Green Smoothie Challenge: FAQ


Do I only drink green smoothies during this challenge?

This is not a fast or a restrictive diet, so you can eat regular meals during this challenge. We are making healthy lifestyle changes that will last a lifetime! Our goal for you is to drink at least one 2-cup serving green smoothie a day in addition to your regular diet. If you would like, you can replace 1 or 2 meals with green smoothies. If you drink green smoothies as meal replacements, make sure to add a protein boost (plant-based protein powder, nut milk, nut butter), or snack on some nuts or a hard-boiled egg 30-60 minutes after you drink your green smoothie.


What should I eat during the challenge?

Just by drinking green smoothies daily without even changing your regular diet, you are moving in the right direction towards healthy eating. We suggest you eat real food that’s free of processed sugar and avoid ingredients that you can’t pronounce. My personal meal plan during the green smoothie diet will be paleo-inspired with lots of veggies and some seafood (we’re both pescatarians).

If you want to take your health to the next level, we recommend checking out our Fresh Start 21 Cleanse. This is a step-by-step meal plan, with daily green smoothie recipes and whole food meal recipes created by a holistic nutritionist.


Do I drink the Beginner’s Luck recipe everyday?

You can drink the Beginner’s Luck Green Smoothie recipe on filler days, but you don’t have to stick to making the same smoothie everyday. You can rotate, experiment and try out new recipes on your own.

This challenge is beginner-friendly. The shopping lists are designed for guidance and inspiration. So feel free to make some of the recipes from the list, repeat your favorites, and create your own green smoothie recipes. For more recipe inspiration, check out our green smoothie recipes.


Do I have to follow the recipe exactly, or can I switch out an ingredient or two?

Of course you can change up the recipes! All of our recipes are meant to inspire you to eat and live healthy, not to burden you with fruits/veggies that you can’t get your hands on, you don’t like, or are allergic to. Some recipes are made for specific purposes (i.e. detoxifying, immunity boosting, etc.) and need more specific replacements, but most are made to simply taste great and give your body access to fresh and raw ingredients. If there are adjustments that would make our recipe work better for you, then go for it!


Will you send me recipes every day?

We will send recipes with shopping lists for inspiration every Thursday (not daily), but feel free to go crazy and make any green smoothie recipe you like. As long as it’s packed with leafy green veggies, fruits and water– you’ve got yourself a green smoothie (even if it’s purplish/brown).

You will get new recipes every Thursday along with a shopping list and a fun challenge to up your smoothie game. If you didn’t receieve it, check your SPAM folder because it was sent out. We want to keep this challenge fun, affordable and simple. We don’t want to overwhelm you with exhaustive shopping lists and fancy hard-to-find ingredients.

I haven’t received my shopping list, am I signed-up for the challenge?

Please check your SPAM folder— some emails like to get lost in there. If that’s not the case, make sure you are signed up for the challenge in case you were unsubscribed along the way: 30-Day Green Smoothie Challenge.


I just found out about the challenge, can I still sign-up?

Yes, you can still sign-up, and you can do it here: 30-Day Green Smoothie Challenge. Our challenge is live, which means we cannot send challenge emails after the month of the challenge is over. Signing up means that you will be a part of any challenge in the future until you decide to leave (which we hope never happens!). So, if you signed up after a challenge, you will automatically be a part of the next one (challenges are in January, April, July, October).


Do I have to sign up for the challenge if I was a part of the last one?

If you’ve signed up for any green smoothie challenge in the past, then you don’t ever have to sign up again. You’ll keep receiving those good ‘ole monthly challenges until you unsubscribe (which we hope never happens)!  If you did try signing up again, anyway, then keep in mind that you won’t receive a confirmation email since you’re already a part of the list.


How many calories are in each green smoothie?

We personally don’t count calories, so we don’t include them in our recipes at this time. You’ll find that when you consume more nourishing whole fruits and veggies, you will not only feel full longer, but you’ll also have lessened cravings for high-calorie, nutritionally empty foods. So in the end it balances out. But we know many people would like to have calorie info. Three great resources for tracking calories are Self Nutrition Data and the phone apps My Fitness Pal and Lose It.


What do I do if I don’t have kale (or another leafy green) where I live?

