Archive for the ‘smoothies’ category

Naturopaths and Oxalic Acid

July 18, 2010

Friday I went to a wonderful naturopath who also eats raw, although not exclusively. She mentioned something that I think is important to pass along, because it is partially what’s been going wrong with my body.

Spinach, swiss chard, and parsley have high levels of oxalic acid – parsley being the highest – and eating them raw can cause blockage of calcium absorption in the body. She said that for her green smoothies she lightly steams these particular greens until a hint of water on leaves appears. This allows for the calcium to be absorbed and still keeps the greens close to raw. She said that kale does not seem to be a problem, so that can be used without steaming, and although this may not affect everyone the same way, I have noted since being on the raw food diet that I am not absorbing calcium – and my smoothie greens have been mostly spinach. So, I’m going to try this new method and see what happens.

In the meantime, if you are looking for wonderful health care – try a naturopath. They have so much to offer in the way of alternative health remedies, and I’m thrilled to have found one who is open and aware of the many modalities that regular M.D.’s haven’t got a clue about. It’s very nice to talk to a health care professional who doesn’t get a  deer in the headlights expression when you mention things like cranial sacral, homeopathy, or raw food!! (KJ)

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Becoming Our Own Health Detectives – Danger of Fructose in Agave

April 7, 2010

I mentioned that since doing the raw food and green smoothies my blood pressure shot up enormously, and I have been perplexed and dumfounded by this. After all, the raw food enthusiasts say that blood pressure goes down. However, I’ve been doing some research!

There are a couple things that I’m going to work with in the next few weeks to see if a difference is found. First of all, I found out that too much fruit is not good for the thyroid or high blood pressure, and we’ve been having smoothies every morning that are 60% fruit and 40% deep leafy green veggies. So…that is one possibility of spiking my BP. But secondly, I just read a whole article about agave syrup on Dr. Mercola’s Newsletter that states it as a form of fructose, and that Fructose is a poison to the body. He states that the only safe non-sugar alternative is Stevia.

I also found a You Tube lecture by a physician from UCSF on the dangers of Fructose, including raising blood pressure, and after seeing it, looked at all my medications, supplements, and other things to find out if fructose was listed.  Imagine my shock when I found that a product that two of my physicians recommended for rebuilding arteries have Fructose as the leading ingredient, and I’ve been taking this twice a day!!! This again just points to the importance of doing our own research and NOT taking what anyone else tells us as gospel until we have checked out ingredients, done the research on it, and then found out if it’s okay for us. Sometimes, the only way to do that is through becoming our own guinea pig.    

The question about checking things out leads us to who do we believe and where do we go for impartial information that is presented to help us with the best medical and alternative health programs that are available? In this respect I  recommend that anyone on any kind of diet read some of the articles on Mercola’s site. You do have to sign up, but it is free, and they do not share their e-mail addresses with anyone else.  

http://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2010/01/02/HighFructose-Corn-Syrup-Alters-Human-Metabolism.aspx

We are bombarded with so much contrary information as to what is good for us and what is bad, that we need a resource that presents many studies and demonstrates fairness in reporting. I have not had a great feeling about Agave at an intuitive level, and when I read about the questions surrounding its harvesting and preparation, and that because of what is done to it that it is a fructose, I was reminded once again how important it is to pay attention to our intuition, regardless of what advertising tells us is “safe” or “unsafe”. So much of marketing is one industry trying to tear down another for market predominance, and truth is a low priority item when it comes to selling one’s products and grabbing market share.

I’m finding out a lot about the intricacy of our individual chemistry and learning that one size does NOT fit all. It’s up to us to take the best of what we find and experiment and explore the many options presented to find just what is right for us based on our own health needs and our body’s response. The title of our BLOG  is Journey2Raw, An Investigation of the Raw Food Lifestyle…but more appropriately it should be  an investigation into the raw food lifestyle and BEYOND! (KJ)

Disagreement Over Smoothies

March 6, 2010
Green Smoothie Taste Test

Steve and I have a disagreement over smoothies. He feels they should be 60% fruit and 40% veggies. He’s taken that straight from one book on smoothies. However, I have found that having the smoothie in the morning with that much fruit is not working for me. It makes me feel light headed and not good a little while after drinking it, and that brings me to another book that recommends using mostly greens and trying not to have too much fruit in the mix. Beyond that, when we were at a talk given by Steven Fowkes, who is a molecular biologist (www.ceri.com), he strongly suggested that people have to follow their own metabolism, and that for him, fruit in the morning is absolutely not appropriate. According to each of our own unique systems, we need to find out what works to make the body hum. What is just right at noon may not be appropriate at 8 AM, while for someone else, the opposite holds true.

