Week-Long Green Smoothie Challenge

So one of my closest girlfriends went on a crash diet last week in a last ditch attempt to get rid of  5 or so stubborn pounds that she wanted to lose. I think she looks fabulous now, but we all have our “preferred weight”. The crash diet consisted of little or no carbohydrates, lots of lean protein and supplements. Sounded a bit like Atkins if you ask me UGH. Now this particular friend has eaten far healthier then I have for years, she told me she knew she was ‘selling out’ and was desperate.

We were working out together at the gym doing our abs on the floor and we were discussing the diet. I had my Ipod in one ear and was listening to her with the other when I blurted out “Aren’t you Constipated!” I said it way too loud and everyone working out around us turned to stare. We laughed and rolled on the floor until we cried….. everything is funnier when it’s 5:30am and you are deliriously tired (The quiet answer later was “yes, I’m constipated!”)

The sad end to the story was that my dear friend instead of losing weight, ended up gaining weight even though she followed the plan to a letter.

I have lost over a pound a week since switching to a whole foods, plant based diet. This is while eating vegetables, fruits, whole grains, nuts and seeds with reckless abandon. I have NEVER felt hungry. I thought maybe if I revised my diet to cut out any excess calories, without starving and maximize greens and still provide our bodies with all the incredible nutrition that we need, that maybe her and I could turbo charge our weight loss, hence the Week-long Green Smoothie Challenge was hatched yesterday and commenced today. We all ready have 5 others joining us! Here are the details:

Weigh yourself on day one in the morning, before you shower and AFTER you go to the bathroom. This is your resting body weight.

Exercise for an hour a day, do cardio and strength training.


Green Smoothies for breakfast and lunch (using mostly greens and a small amount of fruit) Add flax or chia to your green smoothies to get your Omega 3’s and EFA’s. My smoothie is going to consist of 4 C. packed spinach or kale, 2 medium bananas, 2 C. spectrum blend fruit or berry blend fruit from costco, 4 C. water, 2 T. ground flax seeds, plus Stevia to taste. If you don’t have a high powered blender, you may want to divide this into 2 batches.

