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Juice vs Smoothie: Which is Better?

Adapted & Excepted from “Jamaican Green Smoothies: The Essential Guide To Transforming Your Life, One Cup At A Time, With The Leafy Greens & Fruits In Your Backyard” By Didan Ashanta


Most people are familiar with fruit juices, vegetable juices and green juices, but a juice is very different from a smoothie. To make juice, for example carrot juice, some persons may grate the carrot then use a sieve or muslin cloth to squeeze out the liquids. However, most persons just blend the carrot then strain away the pulp or trash, while other persons use a juice extractor to get the job done. In all three (3) cases, the fibrous matter from the fruit, vegetable or green leaves, is separated from the liquids and frequently dumped. But when making smoothies, the ingredients are not strained, sieved nor the fibre extracted in any way. Instead, the ingredients are all blended together until they make a smooth and creamy drink – no waste to discard and no time lost cleaning up.


What’s the Difference?

In her article, “To Juice or Blend?” Kristine Miles, author of “The Green Smoothie Bible” and writer at, explains the difference between a juice and a smoothie this way, “Juices do not contain fibre, so their nutrients are absorbed very quickly, high in the digestive tract… Smoothies are essentially juices with blended fibre – and it is the presence of fibre in smoothies that proponents of the drinks point to as their main virtue.” 4 She went on to further expand the point by showing how a commonly eaten fruit moves through the digestive system depending on the form in which it is consumed:

“Let’s look at an orange consumed three ways: juiced, blended, and eaten. Orange juice requires no chewing and little or no energy beyond the stomach, and all of the sugars, vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants are available immediately and absorbed quickly into the bloodstream. A blended orange requires no chewing and minimal energy in the stomach and intestines, since the fibre has already been broken down into very small and functional pieces. The same nutrients as in the juice are absorbed more slowly, and the sugars are released more slowly into the bloodstream because of the presence of soluble fibre. By comparison, eating an orange requires breaking down all of the constituents into smaller pieces, starting with chewing, then churning in the stomach, and further liquefying in the intestines so the fibre is small enough to do its job and the nutrients and sugars are small enough to be absorbed.”


Fibre: Is it a Big Deal?

Yanique Rodgers, a Jamaican Nutritionist and Food Product Research & Development Scientist, pointed out that an excellent way to understand the role of fibre in the diet (when comparing the juiced and blended oranges) is to consider that since our bodies use up less energy to digest the blended fruit, it further reduces the likelihood of post prandial apathy – popularly known as niggaritis. Although post prandial apathy is not usually a problem with plant based food (since we get dietary fibre from plant foods), it is a great way to understand the importance of fibre in our diet. You may read the rest of Kristine Miles’ article for more details on the benefits that one gains from both juices and smoothies. But, she isn’t the first or only person to discuss juicing versus blending. Dr. Wigmore wrote of juicing:

“Juices do not contain fiber. Separating the fiber and other elements from the juice results in a food that is not as balanced as Nature would have it. Nature provides us with complete foods in a perfectly complete package. ” (Wigmore, A. Rebuild Your Health: With High Energy Enzyme Nourishment, 1991.)

While Victoria Boutenko wrote:

“One of the main advantages of juice is that it requires next to no digestion and can be absorbed and assimilated immediately into the bloodstream, allowing the digestive system to rest. This important quality of juice allows it to be used by people who suffer from severe nutritional deficiencies or have highly irritable digestive system. People with these conditions often cannot tolerate any fiber at all, and juice may provide invaluable nourishment for them. Later, when their health will improve, these people can switch to drinking smoothies…
I agree with Dr. Doug Graham that juices are a fractured food, which is missing an essential component – fiber. When we consume enough fiber, we take a load off of our organism by improving our elimination. Toxins often build up in the colon and fiber cleans them out. When most toxins have been removed by fiber, then the body has a greater ability to absorb nutrients, thus improving digestion. Humans could not live on juices alone, whereas green smoothies are a complete food.”

Victoria also did some excellent research that you may find worth reading in the “Blending vs. Juicing” which is excerpted on the Green Smoothie Revolution website. So, hopefully you now have a clearer understanding of what a green juice and a green smoothie are, how they differ and who should extract juices versus who should blend smoothies.


