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!

ideas from readers, part 2 of 3

I often hear about people falling off the wagon, after a period of having tremendous results with their 15 servings of raw greens and fruit daily (what you get in the quart of green smoothie daily that I recommend).

It happens. Shall we problem solve, so it happens less often?

Thursday after tennis I ran to Supersonic to get my car washed. While I was waiting, two women rushed up and said, “GREEN SMOOTHIE GIRL!” (They didn’t know my actual name–this happens a lot, and I think it’s funny!)

Turns out they have a really unique and cool arrangement. They are best friends: Karri is single and lives alone, and Bo is married with kids. Karri has more time but less money, and Bo has more money and less time. Karri makes green smoothies for Bo and her husband every day since she doesn’t need the whole blenderful. I think Bo pays for the ingredients. Win-win for everybody.

I like it. If you’re struggling with something–time, money, whatever–there’s always a way. It’s just about getting creative and being dogged about creating a habit. Don’t give up!

Oh, and I am glad to meet new people in the revolution. The whole-foods revolution, kicking the S.A.D. to the curb. Love it when you come up and make friends with me–I’m going up to Strawberry to look at Bo’s cabin and see about getting land to build a cabin for retreats! Wouldn’t that be fun?

anything to make food prep easier

Dear GreenSmoothieGirl: I was talking to someone today who said he puts whole, uncored apples in smoothies. Is that okay?

Answer: Absolutely. I do it too. However, if your apples are not organic, quickly cut out the divots in the top and bottom of the apple. That’s where the pesticides collect, and it’s hard to wash that part.

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!

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.)