The BEST Green Smoothie + How I lost 30 Pounds

The BEST green smoothie is sweet, healthy and filling. Ingredients include bananas, yogurt, pineapple, mango and spinach (which you cannot taste!).

This smoothie is sweet, healthy and filling. Ingredients include bananas, yogurt, pineapple, mango and spinach (which you cannot taste)! Get the easy recipe from SavorySimple.net.

Happy New Year! I don’t know about you, but I need to stop eating so much junk. I’m not just saying that because it’s a January cliche to eat healthy, or because I want you to make this smoothie. Sure, I’d love for you to try it, but I’m also serious. If I don’t refocus, I stand to undo a lot of hard work from this past year.

This is the BEST green smoothie. It's sweet, healthy and filling. Ingredients include bananas, yogurt, pineapple, mango and spinach (which you cannot taste)! Get the recipe from SavorySimple.net.

I’ve been keeping a secret. Since I began blogging, I’ve written over time about my struggles with food, overeating, and especially sugar. When I went back to culinary school and decided to make this a career, the weight began creeping on. I tried a variety of diets, and everything seemed to only have a negative rebound effect. When I started writing my cookbook, I was absolutely crippled with fear that the weight was going to become even more of an issue. I finally decided to do something about it. This past year, I lost 30 pounds.

How I lost 30 pounds - Savory Simple

On the left: me and my mom at my brother’s December 2014 wedding. The photo on the right was taken in October 2015 (by the lovely Emily Goodstein). I’m happy where I’m at now, but if I can shave off another 7ish pounds I’ll be at my 2011 wedding weight. That would be… amazing.

There were many factors involved in losing the weight, but the main change was getting off the couch (which, sorry, truly is the hardest part). I HATE the gym, but I discovered I like classes at small studios. I try to go to 4-5 classes per week at different locations. I get bored easily, so I mix things up. Cycling, barre, reformer pilates and hot yoga are my favorites (shoutout to Zengo Cycle, my home away from home). Once I started moving, it was much easier to make other changes. The bottom line is: I like to eat. I like desserts. Pizza is my favorite food. I will never be successful at counting calories for more than a couple weeks at a time. Exercise burns calories. When you’re burning a lot of calories, the dietary changes don’t need to be nearly as dramatic, and that makes losing weight so much easier. I did not follow a diet or eliminate any foods. I promise I’m not being paid to write this, but ClassPass has been my salvation. It makes all of these classes affordable for me, and the ability to alternate between a variety of workouts keeps me from getting bored. For a monthly fee (it varies slightly by city), I can go to unlimited classes at participating studios as long as I don’t visit any studio more than 3 times per month. If you live in or near a city, it might be available to you. It’s seriously a game changer. Again, I’m not being paid for this post. ClassPass has no idea who I am.

(Full disclosure: While I don’t work with ClassPass, I do create recipes for Zengo Cycle. They’re an amazing studio and if you live in the DC area, please go check them out). 

My relationship with food has changed, and I no longer live in a state of fear. That was the second biggest change after exercise. Panicking around “treats” prevented me from enjoying any of the good stuff. I was constantly sent into shame spirals that led to binging. As soon as I began exercising, I felt less guilty about going out to restaurants or having some ice cream. I allowed myself to enjoy treats without the negative self talk. Once I began relaxing around food, it was easier to make other healthy changes, which mainly involved cutting back on portions. Panic dieting is just not the answer. At least, it wasn’t for me. Change had to come from a calm place.

So, as I said in the beginning, it’s time to get back on track. The last few weeks were holiday madness, and I enjoyed every second of it. I’m still going to eat pizza, ice cream, and Korean fried chicken (my newest obsession). But not, like, every other day. It’s back to focusing on foods that give me energy to get my work done- eggs, smoked salmon, chicken, vegetables, fruit, yogurt… this smoothie. It’s an excellent energy booster. It’s sweet, filling, and I PROMISE you will not taste the spinach!