For more green smoothie info and recipes, purchase a copy of Jamaican Green Smoothies, now available from major online book retailers like Amazon and in branches of Kingston Bookshop & Bryan’s Bookstores throughout Jamaica.

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30 Days of Vibrance: Smoothies, Soups & Salads

Most people want to improve their health by improving their eating habits. But, most people don’t want to make any drastic changes to their diet. Not everyone wants to be a vegetarian; and I don’t feel that everyone should be a veg-head either. Even if they try, the change is usually temporary. That’s why I’m always looking for new ways to help you transition from wherever you are now to where you want to be: vibrant and healthy on a diet that is more plant-based, whole and full of dark-green, leafy vegetables.


Are You In For a Binge?
I recently shared with you how diets that are built primarily on plant foods are the best way to create, restore and sustain vibrant health. Then I invited you to try binging on smoothies, soups and salads for the ultimate in high-nutrient, low-calorie vibrant health. Dr Joel Fuhrman has long been advocating smoothies, soups and salads as the backbone of the Nutritarian diet and I just got wind of a 30-Day SSS challenge being hosted by the awesome Deborrah Cooper from; I immediately wanted to join in, but they were already in full swing by the time she’d told me about it. Well, since April is just around, I thought I’d take it on for the next 30 days. I currently have green smoothies habitually and most days my lunch includes a soup. But, the vegetable salad is still pretty much a side dish for me – and I want to change that! I want to have really big, green salads everyday! So, I’ll definitely have to make some modifications to my current eating habits to sail through the month of April. BUT, I know that I will be increasing the amount of nutrition my body absorbs and improving my well-being at the same time. So, my question for you is, “Are you in?”


Well, Here are the Rules!
1. You must have at least 2 of the following everyday:
(a) a 16-oz Green Smoothie
(b) a Vegetable-based Soup
(c) a Green, leafy Salad
2. The smoothie must include dark-green, leafy vegetables (e.g. callaloo, spinach, kale), 1-3 fruits and the liquid should be either pure water, unsweetened coconut water or unsweetened nutmilk.
3. The soup must be vegetable-based (e.g. red peas, pumpkin, pepperpot, miso, tomato) and can be hot or cold.
4. The salad must be primarily dark-green leaves and may be topped with any combination of colourful vegetables, fruit, nuts, seeds, and beans.
5. You are free to eat and drink as you usually do, once you add these to your routine.


I’ll be sharing my own journey on this 30 Days if Vibrance in the Facebook group and I look forward to seeing your posts as well. Please click HERE to join our online support group. It also helps to have some in-person company on this Vibrant journey. So, you should encourage a family member or friend to join you in this challenge. Over the next couple days, grab your shopping bags, dust off your blender, pull out a nice big salad bowl and shine up your soup pot. We’re getting ready for 30 Days of Vibrance!


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The ONLY Way to Get Green Smoothies to Work For You

The first time I learned about green smoothies, Jamaican Lifestyle Blogger, Irie Diva, had been successfully using them as a major part of her weight loss programme. Then as I researched more and more, I came across stories of persons who had rid themselves of various diseases (like diabetes, hypertension, arthritis and high cholesterol) just by drinking green smoothies. So, when I invited my friends and family members to take a 30-day Jamaican green smoothie challenge with me, I knew that they were certain to reap some noticeable benefits – and many of them did. I’ve received testimonials about fading eye-sight being restored, significant weight-loss, relief from Endometriosis pains, lighter flows and more regular menstrual periods, healthier hair, and relief from rare skin disorders. However, one year and five 30-day challenges later, I have also come across persons who complain that they didn’t experience any changes or that they “gained back the weight” after the challenge was over. Hmm… Do you know why?


*tape fast forwarding*
I just deleted a whole paragraph – so I can get straight to the point!


We can only enjoy lasting benefits when we make long-term changes.


When you have followed a ‘not-so-healthy’ lifestyle for decades, which resulted in toxic overloads and various health challenges, how could a 16oz green smoothie each day for 30 days undo that mess? By the time you completed the challenge, your body was very likely just beginning to get rid of the previous month’s ‘garbage’.

If you were able to lose some weight after a month of skipping meals and replacing them with filling 32oz green smoothies, only to gain it all back a few weeks after the challenge was over, why are you surprised? Didn’t you jump back into your regular eating habits and exercise-free lifestyle?


