Get your Greens On—How to Build a Green Smoothie


Summer is here and I’ve been loving all of the fresh vegetables and fruit that are in season. I do my best to source produce from local farms because it tastes so much better and buying local and organic is better for our environment. When the sun comes out, so does my taste for smoothies! Smoothies are such a great, easy way to increase your intake of vegetables and fruits in your daily meals. You can never go wrong with choosing a smoothie. Many people struggle with getting enough greens per day in their diet. In green smoothies, you can add unlimited amounts of dark, leafy greens without sacrificing taste. They are easy to digest, enhance nutrient absorption, boost your immune system and increase your energy. Before you say NO to another smoothie, here are some tips to make the best green smoothies.

TIP 1: Add your liquids to your blender first. For a thicker smoothie, less liquid. You can always add more liquid as you go.

TIP 2: Add leafy greens. I blend the liquid with any greens first, then I add the rest of the ingredients.

TIP 3: Add your fruits and other vegetables—the bulk of a smoothie is fruits and vegetables.

TIP 4: Additions or boosts—these include protein powders, spices, nuts, and seeds.

TIP 5: Ice! Now you’re ready to blend! You can more add ice for a more refreshing, frothy texture.

Here is a smoothie recipe that I’ve been loving lately!

Green Summer Smoothie

1 cup kale or spinach (or any other dark, leafy green)*
½ ripe avocado
½ cup frozen mango
½ cup frozen pineapple
½ lemon, juiced or less (1 tbsp)
1-2 sprigs fresh mint leaves
1 scoop protein powder (optional)
1 cup coconut water or water

Start by blending the greens, mint and coconut water first. Next, add the avocado, blend. Next add the frozen fruit, blend again. Finally, add the lemon juice and protein powder. This smoothie makes roughly 1-2 smoothies. *Feel free to add more than 1 cup of greens!

SFNM has a variety of protein powders to suit your taste or dietary goals. Some are whey based; others are a vegetarian blend of rice and pea protein. Pick up a jar the next time you are at the clinic and have fun making your next healthy smoothie!


Sarina Irizarry, M.S, Nutritionist & Certified Wellness Coach focuses on bringing the body back to balance by using food as medicine. In addition to nutrition protocols, meal planning and grocery store tours, she incorporates her coaching skills and lifestyle modifications to achieve optimal function in the body towards sustainable living. Sarina is available Fridays and Saturdays at San Francisco Natural Medicine, and is accepting new patients. Call today to schedule a free 15-minute consult.