The recipe above makes 2 quarts. This will be enough green smoothie for your whole day. Drink 1 quart at breakfast, put 1 quart in the fridge for lunch, that’s 8 cups total every day, don’t think we will get very hungry!
update: I had one friend accidentally drinking 4 quarts (16 cups) a day, and one friend accidentally drinking 1 quart (4 cups) a day. the friend who was drinking 16 cups of green smoothies in the beginning is not very fond of them at the moment! That’s A LOT of green smoothie! The other friend who was only drinking one quart total was getting pretty hungry and thought I was lying about being full on the diet. Both are all cleared up, and possibly all cleared out at the moment too! 😉 So remember: It’s 2 quarts, or 8 cups total every day!
Unlimited veggies for snacking, RAW OR STEAMED including: cucumber, carrot, celery, red or green bell pepper, tomatoes, broccoli, cauliflower, green onions and any other low calorie vegetables. WITH up to 1/2 C. homemade hummus for dipping, recipe below. Or if steaming, season with a bit of low sodium soy sauce or bragg’s liquid aminos.
What not to eat: No grains or potatoes or corn (starchy carbohydrates) of any kind, even the whole grain versions, No extra fruits except what is in your smoothie. No avocados, nuts or seeds this week (except flax or chia in the smoothies). No animal products: this means no meat, no dairy products of any kind and no eggs. DO NOT: use oil this week, do not use dips other than the homemade hummus for your veggies, do not add any sugars (artificial or natural) Stevia is okay. This is for the week challenge only, not long term.
Dinners: Giant green salad (5 cups organic baby greens or other lettuce of choice) with unlimited veggies of choice (above) serve with 1 Cup (1/2 can) of any of the following drained and rinsed canned low or no sodium beans: garbanzo, butter beans, lima beans, black beans, pinto beans, kidney beans, navy beans, etc. you can even use frozen peas for a change of pace. Serve with the dressing below:
Here is the link to the Chef AJ’s Unprocessed House dressing recipe video for your big dinner salad, (or better yet, buy the book and have a whole slew of amazing Unprocessed recipes!) Use up to 4 T. of this recipe on your big dinner salad (1/4 C.) It will cover more greens and veggies if you toss your salad in big bowl with the dressing. The dressing thickens really nicely in the fridge and is very creamy. Almost like a creamy, not too sweet honey mustard dressing. Restrain yourself and don’t drink it from the jar, if you don’t fall in love with it immediately, it will grow on you until you can’t eat a salad without it! I LOVE IT and always have it in the fridge!
Here is a basic low-fat Hummus recipe
2 Cans low or no sodium Garbanzo Beans, drain 1 can, reserve the water from the other can
2 cloves minced garlic
1 t. ground cumin
1 t. smoked paprika
Add both cans garbanzo beans to your blender or food processor, add the liquid reserved from 1 can, add all other ingredients and blend or process until smooth.
Here are the stats for the following (typical day on the diet)
2 green smoothies, 1 C. carrots, 1 C. celery, 1 C. broccoli, 1 C. cauliflower, 1 C. cucumber, 2 roma tomatoes, 1/2 C. hummus, 5 C. earthbound farms organic baby spring mix, 4 T. House dressing, 1 C. garbanzo beans
1198 Calories, 233 grams carbs, 56 grams protein, 17 grams fat, 66 grams fiber. WOOHOO FIBER!!! No Constipation!
I told my friend that if she hasn’t lost 5 lbs by the end of the week (weigh in on Wednesday morning the 21st, and NO CHEATING) I will take her to cafe rio for lunch where we will eat veggie salads with whole wheat tortillas, black beans, hot salsa and lots of limes. No cheese, no dressing (only one of their dressings is vegan and it’s not tasty).
Wish us luck!
UPDATE:  3/15/12 Green smoothie diet is awesome. I tracked everything I ate on fitclick yesterday and couldn’t physically consume more than 950 calories. No wonder people lose crazy amounts of weight on the Eat to Live diet! (which is coming on it’s way to me from Amazon this week along with The China Study, so excited!) I was still providing my body with insanely good nutrition but I was so full I couldn’t possibly eat (or drink) any more green smoothies, salad, vegetables or beans. I had to force myself to eat  half of the amount I had planned at dinner. Crazy. I’m all ready down 2 lbs since yesterday, but still feel awesome today and no hunger pangs or headaches or any of that crap! Watch for more posts with more recipes and ideas!

78 thoughts on “Week-Long Green Smoothie Challenge

  1. Maybe next year? I feel so lame not being part of your party, but props to you both (all 7 of you?) and I’ll be cheering you on as I eat my dessert tonight. I think I figured that even if I gained 10 pounds in the next 4 weeks (all I have left – freaky, i know), i would still weigh in below where I ended with the other two. Yay for whole foods!

    • Yes! Next year! I think this will be an awesome quarterly or post holiday cleanse for me from now on. You are amazingly beautiful, you vegetarian pregnant woman!

  2. Day 2- bring it. Making hummus now. Steaming bok choy with some liquid aminos and other flavors for a snack- needing something warm.
    Amanda- You are awesome. 60 days of vegan- well done!

    • mmmm. I wanna eat steamed bok choy and add the liquid aminos and some garlic. Down 2 lbs from yesterday to today. This diet is for REALS!

  3. Pingback: Day 1 Week-Long Green Smoothie Challenge « Good Clean Food

  4. I went three days on something similar and lost 8 pounds. It’s amazing how full you feel. It’s like having an IV. You don’t eat a ton but you are well nourished.

  5. So I started today. I had the smoothie for breakfast and lunch.The smoothie is really filling.The carrots with hummus is Delicious! I have been working on drinking my water at 7 glasses so far. I’m making the salad for dinner right now 🙂

    • You make me want to cry! Awesome Carol! Love you! Eating the soups or stir fry also helps when you get sick of cold food!

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    • Try it! You’ll love it! I’m ready for another round after having company all week and too many indulgent (vegan) treats!

