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Win a FREE Green Smoothie Starter Kit Superfood Bundle!

It’s time for another awesome giveaway! I’ve been lucky enough to team up with the generous folks at Navitas Naturals and they’ve prepared a Superfood Starter Kit for one lucky winner!  This is YOUR chance to win a FREE quality and organic superfoods and get blending to make the best Green Smoothies ever!

Thanks to John Wiley & Sons for gifting a copy of my book Green Smoothies for Dummies to the WINNER too!

Green Smoothie Giveaway

Navitas Naturals Green Smoothie Starter Kit Giveaway: Online Contest

This FREE giveaway is for YOU: 5 Navitas Naturals Superfoods + My NEW Book: Green Smoothies for Dummies
(Over $100+ total value!!!)

How to Sign Up

The more tasks you complete in RaffleCopter, the greater your chances are to WIN!

Good Luck and Healthy Blessings!

Click on the Rafflecopter link to Enter to WIN:

Start Date: 20 April 2015
End Date: 30 April 2015
Winner Announced: 30 April 2015
Open to: US and Canada Addresses ONLY
Prize: Navitas Natural Superfood Bundle and Green Smoothies for Dummies Book

No purchase necessary. 
Contest closes at Midnight (EST), 30 April 2015.
Winner announced at 12pm noon (EST) 30 April 2015 EST on twitter @rawfoodbliss, FB at http://facebook.com/healthybliss and also here on http://healthybliss.net.

Superfoods – Do you need them? (Answer: Yes!)

In my book Green Smoothies for Dummies, I explain how Superfoods can help you get healthier:

What is a Superfood?

“A superfood is a natural food with exceptionally high concentrations of vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, trace minerals, enzymes, proteins, or special healing benefits. Regular food becomes a superfood when it’s nutritionally dense for its particular size and weight. That means that compared to other foods of the same size, a superfood contains even more nutrition and healing power. Think of the difference between regular fuel and premium fuel for your car. That’s the same logic applied to normal food versus superfoods.”

Why Superfoods?

“Superfoods are especially good for anyone trying to reclaim health, increase energy levels, improve endurance, prevent disease, or simply feel better. More nutrition means better health and wellbeing. It’s that easy.

In today’s modern, busy world, most people are deficient in minerals and vitamins — a situation worsened by the stressed-out lifestyles so many people live. Life doesn’t look like it’s going to slow down anytime soon, so taking a practical approach to nutrition is important. That’s where superfoods really can help you live a better, longer, healthier life.”

Navitas Natural Superfoods

One of the things I recommend when buying superfoods is to make sure you’re buying high quality and organic. Thankfully, Navitas Naturals is virtually a one-stop shop for all your superfoods…everything from maca to lucuma to pomegranate powder and of course wheatgrass, chia, hemp and more; all 100% certified organic. I’ve created what I think is the perfect Starter Kit for Green Smoothies. Here’s what we have in this giveaway:

Hemp Seed – Hemp contains all the amino acids and is a great vegan plant-based protein.

Chia Seeds – A fantastic source of fiber and protein, again great for vegans and vegetarians.

Cacao Powder – Who doesn’t love a good healthy chocolate fix? Add 1 Tbsp to your smoothie for a yummy choco taste.

Wheatgrass Powder – Hey if we’re talking Green Smoothies…we need to have a “green”! Wheatgrass contains all the minerals, making it a perfect food.

Antioxidant Superfruit Mix Blend – I wanted you to get the most bang for your buck on this so I asked for the Goji – Pomegranate – Acai Blend…giving you a chance to high boost on 3 of the most potent healing fruits on the planet!

Don’t want to wait for the giveaway? You can buy these items here and give yourself the gift of health – you deserve it!

Green Smoothies for Dummies: The Book

The winner of this giveaway is getting more than 90 Green Smoothies recipes plus a complete guide to Green Smoothie making, from beginner to expert in my book: Green Smoothie for Dummies. (Actually you’ll get TWO copies!)

(If you already have the book, thanks for your support! And please remember to leave a review on amazon!)

To enter to win, Answer this in the comments below:
What’s your favorite SUPERFOOD to add to your Green Smoothie?
(My answer: Oh no, Can I only choose ONE? Ok, I’m going with HEMP SEED!)

Your comment will not appear immediately as all comments are moderated for spam before approval.

