Green Smoothie testimonials, part 12

After a year of thinking and searching deeply about going vegetarian, I took the leap in September of ’08. What made the transition easy was the discovery of the green smoothie!I first heard of them on Robyn’s informative website, greensmoothiegirl.com.I was intrigued and investigated the origins of green smoothies and started to find whole blogging communities who were drinking these liquid vegetable treats. I viewed many of the YouTube videos Robyn had posted and saw how simple it was to get my veggies the green smoothie way.I started right away, using my simple kitchen blender.My 11 y.o. son and my husband were curious and started drinking them with me almost immediately.We LOVE them!

The chronic eczema around edges of my scalp are clearing up (some are completely gone!), ridges in my fingernails are flattening out and nails have become hard, chronic tiredness has been replaced with vibrant energy, mild arthritic symptoms in fingers vanished, hypothyroid symptoms growing less (although I’m on a low dose of Armour and have been for years, I still experience many of the hypothyroid symptoms – but they are really improving!), insomnia seems to be vanquished, I’ve lost 9 lbs so far, and I don’t know if this could be related but I no longer sunburn!

But what is truly amazing is that I’m growing in streaks of brown hair where it was solid silver before-fabulous!

We are experiencing great health benefits from these marvelous drinks and I think we may be addicted to the vibrancy and high energy kick we get from them.I’ll be getting results from a blood test next week and I can’t wait to see the numbers! I’ve turned several friends and family members into green smoothie drinkers and am actually pursuing a radio show where I will be able to discuss and share my progress with others.Thank you Robyn for GreenSmoothieGirl blogs!Your generosity in sharing your info with the world has inspired so many to move towards health!

–Cher

I love them, I love green smoothies anyway, and I love your recipes the best. It is so good to have mainly greens and a few fruits instead of the other way around as I was previously doing. I love them and my kids do also. They crave them as I do.

–Anon.

Research Results: Green Smoothies Change Lives [part 2 of 2]

Other positive health benefits reported by survey respondents include these:

3 people said: Hyperthyroid condition improved (reduced or gone off meds)

2 people said: Seasonal allergies gone or decreased

2 people said: Reduced asthma symptoms

7 people said: Arthritis symptoms/pain gone or reduced

2 people said: Migraines gone or reduced by 80 percent

2 people said: acne improved or gone

2 people said: eczema or dry skin cleared

Decreased blood pressure

No more hypertension

Was able to go off cholesterol meds

Was able to go off Prilosec

Haven’t gotten sick in a year like I always do

Moles disappeared

Deep facial wrinkles “barely noticeable”

Less nasal congestion

Lump on leg getting smaller

Liver spots fading

Tendonitis gone

Muscle soreness gone

Hypoglycemia improved

No more bloating, gas, indigestion, constipation

Avoided a hysterectomy, lifelong menstrual problems returned to normal

Easier to breastfeed

Don’t sunburn any more

Grey hair returned to original dark color

Depression symptoms gone

Lifelong bad breath gone in two weeks

Ended coffee addiction

Just feel better

 

The risks of a new green smoothie habit are limited to an 18.5 percent chance of a short-term, uncomfortable cleansing reaction.   The top six benefits that people experience when starting a green smoothie habit are, in order, more energy, improved digestion, fewer cravings for sweets and processed food, a more positive/stable mood, improved skin, and weight loss.

 

It’s hard to look at this data without being compelled to give green smoothies a try!

What my research says about how green smoothies change lives!

I once blogged 20 different astonishing ways my health improved when I began drinking green smoothies and eating a whole-foods diet.   Here it is: What Changed, When We Switched To Whole Foods, Part 2

But I wanted to get more scientific when I wrote The Green Smoothies Diet and find out precisely what a newbie can expect!

