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Green Smoothies, Juice Feasting - Short Term Healing vs Lifestyle

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  • Green Smoothies, Juice Feasting - Short Term Healing vs Lifestyle

    After reading the two threads on the topic of green smoothies, I'd like to ask if anyone has had new thoughts on this, or even better, has heard of any research on how a green smoothie impacts insulin levels? I'd also like to share my thoughts on this topic below.

    I am a green smoothie afficianado and there is absolutely no question in my mind that green smoothies have put me back on track in a huge way. I am off all previous medications, I feel good, I sleep well, PCOS is gone, and I am constantly told I look 15 or 20 years younger than I am. It is certain that the practice of getting lots of greens with fruit this way has reversed any deficiencies I once had. My husband has lost 65 lbs in the past year with only this change; he drinks one of my green smoothies every morning. That is it. The only change, and he is looking and feeling great!

    So what is the catch, then?

    Well, I just dont think it is the final word. I think that if we are trying to heal a specific issue, juicing and making smoothies is an enormous help and will deliver tons of nutrients, phytonutrients, and antioxidants to our SAD abused bodies and will greatly reduce the amount of effort our bodies must expend to obtain all of those good things. Juice Feasting, where one fasts and consumes the juice of 12 - 20 lbs of fruits and veggies per day is fantastically healing! Watch Fat, Sick, and Nearly Dead or any of the recently released Gerson Therapy documentaries to see some great real life examples of what it can do. Just look at their skin, the health shines through. Still, some non primal, non ideal insulin lows and highs are surely a part of this picture and for me point directly to the conclusion that this is a fantastic tool but that it should be evaluated as a part of your overall diet carefully. You can heal, you can re-introduce so many nutrients to your body, you can give your digestive tract a super charged high nutrient healing rest... but for how long? How often? How much fruit is really too much fruit in each smoothie? What is the definition of a processed food? A food that is greatly simplified, much easier to digest, perhaps some fiber is removed? I dont think that you have to cook your food for it to be processed. Throw a bunch of kale in a blender with water and ice and you have processed it. I would really love to see a study done on our body's insulin response to a green smoothie of this kind - even when no fruit is added. Does the fiber in the juice slow it down, and if so, how much? Mmmm.

    Take a look at the mother of the green smoothie movement below and tell me if looking at her makes you want to dash out and buy a blender:

    Victoria Boutenko on Oxidation, Green Smoothies, Avocado Pi - YouTube

    Some of the best advice I have ever heard came from Raw Foodist David Wolfe who said (paraphrasing a bit) that a person should only take advice from people getting the results you want. Looking back at Victoria B.'s books and pictures of her a few years after she started doing green smoothies you can see the exact results I describe for my husband and I. They will rapidly and fantastically heal you of ills caused by our SAD diet. I fear she is also an example of what will happen to you if you try to make green smoothies a principle part of your diet long-term. When I look at her I see aging resulting from insulin not being ideally regulated. She looks puffy, tired and unhealthy and she has a lot of body fat. Contrast this to the glow and healing you get from this practice during the initial healing phase and for me it means these smoothies should be used as a tool, not as a basis for a long term lifestyle.

    These days I am greatly reducing the amount of fruit I put into my morning green smoothie, and I am adopting the Primal Blueprint principles in my diet. I dont think I will stop using smoothies to get more greens because I dont like eating salads, but I am going to be watching closely to see how I feel and what results I get by stepping back the smoothies a bit and upping high quality primal eating.

    Anyone with thoughts to share on this?

  • #2
    I love my green smoothies, but I think it's important to keep the fruit to a minimum. I have to have some sort of citrus in mine, sometimes that's a grapefruit, sometimes it's just lemon juice. When I want a treat I put an orange or some blueberries in. But they should definitely be vegetable based.
    They are chock full of great nutrients! (And come on, I would never have 2 cups of raw kale for breakfast any other way) but they are just one addition to a healthy diet.
    I don't think there would be any more harm in having a green smoothie every day than there would be in having a salad or some fruit every day (which is essentially the same thing!) But if you are making them the corner stone of your diet or doing a lot of juice fasts that is not the best way to fuel your body! You need more variety in what you eat than just that.
    I don't know of any research on smoothies and insulin levels. I would assume it would depend entirely on what's going in the smoothie, and it would affect you in the same way the fruits/veggies normally would, although a juice will spike your insulin more than a smoothie which still has lots of fiber bound up in there.

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    • #3
      That is very much like what I have come up with. If not too much fruit is added it is a great way to get a load of greens. Would love it if they would do some research on it, tho. If I ever see any I will share it.

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      • #4
        12 to 20 lbs of fruit and veggies a DAY?

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        • #5
          Howdy. Just popping in quickly to say I'm on the same wavelength as you, OP. I've done two 7-day juice f(e)asts and just recently finished another 5-day'er. AMAZING!!!! I will definitely be going in for a longer one come summertime, but I found it like pulling teeth to do this once the weather is cold and dreary (whereas in the summer it was so natural, so easy, so right).

