Green Smoothie Questions

Guidelines to Drinking Green Smoothies

33 Comments 29 October 2009

green smoothie points

This article is a must read for all green smoothie drinkers.  Through everyday blending, research, experience, and letters from  readers, the Raw Family has come up with these basic principles for green smoothie making and consuming. To help people receive the most benefits from drinking green smoothies and to avoid some typical mistakes, Victoria  created the following guidelines:

  • Prepare your green smoothie first thing in the morning in the amount that you usually consume in one day, one or two quarts (liters). Pour enough smoothie in a glass for your morning enjoyment and keep the rest in a refrigerator or another cold place.
  • Sip your green smoothie slowly, mixing it with saliva. Sometimes I put my smoothie in a coffee mug with a lid and carry it with me to the car or to my office. That way I minimize a chance of spilling it and keep it private without distracting others.
  • Don’t add anything to your smoothie except greens, fruit and water. I don’t recommend adding nuts, seeds, oils, supplements or other ingredients to your green smoothie. Most of these items slow down the assimilation of green smoothies in your digestive tract and may cause irritation and gas. Even though I provide recipes with more than basic ingredients in my books I encourage you to stick to the basic green smoothie recipe (fruit and greens) in your daily routine.
  • Drink your smoothie by itself, and not as a part of a meal. Don’t consume anything, even as little as a cracker or candy with it. You may eat anything you want approximately 40 minutes before or 40 minutes after you finished your smoothie. Your goal is to get the most nutritional benefit out of your green smoothie.
  • Do not add starchy vegetables such as carrots, beets, broccoli stems, zucchini, cauliflower, cabbage, Brussels sprouts, egg plant, pumpkin, squash, okra, peas, corn, green beans, and others to your green smoothies. Starchy vegetables combine poorly with fruit and may produce what my children call “gas 4 less.”
  • Don’t add too many ingredients into one smoothie, such as nine different fruits and a dozen different greens. Try to keep most of your recipes simple to maximize nutritional benefits and to keep it easy on your digestive system.
  • Learn to prepare a really delicious green smoothie so that you are always looking forward to the next one. If your drink is not tasty, you will eventually discontinue consuming it. Keep your taste buds happy.
  • Always rotate the green leaves that you add to your smoothies. Almost all greens in the world contain minute amounts of alkaloids. Tiny quantities of alkaloids cannot hurt you, and even strengthen the immune system. However, if you keep consuming kale, or spinach, or any other single green for many weeks without rotation, eventually the same type of alkaloids can accumulate in your body and cause unwanted symptoms of poisoning.  Please note that you don’t have to rotate the fruit in your green smoothies. Most commonly used fruit have very little or none of the alkaloids and cannot cause the same toxic reactions as greens. At the same time, rotating fruits will enhance the variety of flavor and nutrition in your smoothies.
  • Choose organic produce whenever possible. The absence of pesticides and other toxic chemicals is only one of many benefits of organic food. The most important reason to consume organic food is the superior nutritional of organic fruits and vegetables in comparison to conventionally grown produce.  We have been discussing earlier, how deficient most people are. The best way to nourish your body is to consume organic produce and whenever possible, locally grown. I consider it very important to get the fruit that was allowed to ripen on the vine because it is the best for nourishment. Tree-ripened fruit is several times more nutritious  and when  consumed shortly after picking retains significantly more nutrients.

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33 Comments so far

  1. Perfect for creating choctastic alcoholic smoothies, milkshakes and mochas. Andra Nutrition

  2. Perfect for creating choctastic alcoholic smoothies, milkshakes and mochas. Andra Nutrition
    Oops…forgot to say great post! Looking forward to your next one.

  3. Phyllis says:

    Thanks for the guidelines, Victoria. Perfect timing, too, as I will be offering a Green Smoothies class on Tuesday!

  4. Awesome advice, interesting to know the benefits of rotating greens, I will do that more often!!

  5. Elena says:

    Lovely advice. I do add things like maca powder, hemp/flax seed and cacao powder, but not into every smoothie. Totally agree with simple is better.

  6. M says:

    My husband has leukemia and we have just begun making salad/vegetable cocktail type green smoothies (basically salad ingredients and greens). *No* fruit because he needs to stay away from all sugars at least for the forseeable future — though he can have a small amount of dark berries.

    There are only so many greens to work with. How many times a week, or how much in quantity, of spinach, kale, sorrel, parsley are okay to have?

    We’ve been mixing in all of these four, only some dandelion greens (very bitter).

  7. emilyb says:

    Dear M,
    It is recommended that you use 4 cups of greens to make one quart of smoothie. From testimonials I have noticed that people who cured serious illnesses were drinking closer to 2 quarts each day (8 cups of greens). The more greens the better, please note that this is just a guide. It is also suggested that a person has between 5-7 different greens each week. You can mix them in the same smoothie if that suits you more. Here is an article that lists the greens we can use
    Don’t forget the tops of plants like beetroot, you could consider growing your own wheatgrass.

  8. Diane says:

    Hi, I am having a lot of trouble with my stomach tolerating green smoothies, I started them about 3 weeks ago. Here is what I use: 2 cups orange juice, half a banana, either a mango or a pear, sometimes strawberries. Then I’d add a handful of spinach and another green such as romaine, kale or swiss chard, and then a small handfull of alfafa sprouts which I grow myself in a sprouter, and 2 tbsp of ground flax seeds. I was ok for a week, then I started having gas cramps in my stomach after a meal. I’d have one smoothie as a mid morning snack and another as mid afternoon snack. After my meals,esp supper, the gas cramps started and they are getting worse every day. 3 days ago, I was told not to mix fruits and greens, so the last couple days I tried without but no difference.(I know now it`s ok to mix them). This morning, I had a smoothie without fruit and the cramps were so severe I was in bed for 3 hours and they lasted til mid afternoon. I have been using the spinach and alfafa daily. I just read on this site today about rotating greens. Could I be having that poisonning from using the same green daily for 3 weeks? If so, what should I do to get rid of these toxins? When can I restart smoothies? I really do not want to quit the smoothies, but I am also wondering if my stomach just cannot tolerate greens. I am suffering from a burnout and in the past couple weeks I did notice an increase in energy, it`s my stomach that cannot tolerate something. Please help!!


  9. Richie says:

    First, THANK YOU VERONICA! Second, concerning the rotation of greens due to the content of alkaloids, do you know if the same alkoloid exists in the different varieties of the same green? For example, there’s a half a dozen different kinds of spinach; can each variety be considered a different green?

  10. emilyb says:

    Dear Diane – When we hear about people getting poisoning from the same greens it is not usually in the form of stomach craps, however this could be your bodies way of telling you what it needs, so it is possible that your experience is due to lack of rotation. To give your body a rest from having the same green, stop using this particular green for at least 3 weeks. You can continue to enjoy other varieties in your smoothies.

    Often when people complain of stomach cramps it is due to low hydrochloric acid in their stomachs (there is a chapter in Green for Life about this). Greens help to improve HC acid. Stomach problems can also be due to bad food combining from other meals and from not following the green smoothie guidelines found here

  11. Annette says:

    I’ve been making green smoothies ((4-5 cups of greens(spinach, spring mix), a small piece of banana, 1/3 of an apple and 1/3 of a pear, 3-4 cups of water)) for about 12 days now and I feel terrific. I have a few questions about the green smoothies:
    1. I have Hashimoto’s Disease (autoimmune disease) and some of the documentation on the green smoothie websites say I should limit intake of cruciferous veggies, namely spinach and kale. Do you know if that is accurate? Have you ever encountered someone, with this disease, who has taken these veggies and had a positive effect on their energy and disease?
    2. The first day or two I was taking about 35 ounces of the green smoothie for breakfast. Since I don’t work from home, I drank all of the smoothie for breakfast. I really like the taste and how I feel so I added a green smoothie for a snack around 4 or 5PM. Altogether that is about 60 or 70 ounces of green smoothie. Is that too much to take in one day? Should I spread out the quantity over more hours? I feel really great now. Some days I feel I could have another green smoothie at night before my dinner or after dinner. Would that additional amount be too much? What are your thoughts?
    3. Finally, I am an 0+ Blood Type. From what I have read in the past, Blood type of O+ is too alkaline and should balance eating plenty of meat protein. Is it okay to continue with the Breakfast smoothie regime every day? Or should I make sure I balance a smoothie one day with animal protein the following day? Any thoughts?
    Thank you for your time.

  12. emilyb says:

    Hi Annette – I waited to reply to your message because I wanted to publish this post for you I have not heard about limiting spinach and kale, but to be safe i would say make sure you rotate your greens as much as possible.

    If you are rotating organic greens you can not have too many in one day. We hold retreats where people drink just green smoothies for 7 days. Our friend Clent had a green smoothie weight loss experiment which you can read about here and You can drink the green smoothie in one go or try and take it over a few hours, what ever feels right for you. I don’t think you can drink too much green smoothie!

    We don’t believe in the blood diets, just do what makes your body feel good. Eating animal protein in a choice that is up to you, remember there is an abundance of protein in greens. Victoria does not think it is necessary to take animal proteins if you are eating organic fruits and veggies and lots of greens. If you do want animal protein perhaps consider organic, grass feed eggs, actually anything that is grass feed if you must. No matter what you decide to eat, I think continuing with a green smoothie for breakfast (or more) everyday is a good idea.


  13. JD says:

    If supplements should not be added to the morning green smoothie, is it all right to add them (blue-green algae & hemp) to a savory smoothie? Thanks

  14. emilyb says:

    Dear JD, If you want to add blue-green algae and hemp to your savory green smoothies you can, but I don’t think they are necessary.

  15. birgit says:

    what are the symptoms of too much alkaloid consumption?
    I have been doing kale and spinach brocoli and asparagus smoothies since April.
    I also add EFA , oats or nuts and coconut oil or a raw egg, as well as a handful of baby carrots.After reading this I am kind of blown away about all I did “WRONG”

  16. kristen says:

    no one answered Richie’s question above (are different varieties of the same greens considered as different greens as far as alkaloids?) What is your opinion on this?

    Also, do you think lettuces which are considered more domesticated like romaine, red leaf, green leaf, etc. are lower in alkaloids? Are the different varieties of lettuce considered different greens as far as alkaloids go? Thanks!

  17. Love the simplicity of these guidelines. Have just discovered green smoothies and am hosting a month of juices and smoothies on my blog right now as a way of inspiring me to increase my quota and experiment more. Just ordered your green smoothie book – looking forward to receiving it!

  18. emilyb says:

    Different varieties of the same green have slightly different alkaloids, so dinosaur kale is different to leafy kale, however the difference is smaller so I would recommend not just have 4 varieties of kale in a week. Different lettuces are considered different greens.

    I’m not sure about domesticated greens having lower amounts of alkaloids.

    The best advice with rotating is listen to your body. I find if I have too much of one green, I instantly don’t like the idea of having it again.

  19. Annie Summer says:

    I’m curious about your thoughts regarding Rejuvelac, the liquid from sprouted wheat berries? I read Ann Wigmore’s book on sprouting and began making it right away. It has a lemony taste and I use it instead of water in all my smoothies. She claimed it has wondrous health promoting properties, and it tastes great mixed with greens and fruit.

  20. N says:


    I started making green smoothies in December and I noticed I would experience an instant surge of energy and clarity. When I make green smoothies now I dont experience the immediate benefits any more. I am not sure what I am doing wrong. I dont add water, supplements or super foods, I just blend 3 pieces of fruit and 1 handful of greens.

  21. Paula says:

    Hello, I was wondering if there was a minimum amount of the green smoothie that one should take. I am newly pregnant and started this just before I found out I was pregnant. I make sure I make ones that I will enjoy drinking, but at the same time it can be hard to get down sometimes. I want to make sure I am getting enough down to make a difference. Thank you

  22. Molly says:


    My dad was recently diagnosed with brain cancer, and I convinced him to start drinking one-quart of green smoothies a day. The smoothies are either just fruit + greens, or fruit juice+greens+ginger. He has also had problems with gas, is this a temporary cleansing of the body that goes away after a while or are we doing something wrong? Also, when using collards or chard should the stems be removed to reduce starchiness?

    I have also read about the benefits of eating seaweed for cancers, can this be included in smoothies?

    I’m excited about the possibility that drinking green smoothies can help my dad’s body recover when going through radiation therapy but I don’t want him to quit because he is uncomfortable. Any recommendations for his condition?

    Thanks so much!

  23. Karen says:

    Hiya, I have been eating green smoothies for about 6 months now and purchase two of your books to help me with ingredients as I was diagnosed with Diabetes II a couple of years ago. I would love to eat green smoothies all the time but they taste so disgusting. As a diabetic I have been told I should not include fruit because of the sugar content. I’m a bit confused and am slowly stopping making the green smoothies. Sergei how did you make your smoothies taste good? any suggestions please

  24. Melb says:

    Great Post! Definitely needed this information. I am starting my quest of drinking smoothies daily :)

  25. Mike says:

    When making Green smoothies, would it be beneficial to make them with alkaline water?
    If so, what level?
    thank you,

  26. Dr. Doris says:

    I love green smoothies and I drink them many diffrent way and always have a very beneficial results. I love adding flax seed to my green smoothies and they are great and everything always comes out right (if you know what I mean.I also love Juice plus I started taking it sometime ago after seeing the clinical research on it, it is great!

  27. guillaume says:

    I have a question but maybe you could show a correct link if this topic has already been asked:

    I use green smoothies and have many benefits from them.
    However, I am unable to find or buy a good quality of organic fruit & vegetable,
    So, I buy non-organic products and I would like some advice to wash them.
    I soak my apple in a water with a soap ( which has no phosphate ) and thoroughly brush them.
    I don’t know if someone or Victoria know a better way ?

    I already know the benefice of organic foods but the place I live in & my income now don’t allow me to reach this step.

    here is an interesting link for toxicity :

    thank you very much,

    & excuse my english, I am not use to write with it anymore.



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