Just swap it for 2 cups of a leafy green you do have access to. Your Farmer’s Market is a great place to see which leafy greens are in season. Here’s a list of some of our favorite leafy greens: rotate your greens.


Do I have to use frozen fruit?

We’ve had over 300,000 RAWKSTARS sign up for our 30-Day Challenge, and they are all over the world. So while we are having winter in California and Florida, someone is in Australia enjoying the summer. So feel free to purchase ingredients that are fresh or frozen. We like to use at least one frozen fruit to keep the smoothies chilly, but you could always add a little ice too.


Do I need a certain blender to make these smoothies?

You don’t need a fancy blender to make our smoothies– any blender will do. We want green smoothies to be available to everyone no matter what their budget is, so please don’t feel like you need an expensive blender to join the challenge. Here are two articles we wrote about blenders for you:

Best Blenders Under $120
Blendtex VS Vitamix

A tip to avoid leafy chunks is to blend your leafy greens and water first until you get a juice-like consistency. Then add the remaining ingredients and blend again.


What type of blender do you use?

Jen: For the past few years I have been using a Warner blender that I got for my wedding 8 years ago. It was a $70 blender that worked okay. It turned my produce into a smoothie, yet it left chunks of spinach and was very loud. It finally died and I immediately went online and bought a refurbished Vitamix 5200 for $329. It came within a week and  blends like a beast — no spinach leaf is left unblended when this bad boy is done. It’s insane.

Jadah: I use the Blendtec blender right now. I just love the Blendtec’s sleek design, and the 94oz BPA-free jug is awesome when you are making big batches for your family or prepping for a detox cleanse. Before I had a Blendtec I used the Magic Bullet (until the motor burned out) and the Thermomix, which is another high-powered blender.


Where can I buy those mason jars you use?

We adore mason jars for our green smoothies, feel free to visit our Amazon shop for mason jars, cups, cool lids, and other smoothie essentials by clicking here.  And don’t forget you can always wash out a spaghetti sauce jar for green smoothie mason jars too— that’s Jen signature move.


How many servings do your recipes make?

Most of our smoothies make about 4 – 5 cups (32 – 40 oz)– we call this family style. A serving size is 2 cups. So if you are making a smoothie for just one person, you can half the recipes and shopping lists. Or, save the leftovers for a second meal replacement, or drink the following day (now you only have to blend every other day). You can store leftover smoothies in an airtight container with a lid for 1 to 3 days. Fresh is always best, but you will still get plenty of the nutrients your body needs if you drink a leftover smoothie.


Can I store my green smoothie in the fridge?

Some people say you have to drink it “right away” to get the optimal nutrients from each blend. But if left in the fridge over-night for one to three days, the taste and satisfaction is still there. You also may add a small amount of lemon juice to preserve and keep the smoothie blend as fresh as possible. Your body is still reaping the benefits of consuming fruits and vegetables even if it is not consumed right away.


I am allergic to bananas (or pineapple, or mango, or…) what can I substitute with?

Got an allergy or an aversion to some fruits? Swap it out with a fruit that you love and adore. Can’t eat bananas? Switch it with more mango, peach, papaya, pear or an apple to sweeten it up. Or an avocado to make it thick and creamy.

Can’t do pineapples? Double up another ingredient already in the smoothie. If something calls for 1 cup of something you just can’t eat, swap it with 1 cup of a fruit you can eat. Mixed berries and mixed fruit bags that are frozen are a great replacement ingredient.

The best part is playing mini-chef with your blender. Not one smoothie will please everybody, but we promise over the next 30 days you will find a recipe that is your go-to smoothie. It will be the one you make for your friends and family and make them a green smoothie lover too. So explore, experiment, and smile!

Check out these yummy banana-free green smoothie recipes!


How do I make my smoothie “smooth” without leafy chunks?

If you have a high-speed blender like Blendtec and Vitamix, you will always have a perfectly smooth smoothie. But don’t let that stop you from making green smoothies if you have a regular blender. Healthy lifestyle choices can be made on any budget. My favorite tip to share about green smoothies is to blend your leafy greens and liquids first (water, almond milk or coconut water) until you get a juice-like consistency. You should be able to achieve this texture in 30 to 60 seconds. Once you have blended all of the leafy greens, then you can add the remaining ingredients.


Can I add a sweetener to my green smoothie?

We find that using whole fruits as natural sweeteners is the best way to sweeten your green smoothies. If you like the taste of bananas, you can add an extra banana or two whenever your smoothie is not sweet enough. Other natural sweeteners are dates and figs, which provide nutrients and fiber as well as a super sweet taste to your smoothie recipe. Some other alternatives are 100% fresh squeezed fruit juices, raw honey and 100% maple syrup.

Although you may add these sugar substitutes to your recipes, you will find that we do not add any sugars or sweeteners to our smoothie recipes unless it is a natural whole fruit. And please stay away from “0 calorie” sweeteners, they are made of artificial ingredients like aspartame which is so toxic to your body.

This smoothie is perfect for your sweet tooth: Almond Butter and “Jelly


I’m on a tight budget— how can I get inexpensive produce?

If you are new to eating a lot of fruits and veggies, your grocery bill may be a little shocking with the extra fresh and frozen produce purchases. Over time, you will eliminate a lot of processed food items which will in turn bring your grocery bill back to normal. But here are a few quick tips to saving money on produce.

  • Make a shopping list: making a weekly meal planing list that covers what you will eat on a daily basis will help you only buy what you need. Make sure to include snacks in your meal plan and shopping list too.
  • Buy seasonal fruit and veggies: purchasing produce is in season is typically cheaper. And if you see a good deal on fresh fruits and veggies, purchase in bulk and freeze for future smoothies.
  • Buy out of season fruits frozen: Costco and Sam’s Club sell large bags of organic frozen fruit at good prices. If your freezer can accomodate bags in bulk, take advantage of making these purchases.
  • Buy from local fruit stands, farmer’s markets and CSAs (Community Supported Agriculture): For the tastiest and most fresh organic produce, buy locally. Not only has the produce been grown and harvested close to home, but buying locally also helps our environment buy eliminating the time and resources needed to deliver. Visit, to find your local farm, farmers markets, and other local food sources.
  • Follow the EWG’s Dirty Dozen: this list will help you know what is worth getting organic and what you can buy conventional.

“Health is like money, we never have a true idea of its value until we lose it.” —Josh Billings


Do you have a good recipe for weight loss?

If you want to burn fat, you want to include plant-based smoothie ingredients that have the following weight loss effects:

  • jump start your digestion
  • burn excess fat
  • reduce and expel bad cholesterol
  • provide energy for your cardiovascular system
  • detox and hydrate your body
  • promote healthy bowel movement
  • decrease your appetite for processed foods and sugars

The Kiwi Berry Punch is a low-calorie, nutrient-dense smoothie recipe that combine the best fruits and veggies for an optimal approach to healthy weight loss.

The best part about a green smoothie–  you can use a smoothie as a low-calorie meal replacement because they are full of fiber which keeps your body feeling fuller longer. Just make sure you include protein to sustain you throughout the day.


What are chia seeds and where can I get them?

We are obsessed with these tiny little crunchy seeds. We sprinkle them on top of smoothies, or put them inside our oatmeal with almond butter and almond milk. Many people ask what are the health benefits of chia seeds? Is there a difference between black chia seeds and white chia seeds? And where can I buy chia seeds? We have answered all your awesome questions right here: 6 Reasons Why We Love Chia Seeds.

You can buy chia seeds at your local health food store like Whole Foods or Trader Joes, or purchase online at Nutiva or on Amazon.

224 Responses to “Green Smoothie Challenge: FAQ”

  1. Shonda 9.20.2014 at 3:21 pm #

    I’m really excited to start this. I did the July challenge, but didn’t follow through all the way. I do eat well most of the time, but I want to be sure to have a daily smoothie. I don’t eat nearly enough vegetables and I just want to make a healthy choice in my meals each day. When I start off with a green smoothie, that will give me the motivation! Thanks! And the Fresh 21 sounds amazing. I might try that next.

  2. Bea 9.19.2014 at 10:20 am #

    How much water should I drink on a daily basis when doing this diet? (Im doing 2 smoothies a day and 1 meal)

    • SGS Rawkstar Jessie 9.19.2014 at 6:30 pm #

      Hey Bea.

      Just by drinking green smoothies daily without even changing your regular diet, you are moving in the right direction towards healthy eating. We suggest you eat real food that’s free of processed sugar and avoid ingredients that you can’t pronounce. My personal meal plan during the green smoothie diet will be paleo-inspired with lots of veggies and some seafood (we’re both pescatarians). This is not a fast or a restrictive diet, so you can eat regular meals during this challenge. We are making healthy lifestyle changes that will last a lifetime! Our goal for you is to drink at least one 2-cup serving green smoothie a day in addition to your regular diet. If you would like, you can replace 1 or 2 meals with green smoothies. If you drink green smoothies as meal replacements, make sure to add a protein boost (plant-based protein powder, nut milk, nut butter), or snack on some nuts or a hard-boiled egg 30-60 minutes after you drink your green smoothie.

  3. Andy 9.6.2014 at 4:07 am #

    i’ve been told that they don’t sell spinach over here at this time of the year,but thankfully i found some! i’m worried though that i won’t find it anymore soon, because the spinach season is over. is it better to blend the spinach and then freeze it or freeze just the leaves? (my blender can’t handle frozen stuff so i’d have to wait till it’s not frozen anymore).

    then secondly, can i add oranges to my smoothies despite that thin skin? (not the peel of course, but the clear skin inside)

    thank you!!

    • SGS Rawkstar Jessie 9.8.2014 at 6:44 am #

      Hey Andy.

      Thanks for the comment. We love all leafy greens, are there other leafy greens in season? Here is a link to our favorite leafy greens. :) If you freeze spinach, leave it in the leaf form. :)

      Yes, you can peel the orange and then add all remaining parts to the smoothie. :)

  4. Mimi 9.2.2014 at 9:36 pm #

    Hi there.. found your web while I was just searching for green smoothie recipe. And for me you guys just give me lots of choices. The only thing is my place is somewhere in South East Asia, and the green leafy such as Kale is quite pricey for us. Can I sub it with our local greens?

  5. Amy Jackson 8.21.2014 at 6:53 am #

    Whenever I try to sign up for the 30-day challenge, it takes me to a dead page. Please help.


  6. aimeed 8.18.2014 at 8:35 pm #

    I’m starting the Challenge October 1st (I’ll be traveling, but have my little blender with me). I’m excited, but want to know if the Green Smoothie Challenge Ebook you have in your shop is the same info and recipes you’ll be sending us, or different? Thanks, Aimee

    • SGS Rawkstar Jessie 8.19.2014 at 7:05 am #

      Good morning!

      So happy that you are joining us and that you are already planning ahead! That is amazing!! :)The eGuide is different that the information we will send you in October. :) Hope that helps. :)

  7. Joy 8.11.2014 at 5:06 am #

    I really want to make green smoothies everyday but I always wonder if there’ll be something like parasites on the leafs if i didn’t wash them carefully enough.
    How do you wash your veggies to make sure they’re clean enough?

  8. Jamie 8.7.2014 at 12:08 pm #

    Hi There!

    I am in a panic! I thought I saved the recipes from previous challenges, but now I can’t find them. There were several that I LOVED and made fairly regularly between challenges.

    Unfortunately, I can’t remember which months they were in (I’ve participated in SOOO many challenges–it’s actually not a challenge anymore, just fun, but I digress). Anyways, is there to access archived recipes? I will be eternally grateful :-)


    • SGS Rawkstar Jessie 8.7.2014 at 1:32 pm #

      Hey Jamie!

      We do not have a place where we place previous LIVE challenge recipes. You can buy the July 30-Day Recipe cards here for $5:

      If you have a specific one you are looking for let me know and I can see what we can do. :)

  9. Emily 7.19.2014 at 7:47 am #

    I just started the 30 day challenge and am in day 3. I am loving that I have increased my veggie intake through smoothies!!! Thanks for the recipes and the shopping list. It makes the challenge so easy to follow!

    • SGS Rawkstar Jessie 7.24.2014 at 8:09 am #

      Wonderful, Emily! :) Keep blending those leafy greens! :)

  10. Eugenia 7.11.2014 at 7:39 am #

    Hi! I just want to thank you for all this recipes. I love to make same extra to have for breakfast. I’ll think that by the end of the 30 day I’m going to be addicted to green smoothie :). love the combination of pineaple/ginger/kiwi & greens, and the choco berry almond is perfect for sweet craving

    • SGS Rawkstar Jessie 7.11.2014 at 8:03 am #

      Wonderful to hear Eugenia!:) Keep blending those leafy greens!

  11. Laura 7.9.2014 at 1:01 pm #

    Hi Simple Green Smoothie Team!

    I am thoroughly enjoying the 30 day challenge. I feel well nourished, full, and proud! I have been preparing my smoothie in the evening, refrigerating it overnight, and eating it for breakfast. To your knowledge, does this decrease the overall nutritional value of the smoothie?


    • SGS Rawkstar Jessie 7.10.2014 at 5:01 am #

      Hey Laura!

      This is how we like to prep ahead of time.

      Have you already blended the evening before or is it in the blender ready to blend in the morning?

      • Laura 7.10.2014 at 6:12 am #

        Thanks for the reply! I have already blended in the evening- leave it overnight in fridge so I can grab & go in the morning.

      • SGS Rawkstar Jessie 7.10.2014 at 12:01 pm #

        Awesome! Give it a nice shake or stir in the jar, before you consume. :)

  12. Nina 7.8.2014 at 12:33 am #

    Hi, I wanted to know what brand or kind of plant based protein powders would you recommend adding to the green smoothies? And if you know of any low sodium protein powders? Also, is it okay to replace breakfast and lunch with green smoothies? Or do you only recommend placing one meal.

    • Nina 7.8.2014 at 12:34 am #


    • SGS Rawkstar Jessie 7.8.2014 at 5:06 am #

      Good morning Nina!

      For proteins please check out this article, on the different proteins we enjoy using.

      We love replacing one meal a day with a green smoothie or having it as a snack, but you can bump it up to two meal replacements if you’d like! When drinking a green smoothie as a meal replacement, make sure to add a protein boost (plant-based protein powder, nut milk, nut butter) and healthy fats (avocado, coconut oil) to complete your meal. Or, you can snack on some nuts or a hard-boiled egg 30-60 minutes after you drink your green smoothie. This will keep you satisfied throughout the day.

      Hope that helps. :)

  13. Daisy 7.4.2014 at 2:40 am #


    I can’t seem to find almond milk in Kenya. What can I substitute it with? I bought soya milk, is that ok?



  14. Rhea Jordan 7.3.2014 at 1:04 pm #

    Okay, so I tried a smoothie this morning with Kale, and I literally had to choke it down. Can spinach sub for kale in the recipes? Or are there any other greens that would be appropriate? I’m just not on the kale bandwagon. I try, but it’s just not working for me!

    • SGS Rawkstar Shauna 7.3.2014 at 8:52 pm #

      Rhea — Ahh! No worries. You can totally sub in any greens you like and if kale is too strong for you, try looking for baby kale which has a more mild taste. :)

  15. Liz 6.30.2014 at 5:21 pm #

    I gotta let you know…
    THANK YOU for making the shopping list affordable and attainable! I was worried signing up for this I would have to travel the highest mountain in the Himalayas on a cold foggy day for an ingredient or something!
    So excited! Thanks!

    • SGS Rawkstar Jessie 7.1.2014 at 5:55 pm #

      Hello Liz!

      Thanks for the compliments! Affordable and attainable are very important in my book too! :)

  16. Nicole G 6.29.2014 at 8:27 am #

    I received my 30 day smoothie challenge email on June 25th but have not received the shopping list yet. I did check my junk folders but could not find it. Did I sign up too late? Can’t wait to start my first smoothie challenge!

    • Nicole G 6.29.2014 at 8:33 am #

      The email address for my comment above is incorrect. Should be the one from this post sorry!

  17. sai 6.25.2014 at 1:09 pm #

    Hi Thank you for the reply…
    Just one more question….maybe be basic…will this help in reducing weight?

    • SGS Rawkstar Shauna 6.26.2014 at 5:25 pm #

      It differs from person to person but if you drink green smoothies as a meal replacement, it could help with weight loss. :)

  18. sai 6.24.2014 at 10:37 am #

    Hi ,
    I just signed up for 30 day green smoothie challenge…
    i understood that July is the month for this where 5 recipes would be sent….can i start it in the month of july and not now.

    Further i would imagine in these recipes we will have all different protien powders and so on…if i am planning to take in for breakfast and lunch…

    currently i drink one in the morning for BF …8 oz…so want to take it more seriously with doing it for lunch too.

    • SGS Rawkstar Shauna 6.24.2014 at 1:44 pm #

      Hi Sai,
      You can start the challenge whenever you like! But if you want to follow along with us and the rawkstar community, we will be officially starting July 1. This week you will receive your shopping lists and recipes so look for that in your inbox. :)

  19. Luz Rodriguez 6.18.2014 at 8:58 am #

    do you have recepies for jucing/smoothies for reversing type 2 diabetes?

  20. debbie 6.10.2014 at 6:09 pm #

    Thanks Dan, if it’s acceptable I’m sure I can find a commercial green smoothie in a grocery store.

    • SGS Rawkstar Dan 6.11.2014 at 7:14 am #

      Absolutely acceptable!

  21. debbie 6.9.2014 at 5:53 pm #

    I’m taking the 30 day challenge starting July 1st. I have one obstacle. I will be traveling via plane, unable to transport smoothies, and will not have blender available for 3 days. Any suggestions? I’ve been green smoothieing it for 3 weeks, feeling much more energized.

    • SGS Rawkstar Dan 6.10.2014 at 1:33 pm #

      Hi Debbie!
      If you have no access to a blender or any store that sells green smoothies, then try to be sure to eat at least one meal a day with leafy greens, fruit, and veggies! Pick up right where you left off after those three days are over.

      Hope this helps!

  22. s a bit of truth to the mostly fiction tales we were told as
    kids. If you choose diet shakes, be careful to choose those containing more fiber with less sugar.
    You need to have a number of superfoods in your diet daily.

  23. Dewi Martha Indria 4.12.2014 at 2:22 pm #

    Hi… I am happy I am not too late to join your 30 days.
    But I am sure I have to substitute some of the ingredients in the shopping list such as mango, kale and almond milk.

    I will substitute kale with bok choy or cabbage (after read your article to rotate green). Although I live in tropical country but for this month is hard to get any mango :( It is seasonal fruit. I don’t know what other fruit that can substitute mango in here. Peach is very expensive and hard to get :D Can I use apple or pear or maybe pineapple to change mango in the recipe?

    And the last, almond milk, unsweetened. I never found any almond milk in store in my city. I planned to make it by myself but I need to buy some unpeeled almond (with skin) from online store and it need much more time. While waiting it, can you share other alternatives to substitute almond milk?

    Thank you :)

  24. Karen 4.5.2014 at 7:22 am #

    LOVE your smoothies! What a great, timely addition to our family’s diet. We have toddlers and teens and we all love them. I just planted my garden for the year with your smoothies in mind. I’m planning on using ALL the greens I get…the outer leaves from my cabbage and brussel sprout plants, spinach, kale (so easy to grow!) I even just planted 300 beet seeds to try using raw beets for the berry smoothies instead of greens so I’ll get a fun, red color instead of brown. It will also cut my grocery bill down. (You should add gardening to your “How to cut down hour grocery bill” list.)
    Have you ever thought of combining a gardening link to your wonderful green smoothie site? It would be a great addition. Even if you don’t have garden space, you can grown spinach right out of a bag of soil. Do an image search for “Gardening in a bag of soil”. Shallow-rooted veggies like spinach are perfect for this.
    Also, have you thought about doing red smoothies with beets as the veggie? I’m going to try this for tomorrow’s smoothie. (I almost feel like I’m cheating on you.)
    Loyal new-comer,

    • SGS Rawkstar Dan 4.6.2014 at 2:07 pm #

      Check out this page for beets!

      Also, we are just getting into gardening ourselves (finally have some space for it), and Jen has some plans to do some cool stuff, too. Maybe we’ll at least be sharing about it in our newsletters!

  25. Sadie 4.4.2014 at 4:31 pm #

    My sister is allergic to almonds. What can we substitute the almond milk for? (Soy?)

    • SGS Rawkstar Dan 4.6.2014 at 2:06 pm #

      What about coconut milk? If not that, then rice milk would be nice.

Leave a Reply