Green Smoothies

"It turns out, the idea that dietary protein comes mainly from meat, eggs, soy and dairy has been mostly just propaganda. Many animals depend entirely on greens for protein. They chew, chew, chew!!” -SH


Green Smoothies

This was a handout I’d give clients and friends about green smoothies. I was making and consuming two quarts of green smoothies every morning, and I was thriving on it. I knew it provided plenty of protein, good fiber, some good oil and minerals.

Ingredients: 60% fruit and 40% greens, plus water.) Blended to a mush in a powerful blender such as a Vita-Mix. No lesser blender will suffice. This is all you need to know to get started.

In the scriptures of India are many stories of ordinary people who want spiritual advancement and they go into the woods to do sadhana and live on “fruits and roots”. They obtain a high state of realization – eating a raw plant based diet!  This is a very common story even in the history of western Christianity – starting with John the Baptist, who lived on as a hermit in the desert. Using green smoothies is almost like doing the same thing; what are greens except leaves? Green smoothies are so easy to make, and quick to drink - all you need is a blender, greens and ripe fruit. And YES fruits and greens ARE a good food combination, contrary to what you may think. Greens are NOT a vegetable but rather an entirely separate botanical category. In Nature, chimpanzee, elephants and many other creatures eat greens and fruit together in one meal. More on this later.

It is easy to digest, it does not raise blood sugar (Victoria Boutenko at who’s website IS THE GOLD STANDARD FOR INFORMATION ON GREEN SMOOTHIES has written how diabetics are helped by green smoothies) they can even drink a smoothie with bananas and apples (which might otherwise be too much sugar) and their blood sugar will not rise, since greens are blended with the fruit. 

Surprisingly, green smoothies are a high protein drink, since the blender pulverizes the cellulose, which binds protein in greens. A larger, stronger, blender is best, these cost from $100 upwards and there are many good brands. Cellulose is the same as wood, and it takes a lot of blending to break it up. Usually we don t chew enough (to break up the cellulose) to get good protein from greens, which all contain complete protein profiles. Each green leaf has a complete, but unique profile of amino acids. And each plant has a different profile of amino acids. Who knew this?  When I am doing my green smoothies each morning, I no longer crave eggs and meat and dairy for protein. I get all I need in blended greens. Who knew this was possible?

Again, the first objection people have is "vegetables and fruit do not combine and do not digest well". But, is this really true? Consider:

  1. The testimony of thousands of people who are doing green drinks with wonderful effect. (Most of them have read the book Green for Life by Victoria Boutenko and regular visit her website
  2. Greens are not a vegetable but in fact, a different botanical category entirely. Yes, it is true that fruit and vegetables don't combine, but greens are not a vegetable! Who knew this?
  3. Chimpanzees (who are more than 98% identical in DNA to humans) when freely eating their natural diet in the wild will often be seen eating fruit and greens together. For instance they will wrap a mango with green leaves and chew on that for a long time. Who knew?

It turns out, the idea that dietary protein comes mainly from meat, eggs, soy and dairy has been mostly just propaganda. Many animals depend entirely on greens for protein. They chew, chew, chew!! Lettuce does not count, since it is the quickest growing, hybridized, most shallow rooted, and de-mineralized green. We humans have an advantage, since our blender can do much of the chewing for us, so we don’t spend 6 hours a day chewing, like the chimps!

Green drinks are the ultimate survival food for hard times. Greens are rarely GMO’d, since they are not high-profit corporate food items. We get maximum nutrition at low cost, quickly and easily. Even a regular blender will work but only with softer greens.

There is no better food to consume in a toxic world. The fiber from the greens absorbs poison. Victoria Boutenko says people using green smoothies to heal, do NOT go through the usual detox and other uncomfortable cleansing reactions. That’s because the green fiber absorbs ALL the toxins that otherwise would be torturing us, as we detoxed and healed. This is unprecedented, unheard of, and contradicts all the “wisdom” of many decades of alternative healing. I have proven this for myself. All I can tell you is, GO FOR GREEN SMOOTHIES DO NOT DELAY buy a Vita Mix ASAP.

