“Healthy” Smoothies that are Actually as Bad as Junkfood

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If you’re even the teeniest bit familiar with the Beauty Detox lifestyle, then you know I love smoothies. Smoothies are perhaps the best way to fuel your body with the powerful nutrients it needs from whole plant foods (think of grapefruit seed extract uses) to create vibrant health and glow. Making smoothies part of your diet not only help you get vitamins, minerals, enzymes, phytonutrients, and fiber, but they also make the foods more easily digestible because they are blended. Blending a smoothie allows you to use the whole fruit or vegetable so you can make the most of their nutrition…including that all-important element of cleansing fiber.

My signature drink is my Glowing Green Smoothie, and I also recommend a number of other fantastic smoothies in The Beauty Detox Solution.

Not All Smoothies Are Created Equal

That doesn’t mean, however, that all smoothies are created equal. Far from it! Many people think that because it’s called a smoothie, it must be healthy. But if you take a pile of junk and stick it all in a trash bag, so you can’t see it all, it’s still a bunch of junk. Even if you call it “smoothie.”

Unfortunately, believing the marketing hype and stopping for a smoothie at the mall can be an extremely unhealthy endeavor unless you use caution. Some smoothies are loaded with sugar, fat, calories and other unhealthy ingredients that can have a negative impact on your health.

Unhealthy Smoothie Ingredients

We all know which ingredients make a smoothie healthy: fruit and veggies. But what about smoothies that contain fruit and/or veggies along with other ingredients. How healthy are they? Let’s take a look at ingredients to avoid in your smoothies.

Dairy

Many smoothies, especially commercially made smoothies, contain dairy products such as milk, yogurt, and ice cream. While this gives the smoothie a creamy base and can help thicken it, dairy is unhealthy for humans. Cows produce milk for their babies, and it is formulated to meet calves’ nutritional needs. When humans consume dairy products, they may have trouble digesting the casein and/or lactose in cows’ milk. One study examined patients with coeliac disease (spelled celiac in North America) and their reaction to cows’ milk. Those study subjects showed a mucosal response to the dairy similar to the levels of response when they ate gluten.

Dairy is also high in fat, and may contain numerous hormones and antibiotics arising from dairy products. Among the worst (and they’re all pretty bad) is estrogen, which is linked to various forms of cancer. According to Harvard University, dairy consumption accounts for 60 to 80 percent of estrogens consumed. Another danger is recombinant bovine growth hormone (rBGH), which is a growth hormone used in dairy cattle. Milk from cattle given rBGH contain IGF-1, which has been linked to growth of certain types of cancer cells.

So skip the dairy products (including whipped cream, milk, ice cream, and yogurt) in your smoothies. Instead, try unsweetened almond milk, coconut milk, or thicken smoothies with a tablespoon of soaked organic chia.

Sugar-sweetened fruit juice and/or sugar

If your smoothie has a fruit juice base, then there’s a good chance it’s been sweetened with sugar. Additionally, fruit juice adds calories without fiber, and contains high levels of fructose, which can tax your liver. Sugar, of course, also causes blood sugar to spike, leading to a release of insulin and potentially increased hunger and cravings.

Instead of using fruit juice as a smoothie base, opt for filtered water with whole fruit or coconut water. You can add a little sweet with some stevia, which doesn’t affect blood sugar and is 100 percent natural.

Agave

Many people believe agave is healthy because it contains mostly the fruit sugar, fructose. I’ve discussed agave at length in previous blogs. The problem with agave is its high fructose content. While fructose does, indeed, occur naturally in fruits and vegetables, it only exists in nature in very small amounts that the body can tolerate easily. Adding agave as a sweetener, however, provides the body with extremely high levels of fructose, and the liver is unable to metabolize it efficiently. Among the many effects of fructose over-consumption are weight gain, liver scarring, and poor blood lipid profiles.

Instead of adding agave, opt for a little bit of fruit to add sweetness. If you need more, use stevia or raw coconut nectar, a product low in fructose (around 10%) that contains amino acids and minerals.

Tap Water

Tap water may contain all kinds of contaminants including fluoride, volatile organic compounds, and other chemicals. Each of these comes with its own inherent health risks, and has no place in your healthy smoothies. Instead, opt for pure filtered water.