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:

Win a FREE Green Smoothie Starter Kit Superfood Bundle!

It’s time for another awesome giveaway! I’ve been lucky enough to team up with the generous folks at Navitas Naturals and they’ve prepared a Superfood Starter Kit for one lucky winner!  This is YOUR chance to win a FREE quality and organic superfoods and get blending to make the best Green Smoothies ever!

Thanks to John Wiley & Sons for gifting a copy of my book Green Smoothies for Dummies to the WINNER too!

Green Smoothie Giveaway

Navitas Naturals Green Smoothie Starter Kit Giveaway: Online Contest

This FREE giveaway is for YOU: 5 Navitas Naturals Superfoods + My NEW Book: Green Smoothies for Dummies
(Over $100+ total value!!!)

How to Sign Up

The more tasks you complete in RaffleCopter, the greater your chances are to WIN!

Good Luck and Healthy Blessings!

Click on the Rafflecopter link to Enter to WIN:

Start Date: 20 April 2015
End Date: 30 April 2015
Winner Announced: 30 April 2015
Open to: US and Canada Addresses ONLY
Prize: Navitas Natural Superfood Bundle and Green Smoothies for Dummies Book

No purchase necessary. 
Contest closes at Midnight (EST), 30 April 2015.
Winner announced at 12pm noon (EST) 30 April 2015 EST on twitter @rawfoodbliss, FB at http://facebook.com/healthybliss and also here on http://healthybliss.net.

Superfoods – Do you need them? (Answer: Yes!)

In my book Green Smoothies for Dummies, I explain how Superfoods can help you get healthier:

What is a Superfood?

“A superfood is a natural food with exceptionally high concentrations of vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, trace minerals, enzymes, proteins, or special healing benefits. Regular food becomes a superfood when it’s nutritionally dense for its particular size and weight. That means that compared to other foods of the same size, a superfood contains even more nutrition and healing power. Think of the difference between regular fuel and premium fuel for your car. That’s the same logic applied to normal food versus superfoods.”

Why Superfoods?

“Superfoods are especially good for anyone trying to reclaim health, increase energy levels, improve endurance, prevent disease, or simply feel better. More nutrition means better health and wellbeing. It’s that easy.

In today’s modern, busy world, most people are deficient in minerals and vitamins — a situation worsened by the stressed-out lifestyles so many people live. Life doesn’t look like it’s going to slow down anytime soon, so taking a practical approach to nutrition is important. That’s where superfoods really can help you live a better, longer, healthier life.”

Navitas Natural Superfoods

One of the things I recommend when buying superfoods is to make sure you’re buying high quality and organic. Thankfully, Navitas Naturals is virtually a one-stop shop for all your superfoods…everything from maca to lucuma to pomegranate powder and of course wheatgrass, chia, hemp and more; all 100% certified organic. I’ve created what I think is the perfect Starter Kit for Green Smoothies. Here’s what we have in this giveaway:

Hemp Seed – Hemp contains all the amino acids and is a great vegan plant-based protein.

Chia Seeds – A fantastic source of fiber and protein, again great for vegans and vegetarians.

Cacao Powder – Who doesn’t love a good healthy chocolate fix? Add 1 Tbsp to your smoothie for a yummy choco taste.

Wheatgrass Powder – Hey if we’re talking Green Smoothies…we need to have a “green”! Wheatgrass contains all the minerals, making it a perfect food.

Antioxidant Superfruit Mix Blend – I wanted you to get the most bang for your buck on this so I asked for the Goji – Pomegranate – Acai Blend…giving you a chance to high boost on 3 of the most potent healing fruits on the planet!

Don’t want to wait for the giveaway? You can buy these items here and give yourself the gift of health – you deserve it!

Green Smoothies for Dummies: The Book

The winner of this giveaway is getting more than 90 Green Smoothies recipes plus a complete guide to Green Smoothie making, from beginner to expert in my book: Green Smoothie for Dummies. (Actually you’ll get TWO copies!)

(If you already have the book, thanks for your support! And please remember to leave a review on amazon!)

To enter to win, Answer this in the comments below:
What’s your favorite SUPERFOOD to add to your Green Smoothie?
(My answer: Oh no, Can I only choose ONE? Ok, I’m going with HEMP SEED!)