Greens with the most minerals are bitter; such salads were normal in ancient days, and were considered an aid to digestion, as are green drinks. Bitters before a meal has been known to improve stomach acid and digestion power. Personally, when I go to the farmer’s market I search for celery with the leaves attached. These leaves are very bitter, but I am using them and love how they make me feel later, so very nourished. Bitter leaves have more minerals than the other leaves. And celery already is full of minerals.

Green drinks are rather new and the stories coming in all hint at their tremendous healing power for better digestion, elimination and assimilation. If you go to raw family dot com you will see many of these stories.  

If you were to take WILD greens (all of them are bitter), put them in a plastic bag in your refrigerator, you’d find they last for months (or forever) before spoilage, or turning slimy. Highly cultivated, sweeter and softer greens are hybridized, which always means quicker growing, less nutrition, fewer minerals, enzymes, proteins and vitamins and more sugar.

More bitter greens last a long time in the refrigerator without turning slimy. That is how you can tell if greens are grown in good soil -- they last a couple weeks before turning bad. Never buy greens that spoil in less than a week. Buy your greens from a vendor whose greens last the longest when refrigerated. That is how you tell which farmer has the best greens. When you use these in a green drink, you are getting better nutrition.

The trick is to blend them until there are no more small particles; it becomes a super-smooth fine mush; this means the protein has become freed from the cellulose, and also the fiber will act as a wonderful detox agent, absorbing poison. You also benefit from the chlorophyll, which has lots of magnesium (most of us are deficient in magnesium). Usually this takes a bigger and stronger blender than most people are using. These can be had for around 100 dollars or more, depending on what you want.

We are very fortunate to live in a country with such high standards of sanitation that most greens are safe to use, after washing. This is not the case in India or other developing countries where there is open defecation and so forth.

The greatest advantage of green drinks is that we don t have to chew, although it is good to chew your green smoothie, and we can quickly get lots of good nutrition into our bodies. There is no better fast food. It is Nature’s answer to commercial fast food. There is nothing quicker you could do that would give such complete nutrition and other benefits.

Is there a disadvantage to green drinks? Yes - we don t chew enough. We need to chew to have healthy teeth and bones of the jaw. If we drink out salads, we need to find another way to chew!

Also, unfortunately, green drinks will probably diminish our need or desire to eat and chew salads, but still we still need our salads and raw vegetables for something to chew upon to keep our teeth, airway, tongue and swallowing function in good working order. I look upon my salads nowadays as simply good exercise for the jaw, a little harmless entertainment, knowing that I am getting 1000 times more nutrition in my daily morning green drink.

Usually green drinks are taken on an empty stomach, first thing in the morning (otherwise for some people they don’t digest well). But a small glass (one cup or less) of green drink with a meal is certainly the equivalent of a huge salad, and much quicker. Personally I take large amounts of green smoothie first thing in the morning. Do not use oil (no nut milk or flax oil or nuts/seeds) since the sugar from the fruit works with the greens to give high energy. Oil gums up the insulin in the blood, which must bind to the sugar. Keep it simple - just fruit, greens and water. You can add cinnamon or carob powder or kelp   or any dry (non-oily) powder. Green drinks are very nourishing, toxin-absorbing, grounding, digestible and energy enhancing if taken alone, on an empty stomach, in the morning, with NO oil or nuts or seeds. Many people make that mistake.  

With green drinks, you can eat an amazing quantity of sweet fruits - like bananas, mangos, and dates - in your green drink without the adverse blood sugar effects, as might otherwise be the case. The testimonials and other evidence coming in indicates that diabetes is not made worse by sweet green drinks, quite the opposite. In fact, it has recently been found that Vitamin D3 (sunlight) needs Vitamin K2 (from greens and cultured vegetables) to assimilate properly. And Vitamin D3 is essential to reversing or moderating diabetes. In the tropics, for instance, people eat lots of sweet fruits - pineapple, coconut juice, mango, banana, etc. Yet, because of so much sun, they don't get into the same kind of trouble as in northern climates where such fruits are not native. For more on how green drinks help diabetes, see, especially the archives of the old newsletters.