 

Peanut butter

Peanut butter may contain sugar. Peanuts also contain aflatoxins, a carcinogen produced from molds commonly found in peanuts and cashews. Peanut butter is also high in fat and calories. It is not a beauty food!

If you do want a little bit of nutty flavor, try chia seeds or opt for creating almond butter by processing a tablespoon of raw almonds before adding your remaining smoothie ingredients.

Artificial sweetener

In order to save calories, many people add artificial sweeteners such as sucralose (Splenda) or aspartame (NutraSweet) to their smoothies. These ingredients increase your body’s chemical load. Likewise, many maintain these chemicals are neurotoxic and can cause a host of health problems. Artificial sweeteners may even cause weight gain! Instead, sweeten with whole fruit or a little stevia.

Soy milk

Genetically modified soy makes up 91 percent of America’s soy cropsGM foods present a number of health dangers including DNA damage and reproductive issues. Soy has also been linked to treatment resistant breast cancer tumors. Instead, skip the soy milk and opt for almond milk or water as a base for your smoothie.

The Worst of Commercial Smoothies

Smoothie kiosks in malls beckon with promises of a healthy pick me up. While many of the chains like Jamba Juice and Smoothie King promise a low-fat treat, they contain many of the ingredients listed above such as dairy, added sugar, and artificial sweetener. Even the smallest can be high in calories and sugar, as well. For example, a small Jamba Juice Acai Super-Antioxidant contains 4 grams of fat, 260 calories and 46 grams of sugar, while a regular Peanut Butter Moo’d contains 480 calories, 10 grams of fat,  and 72 grams of sugar.

When ordering a smoothie at your favorite restaurant, ask for a nutrition information flyer and carefully check all ingredients, sugar, and calories before consuming. Likewise, you can make a healthy smoothie at home and take it with you to help you avoid temptation.

The best thing about making your own smoothie is putting your own healthy twist, like adding fresh coconut water or maybe some exotic fruits!

This free blog is intended to be a source of inspiration to everyone around the world. We welcome your feedback through relevant, constructive, thoughtful comments. Please understand for legal reasons, I cannot answer specific/personal medical condition questions on the blog. For customer service issues or inquiries regarding purchases of any kind, go to http://support.kimberlysnyder.com. For all other questions or feedback, click here. For press inquires, email us here. Thank you for engaging and adding to the conversation!

111 Responses to ““Healthy” Smoothies that are Actually as Bad as Junkfood

  1. I never thought that blending has also bad effects. I thought it is a healthy drink as you are using authentic ingredients. We really need to be careful in choosing such recipes.

  2. This is an eye opener from all those commercially made smoothies. It isn’t actually healthy, not only that when we make our smoothie, we should make sure that the ingredients are balanced so that it would still be healthy no matter what. Because if for example, it is too sweet, or it has too much chocolate then, it the point of making a smoothy for a healthy living doesn’t actually make any sense.

  3. Yes fruit has it own natural sugars but HOMEMADE fruit smoothies are the way to go! Just make sure you’re adding some kale or spinach any dark leafy green veggie is what i usually add. Plus i always use flax seed..a must for me because its a good source of omega-3 and fiber. i just make sure it gluten free and no sugar added. Another thing i add is a little water or ice cubes because it can get thick with all the fruit and veggies.

  4. How about we just eat the food and stop stressing that its going to kill us as EVERYTHING seems to lead to our doom these days?

  5. Everything was interesting, but I hate the American misconception that tap water is bad for you. Tap water is regulated by the EPA (federal) and has more precaution than bottled water, which is regulated by the FDA (non federal). Its completely safe, and a lot of bottled water companies like Dasani come from a municipal source- aka tap water. Its funny how people are afraid of drinking tap water but they dont mind drinking coke and pepsi, which is 100 times worse… xD

    • Couldn’t agree more Greg! Bottled water is totally unregulated whereas tap (municipal) water is regulated and every Municipal Utility District is required to release their water quality reports to the public. I don’t know why anyone would spend money on bottled water – it’s not even a sustainable practice.

      • I’m sorry to say but Tap water is just as bad as bottled water. The amount of chemicals in tap water is deplorable. I can’t tell you how often I run my faucet and it smells like chlorine.

