Why I don’t add Almond Milk, Soy Milk or Coconut Water to Green Smoothies

The hottest new trend in Green Smoothie recipes is to add either Almond Milk, Soy Milk or Coconut Water instead of plain water. Let’s face it, people love the thought of adding more nutrient power to their health drinks, and it seems like a good idea, right? Well, it’s only a good idea if you are interested in adding artificial chemicals, and increased sugar and fat to your Green Smoothie, and that doesn’t sound like a good idea to me! Actually, it’s the fastest way to contaminate the beautiful, fresh raw food delight of a Green Smoothie. Not to mention adding a lot of hidden extra calories that you don’t even really taste. So, if you are not losing weight from your daily Green Smoothie, the answer could lie in that added almond milk, soy milk, or coconut water.

Example 1: Coco Libre Pure Organic Coconut Water

It even says ‘No Added Sugar,’ a term which is not regulated by the FDA by the way, and when you look on the back you will see that there are 13g of sugar in one serving! So, essentially, all of the calories in this drink are from sugar!! With so much sweet flavor from fresh, natural fruits in a Green Smoothie, there is simply so need to add more sugar and it’s simply a waste of calories for anyone looking to watch their weight.

Why add 13g of added sugar to a Green Smoothie that's already full of fresh sweet fruit?

Why add 13g of added sugar to a Green Smoothie that’s already full of fresh sweet fruit?

Example 2: Vita Coco Coconut Water

This bottle is 16 ounces and contains a total of 22 grams of sugar. Most people mistakenly think that they do not eat any added sugar in their diet. Clearly this is not the case! While coconut water does have some natural sugar in it, real young green coconuts never taste as sweet as the coconut water being sold in the USA. So something is going on to make then taste extra sweet. Not to mention the fact that all coconut water imported into the USA has been irradiated, yet another reason to re-consider having too much bottled coconut water in the diet.

11g of sugar in a 8oz serving of this Coconut Water? It's true!

11g of sugar in a 8oz serving of this Coconut Water? It’s true!

Example 3: Silk Original Soy Milk

Many reasons not to drink this or any soy milk for that matter, and again, why contaminate a perfectly pure and natural Green Smoothie with these ingredients? Here we have added sugar and 2 suspicious food additives on the label: “Carrageenan” and “Natural Flavors.” Carrageenan is a thickening agent which is known to increase inflammation in the body, in especially gastrointestinal inflammation. The term “Natural Flavors” essentially has no regulation so there can be anything under the sun in it, and it’s usually nothing natural! This is the classic way that food manufacturers hide chemical additives like MSG. And, yes, it is legal. Anytime you see that term on a label, it is a food best to leave on the shelf!

Many reasons not to drink this including GMO, added sugar and suspicious food additives

Many reasons not to drink this including GMO, added sugar and suspicious food additives

Of course, the other issue with soy milk is the Genetically Modified issue. More than 90% of soy in the USA is GMO. That makes the soy higher in certain proteins which are known to trigger food allergies and intolerances, especially in children whose smaller bodies can’t handle the excess proteins in unnatural amounts. The other major issue with GMO foods is the direct link to infertility. Isn’t using plain water in your Green Smoothie suddenly sounding like the obvious healthy choice?

Example 4: Silk Organic Non-GMO Soy Milk

Don’t think you are doing much better by choosing the organic non-GMO version of soy milk. As you can still, they are still using Carrageenan as a thickening agent and a nice inflammatory food to add to your organic soy milk. In addition, who knows what they are hiding in those “Natural Flavors?” It could literally be anything, and it’s legal of course. The other issue with soy milk is that it is highly concentrated in phyto-estrogens (whether organic or not) and this is also not good for long-term use. High amounts of estrogen are linked to many health conditions for both female and male sexual reproduction hormones. Men can actually grow breasts from high amounts of estrogen! Stick with water in your Green Smoothie, add some 100% organic superfoods for an added nutritional boost, but stay away from the soy milk!

Many reasons not to drink this including GMO, added sugar and suspicious food additives

Many reasons not to drink this including GMO, added sugar and suspicious food additives

Example 5: Silk Original Almond Milk

Here we have added sugar, and of course the almonds are naturally high in fat which is more concentrated in a liquid form. Why not eat whole, raw almonds later in the day as a snack? That way you can actually enjoy the taste and spread your caloric load throughout the day. With so many people trying to lose weight, I can’t understand the desire to add additional sugar to a perfectly naturally sweet Green Smoothie.

Organic Products can still contain chemical food additives? Yes!!

Organic Products can still contain chemical food additives? Yes!!

Example 6: Silk Unsweetened Almond Milk

Here you can see that there is essentially no added sugar, so this seems like a good choice….but, how exactly do they make this almond milk taste sweet and have vanilla flavor? Have you checked how expensive pure vanilla beans are lately? I don’t think they are adding them! That term “Natural Flavor” is screaming out to me, flashing warnings that this food is not natural at all. There could be all kinds of artificial flavor enhancers in there and the food manufacturer does not have to list them on the label. Simple as that. Again, why add more chemical additives to your diet? Plain, raw whole almonds do not have the term “natural flavor” on the package!

Added sugar and fat is not needed is a naturally sweet Green Smoothie!

Added sugar and fat is not needed is a naturally sweet Green Smoothie!

While there is no official government standard on how much (refined) sugar to consume daily, most nutritionists will agree on a recommended daily intake of no more than 40 grams. If you choose to put these sugar-laden drinks into your Green Smoothie, all of a sudden you have less sugar available to consume the rest of the day. Why not save your ‘sugar bank’ for something you are really going to taste and enjoy?

Some will ask: “Can I add homemade almond milk or fresh coconut water to a Green Smoothie?”

Your body will be able to absorb the nutrients in your Green Smoothie more easily when you keep it simple.

Save your young green coconut for an afternoon snack later in the day. Avoid bottled coconut water.

Add your homemade almond milk to a cacao, banana smoothie when you will really taste it and enjoy the texture of the fat….and spread your caloric load throughout your meals as well.

If you are exercising a lot, for example after a 10km run, then yes….that would be a good time to add homemade almond milk, young green coconut flesh or young green coconut water to your Green Smoothie. The electrolytes in the live coconut are great for a post-workout recovery, and you will need the calories because you burned the calories.

Green Smoothies are good for you because they are made from simple, whole ingredients. That’s why you feel better when you eat them on a daily basis. Add 1-2 cups of plain water to your Green Smoothie to make it more drinkable but leave out the rest. You can absorb all the wonderful natural nutrients from a Green Smoothies, as long as you keep them natural, whole and pure.

How to Make Healthy Green Smoothies

Green Smoothie for DummiesCheck out my NEW book Green Smoothies for Dummies – I’ve got loads of recipes using dark leafy greens and many delicious combos without chemical additives or refined sugar. It’s so easy!

Clean your body from the inside out and watch your skin improve, your hair and nails get stronger, your eyes look brighter and your waistline slim down….all naturally and effortlessly! It’s simply amazing and your only regret will be that you didn’t start drinking green smoothies sooner.

When you take care of your whole body, you get whole body health.

When you let your food be your medicine, you are always moving towards better health.

Find the book Green Smoothies for Dummies on iTunes or amazon.com!

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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!

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What Magnesium Deficiency Can Do to Your Health

By not having your daily greens, you could be setting yourself up for Magnesium deficiency. When the body is low in Magnesium, many imbalances in health can result, including heart problems, anxiety, kidney disease, constipation, osteoporosis, chronic fatique and even depression.

Green Leafy Vegetables for Health!

Green Leafy Vegetables for Health!

According to Dr. Carolyn Dean, author of The Magnesium Miracle, Magnesium is of therapeutic value in treating a myriad of symptoms.

Top 15 Health Conditions Related to Magnesium Deficiency:

1. Anxiety and panic attacks: Magnesium normally helps keep adrenal stress hormones under control.

2. Asthma: Both histamine production and bronchial spasms increase with magnesium deficiency.

3. Blood clots: Magnesium has an important role to play in preventing blood clots and keeping the blood thin without any side effects.

