How to Get Your Nay-Sayers to “Budge on the Sludge”

I know you know how healthy and delicious green smoothies are. But what about our reluctant and nay-saying children, grandchildren, and/or spouse? How do we convince them?

“If you only’re missing out!” is my common reply when my hubby makes fun of my daily drink of what he calls ‘green sludge.’ Even when I offer the short list of benefits on this nutrient-dense drink (more energy, weight loss, better digestion, skin tone improving, and fewer cravings for sweets and processed foods), it all falls on deaf ears. He won’t budge on the ‘sludge.’

I found some help on this issue, though. Green Smoothie Girl (GSG, recently shared some suggestions on how to win these doubters over. If you’re dealing with the same challenge, you may find her ideas helpful, too.

First of all, GSG says to drop the pressure or other coercion methods (oh could I relate to that advice!). BUT, do set the example. In other words (hearkening back to my school teaching days), demonstrate the behavior you want them to model. A dose of daily green smoothie, followed up with cheerfully and energetically going about your day, is the pattern for success.

GSG says it’s also smart to start with something they already love (their favorite fruits). And if possible, include them in the selection and preparation process (especially helpful if your avoiders are children).

Make it fun as well. If you add dark colored berries, the drink changes color. Smoothies don’t have to look green, actually. And when the grandkids are here, we have fun naming our drinks. “The Berrie Boo!”, “Pineapple Panic,” “Monster Mash Up,” and “Kick-a-Poo Joy Juice” are just a few of our creations. For my hubby, it’s “John Deere Green Drink,” since he collects and restores antique John Deere tractors. (Although to be honest, the clever name hasn’t fooled him one whit. He still knows there’s raw spinach in it. But he is imbibing more often now since he’s watched me add his favorite fruits.)

GSG relies on the same tactic. She says, “If the children in your life can’t get enough of Marvel comics, make a vivid green smoothie and call it ‘Hulk Juice.’ Younger kids might respond well to “Frozen Elsa Elixir” if they’ve watched Frozen 361 times, or ‘Thomas the Tank Engine Turbo Fuel’ if they love talking trains, as my youngest son Tennyson did.

Next, be smart about how you serve it. Not too thick, for starters (ask me how I know this is a killer). Then be sure your ratio of greens to fruit, favors fruit. This ensures the greens and other healthy additives (nuts, flax and chia seeds, ginger, and turmeric) won’t be tasted. Use flavorful fruits like berries, pineapple, or peaches that have natural sweetness – and use only mild-tasting greens such as spinach when beginning your smoothie indoctrination.

After your family gets more accepting, you can then sneak in higher amounts of greens and other super-food ingredients (broccoli bits, a cabbage chunk, sprouts, bee pollen, and ginger, for instance).

And package it attractively—a straw and a wedge of fruit attached to the glass rim will give the whole thing a special flair.

And along with how you serve it goes the when you serve it decision. GSG says her family does better when it’s part of breakfast or as an afternoon snack. I tried including my best green smoothie concoction as part of dinner once. That went over like a ton of bricks.

I’ll close with three things: 1) my encouragement to keep trying. Green smoothie-drinking is a powerful health-changing habit that everyone ought to embrace. Don’t give up. 2) A last-minute gift suggestion—collect favorite smoothie recipes and compile them into a booklet for all the smoothie-lovers in your world. And 3), to help you continue the campaign, here are two of GSG’s best smoothie recipes (favorites at our house):


2 cups spinach

2 cups unsweetened almond or coconut milk

1 cup raw coconut

1 1/2 cups fresh or frozen pineapple

Filtered water (to achieve desired smoothie thickness)

Place all ingredients into a high powered blender; blend until smooth.

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2 cups filtered water

1 cup cut up rhubarb

1 cup frozen raspberries

1 cup frozen blueberries

1/2 apple (with peel)

1/2 pear (with peel)

1 handful spinach or red Swiss chard

1 teaspoon pure maple syrup (for sweetening, if desired)

Place all ingredients into a high powered blender and blend until smooth. Add additional water if the mixture is too thick. NOTE: Fresh berries are also exceptional in this.

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    Alice Osborne
    Weekly Newsletter Contributor since 2006
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