        • Where did you hear that tap water is just as bad as bottled water? And maybe you should get your faucets checked because where I live, my tap water never smells like chlorine

  6. Is there a recommended smoothie for hot flashes brought on by menapause? I’ve just gotten into fruit smoothies which I am loving . (Non dairy mixes)

    • 1.Milk is loaded with estrogen, hormones and other. its major appeal was it had calcium and protein and vitamin D, things that are essential. this does not minimize its other harmful effects.

      2.peanut butter is literally peanuts (one of the least healthy nuts), oil and sugar.. are you on drugs dude? 2 tablesoons has 25% of your DV recommended fat. that is normally what people put on one slice…
      Again its appeal compared to other unhealthy breakfast substitutes is it had more protein..

      3. she never said almonds were unhealthy, infact quite the opposite suggesting you use almondmilk and make your own almond butter.

      My conclusion? Educate yourself and learn how to read

      • Mike is on the right track but not completely correct. Humans have been drinking cow milk for thousands of years. Cow milk on its own is healthy, its the hormones that farmers pump into them that make the milk an unhealthy long term choice. Low fat organic milk is pretty healthy. Also pure non-processed peanut butter is healthy as well. The fats in peanut butter directly increase testosterone which leads to a metabolist bump. Just look at the ingediants and make sure its only peanuts and salt.

  7. Thank you Kimberly! This is what i tell people who question my smoothie drinking. Almost every morning (unless i know i will be working out more than usual) i will just have a smoothie. and i don’t mean one glass, i drink about half a blender full (that being small) to two thirds of a blender. It is the only thing that keeps my weight the same and it doesn’t interfere with gaining muscle. I also gained back my metabolism. Thing is i don’t use any sort of dairy or too much of store bought juice. i always use 2 bananas, the rest fruits and am going to start adding veggies. As a person whose blood sugar is a little too low for liking and is slight sluggish this actually wakes me up and keeps me energized until lunch. It’s hard for the first 3 days but the outcome is worth it. But the results regarding weight loss, it does not come immediately! i even gained a little before i started dropping steadily and if you do small workouts each day you’ll start looking/feeling great. Not all smothies are bad. It’s just a matter of making them right. Never add anything besides your fruits, veggies and some ice :)

  8. Oh my gosh. I read the article. Sweet, some good points and things to try. I read the comments, and it all hits the fan. From what I gather from all the commenters, eating itself is pretty much unhealthy and I need to drink water from the freaking top of Mt. Fuji or something similar before it hits a treatment plant. I understand people’s drive to be healthier, but this just takes it to a whole new level. I feel like giving up already and I haven’t even attempted to try. Pretty much everything I read nowadays says anything you try will kill you in one way or another… This has convinced me to pretty much just keep going as I’ve gone, except without the apple juice and with less yogurt. Might as well still actually enjoy what I’m eating instead of stressing over it!

  9. OOOOPS! In my recent comment I stated that I don’t use any of the greens in my smoothies – that is not quite correct – I meant I do not use any greens OTHER THAN ROMAINE, which is touted to be low-oxalate.
    Sorry for my misquote.
    Pat Merkel

  10. Nobody has yet come up with the science behind what actually happens when we put our smoothies together and turn on the blender – where are the scientists who are testing to see whether our smoothies are dead wood or are indeed healthy for us, if we drink them within 15 minutes of being blended. Then, AND ONLY THEN, will we be well enough informed to make up our minds whether to juice or make a smoothie. It makes sense that the anti-oxidants in fruits and/or veggies protects the same from oxidation within 15 minutes of blending. My body gets along very well with the smoothie I make in the morning, albeit my smoothie will not contain any greens until I hear a real scientist investigator give the green light to any of the greens and say that the oxalates which certainly ARE in the greens are harmless in, say, 2-cup raw servings to healthy, normal people with normal digestions. My smoothie consists of 6 large leaves of romaine (low oxalates), 1 small red pepper, flowerette of cauliflower, handful of coleslaw (sans dressing), 1/2 Avocado, 4 grapes, 1 cup of strawberries and/or 1/2 cup frozen mango, 1/4 cup cottage cheese, 1/2 cup tofu (custard flavor), 1.5 cups unsweetened almond milk, plus 1/4 cup of 1% milk, and a tsp. of liquid honey. AND when I somehow get the green light about spinach, collards, kale, I will use them in my smoothies, BUT NOT BEFORE!
    Thanks for listening.
    Pat Merkel

  11. What about using natural honey for the sweetener and vegetable V8 splash as my juice..? Is that bad or should I try something different

  12. I recently started making a smoothy with all the essential & non-essential Amino Acids, 100% Whey Protein, free radical fighter and detoxifier. Been a week and my energy level has dropped. Is this normal?