4. Bowel disease: Magnesium deficiency slows down the bowel, causing constipation, which could lead to toxicity and mal-absorption of nutrients as well as colitis.

5. Cystitis: Bladder spasms are worsened by magnesium deficiency.

6. Depression: Serotonin, which elevates mood, is dependent on magnesium. A magnesium deficient brain is also more susceptible to allergens, foreign substances that in rare instances can cause symptoms similar to mental illness.

7. Detoxification: Magnesium is crucial for the removal of toxic substances and heavy metals such as aluminum and lead from the body.

8. Diabetes: Magnesium enhances insulin secretion, facilitating sugar metabolism. Without magnesium, insulin is not able to transfer glucose into cells. Glucose and insulin build up in the blood, causing various types of tissue damage.

9. Fatigue: Magnesium-deficient patients commonly experience fatigue because dozens of enzyme systems are under functioning. An early symptom of magnesium deficiency is fatigue.

10. Heart disease: Magnesium deficiency is common in people with heart disease. Magnesium is administered and hospitals for acute myocardial infarction and cardiac arrhythmia. Like any other muscle, the heart requires magnesium. Magnesium is also used to treat angina, or chest pain.

11. Hypoglycemia: Magnesium keeps insulin under control; without magnesium, episodes of low blood sugar can result.

12. Insomnia: Sleeper regulating melatonin production is disturbs without sufficient magnesium.

13. Kidney disease: Magnesium deficiency contributes to atherosclerotic kidney failure. Magnesium deficiency creates abnormal lipid levels and worsening blood sugar control in kidney transplant patients.

14. Migraine: Serotonin balance is magnesium-dependent. Deficiency of serotonin can result in migraine headaches and depression.

15. Osteoporosis: Use of calcium with vitamin D to enhance calcium absorption without balancing amount of magnesium causes further magnesium deficiency, which triggers a cascade of events leading to bone loss.

Having a Green Smoothie every day is the best way to start getting your body back into balance with the nutrients it needs, naturally. To enrich your diet with Magnesium, increase consumption of green vegetables, nuts, seeds legumes and unprocessed grains. Of course, a daily Green Smoothie will do this for you! Add 1 Tbsp. dried organic Kelp powder to you Green Smoothie for the highest Magnesium-density food there is (100g Kelp has 760mg Magnesium). Add 1 Tbsp. organic Molasses for more Magnesium (100g Molasses has 258mg Magnesium). Molasses is especially good for pregnant women to avoid cramps and premature labor…yes, that can be caused from a simple lack of magnesium!

The Recommended Daily Allowance (RDA) for Magnesium is 400-600mg daily. For a supplement, you can take 200mg three times daily.

For additional Magnesium, you can also apply Magnesium Oil or Magnesium Spray to your underarms or wrists every day. Or take an epsom salt bath! Known as Transdermal Magnesium Therapy, this is a really good way to supplement the natural diet. There’s a good book on this subject called Transdermal Magnesium Therapy by Marc Sircus. Other foods high in Magnesium include brazil nuts, walnuts, cashews, pecans and filberts. Apricots, dates, figs and avocado are also good sources of Magnesium.

If your goal is to achieve excellent health and longevity, then a good diet filled with natural, whole and pure foods is the key.

Looking for Green Smoothie recipes to eat more high Magnesium foods?

Green Smoothie for DummiesCheck out my NEW book Green Smoothies for Dummies – I’ve got loads of recipes using dark leafy greens so you get easily get you daily dose of Magnesium, naturally.

Did you know that lack of Magnesium can lead to massive sugar cravings? Perhaps you can start to see how your body really works as a whole. A deficiency in one area can lead to other problems somewhere else.

When you take care of your whole body, you get whole body health. When you let your food be your medicine, you are always moving towards better health.

Find the book Green Smoothies for Dummies on iTunes or amazon.com!

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Is there too much sugar and too many calories in fruit?

The most common response I hear from people about fruit is this: ‘I don’t eat fruit because there is too much sugar and I don’t want to gain weight’ or ‘I heard there is too much sugar and too many calories in fruit so I don’t eat it.’ Such unfounded theories have stopped many people from eating fruit for 10 years or more (and they are still overweight!). Take some time to understand what is really happening, and hopefully you’ll get back to the idea of adding even more fruit back into your healthy routine and better yet, into your daily Green Smoothie!

Do fruit sugars make you gain weight?

Do fruit sugars make you gain weight?

Not all sugars are created equal.

David Wolfe explains one of the main problems with sugar. He states, “Because the term is used so loosely, sugar has become an ambiguous word. When one states the word “sugar” it could mean one of a dozen things such as high fructose corn syrup, refined cane sugar, white sugar, brown sugar, maple sugar, beet sugar, fruit juice, dried fruit, etc.” He goes on to explain, “Sugar is defined as a natural hydrocarbon compound (such as honey, agave, fruits, dried fruits, etc.) and Refined Sugar is an unnatural hydrocarbon product (such as high fructose corn syrup, brown sugar, white sugar, etc.) made through human engineering, plant breeding, and heat processing.”

First, I do think it’s important to be honest with yourself if you are saying that you don’t eat fruit because it has too much ‘sugar’. More than 95% of the time that someone tells me this, in the same conversation I discover that they eat chocolate every afternoon, a cookie every night or a glass of wine with dinner every day. And I feel so sad that the high-nutrient dense, high-enzyme, high-fiber, naturally healing food didn’t make the cut while all the other favorite Refined Sugar foods remain. If you stop eating chocolate, cakes, ice-cream, Greek Yogurt (yes…full of refined sugar!), gluten-free cookies (often containing 35g of refined sugar per cookie!), alcohol, bread (with a higher GI index than a Mars Bar!), then you have plenty of room in your diet to add some fresh raw fruits every day! If you convince yourself otherwise, you are only do a disservice to yourself.

The difference between Refined Sugar and Natural Sugar.

Refined Sugar, with no fiber, goes into the blood stream very quickly, disrupting sugar levels, leading to weight gain and increased risk of Type 2 Diabetes. Refined Sugar should be avoided as much as possible!

The FIBER in fruit is really the key to making it a healthy food and differentiates fruit from other refined sugar foods. Fiber slows down the body’s intake of natural sugars, and allows the body to regulate the absorption of fructose sugars at a healthy pace. When you make a Green Smoothie, you are blending the fruit and greens together, keeping all fiber intact (unlike a juice which separates the fiber from the liquid, leaving only the liquid). Read here for more info on juices vs. smoothies.

Fiber is key!

As Arnold Ehret once stated, “Modern Life is the tragedy of nutrition.” It’s important to remember that fruit has been on this planet for 2,000 years and it is a healing food from the Gods. What a shame to think that modern fad diets and industrialized foods have pushed out the idea of eating natural, whole and pure fruits. It doesn’t matter how modernized and industrialized we have become, our bodies are still organic beings and they need organic whole foods in order to be well. The obesity epidemic we face today was not caused from eating too much fruit! It’s that simple.

Fruit is also alkalizing and naturally high in enzymes.

I’m sure you can’t say that about your blueberry scone and Frappuccino! Most people are suffering from chronic acidosis, meaning they are eating too many acid-forming foods in their diet and not enough alkaline-forming foods. Fresh fruits (and greens) are the best alkalizing foods there are and are excellent for pH health, another great reason to add them to your diet! William Davis, the author of the book Wheat Belly, states, “Vegetables and fruits are the dominant alkaline foods in the diet. Virtually everything in your produce department will drive pH towards the alkaline direction. From kale to kohlrabi, generous consumption of vegetables and fruits serve to neutralize the acidic burden from animal products.” High-enzyme foods allow the digestive system to work better and long-term that sets you up for normalized weight and normalized blood sugars.

Eating greens and fruits together is really the perfect way to ingest fruits. The greens help to balance out the natural fructose in fruits and the fiber from the combination slows down absorption to a healthy pace. Greens, being naturally high in magnesium, help to replenish the body’s natural reserve and often stop cravings for junk foods (did you know that a lot of food cravings are actually due to low magnesium levels?).

