuring. We don’t have an obesity epidemic and no one’s struggling with their health because they don’t have to the gram accurate measurements of what they’re eating. So what we want to focus on is ease, simplicity, sanity. So a serving of spinach is what you can fit in your hands cupped like this. That’s one serving of raw spinach. That makes a lot of sense because if you have a five-year-old child, what they can hold like this is a lot smaller than what your six-foot-five, eighteen-year-old football playing son can hold. So one serving of spinach varies by person. So we want to use our hands as the baseline for that. So what you hold in two hands cupped like this is a serving.”
  • 8:32 – 9:22, “A lot of lifestyle programs are about eat this for breakfast now. Eat this for lunch. And that’s why they never work because that’s not how life works. That would be like saying, “Hey, the way to learn math is to memorize the combination of every possible…” You can’t do that. You have to learn the rules then you apply the rules, right? So the rule here for smoothies is you have to ask yourself, “Am I drinking this smoothie because I want to drink something that is really sweet and green? Or do I want to get a lot of vegetables?” Maybe for breakfast I didn’t eat vegetables and I want to eat just a bunch of vegetables. So that’s going to be a different smoothie than hey I want to help my children eat more vegetables, but I’m going to have to address the taste. So there is no one right formulation for a green smoothie. You have to look at what your goal is for that smoothie.”
  • 10:34 – 11:32, “Just from a family perspective, I love that you ask that question “Why are we drinking the green smoothie?” That’s a question I have to ask when it comes to feeding green smoothies to my children because my children don’t typically have green vegetables. They don’t go to the fridge and say, “Hey, how could I consume spinach?” or “How could I consume kale?” My children are not doing that. So I have to deliberately prepare, chop, pack vegetables. Have them available to them and then they will eat them up. But that’s totally true. If I’m giving my children green smoothies, they won’t touch the ones that I drink that are just blended spinach. They don’t want anything to do with that, which is totally fine because their goals are different than my goals. But if I can say we’re going to start out doing some fruit juice and some bananas and berries. Then we started watering the fruit juice down, like you suggested in previous episodes. So just being able to figure out how to give a great amount of spinach, green vegetables, to my children in the form of a smoothie, in a way that they enjoy drinking it.”
  • 12:15 – 12:44, “So step one is almost always going to be get the adult to start drinking and enjoying green smoothies. With adults they’re like, “Oh this is bitter.” In defense of bitter, so bitter is the least appreciated flavor of the flavors we have available to us. We all like a savory flavor, sweet flavor, and salty flavor. There’s this whole genera called bitter. Like, “I drank this and it tasted bitter.” So bitter is a flavor is often acquired.”
  • 13:47 – 13:59, “I will also add that as parents are setting an example for their children as we’re making our green smoothies, as we’re drinking our green smoothies, our children may not want to drink them right away. But they’re watching and they’re noticing our habits.”
  • 14:44 – 15:44, “A lot of things that are neat, especially as the children get older, there are things completely independent of weight or what we would generally perceive as health that green smoothies can help with. Because what is a green smoothie? At the end of the day, a green smoothie is the single most concentrated source of real food nutrition you will ever take in. There is no more efficient way to get a maximum amount of that which heals your body into your body, than a green smoothie. For example, let’s say you have an adolescent male child who has an acne breakout. You could put a bunch of toxic acid on his face, which is what some of the prescription medications are. I tried some of those myself and I would never do that again. Or you could try to eat more green smoothies and cut down on some other substances in your diet. You know, your skin is often times a reflection of what’s going on inside your body. So that extremely high dose of nutrition, things that you wouldn’t think about they can affect, they can affect really really strongly. So that’s another good tool to have in the toolbox.”
  • 23:42 -24:39, “That’s the next action for this episode is just quite honestly, just find some way to eat spinach or romaine, blended with strawberries or oranges, in a blender as often as you can. That, in and of itself right? You read all these magazines, all these tips, all these terrifying posts on the internet about the EPA and the sun is going to kill, and oh my gosh the waters are contaminated, there’s air pollution and we’re all going to die. Except no one’s eating enough vegetables and you can eat vegetables really easily, really seamlessly, by turning them into green smoothies. So just find a green smoothie recipe using the baseline components that we talked about here. It is easily the simplest and most beneficial thing you could add to your diet to transform your life, your health, and that of the folks that you love.”