However, if you don’t want the sweet fruit, use olives, avocados, cucumbers, tomatoes or durians with your drinks. When using non-sweet fruits, you can use oil or nuts or nut milk because then the oil does not interfere with sugar digestion. Such green drinks won t give you the high-octane energy boost (that comes from sweet fruits and pulverized greens), but they are very grounding and you feel quite nourished. But it s an acquired taste! Better to start with the sweet green drinks.

So, with non-sweet green drinks, it is good to add flax oil, soaked nuts and seeds, coconut oil, etc. This kind of green drink gives you protein and good fat, good oil. You may want to alternate between the two kinds of green drinks. If you want to maximize the healing power of a green drink, you can add fresh green or dried herbs like Basil, Bitter Melon, Turmeric, Chaparral, etc. However, again, usually taste will suffer. Better to keep it simple in the beginning.

If you have been short of protein, or if you have thought for many years that you had to eat meat or cheese or eggs to get enough protein, green drinks may prove to be a great remedy. Over some weeks or months, you simply may not desire those things. That’s been my case.  You’ll look forward instead to your morning green smoothie.

Consider doing green drinks first thing in the morning for 30 consecutive days. You may find some wonderful positive changes happening in your life. There was one study that showed stomach acid is restored to youthful levels, in even elderly people, after 30 days of green smoothies. That has not been considered possible by medical science. Yet, Victoria Boutenko, in conjunction with an internist, did such a study and got those results! See for more details.   

Green drinks are the most efficient way to take greens. Nothing is wasted. The fiber and juice both are fully digested. Green smoothies are the best, and easiest, way to do raw food effectively and efficiently. If you do no other kind of raw food except this, it is more than enough. Long term, veteran raw food enthusiasts are doing green drinks, just like this, AND it is their main staple food. It may be all you need to know about raw food. It goes to the heart of the matter. You can still have your favorite cooked food one or two meals a day (I do this), and you’ll find your health skyrockets after some months.  The basic things you need to remember: 60% fruit, 40% greens, add water, no oil or nuts, and blend. In that simple formula is a lifetime of good health, pain relief, adequate protein, and much more. Personally I use a very dilute bleach solution to soak all my greens, and more information on this is given at the end of this article.

Again, there has been some evidence that even though there may be abundant fruit sugar in green drinks, it does not contribute (as much as expected) to diabetes/high blood sugar; somehow greens balance the sugar. This is remarkable; it is wonderful news to those who are diabetic or sensitive to sugar. Personally I know I can have a banana, 2 apples, and frozen berries in my green drink every morning, without any trace of sugar reactions. That would certainly not be true if I had that much fruit without the greens.

Again, it is OK to add non-fat powders to green drinks, such as Maca, Dulse, Kelp, Carob, Mesquite Pod Powder, etc. However these may ruin the taste. Be careful in the beginning, you don t want to spoil the experience. In the beginning make it simple and sweet. I still like a banana with my apples in my green drinks. Especially for the beginner, green drinks should be made sweeter (more fruit, about 60% fruit to 40% green with water) so they taste good, and we actually want to drink them. After a month or so, you naturally will not want so much fruit in your green drink, and you will still like them. Eventually you might even have slightly more greens than fruit. Of course you always have to add some water before blending, depending on how thick or thin you want your green drink to become. Some people like thick and mushy green drinks, others like it more liquid. As time goes on you might even gravitate towards more bitter greens. Personally I am now exploring celery leaves and Grapefruit seeds to add bitter flavor to my green drinks.

Have you ever wondered what to do with a left over salad, one day old; sometimes we don t want to eat it! Use it in a green drink, it tastes great, and we get the full nutrition from it. You’ll never waste left over salad again.

Green drinks taken regularly have a remarkably positive effect on the psyche and the body   it is almost magical. We draw closer to Nature, and to natural cravings instead of junk food cravings. We effortlessly begin to change our eating habits and culinary desires for the better. Many other things in our lives also change for the better, has been my experience, as well. In one small town in Oregon, Ashland, green drink workshops were given. There used to be a McDonald’s, a Burger King and a Wendy’s. Now, there is only a Wendy’s operating at half-staff. Why? Because both the McDonald’s and Burger King had to shut down for lack of business  - the first time such an even has occurred in history. This could only happen if green drinks authentically have that kind of power. They do.

Yes, it is true that fruits and vegetables and fruits should not be combined but again, and I have to repeat this over and over because people are just not willing to hear this, greens are NOT a vegetable. There has been thorough research done on this question: Botanically, greens are in a different category from vegetables, greens are more like a fruit. Green leaves are NOT a vegetable! Greens combine very well with all fruits except melons (and even here some would disagree), which should be eaten alone. It should be noted that fruits include avocados, squash, olives, coconuts, tomatoes and cucumbers.

Again, wild chimpanzees (DNA 99.8% identical to humans) live mostly on fruit and greens. Often they will wrap a fruit with green leaves and eat the sandwich. They don’t eat insects/roots unless greens and fruits are not available. They chew all day. If you are willing to do that, you don t need green drinks! Greens and fruit give them everything they need. Greens are the best, nature-given source of vegetarian protein, and independent lab tests show that all greens naturally have omega 3 oils, as well. Who knew this? Also, independent research confirms - green tops of vegetables have 10 to 1000 times more of every known vitamin, mineral, protein and other nutrient, compared to the roots, except fiber and sugar (worm food). While carrots and beets and turnips and parsnips are good for us, their green tops are 100 times better. We’ve been eating the wrong part of the plant!

When taking one quart of green drink each morning, or even anytime during the day (just get it down) it is reasonable to expect that in 30 days your stomach acid will be much stronger, or even fully restored to normal (we all lose digestive power as we age   green drinks tend to reverse this process). This is the best possible news for anyone over age 50. One study with medical supervision   30 participants encourages this belief. Really, we should not be surprised, since folk-herbal wisdom from medieval Europe and the Orient (and even in early America) teaches that bitter salads or herbal drinks before meals will aid digestion. Such widespread folk wisdom usually has truth. Green drinks early in the day are the same idea; it is reasonable to expect that you’re going to help your digestion and assimilation.

I take my quart of green drink in the morning. I want more. This surprised me when I first experienced it. So I have another quart. Sometimes I do 3 quarts or thick and mushy green drinks before having a “real meal.” It is easy, it is natural, and I am just following my appetite. The rest of my day goes really well. When I miss my green drink, I crave foods that are not good for me.

A common problem with growing older is weaker stomach acid. It may become so weak, that the sphincter at the bottom of the esophagus (the food tube from the mouth) fails to fully close when food is ingested. That sphincter is supposed to close tightly when food is eaten, and some natural health advocates (including me) have theorized that strong stomach acid is the signal that causes this to happen. If that is true, we need more stomach acid, not less, to avoid acid reflux (heart burn) or GERD (all names for the same thing). This goes contrary to the accepted wisdom that we must take antacids to protect our esophagus. Some enlightened medical sources assert that if we are taking antacids regularly, we are shortening our lives by 10 or 20 years - we have practically zero digestive power, and poor assimilation. We become mineral depleted and sickly as we age, just when we most need superior nutrition!

Recently I had a phone call from a friend who has been taking antacids for over 20 years due to GERD. About 3 years ago I had convinced her to take a morning green drink, and she has been doing that faithfully. She told me that when she forgets to take her antacids, she no longer experiences GERD   the problem is nearly gone! She tells me that it had to be the green drinks that cured her. She still uses her antacids, but only once a week. She is so surprised and happy.

Evidence also hints that even though we may be detoxifying and healing, there will be no symptoms of detox when taking one or two quarts of green drink a day, since the green pulp absorbs massive amounts of poisons/toxins. Many raw food people no longer use a juicer, which discards the pulp. Why discard it? The thoroughly pulverized pulp of greens and fruits will absorb amazing amounts of toxins, heavy metals, etc. When taking green drinks, we can diet, lose weight, detox and heal, without the healing crisis and detox symptoms. This is most remarkable, and very startling: for the past 100 years all the health books indicated that we need to suffer detox, low energy, headache and pains in order to heal. Turns out they were mistaken, since they did not know about green drinks.