      • I did some grocerie and I was thinking: when I train (im not that used to train actually) I use to mix in the smoothie in the morning one/two teaspoon/s of a smoothie mix based on hemp proteins, açai, spirulina and weath grass (this: http://www.reneevoltaire.se/produkter/?product=367&e=c ). The question is: should i keep adding it in my smoothie during the challenge or not?
        The nutritional facts say: per 100gr: 418.7 kcal, 45.3 proteins, 22.5 carbs, 16.2 fats.

        Another question that doesnt maybe match: does anybody have a kind of 1-hour daily training program. I dont have a lot of resistance for what concern running, I use to swim, bike and walk a lot. For example if I want to go to the swimmingpool I will swim for 45 minutes, plus walking back and forth from the swimmingpool is 25/30 mins + 25/30 mins. First uphill and then clearly downhill.

        Thanks 🙂

      • I wouldn’t add the protein powder, If you look at the nutrition stats, you will be getting plenty of protein through eating plants on the challenge.

        If you are looking for an exercise program I would walk/swim/bike for 45 minutes everyday, then do 15 minutes of strength training, pilates or yoga. Cardio is fabulous, but strength training helps strengthen your bones and adds definition. Good luck!

  12. Im thinking to go to the market tomorrow and buy some ingredients to start it on thursday. My boyfriend will never do it with me, then I hope to be motivated enough 🙂 Then I think Im gonna try some detox diet because I really need it 🙂 I suggested the page also to a friend and hopefully she will start with me 🙂

    Sometimes I really get used to eat too much because of parties or bdays or such and then I feel that I need a week to stop one moment and realize that Im eating too much and not that healthy. Usually I need some days to come back to the “normal pace” and stop eating too much, but normal. This is one of those cases, for example today for dinner I was feeling like pasta and I coocked 115 grams :S I was very full, but I love it so much that I couldnt stop. Another problem is that I have (fortunately) always been used to not leave anything in the dish, then if I accidentally prepare too much, I keep eating until the end.. sometimes I dont even realize that Im full. -.-

    Thanks for the tips and the challenge! 🙂

    • It’s hard to overeat on the green smoothie challenge. As long as you are eating approved foods, YOU WILL BE FULL. Plants contain so many nutrients and so much fiber that you won’t be missing out on anything either. Let me know if you have any questions along the way!

      • I have another stupid question before to start: I saw you wrote to do not eat more fruit than that in the smoothie. And at the same time you use always bananas in the smoothie. I would like to do smoothies with one banana and one apple or one banana and some strawberries if possible. because I have those fruit and I dont want them to go bad. But I was thinking that the smoothie will be less filling..
        Plus I have some problems understanding what is “2 C. spectrum blend fruit or berry blend fruit from costco”, are those mix of dried fruit? I have some dried and unsweetened apricots, plums, raisins and blackcurrants.

        Sorry for bothering you so much, thanks 🙂

      • The bananas you need to use can also be frozen so they don’t all spoil, you can put them both in the smoothie or you can save one for later. The spectrum fruit blend is a blend of frozen fruit, including mango papaya and pineapple. Use whatever frozen or fresh fruit you have on hand. Dried fruit is higher in calories so avoid it if possible.

        Questions are welcome! So don’t worry!

      • Again: can you give me the nutritional facts of the hummus. I use myfitnesspal to track the food and I would like to use the real nutrition facts 🙂 Thanks!

      • Yes, sorry! I was offline yesterday. Here you go:

        Nutrition Facts
        somers hummus
        Serving Size 1/2 cup
        Amount Per Serving
        Calories 101.92 Calories from Fat 0.3
        % Daily Value
        Total Fat 0.04g 0%
        Saturated Fat 0g 0%
        Trans Fat 0g
        Cholesterol 0mg 0%
        Sodium 126.46mg 5%
        Total Carbohydrate 18.37g 6%
        Dietary Fiber 8.09g 32%
        Sugars 0.01g
        Protein 7.07g 14%
        Vitamin A (IU) 1.28 0%
        Vitamin C 0.32mg 1%
        Calcium 3.67mg 0%
        Iron 0.05mg 0%

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    • Haha, Amanda started and named the blog, but it is well named! I need to do the smoothie challenge again, It’s time for a cleanse!