I didn’t mention the other most common question that I get asked and that it ‘What’s the best alternative to sugar…is it Sweet’N Low (Saccharin), NutraSweet or Equal (Aspartame), Truvia, Agave Nectar or something else? Do you see the irony that in one moment, people are afraid to eat fruit and on the other they are looking for a sweetener for their food? Why would you ever turn your back on fruit, a gift from the Gods and choose chemical alternatives (and even known carcinogens) with dangerous side effects (such as destroying of brain cells)??

In my opinion, the whole calorie-counting mentality is a distraction and a waste of time.

Animals eat fruit in nature, they don’t count calories, and they’re not fat!

The more you spend your time and energy getting away from processed and chemical-laden foods, the more you will naturally eat the correct amount of calories for your energy output daily.

The bottom line: Fruit is high in fiber, enzymes, alkalinity, healing powers, anti-oxidants, minerals, vitamins and phyto-nutrients. Remember, an apple a day keeps the doctor away. Add that apple to a Green Smoothie with banana and water, blend it up with ground flax seed, hemp seed, acai powder and spirulina and you are off to an amazing start to a healthy day…and a healthy weight for life!

Looking for Green Smoothie recipes to eat more fruit and greens?

Green Smoothie for DummiesCheck out my NEW book Green Smoothies for Dummies – I’ve got a whole section on Bulking up to Slim down where I feature 5 amazing Green Smoothies for Weight Loss.

As I mention in the book, “When your body gets the nutrients it needs, you no longer feel hungry or think about food as much, and that alone can help you lose weight. With so much health to gain and potential weight to lose, fruits are actually the perfect addition to a green smoothie.”

Remember: Experimenting with different fruits is a great way to keep variety in your diet and to ensure getting a wide spectrum of different minerals, vitamins and antioxidants. So, if you see a fruit that you’ve never had before, search for it in your local supermarket and give it a try!

Find the book Green Smoothies for Dummies on iTunes or amazon.com!

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Hearty Berry Smoothie Recipe – Great for After Work-Out Recovery!

Choosing the right foods after a good workout is important to help your muscles recover and keep your energy levels high for the rest of the day. Think alkaline, high fiber, antioxidants and hydration when you want to power-up after a good sweat. This Hearty Berry Smoothie gives you all of that plus a great taste, and even better, it takes less than 5 minutes to make.

This yummy smoothie will fill you up after a good power workout!

This yummy smoothie will fill you up after a good power workout!

Hearty Berry Post-Workout Smoothie Recipe

Ingredients:

  • 1 ripe banana, peeled
  • 1 red apple
  • 1/2 cup fresh blueberries
  • 1/2 cup fresh raspberries
  • 1 Tbsp. tahini (sesame seed paste)
  • 4-6 walnut halves
  • 1 Tbsp. aloe vera juice
  • 2 Tbsp. ground flaxseed
  • 1 1/2 cups water

 

You can make many versions of this adding variety with chia or brazil nuts instead

You can make many versions of this adding variety with chia or brazil nuts instead

Directions:

Place all ingredients in a blender. Blend for 1 minute. Pour, and drink. Cheers to good health!

Need to buy the basic ingredients?
Aloe, flax, walnuts, and tahini: You can buy online here with fast shipping worldwide!

How it Works

During exercise, your body builds up acids from the muscle “burn” and cardio effects. After exercise, you need to release those built-up acids and create a more alkaline environment where muscles can safely recover and repair. More antioxidants help to break up the “internal rust.” The result: you’ll feel less stiff, more energized and have even more power for the next workout. That sounds like a good plan to me!

What you get

  • Berries give you a high boost of antioxidants. Blueberries are truly little blue bundles of health, packed with manganese, vitamin K, and antioxidants. Raspberries offer an ample supply of manganese, a mineral that helps to decrease premenstrual syndrome symptoms, improve bone health, and decrease pain associated with arthritis.
  • Bananas are great for sports endurance and recovery thanks to the combination of natural sugars, fiber, and potassium. Having a smoothie made with banana after your workout can give you more energy and improve your fitness performance.
  • Apples are packed with vitamins A and C, antioxidants, and potassium. High levels of boron in apples stimulate brain activity and increase mental alertness, making apples a real brain food. Boron also keeps your bones healthy and helps prevent osteoporosis by preserving calcium in the body.
  • Flaxseed is a great source of dietary fiber and helps your body intake the natural fruit sugars slowly which means you get more energy for longer and no “sugar crash” later. You can buy flax seed already ground or in whole form and grind at home.
  • Walnuts are a fantastic source of Omega 3, that’s a powerful antioxidant good for circulation and blood. Omega 3 is also a potent anti-inflammatory agent, helping to repair and heal faster from injuries.
  • Tahini (sesame) is high in zinc, the best mineral for your glandular system.
  • Aloe vera is amazing for skin and digestion.
  • Water is the best form of hydration there is!

 

For the love of smoothie! This is Raw Food Bliss!

For the love of smoothie! This is Raw Food Bliss!

Learn More

What blender should you use? Good question! Check out my article on Battle of the Blenders: Which one is Best.

Moving overseas? Find out if it’s ok to use a 110V blender in a 220V country.

Like this recipe? Discover more awesome workout and recovery smoothies in my NEW book: Green Smoothies for Dummies. It has more than 90 recipes and an excellent 3-day Green Smoothie Detox Plan too! Available for sale on amazon, iTunes and Barnes and Noble.

Green Smoothies for Dummies by Jennifer Thompson for Wiley Publishers, NY NY

Green Smoothies for Dummies by Jennifer Thompson for Wiley Publishers, NY NY

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5 Tips on How to protect yourself against Ebola (or any virus/bacteria)

If you’ve been following recent news and events on the Ebola virus outbreak, you’ve probably noticed that things are getting worse and not better as each day passes. And now, scientists are pointing to the potential of airborne contamination and transmission. Should you be worried? Well, I’m definitely concerned. It’s no longer a matter of “could this thing go global?” because it’s already global. So the question is: What can you do to protect yourself from Ebola?

First of all, remember one key piece of information: Not every victim of Ebola has died of Ebola. That means that some people do survive the virus. Keeping your immune system strong is definitely the your best natural defense. You can also protect yourself from exposure with some important hygiene practices. (I’ll talk about that one at the end.)

How to Protect Yourself From Ebola by using your natural Immune System

How to Protect Yourself From Ebola by using your natural Immune System

Here are 5 important steps to help protect you and your family from Ebola:

1. Focus on Your Terrain (i.e. Immune System)

Did you ever take a bag of rubbish to your curb and it wasn’t picked up right away? After a few days, maggots will start to appear. But, had that trash bag not been there to begin with, no maggots would have come. Maggots do not cause garbage; they feed on it.

It was Louis Pasteur who, at his death bed, famously said, “I was wrong. The microbe (pathogen) is nothing; the terrain is everything.”

The health of your immune system defines whether your body or “terrain” is weak or strong. When your immune system is strong, viruses don’t hang around. If you don’t understand this theory, then try this experiment: Stop washing your clothes, taking showers and cleaning your house for 1 year. Then, see how much filth and grime you accumulate. Ok, you don’t have to do that to get the idea, but the point is this: The same thing is happening inside your body! A clean diet and regular detox (once a year at a minimum) means you’re keeping up on your internal housekeeping. Toxic foods, bad breath, body odor, fatigue, brittle hair, difficulty concentrating, trouble sleeping and digestive problems are also potential signs that your body is overloaded with toxins, or deficient, or both.

To Boost Your Immune System:

  • Eat a diet high in fruits, legumes, seeds, nuts and vegetables to give your body a high dose of minerals and vitamins
  • Increase dark leafy bitter greens, like kale, boy chou, watercress and Swiss Chard to help alkalize your pH
  • Get plenty of fiber such as chia and flaxseed as a “broom” to help sweep out the toxins in your gut
  • Drink water! Avoid sugary soft drinks, diet drinks and “energy” drinks
  • Avoid inflammatory foods including fried foods, refined sugar, dairy, alcohol, excess animal proteins and excess wheat products

2. Stock up on Antiviral Foods

Mother nature has provided you with some amazing healing foods that are powerful anti-inflammatories and great immune boosters. They also happen to be amazing anti-viral and anti-bacterial foods. These include:

  • Ginger
  • Tumeric
  • Fennel
  • Lemongrass
  • Leek
  • Cinnamon
  • Cayenne Pepper
  • Lemon/Lime
  • Onions
  • Garlic

You can add these foods to your diet naturally in your smoothies or salad dressings and boost your immunity naturally.

