The latest green smoothie debate! part 1 of 3

Dear GreenSmoothieGirl:

Somebody on the internet says they don’t recommend green smoothies because apparently the fiber is too broken down. And the fruit causes blood sugar to spike. Please prove them wrong so I can keep enjoying them.

—Carly

Answer:   We have gotten this question several times this week, via email, but with at least three different sources saying that. The three sources are Caldwell Esselstyn (one of my heroes), a nutritionist, and a new diet plan.

Every time something becomes wildly popular, like green smoothies have, there is eventually a backlash. This happens with everything, from science to religion to pop culture. Critics spring up and evaluate the original claims of a new product, trend, or habit. And through the free flow of information, the truth emerges, although many people are frustrated and become disillusioned before that occurs.

An example is that this week, Matthew forwarded me a link to a five-page New York Times article, as he often does, regarding the dangers of yoga, the serious injuries that can result.   (My take-away, by the way, is not to push yourself in yoga class for the sake of your ego, or hold poses for long periods of time or do the uber-daring ones that push limits. I personally like to warm my muscles up with a little cardio before yoga, too.)

GSG reader Carly asked me to prove her source wrong saying that green smoothies are bad. I’m more likely to be able to do that than the doubters are, as I’ve not seen any data to support the idea that blending greens is not helpful—or even harmful.

My research with 175 green smoothie drinkers, published in The Green Smoothies Diet, shows 95.4% stating there was a noticeably positive impact on their health or quality of life, simply from drinking green smoothies regularly.

The top three health benefits reported were more energy (85%), improved digestion (79.5%), fewer cravings for sweets and processed foods (65%), more positive/stable mood (54%), weight loss (50%), and improvement in skin tone (50%).

If someone has real data on how fiber is “destroyed” in green smoothies, please point me to it. Matter can be neither created nor destroyed. The fiber didn’t go anywhere. The soluble fiber still turns to gel during digestion and slows digestion and impact on the blood sugar of the fruit (or other sugars you may eat with the meal). That soluble fiber binds to bile and removes it.

Insoluble fiber is blended, and could possibly be less effective at sweeping the GI tract, but it is still there, binding to bile increasing stool bulk.

More on this tomorrow.

Texas, part 2 of 7: our volunteers amaze us and we love them!

In Dallas, we had folks who drove 4 hours from Oklahoma City, and a whole family who had driven from 6 hours to the south.

We had amazing volunteers. Like Jennifer and Ian in San Antonio, and Kim Mitchell who is thriving with good nutrition.

Britni Brown, Elizabeth, Michelle, and Rhonda–plus Amy Bailey and her mom, in Austin, whose story you’ll read this week.

Vic and Kathryn in Dallas. (Kathryn recovering from a jetski accident the same time as my ATV accident this summer—we bonded over that!) Dana and Charlene, and my old friend Pamalee from the first time I went to Dallas. And this darling young couple, Amy and Ray, who own Fitness Together in Allen–raw vegan personal trainers! (Too many trainers are eating too many animals.) Love them, love the gallons of green smoothies they made for my Dallas friends.

April and her posse of friends in Houston–I don’t know many people who have so much influence with their friends as April does. I think they want to be her! Angela, Amanda, thank you!

We had fabulous sponsors like Dr. Edgerton, M.D. and Dr. Ritamarie Lozcalzo in Austin. Georgia’s Farm to Market in Houston, who served a meal of my 12 Steps dishes, and made the biggest vat of green smoothie maybe in history? Certainly the biggest I have ever seen. (I would have taken a photo but I saw it after it was emptied!)

Andie Hamilton Photography in Dallas, who didn’t even want us to promote her already bursting-at-the-seams business—she just sponsored us because she wanted us to come so she could bring her friends, ’cause she’s cool like that.

All of you who sponsor, make smoothies for the crowd, lend me your BlendTec, work with us before/after/during….you all get to work with my event planner, Amanda. I love it when I can hire people who are not only incredible at what they do (not everybody is a detail person, but this amazing mom of three planned our first Boise event and I said HOLY COW, YOU’RE HIRED!), but they’re also evangelists for the super kick-butt message we are trying to fling all over North America. THANK YOU AMANDA!

I could not be more blessed. Thank you, 1,000 of my friends in Texas, for taking time out of your busy life, to listen to my message. I feel your spirit and your collective life experience buoys me up!

Stay the course. Hold fast to your healthy habits because your health underpins every darn thing you do.

Total Care Dental wants to tell you about their whole-foods experience!

Dr. Jorgenson has been trying to figure out how to blog here. (I don’t know how. Sometimes readers do.)

She says that her whole office is having so many fascinating reactions and benefits and comments about their whole-foods journey (on GreenSmoothieGirl Makeover) that they really need to be writing it down and sharing!

So, I’m starting this blog entry and they can reply. Enjoy!

Some of you will outgrow me, and I HOPE YOU ALL DO!

In the recent Mercola/Campbell debate I called “Clash of the Titans,” a comment was made by a reader that you may not have noticed–but it really made me think.

“John” said that the more he stays close to sun and soil, and the more he learns and empowers himself, the less attention he pays to “outside experts.”

I love that. Very frankly, you should move down the path to less reliance on me, too.

I have seen some readers do it in the past three years. Some whose stories I know well, I have observed. They include Darlene in Canada, Tina in North Carolina, Jamie in Utah, Tonya in California, Tricia in Texas, Leslee in Texas, Dr. Denise in Florida, and my very own Jenni, whom I adore and who is head of my customer support team.

These eight (and more–name yourself and tell your story if you fit in this camp) got their start here at GSG or elsewhere, but embraced knowledge and change.

They’ve outgrown me. They’ve studied, pondered, and prayed. They’ve practiced. They’ve developed a repertoire of recipes and habits. They’ve overhauled their pantries, fridges, freezers. They’ve begun growing gardens. The learning curve got flatter and flatter.

They’ve seen the fruits of their labors: better health, amelioration of energy deficits and chronic conditions. They’ve converted others to the lifestyle that has so dramatically helped them. They haven’t done it halfway–they’ve done it flat-out, in a committed way.

Most of them voluntarily wrote testimonials for 12 Steps. They didn’t write sophistry or canned marketing hype or excessive praise. They wrote the real stories of their families’ genuine experiences.

They check back here now and then because no matter how far down the path you go, you need reassurance, community, and support.

But their knowledge eventually rivals my own. AND I LOVE THIS. I honor all all of you who have a sincere wish to help others learn the truth and get healthier.

As John said (which reminds me of someone I read Bernard Jensen saying, a pioneer in nutrition who lived well into his 90’s), live close to the rich, black dirt, and the air and sunshine. Where those things are, you’ll find whole foods: they keep you grounded, sane, and whole.

Green Smoothie Testimonials, Part 16

“I have spent all my adulthood overweight and miserable. My weight went from 135 to 280 during that time. Most of the time I had skewed ideas that I was either too fat (when I weighed 135) and not that fat (when I weighed 280). My perception was always off. But I did know that I just didn’t feel good.

I have been on Weight Watchers, the soup diet, hard boiled egg diet, Chinese tea, and every diet that came in magazines. I finally found that Atkins worked for me–three times! Funny that I would go off after several months and the weight would come back on, with its 30.-lb. friend! I realized that if I kept dieting that way I would completely ruin my health. I was so afraid to start another diet, so I decided to never diet again and just accept myself as I was.

I remarried at 210 lbs. and within 3 years had put on 70 lbs. with careless eating, primarily fast food. Then my DH was diagnosed with cancer (digestive related) and I found GreenSmoothieGirl.com. It was an answer to prayer because this is a LIFESTYLE–not a diet. In the last 9 mos. I have lost 40 lbs., my skin glows, I am nearly off the medications I was taking for high blood pressure, arthritic aches and pains, and mucus. My wrinkles also are going away!

I will NEVER diet again because I can eat everything I want and truly enjoy it (even chocolate). I am never hungry because I have God’s fast food with me all the time (fruits). I have found that the more raw I eat, the faster I lose weight. I am no longer fanatical about it and believe that my body will end up the weight I am supposed to be, not the way society says it should be. I just wish I had been able to learn this earlier in life.

Sorry about the long blog, but I feel that finding GreenSmoothieGirl.com and Robyn’s blog has saved my life! Thanks, Robyn and every one else!”

–Karen L.

Green Smoothie Testimonials, Part 15

Well, my friends, I’m off to Anaheim for the Natural Products Expo, to see what’s new and cool in raw, whole foods and natural healing.

While I’m gone, it’s time for another round of . . . are you excited? . . . I am! . . .

GREEN SMOOTHIE TESTIMONIALS.

I’ll do just a few days’ worth. Enough for a morale boost. Not so much that you’re bored. (I get excited about green smoothies again every time I read what y’all have sent me! So check in here every day.)

If you’re new and want to contribute your testimonial, write us at support123 [at] greensmoothiegirl.com with whatever part of your name you’re willing to have publicized on this blog.

Here’s a good one I received from Eddie:

“I started doing smoothies twice a day (breakfast and lunch), July 14, 2008. At the time, I had no idea what to expect, as I was just trying this on a whim. After about two weeks, I noticed I lost about 5 pounds. I decided to continue this process, and switching up my dinners to be cooked, mostly vegetarian. Another 2-3 weeks passed by and I lost another 5 pounds. Something was working… I suspect it was the combination of green smoothies and going mostly vegetarian.

Well, along my journey, I started seeing books about raw food and 80-10-10, and just a whole bunch of information. I decided to try doing raw, and for the most part I have been able to maintain about 90-95% raw since I started doing this. Every week that passed I noticed I kept losing 2.5 pounds a week, for an eventual total loss so far of about 47 pounds. About 3 months into my journey, I read 80-10-10 Diet by Douglas Graham, and have implemented a lot of his concepts in my daily routines, so most of my daily intake consists of fruits and vegetables, with very small amounts of nuts/seeds. I noticed that with gourmet raw using high content fat (ie. nuts and seeds), I would do alright but I truly thrived doing 80-10-10.

As far as exercise goes, even before I started smoothies, I was doing twice a week at the gym doing a cycle/spin class, and I would occasionally do some light weights at home. I have noticed that my cycle/spin classes, I have been able to maintain extreme high energy levels and not gas out when on 80-10-10. I also noticed that when doing raw-gourmet (with higher fat), that I would not be as energized. Another thing I should note, my muscle recovery times have improved dramatically with 80-10-10– gone are the days of recovery, instead my muscle recovery occurs in about 15-20 hours, ready to hit up more exercise the next day.

I used to have a sinus headache about once a week. Those are all gone. I sleep much better, and noticed that I can go on my day with less sleep and still have a ton of energy. My daily diet still consists of two smoothies a day (one breakfast and one lunch) and my typical dinner meal varies, but it is typically in line with 80-10-10. It took me about 6 months to lose nearly 50 pounds, but the whole process was pretty easy. It is just a matter of committing your mind, and making great habits and breaking the bad ones.”

–Eddie Yee