This whole process shows us how important it is to not be fanatical, and not to get caught in the trap of believing that one size fits all. I’m off now to see if making a green smoothie with veggies and perhaps one small chunk of banana will be the right thing for me. If not, maybe I have to eat something first and then have a smoothie later in the day. It is an experimentation in process! (KJ)

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Update by Steve

Steve's Green Smoothie with Fruit

Steve's Green Smoothie with Fruit

I went to get a haircut this morning while Kathleen was left to her own devices. She would not drink my beautiful delicious Green Smoothie this morning because she protested that I made them with too much fruit. Today I made mine with Mango, Pineapple, Orange, Banana, Baby Spinach and a large leaf of Mustard Greens. Yuuuuummmmm!  Beware of mustard greens because they are very peppery and tangy and spicey!

Kathleen’s smoothie was made with spinach, mustard greens, ginger, mint, 2 carrots and parsley.

I took photos of the results for your edification.

Kathleen's Green Smoothie without Fruit

Kathleen's Green Smoothie without Fruit

Note: She said she drank a glassful and had a hard time not upchucking it. I took one sip of hers and nearly gagged. So there you have it, the disagreement resolved!

Caveat

February 26, 2010

We have found out that eating raw and drinking smoothies is not going to heal us of anything if we don’t change our old habits. One of the things that smoothies do is to help break cravings for foods that are not optimum for the body. But we’ve both found out that if we DO eat things that are not good for us, the old symptoms re-emerge. For instance, when I ate pancakes with a very small amount of syrup, I got dizzy and felt crummy. Steve has a major snoring problem, and when he gave up all the foods that were not good for him and was true to the raw and smoothie diet, the snoring stopped.   HOWEVER, when he thought he could have popcorn, back it came. When he decided that some chocolate covered peanuts would be okay, snoring returned with a vengeance. Last night I made some raw date, oatmeal, raisin, carob, coconut dessert, and he had some. Snoring again. SO…the key is to recognize what you are allergic to, play around with the different foods to see how you feel, and then get back to doing what helps your body heal.

While we are exploring our food intake, let’s not forget our spiritual intake, as well as physical exercise, because we are body, mind, spirit after all. What a journey! KJ

How to Make a Green Smoothie

February 25, 2010

By Steve Freier

Green Smoothie

Green Smoothie Blended Drink

I made a video on How to Make a Green Smoothie and posted it on You Tube. Making Green Smoothies is the easiest thing in the world to do!  There is a simple formula. Use 60% fruit and 40% green leafy plant matter such as spinach, kale, carrot greens, beet greens, swiss chard, etc.  The fruit can be apples, pears, mango, papaya, banana, blue berries, raspberries, strawberries, etc. You can even use tomatoes and cucumber as the fruit, celery too.  It is best if all are organic, but if not then regular produce is better than nothing.

Start with a cup of water. Then put your greens and then the fruit, chopped up a bit so it fits in the blender. Most chefs use and recommend a VitaMix or a Blendtec because they will absolutely chop everything so fine that the end product will be fabulously smooth and delicious!

Once you have blended your smoothie a bit, I always stop and taste and then make corrections. I will add more water if it’s too thick and I always add some ice – maybe a cup to give it a nice cool refreshing feel.

I then pour a glass to drink for breakfast and take along another cup to drink during the morning at work. I may drink yet another cup at lunch time.  It’s easy to get through the day this way without having to bother cooking or going out to fast food restaurants and wasting time and money on bad food.

Here’s a few links to a number of sites that provide many suggestions on how to make a variety of green smoothies. Enjoy!

Here’s the Boutenko Family Sites, the originators of the green smoothie:
http://rawfamily.com/recipes.htm

http://www.greenforlife.com/15-smoothies-in-3-mins.htm

Green Diva Mom
12 Great Tasting Green Smoothie Recipes!

Vitamix Green Smoothies with Video

http://greensmoothierecipes.org/

http://www.smoothie-handbook.com/green-smoothie.html

Another good green smoothie site:
http://www.live-green-smoothie-diet.com/how-to-make-a-green-smoothie/

Let me know about your favorite recipe for green smoothies!

– Steve


A Very Busy Weekend

February 25, 2010

This past weekend was interesting – my granddaughter came to spend time with us for two days of her winter break, and I always enjoy giving her a relaxing time away from her otherwise hectic schedule. At 13, she is going through the angst and questioning that so many teenagers face. Now that we are eating raw food and drinking green smoothies, I didn’t want to force them upon her because when she comes to visit, she gets to be a little princess, and it is not the time to enforce dietary strictures. Her parents can do that. She loves pancakes, eggs and fried potatoes, french toast, Grandma’s sandwiches, and Annie’s Mac and Cheese when she’s here. (just to set the record straight – she eats much healthier food at home, which is why this is a treat for her). The pancake mix was Pamela’s gluten free, and I thought I’d just have one or two of them with her to see how I’d feel. The result was almost immediate. I felt dizzy and heaviness. I was actually surprised at how fast my body reacted. I also noted that my taste buds are becoming much more aware of flavors, and the maple syrup was way too sweet for me even though I’d used only a small dab on each pancake. Later, I felt tired, and when Steve came home Friday, he made a green drink, which immediately perked me up.

Saturday we had a wonderful gathering of friends from out of town, and everyone was interested in the green smoothies. In fact, as people were leaving, the mailman arrived, and I was aware that he had a heart attack a couple of years ago at the age of 35. We chatted, and I told him how much better Steve and I were feeling, mentioning the green smoothies. He was interested and asked about them, so I invited him in and we gave him a glass. He really liked the smoothie and asked if we would e-mail recipe for it – which I did.

Saturday night, we went out to dinner. I felt a need for a hot meal, but did not want any rice noodles. We have a favorite organic Thai restaurant that has wonderful food. If you are on the Peninsula, it is in San Carlos on El Camino Real, and is called Sirayvah http://www.sirayvahorganicthaicuisine.com Steve wanted noodles and had the Pad Thai with tofu. I had a wonderful bowl of Thai soup with coconut milk and lemongrass, and some chicken. I felt very good after. My body really wanted the hot meal. Steve, however, did not feel that good. The pad thai was too heavy for him.

Sunday morning we went to the wonderful farmer’s market on California Avenue in Palo Alto. There are two booths I’m especially fond of in addition to the great organic produce sellers. One is Raw Daddy, where we are able to get great raw food cones – like an ice cream cone – with super veggies and yummy sauces. The creator of this is looking for venture capital or angel investors to start a fast food raw restaurant, and I hope he’s able to pull it off. If you are curious, take a look at his site: http://www.rawdaddyfoods.com

We also like the booth next to his that sells SUPER sauerkraut…some of the best I’ve ever had. It is a great aid to digestion, and if you are interested, their website is: http://www.farmhouseculture.com

Sunday afternoon we attended a raw food group gathering. It was our first, and was very enjoyable. The host and hostess were warm and knowledgeable. The group consisted of 32 people from all walks of life, but I was impressed with the number of physicians and aryuvedic doctors, acupuncturists, and nurtitionists who attended. We had a potluck dinner and then a super talk about metabolism by a very knowledgeable biochemist, Steven Fowkes, who is the founder of The Cognitive Enhancement Research Institute: http://www.ceri.com

Steve and I left the event feeling buoyed and enthusiastic. Also, he won third prize for his slaw and incredible corn crackers. This after only two weeks with raw recipes! It was good to see that the people involved were not fanatics. Some were new to it as we were, investigating raw food and wanting to determine how much they chose incorporate into their diet. Many were vegetarians, but others of us were not, so I was relieved to see that this was not a fanatic group.

All in all, the weekend was a confirmation of our focus, and we felt good throughout. For me, I’m normally needing much more quiet time with space between events. However, even though we had constant activity and guests from Friday on, I got through it all with energy to spare. Hurray!

The Green Smoothie Revolution – Healing in a Glass

February 21, 2010

by Steve Freier

Green Smoothie Blended Drink

Green Smoothie - Healing in a Glass

Today marks the end of the first week on my Raw Journey.  It started last Saturday when we went to the local Farmer’s Market to buy some Greens.  And what a remarkable week it has been!  Most notably I have experienced the following changes; some expected some not.

Major Weight Loss, Increased Clarity
In one week I have lost ten pounds! It’s hard to know exactly but I had weighed in at around 230 – 235 average. Today I weigh 220.  Secondly, I feel much clearer in that a constant brain fog has lifted substantially.

Skin Problem Reversed
A related symptom has also disappeared. For at least ten years I had been experiencing annoying problems with the skin on my head. I had skin sores that would ooze and the severity would range from barely noticeable to an all-out rash that would typically culminate in one or both ears serving as exit points. My guess is that it is or was a candida condition or an infection. My theory is that this condition, never diagnosed by a doctor, was caused by an addiction to sugar.  About two to three weeks ago this condition had manifested in a moderate pain in the scalp on the right side. I had only had that sort of experience once or twice before.  As they say, “only my hairdresser knew for sure,” as it was usually not that evident to the average person. The good news is that in one week this terrible condition has almost completely reversed itself!  THAT is a major miracle for me!

Kicking the Sugar Habit
I realize that as I write this post that it might be starting to sound like an AA Meeting confession, and in some respects that may be true. However, in just a few days I have nearly completely lost me addiction to sugar. I used to love Sees Candy. Sees is like Crack Cocaine someone once said and I have to agree! But I loved all sorts of Crack Candy; Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups, Trader Joe’s Chocolate Covered Pretzels, Trader Joe’s Chocolate Covered Pretzels with Peanut Butter inside, Chocolate of any kind really!  I WAS addicted, but the other day I actually tossed out the remainder of a box of chocolates!  Another miracle! That took place in less than a week! But how did I get here?  All it took was making a decision to try something different. And the real result is that my cravings for the Junk Food of Death has been brought under control.

Sleep Apnea Cured
Another thing that comes to mind is the fact that I have almost completely stopped snoring!  My partner had been complaining for years about my snoring and would at times get up and go sleep in another room. And before this past week she had removed herself every night. I myself had removed myself to the other room a few nights too. I had been considering going to one of those sleep clinics to get diagnosed with was obviously Sleep apnea. My Father had it and my grandfather had it. Maybe it ran in my family?  But I already knew what the outcome of that would be. They would prescribe this horrendous facemask that forces oxygen into your lungs and I would have to wear that all night every night. A friend who has sleep apnea suggested a special sleep clinic that was running trials on a new device. I could get paid for using the device so wouldn’t have to worry about the cost of buying one. I was considering doing that when the Green Smoothies rescued me from that terrible fate!  My sweetheart and I are now sleeping more soundly through the night and are back together again in the same bed!

Coffee & Tea Addiction
I am not done yet! Within days of drinking the Green Smoothies I have gained my energy and vitality! Simply amazing!  I had been very tired all the time. I would wake up very stiff and sore and drag myself out of bed. I would then concoct a doubly strong brew of black tea and load it up with three shots of sugar and a hit of honey and top it off with half & half! I loved that drink! On some days I would brew up some equally strong coffee.  Or perhaps I would drink the tea and then also have another round of strong coffee as well at the office.  The results?  Even more sluggishness and brain fog too!

Arthritis & Gout Healed
Another Big Result!  Over the past year or three I had developed a gout condition. I had it mostly under control using natural means such as taking celery seed capsules.  My doctor wanted me to take something stronger but I refused. So as I was feeling so proud that I had not had any major gout attacks in the past year, I was starting to become more arthritic. I felt it mainly in my ankles and feet and left arm socket and my little fingers had become bent over and hurt like hell most of the time. And once again I can say that Green Smoothies have to get the credit for starting to reverse these conditions. Today there is no pain in my ankles and feet and the other areas have quieted down immensely!

Healing in a Glass
I must emphasize that all this has taken place in One Week! If I sound a little excited and this all seems too good to be true, well I have to give credit to a decision to stop doing insane activities over and over and expecting a better result. In order to heal you have to do something different. If you give your body the right ingredients it can and will heal. I owe it all to the Green Smoothie – It’s a Health Revolution in a Glass! Every soldier needs a weapon and for food addictions my weapon is the Green Smoothie!