The Five Day Smoothie Diet

Throw your week in a blender. Why? Because you can.


I’ve been ordering lunch from a restaurant on 6th Street called Caravan of Dreams at least once a week since it was first recommended to me in November, but it was only last month when Kate turned me on to their Superfood Smoothies that I understood why it so haughtily called itself a caravan of dreams. That incredibly filling, 8 oz. cup-sized coalescence of health products seemed way too good to be good for you, which is obviously just a misconception about phytonutrients that has probably been perpetuated by General Mills. Or something.

Due to the unilateral success of the Tequila Diet (I know we didn’t really talk about this but I essentially craved only guacamole and, fine, jack cheese all day!), I thought I might consider implementing another self-fabricated diet and this time, I wanted to call it Smooth Move. When I learned this title was already occupied — and by a laxative tea brand, no less — I rectified my diet’s moniker to more plainly call it The Five Day Smoothie Diet.

The goal: to feel healthier after a week of overindulging. (Sixteen Handles in the morning, Sixteen Handles in the evening, Sixteen Handles at supper time. When Sixteen Handles is three blocks from your office you can eat it more frequently than the damn pizza bagels this jingle was originally written for.)

On said diet, I would commit to drinking a superfood smoothie every night before 7PM as a dinner substitute. I would eat regularly during the day, which for me typically meant a large-sized bowl of fruit for breakfast and some version of a quinoa platter, lentil soup or kale salad for lunch. I’m also nuts about nuts so figure raw cashews entering and emerging from any (all) of my orifices at any given time.

Spend a moment thinking of this visually, too.

I should add that these smoothies clock in at an impressive 1600 calories each chiefly due to the density of seeds present in said smoothies. The options are limited though not restrictive; at Caravan of Dreams, you’re offered three choices:

– Superfood 1 Smoothie contains cacao, goji, almonds, aloe, strawberry and maca. (This one is slightly less caloric.)

– Superfood 2 Smoothie (a particular favorite) melds sesame, hemp, chia, flax, spirulina and berries (blueberries, blackberries and raspberries — no strawberries).

– Superfood 3 Smoothie includes almond, maca, goji, aloe, chia and dates.

I culled the 7PM cutoff from an old adage imparted by Oprah for ladies seeking slender waist lines. I never quite understood why recommending someone stop eating at 7PM made sense, but my own common logic has led me to believe that the human metabolism is most active until three hours before a person is to fall asleep. I tried implementing this sanction independent of the Smoothie Diet and learned this: my night’s sleep was better (purportedly because my body was focusing on precisely what it was doing) and my mornings were more energetic. Three out of five mornings, in fact, I didn’t want coffee.

I anticipated treating this diet like a diary, but by Wednesday night I realized there was nothing to report other than how wonderful I felt each morning — save for the fact that socializing in New York is nearly impossible if you vow to eat dinner before 7PM. I should also address the inevitable question of, “But didn’t you get hungry?” Frankly, no. These smoothies are packed with filling nutrients and berries, both of which are highly caloric but not in the same way that say, an empty-calorie-packed Snickers bar is.

On Thursday night, I met two friends for a drink. I wasn’t consuming alcohol this week so the plan was to drink hot water with lemon, but I caved and ordered a glass of white wine, then shared — sorry, personally consumed — two scoops of hazelnut mousse. When I woke up on Friday morning, my fingers were swollen, my head was aching, my stomach was churning and my eyes effectively refused to open. I hightailed it over to my neighborhood coffee shop and chugged a latte.

By Friday night, I’d concluded the Smoothie Diet and though I didn’t weigh myself (in my non-Lutherian dream, diets are not measured in depreciating numbers, they’re measured in appreciating self-worth, esteem, value and all that platitudinal jazz), I felt more or less solid.

Ironic pun intended.

Questions? Comments? Concerns? Address it right below and I will get back to you before the proverbial beep can beep.

Photographed by Charlotte Fassler

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  • irene

    Great idea! Do you know any DIY recipes? These look quite difficult to do at home, particularly if you live in Italy and you don’t have any of these supercool caffè to go and grap your lunch in..

    • my favorite smoothie that I make every morning – 1.5 cups almond milk, 1 banana, half a cup pineapple pieces, huge bunch of baby spinach, half cup coconut water (or filtered water), chia seeds and 8 icecubes – blitz it all up!

    • Silvia Sanasi

      Irene… If you live in Milan I suggest Fruteiro, there are two of them and you can get amazing and super-caloric smoothies. Personally, I make one myself at home with soy milk and strawberries + kiwis

  • Jessica Rose

    I like the idea’s of smoothies…but I can’t bear the thought of cleaning the blender everytime otherwards…;(

    • Hun read my blogpost on the Nutribullet, then buy one and then thank yourself later x

      • Jessica Rose

        Thank you….erm I think…..;)

    • Charlotte Fassler

      I know i had the same issue….
      I found also that sometimes it’s just easier to buy one as well because the individual ingredients can really add up.

    • Molly M.

      Pro tip! Add soap and warm water in the blender after you make a smoothie and turn it on like you are blending another one. Completely cleans it out and is a total game changer.

      • Charlotte Fassler

        that’s actually genius….

      • Jessica Rose

        Molly M….you are a un-discovered genius! 😉

      • mel

        But why hadn’t I thought of that?! Seriously, I feel like somethings wrong with me. I dread cleaning up after smoothies.

    • My fiance and I were gifted a Magic Bullet and it is a TOTAL game changer. We’ve since donated our old blender and coffee grinder… and now we each make smoothies for breakfast every morning. It’s also handy for chopping dry ingredients and pureeing fruits to strain into juice!

    • Jill

      I got a Nutribullet last week and I haven’t stopped making smoothies since! I even make two a day when I feel too lazy to cook my vegetables. It’s easy to clean too.

    • breakdown47

      Once you’ve poured the smoothie into a glass, immediately fill the blender with water (and detergent, if you choose) and whizz it on the stand again for a couple of seconds. That’s all the clean it needs!

  • L33

    I like the sound of a fruit bowl in the morning and quinoa platter for lunch! I prefer my superfood concoctions for breakfast. My own smoothie diet looks like this: Green smoothie with 2 brazil nuts or spoon of almond butter in the morning, raw salad with a side of quinoa or squash and roasted vegetables for lunch, a small green smoothie in the early evening when I get hungry, and dinner the same as lunch but with a higher proportion of grains and roasted veggies to salad. Since I began to incorporate 2 green smoothies into my day I’ve noticed better sleep, overfall feeling of awesomeness, and no more urges for an afternoon nap. I’m loving how you and other fashion sites are embracing health as part of an all around chic life. If we want to look great, we have to feel great, right? Keep it up! xo

  • Mimi

    For people who are unaware of basic nutrition – replacing dinner with 1600kcal of smoothies won’t make you lose weight. It won’t make your thighs slimmer and ass smaller. First of all, she didn’t weigh herself for a reason – she probably gained weight. Not a huge amount, just a pound or two. Sure, getting more nutrients (or more of a variety of nutrients) is great and you will feel great! But please don’t mislead yourself into thinking this is a way to lose weight.

    • Im sure you’ll be heading to the loo often SO that will also make you feel lighter….

    • Jules

      It’s also worth acknowledging that Leandra is extrememly thin, so she has no need to lose weight nor weigh herself. It sounds like this smoothie “diet” was more to improve her overall health and energy.

  • Omar

    My mum is a sucker for those infomercials so she bought one of those ‘nutribullet’ and it’s actually so cool! Kale, berries, acai seeds anything! It’s so easy! After a week my skin is glowing, my eyes don’t look as tired and I seem have more energy that feels more natural instead of a caffeine fuelled one.. I even substituted my morning coffee for banana’s and oatmeal shake. So yeah I’m glad juicing is cool again! (This sounds like a spam comment I promise it is not) :/

  • Maciel

    What is it blended with? Milk, water…juice?

    • Leandra Medine

      All of them were blended with almond milk — one included coconut mylk too

  • Mariana R. Marcki-Matos

    Thanks for bringing this up! Smoothies are a healthy alternative to juice diets (where they remove all fiber and you end up just eating fructose- read sugar) and Porter magazine has a great article about sugar this month that is a must read….
    Smoothies are great, summer friendly, filling and nutritionally dense!! Keep it up!

  • Royal Wang

    I love eating fruits

    Royal Wang

  • CarlotaLMorais

    I adore this diet. So let me get this right: fruit in the morning, veggies for lunch with some protein, nuts in the afternoon and by night the smoothie? Or can we have it in the morning also?
    Because I heard its very energizing and like you said you dont need coffee after drinking it!
    And also, dont mean to be rude or anything, but did you loose some weight or felt your belly more flat? If I make sense?

  • I would very much like to try it, but I’ve read it’s not so good for the body actually… I do love smoothies though!

    Mafalda ❤

  • Genvieve

    Love love love looking at beautiful food images. Spirulina is actually amazing, wish I lived in new york and could try that smoothie, write more about food please!

  • Gem

    What’s your normally daily workout routine like? Did you stick to running 4k erryday?

    • Leandra Medine

      So my knees have been hurting a lot lately so it’s been a lot more walking than running. Am also vaguely intrigued by the light weight slow movement epidemic of 2014. Going to give that a try as well

  • Amelia Diamond

    I want a smoothie now

  • say it’s a weekend, and you want to be naughty, but not too naughty… do you recommend adding sayyyy 2 nips of your AOC (alcohol of choice) to the smoothie as a pregame slash dinner slash drink with friends slash dinner with friends?

  • Sasha

    what are those sunglasses?! I NEED them!

  • I couldn’t live on juices! Even just for five days!

  • Malena

    Wow, sounds good! Just curious, how do you prepare these smoothies? I mean, how do you crush the hard ingredients like nuts and seeds? does this work in a juicer?


  • girlinmenswear

    I want to do a three day juice detox (basically because I’m a sucker for a marketing ploy), but I’m not willing to sacrifice three consecutive days of socializing to do so – I want to be fit, healthy and revitalized, but also not miss out on all the fun. I just don’t see myself hanging in a bar with a kale, spinach and cucumber bottled blend.

  • Moi

    Dude. I’m sorry but… This american obsession with food is just outta control. Dieting? For what? I genuinely don’t get why someone as healthy and shapely as you would do that. I understand that you (America) want to win back a healthy relationship with what you eat, and I’m all for it. I also get that it is a lot more common for you New-Yorkers to eat out or to order in than it is to actually make something, which makes the task, and control, more difficult. But damnit! You are Iranian and Turkish! The Middle-East knows whats up! Better than anybody, better than France and Italy and Greece! Food is supposed to feel carnal and to smell so good it makes you lust after it! Calories are supposed to be in there okay? Your mama should know!

    I mean I see that this smoothie looks good, but what do they sell this, 8$ a cup? Insanity. And fructose is sugar too you know. Also, coffee is not a villain if you only do a cup or two in the morning. But again, it’s not the same if you have to buy it outside full of caramel and sugar and cow’s milk instead of just making a pot. Running every day is a villain for your joints though.

    By the way that glass of wine hurt you in the morning because you drank it on an empty-ish stomach. I am 100% sure of that (and I’m French).

  • wow!! so many calories in a smoothie – no thanks!! I did a
    ‘clean’ cleanse a couple of years ago for 3wks…smoothie morning and night and a healthy light meal for midday – I felt awesome after the first week and during the cleanse…no fog brain at 3pm thats for sure!
    They say we should do them once or twice a year but I enjoy food so much!!

  • kyla

    It’s funny. I am ridiculously insecure about my weight (even though I am medically considered underweight) and have had an eating disorder for as long as I can remember. I always binge eat on junkfood and then whinge about how hopeless/fat I am and go through phases of doing this and eating nothing at all. I feel like all the girls I know are super model skinny and yet are able to eat what they want, and therefor -I- shouldn’t have to miss out either. This just continues the binge/fast cycle that is so detrimental to my health. This is why I love things like this, where people as thin as leandra give us an actual overview of their diet. It’s so refreshing to see that skinny people actually DO have to be careful with what they eat in order to stay skinny. I know it sounds weird and like it should be extremely logical but it isn’t for me. People like Cara Delevigne insisting that they eat burgers and pizza before a VS show are way more harmful to my self esteem then people who say “yes, I work to look like this.” Thankyou Leandra, today I don’t feel like a failure.

    • anna

      Cara is also like 21, I could also eat like a pig at that age and look like a stick. It’s ok.

  • Ariadna

    Fabulous! and the glasses? that firm are?

  • iheartsmoothies

    Thank you for not styling the smoothie in a mason jar.

  • Nina

    This is such a dangerous post. I’ve suffered from eating disorders all my life, and this article feels like it has the potential to encourage girls (who are likely to be heavily influenced by things Leandra advocates) to pick up scary eating habits. I think it is highly irresponsible to recommend eating only two meals a day, and replacing dinner with a smoothie.