WRITTEN BY: Derald Reisinger
Not too long ago, I was feeling unhealthy – overweight, lethargic, and depressed. I had tried diets that helped me lose weight temporarily, but none that made me feel like I could continue with them and be healthy. So I finally declared “enough is enough” and decided to embark on an adventure to become healthy!
I researched the healthiest types of foods to learn about optimal nutrition and found that the most nutritious food I could eat fell into the category called greens. Greens are vegetables like kale, collards, spinach, chard, dandelion leaves, and other dark green leafy vegetables. Ounce for ounce, they have the most nutrition to offer, but with one drawback. Greens, like top-rated kale, are tough and chewing will not unlock all their nutrition. Chewing can be improved through cooking, but cooking degrades the enzymes and vitamins in greens. So what to do?
Enter Victoria Boutenko, with her book called Green for Life. Ms. Boutenko found that the answer is to unlock the nutrition in greens by blending them in a high-speed blender to rupture their cell walls. By blending the greens, she makes what she calls green smoothies. The blender that I use is the Vitamix blender; another good brand is Blendtec.
Once the nutrition is unlocked from the greens, the next hurdle is to make the taste palatable, as greens can taste very bitter. I mix my typical green smoothie recipe in a 2-quart blender that I share with my wife. I add 2 cups of water, a bunch of kale leaves (if it’s a small bunch of kale, I will add some baby spinach leaves), 1 cup red grapes, a banana, a handful of blueberries or other type berry, and the juice from half a lemon. The ingredients may be varied to suit your taste. In the beginning, I used more bananas to make it sweeter until I became used to the taste of the greens. There are many other choices available to make green smoothies even healthier, like wheatgrass, sea vegetables, maca powder, chlorella, and spirulina.
How did I feel after drinking green smoothies (mostly daily) that substituted for some of my other food? Within a month I noticed I had more energy and I started to lose weight without exercising. Within two months I noticed I did not require as much sleep; instead of my normal 8 hours nightly, I could feel good with only 7-1/2 (and later with only 7).
What else? I started to crave fruits and vegetables and ate more salads than I ever had before. I began eliminating added sugar and salt and avoiding pastries. I minimized meat in my diet, while adding nuts and seeds. But the funny thing is, the more nutritious I ate, the more I craved the nutritious food and the less I wanted the bad-for-me snacks. I also noticed that my digestion improved when I ate less acidic food and my system became more “regular.”
After I lost 10 pounds in 2 months, I started moderate exercising and with my new diet, I lost 20 more pounds. Now my regular diet consists of about 75 percent raw food: green smoothies and other tasty fruits, vegetables, nuts, and seeds. If this sounds appealing to you, there is a wealth of information about raw food diets on the Internet.