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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!

More on Juicing and Smoothies:

More on Manifestation and Weight Loss:

More on Nut Milk and Healthy Recipes:

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!

More on Juicing and Smoothies:

More on Manifestation and Weight Loss:

More on Nut Milk and Healthy Recipes:

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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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

More on Green Smoothies:

More on Prevention:

Do Green Smoothies have too much Oxalic Acid?

“Some people suggest that the oxalic acid in leafy green veggies can increase your risk of kidney stones. In fact, studies show that the real risk factors for kidney stones are not drinking enough water, suffering from magnesium deficiency, and not having enough calcium in your diet.

True, certain leafy greens, such as spinach, Swiss chard, beet greens, kale, and collard greens, are high in oxalic acid. If you suffer from kidney disease or have only one kidney, minimize your intake of these greens. Leafy greens that are low in oxalic acid include lettuce greens, bok choy, celery, and all fresh herbs except parsley.

Is there too much Oxalic Acid in greens like kale, spinach, or Swiss Chard?

Is there too much Oxalic Acid in greens like kale, spinach, or Swiss Chard?

A healthy individual should have no problem with the oxalic acid in certain greens. Keep in mind that green smoothies are a mixture of fresh fruits and greens, and the combination of these two types of foods helps to alkalize (neutralize) the effects of oxalic acid. You’re much more likely to get into trouble with oxalate foods if you eat them on their own without any alkaline foods to balance the acid.”*

Think Variety!

When you have variety in your greens (and all of your fruits, veggies, nuts, and seeds), you can’t overdo any one food. If someone says to me, “Will I get kidney stones if I eat a bunch of kale every day for 3 months?” My answer is, “Why on earth would you be eating kale every day for 3 months???

Many people’s brains today are set into “one magic food” thinking, but that’s not what works for full body health. Having variety in your diet ensures that your body gets all the nutrients it needs from different fruits and veggies in different seasons throughout the year. A better way to approach your greens is like this: kale one day, celery one day, Swiss chard one day, cilantro one day, spinach one day, bok choy one day and beet greens one day. Do you see how easy that can be? Your body will be delighted at all the variety in those greens and your kidneys will stay happy from the balance of oxalic acid.

Friend or Foe?

Other high oxalic acid foods include chocolate, peanuts and peanut butter, pistachios, sesame seeds, black tea and coffee. Combine that with an acid-forming diet (wheat, refined sugar, animal proteins) and you’re kidneys will definitely start to feel it.

So, are leafy greens combined with a diet full of fresh alkaline-forming fruits really the enemy? That’s food for thought!

The bottom line: Rotate your greens and switch out high oxalic and low oxalic greens!

The bottom line: Rotate your greens and switch out high oxalic and low oxalic greens!

*This excerpt is from my book Green Smoothies for Dummies. In the book, I also debunk some other popular myths about Green Smoothies, including:

  • The Heat from the Blender Destroys the Enzymes in a Green Smoothie
  • It’s Better for Digestion to Chew Your Food
  • Green Leafy Vegetables Are Toxic
  • Green Smoothies Are Too High in Calories
  • Store-bought Green Smoothie Is Just as Good as a Homemade One

If any of those myths are stopping you from enjoying the amazing health benefits of Green Smoothies, then you should definitely check out the book: Green Smoothies for Dummies (now available on amazon and iTunes).

More Green Smoothie Articles:

Is it ok to use 120V blender (or juicer) in a 220V country?

If you’ve invested in an expensive blender and for whatever reason, decide to move to a different part of the world, you may be faced with the decision: does the blender stay or go? While the USA and most of Central America use 110-120V electricity, the rest of the world (mainly Europe, South America, Asia and Australia) use 220-240V. To accommodate the difference, you can buy a transformer to change the voltage between your blender and the wall. However, changing the power that runs the blender can really wear the motor down over time, and after several months to a year, you may find that the motor “burns out.”

Can you have a 110V blender in a 220V country?

Can you have a 110V blender in a 220V country?

If you spent a lot of money on a nice Vitamix, Blendtec, Omega, or Ninja blender, you might really be tempted to keep it and just hook it up to a transformer. But, I’ve heard the horror stories from people saying that their blender died after just a few months in their new country, every time! (Keep in mind that if your blender dies, you’ll be out even more money to buy a new one and will no longer have the old one to sell either!)

Most warranties are not covered when you switch voltages or use transformers.

Your best bet: Sell your fantabulous blender (or juicer) and find it a happy, new owner in your existing country, or gift it to a family member or friend. Buy a new one that matches the voltage in your new destination and keep the new motor running at full power with the correct voltage to match the voltage in your new home.

Voltage-friendly blender-finding tips

  • Are you living in or visiting the USA and looking for a new 220V blender to take home with you? Check amazon.com and ebay.com for blenders that are 220V and described as Not for Use in USA. The prices are much cheaper than what you will find overseas, but the catch is that they only ship within the USA. So, buy the 220V machine and have it shipped to your address while you’re in the United States. When flying home, remove the blade from the base of the blender and pack it in your checked bag. The rest of the blender can be placed in your carry-on bag.
  • Look for a new blender on craigslist or ebay in your new country. If your local destination has a group facebook page, try posting an ad and ask, “Does anyone have a used blender for sale?” You will be surprised in how many responses you get!
  • Contact the blender manufacturers in your new destination country and ask if they have any refurbished machines or returns for sale at a discounted rate.

The Technical Details: Transformers will fix the voltage problem, but not the frequency problem. Transformers can not shift frequency. Running a 60Hz motor on 50Hz will have the following results:
1) It will turn 20% slower.
2) Cooling will drop dramatically, and current draw will increase causing even more heat.
3) The horsepower output will drop, possibly dramatically. Bottom line – your blender will not survive its warranty period, or if it is out of warranty it certainly will have a reduced life.
Thanks to Richard Thompson, an electrical engineer (and my dad!) for providing this explanation!

Remember: It’s best to stick with the voltage where you live. If you live in a 110V country, use a 110V blender (and juicer). If you live in a 220V country, stick with a 220V blender (and juicer). That way, you’re sure to make the best green smoothies, green juices, and health drinks for many years to come!

Green Smoothies for Dummies

Green Smoothies for Dummies

Learn more about blenders and green smoothies in my NEW book Green Smoothies for Dummies by Wiley Publisher, NY, USA. It’s FULL of awesome recipes to please everyone in your family with a healthy green drink. Now available for sale on amazon.com!

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.

Book Your Health 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!

Want to know which blender is the BEST for Green Smoothies? Check out my Battle of the Blenders results!

Save $100 on Blendtec Factory Recertified Blenders + Free Shipping

Here’s a GREAT deal! Save $100 on Blendtec Factory Recertified Blenders + Free Shipping




Omega - my favorite juicer and at an awesome price too!

Omega – my favorite juicer and at an awesome price too!

More on Blenders and pH Health:

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:

Healthy Frozen Treat: Raw Banana Chocolate Almond Popsicles Recipe

These yummy frozen treats are great after a hot day! If you’re looking for a healthy dessert for your kids, or are a former ice cream lover wanting a healthy upgrade, or even if you want a new raw food dessert recipe to try, then these popsicles are for you!

The perfect frozen summer treat, and it's healthy!

The perfect frozen summer treat, and it’s healthy!

The best part about this recipe is that it’s fast and easy and doesn’t have a lot of ingredients. Raw food for busy people? Totally possible! Affordable vegan and vegetarian food? Yes! Something healthy that actually tastes good? You bet! Scroll down to see how.

Blend just a few simple organic ingredients to make yummy frozen raw treats!

Blend just a few simple organic ingredients to make yummy frozen raw treats!

How to Make Raw Cacao, Banana & Almond Popsicles

One Day Before

1. Soak 2 cups of organic almonds overnight. Rinse and drain.

2. Peel 4 ripe organic bananas and cut bananas into pieces. Place in a ziplock bag and put in the freezer overnight.

Prep Day

3. Place the following into a high-speed blender:

– Soaked organic almonds (water drained)
– Frozen bananas (already peeled and frozen)
– 1/2 cup filtered water
– 2 Tablespoons organic raw cacao powder
– 2 Tablespoons organic raw cacao nibs
– 2 Tablespoons raw honey (optional) Note: For vegans, use 2 teaspoons of organic stevia powder instead.

Want to know where to buy the organic cacao powder, cacao nibs, raw honey or stevia powder? Check this link!

Blend all ingredients until creamy and smooth.

Blend all ingredients until creamy and smooth.

4. Blend until creamy and smooth.

(Note: I use a Vitamix blender but you can use any high power blender. If your blender is a bit old or not feeling its best, then use 1 cup of water instead of 1/2 cup and add the frozen bananas slowly.)

Place the blended mixture into molds then freeze for at least 6 hours or overnight.

Place the blended mixture into molds then freeze for at least 6 hours or overnight.

5. Pour blended mixture into cups or molds. Add a wooden stick or holder to make the popsicle easy to hold once it’s set.

(Note: I bought these molds at a Dollar store. I also use cups and non-chemically treated wooden spoons sometimes too.)

6. Once the molds are filled, place them into the freezer for at least 6 hours or overnight.

7. Now they’re ready to eat! Simply pop the frozen treat out of the mold and you’ve got your own homemade healthy popsicle!

(Note: If the popsicle doesn’t “pop” out easily, let it stand at room temperature for about 5 minutes and try again.)

The perfect frozen summer treat, and it's healthy!

The perfect frozen summer treat, and it’s healthy!

This is a fast and easy way to make the chocolate lover in your house happy with a healthy raw cacao frozen treat! Kids love them and believe me, adults love them too! This recipe is also gluten-free so it’s perfect for anyone looking for good wheat-free desserts. And, it’s a fun way to share the idea of raw food with family and friends. When they see for themselves how good it tastes, they might actually want to know more!

Using 100% certified organic ingredients gives you the best quality, flavor and nutrients!

Using 100% certified organic ingredients gives you the best quality, flavor and nutrients!

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 Nut Milk and Healthy Recipes:

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:

Raw Zucchini Rolls with Walnut Pesto and Cashew Cheese: Recipe

Are you looking for something different than another salad? Or looking to bring an eye-catching and mouth-watering dish to your next raw food potluck or healthy picnic? Try this recipe for Raw Zucchini Rolls and your friends and family will simply be amazed at how delicious healthy food can be. And of course, it’s gluten-free!

Raw Zucchini Rolls with Tomato Sauce, Cashew Cheese and Walnut Pesto – it’s easy to make!

I actually threw this dish together with what I had at home one day not using any recipe at all. That’s the beauty of learning how to cook – once you know the basics, you can use your creativity to make just about anything you want! My goal was to have a nice finger-food raw food platter. I saw that I had a lot of organic zucchini, so I said, hmmmm…I can make zucchini rolls, now what to put inside? First I made the tomato sauce and it was yummy, but I felt like it needed more texture. So, I made the walnut pesto. Then, I decided to top it off with some smooth and creamy raw cashew nut cheese and this gorgeous gourmet-looking raw pasta dish was born!

You can make this yourself at home. You will need either a blender or a mini-food processor, about 3-4 large organic zucchinis and the following ingredients:

Walnut Pesto Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 cup raw organic walnuts
  • 1 Tbsp. Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 1 cup organic fresh basil leaves (or cilantro)
  • 1/2 Tbsp. fresh lemon juice
  • Dash of Himalayan Salt

Raw Tomato Sauce Ingredients

  • 2 cups organic tomatoes, chopped
  • 1 Tbsp. Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 1-2 raw garlic cloves
  • 1/2 tsp. organic dried oregano leaves
  • 1/4 tsp. organic dried basil leaves
  • 1/4 tsp. organic cayenne pepper
  • 1 Tbsp. fresh lemon juice
  • 1/2 Tbsp. raw apple cider vinegar
  • 1 Tbsp. raw organic honey (optional)
  • Dash of Himalayan Salt

Raw Cashew Cheese Ingredients

  • 2 cups organic raw unsalted cashews
  • 1 Tbsp. fresh lemon juice
  • Dash of organic cumin powder
  • Dash of organic cayenne pepper
  • Dash of Himalayan Salt

How To Make a Raw Zucchini Rolls

1. Make the Walnut Pesto: Add the ingredients into a mini food processor or blender and pulse several times until the mixture is course but uniform in texture. Set aside in a glass container, covered and refrigerated for at least 2-3 hours to marinate.

2. Make the Tomato Sauce: Add the ingredients into a mini food processor or blender and pulse several times until the mixture is course but uniform in texture. Set aside in a glass container, covered and refrigerated for at least 2-3 hours to marinate.

3. Make the Cashew Cheese: Add the ingredients into a mini food processor or blender and blend for 1-2 minutes until smooth in texture. Set aside in a glass container, covered and refrigerated for at least 2-3 hours to marinate.

4. When you are ready to serve, prepare the zucchini strips: Peel the outer skin of each zucchini (the skin can have a bitter taste but also looks more like real “pasta” without the skin). Then use a peeler, mandolin or knife to cut the zucchini into flat strips.

5. Using one zucchini strip at a time, place 1 spoonful of tomato sauce and 1 spoonful of walnut pesto on the strip, then roll the strip, securing it with a toothpick. Top each zucchini roll with a dollop of cashew cheese and a small sliver of fresh basil leaf for decoration.

6. Serve on a plate of lettuce, with loving intention to share the gift of good health!

Note: If you are vegan, you can replace the raw organic honey with agave nectar or a dash of organic stevia powder.

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 Raw Food:

Do you need to eat 100% raw food for success? How much raw food is best?

Recently the New York Times ran an article in their online blog section entitled “Growing Up on Raw Foods” where the author discussed whether or not it is safe to raise children on a 100% raw food diet. I found this article to be very interesting for a number of reasons and I am so happy that it highlights some important factors to consider when transitioning to a raw food or vegan diet.

How much raw food do you need to eat for success?

Getting Iron and B12 on Vegan or Raw Foods

First, the author points out that children who eat a vegan or raw food diet have higher risk of anemia and vitamin B12 deficiency. As many of you know, I am a huge advocate of eating dark leafy green vegetables, which in my opinion, are the most important food to add to any diet, whether it be a vegan, vegetarian, gluten-free, Paleo, diabetic, heart healthy or weight loss diet. In fact, I wrote an article called My Boyfriend Followed my Raw Food Diet and Got Anemia to try and get people thinking about eating more leafy greens for a good vegan source of iron. B12 is also a valid concern (and actually meat eaters are often deficient in B12 too due to low absorption); for that I always recommend a high quality B12 supplement. Note: I do not recommend liquid B12 supplements because many people develop gum sensitivity and/or nerve pain in the teeth from B12 in liquid form.

Accepting your % of raw food

But, the highlight of this article for me was to read about how some well-known raw foodists are changing their 100% raw food status and are eating more cooked food in their diet:

“Some longtime raw-food evangelists are rethinking their devotion. Jinjee Talifero, who runs a raw-food education company with her husband, Storm, in Santa Barbara, Calif., was 100 percent raw for most of the last 20 years, until about a year ago, when financial and other considerations made it difficult to continue feeding their five children, ages 6 to 19, that way. “It was always like a borderline thing to keep enough weight on them,” she said, and getting proteins from cashews and almonds was proving too expensive.

