In 2007, I discovered the power of a community and have been building on it every since.

As a first time mom, I joined a mom’s group and loved having the support of other women who had just embarked on a similar journey. We bonded close together and cheered each other on through each milestone or heartache. I truly realized how powerful and enjoyable life can be when shared with others.

In 2009, I had my second child Clare and we moved to a whole new town and I didn’t have that community anymore. Clare quickly turned out to be a wildflower little girl who had some serious colic, and my days got shorter and more chaotic. 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, make meals, run errands, work, take care of the kids and survive the loooooong day.

I was purely surviving… and all I dreamed of was thriving.

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 a friend, Jadah Sellner (from that same playgroup from years back. #fate). 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.

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.

Transformation from the inside out

The more I drank green smoothies, the more fruits and veggies my body craved. It was like, “yes, give me more of that please.”

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 and eventually trained for a marathon… and then another… then another.

In 2011, my family sold everything (including our home in California) and moved across the country to Florida so my husband could be a pastor at a church. We’ve embraced a small farm town community and have a backyard farm with raised beds, chickens, a duck and a dog. It’s become a magical place for us to raise our kids, connect with nature and discover my passions.

Last year, I took flying lessons and would soar through the skies in a Cessna 152. I just ran my first ultramarathon, which was 31 miles through forest trails. 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.


Carla 3.26.2013 at 6:06 pm

I’m in.

Sally 3.25.2013 at 1:48 pm

When will we get info on the smoothies we’ll be making, when to take them, how often, etc., for the April challenge? Or is this already listed on your website – a link would be fantastic. I’d like to get a head start in thinking now about all this and the foods I’ll be shopping for. April’s almost here!!! 🙂

Ashley 3.25.2013 at 8:20 am

I just signed up for the April challenge and working on getting some of my sista-friends signed up! Can’t wait to see my staying power (attempted last challenge on my own and didn’t stick with it :(, hopefully my “official” commitment this go round I will have success.)!

Sarah 3.19.2013 at 12:52 pm

Im all in 😀 I just ordered my blender.Hope it arrives in time!

tania g 3.18.2013 at 12:02 pm

Hi ladies…I’m very interested in your challenge however I don’t have a “fancy” ninja/blendtech/vitamix blender…yet. Is it possible to still make the smoothies with a “regular” blender?? 🙂 Thanks!

Jen H 3.19.2013 at 6:28 pm

Totally Tania! Your normal blender will do just fine— I used one for years. ONe tip: blend the greens and liquid together first and then add the remaining fruit.

Rita 3.15.2013 at 2:19 am

OK Ladies, I am signed up. I have a small concern though, as I want to pick up some of the items to have on hand. I was looking up the hemp powder and came upon an article on drug testing and the use of hemp powder. I am a school bus driver and can not risk as all testing positive using this item.. While there were very few in the study that did test positive, I am not willing to take that risk. So, I am still very motivated to start the challenge, what else can I use in place of the vanilla and chocolate hemp powder?

Jen H 3.15.2013 at 6:28 am

I totally get that Rita. The hemp protein is a boost— so feel to substitute with raw almonds (soaked over night te blend better). Or if you don’t like the texture that almonds do to your smoothie, just eat a handful of raw nuts alongside your smoothie. You can also go into Whole Foods or order online a raw protein powder (plant-based is ideal) like Sun Warrior, which has a great one.

Sally 3.9.2013 at 5:17 pm

I’m all signed up to do the April smoothie thingy – since i’ve never done this before, I was wondering if you will be providing a shopping list? I’m hoping that I won’t be buying “some of this” and “some of that” only to use it once or twice. I’m sure I’ll be getting a lot of nutrition and establishing some healthy eating habits, as well as making my dollar go a long way to all these benefits. Thanks for the consideration! Looking forward to April 2013!!!!!

Jen H 3.10.2013 at 5:22 pm

We will be sending out a weekly shopping list which will make enough for about 2 smoothies a day. And it’s all pretty standard green smoothie ingredients— yet there will be a few more adventurous ones that will give you a extra boost of nutrition. And most of our ingredients can be frozen, so you won’t have to worry about them going bad before you use them up. I think you will enjoy this Sally.

Megan Belen 3.9.2013 at 3:24 am

Quick question – with apples and pears and peaches and fruits of that nature, do they have to be peeled before blending?? And can you substitute frozen fruits as well as fresh?? Thanks super excited to shop for ingredients!!

Jen H 3.9.2013 at 4:38 pm

Hi Megan. If you have a high powered blender (like a Vitamix or Blendtec) you don’t need to peel anything. But we do suggest you buy organic since the peels can have tons of pesticides if they are grown conventional. You can also peel them— it’s totally fine. You just will miss out on a little extra fiber and nutrients, but will still be getting an incredible about of essentials still. And yes you can use frozen fruit. I do ALL the time. I prefer to defrost it before i blend it so it has more flavor and isn’t so chilly. Depending on your blender, frozen fruit might tough for it to blend up. Great questions Megan!

Jennifer 3.12.2013 at 8:12 am

What about Mango’s? I am buying all organic fruit/veggies but I’ve always peeled my mango’s? Is this necessary? I have a Vitamix, so blending isn’t an issue either…I just made the Peachy Kale Dream this morning and actually didn’t even take out the seeds in the apples like I usually do! Also, I have a hard time finding organic peaches! I have to buy organic frozen peaches, where can I get fresh from? Maybe they are just not in season/not being sold here (FL) yet?!

Jen H 3.15.2013 at 10:06 am

Hey Jennifer— I get organic peaches at Publix in the Tampa Bay area— and a few times during the year they have been on sale for 99cents a pound— it was amazing! So def stock up when the prices are right. I have always peeled my mangos, but you probably could blend the whole thing. With apples, I use the entire things too— my Vitamix is awesome!

Ashley 3.8.2013 at 9:28 am

Hi I started the green smoothie challenge yesterday! I didn’t mind the taste of the beginners luck recipe. It was just super gritty! I have the Ninja Professional. I’m a college student on a budget so, I couldn’t get the Vitamix. What do you recommend to make it smoother? I want to be able to stick to this lifestyle change. Help? Thanks in advance!

Jen H 3.8.2013 at 11:02 am

I hear ya about college student on a budget— I’ve been there too. Your blender should be fine for this— but here are some tips that I have learned along the way after using a basic blender for 8 years. 1. Blend the leafy greens and liquid base together first. (And I mean blend until there are no leafy chunks left— none!). 2. If using frozen fruit, defrost it partially first to make it juicy and easier on your blender. (I would still use frozen banans to keep it cold). 3. Avoid raw almonds— you can soak overnight to help soften them… but even then it might be a little too gritty for the Ninja. Welcome to the challenge Ashley!!!

Huntyr 3.2.2013 at 6:11 pm

I just found out about your site through Karissa Pukas (Saturdaynightsalrite on Youtube) and I’ve been looking for ways to be healthier and maybe get rid of a little belly fat during the process. I’ve always like fruits and veggies but I’ve always become bored with just eating them plain. Hopefully I can carry this out for, what I hope to be the rest of my life. Even if it isn’t daily, four smoothies a week sounds good to me. I’m so glad I found your site!!! <3

Jen H 3.4.2013 at 9:52 pm

You gotta start somewhere and 4 green smoothies a week is a great start! It’s amazing to me how just adding a green smoothie a day has lessened my cravings for processed foods. I crave raw, fresh foods now and look forward to my next green smoothie— I have to have at least one a day. Hope the same goes for you Huntyr. Cheers to our health!

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