The Myth of Moderation (and how it applies to smoothies and everything else in life)

‘Everything in moderation’ goes the saying.

And there’s wisdom in that.

But moderation can be a tricky thing.

There is this hidden danger that will make you trip and crumble down a slippery slope before you even know it.

Let me explain.

When it comes to our health, there are two extremes—one is chasing every new thing (diet, supplement, pill), which is exhausting, second—not doing anything, because, well, doing requires effort, and it’s exhausting.

The third approach—which most of us follow—is somewhere in between.

We are trying to keep everything ‘balanced’ and do things ‘in moderation.”

This, BTW, can still be exhausting—but also dangerous and because most people’s idea of what moderation or balance even are is skewed in modern society.

Because here is the thing…

Moderation in the wrong thing is still wrong.

Moderation in doing the right thing may not be enough to balance out the wrongs.

(Most people get this all wrong.)

So, trying to ‘balance’ the bad with good may not work.

And this applies not just to health.

How about damaging the natural world, depleting natural resources, cutting down the Amazon, waging wars, and other shenanigans we humans do far beyond moderation. How about moderation in beating children or endangering their future, or hurting animals?

In all of these cases, what would MODERATION even mean?

If you agree that hurting our planet and animals is wrong, and you want to ensure the best possible future for your kids (or even just yourself), then the idea of eating meat and dairy in any quantity is appalling.

In all of these cases the concept of moderation just doesn’t make sense.

Whenever possible and as much as possible, we should stop doing the ‘wrongs’ and focus on the ‘rights’, especially when they are easy, such as switching to a plant-exclusive diet.

But let’s pick something less dramatic, like soft drinks.

Just looking at portion sizes of various processed juices and beverages, trying to have them in moderation is still bad and should avoided as much as possible.

Even skipping the XXL size and going for a medium or small size is not ideal, as they both are loaded with processed sugar and other undesirable ingredients.

Of course, having a cola once or twice in a blue moon won’t kill you.

But when we have sugary food and drinks, the reward center in the brain lights up making it incredibly hard to stop eating. It’s not your lack of willpower, it’s science working against you.

So, it’s best to make it a habit to skip these thinks altogether, and just opt for water.

But what about smoothies?

Well, there are smoothies and there are smoothies, LOL.

Many smoothies sold in the stores are highly processed and loaded with sugar. If you’re trying to stay away from sugar and reduce calories, then it’s best to skip them altogether, or only have them occasionally.

And how are green smoothies different?

For starters, YOU make them, so YOU control their content.

When I started out, I put lots of sweet fruits into the mix, like bananas, peaches, and pineapple, while today I’m often opting for more savory tasting combinations, even adding ingredients like frozen cauliflower, zucchini, or beans—may sound like a CRAZY idea for smoothies.

So, if you insist on the concept of moderation—you may choose to add sweet ingredients to your green smoothies in moderation. And you may add nuts in moderation, as well, as they are quite high in calories.

But even if you make a smoothie that tastes sweet, the greens and other veggies, plus nuts, seeds (if you add them)—will provide your body with loads of healthy fats, fiber, vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, which slows down the absorption of sugar, plus they’ll satisfy your hunger AND your sweet tooth without being high in calories.

How is that for a winning combination? 🙂

And if you’re making savory smoothies, blended salads, or soups, the moderation principle takes care of itself — because you can’t overeat on those things.

Here is me throwing all moderation in the wind and over-eating on HUGE salad with broccoli and spinach.

Don’t try this at home with pizza or fries. LOL.

And be weary of everything that comes with a long list of ingredients that you won’t find in a farmer’s market and can’t even pronounce.

Most of the processed foods are literary engineered to taste good. I saw a documentary on how they do it — it was scary because those foods force you to overeat, and make you addicted — and it’s done with full knowledge, using science, ON PURPOSE, so no matter how much you’ve had, you can’t resist; you always want more.

This makes applying moderation to modern processed foods is virtually impossible and almost impossible to do a mere mortar without secret superpowers of self-control, restraint, and wisdom, LOL.

And applying moderation to animal foods is still hurting animals and the planet.

Your safest bet is sticking to whole, unprocessed plant foods as much as possible.

And green smoothies made from whole plant foods are just that.

Even if they are blended, they are still amazing for you.

So, just have them. As well as other whole plant foods.

Throwing the moderation out to wind 😉

Drink to your health,

P.S. You can find my Green Reset and other books on, or they’ll be soon available direct from my own Joanna’s shop that I’m building.

So, take care, and stay tuned! 

That one thing instantly sold me on green smoothies…(and it’s why I started

I could list many good reasons why green smoothies are good for you (find some of them in my books, “Green Smoothies for Families” and “Green Reset Challenge”).
But is it just hype?
There are people who don’t see what the fuss is all about.
Isn’t it enough to just “eat your veggies”?

It could be.
But how many greens and veggies have you eaten today? Or this year?
Admit it.

There are exceptions, of course, but statistics don’t lie.
And they reveal that an average person eats a meager quantity of vegetables, and almost no greens.

Now, I’m not implying that you’re an average person. By no means. 😉
But even people who THINK they eat a lot, DON’T REALLY CONSUME THAT MUCH.

Why does it matter?

Let me share my story about what green smoothies did for me.

I always liked fruits and vegetables, and I always ate a decent amount of whole plant foods. And thankfully, I never had serious health problems or with my weight.

Every fall, I’d get hit with flues, runny noses, colds, and allergies. They would last for 3-4 weeks, or even longer, not just a week or two like they’re supposed to.
It sucked.

So, each year I kept dreading the cold season—hated feeling sick with passion, and I wondered if there was anything I could do to change that.

That is when I heard of raw foods, and I thought maybe that could be the answer. So, I tried it, and I lasted a few months (lost 10+ pounds in the process), but eating this way was not easy. I knew this was not sustainable and I couldn’t last long on this kind of diet, especially having a family and a little son. My husband thought I went totally nuts (and bananas!). LOL. I’m laughing now, but believe me, it wasn’t funny.

Frankly, it felt very limiting and … boring.

And then I came across a woman named Victoria Butenko, who popularized a drink called a green smoothie.
It was simply a blended concoction of sweet fruits with lots of greens.
She had plenty of her followers raving about those drinks and what they did for them—getting rid of all kinds of pesky diseases and chronic problems, so I knew I had to try them.

And after one sip, I was sold.
Even my husband and my son loved them—so I started making them all the time, and in huge quantities.
I literally loaded big carts of greens and fruits at farmers’ markets and BJ’s to have a full week’s supply of ingredients.

You should see the look at some people’s faces when they saw me loading on bananas or lettuce! Priceless!

I awaited the fall and winter season with curiosity and apprehension.
If that didn’t work, I don’t know what would.

And you know what happened?

In September of that year, I started experiencing the worse flu symptoms EVER. (Especially bad was mucus coming out of me, like during the worst cold, sorry for graphic details. Honestly, to this day I keep wondering what that was about—and I have a few theories which I may share in the future).

So, that lasted till October. And then it stopped.

And since then—I have never had a bad cold ever again.

I maybe had a runny nose or a sore throat, but even that didn’t happen every year. And it would last only for a couple of days at most.

Now, was that all a coincidence?


Will it work for everyone?
Probably not. It depends on so many factors.
In medicine, a ‘study of one’ is irrelevant.
It’s coincidental, anecdotal, or whatever.

But when I started (at first, I called it, but that domain was way too long, and I came up with a better name), I heard such stories again and again.

So, are green smoothies like a magic potion?
Of course not. It’s not like you’ll gulp down a smoothie and be cured of anything in that instant.
But there is also no miracle drug or pill that would cure all diseases.

And if you have green smoothies (or green blended salads, or even just big salads) regularly, in substantial quantities, these things are as close as they get.

Plus, they also did another thing for me, but I’ll tell you about it in another post.

To your health,

P.S. You can read this article on my blog or you can sign up to have it delivered straight to your email. Plus, you can find my books at, which is a new thing that I’m building. 🙂

Is Mental Decline in your Future? The Importance of Taking Care of Your Brain and Body

My mom has dementia and may even have Alzheimer.

That is a scary thought that I keep confronting every time I see my mom, go with her to doctors, or even talk to her on the phone.

As it becomes clear that her problems are beyond just simple memory slips (who doesn’t have them?), or difficulties expressing herself when she speaks (I have that all the time, and so do many people who are healthy), difficulty finding stuff (now, where did I put that key?)—I search for reasons.

And I search for solutions.

But there’s this the terrifying thought that there is no cure for this.

Do you even know what is the statistics of dementia and Alzheimer’s in the US? I didn’t.  

According to the Alzheimer’s Association, more than 6 million Americans of all ages have Alzheimer’s. Additionally,11.3% of people aged 65 and older have Alzheimer’s dementia.  Worldwide, around 50 million people have dementia, and there are nearly 10 million new cases every year. In the United States, Alzheimer’s disease is currently ranked as the seventh leading cause of death and is the most common cause of dementia among older adults.

It’s estimated that about 50% of people age 85 and older have dementia. Approximately two out of three Americans experience some level of cognitive impairment at an average age of approximately 70 years. For dementia, lifetime risk for women (men) is 37% (24%) and mean age at onset 83 (79) years. Mar 31, 2020 (link to the source in the notes).


You may be too young to worry about that, but what about your parents, and grandparents? Your more mature friends?

Most of us want to live a long life, but if that is supposed to be my future—then I don’t know…

So, what do the doctors say about my mom? They don’t know for sure what it is yet, so they bombard her with all kinds of brain scans and evaluations—apparently diagnosing Alzheimer’s is based on symptoms and elimination of other possible causes.

But beyond that—they don’t offer much advice or hope.

So, I don’t know how it’s going to turn out for my her and what’s ahead of us. It may be too late for her to turn this around, and all we can do is try to slow it down.

But invariably when I read authors and doctors whom I trust it comes down to this—

Take care of your body. Take care of your brain. And they will take care of you.

Of course, in life anything can happen. I could die in a car crush tomorrow or get some debilitating disease I have no control over. And that is the bad news.

But the good news is that WE HAVE MORE CONTROL THAN WE THINK.


What does that mean?

Well, for example, do you have high blood sugar levels? High blood sugar is not just the cause of diabetes. It can cause heart disease, for example, and it can contribute to the development of dementia and Alzheimer’s.

The same with inflammation, inadequate nutrition (lack of omega 3s, vitamin B12, D, or other), toxins in your environment, lack of exercise, stress, constant sleep deprivation, etc. And yes, genes do play a role, but only to a certain extent.

And you may not have control over all of these factors.

So, what can we control?

What can we all do to make sure that we give ourselves the best possible shot at a healthy and long life?

Read the article “13 Things you Can do Keep Your Brain Sharp And Prevent Mental Decline (and a Whole Lot of Other Problems)”

13 Things you Can do Keep Your Brain Sharp And Prevent Mental Decline (and a Whole Lot of Other Problems)

Don’t roll your eyes at me for writing this, but thank me, instead!

And please read it and implement as many as you can.

Don’t just roll your eyes at “another healthy -lifestyle advice – who even reads this stuff??? And go on living your life as our culture conditions us to live. Which means eating too much of the wrong stuff, constantly worrying about all kinds of things that keep coming at us from all directions, being stressed during the day at your job, and at night—becoming a couch potato, binge watching one television series after another, ignoring your passions, only getting in touch with people through your phone.

(I know that’s probably not you, but most of us are guilty of many wrongdoings against our bodies.) 🙁

We all want to stay sharp, enjoy life to the fullest, and savor every moment. So, why not take action now? Trust me; this could be a game-changer for your life.

Do you want to sharp, enjoy life to the fullest, and savor every moment? I’m sure you do – so JUST DO IT, OKAY??

Trust me; this could be a game-changer for your life.

13 Things you can do to prevent mental decline (and a whole lot of other problems):

  1. Eat a healthy diet (of course!). This means eating foods rich with vitamins and antioxidants. Leafy greens, vegetables, mushrooms, nuts and seeds, fruits, beans, plant protein foods, such as tofu, whole grains (limited, if you’re trying to lose weight, plus, be cautious of gluten). (Notice that I don’t mention fish, and if you’re already plant-based or vegan—this is obvious for you, and if not, I will write another article about it as it may require more explanation.) And of course, green smoothies are great, so check out these 6 Recipes for Healthy Brain.
  2. Supplementing your diet with certain important nutrients is a must, in my opinion, and in the opinion of doctors, such as Dr. Joel Fuhrman. He recommends at minimum DHAs from clean, plant-based sources (i.e., algae, which BTW is where fish get them as well, so let’s stop depleting our oceans and eating sea creatures’ bodies that contain more toxins than we know). THIS IS SUPER IMPORTANT FOR VEGANS. Plus, vitamin B12, D, and maybe others.
  3. Get Moving (duh!): Regular exercise is a no-brainer (pun intended). Vigorous physical activity gets the blood pumping to your brain, improving oxygenation and overall brain function. Physical activity is good for your brain health because it improves blood flow, cognitive function, memory, and emotional balance. Physical activity can be any moderate-to-vigorous activity that gets your heart rate up and your sweat flowing. Aerobic exercises, such as running, jogging, biking, swimming, or dancing, are fantastic for your brain.  
  4. Live your life with purpose and passion. This is super important as it reduces stress and makes your life worth living. It makes me sad to watch my mom, who pretty much lacks those things, so she focuses on things that make her feel depressed, such as how old she is getting and her deteriorating mental health.
  5. Challenge yourself mentally. Keep your mind active by playing games, puzzles, and other types of brain training.
  6. Make a special effort to pay attention and concentrate.
  7. Get better organized to reduce the need to remember things.
  8. Socialize. Maintain meaningful relationships with people in the real world.
  9. Reduce stress. Learn and practice relaxation techniques, meditation, yoga, or other things.
  10. Get quality sleep.
  11. Stay away from drugs, alcohol, and smoking.
  12. Maintain healthy environment – this we may not be able to control, but, for example, all kinds of toxins, mold, pesticides, herbicides, etc. – we can try to avoid them as much as possible.
  13. Take care of problems before they arise or early on by testing yourself regularly. (If you want to learn which tests are good to have done, read the whole article here.)

So, there you go.

You may be disappointed. 

Just, same-o, same-o.

No new discoveries for miracle pills that you can gulp down and be on your way to doing what our culture conditions us to do—which is overeating the wrong things, constantly worrying about all kinds of things that keep coming at us from all directions, being stressed during the day at your day job, and at night—becoming a couch potato binge watching one television series after another, ignoring your passions, only getting in touch with people through your phone.   

Our culture has a knack for conditioning us to live in ways that aren’t always kind to our bodies and minds. But we don’t have to!

But, really, we need to be DEAD SERIOUS about this thing, or it will come back and hurt us in unimaginable ways.

Can you imagine yourself losing memory?

Not being able to express yourself?

Losing touch with the present?

Getting confused and scared?

Not being able to recognize your loved ones?

THIS STUFF really scares me even from a distance and it now becomes even more real as I watch what’s happening to my mom. (She is 80 years old right now and doesn’t have all these symptoms, but who knows what will happen in a year or two.)

Let me repeat the statistics: Almost two out of three Americans experience some level of cognitive impairment at an average age of approximately 70 years. For dementia, lifetime risk for women (men) is 37% (24%) and mean age at onset 83 (79) years. Mar 31, 2020. It’s estimated that about 50% of people age 85 and older have dementia. (Link to the source in the notes).

So, it’s always good to give yourself a reminder and a little nudge.

(Although if you need a good kick in the butt, I am just giving you one, remotely! Can you feel it?)

Till the next time,



I am not a doctor and don’t give medical advice, but some of the tests I’ve seen are being recommended and I’m planning to do most of them soon are:

  • Homocysteine
  • Hemoglobin A1c, Fasting Insulin
  • Lipid Panel: Total Cholesterol, HDL, Triglycerides, LDL, Cholesterol/HDL Ratio, Non-HDL Cholesterol
  • Complete Metabolic Panel: Albumin, A/G Ratio, ALT, AST, BUN/Creatinine Ratio, Calcium,
  • Creatinine, Globulin, Glucose, Potassium
  • Complete Blood Count: White Blood Cell and Platelet
  • Hs-CRP (high sensitivity C-reactive protein)
  • Hormone status: Estradiol, DHEA-S, Total Testosterone, Free T3, Reverse T3, Free T4, TSH,
  • Progesterone, Cortisol
  • Vitamin D
  • Vitamin B12, Folate
  • Vitamin E (Vitamin A, E, b-carotenold Panel)
  • Heavy Metals Panel: (Hg, Pb, As)
  • Serum Zinc and Serum Copper (Total)
  • Ferritin
  • RBC Mg
  • MMP9

6 Smoothies for Healthy Brain

Here are five delicious and brain-boosting smoothie recipes that are low in sugar:

1. Berry Brain Boost Smoothie

  • 1/2 cup of blueberries (rich in antioxidants)
  • 1/2 cup of strawberries (high in vitamin C)
  • 1/4 cup of plant yogurt, such as coconut (for creaminess and protein)
  • 1 tablespoon of flax seeds (source of omega-3 fatty acids)
  • 1/2 cup of spinach (packed with nutrients)
  • 1/2 cup of unsweetened plant milk or water
  • Ice cubes (optional)
  • 2 dates or some stevia (to sweeten, optional)

2. Green Energy Smoothie

  • 1/2 banana (for natural sweetness)
  • 1 cup of kale or spinach (rich in vitamins and minerals)
  • 1/2 avocado (healthy fats)
  • 1 tablespoon of chia seeds (fiber and omega-3s)
  • 1 teaspoon of matcha green tea powder (caffeine for alertness)
  • 1/2 cup of coconut water
  • Ice cubes (optional)

3. Nutty Banana Brain Booster

  • 1 ripe banana (natural sweetness)
  • 1 tablespoon of almond or peanut butter, or other nut or seed butter (protein and healthy fats)
  • 1/2 cup of unsweetened almond milk
  • 1 tablespoon of cocoa powder (antioxidants)
  • 1/2 teaspoon of cinnamon (supports cognitive function)
  • A pinch of sea salt
  • Ice cubes (optional)

4. Tropical Turmeric Smoothie

  • 1/2 cup of pineapple (vitamin C and natural sweetness)
  • 1/2 inch piece of fresh turmeric (anti-inflammatory)
  • 1/2 inch piece of fresh ginger (cognitive benefits)
  • 1/4 cup of plant yogurt, such as coconut (for creaminess and protein)
  • 1/2 cup of coconut milk (light or full-fat)
  • A dash of black pepper (enhances turmeric absorption)
  • Ice cubes (optional)
  • Some date syrup, maple syrup (to sweeten, optional)

5. Walnut and Banana Brain Booster

  • 1 ripe banana (natural sweetness)
  • 1/4 cup of walnuts (rich in omega-3 fatty acids)
  • 1/4 cup of rolled oats (fiber and nutrients)
  • 1/2 teaspoon of vanilla extract (flavor)
  • 1/2 cup of unsweetened plant milk
  • Ice cubes (optional)

5. Chocolate Avocado Delight

  • 1/2 ripe avocado (healthy fats and creamy texture)
  • 1 tablespoon of unsweetened cocoa powder (antioxidants)
  • 1/2 teaspoon of date or maple syrup (optional for sweetness)
  • 1/2 cup of unsweetened plant milk
  • 1 small ripe banana
  • A pinch of sea salt

Instructions for all Smoothies:

  1. Add all the ingredients to a blender.
  2. Blend until smooth and creamy.
  3. Adjust the consistency by adding more liquid if needed.
  4. Taste and sweeten with honey or stevia if desired (remember, the riper the fruit, the sweeter the smoothie).
  5. Pour into a glass and enjoy your brain-boosting, low-sugar smoothie!

These smoothies are not only delicious but also packed with nutrients that support brain health. Feel free to customize them to your taste and dietary preferences. Enjoy!