A Conversation with Kristine Miles, Author of The Green Smoothie Bible (Part 1)

If you’re a fan of smoothies, or if the proliferation of smoothie bars has piqued your interest, then you’ll love Kristine Miles’ new book, The Green Smoothie Bible, which contains everything you need to know about this super-nutritious, milk-shake-like drink: what they are, why they’re so good for you and how to make it. Kristine, an Australian physiotherapist, is a life-long vegetarian, and raw-food enthusiast who is passionate about nutient-packed smoothies. After years of research and experimenting, she has given us her 300 best recipes, organized according to the health benefits each one offers. So, if you’re looking for a daily dose of greens that will support cardiovascular health, weight loss, or hormone support, Kristine has a recipe for you.

In a recent email conversation, I asked Kristine about her passion for smoothies and the basics of smoothie-making. Later this week, I’ll post the second part of our conversation, in which she explains what makes a smoothie hormone-friendly.

Green Smoothie Bible, green smoothie recipesMy passion for smoothies, green smoothies in particular, came from reading the raw food book “Green For Life,” by Victoria Boutenko, the pioneer of the green smoothie movement. The concept of blending greens to maximise nutrient assimilation and combining them with fruit for palatability, instantly resounded with me.  I have always loved just fruit for breakfast, but it never sustained me ’till lunchtime. Green smoothies solved all of these issues. 

Wendy: What’s your favorite smoothie — the one you probably have a gallon of in your refrigerator?

My favourite smoothie varies depending on the seasons. I am a big fan of seasonal smoothies. I love it in late spring and early summer when mangos are everywhere and I love combining mango with banana, or with orange. But by late summer, I am well and truly over mango smoothies! In my book I devote a chapter of green smoothie recipes each to each season.

Wendy: Do you use Smoothies as meal replacements?

I will have a green smoothie as a meal and it is always my breakfast. Half a liter sustains me to lunchtime because it is so nutrient dense and contains a high amount of fiber.  I know some people drink 1 litre/quart per day or more, but I make this amount and share it with my husband. I still like a lunch and dinner that I ‘eat’, and find drinking more smoothie between meals too much. Sometimes I blend greens into juice to get more blended greens into my day without it being so filling. I may do this before dinner which means I eat less!

menopause, belly fat, menopause weight gainWendy: Are you juicing AND Blending?

Generally speaking I juice very little. Juicing removes the fibre from the liquid end product and blending incorporates the fiber. Most people do not eat the recommended 25 to 30 grams of fiber daily. If I use juice, it is usually freshly squeezed orange juice, which is easy with a manual citrus juicer, or I occasionally juice with my old centrifugal juicer, to juice things like celery and fennel that are very fibrous. I never drink pure fruit or root vegetable juice, as I believe its way too high in concentrated sugars. The flood of sugar into the blood, not slowed by the lack of fiber, may result in disorders of blood sugar metabolism such as diabetes, candida overgrowth, and weight gain, particularly around the belly. 

Wendy: What equipment is required?

To make green smoothies you need a blender, preferable a high speed one. Less expensive ones will work, however they will break down, because you give the blender a big workout having to break down lots of fiber. Blendtec and Vitamix are popular brands. However, my preferred blender is called a Thermomix. It’s not just a high speed blender, it is also a food processer, milling machine, cake mixer, ice-cream maker, it cooks, and more. It’s from Germany and has been around since the 1960s. It has been in Australia where I live, for 10 years and is unfortunately not available in the USA, unless you get one from Mexico or Canada.

*   *    *    *   *   *

In a follow-up blogpost later this week, Kristine talks about “the protein issue,” what makes a smoothie hormone friendly, and the importance of blood sugar balancing for weight management and hormone health.

**She’s also provided me with a copy of her book to give away. All you have to do is comment on one of these two blogposts. Ask a question, offer a recipe or tell us about the best smoothie you ever had.  All comments must be posted by midnight PST on Monday, April 30th. A winner will be chosen via Random.org and I’ll announce it on May 1st.** 

In the meantime, visit Kristine’s website, Green Smoothie Community where she shares more smoothie information and recipes.