View Full Version : Smoothies?...mattm?
05-31-2007, 09:43 AM
So...I have a few questions about them and I know that mattm had a good post on them...so if u see this matt...please comment..cuz it seems u have been doing a smoothie fast(?), or whatever u call it, for a little while now...
I am having a problem with staying raw for the first wk..after that it gets amazingly easier...but the cravings for SAD are really hard the frst wk...so I was thinking of doing a smoothie fast/diet for at least 3 days...maybe longer..starting on Sat...now I've never been a huge fan of green smoothies...the taste never seems to be right...but I really do want to get enough calories..and be nutritionaly stable if I do this...so if anyone could tell me their favorite recipes that would be great...specially the ones with greens but don't taste like it's all greens...
Also..mattm..I saw u listed synergy and maka as things u put in yours every day..and i was wondering what they are and if they are raw?...I also really like spirulina...but I'm not sure if it's raw?..does anyone know?
I also would prefer to mainly use a blender instead of a juicer...and was wondering if that will work or if it will leave a bunch of pieces floating everywhere?...cuz one thing I don't like much is when u make a smoothie but it has stringy pieces floating around...I guess it's a texture thing..but it kinda grosses me out..
Thanx for everyone's help:D
05-31-2007, 09:53 AM
Add fruit to your smoothies. Spinach, red chard, green chard, (not swisschard) and baby rommain are all great greens that have like no taste when mixed with 2 pieces of fruit. Kale and collards are great too but they are goitrogenic, spinach might be too. Swiss chard, dandelion greens, mustard greens and parsely are all really strong and sometimes spicy.
You can buy raw spirulina, just make sure they say it is unheated and pesticide-free.
don't use a juicer, that won't make a smoothie! A blender is fine, if it's strong enough, you won't have any floaties.
05-31-2007, 09:58 AM
Also, check out VWinters blog. She has lived on smoothies since March!
05-31-2007, 11:37 AM
I always add half an avocado because it makes the smoothie creamier (and prevents it from foaming at the top).
05-31-2007, 12:27 PM
Hi LoveLife, great to see another person starting on the green smoothie and just living off them exclusively since Christmas I can already probably write a book on their wonders!
Now where do I start...well how about the actual blender and blending. For 2 years now I've been using a £30 hand-held blender and about a litre plastic jug and been 100% happy...quick clean-up and very little mess...just don't fill the jug up too much otherwise you'll be eating off your clothes:). I've never felt the need to go with the Vita-Mix, they're incredible expensive and you certainly can cope without one. As for juicing for a base...I don't bother...in an ideal world where I had time it would wonderful to add e.g. fresh apple or pineapple or cucumber juice to my smoothies but in a kitchen full of students, little preparation and little time it isn't practical for me. I find some water added is just fine (with the volume added depending on the fibre content of the other fruit and veg added e.g. broccoli is very fibrous with comparatively little water content and a large amount of it needs a lot of water to aid blending). If I have it I will also sometimes (as it is expensive) treat myself to Dr.Martin's cartons of fresh coconut water or milk as a base as this is simply divine, it has a strong flavour and really helps cut those the bitter greens and the health benefits of especially the water in terms of electrolytes etc are endless (google it and I'm sure you'll have info to write a book on it!)...I really recommend this stuff. You might not be able to get hold of the stuff right at the moment though as they are changing the packaging or something at the moment and are re-releasing it soon but be sure to look out for it. Finally, on the topic of bases...I sometimes leave dried fruit in water to soak during the day or over night as this softens the fruit, makes the water sweet (I especially love goji berries prepared in this way) and hey presto you have a sweet base!