  13. My wife and I recently moved to plant based eating. We cut out all processed foods, sugars, breads, pastas, sweets, meat, dairy, etc. We purchased a Vitamix and have been making green smoothies and eating nothing but vegetables, beans, fruits. For milk we use Coconut Milk, for cooking we use vegetable broth (No more olive oil) Being Italian that was tough! :)

    I lost 30lbs but have seemed to hit a plateau. One thing we do enjoy, and I am not sure if this is problem, is fruit smoothies at night made with fresh and frozen fruit. Mango/Pinapple/Banana/Dried unsweetened coconut in the vitamix with coconut milk, stevia, and ice. We eat this every night. How bad is this? Or is it?

    Thanks

    gerard

    • Hi Gerard.
      In her book Kimberly discusses food combining and only eating fruit alone and before anything else because it is the fastest to digest. She talks about this being the key to overcoming a weight plateau. Her book is amazing – worth reading if you haven’t :)

  14. Hey Kimberly , I Madeleine mistake of freezing my smoothie I made it with chia seeds in it, it’s so thick I will need to eat it with a spoon even tried to add water to it it’s like sludge, this is day two for me, I’m still waiting for your books to get here, so far I have been winging it. I managed to not eat any of hubby to bes dchocolate donut holes three days kept the will power, I’m kind of glad he told me I had no will power, its driven me to have more. Lol

  15. I’ve heard a lot of of new studies on combining fruit and veggies together. It creates acid in the body. So, now I’m confused! I’m all for living an alkaline lifestyle as much as possible and I SO badly want to add this recipe to my diet, but like I said I’m just confused now if it’s “OK” to consume fruits and veggies together.

    Any input would be GREATLY appreciated!

    • Hi, Elizabeth! That’s a great question! I hope you don’t mind me answering.

      Vegetables are a neutral food, which means you can combine them with anything. However, the roles of vegetables and fruits are quite different. If it were me, I’d eat them separately most of the time. Fruits cleanse the body, and veggies rebuild it. Can you imagine trying to clean your room and build a new desk all at the same time? That could be exhausting! If you’re at all new to proper food combining, your body could feel the same way.

      Proper food combining can be tough in the beginning, but you’ll get the hang of it before you know it :)

      • Thanks so much for the reply Crystal! :) I really appreciate it!
        That does make sense – and as a general rule, I try to avoid mixing them together as well. I feel SO much better this way.

      • Well, the Glowing Green has fruit in it….as do almost all I have seen. Would love to hear commenta about that, as well as answer to using V8 low-sodium, and honey.

  16. How do you feel about coconut water? Is that a good substitute for just normal water, like in your ggs recipe?

  17. I’ve been making smoothies with home made keifer made from raw goat milk, I also add berries, a banana, a spoon of coconut oil, a spoon of raw cream (to slow the absorption of sugar in the blood stream) kale, spinach and chard, a scoop of hubby’s whey protein (this can be substituted with a raw egg-from my own chickens)…I think using home made keifer is an amazing pro biotic option- If anyone wants info on how to make keifer let me know…

    • Hi, Laurie! I definitely agree with you on the benefits of kefir! However, I am always wondering what sort of milk is it coming from… I’d love to learn how to make my own if you wouldn’t mind sharing how you do it! Thank you!

  18. That’s all very good and common sense, but it seems to me that you left out one of the most important unhealthy factors, kind of the elephant in the room here, it seems, unless I missed some paragraph somewhere: the fact that you need to use organic fruit and vegetables otherwise there’s no use in trying and avoid pollutants from water etc., if then you use fruit covered in pesticide. Why is this subject so covered up in many American publications of this kind?

