Recipe for Super Energy Seed Crackers…& without a Dehydrator!

This is one of the easiest recipes you could ever make and the results are super-amazing-delicious! And, you can share these seed crackers with your vegan, vegetarian, gluten-free, yeast-free, dairy-free, sugar-free, anti-candida AND paleo friends. Now, that IS amazing!

Check out this fast and easy recipe - you'll be amazed!

Check out this fast and easy recipe – you’ll be amazed!

Super Energy Seed Crackers Recipe

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup organic pumpkin seeds, raw and unsalted
  • 1 cup organic sunflower seeds, raw and unsalted
  • 1/2 cup organic ground flaxseed
  • 1/2 cup organic whole flaxseed
  • 1/2 cup organic chia seeds
  • 1/2 cup organic sesame seeds, raw and unsalted
  • 1 Tbsp. organic poppy seeds
  • 1 organic medium size white onion
  • 1 tsp. Himalayan salt
  • 1 cup water
  • 2 sheets of baking parchment paper
  • Optional added spices: cayenne pepper, cumin or turmeric powder

Directions:

1. In a large bowl, combine all the dry seeds.

2. Peel the outer skin from the onion. Then, using a grater, grate the onion on the medium-size holes. Add to the mix.

3. Measure 1 cup of filtered water and add to the bowl. Stir all ingredients together, adding the salt and any additional spices (I make these without any dried spices because they are delish enough on their own!) You can also grate a few raw garlic gloves and add them is desired. Once stirred, the mix should be sticking together. If not, slowly add a few more tablespoons of water until the mixture stays together.

4. Prepare a baking sheet with a piece of parchment paper. Spread the mixture onto the paper, keeping the thickness uniform across the baking sheet. This is also the time to score the crackers if you want them to come out in even squares. (I never remember to do that, and they get eaten so fast that no one seems to care if they’re in uneven sizes!)

5. Place in the oven at 200C or 400F for about 15-20 minutes or until they look golden brown. (Keep scrolling down to FAQs to find out why I don’t use a dehydrator.)

6. Remove from oven to flip the crackers. To flip them easily, place the other piece of parchment paper on top of the cooked mix. Then, carefully flip onto a new baking tray. If you’re really agile, you can do a flawless flip onto the same tray. Remove the original parchment paper from the top of the now flipped crackers. Place back in the oven for another 15-20 minutes.

7. Remove from oven and break off into pieces. You can serve with some yummy pumpkin seed cheese or delicious garlic and lemon tahini.

Use organic seeds, raw and unsalted for these Paleo - Vegan - Gluten-Free crackers.

Use organic seeds, raw and unsalted for these Paleo – Vegan – Gluten-Free crackers.

1. In a large bowl, combine all the dry seeds.

Grate 1 medium onion, add to seeds plus 1 cup water then stir into mix.

Grate 1 medium onion, add to seeds plus 1 cup water then stir into mix.

2. Peel the outer skin from the onion. Then, using a grater, grate the onion on the medium-size holes. Add to the mix.

3. Measure 1 cup of filtered water and add to the bowl. Stir all ingredients together, adding the salt and any additional spices (I make these without any dried spices because they are delish enough on their own!) You can also grate a few raw garlic gloves and add them is desired. Once stirred, the mix should be sticking together. If not, slowly add a few more tablespoons of water until the mixture stays together.

Spread cracker mix evenly on pan and be sure to use parchment paper so they don't stick!

Spread cracker mix evenly on pan and be sure to use parchment paper so they don’t stick!

4. Prepare a baking sheet with a piece of parchment paper. Spread the mixture onto the paper, keeping the thickness uniform across the baking sheet. This is also the time to score the crackers if you want them to come out in even squares. (I never remember to do that, and they get eaten so fast that no one seems to care if they’re in uneven sizes!)

Ready to go into the oven at 200C or 400F for 15-20 minutes.

Ready to go into the oven at 200C or 400F for 15-20 minutes.

5. Place in the oven at 200C or 400F for about 15-20 minutes or until they look golden brown.

Flip crackers onto clean paper, then peel off the old one and discard. Back into oven for another 15-20 minutes.

Flip crackers onto clean paper, then peel off the old one and discard. Back into oven for another 15-20 minutes.

6. Remove from oven to flip the crackers. To flip them easily, place the other piece of parchment paper on top of the cooked mix. Then, carefully flip onto a new baking tray. If you’re really agile, you can do a flawless flip onto the same tray. Remove the original parchment paper from the top of the now flipped crackers. Place back in the oven for another 15-20 minutes.

7. Remove from oven and break off into pieces. You can serve with some yummy pumpkin seed cheese or delicious garlic and lemon tahini.

These vegan crackers are GREAT to share with family and friends or at a pot luck.

These vegan crackers are GREAT to share with family and friends or at a pot luck.

How to Make Seed Crackers FAQs

1. Why don’t you use a dehydrator?

Years ago I bought a dehydrator and I got really into it for an entire summer. I was dehydrating mangos and bananas round the clock, literally. After 1 month, I noticed my electric bill had jumped more than 40% higher than normal. Jeez! They don’t tell you that in the marketing. Energetically, I also felt that something was wrong. Blowing hot air on perfectly natural bananas for 2 days just to eat them in 1 minute seemed like a huge waste. Then I learned about positive ions and I realized I was blowing them into my house continuously when running a dehydrator. After that, I sold in on ebay and never looked back.

