Simple Green Smoothies - Diane Sanfilippo, Liz Wolfe | Balanced Bites

Podcast Episode #222: Simple Green Smoothies with Jen & Jadah

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Simple Green Smoothies - Diane Sanfilippo, Lize Wolfe | Balanced Bites Topics:

1.  What’s new for you from Diane [1:30] 2. Our guests, Jadah and Jen of Simple Green Smoothies [3:53] 3. Getting into the smoothie business [11:11] 4. Top 3 frequently asked questions with surprising answer [15:39] 5. Getting newbies excited about green smoothies [21:22]
6. Smoothie-making equipment [27:25] 7. Low sugar smoothie ideas [33:43] 8. Final words from Jen and Jadah [40:06]

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You’re listening to the Balanced Bites podcast episode 222

Welcome to the Balanced Bites podcast with Diane Sanfilippo and Liz Wolfe. Diane is a certified nutrition consultant, and the New York Times bestselling author of Practical Paleo, The 21-Day Sugar Detox, and co-author of Mediterranean Paleo Cooking. Liz is a nutritional therapy practitioner, and the best-selling author of Eat the Yolks and The Purely Primal Skincare Guide. Together, Diane and Liz answer your questions, interview leading health and wellness experts, and share their take on modern paleo living with their friendly and balanced approach. Remember our disclaimer: The materials and content within this podcast are intended as general information only, and are not to be considered a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment.

Diane Sanfilippo: Hey guys. Welcome back to the show. This week, I have a super fun interview for you all with Jadah and Jen from Simple Green Smoothies. I can’t wait for you guys to hear it. Really fun time chatting with them, and I hope that you’ll all kind of grasp where the balance is between what they’re doing, what we’re doing, and kind of what everyone has to offer in terms of helping folks improve their health. It’s not all about one way or another way as being the best way. And you know, we’re really open minded here on the show; it’s why we called it Balanced Bites, not Hardcore Paleo Podcast. So there you go.

1. What’s new for you from Diane [1:30]

Before we get into that, I wanted to you update ya’ll really quickly on one thing. The 21-Day Sugar Detox online program is getting an update, so before you jump into that, if you head to, if you’re not yet a member of the online program, you can click to put your name on a list. You’ll find out within just a few days, depending on when you listen to this show, if you see the big bright yellow bar, then this is still an active thing that’s kind of leading up to the re-release. But if the yellow bar is not there, then we’ve already re-released the new program.

I wanted to let you know that that’s coming. It’s being streamlined; the price will change. Anyone who is an existing member is going to get access to two live calls with me in the beginning of January. So if you’re an existing member, this is a huge benefit that you’re getting that the new members won’t get, but for about that week in between, if you’ve been on the fence and you want to jump in on the program, get it at the current price with everything that it includes now, you’ll also get in on those two live calls with me. It’s a little bit of a VIP access, but if you want to wait and get what’s being streamlined and what’s being offered for basically 2016 and forward, then go ahead and wait, put yourself on the list, and I’ll let you know when that’s available within just a few days.

Let’s hear a word from our sponsor.

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2. Our guests, Jadah and Jen of Simple Green Smoothies [3:53]

Diane Sanfilippo: Alright, let’s get into my interview with Jadah and Jen.

Jen Hansard and Jadah Sellner are on a fresh path to health and happiness; deprivation not included. In their book, Simple Green Smoothies, these two friends invite you into a sane and tasty approach to health that will inspire and energize you on your own journey toward a happier life. The Simple Green Smoothies‘ lifestyle doesn't involve counting calories or eliminating an entire food group. Instead, it encourages you to make one simple change: drink one green smoothie a day. Simple Green Smoothies includes a 10-day green smoothie kick-start to welcome you into the plant-powered lifestyle, with shopping lists included. Follow it up with 100+ delicious recipes that address everything from weight loss to glowing skin to kid-friendly options. Hansard and Sellner are two moms raising their own families on healthy, whole-food recipes. They've seen the amazing benefits of green smoothies firsthand- from losing 27 pounds to getting more energy. Their wildly popular website has changed the lives of over 1 million people, and made them the #1 green smoothie online resource. Simple Green Smoothies will empower you to take control of your health in a fun, sustainable way that can transform you from the inside out.

Alright, welcome to the show! You guys, I’m really excited to talk to you, Jen and Jadah, thank you for being here with me. Why don’t you guys introduce yourselves?

Jen Hansard: Sure {laughs}. I’m Jen Hansard, and I’m the co-founder of Simple Green Smoothies. Jadah and I started our business kind of on an accident, and it just happened to be a passion of ours, where we were drinking green smoothies, and it really started changing our lives, and it was something that we just couldn’t keep to ourselves, and we began sharing them on Instagram. It just took off, and to the place now where we have a book, and it’s crazy. {laughs}

Jadah Sellner: Yeah, and I’m Jadah Sellner, the other co-founder of Simple Green Smoothies. And just like Jen said, we really believe that green smoothies are kind of the gateway drug to making healthy eating really a lifestyle and not just a diet. We’re just super excited to really reach those people who haven’t exactly got on the health bandwagon yet, and kind of bringing them into this world of health and whole foods and so we’re super excited to jam with you, Diane.

Diane Sanfilippo: I’m pumped because we definitely share that mission when it comes to just getting people shifted from something that they’re doing now, which may or may not be very health oriented, to just thinking about their health more, which I think is one thing that green smoothies; you know, smoothies in general just get people thinking health. You know?

Jadah Sellner: Yeah.

Diane Sanfilippo: They get people thinking; ok, what am I putting in here? I’m making this at home, and I feel like that just gets people on a different kind of kick. So what’s the back story? What’s the thing that got one or both of you initially started to decide, I’m going to start making smoothies. What happened? What was the moment?

Jadah Sellner: Yeah, in 2011 was actually when I was first introduced to green smoothies. I was in Los Angeles, California, and my aunt was just kind of glowing about green smoothies saying you’ll have clear skin, and you’ll lose weight if you just drink one green smoothie a day. And I was like, my ears were perked, and then she took me to Trader Joe’s, and I saw what she was buying; and I was like, wait, spinach, kale, avocado, bananas, berries, and I watched her put this whole concoction into a blender, and I was like; there is no way this is going to taste good. And then I drank it, and it was love at first sip. I was like, whoa! Just the vibrancy around the taste of it. I was like, this doesn’t taste like spinach. And I’m the girl that never eats her veggies, so I was super hooked from that first place. Within 3 months of drinking one green smoothie a day, my body just started craving healthier foods. It wanted a break from all of the processed junk food, and I was asking my friends about what does it mean not to eat meat, and to eat meat, and in those 3 months I lost 27 pounds. So it was really a kick start for me and my health.

And at that same time, Jen and I were building a business together online, and I was like; you have to try this green smoothie!

Jen Hansard: {laughs}

Jadah Sellner: Jen you can share that story.

Jen Hansard: Yeah. Well, it’s crazy to me because I was a vegetarian since I was 16 years old, and so since that moment I felt like I was on a health journey, and what that meant was I just said no to any kind of meat, and I said yes to anything that wasn’t meat. So that was grilled cheese sandwiches, bean burritos, lucky charms. That’s what I ate.

Diane Sanfilippo: {laughs}

Jen Hansard: To me, I was like, I’m a vegetarian. {laughs} And I’m making a healthy step in the right direction. But over time, it caught up to me. It took years and years of this, though, and I’m an active runner. I started marathon training, and it got to a point in my life when I had two little kids and my energy was gone. I was the vegetarian, an active lifestyle, and my body just couldn’t keep up with me anymore. So, I struggled to get out of bed in the morning, and I stopped running, I just couldn’t do it. I was just trying to survive; my goal was to get up, feed my kids, have enough energy to play with them, and then get through the day. That was all I could do. I felt like my body had defeated me.

So Jadah, we were on a call one day, and she was talking about this green smoothie thing. And I was telling her; I was like, well I don’t eat salads. I’m a vegetarian that does not eat salads, so I don’t think I’m going to like this. She was like, no really, this is good! {laughs} So I tried it.

Diane Sanfilippo: {laughs}

Jen Hansard: My kids and I, we all went to the store together, and we bought all the ingredients, and we came home, and we crowded around the blender. And we’re putting all the ingredients in it, and we’re getting excited. We blended it, and tasted it, and it was really good. And it shocked me, because I had tried green things before, like wheat grass, and of course Jamba Juice, which are really good, but those aren’t green and those don’t have the plant power natural energy in it. So sipping this bright green drink that actually tasted good just changed my view of what leafy greens were.

Diane Sanfilippo: I think it’s a funny story about being a vegetarian who didn’t eat salads or a ton of vegetables.

Jen Hansard: Yeah.

Diane Sanfilippo: Because there’s kind of a joke in the paleo community, which is largely who our listeners are, that we eat more vegetables than vegetarians {laughs}.

Jen Hansard: Oh, totally.

Diane Sanfilippo: Because so many people peg paleo people as not only exclusively carnivores, but they think we’re; I don’t know {laughs} what they think. Raw meat all day, or something like that. And most of us eat tons and tons of veggies. So yeah, I think actually being able to blend some veggies into a smoothie, it’s something that a lot of people think it’s not going to taste good, and it’s going to be off-putting.