  19. I read your Beauty Detox Solution book a couple of years ago and loved it! I still refer back to it and it has dramatically changed my life! I have a question though. For a long time I drank the green smoothie in the morning, but now I just can’t stomach it. I mean I really can not bring myself to drink it anymore. Any suggestions on another morning food routine, when one is just tired of the smoothie? Please if anyone has a suggestion, let me know. Thanks!

  20. I am loving the glowing green smoothies and am also an avid reader. I recently came across an article claining the green smoothies were so bad for you because they produce something called occalates which are very harmful to the body. I’m wondering what Kimberly thinks of this/

    • If you google it some more, you’ll see other articles criticizing that article. That article was not well-researched and draws wide conclusions. It only uses one source to back itself up. I recommend looking at the other articles, which will explain everything in better detail. In general, you don’t have much to worry about, unless you have specific medical conditions.

    • I read this article as well and researched all the counter arguments which made more sense to me. This article that suggested greens were toxc is very misleading. First, alternating greens is recommended because your body can build an intolerance when consuming the same foods all the time. In nature, this is common because different foods grown different times of the year. In my opinion, alternating fruits and veggies for your smoothies is probably a good idea. These oxalates in spinach, chard, mustard greens need to be eaten in extrememly large amounts in order for it to be toxic. Large enough that it would not be possible for a human to consume in one day. I tend to juice and do vitamix smoothies and I alternate between, parsley, cilantro, dandelion greens, kale, romaine, spinach , chickweed and many more. As for this article threatening smoothie drinkers, i think is just HOGWASH!!! This person does not understand the benefits of eating raw fruits and veggies.

      • Please help as I am very confused by something you said….you say you juice and make smoothies…do you use two separate machines to do this? Thanks!

  21. I drink your GGS daily and try to eat a mostly vegan diet with a few slips. I wanted to comment on the addition of Stevia on just about every blog today. I know it is “natural” but it does have side effects. I had EXTREME dizziness and after several tests we realized it was a result of Stevia. I will never touch the stuff again. I have met others who have also had negative reactions.I have heard from others that it is not safe to give to children either. I just wanted others to know that they should pay attention to any unusual symptoms. Here is a little blurb on its side effects:
    Stevia and chemicals contained in stevia, including stevioside and rebaudioside A, are LIKELY SAFE when used as a sweetener in foods. Rebaudioside A has generally recognized as safe (GRAS) status in the U.S. for use as a sweetener for foods. Stevioside has been safely used in research in doses of up to 1500 mg per day for 2 years.

    Some people who take stevia or stevioside can experience bloating or nausea. Other people have reported feelings of dizziness, muscle pain, and numbness.

    • That’s so odd! I wonder if the people that react negatively to Stevia are allergic to it? I’ve never noticed an issue when using it, but maybe I should pay more attention next time.

      • Only 1 time did I (THINK) I had a problem with Stevia, this is when I first started drinking green smoothies. After I would start to drink it down, I got pretty dizzy. I was so sad, because Stevia is so beneficial in so many ways. Thankfully, after carefully researching why this was happening now, but never before, I was dumbfounded. Turned out that I was gulping my smoothie down too fast, because it was so delicious…lol. So, I am glad to say that I have never had any negative side effects with my handy dandy stevia=))). YAY!!!

  22. I had a question about dairy in children. My son age 7, had to see a pediatric cardiologist recently. While at this visit, he told me not to feed my kids milk. I am wondering what alternative should I use? Also for a toddler, is it safe for them to go “milk free” once they have weaned from breastmilk or formula to cows milk.

    • For calcium you should try to get him drinking one of the mineral waters with a high content, like Gerolsteiner. It has about 8% per serving.

    • I don’t know how Kimberly feels about raw milk from pastured jersey cows but it’s COMPLETELY different from what you would buy in the stores. It’s like the difference between eating fresh, organic broccoli or eating conventional broccoli out of a microwave. Of course the later is not good for you. So, we give our 3 year old real milk and he loves it. He’s healthy as can be.

      • If I remember correctly, Kimberly said in The Beauty Detox Solution that dairy becomes very acidic in our bodies. I don’t know that raw unpasteurized milk is any different. But goat’s milk is supposed to be the safest dairy to consume, but still not ideal.