2. What are positive ions?

The air we breathe is full of oxygen molecules. Any molecule with an electron deficiency is called a positive ion and one with an extra electron is called a negative ion. Positive ions come from damaged molecules of air, in heating/air conditioning systems and from hair dryers…and food dehydrators. They are bad for our health because they can cause irritability, anxiety, depression and fatigue. Negative ions come from ocean waves, trees, plants and running streams. They have the opposite effect, leaving us feeling energized, healthy, happy and balanced.

Ever wonder why you feel more tired and depressed in the winter months? It could have to do with the build-up of positive ions in your house, right under your very nose!

3. Are you okay with these not being a RAW FOOD?

Yes, totally. I’ve been living a high raw food diet (80%-90%) for almost 10 years now and I am comfortable with where I’m at in my journey. I also love raw seeds and I often sprinkle them on salads but these crackers fulfill my occasional desire for something crunchy. It’s so awesome to eat a huge salad with 2 of these yum crackers on the side!

4. Can I use almond pulp or other ground nuts too?

Certainly you can try whatever combo or variation you want! But, I can tell you that almond pulp will probably not stick together very well. Same goes for ground cashews and other nuts. Seeds are unique because they have a special coating called mucilage which makes them naturally sticky or gelatinous when exposed to liquids. The stickiness helps the crackers stay together and not fall apart. Grated onion and water form the perfect “glue” to keep everything together even when cooked.

5. Why don’t you soak the seeds in advance?

Soaking the seeds in advance is an option if you are shooting for a live food, but since one of the things I like most about this recipe is that the crackers get crunchy, I don’t soak the seeds in advance.


This recipe is gluten-free, vegan, non-GMO and contains NO food additives. It’s full of fiber, contains natural medicinal foods and is loaded with vegan and plant-based proteins. And best of all, everyone seems to love them! I personally bring these to dinners with friends and also during Passover for traditional chametz meals and I can honestly say that everyone LOVES them!

More on Detox and pH Health:

More Healthy Recipes:

Beginner’s Guide to Green Smoothies

When was the last time you ate a whole bunch of parsley or spinach in one day? Chances are you never have, yet leafy greens like these pack a powerful punch of nutrition. A great way to utilize the amazing power of green leafy vegetables is with a daily green smoothie.

Beginner’s Guide to Green Smoothies by Jennifer Thompson

I first started Green Smoothie after several months on the raw food diet, and right away, I felt a difference! My energy levels improved even more, and thanks to the added ground flax seed in the Green Smoothie, my bowel movements became even more, well…epic! I knew that this was something that everyone could do at home, even if they didn’t want to go into a strict raw food diet. So, I started telling my Iridology and Health Coaching Clients about Green Smoothies.

Just some of the amazing stories of success I heard: Symptoms of menopause – gone; Acid Reflux – gone; Sugar Cravings – gone; Colitis – gone; PMS – improved; Digestive disorders and constipation: gone; Skin conditions – cleared; Sleep function – improved; Arthritis – gone; and the list just goes on and on!

One of my clients from Switzerland got her 86-year mother hooked on Green Smoothies and saw her digestion function and energy levels improve. Another client canceled his knee replacement surgery after he realized that the chronic pain and inflammation in his knee had disappeared after starting to drink Green Smoothies. I heard from clients who lost weight finally, after years of yo-yo dieting. I even helped a client get pregnant after 8 years on IVF just from having a daily Green Smoothie…she calls her baby a “Green Smoothie miracle!”

What is a Green Smoothie?

A Green Smoothie is a mixture of water, leafy greens and fruits. The ingredients are thoroughly blended with water in a blender. It is important to note that a Green Smoothie is a blended drink and not a juice. A blender is used to break down the cellulose structure in the greens thereby unlocking their valuable nutrients.

Green Smoothies 101: Your FAQs Answered

Green Smoothies 101

Some of the questions people commonly ask when they first enter the world of green smoothies…
When greens are liquidised in a blender, do they lose nutrients?
To break down all the fiber and cellulose in green leaves, you would have to spend several hours a day chewing and have extremely healthy teeth. In a Green Smoothie, the blender does the chewing for you, blending all the greens into very small pieces. So, a Green Smoothie can actually provide more nutrition because it’s blended, not less.

Can I use powdered greens instead of fresh?
The real benefits and healing potential in Green Smoothies lie in the fresh leafy greens, due to their fiber, nutrients and live enzymes. Powdered greens (spirulina, wheatgrass powder, kelp, green powder blends, etc.) are great to add to your Green Smoothie for even more nutritional power, but don’t forget to use fresh greens too. During travel, powdered greens are a practical and easy way to enjoy Green Smoothies on the road.

Can I use ice or frozen fruit?
Energy is required to ‘warm up’ a frozen drink, and that energy takes away from the process of digestion and absorption. Using cold water is ok, because it’s not nearly as cold as ice.

Can I add yogurt or milk instead of water?
Dairy is mucous-forming to the body and can slow down the cleansing and absorption process. You can still enjoy dairy products in your normal daily diet if you choose, but try to keep the Green Smoothie dairy-free so it is easy for your body to digest.

