Juicing and smoothies have become part of the daily routine for many Americans. In fact, as of 2013, the market was valued at about $23 billion, and best-selling author, nutritionist, and certified weight loss expert JJ Smith has most definitely successfully tapped into this market.
Her first book, 10-Day Green Smoothie Cleanse, was a #1 New York Times bestselling book, having sold well over three-quarters of a million copies. That book has been published in 21 countries and now Smith has released a new guide, Green Smoothies for Life: 30 Days to Quick and Lasting Weight Loss, which provides 21 ways to detox to accelerate weight loss.
In the process of building her brand, Smth has attracted a major following, especially on social media. According to Smith, her passion is to educate others and share with her followers the natural remedies to stay slim, restore health, and look and feel younger.
Smith received her certification as a Weight-Management Specialist from the National Exercise and Sports Trainers Association (NESTA), and she is also a member of the American Nutrition Association (ANA). She holds a B.A. in Mathematics from Hampton University in Virginia, and continued her education by completing The Wharton Business School Executive Management Certificate program. Besides her fitness career, Smith is also an IT exec; she currently serves as Vice President and Partner in an IT Consulting firm, Intact Technology, Inc. in Greenbelt, Maryland.
But speaking of her fitness/wellness brand, never call what Smith promotes “juicing.” As she told us, “We don’t ‘juice’ only ‘blend’. And we don’t recommend juicing for this reason: Green Smoothies contain whole foods with loads of fiber. In juicing, the pulp is discarded and you lose essential fiber. But fiber is critical for slowing the passage of food through the stomach and it keeps sugars from getting into the bloodstream too quickly. This helps regulate blood sugar and aids in weight control. Consuming greens in your smoothies helps to balance blood sugar, and the high fiber content of greens helps slow carbohydrate digestion. Therefore, we only recommend, blending and not juicing.”
Read on for more insight from Smith on the benefits of smoothies and how she is building her business.
MadameNoire (MN): Why did you decide to write the new book?
JJ Smith (JJS): A few years ago, after years of clean, healthy eating and detoxing, I was bedridden with mercury poisoning from my silver dental fillings! I had high levels of mercury in my brain, gut, liver, and kidneys. I couldn’t get out of bed months. Health, energy, and motivation were at an all-time low.
After learning how raw greens can heal the body, I created the 10-Day Green Smoothie Cleanse. Fast-forward to today, 2 million pounds have been lost on the green smoothie cleanse, which I codified into a book, the #1 New York Times bestseller The 10-Day Green Smoothie Cleanse. The book’s techniques are so successful and the word of mouth about the diet so organic, the book has stayed on the New York Times bestseller list for more than fifty-two consecutive weeks, and we now have over 1 million followers/fans. Now, the number one question we get is: What do I do after the 10-day cleanse? And this book, Green Smoothie for Life, is the is the answer to that.
The 10-Day Green Smoothie Cleanse is a great way to detox and jump start weight loss; Green Smoothies for Life provides a 30-day meal plan and new recipes for hot meals, desserts, and of course, green smoothies. It is a long-term eating plan that you can truly maintain for life.
MN: What new info is included in this book?
JJS: Green Smoothies for Life introduces a brand new thirty-day meal plan and the corresponding shopping lists with over 30 recipes for healthy dinners, desserts, and snacks, with beautiful photos. It includes 21 effective methods to detox which helps accelerate fat burning in the body. It includes information on my permanent weight loss system, DHEMM (Detox, Hormonal Balance, Eat, Move, and Mental Mastery) and testimonials from dieters who’ve changed their approach to not just food but also life, by following my weight loss advice.
MN: What are the benefits of green smoothies?
JJS: Green smoothies have numerous but here are my top 4:
1. Weight loss. If you are trying to lose weight, you will be pleasantly surprised to learn that green smoothies are an excellent way to do so. They have a high water content and are filled with green leafy veggies, which you can eat in abundance and still not gain weight. They also have a high fiber content that will help you stay full and reduce cravings.
2. Detoxification. Our body naturally tries to eliminate toxins, but overexposure to any of them will slow down the body’s detoxification systems. The reality is that you can assist the body in detoxifying and eliminating toxins that cause weight gain and harm your health. You can and should detoxify and cleanse the body if you want to live better and live longer. After your body utilizes nutrients from the food you eat, it must dispose of the unused food particles and waste produced by the digestive process. Without proper and complete elimination, undigested food can back up and leave toxins and waste in your body. But thanks to green smoothies, you can get the fiber you need to cleanse your body, tone your digestive system, and eliminate toxins.
