and the oxalate controversy rages on……

We got lots of interesting email in response to my rebuttal to the wildly exaggerated and completely undocumented article posted by one “Sarah, the Healthy Home Economist” that tells people not to drink green smoothies and says they can “devastate” your health.

Heidi, a “low oxalate” blogger / site owner wrote a response. I like to look at all viewpoints and appreciate that she listed lower-oxalate greens for those who wish to concern themselves with this issue. She has eliminated some health problems by carefully reducing oxalates for 20 years. Those include turnip and mustard greens, dino kale, curly kale, romaine, cabbage, and collards.

Hopefully Heidi has been creative to keep lots of greens and raw roods in her diet while controlling for oxalates. If not, we eliminate one compound causing a problem and dozens of other compounds desperately needed and hard to find in other sources.

I disagree with Heidi that it’s a good idea to boil greens, as has been passed around the internet as a solution to the “problem.” George Mateljan surveys the literature well and concludes that this does not significantly reduce oxalates. And of course we know boiling destroys most of the food’s other best properties—enzymes, vitamins, and minerals.

I do not disagree that there are a few people who are not metabolizing greens well, and I absolutely agree that improving gut health is key to reversing many conditions. Greens have many critical properties that other foods do not, and these nutritional benefits are desperately needed by virtually everyone. So I’m very reticent to embrace the idea that we eliminate an entire class of foods—or we nuke them to death—because a few people have degenerative gut issues wherein an “anti-nutrient” becomes indigestible and even harmful.

As counterpoint, if you have become alarmed, you owe it to yourself and your health to read another viewpoint. Author Victoria Boutenko, my friend and companion in green crime, has written this extremely detailed, source-rich article on all the research that oxalates are FRIEND RATHER THAN FOE. I covered the more neutral ground of referencing the macro study that concluded the evidence does not support oxalates being harmful, nor does it support that cooking greens neutralizes that compound.

We had a few comments on facebook or on the blog that someone who drinks green smoothies got kidney stones. I know people who eat some whole foods and got cancer, too. It’s a major logical fallacy to leap to the conclusion that because you eat one healthy thing, that healthy thing is causing a disease. Even if you started green smoothies two weeks before you get a kidney stone, that doesn’t mean anything. Kidney stones take a long time to build up before they release and begin to cause pain—and possibly damage. Although I cannot rule out that a nutritious food played a role in oxalates binding to calcium, I think far more likely culprits for the vast majority are long-term indulgence in soda, salty foods, and animal proteins—and low water consumption. Please read George Mateljan’s meticulous reviews of oxalate research and conclusions, and/or Victoria Boutenko’s report below.

Before you change your diet to eliminate or massively reduce the highest micronutrient foods on the planet from your diet, the foods that are the crux of the primate diet worldwide (we share more than 98% of their DNA), you ought to read this documentation suggesting that greens may actually prevent kidney stones. We already know they prevent many, many other modern health risks.

Read Victoria’s report HERE.

Can green smoothies “DEVASTATE” your health?

Sarah the Healthy Home Economist online recently posted an article about how green smoothies can “DEVASTATE” your health.  The content was so unsubstantiated that at first I refused to respond to it. But Amanda said, “She has a big audience and people are freaking out about it.”

Sarah cites the oxalates phenomenon, wherein a natural compound (oxalates) occasionally bind to calcium to cause kidney stones. (She infers, without citing evidence, that other more serious health consequences could also be possible.) Greens have oxalic acid in them. Sarah makes several logic leaps and concludes that no one should be drinking green smoothies.

I’m not going to promote her blog article by pointing to it here. She rates her content for how controversial it is. Controversy generates more readers, I guess. It also has the potential to do harm, if what you’re saying is (a) undocumented, (b) contrary to hundreds of studies about the benefits of greens, and (c) featuring a bizarre and untenable conclusion.

Just because someone posts stuff on the internet does not automatically endow that person with credibility. Her argument locks in on a detail — that greens are high in oxalic acid — and misses the larger picture.

Only one source is listed at the end of her article and none are quoted or referenced. The source is a PhD’s book on oxalates and autism and “chronic disorders,” but she never quotes the author or anyone or anything else, so I’m not sure how many of her claims came from this one guy, or what.

I don’t bet the farm on one book or one source. There are quite a few other sources that show that some of the anti-nutrients in our most nutrition-dense foods, actually work together synergistically for our health, rather than against it. I’ve done quite a few blog series on anti-nutrients such as oxalates, goitrogens, purines, and phytates, concluding that none of the anti-nutrients should generally cause people to avoid foods containing them.

Note that at the end of the article, Sarah says to eat greens, if you like them, but not very much. Always cook them, she says, and eat them with butter.

Wow! Really?

Let me quote Dr. Norman Walker in his book Fresh Vegetable and Fruit Juices: What’s Missing in Your Body?

“Spinach should never be eaten when cooked unless we are particularly anxious to accumulate oxalic acid crystals in our kidneys with the consequent pain and kidney trouble. When spinach is cooked or canned, the oxalic acid atoms become inorganic as a result of excessive heat and may form oxalic acid crystals in the kidneys.

“When the food is raw, whether whole or in the form of juice, every atom in such food is vital ORGANIC and is replete with enzymes. Therefore, the oxalic acid in our raw vegetables and their juices is organic, and as such is not only beneficial but essential for the physiological functions of the body.

“The oxalic acid in cooked and processed foods, however, is definitely dead, or INORGANIC, and as such is both pernicious and destructive. Oxalic acid readily combines with calcium. If these are both organic, the result is a beneficial constructive combination, as the former helps the digestive assimilation of the latter, at the same time stimulating the peristaltic functions in the body.

“When the oxalic acid has become INORGANIC by cooking or processing the foods that contain it, then this acid forms an interlocking compound with the calcium, even combining with the calcium in other foods eaten during the same meal, destroying the nourishing value of both. This results in such a serious deficiency of calcium that it has been known to cause decomposition of the bones.”

So according to Dr. Walker, what Sarah is telling her readers to do is really terrible advice.

One of my favorite sources is George Mateljan, because his staff, and his book The World’s Healthiest Foods, review and quote a tremendous amount of empirical data before making claims. Each section contains an extensive bibliography, and the conclusions are scientific and objective.

He says that a review of the peer-reviewed research reveals that the ability of oxalates to lower calcium absorption is small and does not outweigh the ability of those foods to contribute significant calcium to the diet, since spinach is rich in calcium.

So, one of the primary recommendations of most the sources I’ve read, to avoid stones forming in the body, is to get plenty of calcium from plant sources.

So, the high calcium content in spinach may actually inhibit the formation of stones, even though spinach is also high in oxalates. This is at least some logic or evidence, then, underpinning my theory that there are far more synergies than we currently know about in whole, raw plant foods leading to their clear, incontrovertible place (based on volumes of published research) as the necessary mainstay in our diet. We know that people the world over who eat mostly whole, raw foods simply don’t get sick. We don’t always know WHY.

So screaming that the sky is falling about one compound—in an entire class of our most nutritious foods—seems not only unwise, but even irresponsible, if you have an audience and give nutrition advice.

The jury is still out on so many of the issues Sarah the Healthy Home Economist takes strong, unilateral stands on. For instance, what really causes oxalic acid buildup. (She quotes ZERO evidence that greens do.) Whether greens are high in oxalates are only ONE issue related to whether they cause kidney stones. What if they also have dozens of other nutrient compounds, and fiber, that PREVENT stones from forming? A relevant example would be Mateljan’s review of the published, peer-reviewed literature on spinach, oxalates, and calcium as mentioned earlier.

After I investigated this issue, I wrote this in Chapter 1 of 12 Steps to Whole Foods:

“The research is not clear that restricting foods such as spinach helps prevent stones in those who have previously had them. Many researchers believe that dietary restriction cannot reduce risk of stone formation. In fact, some foods that were assumed to increase stone formation because of oxalate content (like black tea) have appeared in more recent research to have a preventative effect.

“Further, cooking has a small impact (about 10%) on the oxalate content of foods, with no statistically significant lowering of oxalates following blanching or boiling of greens. It appears that the nutritional advantages of eating raw greens continue to far outweigh any benefit of cooking them.”

And yet, with slim evidence, if any, Sarah says green smoothies can “devastate” your health and advises at the end of the article, “Skip the Green Smoothies!”

She undertakes no discussion of the true baddies that cause kidney stones:

Soft drinks

Sugar

Animal proteins

Salty foods (or any refined salt)

Oxalates in spinach (also strawberries, soy, and many other foods) can be difficult to digest for a tiny percentage of the population who are suffering from a few very rare disorders (absorptive hypercalciuria type II, enteric hyperoxaluria, primary hyperoxaluria). But let’s not throw the baby out with the bath water here. If you don’t have these disorders, and 99+% of those reading this don’t, greens are not just good food—they are powerful good medicine!

Leafy greens are the most nutrient dense foods on the planet, and cooking them as Sarah instructs kills 100% of their enzymes, and most of their vitamins and minerals, too.

Sarah the Healthy Home Economist uses hyperbolic words to terrify people that eating nutrient dense foods could kill them, but she cites no research whatsoever. She implies that cases of painful sex are on the rise (where does that data come from? Is there any data?) and that oxalates are a “possible culprit.”

There are no references to check, and the bigger issue to me is, if people develop kidney stones, or crystalline deposits in other parts of the body, are greens the real culprit? How would you isolate that factor? Show me the study that did.

It’s terribly unlikely that greens are why we have lots of kidney stones, since almost nobody in America eats very much green food.

And in addition to thousands of testimonials we’ve received, my own research (175 subjects) shows massive health benefits to the green smoothie habit, as published in my bestselling book, The Green Smoothies Diet. In that research, not one person reported kidney stones as a side effect of starting the daily green-drink habit. And yes, we asked.

Nutritionally, crystalline deposits are likely caused by highly acidic foods, especially salt, and not drinking lots of water.

So let’s minimize or eliminate the baddies, listed above. Let’s eat more of the foods that have been linked by hundreds of studies world-wide, to ideal weight and minimized disease risk.

(Dr. Joel Fuhrman does this best, in Eat to Live, quoting literally hundreds of published studies showing the benefits of eating plant foods. This is highly recommended reading.)

Let’s don’t kill greens with cooking, and slather butter on them.

If you’re worried about oxalates, let’s not “throw the baby out with the bathwater,” because people who don’t metabolize that anti-nutrient well need the nutrition in the leafy greens as much as anyone, if not more. Instead:

Let’s rotate greens, use a wide variety in our green drinks—not just spinach. Amanda says a friend of hers had oxalate issues and one took a calcium-magnesium supplement and the pain went away. Several experts I have read suggest getting more calcium from plant sources.

And, eat some good fats with your green smoothie, like avocado or coconut oil or flax oil, to increase calcium absorption. One of my favorite lunches is a quart of green smoothie, with some homemade guacamole and “corn chips” (organic corn tortillas, quartered with a pizza cutter and broiled on both sides, no oil or salt needed).

Anti-Nutrients….are you letting them scare you off whole foods? part 1 of 3

One of the more infuriating aspects of nutrition education is the highly confusing anti-nutrients debate.

For example, hot issues include but are not limited to….

Grains have PHYTATES.

Spinach has OXALATES.

Apple seeds have CYANIDE.

Legumes have PURINES.

Broccoli and cabbage have GOITROGENS.

Dr. Mercola propagates a bunch of needless fear, attacking all grains and some vegetables because they contain an anti-nutrient. He creates fear about lots of whole foods people have eaten for centuries. And then he moves on to leverage that to sell whey protein (an over-popular, highly refined food).

Keep in mind that I feel some of Mercola’s stuff is brilliant, important, and well researched. Some of it is salesy, with shoddy thinking/research. Sometimes I wonder if he doesn’t watch over his staff writers very well…..

No one addresses this issue more logically, than my friend Jim Simmons, whose book Original Fast Foods is a great addition to your library. Because it’s excellent, well researched, and comprehensive, with good recipes. It’s the closest thing out there to the diet I teach. There are lots of raw-food recipe books, but people burn out from how labor-intensive they can be. Eating cooked legumes and whole organic grains is a way to eat a whole-foods diet without burnout, and with the high-fiber, high-nutrition, low-effort gains of, for instance, split peas, lentils, and black beans. I am suspect of any eating plans that ban such foods. I advocate for 60-80% raw plant foods—but I feel that some cooked vegetables, legumes, and grains are a wonderfully healthy part of a good disease-preventative diet, as evidenced by long history.

Here’s what Jim said to me via email, when I posted on the goitrogens issue last July:

“Research now supports the idea that anti-nutrients are nature’s way of helping us to be more intuitive in our eating patterns. For instance, some spinach is really good for you, but as you consume too much, the level of oxalates will build up in your bloodstream to a point that a signal will be sent to your brain and then a signal is sent from the brain to your endocrine system. The long and the short is, you will lose your appetite for spinach until the level of oxalates drop sufficient that your taste for spinach is turned back on….don’t get too complicated in your eating habits.”

I agree with Jim. Anti-nutrients are in most, if not all, whole foods. This does not mean they are bad, scary, or to be avoided. God put them in the food for a reason.

Tomorrow I’ll write about each of those anti-nutrients.

Dear GreenSmoothieGirl for Arizona, part 3 of 4

Jenny B: I feel sick if I eat ANY cooked food. (She catalogues her diet and laments how difficult it is to stay almost all raw.) Will I always have to be this careful? Do you ever see people as food-sensitive as me? Will my health problems ever turn around?

GSG: I have seen documentation and heard testimonials of thousands of people who, like me, beat:

Seasonal allergies, eczema, occasional asthma, fatigue and excesses of sleeping, skin problems, elevated blood pressure, hypoglycemia, anxiety and mood instability, hemorrhoids, vision deterioration, food addictions, tumors, repeated viruses and strep infections, overweight, low thyroid, PMS and severe menstrual cramps, infertility, Transient Ischemic Attacks (mini-strokes with migraine, right arm going numb, couldn’t speak or see)

That’s just MY list, from 20 years ago. I now have NONE of those things, 20 years later, except I still battle a mild obsession with chocolate. One of my children was born with severe food reactions, and now has no food sensitivities. I hear about turnarounds in health everywhere I go, and on my blog, and in thousands of emails—when people eliminate gluten, or just shift to whole, mostly-raw plant foods. By the way, my theory based on nothing more than observation is that if you stay away from refined and GMO foods and eat at least 60% raw, you won’t likely develop a gluten intolerance–if you’re blessed to not currently have problems with grains.

Just because you have a condition now (like a food sensitivity) doesn’t mean you’ll have it in a year, especially if you go about the business of healing your gut. The vast majority of problems, wherever they occur in the body, are related to a toxic colon. The blood in the colon recirculates everywhere in the body, so filth there means toxicity everywhere. Our goal with a shift to clean foods is the clean the gastrointestinal system first and foremost, with plant fiber, easily digested with high enzyme content–and build it up with good probiotics, and well-absorbed vitamins and minerals.

If you are patient and a truth seeker, and willing to heal your gut with good nutrition, you have a good prognosis. Obviously I can’t promise you any specific outcome for any specific diagnosis. But I believe there is no other way out, without addressing lifestyle! Taking drugs will not cure the health problems you named. Tapping your forehead will not heal the problems you named. (At least the latter won’t hurt you.)

And while you battle an entrenched, difficult problem (like an autoimmune issue), you may find a dozen other health problems reverse themselves!

Make a big ugly list of all your symptoms, like I just did in the bolded paragraph above. Stare at them for a minute. Maybe you’ve never thought about them all at once. Put EVERYTHING on it, even stuff like your brittle nails, thinning hair, insomnia.

What if you could get rid of them all just by eating fabulous food? I did. Would it be worth a try?

Is raw spinach bad for me?

Dear GreenSmoothieGirl:

I bought your book, borrowed my friend’s Blendtec, then bought my own after I learned how much I love the greensmoothiegirl way. I just returned from visiting my in-laws out of town and my MIL is trying to tell me cooked spinach is better for you then raw and in a smoothie. Please send me a good comeback.

Thanks, Jamie

Answer:   I have gotten literally hundreds of questions about this in the past few years due to a couple of references on the internet that spread extensively. In addition to my comments in The Green Smoothies Diet about oxalates (which is what your MIL is referring to) on p. 39, I also wrote a section in Ch. 1 of 12 Steps to Whole Foods on that topic (p. 30) and have written on it on this blog as well, a few times. Here’s one of those links.

 

But here’s more, from Theresa, a GSG reader, quoting Dr. Norman W. Walker in his book “Fresh Vegetable and Fruit Juices: What’s Missing in Your Body?”

“Spinach should never be eaten when cooked unless we are particularly anxious to accumulate oxalic acid crystals in our kidneys with the consequent pain and kidney trouble. When spinach is cooked or canned, the oxalic acid atoms become inorganic as a result of excessive heat and may form oxalic acid crystals in the kidneys.” (p. 62).

“When the food is raw, whether whole or in the form of juice, every atom in such food is vital ORGANIC and is replete with enzymes. Therefore, the oxalic acid in our raw vegetables and their juices is organic, and as such is not only beneficial but essential for the physiological functions of the body.”

“The oxalic acid in cooked and processed foods, however, is definitely dead, or INORGANIC, and as such is both pernicious and destructive. Oxalic acid readily combines with calcium. If these are both organic, the result is a beneficial constructive combination, as the former helps the digestive assimilation of the latter, at the same time stimulating the peristaltic functions in the body.”

“When the oxalic acid has become INORGANIC by cooking or processing the foods that contain it, then this acid forms an interlocking compound with the calcium even combining with the calcium in other foods eaten during the same meal, destroying the nourishing value of both. This results in such a serious deficiency of calcium that it has been known to cause decomposition of the bones.” (p. 63)

We learn, over and over, the value of eating foods in their raw form. When I returned from Portland, someone contacted us wanting to return their 12 Steps kit, very alarmed, saying, “I talked to my doctor and he said raw foods are bad for me!” What a tragedy that any health-care practitioner says this and people organize their entire diet around it. To be very simple: raw food is in its most   natural state and most easily accepted by the body. Watch animals in nature: do they cook their food?

Grains and legumes made easy

I think sometimes we don’t make brown rice, split peas, lentils, or other wonderful whole-grain or legume dishes, only because we get home from work and don’t want to wait 45-60 minutes for those items to cook.   A reader wrote me with this tip, which I have used, too, for many years–I hope it helps you do a tiny bit of work in the morning so that the evening meal is both quick and nutritious.

While you’re eating breakfast, wash your brown rice or lentils.   Cover them with twice as much water and bring it to a boil, covered, on the stove.   While that’s going on, preheat your oven.   After the grain/legume comes to a boil, stick the whole pan in the oven and turn the oven off.   When you get home from work, you’ll have lovely brown rice or lentils or split peas ready to eat.

Check out Indian Dahl in Ch. 6 of 12 Steps.   It’s a really easy and highly nutritious main dish, and you’ll feel full and also light and healthy when you eat it!   (I believe I also posted the recipe here on the blog, which has a search feature, and other have posted favorite lentil recipes in another entry a couple months ago.)

Anyone wanting to share a great recipe using a whole grain and/or a legume, please feel free!

raw food diet: isn’t steaming good? and, my kids come back sick

Update: Yep.All four of my kids puked their guts up at their dad’s family reunion.Just like always.Poor little guys. (Well, one of them is 6’2″, not that little, huh?)Back to the green smoothie diet!So happy to have my kids back.It’s my job to help them recover.

My daughters come back from an extended period away, wanting to cleanse.I told the girls today to sit down and brainstorm a list of fruits and veggies they want me to buy for them.That way they’re in the driver’s seat, eating things they like, and I get my way, too (high nutrition, mostly raw food diet).Remember that old prayer asking God to grant me the serenity to accept the things I can’t change, and the will to change the things I can?I can’t change what their dad feeds them.   (My girls report that their aunts and uncles all provided a vegetarian option to the menu made for everyone else on the nights they cooked, which was sweet.)But I CAN help them cleanse and drop unwanted pounds when they’re home.Once the girls came home and said, “Mom, we want to eat nothing but fruits and vegetables for three days.Can you help us do that?”(Of course I can.)

Still talking about the raw food diet today.Everybody, including nutritionists, suggest steaming.I’d rather have you eat steamed broccoli than no broccoli!(I personally do not enjoy raw broccoli unless it’s chopped small and in a really yummy salad.NO, NOT THE KIND WITH BACON.)

But that broccoli is still heated to well over 212 degrees, and vitamins and enzymes die over 116 degrees.And mineral salts are lost and deanimated.Cooking, even steaming, destroys indoles in vegetables, which are wonderfully anti-carcinogenic.

Worse, when you cook things, free radicals are created.(Free radicals are unpaired molecules that destroy cells and cause cancer.Antioxidants in raw foods mop them up.)Some amino acids (lysine and glutamine) in proteins are destroyed by cooking.You probably already know what high heats do to fats: alter them to become trans fats that are highly destructive carcinogens.And when fiber in food is cooked, it is slimy and soft and doesn’t have the broom-like power to clean the intestine any more.

I do eat cooked plant food and make no apologies for it.But I make every meal or snack at least 60% raw food, and often it’s 80% or more.Then you’re supplementing the cooked foods with enzymes.Doing this regularly will have a dramatic effect on your youthfulness.

On a related topic, here’s the dehydrator I recommend, by the way, to make crunchy snacks like in Ch. 7 of 12 Steps, preserving enzymes and vitamins:

http://greensmoothiegirl.com/dehydrator.html

the raw food diet

I’m going to be talking for a while about the raw food diet.That’s the only “diet” I approve of (the very word is annoying, isn’t it?).Why?First, because it’s the biggest focus of this web site and the program of whole foods I promote: raw plant foods.Of the 9,000 new visitors to this site monthly, many are coming from the Standard American Diet.And like all things Americana (GSG readers come from 149 countries in the past year), the SAD has spread to all but the most remote parts of the globe.

But many others who read this site are committed raw foodists.The first group may find what I teach daunting.(BUT . . . this is for you, and you can do it.What I teach is very do-able by anyone who wants better health.)And the latter group may call my teachings “transitional”–a good stepping stone on your way to the ultimate, a completely raw diet.

I am unconvinced that 100% raw is necessary for ideal health, and I believe it may even not be ideal.But I do believe this: 60-80% raw plant food is absolutely necessary for good health.

Second, because this is the time of year to get the very best produce, in North America, at least.This is my favorite time of year, when my garden is exploding with vegetables and greens, and my trees are heavy with peaches and apricots.And roadside stands are selling the best foods on Earth.

If you think the raw food diet is some kind of fad–it is exploding on the internet for sure–think again.It’s been around since the dawn of time.In fact, degenerative disease began when mankind discovered fire and began cooking his food.We have gone downhill at an accelerated rate as we’ve discovered more ways to pervasively destroy the nutrition in our food.

Think about undertaking a raw food diet for a few weeks, now that we’re in the easiest time of year to accomplish it.You will need less sleep, as your body needs less recovery because digestion becomes a snap.You’ll have lots of energy, so plan in advance what you are going to do with the extra!Every time I go 95-100% raw for a couple of weeks to a couple of months, I’m always so happy I did.

Green Smoothie Testimonials, Part 10

More Green Smoothie testimonials from my research:

Green smoothies are easy and quick to do and keep me full and alert way past lunch time. This past growing season I had access to lots and lots of lettuce. I would use between 2 and 3 cups in my smoothie along with other greens, but long after the other greens were gone there was still plenty of leaf lettuce in many colors and kinds. All of my greens came from my local farmers’ market.

–Anon

I wish my mother had fed me green smoothies from birth. If she had I would not have had all this pain and suffering I have been through. I understand nowadays that my body was only crying out for help from me. I only wish all people I know–soon–will come to understand this. Good health to all– THANKS!!

–Anon

I have enjoyed physical changes in my body. I have enjoyed some weight loss, great digestion, and increased desire to reduce cooked and processed foods. I have talked to others about using the green smoothies as a means to improve their overall health.

–C. Brown

I feel that prayer led me to your Web site, and looking at the other testimonials, this seems to be a common theme! What a blessing to have such information at my fingertips! I felt good about the smoothies, and they made obvious sense to me, so I decided to make them. Imagine my surprise, therefore, when suddenly all of my pregnancy-fat from the last two kids melted away (I haven’t worn this size jeans in 3 years) and I found myself struggling to get enough calories to nurse!

My husband has noticed a definite improvement in my attitude after I started a colon cleanse (smoothies clean out your liver, and everything needed somewhere to go) and so now, he wants to do one, too! My 2 1/2 year-old likes smoothies just fine (‘moothie!) and that’s even with chard!

–Steffanie D.

I started drinking green smoothies almost three years ago and lost over 30 pounds, regained my health, and felt 10 years younger. My children never need visits to the doctor unless they have been injured. The evidence is so obvious that I cannot ever cease this miracle drink.

–Julie Greenman

I don’t want green smoothies when it’s cold!

Dear GreenSmoothieGirl:   I LOVE green smoothies, but lately, since it’s getting cooler outside, I’m wanting something warm . . . got any ideas?

 

Answer:   Yes, what I do is have my green smoothie (never warm, yuck!) PLUS something warm or hot that I really enjoy, like warm sourdough bread or a bowl of soup.   Eat the hot thing last!   (That’s a better idea anyway, as enzymes are already in your stomach when cooked food arrives, signaling to bodily systems not to tax themselves providing manufactured enzymes which take resources away from metabolic functions.   At my house, we always eat the green smoothie or salad FIRST, then our other food.)