Green Smoothies

April: April Perry and Jonathan Bailor back with another episode of the SANEShow. Today we’re talking about how to find a green smoothie you love. Jonathan, if you had suggested this to me five years ago I would have said, “What is a green smoothie and how could I possibly love that?”

Jonathan: April, there was a little controversy today before we started recording because you said, “Jonathan I don’t think we should call these green smoothies. I think we should call them blended spinach because they are nothing like what I get at Jamba Juice.”

April: Spinach! Exactly! Because when I make a green smoothie that’s actually more healthy for me, it doesn’t taste anything like all the sweetness that I’m used to when I go to a smoothie store. But you had a good idea what to call the smoothies at the smoothie store.

Jonathan: Glass of diabetes is what we should call it because actually a lot of people don’t realize this, but the standard smoothie at Jamba Juice, you’re looking at 70 grams of sugar. Now I know we don’t carry around little gram measuring – they go, “Grams, that means so much to me.” But to put that in perspective, you could drink two cans of Coke and still not be there. So it’s like my healthy breakfast of Jamba Juice and then someone sitting next to you is like, “Actually, I just drank two Cokes for breakfast and I took in less sugar than you did.”

April: I didn’t even know that. At our college we had a juice spot right there next to our campus. It was so easy to go and just pick up a juice. I’m thinking oh, you get those boosters in there, right? There’s like a fat burning booster and there’s all this energy, or extra protein, or fiber, or something. I thought I was doing something good for my body. That actually wasn’t the case.

So today we’re actually answering a question from Danette, she’s part of our Sane Families Program. She sent me this question which I thought was just brilliant the way that she phrased it. So I’ll just go ahead and read it. She said, “I am in the SANE Families Program and I’m trying to start with smoothies and getting my veggies in each day” which is awesome. Then she had a few questions like, “How many ounces of spinach constitute one serving?” I think that’s a great question because if you’re trying to get ten plus servings of vegetables a day, you kind of want to know how much spinach do I need.

Then she said, “What is your favorite flavorless protein powder? Favorite chocolate protein powder? Favorite vanilla protein power?” Now you don’t have to put protein powders in your spinach smoothies, and we’ll talk about that. But I thought those were really valid questions, great. Then she’s essentially saying I tried some other protein powders but it was really hard to find some that weren’t gross. So she wanted to know what we liked.

So I thought this was a great chance for Jonathan and I just to talk about why spinach smoothies are important. Let’s talk a little about servings, ingredients, and let’s just help people figure out how to get more green smoothies into their diet.

Jonathan: Well first and foremost April, I love the spirit of the spinach smoothie tag line, but I do want to let folks know that while spinach is a great starting point, like spinach and romaine we almost always recommend folks start with those because they’re so easy and versatile. They’re also the least bitter of the green leafy vegetables. Once you become an experienced spinach smoothie maker, you can get into all kinds of fun stuff like Swiss Shard, kale, and yada, yada, yada. But that comes further down the road.

April: Right, and one little tip I’ll add is don’t freeze your romaine lettuce. I do freeze my spinach but Jonathan and Angela came to visit our family and I said, “Hey Jonathan, I’ve got some frozen romaine my son accidentally stuck in the freezer, can we use it?” He’s like, “Sure, just kind of rinse it off.” As I was doing it, it turned into the most disgusting stuff ever. So don’t freeze your romaine.
But yes, I will say the last time I went to the grocery store they had Shard and I’d never purchased that before. I’d never gone over to that are of the produce department because it scared me. But I was really used to drinking spinach smoothies so I felt okay, I’m ready for something else. It was fantastic. Not even as gross as I thought it was going to be.

Jonathan: That’s my goal. It’s not as gross as I thought it would be is pretty much the testimonial we’re always looking for for things that are related to saying. But if you do venture over to the green leafy vegetables of your grocery store and want to get a little adventurous like April is doing, a general rule of thumb is if you touch the vegetable, for example mustard greens are very robust. They almost feel like a cabbage. Like romaine is flimsy. If romaine got in a fight with kale it would probably lose. Kale is this firm, sturdy vegetable. Whereas romaine and Spinach are a little bit more – so the firmer the vegetable the more it’s like a solid thing, the harder it is going to be to incorporate that into a smoothie. But the more flimsy or flexible the vegetable is, the easier it is to integrate. For example, if you put turnip greens in a smoothie that’s probably going to be a disaster because those are really, really firm green vegetables.

