Giveaway, Chia Pudding Recipe—and why you need Omega 3’s

At our VIP class a few weeks ago, I taught 6 nutrition habits, each of which can have a dramatic effect on your health. One is using chia seed (I gave my favorite ways to use it) for Omega fatty acids.

One thing I feel passionate about is getting people to understand how critical a good Omega 3 fatty acid source is. More than 80 percent of Americans are deficient in it, and you need it to avoid anxiety and depression, plus a host of other health problems.

Flax seed, hemp seed, and chia seed are the best plant sources. Fish oil is rancid long before you ingest it, and meta studies of its long-touted effects on heart disease reveal that it isn’t solving any problems. Read my recent blog entry about fish oil HERE.

So get your Omega 3 from good plant foods! I sometimes stir a spoonful of chia seed into my Hot Pink Breakfast Smoothie (Ch. 10 of 12 Steps to Whole Foods), or any other drink. Kristin adds it to her green tea, which is how she’s surviving breaking a 30-year Diet Pepsi addiction.

Put 1 Tbsp. of chia in 3 Tbsp. of water and let it soak 20 mins. It’s now a replacement for a large egg in baking recipes.

Here’s a recipe I developed recently that is so easy. You may enjoy it for a treat after dinner, or for breakfast. It also features goji berries, eaten by the longest-living people on the planet, high in protein and a wide array of nutrients.

The first three readers to write support123@greensmoothiegirl.com gets a FREE COCOA MOJO AND COCONUT MILK POWDER! (You can learn about those items clicking on that link. In addition to using them in chia pudding, I get through the winter without sugar, thanks to these fabulous products making us healthy hot cocoa.)

CHOCOLATE GOJI CHIA PUDDING

1 ½ cups filtered water

¼ cup chia seed

¼ cup goji berries

3 Tbsp. coconut milk powder

3 Tbsp. Cocoa Mojo

In your blender, blend water, coconut milk powder, and Cocoa Mojo for 30 seconds. Pour mixture into a container and stir in chia and goji. Allow to sit for 4-12 hours. May be kept in the refrigerator several days.  Add hot water to pudding coming out of the fridge, if desired.

the virtues of coconut water

Stacy S., organizer of my San Diego event last week (I will blog about it this week, just waiting for photos), that I should write more about coconut oil. How about the liquid, or water, of the coconut? Thanks for the help on this, Jenny Cook:

It’s an amazing alternative to water – low in calories, zero fat, and lots of naturally occurring nutrition including potassium, magnesium and calcium, fiber, proteins, antioxidants, vitamins and minerals. It rehydrates you 3 times faster than water itself.

It’s a natural sports drink that stands apart from the blue-dye, chemical-sweetener-added competition. It is isotonic and contains more potassium than a banana and the perfect balance of electrolytes.

It has the same osmotic pressure as that of blood plasma, which means it can be safely administered as an intravenous fluid. In fact, it was used during WWII in emergency transfusions to replace blood plasma and save the lives of many wounded soldiers in the Pacific. Coconut water has also been used to treat cholera because of its electrolyte properties. Think of it as your own natural blood transfusion.

Secondly, it’s a very clever, wholly natural sports drink that knocks spots off the factory-created competition. It is isotonic and with more potassium than a banana and the perfect balance of electrolytes. Its just a natural and far more healthy alternative to mainstream sports drinks.

But the benefits don’t stop there. Coconut water is a natural diuretic that helps to dissolve kidney stones. It has oodles of potassium, which helps the body to fight water retention, muscle cramps and heart irregularities.

The calcium in coconut water is an important mineral for bones and teeth. It also plays a role as an electrical conductor in nerves and muscles.

Sodium is also needed in the body to maintain life. This vital electrolyte plays a number of roles to support health and wellness. Potassium and sodium interact electrically within the cells and outside the cells in the blood plasma and this is required for cardiac contractions, skeletal muscle movement and nerve impulses.

Coconut water helps dissolve kidney stones. It’s a natural diuretic, with lots of potassium, which helps the body fight water retention, muscle cramps, and heart irregularities.

It’s calcium rich, supporting strong bones and teeth. The highly bioavailable calcium plays an important role as an electrical conductor in nerves and muscles.

Sodium is an important electrolyte supporting wellness. Potassium and sodium interact electrically within and without cells in the blood plasma, aiding cardiac contractions, skeletal muscle movement and nerve impulses.

Coconut water also has fiber, protein, antioxidants and dozens of other nutrients. It takes 9 months to draw the water up from the earth through the trunk, into the nut and develop. We should appreciate the miracle that is the young coconut.

As more is known in the mainstream about coconut water, it will become harder to obtain. I am already having a hard time buying young coconuts–which are sold as a drink all over Asia, the Pacific, and many other places in the world I have been in the past several years.

I recommend buying cases of canned coconut water and keeping it in your long-term storage for emergencies. It’s a power food. And it has the benefit of tasting lovely. Coconut water is in my Hot Pink Breakfast Smoothie every morning (Ch. 10 of 12 Steps), which may be part of why I suffer from no chronic health conditions at age 44.

tennis and brain tumors and green smoothies

If I’d had my camera with me, I’d have taken a photo of one of my fiercest tennis opponents, whose name is Kristy. I haven’t played her in a long time; she plays for a club in North Salt Lake that we sometimes lose to (whereas we beat everyone else). She’s my age with 4 kids, so we bonded.

The last match I remember with her, we were playing singles and were tied in the second set after I’d won the first one. The rest of our teammates had finished their matches, and we were still going because we’re both baseline players and our rallies were interminable. It began to pour rain, so we had to drive to indoor courts, where our whole teams watched us finish it off. I won, but she is really good and I told her I’d love to play with her, for fun, sometime.

Today she was at my club for a match and she said, “I’ve been looking for you!” She told me that she’d had surgery for a brain tumor just two months ago. A neighbor friend of hers said, “I am bringing you a green smoothie every day for two weeks before and after your surgery.” She did so, and Kristy is playing competitive tennis now less than two months later! She looks healthy and beautiful.

Kristy didn’t know what a GS was, but she’s a convert now. The neighbor sent her to my site, where Kristy said, “Hey! I play tennis with that girl!” She got my course and now has Hot Pink Smoothie for breakfast every morning. (Beets. Carrots. Dates and more. Perfect electrolytes, perfect fat/carbs/protein ratio, all raw, and now I REALLY AM SCARED IF I HAVE TO PLAY HER AGAIN! Might just be the competitive edge she needed.)

Kristi’s neighbor, if you’re reading this, I LOVE YOU. I love love love to hear stories of people helping each other in crisis—rescuing folks we care about with good nutrition. We can’t prop people up forever if they don’t want to own responsibility for their own care. But we can get them started, get them addicted to the way they feel when they get 15 servings of raw vegetables and fruit in their diet every day.

As I’ve written about on this blog before, it’s a great way to serve someone who is facing a scary diagnosis or a surgery: tell them you’re bringing green smoothies every day for the foreseeable future. Last year I did that with my friend Lisa after her shoulder surgery, and with my neighbor Kris after she had brain surgery. My teammate Laura has taken GS to her wheelchair-bound neighbor who has a debilitating disease her sisters and mother have all died of, for a few years now, and she’s far outlived anyone’s expectations and believes that’s why.

Love you all who serve others. Share here if you have an experience with that!

what I’m eating on the detox

Patti wrote and said, “I hope you’ll be willing to share with us a bit about your detox experiences as well as a few ideas on raw meals for those of us who can only be with you in spirit as our budgets right now are overloaded.”

When you detox, the liver, kidneys, lymph system, digestive system, or bloodstream can sometimes get overloaded as your body throws off accumulations of chemicals and waste products. Common symptoms are headaches and digestive changes (usually diarrhea, but bloating, gas, cramps, or constipation can happen).

You can slow down a cleanse, if necessary, with a baked potato or other cooked vegetables. I stay away from grains and legumes while I’m cleansing–too heavy. (No sugar, no meat or eggs/milk products either. No drinks except water–drink lots of water!)

Debbie in Portland, who set up the three classes I’m teaching first weekend in Feb., wrote me her dietary plans, below. They look a lot like what I’ve been doing, except for the tuna & mayo, and I have just GS for dinner rather than what I make my kids. Debbie calls chocolate “non-negotiable,” LOL!

I sometimes have hot chocolate: Cocoa Mojo/Coconut Milk Powder from my store. And once I broiled quartered corn tortillas to eat with guacamole. One day I had some Turnip Leek Soup (Ch. 6 of 12 Steps, it’s really yummy). And I eat a little dried guava or mango that I brought home from Africa. Everything else is GREEN SMOOTHIE and salads and HOT PINK SMOOTHIE. I was hungry the first couple of days, but that diminishes as you adjust. Your metabolism relaxes so your body can focus on detoxification.

I love detoxing. I’m glad Tera (GreenSmoothieQueen) asked me to collaborate with her to do this with our readers. I feel light and energetic when I eat virtually all raw. I don’t have cleansing reactions, probably because I “run clean” all the time anyway, so it’s not a very dramatic shift like it will be for those eating the S.A.D. It may take you a few years of eating a whole-foods, mostly-raw diet to arrive at that place where a detox doesn’t throw you for a loop. (One reader said all she can do is SLEEP.)

Here’s Debbie’s meal plan for January, eating what she makes for her kids for dinner (and she didn’t say what that is):

Daily- pre-breakfast (about 8:30 a.m.)- 3 cups green smoothie

– dinner 1 cup green smoothie with a tablespoon hydrated chia seeds, main dish of soup, legume or starchy-vegetable based.

M-W-F– breakfast (about 11:30 a.m.)- 2 cups fruity-ish smoothie, soaked grains or sprouted bread

— lunch (biggest meal, about 3:30 p.m.)- 2 cups gr. smoothie, big green salad with pumpkin seeds/ beans/avocado for heartiness, GSG salad dressing, dark chocolate bar (quantity as needed)

T-Th-Sat– breakfast- 2 cups hot pink smoothie with about 1 tbls. flax oil added

— lunch– 2 cups green smoothie, 1/4-1/3 cup sprouted almonds or other nuts/seeds, coconut milk/cocoa (quantity as needed, again)

Sunday– breakfast– 3 cups green smoothie with 1 tbsp. flax oil added

— lunch- 3 cups green smoothie, tuna (with half and half white bean puree and mayo, onions, etc) on sprouted bread, fresh veggies, chocolate in some form

— dinner- 2 cups green smoothie and whatever is served for extended family dinner

hot-pink smoothie mustache

If you’ve been here a while, you know my favorite breakfast is my Hot Pink

smoothie. This outrageously adorable little girl, Elena, just drank one. Got

any better ideas to feed your little ones raw beets and carrots and have

them still smiling like Elena is? This photo was sent in by a reader named

Carol.

My own children love Hot Pink too, even the two “picky” kids who will give

me as much grief about food as I allow them to. (Which isn’t much.)

It’s not Hot Pink because it’s spicy “hot”–it’s not. It’s just that color,

from the beets.

I believe I have a really old YouTube video up, of me making this, and the

recipe is in Ch. 10 of 12 Steps.

It’s a Beet Monster

I’m not even sure what to say about this, that came out of my garden today. Technically it’s a beet. I’m not sure the photos let you appreciate just how big it is, about 12 in. tall. It looks like a replica of a human heart—blood color, to be sure, but also with the aorta and ventricles and stuff.

So here it is: I cut the skin off, and chopped it into chunks. Then baggies in the freezer. It’s now 32 days’ worth of Hot Pink smoothie that I’ve been obsessed with, for breakfast, for about 8 years now (beets, carrots, frozen strawbs, coconut liquid—see Ch. 10 of 12 Steps, YUM).