Listen to my latest podcast episode:

TMHS 743: Do These Things 3 Things to Stay Healthy All Winter

TMHS 337: The 5 Biggest Smoothie Mistakes

As someone who didn’t like vegetables as a child, smoothies played a huge role in helping me begin consuming quality nutrition and resetting my palate. This is the case for many people—smoothies can be an incredible vehicle for getting in nutrients and starting your day off on the right foot. But not all smoothies are created equal, and it’s important to be mindful of what is going in your blender.

If you’re not paying close attention to what you’re putting in your smoothie, it can be easy to overload on calories and sugar, raise your insulin levels, or create a concoction that is totally contradictory to your goals. A health-promoting smoothie contains an essential foundation of fiber, protein, and micronutrients. Most importantly, your smoothie should be tailored to help you on your own unique journey.

This episode is all about helping you maximize the health benefits of the amazing smoothie. You’ll learn how to avoid the most common smoothie pitfalls. We’re also going to cover the number one question you should ask yourself before you fire up your blender. Smoothies can be a powerful tool for you to transform your nutrition, and I hope you’ll carry these tips into your routine in order to get the results you want.

In this episode you’ll discover:

  • How incorporating smoothies can help you reset your palate.
  • Why drinking smoothies helped me personally in transforming my health.
  • The number one question you should ask yourself before making a smoothie.
  • The incredible health benefits of turmeric.
  • How to incorporate superfoods into your smoothie.
  • Why consuming too much sugar (even from fruit) can lead to fat creation in the body.
  • The shocking amount of sugar that is found in common store-bought smoothies.
  • Specific examples of resistant starches.
  • How to get the maximum health benefits of flax and chia seeds.
  • Why your smoothie should contain fiber.
  • How to get more protein in your smoothie.
  • The benefits of whole food protein sources.
  • How to ensure your smoothie will keep you satiated.
  • Why you should drink your smoothie more slowly and mindfully.


Thank you so much for checking out this episode of The Model Health Show. If you haven’t done so already, please take a minute and leave a quick rating and review of the show on Apple Podcast by clicking on the link below. It will help us to keep delivering life-changing information for you every week!


Shawn Stevenson:  Welcome to The Model Health Show. This is fitness and nutrition expert, Shawn Stevenson, and I'm so grateful for you tuning in with me today.

You know, we talk a lot about very advanced and cutting edge health and fitness information here on the show, but sometimes we really just need to get back to basics.

And I was just thinking about something that was a big catalyst for me in transforming my health, but also just really transforming my reality, because that's what happens.  When you're really working to kind of change your body, you're potentially changing your entire life, your entire reality, because you're no longer the person that you once were.

And this particular tool was such a launching pad for me, but it's something that can go wildly wrong. And what I'm talking about today, is I'm talking about making smoothies.

Everybody's made a smoothie now at this point, but I've got to tell you, making smoothies changed my life.

Part of my story, and now it's just crazy, you know I've reached millions and millions and millions of people at this point, but very early on when it was really much of a solo show in my life, I was really just trying to work and figure things out to recover my own health and well-being.

And many of you know my story, being diagnosed at the age of 20 with this so-called incurable spinal degeneration condition, and just experiencing massive pain, and weight gain, and loss of function.

And now at this point having incredible health and vitality, and that really becoming the passion of my life in being able to share that with other people.

But part of my story that a lot of people don't realize, like how do you go from there to here? I think that life qualifies you for these things.

And my nutrition was so bad, was so poor that I can actually relate- I can really understand where a lot of people are at on this spectrum.

And when you hear 'your nutrition was poor,' you might be like, "Well you probably ate some Pop Tarts or had some cereal or whatever.

No, listen to me. I didn't eat a salad until I was 25 years old. Note, 25 years old was the first time I ate a salad in my life.

You know just growing up, I was very averse to vegetables in the first place. You know? Just first of all, do you remember when you were younger?

They basically came in- there was like two kinds of vegetables. It was like brussel sprouts and then like boiled brussel sprouts. Right?

This was back in the day. It was just not a lot of variety, and it wasn't a very inspiring situation in the first place. But if it was green, for me, it just was not meant to be. I was very averse to it.

And eating a salad? Forget about it. It just wasn't in my cards at the time. But thanks to smoothies, it helped to reset my palate because now I had this medium that I could sneak these green vegetables in that I would otherwise never have eaten. Right?

The kale. This was when kale was starting to pop off. This was 15 years ago, they started putting kale on T-shirts. Alright? This was getting serious.

And I'm in here making these smoothies, and getting this nutrition into my body, and again, it changed my palate.

Because there's an intelligence that food has that we don't talk about enough because here we talk about a lot of the science, but there are certain things that are more anecdotal that are very real.

And when we talk about the intelligence that food has, and nutrigenomics, nutrigenetics; we know that the foods that you eat, specific nutrients literally change what your genetic expression is.

But there's an underlying intelligence that food has that I feel adds more intelligence to you, adds more intelligence to ourselves.

And for me, this really just flipped a switch and I started running on a whole different kind of a fuel. And this helped me to get my nutrition into my body that I had never even received before in my entire life.

And I started to take that experience, and I had to tell everybody about it. I started teaching classes.

So a big part of The Model Health Show being in existence, and me speaking came from me just telling people about these smoothies, and having nutrition classes, and just getting together, and putting all these crazy things into a blender and showing people what was possible, but also of course making it taste good.

And you know, it was superfood nutrition, some exotic items, and we'll talk about some of this stuff today. And I just couldn't tell enough people about it.

Because again, my cells were now running on a different type of fuel. Right? Not premium, not even diesel. I was running on that electric. I became like a human Tesla, and I just wanted to tell everybody about it.

And so today I'm going to talk about some of the things that we need to look at when taking advantage of this form of nutrition, because believe it or not, it's not actually that new. Right?

Folks thousands of years ago were blending together things, you know, the mortar and pestle, just like grinding stuff up, making little concoctions.

Right? Different soups and things like that, mixing things together forever. But today with the technology we have, we can just kind of upgrade that.

But there is a way to go about this that can be very health-affirming, but we've got to ask some key questions because there are also some huge mistakes that you can make if you're partaking in the smoothie life.

So today we're going to go through the five biggest smoothie mistakes that people are making out there on the streets. Alright? So I think you're going to get a lot of value out of that.

So be prepared, take some notes, and also be prepared to ask some questions because this isn't just about the tool of making smoothies.

This is about a way of thinking, and being able to utilize our intelligence in all the meals that we're making based on some key questions that we all need to be asking when it comes to our nutrition.

So now listen, as with anything, things evolve and making smoothies isn't that big of a part of my life anymore as it used to be. But there are some key things that I've really taken from this experience, and I think again, you're going to get a lot of value out of that.

But also listen to this. It's not just the fact that I changed my internal environment- and this was- I was 25 years old when I had my first salad, but I was doing the smoothie thing.

But it was also changing my external environment as well because at the age of 25 coincidentally was the first time that I ever even left my city for real. You know?

Like this was the first time I actually got on an airplane and left the circumference of the area that I kind of grew up in.

And isn't that interesting how that happens? When we start working to change our internal environment, we have this desire to change our external environment, to be around things that are more supportive and uplifting of the person that we want to become.

And sometimes it can happen the reverse way, right? Where you're changing your environment and it is causing you to do different things with your nutrition and the things that you're putting into your holy vessel. Right?

And this all happened for me together and it really opened my eyes, and it changed my perspective because I knew that there was a bigger world out there.

And since that point I've been a pretty renowned cloud hopper, you know? Jumping around, been to all these different cities and events, and speaking all over the world, and it's been incredible, man.

It's just been such a great fortune in my life, and it's just bringing all of these gifts back, and being able to filter that into this, into this message, and being able to provide value for you. And so, really grateful for that.

But recently, I don't know- do you guys have the Pre-Check? Do you have Pre-Check, Shoe? So I asked my producer Shoe if he has the Pre-Check. Guys, do you know about the Pre-Check? I've traveled just- I mean hundreds- just it's crazy how much I've traveled before, and I would always walk by like, "I need to do that. I need to do that."

I'm going through the regular line, and of course you've got to basically get naked. You know, take your shoes off, belt- do remember the belts?

First of all, do you remember belts? People used to wear them all the time. Remember those huge belt buckles? Do you remember that? With the giant antlers on the belt?

Never mind, was that just me? But you know, whether you've got a belt on or not, you've got to take it off. Right? No watches. Take the Rolly off, alright? You're not getting through here with any of that stuff.

As a matter of fact, take off one sock. Leave one sock on, keep the other sock, and you know, walk through backwards, Sir.

Like all this stuff, and you know, the Pre-Check, so I went and got that done, and it was super simple, and now we just kind of coast right through. So it's been really cool but something crazy happened recently.

So I'm a big believer in investing in what makes you happy, and today more than ever, and this is why even on The Model Health Show we've been talking about all areas of health and wellness.

Not just the nutrition side, not just the fitness side, not stress management, but what about relationship health? What about financial health? Because all of those things impact our way of being in the world.
All these things impact our choices. All these things impact our overall wellness. And so I've had masterclass episodes like the one with Jamal King recently which was a huge, huge episode, and I'll put that in the show notes if you happened to miss it.

But on the other side, we have to start to understand and study wealth and financial well-being if we don't grow up with it and we don't really know about it.

And for me, part of that equation is just being ruthless in cutting costs and things that don't really matter to you, and spending on the things that really make you happy.

And so for me, it's really how I travel. Because you know, being in a situation where I am traveling quite a bit, and going to different cities, I want to make sure that I'm comfortable, and now I'm in a position where a lot of times- because I would leave for a two-week tour, and come back, and my son has like grown two inches.

And he's like- his voice is deeper I know he was like five or four, but I'm like- you know, he's like, "Welcome home, Dad." And I'm just like, "What happened? What did I miss?"

And so being able to bring my family along with me to have these experiences, and so I like to invest in those experiences when I travel. So like getting business class or first class if possible, using points and all that stuff because I've accumulated quite a bit.

And recently I just went on a powerhouse back-to-back trip, and did a bunch of shows when I was out on the West Coast, and just some other stuff I have going on.

And usually the bags will come out first when you do the priority, and we were just waiting. You know, it's been a long day, long flights. My wife and my youngest son Braden, who's been on the show by the way, which we'll put in the show notes for you if you happened to miss that episode.

And just waiting, bags just didn't come. You know, it was a packed flight, and everybody's standing around, and everybody got their bags.

And so I'm just like, "Wow, that's interesting. Where are our bags at?" And then- so we had three bags because we were going for like two weeks. And two of the bags came out, the very last two bags to come out.

I'm like, "That's suspicious. What's going on?" And I was like, "Oh well that's cool." You know, it was my bag and my son's bag.

And so I made a little joke to my wife like, "Well at least we got our stuff, and if need be, like you can go shopping or whatever." She did not think it was funny. She was not in a ha-ha happy mood.

And like 20 minutes went by, thirty minutes went by, and I went over to that little- there's like an office you go when you're disgruntled, and you have issues with your baggage.

And so I went into that office and it was like five people. Everybody's just disgruntled, right? Nobody wants somebody to have their bag. Right? You want to have your stuff in your possession.

So the faces- and I'm aware of this. I'm like, "I'm going to be kind. I'm going to be patient." And so the five people go by, finally - I'm in there for ten or fifteen minutes - and I finally get up, it's my turn. Shift change. Shift change.

Alright? They were like, "Sorry sir, we'll be back." Now true story, I'm the only person in the office standing there by my lonesome feeling like Tom Hanks on that island.

Alright? I'm just like, "What happened?" Five minutes goes by, nobody. Like I'm looking, got my neck around the corner trying to see, because there's like a door right over the counter. Nobody.

I hear voices and I wanted to yell like, "I hear you back there." And eventually somebody came out and it was my man, Hans. Hans came out. It was an elderly gentleman, and he came out, and I explained the situation to him.

Like, "Hey we got two bags. The third one didn't come." It takes Hans a good- he's a keyboard pecker. Right? He's pecking.

It takes him a good five minutes, ten minutes to log in. And so he goes, and I tell him situation, he walks out. He didn't say, "I'll be right back," he just walked out.

And now I knew he went on the floor to look for the bag, and he said sometimes if it's oversized, it comes to another place. Whatever. Couldn't find it.

So we start the paperwork process. This is an hour later, and we fill out the paperwork. And he you know, he was just kind of telling us like if it comes- he said when it comes, not if.

He's like, "This happens all the time. They'll send it to our place." Wife was not happy again, and I just decided- I felt it. I felt it in my soul, like go look one more time.

And so I ran back to the carousel, which already I put in- if I had a pedometer on, I put on mad miles already. And there it was. A whole new flight was there at this point- well this was like two to three flights later.

Everybody standing there waiting for their bag, there was one bag, it was my wife's bag. So I grabbed it, I had this joy on my face.

I was telling- like the other passengers for this flight, I was like, "I've got my bag." And they're like, "Okay." You know?

And across- all the way across airport in the office, my wife was in there, and I was like, "Baby, I've got the bag." And I brought it over, we celebrated.

Some people were celebrating that didn't even know me, which was awesome. I walked in, I gave Hans a high five. His first high five ever in his 70 years. It was awkward, but it was a good one.

And you know, we almost hugged it out, but we took the bag and left. And you know, that was my experience of losing luggage. Alright? It was not a good time.

But as this process goes along, we learn different things, and we accumulate news experiences, and it's not always going to be super smooth.

Even if your intentions are pure and you're working to do the right thing, stuff's going to happen, but we roll with the punches.

But listen. For me, the one thing that I miss when I travel, because now I bring my babies along with me a lot, I miss my bed. I miss my bed.

And as you know, we've talked about this before on the show, but many people are shocked to find out that most mattresses contain toxic foam, synthetic fabrics, and are treated with chemical flame retardants that off-gas, and can lead to a whole host of health problems.

We've talked about it before, some of them have actually been banned, and they had been found to have carcinogenic properties, found to be toxic to the thyroid, and on, and on, and on.

But today still in use are things like boric acid. And that might sound familiar because not only is it used as a flame retardant, but it's also used commercially to kill roaches. Why?

Why is the mattress treated with that? Like we have far better options today. The problem with the boric acid is that it's confirmed to be a very strong respiratory irritant that has also carcinogenic properties. Alright?

We can do better than this. So the bed that I sleep on and that I have for my kids, we sleep on Intellibeds because they're non-toxic and they have this incredible patented Intelligel.

Not only does it- first of all, it sleeps cool, which is very different from these high-end memory foam whatevers. They tend to generate more heat, and we know the importance of thermoregulation when we're sleeping, because running too hot while you're sleeping can cause disruption to your sleep cycles, whether or not you're conscious of it.

And so this Intellibed sleeps cool, so it's not going to overheat your body. And also, the Intelligel itself is the industry leading mattress resiliency because your hips are the heaviest part of your body when you're laying down, and you can lose the mattress resiliency at your hips about 20% loss just within the first year or two of having your bed.

And so industry leading mattress resiliency. So you're not going to deal with that because that can lead to issues with low back pain. Millions of people every single year are going to the physician because of sleep-related physical pain, all due to their mattress.

And so you're not going to get any of that taco bed happening. Right? And what's so cool about it is that it also has this motion resiliency. And so if your partner's like moving around, you know just people flipping during the night, turning over or whatever, and it just it rustles you a little bit.

No, not with the Intellibed. Alright? So you can get- your partner's over there flipping over sunny side up during sleep, and you don't have to worry about it. Alright? You stay nice and snug and in your Z's yourself.

So also what I love about Intellibed is that they have the industry leading 20-year warranty. They believe so much in what they're doing, 20 years.

And not some pro-rated fake, like they'll change it around on you later. Twenty years because this mattress is so well-designed. It's the number one wellness mattress, and right now a very special offer for The Model Health Show listeners.

You can go to That's together as one word. Very exclusive discount for you, free delivery, and you can speak to one of their sleep specialists to get the mattress that is best suited for you, because that's what it's really all about.

You spend one third of your life in your bed. It matters. It matters. So again, On that note, let's get to the Apple Podcasts review of the week.

ITunes Review:  Another five star review titled, 'My Favorite Nutrition Podcast,' by Wholesomelicious. "I'm a nutritionist with a master's in Human Nutrition, and I listen to a lot of health and wellness podcasts.

The Model Health Show is by far my favorite. I love how much science and research is brought into this podcast and all of Shawn's guests. I even love the different viewpoints, allowing listeners to get a wealth of information that is understandable.

I listen while walking my dog or cooking, and often find myself having to go back and re-listen to some episodes to take notes and share with clients. This podcast can change your life in the best way."

Shawn Stevenson:  That's so incredible. Thank you so much for sharing that, and I'm just grateful that you're in this field along with me, being of service, and that just means a lot. So thank you so very much.

And listen, if you've yet to leave a review, pop over to Apple Podcasts and leave a review for the show. Please let everybody know what you think of the show, and I appreciate that so very much.

On that note, let's get to our topic of the day. Today we're going to be covering the five biggest smoothie mistakes. We're going to be talking about some fundamental questions that we need to be asking if we're going to partake in le smoothie. Alright? Or le shake, whatever fancy term you want to give it.

And I think that these are going to be some insights that are going to last you a lifetime, but also these are going to help immediately in your nutrition protocol if smoothies are something that you're interested in, if it's something that you're already doing, because you might be doing it wrong.

First and foremost when talking about this nutrition, this kind of blended nutrition, we have to ask the question, "What is the goal of the smoothie?" Right? What is the goal? Because it can be different, and this is going to determine what your ingredients, what your structure is going to look like.

So when I say, "What is the goal?" So is this for weight loss? Is the goal of the smoothie something to support your weight loss? Is it weight gain? Radically different approaches we're going to have right off the bat.

Is it for recovery? Right? This is something that you're using as fuel for recovery from your training. Is it anti-aging and longevity? That's my major focus.

Is this about support against a condition or an illness? Is that why we're doing this with a smoothie? This is going to determine the ingredients that you're going to use and the approaches you're going to take in making the smoothies.

And so to go back and kind of look at these different pieces, and potentially have some tweaks in our thinking and our approach, number one we're asking, "What is the goal of my smoothie?"

If it's for weight loss, we need to look at putting ingredients in that are very high in nutrition but very low in calories. Right? High in nutrition and low in calories.

And we also have to be very conscientious about satiety, because we don't want to have this smoothie, and then we end up hungry an hour or two later, and then we've got to guzzle down some more smoothie.

And so for example, there was a study that was published in the journal 'Appetite' that found that a higher ratio of carbohydrates in the morning resulted in increased hunger throughout the rest of the day.

Right? So more carbohydrate fraction, greater ratio in the morning led to more hunger throughout the day. Wouldn't that be a little bit of a disadvantage if the goal is to lose weight?

Because contrary to popular belief, this was something that was pressed into public consciousness. You know, weight loss being a big struggle, and something that was all about deprivation and restriction, and experts out there even saying things like, "If you're not hungry all the time, then you're doing it wrong."

Right? That paradigm is over. Hunger is an issue. Right? This is your body craving for- of course there's a potential addictive factor there, but also potentially craving nutrition that it's simply not getting.

And also, indication of managing insulin, and leptin levels, and glucagon, and all this stuff. And so we want to be mindful of that because this study specifically is saying consuming a greater ratio of carbohydrates in the morning is going to lead to you wanting to eat more throughout the day.

So what does that say? We want to be a little bit less on the carbohydrate tip when making our smoothie if the goal is weight loss. And we'll come back and talk more about that, but I just wanted to keep that as a little thing to kind of spark the conversation and keep that in the back of your mind.

And when I say high nutrition but low calories, I'm talking about an abundance of micronutrients need to be present in order to make sure that we're meeting all those nutritional requirements.

But that doesn't mean that we have to have a lot of 'energy' in the form of calories in order to get that, and so we need to choose ingredients that meet that bill.

Now, what if it's for weight gain? Are you trying to get your swole on? My oldest son Jordan, he's trying to put on that mass. Right?

So working on the weight gain side, you're going to need to do some things very differently than the person who's trying to lose weight with the liquid nutrition.

So you want to generally move to something that is more calorie dense. And what are some of the most calorie dense ingredients that we use in smoothies typically? The nut butters, alright? The peanut butters, the almond butters, cashew butter. 

There are so many. Have you tried them all? You probably haven't. What about pumpkin seed butter? Oh, that's good. Yeah, that's good.

Have you actually just put the actual nuts and/or seeds into the smoothie? It's another way you can go about it. Another one, walnut butter. Yeah, that exists.

So many different types, but those are going to be very calorie dense so you probably want to have a little bit more of something like that, and/or even the liquid that you're using. Right?

When you're making a smoothie, you start with the fundamental question of, "What is my base going to be?" Right? "What is my base going to be?"

So this could be water, this could be coconut water, this could be kefir. Right? This could be coconut kefir, this could be milk, almond milk, flaxseed milk. They're milking everything today. Alright?

Yak milk. You might want some camel milk. So many different- and this is a real thing. So many different options for what that base is going to be. Why is that 'All About that Bass' song in my head now? We've got to play a little bit of that. 

Alright so it's all about that base. It's all about that base, and that can be a huge caloric catastrophe just with your base alone if you're not conscious about it in how you're kind of stacking things. So starting off with that.

Also, if your goal is weight gain, it's probably going to be a little bit easier if there's a higher ratio of carbohydrates. Because we know now that carbohydrates stimulate your appetite, and it's just easier to consume. Right?

It's much easier to consume five glazed doughnuts than it is to consume five chicken breasts. Right. It's just very, very different, and the calories can be pretty similar. Right?

So just keeping that in mind because the satiety factor that comes along with eating something more dense in protein, that's more dense in dietary fat, it starts to shut off that ghrelin. Right?

The hunger hormone that we have, and regulate insulin a little bit better, because with insulin going up because of a higher carbohydrate ratio, it's going to crash and you're going to have resulting hunger to try to lift that blood sugar back up.

And plus, it's a stress response by your body as well when that blood sugar goes too low. So cortisol is going to get released and it can be a whole cycle of issues.

So now there's ways to go about this so we can still manage this stuff, even if we are doing more carbohydrates because of weight gain, because we've got like- we could do the dirty bulk. You know about the dirty bulk, right? Or we could do this clean and mean.

Right? So we're doing higher quality carbohydrates. Right? So this might be a little bit of fruit, this might be a little bit of even some dried fruit, or if you're doing the dirty bulk, this might be putting a muffin in your smoothie.

Now you might think, "Oh that's never happened." It has. Alright? I've seen it done. Alright? Somebody in my family has done it. I've personally put half of a candy bar into a smoothie myself.

It was 80% cacao or whatever, but it's still a candy bar nonetheless. Alright? So it just depends on the ingredients that you're going to use in making a smoothie, increasing your carbohydrate ratio.

But you don't have to, it just makes it a little bit easier in my opinion if somebody is working to gain weight.

Now what if your goal is recovery? So a lot of people do their post-workout shake. Right? You got the post-workout nutrition. And so you're going to need to look at, "Okay, I want something that's going to assimilate faster." Right?

So maybe it's some BCAA's are going in there. Right? So we're doing the essential amino acids, the branched-chain amino acids. So this might be something that we're looking at maybe hemp protein, which is a higher ratio of things like edestin, which is a very soft globular protein.

Or we're looking at potentially something that is a little bit- because what will slow down your digestion is having too much fat in your smoothie.

So maybe you're used to doing it, and you just love it, like you put avocado in your smoothie. And somebody might be like, "Ew." Try it. You might actually like it.

And so keep this in context, but that's going to slow down digestion. So we want to be a little bit less with the fats, a little bit higher protein, and maybe you're looking at, "Okay, let me make sure that I'm getting my electrolytes in there."

So there's great stuff out there for that. So maybe it's just a little bit of adding some high quality salt into your smoothie. Right? So asking again, "What is the goal of my smoothie?"

And overall like I mentioned, this isn't just applying to smoothies. This is applying to our nutrition period. What is the goal of this nutrition? That's the question to ask.

What is the goal of the meal? Right? Is this to push me towards burning fat? Is this to push me towards bulking? Putting on a little bit of size? Towards recovery so I can come back and train tomorrow?

Or another question or another approach when we're asking this question is, "Is this for anti-aging/longevity?" Well, we had several episodes recently, and one of them with Dr. Steven Gundry that just blew my mind.

Hopefully you checked it out already, super powerful episode, but he talked about seeing this correlation with centenarians having a gut microbiome that is much younger. Right? The makeup of the bacteria in their gut looks like somebody who's decades younger, and we know how important now the microbiome is.

Because these gut buddies, is what he calls them, have genes of their own. And we're talking about over 90% of the genetic information in your body is not even your own. What? Crazypants, right?

So if we're looking at longevity, we want to be supportive of that, so maybe that's what you're doing with your smoothie, and maybe you're adding a little bit of that good yogurt in there. Right? That good yogurt.

And maybe you're doing the vegan yogurt, so it's like some almond yogurt or something. But you've got the yogurt in there, preferably unsweetened.

However if you're doing the bulking, maybe it's sweetened. Kefir; maybe that's your base. Right? So you've got kefir is another thing that you could be using.

And also things that might be great for your skin and for your joints that you normally wouldn't eat by itself. Maybe something like aloe vera.

And that was one of the early ingredients that I was playing around with, and throwing into my smoothies. Like when you see an aloe vera leaf, this big like dinosaur tail looking. It's like what would you even do with this?

Of course we know that it's great for burns and things like that, but there are certain polysaccharides in aloe vera that are very rare in nature, and these polysaccharides- essentially we've found that they increase cellular communication.

And we know this whole category of essential proteins, essential fats, but what about the essential sugars? That sounds a little bit weird, but polysaccharides, that means mini sugar, and the longer that chain, the more bitter it gets. Right?  The bitter the better.

And getting this kind of nutrition. Personally, this is why smoothies are so valuable, because if you catch me sitting out gnawing on some aloe vera, some freshly fileted aloe vera, you've got to know something's wrong. Alright? Call the ransom people. Somebody got me.

It's a very, very unusual thing, but mixing it into a smoothie, so be it. Right? And aloe vera is- so not just with the polysaccharides, but also a very, very rich source of things like vitamin E, which we know is great for your skin coincidentally.

And it's just a great source of micronutrients period, but it's pretty bitter, and fileting off a little piece of that and throwing it in a smoothie with a little chocolate. I put some chocolate in there to make it work and get some of that really high quality superfood nutrition into your body. So that's one thing.

Also maybe it's collagen. Right? So maybe you're doing the collagen peptides as your protein. And by the way, collagen peptides, it can compete for absorption if you're doing the overall protein. Right?

Like the whey protein or branched-chain aminos, whatever the case might be. So you want to have those at separate times. Just a little bit of a heads up. And I'm still looking for more data to come out on that, but it's a generally accepted rule that if you're doing the collagen peptide, you do that separately then you're doing the other proteins.

But also I think that just getting this stuff into your body and letting your body sort it out, some of this nutrition, is more important than these minor details, but some people love those details.

Alright? So that's another thing which we know now, that the collagen peptides are great for your joints, great for your ligaments, for your connective tissue, for your skin. Right? Longevity purposes.

Another question or directive when you ask, "What is the goal in my smoothie?" might be for support against a chronic health issue or just some general immunity to support your body when it's trying to defend itself from something.

And this is something I would use in my practice for over a decade in working with patients to get supportive nutrition into their body.

So for example, this was published in the journal 'Anti-Cancer Research' found that cat's claw, also known as una de gato, the claw of the cat, found that it has anti-inflammatory and anti-mutagenic properties that are potentially supportive of defending the body against cancer. 

And so in some countries this is actually used by physicians as a treatment. Right? But this is something that maybe- again, you can get access to today, and maybe becomes an ingredient if you are concerned about cancer prevention, or just working on supporting if you're going through treatment.

Right? This is something that we would do. We would just stack conditions for patients. You know, just saying if they have a stage two breast cancer, like what are the things that we know are clinically proven to have benefit and protective mechanism against breast cancer? And let's just like combine some of this stuff and put it into these drinks.

And so that's one thing, or maybe it's inflammation. Right? Maybe it's inflammation, which we know now that this is the big kind of undercurrent of most degenerative diseases today; inflammation.

And so maybe we're going to add in something like turmeric. And we've got numerous studies, for example. Of course first, we don't want to overlook this fact as well, that turmeric is a very powerful anti-angiogenic food as well.

So that means that it cuts off the blood supply to cancer cells it's been found, which is fascinating in and of itself, but also in reducing inflammation.

There was a study published in 2006 in an issue of 'Life Enhancement,' and scientists found out that turmeric - curcumin which is an extract - can aid against symptoms of things like sleep deprivation, and impaired locomotive function, memory dysfunction, and even depression.

Right? Because it's one of those things that helps to reduce inflammation in the brain. Super fascinating stuff. And for me, this is an ingredient that I like to use a lot actually.

And this morning I actually had some along with my breakfast. I had a couple of capsules of the Daily Turmeric from Organifi that also has a biopotentiator in it.

So it's super-critical extract of the turmeric, first of all, but then the biopotentiator of the pepper rind is in there as well. It just makes your body absorb it and use it better.

So that's one way to go about it, but also their Gold formula is gold. Alright? Man, it's so good. And actually, I'm thinking about Goldmember from Austin Powers. Shout-out to that movie.

What a weird character. But the Organifi Gold formula is number one delicious, but it is packed full of incredible nutrition. So we've got the turmeric in there, thus the gold, and also has rishi mushroom in there, which has also been found to increase your NK cell activity over 300%.

So this is like training your immune system, and also benefits- clinically proven benefits for sleep. Making your sleep cycle more efficient, increasing overall sleep time and sleep latency, so you fall asleep faster.

Turkey tail is in there as well, coconut milk making it nice and creamy. And so I like to add- this one of my favorite things that I add to my smoothies whenever I do have them is the Organifi Gold, and definitely if you've yet to try it out, I think you'll love it.

A lot of people use it just before bed. They have it kind of like a relaxing kind of tonic before bed. Maybe it's just with even hot water or some almond milk, or something like, that keeping a super simple.

But I like to put it into my smoothies. So pop over there, grab some Gold if you've yet to do so. There are so many great benefits to this, especially the base is turmeric.

And I could just- literally we could do an entire show just talking about the benefits of turmeric in and of itself.

But this is what smoothie technology enables us to do, is we can combine a lot of this stuff together.

And so go to That's and you get 20% off their Gold formula, and also the red juice formula, green juice formula, which I use in smoothies a lot.

I especially get that into my kids' smoothies all the time. My son Jordan actually has the green juice every morning. You know if anything, he'll just even have that with some water, and he knows he's getting all of this incredible micronutrition in there as well.

And plus it has prebiotics, probiotics. So what we talked about earlier. So with the longevity being the approach, it's not just about the probiotics, but also prebiotic fibers to support and give the friendly flora, they have to have their own food so they can stay in the population in your gut, if that makes sense. And so being mindful of that.

So again, you've got to ask the question, "What is the goal of my smoothie?" And that's going to determine what your ingredients look like, your caloric density and even the frequency at which you are consuming your smoothies. So it's all asking that fundamental question, "What is the goal of my smoothie?"

So now that we have that important framework for you, now let's go ahead and kind of build on this a little bit and talk about these top five smoothie mistakes that people are making, and just kind of taking some of this data that we've already covered into consideration as we go through this.

Number one, biggest smoothie mistake is having too much sugar in the smoothie. It is super easy to overdo it on the sugar side, and you might be like, "Well I don't put added sugar into my smoothie."

Well if you put in fruit, guess what? Sugar. Your body- I mean of course there are levels to this. Going back to the doughnut example, it's probably going to be better for you having a banana than a doughnut because we get some micronutrients, and fiber, that kind of thing.

But it still turns to glucose in the body, it still turns the glucose in the blood, and you're still going to get the insulin response, you're still going to have a response from your liver.

As a matter of fact, fructose more directly impacts the liver than anything else. And so you're going to be more apt to cause your liver to do this process called lipogenesis, which is creation of fat, if you're bringing in too much fruit sugar at one time.

So you've got to be mindful of that. Too much sugar is one of the biggest mistakes that we make, and so today there's been a big movement for the green smoothie. Right? I was doing my DJ thing, right?

Now when I say DJ, I don't mean like turntables, I mean I had the blender and my ingredients in front of me in a classroom full of people, and I'm like mixing it up, and I'm making these green smoothies, and people had never seen this before. Fifteen years ago they were like, "What is this? There's no way am I going to-" and then they take a sippy sip. Very delicious.

So when we're making the green smoothies, we went to err on the side of green. When we say green smoothie, green. Vegetable. Vegetable heavy, not heavy on the fruit. So green smoothies, but err on the side of the green.

And I remember- actually this reminds me something. When I was in college, so this was- when I actually had just met my wife, and we were going to the same university together, and we had a marketing class together.

I hadn't seen her at the university for four years, and now like my last semester in college, I got a class with her. Alright?

And so we had a marketing project, and at the time, I had already really transformed my health. I still had these issues because I didn't know these little small things I'm about to share with you, and I was going hard with Naked Juice. You know about Naked Juice? It just sounded great. It's Naked Juice.

Naked Juice. So for me, I was like, "Oh this is like super naked, but it's just like super clean and pure. Right? And I'm getting all of these- and I hadn't had anything green in my life still.

I wasn't making the green smoothies yet, alright? This was the beginning of my kind of change in my mindset around the super nutrition.

So you know, learning about things like spirulina I was like, "Oh it has this in here. So let me try this." And so I went hard with the Green Machine from The Naked Juice.

So much so, that when we had to present it in front of the class, create a marketing campaign for a product, I suggested to my group - which included my wife, I talked her into this. She wasn't my wife yet. She was my girlfriend. 

Shout-out to my girlfriend. Why am I feeling so embarrassed right now talking about it? Because she was my girlfriend and I had eyes for her, okay? That's why.

And I talked her into it, and also there was another person in our group. You know how people- you've got like stories in your mind, and then there's like a blank face? You know? Like you've got like certain characters and one person has like a bag over their head in your recollection of it? The third person didn't even matter I guess because I was just hyper focused on her.

And so we did a marketing campaign on how healthy Naked Juice was, and the Green Machine specifically.

Now listen to this. Guess how much sugar is in the Green Machine Naked. It's a naked smoothie from Naked Juice. Guess. Not twenty grams, not thirty, not forty. Fifty-three grams of sugar. What?

It's over thirteen teaspoons in a bottle. And here I am believing that this is really good for me because it's green. It's got a green tint to it. Right? It's got spirulina in there, but it's mainly just loaded with a bunch of fruit.

So it had banana, and mango, and apples, and pineapple. Though it sounds great, we say in our lexicon, 'fruits and vegetables.' "Eat your fruits and vegetables." We really need to be saying, "Eat your vegetables and fruits." 

Fruits need to be like the condiment, right? It's really the vegetables we're after because we can get so heavy on the fruit, and we can get into some trouble with that.

So being careful- that's number one, biggest smoothie mistakes is having too much sugar. We talked earlier about that study that was published in the journal 'Appetite,' and having a higher ratio carbohydrates led to stimulating the appetite more frequently throughout the day with the sugar.

And listen, again, we can have great success with health and even with weight loss with doing the smoothies.

And so matter of fact, in my friend Dr. Alan Christensen's book, 'The Metabolism Reset Diet,' which he's been on the show recently, he put in here a study and this tracked folks for forty weeks.

Ninety obese adults were randomized to either eating meals or two shakes and one meal, and the shake's group lost more weight, which was 12.3% body weight versus just 6.9% body weight of the folks who were eating the meals.

And additionally, the folks who were in the smoothie group had more satiety than the group who was not doing the smoothies.

And also, they saw that the smoothie group or shake group saw a significant reduction in inflammation and oxidative stress. So this is, again, an opportunity to get in a lot of great nutrition that help support things like that as well.

But again, this is a tool that can be used to great success, but we need to be mindful that we are following some of these parameters when it comes to making these smoothies.

So let's move on to number two. Alright? So number one, top five smoothie mistakes, too much sugar. Too much sugar. It can really mess the whole game up. Right?

A berry smoothie. You're like, "I'm making a fruit smoothie." What? You've got to be careful with that. You've got to be careful with that because that could just mean a whole lot of sugar, whole lot of insulin dysregulation, whole lot inflammation, whole lot of body fat potentially.

Alright, move on. So number two on our list of the top five smoothie mistakes. Number two is not getting enough fiber.

It's that F word that keeps you regular. So when you hear fiber, you probably think of being regular, right? You think about it in relationship to the poop, which of course it does play a role in that.

There's two general types that we talk about in our just basic understanding of fiber. Like this was what I was taught in school.

We've got the soluble and insoluble fiber. One kind of gels up, pulls moisture to it. Right?

But in talking with Dr. Allen Christiansen, which again we'll put that episode in the show notes if you happened to have missed it. There are sixteen types of dietary fibers.

It's a really broad area that we don't talk a lot about. We just think, "Oh I'm getting my fiber." T

There's different kinds. It's a different type of fiber that you'll find in something like a banana versus that you'll find in black beans, for example. Right?

There are different types of fiber, and missing out on these different fiber types might be missing out on the food that your gut bugs- gut buddies need to be able to be healthy, and prosperous, and to support your health.

So with that said, one of those types is resistant starch, and this is a great opportunity with our smoothies to make sure that we're getting the fiber that we need to support our health.

And also it helps a lot with satiety in and of itself. And so what are some of those things? This could be - when we're talking about resistant starch, - green bananas. So the unripe green banana.

And he even advocated putting it in the smoothie with the peel on it. Now he's a barbarian, in my opinion. That's very Stone Age. That is very Encino Man, Brendan Fraser of you to do that.

But apparently, it works. More of these prebiotic fibers, right? Resistant starch. We've got Jerusalem artichoke, and you can also- this is the benefit of doing a smoothie like the green juice formula.

You know, you're going to have some of those prebiotic fibers in there, for example, and you can just get supplements that actually have these prebiotic fibers right there and toss them into your smoothie. So keep that in context.

Then we've got like ground flaxseed is another thing. I love to use chia seeds for my smoothies. Now you can do the chia seeds where they're just kind of floating around in space. You know, they got those drinks.

You like the kombuchas out there on the shelf, and some of them's got the chia seeds mixed into it. It's like to the brim with chia seeds just floating around.

And you guzzle that, it like puts you in the mindset of Orbitz. Do you remember drinking Orbitz when you were like- you know, way back in the day, so a couple of decades ago?

First of all, I think that it was outlawed or something because these little balls just floating around in your kid's drink. And what were they made of? What were they made of?

And we actually talked about that on an episode recently. Was that the History of Soda episode? Yeah, it sure was. If you didn't listen to the story of soda episode, I promise that you missed out on a part of your maturity.

Like basically there's a part of puberty that was left out for you. You've got to listen to the episode it's so powerful, so we'll put that in the show notes as well.

But at the end of the day, you can have that experience where you're guzzling the chia seeds or whatever, and they still do have benefit that way, but in order to really kind of unlock and get the essential fatty acids out there - because it's a great source of Omega-3 fats as well - you need to blend them.

And so it's difficult to blend those teeny little tiny little chia seeds unless you add some water to them and let them sit for a while, and it gels up and becomes like a pudding, chia pudding.

And so I'll like keep some in my fridge. So I'll mix in, and like probably will be - after it gels up - maybe like ten solid tablespoons will be in my jar and I'll throw in a big heaping tablespoon into my smoothie. So great source of fiber, but also getting some of those Omega-3s.

So that's number two in the top five biggest smoothie mistakes. Second biggest mistake is not enough fiber. Alright? So we've got benefits with obviously supporting and cleaning the intestinal tract, but also providing a food to your gut buddies that then allow you- they make food for you; vitamins and minerals in you for you.

Alright? And the list goes on, and on, and on. And also the satiety aspect of that too.

Number three on our list of five biggest smoothie mistakes. Number three is not getting enough protein. This is a huge mistake that a lot of folks make when making their smoothies.

So protein, as we talked about earlier, like the dietary fats can slow down digestion, but protein can to a degree as well.

It's not as absorbed as quickly as carbohydrate, so it really helps to balance things out as far as the satiety because it has a slower burn effect, and it also as a thermogenic effect as well.

Kind of giving your metabolism a little bit of a nudge because it has to up-regulate a little bit in order to digest and break down the proteins, depending on the type of protein that you're using.

And really it's about this here in this 2014 study published in 'Sports Medicine,' and what they found was that for untrained individuals, these are folks that they don't even lift, they don't even lift bro, and they're consuming supplemental protein.

So they're doing a protein shake it has no impact on lean muscle mass and muscle strength during the initial weeks of their resistance training.

So once you're getting started, it's not as important. However, as the duration, frequency, and volume of resistance training increased, the protein supplementation was found to promote muscle hypertrophy and enhance gains in muscle strength in both untrained and trained individuals.

So seasoned weight-lifting veterans and folks who are just getting started who have been in the game for a few weeks.

Evidence also suggests that protein supplementation may accelerate gains in both aerobic and anaerobic power getting that protein in. Right?

Doing the protein shake, especially if you're lifting. So it's one of those things that we're missing out on if we're doing the smoothie and we're not getting adequate protein.

So what does that look like? This could be a general protein blend. Most studies are done on whey. 

Just to be clear, there are more studies being done on plant-based proteins, just not as much. Not saying that they're not high quality or valuable, there are tons of great ones out there, but just keep that in context.

And we've also got to be mindful about our digestion because for a lot of folks, whey can cause some digestive issues. A little bit more likelihood of having the backne. The backne. Right? So it's the acne on the back. Okay?

But there's lots of great choices out there. Higher quality choices, even for whey, getting the grass-fed and all that good stuff.

So we've got a general protein powder or higher protein foods. Nuts and seeds are pretty great sources of protein. Hemp seeds, I generally throw a tablespoon of the shelled hemp seeds in my smoothie as well in addition to whatever else is going in there.

So you've got that, but it's very digestible, and it also has micronutrients intact as well that comes along with the protein. That's what I like.

I like real food sources that don't just have one thing. It's not just protein, it's also these micronutrients that I'm getting along with it. You know, they're real food.

So we've got that. We've got tons of other things if you're just thinking about it that are higher sources of protein. You can get creative. You could do some weird stuff with a smoothie.

I did. When I was talking about those stories fifteen years ago, making these different smoothies, I was putting some crazy stuff in there. Okay?

One time I actually- this was back in the day before people knew what quinoa was. Not just what quinoa was, but how to pronounce it. This was when it was quinoa.

Okay? We didn't even get to the pronunciation of quinoa yet. And I saw it in the store, and it was like quinoa flakes, and I was like, "Oh, this is interesting. It's kind of like a cereal of some sort."

And I was like throwing quinoa flakes. Super high protein grain, it was marketed as a grain, it's really in the seed family, and I was putting that in my smoothie, and making this like cookies and cream kind of thing with like cacao and all this, and it was pretty good.

But you know, so you can get creative and add stuff in, and experiment, and learn again to your palate. Right? So changing your palate.

Not all smoothies are going to just taste amazing, but I still want to err on the side of having a pleasurable experience in all of our nutrition. Right?

So we're creating our smoothies to taste really good, and we can do that with lower glycemic foods and natural sweeteners that are not necessarily high glycemic.

You know, like there's Stevia drops, and monk fruit is really popular, and a lot of different supplements now. And so there are different ways we can go about this, and creating the texture that we like as well.

So the creaminess comes a lot of times- that's why people go towards the banana, right? Frozen banana. But you don't got to use the whole thing. You don't have to use the Franken-banana. Okay?

You could use half of a small banana, right? So a lot of different options there with the protein side as well. But it's a big mistake to not take it as an opportunity to get that protein in there.

Alright, number four on our list of the top five smoothie mistakes. Number four is not getting enough nutrition while getting too many empty calories.

It's a huge mistake that we're making because we're bringing in all of this caloric energy and not getting enough bang for the buck with the micro nutrition.

We're not getting the selenium, we're not getting the magnesium, we're not getting the manganese, we're not getting the copper, we're not getting the zinc.

All these different things that our bodies need, and we could be using the smoothie as an opportunity to get those things in, so we can help to shut down satiety, increase our overall nutrition and all the things that we're delivering to our tissues. Right?

This is a great opportunity that we have in building these shakes. So I'm just going to keep that one super sweet and simple.

Big mistake is not getting enough micronutrients and taking advantage. This is again why I love the idea of smoothies because we have the opportunity get so many different micronutrients in there at one time.

Whether it's from the whole food sources, like getting the kale in there, the hemp seeds, the chia seeds, some of the things we've already talked about, or the superfood concentrates like you'll find in Green Juice from Organifi, or the Gold, or things like that.

Alright, so let's move on. We've got number five here now. Right? Number five on the list of the top five biggest smoothie mistakes, and this one is- you've got to get this one.

Number five, biggest mistake is drinking too fast. Drinking too fast. I cannot stress how important this is because since it is in liquid form, you can guzzle down hundreds and hundreds and hundreds of calories before you even know it, before your body even knows what happened.

So you've got to be mindful of that, to slow down, to give your body an opportunity to actually communicate with the food that's coming in. Okay?

So there is a statement to chew your juice and drink your food. Right? The mouth- the human mouth is basically like a NutriBullet.

You know, it's working to condense and break down this food. It's the first step in the process because there's also the statement that your stomach doesn't have any teeth. Right? So that process, the mastication process.

And I also want to say this, is that when you're chewing your food, it's the first interaction that your cells get with this food. And we have our genetic information is in our saliva. Right? 

When you get a DNA test, or you're doing like the 23AndMe or whatever you're doing, where do they get the saliva? Right? Where'd they get the information from?

They're taking it from your saliva. Your DNA and RNA, like your information of you is in your mouth. So when you're chewing your food, in a sense you're kind of encoding that food, and it's mixing together with that food; your genetic information and the food's genetic information.

It's kind of like this intermingling that's taking place. It's kind of like online dating going on in your mouth, and you're taking this opportunity to introduce this food that's going to be in your belly, getting an early introduction. Alright? 

So take the time. Even if it's a smoothie, just take a couple of seconds, just let it move around, chew it a little bit.

This is why I like the technique of adding chewy things to your smoothie. Right? So after blend your smoothie up, maybe you sprinkle in some cacao nibs. Some of the actual chocolate nut. Right? 

The actual cacao itself, little cacao nibs, sprinkle that in there so you have something to chew on that also has some health benefits too.

So slowing down. Slowing down because just because it's liquid nutrition does not mean that we don't need to abide by the same laws of satiety and interaction with that food. Alright?

Because you can easily down 1,000 calories in liquid form easier than if you're sitting down with the knife and fork. So again, big, big mistake that people make, so slow down, chew a little bit, let it interact with your DNA and RNA, and also even you have enzymes in your mouth as well to help to break down carbohydrates and start that process too.

So again guys, this is really important foundational stuff, but if we're not doing it, then we don't really know it. Alright? Because some of this stuff is like, "I know to do that," but if you're not doing it, you don't know it, it's just a theory. Right?

So we want to put these things in action, and also share this stuff with the people that we care about whether you're in the health space or you just want to help your friends and family, but we need to employ this stuff too.

So I hope that you really got some value out of this and understand like we can start to accumulate- I've got a cabinet full of goodies that I use in making my smoothies that I've just been kind of picking up over time.

And so you can do this yourself, or when you're out there in the streets, and you can pick up smoothies here and there. Be more mindful of what you're getting. Right? Be more mindful.

Sometimes though, to be real, if you're going to a hot spot out there where they're doing the smoothies, and they're doing a lot of good stuff, their smoothies can cost a lot. Alright? You might have to take out a second mortgage just to get a smoothie.

Okay? So getting your own ingredients and kind of accumulating things, the proteins that you like, and the ingredients that go in there, and the superfoods that you like, it's just such a great investment.

And for me personally, I'm passionate about this topic because this was a big bridge for me initially in transforming my own health and my own palate.

And it's something that is just such a great tool to introduce people to nutrition and getting a lot of information into their cells. Right?

Because food is not just food. It's information, and we get to determine the kind of data that we're putting into our tissue matrix. Alright?

So again, I hope you got a lot of value out of this, and if you did, please share this out with your friends and family on social media, and of course you could tag me. I'm @ShawnModel on Instagram and Twitter, and @TheModelHealthShow on Facebook.

Let me know what you thought about the episode. And listen, we've got powerhouse guests coming up and show topics coming for you, alright? So make sure to be ready.

Alright? I appreciate you so much for tuning in today. Take care, have an amazing day, and I'll talk with you soon.

And for more after the show, make sure to head over to That's where you can find all of the show notes, you can find transcriptions, videos for each episode, and if you've got a comment you can leave me a comment there as well. 

And please make sure to head over to iTunes and leave us a rating to let everybody know that the show is awesome, and I appreciate that so much. 

And take care, I promise to keep giving you more powerful, empowering, great content to help you transform your life. Thanks for tuning in.

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  1. I drink a green smoothie every day which includes always, kale, spinach, banana, apple, chia seeds and sometimes kiwi and other fruits. My health has increased on many levels. I feel the negative effects when I go several days without one. I’m a believer that we should all be consuming liquid greens as often as possible.


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