April: I wasn’t about to do that by the way. It wasn’t on my list.

Jonathan: You’re not just pining to put turnip greens into your green smoothie?

April: Okay, let’s try not to gross people out here. Can we explain what a serving size is for spinach?

Jonathan: Yes, sorry.

April: Buy a big bag of spinach. You’re trying to make a smoothie. How much spinach are we talking for a glass, like one spinach smoothie? What would you suggest?

Jonathan: So the literal question, and I think it’s important to address the literal question because there’s two points I want to make about it. The literal question is how many ounces of spinach constitute one serving. In a SANE lifestyle, we’re not doing ounces, calories, precision, or scale measuring. We don’t have an obesity epidemic and no one’s struggling with their health because they don’t have to the gram accurate measurements of what they’re eating. So what we want to focus on is ease, simplicity, sanity. So a serving of spinach is what you can fit in your hands cupped like this. That’s one serving of raw spinach. That makes a lot of sense because if you have a five-year-old child, what they can hold like this is a lot smaller than what your six-foot-five, eighteen-year-old football playing son can hold. So one serving of spinach varies by person. So we want to use our hands as the baseline for that. So what you hold in two hands cupped like this is a serving.

So ideally, in your spinach smoothie you’re working your way up to say grab this much spinach, put it in there. Do that again and put it in there. Do that it again, put it in there. That would be three servings if you did that.

April: Exactly, like this morning I was making some green smoothies because I knew I had a busy day today. I knew I wasn’t going to have a lot of time to eat. I like carrots but it takes a while to eat a carrot when we’re filming. So I made a whole bunch of green smoothies this morning and we actually did about twelve servings of spinach in a huge blender. I blended all of that up. I used the little cottage cheese containers you recommended, which has been awesome. So I poured three servings in empty cottage cheese containers, put those in the fridge. Then I had another glass that I drank right then. So it was wonderful. I was able to say I had twelve servings of spinach in the blender, it made four smoothies. That’s about three servings of vegetables per glass. That’s really easy. I even label it GS for green smoothie, my kids say gross smoothie but that’s how it goes sometimes.

Jonathan: The other thing you can do is if you go Costco for example, I’m a big Costco fan myself. They have these big bags, I think they’re three pound bags of spinach and I think they’re like three dollars. On the bag it says this is 28 servings of spinach. If you want just use that number. This is not about oh my gosh I ate seven servings versus six. Eat a lot of vegetables is the goal. So you could take that whole bag, this is something we did together when we were recording at your house, just take that bag of spinach. When you’ve got some time, listen to an audio book, take the whole bag of spinach and just blend it by itself, and like you said label it. Just be, in this container contains 20 servings of pre-blended spinach.

April: Blended spinach.

Jonathan: Exactly.

April: In the SANE Families Program we have the whole video and we talk about what ingredients we put into our spinach smoothies, or blended spinach. Maybe let’s just talk about some of our favorite ingredients because there’s a couple ways to do this, well there’s multiple ways to do this. Partly is if you just want to be getting your vegetables you don’t need to be using extra protein powders or things like that. A lot of people are saying things like, “I just don’t want to use protein powders. I either don’t like them or I just don’t think they’re as natural as other things I could put in my smoothies.” So what would you suggest as far as favorite protein powders or things to add to your green smoothies?

Jonathan: To your point April, before we get into specific protein powders, asking why am I drinking this smoothie. A lot of lifestyle programs are about eat this for breakfast now. Eat this for lunch. And that’s why they never work because that’s not how life works. That would be like saying, “Hey, the way to learn math is to memorize the combination of every possible…” You can’t do that. You have to learn the rules then you apply the rules, right? So the rule here for smoothies is you have to ask yourself, “Am I drinking this smoothie because I want to drink something that is really sweet and green? Or do I want to get a lot of vegetables?” Maybe for breakfast I didn’t eat vegetables and I want to eat just a bunch of vegetables. So that’s going to be a different smoothie than hey I want to help my children eat more vegetables, but I’m going to have to address the taste. So there is no one right formulation for a green smoothie. You have to look at what your goal is for that smoothie, why does this matter.

So we’re asking about protein powders. If our goal with your green smoothies is like my personal, which is that’s how I eat 80% of my vegetables, then I would never put protein powder in a green smoothie because I’m getting my protein from the meals I’m eating. So there is now right formulation. There’s the formulation that’s right for your goal.