The results of my poll of 175 regular green smoothie drinkers yielded some interesting results that suggest quite definitively that it’s a 10-minute habit worth adopting!   To participate in the questionnaire, one had to be drinking green smoothies for at least 30 days, a pint a day for 4 days a week.   Many were drinking more, up to my recommended 1 quart daily.

The vast majority, or 97 percent, said green smoothies noticeably improved their health or quality of life.   Wow!

Very exciting to me is the fact that 84 percent of those drinking green smoothies are so enthusiastic about the positive health benefits that they’ve told others about or taught them the habit!

These are the positive health effects people experience, listed in order of their frequency among the research respondents:

85.4 percent experience more energy.

79.2 percent experience improved digestion (more regular and/or complete bowel movements, no straining, soft/formed stool, etc.).

65 percent experience fewer cravings for sweets and processed foods.

52.3 percent experience a more positive, stable mood.

51 percent experience an improvement in skin tone, or fewer blemishes

50 percent experience weight loss.   The average reported pounds lost is 17.3 lbs.!

(Keep in mind when considering this very impressive statistic that some of the respondents had been drinking green smoothies only 30 days, and some of them did not have any weight to lose!

48.5 percent experience an increased desire to exercise.

44.6 percent experience improved sleep (need less of it, decreased insomnia, more alert in the mornings, etc.).

41.5 percent feel less stressed out.

40 percent experience blood sugar stabilization.

39 percent experience people telling them they look better.

35 percent say their fingernails are stronger or grow faster.

26 percent say their hair is shinier or their dandruff gone.

18.5 percent experience a decrease in PMS symptoms.   (Consider that some of the respondents in the survey are not females of menstruating age.)

17 percent report an improved sex drive.

Other positive health benefits reported by survey respondents include these:

7 people said: Arthritis symptoms/pain gone or reduced

3 people said: Hyperthyroid condition improved (reduced or gone off meds)

2 people said: Seasonal allergies gone or decreased

2 people said: Reduced asthma symptoms

2 people said: Migraines gone or reduced by 80 percent

2 people said: Acne improved or gone

2 people said: Eczema or dry skin cleared

2 people said: Gray hair returned to original color

Decreased blood pressure

No more hypertension

Was able to go off cholesterol meds

Was able to go off Prilosec

Haven’t gotten sick in a year like I always do

Moles disappeared

Deep facial wrinkles “barely noticeable”

Less nasal congestion

Lump on leg getting smaller

Liver spots fading

Tendonitis gone

Muscle soreness gone

Hypoglycemia improved

No more bloating, gas, indigestion, constipation

Avoided a hysterectomy, lifelong menstrual problems returned to normal

Easier to breastfeed

Don’t sunburn any more

Gallstones gone

Depression symptoms gone

Lifelong bad breath gone in two weeks

Ended coffee addiction

Just feel better

The risks of a new green smoothie habit are limited to an 18.5 percent chance of a short-term, uncomfortable cleansing reaction that include the following symptoms:

headaches, skin breakouts, diarrhea, nausea, bloating, intestinal gas, cramps, constipation, vertigo, dizziness, fainting, lethargy or weakness, runny nose, mucous in the back of the throat, liver pain, mood swings, depression, emotional crisis

The top six benefits that people experience when starting a green smoothie habit are, in order, more energy, improved digestion, fewer cravings for sweets and processed food, a more positive/stable mood, improved skin, and weight loss.

It’s hard to look at this data without being compelled to give green smoothies a try!

Jump in with us and let us know here what your experience is after 30 days:

 

To Your Health,

–Robyn Openshaw

p.s.   Join us in 12 Steps to Whole Foods to get on the path to achieve all these health benefits. Step 1 is all about the why and how of green smoothies!

Extra ingredients for green smoothies [part 7 of 9]

Pomegranate juice

Pomegranate juice is another very hot product because of a few studies linking it to slowing growth of prostate cancer and arthritis, and reducing breast and skin cancer.   It’s been linked to improvement of several cardiovascular measurements, including thinning the blood and improving blood flow, lowering LDS cholesterol, and increasing HDL (“good”) cholesterol.