  14. Great post. I am vegan all the way and considerably raw as well. I have never felt, looked, or performed better and that is saying something because my kids are in college. When people ask “What are you doing?” it is a great opportunity to share/educate! Adore your blog and thank you for stopping by mine:)

    • Yay! I’ve gotten in a rut and I’m off kilter with my cooked/raw ratio. I really feel the difference and I need to up my raw content. I have more energy and better health when I do.

      I love that people ask what you are doing! You must look fabulous!

    • Aw, that’s too bad, they take some getting used to for some people. Bummer. One of my girlfriends mis-read the instructions and was making a double smoothie (4 quarts daily), she couldn’t drink smoothies without gagging for a while after the third day. Hehe! Thank goodness there are a lot of other ways to get all your greens and nutrients 😉

  15. My favorite smoothie is the good ol’ spinach with ripe bananas, lemon juice and zest, and a bit of ground flax seeds to slow down the sugars – Yum!

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  17. OK – I am going to try the green smoothies! Maybe even the whole thing… hmm… fo’ sho’ smoothie. And thanks for visiting my blog! I’m looking forward to cleansing my fridge.

  18. Okay, I am writing everything down, and will be starting this pronto. I actually started the ETL plan a few years ago, and highly recommend it, but sadly, life just “gets in the way” (read: I let it get in the way) and I am derailed back to my regular way of eating (though I still avoid dairy and meat). During the month of February, I did a juice fast after watching “Fat, Sick, and Nearly Dead” and lost close to 20 pounds during the month! I’ve been maintaining the loss (just a few pounds gained back), but I still would like to lose another 20-30 total, and I know I haven’t done as good of a job lately at eating the ETL way. But I love green smoothies, so I need to start this.

    Thanks! 🙂

    • Oh! So glad you found this! I LOVE ETL, I actually read it the month after I did this smoothie challenge and realized it’s pretty much ETL approved! I watched Fat Sick and Nearly Dead too and it was part of my decision to go plant based. Here is my first post regarding that decision: https://goodcleanfood.wordpress.com/2012/02/19/sick-of-being-sick/

      Anyway, plant based is really the way to go for health and a healthy weight, but I get in slumps too and really need to watch refined foods and oil consumption.

      Hope you enjoy doing it with the green smoothies! It’s hard to go wrong because they taste so good! I still drink at least one a day. Love them!

      Good luck!!!

  19. Hi Somer – Thanks for the “like” on my tea-braised turnips recipe post. I’ve been doing a lot of smoothies with tea and fruit, but this is a good reminder I need to get some greens and protein in the mix, too. I like your healthy style.

    • Thanks! Your tea-braised turnips looked fantastic! Yes, add greens after a while you don’t even notice they are in there. It’s like getting a whole salad with out all the effort 🙂

  20. I’ve been trying to eat whole foods lately and I’m not losing weight. I think it’s too many beans. I did 10 min of cardio yesterday and am totally stiff and feel sooo old today (fibromyalgia). Maybe I’ll go more hard core on the greens. I broke down today and got a GF/vegan pizza but I felt intoxicated or hung over from all the carbs. I think it’s the Teft flour they use. It always makes me feel funny in my throat, like I got a bubble stuck in it or something. ?? Thanks for the post! I loooove my chia seeds in smoothies, and kelp with bee pollen. 🙂

    • I’m pretty sure beans aren’t hampering your weight loss efforts, it’s more likely simple calories in vs. calories out. 🙂 The reason I did the challenge is that all of the approved foods are NATURALLY low in calories, So you get to eat a lot, feel completely full and not break the calorie bank. Adding more greens is a great way to pack your diet full of nutrients instead of lbs. Let me know if you do the challenge! If you commit to it and stick with it, I guarantee the weight will just start to fall off!

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    • not sure! this looks like a Somer post and she currently doing a super green smoothie challenge at vedgedout.com. she’s got all sorts of info there and lots of support resources.

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