But if you are going to add protein powder, keep in mind now you’re using this smoothie as more of a meal. This is a meal now. You’re adding protein powder to it, you might even consider adding some whole food fats, like some coconut, avocado. You could do wonderful stuff if you want to get more elaborate turning your smoothie into a meal. But that’s a bit of a different thing. So right now I would strongly recommend – green smoothies to me are not about meal replacements. The thing that makes green smoothies awesome is taking the number one challenge I believe we face as a nation and as individuals, and that’s eating enough vegetables, and saying look, here’s the shortcut, the trick, the secret. It’s green smoothies. It’s blend the stuff up. If you’re doing that you really never have to worry about protein powder.

April: Exactly. Just from a family perspective, I love that you ask that question “Why are we drinking the green smoothie?” That’s a question I have to ask when it comes to feeding green smoothies to my children because my children don’t typically have green vegetables. They don’t go to the fridge and say, “Hey, how could I consume spinach?” or “How could I consume kale?” My children are not doing that. So I have to deliberately prepare, chop, pack vegetables. Have them available to them and then they will eat them up. But that’s totally true. If I’m giving my children green smoothies, they won’t touch the ones that I drink that are just blended spinach. They don’t want anything to do with that, which is totally fine because their goals are different than my goals. But if I can say we’re going to start out doing some fruit juice and some bananas and berries. Then we started watering the fruit juice down, like you suggested in previous episodes. So just being able to figure out how to give a great amount of spinach, green vegetables, to my children in the form of a smoothie, in a way that they enjoy drinking it. That was a great question.

It’s also really helpful if you have opaque cups and opaque straws and maybe some tinfoil or a lid over it, so they can’t even see it’s green. Then they are a lot happier. Just a little note.

Jonathan: Absolutely. And I want to give a quick disclaimer because we’re talking about both children and adults. This is more of an adult suggestion. My observation has been that kids find it a lot easier, having been a kid myself, to do something that is congruent with what your parents are doing. For example, if your parent is not doing something and they’re telling you that you should do it. Even as a child you’re like, “Wait a minute, this whole do as I say not as I do thing is a little hard to accept.” So step one is almost always going to be get the adult to start drinking and enjoying green smoothies. With adults they’re like, “Oh this is bitter.” In defense of bitter, so bitter is the least appreciated flavor of the flavors we have available to us. We all like a savory flavor, sweet flavor, and salty flavor. There’s this whole genera called bitter. Like, “I drank this and it tasted bitter.”

So bitter is a flavor is often acquired. Just one mental trick I’d encourage us to use is when you first try something that’s bitter you generally won’t like it. That doesn’t mean people don’t like the taste of bitter things. So this is not an endorsement, it’s just a statement of fact. A lot of people really enjoy drinking beer. Beer is incredibly bitter, as is wine. The first time you try to drink beer or wine you will say, “Oh my gosh this is disgusting and bitter.” But as you get older and you continue to drink it you’ll notice that you not only come to accept the bitterness, but it can become so delicious that people start to abuse it. Now you will actually find a healthy addiction of sorts forming with green smoothies. Both myself and my wife can attest to this, and April you can attest to this because she and I were pining for green smoothies when we were traveling and came to visit you. You start to crave these flavors.

So again, just because something isn’t sweet or salty right off the bat, bitterness I promise you is as valid of a flavor. And if you give it a chance you will develop a taste for it and a craving for it.

April: I will also add that as parents are setting an example for their children as we’re making our green smoothies, as we’re drinking our green smoothies, our children may not want to drink them right away. But they’re watching and they’re noticing our habits. Just this morning my son Ethan came into the kitchen and he said, “Hey Mom, is there anything I can do to help you?” I thought wow! That’s a great question. So I said, “Well sure, I’m making my green smoothie while I’m also trying to put stuff in the crockpot, can you help me?” He plugged in the blender for me. He helped me put the spinach in. He helped me blend it. He got me some frozen strawberries. He totally took care of me and helped me make the green smoothie this morning. So although he didn’t drink any of it, my twelve-year-old son just prepared a green smoothie and knows how to do it. So you think about that. In the future when he’s wanting more vegetables, or he’s wanting to improve his body, or whatever it is that he’s working on as an adult, he has these skills that you’ve taught me and I’ve taught him.

Jonathan: A lot of things that are neat, especially as the children get older, there are things completely independent of weight or what we would generally perceive as health that green smoothies can help with. Because what is a green smoothie? At the end of the day, a green smoothie is the single most concentrated source of real food nutrition you will ever take in. There is no more efficient way to get a maximum amount of that which heals your body into your body, than a green smoothie. For example, let’s say you have an adolescent male child who has an acne breakout. You could put a bunch of toxic acid on his face, which is what some of the prescription medications are. I tried some of those myself and I would never do that again. Or you could try to eat more green smoothies and cut down on some other substances in your diet. You know, your skin is often times a reflection of what’s going on inside your body. So that extremely high dose of nutrition, things that you wouldn’t think about they can affect, they can affect really really strongly. So that’s another good tool to have in the toolbox.

April: I can picture the day when a pediatrician sees a patient for acne and writes a prescription for green smoothies. Wouldn’t that be awesome?

Jonathan: That would be very very awesome. And April, we’ve talked about bitter and we’ve talked about getting kids to enjoy green smoothies. I did want to give just a quick plug. I’ve been talking about green smoothies for a long, long, long, long time and the bitterness, the taste of it, getting enough vegetables is something people have struggled with a lot. So we did develop something called Garden in my Glass, which is just powdered pure super fruits and vegetables that’s sweetened with Stevia, which is a natural, non-caloric sweetener. It’s an herb like cinnamon. Not only is this a great source of vegetables, but it actually really helps with the flavor of smoothies because it’s going to give you some super fruits, and I’m not talking about grapes, bananas, and apples. I’m talking about acai berries, noni berries, things you can’t buy at the grocery store. Plus it’s going to throw some Stevia in the smoothie. Plus it’s going to add one, two, three, four, five, six additional servings to the smoothie. So for example, if you’re at a point where you’re putting more strawberries and more oranges in your smoothie and less spinach because you need that sweetness, what you can find immediately you could exclude some of that higher sugar fruit, throw in a few tablespoons of Garden in my Glass. Not only will it sweeten the smoothie naturally with Stevia without any hormonal damage, but it’s also going to take that vegetable count way up. So that’s a really nice true smoothie boost. Not the nonsense at Jamba Juice that you can toss in there.

April: I love that you’re bringing up really specific things that we can put in our smoothies. Let’s put together kind of our bulleted list. What is it that we would want to say if someone came to you and said, “Okay Jonathan, if I’ve got spinach, a little bit of low fructose fruit, water, maybe some lemon juice, what are some other things that you would suggest I put in my smoothie?” So Garden in my Glass is one. Anything else?

Jonathan: The pallet for the perfect green smoothie, so the core primary, red, yellow, blue are the primary colors. So let’s talk about the primary constituents of a green smoothie. From a vegetable perspective, spinach. I’d also throw romaine lettuce in there because romaine lettuce is even sweeter than spinach. So spinach and romaine. Then you’re looking at low fructose fruits. Lemon is the best go to because it has basically no sugar in it. It does a great job of cutting the acidity. Then oranges and strawberries. Those are your low fructose fruits. Then when we get into let’s call them boosters, Garden in my Glass which you can get at Store.SANESolution.com, just fabulous. It’s going to make it super nutritionally dense. Plus it’s going to make it sweeter. Then one that not a lot of people know about – well let’s get to that one last.

Cinnamon is next. So cinnamon does a great job of cutting through the bitterness. You can put a lot of cinnamon in and it helps with blood sugar, appetite. It’s just generally really really good for you. Last but not least is going to be apple cider vinegar. This is undistilled apple cider vinegar. When you go to the store, if the vinegar is clear, that’s not undistilled apple cider vinegar. Apple cider vinegar is brown and cloudy. It actually has this stuff. It’s called the mother, at the bottom of the bottle. When you put that in the smoothie it makes it taste more like apple cider. And added bonus – this has been transformative for me because I eat so many vegetables, is it really helps with digestion. Because a green smoothie, in and of itself might have more fiber in it than you’ve ever eaten in a day in your entire life. So having a little bot—

April: There’s an adjustment to going SANE.

Jonathan: Yes. Yes.

April: Eating so many vegetables.

Jonathan: Yes. So throw in some apple cider vinegar in there. Again, just to taste. So you’re looking at a teaspoon of cinnamon. You could be pretty generous with the apple cider vinegar. I would just add it a teaspoon at a time until you find the level that you like. But those are some great key components.