Your comment will not appear immediately as all comments are moderated for spam before approval.

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:

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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Hollywood Celebrities and Supermodels are Drinking Green Smoothies!

Could a daily Green Smoothie be the secret to keeping fit, looking good, having beautiful hair and skin and maintaining a fabulous figure? Green Smoothies are definitely the latest craze in Hollywood and we know that looking good and staying fit is part of the job for any model or actress! Have a look at what Hollywood Stars we’ve seen drinking Green Smoothies after a workout or just out for a stroll around town in LA…

Kate Upton green smoothie
Kate Upton, model, and now actress, is back on the set of The Other Woman and was seen drinking a Green Smoothie!! Well done Kate, yet another ambassador of the Greens!

Ann Hathaway
Here’s Anne Hathaway sipping a healthy Green Smoothie in Hollywood…another ambassador of the greens!

Colin Farell
Even Colin Farrell drinks Green Smoothies to stay fit and look great! (photo from dailymail.co.uk)

The benefits include weight loss, elimination of toxins, mental clarity, increased sex drive, ‘glowing’ complexion, and better overall health. Colin Farrell and Josh Duhamel prove that the health craze isn’t limited to women trying to lose a few pounds.

Josh Duhamel
Josh Duhamel running around town with his Green Smoothie in hand. (photo from dailymail.co.uk)

Rosie HW
Is a daily Green Smoothie the secret to Rosie Huntington-Whiteley’s perfect complexion? (photo from handbag.com) Rosie Huntington-Whiteley and Miranda Kerr have been Tweeting their approval of nutrient rich Green Smoothies and juices!

Ellen and Jessica Alba
Jessica Alba makes a Green Smoothie on the Ellen Show with kale, celery, cucumber and apple! Start making your detoxifying Green Smoothies yourself at home, today!! All you need is a blender and a willingness to change!

Drew Barrymore
A Green Smoothie is the go-to beauty drink for Drew Barrymore, Olivia Wilde & Jenna Dewan (not to mention Owen Wilson and Vince Vaughn!).

“Every time I work on a movie set, the whole cast starts to drink it,” says Drew. “It’s a ton of nutrients, condensed and blended into a juice so your body doesn’t waste energy breaking it down. The vitamins, minerals and amino acids will flow right into your system to rejuvenate you. And it’s full of fiber, so you’re not reaching for that bagel or that second cup of coffee between meals.”

Ashley Greens
Twilight Actress Ashley Greens Drinks a Green Smoothie after her workout in LA…well done Ashley! (photo from justjaredjr.com)

It’s clear that having a daily Green Smoothie is the fastest, easiest way to get more raw food in the form of leafy green vegetables into your diet, and the blender breaks those greens up into an easy-to-digest form. If a Green Smoothie can improve digestion, stop sugar cravings, provide a natural source of vitamins and minerals, help to clear skin and even detox the liver, isn’t it time for you to give Green Smoothies a try?

Drink Green Smoothies

Green Smoothie for DummiesCheck out my NEW book Green Smoothies for Dummies – I’ve got loads of recipes using dark leafy greens so you can enjoy the same benefits of Green Smoothies as the most beautiful stars in Hollywood. 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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The last time I got sick was…

Wait, really?! Is it actually possible to still get sick when you are eating high organic raw food and doing regular detox? If you thought that was Mission Impossible, then I welcome you to the land of being human! 🙂

Truth be told, I almost never get sick. In fact, I am seriously amazed to hear how often our “normal” meat, processed and/or fast-food eating friends or family members get side-lined with fevers, colds, coughs, and flus. (Those are the same people who make fun of my “extreme” diet and (wheat)grass-eating habits by the way.)

Without a doubt, eating an alkaline plant-based diet is a natural way to boost your immune system and the best way to prevent illness. But, it doesn’t mean that you will never, ever, ever get sick again.

The last time I got sick was…

A few months ago. We had just had several days of winter rain in Tel Aviv, and my boyfriend caught a cold from a co-worker at the office. He managed to keep it at the status of a cold for a few days, but then it turned to a high-mucous flu-like illness with fever. I felt so bad for him! I gave him Grapefruit Seed Extract (GSE) and made fresh orange juice with organic turmeric and green smoothies with lots of fresh fruits to high-boost his Vitamin C. We slept in separate bedrooms so he could rest and I would lower my chance of getting sick. By the 6th day, he was back to normal and I remember saying, “Wow, I am amazed that I didn’t catch it!” That night, we slept together again and he kissed me goodnight for the first time in 6 days.

The next day, I woke up sick!! It happened that fast. I felt stuffy, exhausted and slightly feverish and I thought….man, I can’t even remember the last time I had the flu! In my case, it lasted only 3 days. I basically just surrendered myself and rested. I took GSE and drank lots of fresh ginger tea. I envisioned my immune system getting stronger by the day. 3 days later, I was up and running again.

Are you a failure if you get sick?

Is doing all this detox, immune boosting and healthy eating a waste of time if you’re just going to get sick like everybody else? First, I would say…don’t throw all sickness into one basket. There’s a big difference between someone who gets sick every 3-5 YEARS (or more) and someone who get sick 3-5 times PER YEAR.

And most definitely, there is no such thing as a failure in my book. In fact, every illness can be a gift…a chance to slow down, rest and let your immune system get stronger. It’s also an opportunity to truly appreciate your health. You also may actually need an occasional cold, cough or flu to upgrade your gut health and immune-boosting capabilities.

Your body is a community!

What did I do wrong?

I guess I could say that kissing my boyfriend while he was still sick was a mistake…but in reality, I think the real cause of me getting sick was simply being run-down after months of a lot of deadlines and excess work. Stress alone can make your entire body acidic, even when eating an alkaline diet! I’m definitely a believer in the power of positive thinking and how important that is for your physical health! In that time, I also stopped making fermented foods such as kombucha and raw sauerkraut, which I feel are even more important for boosting your immune system than anything else!

Within 1 week of feeling better, I was back to making batches of kombucha and raw sauerkraut at home. I also drank more lemon and/or raw apple cider vinegar in water, at least twice daily. I started taking 1.5 days off a week and made more effort to stay offline for that time, giving my body and mind time to rest. De-stressing is very important for me (and for you too!).

Combining that with my normal routine of green smoothies, green juice, fresh wheatgrass shots for chlorophyll and minerals and lots of variety in my organic fruits and veggies and I now feel like a superstar again 🙂 Seriously though, I have high energy: I feel balanced; and I like who I see in the mirror every day!

When I look to my body for healing, I understand that I need to strengthen and heal my body as a whole.

How to Boost Your Immune System

Here are some foods/supplements that can help your immune system stay strong:

1. Manuka Honey (great to have on-hand in winter months, note this is not vegan)

2. Echinacea and Goldenseal (a powerful combo for breaking up stagnant lymph, i.e. mucous)

3. Grapefruit Seed Extract (my go-to remedy with the first sign of cold, cough or flu)

4. Pomegranate (can add to a green smoothie in powder form)

5. Raw apple cider vinegar (a healing food since the time of Hippocrates)

Looking to buy an immune-boosting bundle? You can find all of the above items on iherb.com, and yes they ship internationally!

Whole Body Healing

 

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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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Daily Green Smoothie to help Acid Reflux?

Did you know that one of the top selling over the counter (OTC) drugs in the world today is heartburn medication? Acid reflux and heartburn are seemingly minor and annoying conditions, but they can have a long-term effect on your health. To be chronically over-acid means that your body is too acidic. ‘The volcano effect’ as I call it, or heartburn, is your body’s way of trying to expel the excess acid. Many people have such bad heartburn that they have to sleep sitting up.

A Daily Green Smoothie for an Alkaline Diet

A Daily Green Smoothie for an Alkaline Diet

What most people don’t realize is that acidosis can be very much regulated and controlled by diet.

A typical breakfast for a chronic heartburn sufferer might be coffee with sugar and milk. Add a slice of toast and an egg or muffin and you have a 100% acid-forming meal. That means the stomach will have to produce a lot of acid in order to digest that meal. (The first rumblings of the volcano).

Later that morning, this person might start feeling tired so will reach for another coffee, or a bagel or maybe even a cigarette. At lunch, due to a busy schedule, the meal may be a burger, slice of pizza, sandwich or meat pie….and yes, all of those foods are acid-forming. Now the volcano is starting to spew some sparks of fire and by mid-afternoon this person may be reaching for an antacid tablet to get through the rest of the day.