Isn’t that too much fruit sugar?
If you are diabetic, and you find yourself already sensitive to fruit, then use low-glycemic index fruits, such as blackberries, raspberries, strawberries and green apples. If you are unsure in any way, it’s best to consult a medical doctor.

What is the best blender to use for Green Smoothies?
The best blender for Green Smoothies is one that you actually use! Many people think they need an expensive Vitamix or Blendtec blender in order to make Green Smoothies, and that’s simply not true.

A standard household blender is fine, as long as you add water and fruits first, blend, and then add the greens and blend again. That way, you won’t destroy the motor and you will get many delicious Green Smoothies from your blender!

Am I supposed to eat only Green Smoothies?
No! You can eat whatever you normally eat. All you need to do is simply add 1 Green Smoothie a day to your diet.

I eat meat. Will a Green Smoothie still work?
Yes! Green Smoothies will compliment any diet or lifestyle, whether you are a meat eater, vegetarian, vegan or raw food vegan. You do not have to give anything up.

Can children drink Green Smoothies?
Yes! In fact, children seem to really love Green Smoothies! It’s a fantastic breakfast for the entire family and a great start to a healthy day!

How to Make a Green Smoothie with Easy Recipes

Why Green Smoothies?

Primarily because of the health results.

Greens represent a convenient, essentially non-caloric, nutrient-dense source of otherwise hard to obtain minerals like magnesium, calcium, potassium and manganese.

When the body starts to get the nutrition it needs, it will naturally start to crave healthier foods, and that’s a great weight to jump-start eating the right foods for weight loss. Eating fiber in the diet is essential for proper elimination and good colon health.

Aim to drink about 500ml (about 17 ounces or 2 cups) of Green Smoothie per day.

How to Make a Green Smoothie

1. Blend 60% fruit to 40% greens in a blender.
2. Add water and/or high-water content fruits first.
3. Then add greens, blend again.
4. Blend different fruits and greens every day.
5. Try different combinations and find what tastes best to you!

What to Use for Greens

You can try kale, spinach, Romaine lettuce, bok choy, arugula, celery leaves, alfalfa, clover, parsley, mint, coriander (cilantro), dandelion, Collard greens, watercress, beet greens, or Swiss chard.

Avoid using more than 2 different greens at a time – this will ensure smooth, easy digestion and assimilation. It is important to use variety with your greens over a period of time, so try to buy something different each time you shop.

What to Use for Fruits

Enjoy apples, pears, bananas, oranges, papaya, pineapple, peaches, nectarines, grapes, strawberries blueberries or raspberries, depending on what you can find fresh and preferably in season. Watermelon tastes great in a smoothie. You can also use a few medjool dates just to add some sweet flavor.

Use 2-3 different fruits in your smoothie for a pleasant blend of flavors. Banana is delicious in smoothies because it adds a nice sweetness and thickness to the drink.

4 Green Smoothie Recipes

Digestive Power

– 1 Handful Fresh Watercress
– 1/2 bunch Parsley
– 2 cups Grapes
– 2 Red Apples
– Dash of Cinnamon
– 1/4 inch Fresh Ginger
– 1 T Raw Cacao Powder
– 1 T Coconut Oil
– 1 cup Water

Immune Booster

– 1 Handful Baby Spinach
– 1/2 bunch Fresh Mint
– 1 Apple
– 1 Banana
– 1 Lemon
– 1/2 inch Fresh Ginger
– 2 cups Water

Mega Omegas

– 6-7 Large Kale Leaves
– 1 Handful Celery Greens
– 3 Bananas
– 2 T Ground Flax Seed
– 1 T Whole Flax Seed
– 2 T Flax Oil
– 1 tsp. Agave Nectar, Raw Honey or Date Sugar
– 1/2 cup Water

Antioxidant Blend

– 2 Handfuls Romaine Lettuce
– 1 cup Red Grapes
– 1/2 cup Blueberries
– 2 T Goji Berries (soaked)
– 1 Pitted Date (Medjool if available)
– 1 tsp. Acai Powder
– 1/2 tsp. Spirulina Powder
– 1 cup Water

Directions

1. Carefully wash all greens and fruit.
2. In a blender, add the water, fruit and powders and blend until smooth.
3. Add the greens and blend again.
4. Drink and toast to your vibrant health!

Now on DVD: GREEN SMOOTHIE POWER!

Finally, Jennifer’s famous Green Smoothie Class is now available in DVD. Watch and learn…you will soon become a Green Smoothie Expert, ready to bless the world with your green love!

Find out for yourself why thousands of people are turning to Green Smoothies for more energy, better health, detox & weight loss! Are you not experiencing the level of energy and good health you desire? Green Smoothies could be your answer to start getting results. Jennifer’s NEW Green Smoothie Power DVD teaches you how!

here

With the DVD, you also receive 3 eBooks. Use the Quick Reference Guide eBook to get started immediately. Read the How to Make Green Smoothies eBook for inspiration and motivation. Experiment with 200 amazing recipes in the Green Smoothie Recipe eBook. You can be making your first Green Smoothie within minutes!

See how easy it is to add Superfoods to your Green Smoothies, and learn the real secret to Green Smoothie Success: How to Love Your Blender! Plus FREE EXTRAS included: 2 high-quality 100% Cotton Sprout Bags just for you!