          Victoria Butenko -- she looks awful and is still so overweight after all this time. What is up with that?!

          I've had to dig a bit to find what I'm looking for, but I have finally been successful in locating some women who are doing low glycemic/lower-ish carb style juicing and smoothies. Look up Elaina Love online. A GREAT book (the best I've been able to find thus far) in this vein is "Raw Food Cleanse" by Penni Shelton. Second is "The Juice Lady's Turbo Diet" by Cherie Calbom. She's written quite a few juicing books and has virtually rewritten the earlier ones as she's gotten so far away from lots of fruit and has gone to mostly green vegetables with maybe just one green apple.

          If there's any interest, I can post up some of the low GI/lower-ish carb/low fruit recipes when I have more time.

          Cheers!

          (P.S. Yes, I have seen "Fat, Sick, and Nearly Dead". There are fairly recent YouTube videos showing how Joe and Phil are doing now.)
          "Let food be thy medicine and medicine be thy food." -- Hippocrates

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          • #6
            Saw new documentary yesterday, Fat, Sick and nearly dead where 2 guys for 60 days did a juice fast and their results were amazing. 60 days is extreme, but the people in the movie were very fat and sick. I think I could go for like a 7-10 day juice fast just to try it. Or at least incorporate a green juice/smoothie daily keeping fruit to a min 1-2 granny smith apples and blueberries.

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            • #7
              Originally posted by Adrianag View Post
              12 to 20 lbs of fruit and veggies a DAY?
              Yep, and the results are nothing short of amazing. It is why they are often referred to as a "juice feast" rather than a "juice fast". The glow people get from doing this and the fantastic way they feel is pretty amazing.

              I highly recommend this as an occaisional healing practice, and also as a way to get a lot more greens into your diet than you would otherwise eat in a day.

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              • #8
                Originally posted by TigerLily View Post
                Howdy. Just popping in quickly to say I'm on the same wavelength as you, OP. I've done two 7-day juice f(e)asts and just recently finished another 5-day'er. AMAZING!!!! I will definitely be going in for a longer one come summertime, but I found it like pulling teeth to do this once the weather is cold and dreary (whereas in the summer it was so natural, so easy, so right).

                Victoria Butenko -- she looks awful and is still so overweight after all this time. What is up with that?!

                I've had to dig a bit to find what I'm looking for, but I have finally been successful in locating some women who are doing low glycemic/lower-ish carb style juicing and smoothies. Look up Elaina Love online. A GREAT book (the best I've been able to find thus far) in this vein is "Raw Food Cleanse" by Penni Shelton. Second is "The Juice Lady's Turbo Diet" by Cherie Calbom. She's written quite a few juicing books and has virtually rewritten the earlier ones as she's gotten so far away from lots of fruit and has gone to mostly green vegetables with maybe just one green apple.

                If there's any interest, I can post up some of the low GI/lower-ish carb/low fruit recipes when I have more time.

                Cheers!

                (P.S. Yes, I have seen "Fat, Sick, and Nearly Dead". There are fairly recent YouTube videos showing how Joe and Phil are doing now.)
                It does sound like we are on the same page. Fasts (or feasts) of this sort are so healing and I agree that they will be a practice for me periodically for the rest of my life.

                Thank you for pointing me toward Elaina Love!

                I looked for the updates on Phil and Joe and didnt find them. Are they still doing great?

                I dont know what is up with Victoria B. but it really made me step back and ask some questions... you know?

                Have a fantastic day!

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by lardomuncher View Post
                  Saw new documentary yesterday, Fat, Sick and nearly dead where 2 guys for 60 days did a juice fast and their results were amazing. 60 days is extreme, but the people in the movie were very fat and sick. I think I could go for like a 7-10 day juice fast just to try it. Or at least incorporate a green juice/smoothie daily keeping fruit to a min 1-2 granny smith apples and blueberries.
                  It has been my experience that any amount of time that you can do a fast like this, you will see benefits. They recommend that people try for 10 days and just do as much as they are able to do. I have done 7 days before, and plan to do so again in the future.

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                  • #10
                    I dont think I will stop using smoothies to get more greens because I dont like eating salads
                    This comment caught my attention. I used to rarely eat salads. Now I eat one almost every day and relish it. What changed? First, you must realize your taste for food is extremely adaptable. Healing Center of Maine: THE VAGARIES OF TASTE Don't be afraid to introduce some healthy foods you currently "don't like". You may find they become a favorite in short order. Second, as you clean up your diet you will slowly eliminate your addiction to sugar. As that happens your smoothie will require less and less fruit to suit your taste. I can no longer drink the smoothies I started with. They taste way too sweet for me.
                    www.healingcenterofmaine.com
                    Detox the Body, Mind, and Spirit with Holistic Healing

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Junior View Post
                      This comment caught my attention. I used to rarely eat salads. Now I eat one almost every day and relish it. What changed? First, you must realize your taste for food is extremely adaptable. Healing Center of Maine: THE VAGARIES OF TASTE Don't be afraid to introduce some healthy foods you currently "don't like". You may find they become a favorite in short order. Second, as you clean up your diet you will slowly eliminate your addiction to sugar. As that happens your smoothie will require less and less fruit to suit your taste. I can no longer drink the smoothies I started with. They taste way too sweet for me.
                      I could not agree more. My tastes have changed radically over the years. Many things I look at and simply no longer view the item as something edible. Other things taste absolutely heavenly in their pure, natural state. I think the advice to shop only the outside edges of a grocery store is genius... the rest just isnt "food"!

