Saturday, July 21, 2012

Green Smoothie alert?

I have been drinking  green smoothie for more than three weeks now and still decide to drink it for

1. Health
Illustration by lisamanneh
I notice that though my energy level doesn't soar as many green smoothie fans claim, but it doesn't fluctuate strongly anymore as it used to.
Are  those used to poor diets get the benefits of green smoothies more than health conscious people..
(Note: Energy level may fluctuate due to different factors such as poor eating habits (no, not me, surely?!), thyroid problem (last time I let it checked, it was ok), sleep disorders (sometimes when I get excited, thinking about what articles I am going to write for this blog), depression (hmm, due Pre Menstrual Syndrome attack?), anemia (THIS can be the culprit), etc.)
I used to drink fruit juice in the morning but 1-2 hours later my stomach started to growl, an alarm signal saying that I had to eat something (this something was usually warm things like soup, rice and veggies, noodles, fish, or else, but cooked, mind you). If I waited longer, I felt weaker already. Maybe my blood sugar level was at that time already too low?
Now I don't seem to have that problem anymore, I only feel hungry but not weak if I eat later than usual.

Explanation: Green smoothie is certainly more filling than fruit juice I consume since the former still retains all the fibers which help control blood sugar level.
In the past, I had to eat snack or ate at frequent intervals to keep my blood sugar level from dropping too far throughout the day, but nowadays I eat 2-3 times without snack.
I don't even crave for sweets anymore as I did during PMS.

2. Practical reasons
Illustration by lisamanneh
*It is easier and quicker to prepare smoothie and clean up the device than to juice fruits and wash the juicer.
*Strangely enough, I become more practical when going shopping.
I used to think a lot about what to cook. Before going to sleep, my husband & I even discussed what we were going to eat the next day.
Usually it went like this:

H:    I have a question..
Me: Yes, what are we going to eat tomorrow? Or to be precise, what am I going to cook tomorrow?
H:   Yes, right. Breakfast, Lunch?
Me: I have prepared ....for breakfast.
H:   And lunch?
Me: Lunch will be...
H:   How about dinner?
Me: Hm, I don't know yet.
H:  So, it would be a surprise?
Me: Hm, what do you think if I cook...(fish/...,....)
H:   It sounds good to me.

This kind of mundane conversation has now ceased.
Illustration by lisamanneh
I don't really plan what I am going to cook BECAUSE I eat simpler foods now that don't need a large selection of spices. If I eat noodle, I  just add some veggies and stock, instead of frying the noodle and add some spices and what else in it. I even eat salad more.
So life is simpler that way, which sometimes makes me wonder whether I can turn to be a simple minded, humble, undemanding person at the end if I continue drinking green smoothie?
Anyway, other good points for doing less cooking:
*my tiny kitchen doesn't look so cluttered anymore and
 I shop less, which means saving some money.

So why shouldn't I continue drinking green smoothie when I really feel it does me good?
But then somebody sent me some info on the side effects of the diet in which it says that due to high oxalate levels, you can have kidney stones ('A 2000 year old mummy from Chile was discovered through x-ray analysis to have an oxalate kidney stone about the size of a golf ball!'
My, what do I need a golf ball for if I don't even play golf?!!), experience painful sex (This sounds horrendous! I cannot comment on this yet, fortunately. But if YOU know more about this, please let us know), and other serious fungal health problems that I have never heard of before.
I know a little bit about the oxalate-thing since I have done some research on this subject; you shouldn't consume more than 50 mg of oxalate/day, you can find the list of oxalate in veggies/fruits on my previous blog.
So I try to rotate the greens and use lower oxalate containing veggies such as cucumber, endives, etc, instead of spinach and parsley.
I hope, with this precaution I don't get too over-oxalate. After all who needs a golf ball sized stone you cannot play with?
I still eat regular meals too; I am Asian through and through, I cannot survive without rice/noodles. I enjoy cooked veggies, fish and yes, sometimes meat, though I have tried hard to reduce the latter. A weak (?) excuse: I am an O-blood type which is supposed to thrive on animal protein. My doctor recommends that I eat meat at least once a week to prevent anemia.
Anyway, I believe the key to health is to understand and love your own body. Treat it right. Do some research, make your own decision what is best for your health, if necessary go to some health experts whom you can trust.
But be open (not simple?) minded, and never stop learning and improving.

Even a health barbarian friend of mine was eventually tempted to try green smoothies.
Go to this link ;-) to her hilarious comical illustration on GS!
And if you want to find out what a well known nutritionist from a health magazine in Austria thinks about green smoothies, just visit this page. It is in German, but you can use google to translate this very informative article.


Cahaya said...