BUY the Green Smoothie DVD and 3 eBook Kit:

Green Smoothie Power Kit

 

 

or buy the eBooks separately!

eBook: Green Smoothie Quick Start Guide

Quick Start Guide eBook

This is the condensed version of Jennifer’s famous Green Smoothie Class, complete with the most popular FAQs, benefits of Green Smoothies and how to make your Green Smoothie taste great!

Read what others had to say:

“My energy levels are much better and I don’t have cravings for sweets like before.” – Bill

“People started to comment on how well I look and my skin is so much better!” – Helen

“I feel focused!!” – Cathy

New and improved Edition!

BUY Green Smoothie Quick Start Guide eBook:

eBook: Green Smoothie Quick Start Guide (.pdf)

 

 

eBook: 200 Green Smoothie Recipes

200 Green Smoothie Recipes eBook

200 Green Smoothie Recipes are available in this great eBook. That’s 4 different Green Smoothies every week for an entire year!

Some of Jennifer’s Amazing Recipes:

Happy Morning, Daily Detox, Quick Cleanse, Fresh Start, Power Blaster, Digestive Balance, Liver Tonic, Instant Health, Basic Instinct, Champion Blend, Enzyme Energy, Pick Me Up, Mega Omegas, Full of Gratitude, Tweet-worthy, Natural Glow, De-Stresser, Simple Pleasure, Soul Food, Fast Tune-Up, Green Gaspacho, Protein Power, Green Kingdom, Antioxidant Blend, Divine Creation, Ab Fab, Super Dude and many more!

New and improved Edition!

BUY 200 Green Smoothie Recipes eBook:

eBook: 200 Green Smoothie Recipes (.pdf)

 

 

eBook: How to Make Green Smoothies

How to Make Green Smoothies eBook

Learn what the necessary tools are for healing and understand why you can’t get long-term results without adding more greens to the diet.

See why having greens in a raw and blended form is the superior way to get all the Power of the Greens.

Find out what kind of blender you need, the best combinations of greens, fruits and superfoods for your health and hear amazing success stories, including the reversal of grey hair from Green Smoothies!

New and improved edition!

Why wait any longer to start feeling better, looking great and losing weight?

BUY How to Make Green Smoothies eBook:

eBook: How to Make Green Smoothies (.pdf)

 

 

Article written be Jennifer Thompson for Awakenings ME Magazine.

Find out how to book an Iridology Session.

Buy Jennifer’s Green Smoothie DVD here.

Book a Personalized Detox with Jennifer today!

More on Green Smoothies:

Recipe: Fast & Easy Raw Food Salad…a delicious meal in minutes!

What does a raw foodie eat as a salad for lunch? Check out this easy-to-make option using all fresh, natural, healing foods. It’s a simple salad made from parsley, carrot, zucchini, cucumber and sprouts but it’s the texture, the dressing and combination of flavors that make it taste great.

How to Make a Delicious Raw Food Lunch in Just Minutes

Raw Food Recipe: Modern Israeli Salad

This salad is a modified version of the classic “Israel Salad” or “Arabic Salad” which is traditionally made using finely chopped tomato, cucumber and parsley with a tahini and lemon dressing. In this version, I’ve added more fiber with ground flax seed, a nice texture with shredded zucchini and carrots, additional enzymes from the sunflowers sprouts and some liver cleansing power with the cayenne pepper. You could also add a bit more protein with 2-3 Tbsp. raw organic sunflower seeds.

In total, this salad should take less than 10 minutes to prepare. It’s well worth it to take extra minute or two to shred your carrots and zucchini with a grater because it changes the texture completely and makes the salad much more enjoyable to eat.

Modern Israeli Salad Ingredients & Recipe (2 servings)

In a bowl, combine:

    – 1 Carrot, peeled and grated
    – 1 Medium to large zucchini, peeled and grated
    – 2 Medium cucumbers, peeled and chopped
    – 1 Handful of sunflower sprouts, chopped
    – 2 handfuls of fresh parsley, chopped
    – 2 Tbsp. ground flax seed
    – Dash of cayenne pepper, to taste
    – Dash of Himalayan Salt, to taste

Mix ingredients well. For the dressing, add:

    – Juice of 1 lemon
    – 2-4 Tbsp. organic tahini (sesame seed paste)

You can grind the flax seed in advance and have it stored in the fridge, ready to add to any salad for added fiber and omega proteins. A high-fiber diet helps to reduce constipation and promotes better digestive health and even helps to balance blood sugar levels. Raw tahini can be made at home if you can’t find it at your local health food store. The sesame seeds in tahini are a great vegan source of calcium. With all of these natural, whole and pure healing foods as ingredients, you are creating a real detox meal!

This is a salad that I usually have for lunch, due to the fat content in the tahini. I like to eat my “heaviest” meal in the middle of the day and save a lighter, lower-in-fat meal option for dinner.

As you can see, there is no need for a blender, juicer, food processor or dehydrator in this recipe. All you need is a cutting board, vegetable peeler, knife, and grater.

Yes, raw food recipes can be simple and not require a lot of expensive appliances!

Add chopped tomato to this recipe to make it a more classic Middle Eastern salad, but this version is just to show you other possibilities. There are many variations! Try adding some fresh pomegranate or a small amount (8-10 leaves) of finely chopped fresh mint.

This recipe is all raw, vegan, vegetarian and gluten-free!