Tip: Try the Onion Sock remedy for colds and flus. Heck, I’d even try it if I had Ebola too!

3. Get Your Antiviral Herbs On

When I read about Ebola going viral (literally), I immediately stocked up on my personal herbal kit of antiviral supplements. Even if the Ebola scare fizzles out (which I certainly hope it will), I’ll still have a great stock of supplements for the winter cold and flu season. Here are my top picks:

  • Grapefruit Seed Extract (GSE)
  • Echinacea
  • Goldenseal
  • Cinnamon oil
  • Ginger Gel capsules
  • Organic Turmeric Capsules
  • Manuka Honey

If you bundle all that up into one order, it’s less than $100, and in my opinion, a small investment to add some natural protection against Ebola.

Note: You can find these products online; I’ve already picked quality recommended brands for you… just click here for your shopping cart. They ship both domestic and international.

If you’re not sure whether this stuff even works, consider this: Several years ago I got Dengue Fever while living in Thailand. At the time I was doing a hard-core heavy metal detox (that’s another story!). In all the years I lived in SE Asia, I never got Dengue before or since – it was only during that HM detox. It’s a classic example of how a weakened immune system can leave you more susceptible for dis-ease. I suffered for 6 days with high fever and delirium, and to be honest I didn’t even know I had Dengue at the time because I mistakenly thought that my fever was a detox reaction. Every day, I drank 1 Green Smoothie with a LOT of fresh turmeric and nothing else except water. On the 6th day, I opened my fridge thinking “I must have something in here!” when I saw the Grapefruit Seed Extract (GSE). I took 25 drops in a glass of water and drank it immediately. TWO HOURS LATER my fever broke and it NEVER came back. The next day, I went to the hospital and received a positive blood test for Dengue Fever. Most people who get Dengue have a fever for 12-14 days. I am 100% sure that the GSE did the trick and is the main reason why I kicked that virus in less than a week.

4. Increase Immune-Boosting Minerals & Vitamins

One of the things that I mentioned in #1 Focus on Your Terrain was to eat a diet high in minerals and vitamins. But the question is: which ones do you need the most? Well, I’d say all of them! But specifically for immune-boosting you need:

  1. Vitamin C – highest found in pineapple, oranges, lemons, parsley and high-antioxidant fruits like berries and pomegranate
  2. Zinc – found in sesame seeds, tahini, pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds and dark leafy greens like kale and watercress
  3. Selenium – found in organic Brazil nuts and walnuts

I saw an article floating around the other day that said selenium deficiency increases your risk of catching Ebola. It stated that the survivors of Ebola all had sufficient selenium in their bodies or they took additional selenium which appeared to help increase their survival rates (http://www.whale.to/m/selenium.html). That didn’t surprise me at all because I already know that selenium deficiency is linked to higher rates of cancer. Note: You only need to eat 4 walnut halves or 2 Brazil nuts per day to get your RDA of selenium. Well, I stocked up on organic walnuts and Brazil nuts last week too! (Tip: Store your nuts in the freezer to keep them fresher longer.)

5. Get some Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)

Ok, perhaps my former days working as an Environmental Engineer on the Superfund Emergency Response Team with the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) got me right into the lingo of referring to masks, gloves, booties, etc as “PPE.” Yes, I used to wear those full-body moon suits with respirator and all to respond to federal emergencies in US EPA Region 3 (that’s the PA, MD, DE, DC, VA, WV region). I was fully trained with all the safety procedures, including knowing what level of protection to wear for different contaminants and how to deal with the safety of public health and environment in environmental emergencies. If you lived in the Pocono Mountains from 2002 – 2005, I was probably the person who sampled your drinking water!

And yes, in the news today I saw how the latest Ebola victim was taken on a private plane surrounded by people in moon suits and ONE GUY wearing normal clothes holding a clipboard and I thought, “Yep. We’re screwed!” This is either the worst false flag scenario ever played out or a deliberate attempt (by “someone”) to infect and spread a deadly disease. There is simply NO WAY a normal high level PPE protocol is violated with some random dude walking up with a clip board.

A man in plain clothes was seen on the tarmac Wednesday afternoon, as the second Ebola patient (in yellow hazmat suit) boarded a flight to Atlanta, Georgia

A man in plain clothes was seen on the tarmac Wednesday afternoon, as the second Ebola patient (in yellow hazmat suit) boarded a flight to Atlanta, Georgia

Update: About the news outlets now reporting that “clipboard man’s presence actually makes the transportation process safer,” that is honestly the most backwards and ridiculous thing I have ever heard in my life. As someone who was professionally trained and worked in emergency HAZMAT sites, I can tell you first-hand that there is NEVER a protocol to have someone NOT protected be in the hot zone guiding protected workers in what to do. In fact, there are very specific protocols on how to suit up and enter a hot zone and also how to decontaminate and exit a hot zone. Sorry, but I’m not drinking this “damage control” koolaid!

Back to Ebola: Even with all of my experience, I’m not running out and buying full body suits. BUT I did make some PPE purchases last week, and I think you should too if you want to step up your game and get ahead of these clowns. Don’t wait until there is a massive epidemic to decide that your family should have masks and gloves, only to find out that you can’t get them anywhere.

Personal Protective Equipment you need:

1. Surgical Masks, and
2. Nitrile gloves (I recommend these because they are safe for high allergen people, including latex allergy)

Why masks and gloves? Because you’re greatest risk of exposure is touching something with your hands or breathing something in your mouth. Personally, if I have to travel on any airplanes in the near future, I’ll be wearing a surgical mask and carrying extra masks and gloves, just in case.

For under $20, I bought 100 surgical masks and a box of 100 gloves. In my opinion, that’s not a lot of money for the relief of knowing you have something on hand. Because I live overseas at the moment, I bought my stuff on ebay, but if you live in the USA, it’s cheaper and faster to buy on amazon. You can buy 50 surgical face masks for under $5 and a pack of 100 nitrile gloves for $12.

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Detox Reaction vs. Allergic Reaction or Intolerance – Which one is it?

Understandably, it can be really frustrating to start eating better and still not feel your best. You might feel confused, discouraged or even angry that you are trying so hard and not seeing the results you want.

What happens if you start a new cleanse, supplement or detox product and find yourself feeling worse? Doesn’t feeling bad mean that you are having a detox reaction and you should “suffer through it?” And doesn’t foggy brain, fatigue, sugar cravings and rashes always mean you have candida? Definitely, no, or at the very least, mostly no.

Symptoms of a Detox Reaction vs. Allergic Reaction

Symptoms of a Detox Reaction vs. Allergic Reaction

I’ve been in this field for a long time and I want to share with you one of the biggest mistakes that people are making today in the world of detox and natural health: They are calling everything a detox reaction.

In my opinion, the most “over-diagnosed” and incorrect problem that people get labeled with when they’re eating healthy (especially high raw food or vegan) but still feeling bad is: 1) They have candida or 2) They are still detoxing. I’ll address the candida issue in another post, but I can tell you that in my experience of seeing well over 4,500 clients, 95+% of the time, both of these assessments are false.

Did you ever consider that you might actually just have a food intolerance or sensitivity to a food additive? Believe it or not, this happens much more than you could ever imagine. And, when you take the suspicious food out of your diet, you can feel better in a matter of days. Finally, you can start enjoying some real healthy bliss! Read on to understand the difference between a real detox reaction and a potential allergic reaction or an intolerance to a food or food additive.

What is a Detox Reaction

When your start to do a detox, as old, excess toxins flush out and unwanted bacteria, microbes and viruses die off, you can actually experience a temporary detox or cleansing reaction. Based on the work of Dr. Karl Herxheimer in the late 1800s, this temporary feeling of illness is known as the Herxheimer effect and is actually an intense sign of healing. These reactions can indicate that your body has started to cleanse itself as it quickly tries to catch up on the overload of toxins being released.