      • Raw milk is completely different from pasteurized milk. Having not been heated, it maintains all the natural enzymes and vitamins. I have always been lactose intolerant but I can tolerate raw milk well in moderation (about 1c at a time) b/c the natural enzymes are intact to help my body break it down. And even healthier, and tastier in my opinion, is raw milk kefir — the ultimate feel good food with literally hundreds of probiotic bacterial strains. It leaves yogurt in the dust :-) Like any food, it’s the quality of dairy that counts.

    • You can use almond milk. I give it to my 3-year old and after the first few tries she can’t tell the difference. It’s healthier and it has more calcium and less sugar, especially if you get the unsweetened kind.
      You can also try soy, but its not as good for you as almond milk.

      • Frustrated with almost every brand of almond and coconut milk containing carageenan! Everything I have read about it is bad, bad, bad! It is a known carcinogen.

        • Almond Milk recipe: 1 cup of almonds and 4 or 5 cups of filtered water, depending on how thick you like it. You may also want a healthy sweetener and some vanilla extract to your taste. Ceylon Cinnamon is also a good addition. Soak your almonds for 8 hours for easier blending, and don’t forget to strain afterwards with a cheesecloth or a nut milk bag=).

  23. I have just got into juicing, especially to take on more greens but this has freaked me out! There’s so much conflicting information out there about everything. I love this site though, going to stick with green drinks and hope for the best!

  24. I have just got into juicing, especially to take on more greens but this has freadked me out! There’s so much conflicting information out there about everything. I love this site though, going to stick with green drinks and hope for the best!

  25. USDA labeled organic silk does not contain GMO, FYI. Your picture above even shows the seal on that carton of soy. All other issues aside, this part is correct.

  26. Hi Kim,
    I have recently started your GGS smoothie recipe. It is very delicious and satisfying, although after the 3rd day I experienced diarrhea for the entire day. Unfortunately I stopped taking the smoothie. I am highly sensitive to many vegetables, some vegetables I can tolerate are romaine lettuce, mushrooms, eggplant, tomatoes, zucchini, carrots. Please advise so I can resume and reap the benefits.
    My friend, Laura, and I stopped in your West LA shop, it was so nice meeting you in person!

    • Hi kim, i have been noticing 5 pounds lost without trying to loose any pounds any reason its happening? thank you. i am 53

  27. Am I the only one that is surpised about the comment on tap water? This might be true for the States, but is not the case in every country.. I remember filtering the tap water when I was living in the States.

    In the Netherlands, the tap water is the same as bottled water. No difference.

    • I live in Canada and the tap water is amazing here too. Why bother to buy filtered water that likely comes in a plastic bottle. Pollution is likely worse for you than the “bad” elements in water. Also, being in a college of agriculture, your accusations on dairy products can be false. There are different regulations in Canada than there are in the states. The pasteurization process doesn’t include the addition of chemicals, but instead vitamins and pasteurization just heats the milk for a specific period of time to kill harmful bacteria, and maintains the regular chemistry of the milk. Hormones are not added to animal feed, and most animals are only treated with antibiotics if they start to become ill, not as a way of prevention.

      There is my little spill about this. Homemade smoothies are delicious!

  28. I am still in need of a moisturizer, everything I try does the same thing with my eyes, flashing lights, lighting bolts, then a heavy feeling in my head (which is a painless migraine) that some ingredient sets off.
    I have ordered Sally B;s and Vapour products, anxiously waiting on them to arrive.
    Drinking your Green Smoothie faithfully every morning.

  29. Kimberly, love the GGS! Have been wanting to ask you if it’s alright to add a little liquid stevia? I put some in my GGS the other day after I blended all the leafy greens and before I put in all the other ingredients and it definitely made it sweeter, but did I break a GGS rule? Thanks!

  30. If I make the Green Smoothie, how long can it maintain the nutrients. I’m thinking about making 64 ounces and drinking it over 2 days.

    • It’s always best to drink it fresh however; I have read that it will store in the refrigerator for 48 hrs. Thgey should not be frozen.

  31. The best smoothie ever is a mixture of spinach leaves, strawberries, 1 banana, and a tablesppon of chia seeds. That’s all. Healthy and delicious.