More on Raw Food:

Why I still love my Daily Green Smoothie…

Every morning, I blend a unique combination of fruits and greens and it fills me up for a healthy start to the day. I started making Green Smoothies almost 7 years ago, and even after all these years, my love affair with having a daily Green Smoothie has remained!

Green Smoothies are still a staple in my daily raw food diet!

My favorite Green Smoothies are now the simplest ones! I often just blend fresh water with a huge handful of greens, 2 Tbsp. ground flax seed, fresh lemon or lime squeezed and maybe 1/2 of a frozen banana. The more simple it is, the better my body absorbs the nutrients, chlorophyll and enzymes from the greens and the faster I get an energy boost for the day!

Simple fruits and greens are what the body needs. Getting more of them in the body gives real results fast. This is one of the main reasons why I do not recommend adding store-bought soy milk, coconut water or almond milk to a Green Smoothie. Why complicate digestion with added sugar, preservatives or thickening agents? The Green Smoothie is a perfect raw food recipe on its own!

My Journey with Green Smoothies

I first started Green Smoothie after several months on the raw food diet, and right away, I felt a difference! My energy levels improved even more, and thanks to the added ground flax seed in the Green Smoothie, my bowel movements became even more, well…epic! I knew that this was something that everyone could do at home, even if they didn’t want to go into a strict raw food diet. So, I started telling my Iridology Clients about Green Smoothies. Then I started teaching a 90-minute Green Smoothie class to people on detox programs in Koh Samui, Thailand. It quickly became my most popular class!

I believed in Green Smoothie so much that I decided to make my class into a DVD. I wanted people to know that there are easy ways to start bringing raw food into the diet, and that they did not have to become a raw food chef or buy expensive appliances to start benefiting from a daily Green Smoothie. When I received success story emails, I knew it was working!

Just some of the success stories from Green Smoothies: Symptoms of menopause – gone; Acid Reflux – gone; Sugar Cravings – gone; Colitis – gone; PMS – improved; Digestive disorders and constipation: gone; Skin conditions – cleared; Sleep function – improved; Arthritis – gone; and the list just goes on and on!

My commitment to a daily Green Smoothie remains because I still feel great when I drink them! It’s that easy!

Green Smoothies are The Latest Hollywood Diet Trend

It’s been great to see so much publicity on Green Smoothies and to have watched it progress since I first started offering classes from my bungalow on the beach 6 years ago. Now we see Hollywood Stars drinking Green Smoothies. Everyone seems to be doing a Green Smoothie Detox Diet.

Dr. Oz and The Ellen Show often feature Green Smoothies as well!

Simple Green Smoothie for Glowing Skin

Simple Green Smoothie Recipe for Glowing Skin

Serves 2

  • 1 bunch of Organic Watercress
  • Juice of 2 Organic Limes or 1 Organic Lemon
  • 1/2 Frozen Banana
  • 2 Tbsp. Ground Flax Seed
  • 1 1/2 Cups Filtered Water

Blend all ingredients in your blender.
Drink and Enjoy!

Health Benefits of Watercress

Watercress is a type of leafy green that is known to be a healing food due to its high amount of anti-oxidants and its nutrient-dense leaves. Watercress is typically grown in moving water and is best eaten as fresh as possible. Hippocrates, the Father of Modern Medicine, was known to grow watercress around his clinic because he so often prescribed it to his patients for health!

Watercress is particularly good for eye health with naturally high amounts of lutein and zeaxanthin (two carotenoid nutrients), Beta Carotene and Vitamins A, C and K. The natural anti-oxidants in watercress make it a fantastic antiaging food for the skin.

Enjoy 200 more Green Smoothie Recipes here!!

 

 

Travel Healthy with Green Smoothies

The best part about making Green Smoothies is getting to experiment with different fruits and greens while traveling. And yes, I do travel with a blender! In Hawaii, I love using fresh organic pineapple and liliquoi in my Green Smoothies. On the east coast of the US in summer, I blend up pears and peaches. Once fall hits, it’s all about apples! In South America, I love using different greens like organic watercress or local spinach. In Israel, I use fresh pomegranate, organic lemons or guava. In Thailand, my favorite green is the fresh morning glory. When you are on a healthy path for life, you get to enjoy raw food on every holiday…and it makes traveling so much more fun!

Here’s a good travel tip for your blender: If your check-in weight is an issue, then simply unscrew the bottom of the blender and only check-in the blades. The motor and the pitcher can be taken as carry-on items, no problem!

More on Green Smoothies:

Top 10 Secrets for Good Health and Longevity: How to Create Your Personal ‘Blue Zone’

If you want to know the best way to do something, you find a successful person and ask them how they did it, right?

That’s exactly what researchers have done in search of the healthiest places in the world to live, also known as ‘Blue Zones,’ a term coined by demographers who started mapping out areas of the world where people live measurably longer lives. Two noteworthy books of interest have been written on the subject: The Blue Zones: 9 Lessons for Living Longer by Dan Buettner and Healthy at 100 by John Robbins. I’ve recently found myself drawn more and more to explore what secrets our elders hold in finding the real truth to an anti-aging diet, or a longevity diet or a ‘youthgevity’ diet…probably terms that our elders at 90 years of age and older have never even heard of!

Healthy at 100 by John Robbins

The Blue Zones: 9 Lessons for Living Longer

Especially in answering countless questions from workshops and talks around the world, a large portion which involve questions such as ‘what’s the BEST food for (insert dis-ease name here)’ or ‘what’s the BEST supplement I need to take’ or ‘what food will help me (insert goal here: lose weight, be happy, feel great, clear skin, gain energy, cure constipation, improve eyesight, increase fertility, reduce anxiety, etc. etc. etc.),’ I can see from a wider perspective that, well, basically, people are just not getting it! No one food creates disease and no one food cures it either! We have to start looking at the diet and lifestyle as a whole to start getting the results we want.

We all know that no one can eat a handful of watercress and become instantly cured!

I hope you can agree with me there. People don’t want to hear that they may have to make long-term changes to their diet and lifestyle in order to get long-term results, especially in this fast-fix world that’s programmed to appease all instant gratification requests. And, if you try the ‘magic pill method’ by taking every new Dr. Oz must-have supplement, after one year of watching Dr. Oz every day you will need to take 365 supplements per day in order to keep up! Clearly, that doesn’t seem like the best approach to real health!

So, what is it? How do we find the key to Longevity and Happiness?

Healthy at 100 by John Robbins

Healthy at 100 discusses several of the more known but perhaps under-documented world Blue Zones such as the Hunza Valley in Pakistan and Vilcabamba, Ecuador (where I am currently staying for 2 months by the way!) and also discusses more well-documented Blue Zones such as Okinawa, Japan. When I say ‘documented,’ that means being able to prove the person’s identity and being able to verify their date of birth with local birth records, so we can say with absolutely certainty that the centenarian (a person who lives over 100) who lives there is really a centenarian.

Blue Zone vs. SAD Diet

The main difference between a Blue Zone diet and a Standard American Diet (SAD) is that the Blue Zone cultures eat no refined sugar and no refined carbohydrates; and instead eat plenty of whole grains and many vegetables grown locally and in season, and they incorporate healing foods and superfoods into their diet naturally. According to John Robbins, the author of Heathy at 100, “Vegetables play a prominent role in the Hunzan diet, particularly greens, including mustard greens, spinach and lettuce, root vegetables such as carrots, turnips, potatoes, and radishes, an assortment of beans, chickpeas (garbanzo beans), lentils, and other sprouted legumes. They cultivate many kinds of herbs for both culinary and medicinal purposes, including mint and thyme. They grow flaxseeds, and rare is the meal that does not contain freshly ground flaxmeal in one form or another. In Hunza, a large part of the diet is eaten uncooked.”

He goes on to explain, “In the summer, as much as 80% of the food is eaten in its natural state. Vegetables in season are picked just prior to consumption and almost always eaten raw. Fresh corn on the bob, for example, is never cooked. In the winter, Hunzans soak lentils, beans and peas in water for several days, then lay them out on wet cloths in the sun. They are eaten raw when they begin to sprout.”

The view from my house in Vilcabamba, Ecuador, an ‘unofficial’ Blue Zone

Exercise also plays a huge role in the anti-aging process. Every area that was researched highlighted daily exercise as an integral part of life, and the people know that this is one of their secrets to vibrant health. “So great is the recognition of the healing power of walking to visit a friend that there is a saying in Vilcabamba that each of us has two ‘doctors’ – the left leg and the right leg,” writes John Robbins.

What’s happening in the good ‘ol USA

  • How many of us numb ourselves with cigarettes, tranquilizers, drugs, alcohol, or unhealthful diets in an effort to escape how isolated we feel?
  • How many of us become chronic workaholics or become preoccupied by other unhealthy obsessions in an attempt to avoid the inner barrenness caused by the breakdown of relationships, family and community?

He adds, “Many of the traditional Okinawan proverbs about eating sound like phrases you might find on the wall of a health food stores in the West. One such proverb translates as “Food should nourish life – this is the best medicine.” And another: “One who eats whole food will be strong and healthy.” If North Americans lived more like the elder Okinawans, we would have to close 80% of the coronary care units and 1/3 of the cancer wards in the United States, and a lot of nursing homes would also be out of business.”

Hmmm, that sounds pretty good to me!

Top 5 Secrets for Longevity and Anti-Aging from Healthy at 100

    1. Eat many colors. Foods’ natural colors are not just treats for the eye but also signs of important nutrients such as antioxidants.

    2. When you crave something crunchy, try raw vegetables or nuts instead of salty chips.

    3. Avoid heating oils to the smoking point. For the fat in your diet, eat walnuts, almonds, hazelnuts, sunflower seeds, avocados and other nuts and seeds.

    4. Shun trans-fatty acids. Stay away from margarine, vegetable shortening, commercial pastries, deep-fried food, and most prepared snacks and convenience foods.

    5. Don’t pollute your body. Don’t eat junk food. Go to your kitchen cupboard and get rid of any food products that no longer serve your potential to be radiantly fit and healthy.

The Blue Zones: 9 Lessons for Living Longer

Now, let’s look at the Blue Zones: 9 Lessons for Living Longer, and see what Dan Buettner, the author, discovered after traveling to 5 current and documented world Blue Zones: Nicoya Peninsula in Costa Rica, Sardinia in Italy, Okinawa in Japan, the Seventh-Day Adventists community in Southern California USA, and Ikaria in Greece.

“Good Years” is a Very Important Concept

In the book, Robert Kane point out that, “there are two issues here. How long can I live? The other is: How well can I live? And those are different questions. Living an extra two years on life support may not necessarily be your goal. Yes, “Good Years” is a very important concept.”

“You’ve got a bunch of people who are professing to be physicians or scientists, who are saying that they can stop or reverse the aging process. I will tell you that real scientists cannot do such a thing, so what makes the public think that these people can?” asks Tom Perls.

Things that Successful Centenarians Don’t Do

They don’t get plastic surgery or botox i.e. get unnecessary surgeries which can weaken their immune system; They don’t watch excessive amounts of television; They don’t complain, gossip or criticize others; They don’t worry or stress about the small things; They don’t overeat. In Japan, they say “Hara hachi bu” before each meal. This is a Confucian-inspired saying that means “Eat until your are 80 percent full.”

Things that Successful Centenarians Do

They eat natural, whole and pure foods high in flavonoids and natural anti-oxidants; They eat simple, non-processed local foods; They exercise as part of their daily routine, usually walking long distances (more than 2 miles and up to 6 miles) every day; They incorporate healing foods like turmeric, ginger and mugwort into their daily diet; They maintain a sense of purpose, keep a sense of humor and they have a positive outlook on life; They keep the family unit together, taking care of elders within the family even at the later stages in life (that’s the power of love!).

Top 5 Secrets for Longevity and Anti-Aging from The Blue Zones Book

    1. Eat more plants (i.e. leafy greens)! While not all centenarians are vegetarians, they all eat a very high vegetable and fruit-based diet with variety in whole nuts, seeds and grains. If they eat meat or fish, it’s only on occasion and not in the daily diet. They also eat simple meals with only whole, natural ingredients.

    2. Stay active. Get outside and walk every day. Work on a small outdoor garden. Getting regular, low-intensity exercise like daily walks appears to help reduce your chances of having heart disease and certain cancers.

    3. Have a sense of purpose and keep hard at work. Successful centenarians feel needed and want to contribute to a greater good. They enjoy physical work all of their lives (i.e. no couch potatoes!!).

    4. Drink fresh herbal teas made from peppermint, oregano, rosemary, chamomile or sage on a daily basis. Add healing foods like fresh turmeric and ginger to your diet. This helps your body detoxify on a regular basis, naturally!

    5. Take time to rest and fast occasionally. The Seventh-Day Adventists practice a weekly Sabbath or day of rest to spend time with the family and re-connect with nature. In Greece, The Ikarians traditionally follow the Greek Orthodox Christian calendar which calls for periodic fasting throughout the year.

Caloric restriction -a type of fasting that cuts about 30 percent of calories out of the normal diet -is the only proven way to slow the aging process in mammals.

How to Create your ‘Personal Blue Zone’

    1. Eat a high-raw food organic and nutrient-dense diet.
    2. Minimize stress. Laugh More. Enjoy each day!
    3. Exercise daily – get out and move.
    4. Form friendships and meaningful relationships.
    5. Have a sense of purpose with your life.

Or, as Michael Pollan said, “Eat food. Not too much. Mostly plants.”

Your Happiness and Longevity Matters!

So there you have it! Everything this website and my life’s work is all about will help you to lead a healthy happy, long enjoyable disease-free life! Let’s keep supporting each other on our journeys enjoying good health and a happy life!

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Benefits of Flax Seed, How to Grind/Store and How Much to Take Daily

Flaxseed (or linseed) is a very small shiny seed with a lot of great health benefits, from reducing cholesterol to improving blood sugar levels for diabetics. The reason why it’s a Superfood is because flax is very high in dietary fiber, it’s a plant-based source of omega 3 fatty acids, and a high source of lignans (phyto-nutrients possessing powerful antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties).

Adequate fiber in the daily diet is key for good digestive health.

Benefits of Flax Seed, How to Grind/Store and How Much to Take Daily

You can buy flax in a few different ways – in whole seed form, already ground into powder form (ground whole seeds) or as flax seed oil. While flax oil does have many health benefits, it is lacking the valuable fiber of the seeds themselves (because the seeds are pressed, separating the fiber from the oil).

Whole flax seeds contain both the fiber and oil, giving you all of the nutritional value in one. However, flax seeds need to be ground before eating so the body can absorb their nutrients. If not, they will simply pass through the digestive track in whole form and that means their nutrients will pass through too!

Mini-food processor to grind flax seed at home

The freshest way to consume your flax seed is to buy the seeds whole and grind them yourself at home. It’s the most inexpensive way to add them to your diet too. Look for organic whole flax seeds in the bulk food section of your local health food store or in your supermarket near the cereal or baking section. You can use either a mini-food processor or coffee bean grinder to grind your flax seed into powder form. Simply add the seeds to the grinder, and grind. You should add the seeds dry and end up with a dry powder. Do not add water to the grinder. Also, be sure that your grinder is clean before you start (clean out any coffee bean residue if using a coffee grinder). For an inexpensive mini-food processor, check on ebay or at local yard sales (many people sell them as ‘baby food makers’). I usually keep about a 2-4 weeks’ supply of ground flax seed in the refrigerator at any given time; that equates to 2 cups or almost 500ml.

Adding whole, unrefined high fiber foods to the diet can help strengthen the digestive system, decrease toxicity in the body, stabilize blood sugar levels, clear the skin and even improve kidney and liver function. It’s a small amount of time and money invested that offers a high return: your health!

