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My boyfriend followed my Raw Food Diet and got Anemia!

Before I met my boyfriend, he was a normal meat-eating guy and definitely a sugar and bread addict. Luckily, once we got together, he was open to trying my “rabbit salad” and “strange smoothies” ie. raw food style of eating. To his surprise, he immediately felt better and without any pressure from me, he decided himself to go on a high raw food and vegan diet! It was really great to witness his transformation. In the last 2 years, his energy levels improved, his skin cleared, his digestion improved immensely and he continues to look younger and younger. Because of such positive results, he even joined me on a 10-day and 14-day juice fast. Most recently, he completed a 21-day water fast with me in Vilcabamba, Ecuador.

The Results of His Blood Test. It’s easy to become anemic on a Raw Food Diet if you don’t eat GREENS!

Over the last 6 months, however, he was starting to feel exceptionally tired. My schedule was pretty hectic with a lot of travel and we initially thought it was from all the buses, planes and changing hotels which would make anyone tired (including me!). But it just seemed to get worse. So, when we arrived to Israel, he went to the doctor and ordered some standard blood tests. The result: Low Red Blood Cell Count (RBC), Low Hemoglobin, and Low Hematocrit. What does that mean? He has a case of iron-deficiency anemia.

Vegan foods high in IRON: Cherries, Organic Apricots, Molasses and Leafy Greens

What is Anemia?

Anemia can occur for a few reasons, but is most commonly associated with a lack of iron in the blood. Iron is an essential part of hemoglobin, and low iron levels result in decreased incorporation of hemoglobin into red blood cells. Because hemoglobin normally carries oxygen from the lungs to the capillaries, anemia leads to hypoxia (lack of oxygen) in organs. This can make a person feel lethargic, dizzy, weak, generally unwell and even a bit foggy in the brain.

Did the Raw Food Diet fail for him?

The truth is, although my boyfriend followed me on the raw food journey, he never really liked eating dark leafy greens. He didn’t like the taste of spirulina, in fact, he hated it. So, he wasn’t eating enough greens, either powdered or fresh. In the morning, he would make a big batch of fresh fruit smoothie, pour out some for himself, and then add the green superfoods and leafy greens for me. One of my “go-to” snacks is always a handful of dried organic apricots. But he never really liked those either. Being a former refined sugar lover, he would choose organic dates instead. It’s easy to see that he was simply not getting enough high-iron content foods in his daily diet. So, I don’t think the raw food diet failed him and I do not think that a vegan or vegetarian diet is dangerous to his health. He just wasn’t attentive to getting all the minerals his body needs. (And he also wasn’t listening to me saying “You need to eat more greens!”)

As a side note, the last time I was tested for iron, it was just below the threshold of being too high! The doctor actually told me to stop eating red meat! I didn’t say a word but silently laughed to myself, because I haven’t eaten meat in over 21 years!! I knew it was from my daily Green Smoothie. Somehow my body knew how to hold on to just enough iron and not have too much. When we give the body what it needs, it knows what to do…that’s the internal intelligence of our healing system!

What now?

The blood test results were a big wake-up call. The same day that he received the results, my boyfriend immediately started adding spirulina to his smoothies and started taking a liquid iron supplement. After only 2 days, he noticed the difference. His energy levels picked up and he had an easier time waking up in the morning. Now he is also making a conscious effort to eat more greens in his diet as well. He is not eating meat and has no interest to eat meat, but he did decide to try some plain vegan seitan (with no added flavors so no flavor enhancers). He cooks the seitan with some olive oil, organic cumin and cayenne pepper and adds it to a big raw food salad. (Note: Seitan contains wheat and is not a good option for anyone who is a celiac or sensitive to gluten.) He seems to be remembering to take his daily B12 supplement now too because he is just overall more aware of the importance of getting all the nutrients he needs!

Because of what happened, I will also take an iron supplement for 1-2 months to help get my body back on track just in case I am deficient as well. With over 8 months of non-stop traveling to Costa Rica, Panama, Guatemala, Ecuador, Peru and Brazil, we did not always have the chance to eat as much variety in our diets. For that reason, I could now be low in iron too. Living in one place makes it very easy, and I am now happy to be having 1 green juice, 1 Green Smoothie and 1 fresh wheatgrass shot per day along with my normal salads and fruit.

Vegan Sources of Iron

There are definitely vegan and vegetarian food options that are naturally high in iron, like cherries, dark leafy greens, molasses and/or organic apricots. Green superfoods like spirulina, chlorella, dulse or kelp are also good sources of iron. Having some organic powdered greens in a Daily Green Smoothie is a great way to get a healthy daily dose of iron. Rotating greens helps to get all the nutrients you need, so be sure to switch out your greens between kale, spinach, bok choy, parsley, beet greens, collard greens, Swiss Chard and whatever other edible fresh greens you can find in your local farmer’s market or organic supermarket. If you are new to a vegan or raw food diet, it’s a good idea to get your blood tested in the first 6 months to be sure you are getting all the nutrients your body needs.

Do you Need to Take a Supplement?

Whether you take an iron supplement is really up to you, but I don’t think it’s necessary if you are attentive to eating greens in your daily diet. If you do decide to take an iron supplement, be sure to find one in liquid form because iron tablets (or pills) tend to have a constipating effect. If you become pregnant, you will need more iron and for sure, you should consider taking an iron supplement.

Example of Ferrum Chromotose Iris

In the Science of Iridology, we have a subtype by color called Ferrum Chromotose which shows an inability to store iron. An example of this subtype is shown here. You can see the “tiger striping” or light brown and dark brown stripes in the iris. This is an inherited trait, and if I see this marking during an Iridology Analysis, I will always advise the client to be attentive to getting enough iron in their diet. It should be no surprise that my boyfriend has this marking in his eyes and I do not. If you have this marking, you are more likely to suffer from anemia, especially when there is a lack of high-iron content foods in the diet.

On a daily basis, the only nutritional supplement I take is a B12 complex. I personally think it’s important for everyone to take a daily B vitamin complex, including meat-eaters. Most B12 is lost in the process of cooking and many people (especially meat-eaters) have reduced or limited absorption capabilities.

Need more guidance? I offer personalized nutritional counseling, health coaching and Iridology sessions by Skype and email to help you achieve your best health ever!

Here’s to your health!

More on Healthy Living:

My boyfriend followed my Raw Food Diet and got Anemia!

Before I met my boyfriend, he was a normal meat-eating guy and definitely a sugar and bread addict. Luckily, once we got together, he was open to trying my “rabbit salad” and “strange smoothies” ie. raw food style of eating. To his surprise, he immediately felt better and without any pressure from me, he decided himself to go on a high raw food and vegan diet! It was really great to witness his transformation. In the last 2 years, his energy levels improved, his skin cleared, his digestion improved immensely and he continues to look younger and younger. Because of such positive results, he even joined me on a 10-day and 14-day juice fast. Most recently, he completed a 21-day water fast with me in Vilcabamba, Ecuador.

The Results of His Blood Test. It’s easy to become anemic on a Raw Food Diet if you don’t eat GREENS!

Over the last 6 months, however, he was starting to feel exceptionally tired. My schedule was pretty hectic with a lot of travel and we initially thought it was from all the buses, planes and changing hotels which would make anyone tired (including me!). But it just seemed to get worse. So, when we arrived to Israel, he went to the doctor and ordered some standard blood tests. The result: Low Red Blood Cell Count (RBC), Low Hemoglobin, and Low Hematocrit. What does that mean? He has a case of iron-deficiency anemia.

Vegan foods high in IRON: Cherries, Organic Apricots, Molasses and Leafy Greens

What is Anemia?

Anemia can occur for a few reasons, but is most commonly associated with a lack of iron in the blood. Iron is an essential part of hemoglobin, and low iron levels result in decreased incorporation of hemoglobin into red blood cells. Because hemoglobin normally carries oxygen from the lungs to the capillaries, anemia leads to hypoxia (lack of oxygen) in organs. This can make a person feel lethargic, dizzy, weak, generally unwell and even a bit foggy in the brain.

Did the Raw Food Diet fail for him?

The truth is, although my boyfriend followed me on the raw food journey, he never really liked eating dark leafy greens. He didn’t like the taste of spirulina, in fact, he hated it. So, he wasn’t eating enough greens, either powdered or fresh. In the morning, he would make a big batch of fresh fruit smoothie, pour out some for himself, and then add the green superfoods and leafy greens for me. One of my “go-to” snacks is always a handful of dried organic apricots. But he never really liked those either. Being a former refined sugar lover, he would choose organic dates instead. It’s easy to see that he was simply not getting enough high-iron content foods in his daily diet. So, I don’t think the raw food diet failed him and I do not think that a vegan or vegetarian diet is dangerous to his health. He just wasn’t attentive to getting all the minerals his body needs. (And he also wasn’t listening to me saying “You need to eat more greens!”)

As a side note, the last time I was tested for iron, it was just below the threshold of being too high! The doctor actually told me to stop eating red meat! I didn’t say a word but silently laughed to myself, because I haven’t eaten meat in over 21 years!! I knew it was from my daily Green Smoothie. Somehow my body knew how to hold on to just enough iron and not have too much. When we give the body what it needs, it knows what to do…that’s the internal intelligence of our healing system!

What now?

The blood test results were a big wake-up call. The same day that he received the results, my boyfriend immediately started adding spirulina to his smoothies and started taking a liquid iron supplement. After only 2 days, he noticed the difference. His energy levels picked up and he had an easier time waking up in the morning. Now he is also making a conscious effort to eat more greens in his diet as well. He is not eating meat and has no interest to eat meat, but he did decide to try some plain vegan seitan (with no added flavors so no flavor enhancers). He cooks the seitan with some olive oil, organic cumin and cayenne pepper and adds it to a big raw food salad. (Note: Seitan contains wheat and is not a good option for anyone who is a celiac or sensitive to gluten.) He seems to be remembering to take his daily B12 supplement now too because he is just overall more aware of the importance of getting all the nutrients he needs!

Because of what happened, I will also take an iron supplement for 1-2 months to help get my body back on track just in case I am deficient as well. With over 8 months of non-stop traveling to Costa Rica, Panama, Guatemala, Ecuador, Peru and Brazil, we did not always have the chance to eat as much variety in our diets. For that reason, I could now be low in iron too. Living in one place makes it very easy, and I am now happy to be having 1 green juice, 1 Green Smoothie and 1 fresh wheatgrass shot per day along with my normal salads and fruit.

Vegan Sources of Iron

There are definitely vegan and vegetarian food options that are naturally high in iron, like cherries, dark leafy greens, molasses and/or organic apricots. Green superfoods like spirulina, chlorella, dulse or kelp are also good sources of iron. Having some organic powdered greens in a Daily Green Smoothie is a great way to get a healthy daily dose of iron. Rotating greens helps to get all the nutrients you need, so be sure to switch out your greens between kale, spinach, bok choy, parsley, beet greens, collard greens, Swiss Chard and whatever other edible fresh greens you can find in your local farmer’s market or organic supermarket. If you are new to a vegan or raw food diet, it’s a good idea to get your blood tested in the first 6 months to be sure you are getting all the nutrients your body needs.

Do you Need to Take a Supplement?

Whether you take an iron supplement is really up to you, but I don’t think it’s necessary if you are attentive to eating greens in your daily diet. If you do decide to take an iron supplement, be sure to find one in liquid form because iron tablets (or pills) tend to have a constipating effect. If you become pregnant, you will need more iron and for sure, you should consider taking an iron supplement.

Example of Ferrum Chromotose Iris

In the Science of Iridology, we have a subtype by color called Ferrum Chromotose which shows an inability to store iron. An example of this subtype is shown here. You can see the “tiger striping” or light brown and dark brown stripes in the iris. This is an inherited trait, and if I see this marking during an Iridology Analysis, I will always advise the client to be attentive to getting enough iron in their diet. It should be no surprise that my boyfriend has this marking in his eyes and I do not. If you have this marking, you are more likely to suffer from anemia, especially when there is a lack of high-iron content foods in the diet.

On a daily basis, the only nutritional supplement I take is a B12 complex. I personally think it’s important for everyone to take a daily B vitamin complex, including meat-eaters. Most B12 is lost in the process of cooking and many people (especially meat-eaters) have reduced or limited absorption capabilities.

Need more guidance? I offer personalized nutritional counseling, health coaching and Iridology sessions by Skype and email to help you achieve your best health ever!

Here’s to your health!

More on Healthy Living:

Green Smoothie Recipes and Inspiration

New healthy habit: Drink one Green Smoothie every day. No more excuses. Time to experience the Green Smoothie Power!

General recommendations for Green Smoothies:

Green Smoothie Bliss!

  • Blend 60% fruit to 40% greens.
  • Use 2 varieties of fruit and up to 2 types of greens.
  • Blend different fruits and greens every day.

HAPPY MORNING SMOOTHIE:

  • 1 bunch fresh parsley
  • 3 bananas
  • ½ fresh pineapple
  • ½ lime squeezed
  • ½ cup water

FIBER BLEND SMOOTHIE:

  • 5-6 leaves large kale
  • ½ bunch parsley
  • 1 Tbsp. cold-pressed hemp oil
  • 1 Tbsp. ground hemp protein
  • 2 Tbsp. ground flax seed
  • 1 red apple
  • 2 cups red grapes
  • ½ lemon squeezed
  • ½ cup water

QUICK CLEANSE SMOOTHIE:

  • 1 bunch celery leaves
  • ½ bunch parsley
  • 2 cups fresh papaya
  • 2 cups fresh pineapple
  • ½ cup water

GREEN BLISS SMOOTHIE:

  • 2 Large handfuls of kale
  • 2 lemons, squeezed
  • 1 avocado
  • ¼ cup water

Enjoy these wonderful creations made from the healing foods of Mother Earth and blended especially with love!

More on Green Smoothies:

Raw Food and Green Smoothie Classes in Seoul, Korea

Jennifer Thompson in Seoul, Korea


Certified Iridologist, Healthy Living & Raw Food Coach Jennifer Thompson’s talks and workshops!

Detox and Raw Foods Explained
Saturday, April 16, 2011 – 5:30pm. Free Talk!
Have you wondered about the detox craze – what it is, do you need it, and how to do it? Are you ‘raw curious,’ wanting to know more about the raw food diet and how eating more raw foods might benefit you? Learn the basics and hear some amazing success stories on weight loss, natural healing and more!

Superfoods – What they are, how to eat them, do you need them?
Tuesday, April 19, 2011 – 7:30pm. Free Talk!
Gain an understanding of the most popular Superfoods such as Acai powder, Goji Berries, Spirulina, Maca Powder, Cacao, Coconut Oil, Flax Seed, Hemp Seed, Green Powder, Kelp, Dulse and more!

What About (dot dot dot)….?
Friday, April 22, 2011 – 7:30pm and
Wednesday, May 4, 2011 – 10:00am.
Free Talk!
Jennifer answers all the common questions and breaks down barriers, showing you how to make the best choices for your health with where you are in your life. Get answers to your concerns about…bread, coffee, white sugar, white rice, alcohol, meat, dairy, soy milk, tofu, sushi and more.

Truth in Food Labeling – Fast Ways to Read Labels and know what is in Your Food
Monday, April 25, 2011 – 7:30pm. Free Talk!
A few simple lessons will help you start to understand the tricks that manufacturers use to sell so-called healthy food. It’s time to know what is really in your food. You can make better choices. Jennifer will show you how.

How to be Healthy in Asia
Thursday, April 28, 2011 (day) and
Saturday, May 7, 2011 5:30pm.
Free Talk!
Wherever you are in the world, staying healthy can be a challenge, but especially in Asia. When you are living in a foreign place, where do you begin? Jennifer has lived and traveled in SE Asia for 10 years and can teach you some simple techniques for travel, eating out, making better choices for your family & understanding foreign food labels. Prepare yourself now for a healthy path for the rest of your life!

Power of the Green Smoothies – Preparation and Information Class
Sunday April 17, 24 & 1 May 2011. 4:30pm – 6pm.

Jennifer explains the importance of dark, leafy greens in the diet, explains why it is the missing link to good health, then demonstrates recipes and combinations of various Green Smoothies so you have a complete toolbox of information to take home and start Going Green!
35,000 KRW per person.

Iridology Assessments
Private 1-hour consultations will be offered at the Mind Body Seoul Studio from 18 April, 2011 to 10 May, 2011 by Jennifer Thompson.

During an Iridology session, Jennifer makes personalized recommendations for improvement, taking into account your current diet and lifestyle and whatever other factors may be presently involved in your condition. After the reading, you will have a better understand of your body and health and feel empowered and motivated to begin making positive change.
100,000 KRW per consult.

Contact us to reserve your space or make an appointment!

For more information, you can also go to the Mind, Body, Seoul website.

More on Traveling Raw:

Recipe for Ta’s Raw Food Jungle Salad with Video Demonstration

This is the perfect salad for anyone who is looking to combine some great raw food textures and flavors and experience a mouthful of true healthy bliss!! Watch the video featuring my friend Ta to see how it’s done. The ingredients are listed below. If you are interested in buying a slicer for your green papaya, cucumber or zucchini pasta at home, I’ve got them available here at the Healthy Bliss Store! We have so much great info to share with you from Thailand, keep checking back for more recipes, inspiration and love!

Recipe for Ta’s Raw Food Jungle Salad

Mix together:

  • ~2 cups Shredded Green Papaya (slightly ripened). If you can’t find green papaya where you live, you can use shredded zucchini.
  • 1 Shredded Cucumber. Our favorite tool for shredding is the som tam slicer!
  • 1 Medium tomato, sliced.
  • Fresh young coconut meat (flesh), sliced (1 coconut).
  • 2 handfuls fresh Morning Glory greens. You can also use baby spinach or whatever greens you like!
  • 1/2 cup Kimchi (Ta’s is made with beetroot, cabbage and daikon)
  • 3-5 (or more!) fresh Thai chilies. You can replace with 1 fresh jalapeno.
  • 2-3 cloves fresh garlic (as you like).
  • 1 fresh lime, squeezed.
  • 2-3 fresh Tamarind fruits soaked in water for about 30 minutes. Use about 4 cups water to marinate. Add about 1/2 cup of this liquid to the salad.
Now that is some serious Healthy Bliss!!!

Now that is some serious Healthy Bliss!!!

Prepare the salad ingredients and have ready in a bowl. Mash together the chilies and garlic in a mortar & pestle, then add tamarind juice & lime juice and gently toss in ingredients. If you do not have a mortar and pestle, simply chop up the garlic and chilies, put in a small bowl, add the tamarind and lime juice. Stir to make your dressing, then toss the dressing into the salad.

Be prepared to enjoy this delicious, healthy jungle love!!

More Healthy Recipes:

Images of Natural, Healthy Hawaii…

An abundance of natural, healthy foods just waiting for you in Hawaii :) Check pictures of the raw foods available, healthy restaurants, organic farming, aquanponics, vegan and vegetarian foods, local eateries, fresh fruits, farmers markets and even green smoothies.

All great reasons to go to Hawaii for a healthy holiday!

For 2 weeks of my time in Hawaii, I had a nice family vacation with my parents, sister, brother-in-law and nieces. We satyed at a posh condo villa place – huge resort, full of tourists, and I couldn’t help but think what a perfect place this would be for a detox fasting spa. It’s ideal really, with beach, sun, pools, massage, nice views, relaxing time – if they offered a fasting program here I would totally do it!

Maybe in a few years the rest of the world will be ready for cleansing…certainly more and more people could use it!

More on Raw Food:

Identifying Wild Edible Greens for Green Smoothies

Dandelion Greens

Dandelion Greens

If you are interested in eating more wild edible dark leafy greens in your diet, but don’t know where to begin in terms of identifying them, I have a fantastic link for you!

You’d be surprised to know that most weeds and many greens are edible, so if you are struggling financially on a raw food diet, you can definitely save money from picking wild greens for your smoothies. You will also benefit from the additional variety in your raw foods as well as the increased energy and enzyme capacity found in wild, uncultivated foods.

Miner's Lettuce

Miner\’s Lettuce

Some common edible weeds used in Green Smoothies include the above mentioned as well as malva, plantain, miner’s lettuce, dandelion, Lamb’s quarters and chickweed.

Now available! My Green Smoothie DVD and Green Smoothie eBooks,including 200 recipes and a Quick Start Guide, so you can learn at home at your own pace. You can become the next Green Smoothie success story!

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Green Smoothie Power and Tabouleh Raw Food Salad Recipe

I’ve found a new discovery in my healing journey….yes it is the GREEN SMOOTHIE! Wow, I am loving these things – so tasty and so packed with nutrition, and such an easy way to bring more greens into my diet!

Green Smoothie Recipe:

Greens
Fresh banana, papaya & pineapple
The stems from parsley (left over from raw tabouleh salad…see below)
1.5 cups cold water
2 tbsp. ground flaw seed
1 tsp. spirulina
2 probiotics, opened and sprinkled into the blend

High Energy All Day!!!

Green Smoothie Ingredients Before

Green Smoothie Ingredients Before

Green Smoothie Ingredients After

Green Smoothie Ingredients After

Next step...Drink and Enjoy!!

Next step…Drink and Enjoy!!

Another Green Smoothie Recipe

Greens (different than yesterday’s but it’s Thailand, so I have no idea what they are – just dark and leafy with little flower buds, all thrown in!!)
Fresh banana & pineapple
The stems from parsley (nothing goes to waste!)
Coconut Oil
2 tbsp. ground flax seed
1 tsp. spirulina
2 probiotics (same as yesterday)
1.5 cups cold water

Fast, Easy & Delicious TABOULEH!

Fast, Easy & Delicious TABOULEH!

Raw Tabouleh Salad Recipe

I also made a wonderful Raw Tabouleh Salad:
2 bunches fresh parsley, chopped
3 large tomatoes, chopped,
1 small red onion, chopped
1/2 white onion, chopped
1 clove garlic, chopped
handful of dried goji berries (they soften in the salad after about 2 hours)
extra virgin olive oil, cayenne pepper, black pepper & sea salt

All the parsley, what a blast of nutrition!!

Watch out world – I’m on a role now!!!

Now available! My Green Smoothie DVD and Green Smoothie eBooks,including 200 recipes and a Quick Start Guide, so you can learn at home at your own pace. You can become the next Green Smoothie success story!

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