3. Getting into the smoothie business [11:11]

Diane Sanfilippo: What I’m actually curious about; so a couple of things here. One, as I mentioned, most of our listeners are kind of in the paleo world, but we actually do have a lot of listeners who are nutritionists and coaches and people who are kind of running a business also. What was the business you guys were running together before it kind of moved into the smoothies thing? I’m just curious, was it totally a far cry from what you were doing and you made a complete 180, or was it just a little bit of a shift where you noticed that the thing you were doing before was like, ok this is interesting but now we’ve hit on something that has changed our lives so much and we have to go with this. Because I think that will be really inspirational to the people who listen to the show.

Jadah Sellner: Yeah, Simple Green Smoothies, like Jen said; it was never supposed to be its own business or its own website. Jen and I actually, in 2011, we had just launched our parenting blog called Family Sponge. So we were talking about all things intentional parenting, from ecofriendly arts and crafts to making a healthy green smoothie; also Jen would furnish 99% of her home with Craigslist findings. So those were the kind of things we were sharing; it was kind of the whole picture of parenting, and green smoothies was just like 1% of what we shared with our parenting community at that time.

We knew that we wanted to share about the green smoothie lifestyle, because we were so transformed from it for ourselves, with our kids, with our husbands on the green smoothie bandwagon. So we wanted to create an eBook. You know, everyone who is starting an online business is like, got to have that eBook! So that was really the intention, was to share a green smoothie eBook with our community.

So, I had a friend that actually said, “Hey, to promote your eBook, you should share your green smoothie recipes on Instagram.” And at that time, we were on Facebook, and Pinterest, and trying to play on Twitter, and we’re like; no! Not another social media platform. We don’t have the bandwidth for that. We were writing like 3 blog posts a week, and just trying to make money through affiliate marketing or through paid advertising, but no one was paying us anything and we would buy our own…

Jen Hansard: {laughs}

Jadah Sellner: We would buy our own giveaway products. Like, we would pay for them ourselves. Like, we’re going to give this book away, and pay out of our own pocket. No one was sponsoring us at that time. So just sharing consistently green smoothies on Instagram was what really gave us the feedback that we were onto something. And just posting 2 to 3 recipes a week, we grew from zero followers to 30,000 followers in 6 months.

Diane Sanfilippo: Crazy. I think, just what I want people to hear from that too, for those of you guys who listen who are working on a business. It’s like, when there’s something that people respond to, you just can’t ignore it. If you’re passion is there for it, and people are responding to it, you just have to go with it. Because I feel like the best laid plans, you know; we think we know what we’re doing, and I think that’s one of the biggest secrets to having a successful business, and doing something that is going to serve the most people, because we think we know what people want, or what they’ll use, or benefit from. But when the community really tells you, not only does that help you build a business, but it really helps you to serve them better, because they’re like; “Yes! This is what we want. Give us more of this.”

Jen Hansard: Yeah. We definitely struggled with making that pivot to being a green smoothie website and business. For a while, we were straddling both Family Sponge and Simple Green Smoothies. And it just got to a place where we were tired, and we couldn’t do it all, and we realized we were going to have to cut a cord and let our little baby, Simple Green Smoothies, kind of run on its own for a while. We always said that we were just going to focus on Simple Green Smoothies and leave Family Sponge alone, and maybe come back one day.

But releasing that cord to giving us that energy and focus on this one business that was actually really taking off was a huge part of our excitement, and energy, and we were able to go all the way with it at that point.

4. Top 3 frequently asked questions with surprising answer [15:39]

Diane Sanfilippo: Awesome. So, we have a bunch of questions from people, but I want to hear from you guys, what are maybe the 3-5 questions you probably get the most that you think have surprising answers. Maybe this is, {laughs} I’m kind of throwing you for a little curveball or something. But I feel like a question that would be really common that has an expected answer, maybe, maybe it’s not expected. But you know, I’ve seen your videos where you introduce people to green smoothies, and obviously it’s not going to taste like {laughs} like a cup of kale. It has so many other things in it, and it tastes awesome. But what kinds of things do people ask you about making smoothies or putting different things together that would really surprise people to hear the answer or something that’s way simpler than they think it is, if that makes sense.

Jen Hansard: Yeah, one thing that I have been just; people ask about is, why am I not tasting all the flavors of the ingredients that I’m putting in? And one thing that we’ve found that really helps with that is adding a squeeze of lemon. There’s something with lemon that magically; you just squeeze it in, blend it up, and it really pops the flavors of your green smoothie at a whole different level. So it’s a simple change, but you get massive results from it.

Diane Sanfilippo: Oh, I love that, because I’m kind of obsessed with lemon.

Jen Hansard: {laughs} Me too.

