Planning on a New Year’s Eve resolution to lose unwanted pounds? If you want to have lasting success, here are two recipes to try. (hint: only one works.)
RECIPE #1: Puree massive quantities of low-fiber, highly saturated fats and trans-fats with highly processed, sugary foods. Mix in gallons of nutrient-leeching carbonated beverages. Add very LIMITED fruits and vegetables! Shake, stir and WAIT! The transformation WILL take place. The process involves complicated and intricate biochemical reactions and rapid cellular change. WHAT is the secret result of this nature-bending, mad-food-scientist experiment? The answer is: The Average American Girth!
WHAT!?! How can the same people who brought such advancements as the moon landing, automobile, light bulb, free speech, democracy and computers deliver such a grossly destructive and flawed product? Technically, no human should consume such a diet without the direct supervision of a trained health professional. We are literally killing ourselves by the food choices that we unconsciously make or are taught to make from commercial interests. Changing the American dietary culture is a multifaceted and time-consuming task. Perhaps the easiest FIRST STEP to dramatically improve the quality of nutrient intake is via the SMOOTHIE (maybe even another American innovation?).
Aside from maintaining an optimum weight or weight loss, increased energy, better bowel function and glowing skin (to name few benefits), a morning SMOOTHIE can supply our bodies with vital nutrition. It is the nutrition needed to reduce the risks of many chronic health issues now dragging the people of our country to their knees. Discussed in this article will be a few of my favorite KEY INGREDIENTS and TRADE SECRETS. Best of all, we get to think GREEN!
When creating a great smoothie, I personally use a processor called a Vita-Mix (I have a Vita-Mix 3600 Plus- found on Ebay used for about $150). It pulverizes the fruits, veggies, nuts and other ingredients. A powerful blender may work as well. Cheap blenders don’t last and create a “semi-chunky” drink instead of a delicious SMOOTHIE. Always use ORGANIC ingredients when possible. Due to the fruits used, consume at breakfast time when carbohydrates (sugars) are the most beneficial. Enjoy a SMOOTHIE at least three mornings per week. Skip one every four days if you are planning to drink more. Portions may be adjusted and ingredients may be removed or substituted based on individual tastes and needs.
RECIPE #2 = Dr. Rosenthal’s Mega Mix (produces about 16-20 ounces):
1. One apple, pear or orange and ½ to 1 cup of berries. Frozen berries work well and may contain more antioxidants than fresh berries (typically the riper, more antioxidant-rich berries are used for freezing). Blueberries are a great choice and help change the color of the smoothie to purple instead of the hard-to-drink-in-the-morning GREEN! Core the apple or pear, but leave the skin on. The outer most peel is removed from the orange leaving the nutritionally rich fleshy-white covering intact. Seeds are discarded. Receive all of the great benefits of fruit with the fiber intact (one advantage of a smoothie over juice). Try to avoid or use sparingly the sweeter fruits such as mangos, bananas, etc.
2. Add about ¼ cup of organic raw nuts and/or seeds. I use chia, hemp or ground flax seeds or a mixture containing two. Raw walnuts are also a welcomed addition in the mix. Walnuts are relatively high in alpha-linolenic acid (ALA), an omega-3 fat that helps prevent abnormal heart rhythms and has been shown to cut the risk of sudden cardiac death among people who have already suffered a heart attack. 1 Walnuts also help to keep your stomach feeling full until lunch. This step may be omitted if greater weight loss is desired. Instead, eat ¼ cup of raw walnuts or almonds as a mid-morning or afternoon snack.
3. Add about 1 tbs. organic, cold pressed extra virgin coconut oil or ½ cup of organic raw coconut or coconut chips. Coconut contains the fatty acid called lauric acid. Natural coconut fat in the diet may help to maintain normal body lipids (lipids store energy and form parts of cell structures), thereby protecting the liver and improving the immune system's natural anti-inflammatory response.2
4. Add a scoop of premium protein powder containing about 15-20 grams of protein. I prefer undenatured whey with its benefits ranging from immune enhancement and increased antioxidant activity to boosted energy levels and weight loss. I carry a few of my favorites in the office or you can find protein powders in most health food stores. In order to preserve the integrity of the whey protein, the scoop is to be added to the pre-blended smoothie and quickly blended in just until it is no longer visible. I toss it in at the end, and then run the Vita-Mix for a few seconds. If you want to use a vegetable-based protein, I recommend those containing rice and pea protein or hemp. Try to avoid soy.
5. Toss in your favorite greens. I use whatever I have available. It may be kale, baby spinach or a salad mix of various lettuces. My rule is to add as much green food as possible without making the smoothie taste like a salad. If proportioned just right, it should taste delicious and fruity! About 1-2 cups of packed greens works well. This step loads the smoothie with the greatly needed vitamins, minerals, phytochemicals (plant nutrients) and enzymes. Phytochemicals are thought to help with the prevention or treatment of at least four of the leading causes of disease-related death in the United States.3
6. Purified water is added to a desired consistency. Remember, avoid fruit juices and the added sugar they bring.
A smoothie contains calories and healthful carbohydrates and is best used alone as your breakfast. It can be used to replace other meals, but your higher carbohydrate-containing foods should not be consumed later in the day or evening to optimize weight management.
America, START YOUR BLENDERS! Your health will improve, your scale will be happier and your energy levels will surge. Let’s begin today and drink our way back to better health and a thinner waist… cheers!
1 Archives of Internal Medicine June 24, 2002;162:1382-1387
3 Bloch A et al, 1995