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Eat Well Aug. 5. 2014

Beauty Green Smoothie

Aug. 5. 2014
McKel Hill, MS, RDN, LDN

McKel Hill, MS, RDN, LDN


A thick, creamy green smoothie loaded with healthy fats, protein, and nutrients important for overall skin health.

Introducing the Beauty Green Smoothie, a new tool to add to your skincare routine! This smoothie is loaded with vitamins, minerals, phytonutrients, antioxidants, specifically those I target for great skin, hair, and nail health in my daily routine and also for my clients. Not only are you nourishing your skin on a cellular level with this smoothie, but it’s also simple to make and tastes amazing!

The Beauty Green Smoothie contains strawberries, acai, spinach, coconut oil, chia seeds, and more whole food ingredients perfect for radiant skin. It’s rich in vitamins C, A, K, zinc, iron, protein, fiber, and healthy fats. The mixture of greens, sweet fruits, and healthy fats make this smoothie really creamy and completely satisfying- it can easily become a meal by adding a bit extra healthy fats or protein to the mix as I share below.

Beauty comes from within

This is such a true statement on many levels, but for the topic of today external beauty truly does start from within. What we put in our bodies (and on top of our skin), impacts the way our skin is. Whether it be dry, oily, aging quicker than you’d like, or glowing, soft and smooth; our lifestyle impacts our skin. This smoothie isn’t just for those of you interested in anti-aging or fighting the free radical damage that comes with the territory of daily living, but for anyone who has suffered from skin issues, rashes, or if you’re after that natural “glow”.

Fun fact

Researchers found that those who consume vitamin A rich foods, beta-carotene in particular, were found more attractive. Can you guess why? The natural “glow” many consumers of vitamin A rich foods experienced, literally made their skin glow with a natural golden hue from the beta-carotene.


This smoothie contains essential vitamins, minerals, and other nutrients vital for healthy skin and works on a cellular level providing your cells with nourishment. Take vitamin C for example, found in the acai, spinach, and strawberries, all are loaded with vitamin C which is important for the production of collagen, maintaining skin integrity, and fighting damaging aging free radicals. Carrots and spinach are both high in vitamin A, which plays an important role in skin, hair, and nail health for it’s antioxidant and anti-inflammatory benefits.

The acai, chia seeds, and coconut oil all contain healthy fats which are vital for healthy hormonal production which leads to healthy hair, skin, and nails as well. Chia seeds, in particular, have omega-3 fatty acids alongside protein, iron, zinc, calcium and provides a feeling of fullness after eating due to their unique “gel-like” fiber structure (read more about chia here). I love adding in pumpkin seeds and brown rice protein both for protein and giving the smoothie a bit more substance- it’s also a great way to help stabilize blood sugars when it’s mixed with carbohydrates, a win win! Pumpkin seeds are high in zinc, which is often overlooked when it comes to beauty and it shouldn’t be! It’s incredibly important for thousands of functions in the human body, but especially with healthy metabolism, thyroid, hormonal, and you guess it, hair and skin health. Many practitioners actually supplement patients who suffer from acne with zinc (although always check with your MD first, this isn’t for everyone).


After a long day of working and shooting, sometimes it feels so good just to make a quick smoothie and relax. I love making this with a little extra dates or fruit to make it sweet as a dessert smoothie. If all of these powerful nutrients don’t convince you to add this smoothie to your beauty routine, I don’t know what will! I’ve been getting so many emails requesting foods and recipes specifically for improving skin, it was perfect timing to share with you all this beloved smoothie of mine. Enjoy this for breakfast, as a snack, or even for dessert. It’s great with added ice or even half frozen pear or banana to give it a bit more carbohydrate and calorie content- as always adjust it to your goals and needs.


I hope you all love this one as much as I do, be sure to show me your creations on Instagram: #Nutritionstripped

Something else you might love // an in-depth guide on which foods are absolutely best for your skin, hair and nails; be sure to check out my downloadable tip sheet: Beauty Foods List. Of course, drinking 1 smoothie isn’t going to improve your skin radically, it’s about so many other factors in your lifestyle as well. If you suffer from serious skin issues, it may be time to take a deeper look into your lifestyle and nutrition and come up with a plan to support healthy hormone production and skin health. I’d be happy to chat with you, make a reservation today for the Beauty & Skin Food Consultation.

xx McKel

The Recipe

Serves 1



1 cup coconut milk

2 handfuls organic spinach

1/2 cup strawberries, frozen or fresh

1/2 cup blueberries, frozen or fresh

1/2 cup organic carrots, fresh

2-3 dates, pitted

1 tablespoon spirulina

2 tablespoons raw cacao powder

2 tablespoons chia seeds

1 tablespoon pumpkin seeds

1 teaspoon maca

1 scoop sprouted rice protein powder

1 packet frozen acai pulp (or use 1 tablespoon acai powder)

1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

dash of cinnamon


Simply add all the ingredients to a high-speed blender and blend until smooth. If you’re using a traditional blender, I recommend adding the liquid and carrot first since the carrot is the hardest to blend, followed by the remaining ingredients.

Adjust dates for sweetness.

May add ice to chill further.

Serve immediately and enjoy chilled!

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Did you try it out?

Share Your Thoughts & Images

  • When I saw the wine glass, I got really excited that you made a wine smoothie. I’m still pretty excited about this recipe though!

    • Carey

      Well, you could always put the smoothie in a wine glass to make it “extra” special, haha 🙂

  • So much nutritional goodness going on here – I love it! Can’t wait to give this one a try.

  • Stephanie

    I just made this for breakfast! I can feel my skin glowing already!

  • What a beautiful color! I’ve never had maca before but I definitely want to try it now.

    • THank you so much Sarah- it’s great. The spirulina is what makes this vibrant green 🙂

  • Carey

    Hi McKel!
    I’m new to your website (love it, by the way!). Quick question – as a plant based nutritionist, I’m sure you’ve heard the controversy surrounding smoothies and that it is comparable to drinking a glass of pure sugar. Obviously, you promote drinking smoothies, but I was wondering if you could elaborate a bit about this misconception and what is the best way to get the maximum amount of nutrition from smoothies.


    • Hi Carey, great questions! Check out my smoothies 101 post and my Stripped Green Smoothie post for some of those answers. In a nutshell, smoothies can be a fantastic addition to your diet — if made correctly!

      • Carey

        Thank you so much! I will be sure to reference those articles 🙂

  • Misty

    Can you do a post about probiotics/kefir for us dairy free people? Should I be supplementing? I so with what?! Thank you!

    • Jacqui

      Hi there
      I love your site and especially your smoothies. I have one every morning. I do have a question about this one-isn’t this a lot of calories even for breakfast-or not. I wonder-what do you think is the right range for a breakfast smoothie as a morning meal. I know it will vary depending on activity level and goals. I don’t need to gain or lose-just want to be healthy and full until lunch!

      I also read on another site that protein powders are only good if you want to bulk up and if not it’s better to get your protein from natural sources. What do you think.

      I really appreciate you taking the time to respond

      • Hi Jacqui, first check out my blog on “guide to protein powders” in the nutrition topics section where I discuss protein powders. If you’re watching your calories simply adjust the amounts of the ingredients. I’m not, nor should you be, afraid of calories! If you have specific fat/weight loss goals that’s a different story, and feel free to chat with me privately about that.

  • Maja Popov

    Wau! This smoothie is one of the best I’ve ever had! All the flavours work so well together, the carrot, berries, coconut,… the cacao flavours is amazing (my 2 tablespoons were heaping 🙂 )!

    Thank you for sharing this delicious recipe!

  • This smoothie looks delicious! I love all of the amazing ingredients…I will definitely be trying this in the next few days! 🙂

  • McKel, what are your thoughts on protein powders? I’ve always been a bit of a skeptic, especially since reading this article: http://www.mindbodygreen.com/0-11371/why-you-really-shouldnt-use-protein-powders.html
    It’s particularly hard to distinguish between which information is ‘right’ in the nutrition/health world, even though articles provide studies and use science to back their claim. What do you think?
    *PS I am studying to become a dietitian (applying to the program in January!), and I SO admire you and your work, thank you! 🙂

    • Hi Naomi,
      Check out my guide to protein supplements, I detail my thoughts on protein powders, my favorites and what to look for. Thank you for all your support and kind words- it’s amazing!

  • I love green smoothies!! I have one almost every morning.
    I always add spirulina and chia seeds as well, but I’ve never tried coconut milk! Looks really good!

    {Teffy’s Perks} X

  • Tracy

    Do you happen to know approximately how many calories this smoothie is? I imported it into a calorie tracking app and it came out to likr 430 calories, just wondering ifnthat is accurate. It seemed a bit high to me, but then again this is a meal.

  • Becca

    Hi McKel,

    I was wondering what kind of coconut milk to you use? Thanks!

  • Kate

    UM. This is effing delicious! I usually don’t like spirulina in smoothies because I just plain hate the taste, and nothing seems to disguise it. The cacao/vanilla/cinnamon definitely disguises it! So awesome!

    • McKel Hill

      So glad you enjoyed it Kate! xxM

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