Moving onto the actual smoothie...it's very important to identify your goals, for instance I didn't need to lose weight like a lot of people I needed to gain it and overcome ongoing health issues so calories were important for the weight and specific fruit, veg and superfoods for the health issues. From what you have written I can see calories are also important and as you haven't commented on any specific health issues at the moment I can only assume you just want something for overall health...in which case diversity in ingredients and hence nutrients, vitamins and minerals is key. Diversity and being well stocked up is also another one of the first things to long term success on smoothies I find. In my case the local supermarket tends to have the same organic produce so I make sure I stock up on things like honey, vanilla pods, coconut water (this is a superb base by the way and the flavour really comes through to help calm down any of those bitter greens), maca (this is marmite stuff in that people have a real love/hate relationship with it...I adore it but some would call me mad for this!), cocoa (where does my appreciation end for this...it doesn't!), purple corn extract, lucuma and so on. It's also best if you haven't got any specific health problems that you rotate these superfoods because once again you then get a much fuller spectrum of nutrition plus you will constantly have different flavours to work with. Also talking about the nutritional aspects of the smoothies and the different foods added it's extremely important and please I really can't emphasis this enough that EVERYONE IS DIFFERENT AND REACTS TO FOOD DIFFERENTLY. For instance, I'll take the now classic example of raw cocoa which there has been numerous threads on at rawfoodtalk including one from me the first time I was thinking of trying it. Some people (and this may include you I don't know) react badly (in some cases as I've read extremely badly) to this maybe because of its caffeine or theobromine content and find themselves getting totally over stimulated. I use it every single day 1 tbsp in my morning breakfast smoothie and never, ever have felt this over stimulated, energy rush. Perhaps if you were to use it in excessive amounts in one sitting this would be the case but it doesn't happen to me and I can have it easily at night-time and be completely fine with it (no restless nights etc). I have noticed immense health benefits from it in terms of especially my skin (probably due to its unparalleled antioxidant content) and again it is a really useful tool to cut through over not so nice flavours (yes the greens:) )). So if your body reacts to something don't eat it regardless of how beneficial or nice someone or often a lot of people are telling you it is.
With regards to the greens...yeah especially when starting with things like smoothies or juices you can really mess up big time...I did lots...I think I'll never ever forget the day I made and tried pure leek juice:eek:...it makes me sick thinking about it now! There are certain greens that are certainly stronger than others (well certainly for my taste buds and again this goes back to the boring 'everyone is different' thing) and usually those of the mustard family, the ones with the hot almost spicy flavour e.g. cabbage, watercress, rocket, radishes (I know not a green leafy but has this flavour) and broccoli. In large quantities with nothing to 'calm' them down I find even to me and I'm not sweet toothed that these are overpowering and don't sit well with my digestion (another thing I learnt from LISTENING TO MY BODY). I find more palatable greens to be young baby leaf spinach (absolutely love this stuff), romaine lettuce, tender kale leaves, pak choy etc. When it comes to the less tasty stuff I find sweet fruit (bananas, melon, mango) and dried fruit suddenly become your best friend! For instance I had a whole head of broccoli in my lunchtime smoothie on top of a load of baby spinach and found 2 ripe bananas and 2 small apples completely countered the broccoli’s flavour. Also things like honey (local raw or manuka active..my fav) are really useful as its sweetness really cuts through and you don't need much of it. Finally, I frequently add dried cinnamon to smoothies which is a naturally sweet spice and really helps out bringing out the sweetness in other fruits (goes well with bananas particularly) and I've read that apparently it helps to reduce insulin surges which is a bonus.
As for what I actually do, my body seems to be very content with 3 large (about 1.5litres) green smoothies a day and in these smothies I will always include a sweet fruit, lots of greens (a small amount may be of these more stronger ones mentioned), often cucumber and a fat (very important at slowing going the blood-sugar fluctuations). I find that MY BODY is fine with 1 avocado per smoothie or 2-3 tbsp of an oil but no more and seems to favour the carbohydrates and greens (this may differ for you and experimentation is the only way you will find out). For instance today, I woke up and had breakfast smoothie of gojis plus water from overnight soaking, 1tbsp cocoa, 2 large apples, a load of spinach and romaine lettuce, 2tbsp hempseed oil, 1 tsp pure synergy, 1 tbsp maca, cucumber and 2 stalks of celery for a bit of saltiness. Then this lunchtime I had a median-sized avocado, 1 tbsp maca, water, 1 head of broccoli, 2 bananas, 2 apples, cinnamon, cucumber, more spinach and finished it with a sprinkling of purple corn extract...very yum!!
And one last thing you mentioned that I use pure synergy and that you like spirulina and are thinking of using it. I use pure synergy because I can't always get the variety of the greens I think ideal at uni and find supplementing with a green powder mix like pure synergy means I'm get as complete nutrition as possible. Basically the pure synergy is a product here in the UK that has spirulina plus a plethora of other green stuff in it and is very similar in idea to Alissa's green powder and Nature's First Food that you guys have in the US). These products tend to be pricey but if you can afford it and don't have the variety of veg available like me, they are 100% worth it and will really get you on the road to optimum health.
There is so much more I could write but I better stop here...I hope I've been of some help and to summarise some of the most important points: a normal cheap blender is fine, stock up on those staples to ensure diversity and that you always have choice, sweet fruits (e.g. bananas) are your friends when it comes to those less palatable greens, fat is a good inclusion to slow down that fruit sugar and probably most important of all LISTEN TO YOUR BODY, EVERYONE IS UNIQUE AND REACTS TO THINGS DIFFERENTLY. All the best, I will always be here and very happy to answer yours or indeed anyone’s questions on this. In the meantime...enjoy the smoothies and have fun!
05-31-2007, 01:26 PM
What a nice "ode to green smoothies" mattm!!!
06-02-2007, 12:15 AM
Thank u sooo much mattm:D ...I'm really excited about it...I definately don't need to gain weight I need to lose weight..but I want to get all of my vitamins and minerals and just be as balanced as possible with these...I don't have any health problems (except being overweight)..I do have a serious sweet tooth tho..so I will just add a good amount of fruit...I love raw cocao..and I have no issues with caffeine...it has never really affected me..hence all of the pop I drink every day...but it's interesting to hear u say that it has helped clear your skin...I am plagued with zits...I don't think I can remember ever having completely clear skin...so that would be very NICE;) ...well seriousely thank u so much for writing everything out and being as detailed as possible...that is exactly what I was hopeing u or someone would do...I can't wait to start..one last question tho..u said u've been drinking only smoothies since Dec..so have u tried eating solid food at all during this?..and if so did u have any digestion problems when switching to solids after being on a liquid diet for so long?..and do u know how to transition back or is it ok to just start eating solids right away?...thanx love
06-02-2007, 05:09 AM
Hi LoveLife, I'm very glad to help you out and, if you have a very sweet tooth, then to get the ball rolling as it were with the green smoothies its probably best to stick to the sweeter fruit and use some of the more bitter or stronger green leafies I mentioned in moderation and concentrate on the ones least strong. Though try not to go too over the top with bananas and dried fruit etc as they do have a lot of calories but at the same time if that gets you drinking the smoothies and ENJOYING THEM (health should be tasty as well as good for you!!) then that is far more important at the moment. Every time I drink a smoothie I can almost hear my digestive system saying thank you, it's like giving your whole body the ultimate digestive holiday! Also MY EXPERIENCE has been that my taste buds have change over the past few months with the smoothies and I can now tolerate a lot more of the greens and I haven't got such a sweet tooth...so you never know this might happen to you.
It is interesting that you mention the zits, this was one of my motivations for changing my diet to vegetarian, to vegan and eventually raw in the first place and I can tell you now that on the smoothies my skin has never been better. Now the skin is extremely complex and this is seriously one topic where EVERYONE IS UNIQUE. I have had success with superfoods such as cocoa, maca (brilliant for stabilizing hormones which are very big contributors to especially teenage zits) and msm (natural source of sulphur...a key beauty mineral) with much of my help coming from David Wolfe's excellent "Eating for Beauty" book. Also much of my skin success on the smothies I contribute to their ease of digestion and hence nutrient assimilation and FOR ME I've found digestion one of the most important factors for my skin. Even years ago on SAD food I found my skin was helped when I ate less more frequently and didn't stress out my system with a pile of dense food all at once. Also I've found my body suffers on anymore fat than 1 avocado or 2-3tbsp of oil in one smoothie and if I do eat more than this I will become lethargic (just like described in a thread someone has just posted) and my skin will get minimally worse. For this reason, an optimum diet for me doesn't include nuts (especially) and seeds because my body struggles with their dense fat content. There have also been threads about how people have made dramatic improvements in skin health with a lower fruit and thus sugar intake and almost end up demonising things like bananas or dried fruit...I can tell you now I eat maybe 3 bananas a day plus other fruit and my skin couldn't care a less. But here I will reiterate that this IS JUST WHAT WORKS FOR ME and you will probably thrive on a totally different ratio of carbohydrate, fat and protein than I do...JUST TAKE IT SLOW AND LISTEN TO YOUR BODY and if high fat works for you or low fruit intake or anything for that matter PLEASE GO WITH THAT REGARDLESS OF WHAT I OR ANYONE ELSE SAYS.
Now as for the solid food...this one troubled me too at the beginning up to the point where if, for example, I was including lets say mango in a smoothies/soup for lunch or dinner I would leave some behind and after I poured the soup into a bowl I would add a bit of chopped mango to it just so I would keep up the habit of chewing and mixing food with saliva which is very easy to forget to do when on such a diet. I LISTENED TO MY BODY every time I consumed a smoothie with 'bits in' like this and digestion never, ever had any problems so I continue to do it to retain as I said this habit of chewing. But nevertheless, I was still worried whether my body would be up to more substantial solid food as a bit of chopped mango in a soup still has an extremely high water content and digestibility. This is until I had to go out to eat one evening with the family at a wonderful organic restaurant (not raw) near where I study. This is the only time since December where a smoothie for a meal wasn't an available option so I asked the restaurant to knock up a raw salad and they produced a wonderful meal consisting of lots of fresh organic produce from their gardens out the back. I ate this platter of food nervously, VERY slowly and chewing ABSOLUTELY THOROUGHLY, waiting for my body to kick up a storm but nothing happened. I don't know if this is because of all the wonderful nutrition I've given my body with the smoothies/soups that it could digest siolids more efficiently or because I ate slowly and thoroughly chewed my food but this was of HUGE RELIEF TO ME. Though I did feel it work eating the solid food and yearn to immediately have a green smoothie/soup again that evening at home and free up my bodies' energy but this wasn't because my body couldn't digest the solid food or anything, I just felt my body deserved it (this is probably the reason why I continue to have green smoothies/soups for every meal)! My advice would again having solid food whilst on the smoothies/soups...take it slow, CHEW THOROUGHLY...until the food is almost liquid itself in your mouth and LISTEN TO YOUR BODIES RESPONSE.
Again, all the best and I hoped I've helped...please don't hesitate to ask more questions if you have any.
Brilliant posts mattm. Thanks so much for the very detailed descriptions. I wish we could get this stuck to the top of the forum so it will always be available!
06-16-2007, 09:10 AM
I very much enjoyed reading your posts about living on green smoothies. I’ve been living on Green smoothies since March and it gives me confidence to hear that someone has been doing it even longer and not had any negative effects. Just the opposite in fact. I also found it very interesting that you are not trying to lose weight, as I am. I had been wondering about the role of green smoothies in my diet after I reach my goal weight thinking that I may have to start eating solid food again in order to get sufficient calories to maintain an ideal weight. But maybe I won’t. Thanks very much for sharing.
06-16-2007, 09:24 AM
HighJack......Maybe I have missed your post Valerie Winters.......But it is so nice to see that you are still here and doing Smoothies. I was thinking about you this week. Stay STRONG>..........
06-16-2007, 10:32 AM
VWinters that's the wonderful thing about green smoothies...you can tailor them to fit whatever goal you have in mind. For me they were, among other things, an easy way to concentrate a large amount of calories in a way that my body could assimilate very easily and they allowed me for the first time since going raw to start putting on weight in a way I felt comfortable i.e. not feeling like I had to eat every other moment to get the calories required and munch away through gigantic portions of solid food all the time. I've found the whole experience very liberating for me in terms of reducing energy devoted to digestion, time spent eating and worry wise in that, as I said, I'm not constantly thinking whether I should be eating or force down that last piece of food to get my calorie requirement. This is not even mentioning all the other wonderful benefits I've seen from the green smoothies in curing other ailments I suffered from as a young teen. They truely are a gift and I hope they give you the happiness they have me and continue to do so...from the looks of it you've had quite inspirational success as it is!!
I wish you all the best and as I say...smoothly does it:D
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