Going home to a beer or glass of wine followed by a typical dinner of pasta and bread, and this person has just won the prize for a 100% acid-forming day. It’s no wonder that 5 or 6 more antacid pills are required after dinner. Start that whole cycle over again the next day and the next and you have an antacid customer for life.

The problem with being chronically acidic, though, is much more serious than just having a ‘symptom’ like acid reflux. Internally, an acidic terrain is a breeding ground for the first stage of every dis-ease, including cancer. I always say, ‘You don’t catch cancer on Wednesday and get diagnosed on Thursday.’ Something like cancer takes years to develop, and the first thing that starts the process is an over-acid environment.

Keeping the environment alkaline is one of the best forms of natural prevention. Acid-reflux should be looked at as a warning sign; the body is trying to tell you that it’s out of balance.

Benefits of an Alkaline Diet: Lower risk of dis-ease and no more acid reflux!

Benefits of an Alkaline Diet: Lower risk of dis-ease and no more acid reflux!

Taking antacid tablets on a daily basis may take away the symptom, but it doesn’t take away the problem: chronic acidosis.

This is where the Green Smoothie comes flying in wearing a green cape offering real relief to the poor victim of a Standard American Diet (SAD). Ok, it might not be as dramatic as that, but it may feel like a superhero rescued you when you finally stop suffering from acid reflux and start feeling good with your digestive health. Let’s go back to the old breakfast of the heartburn sufferer and let’s make the first food/drink/meal of the day a Green Smoothie instead. Now, you’ve got a 100% alkaline-forming food to gently wake up the stomach for work for the day and there is no volcano in sight. You feel good, satiated and ready to start the day. After the Green Smoothie, you can even add a coffee (preferably organic and with no milk or sugar) and you will not experience the same volcano effect as before.

So you can still have your coffee (hopefully organic), but only after the Green Smoothie.

At lunch, aim for a nice portion of salad or steamed vegetables, and even another Green Smoothie if desired. (The Green Smoothie can be made up to 2 days in advance). This give you another 100% alkaline-forming meal. At dinner, you can now enjoy a wine with pasta (preferably brown rice or quinoa with some fresh salad or vegetables) and you should be throwing out your antacid tablets for good. It can really be that simple. If you don’t give your body the right combinations of foods, you are not going to experience the right combination of results. Everything that goes into your body has an effect on your body. A daily Green Smoothie brings the chronic heartburn sufferer back into balance, naturally, with an alkaline diet.

Looking for Green Smoothie recipes to help with acid reflux?

Green Smoothie recipes for Acid Reflux and many other common ailments too!

Green Smoothie recipes for Acid Reflux and many other common ailments too!

Check out my NEW book Green Smoothies for Dummies – I’ve got a whole section on Cooling the Burn of Acid Reflux where I feature 5 amazing Green Smoothies for Heartburn. Find the book Green Smoothies for Dummies on iTunes or amazon.com!

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Detox Soup to Make You Feel Awesome Recipe

This yummy Detox Soup is the perfect way to get through the holidays and start the New Year healthy. If you treat your body well with natural foods, you can immediately start to feel better – more energy, improved digestion, clearer skin, better sleep and yes, even weight loss. You can enjoy this recipe whether or not you are doing an actual “detox program.” But, if you are doing a detox, juice fast or cleanse…you can drink juices and smoothies until 5pm and have 2 bowls of Detox Soup at night for dinner. In the dead of winter, you may not feel so inspired to go 100% cold pressed juices or smoothies (key word: cold!). And that’s totally ok! Check out all the super detox ingredients and instructions below.

Detox Soup Ingredients

Detox Soup Ingredients

Detox Soup to Make You Feel Awesome Recipe

Ingredients:

  • 5 organic carrots, chopped
  • 1 head organic cabbage, grated
  • 2 white onions, chopped
  • 2 celery stalks, chopped
  • 2 Tbsp. celery greens, chopped
  • 1 leek, chopped
  • 2 lemons, squeezed
  • 4 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
  • 6-8 small garlic cloves
  • 2-3 inches of fresh ginger, juiced
  • 1 Tbsp. organic turmeric powder
  • Cayenne and/or organic black pepper to taste
  • Himalayan salt to taste (optional)
  • 2-3 liters of water
Prepare your soup ingredients in advance

Prepare your soup ingredients in advance

 

Directions:

1. Put olive oil in a large soup pot at high heat. Add garlic, onion, leek, salt and turmeric powder and let cook until the onions are soft. Note: If you are on a “no salt” detox, then omit the salt.

2. Add chopped carrots and celery; stirring occasionally. Add lemon juice and ginger juice. Note: If you don’t have a juicer, then grate the fresh ginger and squeeze the juice out by hand. Only add the juice; discard the pulp. (Ginger juice adds a mild flavor while adding the whole ginger can be over-powering in taste.)

3. Add grated cabbage. Fill the remainder of the pot with water; bring to a boil and let simmer for a minimum of 1 hour (up to 2 hours).

4. Pour serving into the blender and PULSE 3 TIMES at low speed, for 5 seconds each time. This keeps some of the texture in the soup but makes it soft and easy to digest.

5. Pour into serving bowl and add cayenne pepper or black pepper to taste.

 

First add onion, leek, garlic and turmeric.

First add onion, leek, garlic and turmeric.

 

Leek, onion and garlic are very anti-parasitic.
Turmeric is a natural anti-inflammatory and liver cleanser.

 

Cooked onion. leek, garlic and turmeric.

Cooked onion. leek, garlic and turmeric.

 

1. Put olive oil in a large soup pot at high heat. Add garlic, onion, leek, salt and turmeric powder and let cook until the onions are soft. Note: If you are on a “no salt” detox, then omit the salt.

Once the onion, leek, garlic and turmeric are cooked until soft, you can add the other ingredients plus water.

 

Adding fresh ginger juice and lemon juice

Adding fresh ginger juice and lemon juice

 

2. Add chopped carrots and celery; stirring occasionally. Add lemon juice and ginger juice. Note: If you don’t have a juicer, then grate the fresh ginger and squeeze the juice out by hand. Only add the juice; discard the pulp.

You can add either grated ginger or ginger juice, but in my experience, the ginger juice makes for a much more pleasant taste and is not as strong.

 

Finally, add the grated cabbage and water

Finally, add the grated cabbage and water

 

3. Add grated cabbage. Fill the remainder of the pot with water; bring to a boil and let simmer for a minimum of 1 hour (up to 2 hours).

Cabbage is naturally high in sulfur, making it a powerful detox food. It also adds a beautiful texture to any soup and is mild in taste.

 

Pulse the soup in an blender for an easy-to-digest consistency

Pulse the soup in an blender for an easy-to-digest consistency

 

4. Pour serving into the blender and PULSE 3 TIMES at low speed, for 5 seconds each time. This keeps some of the texture in the soup but makes it soft and easy to digest.

Note: Turmeric powder can turn the color of the blender container to yellow; but it will usually wash out after a few rinses.

 

Finally, you're ready to serve!

Finally, you’re ready to serve!

 

5. Pour into serving bowl and add cayenne pepper or black pepper to taste.

Cayenne pepper is very cleansing for the liver and is excellent for blood and circulation. Black pepper is not a major detox food, but it’s a matter of taste…you can add either or and still enjoy a fantastic detox soup!

This recipe is gluten-free, vegan, non-GMO and contains NO food additives. It’s full of fiber, contains natural medicinal foods and is good recipe for an alkaline diet. And, it tastes delicious. Try it for yourself and see!

Reminder! I’ve got an awesome VITAMIX BLENDER GIVEAWAY happening RIGHT NOW, so be sure to enter for your chance to WIN! Ends on 15 December 2014.

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Why I don’t use protein powders…and why you shouldn’t either!

The protein powder craze is one health trend that you should definitely avoid, and I’m about to tell you why!

Chose Whole Foods and Whole Dried Foods, organic of course!

Learn what protein powders to avoid and why!

Even with all their amazing health claims on everything from weight loss to better workouts to rock solid abs, I never felt drawn to protein powders. My feeling was always to stay close to nature with my foods, and I just wasn’t sure how a vanilla or chocolate or strawberry-flavored powder felt like anything except an overly processed food. Over the years, I started to hear from clients who were getting sick from these powders – mainly pain in the lower back, bad skin, insomnia, depression and kidney troubles. In every case, the symptoms occurred AFTER starting high doses of protein powder. As I started to look at the ingredients on different labels, I knew that my intuition on this one had been right all along.

