Photo credit: Kate Lewis

I once juiced an onion. Yes AN ONION! What was I thinking???? Blood cleanser?! DO NOT DO THIS.

This is just one…let’s say telling…example of my many experiments with smoothies and juicing. And my experience has given me a different viewpoint than most.

Today we are going to laser in on this juicy subject in celebration of Kris Carr’s new book, Crazy Sexy Juice. We have a recipe to share from the book, as well as a free copy to give away!

For starters, it’s important to understand the difference between blending and juicing. Here’s a handy infographic from Kris that outlines the differences.

Now that we know the difference between these two methods, the essential questions remain: Should we be juicing? Should we be making smoothies? Or should we skip them altogether?

Some say yes, others say no. For me, I say it depends on your goal. Let’s dive in.

Are Smoothies and Juicing Good For Weight Loss?

One of the most common arguments against smoothies and juicing is that it is better to eat whole foods in their natural state, particularly when it comes to weight loss.

For example, a typical smoothie may contain 2 bananas, 3 cups of spinach, 20 almonds worth of almond butter, and a cup of blueberries.

If you were to pour those smoothie ingredients out of the blender and onto a plate, it would take at least 20 minutes of fastidious chewing to finish your meal. I’d also wager that you’d feel quite full afterwards.

Once blended, you can slurp it all down in about 30 seconds, and here’s the important part: You may or may not feel full.

Typically a smoothie will fill me up for about 15 minutes before I’m hunting for something else to munch on, so I rarely use them as a meal replacement.

This is based on the concept of satiety and caloric density. When weight loss is your goal, it’s best to choose foods that leave you feeling the most satisfied for the least amount of calories.

For example, Chef AJ talks about the value of eating 1 pound of veggies for breakfast. Are you going to feel (and stay) full after eating a pound of veggies? You better believe it.

So if weight loss is your goal and you have the luxury of choosing between a smoothie and a pound of veggies, make the veggies your top choice.

However, most of us are insanely busy and overwhelmed as it is.

Our mornings are often a race against the clock to get the kids ready for school, put some food on the table and get out the door in time for work.

In fact, we created our minimalist food prep course the 12 Minute Kitchen in order to provide quick and easy plant-based meal options for just these kinds of situations.

If you are overwhelmed trying to prepare plant-based meals and continually falling short, green smoothies are a fantastic (and realistic) option. It’s one of the best ways to fill your belly with delicious nutrient dense plant foods in a hurry.

Here’s the take away: Choose green smoothies if you are having trouble getting your greens, are not yet 80-100% plant-based, or have trouble finding the time or energy to prepare a plant-based meal.

If you find yourself going through the drive through, or indulging in junk food because you didn’t manage to make the perfect breakfast, then go for the green smoothies!

If your primary goal is weight loss, you aren’t seeing the results you want, and you’ve already cut oil, then skip the green smoothies in favor of a whole food plant-based meal that will leave you feeling fuller, longer.

When Should You Drink Smoothies and When Should You Juice?

Photo credit: <a href="">Stacy Spensley</a>

Photo credit: Stacy Spensley

As I mentioned above, I love smoothies because they are just so darn realistic.

They are a fantastic way to get the good stuff into your diet, are quick and easy to prepare, and you don’t have to be a chef to make a delicious smoothie.

So when should you choose a green juice over a smoothie?

If you haven’t yet had your first juicing experience, you’ll quickly find that it takes considerable more time, effort and produce to make a glass of juice.

When is it worth it to invest all that additional energy? When you need to pull out the big guns.

A green juice is like a concentrated injection of vitamins, minerals and phytonutrients. You are delivering the nutritional potency of several pounds worth of veggies directly into your system.

This can help create and maintain the systemic conditions that promote health and healing, such as creating an alkaline environment and reducing inflammation.

The body is a complex system, and modern life presents many obstacles to radiant health. Between depleted soils, questionable food production practices, and more toxins in the environment than ever before, sometimes we need a boost beyond healthy food.

Do you have a chronic health condition or health crisis? Are you already eating 100% plant-based and not losing weight? Struggling with food addiction?

These are the situations when it becomes especially worthwhile to invest the time and energy in juicing.

When I first went plant-based, I drank a minimum of 16 oz of green juice a day for close to two years.

I have no doubt that this accelerated the change towards a physiology of health and well-being that began when I put plants first.

And during my time at the Tree of Life Center in Patagonia, Arizona, I watched hundreds of people experience profound healing and transformation on a 7-day green juice fast.

But here’s the catch: I spent close to an hour every morning making my daily juice, and it was not an inexpensive endeavor.

I, of course, saw it as a valuable investment, but it just may not be possible for everyone to devote that kind of time and energy towards juicing.

If you’d like to learn more about the ins and outs of juicing, check out the Ultimate Guide To Green Juice.


Photo credit: Kate Lewis

Here’s the takeaway:

Green juice is a powerful tool, but it requires a large investment of time and energy.

When changing our diets, we usually have limited time, energy and willpower. If you are exceptionally busy or overwhelmed just trying to put healthy food on the table, focus on eating more plant-based meals and don’t worry about juicing for now.

If you are in the midst of a health crisis, doing everything right and still not losing weight, or struggling with severe cravings then it’s especially worthwhile to invest in juicing.

Juicing Disclaimer:

As I’m sure you’ve noticed, this is a less than scientific explanation of juicing. I’m still not a doctor or nutritionist, and I am just relating my personal experience and observations.

Consult a qualified medical professional before adopting any of these practices, and do not attempt a green juice fast without medical supervision. Especially if you are on medications.

Smoothie and Juicing Pro Tips

Smoothies are a great medium for superfoods and supplements

Smoothies are a great way to get in superfoods, such as protein powder, tonic chinese herbs, or any other supplements or superfoods you are including in your diet.

Increase satiety with flax and chia or slowly sipping your smoothies.

According to a study mentioned by Dr. Greger, adding a tablespoon of flaxseed to your green smoothies can increase satiety and suppress appetite up to four hours after consumption.

And according to Regan, too much flax or chia can ruin a tasty smoothie so it’s best to start with a teaspoon or two. Also the longer the flax or chia sits the more gelatinous it will become, so add it in just prior to drinking or grab a spoon.

Sipping your smoothie, rather than gulping it down, can also increase satiety and leave you feeling full longer.

Watch out for sugar

Juicing and blending concentrates the natural sugar content in fruit and makes it more absorbable. You can end up consuming a large amount of sugar very quickly and spike your blood sugar.

Be mindful of the amount of fruit (or other sources of sugar) that you are including in your juice and smoothies. Make it palatable with the least possible amount of sugar, and aim to reduce the sugar content as your taste buds adjust.

I used to include a whole apple in every green juice, but I now think that green juice is incredibly delicious without any sweetener at all.

Up Your Smoothie and Juice Game with Kris Carr’s New Book — Crazy Sexy Juice!


Learn more about Crazy Sexy Juice

Regan and I have had a crush on Kris Carr for a long time. Her Crazy Sexy Kitchen recipe book is one of our favorites, and we are super excited for her new release Crazy Sexy Juice.

We asked for a sneak peek recipe to share with you and Kris came through. Not only do we have a recipe to share, but Kris also has a number of bonuses available if you purchase the book, and we have copy of Crazy Sexy Juice to give away! Details on how to enter the giveaway are at the bottom of this post.

But first, here’s a great recipe to get you started with green juice.

Get Started With This Recipe — A Classic Green Lemonade

Green lemonade is the Cadillac of juicing recipes. This is my take on the beloved classic. The juice is a little sweet (thanks to the apple) and a little spicy (gracias to the ginger). The natural bitterness of leafy greens is cut by a bright squeeze of lemon.

You can use almost any type of leafy green in place of chard or kale. Romaine, baby spinach, collard, bok choy, broccoli—you name it! In fact, I love adding broccoli stems to this recipe. Get creative.

This juice is a perfect vehicle for all of your greenest fridge scraps.


Photo credit: Kate Lewis

Classic Green Lemonade

Yield: Makes 2 Servings (16 to 20 Ounces)


  • 2 stalks celery
  • 1 small cucumber
  • 1 apple, cored and seeded
  • 1-inch piece ginger, peeled
  • 3 leaves Swiss chard or kale
  • 1/2 lemon, peeled


  1. Wash and prep all ingredients.
  2. Juice all ingredients.

Enter to Win a Copy of Crazy Sexy Juice

UPDATE: The giveaway has now ended. Congratulations to Anna, the winner of the Crazy Sexy Juice giveaway!