Diane Sanfilippo: In everything. In savory, in sweet. And actually, from a culinary perspective, that’s a really good tip, too because you’re obviously not going to be adding salt or sugar to your smoothie, right, because it’s got fruit in it, and you’re not going to be putting salt in there unless you have maybe some kind of, I don’t know, savory weird… {laughs} smoothie. But when it comes to getting the flavor of food to really pop, the one other thing that people use when cooking is citrus, or acid. So that makes total sense that that would basically wake up our palate and really kind of illuminate those different flavors.

Are there certain ingredients that, if people use them, they’re almost always going to kind of give some overkill to the flavors? I mean, I can guess that there’s one ingredient I can think of that if I ever put it in a shake or a smoothie, I’m like, oh my god, that’s all I taste.

Jen Hansard: Yeah, banana.

Diane Sanfilippo: Yeah, right? {laughs}

Jen Hansard: It’s huge. Banana coats everything. {laughs}

Diane Sanfilippo: It’s like Big Bird; it’s like, I’m just going to come in, be huge, you won’t see anything else except all my yellow feathers.

Jen Hansard: One thing we have learned with banana, though, because that is a struggle. We love how creamy and sweet it makes a smoothie, but it does overpower a lot of the natural flavors. So we’ll take a banana, break it in half and freeze it, and that frozen banana has less flavor than fresh banana. So we’re able to cut down that craziness a little bit. {laughs}

Diane Sanfilippo: That’s another good tip. What’s another; can you think of one more thing maybe; ok, here’s a really obvious question that I think our listeners are going to have based on what Liz and I normally talk about on the show; and just the kind of things that we promote all the time. What are some basic tips for the folks who don’t want to put a lot of fruit in? So we’re going to have listeners who obviously; a lot of our listener base, they do eat paleo, they eat really healthy food already, but a lot of those people are trying to help bridge the gap for their friends and family. So I think something that is a bit sweeter is not a bad idea for someone like that. You don’t want to hand someone a shake that you might like {laughs} with just a little bit of sweetness. Your mom or grandma may not be so into that, so you’re going to really push them away with that. Whereas something that might be one of your more basic recipes; I know you have the introductory ones that can kind of get anybody to come over to the green smoothie side. But what do you tell the people who are a little more into already eating a little bit lower sugar and things like that?

Jadah Sellner: We talk a lot about this in the book, as well, but really we have beginners starting at that 60% fruit, 40% ratio, and we just; as your taste buds adjust to the leafy green goodness, it actually tastes too sweet. And that’s the beautiful thing about adding green smoothies into your diet, you start to become clear on what your body craves and what tastes really good. So, once the green smoothies become too sweet, that’s your opportunity to reduce that ratio, and you can go all the way to 20% fruit, 80% leafy greens.

And I know, with Jen, she’s all about; we have a recipe called veggie-licious, where it’s like tomatoes, and garlic, and no fruit at all. So it just really depends on where your palate is, and I think one thing that we’re really committed to saying is; just drink what tastes goods to you. Because we think that eating healthy can taste good, and I think that’s kind of the mistake a lot of people make when they go on this health journey, is they start eating super bland food and then healthy gets a bad rap. Make it taste good so you actually want to do it consistently every single day.

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5. Getting newbies excited about green smoothies [21:22]

Diane Sanfilippo: Amen to that. That’s one of the huge reasons why I think every different way of eating, why cookbooks become so popular, because you can give people a list of ingredients. Like, ok, here are all the things you can put into a smoothie! But when people don’t know how to put it together in a way that tastes good, they could very easily and very quickly just want to give up on it. I could see that.

So, the very first time I got a Vitamix; this was, I don’t know how many years ago it was now. Probably, I don’t know, maybe 7 years ago or so. And people told me, you know, to make a green smoothie with it. {laughs} Of course, your book didn’t exist, and I mean, it was a total monster failure. I basically made a cold avocado and kale and I don’t know what else, soup in there, that was really thick and so disgusting! {laughs} And I was like, I can’t drink this. I don’t know how people drink that stuff!

Jen Hansard: {laughs}

Diane Sanfilippo: And I was into health, I mean I was eating; I think I was eating gluten free, and I think I was in nutrition school so I was like, I think at the same time I got a dehydrator and a Vitamix, I was trying to do all the things.

Jadah Sellner: {laughs}

Diane Sanfilippo: And I was like, no. {laughs} This is just terrible! So I do think that’s a great point. So for the people listening, if you feel like some of the recipes are just like, “wow, that’s too much fruit for me” totally shift it. And I love the idea of 80% veg, 20% fruit. I feel like we do the same thing when I talk to people about green juice. So much of the time in the very beginning when people do green juices, they do things like carrot and apple and then whatever leafy greens they might want to put in there. But then the more you drink that, the more you realize; ok, I probably don’t need as many sweet things. Just like you said; and then things like celery and cucumber can come into the mix that add flavor and water, and things like that.