Hi Sarah, In response to your article 'How Green Smoothies Can Devastate Your Health' I have written a blog on this subject analyzing the benefits and side effects of the green smoothies diet:
The recommended daily intake of oxalate for those who are prone to suffer from kidney stone is < 50 mg.
100 gr of carrot already contains 0.50 gr (!) of oxalic acid.
Do you / Does anyone know how much is the daily intake for healthy people?
FYI: The Ministry of health in Austria recommends that 3 portion of veggies /& legumes and 2 portions of fruit should be consumed everyday. 1 portion is about the size of your fist and in term of veggies would be 100-200 gr (raw), 200-300 gr (cooked), of fruit 125-150 gr. Unfortunately they don't include the information on oxalic acid.

Cahaya said...

The link from Ministry of health:ährungspyramide_im_Detail_-_7_Stufen_zur_Gesundheit

thehealthyhomeeconomist said...

This is the answer from Sarah the author of the article 'How Green Smoothies Can Devastate Your Health' on my facebook:

thehealthyhomeeconomist commented on your link.
thehealthyhomeeconomist wrote: "Kidney stones are the tip of the iceberg. Oxalic crystals can form anywhere in the body in any tissue including the heart and by the time you realize you have a problem, it is usually too late and very very painful and difficult to resolve the situation. Green smoothies are scam and are NOT a healthy choice for regular consumption which is what most healthfood junkies that are drinking them do."

Cahaya said...

I believe in a balanced diet, I don't think it is a problem if you drink green smoothies as much amount as you usually consume veggies/fruit everyday, e.g. Instead of eating 3 portions of greens & 2 portions of fruit as recommended by the ministry of health, you blend & DRINK them. I posted your comment on my blog since it is related to the articles you and I wrote.

Whole to Healthy said...

Whole to Healthy wrote:
"I am not an expert on oxalates, but I have to believe that drinking one green smoothie a day is fine. I don't think consuming the same foods all day, all the time is a good idea no matter what it is. But no one can convince me that drinking veggies is bad. Thanks for the link! Let me know if you find any other information! :) "

thehealthyhomeeconomist said...

thehealthyhomeeconomist commented on Cahaya's comment above on her FB
"Green smoothies are not part of a balanced diet unless perhaps they are at most once or twice a week. I myself wouldn't even risk consuming them that frequently. I never drink them and never will."

LebenLieben InWien said...

How about vegetarians / vegans, they eat a load of veggies and fruit, don't they? I had never been on ANY diets before but I have been drinking green smoothies for almost a month now. I don't drink the juice in one go of course, but 2 glasses in the morning and 1 in the afternoon. I still eat regular meals though (rice, fish, etc). I am very critical, but also observant, so if I notice that green smoothies do me more harm than good, I (hopefully) notice the side effects soon before it is too late. So far I have noticed that my sweat doesn't smell and poop doesn't stink as they used to. So I guess I like those 'side efects';-) I'm glad that I was willing to try green smoothies, but of course we should know ourselves what is best for us, shouldn't we:-)?

Raw Food blog said...

Quotes from Raw Food block on Green smoothies:
"Addressing this subject from his book “Conscious Eating”, Dr. Gabriel Cousens says “Organic oxalic acid, defined as that which occurs in nature in its raw form, can actually be beneficial to the system.

Once foods containing oxalic acid are cooked, according to the dean of juice therapy and author of Raw Vegetable Juices, Dr. Norman Walker, the oxalic acid becomes dead and irritating substance to the system. He feels that in its cooked form it binds irreversibly with the calcium and prevents calcium absorption. An excess of cooked oxalic acid may also form oxalic acid crystals in the kidney.

Dr. Walker claims that in the live organic form oxalic acid does not present any problem. Oxalic acid stones and calcium blockage do not occur because the organic oxalic acid can be metabolized appropriately. According to Dr. Walker, oxalic acid in its raw form is one of the important minerals needed to maintain tone and peristalsis of the bowel.”

Val said...

that's nuts! It's not green leaves + fruit, it's the cleansing! Believe me, I have personal experience :)

Amanda said...

Yeah, I read that comment from Sarah on your blog. It's a pretty bold statement for someone to call green smoothies a scam.

Anonymous said...

Oxalic has been a real problem with meat eaters

Richard and Margie said...

Studies show over and over again that kidney stone are dangerous in people who eat lots of animal meat.
Especially with low fiber diet,that is low in pure clean drinking water than in people who eat a lot of otherwise healthy GREENS that contain oxalic acid.

Richard and Margie said...

Studies show over and over again that kidney stone are dangerous in people who eat lots of animal meat.
Especially with low fiber diet,that is low in pure clean drinking water than in people who eat a lot of otherwise healthy GREENS that contain oxalic acid.

Dr Floras said...

Hello there, it was great when I tried it… I totally agree! Completely delicious and not diet tasting at all. Feeling more energized... Keep on offering excellent resources like you have been offering.

Anna said...

Hallo Cahaya
I'm wonder if you still drink green smoothies or not and if you felt better or worse from them?

Cahaya said...

Hi Anna,
see my response to your question: