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The Best Fat-Burning Breakfast on the Face of The Earth: Green Smoothie

Posted by | October 24, 2011 | Paleo, Recipes | 58 Comments

It’s super easy, versatile, delicious, and a nutritional powerhouse. If you want to burn fat, drink your green smoothie.

The nutritional equivalent of eating a salad and then some, green smoothies are packed with vitamins and minerals, filling fiber, and raw food enzymes to aid digestion. Green smoothies are detoxifying, and best of all, alkalizing, which will encourage your body to burn off fat and restore health.

Store-bought “green smoothies” from the bottle are almost always devoid of fiber and packed with preservatives. Those that you buy from smoothie stores are more often than not well-marketed sugar bonanzas. They’re more like Slurpees. They give smoothies a bad name and people the wrong idea…

This is How NOT to Make a Green Smoothie

(I actually found this on the web recently):

  • 2 cups of vanilla reduced fat ice cream
  • 1 cup orange juice
  • 2/3 cup spinach
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 3 tablespoons frozen fat free whipped topping

Brown sugar? Ice cream? Whipped cream?

Are you kidding me? This is calorie-soaked, insulin-spiking, devil’s milkshake. And it will make you fat.

That’s why it’s essential that you make your own green smoothie at home. All you need is a blender, a drawer in your refrigerator with a few random vegetables, and a few minutes of your time.

So How Do You Make A Green Smoothie?

Simply, you combine the following four categories of ingredients as you see fit:

  • Green (use one or more): Kale; Spinach; Bok choy; Collard greens; Cabbage greens; Swiss Chard; Beet Greens; Sprouts; Cucumber; Broccoli; Celery; Avocado
  • Liquid (use one): Water; Tea, Almond Milk, Coconut Milk, Coconut Water, etc. Also add ice if you like your smoothie chilled.
  • Fruits/veggies (use one or more): Strawberries; Blueberries; Bananas; Apples; Cherries; Coconut; Carrots; Beets (top & root); Lemon & Ginger root; Pumpkin; Tomatoes
  • Add-Ins: Protein Powder (with no added sugar); Flaxmeal (for Omega-3’s); Cinnamon (regulates blood sugar); natural sweetener (stevia, xylitol)

It’s not a science. Green smoothies are stupefyingly simple to make and difficult to mess up. This makes them an ideal man food.

The protein powder is great for this kind of shake because it acts as a thickener. Here’s a pro tip: smoothies with thickness or some kind of “chew factor”, have been scientifically proven to increase how full you feel. More fullness = fewer calories = more fat-burning.

If you want to make a green smoothie but you are skeptical, here is a beginner-friendly version: take kale, banana, mango, water, and ice, combine them, and boom. Yes, it’s weird and green, but don’t be afraid – it’s also delicious.

At first, it struck me as strange that I would be slurping down a lumpy, green, gelatinous sludge in the morning. But once it hits the lips, you’ll be a convert. After a few weeks, I outright craved green smoothies in the morning. Now my days don’t feel complete until I have one of these in my belly.

Give it a shot. Green smoothies rock.

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58 Comments

  • Thomas says:

    Abel, it sounds silly, but I never really thought about making smoothies with vegetables before reading this. I alwasy assumed that they would be gross, but I could see how they would be good. I’m going to go try to make one right now!

  • [...] Now I’m not advocating that you need to stop drinking anything but water (but you could certainly try if you want an exercise in self-control and some serious, quick results). Liquids calories are not filling, are devoid of fiber, and usually lack natural nutrients (with the exception of my much-loved green smoothie). [...]

  • Gracie says:

    Hey Abel…

    Can I use whole raw milk kefir?? Or how about my pure raw liquid whey after I strain my Greek yogurt. You want to talk about a powerhouse of nutrients that keeps you full most of the day??? WOW. Oh…I would add some high vitamin butter fermented cod liver oil with that smoothie…not mixed with but along with. We are palio in this house and feeling great!! Enjoying your website and videos. Nice job.

    • Abel James says:

      Hi Gracie, great ideas! Raw milk kefir is a great option, as is liquid whey. Cod liver oil isn’t for the faint of heart, but it definitely packs a nutritious punch. Glad you are enjoying the site; thanks for visiting!

  • [...] in wild fish, free-range eggs and grass-fed animals, people on a vegetarian diet often need to supplement to make sure they’re getting enough. But Omega 3’s are also found in flax, walnuts, avocados, [...]

  • Jason Delvard says:

    Hi Able, Its your cyber Stalker- J Delvard from Manchester Uk, can you recommend a brand or type of Whey Protein, Im thinking as long as it is isolate and no added sugar??

  • DALIA IBRAHIM says:

    could i make a smoothie (2 banana, lots of broccoli, 1 apple, and water)

  • Bree says:

    I do use fruit juice in mine, but only about half a cup full, to counter out the tastes of spinach and Greens +, which I can’t stand. 100% Apple or Orange, not from concentrate. My ingredients list is currently as follows:

    1/2 a banana
    1 handful of berries (usually raspberries and blueberries)
    1 spoonful of hemp hearts
    1 spoonful of cacao nibs (raw chocolate, adds a nice crunchy texture as well)
    1 teaspoon of maca powder
    1 spoonful of Greens + powder (a combination of all kinds of healthy things, such as spirulina)
    2 spoonfuls of 2% yoghurt
    1 large handful of spinach
    1/2 a cup of 100% juice (apple or orange, usually)

    Anything you’d recommend to add?

    • Abel James says:

      Hi Bree,
      Thanks for stopping by. If anything, I’d say you swap out the banana or the fruit juice and add in a bit of stevia if you like it sweet. Cinnamon is another great thing to add in and it helps regulate blood sugar – bonus!

      Cheers,
      Abel

  • Kelly Giewat says:

    Hey,
    I’m looking to get started on green smoothies and feel very silly to ask this, but is there an actual recipe? It does sound simple, but how much liquid (milk, water, etc.) and how much protein powder, etc.? I’m a step by step kind of gal! Thanks!
    -Kelly

  • jennifer says:

    You seem like a super nice guy and respond so quickly to everyone’s comments– so I feel encouraged to ask for feedback– I have been having a “greenish” smoothie in the mornings. I would love your advice on what would be a good addition to them or more probably– is there anything in my recipe that I should remove if I am looking for fat-loss? Here is my current AM smoothie ingredients: I cup frozen organic blueberries, Kale (Not sure how much but it fills up the top half of the blender–love this stuff!) and 1 frozen banana, ice, 1 cup water, 1 scoop unflavored whey protein powder, and a tablespoon of unsweetened almond butter. It is the almond butter I am most unsure about… think it is okay to leave in or should I reduce it? Thanks so much for any feedback you can offer!

    • Abel James says:

      Hey Jennifer, thanks for the question – glad you’re encouraged! Good job on the kale. All looks good but you might want to skip the banana (or use half a banana and half a cup of blueberries). Almond butter adds more calories but it’s also more filling, so that’s a bit of a toss up. See how you feel without it. Enjoy!

  • Michele says:

    Hi Abel!

    I was wondering if the kale needs to be steamed first? I tried making a green smoothie with raw kale and got lots of kale chunks. I used my food processor. I also have an immersion blender. Or do I need to invest in a VitaMix? Thanks for all that you do!

    • Abel James says:

      Hi Michele, thanks for the question. Raw kale is fine. I have an Oster blender and it seems to work just fine, but Blentec and Vitamix have great track records as well!

  • Ken says:

    Hi Abel

    We have been eating(drinking) green for about a month (my wife, two daughters and myself) and we really enjoy it but I am not sure if we are using all the right things but it tastes pretty good.
    1 cup of water
    1/4 quater of whole pineapple
    2-3 whole carrots
    1 banana
    2 cups baby spinach
    1 cup frozen berries (blue berry, black and red rasberries)
    2 frozen cubes of asparagus purie

    What are your thoughts on this blend. It does fill us up for about 6 hours (1 large glass full each – not sure on the exact amount -approx 2/3 of a litre each)

    Thanks

    Ken

  • AnnieN says:

    OK, just made my first ever green smoothie thanks to your suggestions. However, is it supposed to be crunchy? I used spinach, kale, almond milk, water, stevia and milled flax seeds. Delicious taste, however I whizzed in my food processor (really crunchy!) and then used a hand electric whisk. Better but not what I’d call smooth! Any suggestions? Love your newsletter and just discovered your blog! Thanks!

    • Abel James says:

      Thanks Annie. Sometimes I like crunchy! If you want a smoother smoothie, though, you might want to look into getting a Vitamix or a Blentec. Those things are crazy powerful.

  • Matt says:

    Hey Abel,

    I’ve been paleo for about 4 months now but I’m new to your site. After watching your fatty coffee video, I got the impression you never ate breakfast in order to maintain your ketogenic fast and keep the fat burning rolling. Do you use this for lunch or would you sometimes have this in the morning?

  • Don Lockwood says:

    Hi Abel,

    What’s your thoughts on the topic of goitrogenic vegetables?

    Think Raw Veggies are Best? Think Again
    http://www.thehealthyhomeeconomist.com/think-raw-veggies-are-best-think-again

    8. Keep your thyroid in good shape
    http://rawfoodsos.com/for-vegans

    Keep fat burning, man.
    DL

  • Jeff Lebowski says:

    Hey, Abel:

    Do you cook any of the vegetables, before blending them? Or, are all of them raw?

    On her Raw Food SOS blog, Denise Minger has a section titled “For Vegans.” While I’m not a vegan or vegetarian, topic #8 (“Keep your thyroid in good shape”) seems like something everyone should at least consider:

    (edited for length)

    “Health-conscious vegans may unintentionally wind up with two strikes against their thyroids: lack of iodine … and a menu packed with goitrogenic vegetables. Impaired thyroid function can result in fatigue, cold hands and feet, hair loss, poor concentration, trouble losing weight, and short-term memory …

    Goitrogenic foods—which interfere with thyroid function—include cruciferous veggies like broccoli, cauliflower, Brussel sprouts, kale, kohlrabi, mustard, turnips, rutabaga, and cabbage, as well as soy products and millet. Strawberries, peaches, and spinach are also somewhat goitrogenic. You don’t have to give up these foods completely (crucifers in particular have some great anti-cancer compounds), but definitely scale back on them if they’re currently a large part of your diet, especially if you already have hypothyroid symptoms.”

    While checking Wikipedia for information on Goitrogens, I found the following:

    “Certain raw foods have been identified as lightly goitrogenic. Cooking partially inactivates the goitrogens, except in the cases of soy and millet.”

    It’s unclear, to me, how they define “cooking.” That is what method, how hot, how long, etc.

    Finally, there’s also the discussion about cooking destroying enzymes, creating toxins, and its effect on nutrient levels, digestibility, and on and on.

    I realize that’s a lot, but any feedback on how you’ve come to navigate the waters would be appreciated.

    The Dude

    • Abel James says:

      Hi Jeff,
      Great questions. There are science-backed reasons not to eat 100% of the foods out there, cooked or not. My green smoothies are raw – I believe in the healing and detox power of raw fruits and veggies. But I eat cooked cruciferous veggies, as well. Mostly, I avoid soy and grains and don’t worry about it.

      • Jeff Lebowski says:

        A reasonable response, as expected. Thanks, Abel.

        I have no science to support my claim, but I believe adding two glazed Krispy Kreme doughnuts to the smoothie will negate any potentially harmful goitrogens. I’ve done some testing, but more research is needed.

        Naturally, I’m kidding. I would never add vegetables.

  • [...] have been using a green smoothie recipe from Able James aka Fat Burning Man. Obviously this would only really work if you are staying in [...]

  • [...] Now I’m not advocating that you need to stop drinking anything but water (but you could certainly try if you want an exercise in self-control and some serious, quick results). Liquids calories are not filling, are devoid of fiber, and usually lack natural nutrients (with the exception of my much-loved green smoothie). [...]

  • Graeme says:

    Abel,
    Unsure what daytime show I was watching to promote your smoothies, but recently been diagnosed as Coeliac & have altered appropriate food intake.
    My query is, on reading comments & replies, is it your recommendation to only have a morning smoothie to replace having my standard 3 pce of Gluten free toast Nuttelex butter & black cup of tea (1/2 tsp raw sugar).
    Also you speak highly of Kale, I have been checking the main supermarkets & this product is not stocked, have you an alternative suggestion.

  • […] Green Breakfast Smoothies – FatBurningMan […]

  • MikeB says:

    Plain cultured coconut milk and plain kefir together are my go-to’s for the liquid base of my daily shakes, along with some So Delicious coconut milk. Cultured products are great for gut health, and overall immune system function, as long as you steer clear of the ‘flavored’ versions of these that are LOADED with sugar. Plain kefir has some sugars just from the nature of its milk base, but it also comes along with a decent amount of protein – more so than the cultured coconut milk does. Throw in some shredded coconut, cinnamon, 2-3 BIG handfulls and organic spinach, 4-5 stalks of organic lacinato kale, and some quality whey protein, and you have yourself a DIESEL breakfast shake. Be prepared for strange looks from coworkers as you slug down these babies!

  • Kelly says:

    Hey Abel, How about raw eggs as an “add-in” rather than processed protein powder? Just wondering if that is something you’ve ever done, or if you think it would be a good ingredient for a green smoothie.

    • Emily Dewey says:

      If you can find a reliable source for the eggs, absolutely! Protein powder is usually more “friendly” to those starting out, as the idea of raw eggs can be a bit freaky to some ;) – Emily, FBM Team

  • Luis P says:

    Hi Abel, I like the post and love my veggies and fruit, but how do alkalizing foods burn fat? A quick search through the internet does not reveal much in the way of a good answer. Just have Kresser’s recent post about alkaline foods on my mind and this bit about alkaline foods burning fat in and of themselves did not make sense.

    Thanks for the good info and podcast.

    • Emily Dewey says:

      Definitely plenty of debate about the validity of alkaline foods/diet, I can understand feeling the back-and-forth between different resources. The important part about green smoothies is that they are a far cry from sugar-laden “breakfast cereals” and the like. Try not to over-think it too much :) – Emily, FBM Team

  • Damien Coyle says:

    Hey Abel

    Just want to say you rock.

    Your recipes are immensely satisfying and easy to make. Really looking forward to trying these green smoothies in the morning.

    Keep on Keepin on

    Damien

  • joe says:

    HI,

    I just started using hemp protein. 100% raw and natural. Doesn’t taste great, but I fell amazing and the smoothies really cover up the taste!

  • Ed Johns says:

    Thanks for emailing me the link to this page. I read about smoothies in your ebook, but never really thought to try it until I came to this page. My wife has been dabbling with juicing and I never could get behind that in taste or theory. I’m drinking about 24 oz of your beginners recommended smoothie, and I actually like it. I can totally see drinking one of these for breakfast on my way to work. I’m also looking forward to what other whacky combos I can come up with. Thanks again!

  • […] drink a green smoothie or two- Use this great smoothie recipe as a starting […]

  • Jamie says:

    Hi Able, I’m new here and I’m just starting with this smoothey thing. Would a breakfast smoothey need to be green all the time? And what kind would you recommend in the evening? Thanks. Jamie.

    • Emily Dewey says:

      Smoothies are a great quick meal, but probably not something to replace every meal. Keeping them green generally assures that they don’t just turn into a “dessert shake” ;) – Emily, FBM Team

  • […] Now I’m not advocating that you need to stop drinking anything but water (but you could certainly try if you want an exercise in self-control and some serious, quick results). Liquids calories are not filling, are devoid of fiber, and usually lack natural nutrients (with the exception of my much-loved green smoothie). […]

  • Greg says:

    If I’m going to have a green smoothie as my first meal I’ll usually do it at least 2 hours after waking and add some mct oil to try and stay in fat burning mode alla Kiefers advice. Seems to work for me but to each their own. Experimenting is obviously key.

  • Deidra says:

    Looking for a tried and true fat burning breakfast green smoothie that will keep me satiated. I am about to make some major changes and I don’t want to add too much sugar that will defeat the purpose of drinking the shake.

  • Meg says:

    Hey! Im looking to lose weight and fat to build muscle and want to use them as a breakfast and lunch replacement any minimul ingrediant recipes that are high in energy as i’m a dancer and train a lot! Thankyou

  • Karen R-A says:

    Hey Abel. I have been Paleo for nearly 2 years and always have a substantial breakfast. I have just got your recommended smoothie app and the recipes all look delicious. However, I do not want to lose weight as I have trouble maintaining my current weight. So I would not have this for breakfast, maybe more as a drink with breakfast or a mid morning drink. How long after making it can you leave it to drink? could I make it and drink it a few hours later?

  • Cool blog! Is your theme custom made or did you download it from somewhere?

    A design like yours with a few simple tweeks would really make my blog jump out.
    Please let me know where you got your theme. Thanks

  • Kaitlyn Warnken says:

    Hi. I am 14 years of age in october i will be 15 and in high school. im 5’3 and as happy as can be But..
    I am 241 lbs.
    I have trouble eating right but i am willing to accept any challenge to loose thus weight.
    I don’t want to take an easy way out but i also dont want to wait years . i want it gone it hurts to see myself in a mirror while kids say negative things about this issue. It is true but i need it to change ASAP.

    I don’t know anything about loosing wieght or a diet.
    I need someone to help me set up a daily plan and simple diet.
    I don’t know how to count calories or anything like that and it is all just over whelming for me.

    Anyone careing enough to help me please email me

    Please and thank you

  • ricky says:

    Hi abel….my husband put on weight…he started smoothis instead of any bread in d morning. …I take 1 banana..1 kiwi..half apple..2tsp yogurt or skimmed milk or green tea ( I use one of them to make a change a bit)..suggest me if these smoothies r gud for him or need change???

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