  32. Wonderful article Kim. But I’m wondering why whey protein is not mentioned as an ingredient to avoid. It is derived from dairy and heavily processed, yet so many people add it to their smoothies. I have shared your smoothie recipes (love them!) and I know you don’t believe in the use of whey protein. Just wondering why it’s not listed here. Did I miss something?

    Thanks for your wonderful book and website. You inspired me to see GREEN in a whole new light.

  33. Hi Kimberly,
    I have been drinking green smoothies for awhile and was hoping you could give me your opinion on some of the foods I add to mine – cocoa nibs, raw honey in small amounts, ground flax meal or chia seeds for omega fats, cinnamon, goodbelly brand mango probiotic juice. I generally start with 4oz of the probiotic juice, add 8-12 ounces of filtered water, 2-3 cups of kale or spinach, and then the cocoa nibs, honey, cinnamon, flax or chia, frozen pineapple or mango chunks, and one banana. I sometimes use frozen cherries or berries instead of the pineapple, or fresh organic apple chunks or oranges. Any advice would be appreciated. I’m always looking for ways to improve my smoothies. No better way to start my day :) Thanks so much!

  34. hey kim ^__^ i was wondering if you could do an article on balancing hormones? i actually don’t know if one can do such thing, but yea (: thanks, andrea.

  35. Hey Kimberly,

    Fantastic blog post! It irks me how many people think smoothie automatically equals healthy. The vast majority of smoothie outfits serve nothing but sugar laden crapola that’s not only not healthy, it’s detrimental to your health.

    I like that you identified soy milk and agave as no-no’s, as these seem to still be linked to good health by some. Going to have to give your glowing green smoothie a try…sounds delicious!

    Happy Blending!
    Ryan

    • It is really good just the fact that it ups the amount of green veggies in the diet. I added cilantro in mine today and really surprised myself by how much I like the flavor it added. I like eating foods for their specific health benefits. Cilantro binds with heavy metals to clear them from our systems.

  36. Is natural peanut butter that bad for you? I love peanut butter and cannot afford almond butter all the time. We use peanut butter daily and now I’m concerned. (we use Teddy brand organic. )

    • Natural peanut butter – if you are not allergic to peanuts – is not worse for you than regular peanut butter. But the thing to look out for is the ingredients. The peanut butter I use is pretty expensive but there is only three ingredients – peanuts, oil and corn starch. In comparison, any regular peanut butter on the market has a full paragraph of ingredients. Most of them are preservatives and sometimes starches are added to simulate the texture of peanut butter.

      I prefer the one I use without preservatives, even though it means we have to use it up faster than regular peanut butter.

      • You shouldn’t even eat peanut butter with corn starch or added oil for that matter!! Stick with fresh-ground peanuts for “healthy” peanut butter.

  37. Thank you some much for the very informative info on these products.I will be getting rid of them and will never purchase them again!

  38. thanks for the information. It is always better to make your Smoothie at home. You can control what’s in it and make it as healthy as possible

  39. Good Morning Kimberly,

    I know what I’m about to ask is a terribly personal question, but as I eat a diet that follows closely with your food philosophies, I was wondering what you spend on average for groceries, per month? I buy local and organic and prepare much of what I eat from scratch, but I’ve been curious lately what other’s spend on food.

    Also, I wanted to thank you so much for always having encouraging messages in your posts. I am a nutritious food advocate amongst other things and I love knowing there are positive women role models out there in regards to food.

    Best,

    ~RAM~

  40. Kim, I have just purchased your book and read it cover to cover in one sitting! :) I am 27 years old 5’11″ athletic build weighing 200 lbs. My goal is to look great, feel great, lose weight, and just love life. For the longest time i have been a “sucker” for protein smoothies from smoothie stand in NYC. After reading your book and the above article i have such a better understanding of what should be going into my body. I have a great plan to change what i eat, take up yoga, and even learn to salsa dance (to burn some extra calories while having fun) Thank you for being an inspiration to me. I will comment again once i jump in to a new life! Thanks :)

    • Have you read Eating for Energy? The author, Yuri, cured an auto immune disorder (alopacia) using similar nutritional philosophies as you find on this website.