                      For me, a huge Kale salad (or one made from large amounts of Collards, Chard, Parsley, Spinach) is just never going to happen on a daily basis. I just could not force myself to eat the quantity of salads that I am happy to drink in a very low-fruit-content smoothie.

                      As a raw foodist currently switching to primal, I have quite a few variety packed recipes for delicious, unprocessed foods - but green leafy veggies go down in the form of smoothies, not salads. I just find gnawing on loads of the dark green leafies too much like chewing on a swim cap.

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                      • #12
                        That's interesting that the salad still has no appeal. I wonder if it has to do with how you make the salad.

                        I put alot into mine besides the greens. A typical salas starts with at least two varieties of greens (about 3 cups), red onion, green onion, green pepper, radish, small amount of a hot pepper, carrots, mushroom, dried tomatoes, seaweed, sesame seeds, feta cheese, and dried cranberries. I make my own dressing each time I make a salad; olive oil, apple cider vinegar, and italian spice mix.

                        I try to vary the combination weekly and don't shy away from tastes I don't like (hot peppers for example). When adapting to any new food I try to overshadow it's taste with other ingredients until I adapt to the new taste. Exact same method as a smoothie. It works.
                        www.healingcenterofmaine.com
                        Detox the Body, Mind, and Spirit with Holistic Healing

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by Junior View Post
                          That's interesting that the salad still has no appeal. I wonder if it has to do with how you make the salad.

                          I put alot into mine besides the greens. A typical salas starts with at least two varieties of greens (about 3 cups), red onion, green onion, green pepper, radish, small amount of a hot pepper, carrots, mushroom, dried tomatoes, seaweed, sesame seeds, feta cheese, and dried cranberries. I make my own dressing each time I make a salad; olive oil, apple cider vinegar, and italian spice mix.

                          I try to vary the combination weekly and don't shy away from tastes I don't like (hot peppers for example). When adapting to any new food I try to overshadow it's taste with other ingredients until I adapt to the new taste. Exact same method as a smoothie. It works.
                          Sounds like you make great salads. I make some great, salads, too. None of the ingredients taste anything but fantastic to me in their whole, natural state. I just get tired of cold salads. Maybe I seem like an oddball to you, but I dont overthink it. Most raw foodists I know rarely eat salads. There are sooooo many other things that can be done with food. Have a good one!

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by TigerLily View Post

                            If there's any interest, I can post up some of the low GI/lower-ish carb/low fruit recipes when I have more time.
                            Oh, yes! My DH and I would love some ideas for recipes. We've enjoyed green smoothies for a few years but since starting Primal we gave them up because of the carb counts. We just seem stumped as to possible combos that would still be edible.

                            I've also done a juice fast after seeing SFND. First week was awful, but after that I felt amazing. My skin glowed; joints that never felt stiff loosened up; headaches gone; keratosis pilaris disappeared; etc. I lasted 2.5 weeks before I transitioned to smoothies for 3 days and then into primal. Getting the detox flu out of the way at the beginning of the juice fast, let me enter primal with no carb flu.

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                            • #15
                              Frog in Boiling Water Syndrome

                              I was just reading about this topic on a really interesting website I found by accident. It's a paleo/primal-minded website that has a lot of really good, scientific and historical info about the history of human eating. It seems that the purpose of the site is to spread factual information to use when stuck in a conversation with vegetarians/vegans and they are promoting their diets as the best way to go using incorrect or invalid arguments.

                              This site mentioned the "Frog in Boiling Water Syndrome": When many people first start incorporating veganism/vegetarianism/raw foodism/ etc... most feel an initial improvement which is followed by a very slow, steady decline that they may choose to ignore (referred to as failure to thrive). The initial improvement is likely due to their elimination of really bad SAD food in exchange for more fruits/veggies/food that resembles food.

                              What does this have to do with juice fasting? Your post and the replies made me think about the information on that website, and about how doing something for a short period of time can have
                              cleansing properties, but taking it to an extreme by doing it all the time can have the opposite effect.

                              My opinion is that it is crucial to evaluate how your body and mind are responding in an objective way (often majorly difficult to do). Maybe juicing every day for you is exactly what your body wants right now. Maybe 2 months from now that will change. But if you take the time to really analyze how you're feeling (ex: When I first starting drinking these smoothies, I lost weight and had lots of energy. Lately, I seem to be cranky all the time and haven't been sleeping well ...)

                              If anyone is interested in the website, it is: Symptoms of Failure to Thrive on Raw and/or Vegetarian Diets



                              Symptoms of Failure to Thrive on Raw and/or Vegetarian Diets

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