Simple Green Smoothies Book Review + Giveaway

Five Rainbow Smoothies

Today marks the first day of 2016 and you’re certainly not alone if you are interested in making improvements your health this year. I’m in the same boat! Even though I’ve been studying nutrition for over a decade, I still learn something new every day that often results in a tweak to my lifestyle. That’s the fun/challenging/fascinating part, honestly, when I get to experiment on myself and monitor the changes.

Something I learned in 2015 is that I have an MTHFR gene mutation that makes it more difficult for my body to utilize folate necessary for tons of important chemical reactions. It’s an emerging area of research in functional medicine and I’m no expert, but the bottom line is that my body works a lot better when I eat folate-rich foods, especially leafy greens.

I think this understanding about my unique make-up helps explain why green smoothies have made a huge difference in my energy levels and overall nutritional status, and why I’ve been happily enjoying one almost daily for the last 3+ years. I’d venture to say that green smoothies have gone mainstream and many people probably experience benefits for some of the same or similar reasons as I do.

Beginner's Luck Smoothie

One of my favorite resources that has developed from the smoothie trend has been the Instagram account– turned-best-selling-book Simple Green Smoothies: 100+ Tasty Recipes to Lose Weight, Gain Energy, and Feel Great in Your Body by Jen Hansard and Jadah Sellner.

I was sent this book from the publisher for review, and I’m thrilled to say that it’s a masterpiece of recipes, hints for both novice and expert smoothie-makers, and gorgeous photography (the photos in the book and in this post are credited to Lindsey Johnson):

Simple Green Smoothies book review + giveaway

I’m featuring one recipe from the book today, along with a giveaway for one lucky reader (entry link at the end of this post). The recipe is called Beginner’s Luck and Jen and Jadah write, “We’re kicking off this rawkstar party with our all-time favorite recipe. Yes, this is the best green smoothie recipe we’ve ever created, and we still wake up craving it after all these years! Ready for your first delicious plant-powered green smoothie? May today be the beginning of a new phase in your life – where health and happiness take center stage.”

This is the perfect smoothie to start with because it’s so easy and the ingredients can be fresh, frozen, or a mix of both:

Beginner's Luck Green Smoothie
Reprinted from Simple Green Smoothies by Jen Hansard & Jadah Sellner. Copyright (c) 2015 by Jen Hansard and Jadah Sellner. By permission of Rodale Books. Available wherever books are sold.
Recipe type: Smoothie
Serves: 2
  • 2 cups spinach
  • 2 cups water
  • 1 cup chopped mango*
  • 1 cup chopped pineapple*
  • 2 bananas*
  • *Use at least one frozen fruit to make a cold green smoothie.
  1. Blend the spinach and water until smooth.
  2. Add the mango, pineapple, and bananas and blend again.

See what I mean? So easy! And, I wasn’t kidding about this book being a masterpiece. I adore how inviting it is, inclusive to those with food allergies and sensitivities (all the recipes are dairy- and gluten-free), and just plain fun to read.

Want to win your own copy? This giveaway is open to anyone over the age of 18 with an address within the continental U.S. One winner will be selected at random on 1/6/16, all entries will be verified:

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Other info relevant to this post:

Much love and wishes for a healthy start to the New Year!!!

My goal is to provide inspiration for healthy, balanced living. You can find more links on my Recipes and Resources pages.

I’d love to have you follow me on my social media accounts, too @carrieonliving: FacebookInstagramPinterest, and Twitter

P.S. I also have a Carrie on Living Amazon affiliate store where I list all of my favorite beauty items, kitchen devices, books, and other cool stuff that supports my lifestyle. Your purchase of any item on Amazon helps support my blog so thank you in advance. Note: there may be some affiliate links within this post.


  1. Linda says

    I want to create more consistent exercise habits in 2016. During warm months I tend to work outside a lot, which automatically means substantially more exercise than indoor days. I need to carve out niches in each day for active movement, rather than just rely on chores to fuel activity. There’s a big difference between clearing brush in the pasture and sewing!

  2. says

    One of my New Year’s resolutions is to make sure that I nourish myself adequately, so that I fuel my activity level. I undereat and need to give my body the nutrients it needs.

  3. Scott Avila says

    My biggest intention is stay focused on the goal (daily, weekly, and overall goals) and to achieve tangible results. It’s easy to become distracted or to be discouraged, I am going to set mini goals that keep me on my path.
    Best of luck and happy new year to everyone!

  4. Deb E says

    I’m focusing on two resolutions. One is jump starting my kettlebell fitness routine by doing the 21 Day Squat Challenge with Lauren Brooks. You start with 20 squats and increase by 5 per day, for 21 days, until you reach 50 squats. I have a head-start on the body weight squats! The other is cleaning out the stuff in my life that does not bring me joy. Yes, the organization resolution that I work at every year! There’s a book on that, but I’m just diving in headfirst!

    • says

      Kettlebell training looks so amazing! I saw someone doing it at the gym a few weeks ago and it looked neat…but slightly dangerous. I’m kind of clumsy sometimes and could see myself hitting something, someone, or myself, ha ha. As far as your other resolution, I LOVE the idea of ridding my life of thing, relationships, etc., that do not bring me joy. I have always had a hard time letting go of things, but I’m trying to be more mature about it and realize that some things have a “shelf life,” so to speak, and that moving along opens the door to new adventures, relationships, excitement, opportunities, and all that good stuff. XO.

  5. Paula says

    I have not had a smoothie. Not ever. I never liked milk shakes & thought smoothies & milk shakes are the same. Maybe it is a consistency thing. But because I know just about everyone loves these I am going to make it a goal to get one. My husband thinks I should purchase one before investing in a VitaMix to make my own.

    • says

      Paula, you might try going to a place like Jamba Juice and getting one of their fruit smoothies to make sure you like the consistency. Please let me know how it goes for you, I’d love to hear about your experience. XO.

        • says

          Paula, another idea would be to invest in a very inexpensive blender just to see how you like smoothies. You wouldn’t get the creaminess from a high-speed blender, but you can make a pretty decent green or plain fruit smoothie with any old blender. :0)

  6. Annette says

    I’m going to get more organized and that includes in the kitchen. I want to find new healthy recipes to make and I want to cook more often. I’ve already started and have a big batch of healthy Tuscan Vegetable soup on the stove; it will provide several meals to eat throughout the week.

    • says

      Sounds great, Annette! I try to stay organized throughout the year, but I just did a big de-cluttering and realized I still had accumulated too much junk throughout the year. I find that with less excess stuff, I can focus better on the day-to-day, such as making healthy foods as you suggested. Hope your soup turned out amazing!

  7. Kathi says

    My main resolution is to make time for exercise…walking, biking, weight training. I’ll keep up my daily routine of green smoothies because they keep me healthy and feeling good!

      • Rachel says

        I’ve been on the Specific Carbohydrate Diet for a few months which is definitely better managing my symptoms than the (gluten free) anti-candida diet I was previously on for a couple years. After a long time trying only natural approaches with partial success, I decided to also work with a gastroenterologist to try to pin down a concrete diagnosis/cause – so we’ll see. Definitely testing for SIBO, among others.

        • says

          Oh interesting, Rachel, thanks for sharing that. I had a SIBO test about a year ago that came up negative, but I’ve also been working on my gut health. I think it will be a lifelong journey, though. Good luck, I hope you are feeling better. XO.

  8. Samantha says

    My New Years Resolution is to get my family on board to eating healthy, especially my husband. And to get up early in the morning to make the whole family smoothies not just myself.

  9. Laura Smith says

    Looks so yummy. Thanks for all of your recipes and posts. Nava Atlas has a great smoothie book as well. The best way for me to get my greens in, being a non cooking gal.

  10. Lynn says

    My list of things I want to change in 2016 is miles long, but a journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step! My focus for January is to replace soda pop with water and to drink a green smoothie for breakfast every day! Happy New Year!!

  11. says

    One of my goals for 2016 when it comes to health and fitness is to really prioritize SLEEP! It is always the first thing that I let fall to the wayside when things get stressful, and it’s really something that I need to make more prominent. I also want to work on making some gains with some of my heavier lifts!

    • says

      Sounds like a plan, Athena! I have been using my Fitbit for about a year to track my sleep and it is SO interesting to see how it goes up and down based on hormones, stress, exercise, macro intake. I LOVE to sleep, but for me it’s been about getting the best quality Zzzz’s. 🙂

  12. says

    Better meal planning! I enjoy big meal preps, but during the holiday season, I couldn’t find the time. This year I’ll make the time… no matter what.

  13. Anna says

    I just want to keep a good thing going, last year I walked just over 1,000 miles with my dog, so this year I’d like to at least do that again! I’ve lost about 20 pounds over the course of the lats year and feel great!

    • says

      Anna, that is AMAZING!!!! Wow, huge congrats on walking 1,000 miles! I bet your dog loves you. 🙂 Did you use a pedometer to track your walks? I’m just curious because I’d love to keep track of my mileage too.

  14. says

    I want to say when I see “MTHFR Gene Mutation” I see “MoTHer F***eR Gene Mutation” hahahaha.
    Your blog is great. I’m glad I found it through the Blendtec website.


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