I read a story about a man who drank a green smoothie a day but ended up having a mild heart attack, was overweight, and had high blood pressure. We are a consumer driven society that is stuck on the philosophy that a pill a day will keep the doctor away. It appears that this individual substituted a pill with a green smoothie a day. Moral of the story – it didn’t work, nor does a pill a day.
When we have been diagnosed with high blood pressure or diabetes or arthritis or whatever dis-ease that is currently plaguing our society, we look at the symptoms only and rush to a doctor for a quick fix. Doctors allocate roughly 15 minutes per patient per one ailment only at a time. There isn’t much your GP can do within that amount of time other than ordering some tests and filling out their prescription pad. And to be fair to the doctors out there who do spend more time with their patients, we as a society prefer to find a quick and easy solution to address the symptoms that are currently affecting us rather than considering options that may entail some personal work on our part.
It’s not surprising that when we look for alternative solutions to address some of our health challenges we look for an alterative quick fix. There is a lot of buzz out there about green smoothies. I believe even MacDonalds and Starbucks are starting to carry their versions of green smoothies. So once again, the average consumer will see that on the menu and equate the name ‘green smoothie’ with health and based on their reading of the benefits of a green smoothie a day, will opt for that as a healing solution. A quick fix that is readily available and entails no effort on their part, other than an expenditure of cash. Heck, look at the pictures of the people who promote drinking green smoothies – they look young and vibrant and healthy, so green smoothies must work!
The part of the advertising and promotion of consuming a green smoothie a day that was not read, is that it is part of a holistic approach to a healthy lifestyle. It is just one component. It is not a single solution. Neither is just consuming lots of cayenne and you’ll be miraculously free of cancer. Or drinking only alkaline water and you will no longer have any arthritic pain. There is no one plant-based solution to what ails you. If there was just one plant or miracle herb or ph level of your water that cured everything, you can be sure that the pharmaceutical companies would find a way to make money off of it. The homeopathic and vitamin industries do a lucrative business selling remedies that they claim will have profound effects on our health and well being. But what any alternative health practitioner will advise, is that it is more than just having one acupuncture session or blood analysis done or colon therapy performed or herbal remedy – it’s a holistic approach to addressing your whole system.
Rather than looking at consuming a lot of one kind of fruit or vegetable to cure you, you need to take a more comprehensive approach. We do know from well documented research that a plant-based diet will have a positive affect on your health and well being. It entails making a shift in what you both eat and drink on a daily basis for life. For more information on the topic you can read Dr. Colin Campbell’s book The China Study or watch an excellent documentary on the topic Forks Over Knives.
However, we can’t just go by diet alone. Our human body is reliant on more than just food to maintain and sustain us. We also need to have a daily physical health practice (even walking 30 minutes a day will make a difference), a spiritual element to our lives (a way to have introspective quiet time and contemplation connected to a higher purpose), and an emotional connection to others and the broader world around us (that provides a positive emotional outlet that grounds us and allows us to love and appreciate and in turn be loved and appreciated). All of this AND a green smoothie AND consuming all forms of plants both alive and cooked will have a profound effect on your health and well being. This will make us far less reliant on quick fix solutions and instead assist us in taking responsibility for our own health by adopting lifestyle approaches that we can weave into the fabric of our lives.
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No Oil Curry
Chop the following ingredients into bite-sized pieces and place into a large bowl:
- 2 green onions
- 2-4 carrots – depending on the size
- 1 cup cauliflower
- 1 cup broccoli
- 1-2 medium zucchini
- 1 – 2 cups shredded cabbage
- 1 cup fresh or defrosted frozen peas
- 1 clove garlic grated
- 1 Tbsp grated ginger
Mix with a spoon.
Stir together the following ingredients to make the sauce:
- 2 oranges – squeezed
- 1 – 2 Tbsp chickpea miso
- 1 ½ tsp curry powder
- 1 ½ tsp cumin powder
- ½ tsp coriander
- 2 Tbsp sun-dried tomato powder *
Whisk all ingredients until a thick sauce and pour over the vegetables in the bowl. Let sit for up to an hour to marinate and soften the vegetables. Serve as is or over a green salad.
If no sun-dried tomato powder then soak 1 cup of sun-dried tomatoes until soft (not packaged in oil) and then blend with all the above ingredients.
* To make sun-dried tomato powder, take sun-dried tomatoes (dry not packaged in oil) and dehydrate until very dry (1-2 days) and then blend until a powder. If they are very dry, you do not need to dehydrate them. Store in a jar in your freezer and use in recipes calling for an enhanced tomato flavour. The powder thickens and richens the flavour of sauces.