Her children also ran up against social problems. “They were socially isolated, ostracized and simply left out,” said Ms. Talifero, who now incorporates cooked food in the family’s diet.

Sergei Boutenko, 29, a filmmaker in Ashland, Ore., ate only raw from 9 to 26, and for years his family preached the virtues of the diet. But, he said, “there was this constant hunger,” and the raw children he met seemed “underdeveloped and stunted.”

He now eats about 80 percent raw, with occasional meat and dairy. “When it takes 15 hours to make a raw food lasagna that wipes out two days of your life, it’s better to just make a vegan or vegetarian lasagna and move on with your day,” he said.”

The Daily Mail UK website had an article on raw food recently where Australian raw food advocate and follower of a fruitarian or 80-10-10 diet Freelee the Banana Girl explained that she remains ‘raw until four’ – meaning she eats no cooked or heated food until 4pm.

These articles make me so happy because finally, the raw food world seems to be letting go of the 100% perfect raw food pedestal. Even Gabriel Cousens (author of Conscious Eating) says that you can get the same results with eating an 80% raw food diet as you can with 100% raw food, but it will just take you a little longer to get there.

A high raw food diet is usually more than 2/3 or 66% raw food, and 80% is excellent

The conclusion: It’s ok to eat a high raw food diet, as long as you focus on quality of food and:

  • Choose organic fruit and veggies wherever possible
  • Prepare your food with loving intention
  • Avoiding processed foods and chemical food additives
  • Eat cooked food without guilt (because you are 100% human!)
  • Cook your food in healthy ways without heated oils, frying or charring the food

Remember, balance is the key to success. As Dr. Bernard Jensen says, “One cup of coffee won’t kill you, but one glass of orange juice won’t cure you either.”

What’s my % of RAW?

I was 100% for 2 years until I started traveling more and then I dropped down to 90% raw to accommodate my schedule, eating plain steamed veggies, an occasional plain baked potato or organic brown rice. After 8 years on the raw food path, I now sit comfortably at a high raw food diet which means I eat 85-100% raw food. My daily diet consists of green smoothies, green juices, huge salads, sprouts, nuts, seeds, fresh wheatgrass shots, homemade sauerkraut, kombucha and occasionally some organic cooked black beans, chickpeas, steamed vegetables, veggie soup with homemade broth, organic brown rice or red quinoa. I mostly follow the Hippocrates Diet or Ann Wigmore style of eating. Technically speaking, I am not a vegan because I do eat raw organic honey and other bee products like royal jelly on occasion. I made some mistakes with my raw food diet nutritionally along the way, and I’m going to reveal all my lessons learned in a new ebook, so stay tuned!

If you’re going to keep your new diet habits as a healthy way of living for life, it has to be a sustainable for life. Many experts agree that you have to eat at least 50% raw food to start seeing and feeling results (more energy, improved skin, better digestion, anti-aging & cellular repair, reversal of disease). Whether you’re eating 60 percent, 80 percent, 90 percent or 100 percent raw food, the most important thing to allow yourself to be is 100% human. As you go through the years of your life, your percentage of raw food may increase or decrease, and that’s okay! No matter what, the percentage of raw food that you are eating should feel right for you.

> Are you trying to transition to a raw food, vegan or vegetarian diet and feeling overwhelmed with all of the different opinions out there?

> Are you struggling emotionally and socially with changing your diet and feeling isolated or confused?

> Are you eating a healthy raw food or vegan diet and still feel tired, have trouble sleeping, or suffer from skin problems, hair loss, brittle nails, digestive problems, anxiety, depression, infertility, or dental problems?

> Do you want to change your diet but simply don’t know where or how to begin?

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!

To read the New York Times article in its entirety, go here: Growing Up on Raw Foods

To read the Daily Mail UK article in its entirety, go here: ‘I lost 3st eating vast “mono meals”: Controversial diet guru who consumes 5lb of potatoes in one go says single-food feasts are key to weight loss and health

More on Raw Food:

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: