Health & Wealth Archives

Green smoothie is an energizing drink made from blended fruit, raw leafy greens and water. It is a simple way to eat high-nutrient vegetables with joy and ease. You can also prepare raw green soups which, in addition, include non-starchy vegetables and/or herbs.

Please read previous posts on how to make a green smoothie and choose a blender. Here I will present some tasty green smoothie recipes. Have fun experimenting and design your own recipes.

Best green smoothie recipes

1 cup = 250 ml (8.5oz)

For the apples I often choose the Golden, Gala or Fuji kinds. My favorite pears for smoothie is Conference.

Balance-me-out
1 large mango
1 cup kale
1 cup water

Yammy berries
2 ripe bananas
1 cup blueberries  
2 cups spinach
1 cup water

Perfect day
1-2 ripe bananas
0.5 avocado
2 apples
2 cups of spinach 
1 cup water
See point 1) below.

Morning kick
2 peaches
0.5 pineapple
1 cup spinach
5 romaine lettuce leaves    
1 cm fresh ginger root
0.5 cup water

Parsley love
1 large ripe banana
1 apple  
1 cucumber
1 cup fresh parsley    
1 cup water

Energize-me
2-3 cups papaya
1 big apple
2 cups baby spinach 
1 carrot, chopped (optional)    
0.5 cup water

Rocket-me
2-3 mangoes
2 cups rocket leaves
0.5 cup spinach
1 cup water

Delightful
3 cups papaya
3 cups flat parsley
Water not needed
Refresh-me
2 cups pineapple
1 cup blueberries
2 cups watercress
0.5 cup water
Kale-Watermelon Detox
1 banana
1 carrot, chopped
1 orange
2 cups watermelon
3 cups kale
1 cup water

Parsley-pear passion
4 pears
2 cups parsley
1 cup water

Coriander detox
1 cucumber
1 small avocado
1 stalk celery
0.5 lime, juiced
1 clove garlic
2 cups coriander
0.5 cup water

I-want-to-recover
2 pears
2 small oranges
2 cups kale
0.5 lemon, juiced
0.5 cup water

Soup Gazpacho by
Victoria Boutenko
3 large tomatoes
1 large avocado
2 stalks celery
1 red bell pepper
1 lime, juiced
1 bunch basil
1 cup kale
1 cup water

Thai Soup by
Sergei Boutenko
2 cucumbers
1 large avocado
1 lime, juiced
3 cloves garlic
1 cm raw ginger root
1 cup kale
1 teaspoon turmeric powder
2 cups water

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Leafy greens from plain to strong

Leafy greens vary a lot in flavor and taste. My personal scale from mild to strong is:

  • baby spinach (the mildest)
  • spinach
  • dandelion leaves
  • romaine lettuce
  • flat parsley
  • lettuce
  • bunched parsley
  • grape leaves
  • kale
  • chard
  • rocket leaves
  • watercress
  • dill
  • basil
  • coriander (cilantro)
  • sorrel (the strongest sour taste).

So, if you want to start as blend as possible, start with spinach or romaine lettuce. I love strong tastes so I am happy with watercress or coriander. However, I notice that my kids are not so keen on smoothies with such strong tastes. I love the greens soups as well, but again, my family likes them less.

Basic guidelines

  1. Green smoothie: 60% fruit + 40% leafy greens.
    Use bananas, avocados or mangos as a base if you want a good texture and a satisfying drink. Some raw foodists claim that avocado (that includes fat) does not combine well with sweet fruits and it is the best to combine it with leafy greens, non-starchy vegs or non-sweet fruits. Do your own research or experiment.
  2. Green soup: 60% vegs and fruit  + 40% leafy greens.
    Use and mix basic fruits (apple, pear) and non-starchy vegetables. These include:
    • broccoli
    • brussel sprouts
    • cabbage
    • carrots
    • cauliflower
    • celery
    • chicory
    • cucumber
    • eggplant
    • kohlrabi
    • leeks
    • onions
    • parsley
    • peppers
    • radishes
    • summer squash
    • tomato
    • turnip, or
    • zucchini. 
      Cucumber, celery, summer squash or zucchini mix well with nearly any fruit.
  3. Use frozen fruits such as mangoes, pineapple, strawberries, blueberries or other berries. Bananas and avocado can be frozen as well. Frozen fruits work well in green smoothies and are often cheaper than the fresh ones.
  4. Drink your green smoothie on empty stomach and leave some time before you consume a meal afterwards (say 40-50min).
  5. Eat your green smoothie, i.e. chew every sip. Keep every sip of green smoothie in your mouth for a while so that the enzymes start their work to aid digestion. It is for the best assimilation of the ingredients.
  6. Add sprouted beans, or other sprouted seeds for additional nutrients. It is an easy way to power up your nutrients intake. And more importantly, the greens you are adding are alive.
  7. Add little or no water if your blender can handle it. Start with blending fruits first. Then add leafy greens.
  8. Use coconut water to juice from fresh fruits instead of water.
  9. Drink maximum 1 liter smoothies daily. I am not a strong advocate of drinking only smoothies or juices although there are people whose diet constitutes of only that. I believe that we are given teeth for purpose and it is important we use our teeth daily as well.

Mild detox is possible

Please start with one smoothie a day and with small amount of leafy greens. Build it up.

Green smoothies contain high levels of nutrients, enzymes, fiber, and some protein. They are known to remove toxins from your body. Kale, coriander (cilantro) and parsley are especially good for this. It is therefore common to experience some mild side effects that may include headache, or a general fatigue, aching, pre-cold symptoms (sore throat, feeling chilly, running nose, body aches), changes in bowel movements (perhaps diarrhea), rashes or acne breakouts. This happens within the first week or two weeks after you start drinking green smoothies daily.

Persevere as these side effects will not last and you will soon feel great. I personally experienced some cold symptoms.

You need to actually rejoice when you notice any of these side effects while drinking green smoothies. It proves leafy greens are doing their job. Soon, the daily smoothie will contribute to an increase of energy, little or zero sweet cravings, increase in energy, healthier skin, regular bowel movements, and a more regular digestive system.

Surprise yourself and make a green smoothie today!

***

If you have some questions or concerns concerning green smoothies, please consult a nutritionist, or better expert (high-) raw foodists such as Angela and Matt MonarchDavid WolfeGreen smoothie girl, etc.

 

A series on green smoothies

***

I am glad you are here, because it tells me you like the idea of green smoothies. Yay! Great news.

Daily green smoothie is a simple and healthy habit that can change your whole life experience. In the previous post I give arguments why green smoothie is a fantastic way to incorporate more greens in your life and become an energized and healthier person as a result. In the movie below Sergei Boutenko demonstrates how to make a delicious smoothie. It is based on the concepts from the Green for Life book written by his mother, an originator of green smoothies. First, he talks about some principles, then in the last 2 minutes he shows how such a smoothie is made.

See also http://www.rawfamily.com. Here we will focus on the blenders.

Blenders

Any blender will mix fruit and vegetables together to make a smoothie, or a kind of smoothie. As usual, the devil lies in the details. The difference between blenders is in the following aspects:

  • preparation: the amount of work such as peeling fruits, cutting leafy greens into pieces, etc
  • quality of the final result: smoothness or how much pieces of fiber are left out unblended
  • ease of use
  • durability and sustainability
  • cleaning time

Best green smoothie blenders

The best blender will allow you to make fantastic smoothies easily and fast. The most powerful blenders include VitaMix and BlendTec brands. They are very expensive, though. A much cheaper yet a great possibility offers the Omni blender. This is the latest blender added to the family of the so-called 3-horse power, powerful blenders. It seems the best value for money. If you want a powerful blender, Omni may be the right choice. 

What makes the VitaMixBlendTec and Omni blenders so good?

Their optimal design for heavy duty and daily use.

These blenders are also multi-functional. Not only make they smoothies and green smoothies, but also ice-cream, warm soups (yes, BlendTec can produce warm soups from cold water), nut butters, sauces, drinks, doughs, cake mixes, and so on. In addition, they can grind coffee beans and seeds. These are simply professional machines so you can rely on them for a long term use.

Have you ever wanted to have a fresh peanut butter, tahini, raw halva, almond milk, sesame milk or raw ice-cream (made from almond milk, peanut butter, dates and maple sirup)? Now, you can easily make them. And they are delicious.

Mid-priced blenders

If you cannot spend a few hundred dollars/euro/pounds on a blender, you may start with a decent mid-priced blender, usually in the 50-100 $/EUR/GBP range. Such blenders will let you start experimenting with delicious smoothies without too much pondering over the expensive blenders. Just have fun.

Mid-priced blenders are generally well-equipped for making great milk shakes or soft fruit smoothies. They are not necessary capable of blending hard leafy greens well such as kale, parsley leaves or chard. They will work better with spinach, rocket leaves, lettuce, baby spinach or coriander. Still, you will need an extra care and a right blending strategy to prevent the motor from burning.

Be aware that mid-priced blenders save you money in the short term, but many people report how fast they wear out when they commit to daily use. There is a chance you will need to replace your 50-100 $/EUR/GBP blender soon after you commit to daily green smoothie, either because the motor will burn out or you will outgrow its capabilities. Look at my tips below to ensure the blender you choose lasts for some time.

How to choose your mid-priced blender

If you are unsure whether you will stick to green smoothies or not, or you cannot afford the high-end blender yet, a mid-priced blender will help you start small and keep experimenting. Follow the strategies below to make sure that the blender is right for the task.

If you like green smoothies and want to establish a daily habit, buy a high-end blender. It makes the whole experience, both making the smoothie and enjoying the result, just smooth and easy. And the blender should last for years.

Tip #1. Learn about blenders.

The best strategy is to go to a home appliances shop and investigate example blenders yourself. See how they differ in the blade lengths, bottom area, container volume, speeds, size, etc. Inspecting the blenders visually will give you a better idea of how they may work and what is that you want. For instance, some of the blenders are huge and may be impractical to fit in your kitchen.

Look at blenders’ specs and reviews on the Amazon site as well as the sites of other online retailers. Compare them to the BlendTec and VitaMix brands. After learning basic ideas about various blenders, you can perfectly buy your blender online. It is usually cheaper than in a regular shop. The differences in the making will contribute to the ease and speed of producing green smoothies.

Tip #2. Look for these qualities in your blender (sorted from most important to less important):

  • High-powered motor. 700 watts or more (preferably 1000 watts or more). You need a high rotation speed to liquefy the fruits and vegs efficiently.
  • Long stainless blade. The longer the better. Ideally, the blade should be 4-5cm long at least. The longer the blade, the easier the blending process is.
  • Ice-crushing possibility. You want to handle ice and  frozen fruit well. In addition ice-crushing usually indicates a more powerful motor, too.
  • Two or more blending speeds and a pulse. Pulse is a must. You want to control how fast you can go with the processing of the ingredients. You will need different speeds for leafy greens and fruit. You will rely on pulse to start the blending.
  • Secured lid.
  • Large container / pitcher, preferably BPA-free plastic, for durability and easy cleaning. I recommend plastic containers as I had an accident with the glass one – see the note below. High-end blenders use specially designed plastic containers and they are good. Even if you are alone or have a small family, it makes sense to buy a blender with a big container. You may happily experiment with making larger amounts of smoothie (green smoothie, milkshakes and others)  or you may invite friends for smoothie tasting. Choose a container of mimim 1-1.2 litre (50-60 ounces).
  • Wide bottom of the container. With a wide bottom, the blades can work efficiently and a better blending vortex is being created.
  • Wide skid-proof base. This is for stability. When you are blending on a high speed, the base may start sliding across your counter unless you are holding it tight or you got a blender with a solid foundation.
  • Guarantee and return possibility.

Tip #3. Choose the best blender you can afford and buy it online.

Good mid-priced blenders suitable for making green smoothies come from the KitchenAid and Hamilton Beach brands. However, they often rely on the motor power of 500 watts. Choose more watts if possible. A blender that seems a good match for making green smoothies is any of the KitchenAid 5-speed blenders. They are quite powerful (around 700 watts) and are multi-functional (chop, mix, blend etc).  I have not used any of these, but available reviews tell me they are sturdy and capable blenders. I personally had some experience with a few mid-range Braun, Kenwood and similar blenders, but I was not too happy about them.

When I was on holiday, I ordered a mid-priced blender for my family. I had used it for three weeks and I was quite pleased with it. It cannot compare to my BlendTec but it was capable of making good smoothies from non-hard leafy greens, such as spinach, rocket, lettuce and so on.

In addition to your blender, you may also like to use a cheap coffee grinder so that you can grind  sesame seeds, linseed or fresh spices. You can add them to enrich your green smoothie experience.

Tips for an effective use of your mid-priced blender

If a powerful blender is not yet possible for you, do not worry. You can still make great green smoothie if you follow the suggestions below.

  1. Start with water first and then add other ingredients. Water is the medium that helps to create a vortex that pulls fruit and leafy greens into the blades. Start with 0.5-1 cup water, depending on your blender and how much smoothie you want to make.
  2. Add your fruit second. ALWAYS add fruit before leafy greens. Leafy greens tend to get stuck into blades, especially if they are short or when the bottom of the container is narrow (which is often the case for many blenders). Fruit will help to create a better vortex. If you use a liquid-rich soft fruit, such as papaya or pineapple, you may need much less water or no water at all.
  3. Add ice third if you want (use less water when you add ice).
  4. Finally, add your leafy greens.
  5. Cut your fruits into pieces and shred your greens. Mid-range blenders may get trouble to handle big chunks of fruits or leaves.
  6. Use the PULSE button to get started. Press it a few times for a few seconds.  It is really important.  The pulse gives the ingredients the kick to get things going. It will break up large pieces into small ones and dislodge pieces that may get stuck.
  7. Choose a high speed and continue for 30 sec. Let the motor rest. You may need to repeat this a few times.
  8. Use a long spoon or other suitable kitchen utensil to get unstuck pieces of leafy greens or other larger chunks.
  9. Consider making green smoothies in parts. If the above works very slowly, start with a half of the ingredients and add the remaining ingredients slowly. Another strategy is to blend your fruits first and then add your leafy greens in small steps.
  10. Fill the container with fruits and greens only up to 80%. You need to leave some space for the blending vortex.

If you follow the above principles you should enjoy your blender for a while and be able to make green smoothies in little time.

Just do it! Make your first green smoothie. Boost your day.

***

The final note is my personal recommendation:

BlendTec – the total experience!

I personally use a BlendTec Total Blender (a.k.a. Blendtec WildSide HP3A Blender – 3Qt Container & 4″ Blade). It can blend anything because it has a powerful 1500 watt motor and a very long blade.  It works amazingly well.

To prove the power of BlendTec, the Blendtec founder Tom Dickson created a funny series of info-commercials in which he attempts to blend various unusual items, such as TV controls, CDs, iphone, air-gun, etc. These hilarious short movies can be watched either on http://www.willitblend.com or YouTube. See how e.g. xbox360 is blended:

or how English and German are blended together

**** 

PLEASE READ:

As of January 2013, there are another powerful blenders on the market. E.g. Duronic BL 1200, Magimix 11610, Magimix 11615 with Mill. They look great, have 1.5-1.8 litre jugs, and are capable of a heavy duty work with their 1200 Watt motors. In addition, they are also cheap in comparison to BlendTec and VitaMix. However, I would have reservations to recommend them. Why? Because of their glass containers.

On my holiday last year I was using a powerful blender with a glass container, different than the ones mentioned above. Unfortunately, I had an accident. Due to micro-damages in the glass (invisible to my naked eye), the container burst into pieces, when I turned the motor on. If you ask, yes, I took care things were set up all right. Since my right hand was on the cover top, as the result, just in milliseconds my right thumb got into high-speed rotating blades, because the motor was still working. It shattered parts of the bone and removed parts of the flesh. It was horribly painful.

The thumb has been healing very slowly and it is still a long recovery. I am not sure whether it was just a one in million accident, but it certainly made me not to choose any glass container for blending, mixing or similar type of work, ever again.

***

 

eat_your_greens2

How are your mornings? Let me guess…. 

Stressful. Fast pacing. In hurry.

Some coffee. Something to eat. On the go.

But…

What would you say about changing the whole experience? What about a magical drink that is not only nutritious but also a great boost for the day?

Every morning I am looking forward to enjoying my magical drink. I am craving the subtle taste of this drink. I drink it sip by sip and simply love it.

It is green smoothie. And, yes, it looks very green 🙂

It has been a year since I started my daily habit of drinking green smoothie. This is one of a few habits I implemented problem-free directly after taking the decision. And I stick to it. Every day I drink two green smoothies and I adore it.

What is green smoothie?

Green smoothie is an energizing drink made by blending green leafy vegetables, such as spinach or kale, with fruit and water. If you like, frozen fruits and ice can be used as well. Another variant of green smoothie includes also non-starchy vegetables, such as cucumber or celery. The typical ratio in a green smoothie is about 60% fruit to 40% leafy greens in order to balance both nutrition and flavor. This is suggested by Victoria Boutenko, the pioneer of the green smoothie revolution.

I recommend you read her book Green for Life or Green Smoothie Revolution: The Radical Leap Towards Natural Health. Victoria developed the early ideas from the so-called Energy Soup by Ann Wigmore , so studying her work will give you even more foundation.

Motivation + benefits

The motivation behind green smoothies is to substantially increase the consumption of leafy green vegetables, or leafy greens, in their raw form.

What are leafy greens?
Leafy greens are vegetables with (dark) green leaves. They include spinach, baby spinach, romaine lettuce, lettuce, kale (a few variants), rocket leaves, watercress, parsley leaves, coriander (cilantro), chard, collard greens, all types of salad greens, basil, etc. There are also wild edible which can be hand-picked and used in smoothies as well. For instance, these are sorrel, stinging nettles, dandelion leaves, grape leaves, aloe leaves, etc. And guess what? The wild edibles are even more nutritious than the domesticated leafy greens and they are… uhm… yammy!

Why leafy greens? Because they are nutritional powerhouses. Just to mention a few advantages:

  • low in calories
  • low in fat
  • high in fibre hence improve digestion
  • low glycemix index (can be eaten by diabetes-2 people)
  • high in vitamin A, C, E, B2 and other B-vitamins, and K1
  • rich in in potassium, calcium, iron, zinc and magnesium
  • high in phytochemicals such as carotenoids, lutein and folates; the best source of folic acid and folates
  • some claim leafy greens help to remove toxins and toxic metals from the body; kale and coriander are of key interest

Why smoothie?
To increase the quantity of leafy greens in the diet while enjoying the experience. While some leafy greens are quite tasty in salads such as the rocket salad or baby spinach leafs, other are much less so. For instance, eating raw kale requires quite some chewing and is not a pleasant experience in my opinion. Moreover, it is usually not appealing to eat a bunch of raw spinach or chard.

So, if eating big amounts of raw spinach or kale is not your cake, there is a great solution. Prepare a delicious drink from blended leafy greens and fruits or fresh vegs. Green smoothies are surprisingly very tasty, because the fruits dominate the taste. I fell in love just after my first drink.

How-to

For the best and most nutritious experience follow the ideas below:

  • Remember the rule of 60% fruit + 40% leafy greens.
  • Collect ripe fruits and leafy greens of your choice and wash them. Put them into a blender, add little water and blend them well. Depending on the leafy greens you use and the amount you have you will need 20-80 sec of blending. Your goal is to make a dense, well-textured smoothie.
  • Don’t peel apples or pears. I blend them whole except for the endings.
  • Always include at least some fruit from the following: banana, avocado or mango. They provide smooth texture (and not a watery feeling) and a great taste. Banana gives the best base.
  • Use fruits which are seasonal. Frozen fruits can be used as well.
  • Use single or maximum two leafy greens per smoothie.
  • Use maximum two extra fruits in addition to banana/avocado/mango. The flavor worsens when too many fruits are added.
  • Rotate leafy greens daily or every few days.
  • Drink it on an empty stomach in order to assimilate the nutrients well. Wait 50-60min before eating afterwards.
  • Eat your green smoothie. The key is to take a spoon or a sip and mix it with a saliva for 15 sec or more so that your digestion will start in the mouth. It is important for the best absorption of the nutrients. Similarly, as you chew your food, you need to “chew” your smoothie. You know the enzymes have started working in your mouth when you begin to taste an increased sweetness.
  • Add additional seeds or oils (if you like) although Victoria Boutenko does not recommend it for the fastest absorption.

Very basic green smoothie recipe

  • bananas
  • spinach leaves
  • water

My basic green smoothie recipe

  • bananas
  • avocado  (note: I skipped avocado a few months after this post)
  • apples
  • leafy greens of choice
  • a mix of flax seeds and sesame seeds (soaked a night before in sour water)

Leafy greens should be rotated frequently. The reason for this is explained in the Green for Life book, but basically refers to minute amounts of alkaloids in greens which are toxic. Tiny quantities of alkaloids cannot hurt you; they will even strengthen the immune system. However, if you keep consuming any chosen leafy green for weeks without changing, the same type of alkaloids can accumulate in the body and cause some symptoms of poisoning.  Every leafy green vegetable has somewhat different alkaloids, so by changing them we do not build an overload in the body.

Note that this does not hold for fruits so the same fruits can be used daily. However, rotating fruits will enhance both flavor and nutrition in your smoothies.

My usual rotation include spinach, watercress, rocket, flat parsley leaves, kale, romaine lettuce, baby leaves and coriander. I sometimes use other greens such as black kale (cavolo nero), chard, dandelion leaves (collected on meadows) or sorrel.

Blender

The key to the smooth experience of a green smoothie is a blender. A very basic kitchen blender will not do the job. I know because I experimented with a few blenders and I burned two of them.

I first learned about green smoothie about 5 years ago. I immediately liked the idea but I did not have a good blender. I was preparing green smoothies with my kitchen blender but the results were  … ehhh…urgg… well, not tasty to say at least. It was a mix of coarsely blended fruits and greens that did not make a united whole. It was hard to gulp down without the horrendous fibres clinging everywhere in the throat. Not the best experience, I must say.

There are two key elements of a powerful blender: the motor power (or the rotation speed) and the blade length. There are many blenders with motor power of less than 400-600 Watt. They will not work that well. You also need a long blade, at least 4 cm  long. I will write more about blenders in the next post, where I provide information on how to choose the best smoothie blender.

The look or a simple how-to

“This is cool”, you may think, but “How such a green smoothie looks like?”. Well… you have guessed it right. In most cases, it looks as intensive green. It is sometimes dark green or red-brownish when you add red fruits such as strawberries. It is usually a dense drink (unless you add lots of water), denser than a usual milk-based smoothie. Here are two example of green smoothies. Have a look.

Learning points

Obviously, the only way to justify whether green smoothies are beneficial or not is to do own experimenting. The idea of green smoothie resonated with me, so I decided to give it a go for 30 days and evaluate my findings. I discovered that I loved it, so it was natural for me to continue. As a result, I established a daily habit. My family (3-4 adults + 3 kids) has now been a year on green smoothies. Below are my observations and learning points along the way:

  1. High energy levels. 
  2. Improved digestion.
  3. Green smoothie provides a good start of a day (no coffee!).
  4. Developed a good habit of eating greens. After a few weeks of drinking green smoothies, everybody craves and enjoys eating more greens.
  5. My kids love it! This is a big surprise, indeed. My twins have been on green smoothie since six months old and have loved it since beginning. A basic green smoothie  (spinach, banana and a bit of water) was one of their first food after baby rice. Introducing green smoothies to my toddler was more challenging as he was discouraged by the green look of the drink. But after a week of my offers he finally got interested. I guess, because he saw us drinking it as well. Now, he loves it, and often demands it a few times a day.
  6. Cravings for sweets have become close to zero. This is the biggest surprise for me. I usually got some cravings for sweets but after 2-3 weeks of green smoothies I stopped having them. I will occasionally eat some chocolate or cookies, but often, still to my surprise, they do not taste good to me. I believe that the perception and taste of sweetest has changed because of the green smoothie experience. I stopped eating ice-cream, simply because they taste too artificial to me nowadays.
  7. We feel healthy.
  8. Some people recommend drinking green smoothies to lose weight. It was not our experience, perhaps because we were not overweight, neither we drank smoothies promoting weight loss. If you are interested in a significant weight loss, you can learn from Angela Stokes Monarch how to approach the problem. She is respected in the Raw Food Community.
  9. Making daily green smoothies requires an extended shopping list and a routine to stick to. It is not difficult once optimized. What helps me is to order most of my fruits and leafy greens online and have it delivered. It is somewhat more expensive than buying in local grocery shop, but saves me what is currently most pricey for me, which is time.
  10. Smoothies are super easy to prepare. Fresh is always best, but green smoothies can be made in one go for the whole day. They can be stored in a refrigerator even for two days. I usually make smoothie once in the evening.
  11. You need a powerful blender to make a great smoothie every day. Consider VitaMixBlendtec 4″ Blade or Omni blender. Omni blender is especially interesting since it is as good as the other two competitors, but much cheaper. Overall, Omni blender is a great value for money. Other choices, include mid-priced blenders as described here.
    It takes me 15-20 min, from start to finish, including preparation and cleaning, to make 2.5-3 litre of the green smoothie. I do it in three batches as I also make a bit different version for the kids. You will need 5 min only if you are alone or have a small family.
  12. Green smoothies are costly especially if you buy organic fruits or vegetables. We cut down on meat, sweets and other fruit to balance the expenses. What is great is that we buy very little sweets, indeed.

Summary

Drinking green smoothies is a pain-free way to eat more leafy green vegetables and fruits a day:

  • They are loaded with vitamins, minerals, phytochemicals and many others.
  • They are made from raw ingredients hence you get the best nutrition value.
  • They are easy to prepare and can be stored in a fridge for a day or two.
  • They are very tasty because sweetness from the fruit dominates the flavor.

From the 30-40 people whom I treated with green smoothies, only one did not like it. Many love it from the first sip. 🙂  Kids love them too. Yes, they are very delicious. And appealing in the look of fresh green.

Too busy in the morning?

If you think you are too busy in the morning to prepare the smoothie, I am with you. I am too busy myself.

But … I have a solution. Make your green smoothie in the evening and store it in the fridge. When stored immediately, the drink remains fresh and tasty in the morning. Obviously, you will loose some nutritional value by storing overnight but I personally prefer to do it this way than not to do at all.

And … don’t forget to find out  how to choose the best green smoothie blender.

***

Photo courtesy McKay Savage, available under the Creative Commons license on Flickr.

***

Other posts on green smoothies and raw food

 

Have you ever wondered why there is a poison label warning on your toothpaste?

No? Haven’t you ever notice that?

Hmmm….

Perhaps, you can have a close look next time when you brush your teeth.

“Keep out of reach of children under 6 years of age. If you accidentally swallow more than used for brushing, seek professional help or call a poison control center immediately.”

A warning mandated by FDA on fluoride toothpaste labels sold in the U.S.

Oral health

So …

You buy the same brand of a toothpaste over and over again because there is little difference between them, it seems. Sometimes you test a new brand or a new variant as seen on TV, on an ad or just out of curiosity, but the positive changes do not last. You meticulously follow the advice of dentists and brush your teeth with the best fluoride protection you can have, but you still suffer from bleeding gums, sensitive teeth or cavities.

It is disappointing, isn’t it?

There is however a way out. You need to use a different kind of a toothpaste in order to improve your oral health.

My experience

Since my early childhood I have been avidly brushing my teeth. Yet, I have had problematic teeth since I have ever remembered. My both childhood and teenage years were spent on frequent dentist appointments. To have my cavities treated. I dreaded them from all my heart.

The more challenges I encountered, however, the eager I was to brush my teeth. With a true dedication. I wanted to keep my teeth healthy and I took it as seriously as possible. I was using a generous amount of toothpaste on my toothbrush, probably 2-3cm long “snakes”. I simply imitated what I saw on posters and in media as a child, that is, a toothbrush fully covered with a toothpaste. Unfortunately, the condition of my teeth has only got worse. Despite all my efforts, at the age of 13 I got mottled teeth.

I couldn’t understand it. I was eagerly following the advice of dentists (as I understood it at that time), yet my teeth were in such a poor state. I was asking professionals for advice, kept educating myself, spent time on bettering my brushing technique and used sophisticated toothpastes. Everything in vain.

I also drastically cut on eating sugar and improved my diet. I was eating vegetables, quality meat and unprocessed food. Still, my problems continued.

I was told by the dentists that the condition of my teeth was being created by my poor quality saliva or a tendency I inherited from my ancestors. Or perhaps I didn’t brush the teeth in the end, while pretending I did.

Ah ah…

Since nothing could have been done about my teeth, I felt helpless. Until four years ago. It was the first time when I closely looked at the issue of fluoride.

Fluoride is toxic

For years I have believed that fluoride was to protect my teeth from decay. How wrong was I! How strong was my conditioning!

It did not cross my mind to question the effectiveness of fluoride in a toothpaste even though my personal experience proved the contrary. Four years ago I learned, however, that the assumption about the preventive action of fluoride was disputable, at least, and disproved, at most. More importantly, I understood that fluoride was toxic.

I was shocked.

Fluoride is a general term that describes compounds containing the gas of fluorine. Sodium fluoride (NaF) or sodium monofluorophosphate (SMFP) are compounds commonly used in toothpastes, but other compounds are used as well. Water fluoridation mostly relies on fluorosilicic acid (H2SiF6) or sodium fluorosilicate (Na2SiF6). Too much fluoride in the body becomes toxic, leading to fluorosis. While most dentists link it to a cosmetic defect of your teeth only and disregard any serious consequences, the picture is likely very different.

The effect of fluoride ingestion (in small amounts) is not immediate but fluoride accumulates in the parts of the body, especially in bones, teeth and pineal gland. When bones are remodeled, fluoride gets into the blood and can basically starts action on all other organs in the body. The basic action of fluoride is to disturb the functioning of cells and enzymes. All systems of the body depend on the functioning of enzymes.

Fluoride inhibits the enzymes by changing their shapes and this can lead to a damage of immune system, digestive system, impaired blood circulation, impaired functioning of thyroid, kidney, liver and brain. Since the distorted enzymes have become foreign protein they may also cause autoimmune diseases, such as arthritis, asthma, or arteriosclerosis. How does this information make you feel?

A non-inclusive list of known effects of fluoride includes:

  • Damaged cells in teeth
  • Increased arthritis
  • Disrupted synthesis of collagen
  • Muscle disorders
  • Cardiological and neurological disorders
  • Adverse effects on the kidney
  • Weakening of bones, leading to an increase in hip and wrist fracture
  • Chromosomal damage and interference with DNA repair (fluoride mutates human cells)
  • Inhibited formation of antibodies; disrupted functioning of the immune system
  • Suppressive effect on the thyroid
  • Dementia
  • Hyperactivity
  • Depression
  • Brain fog, lowered IQ
  • Increased aging
  • Increased lead absorption

See Wikipedia and this link.

In retrospection, I think that I have suffered from fluorosis from the early years. It is not only a cosmetic change of your teeth, but more importantly, a sign of toxic changes that undergo in your body. Also my sluggish thyroid and immunity problems are not surprising in this light.

Exposure to fluoride

Every day fluoride enters our lives in various ways. It goes far beyond the use of toothpaste, especially in the countries which mandate water fluoridation as in many states of the U.S. You can become over-exposed to fluoride by:

  • Drinking fluoridated water (water supply)
  • Drinking beverages made from fluoridated water; e.g. soft drinks, beer or mineral water
  • Consuming canned products and jars based on fluoridated water; e.g. canned meals or soups, or even baby food
  • Eating fruits and vegetables that were sprayed with compounds of fluoride (pesticides)
  • Taking medicines containing fluoride, such as antibiotics, anaesthetics, psychotropics, etc; see this link to inspect how many there are
  • Using teflon cookware
  • Industrial air emissions containing fluoride
  • Using fluoridated dental products
  • and of course by using toothpaste

Since we usually use toothpaste twice or three times daily, it plays a significant role in increasing fluoride levels within the body. Imagine that there is enough fluoride in a regular tube of toothpaste to kill a 10kg (22pound) child.

Do you know that fluoride has been the active toxin in rat poisons and cockroach powder?

What about young children? If you are anything like me when I was a kid, you ate your tasty bubble-gum or strawberry toothpaste on regular basis. While eating the whole tube of toothpaste is not to be expected, swallowing small amounts on daily basis is a likely scenario. So, it is possible that your children have been overexposing themselves to toxic effects of fluoride. Isn’t that worrying at least?

What about tens of years of practice when you swallow fluoride in small amounts? Remember that you are instructed not to flush your mouth after brushing so that the fluoride plays its “protective” role. How pathetic is that!

Moreover, we cannot have too much of the goodness. Majority of dental products from toothpaste to toothpicks and floss contains fluoride. With regular means of oral hygiene, we are ingesting some percentage of fluoride, a substance that is more toxic than lead.

It is not easy to once and for all either approve or disprove the use of fluoride in toothpastes or the practice of water fluoridation. The reason for that is that many publicly available studies are carried out with a dedicated aim to prove one of the points. Moreover, it is an emotional topic.

When you are doing research with the bias to prove the results you want, you tend to bias your results and see what you expect to see. In other words, you are blind to the contrary evidence and make improper comparisons. Nevertheless, there are two facts that are at least worrying to me.

1) Fluoride is a man-made byproduct of heavy industry

Some people believe public becomes ignorant about the role of fluoride because of the mass media conditioning. Fluoride is man-made. It is produced as a waste byproduct of various types of heavy industry and must be disposed of somewhere. And this is a fact.

For instance, fluorosilicic acid is liquid by-product of phosphate fertilizer manufacture but there much more going on. Hence, water fluoridation and fluoridated toothpastes come as a handy and politically correct possibility for the removal of the fluoride byproducts (which would have been a costly practice otherwise, wouldn’t it?). Even if this scenario is only a hypothesis of a mind biased by global conspiracy theories, one issue is apparent.

2) Fluoride is toxic

You can find a lot of information on the subject. Even though we are told that it is not very toxic and that small amounts are safe, why would you willingly subscribe to a daily intake of a toxic substance to your own body?

Fluoride-free

Four years ago I stopped using a fluoride-based toothpaste. It was a truly fantastic change for me. The condition of my teeth improved greatly. There is freshness of my breath that I enjoy. No cavities. No sensitive teeth. No bleeding gums. No problems.

Things have been fine for a few years now, which has never happened in the past. I brush my teeth twice daily and I use a pea-size or less of a fluoride-free toothpaste and my oral hygiene is a joy. For the last two years all my family has also become fluoride-free. (Of course, this refers to toothpaste and water only as we may be exposing ourselves to other sources of fluoride).

There are many fluoride-free toothpastes available on the market that you can buy in health food shops, pharmacies or online. You only need to look for them specifically. Examples include Euthymol, Kingfisher, Aloe Dent, Green People, Druide, Tom’s of Maine or Weleda. There are however many more choices available. I spent a few months to find a toothpaste I like. Currently, my two favorite choices are Aloe Dent and Green People.

SLS-free

What I recommend is to use a toothpaste which is also free from SLS, sodium lauryl sulphate. This chemical compound is a foaming agent used to clean garage doors, floors or cars, for instance. BUT … it’s also commonly found in hygiene products such as shampoos, body washes, soaps, and shaving creams. Read your labels.

Sodium lauryl sulphate is a toxin to our skin and often causes irritation. Canker sores or bleeding gums are one of the known side effects of using a SLS toothpaste. In addition, SLS can weaken the enamel.

By the way, if you wonder why SLS is used in hygienic products, the answer is simple. It’s a very cheap foaming agent, hence the costs can be reduced greatly. Since we expect that our hygiene products must produce a foaming effect or otherwise they do not clean well (brain conditioning), we are offered a cheap solution to meet our expectations.

Aloe Dent and Green People are both fluoride-free and SLS-free toothpastes. They are my favorite now, although I have a slight preference towards Aloe Dent.

Test it!

I realize that the arguments against fluoride presented in the materials available on the Web may not sound logical to you. You may see them as exaggerated and produced by maniacs, especially if your teeth are in a reasonably good state. Perhaps you were blessed by nature with strong teeth. It does not matter though.

What does matter is your personal experience, doesn’t it? There is nothing more convincing than that.

  • Are you happy with the freshness of the breath you have? 
  • Are you happy with the condition of your gums? 
  • Do you have clarity in your mind or foggy thoughts? 

If you suffer from bleeding gums, dental cavities or poor health, you may have fluorosis. Give it a thought.

I encourage you to test the approach and switch to a fluoride-free and SLS-free toothpaste for a few months. In addition, cut on soda, beer and sugar (to prevent acid forming from sugar being metabolized by bacteria; tooth decay is caused by acids in your mouth). If possible, drink fluoride-free water. Remove fluoride intake from your life and monitor carefully your well-being in the coming months.

Does it sound good to you? See and feel for yourself. It is a simple experiment. I bet you will join the fluoride-free camp ;).

I wish you a great hunt for a refreshing fluoride-free, SLS-free toothpaste. Feel good indeed.

Resources

I will likely write more on the general aspects of fluoride in the future. The subject is very important.

There are multiple sources and articles which suggest that the belief in fluoride preventing dental caries is ungrounded. Moreover, the usage of fluoride is harmful to your own well-being. You can easily find the information on the Web. Please study the material presented at the Fluoride-Free website or Fluoride Action Network. See also this link or that one.

Please have a look at two blogs dedicated to the danger of fluoride. They report some of the health problems caused by fluoride:

Two important books of interest are: The Fluoride Deception by Christopher Bryson and The Case Against Fluoride by Paul Connett, James Beck and H. Spedding Micklem. They are worth reading.

***

 Page 5 of 5 « 1  2  3  4  5