I would prefer to see people use the whole fruit, which is available in the winter.   You peel away the red outer peel and the inner white membranes to harvest the seeds, which look exactly like rubies.

It is labor intensive to take apart a pomegranate!   However, it is fun for children because the fruit is so beautiful and because it’s a bit of a treasure hunt.

All juices are concentrated, with high natural sugar content, and also quite acidic.   The whole fruit achieve the same benefit (while in lower vitamin and mineral concentrations) without the downside of a product with all the enzymes killed and high in sugar benefits.

Yogurt or kefir

Yogurt or kefir, particularly homemade, adds a creamy, smooth texture to smoothies.   You can learn more about this topic in Ch. 9 of 12 Steps to Whole Foods, including how to make them at home inexpensively and easily. They are the only animal products I actively promote, as their proteins are predigested and broken down for easy utilization by the body, unlike other animal proteins.  

Even more importantly, they contribute to a healthy gastrointestinal tract by populating it with good micro-organisms that are your main defense against bacterial infections and other harmful micro-organisms.   Most people have 10:1 bad microorganisms to good, and the ratio should be reversed for a healthy colon.   The best way to address this is to eat yogurt or kefir daily and avoid foods (like dairy and meat, and processed foods) that feed the bad bacteria.

If you are going to purchase commercial yogurt or kefir, organic is better, and buy plain flavor rather than the excessively sugar-sweetened vanilla and other flavors.   Goat yogurt is nutritionally superior to dairy (cow milk) products.   It is not mucous forming and easier to digest, due to its smaller fat molecule that permeates human semipermeable membranes without triggering the body’s defense mechanism to flush out with mucous.   People do not experience “lactose intolerance” with goat milk products, and even many who are lactose intolerant with regular milk do not experience those symptoms with dairy yogurt.

extra ingredients for green smoothies [part 1 of 7]

Many health food nuts like me have a mental list of ingredients they know are nutritional powerhouses, and we want to get them in our diet but often fail to do so, because we don’t know how or don’t fit it into the day’s menu. Green smoothies are the perfect way to do that–just toss some stuff in! Be adventurous. Use those exotic, high-impact nutrition items if you can afford them. If not, please don’t worry about it–you’re getting tons of fiber, vitamins, minerals, and enzymes from the simple greens and fruit combinations. Smoothies don’t have to contain expensive, exotic ingredients. But not all of the “other ingredients” discussed in this section are expensive.

Kelp and dulse

If you don’t mind the seaweedy taste of sea vegetables like kelp and dulse, use those high-impact foods in your blender. Just a little bit is enough, and they are more thyroid nourishing than any other food. So if you are hypothyroid (as about 25 percent of women are in America, many of them undiagnosed), consider getting one or both of these foods in your daily diet. Green smoothies are an easy way to do that. Those who suffer with low energy and slow metabolism often have low thyroid problems. (And diagnosing it can be difficult, involving full-panel blood testing done by a hormone clinic, examining the interplay of several different variables.) Taking a thyroid hormone causes disease risk and can burn out the thyroid even more over time, especially the synthetic drugs such as Synthroid and Cytomel. Sea vegetables nourish and support the thyroid rather than sort of jab and poke it to perform.

Flax oil

If you don’t know how to get flax oil in your diet, minerals from greens are absorbed better when eaten with some fats, so putting flax oil in your green smoothie is a great idea. You’ll never even notice it, used in this form. A tablespoon daily is a good dosage for an adult to avoid inflammatory ailments, and protect healthy cell membranes needed to keep toxic elements out but allow nutrients in. Flax oil has wide-ranging benefits uncovered in research in the past decade involving the immune, circulatory, reproductive, cardiovascular, and nervous system. It’s rich in essential fatty acids, including the rather rare omega-6 and omega-9 nutrients that your body cannot manufacture itself and must receive from outside sources.

Using flax oil, you can avoid taking fish oil with all its attendant risks (fish being tainted with mercury and other pollutants). Flax has more lignans by 80 times than the next-highest food, which cut your risk of breast and colon cancers dramatically. Research connects it to reduction of PMS symptoms, improvement in multiple sclerosis treatment, reduction in allergies and arthritis and diabetes, as well as eczema, asthsma, and loss of eyesight. It increases fat burning and allows you to recover from sprains and muscle fatigue more quickly.

You should never heat flax oil, which damages its nutritional properties, and you must purchase it refrigerated and use it very fresh, as it becomes rancid in only a month or two. This is one of the more expensive ingredients you can add to smoothies. If you prefer, you can grind a small amount of flaxseed instead. This is inexpensive, but the whole seed is mucilaginous, thereby making your smoothie thicker and bulkier, so if you add ground flaxseed instead of oil, you may want to add more water to compensate. Use freshly ground flaxseed, as it oxidizes and becomes rancid quickly once ground. You can use your BlendTec Total Blender, or a small $10 electric coffee grinder from any store like Target or Walmart.

If you add interesting things to your GS, let us know! I’ll be posting more of my additions over the next 6 days.

tribute to my “grama”

I am in Coeur d’Alene, Idaho and Spokane, Washington for the Thanksgiving weekend.   The three of us here are 40, 60, and 80 year old women–me running my five miles each morning, my aunt walking, and my grama lying on the couch recovering from knee replacement.   It’s her third joint replacement, with a fourth scheduled (hips and knees done, shoulder coming up).   Is this an inevitable part of aging?   Is this what I have to look forward to?   As you know, I’m doing what I can to stave aging off.   We staged an intervention this morning to talk about  grama’s unwillingness to use the cane/walker, to consider that driving isn’t such a good idea, and to suggest she stop running for the phone and leaping up off the couch.   She’s already fallen once while we’ve been here, and we’re worried.   It’s hard to see someone you love suffering with arthritis, memory loss,  and many other degenerative conditions.   And this holiday weekend has been a reflective time to think about generations, love, loss, aging, family.

My aunt and grama are  both a little worried that I’m denying my kids the protein they need (my daughters being vegetarian and all of us eating very little animal food).   And they express concern about calcium, since  we don’t get dairy products.   I told them  not to worry because  I’ve never drunk milk and have the bone density of a 20-year old.   They look at me, a little puzzled, confused, and concerned.   From what I see in milk drinkers, both in the literature and in my life (anecdotally), well, let’s just say I’m going to keep going down this path I’m on.

My grama is technically not.   (My  actual grama, I mean.)   She’s my grampa’s fifth wife–my own grandmother died at her own hand at the age of 33.   My aunt I traveled here with was five years old at the time and, in all the chaos with police officers and ambulance EMT’s milling about not paying attention to her, she tragically  walked into the bedroom to see the scene after my grandmother put a bullet in her head.

“Grama” has been in my life since shortly after I was born, so she’s the only grama I’ve ever known.   She’s an amazing lady who is the best caretaker for my grampa I could ever hope for.   He completely lost his memory years ago and is now in a rest home.   I went to see him tonight, where he was preoccupied with touching my hair, and kept telling me it is pretty and gold.   I told him he could touch it all he wanted.   I miss the real him, but his sense of humor is still there even if he asks the same question a dozen times.   And my grama is as patient and loving the 12th time as the 1st.   Her first marriage did not work out–and amazingly, last night, we went to have dinner at the home of the woman who next married her first husband!   That is the kind of woman my grama is.   She’s forgiving and patient.   I want to be like her when I grow up.   (All except for her liberal use of the words “sh*t” and “d*mn,” haha.)

Aging is inevitable.   But I am here watching what hell it is at the end.   And I’m entirely unconvinced that it has to happen as early as it does for most of us.