What are some bulkier ingredients for smoothies? I know you were talking about veggie smoothie; what are some bulkier ingredients that can take up space? Because obviously the leafy greens, you start blending those, and you’re like zhoop they’re down to very little volume. So what ends up filling up more of the space when you’re not filling it with fruit?

Jen Hansard: well, I mean cucumbers are massive.

Diane Sanfilippo: Mmm, yeah.

Jen Hansard: Those take up a good amount right there. Also, I do whole pears. I’m really big into pears right now, and I’ll get ripe ones on the kitchen counter, and I’ll put the whole thing in the blender, and that adds a lot of bulk, and low glycemic, as well, which is nice.

Diane Sanfilippo: Cool. Was that Jadah?

Jen Hansard: Jen.

Diane Sanfilippo: Darn it! {laughs} I’m trying to tell your voices. People have trouble telling Liz and I apart when we’re on at the same time, although our long-time listeners, I think, even if they can’t tell our voices apart, they know that one of us is talking about having a baby and a homestead, which is my podcasting partner, and then myself living in the city and having fur kids.

Jadah Sellner: {laughs}

Diane Sanfilippo: {laughs} They can tell when someone is talking about goats and cows that it’s probably not me. But yeah, ok. That’s a really great idea, and I just want people to kind of hear that, and also back to that concept; because this question comes in literally every single week, week after week; it’s how do we help our friends and loved ones bridge the gap into healthier eating. So what’s been your experience with people’s responses, from whether it’s helping get their kids eating healthier, or parents or aunts or uncles or grandparents or coworkers? What do you find are some of the ways that people really get the best response when trying to help make that connection?

Jen Hansard: I really think it’s about getting them exciting, and that’s the biggest key that I’ve found. My husband is a youth pastor, so we make green smoothies for the youth group. And these are high school, junior high kids who have had nothing green in their lives for the most part, and I come in and make these super bright green smoothies and expect them to drink them? And they look at me, and first they’re like, I’m not going to drink that. But I’m so excited about it, but once someone will have a sip, and then the other ones are like, oh my gosh, that actually tastes really good! And they just excited to try something new.

That was the same with my kids, too. The first green smoothie we made, we just made it a really exciting lesson and adventure together, into the world of leafy greens. Which are scary when you're starting out. So I think that’s really important.

Jadah Sellner: Yeah, I agree with that, with Jen. Making it exciting, and also kind of how she was saying, making it for people. Because someone who is not in that world, they’re not going to be as adventurous and go buy the bag of spinach and the frozen pineapple. It feels very overwhelming initially if they don’t know what the outcome and the taste is. So just being able to make samples for people; just try a sip. Because that’s all they have to do, is once they have that first sip, then their mindset has shifted from, “I thought this was going to taste like a tall glass of grass”, and it actually tastes like this tropical, flavorful, filling, vibrant, just gives you this natural energy boost. So they want more.

One way that my daughter, she’s in third grade, and actually for this Halloween, we called the green smoothies green goblin goo, and so we gave all of the kids samples with little black and white striped straws, and there was this one kid who had a sip, and he asked for, not seconds, but thirds. And his mom was volunteering in the classroom, and she’s just been sending me pictures now, like, “we never used our Blentec before, it’s been collecting dust, and now every day he’s drinking a green smoothie, whether it’s for dinner, for breakfast, for lunch, he just wants it all the time.” So it’s just giving them that first opportunity to try it and then realize, this is really good and I want more.

Diane Sanfilippo: I think that’s so cute; thirds.

Jadah Sellner: {laughs}

6. Smoothie-making equipment [27:25]

Diane Sanfilippo: Alright, let’s talk about hardware. {laughs} Because I feel like I heard you mention a blender in there, and I know you guys have recommendations in the book, but let’s just get down to this because I feel like our listeners definitely; we’ve got people who are interested in slow cookers, and fast cookers {laughs} and Instant Pots, and every type of blender out there. And it’s the holiday season, people want to know what’s the best thing to grab, also, if they’re getting a gift or putting something on their wish list. I’m pretty sure we’re still going to be a little bit ahead of Christmas when this episode airs. So what’s your take on the different options for blenders out there?

Jen Hansard: There are so many good options on the market right now, and there just keeps getting more and more out there. What we always tell people is, when you're starting out, use the blender that you have right now. Don’t think you have to wait to make a green smoothie until you get the $300 or $400 high powered blender. You can make a green smoothie with your $30 vintage wedding blender. It will work. Jadah and I have both been there. That’s how we started.

But the trick is, if you are using a pretty basic blender, like an Oster or even a, what’s the one that I had; a Warner, you need to blend your leafy greens and your liquid together first. And once you do that, make sure that’s super purified, no leafy chunks, then it’s time to add in the fruit. So that will help you get the Vitamix results in the end with a lower powered blender.

