The Green smoothie revolution

 
 
BOOK REVIEW: GREEN FOR LIFE- Victoria Boutenko M.A

Recently I finished reading the book Green for life, by Victoria Boutenko, M.A

I have seen her in a few DVD presentations, and heard her speaking in interviews on various shows.
Since reading her book I cannot speak more highly of this woman and her research.

 

Over the years of my own personal health research, I have come to the conclusion that fruit is the best breakfast anyone could start the day with. The past few years I have been religiously making myself smoothies or juices, and adding my supergreens to them, for the best energy food I know.

 

When I first heard about the Boutenkos, I was excited. They claimed that their green smoothie revolution was a key to most health issues today.

I began using other greens, apart from the expensive Supergreens powder I had been buying, and soon became a convert to the Green Smoothie way of life.

But reading her book has made me more aware than ever before of the importance of greens and the chronic lack of them in most people’s diet.

 

 Let me share with you Victorias Story, which she briefly explains in this book.

 

My husband, our two youngest children and I have been eating only raw foods since January of 1994, more than 11 yrs.
(the book was written in 2005)

We went on this radical diet out of complete despair when our medical doctors didn’t leave us any chances to recover from our horrible illnesses.

 My husband, Igor, had been constantly ill since his early childhood. By the tender age of 17 he had already survived nine surgeries. Having progressive hyperthyroidism and chronic rheumatoid arthritis, at 38he was a total health wreck. I had to lace his shoes on rainy days because his arthritic spine would not bend. Igor’s heart rate was 140+ most of the time, his eyes were tearing on sunny days and his hands were shaky. Igor constantly felt fatigued and was in pain almost all the time. Igors thyroid doctor told him that he would die in less than two months if he would not agree to have his thyroid gland removed, His arthritis doctor told him to prepare to spend the rest of his life in a wheelchair.

I was diagnosed with the same disease that took my father, arrhythmia, or an irregular heartbeat. My legs were constantly swollen from edema, I weighed 280 pounds and I was continually gaining more. My left arm frequently became numb at night and I was afraid that I would die and my children would become orphans. I remember always feeling tired and depressed.

Our daughter Valya was born with asthma and allergies and would often cough heavily all through the night. Our son Sergei was diagnosed with juvenile type 1 diabetes.

One day after crying through an entire night, I decided that we had to take different action if we wanted to get different results.

That was when we started to try various healing modalities and eventually arrived at the idea of becoming raw foodists. At the time we didn’t know anything about making fancy raw dishes or even that we could dehydrate flax crackers. Nevertheless by turning off the pilot in our stove and discontinuing all cooking, we were able to heal all our incurable, life-threatening diseases. Our health was improving so quickly that in three and a half months all four    of us ran the Bolder Boulder10K road race 40,000 other runners.

Even Sergei’s blood sugar stabilized due to his new diet and regular jogging. Since beginning to eat raw food , he has never again experienced any form of diabetic symptoms. We were greatly surprised not only by how quickly our health was restored to normal, but by how much healthier we were than ever before. We have described the detailed story of our miraculous healing in our book Raw Family: A true Story of Awakening.

After several years of being raw foodists, however, each one of us began to feel like we had reached a plateau where our healing process stopped and even somewhat began to go backwards. After approximately seven years on a complete raw diet, once in a while, more and more often, we started feeling discontent with our existing food program. I began to have a heavy feeling in my stomach after eating any kind of raw food, especially a salad with dressing. Because of that, I started to eat less greens and more fruits and nuts. I began to gain weight. My husband started to develop a lot of gray hair. My family members felt confused about our diet and seemed often to have the question, what should we eat.

In my family we strongly believe that raw food is the only way to go and therefore encouraged one another to maintain our raw diet no matter what, always coming up with new tricks. Many of my friends told me about similar experiences at which point they gave up being 100% raw and began to add cooked food back in their meals. In my family we continued to stay on raw food due to our constant support of each other.

A burning question began to grow stronger in my heart with each day. The question was, Is there anything missing in our diet?” The answer would come right away: Nope. Nothing could be better than a raw food diet.

Yet, however tiny, the unwanted signs of less than perfect health kept surfacing in minor but noticeable symptoms, such as a wart on the hand, or a gray hair, that brought doubts and questions about the completeness of the raw food diet in its present form. Finally when my children complained about the increased sensitivity of their teeth, I reached a state where I couldn’t think about anything else besides this health puzzle.

After many wrong guesses, I finally found the correct answer.

I found one particular food group that matched ALL human nutritional needs: greens.

The truth is in my family, we were not eating enough greens. Moreover we did not like them. We knew that greens were important, but we never heard anywhere exactly how  much greens we needed in our diet. We had only a vague recommendation to eat as much as possible. In order to find   out how much greens we needed to eat, I decided to study the eating habits of chimpanzees since they are the closest creatures to human beings.                                                                                  

YouTube Video

 

We all know how good greens are for us, but to be honest; most of us couldn’t care less.

In Green for life Victoria Boutenko shows a chart with the

nutritional Comparison of Roots and Greens.

This I must say blew me away!

 

We all know how good raw carrots are for us right? That’s why many of us juice them up.

But did anyone tell you how much better for you were the tops from the carrot?

We all know how good raw beetroot is for us too, well need I say anymore?

On this chart you can see just how superior these greens are to their roots.

Much higher in calcium, magnesium, iron, zinc, Vit A, and I could go on!

The truth of the matter is WE”VE BEEN THROWING OUT THE WRONG PART OF THE PLANT!

 

Victoria states, ‘My research gave me a solid idea that humans are supposed to eat far more greens than I would have guessed.

Greens possess more valuable nutrients than any other food group, but all these nutrients are stored inside the cells of plants. These cells are made of tough material, probably as a means of survival for the plant, making it difficult for animals to eat. To release all the valuable nutrients from within the cells, the cell walls need to be ruptured. To rupture the cells is not easy. This is why eating greens without chewing them thoroughly would not satisfy our nutritional needs. In simple words, we need to chew our greens to a creamy consistency in order to get the benefits. In addition, in order to digest the released minerals and vitamins, hydrochloric acid in the stomach has to be very strong, with a pH between 1-2. These two conditions are absolutely, vitally, necessary for the assimilation of nutrients from greens.’ (I will share more about the importance of Hydrochloric acid in my next post!)

 

This is why she decided to chew her greens in a vitamix blender!

After much experimentation, she began to add fruit to the greens, and arrived at a very palatable, nutritious meal. Blended greens were by no means new to her, which she had learned about years before, but somehow she had completely forgotten about it all.

 

Just 1 month after drinking her daily green smoothie, two moles and a wart she had had from early childhood just peeled off her body! Her unhealthy cravings seem to just vanish.

She says ‘I noticed that many of the wrinkles on my face went away and I began to hear compliments from other people about my fresh look. My nails became stronger, my vision sharpened, and I had a wonderful taste in my mouth upon waking in the morning (pleasure I hadn’t had since youth) My tastes started to change. I discovered that my body was so starved for greens that for several weeks, I lived almost entirely on green smoothies. Now I knew that the human body can learn to crave greens!

After two months of green smoothies she started to notice her husband Igor’s moustache and beard started growing blacker!

She said the ‘woman from the office across the road got rid of her eczema by drinking a cup of green smoothie almost every day.

 

Next to the composition of greens, I found out about Hydrochloric Acid in the stomach and the significant role it plays!

Victoria asks, “How many people know what their measurement of their stomach acid is?

How many of us appreciate its importance for our overall health?

Almost nobody recognizes how crucial it is to have normal hydrochloric acid in the stomach.

Low stomach acidity inevitably and dramatically impacts digestion and absorption of most nutrients necessary for health. Most minerals, including such important ones as iron, zinc, calcium, and the B-complex vitamins need certain amounts of stomach acids in order to be absorbed at all.

Without stomach acid, nutritional deficiencies inevitably develop leading to disease.

Besides absorption, stomach acid has many other important functions. For instance , stomach acid is supposed to destroy all harmful microorganisms, pathogenic bacteria, parasites and their eggs, and fungi that enter through the mouth. Therefore, if stomach acid is insufficient, there is no barrier against parasites.”

 

Stomach acid decreases as we age and if we abuse our intestinal tract through food excesses, chemical use, and stress.

 

Victoria points out, the numerous conditions associated with low stomach acidity, and urges anyone questioning this condition to ask their doctor to check it.

Here are some of them:

*Bacterial overgrowth

*chronic candidacies, parasites

*multiple sclerosis

*arthritis, asthma, auto immune disease

*celiac disease, carcinoma

*dermatitis, diabetes, eczema

*flatulence,

*ulcerative colitis

 

Dr Theodore A Baroody, stated in his wonderful book Alkalize or Die, “Hydrochloric acid is absolutely essential for life.”
In other words one cannot be completely healthy without normal amounts of Hydrochloric acid!

These are some of the signs and symptoms of hypochlorhydria::

Bloating & belching after meals, indigestion, soreness, burning, dryness of mouth,

Heartburn, multiple food allergies, weak & cracked fingernails, dilated blood vessels in the cheeks & nose, iron deficiency, chronic yeast infections.

A simple test you can do at home for yourself is to drink a glass of beetroot juice.

Watch to see if the colour of your next stool or urine changes.

If it changes then it is most certain, you have low stomach acid.

Victoria then conducted a study, that would show the effect of green smoothies on stomach acid. The results were incredible!

 

She states “The fact that all of the healing qualities of green smoothies were proven by practical experimentation makes this simple drink truly special!”

Blending breaks down our food much like chewing, therefore consuming blended food will make a dramatic improvement to our health.

 

Remarkably, green smoothies are not only nutritious, but also delightfully palatable even to children.

I strongly believe that it is possible to restore our ability to like and crave healthy foods. We could learn to live on a natural, healthy diet, even though we have developed some powerful, unnatural cravings.

Greens are the only food group that helps digest other foods through stimulating the secretion of digestive enzymes. Thus greens can be combined with any other foods.

 

Dr Joel Fuhrman wrote in his book ‘Eat to live’ “Even physicians and dieticians…are surprised to learn that…when you eat a large quantity of green vegetables,
you receive a considerable amount of protein”…and the protein from greens doesn’t have cancer as a side effect.
 
In green for life, Victoria gives us a unique, yet simple and delicious strategy for boosting our nutritional levels.
Green smoothies are nothing short of revolutionary. I would recommend this book to everyone.
So what greens you may ask? You may be surprised at the variety, and the accessibility- common edible,backyard weeds! It doesnt come more affordable than that!


GREENS
Arugula, Asparagus, Beet greens(tops), Bok Choy, Broccoli, Carrot tops, Celery, Chard, Edible flowers, Endive, Escarole, Frisee, Kale (Like spinach, different varieties), Mizuna,
Mustard greens, Radicchio, Radish tops, Romaine lettuce, (Cos ) green & red lettuce varieties(no iceberg or light coloured leaf), Spinach, Baby spinach, Grape leaves

WEEDS:
Chickweed, Clover , Dandelion (greens & flowers),Lambsquarters, Malva, Miners lettuce, Plantain, Purslane, Stinging nettles(yes you can ingest them when blended)


HERBS:
Aloe Vera, Baby dill, Basil, Cilantro(Coriander),Fennel,  Mint, Parsley(3 types)                                                 
Peppermint leaves, Spearmint

SPROUTS:
Alfalfa, Broccoli, Clover, Fenugreek, Radish, Sunflower

There are other greens which Victoria doesn’t mention in her book.
(A great site for future reference  www.herbsarespecial.com )


Believe it or not Wild edibles often contain more Vits & minerals than our commercially marketed produce.
But Victoria urges one to take care when harvesting wild foods.
It is fun, healthful and safe, when done properly, and you know how to identify them properly!

The best things in life are often free.
Poisons in your greens?
Yes greens generally contain alkaloids, which protect the plant from being wiped out.
This is why it is imperative that we rotate our greens and not drink the same combination month after month, which Victoria empasises.

Its just unbelievable to think how we have been conditioned to throw away the best part of the plant!
Eat your carrots and blend their tops, eat your beets and blend their tops, only organic produce of course!

 

          If you are looking for just one book to help you improve your health in one easy step then 'Green For Life’ by Victoria Boutenko is the book for you!
 

In Chapter 12 Greens make the body more Alkaline, Victoria talks about the importance of the pH balance.

 

“I have observed both in Russia and United States, that mainstream medicine seems to have been focusing on the secondary cause of disease. To me that’s like pushing a car that ran out of gas with your bare hands instead of putting gas in it, or comforting a hungry person instead of feeding them. So what is the main cause of disease?

Over 75years ago Otto Warburg was awarded the Nobel prize for his discovery that cancer is caused by weakened cell respiration due to lack of oxygen at the cellular level. According to Warburg, damaged cell respiration causes fermentation, resulting in low pH (acidity) at the cellular level.

Dr Otto Warburg finished one of his most famous speeches with the following statement..

‘nobody today can say that one does not know what cancer and its prime cause is. On the contrary, there is no disease whose prime cause is better known, so that today ignorance is no longer an excuse that one cannot do more about prevention”.

Otto Warburg won the Noble Prize for showing that cancer thrives in anaerobic(without oxygen), or acidic, conditions. In other words, the main cause for cancer is acidity of the human body.”

 

So with this information, Victoria concluded, why doesn’t everyone know what pH is?

“It makes great sense to me hat children should study the pH index of all foods at school and that all foods sold to the public should have their pH index printed on the content label together with calories and nutrients. For example parmesan cheese should have a red warning label with a pH sign saying it is extremely acid forming, -34! While spinach, may have a golden medal sign with a pH index +14, as an excellent, alkalizing food.

You may find a complete list of pH values of different foods in the book The pH Miracle by Robert Young.

Fats as the main contributor to weight gain, is a popular delusion among dieters. This misconception leads to massive confusion and explains why so many overweight people are not succeeding in losing weight. I am sure that many people would be shocked to find out we may gain weight from eating, say cheese, not only because it is rich in fat, but mostly due to its acidic level. In response to high pH acid, the body creates fat cells to store the acid. For example, almonds have 70% fat, and pork has only 58%. However , pork has one of the highest acid values, -38, while almonds are alkaline forming, +3.

Factors that potentially make us more acid include hearing or saying harsh or bitter words, loud music and noise, being in a traffic jam, feeling jealousy or wanting revenge, hearing a baby crying, overworking and over-exercising, beginning or finishing school, going on vacation, watching scary or stressful movies, watching and listening to TV, talking on the phone for a long time, taking on a mortgage, paying bills and credit cards, etc.

 

Can you believe that, well you’d better, these modern day stresses are creating acidic conditions in our bodies! Victoria concludes the chapter by saying that “it is impossible to maintain a good alkaline pH balance without consuming large quantities of dark leafy greens, approximately two bunches or one to two pounds every day.
 
For other resources from Victoria & her family www.rawfamily.com
 
 
 Green smoothie 21 day plan http://simplegreensmoothies.com/cleanse
FREE http://www.blenderbabes.com/newyears/
 
PDF attached for download of this summary
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Jenny Taylor,
Oct 31, 2009, 12:34 PM
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Jenny Taylor,
Aug 24, 2009, 3:45 AM
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Jenny Taylor,
Oct 31, 2009, 12:36 PM
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