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A few days ago a patient returned a book to Dr. Ben. Green for Life, a book by Victoria Boutenko, talks about how her family began to drink green smoothies as a way to increase their health.  As they began to feel better the family began to share their knowledge and recipes. I couldn’t resist browsing through it and I had an “aha” moment. What a simple way to increase fruit and vegetable consumption!As a Registered Holistic Nutritional Consultant, I’m always looking for ways for people to increase their consumption of live, whole, nutritious foods. Having a lightly dressed pile of greens with your breakfast omelet, keeping cut veggies at the ready in the fridge for snacking and grating all sorts of vegetables into soups and sauces are all ways to add extra servings to your day. However, the green smoothie is a truly ingenious way to add phytonutrient rich foods to your diet in a concentrated way without loss of enzymes and nutrients. It also acts to add much needed water to your diet.

Phytonutrients are found in plants only and are important in maintaining health. Many phytonutrients have an antioxidant effect in the body and fight free radicals that age us and contribute to chronic disease and cancer. Increasing your consumption of fresh fruits and vegetables also increases the amount of antioxidants available to fight free radical damage. The recent “5 a Day for Health” campaign is a good start but studies show the more fresh produce we eat the better for maintaining health and that vegetables are much more important than fruit. A University College of London studies suggests that we should consume at least 7 servings of vegetables and fruit per day. (1)

I’ve always felt heavy after the traditional protein based smoothie. And frankly my body needs to eat solid food to feel satisfied that I’ve actually consumed anything. Having tried greens powders I found them to taste like grass clippings or other brands are over sweetened to compensate. They tasted too concentrated and left a residual bad taste in my mouth. Enter the fresh food green smoothie! Light tasting, sweetened to your own liking and diluted to your own taste as well, the green smoothie can be tailored and changed as needed. Green smoothies digest very quickly without a heavy feeling. By totally blenderizing the ingredients you have already begun the digestion process. The combination of ingredients has a unique fresh taste and is very hydrating.


The green smoothie

Basics of the green smoothie – you put 2 cups of packed greens in with 1 cup of other fruits and/or vegetables and add water to just cover. Blenderize in a Nutribullet, Vitamix or Ninja blender. You want a powerful blender that can completely pulverize the ingredients so you don’t end up sipping in stringy bits of greens or chunks of unbroken down fruit. Unlike juicing, the benefits of fibre remain in a green smoothie helping to keep you full, feeling regular and reducing cancer risk. Serve immediately for best results as enzymes and nutrients deteriorate with time. That simple.

You can’t live on green smoothies alone so be sure to add foods rich in protein and fat. Add a couple of cooked eggs or a piece of fish for protein and healthy fat at breakfast. Green smoothies can also act as high nutrient, low calories snacks for when cravings hit between meals helping you to feel full and avoid snacking on empty calorie foods.  You can prep smoothies ahead of time by packing all the ingredients in a blender cup and put it in the fridge overnight. In the morning simply add water and blend before leaving the house.


Strawberry Banana Smoothie

  • Two cups packed greens – mild ones like tender greens are best
  • ½ banana broken into pieces
  • ½ cup frozen or fresh strawberries
  • Water to just cover ingredients
  • Stevia to taste if desired

Blend all ingredients well and enjoy.


Mango Smoothie

  • 2 cups packed greens – chopped romaine hearts or tender greens
  • ½ banana broken into pieces
  • ½ cup frozen or fresh mango chunks
  • Water to cover ingredients
  • Stevia to taste if desired

Blend all ingredients and enjoy.


Gazpacho in a Glass

  • 2 cups packed robust greens  – kale or romaine
  • 1 small peeled tomato
  • ½ cup cucumbers in chunks
  • 1 peeled clove of garlic
  • 1 green onion chopped
  • Water to cover ingredients
  • Sea salt and ground pepper to taste

Blend all ingredients well and enjoy.




1. Fruit and vegetable consumption and all-cause, cancer and CVD mortality: analysis of Health Survey for England data

2. Raw Family Website – Victoria Boutenko’s website with recipes and articles

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