Jen Hansard is the co-founder and creator of Simple Green Smoothies, a plant-powered brand that empowers millions of women to live a healthier lifestyle by integrating smoothies into their diet.
Jen is also the best-selling author of Simple Green Smoothies and Simple Green Meals. She leads plant-based workshops and adventure retreats across the country and blogs at SimpleGreenSmoothies.com.
As a first time mom, I joined a mom’s group and loved having the support of other women embarking on a similar journey. We bonded close together and cheered each other on through each milestone or heartache. I realized how powerful and enjoyable life can be when fully shared with others.
When I had my second child, Clare, we moved to a new town where we could afford a house that could fit our growing family. I didn’t have my community anymore. With two kids under two, our days were a blur of chaos and survival. Our family meals got quicker and less healthy. It got to a place where I felt like all the energy had been sucked out of my body, yet I still had to get up in the morning, feed the kids, run the errands, work when I could, play with the kids and keep the house in order.
My to-do list was long, and I was on the very bottom... which I could never get to. From the outside, I was thriving as a young mom. From the inside, I was purely surviving.
I relied on Starbucks coffee to get me through the days… yet even that didn’t really work. I needed a lot more energy than my exhausted body seemed capable of giving me. So I went on an epic Google self-diagnosis search and realized I was experiencing the effects of the Standard American Diet (SAD). My daily eating habits of 4 cups of coffee, bean burritos and grilled cheese sandwiches had finally caught up to me. I was nutritionally deprived and my body was unable to give me the energy that I once had.
Then I discovered green smoothies thanks to my friend, Jadah Sellner (from that same playgroup from years back. #fate). She was using smoothies to help her lose weight and shared about the energy boost she got. I loved how simple that first green smoothie was to make, how it tasted… and I was instantly hooked. I started drinking at least one green smoothie a day and my energy levels soared.
The more I drank green smoothies, the more fruits and veggies my body craved. It was like, “yes, give me more of that please.” Yet at the time, we were financially struggling. So I had to find a way to make these smoothies affordable to keep it up while on a WIC budget, receiving unemployment subsidy and having no health insurance. So I blended ingredients that were easy to find, affordable and tasted great so my kids would drink them. That’s how Simple Green Smoothies began.
I wanted us to all drink one a day to keep our immune systems up and the energy high. A happy side effect was I began to effortlessly lose weight (without counting calories and depriving myself), my energy skyrocketed and I started to get excited about what I could do with my life. I started dreaming about what I wanted to do… and then actually go after it. I started running again and ran the Disney World Marathon in 2015.
In 2016, I took flying lessons and was able to soar through the skies in a Cessna 152. In 2017, I ran my first ultramarathon, which was 31 miles through Florida’s national forest trails. And in a few weeks I’ll be doing my first 100k trail run (that’s 62 miles!) and drinking green smoothies along the way. I am sharing all of this NOT to brag, but to tell you that I never would have dreamed of all this before drinking my first green smoothie— and my hope is that you unearth your own passions through your journey with Simple Green Smoothies, too.
“I went from being exhausted and feeling defeated—to being energized and empowered. It blew my mind that one simple healthy habit could make such an impact in my life.”
Honestly, I'm still in awe that it's a business. It was just a personal passion that changed my life and I wanted to share it with us. In 2012, it transformed into a business with my friend Jadah Sellner, when we shared recipes on Instagram, built our very first website and hosted our very first 30-day green smoothie challenge. It was a hit!
Since then, I’ve taken the reins, published two best-selling plant-powered recipe books, created the #1 smoothie app, Daily Blends with my amazing team and community. Simple Green Smoothies has morphed into a movement with a passionate community cheering us on.
Together, we are the rawkstars of Simple Green Smoothies.