Your Go-To Guide To Green Juicing & Smoothies

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Struggling to get enough fresh veggies in your diet?  Do you often feel a little bit flat and in need of a energy boost?  Looking for great ways you can get some nourishment on the run?  Don’t worry girl, because at MNB we’ve got you covered with this guide to green juicing.

It’s totally obvious we are crazy, obsessed about all things GREEN, especially of the smoothie or juice variety, so to get you all super excited about it too, we are going to break it down and explain the bounty of benefits that come from fresh juicing and smoothy-ing (we may have made up a new word).

So why are green smoothies and juices so good?

First off, smoothies and juices are actually very different.  Smoothies are made by completely blending whole fruit and vegetables into a thick drink.  Juices, however, are exactly like the name suggests, and only the ‘juice’ from the vegetable or fruit is extracted for consumption.

Therefore, the main nutritional difference between smoothies and juices is that juices contain no fibre. 

Fibre is a type of carbohydrate that cannot be digested by our bodies.  This means that it passes straight through our digestive system without being broken down and without contributing too much to calorie intake.  Although it cannot be digested, it is still an extremely important nutrient as it keeps our digestive systems super happy by promoting healthy stools and supporting beneficial bacteria in our gut.  Not only this, but fibre keeps us feeling fuller for longer.

So now we know what fibre is you may be inclined to think that smoothies would be the better choice over juices.  Smoothies are wonderful, but consuming juices has its benefits too.

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So, there are pros and cons to both juicing and smoothies.  But which one should you choose?

Both are great to have on a daily basis, but there might be a few factors to take into consideration before you decide to juice… or blend those greens.  The next few scenarios may help you in your decision:
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What will I need to start blending or juicing?

Unfortuantely, to get the most out of the fruit and vegetables, you do have to initially invest in nothing less than a good quality blender or juicer.  Some cheaper blenders will just not do what you want them to do without a lot of patience, pain and tears.  High-powered blenders however, get the job done in next to no time.

The same goes for juicers. You generally find with cheaper juicers, specifically centrifugal juicers, that the majority of the produce you are using is wasted.  Centrifugal juicers ‘grind’ the vegetable down, and although are very high speed, they are not the most economical, efficient or beneficial to health.  Alternatively, masticating (or cold-press) juicers, which ‘chew’ the produce, can get at least twice the amount of juice through its slower action.

The difference in speed of the masticating juicer also means that more nutrients are preserved (as the heat caused by the high speed action of centrifugal juicers supposedly denatures delicate vitamins and enzymes), and the juice is less oxidated, meaning that it can last for a few days in the fridge (unlike juices from centrifugal machines which must be consumed on the same day).

Centrifugal juicers are much more common, but do some research and shop around before you buy any machine.  Cold-press masticating juicers, although a lot more expensive, are sturdy machines and can last decades.

So, why go GREEN?

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When shopping for green leafy veg, fresh is definitely best.  Avoid wilting, faded leaves and try to get organic, or at least local.  Give your greens a big wash, even if organic, before using to get rid of any nasties.

rhijuice_02This is MNB’s fave green smoothie combo. Super nourishing and jam packed full of green goodness!

Rhi’s Foodie Tips:
  • If you can, make a few smoothies or juices a day in advance, this will leave you with no excuses to not get those nutrients into you.
  • Start out slow.  At first aim for a fruit and vegetable ratio of 1:1 whether juicing or making a smoothie.  Then, slowly work your way down, getting accustomed to the taste, until you are using at least 3 parts veg to 1 part fruit.
  • Change it up every once in a while by having a different coloured juice or smoothie every day to experience the benefits of a variety of fruit and veg.
  • Use lemon or lime to prevent the discolouration of your drinks.
  • Store your drinks in glass for ultimate freshness.
  • Use the freshest of fresh produce to get the most bang for your buck.

Rhi Profile

If you sporty sisters have any more questions about green juices or smoothies… JUST ASK! I am always more than happy to share some nourishing knowledge!

Rhi

xx

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MNB TEAM: Hey Sporty Sister! Thanks for stopping by Move Nourish Believe. We are the team behind this beautiful site full of pretty pictures, wise words and tools to help you live your best active life. If you have any suggestions, would like to feature on here or have something you'd like us to talk about, email us at move@lornajane.com.au. Oh & be sure to bookmark the site or save it on your desktop. This way you will be sure to start your day off on the right note or get a little pick me-up when three thirtyitis strikes. We also make a pretty good travel companion too! We hope to see you real soon & don’t forget to MNB always. Xx


Comments

  1. Courtney on said:

    Question for Rhi – what are your tips for making smoothies ahead of time? How long will they last in the fridge, which recipes hold up better, and how should we store them? Totally keen to take some with me to work so I can enjoy after gym in the evenings, or to my early morning yoga class so I can get my dose of protein within that crucial half hour.

    1. Rhi Mack on said:

      Hi Courtney!

      Thanks for your comment!

      If you are using the right equipment, both juices and smoothies will last 2-3 days, although it is best to consume within a day to get the most health benefits out of it. Smoothies as a rule do last longer, however, if you are using a cold-pressed, masticating juicer (instead of a centrifugal juicer) your juice will still last for a few days.
      Other things that can help with discolouration is using lemon or lime in your juice/smoothie, and storing it in a tightly sealed glass jar in the fridge. I imagine fruit juice lasts longer than veggie juice, because of its high sugar content, but I wouldn’t recommend drinking them over veggie juices simply because they last longer.

      I know of people who have even frozen their veggie drinks, but I have never done this myself.

      Hope this helps!
      Rhi
      Xx

  2. Katherine on said:

    Hi Rhi,
    I love my green smoothies in summer, but come winter I can’t bear the thought of a large, cold beverage. What do you recommend as a seasonal alternative, so that I can still get my daily dose of greens (plus supplements like spirulina and bee pollen) without having to rug up first?
    Thanks!

    1. Rhi Mack on said:

      Hi Katherine!

      Thanks for your comment!
      If you don’t like jucing in winter, I would possibly suggest introducing soups instead. You could make raw soups by blending a whole bunch of raw greens and herbs with some veggie stock or water, just as you do when you make smoothies, but add other warming ingredients such as cayenne pepper, ginger and chilli. You could make a whole lot at the start of the week, freeze it in portions, and get it out and warm it when you need to. I would suggest warming it in a pot on low heat, and avoid bringing it to the boil.
      As it has been heated you will be losing some nutrients and enzymes, but we try to minimise that by not bringing it to the boil. Although you do lose some, the heating actually allows you access to other nutrients, including the vegetables’ antioxidants!

      As for bee pollen, maybe you could top your morning porridge with it, or on warm quinoa pudding….mmmm…. :)
      I have been known to put spirulina in everything…. Pancakes, cakes, pies…. This might not be for everyone, but experiment and try to incorporate these things into the foods you already eat instead of as ‘supplements’.

      Hope this helps!
      Rhi
      Xx

  3. Bron on said:

    Hello! I love my green Smoothies – had one for breakfast today. But today I was also told I have hyperthyroidism and have to make dietary changes. I was told that kale, spinach etc should be avoided by those with thyroid issues (and some even say all people should avoid large amounts of it for long term thyroid health)
    Any suggestions for how I can continue to get good green and less Goitrogens?
    It may seem specific but thyroid problems are getting more abdominal more common :(

    1. Rhi Mack on said:

      Hi Bron!

      Thanks for your comment, I am so sorry to hear about your thyroid troubles! One important thing I want to point out before I start is that everyone reacts to different compounds in foods differently…so although goitrogens have been known to interfere with thyroid function in some people, this is not the case for everyone, and we should look at other factors in the diet also.
      So! Iodine is the most important mineral for thyroid health, and it is important to get adequate levels of it in your diet for your thyroid to be able to make the thyroid hormones. Some of the richest sources of iodine is sea vegetables and algae. You asked me what good greens you could introduce into your diet and I highly recommend taking spirulina (an algae) and eating seaweed such as nori, wakame and dulse. These guys will supply you with iodine, as well as providing other essential minerals, fats and protein. Parsley is another potent nutrition powerhouse that is awesome in juices, and you could try other green leaves such as silverbeet (chard) which is supposed to be quite low in goitrogens. If you still would like to have a juice for Brekkie, why not juice other vegetables such as beets, carrots, celery? These are delicious and just awesome for your health.
      Just make sure you check with your health practitioner before you start on anything new.
      For other people reading this who are worried about goitrogens and their impact on thyroid health I would suggest to still eat your greens among other nutritious vegetables of all colours, get adequate iodine in your diet and use coconut oil among other coconut products. Coconut oil is supposed to help with the regulation of thyroid function, and is a good substitute for other oils such as flaxseed and canola oil which are also high in goitrogens.

      Rhi
      Xx

      1. Bron on said:

        Thank you so much for getting back to my Rhi! The doctor wasn’t very thorough when it came to explaining dietary changes, and I’ve been wanting to try out Spirulina for a while – I’ll be sure to check in with the doc first though.

  4. Brittany on said:

    Hi Rhi,
    I’ve heard about the great benefits coconut water has but can’t find it anywhere. Where would I buy it in the Sutherland Shire/North Wollongong area.

    Thanks!
    Britt

    1. Rhi Mack on said:

      Hi Britt,

      Thanks for your comment!
      I believe commercial coconut water is getting more and more popular, so more and more supermarket chains are stocking it. Check your local IGA, they often stock cocobella coconut water, and I think Coles often stock h2coco coconut water. I would avoid flavoured coconut waters (such as pineapple flavoured coconut water) as it probably contains other nasties. What you are looking for is something as close to the real deal as possible, so also keep your eye out for fresh young coconuts. These are also becoming common, so check your local green grocer or farmers markets, even supermarket to try and find them.

      Fresh young coconuts are either sold with their green shell intact or cut away to it’s white fibrous inner layer (these have a cone shaped top). Avoid any that have soft spots or are discoloured as the juice may be ‘off’ (you can tell if it is straight away as there will be an unpleasant smell when you open it). The water and flesh of the coconut can be accessed by (carefully) cutting through the skin and fibrous layers of the fruit.

      Coconut water contains many essential nutrients but like everything find a balance, and don’t over consume.

      Hope I helped and good luck with the coconut hunt!
      Rhi
      Xx

        1. Bron on said:

          Hi Brittany
          There’s so many coco products out therr it can get confusing. Coconut milk is made from the grated flesh of coconut so its white. Coconut water is just what is from the centre of a young coconut. Its pale and usually transparent. You can usually find it in the drink aisle with the flavoured waters. Its in a tetra/cardboardd pack. Some bigger shops also sell nudie brand in with the fresh cool juices.
          At first I didn’t like it but after trying a few brands and always drinking it cold I find it delicious and refreshing. Watch out for the flavoured varieties with added sugar

        2. Rhi Mack on said:

          Yep, like Bron said, coconut milk is made from the flesh of the coconut. Coconut water is essentially the clear ‘juice’ of the coconut that lays dormant inside young coconuts until you open it up.
          As well as the juice, coconuts contain white flesh which is used to make coconut milk and cream, as well as desiccated coconut etc. :)

  5. Summer on said:

    Hi Rhi,
    Thanks for sharing a great recipe. I am starting to eat healthy as i just got over h.pylori and my stomach is sensetive to lot of things now days. I am very new to lot of greens and not sure how to make it all. My questions may sound silly but i just dont know it. when you make the smoothie do you normally just put everything in the blender and blend it all? What do you do with the lemons? do you peel the skin off?

    Thanks in advance,
    Summer

    1. Rhi Mack on said:

      Hi Summer!

      You are definitely on the right track to recovery by making the decision to eat healthier! I don’t know too much about h pylori except that it has potentially caused a lot of damage to your gut, and even if your not experiencing any more symptoms, you don’t want to put yourself back into a compromising position by eating harsh foods (such as processed, high sugar etc.). :)

      And your questions are not silly at all! So, you’re right, with smoothies, everything just goes together in the blender…. If you find your blender is not able to handle and break down all of the ingredients together at once, do it maybe in halves or quarters (where you put half of your ingredients in, blend, remove, then do the other half). Also, make sure you are using enough liquid – it seems to help with moving the ingredients around in the jug while your blending.
      Everything that goes into the smoothie needs to be edible, so yep, remove the skin from any citrus fruits you use. I tend to not worry about peeling the skin off ginger or turmeric however, just give them a good wash.
      As for your greens – experiment. Don’t be daunted by which one is better and why, just find one that you like the taste of to start off with (spinach, kale, silverbeet, etc.). When you first start smoothly-ing, blend up your combo of fruits that you may be familiar with and like the taste of (eg. Orange and mango), then add a little bit of green (eg. A few leaves of Spinach) to it. As you get used to the taste, gradually add more and more spinach.
      Once you get more comfortable with it, add in ginger and lemon, and other things like chia seeds or maca powder.
      But yep start simple, don’t be daunted, and do what works well for you.

      I hope I have answered all your questions Summer, if not, don’t hesitate to ask more questions :)
      Rhi
      Xx

  6. Jessica on said:

    Hi Rhi. I loved reading your post! So informative! I’ve always steered clear of both juices and smoothies as the ones I’ve found are very high in calories. For someone who is trying to slim down and keep all my main meals to 300 calories is there a nourishing blend you’d recommend?

    1. Rhi Mack on said:

      Hi Jessica,

      Thankyou so much for your comment, it makes me so happy to hear that others are getting something out of my articles!

      So, you’re right, some juices and smoothies are definitely high in calories, but these are generally fruit based, and possibly have other things added (sugar, yoghurt, milk etc).
      If you are aiming for weight loss, I would avoid juices as they are a lot more potent source of nutrition (includes high amounts of vitamins and minerals as well as energy), but making your own vegetable-based smoothies can be an awesome tool to have under your belt.

      For example, a simple smoothie that I make regularly includes:
      1 cup spinach 7cals
      1/2 lemon 7 cals
      1/2 cucumber 20cals
      Knob of ginger 10cals
      1 green apple 70cals
      Then 2 cups of water 0cals

      Total of 104cals.

      If you enjoy the taste of the smoothie without the apple, then that makes it 34 cals.

      So smoothies are a great snack for between meals (I would not use this smoothie as a meal replacement). As smoothies contain the fibre from the veggies, it will fill you up, so you are not likely to go look for more food soon after. Often when people are restricting calories for weight loss, they don’t get enough beneficial nutrients. Smoothies are a light, easy way to get a potent boost of the important vitamins and minerals that you might otherwise be lacking.

      If you wanted a meal replacement smoothie I would add either a tablespoon of chia seeds (70 cals) or a 15g scoop of spirulina powder (60cals) as they are both a source of complete protein as well as super nourishing. I would also add a good source of fat, a tsp (or two) of coconut oil (40cals/tsp) to your green smoothie to include a good balance of carbs, protein and fat.

      So as you can see, smoothies don’t have to break the calorie bank.

      Hope I have helped, and good luck with your goals!
      Rhi
      Xx

  7. Cara on said:

    Hi Rhi.
    I dont have a blender but have just recently purchased a powerful CuisineArt food processor. I tried blending the following this morning as a first try at a green smoothie:
    1 banana
    bunch of flat leaf parsley
    3 kale leaves
    knob of ginger
    coconut water
    I blended for a while but finding the smoothie really difficult to drink mainly because of the ‘chunky’ texture. Any tips?
    Thanks,
    Cara

    1. Rhi Mack on said:

      Hi Cara!

      Your smoothie sounds deeelicious!
      Smoothies are often chunky as they contain all the fibre (pulp) from the veggies. Fibre is very hard to break down, so no matter what you do, unless you are juicing, you will always have to deal with these ‘chunks’. Food processors have a different action to blenders, and they aren’t designed for liquids, while blenders are. Regular blenders will get a better result than even the most powerful food processor.
      BUT in saying that there are a few things you can do that will possibly help reduce the amount.
      – Strain the smoothie before consuming. This way you will get rid of most of the pulp, but it is a very messy and time consuming process (to push the smoothie through the strainer to get the most out of your veggies). And plus, you’re not going to be getting all that nourishing fibre!
      – Spinach I find breaks down a lot better than kale, so it might reduce the chunkiness a little bit.
      – Add more liquid after blending, and shake the smoothie before consuming to distribute the pulp throughout all of the liquid (it tends to sit on top in a big thick heavy layer)
      – Drink the smoothie with a straw. It will get clogged with pulp from time to time, but all in all it may make it a little more easier to consume as you don’t have chunks swirling around in your mouth.

      Apart from that, I would recommend using a blender, especially if you’re not really keen on the chunks.

      Hope I helped!
      MNB
      Rhi
      x

  8. Cassidy Taylor-Memmory on said:

    Thank you for such an informative post! I love juicing and this post motivates me to juice more often in the week as I can really feel a difference after I’ve juiced ! I don’t have the best juicer but will hopefully up grade it soon! Thank you again for such a great post!

    1. Rhi Mack on said:

      Thanks so much for your comment Cassidy! It means so much to be inspiring and motivating our sporty sisters!

      MNB
      Rhi
      x

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