Symptoms of a Detox Reaction

  • Mild headaches, nausea, chills, sweating.
  • Fatigue, aching muscles.
  • Mucous, body odor, rashes.
  • Dizziness, weakness or even foggy brain.

Typical Length of a Detox Reaction

A detox reaction will last anywhere from a few minutes to a few hours. If you are experiencing a real “healing crisis,” normally that will last from 1 to 3 days total. Usually after the detox reaction, you feel amazingly better, and you will not have that symptom again. For example, you could feel chills or nausea or intense exhaustion, then a few hours later (or after an enema), feel totally energized.

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What is an Allergic Reaction or Intolerance

True allergic reactions are much more rare than intolerances but they’re definitely on the rise (thank Monsanto and GMO foods for that). According to the World Health Organization (WHO), there’s been a continued rise in allergic diseases in the industrialized world for over 50 years.

An allergic reaction occurs when your body sees a food such as shellfish, peanuts or wheat as a foreign body or allergen, and starts to attack it by creating antibodies and inflammation.

Symptoms of an Allergic Reaction or Intolerance

The symptoms of an allergic reaction can vary from mild to severe. If you are exposed to an allergen for the first time, your symptoms may be mild. These symptoms may get worse if you are repeatedly exposed to the allergen.

According to the Mayo Clinic, The most common food allergy signs and symptoms include:

  • Tingling or itching in the mouth.
  • Hives, itching or eczema.
  • Swelling of the lips, face, tongue and throat or other parts of the body.
  • Wheezing, nasal congestion or trouble breathing.
  • Abdominal pain, diarrhea, nausea or vomiting.
  • Dizziness, lightheadedness or fainting.

If you have a food additive intolerance, such as an intolerance to Monosodium Glutamate, you can experience:

  • Headaches, chills, fatigue, aching muscles, dizziness.
  • Insomnia, sensitivity to light or sound.
  • Heart palpitations.
  • Fatigue (especially the following day).
  • Abdominal pain, diarrhea, nausea or vomiting.
  • Hives, itching or eczema.
  • Swelling of the lips, eyes, face, tongue and throat or other parts of the body.
  • Wheezing, nasal congestion or constricted breathing.

Typical Length of a Food or Food Additive Allergy/Intolerance Reaction:

An intolerance or allergy can last indefinitely, especially if you continue to eat the food or use the product that you are intolerant to. The problem with “intolerances” is that they usually have a delayed reaction time and they don’t give nearly as severe a reaction as an “allergy.” That’s why they can easily go undiagnosed for years. After a reaction, you may feel temporarily better, but if you eat the suspect food again, you will have the exact same symptoms over and over and never find yourself feeling better.

As you can see from looking at the above lists, it can be easy for a novice to label a food allergy or intolerance incorrectly and call it a detox reaction – the symptoms are almost exactly the same! In rare cases when someone is taking too many detox supplements or doing too many detox protocols at once (far infrared sauna, colonics, zapper, parasite cleanse, heavy metal detox etc.), I will recommend to slow down the detox itself and determine the best order and pace of detox for the individual.

In the old days of detox, almost 20 years ago, no one was doing this stuff and the people who were really knew what they were doing. In the world of detox today, there is a TON of misinformation out there. Someone who made 1 green juice or fasted for 3 days is suddenly on every forum as the guru of detox. As with everything, this is a blessing and a curse at the same time. It’s a blessing because more people are getting out there and trying a fast or cleanse for the first time and that is simply awesome. And I no longer get booed out of a room for talking about coffee enemas, lol! But it’s a curse because people are being misled down the wrongs roads.

What kind of foods can you be intolerant to?

You can react to certain fillers in supplements (like malodextrin); chlorella in your green powder blend, Miso soup, seaweed snacks, vegan butters, vegan mayonnaise, and pesticides. I’ve even had clients react to whole foods like tomato paste, sesame seeds or celery. Once we get that food out of the diet, the reaction goes away and then we know for sure that we’re dealing with a classic food intolerance and not a detox reaction. How does it work? I can usually identify which foods you need to remove after 25-30 minutes of Q&A about your symptoms, current diet or recent detox.

For more on how to do a detox at home or how to navigate through your detox symptoms and start feeling great, book a private health consult with me via Skype.

How to Book Your Health & Nutritional Coaching Session:

1. Take photos of your eyes with a digital camera.
2. Email the photos to me for approval.
3. We schedule a time to meet via phone or Skype!

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Battle of the Blenders: Which one is best?

Are you ready to buy a blender but feeling confused over which features you need and overwhelmed from all the choices out there? Do you really need the most expensive blender in order to make a great green smoothie? If so, which one is best and if not, which of the less expensive blenders can do the job? I’ve tested the most popular blenders with the exact same green smoothie ingredients, so yes, it was a real Battle of the Blenders! Check out my results below and get started on your smoothie making (and smoothie drinking) skills!

With so many blenders out there - which one should you choose?!

With so many blenders out there – which one should you choose?!

Blender Buying Guide

Before you head to the store, think about where and how you’ll be using your blender:

1. What’s your budget?

2. How many people are you making smoothies for (1, 2, 4…or more)?

3. Where will you put your blender (on the counter or under/in a cabinet)?

 

Blender Basics: Motor and Size

Blenders have 2 main features: The size of the motor and the size of the blender container.

Size of the motor

The fastest blenders are the 3HP professional/commercial use blenders. Then, you have the 2HP which are still professional and heavy-duty. And finally, you have the more common kitchen blenders whose motors are usually listed in watts. You’ll see 600W, 700W or 800W, and they give you just under 1HP of blade speed. The 2HP and 3HP blenders are more expensive because of the better motor. A a better motor gives you a more finely blender smoothie. The green leaves in a green smoothie made in a 2HP or 3HP blender will be completely pulverized, and in a cheaper blender, you will see larger pieces, but still completely drinkable (see the example below).

Smoothie on the left: Made with 3HP. Smoothie on the right: 1HP. See the difference?

Smoothie on the left: Made with 3HP. Smoothie on the right: 1HP. See the difference?

Size of the blender container

If you’re making smoothies for a whole family every morning, then you’re going to need a big blender container! Blender container sizes range anywhere from 32 ounces to 64 ounces. (Because the Magic Bullet and Nutri Bullet have such a small blender container, I don’t recommend them for making green smoothies. I also don’t recommend the immersion blenders because it’s just to hard to immerse a stick into a pile of greens.) Check out the table below to see the different size containers in each model that was tested.

Think about where you have room in your kitchen for your blender before you buy!

Think about where you have room in your kitchen for your blender before you buy!

Size of your kitchen

Will you be keeping your blender on the counter in between use, or will you put it in a cabinet? Blenders like the Blendtec, Hamilton Beach and Cuisinart will easily fit tucked away on your counter-top and under a cabinet, but other models won’t. Taking measurements before you head to the store can save you valuable time later.

Other Features to look for

Some blenders have a timer function, which I personally really like. That means you can set the blender to blend for 30, 45 or 60 seconds and start cleaning up while you wait. Also, it’s a good idea to check the warranty (if any) before you buy. Spending more on a 2HP or 3HP usually gives you a better warranty, in some cases up to 10 years, which is awesome.

Comparing Blender Models

Now that you know what to look for, it’s time to compare few models.

High Speed Blenders (2HP and above)

Blender Model Peak HP (horsepower) Size (ounces) Pitcher Construction
Vitamix 5200 2 HP 64 BPA-free plastic
Blendtec Wildside 3 HP 90 BPA-free plastic
Omega 630 3 HP 64 BPA-free plastic
Ninja Ultima 2.5 HP 72 BPA-free plastic

 

Normal Speed Blenders (1HP and below)

Blender Model Peak HP(horsepower) Size (ounces) Pitcher Construction
Kitchen Aid Diamond Vortex 0.9 HP 60 BPA-free plastic
Cuisinart Smart Power Deluxe 0.8 HP 48 Glass
Hamilton Beach Smoothie Smart 0.9 HP 40 Glass

 

Battle of the Blenders results

As I mentioned above, I’ve actually tested all of theses models, and I have to say that they ALL make a good green smoothie! For sure, the higher power models blender a smoother, creamier and more finely blended green smoothie. With the 1HP machines, I had to add the water and fruit first, blend, then add the greens and blend again.

All of the blenders worked, however the 2HP-3HP blenders made a smoother smoothie than the 1HP blenders.

All of the blenders worked, however the 2HP-3HP blenders made a smoother smoothie than the 1HP blenders.

Here’s what I found in my field test:

Vitamix 5200

The Vitamix 5200 was excellent! It has a toggle switch to change the speed, although no timer function. This model is for you if you prefer a classic, tried and true brand like Vitamix. A nice feature with the Vitamix is that you can also buy an additional pitcher with a special blade for blending dried foods like nuts, seeds, and even flour. Price: $400+.

Vitamix 5200 blender

Vitamix 5200 blender

 

Blendec Designer Series

The Blendec Designer Series takes the prize for sleekest and most modern design. Also, it has a timer and a smoothie preset button, which I loved. It has a unique design in that the entire blender can fit easily under your kitchen cabinet. This blender is a great choice for a brand new stylish kitchen. The 3HP motor is incredible! Best color: champagne. Note: If you’re looking for smart ways to save, you can actually find factory refurbished Blendtec models for $100 less than the retail price. Price: $400+.

Blendtec Designer Series blender in champagne color

Blendtec Designer Series blender in champagne color

 

Omega 630

The Omega 630 is HUGE and I loved this machine. Although the base is large in size, it’s not heavy. Still, this is a blender that will need to be on the counter, so check where you can put it before you buy! This model has a dial timer where you can pick an exact time for blending. And, you just gotta love the 3HP motor. It’s great for a large family! Because this blender has every feature I would want (larger container, high speed motor, timer feature, nice design) and the price is very reasonable, I would have to declare the Omega 630 blender as the Winner of the Battle of the Blenders. Price: $250+.

Omega 630 blender

Omega 630 blender

 

Ninja Ultima

The Ninja Ultima was a real surprise for me. This machine has a 2.5HP motor, yet is almost half the price of its competitors. Admittedly, I thought the blender lacked a bit of style in its outer design but it definitely blends well. And, it has the unique Ninja double blade. If you’re somewhere between a standard blender and a super blender, this could be the one for you. Price: $200+.

Ninja Ultima blender

Ninja Ultima blender

 

Buying on a BudgetTip: If your budget is less but you want a more expensive model, you can always look for a used blender on ebay, craigslist or amazon. You can also put on posting on Facebook in a health focus group or on your local health food store’s page.

 

Kitchen Aid Diamond Vortex

The Kitchen Aid Diamond Vortex has a great look with a classic design, and you can order it in just about any color you can think of, from gorgeous red to lime green! The blender itself is good; it’s reliable and has a nice large size container for being in the low motor (less than 1HP) range. I’d call this a nice choice as a starter blender if you’re on a budget. Price: $150+.

Kitchenaid Diamond Vortex blender in empire red color

Kitchenaid Diamond Vortex blender in empire red color

 

Cuisinart Smart Power Deluxe

Having BPA-free plastic in mostly all new blenders makes choosing a plastic pitcher more comfortable these days, but some people do still prefer glass. The Cuisinart Smart Power Deluxe has a glass pitcher and the size of the pitcher is probably good for 1-2 people, but not more. This is a very good starter blender for a single person, couple or small family. Price: $70+.

Cuisinart SmartPower Deluxe blender

Cuisinart SmartPower Deluxe blender

 

Hamilton Beach Smoothie Smart

This blender was actually the most inexpensive one in the battle at less than $40, and yet I thought it did a really good job! The Hamilton Beach Smoothie Smart also has a glass container and the pitcher size is smaller. This is really the perfect blender for a college student on a budget who is looking for a reliable blender to start making green smoothies. Price: $40+.

Hamilton Beach Smoothie Smart blender

Hamilton Beach Smoothie Smart blender

 

Conclusion:

Any of the above blenders is a good pick for green smoothie making in my book. The most important thing is that you actually make smoothies in it, and hopefully every day! If you have the money for an expensive blender, that’s great! If not, don’t stress out. You can always upgrade later and remember, making green smoothies is a new healthy habit for life!

I’ve got lots more information on green smoothies, blenders, how to wash your produce, green smoothie recipes, and even a green smoothie detox in my new book: Green Smoothies for Dummies (Wiley Publisher, NY):

Available on amazon in both hard copy and eBook format!

Available on amazon in both hard copy and eBook format!

Whether you’re a beginner to green smoothies or a pro looking for new recipe ideas and ways to share with family and friends, this book will help! Check it out, and happy blending!

Looking for a new juicer too? Check out my post on What’s the Best Juicer? How to Choose a Juicer

More on Juicing and Smoothies:

Sometimes we’re all a bit prickly, like durian fruit!

This article recently appeared in the Bangkok Post and I decided it was a great one to share! The durian fruit is a classic example of how we can all be a bit prickly on the outside sometimes, but inside be deliciously sweet and full of love! Remember: don’t judge a fruit by its skin (or even by its smell for that matter!).

I found this beautiful display of fresh durian fruit on my recent trip to Bangkok, Thailand

“Because it’s in season this time of year, durian comes at a much cheaper price, allowing me to indulge in the yellow fruit as much as I can.

The “king of fruits“, however, is not treated like royalty, with some hotels and public facilities banning it due to its offensive stench, which draws comparisons to things like stinky feet, fermented garlic and rotting garbage.

Durian has long been reviled by some — it was even named “the most wicked fruit in the world” in a 1936 article in the US newspaper, the Milwaukee Sentinel. To be fair, the news brief ended positively, noting that some Europeans who had tasted the fruit declared it to be the most delicious on Earth.

I totally agree. Durian is divinely delicious, and foreigners should not miss out on nature’s masterpiece by tasting the different varieties — chanee, mon thong, and kaan yao. They will then discover that what smells like Hell tastes like Heaven.”

Durian fruit is prickly and hard outside but soft and sweet inside, like many people!

“The thorny basketball-sized fruit reminds us that people, too, shouldn’t be judged by their personal appearance, smell or (sometimes) public behavior. After all, there may be a reason behind their misconduct. Recently, stereotyping people according to their age has emerged in another glaring case of society judging a fruit by its skin.

I believe that, while humans might differ wildly, we’re all the same at the end of the day.

Once, when I was shopping for durian, I encountered a 70-something-year-old woman. Biologically she was a manus yai (a grandmother’s age), but technically she was a durian-jabbing manus pa, who spoiled the firmness of a packaged mon thong I was planning to buy. Because she was elderly, I did not want to confront her. Instead I left her to leave little finger-shaped craters on the other pieces of mon thong. I was upset, of course, but that didn’t mean I had to vent my frustration on cyberspace. Just forgive and forget — allow that grandma the pleasure of poking durian for the rest of her life.

At the most basic level, we’re all the same. We’re all human.”

This article is from the Bangkok Post, 20 August 2014 and was written by Kanokporn Chanasongkram View the original and full article here: http://www.bangkokpost.com/opinion/opinion/427685/sometimes-we-re-all-a-bit-prickly

Health benefits of durian fruit

Durian fruit is a healthy vegan fat. If you feel hot after eating durian, your liver might be overworked. In that case, cool it down by eating mangosteen (the sister to the durian king). Durian is a natural stress reliever thanks to the tryptophan it contains. Tryptophan is the amino acid that the body uses to make serotonin, your feel-good happy hormone, making durian a natural anti-depressant. Durian also increases sex drive, stamina and helps you sleep better too.

If you want a truly “out-of-this-world” raw food combo, try eating durian fruit on a empty stomach (it digests better and gives you more energy that way). Then, eat a few raw cacao nibs. Follow up with a cup of puerh or “pu erh” tea, that’s a raw fermented tea from China used by the Chinese to help the liver digest fats. Note that puerh tea does contain caffeine so it’s best to drink it early in the day. Watch out…you’ll feel a real natural high from this potent combination and appreciate the powerful of naturally good food!

Where to Buy Durian Fruit

Durian grows in SE Asia, mainly in Thailand, Malaysia and the Philippines. In Asia, look for fresh durian in supermarkets already cut and separated into packets for single servings (as shown in the picture above). You can also buy dried durian slices, durian chips, durian candy (made with sugar) and even durian ice cream.

Outside of Asia, some supermarkets sell imported durian fruit but it will more than likely be frozen. The best place to look is in an Asian supermarket or ask around in the your local Chinatown area. I found a whole frozen durian at a Filipino supermarket in Maui, Hawaii once. We took it home, thawed it out and cracked it open and i have to say that it was delicious!

More on Manifestation and Motivation:

Why I left Koh Samui, Thailand and Why I moved to Tel Aviv, Israel

This is a question I get asked A LOT, and I’m excited to share the answer with you! Read on to find out why!

When I first left my engineering job at Merck to cycle around the world more than 13 years ago, people told me I was crazy. They said I was committing “career suicide.” They said no one would ever hire me again and after traveling for so long. Luckily, I didn’t care what people thought and I did what I wanted to do. I traveled and cycled my way around SE Asia, New Zealand and Australia for 3 years and eventually settled in Koh Samui, Thailand after battling with my own illness and deciding to dedicate my life’s work to helping other people reverse disease and heal themselves naturally. It didn’t take long for people to change their tune and start to say, “How did you do it?” and “I want to live your life!”

The beaches of Tel Aviv are clean and quiet, especially during the week!

In Samui, I worked relentlessly day and night, learning and offering Iridology analyses, helping clients on their detox programs, teaching health and nutrition class, building a website from scratch all on my own and developing contacts all over SE Asia to present workshops and work in various countries. In 6 years, I don’t remember even having 1 day off. Clients came to my house at every hour of the day and night asking for detox support and health coaching services. Because I cared so much about each and every client’s health and success, I had a hard time learning how to say “No.”

The southern end of Tel Aviv beach looks over to historic Jaffa

Why I left Koh Samui, Thailand

I learned so much in the time that I was in Samui and I am forever grateful to all of my clients and colleagues for co-creating a fantastic destination for fasting, detox, yoga and health and wellness. And I LOVED living in Thailand. But eventually, it was simply time for a change. Not only did I feel like I wanted and needed new challenges in my life, but I was also craving a “regular” environment where people worked hard all week and then had time to enjoy their life on the weekends, just like everyone else. I realized that I wasn’t really helping my clients if I left nothing for myself. I knew that I needed to have time fill my “cup” too and also to make time for a loving relationship. And ok, I imagined a world where I could simply eat a meal in a restaurant where no one would approach me to show me a picture of their shit (yes, that happened a lot!) and then I realized, I think it might be time to leave Koh Samui!

In Tel Aviv, you can find fresh juice and smoothie bars everywhere, year-round

Why I moved to Tel Aviv, Israel

In the 2 years before leaving Samui, I traveled a lot and I visited many places, including Dubai and Israel. I knew I wanted a warm climate and plenty of fresh, organic foods available year-round as well as a place that was near the beach. I first went to Israel to attend the Gabriel Cousens green juice fast, and I can honestly say that I fell in love with the place! The climate was just perfect and the desert foods were such a welcomed and exciting change to my diet. For a raw foodie, Israel is a really easy place to live. I went on to visit Israel another 3 times and on my last trip, I met my boyfriend, an Israeli. Suddenly, I had a lot more interest in the idea of moving to Israel!

A delicious Acai Bowl from the juice stand at Ben Gurion and Dizengoff, Tel Aviv

My boyfriend wound up coming back to Thailand with me and we stayed there together for a few months before I finally packed up my bags and left. It was a very silent tip-toe departure mainly because I didn’t want to answer the questions, “Why?” and “Where will you go?” before I even knew the answers myself. We decided to take our time traveling and exploring some areas of the world that I considered moving to including Panama, Guatemala, Costa Rica, Colombia, and Ecuador. After more than 1 year of traveling, we just didn’t find exactly what we were looking for: beach, organic food, nice people, good friends, high speed internet and enough safety to go for a run or walk on my own.

You can find organic produce at farmer’s markets in Tel Aviv or better yet, get it delivered to your door!

We arrived to Israel in July 2013 and since then, we’ve been slowly settling into life here. We live in Tel Aviv, 300m from the beach and a 3-minute walk from an organic market. We receive an organic CSA food delivery every week to our door, we have friends, and every day I can walk or run for miles right along the Mediterranean Sea.

The Yin and Yang

It’s definitely a unique cultural experience to live in Israel. Sometimes people ask me, “Why do you live in Israel if you are not Jewish?” or “How could you choose to live in such a dangerous place?” (In the same way that you don’t have to be Hindu to live in Bali and you don’t have to be Buddhist to live in Thailand, you also don’t have to be Jewish to live in Israel.)

The port of Tel Aviv is lined with cafes all along the Mediterranean Sea

I can say that in general, the city of Tel Aviv is very safe and not reflective of what you see on the news. There is a very large gay community in Tel Aviv. Recently, the city itself was voted #1 for nightlife by Lonely Planet. In the last 2 years, there has been a huge vegan movement that has swept over the city and most restaurants now offer a regular Meatless Monday dish on the menu. There are a lot of young people living here, it’s right on the beach and you can walk or ride a bike anywhere you need to go.

In short, I think the citizens here just want peace but the government leaders can’t seem to agree. Isn’t that the case pretty much everywhere in the world?

You can walk or cycle for miles along the footpath next to Tel Aviv beach

As much as there is conflict in certain areas of Israel, in other areas you can experience such amazing waves of transformation, spirituality, light, consciousness, and love. Next to the dark there is always light. Next to yang, you must have yin. If you come to Israel and focus on the yin, you can feel a deep spiritual awareness like something you have never felt before.

Favorite Foods

If you love healthy food, then you already have the best reason ever to visit Israel. Everywhere here you can find large vegan salads and fresh juices. You can even order green smoothies at some juice bars too! There is plenty of organic food and also great Middle Eastern food like tahini, hummus, grilled eggplant (baladi), parsley salad (tabouleh), lentils and rice (mujadara) and tons of other vegan and vegetarian options.

Fresh olives alone are a reason to visit Israel!

Did I mention the dates? Yes, truly raw food heaven! And you can taste them for free!

A warm climate means many restaurants are outdoor in Israel – this one is just opening for the day

Nothing is Permanent!

I’m now enjoying set working hours and designated days off every week and feeling much more balance between my work and private life than I did while living in Koh Samui, Thailand. I enjoy living near the beach and I am proud to say that we now eat 100% organic food at home. They always say that when we trust and let go of fear, the universe falls into place and that’s exactly what happened to me when I got a new book deal within 1 week of arriving to Israel last year! So, will I stay in Israel forever? Or will I be off to a new destination and another adventure? Well, you’re going to have to stay tuned because I have no idea! One thing I do know is nothing is permanent in life; you just have to enjoy every day as it comes!

More on Traveling Raw:

Get Affordable Organic Food with Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) Vegetable Home Delivery

Want to save time and money and get more affordable organic fruits and vegetables? Then check into finding a local CSA for organic home delivery in your area. Community Supported Agriculture or CSA is a way to connect consumers directly to organic farmers. With no store or “middle man” in between, you get more affordable produce that’s fresh and in season.

Get local organic produce delivered to your door & save money too!

How does a CSA work?

Basically, you invest in a “share” of the harvest, meaning you pay in advance for regular deliveries of organic, fresh, seasonal produce from local farmers. Every program varies in what it offers, when and where it is delivered and how much a share costs. Typically, you choose between a “small box” or a “large box” which is delivered weekly on a certain day (say every Tuesday or Thursday). The contents of the box will vary depending on what’s being harvested that week. For example, this week (in summer) in Israel I received: organic tomatoes, cucumber, lettuce, dill, parsley, beets, green chives, mint, pumpkin, spinach, Swiss chard, daikon, zucchini and watermelon. Other times I will get garlic, onion, lemons, papaya, apples, melon or kohlrabi with a mix of fresh greens that also vary depending on the time of year. On average, 1 large box will last me about 4-5 days. I usually need to supplement with my own store-bought organic fresh fruit because admittedly, you usually get more veggies than fruit in a CSA box. With the CSA that I belong to, there is also the option to order additional items, including local organic eggs, tahini, honey and olive oil (I don’t order any additional items but I know a lot of people who do). The box is delivered directly from the farm to your door.

The benefits of eating organic food

Organic food is higher in minerals because the soil in which its grown is a much better quality than the over-farmed, depleted and toxic soil you find in industrial farming. Without any hazardous pesticides either, organic food can decrease your risk of allergies, rashes, inflammation and asthma and keep your immune system strong. This is especially important for growing children. Organic food is also not irradiated or genetically modified (GMO), two more processes and man-handling added to the food supply today which can be harmful to your health.

And, my favorite thing about organic food? It tastes way better!!! My fresh organic produce is never bitter or bland. And a better natural taste has to be better for you. Once you try it, you will see for yourself!

The saddest thing I find about organic food is people seem to only invest their money in it at certain times in their life: mainly, when they’re pregnant, sick or have cancer. Outside of that, it can be really hard to convince anyone to spend money on organic veggies, fruit, nuts, seeds and/or grains. Even vegan, raw food, vegetarian and gluten-free folks will often turn their head at the added cost of organic. But why wait until you are sick or pregnant to start eating the best food for your body? If you eat organic food for years before your pregnancy, don’t you think you will be higher in minerals, less toxic and therefore increase your chances of a healthy pregnancy and baby? And perhaps if you invest in some high quality food now, you won’t ever get sick and if you do, you will recover much more quickly. If you put better fuel in your car, it will run better and last longer. Well, let’s add some extra miles to your life and keep your internal engine working great with high-quality organic food! You deserve the very best.

The benefits of using CSA delivery

1. You increase the amount of organic food in your diet.
2. It’s more affordable and fresher than buying organic produce in stores.
3. The fruit and vegetables are locally grown and in season.
4. You’re supporting small local businesses and farmers in your area.
5. You save time and hassle by enjoying home delivery.
6. You naturally get more variety in your diet.
7. You can experiment and try new veggies that you might not otherwise buy (like daikon or kohlrabi).

In fact, I can’t think of any reason not to join a local CSA! To get started, research your local community by googling “CSA organic delivery + your county, city or state” and see what you find. You can also inquire at your local health food store or Wholefoods market.

A good list of Organic Home Delivery farms in USA: Organic Consumers Directory List for USA

In Israel, there are 2 popular CSA services for Tel Aviv: Chubeza and Maggie’s Garden (I personally have tried both and now am happy with Chubeza). Find a complete list of Organic Home Delivery farms in Israel, including Jerusalem, the north to Herzilya and south to Ashkelon here: Times of Israel article on Eating Organic in Israel using local CSA

If you’re using a local CSA in your community, please list the link in the comments below with your city, state and country below and let’s share the good times of eating more natural, whole and pure food! I’m thoroughly enjoying a healthy week with yummy green smoothies, juices, raw food salads and desserts all with beautiful vibrant organic food!

For more on how to start a raw food diet, how to do a detox at home or what minerals you may specifically be deficient in, book a private health consult with me via Skype.

How to Book Your Health & Nutritional Coaching Session:

1. Take photos of your eyes with a digital camera.
2. Email the photos to me for approval.
3. We schedule a time to meet via phone or Skype!

More on Organic Food:

What’s the Best Juicer? How to Choose a Juicer

Buying a juicer is a commitment to actually start juicing. Believe me, I wish there was a self-cleaning juicer out there too, but there isn’t! I consider this a more advanced stage of healthy food prep because of the added time and effort it takes to make juice. For that reason, I encourage you to really think about what you’re most likely to use on a daily basis. Do you have extra time to prepare ingredients for juice and to clean the juicer? Or, are you more likely to blend a green smoothie that takes less than 5 minutes to make and can be stored in advance?

I recommend that you make green smoothies for at least 6 months before you even think about advancing to the world of green juices. When you’re comfortable with the green smoothie recipes and ingredients, it will be much easier for you to make the leap into juice.

When you’re ready, the next step is to decide what juicer is right for you. And if that wasn’t enough, there are actually 2 different types of juicers. If you’re not ready then take this information in as a side note, to be used at a later date, but don’t worry about the details too much now. Below, I explain the different types of juicers.

What to look for in a juicer

Features to look for in a juicer

With juicers, there are two main types: masticating and centrifugal. Those terms describe how the ingredients are mashed, spun and/or pressed and actually separated between a fiber and liquid form.

The other main feature to look for in a juicer is the size of the shaft where you place the ingredients for juicing. You will see some juicers listed as big mouth or wide mouth; that means you can take an entire apple or pear and easily fit the whole fruit in the juicer shaft as opposed to cutting it into quarter-size pieces and placing it in a smaller shaft. While it may seem that this feature makes it faster or easier to juice, it doesn’t change the cleaning time which is the most time-consuming part of the process.

Masticating

Masticating juicers are the best juicers for making green juice because the slow-press motor can easily squeeze the juice out of high-fiber leafy greens. Sometimes referred to as cold-press juicers, masticating juicers operate at a slow speed and produce a higher amount of juice. Masticating juicers can juice fruits, veggies, leafy greens and wheatgrass. They are usually sold online or in more specialty stores and they come at a higher price tag.

Centrifugal

Centrifugal juicers are readily available at normal retail outlets and are the most inexpensive type of juicer to purchase. With a centrifugal juicer, the ingredients are pulverized through a fast-spinning blade that extracts the juice through a strainer. These machines can’t handle leafy greens, wheatgrass, sprouts or herbs and are better suited for fresh and veggies. Because of the faster spin, they make less juice per volume of ingredients.

Top picks for juicers

Omega

The Omega 8004 is my personal top pick of juicers for making green juice. It’s a masticating juicer, and in my opinion, is easier to clean than other masticating brands or models. The 8004 has a great motor and can also juice wheatgrass (see below). Price starts at $199.95.

The Omega Juicer is a GREAT value for your money and an excellent juicer

Cuisinart

The Cuisinart Compact Juice Extractor is a centrifugal juicer that comes in at an affordable price with a nice design and a reliable brand name. Priced at $89.00.

Cuisinart Compact Juicer is a great value and a good starter juicer

Hamilton Beach

The Hamilton Beach Big Mouth Juice Extractor is also a centrifugal juicer with a nice clean, simple design. The fantastic price makes this juicer a great option if you’re on a budget. Priced at $59.85.

Good value for your money with this Hamilton Beach Juicer

Keeping your Juicer Clean

My advice for how to clean your juicer is this: Do not drink your juice until after you clean the juicer! If you drink your juice immediately, you’re much more likely to move onto something else and forget about the juicer until later. By then, all the pulp will be stuck to the juicer parts making a bigger job to scrub everything clean.

Your best bet: As soon as you finish juicing, unplug the juicer to make sure that the power is off. Take the juicer apart and rinse all the pieces with a sponge, warm water and dish detergent. Add the juice pulp to your compost pile if you have one. Once your juicer is on the drying rack, you can enjoy your freshly made juice! This is a house rule in my kitchen and it really works.

Choosing a wheatgrass juicer

If you’re interested in juicing your own wheatgrass at home, you’ll need a masticating juicer. The Omega 8004 is a great model for making fresh wheatgrass. Other options include the Champion juicer, and the Hurom vertical slow-press juicer.

Do you need to juice, and should you be juicing?

That’s a great question! Find out more about whether or not you even need to juice here.

If you're ready for juicing, this is the juicer for you!

If you’re ready for juicing, this is the juicer for you!

Looking for a new blender too? Check out my guide on Battle of the Blenders: Which one is best?

For more on how to start a raw food diet, how to do a detox at home or what minerals you may specifically be deficient in, book a private health consult with me via Skype.

How to Book Your Health & Nutritional Coaching Session:

1. Take photos of your eyes with a digital camera.
2. Email the photos to me for approval.
3. We schedule a time to meet via phone or Skype!

More on Juicing and Smoothies: