Green Smoothie 30 Day Review

I am through my fourth week and entering my fifth week of Green Smoothies. What a world of difference in how I feel, and how I look. I followed up on a lot of what I read about Green Smoothies, both web based and paper based sources. Everything published in the books I have read seems to be true. The Web for the most part is true, but some sites tend to push the boundaries a little.

I have three family members drinking Green Smoothies too, as sort of a check on my observations of me. Two are experiencing  weight loss without a lot of effort. I went three days this week without a Green Smoothie. I started getting serious cravings for Green Smoothies. When my body didn’t get it, cravings for food in general started to occur. I am drinking a Green Smoothie as I type this, and the first glass of Green Smoothie has quieted the cravings.

One a side note, I had not eaten since last night. I joined someone for lunch today. Since it was breakfast for me, I had corned beef hash, eggs, and hash browns. It used to be one of my favorite meals. Today however I ate, but really wanted a Green Smoothie instead.

I was at a book store today, and a young couple was looking for a diet book on Smoothies. I told them about the book I have, Green For Life, and how good of a book it is. They started looking for it, and I mentioned that after a few weeks of Green Smoothies they would not willingly want to eat [most] Fast Food again. I could see almost fear cross their face, and they thanked me, and decided they had to leave the book store at that moment.

I find it amusing that we are so conditioned to eat meat that the idea of eating vegetables is foreign to us. I never realized how conditioned I am by the media, until instances such as a diet change to incorporate Green Smoothies enters my life. Suddenly, I have to overcome a disconcerting feeling of odd and strange as I was one of those people who thought people who primarily subsist on a vegetable diet are a little touched and certainly not healthy.

I do not think I will ever become a full fledged vegetarian, I am too old and too far gone for that, but perhaps the future will reveal a different truth. For the present though, I am satisfied that my nutritional needs are met, and most exceeded by the powerhouse drink called Green Smoothie. If I find a way to dedicate more time to eating, perhaps then I would give up meat completely.

I can say, I am more aware of ever of the thousands of animals killed daily, and the thousands of pounds of meat thrown away daily and its a real shame. I try to be mindful of my food and the fact that it died so I can have food to eat although sometimes I find myself throwing out meat, that sat in the fridge too long.

I find it personally shameful when I have to throw away meat knowing that an animal died and I wasted their flesh. Not to be taken out of context, I am not a PETA member hiding in disguise, but I prefer not to waste meat from an animal that perhaps would not have been butchered if I was more mindful. This subject of meat rages across our world every day, so take what I wrote for what it is.

On a side note, having lived in the proximity of feeding pens, I know a Cow’s last days are not all they could be. I think the way they are kept is deplorable. I think if most people saw the conditions of the feed yards, they would gladly pay a little more a pound for their beef. I think the same applies to all meats we consume. I wish there were a better way. Being mindful of the meat we  waste each day, either throwing out spoiled meat we didn’t eat, letting cooked meat get old, or my favorite pet peeve, wasting meat in a buffet. Stopping these behaviors are ways to be more mindful of a meat animals welfare.

Green Smoothies have made me feel better, period. It is not a carnivore verses vegetarian issue, or a health nut in the making story. The plain truth is I doubt the average Doctor’s ability and motivation to ensure I am in the best possible health. I am primarily an income source to my doctor. If I don’t need him, he loses money. Not to say Doctors do not care about their patients, but HMO’s in particular are out to make a profit, not free patients from a Doctors care.

I am hopefully going to retire some day, and I would rather spend my retirement on enjoying life, and not sick or in a nursing home waiting to die, wishing I was dead. I have worked too long and too hard. I want to reap any rewards waiting for me from what will be over five decades of working. Why should a Doctor nursing home take the monies I spent all my life working for when a simple diet change takes care of most health issues?

Green Smoothies are not the end all, be all. Green Smoothies are for me at least the biggest thing to come down the health and nutrition pipeline in many years. Who would have thought that a fruit and a few green vegetable leaves could make me feel so healthy, happy, and feeling so good?

I am compelled because a small part of me is not cynical of Green Smoothies to write, Green Smoothies are the most important change I have made to better my health ever! I do not know how to say it stronger than that.

Green Smoothies is a lifestyle commitment to better your own heath. You also need a blender. All it takes after these two changes is a blender and five minutes. Everyone should be able to improve their health and feel better. Eating healthier is not bad for you. Eating more vegetables is not bad for you. Taking better care of yourself is not bad for you. Eating too much of the wrong foods will kill you. What is more fun, eating right or dying early?

Conditioned to Food

This is not something I am happy to write about, but it is an important topic: Bias by Long Term Saturation. Bias by Saturation is in the same category as hate. The unique thing about Bias Saturation is you and I are not even aware that we are being biased against something as a result of external influences. You and I do not know we have this bias that almost reaches levels of irrationality, because of outside influences over our lifetime change our acceptance irrational bias against something.

I was first aware of this when I was joined the military. Up until those weeks of basic training, the particular week of learning about racial bias, or whatever the current phrase is for it, I was not aware I had any racial bias. As I was forced to listen to these lectures, films, and readings on racism, I would have said I was not in the smallest part of me racially biased even though the Instructors said we all were biased. I did no believe them.

Yet, here I was sitting in these classes becoming angry about the material presented. I had to explore why I was angry. The reason I was angry surprised me. I was not angry over the facts, figures, and explanations of racial bias, I was angry that I was being forced to listen, and assimilate it into my being. Up until this moment, I thought I had equal feelings towards everyone. My emotions over this training suggested maybe I did not.

Throughout my life from the time I was old enough to decide who I was, I made a conscious decision to treat everyone equally. I thought I was immune to racism in all its forms that bombarded my life. Most of the people I knew were like me, and when I thought about other peoples around the earth, I thought I felt the same way about them too. I had to accept the possibility that maybe it was easier to be accepting from a distance, and not face to face.

At any rate, I got through it, and understood my shortcomings, and my strengths on bias’. Until recently I never gave it much thought. Until I started reading about Vegetarianism, Green Smoothies, and Raw Diets. For no obvious reason to me, I disliked those words. In fact I disliked them strongly. Vegetables by themselves were okay. I thought I was eating a lot of them as I usually eat fruit every day, and vegetables as often as they were around.

These words troubled me though: Vegetarian, Green Smoothie, Raw Diet. They were trigger words to me, bringing out emotions that did not belong to the words themselves. When I would think about them I could feel a sneer cross my face and an imaginary distaste in my mouth. I really had to think about this and why it was happening.

I have watched those eat anything television shows from around the world. People eating things most of us would not even touch, let alone taste. They did not bother me when I watched them eating those things. After all it is only odd and somewhat disagreeable food to us. Wherever they were filming, people ate those foods daily. They did not find food vendors who made food they couldn’t sell. So what was it about these other words that created such a response in me? I mean really, Vegetarian, Green Smoothie, Raw Food Diet?

I thought about everything I thought I knew about nutrition. Phrases such as: “Beef, its what’s for dinner.” “Milk, it makes a body strong.” “Where’s the beef?”, Pork, the other white meat, so on and so forth, one phrase after another flowed through my thoughts. The food pyramid was composed of a large block for meat, a large block for milk, and a few smaller blocks for fish other things. I was told in school as a kid we ate meat because we could not survive on vegetables alone.

As a kid, I asked about people in Asia who lived on a mostly vegetable diet. I was told, they eat fish and seafood. They were smaller and weaker than we Americans because their diet was so poor. I did not know there were people who only ate vegetables. That is how it has been ever since. Milk, beef, pork, chicken, and repeat. Every month or so, a different commercial about the same foods would be on television. Vegetables must be bad, that is the real message as vegetables are never mentioned. Even a famous fast food place had to back down and remove one of their commercials about someone bringing a vegetable tray to a party. What a message that was! The only people who eat vegetables are odd people, not normal people who eat, beef, pork, and chicken. Occasionally fish if it is fried and between slices of bread.

Now that I am drinking a Green Smoothie almost every day and have a better understanding of what foods I need to eat to be healthy, rather than what foods commercials think I should eat, I appreciate the power of long term biased commercials in the media.

The lonely vegetable. I also have greater appreciation for Vegetarians, and Raw Diets. I doubt I will ever end up eating as one, but I have accepted them into the fold of people like me. I do have anew appreciation for vegetables, now that I have done a little homework on the subject, after setting my bias aside.

Dieting and Craving

I want to write a little bit about diets and cravings. I have been on one sort of diet or another most of my life. All my dieting attempts have had little or no long term success. ANyone can lose weight, most of us are experts at losing weight. We are also experts at watching the weight return. The best of all the diets I tried is: The 30 Day Diabetes Miracle Diet. It is a book and being such lays out in simple terms most of the what and why of dieting. It is close to being the perfect diet, but not quite. My weight came back.

Now if you are like me and have spent months of your life on one diet or another, I know what you are thinking. There is nothing I can tell you about dieting that you do not know already. Anyone who has made serious attempts to lose weight and failed knows almost everything there is to know about dieting. It is not the diet that is the problem. The problem is the not stop cravings for the food that made us fat in the first place.

We know all about calories, fats and oils and carbohydrates. We know how much of each we should eat. We know everything there is to know to lose weight. We have the stamina and endurance to stick to a diet. We have done it before and we will do it again. We do it because we hope this next time we will get it right, and we will be able to keep our weight in check.

We know when the diet line gets crossed, when we have, “fallen off our diet”. At first it is one time and we give it little thought. Then a second time we slip it is okay, there was a good reason for it. Then in faster and faster intervals we have gone from a few dieting misses to eating a whole number of things we know we should not be eating. Our resolve to not eat junk food has wilted and can not be found.

It was only one candy bar, one ice cream, or one cookie. Then before we know it our semi new clothes are getting a little tight. Looking at our toes we assume we must be bloated because we do not see them as well as we should. Almost imperceptibly our energy levels have been dropping. Without even noticing we are doing less and less. One little taste of junk food has turned into a steady stream of junk food. The circle repeats. Another failed diet.

I have learned this about standard dieting: No one I have ever met can stick to a diet over the long term. I am not saying diets do not work. I am saying that in general the best diet most of us have ever tried does not free us from the constant cravings. Eventually those cravings win out. Been there, done that.

Why we fail at diets is because we have been lied to for so long, we don’t what we should know about food. The foods we are craving are making us fat because they satisfy our food craving like no other food we have eaten. The problem is, the craving only stops for a few hours, then is back again. No matter what supplement or pill we take, it does not stop the cravings that send us back to junk food. Never has before, and never will.

This food craving happens to me because of the food that is keeping me fat is the only food that stops the cravings. If you are like me, you can only ignore the cravings so long. Then in a second, there you re eating the food that you know is no good for you. But the cravings stop for a little while.

I do not know how or why, but I have found an answer to this problem. Without trying the cravings are gone without wanting to eat the junk food that is killing me. I can not believe the solution is so simple! Can you imagine how empowering it is to be hungry because of dieting, and not be craving some high calorie, high fat food? Have you ever imagined you could be hungry, and hungry is okay because you do not need to eat right now?

Put out those doughnuts, candy bars, soda, and fast food. I can now look at it all and see it for what it is without wanting to eat them, because I no longer crave it. Wow, “I no longer want to eat it, because I no longer crave them”. I never thought I would ever think those words, let alone share them with you.

It gets better because I will share with you what I learned for free, and you can share it with others. Unless of course you are not interested because this is not a well designed slick web site with pictures, and colors, and little hints of information followed by a BIG price tag to learn what we already should know about dieting and cravings. There should not be people like us, who spend a part of every day wondering how or when we will slim down once and for all.

Pay it forward – like in the movie.

Green Smoothies Feel Good, Week 2

I am coming up on my second week of Green Smoothies. I want to share with you, as you must have an interest in Green Smoothies too. For right now I am only managing one Green Smoothie each day half of the week. The other half of the week is hit and miss. I do not think there is any change we need to jump into 100%. The way I see it is it took until now to discover Green Smoothies and I have a lot of time to fit Green Smoothies into my eating. With that being said, there are some interesting changes going on in and on my body.

I read a lot of hype on the net about Green Smoothies. Both by web sites themselves, and ‘Testimonials’. I am a learned skeptic. I do not believe there is a magic pill, exercise, or other magic remedy that does everything including washing the dishes. I am so skeptical about Green Smoothies, I question what seems to be happening with me. I am also not a fanatic. Life is for living, and for right now, living solely on Green Smoothies for me is not something I think I want to do.

I am a Celiac, meaning I am allergic to wheat gluten. Believe it or not, wheat hides in just about everything. Even if wheat is not mentioned, if there are more than ten ingredients, wheat will be hiding among them. This makes eating well difficult. I though I ate well because I am Celiac, but obviously there are higher levels of eating well. Here is what I have noticed about me in two weeks of Green Smoothies scattered across the days.

– My skin has gone from dry and cracking to soft. No matter how much lotion I would apply, my skin would not get as uniformly soft as it is now,

– In the past I felt hungry most of the time even though I had eaten recently. Now after a Green Smoothie I may feel hungry, but I feel satisfied at the same time.

– Some of my aches and pains have stopped aching and paining.

– I find I think about and crave more Green Smoothies. Sometimes I catch myself thinking about drinking a Green Smoothie in place of whatever the next meal is going to be. To take this a little farther, it seems my body is willing to put up with whatever my meal may be even though it would be much happier with a Green Smoothie.

– Eating Sweets is happening less and less, not that I ate a lot to start with. Yesterday I thought I wanted some Peanut M & M’s (™), but after three, I did not want to eat any more. This has never happened before.

– Meat consumption is dropping. I usually meat for lunch at work, usually two to eight ounces. My interest in eating meat is declining. As a side note, I notice when watching television, I pay more attention to greenery than I did before – lol.

– The thought of going home and drinking a Green Smoothie is more powerful than snacking on a candy bar when I am out and about and get hungry.

– Coffee consumption is dropping. I find I enjoy my coffee now, but I do not need coffee to keep moving.

– I am waking up before the alarm clock while going to be a little later.

– Extra walking every day is not as tiring as it was. Walking has changed back to enjoyment. Walking doesn’t feel like a chore, or something I have to do.

– My finger nails have stopped cracking on the sides causing hang nails. They also feel stronger, and don’t feel like they may peel apart. I asked my Doctor about the peeling, and was told it was not important — hmmm.

– There has been less beard to shave every morning, and my fingernails seem to be growing slower than they were two weeks ago.

– Cracked skin between my toes left over from an athletes’ foot type problem I get every year in late fall between my toes has healed completely. Normally it is  a slower process.

– My feet are not as rough and scratchy as they were two weeks ago.

– I am not craving undefined foods. In fact other than Green Smoothies, I am not craving anything. A friend who has taken some dietitian type classes said that when we are not getting what we need, our body makes us eat even though most of what we eat is not what we need, we feel hungry and keep eating.

– I am sleeping more soundly.

Because I am a skeptic, I try to not be influenced by what I have read which is: “Green Smoothies are the real deal for better overall health”. I don’t know on this the second week of my drinking Green Smoothies if these changes are due to Green Smoothies, or something else unrelated, but right now I feel real good. I prefer to keep feeling this way.

Green Smoothies for Dinner Week One

Today I am coming to the end of my first week of having Green Smoothies for dinner. I bought a blender to make Smoothies a few years back after trying the exceptional smoothies created by the blender salesmen. It was not a snap decision, due to cost, but after a second go round and the last day they would be at the store, I made the leap and bought the blender.

I bought a couple of smoothie books and thought I was on my way to a new and improved level of good health. About a month into making smoothies, I noticed that nothing had really changed. I was eating less, but I was also drinking large size smoothies. When I stopped and thought about it, the smoothies were not healthy. They tasted great, and they were filling. Their ingredients list left a lot to be desired health wise. I was making [not cheap as they were expensive] poor man’s milkshakes.

They tasted great, they were filling, but they were not very healthy. I recompiled the ingredients I was using in my smoothies leaving out the fat and high carbs, but they did not taste as good as they did before.  They tasted of only one fruit or another. I had reduced the fat calories, started leaving out the oatmeal, yet there was way too much sugar from juice.

Little by little, my blender was seeing less use. The Grandkids however had been around in the blender heyday. Everyday they had a glass of whatever high fat, high calorie smoothie I made. They were hooked on smoothies. They took their smoothie love home when they left. Their Dad after hearing how good my smoothies were, and how easy they were to make, took up where I left off. He started making smoothies using whatever was in the refrigerator.

I am sure he had his share of bumps in the road, but he pressed on. The Grandkid’s were telling me how great the smoothies are for breakfast every day. They came to visit over the holidays, and I head in person what I was hearing over the phone, how good the smoothies were. I noticed the Grandchildren were no longer sugar-holics, the whole family looks slimmer and healthier. Smoothies got them to start exercising, and making better food choices. Now I am again jumping on the smoothie wagon.

This time however it is green smoothies for me. I do not know if as we get older we react to dietary changes faster, or our bodies are less resilient and differences between healthy and not so healthy foods are noticed quicker. Whatever the reason, Green smoothies are currently where it is at for me.

After one week, there is no doubt about how much my body enjoys a green smoothie. All my body that is except my eyeballs which haven’t found the colors too inviting. In my previous post, with the smoothie recipe I threw together, you can see it is simple. It is also a popular smoothie base or beginning smoothie for beginners I have discovered.

I found I am doing a few things wrong like mixing my greens instead of rotating them. Perhaps using soy milk instead of plain water. I will start rotating my greens, but I am on the fence about soy milk. The theory behind rotating greens is each family of greens has certain poisons by default that keep the plants alive and thriving. Eat too much of one family of greens and you risk the effects of being mildly poisoned. I doubt I am anywhere close to ingesting that level of green food, but I am going to start rotating greens so I do not eat from the same family of greens every day just in case.

After my first nights green smoothie, I was surprised how that salad greens and soy milk – less than 200 hundred calories total, filled me up as dinner, and I slept all night. I woke without feeling famished. Wow, must have been fluke I thought. I did have an oatmeal bar the night before too, but over all it was a lite dinner. Sort of a cold vegetable soup and a small bowl of oatmeal.

On the third night I decided to have only the smoothie itself. It was interesting that something so low in calories would fill me up. I slept well, and did not wake up hungry. What did happen on the fourth morning is about lunch time was I started craving a green smoothie. Not a serious craving, but one that said given the choice between a normal lunch and a green smoothie, I would pick the green smoothie.

One week of green smoothies for dinner, and I can really feel the difference. I don’t know if you have ever been on a serious diet or not. If you have, you know your body reaches a point where it sings for joy whenever you start eating? That is the feeling green smoothies have been giving me. Just the thought of eating a green smoothie and my body feels all excited. If it had its way, I would be sipping one throughout the day. Kind of funny, but after these few days I wonder if I am a smoothie addict for the short term?

I am not promoting smoothies of any type, and I am certainly not a smoothie or nutrition expert. A search using your favorite search engine or a trip to your local book store, will introduce to more than a few experts. You need to decide for yourself why is true about smoothies. I found some sites very good and fact based, and others reaching a little too far. Both on the plus and possible minus side of green smoothies.

I have a man who lost a lot of weight last year. He told me today he lost 47 pounds. He did it, he said, by going on a green smoothie diet from watching a video he found on the web. Mostly green and little fruit. He said he lost his extra weight in about two months. He say’s he felt wonderful, energetic, and never really became hungry. Unfortunately, he had no after the diet sensible eating plan so he has gained back some of the weight. He is planning on going on another green smoothie diet soon for a much shorter time period.

For me, it is more enjoyable to make and drink a green smoothie, than it is to make and eat an oversized salad. For the short term, green smoothies are replacing the grazing I used to call dinner. You know, a little of this and a little of that, whatever is left over in the fridge. Green Smoothies are making my body feel good, and feel good is most of the bottom line when it comes to what we should eat. You can read into that comment what you will. I will leave out the more energy, more awake, more vitalized, and other catch phrases that get thrown around in the world of what to eat.

I will mention I have lost a little in my waistline already. I made other lifestyle changes that effect my waistline so I can not say it is all the green smoothies. Substituting Green Smoothies for dinner has definitely reduced the night time calorie intake by at least half, and reinforces the old saying, “Eat Breakfast like a King, lunch like a Prince, and dinner like a pauper”. Maybe Pauper’s always knew an eating secret the rest of us never learned.

Healthy Smoothie for Celiacs and Other Diets

I found out I was a Celiac (Gluten Intolerant) a few years back. I thought at the time it was almost the end of the world. Everything I wanted to eat was making me ill because it had wheat either as a main ingredient, or disguised under another ingredient name. After a week of not eating any foods with wheat, I felt so much better I did not care that I was eating almost nothing I used to eat. There was not a lot known about Celiacs then, and what I learned I learned piecemeal.

Recently I created a good for me (you) smoothie. Whether you are Gluten Intolerant or want something low calorie and filling to eat, to help with a diet, here is a simple smoothie I make and drink. It only takes a minute or two make and it keeps me full. I am not sure whether it is because of the roughage, or the vitamins and minerals, but it fills me up, and when I wake up in the morning I am hungry, but not famished. It also seems to stay with me through the day. I get hungry, but not like when I have not drank one the night before.

Healthy SmoothieIt doesn’t look really yummy, but it tastes ok and satisfies your appetite, plus provides needed roughage.

1/2 banana

1 Broccoli Stem & Floret

1 Brussels Sprout

1/2 carrot (~ a five inch piece of carrot)

Spinach Leaves with stalk (~ 12, more or less depending on how much you want)

~ 8 – 10 ounces Soy Milk – I am sure regular milk works just fine.

~ 1/8 teaspoon Sea Salt

Even Less Ground Pepper

Add ice if you need to. Mix in a blender until smooth. Don’t be afraid to add other items to change the taste. I use blueberries, squash, peanut butter, spices, almost anything.

Be careful with the fruits though, fruits can add a lot of sugar calories. Peanut Butter and Nuts add fat which also may not be wanted.

For me, I have found that trying to eat as I used to is a waste of time and way too many calories. Too much of the gluten free breads and pastries are too calorie dense, and taste deficient, not to mention outrageously expensive. I enjoy a lot of beans cooked different ways, Corn – Tortillas & Chips, and Oatmeal in different ways. Rice (boiled and tortillas) on occasion. Almost the whole produce section of the grocery store is mine for the eating with the exception of a few vegetables.

There are some articles across the internet that claim a celiacs diet is unhealthy. Completely untrue unless one chooses to only eat carb dense, gluten free ‘normal food’ wannabe foods. In fact a well rounded Celiac diet is closer to the Paleo Diet than almost any other diet. It can be full of vegetables, fruits, nuts, and meats.

I found a great meal recipe website recently for those that want to eat as if they are not gluten intolerant, learn how to cook gluten free, or start cooking in general. The Baking Beauties, is ran by Jeanine who I never met, out of Manitoba, Canada. She has a really great site, and is a great celiac recipe and cooking resource.

If you are interested in more general gluten free or Celiac posts, or interested in a regular diet that actually works, check out the celiac and diet posts on venagozar.com. There is also a link on the right side of the web page.

When you meet someone who is Gluten Intolerant they are sometimes overweight. This is a general side effect of Celiac’. The small intestine over produces its protective coating, and much nutrition is lost because it can’t be absorbed, leading the person to be overly hungry. Even though they eat enough each day, their body doesn’t absorb enough nutrients. Sticking to a well balanced gluten free diet is the best fix for being overly hungry, but not always a cure or fix.