10 Green Smoothie Cleanse Rookie Tips (and Mistakes to Avoid)
So you’ve heard all about the benefits of a green smoothie cleanse on social media and you want them for yourself, too.
You google green smoothie recipes, you get tons of results and wonder if they will work for you.
How do they taste like? How do you get started? Is it going to be difficult? What do you need to know before starting out?
Probably, you want to try and start a green smoothie cleanse but these questions hold you back. Perhaps, you’ve tried it before but fell off the wagon and wonder if there’s a right or better way to do it again.
I hear you, honey.
I started my daily smoothie challenge in August 2016 and never looked back. Sure, I’ve made a lot of mistakes and thought of quitting, too.
But you don’t have to make the same mistakes that I did.
10 Newbie Tips for a Successful Green Smoothie Cleanse
1. On the first few days of your green smoothie cleanse, ease your way in.
Have a smooth transition. Usually, we consume a small amount of fiber every day.
Your body will be surprised with so much fiber in your smoothie.
So, let your body take its time and take a small amount and add a little more every day until your body gets used to it.
2. Don’t overdo the superfoods. Read the labels.
Superfoods are SUPER foods. They are highly nutritious.
My first green smoothie was a banana and a handful of moringa leaves. I didn’t know moringa was a superfood and I was supposed to add about 1 tsp only to 1 serving of green smoothie.
So after gulping about half a cup of the green smoothie, I couldn’t drink anymore. I felt my head was getting big.
I felt dizzy and laid down. After 30 minutes, I threw it all up.
My first green smoothie was an epic fail.
So, for your first smoothie, it’s okay to leave out the superfood. But if you’d like to try them, add one to two kinds per serving with the recommended amount.
Below, see a list of some superfoods that you can add to your green smoothie with a suggested amount per serving.
Spirulina - 1/8 to 1/4 tsp
Camu Camu - 1/8 to 1/2 tsp
Chia seeds - 1 tsp
Flax seeds - 1 tbsp per day of ground whole flax seeds
Chlorella - ¼ to ½ teaspoon daily to begin with. Can increase to 1 teaspoon.
Maca Root - start out with 1/4-1/2 teaspoon per day (can also be split into 2 servings throughout the day, 1/4 tsp each), then building up to 1/2-1 tsp per day.
Moringa - 1 tsp (5g) daily
3. Expect detoxification symptoms
If you follow tips 1 and 2 above, you will minimize the detox side effects but may not entirely avoid them.
Detoxing is good for you and if you feel the symptoms then it means it’s working. But I know that the symptoms can be awful. In the first 3-4 days, I was light-headed, bloated and lethargic. Other people went to the toilet more often. While others had headaches and slight palpitations.
Know that this is normal and it will pass. Listen to your body and rest.
4. Follow a simple and easy green smoothie recipe
For anything that’s new to you, choose simplicity. There are a lot of simple, easy and yummy green smoothie recipes online. You can choose just one of them.
But basically, here’s the formula for making a green smoothie:
1.5 cups water + 3-4 ice cubes + a handful of raw leafy greens + 1-2 ripe bananas (base)
5. Choose the slowest and easiest time of your day
If you decide to drink at least a serving of green smoothie every day just like what I’ve been doing since August 4th, 2016, the slowest time of your day is the best time to take it on your first few days or weeks.
Remember the detox symptoms I told you about? So, block some time to rest and enjoy your smoothie.
If you can time your first few days on a long weekend, holiday or vacation, much better.
6. No eating 20-30 minutes before and after drinking your green smoothie
Raw food or plants or smoothies (pre-digested already) take a different digestion pace and use up different enzymes with cooked food.
Also, taking it alone will help maximize its power and nutrients.
7. Journal before, during and after the green smoothie cleanse.
This is one of the things I wish I did when I was starting out. I wished I listed my symptoms, health conditions, stats such as height and weight, etc. before I started.
I also wished I tracked my progress on a weekly or monthly basis.
It would have been nice to see my progress with more details.
So for you, prep a pen and a notebook. List your health issues with as much detail as possible (blood work and test results) together with your goals. Nothing fancy. Quick bullet points will do.
If you want to journal your mood or emotions, that’s awesome, too.
Do this weekly or bi-weekly to track your progress.
8. Recruit a green smoothie buddy
When I decided to try green smoothies, I knew it would be difficult for me to do it alone. I was having bad flare-ups and I didn’t have enough energy to do everything on my own.
Plus, I knew I’d call it quits easily if I make a mistake, get discouraged or frustrated which are most likely happens in everything that we do for the first time.
I love registered dietitian Sarah Greenfield’s advice on how to get and stay motivated to eat healthy.
"Find your community. Surround yourself with people that understand the importance of a healthy lifestyle and will support you in your journey." ~ Sarah Greenfield
So, I pitched to my parents and without batting an eyelash, they said yes. Actually, I knew they were the easiest to convince in the family. Hah!
Eventually, we recruited my two sisters but it was tough. One was more skeptical that I was and the other was not a fan of vegetables. But they’ve been on board for a little over a year now.
Look around you and persuade the easiest person to join you.
(If you don't like greens, just like my younger sister, check out tip below.)
9. Add natural sweeteners (optional)
This was how we convinced my younger sister who didn’t like eating vegetables. It’s still a challenge but the trick is working.
If the taste of greens turns you off, a natural sweetener is one of the effective workarounds on this.
Some natural sweeteners are dates, maple syrup, honey, molasses, coconut sugar, fruit like mango, pineapple, watermelon, etc.
As your taste buds and palate adjust, you can wean off the sweeteners gradually and just stick with the base fruit - banana.
10. Too busy to make them? Freezing is the key.
Prep all your ingredients good for 1 week on a weekend. Put all the ingredients of one serving of green smoothie in one ziplock and freeze.
Pull out one ziplock per day, throw the ingredients into your blender and voila!
You have all my best green smoothie cleanse tips. Now What?
1. Recruit a green smoothie buddy.
2. Check your calendar and set up the first day of your green smoothie cleanse with your buddy. Choose the slowest time of your day and decide how long you’ll do it (7, 10, 30 days or longer).
3. Prep your equipment (blender) and ingredients.
4. Prep your journal and start jotting down your health issues, symptoms, stats, goals, etc.
Back At You
When would you like to start your green smoothie cleanse?
If you’ve tried it before, can you share more tips?