We’ll be randomly selecting one recipient (see entry details below) and notifying the winner on Thursday, November 5th.

Here’s how to enter:

  1. Sign up for the email list using the form below. If you are already subscribed, you do NOT have to subscribe again.
  2. Leave a comment below letting us know the following: Do you make smoothies or juice? Which do you prefer and why? Give an example and be specific.

*Note: Only open to residents of the US and Canada

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We humans are always looking for the quick fix or the easy way out.

This usually doesn’t work in the health world, however in this post I’ll share with you one simple thing that you can do that yields huge health dividends.

What is this magical elixir?

Green Juice.

Juicing is fairly well-known in the natural health world, however there are many different takes on what and how you juice.  Not surprisingly, some are better than others.

In this post I’ll share all the juicy (get it?!) secrets, so you can get the maximum benefit with minimum time, effort, and yes…cost.

But first, a little inspiration to get you going.

Why Juice?

Did your mother ever tell you to eat your veggies?  Did you know that almost every health authority recommends 6-8 servings of vegetables and fruits per day?  Green juice is a great way to guarantee that you not only meet, but exceed your recommended veggie intake.

Think about it…green juice takes several pounds of vegetables, concentrates the nutrients, and puts them in a form that is easy for the body to assimilate.

That’s right, serious natural nutrient infusion.

Green juice is also:

  • Alkalizing
  • High in Chlorophyll
  • High in Iron and other minerals (green leafy vegetables)
  • A rich source of oxidizing enzymes

And some say green juice can:

  • Neutralize toxins in the body
  • Help purify the liver
  • Improve blood sugar problems
  • Regulate digestion
  • Help rebuild tissues

For me personally, I can honestly say that I have experienced the health transformational power of drinking green juice.

The best thing to do is to give a try, and see what it does for you. It doesn’t happen overnight.  You might not like it at first.  It might not feel good.  But consitency and persistance pays off.

I am firmly convinced that juicing is the final key to giving you a radiant, energetic life, and truly optimal health. – Joseph Mercola, M.D.

The best green juice recipe ever

I’m about to reveal to you the top-secret green juice recipe that will unequivocably solve all your problems, make everyone fall instantly in love with you, and…SAVE THE WORLD!!!  That’s right.

You’ll notice that this juice has no sweetener.  It doesn’t need one.  I put in apples for years before finally realizing that I liked the taste so much better with out.  Fruit juice can spike blood sugar and insulin levels, so while a nice treat, I don’t drink fruit juice on a regular basis.

We’ll just stick with the green juice for this blog post and let you do your own research on the fruit juices.

But know this: Juice without a sweetener is a low-glycemic juice! It’s the perfect health trifecta: nutrient-dense, alkalizing, and low-glycemic!

Ok, onwards.

The recipe:

You’ll need:

  • 1/2 head of celery (save the rest for tomorrow)
  • 2-3 cucumbers
  • Half a bunch of leafy greens. (save the rest for tomorrow)
    Here you have lots of options:  Kale (super nutritious but intense), swiss chard (less intense), spinach (healthy and delicious), or dandelion greens (oh so bitter, but great for the liver).

That’s it!  3 ingredients!  Delicious!  I made juice from this exact recipe yesterday and it yielded over 32oz — more than two pint glasses worth of juice.


Once you get this down you can then experiment with adding condiments, like running an inch-long knob of ginger through the juicer, or a quarter of lime with peel intact.  You can also try adding cayenne powder (1 tsp), tumeric powder (1 tbsp), or cinammon (1 tsp)

How to make Green Juice

1.  Get a juicer.

If you are going to make juice you need a juicer.  I highly recommend the Omega 8006 (not an affiliate link, just the juicer I use and used every day for nearly two years when I first began juicing).  Why the Omega?  It is easy to clean (super important!)  It is a slow juicer which keeps the valuable and sensitive micronutrients in the juice intact and gives you a higher quality of juice.  The Omega is also versatile, able to juice just about everything well from wheatgrass to carrots.  The only thing it doesn’t do well are softer fruits such as apples, but it makes a mean green juice, and that is what we are here for.

Insider secret.  if you don’t have a juicer, you can make juice with a high-powered blender like the vitamix.  Just blend your ingredients and strain them through a nut milk bag.

2.  Get produce.

People typically have two complaints about juicing.  The first being that it is time consuming, and the second being that is expensive.  While there isn’t much we can do about number one, a little negotiation can go a looong way with cost.

In order to save yourself money, you need access to good quality, organic, preferrably local produce.  And where do you find local produce?  At the farm!

Stop by the nearest organic farm and get to know the person growing your veggies.  Farmers typically have extremely high standards for their produce, and you can sometimes get high quality produce with slight cosmetic imperfections for a lot less strain on your money bag.  These are called “seconds” in the farm business.

Now, I’m going to share with you the exact script that I used to negotiate a deal with the farm just down the street from me.  After this conversation, I received free…yes, FREE seconds from this farm for nearly two years.  Every thursday I would stop by, say hello to Gwen (name changed so she doesn’t get hit up by dozens of greedy juicers to be) and load up my bags with carrots, tomatoes, cucumbers, celery, and drop dead gorgeous greens.

Me:  Wow what good looking greens you have (ie compliment the produce, but perhaps use a less creepy opener)

Gwen:  Yeah, we pretty much rule at farming.

Me:  I know how difficult it is to farm, and I love supporting local farmers.  Do you have any way that I can cut out the middle man and buy produce directly from you?

Gwen:  Um, obviously, you are currently talking to me in the middle of our farm stand.

Me:  Wonderful.  You see, health has become a big priority for me recently (if you have a health challenge, go ahead and share it.  Sympathy points!)  and I’ve taken up juicing.  As a farmer, I’m sure you understand the connection to health, food, and soil, so I’m trying to get as many veggies into my system as I possibly can.  I’m sure I’ll be coming in a lot, and if you ever have any opportunities for a work trade or deals on seconds or have too much of something you need to get rid of, I’d be more than happy to buy them from you.  As long as the veggies are good quality, it doesn’t matter to me how they look.

Gwen:  In fact, we throw out our seconds every Thursday.  Why don’t you just come by on Thursday mornings and you can take what you need.

Me:  Millions of peaches, peaches for me.  Millions of peaches, peaches for me!  Moving to the country…gonna eat a lot of peaches.

Gwen: Why are you standing in the corner singing to yourself?

Me: Oh no reason…See you on Thursday!

You get the idea.  The key is to first establish a good relationship with the farm, and come from the place of wanting to support the farmer and make the relationship work for them.  Who knows if you’ll be able to get a deal, but take whatever is offered graciously, and really do make it a priority to support them as much as possible.  Farmers work incredibly hard and for most of them financial struggle is just a way of life.

Don’t have a farm nearby?  Stop by the farmers market.  If you go at the end of the market, farmers are usually trying to get rid of everything that didn’t sell, so you may be able to get a deal.

No farmers market?  Find out where your local health food store sources their greens.  You may be able to get a wholesale account with a local organic food distributor.  They may require an EIN (business tax number) and they will most likely have a minimum order amount with some being higher than the others.  If you can meet the minimum order by yourself, great, and if not how about going in with some friends?  Friends that juice together, stay together…or something like that.


3.  Prep.

Le sigh, your newly acquired veggies need to be prepped for juicing.  This means washing (yeah you really should wash them, even if they are organic), and cutting.  Peel the cucumbers if they aren’t organic.  The downside of the Omega 8006 Juicer is that it has a fairly small feed chute.  To save time, you can do one major prep session of your veggies to last 2 – 3 days.  Just wash and cut big batches and them store them in the fridge.

4.  Juice

When your veggies are prepped, its time to turn them into green gold.  Just turn the on switch and go.  Start with the cucumbers and alternate with the celery, so that the cucumbers don’t clog the system.

Juice is best consumed fresh, but you can make a bigger batch for the whole day and maybe the next.  Any juice not immediately consumed should go right into the fridge.

How much should you drink?  As much as possible!  You can’t drink too much juice.

However, especially when starting out we want to make green juice a habit.  And habits are best formed when we make them easy!

So everyday for the next three days, I want to challenge you to make just one pint, thats 16oz, of juice in the morning.

Your body will thank you.

Do you have a favorite juice recipe? Share it in the comments below! We love to hear from you.

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