3. Vibrant, radiant health. A healthy body is vibrant, full of energy and life! I believe that natural, healthy eating is the secret to inner and outer beauty. When you eat natural, raw foods, you simply look and feel better and younger. Once you eat in a manner that keeps your cells clean and healthy, you will begin to look radiant, despite your age. Human beings are designed to eat a diet primarily made up of fruits, vegetables, seeds, and nuts. With these types of natural, healthy foods, our bodies flourish and receive all of the necessary nutrients to keep our bodies toxin-free and looking our most beautiful. When you start drinking green smoothies, one of the first places where you’ll see changes is in the quality of your skin. Healthy eating and living will remove years from your face, eliminate wrinkles, fade age spots, and give you a “second youth.” Your skin will become supple, and acne will clear up. Your eyes will become brighter and begin to sparkle. The dark circles and puffiness will diminish as will the yellowness in the whites of your eyes. On the inside of your body, your cells will become rejuvenated as well, causing your organs to function more efficiently.
4. Improved digestion. Today’s standard American diet (SAD) has created numerous digestive issues such as heartburn, acid reflux, colitis, Crohn’s disease, and irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), just to name a few. The root of most digestive issues is low production of hydrochloric acid in the stomach. If enough stomach acid isn’t produced during digestion, much of the food we eat goes through the digestive tract largely
MN: I have seen some fitness experts saying there are downsides to juicing. If so, what are they?
JJS: There are downsides to juicing (because all the pulp and fiber are discarded), but there are no downsides to drinking green smoothies. Smoothies contain whole foods with loads of fiber, which is critical for slowing the passage of food through the stomach and it keeps sugars from getting into the bloodstream too quickly. This helps regulate blood sugar and aids in weight control. Consuming greens in your smoothies helps to balance blood sugar, and the high fiber content of greens helps slow carbohydrate digestion.
They are high in protein which is something not many people know. Green smoothies that consist of 40 percent greens are a great source of protein. Greens provide protein in the form of amino acids, the building blocks of protein. These are easier for the body to utilize than complex proteins like those found in meats and other animal products. Greens supply ample amounts of amino acids, which provide us with all the protein we need.
MN: Can you give some tips on how to blend the right way?
JJS: One of the most important factors for blending creamy green smoothies is to use a high-speed blender, of at least 1000 watts. Then you should only have to blend for 30 seconds to one minute until your smoothie is creamy and smooth. If the smoothie is not blended well and is chunky, it won’t taste good and you won’t enjoy it. However, if you have a regular blender, then plan on doubling the blending time to one to two minutes.
MN: What are three things people are doing wrong when it comes to (blending)
1. They don’t chew their smoothies. Try to go through the chewing motion as much as possible, as the saliva in your mouth starts the digestive process. So, in as much as you can remember, try “chewing” your smoothie. This will also help minimize gas and bloating.
2.They don’t remove the stems from the greens. This is to avoid the green smoothie being too bitter. Many greens such as kale, collards, etc., come packaged without the stems, but if not, be sure to destem the stalks from all green veggies, as they alter the taste quite a bit. I like to buy my greens already destemmed;
3. They don’t use ripe fruit. Ripe fruit is more digestible because of the live enzymes in it. If you buy it less than ripe, allow it to get ripe before you use it in the blender. Otherwise, it could be difficult to digest and cause bloating and gas.
MN: Can you give us a few tips on how to get healthier in the new year?
JJS: Here are some specific tips that will ensure you have success if you truly want to lose weight this new year.
–Don’t Drink Your Calories: Reduce sugary juices and sodas and focus on drinking more water or green tea, which helps boost your metabolism and your energy levels. Green tea is simply awesome for weight loss.
–Avoid Stress and Drama: High stress causes belly fat and poor health. Get some rest and relaxation and you may even need to “detox” from family and friends who cause you unnecessary stress and drama in your life. People who belittle you and make you feel unworthy should get very little of your time.
–Let Fast Food Be Good Food: I know you’re going to be busy and may find yourself at a fast food restaurant. But if you do go there, get the healthier options such as oatmeal for breakfast or salads for lunch/dinner. Weight loss happens one meal at a time.
MN: What has been the biggest challenge in maintaining the fitness movement you have created?
JJS: The growth of the Facebook groups and fan page has been extraordinary. The biggest challenge is supporting 1.2 Million fans and 400,000 folks actively doing the 10-day green smoothie cleanse every day. We get over 1,000 questions a day and it takes a lot of effort to maintain the level of support I feel that people need to be successful on their weight loss journey. So, I’ve added several Ambassadors to help me out throughout the day and night.
MN: What are some of your goals for 2017?
JJS: One of the primary goals is to help women lose the weight, but not the curves so I will continue to dedicate my life to helping women achieve the dream weight. I also plan to start an HBCU Road Tour to help the younger generation of African-American women focus on their health and wealth as they plan their future career and lives; that will begin in Spring 2017.
MN: What has been your biggest business lesson since the publication of the first book?
JJS: My biggest business lesson is to be authentic and pursue your passion. Even when I was a VP in a Fortune 500 company, I begin writing books on health and nutrition because I was passionate about helping people take back control of their health and weight. I knew my current job wasn’t my last job and I always moved my life towards my passion so I could live the life of my dreams. Living in purpose and passion makes you jump out of bed each morning with excitement!