The Center for Mind-Body Medicine

Meet our Faculty: Derek Neal

aka Mr. Smoothie.

Derek wears a number of hats:  Certified Holistic Health Counselor (CHHC); Case Manager & Intake Specialist for the Jericho Reentry Program, a post-prison project of the Episcopal Community Services of Maryland; Co-Coordinator of the Baltimore Nutrition Group; and a faculty member for Food As Medicine.  For Food As Medicine, he gives one of our “Keeping it Real” lectures, a window into working very simply with people to change their health and lives through food.  As a CHHC, he practices what he teaches, coaching a diverse group of clients in his melting pot Baltimore neighborhood towards wellness and vitality.

One of his transformative tools of choice is the green smoothie, an elixir of wellness, power-packed with minerals and antioxidants, radiating life energy.  He tells great stories about clients of the Jericho Reentry Project reacting to the mysterious jars of green stuff on his desk.  Oh, and did I mention he’s a trained actor and an amazing storyteller?

We visited recently and the Master led us through the simple steps to a divinely delish smoothie.  The best way I can describe the taste is… like velvet sunshine.


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Jo Cooper

About Jo Cooper

Jo Cooper, Online Communications Editor, is the editor of the Centering blog. She posts on and tweets @MindBodyMed and about marketing, design and photography on @JoCooperStudio. Questions about the blog? Contact her at

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  • Beth

    Derek – Your smoothies are AMAZING!! Thank you so much for sharing and thank you for all that you do!

  • Alex

    Derek’s smoothie looks delicious! I remember listening to Derek, at Food As Medicine in June 2009, describe green smoothies – all of the amazing health benefits and how easy they were to make – I went to the grocery store that night to grab supplies. After reading more and experimenting with different flavor combinations, I was hooked. I find that keeping frozen fruit on hand makes it economical and fast – no chopping required, just throw it all in the blender with any greens you have on hand. Here’s my current favorite green smoothie recipe. Let us know your favorite recipes!

    Coconut Mint Smoothie:
    (Try experimenting and go with what tastes the best to you. Not sweet enough? Add more fruit. Too sweet? Add more greens.)
    Spinach or Kale
    Coconut Water
    Coconut Milk
    Frozen peach slices or mango chunks (or fresh if you can get them)
    Frozen pineapple chunks
    Shredded unsweetened coconut
    Ground Flax Seed or hemp seed

  • Sakinah shakur

    one I had today was

    green leaf lettuce
    fresh spring water
    flax seed

    I’m always experimenting with different versions of green smoothies and sometimes add, hemp seed, bee pollen, dulse, wakame, and other sea veggies…as well as coconut water…when I use fruits that are real sweet I don’t use the coconut water as it has a great amount of sugar in it already….

    • JCooper

      Oh, yum!!!! These are all great ideas. I love the pear, and will try sea vegetables… Wonderful.

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