  41. You proscribe the use of peanut butter and cashews in smoothies because they contain afflatoxins. Are you also suggesting that peanuts and cashews are unhealthy foods generally, always to be avoided? Would you please provide a reference to a peer-reviewed study that confirms your viewpoint. I eat a healthy, plant-based (vegan) diet, and I’ve always read that legumes (peanut butter) and cashews were healthy components of such a diet.. Thanks.

  42. I love that you are always on the lookout for these things, Kim! As rushed as I feel sometimes, I eat without thinking and am now becoming more aware of what is in the food I am shoveling in. I now look forward every morning to my smoothie!

  43. Just wondering why you chose to use the silk brand specifically to represent soy milk when they do not use GMO’S for their products. They are also very involved with the non-GMO project so it kinda concerns me that you would use their logo… Some people may look at your blog (see the “Silk” logo) and think they should buy these products bc you say they are “unhealthy” when this of course is not really the case.

  44. Kimberly, You are seriously the best!!! Thanks for unveiling the truth about commercial smoothies. You truly inform and educate. Love you for this.)

      • Naked may be owned by Kellogs who opposed prop 37, however Naked smoothies themselves do not use GMO’s, their label even state that. Unless they are just straight up lying on the label.

    • I would stay away from naked, not because of health concerns but because Naked is owned by Kelloggs and they oppose labeling GMO foods

    • Problem. With bottled drinks like naked etc: pasteurization! This kills the ever important enzymes which help digest the food. Basically devitalized and dead. Still better than other grocery store options.

  45. I need to increase my calcium intake but cannot take a daily supplement as I vomit them.

    I would like a smoothie/shake receipe for a daily breakfast that would increase my calcium intake as well
    as fix my constipation. I have been diagnosed with osteopenia.

    Please advise.

      • Be sure to get your vitamin D level checked as well, as calcium does not attach to bone without it(or other vitamins and trace minerals). In addition, weight-bearing exercise, as little as 15 mins. twice a day, to ensure the bone is activated to absorb the calcium you take in. (About half the people here in Colorado, have low vtamin D levels)

  46. Thank you Kim for reiterating about the dangers of Blue Agave. It is marketed as a health food and even my diabetic mother in law uses it in place of sugar in her tea! I was appalled that her doctor told her that was ok. But then again doctors don’t have much nutrition training in school and are way too busy to learn now.

  47. Kimberly what do you think about Robeks? Do you think they are just as bad as Jamba Juice? Robeks has some fresh juices that are just pure fruits & veggies. However I avoid their smoothies because they have dairy in them. Do you think I should continue to drink their juices though?

  48. And I want to add that I so wish this article had been posted just a couple weeks earlier! My husband and I thought we’d give Smoothie King a try, and almost every single one of their smoothies was loaded with turbinado or honey, soy based protein powders or dairy based protein powders, and they couldn’t even use real fruit! The smoothies were made using syrups and they were a complete waste of money, and I was extremely annoyed that they are so touted as health food! I just don’t understand how it is legal to say that something like that is healthy. I know people should do their research, but far too many people have a blind faith in establishments, especially when it comes to salads and smoothies. They tend to think, “How could a salad or a smoothie possibly be unhealthy?” It is really sad to see so many people frequenting these places and not having any idea what they are putting in their bodies, and I don’t honestly believe that most people can be held accountable for this. So much of the information about true health is not mainstream, and you really have to dig for it to find out what is truly good for you. It is extremely frustrating. Your book spawned such a hunger for knowledge in me that I went on to read the China Study after seeing it cited in your book a handful of times, then I read a handful of other books including Forks Over Knives, Healthy Eating for Life to Treat and Prevent Cancer, Disease Proof your Children, Healthy Eating For Life for Children, and a few others. I am currently reading Super Immunity by Joel Fuhrman. Thank you for helping me begin this journey. My family is so much better off for it. Not only did I share the information with my older sister who has finally been able to lose almost all of that last 15 pounds, she shared the info with her family and switched them over to an even healthier lifestyle and cut down the meat to miniscule amounts, and my younger brother and his girlfriend have started cooking at home and eating plant based meals! I could not be happier to see people I love taking note of the changes in my husband and I and having faith that this is the healthiest way to be for themselves as well.

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