Habits & Lifestyles
The main difference I’ve noticed between the people who are transformed by green smoothies and those who aren’t is HABIT. The transformed people were not looking for magic tricks or a quick fix – they were looking for a brand new life. A brand new life requires a brand new lifestyle, and a lifestyle is made up of HABITS.

For the people with success stories, green smoothies weren’t just a 30-day challenge. They picked up a green smoothie habit. Many of them also changed their eating habits and got rid of the refined and heavily processed foods. Some even started exercising regularly and drinking more water. Most of all, they began to learn more about what their bodies need to be vibrant, and started living that way.


The only way to make green smoothies work for you is to make blending a daily habit.


It’s Really Up to You
As we approach the end of another 30-days of blending up our greens, I hope you won’t return to the old you. I sincerely hope that you will make greens a regular part of your life. That like the cup of coffee that some people ‘have to have’ before they can start their day, or di draw a mint tea fi buss di gas before you have your breakfast, green smoothies will become a part of your lifestyle. Sure! We can pick up a new habit in 30-days. But, habits become a lifestyle over weeks, months and years. Unlike a 30-day challenge, daily habits don’t have expiry dates. So, it’s really up to you to decide.


What are you going to get out of drinking green smoothies?

Are you willing to transform your life one cup at a time?


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The Biggest Reason Your Green Smoothies Aren’t Healing You


You may still be asking yourself what the green smoothie hype is all about. You probably even wondered when you’re going to see the results other people have been raving about.

But could there be something wrong with your green smoothies? Is it possible you’re leaving out something special? Or are you putting in all the wrong stuff? Well, I see it all the time and now you’re about to find out the biggest mistake a lot of people are making with their green smoothies and how to avoid it.


After just a few minutes of consulting Uncle Google, you’ll dig up a few 100 green smoothie recipes, come across various ‘favourite’ ingredients and be sucked in by the BESTness of one-too-many superfoods. Then, you’ll eventually decide that it’s easier to toss whatever veggies you have on hand into the blender, so you can have your daily serving of the green goodness. With handfuls of string beans, sweet peppers, broccoli and cucumbers you suddenly feel happy that you’ve covered your ‘greens’. *MISTAKE* Or maybe, you know for sure that carrots and beetroots are a must for a healthy, vegetable drink. *MISTAKE*


WAIT DEH LIKKL’ BIT! Are you trying to blend up ‘green stuff’ or are you trying to drink all your veggies? NEITHER.

While all fruits and vegetables are an essential part of a balanced diet, green smoothies are all about the LEAVES! The ‘green’ in a green smoothie comes from the dark-green, leafy vegetables. Also known as greens or leaf vegetables, this one ingredient is the key to blending beverages that restore, create and sustain vibrant health.


So, what’s the deal with dark-green, leafy veggies? Well, leafy greens pack in a hefty and vital supply of essential vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, phytochemicals, natural nitrates and dietary fibre. They are also full of chlorophyll – the green pigment which allows the plant to absorb the sun’s energy and convert it to nourishment – which pumps direct energy into our bodies, when we eat leaves. In fact, experts in nutritional science have confirmed that if we frequently consume greens, like Callaloo (aka Amaranth Greens), Spinach, Watercress, or Purslane, they will:

  • help manage hunger and promote weight loss
  • promote detoxification
  • prevent cancer
  • lower or maintain blood pressure
  • control blood sugar levels
  • strengthen teeth and bones

They have also found that the easiest way to consume large quantities of leafy greens is to liquefy them; and by adding fruit to the ‘lawnmower pulp’ we give our taste buds a treat.

So, as we aim for a nutritionally adequate diet that promotes healing and vitality, we have to focus on the leaves. Don’t throw every green thing you find into the blender: focus on the leaves. Don’t throw all sorts of non-leafy vegetables into the mix just because you’re trying to recreate V8: focus on the leaves.

Dark-green leafy vegetables are the main ingredient in your green smoothie.

You may add a little water, to get the leaves moving around in the blender; then use fresh or frozen fruits to sweeten the blend. Don’t make the mistake of replacing the leaves – it’s all about the leaves. Don’t miss out on the awesome, healing benefits of a green smoothie habit. Just keep it simple and focus on the leaves!

Having you been focused on consuming more dark-green, leafy vegetables?
Please tell me in the comments below.