Organic ground flax seed

Whole flax seeds can be stored at room temperature in a container or jar. When the flax seed is open (into a powder or pressed an oil), it becomes temperature-sensitive and will turn rancid if left at room temperature. Once ground, it is important to store your flax seed powder in the refrigerator (and preferably in a glass container).

If you are reading this article and have your freshly ground flax seed stored in the cupboard, please do not just move it to the fridge and think that it’s ok. It’s best to throw it away, grind a new batch and store the newly ground flax seed in the fridge. Store-bought ground flax seed should be stored in the fridge after opening.

Flax Seed FAQ:

How much ground flax seed should I eat every day?

The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) recommended daily fiber intake is 25 grams per day for women and 38 grams per day for men. I was admittedly impressed to read the following statement in the USDA Center for Nutrition Policy and Promotion Dietary Guidelines for Americans (2010): “Most Americans greatly underconsume dietary fiber, and usual intake averages only 15 g per day. Breads, rolls, buns, and pizza crust made with refined flour are not among the best sources of dietary fiber, but currently contribute substantially to dietary fiber consumption because they are ubiquitous in typical American diets. To meet the recommendation for fiber, Americans should increase their consumption of beans and peas, other vegetables, fruits, whole grains, and other foods with naturally occurring fiber.”

Ground flax should be stored in a glass container in the fridge

2 Tbsp. of ground flax seed has almost 4 grams of total dietary fiber. I recommend that you start with adding 2 Tbsp. of ground flax seed to your daily diet, and slowly increase to 3-4 Tbsp. per day. Some people consume 6 Tbsp. daily and are very comfortable with their digestion, often finding relief from constipation and other digestive problems just from the simple increase of fiber in their diet.

Imagine someone consuming 15 grams of fiber per day who adds 4 Tbsp. of ground flax or 8 grams of fiber to their daily diet: without changing anything else; they are now consuming 23 grams of dietary fiber daily! It’s so easy!

What if I buy a package of already ground flax seed? Do I store that in the fridge?

You can buy flax seed already ground. Be sure to store it in the fridge immediately upon opening the package.

Is it better to buy the light brown or the dark brown flax seeds?

The best type of flax seed to buy is 100% certified organic, of course! I’ve tried both the light (or golden) and dark brown flax seeds, and I do make a conscious effort to add variety into my diet so sometimes I buy the golden brown and sometimes I buy the dark brown. When I’m feeling a bit wild and crazy, I even blend them both together and store the mixture in the fridge!

Is it possible to eat too much flax seed?

I do think that any one food eaten in too much excess is probably not a good thing. The key to good health is variety and balance in the diet. In this case, if you were eating 10x-20x the normal recommended amount of daily dietary fiber, you may be in store for some serious buffalo-sized poo! As I said before, start with 2 Tbsp. of ground flax seed daily and slowly build up to 3-4 Tbsp. with a maximum of 6 Tbsp. per day. Think nice human-size poo and you should be fine!

What about the fat content in flax seed?

This question always amazes me. It’s most often asked by my female clients who have been struck with the ‘no-fat’ or ‘low-fat’ mindset. These same women will turn down such a high nutrient-dense food like flax for fear of excess fat, but continue to indulge in a daily latte or afternoon chocolate bar. I am often left very perplexed by this logic!!

According to the USDA, 2 Tbsp. of ground flax seed weighs 14 grams, has 75 calories, 5.9 grams of total fat and 3.8 grams of total dietary fiber. While true that ground flax seed does contain fat (5.9 x 9 calories per gram = 53.1 calories of fat per 2 Tbsp./75 calorie serving), it’s important to keep things in perspective. If you’re eating 53 calories of fat in a 1500 calories per day diet, that equates to 3.5% of total calories in fat. Move up to 4 Tbsp. per day and you’re at 7%. Now do the math on your latte and chocolate bar and factor in their nutritional value then re-evaluate who is your friend and who is your foe. The answer: 2-4 Tbsp. of ground flax seed is not a high-fat contribution to your overall dietary intake of food.

What about the photo-estrogen in flax seed – is it dangerous?

This is another important factor to consider and a question I get asked occasionally. Remember, we are talking about adding 2-4 Tbsp. with a maximum of 6 Tbsp. daily of ground flax seed. Keep in mind too that I am recommending the whole ground flax seed, and not the oil (which would be more concentrated in phyto-estrogens). It is true that flax seed does contain photo-estrogens but there are mixed reports on whether the estrogen from flax seed alone is affecting people’s glandular and hormonal systems. I do believe if you were eating a bucket of flax seed at every meal, this would be an important issue, but we are talking about a few spoonfuls, and the other health benefits of this natural, whole and pure food are major reasons to keep it in the diet.

Keeping variety in your diet is the best way to give your body all the important micro-nutrients it needs without over-whelming it with any excess amount of anything. Of course, if you have an estrogen-related health condition or specific medical concerns, it’s best to consult with your medical doctor.

  • Add 2 Tbsp. of ground flax seed to your Green Smoothie daily.
  • Sprinkle 1-2 Tbsp. of ground flax seed onto a fresh fruit salad.
  • Mix 1-2 Tbsp. of ground flax seed into a homemade salad dressing or raw food veggie salad.

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