Not a Whole Food

Most people mistakenly think that protein powders are just whole foods ground up into a powder form, and that is definitely not true. In fact, in order to get a high protein count, you have to extract the proteins out of the food and leave the rest behind. Otherwise, you could not get anywhere near a high protein concentration. And with protein powders, the more protein, the better.

Pea protein is the worst offender, especially for people who may react to these unnatural extracted proteins. That’s right…pea protein is an extracted protein, made in a lab, and it’s got a high glutamate concentration so it can affect you in the exact way as Monosodium Glutamate, or MSG. I’ve had a few clients who taking high doses of protein powders and they complained of migraine headaches, anxiety, and sensitivity to light or sound. Once we took the pea protein out of their diet, all symptoms disappeared.

Note: ALL pea protein is extracted, even if it’s 100% certified organic. The same protein powders can be used in diet and weight loss shakes as well as body-building blends.

Not Natural

Many protein powders contain “natural” flavors (note: the word “natural” is not regulated and can mean just about anything), artificial coloring and/or artificial sweeteners, none of which are good for your health. You can also find Genetically Modified (GMO) ingredients and/or Whey Protein Isolate, another high glutamate/extracted ingredient which is non-vegan and usually not organic so it can be high in antibiotics and pesticides too.

Not Regulated

Since protein powders are considered a “food” and not a supplement, they’re not actually regulated by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). In a few cases, independent studies found high levels of heavy metals in certain ingredients such as organic brown rice protein. If your protein powder contains dangerously high levels of arsenic, cadmium or lead, how would you know? You won’t. Until it’s too late that is, and I don’t want that to happen to you!

Many of the ingredients in the mass-produced protein powders come from India and China, and they are not regulated for quality or contaminants. Those low-quality ingredients are most likely irradiated as well.

Hard on the Kidneys

So you’ve got an extracted unnatural powder protein that was heated to super-high temperatures, stripped of its fiber and is no longer a whole food. (Yikes!) What’s your natural, organic body going to do with that? You’ll have excess acid and uric acid build-up that’s created from the metabolic waste in trying to digest and break down all those proteins. Your skin and kidneys carry the burden of trying to release excess acids. You might smell an “acidic or tangy” odor in your sweat. Over time, the kidneys can become weaker and the risk of getting kidney stones or kidney disease can increase. Eating a high acid diet is also not good for your pH health. An anti-cancer diet is an alkaline diet, not a a high acid diet.

Not Around Long Enough to Know

The boom of high protein diets helped to make protein powders a new diet trend. Just read any Paleo, Dukan, Atkins or low carb diet website and you will see everyone is talking about protein – protein – protein.  I’ve even heard people talking about cricket protein powders (and surely that’s coming from China so imagine what’s in it, really).

But here’s the deal –  you can still eat plenty of protein if that’s your thing. Just choose whole foods! There are plenty of natural, vegan, organic whole food plant protein options out there. Since protein powders simply haven’t been around long enough to know if there are long-term consequences to your health, why take a chance?

Choose Real Whole Organic Food

Your body was designed to eat whole foods.

Here are 5 plant-based whole food protein sources:

  • 164g chickpeas = 14.53g  protein
  • 118g pumpkin seeds = 35.21g protein
  • 143g almonds = 30.34g protein
  • 140g sunflower seeds = 29.09g protein
  • 30g hemp hearts protein (3 Tbsp.) = 15.00g protein

Okay to Eat: Organic hemp protein, flax seed and spirulina powder. These are all whole foods; that means the whole seed or algae is dried and ground into a powder form. (The powders you want to avoid are the processed foods, such as “extracted, hydrolyzed, and protein isolates.”)

Best to Avoid: Pea protein, whey isolate, any hydrolyzed protein, natural flavors, aspartame, beet powder (if non-organic, this is usually GMO).

Other good vegetable/plant-based sources of protein include organic spirulina powder, sprouted mung beans, lentils, sesame seeds and dark leafy bitter greens.

You can make a super-healthy Green Smoothie with pumpkin seeds, hemp seeds, tahini (sesame seed paste), almonds and spirulina plus some fresh dark, leafy greens for an all-natural plant-based protein meal. You deserve the very best in health so I say choose the best!

Find out why you should avoid the latest protein powder craze

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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).

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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

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