Smoothie Diet: Benefits, Foods, And Side Effects

Explore the nutritional perks and potential pitfalls of this meal replacement plan.

Medically reviewed by Samantha Blanton, RDN Samantha Blanton Samantha BlantonRDN facebook_iconlinkedin_iconinsta_icon
Written by , BSc (Life Sciences), Certified Health & Nutrition Life Coach Himanshi Mahajan BSc (Life Sciences), Certified Health & Nutrition Life Coach Experience: 2 years
Edited by , BSc, Professional Certificate in Food, Nutrition and Health Ravi Teja Tadimalla BSc, Professional Certificate in Food, Nutrition and Health Experience: 8 years
Fact-checked by , BPharm, Certified Health & Wellness Coach Moksha Gandhi BPharm, Certified Health & Wellness Coach Experience: 2 years
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The smoothie diet is becoming an increasingly popular weight loss strategy among people looking for a quick yet healthy fix to shed some extra pounds. It involves the intake of smoothies made of fresh fruits and vegetables.

Smoothies are simple to prepare and taste delicious. However, the Smoothie Diet has its own restrictions, benefits, and disadvantages. This article takes you through everything you need to know about this diet, including the foods to include and avoid, sample diet plans, and the potential side effects of the diet. Continue reading.

protip_icon At A Glance: Smoothie Diet
  • Principle: Replacement of two meals each day with plant-based smoothies to reduce calorie intake
  • Purpose: To aid in weight loss
  • Who Is It For: People who are looking for quick yet healthy weight loss
  • Duration: Short-term
  • Who Should Avoid: Children, pregnant and breastfeeding women, and people with underlying health conditions, such as diabetes
  • Cons: May cause nausea, headaches, and fatigue, and increase the risk of nutritional deficiencies like that of vitamin B12.

What Is The Smoothie Diet?

The smoothie diet is a 21-day plan that aims to help people quickly lose weight, though in a supposedly healthy manner. It encourages an individual to replace two of their daily meals with fruit and vegetable smoothies. Drew Sgoutas, the founder of the diet, is a self-proclaimed nutritional expert who advocates this diet for a healthy lifestyle. His plan is available as an e-book that includes the 21-day program for weight loss, over 36 recipes, and ingredient lists. While smoothies are healthier than processed foods, this diet has no scientific backing and most health experts consider it a fad.

protip_icon Did You Know?
The history of the smoothie is closely associated with the invention of the blender, which came into existence in 1922. Smoothies were unknown in the US until then.

However, some believe that the smoothie diet offers certain benefits. Explore more in the coming section.

Potential Benefits Of The Smoothie Diet

Drew Sgoutas claims on his website that weight loss is only one of the numerous other benefits of the smoothie diet. He insists that consistently following the diet can offer other advantages like:

  • Clear skin
  • Better sleep
  • Stabilized blood sugar levels
  • Sharper thinking
  • More energy

However, these are all unsupported claims. The smoothie diet has no scientific backing. Some research even points to the contrary. For instance, research shows that liquid-like and low-viscous food choices are less filling than solid foods (1). Such foods, like smoothies, may instead elevate your cravings.

That said, smoothies as a late morning or afternoon snack may have potential benefits as they help add more fiber to your diet. Adequate intake of soluble fiber may improve your body mass index and reduce body weight and fat (2). It may also help lower total and bad cholesterol levels and decrease the risk of NIDDMi  Also called Non-Insulin Dependent Diabetes Mellitus, it is a medical term for type 2 diabetes that is characterized by high blood sugar levels. (3), (4). Fiber intake may also improve your heart health, bowel habits, and immune function (2).

Additionally, the ingredients in these smoothies are primarily fruits and vegetables. They supply vitamins, minerals, and phytochemicalsi  Chemical compounds in foods that may prevent cell damage and eliminate the risk of health conditions such as cancer and heart attack. that help fight free radicali  Unstable oxygen-containing molecules that may harm cells, cause premature aging, and trigger chronic diseases. damage (5).

protip_icon Trivia
Stichting Jaarmarkt Nibbixwoud from the Netherlands made the largest smoothie in 2017. It measured 4030 liters and contained orange juice, bananas, honey, strawberries, yogurt, sugar, and ice.

The benefits of smoothies largely depend on the intake frequency, and, more importantly, the ingredients used. In the following section, we discuss the foods to consume and avoid on the smoothie diet. Take a look.

Foods To Eat And Avoid On The Smoothie Diet

The smoothie diet encourages the intake of nutrient-dense foods like fruits and vegetables and limits processed meats, refined grains, and baked foods. Here is a list of foods you can eat and avoid on the smoothie diet plan:

Foods To EatFoods To Avoid
Fruits, such as bananas, apples, oranges, and berriesProcessed meats, such as bacon, ham, pepperoni, and salami
Vegetables, such as spinach, kale, carrots, and broccoliRefined grains, such as white rice, white bread, and tortillas
Protein-rich foods, such as eggs, chicken, salmon, tofu, legumes, and Greek yogurtProcessed and baked foods, such as burgers, French fries, cookies, and cakes
Whole grains, such as brown rice, quinoa, oats, and buckwheatDairy products, such as full-fat milk, cheese, and butter
Nuts and seeds, such as almonds and chia seeds and any nut butterCarbonated and sugary drinks
Plant-based beverages, such as almond milk, coconut milk, oat milk, and coconut waterSugary sauces and spreads
Herbs and spices, such as ginger, mint, and cinnamon
Flavor additives, such as unsweetened cocoa powder, vanilla extract, and honey

Recipes for the smoothie diet can comprise any of the ingredients allowed above. You may plan them ahead of time with simple meal plans provided in the following section.

Smoothie Diet Plans

The smoothie diet can be restrictive. However, you can still check out the meal plans to further understand this diet.

7-Day Smoothie Diet Plan

DayBreakfastLunchDinner
Day 11 glass of green detox smoothie1 glass of berry yogurt smoothie3 oz of grilled chicken breast with a cup of salad
Day 21 glass of carrot ginger smoothie1 glass of mango pineapple smoothie3 oz of baked salmon with a cup of steamed vegetables
Day 31 glass of peanut butter banana smoothie1 glass of avocado cilantro smoothie2 scrambled eggs with a cup of sauteed spinach and tomatoes
Day 41 glass of cucumber mint smoothie1 glass of strawberry kale smoothie2 cups of tofu and vegetable salad
Day 51 glass of blueberry spinach smoothie1 glass of orange carrot smoothie2 spinach omelets with a cup of salad
Day 61 glass of beetroot berry smoothie1 glass of banana almond smoothie2 cups of lentil and vegetable soup with a cup of salad
Day 71 cup of cooked banana cinnamon oatmeal2 cups of Mediterranean salad3 oz of grilled shrimp with a cup of sauteed asparagus and quinoa

21-Day Smoothie Diet Plan

DayBreakfastLunchDinner
Day 11 glass of spinach kale detox smoothie1 glass of carrot ginger smoothie1 spinach multi-grain wrap with a cup of green salad
Day 21 glass of banana protein smoothie1 glass of spinach avocado smoothie2 scrambled eggs with a cup of sauteed vegetables
Day 31 glass of blueberry almond smoothie1 glass of mango pineapple smoothie3 oz of baked salmon with a cup of steamed spinach
Day 41 glass of strawberry banana smoothie1 glass of apple yogurt smoothie3 oz of grilled chicken breast with a cup of steamed broccoli
Day 51 glass of chocolate banana smoothie1 glass of savory buttermilk and mango smoothie2 cups of lentil and vegetable soup with a cup of salad
Day 61 glass of oatmeal cinnamon smoothie1 glass of zucchini chocolate smoothie1 vegetable multigrain wrap with a cup of sauteed asparagus
Day 71 cup of cooked banana cinnamon oatmeal2 cups of Mediterranean salad3 oz of grilled tofu and a cup of vegetable salad
Day 81 glass of cucumber and kiwi smoothie1 glass of carrot nutmeg smoothie3 oz of grilled shrimp with a cup of sauteed asparagus and quinoa
Day 91 glass of pineapple orange smoothie1 glass of cucumber honeydew smoothie2 cups of vegetable soup with a cup of green salad
Day 101 glass of peanut butter strawberry smoothie1 glass of mango yogurt smoothie3 oz of lemon garlic roasted chicken with half a cup of brown rice
Day 111 glass of pina colada smoothie1 glass of apple banana smoothie1 cup of creamy mushroom risotto with a cup of salad
Day 121 glass of apple oat smoothie1 glass of coffee banana smoothie1 cup of vegetable curry with half a cup of brown rice and a cup of salad
Day 131 glass of green tea mango smoothie1 glass of pea and mint smoothie1 chili bean multi-grain wrap with a cup of salad
Day 141 veggie omelet with a tablespoon of homemade ketchup1 cup chickpea and spinach curry with a cup of salad1 cup of Thai Red Curry with half a cup of brown rice
Day 151 glass of choco-berry smoothie1 glass of celery and cucumber smoothie½ cup of chicken alfredo pasta with a cup of salad
Day 161 glass of tomato basil smoothie1 glass of butternut squash spice smoothie1 cup of eggplant parmesan with a cup of sauteed greens
Day 171 glass of peach yogurt smoothie1 glass of savory spinach tomato smoothie2 cups of creamy tomato basil soup with a slice of multigrain garlic bread
Day 181 glass of apple carrot smoothie1 glass of spicy spinach tomato smoothie1 cup of Moroccan chickpea stew with half a cup of vegetable quinoa
Day 191 glass of raspberry lemonade smoothie1 glass of vanilla yogurt smoothie2 tofu stuffed bell peppers with a cup of salad
Day 201 glass of chocolate almond smoothie1 glass of kiwi coconut smoothie1 cup of veggie-loaded pesto pasta
Day 211 avocado toast with 1 poached egg2 cups of avocado and black bean salad1 cup of tofu and vegetable stir-fry with half a cup of brown rice

30-Day Smoothie Diet Plan

DayBreakfastLunchDinner
Day 11 glass of green detox smoothie1 glass of coffee banana smoothie2 cups of vegetable curry with half a cup of brown rice and a cup of salad
Day 21 glass of carrot ginger smoothie1 glass of pea and mint smoothie1 chili bean multi-grain wrap with a cup of salad
Day 31 glass of peanut butter banana smoothie1 glass of spicy spinach tomato smoothie1 cup of Thai red curry with half a cup of brown rice
Day 41 glass of cucumber mint smoothie1 glass of celery and cucumber smoothie½ cup of chicken alfredo pasta with a cup of salad
Day 51 glass of blueberry spinach smoothie1 glass of butternut squash spice smoothie1 cup of eggplant parmesan with a cup of sauteed greens
Day 61 glass of beetroot berry smoothie1 glass of savory spinach tomato smoothie2 cups of creamy tomato basil soup with a slice of garlic bread
Day 71 veggie omelet with a tablespoon of homemade ketchup2 cups of avocado and black bean salad1 cup of Moroccan chickpea stew with ½ cup of vegetable quinoa
Day 81 glass of green tea mango smoothie1 glass of carrot ginger smoothie2 tofu stuffed bell peppers with a cup of salad
Day 91 glass of avocado lemon smoothie1 glass of spinach avocado smoothie1 spinach wrap with a cup of green salad
Day 101 glass of berry smoothie1 glass of mango pineapple smoothie2 scrambled eggs with a cup of sauteed vegetables
Day 111 glass of tomato basil smoothie1 glass of apple yogurt smoothie3 oz of baked salmon with a cup of steamed spinach
Day 121 glass of choco nut smoothie1 glass of savory buttermilk and mango smoothie3 oz of grilled chicken breast with a cup of steamed broccoli
Day 131 glass of apple carrot smoothie1 glass of zucchini chocolate smoothie2 cups of lentil and vegetable soup with a cup of salad
Day 141 cup chia seed-berry pudding1 cup chickpea and spinach curry with a cup of salad1 vegetable wrap with a cup of sauteed asparagus
Day 151 glass of chocolate almond smoothie1 glass of carrot nutmeg smoothie2 cups of tofu and vegetable salad
Day 161 glass of matcha green tea smoothie1 glass of coffee banana smoothie3 oz of grilled shrimp with a cup of sauteed asparagus and quinoa
Day 171 glass of green detox smoothie1 glass of pea and mint smoothie1 cup of vegetable curry with ½ cup of brown rice and a cup of salad
Day 181 glass of carrot ginger smoothie1 glass of spicy spinach tomato smoothie1 chili bean wrap with a cup of salad
Day 191 glass of peanut butter banana smoothie1 glass of celery and cucumber smoothie1 cup of Thai red curry with ½ cup of brown rice
Day 201 glass of cucumber mint smoothie1 glass of butternut squash spice smoothie½ cup chicken alfredo pasta with a bowl of salad
Day 212 whole-grain pancakes with ½ cup of fresh fruits1 roasted vegetable quinoa bowl1 cup of eggplant parmesan with a cup of sauteed greens
Day 221 glass of beetroot berry smoothie1 glass of carrot-orange smoothie2 cups of creamy tomato basil soup with a slice of garlic bread
Day 231 glass of cucumber kiwi smoothie1 glass of blueberry and spinach smoothie1 spinach wrap with a cup of green salad
Day 241 glass of green tea mango smoothie1 glass of carrot ginger smoothie2 scrambled eggs with a cup of sauteed vegetables
Day 251 glass of green tea mango smoothie1 glass of spinach avocado smoothie3 oz of baked salmon with a cup of steamed spinach
Day 261 glass of avocado lemon smoothie1 glass of mango pineapple smoothie3 oz of grilled chicken breast with a cup of steamed broccoli
Day 271 glass of berry smoothie1 glass of apple yogurt smoothie2 cups of lentil and vegetable soup with a cup of salad
Day 281 avocado toast with 1 poached egg2 cups of butternut squash and lentil soup with a cup of salad1 lentil vegetable wrap with a cup of sauteed asparagus
Day 291 glass of choco nut smoothie1 glass of zucchini chocolate smoothie2 cups of tofu and vegetable salad
Day 301 glass of raspberry lemonade smoothie1 glass of banana cinnamon smoothie3 oz of grilled shrimp with a cup of sauteed asparagus and quinoa

7-Day Smoothie Diet For Weight Loss

DayBreakfastLunchDinner
Day 11 glass of chia berry protein smoothie1 glass of mint watermelon smoothie2 cups of grilled vegetable and quinoa salad with ½ bowl of fruit yogurt
Day 21 glass of almond and date smoothie1 glass of blueberry spinach smoothie1 cup of veggie-loaded zucchini pesto noodles
Day 31 glass of spinach and banana smoothie1 glass of orange grapefruit smoothie3 oz of stir-fried tofu with ½ cup of boiled broccoli
Day 41 glass of strawberry kiwi smoothie1 glass of pineapple and kale smoothie2 cups of spicy chickpea and kale soup with a cup of sauteed vegetables
Day 51 glass of cucumber mint smoothie1 glass of pomegranate and berry smoothie2 cups of butternut squash soup with a slice of whole-wheat bread
Day 61 glass of peachy oatmeal smoothie1 glass of cranberry apple smoothie1 tofu edamame buddha bowl
Day 71 veggie omelet with a tablespoon of homemade ketchup1 cup of chickpea and spinach curry with a cup of salad3 oz of grilled chicken with a cup of boiled vegetables

While the official diet plan uses 36 specific recipes provided in The Smoothie Diet (the ebook available on the diet’s official website), you can always make your own recipes by including simple fruits and vegetables. Check out the next section for some healthy and mouth-watering recipes for the smoothie diet.

Smoothie Diet Recipes

Avocado And Kale Smoothie

Avocado and kale smoothie
Image: Shutterstock

Ingredients

  • 75 g of avocado
  • 3-5 kale leaves
  • 1 banana
  • 200 ml of water
  • 1 scoop of vanilla protein powder
  • 3-4 ice cubes

How To Prepare

  1. Roughly chop the kale leaves and peel and slice the banana and avocado.
  2. Add them to a blender along with water and protein powder.
  3. Blend together until smooth.
  4. Add ice cubes to a glass.
  5. Pour in the smoothie and enjoy.

Mango And Yogurt Smoothie

Mango and yogurt smoothie
Image: Shutterstock

Ingredients

  • 1 mango
  • 100 g of low-fat Greek yogurt
  • 1 tablespoon of honey (optional)
  • 200 ml of plant-based milk
  • 1 scoop of vanilla protein powder
  • 3-4 ice cubes

How To Prepare

  1. Peel and chop the mango into cubes.
  2. Add the pieces in a blender along with the plant-based milk, Greek yogurt, and protein powder. Add honey if required.
  3. Blend together until smooth.
  4. Add ice cubes to a glass.
  5. Pour in the smoothie and enjoy.

Coffee And Chocolate Smoothie

Coffee, banana and chocolate smoothie
Image: Shutterstock

Ingredients

  • 200 ml of plant-based milk
  • 100 ml of brewed coffee
  • 1 banana
  • 1 scoop of protein powder
  • 1 tablespoon of cocoa powder, unsweetened
  • 1 tablespoon of maple syrup (optional)
  • 3-4 ice cubes

How To Prepare

  1. Peel and chop the banana.
  2. Add it to a blender along with plant-based milk, cocoa powder, brewed coffee, and protein powder. Add maple syrup if required.
  3. Blend together until smooth.
  4. Add ice cubes to a glass.
  5. Pour in the smoothie and enjoy.

Passion Fruit And Pineapple Smoothie

Passion Fruit And Pineapple Smoothie
Image: Shutterstock

Ingredients

  • 1 passion fruit
  • ½ cup of pineapple, chopped
  • ½ cup of blueberries
  • 200 ml of water
  • 1 scoop of vanilla protein powder
  • 3-4 ice cubes

How To Prepare

  1. Scoop out the pulp and seeds from the passion fruit and add to a blender.
  2. Add the pineapple, blueberries, water, and vanilla protein powder.
  3. Blend together until smooth.
  4. Add ice cubes to a glass.
  5. Pour in the smoothie and enjoy.

Golden Turmeric Smoothie

Golden turmeric smoothie
Image: Shutterstock

Ingredients

  • 1 tablespoon of organic turmeric powder
  • 1 banana
  • ¼ tablespoon of ginger powder
  • ¼ tablespoon of cinnamon powder
  • 200 ml of plant-based milk
  • 1 scoop of vanilla protein powder
  • 3-4 ice cubes

How To Prepare

  1. Peel and chop the banana roughly.
  2. Add it to a blender along with the plant-based milk and turmeric, ginger, cinnamon, and protein powders.
  3. Blend together until smooth.
  4. Add ice cubes to a glass.
  5. Pour in the smoothie and enjoy.

Beetroot And Spinach Smoothie

Beetroot and spinach smoothie
Image: Shutterstock

Ingredients

  • 2 cups of spinach
  • 1 apple
  • 1 beetroot
  • 200 ml of water
  • 1 scoop of protein powder
  • 3-4 ice cubes

How To Prepare

  1. Roughly chop the spinach and peel and slice the apple and beetroot.
  2. Add them to a blender along with water and the protein powder.
  3. Blend together until smooth.
  4. Add ice cubes to a glass.
  5. Pour in the smoothie and enjoy.

You can easily add other fruits and vegetables to these smoothies to come up with personalized recipes. But before you do that, you also need to be aware of the adverse effects of the smoothie diet. Check out the next section.

Side Effects Of The Smoothie Diet

  • May Increase The Risk Of Nutrient Deficiencies

According to a study published in the Journal of Preventive Medicine and Hygiene, selective diets may cause a deficiency of nutrients, including that of vitamin B12 (6). The smoothie diet replaces two of your meals with smoothies and excludes specific food groups from your diet. This approach may keep you from meeting your macro- and micro-nutrient requirements. Protein intake is essential for the optimal development and health of humans (7). However, some smoothies made merely of veggies or fruits cannot meet all your protein needs. This can result in undernutrition, physical weakness, and weakened immunity.

  • May Result In Rebound Weight Gain

Swapping some of your meals for smoothies may lead to weight loss. However, such a meal-replacement diet is tough to stick to in the long run as it cannot keep you satiated. This may lead to overeating and eventual weight gain.

  • May Be Dangerous For Those With Underlying Conditions

The smoothie diet is not a balanced diet. Anecdotal evidence suggests it may be dangerous for people with underlying health conditions like diabetes or hypertension. Smoothies are often made of fruits that are high in sugar content. Some smoothies may also contain added sugars that could cause issues.

Daily intake of sugar-sweetened beverages was found to increase the risk of hypertension by at least 6% (8). Excess sugar intake is also linked with diabetes, fatty liver, and cardiovascular disease (9).

If you really have to follow the diet, ensure your smoothies contain a mix of macronutrients like carbohydrates, protein, and healthy fats, and are devoid of excess sugar. More importantly, listen to your body for the first few days to determine if the diet is ideal for you.

Infographic: A Quick Guide To The Smoothie Diet

Smoothies are popular drinks that are replete with vitamins, minerals, and dietary fiber. They are an essential part of the Smoothie Diet that encourages you to replace two of your daily meals with them. The following infographic gives you a quick glimpse into this 21-day meal replacement diet. Take a look.

a quick guide to the smoothie diet (infographic)

Illustration: StyleCraze Design Team

While the Smoothie Diet may help you with quick weight loss, eating only one solid meal a day for 21 to 30 days can be challenging. Also, the lost weight may rebound since the diet itself may not be quite satiating. Therefore, the Smoothie Diet might not be the best plan for weight loss. If you really like smoothies, you can make them a part of your diet instead of replacing your regular meals with them. This way, you will be able to add more fruits and vegetables to your overall diet. Apart from this, opt for healthy lifestyle choices like regular exercise and proper rest to lose weight naturally.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I drink two smoothies a day to lose weight?

Yes, you may drink two smoothies a day to lose weight as long as you have a well-balanced diet. It is not advisable to replace all your meals with smoothies.

Can I drink smoothies on a diet?

Yes, you may drink smoothies on a diet. However, ensure they are made of healthy ingredients like fresh fruits and vegetables and are free of added sugars.

Is it okay to just drink smoothies every day?

It is not okay to only drink smoothies every day as they may not contain all the nutrients your body needs. For instance, green smoothies made from kale, banana, mint, lemon, and coconut water lack enough protein. Trying to live on such smoothies regularly can cause protein deficiency and possibly lead to physical weakness and edemai  A medical term for swelling that primarily occurs in the legs and feet and is caused by excess fluid trapped in the body’s tissues. (7).

Key Takeaways

  • The Smoothie Diet is a 21-day plan developed by Drew Sgoutas that aims to help people lose weight.
  • The diet plan replaces two major meals daily with plant-based smoothies.
  • It claims to aid rapid weight loss and offer other benefits like better sleep, more energy, and improved blood sugar levels.
  • Most healthcare professionals do not recommend the diet as it is highly restrictive and does not meet the standard nutrition requirements of an individual.
Smoothie diet

Image: Stable Diffusion/StyleCraze Design Team

While consuming smoothies can be a delicious way to add more fruits and vegetables to your diet, they may not be sustainable in the long run. Is replacing two of your daily meals with smoothies really the right way to lose weight? Check out this video to find out.

References

Articles on StyleCraze are backed by verified information from peer-reviewed and academic research papers, reputed organizations, research institutions, and medical associations to ensure accuracy and relevance. Read our editorial policy to learn more.

  1. Food texture influences on satiety: systematic review and meta-analysis
    https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7395742/
  2. High fiber diet
    https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK559033/
  3. Cholesterol-lowering effects of dietary fiber: a meta-analysis
    https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/9925120/
  4. Dietary fiber glycemic load
    and risk of NIDDM in men
  5. Health benefits of fruits and vegetables
    https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3649719/
  6. Main nutritional deficiencies
    https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC9710417/
  7. Dietary protein intake and human health
    https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/26797090/
  8. The wrong white crystals: not salt but sugar as aetiological in hypertension and cardiometabolic disease
    https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4336865/
  9. Relationship between added sugars consumption and chronic disease risk factors: current understanding
    https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5133084/
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Samantha Blanton

Samantha BlantonRDN

Samantha Blanton is a registered dietitian and nutritionist. She graduated from Arizona State University with a bachelor’s degree in nutrition and dietetics and has worked with many adult populations, specifically those seeking disease prevention through nutrition. Samantha owns and runs a virtual private practice, in which she teaches clients how to create healthy eating habits through mindful and realistic nutrition...read full bio

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