I'm my own guinea pig when it comes to experimenting with making food my medicine, and I gobble up all of the latest and greatest information on healing with food. Having arrived at the low cal/low carb diet as a pretty good diet on which I've lost weight and feel good, then having experimented with gluten-free, the Plant Paradox diet, and most recently an only-raw-fruits-and-vegetables cleanse for almost a month, all those without extreme healing experiences and finding them quite restrictive - I'm now on to something else.
Green for Life had been sitting on my shelf for a while, but the universe sent me another message via a friend. Go green! Victoria Boutenko documents her extensive research into the importance of greens in this classic. She reports that almost 50% of the wild chimpanzees' diet, whose genetic make-up is closest to ours, consists of greens - hint, hint. In her Roseburg Study she supplied participants with one quart of green smoothies every day for a month, while asking them to stay on whatever diet they were on. Lo and behold - amazing healing experiences were recorded after only a month of this easy regime, all documented in her book.
Greens offer incredible nutritional concentration and complexity. But greens in their raw form are not terribly appealing, and hard to chew, especially in the quantities that would truly be of significance. Moreover, their nutrients can only be properly absorbed if their cell walls are broken down, and our teeth are not doing a very good job at that. Thus, the trick to ingesting more greens, and making the nutrients accessible, is to drink them in smoothie form. This breaks the cell walls down, and the blender permits you to play with fruit and vegetable combinations that make them delicious. While vegetable juices are good because the nutrients are easily accessible, smoothies are better because they add the fiber that helps to clean out waste and toxins. In addition, greenies raise the hyrochloric acid level in your stomach which "contributes to better absorption of nutrients, decreases the possibility of infection, heals allergies, and improves overall health," as Boutenko writes. Finally, the increase of greens in your diet makes the body more alkaline, which is another element that promotes healing (overacidification of the body chemistry leads to cancer and inflammation - see an earlier post on that).
We've been playing - bananas, blueberries, greens - greens, garlic, sundried tomatoes - greens, lime, tomato - greens, celery, lemon, tomato, avocado. The more diverse your choice of greens the better. Remember that the tops of carrots, beets, turnips, or kohlrabi are greens too. If you live in the countryside you can go foraging when the weather gets better - for lambs quarters, wild dandelion greens, purslane, nettles, wild thyme, or onion grass. Greens also include herbs. I've been buying lots of parsley, cilantro, and dill because they add another dimension to the kale/chard/mustard greens/lettuce/dandelion conversation. One last bit. Organic greens are better than conventional greens because the more mineral rich the soil is your produce grew in, the more nutrient rich the greens, and the better your health (see a post on yummy soil). I will report back in a month.