This is the BEST green smoothie. It's sweet, healthy and filling. Ingredients include bananas, yogurt, pineapple, mango and spinach (which you cannot taste)! Get the recipe from SavorySimple.net.

Print
The BEST Green Smoothie
Prep Time
5 mins
Total Time
5 mins
 

The BEST green smoothie is sweet, healthy and filling. Ingredients include bananas, yogurt, pineapple, mango and spinach (which you cannot taste!).

Course: Drinks
Cuisine: American
Servings: 1 -2 servings
Author: Jennifer Farley
Ingredients
  • 3/4 cup plain yogurt, preferably full or low fat (not fat free)
  • 1/4 cup coconut water
  • 1 medium ripe banana
  • 1/4 cup chopped ripe pineapple
  • 1/4 cup chopped ripe mango
  • 1 cup packed fresh baby spinach, regular spinach may be substituted
Instructions
  1. Place the yogurt, coconut water, banana, pineapple, mango, and spinach in a blender.
  2. Turn the machine on low to begin chopping the ingredients, then slowly turn the speed up to high and puree until the spinach is completely smooth, approximately 1-2 minutes.
  3. Taste; adjust ingredients to taste if desired.
Recipe Notes

To save time, I like purchasing pre-chopped pineapple and mango.

 

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  • Congratulations! It’s a hard battle sometimes and it’s so awesome that you’ve made it so far. This smoothie looks like exactly what we all need to kick of this year. Happy New Year!

  • See, the problem for me with almost any green smoothie is not being able to taste the spinach–It’s the banana that gets me! I can’t stand them!! That aside, congratulations! You look great!

    • I make a similar green smoothie without the yogurt and without the banana, but with the addition of grapefruit (half, peeled) and a couple of pitted dates. I am with you on bananas in smoothies. Just not to my taste! Hope that helps.

  • Congratulations!!! You are glowing in that pic from October! :) I’m with you… I need to get off the couch more. Restricting calories worked in the past, but that was before I was a food blogger, and there is no way now I can live that way. Heck, it wasn’t a permanent change even then! You’re doing fabulous!!!

      • You are exactly right, Jennifer, and congrats! There are no food barriers, as long as exercise is daily and consistent (brisk walks for me mainly). I’m a shorty (5’2″) and prone to weight gain, because I LOVE food! I’ll give the smoothie a try.

        Odd that I received this blog post in my inbox this morning, but the comments are from four days ago. Hmm.

  • You are beautiful! Loosing weight is always a battle, but you rocked it and deserve a huge round of applause! Also, I am adding this smoothie to my rotation!

  • Amazing! And good for you for the whole new outlook on food! Here’s to an even better 2016! Of course I’m a huge fan of green smoothies and juices-always great for balancing out all the other stuff we love :)

  • Congrats on the success – it’s such a struggle, and vicious cycle. I, too, have struggled mightily on my weight as well and hopefully this is a year of new beginnings. I will be keeping this in my back pocket for sure!

  • Gorgeous pics! I loved your story and my wife and I can relate. We both really want to shed some weight, nothing major but just to get back in line to where we should be..and it’s hard. Especially with what I do and how food is important in my life. I’m a big supporter of not cutting anything out but eating less and more exercise. Thanks for the motivation!!

  • So great that you were able to figure out what works for you! It’s awesome that you found a way to make food, exercise, and your body work for you. It’s not easy. I love exercise and maybe do too much, and I eat healthy the vast majority of the time, but I love dessert too and it will always be my favorite treat. I try not to feel guilty about it, but it happens. I lost about 40 pounds a little more than 10 years ago (that’s crazy to write, I didn’t realize it had been that long), but that fat kid mentality still creeps in now and then when I see the scale fluctuate.

  • I’ve said for years that there’s no secret to weight loss – burn more calories than you take in. That’s it. Plain and simple. And ya, it’s hard. Really hard. Even harder once you reach 40…and that much harder when you’re close to 50! EEP. But I’m not willing to give up my sugar and cheese, so I run. I run like a Cheetah every single morning. Some days I love it, some days I hate it. But I do it. And portion control. I’m going to have that damn brownie. But I only have one, instead of two. In the end? I feel good in my clothes. In my skin. That joke “nothing tastes as good as skinny feels.” It really is true. So good for you – you look incredible!! And I bet you feel amazing, which is even more important! <3 <3

    • I tried running and I was SO BAD AT IT. My knees always starting hurting after a few days. I need instructors watching me. I’m glad that works for you! Whatever torches those calories. I’m happier this way now, running was more alone time. I am so isolated already. Sometimes these classes are the only time I talk to anyone aside from Jeff and the cat, so it’s probably for the best, hahaha

      • Hahaha. I know, right? The life of a blogger, in our little bubble. I run on the treadmill. It’s how I catch up on my bad TV shows!

  • I hate to be a Debbie Downer. But this seems to be very high in sugar and calories. Just eyeballing it I come up with about 400 calories and about 55 grams of sugar per serving if this is two servings. Just wondering if you have done the math? I noticed you have noted prep time and but no nutritional counts. And is the a post workout drink or something you would drink everyday?

    • I never post nutritional information (this is not a diet recipe blog). As I mentioned in this post, I don’t count calories. This smoothie is something I often drink in the morning before a workout, or as a mid-day snack. I usually only drink one of the servings.

      • Oh my! My apologies. I guess I should have read a little more about the blog. I will say this. I do plan to make your smoothie. It looks good and I have this new machine….. :)

        • It’s all good! I personally find the combination of yogurt plus spinach very filling, so even at 400 calories this is a very substantial breakfast or lunch for me (especially when I need the energy boost). As I mentioned in this post, I try to get in a 60 minute workout 4-5 days per week, so a lot of these calories gets burned up. I hope you enjoy it :)

  • I hate the gym too Jennifer and my struggles have been not with weight (I am lucky that I don’t have a tendency even as I watch what I eat like a hawk) but with opening the door to go out and move. When I worked full time I was exercising (jazzercise!) every single day but when I suddenly found myself at home those ‘i want to isolate myself’ tendencies took over. You must be so proud to have got off that couch. Bravo honestly. You look awesome! I feel so motivated to run out the door and go take a class! And that smoothie… oh that looks goood!!! :)

  • congratulations !!!! i admit loosing weight is a big headache, but you set the sail smoothly in loosing weight. cheers !!

  • I was always a couch potato but then I fell hard and fast for both running and CrossFit. When I hit my 40s my metabolism slowed down even more (sad face) but building strength and muscle has improved that immensely. Also, just listening to my body. If I am not hungry, I don’t eat. Or, if I have a huge craving, I give in and don’t feel guilty about it (of course, my version of giving in is still low carb…I just eat too much of it!).

  • Jennifer,
    You’re so right, you’ve got to get up off the couch! I realized that weight crept up on me when I put on my pans as the weather turned cooler this Fall. I made the decision not to drive to the store for a gallon of milk. (My kids go thru a gallon about every 36 hrs so I was driving to pick up a single gallon very often as the fridge is filled with lots of other stuff). In addition to helping me move more, walking to buy milk has cut down significantly on impulse purchases. I know I’m lucky to live only a mile of sidewalked streets from a grocery store–but there are 2 ice cream shops that are closer! ;)
    The smoothie looks yummy–I usually add PB to my spinach, banana, and yogurt but I’ll try other fruit.
    Thanks!

  • This is awesome! I’ve actually been doing something very similar this year and it’s feeling great! Dance workouts and yoga classes are the best. I still think you look amazing in your before pic, but kudos all the same. :)

  • Jen, you look amazing!!!!! Congrats! I am so happy for you! I love that you wrote: “My relationship with food has changed, and I no longer live in a state of fear.” so much of it is mental and our attitude and what we allow ourselves. . I applaud you!!!! beautiful post and thanks for sharing!!!!

  • Great story Jen. Congratulations. It is a constant battle for all of us, but simple and little life changes make the trick, I guess.
    This smoothie sounds great. Simple yet nutritious and super easy to make. <3