But when it comes to high powered blenders, my favorite is the Vitamix. I fell in love with it the first time I ever used one. I just love how fast it blends everything and just how powerful it is and I just fell in love, and it’s my baby now. {laughs}

Jadah Sellner: Yeah, and I; obviously, Jen and I have gotten to play with all blenders. {laughs} I would say my personal favorite right now is the Blendtec. I just like that it says nice things to me, really inspiring messages, because it’s digital so you just press a smoothie symbol, and it blends for just the right amount of time to blend it. I just think the design is sexy, so I love my Blendtec blender. It’s also super light, and easy to travel with. Jen and I both travel with our blenders. We have them in our hotels so that, even though we might enjoy something that’s like a New York pizza, we will also make sure we’re adding in our fruits and veggies while we’re on the road.

Diane Sanfilippo: I think the tip about blending the greens with the liquid first is a really, really good one. That make so much sense, because I know that some of those less powerful blenders, they can still do a great job. I just can’t imagine {laughs} trying to get it all to blend together at the same rate, because it’s trying to chop really big stuff in the beginning, and then your leafy greens would just be left; I mean, you’d probably have a chunky smoothie. It wouldn’t be a smoothie {laughs} it would be chunky.

Jen Hansard: Yeah, you’d chew those smoothies a lot of times. {laughs}

Diane Sanfilippo: Oh, brutal. But I love that, that’s a perfect tip. And then, are there some smaller, I don’t know if it would be a little more travel friendly or just countertop friendly for people who are kind of, they might not even have a blender yet, but they’re in between being ready to spend on the bigger one, but they do want to get something that’s really strong and powerful. What do you like for something a little bit in between?

Jadah Sellner: I think a great one, especially if you’re a single household, just one person, the Nutribullet. Some people really like the versatility of the Ninja, because you can have the bigger blender, but then also the single serve blender. And one trick that we’ve learned is to actually take out the blade, what is it, the blade rod inside a Ninja blender.

Jen Hansard: Oh, gosh.

Jadah Sellner: Just remove that, you don’t need all of those blades doing a happy dance with all your fruits and veggies. So remove that rod, and it will make blending green smoothies so much easier. But those are kind of in the $100 price point area, which is a great gift too, super affordable, along with some type of …

Jen Hansard: There’s also; can I share real quick?

Jadah Sellner: Yeah.

Jen Hansard: Sorry. I love this blender, too. And I’m a huge Consumer Reports fan, and everything I buy I Consumer Reports check it first.

Diane Sanfilippo: {laughs}

Jen Hansard: {laughs} Like it’s kind of crazy. I just bought a new stove, and we had to do multiple Consumer Reports checks on it. But Consumer Reports rates the Black and Decker Fusion Blade; it’s a $55 blender, and it’s rated so high up there. So that is one that I definitely recommend for people that aren’t willing to invest a lot of money into a blender yet, but want a good buck for your bang. Or bang for your buck. {laughs}

Diane Sanfilippo: {laughs} Ok, cool. So on your website,, there is actually a page called blenders. So if you guys are trying to make notes, or you know, get an idea for what to put on your wish list or what gift to get somebody, definitely check that page out because they have little pros and cons about everything, and different price ranges. I think that page is super helpful. That’s awesome.

I have a Vitamix, and I was envying the Blendtec for a while when I used it at a friend’s house, and then that same friend ended up getting a Vitamix also, I think, or using one and then liking that better. But I do feel like, when it comes to the high powered ones, it’s kind of like, get whatever appeals to you. They’re both great, and I don’t think anybody will regret having either.

Jadah Sellner: Yeah.

Diane Sanfilippo: They do make a big difference, and it’s kind of like a lifetime investment, you know? I don’t know of anyone who is like; “oh, I buy a new Blendtec every year.” I’ll bet you guys don’t even buy a new one every year.

Jen Hansard: No.

Diane Sanfilippo: I think they just kind of last.

Jadah Sellner: Yeah.

Jen Hansard: Yeah. We blend every day, and it’s been; I’ve had my Vitamix for 3 years and it’s still going strong. And if it were to crap out, there’s a warranty on it for, I think it’s like 8 years. So you’re covered for a long time if anything were to go out.

Diane Sanfilippo: I should start using mine a lot, because I think I’m at the 8 year mark {laughs}.

Jen Hansard: Oh, yeah.

Diane Sanfilippo: I need to just start using it every day.

Jadah Sellner: {laughs}

Jen Hansard: Yeah. {laughs}

7. Low sugar smoothie ideas [33:43]

Diane Sanfilippo: That’s awesome. Ok, so I want to hear; let me see, actually we have some questions that came in from Instagram. Ok, some of these questions are actually about the photos of the smoothies, but I think I want to see if there’s some that are a little bit more on ingredients. Ok, so we talked a little bit about the sugar issue, but I want to have you guys name some other specific recipes that you have that you want to point people to. This question was, “I’m wondering if they have recipes that are ok for people with blood sugar issues.” She’s going into some clinical stuff here, “very sensitive to juicy and sugar, but very curious about the benefits.”

What are a couple of other examples that you want to talk about? I know you talked about that one that Jadah makes, and it kind of sounded like a healthier version of a V8 when you were explaining it, but what are some other, just to give people jumping off points for things that get combined that are low sugar options?

Jen Hansard: We have a really good one called Mint Julep Sweet Tea, and that one is in the book. I don’t think it’s on our website yet. But it has 2 cups of spinach, a quarter cup of fresh mint, and then there’s 2 cups of green tea, and you can swap that out for water if you prefer, but it’s great for antioxidants, and just adding a little extra flavor. And then we do 2 cups of peaches; these are lower glycemic, but high in fiber still. I use frozen peaches just to make it simple. And also 1 green apple, and then of course, juice of half a lemon {laughs} because you know me and my lemons.

Diane Sanfilippo: That sounds really, really good. I love frozen peaches. I think they give; they actually kind of give a little bit of that creamy texture I find.

Jen Hansard: Mm-hmm.

Diane Sanfilippo: Right, like bananas do. But I’m weird about bananas; sometimes I’m into them, and sometimes I’m like, I can’t stand it {laughs}.

Jen Hansard: Yeah.

Diane Sanfilippo: But frozen peaches are definitely a really good one. I feel like we have such an easy time, now, getting access to all of this stuff. You know, you don’t have to always be getting things fresh. You can get so many… Oh, hello, I’m in the city, and there are sirens {laughs}. You can get so many frozen fruits. Where do you guys find the best deals on frozen fruit?

Jadah Sellner: You know, we’re super big on whatever is most convenient for you; for my husband and I we usually do Whole Foods or Trader Joe’s; but if you have a membership at Sam’s Club or Costco, you can totally bulk up on the bigger bags and use those. We stick to kind of the same frozen fruits are always in our freezer, so we’re never without green smoothie ingredients. And another little green smoothie hack is also freezing your leafy greens; so you could keep your leafy greens fresh in the fridge for a couple of days, but right before it gets to that place where they wouldn’t be good if they just stayed in your fridge and started wilting, you can actually put them in a freezer safe Ziploc back, and then put it into your freezer, and then you have all of your ingredients in the freezer, and all you have to do is add some liquid to have your chilled green smoothie.

Liz Wolfe: Our podcast sponsorship today comes from Vital Choice, an online purveyor of the world’s best wild seafood delivered right to your door; because juggling a busy life shouldn’t mean you have to forgo healthy meals. At, you’ll find wild Alaskan salmon, halibut, tuna, sable fish, and cod, as well as prawns, crab, and scallops. You’ll also find grass-fed organic Wagyu beef, free range heritage chicken, fresh frozen organic berries, and dark organic chocolates. Make a vital choice by eating the highest quality food you can. Vital Choice; come home to real food.

Diane Sanfilippo: Ooh, I like that idea. I feel we also get people who get big CSA boxes over different times of the year, and I feel like getting some of those greens, like pulled from the stem or, I don’t know if you guys typical leave the stem on kale or something.

Jen Hansard: No. {laughs}

Diane Sanfilippo: For the smoothie; do you leave it on there?

Jadah Sellner: I take it off. It’s so bitter.

Diane Sanfilippo: Yeah. I feel like I’ve definitely juices those before, because I’ve been like; what am I going to do with these, I can’t waste them. So I would juice them. But yeah, so I feel like that would be a great way to just put them somewhere where they’re not going to go bad, you’re going to preserve more of that vitamin C that’s going to be in there, and get them in the freezer.

What would you guys think about if somebody wanted to streamline the process even more. I have not read everything in the book, so I’m sorry if you say this and I’m like {laughs} missing it.

Jen Hansard: {laughs}

Diane Sanfilippo: I have to apologize, I’m a cookbook picture looker. {laughs}

Jen Hansard: Me too.

Diane Sanfilippo: I’m like, ooh, pretty! But when it comes to reading everything, I’m just like, no, I’m looking at the pretty colors. So, what if somebody wanted to blend water and greens, like a whole bunch, and then put that into ice cubes and have those ready to go. Would that work pretty well for people, do you think?

Jadah Sellner: Yeah, we do. We actually have a part in the book where we talk about freezer cubes.

Diane Sanfilippo: Good. I was like, I’m sure I’m not creating this on my own. But I’m like, this seems like a good idea.

