Cooking With Confidence
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Economical, Healthy, Quick and Easy, The Drink, Vegetarian

The Mean Green Juice

by Nick

Last weekend I watched a documentary that has been on my list for a while called Fat Sick and Nearly Dead. It’s about an Australian who comes to America and does a road trip across the country while doing a 60 day juice fast.

It sounds crazy, but it’s a pretty well-done documentary and does a great job of educating on basic nutrition.

The guy also loses what is, scientifically speaking, a butt-load of weight.

One of the juices that he keeps referring two throughout the movie is called the Mean Green Juice. Even though I don’t have a juicer, I wanted to make it so I figured out how to do it in a normal blender.

I found it really refreshing and delicious actually!

Yield
Serves 1-2.
Prep Time
Total Time

Just a moment please...

Print Recipe Mean Green Juice

Ingredients

  • 6-8 leaves kale
  • 2 green apples
  • 1 cucumber, peeled
  • 2-3 stalks celery
  • 1/2 lemon (no peel)
  • 2 inches fresh ginger
  • 1 cup water

Helpful Equipment

Directions

1) Peel the cucumber and roughly dice it.

2) Optionally peel apples and cut them into pieces. Cut out core of apple.

3) Add apple and kale to a blender with water. Pulse a few times.

4) Scoop out half a lemon and add the whole thing to the blender along with cucumber, chopped celery, and ginger.

5) Blend until smooth.

6) Serve immediately or chill for later.

From the movie Fat Sick and Nearly Dead.

Quick Movie Review

I liked a lot of things about this movie.

First, it’s fun and entertaining. The guy drives across America and basically just walks up to people and says, “Hey buddy, you’re looking a bit fat. Why do you think that is? Want to drink some juice with me?”

He doesn’t get punched in the face because A) He’s Australian so people like his accent and B) he is also fat so it’s cool.

Second, the documentary does a fantastic job of sneaking in nutrition. It has some fun animations and breaks stuff down easily. It would actually be fantastic to show teenagers to give them a quick dose of why food is important.

Third, it isn’t too preachy. The guy running the show, Joe Cross, doesn’t claim to have all the answers. He has tried a ton of diets over the years and this is the way that finally clicked for him.

To me, the most moving part of the story wasn’t actually Joe’s journey, but who he met along the way. Most importantly, a truck driver in Arizona named Phil who weighs in at a hefty 429 pounds. Phil adopts Joe’s philosophy and the whole second part of the documentary shifts from Joe’s journey to Phil’s journey.

Beyond showing the depressing state of food in our country, the movie is just entertaining and inspirational. I highly recommend it.

Let’s Talk Juice

Joe likes to juice. For his road trip, he carries around a juicer in the back of his car and makes all kinds of fun juices for people. He lives off of nothing but fresh juice for 60 days.

Some people in the movie thought that this was extreme, but I really don’t think it’s that extreme. It’s basically just a raw diet without meat or refined carbs of any sort.

You can easily get all your nutritional needs from a diet like that which is why most people can do it for a long time without issue. You should still probably check with your doc though before trying it if you are so inclined.

Me? I have no desire to drink only juice for 60 days, 10 days, or even one day.

But I did want to try one recipe from the movie: The mean green juice.  Here are the basics.

fresh stuff

That kale is from my garden!

Now, if you are lucky enough to have a juicer, you can just toss all this stuff in there and bam. DONE.

If you are like me, and only have a blender, you’ll have to do a bit more work, but it isn’t bad.

For starters, you’ll want to add some water to the blender just to get the blending started. You’ll also want to dice up the stuff into small chunks to make it easier to blend.

kale

I wasn’t sure this would work…

I blended the kale, apples, and water together for a few pulses and then added all the other stuff.

Without a doubt, my favorite ingredient is the ginger. Don’t skimp on it! It makes the final juice spicy and wonderful.

For the lemon, you can just take a spoon and scoop out the whole half of a lemon and toss it in.

veg

One packed blender.

Then just flip your blender on and let it run until everything is a nice smooth consistency.

You might have to give it a few stirs to get everything mixed in, but once it gets going, it turns out to be a great consistency.

I was actually going to strain my juice because I wasn’t sure how all the pulp would taste, but after a few sips, I ended up not doing that.

It was delicious as is!

green

Green!

This recipe makes a full blender pitcher of mean green juice (about 4-5 cups).

If you wanted to have this for breakfast, it would be a perfect amount for two people.

For me, I drank the whole thing for lunch one day. It was really tasty — light and fresh.

It also was completely filling. I had no desire to snack in the afternoon and was full until dinner time. I also feel like my energy levels were pretty high in the afternoon.

juice

Really filling.

Am I going to do a juice fast anytime soon? Probably not.

But I do think I’ll start having one of these for lunch occasionally. In the health department, this is pretty hard to beat and it ended up tasting way better than I thought it was going to!

Check out the movie or, even better, sip on some mean green juice while you watch it!

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47 comments on “The Mean Green Juice

  1. Since you blended this drink, I’d say it’s a smoothie instead of a juice. This is probably why you thought it was filling. The problem with a 60 day juice fast, is the lack of fiber and ‘bulk’ from the produce… Other than that, I’d agree with you that he was essentially eating a raw food diet. Now, a 60 day smoothie fast? I’d be all over that!

    1. Yea. I guess that’s technically the difference. I always considered smoothies to be cold but maybe that’s not right. Anyway, you could definitely pass the mixture through a sieve and get juice, but the pulp didn’t really bother me. I kind of liked the thickness of it. Thanks!

      1. I am an avid smoothie lover and yes I agree that I like them cold. I either use mostly frozen fruit (sometimes I buy it frozen and sometimes I freeze them myself) or use ice in them. It seems to go down easier when it’s cold. LOL I don’t mind the thickness either because it’s more filling and I add protein powder and it becomes breakfast! I’ll have to try this one for sure. Thanks for posting!

      2. The point of juicing is to keep the fiber out of your digestive track–to give it a break and to let your body use that energy to heal and reboot. So a smoothie does not compare to a juice in this fasting sense.

  2. I recently watched this documentary too and I loved it! Really inspirational. I don’t have a juicer and that kept me from trying the Mean Green, but since you did it with a blender I guess I have no excuses now. :) I don’t know that I’d ever do a juice fast, but the nutrition principles underlying the fast can be applied to your diet no matter where you want to start. That’s what I liked most about the film. I’ll have to report back on how my version of the Mean Green turns out! :)

  3. I don’t want to be one of those people who only comments with some picky correction, but I’ve commented many times before and usually its all praise, so I’m going to break my general rule. You said “Some people in the movie thought that this was extreme, but I really don’t think it’s that extreme. It’s basically just a raw diet without meat or carbs of any sort.” The only thing I was going to say is, I think you mean no refined carbs. Fruit and veggies both contain carbohydrates. No huge deal, but I just wanted to point it out in case a reader relied on the statement and thought that a juice diet was without carbs. I do want to try this. Thank you for making it without a juicer–it makes it more accessible. Meg@ourwaytoeat.com

  4. I’ve been minorly-preaching about this film for six months or so. Some people bite, and most don’t ; (

    But best of all, my husband did. He’s had chronic hives (as did Joe Cross) and thought maybe this would help him (as it did Joe Cross). Whaddya know … he’s been juicing (not fasting, but having at least two a day) for a while now, and after two weeks he saw huge improvement in his condition. At this point (about three+ months in) he has virtually no hives at all ever. Yee-hah!!!

    We had some money back then and did buy the juicer (Omega over Breville; it’s better, quieter, and with a 10-yr warranty) and couldn’t be more pleased. Hope your post spreads the news even wider!

    1. Really? That’s awesome. I have them too. I keep trying to do it, but can’t get past a day. I’ve been doing a lot of just veggies as much as possible.

      Some of the juices almost seem to flare me up, so I was looking around for something more just veggie based for a beginner.

  5. I thought this was a really interesting post. I didn’t make it through the movie (through no fault of its own; I work nights and frequently sleep during any movie that isn’t both masterful and exciting,) but what I saw of it did seem extreme. While I still don’t think that I would ever fast on juice simply because I love food too much, it seems much more rational now. My mother-in-law drinks juice every day, and preaches its benefit to everyone who will listen. I will have to give this a try.

  6. Okay, I admit it–I’m a carnivore!! Gotta have my meat. Well, I do like most fruit and veggies too. But I do love me some meat. I’m one of those people who think 60 days of only juice seems very extreme. That being said, this really does intrigue me. I need to lose 100 pounds (another extreme). I’m thinking that this might be something I could add into a weight loss program (along with some meat :-). I have a wonderful blender and also a great food processor so seeing you do this in a blender has helped. This recipe looks like it might half easily and I bet doing the whole recipe and saving half for later might not be good. Would it separate? Nick, I want to thank you very much for posting this. I used to read a lot of food blogs, that is, until I found yours. You cook great food and are adventurous in that cooking. Thanks for giving me new tools.
    Pamela

    1. Hey Pamela, you can definitely make a large batch and save it for later. Just stir it up if it separates.

      Thanks for reading :)

  7. I do have a juicer, but I think your way is better. I always feel guilty throwing away all the let over pulp.

    1. Marilyn, i have heard of people using the leftover pulp in other foods, like pasta sauces, soups, or breads ( ala zucchini). that might work for you

  8. I stopped at our little local market that NEVER has anything on my list. Not ever sure why I shop there any more. I turned around and guess what? KALE! They never have kale. They even had…wait for it…ginger!! So I tried to remember what else was in this recipe and went for it. I just read the recipe and I was able to remember everything. I’m making this green juice for dinner. Wish me luck.
    Pamela

  9. I’ve been doing smoothies (Vitamix) for over a year as a veggie/fruit supplement to my diet. I recently watched Fat, Sick and nearly Dead and decided to try juicing also. I purchased a masticating (auger type) juicer as I juice leafy greens more. I use the basic recipe from the movie. It has a lot of good stuff in it and I switch the greens between using spinach, kale & Romaine lettuce.

    My diet always included a vegetarian diet of about 70%, some fish, chicken and eggs, no beef. I do feel better and don’t have acid reflux. I also had achy joints (I’m 65) and that seems to be better also. I always tried to eat right and with being over 60, I am not on ant medication and want it to stay that way. Now the challenge is to try and get DW eating healthier.

  10. After incorporating this “smoothie”, were you able
    to lose weight and/or notice any other differences
    in your life ?
    I have tried a green/sweet fruit smoothie that tastes great
    but I end up more hungry the days I drink it.
    Another question. Do you think the “smoothie” version with
    pulp is as effective as “juicing” ? Thanks.

  11. You don’t have to go “juice only” the way Joe did it. You can have wild fish, grass-fed beef, and/or range-free organic chicken. Add offal and kelp once a week and you’ll essentially be on the “Wahl’s Protocol.” Look up Dr. Terry Wahl’s — her story is amazing. She _reversed_ stage 2 progressive MS with this protocol.

    But really, it’s nothing new. Our closest relatives, the chimpanzees and gorillas, eat a diet mostly of greens and occasionally meat.

    Focus on the rich nutrition of dark green leafy vegetables (no grains, little or no dairy) and you can’t help but feel better.

  12. I loved this movie and have told many people about it. I love that you kept the pulp in yours since that fiber will keep you full, slow down any glucose spikes, and make it more feasible since juicers are a pain to clean and mine is loaned out.

    It was sad how many Americans know how deadly their eating habits are, yet have no desire to even try to change. They don’t want to incorporate more fruits and vegetables, nuts, seeds, or cut portions of meat, fat, sugars. Yes, our charming Aussie went cold turkey but if we could just get one pint of this Mean Green into everyone’s belly, every day, maybe they’d eat less junk.

    Will Swiss chard work as well as kale? I have it growing in my yard.

  13. I would love to know can you make the recipe in large batches and freeze in individual servings. I work 3 jobs but definitely want to try the 60 days juice only, then incorporate some organic foods later and fish and chicken

    1. Hey Theresa,

      I think it would freeze fine. I’m not sure what the thaw time would be… I would guess that if you moved a serving from freezer to fridge the night before, it would probably thaw out.

      Good luck!

  14. I tried this recipe for 2 reasons: I saw “Fat, Sick & Nearly Dead” and was very inspired, but decided to go with a VitaMix instead of a juicer for various reasons.
    Well, long story short, the flavor was way too intense in an off-putting sort of way, even after I strained it and put it in the fridge for a few hours to let it get cold.
    So this morning I put a cup and a half of it along with a peeled asian pear and went for it. The results are drinkable, but I will have to get used to it. I’m not ready to give up yet, and will modify it a bit for my tastes with less kale, add some romaine, maybe spinich, and sweeter apples. Oh, and not quite so much ginger.
    But thanks for giving me a place to start – I guess 49 years of eating cr*p has crippled my taste buds a bit!

    1. Hey Kathi, good luck! Yea… I definitely see this sort of thing as a starting point. You should absolutely customize it to your liking.

  15. Today is day 1 of my juice fast. I’ll be doing the mean green recipe for 20 days hopefully. I’ll vary the recipe with different fruits for dinners but other than that this is what i’ll be consuming for 20 days. I’m a 32 years old and 185 lb 6’2 guy and i’m just doing it as a cleanse and to lose some stomach fat and love handles i’ve gained from eating rich foods and from beer I got. I saw a picture of me when I was 18 and my abs were ridiculous. Where are they now? Oh under my fat. My goal is to take another picture like that.

    1. Hi, just wondering how is the kale green juice going. Have you stuck to it, and do you get hungry

  16. Hello from Canada !! i’m about to start it today and I was wondering why you have to strain it? ( i know you didn’t but…) What does the pulp do to a persons body that people are saying you have to get rid of it? Wouldn’t it make you lose the weight faster? =S I’m so confused !!!

    1. Hey Jess, I have no idea! I never did the juicer thing actually so I’m not sure on the straining. I think a lot of juices come built-in with a strainer, but I wouldn’t worry about straining it. I didn’t and it was fine…

    2. Pulp has fiber in it. The point of the juice cleanse is to rid your body of solids/metals/toxins. To have your body using just the juice as it’s source of nutrients. Which is the holy grail.

    1. Hey Milly, I’m not a juicing expert honestly. I don’t see why you couldn’t change it up though. I just got this basic recipe from the movie.

    1. Milly, go to rebootwithjoe.com – this is Joe Cross’ website, all about his documentary, doing a juice reboot, his life since, and tons of recipes.

  17. I will be starting my juicing using this recipe this friday as I am getting my juicer (Breville Elite) as a birthday gift on thursday from my daughter (ty Lindsay)… I never ate veggies as a kid but for the past 10 years, I crave them . I want to do it for nutritional and weight loss. At 58 I am about 10 lbs over weight, just from this winter, picking on things that I should not be and I guess my metabolism has changed, where I hardly ever put weight on but now I am determinded to get fit and stop smoking too…I do not own a weight scale, never have but I know when I feel good and can see when the weight comes off, will check in here for inspiration, loved all the posts above, keep posting..

    I have been for the past 2 mths been making a smoothie every morning, using Greek Yogurt/1 banana/8 frozen strawberries/1 1/2 cup frozen blueberries and I put it in my Wolf Gang Puck processor, oh my gosh, it is out of this world..Not only is it delicious but it keeps you regular, :-)

  18. Just watched the documentary myself and was totally inspired! I bought a juicer (breville fountain crush) anyone using it? Any thoughts on it-?was thinking about the Vitamix too, but totally different result. Any thoughts are welcomed! Thx!

  19. Hi I did about of over a pint of a green smoothie with kale etc and for 4 days solid constant chronic gut pains and diarrhea. Have any of you guys had the same problems?

    Bob

    1. Hmm… not sure on that Bob. I definitely haven’t had that issue. Blended veggies really shouldn’t cause that unless you are allergic to something or they have some sort of bacteria on them. I would see a doctor if it continues… Good luck.

  20. I watched the film last year and did try the fast in some form or another…I didn’t strictly juice, but had some fiber in my diet. I did lose some pounds (10), but gained some back over the year. Need to do a reboot. One thing that should be mentioned is that the whole point of juicing is to reboot your system. To do so, you do need to eliminate the pulp (fiber) initially from your fast, to allow your digestive system to just process the juice and no fiber. Once your body has been able to detox after a few days, you could begin incorporating the fiber back in slowly. I too was considering a blender to make smoothies, instead of just using my Breville, but further reading indicated that your body will not be able to reset itself if it still has to process the fiber. I like the idea that the blender uses all the fruits/vegetables without letting anything going to waste. Fine for the health benefit, but not so much if you’re attempting a pure juice fast.

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