April: Okay, that’s great. We do also suggest having a Vitamix or a really strong blender to be able to blend all of it up. If you try using a really weak blender, first of all it’s going to take forever. Second of all you’re going to end up with lots of spinach clumps still in the smoothie, and that’s not very appetizing.

I love the suggestion that you gave. You’re not necessarily trying to make the smoothie taste good. You’re just trying to make it not taste bad if your goal is just to get more vegetables. I will say there’s a lot of really great protein powders. I know the SANE store has a protein powder that’s flavorless that just goes right into our green smoothie, if you were adding protein.

Jonathan: Yes, so if you’re adding protein, you can use protein as a flavoring component, or you can just use it as a source of protein. At the SANE store we have something we call clean whey protein, which we’re very proud of because it’s the only thing on the market like it. It’s pure grass-fed whey protein concentrate. No flavoring, no coloring, no additives, no preservatives, nothing. It’s shocking, but the simplest thing in the world is the one thing you can’t find on the market. And that’s a great additive to a smoothie if you want protein and if you’re not looking for the protein to be a flavoring component in the recipe.

April: Yeah. One of my favorite green smoothie recipes is using the UMP vanilla protein powder, spinach, an orange and the zest of an orange. Honestly, I make that and it makes me really happy. That recipe we found at the back of your book, the Calorie Myth. So that was really helpful too.

Jonathan: There are two more tricks to green smoothies, and these get away from the pure vegetable smoothie and more just consistency to make the smoothies better. I credit Kerry Brown with this great idea. Putting just a little bit of an avocado in a green smoothie and potentially a little bit of a substance called guar gum, which is an extract from legumes, can really help with the consistency.

The other thing, in terms of consistency April, you already mentioned Vitamix, or a good blender. I want to give a very important – I love Vitamix. I don’t work for them, but I’ve been using a Vitamix blender for a really really long time and I want to tell people something that I think is really really important. The Vitamix company is not going to be happy with me about this but Vitamix sells $600 blenders. You do not need the $600 Vitamix. It’s prettier, it’s quieter, but here’s the secret: You can get the baseline level of the Vitamix. This is hard to do otherwise, they don’t encourage you to do this, but you can get the baseline version of the Vitamix that just has an on-off switch, and a high low switch. No bells and whistles. You can get it refurbished, but it still has the five to seven year warranty, and it’s like $275 and it’s got a seven year warranty. We’ve got them for you at the SANE store, that’s Store.SANESolution. com. But literally, you look at a standard Vitamix and it’s $600 for a blender. That’s crazy. You’re right, it is crazy. You can get a Vitamix for under $300 if you go to the SANE store.

April: That’s awesome. It might seem kind of strange that we’re spending so much time talking about green smoothies, but I love what you mentioned earlier. If you want to put nutrition into your body. If you want your body to be able to burn fat, to work optimally, giving yourself green smoothies is one of the easiest, best ways to do that. I just think whether you’re starting with adding a handful of green smoothie into a regular smoothie that you’ve already been enjoying. Then slowly trying to reduce the sugar and increase the vegetable intake. Whatever it is you’re trying to do, those techniques and bringing more spinach into your life actually helps dramatically, which might be surprising.

Jonathan: It will ripple through everything. That’s the next action for this episode is just quite honestly, just find some way to eat spinach or romaine, blended with strawberries or oranges, in a blender as often as you can. That, in and of itself right? You read all these magazines, all these tips, all these terrifying posts on the internet about the EPA and the sun is going to kill, and oh my gosh the waters are contaminated, there’s air pollution and we’re all going to die. Except no one’s eating enough vegetables and you can eat vegetables really easily, really seamlessly, by turning them into green smoothies. So just find a green smoothie recipe using the baseline components that we talked about here. It is easily the simplest and most beneficial thing you could add to your diet to transform your life, your health, and that of the folks that you love.

April: Well you said it, that’s awesome. I am so grateful for this conversation. It renews my enthusiasm to continue drinking my green smoothies. To continue to find ways to up the vegetables in my diet because honestly, that’s what gives me energy, helps me feel so excited, and helps me to stay SANE in many ways. So thank you Jonathan and we’re excited for you guys to take your next action. Go do it. Go try having one green smoothie each day for the next week. Then see what it does. See what a difference it’s made for you. So good luck for thanks for being with us and remember to stay SANE.

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