The latest green smoothie debate, part 3 of 3

That your stomach is full of low calories and high nutrition, after your quart of green smoothie, means you didn’t eat something else. Something worse.

Both are great for different reasons—chewed foods, and blended foods.

I may sound like a broken record. But let me plead with you once again NOT to look at green smoothies as a way to cover up the abominations in your diet the REST of your day. We must take it further. It’s a great first step, but by itself it’s not good enough, especially if caffeine, animal flesh, and candy are still in your other meals.

This issue is a bit of a double-edged sword. With food that we chew, foods aren’t broken down ENOUGH for us to extract all their nutrition. Foods not chewed well cause problems with undigested proteins floating as debris in the blood and causing all kinds of inflammatory problems.

Blended foods break the fiber down. (As I’ve said, that’s not all bad. But it won’t do as well as a “colon sweeper” as a bowl of granola, or a big salad, or a bowl of lentil soup, can accomplish.)

These “experts” telling people not to drink green smoothies are forgetting a number of facts, one of which is critically important. In my lectures, I almost always have someone volunteer, and when they come up, I ask them to eat a big platter of kale, chard, and spinach, representing the amount of greens in the quart of green smoothie, daily, that I recommend. It often takes the volunteer 30 to 45 minutes to eat it. Sometimes they quit in despair, even in front of 200+ people! (Then I let them save face by picking some audience members to come up and help them.)

I ask the audience, how many of you are chewing up this amount of green food, daily? The answer, among approximately 9,000 people this year in my audiences, is somewhere between 0.0% and 0.05%. Keep in mind that while plenty of Standard American Diet folks come to my lectures, many vegans, raw foodists, and general health nuts do, too! Even the salad eaters cannot raise their hand and claim to be chewing up 15 servings of kale, turnip greens, arugula, bananas, and berries.

The forgotten fact is, in ANY form, Americans simply aren’t eating that quantity of good-quality natural plant fiber.

And then there’s the fact that our jaw is degenerated and devolved to a very narrow width and no muscle tone, from three generations of eating soft, processed foods. We can’t break our foods down sufficiently with chewing.   I’m mostly leaving that argument out, since I talk about that so often.

So the main danger, to me, of telling people they shouldn’t drink green smoothies because chewing it is better, is that you’re essentially telling them to stick with same-old same-old. Telling them that if eating huge quantities of “bulk” in salads, bowls of legumes, and granolas is ideal at a 10 (scale of 1 to 10), and achieving a 9.5 with a quart of green smoothie is worthless. It’s an unbalanced statement given the circumstances we are in—and it’s neither wise or responsible.

It’s like attacking Barney (the purple dinosaur) as the root of children’s problems while ignoring pedophiles, soda pop, and the Ritalin epidemic.

Green smoothies aren’t worthless or harmful. They’re a 9.5 on the 1-10 scale. That’s massively better than a Power Bar, a double cheeseburger, a Diet Coke, a Biggie Fries, or a Doritos with a Capri Sun. These are American staples.

Green smoothies aren’t the enemy—junk food is.

The answer, then? EAT BOTH. Chew some good plant food. Take some time and chew it well. And blend some, too, as green smoothies.

If you make my granola and have anything to say here about that challenge of eating it daily for two weeks and reporting on what it does for DIGESTION..do tell!

I need to gain some weight! Part 2 of 3

But some of the uber-thin are actually not digesting food and are quite unhealthy. They might be eating as much junk as the overweight people are, but because of chronic gut issues, they are not absorbing nutrition—not even calories, but certainly not minerals and many vitamins as well.

Last week after a tennis match, both my doubles opponents wanted to ask me questions while my teammates waited in the car. One of them told me about her daughter-in-law, who is in her 20’s, but exhausted, pale, sick, and underweight. She has open, pus-oozing sores all over her head that are stuck to her pillow in the morning. My opponent said to me, “She’s trying to heal with steroids–luckily her father is a doctor.”

I withheld my opinion on most of that, but I did say, “Steroids heal exactly nothing. What they do is suppress some symptoms, only temporarily, while knocking out the immune system.”

If you want to gain weight, eat healthy, exactly like I’m teaching in 12 Steps, with an emphasis on higher-calorie whole foods. Not dead, denatured, refined-oil,   If you want to boost protein, do it with vegan protein powder, and high-protein unprocessed plant foods like legumes and nuts rather than animal products like meat, eggs, and cheese.

Boost your good fats, with avocadoes, nuts, seeds, and unprocessed oils like coconut oil, extra virgin olive oil, flax crackers (Ch. 7), etc. Avocadoes might be nature’s most perfect food, so eat 2-3 a day if you want, as guacamole or in sandwiches. Eat lots of young Thai coconut meat–make it into pudding, smoothies, chocolate mousse, ice cream. Make yourself a 4th meal, between breakfast and lunch, or after dinner, that is a high-calorie protein shake with lots of almond butter and raw chocolate and frozen bananas! Make kefir or yogurt (Ch. 8) with whole, organic, preferably unpasteurized goat or dairy milk. Freeze it in ice cube trays and make frozen yogurt with it in your BlendTec. Eat a handful of Brazil nuts every day—great selenium as well as good fats and calories.

Don’t forget to eat a big bowl of GRANOLA for breakfast—I have a baked recipe as well as a live/sprouted recipe (both delicious, but the raw/live one is more time-intensive but the most delicious thing ever). If you make the baked one, add a big spoonful of raw pumpkin or sunflower seeds, soaked overnight.

Britni, do you have the 101 Healthy Lunches book? I love a baked potato (with the skin) with tons of garlic aioli sauce on it, yummy. Plus a big green smoothie, and put some flax oil in his. You can get plenty of calories without resorting to meat, dairy, or processed foods. There are coconut-milk frozen desserts (sweetened with agave) that your husband will love. Or you can make your own (see Ch. 11).

Of course, food isn’t the only issue when it comes to weight loss or gain. It’s the biggest one, but there are two other biggies. About that, tomorrow.

Gluten Free Live Granola & Breakfast

Jason, a 12 Steps to Whole Foods reader, shared the following recipes with us. They’re mostly raw, gluten free, and full of sprouted nutrition. He writes:

When I first got the recipes for the 12 steps, I was a little disappointed that the Live Granola contained oatmeal (my wife is gluten sensitive). I know many on this forum avoid gluten, so I thought I’d post the granola recipe we developed, as well as our favorite breakfast. Hope you enjoy them as much as we do! ~Jason (jayroo)

Sprouted Buckwheat Granola (gluten free)

This was inspired by a granola we found at the Ecopolitan, a raw restaurant in Minneapolis, MN. We go through a batch every week.

  • 4 c buckwheat groats, rinsed, soaked overnight, rinsed well (or soaked 15 minutes and sprouted 24 hours)
  • 2 c raw seeds (e.g. sunflower & pumpkin), soaked overnight, rinsed
  • 2-3 c raw nuts (e.g. almonds & pecans), soaked overnight, rinsed
  • 3 T cinnamon
  • 1/3 c raw honey, softened over medium-low heat
  • Optional: 1 T virgin coconut oil
  • 2 c dried fruit (e.g. raisins and goji berries)
  1. Optional: briefly pulse the larger nuts in a food processor (I leave them whole)
  2. In a large bowl, mix buckwheat, seeds, nuts, cinnamon, honey and coconut oil.
  3. Spread on dehydrator trays with mesh, teflex, or fruit leather sheets. Dehydrate at your preferred temp for 6-8 hours, mix, continue dehydrating until crunchy. The amount listed fills 4 trays in my Nesco dehydrator.
  4. Mix in dry fruit and store in a sealed container at room temp or in the fridge.
  5. Yields 10-12 cups

Sprouted Buckwheat Cereal (gluten free)

This was the first gourmet raw meal that my wife actually enjoyed and asked for again. She once told me I could make it for her every day.

  • 1 cup buckwheat groats, rinsed, soaked overnight, rinsed well (or soaked 15 minutes and sprouted 24 hours)
  • 1 banana, chopped
  • 1 t cinnamon
  • dash of maple syrup
  • optional: raw pecans or almonds, soaked overnight, rinsed, chopped

Process buckwheat, banana, cinnamon, and maple syrup in a food processor until creamy. Top with nuts. Serves 2.

 

how do you have the time?

Dear GreenSmoothieGirl.com: I’m a working single mom.   I know you are, too.   How do you make breakfast, lunch, and dinner for your family?

 

Answer: I don’t spend a lot of time doing things that don’t matter.   I’ve just learned the high-impact things that ARE worth my time.   I also teach my kids how to cook and clean up, and we all pitch in and take turns.

 

Green smoothies are a high-impact item.   Once a week making a gallon of kefir, and a big roasting pan of granola, also high-impact and worth my time.   Making a salad for dinner is another 5-10 minutes that is worth the effort.   Those are the things I do every day.   Sometimes, but not always, I’ll make a quart of salad dressing, something from Ch. 3 of 12 Steps, to last several days.   If I don’t do that, then a splash of raw apple cider vinegar and olive oil dresses the salad, with maybe a sprinkle of Trocomare and/or kelp.   I spin my romaine in a salad spinner so that the salad dressing “sticks” instead of getting diluted with water at the bottom of the bowl.

 

And then, I keep my dishes simple when I do cook, and I often double batches, having some for a second night, and some to freeze.   Before I go to work, I take a pint of pesto sauce or an 8″x8″ pan of wild mushroom rice bake or a Tupperware of vegetarian chili out of the freezer.   Once a week we end up having “leftover night.”

 

Whichever child I need to spend some time with, I’ll often call into the kitchen to help me.   I have a child who loves potatoes, and she likes to come in and scrub some potatoes while I make a salad.   While we do that, we catch up on what happened to her that day at school.  

 

Speaking of that, I have a brand-new YouTube video out about how to get your kids invested in nutrition.   They have to care about it, themselves, if you want them to leave home and do what you’re doing (prepare and eat whole plant foods).   Here it is:

 

http://in.youtube.com/watch?v=R-O0voLkxBI

 

(If you subscribe to my videos, then when I release new ones, you’re notified via email.)

What did you make, when did you eat it, and where?

Dear GreenSmoothieGirl, what do you eat in a day?   Not only what did you eat, but WHERE were you when you ate it (soccer field, etc.), and when did you make it, etc.?

 

Answer:   I logged three weekdays  in a row, just for you.   (I think this question was a nice way of asking, do you spend your whole day in the kitchen, or are you busy like me?   Because if you’re in that kitchen for more than half an hour, I’m not even listening to you!)

 

Tuesday:  

 

Breakfast: the kids made themselves kefir blended with banana smoothie, and bowls of granola with sprouts added, and rice milk.   I made my Hot Pink Smoothie in less than five minutes and drank it out of a quart jar on the way to the gym.   (Always!   So boring, sorry.)

 

Lunch:   In front of the computer, I had a quart of green smoothie with some chips I made with sprouted wheat tortillas (under the broiler, brushed them with olive oil and sprinkled The Zip on them).   I had some guacamole with the chips (that I had in the fridge from yesterday).   The kid in charge of school lunch assembly made whole-wheat PB sandwiches, an apple, carrot sticks.   I stuck the kids’ green smoothies in the fridge for after school.

 

Dinner:   I made a hot dish called Amaranth L’Orange (coming out in Ch. 9) right before eating it, and my teenaged son made a salad, with some chopped squash and cucumbers and tomatoes in it (took each of us about 15 mins.).   I tossed some raw apple cider vinegar and extra virgin olive oil on, to avoid making a “real” dressing.   I ate mine in the car driving to a soccer practice, along with the remainder of my green smoothie from earlier.   Everybody else ate together except me and my son at soccer practice.

 

Wednesday:

 

Breakfast: same as above.

 

Lunch: took a quart of green smoothie to work, with a baggie of Chipotle Sprouted Almonds (Ch. 7).   Drank some of the green smoothie in the car on the way to work (at noon).   Finished teaching at 3:15 and had the rest of the GS and almonds driving home on the way to grab kids for sports practices.   Kid in charge of school lunch assembly made whole-wheat sandwiches and a baggie of cantaloupe slices, a baggie of sugar snap peas, and a Stretch Island fruit leather.

Dinner:   Had Southwest Quinoa Salad that I’d made and refrigerated a  couple of  hours earlier, with extra raw veggies in lieu of making another salad, because we were going in different directions to soccer games and this is an easy meal to take.   I grabbed some plastic cups and spoons to eat out of, at the game.   We also had some Oat-Coconut Cookies I’d made earlier (a mix recipe you’ll get in Ch. 11).

 

Thursday:

 

Breakfast: same as above.

 

Lunch:   had a quart of green smoothie (drank only about 2/3 of it), and leftover quinoa salad from last night, while working at the computer.     Kid in charge of school lunch assembly made bags of popcorn with coconut oil and seasonings (see Ch. 4), a bag of grapes, and a bag of baby carrots.

 

Dinner:   Threw together Cucumber-Tomato-Red Onion salad with garden veggies, with balsamic and olive oil (see Ch. 2), and made Turnip Buckwheat Casserole (coming out in Ch. 9).   Took about 30 mins. in the kitchen.   We all sat down and ate together at the kitchen table, a miracle in soccer season!

 

Anyone else trying to eat a plant-based diet of whole foods want to share what you ate in a day, when you made it, and where you ate it?   (Or anyone else eating the S.A.D., just to make the rest of us feel better? haha)

Eating right, even at Disneyland

Hi, Ben here—GreenSmoothieGirl.com’s webmaster. Robyn’s on spring break in SoCal, seeing Wicked and doing the theme parks with her family. But she left me her list of what she packed, to give you some travel ideas. She keeps her family’s energy high and digestion strong on vacation, while saving money on restaurants, by packing this stuff for breakfasts, lunches, and snacks.

Cooler:

Bags of baby carrots, sliced cucumbers, raw sweet potatoes

½ gal. homemade yogurt

2 bags Costco spinach

1 bag Costco frozen mixed berries

pint of soaked/drained sunflower seeds (to add to granola for breakfast)

quart of alfalfa/radish/clover sprouts (to add to granola for breakfast)

Box:

BlendTec

Plastic cups, straws, bowls, spoons, and baggies

Knife and cutting board for smoothies (I use it even on hotel room tables or vanities)

Lexan mugs for smoothies

Backpack for taking food to the parks

3 loaves whole-wheat bread

organic peanut butter-honey mix

gallon bag of homemade granola

3 boxes Rice Dream

gallon bag of soaked/dehydrated teriyaki almonds

Tonya’s “For Cryin’ Out Loud Dehydrator Onion Bread” (post to follow)

bananas (for green smoothies and to add to yogurt for breakfast)

bags of washed apples, pears, plums

 

5-gallon jug of filtered water