Jen Hansard: And you can definitely do that with leafy greens and water and blend it up that way. One thing we’ve realized though, using ice cubes is a lot harder on the blender blade, so we’re not huge advocates of putting tons of ice cubes into your smoothie. So if you’re adding leafy greens, that would take quite a few ice cubes to get there. What I do like to do with ice cubes is put herbs in it. So I have a garden, and we have fresh mint or basil, and I’ll pick a ton of it, and blend it with water and freeze it, and then I’ll add one ice cube into my smoothie just to give it that extra herb infusion.

Diane Sanfilippo: Yeah, that sounds really good. And I’ve definitely gotten tiny ice cube trays and I feel like that may be a little bit, maybe a little bit easier on the blade.

Jen Hansard: Yeah, that’s a great idea.

Diane Sanfilippo: {laughs} I also like tiny things in the kitchen.

Jen Hansard: {laughing}

Jadah Sellner: {laughs}

8. Final words from Jen and Jadah [40:06]

Diane Sanfilippo: So that seems like a really fun one. So, I think those are most of the questions that I have for you guys. Anything else you want to tell people about that we can get more people excited about this? I know your book, Simple Green Smoothies is out, it’s everywhere people can buy books. It’s of course on Amazon. It makes a really great gift for someone like; I think this would be awesome to give someone with some kind of introductory blender and have that all put together, if you go to their house and be like; “let’s make a smoothie!” like right away when you're there. I feel like that would be such an amazing gift to give someone.

Jen Hansard: Yeah.

Jadah Sellner: Absolutely. I think a big thing for us and what really has helped us stand out in the health industry and just the green smoothie world; we definitely weren’t the first people to create green smoothies or talk about green smoothie recipes. But we really believe in doing health, this lifestyle, together in community. So we really thrive in that area of cheering our community on, and we have close to 400,000 followers on Instagram, we’re at 300,000 Facebook fans, and we really believe in no comment left behind. So we like to be the Google of green smoothies for people that are on the path.

One thing that we do together as a community 4 times a year is our free 30-day green smoothie challenge. And that’s a really great way, if you’ve kind of fallen off the bandwagon and you just need a little reset back into that healthy habit and routine of just making sure you’re getting one green smoothie a day. It’s a great day; we sent weekly shopping lists with recipes, so you can get lots of new recipe ideas and have a shopping list in your phone or at your computer, at your fingertips. We just really like to celebrate people wherever they are.

Jen Hansard: And I just wanted to add in that; whoever is listening right now, you’re here because you’re trying to take a step towards a better you. We really believe in imperfect action and just embracing each step that you take, even as sloppy as it is. If it means blending a green smoothie, and then having a slice of pizza. That’s ok. Celebrate the small wins, and just be gentle with yourself, and just know that you’re not alone. Like we’re saying; like Jadah mentioned, we are a community .Diane is in this with us; we’re all here to help each other, so reach out when you need help, and just know that any small win is really a huge win in the long run.

Diane Sanfilippo: Sorry. {laughs} I was like, I love that, and I’m like, oh wait I’m muted. That’s awesome. I’m totally with you guys, and you know the thing that we try and foster so much on this show, the show is called Balanced Bites, it’s not the Practical Paleo show, or the 21-Day Sugar Detox show or any of that. It’s because we want people to feel like there’s more than one way to go about things.

If green smoothies are your thing, or if they’re not your thing; whatever. If they’re going to work for somebody, awesome. I think whatever we can all do to help support each other. I think for some people, I think Liz and I are going to do a show about New Years’ resolutions and ways to get healthier in the New Year, and look. If this is a way that you think you can reach out to someone who you care about who, you know, is looking for something to do to get healthier, but this idea of paleo or Sugar Detox or any of that is super scary, this is just so much more welcoming, and just let it be something you can embrace and see the upside of it, and let people have their own journey and recognize that each of these different approaches helps different types of people get further along on their health journey.

I think it’s all awesome, and I love what you guys are doing. I love your attitudes about this stuff; first and foremost that’s kind of my number one gauge of {laughs} people and personalities and businesses. It’s like, what’s the attitude of this business and this brand and these people kind of convey. I just think you guys have so much positivity and warmth around what you’re doing, and I totally appreciate that. So, thank you so much for joining me today.

Jadah Sellner: Thank you.

Jen Hansard: Thanks for having us.

Diane Sanfilippo: Awesome. You guys can find more about Simple Green Smoothies at of course, if you don’t already follow them on Instagram, where have you been? You can find them on Facebook, everywhere. All over social media. And their book, Simple Green Smoothies, just released pretty recently, it’s everywhere books are sold and don’t forget on their website you can check out their 30 green smoothie challenge. Thanks so much guys.

Both: Thanks! Bye.

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