It may not be only chlorella that can detox mercury and other heavy metals as has been heavily promoted; my personal assumption is that when the cellulose of any healthy green is pulverized, it can also do that. The evidence points in that direction. So I am assuming it is true, unless I see contrary evidence. Combined with fruit pectin, green drink fiber is a top-of-the-line, very inexpensive way to detox poison and heavy metals and toxins from the body. Who knew? In the morning the body throws off poison, and that is when we should be taking our green drinks. You’ll feel so much better all day long   especially in the summer when the heat speeds up the body detox process. We can get bagfuls of free greens from the farmer's market, including carrot tops, beet tops, outer cabbage and broccoli leaves. The outer leaves have the best anti-oxidants since they get the full sun, but such leaves are quite tough and leathery, unfortunately. A little goes a long way in a green drink. I like to go to my farmer s market at the closing time, when they have a lot of discard green leaves. The outer leaves of cabbage, however, are a little too tough and strong tasting for me. Again, don t ignore these outer leaves since they have the most nutrition and anti-oxidants, since they get most of the sunlight.

While a larger, stronger blender is best for making green drinks, any blender will do. Small blenders need softer greens, like cilantro, dill, arugula, mint, lettuce, baby greens, sprouting greens, spinach and parsley. It is best to start off on softer and sweeter greens like these anyway; if you start with collards or kale or dandelion greens, you might give it up after your first taste! Kale and collards might be too tough. Nonetheless, greens should be rotated (every month or two, switch to different greens), since all greens have small amounts of poison chemicals (i.e. spinach has oxalic acid) that prevent animals from eating them all up. Avoid doing one kind of green all the time for many months.

Again, let the blender run until you do not see any more tiny green particles; we want the greens thoroughly pulverized into microscopic pieces, a super-fine mush. In a regular blender this may take up to one or two minutes. A larger blender can do that job, even with collard greens (the toughest greens) in just 20 seconds or less. I’ve been happy to see that many stores are now carrying larger and powerful blenders, including even Fry’s Electronics! They are not that expensive. But it may be wise to consult with an experienced raw food person, before buying your blender, especially if you want to do other things with it, like make nut butters. The Vita Mix is preferred by most long-term raw food people, and for good reason. Although it is more expensive, you can’t go wrong with a Vita Mix.

There is another good reason not to use fat, oils or nuts or nut milks in your morning green drinks: since we want energy and vitamins and protein early in the day; don t use fat or oil during that time, since green drinks digest better without these. Have nuts and olives, seeds, butter and cream, avocados, yogurt and smoothies and nut butters etc. and whole milk kefir and flax oil later in the day with salad, or vegetables or rice and beans or a soup or sandwich. This is a sensible diet plan for vegans and vegetarians who must get enough protein without meat; by taking the green drinks in the morning, when stomach acid is strongest, we insure we are maximizing our protein assimilation for the day. There is no need to feel deprived of your favorite cooked foods.

The rest of the day we can sort of skate concerning protein intake. Anyway, after 2:00 PM studies show that most folks over 45 have very little or zero stomach acid left   so we should not be eating protein after lunch. It will sit too heavy on our stomachs all night long! Our bodies know that; usually we crave pasta or bread or rice or potatoes or vegetables or bean and grain dishes in the evening, and not so much heavy protein meals like eggs or meat or cheese. Sometimes I’ll have my starchy packaged breakfast cereal for the evening meal with banana and toast. This is super quick, convenient, and fits in with any lifestyle (although I don t do this too often, knowing it is not the best thing). It digests nicely and I wake up rested and hungry.  Any fruit except melon can be used to make green drinks. If you want less sugar, you can use tomatoes or squash or olives, which are also fruits.

If corporate marketing were behind green drinks, it would be touted as the most amazing, best dietary supplement or strategy in history, correcting a multitude of disorders, Better than a cabinet full of pills, giving cheap and abundant protein, helping people get off the meat and potatoes bandwagon, etc. The environmental implications alone are profound. It is so easy, and the results so amazing! Consider giving it a try for 30 days, one quart of green drink first thing in the morning. See what happens.

Green Drink Recipes

Fill 60% of your blender with fruit: banana, frozen berries, apples, pears, mango, etc. Fill the remaining 40% with fresh (and compressed) greens (wash them first, of course). Fill 2/3 of the blender with water. Blend until all particles disappear. Enjoy. Green drinks keep well in the refrigerator for 2-3 days. We need some soft, soluble fiber to make the green drink come out smooth, not “rough” and that means mango, banana, pear, date or berries. If you only use apples it won’t be silky smooth, for example.

Personally I soak all my greens for about 10 minutes in a couple gallons of water with 1 tablespoon of unscented plain, Clorox® Bleach. I want to be sure there is no bacteria there to give me digestive trouble. Alternately, I use the juice of a lemon in the green drink, but I don’t always appreciate the sour flavor. I learned this from a book – Live Longer Better by Joseph Dispenza. I find the greens look brighter, healthier, and digest better when I do this. I was surprised to read in this book that the bleach has no detrimental effect, nor is it “chorine” as we usually believe – quite the contrary – when used in this way. Of course, I rinse multiple times to be sure all the bleach is gone. For those who want more information on this sensitive topic, I quote from the book (pages 39 to 40):

“The idea of using bleach to clean food occurred to Dr. Parcells when she was teaching nutrition and doing research at Sierra States University in California in the early 1950’s. After one of her classes a student brought a big box of discolored, shriveled lemons. They were “culls” of discards, fit to be thrown out, really. Dr. Parcells was delighted with them; It was the perfect opportunity for her to test a new theory she was working on.”

“She filled a sink with water, put in a small amount of Clorox® bleach, and dumped the lemons in. It wasn’t long before the fragrance of lemons filled the whole area. Half an hour later, when she went back to check the sink, the lemons had taken on a fresh appearance. The discoloration and shrinkage were gone. These were new, bright, yellow lemons, as fresh looking as if they had been picked from the tree that day.”

Dr. Parcells wondered what she would do with all these lemons after they had been restored to their original quality. That is when they ceased being just lemons and became a key ingredient for scientific investigation.

She separated them into portions and stored them in a freezer, where, for the next three years they were tested for freshness and nutritional value in every class. And at the last class, they were as full of life sustaining energy as at the first. They retained their freshness, moisture, tart flavor and proved to be an adequate rival to the naturally fresh fruit brought in for comparison.

What had happened was this: The sodium hypochlorite in the Clorox® bleach, a natural oxygenator, apparently set up an action with the natural chemicals in the lemons, making them “fresh” again. Subsequent tests showed that the Clorox® bleach also cleaned the lemons, eliminating any type of fungus, bacteria, or other foreign material on them that might have contributed to a disorder or earlier than usual deterioration.

Most bleaches on the market use the same or a similar chemical formula, but after many tests, Dr. Parcells found that the original unscented plain Clorox® bleach was best to use for cleansing purposes. She attributed the success of Clorox® bleach for food cleaning to the maker’s superior filtration systems and high quality of manufacture.


Household Bleach Is Not Chlorine

Household bleach is not chlorine, even though some call it “chlorine bleach”. It is no more chlorine than common table salt (sodium chloride). And when used in the home and disposed of down the drain, it is no more harmful to the environment than salt. It is true that chlorine is used in the manufacturing of household bleaches, but the end product contains no free chlorine. Bleach is produced by combining chlorine and caustic soda (sodium hydroxide). In the process, the two ingredients complete convert into a new product – sodium hypochlorite, the active ingredient in household bleach. Inside a Clorox® bleach bottle is a 5.25% solution of sodium hypochlorite and water.”

For more reading, please see especially their archives of newsletters and videos. You’ll see why so many people are getting jazzed on green smoothies. 

© Copyright 2015 Steve Hamlin