Sunday, November 28, 2010

Happy Birthday Sergei Boutenko!

Belated happy birthday to Sergei Boutenko! To honor his birthday wish, I am posting his original Green Smoothies video:

What benefits have you experienced after starting a green smoothies habit? Mine are: more energy and no more cravings for Tropical Hut hamburger and Via Mare's fried crispy dilis, vinegar, scrambled egg and white rice.  (I only started craving these when I went raw.  I never craved these things the year I was vegan and eating mostly cooked food.  I never even craved hamburgers the whole time I was vegetarian!) When I stopped craving these foods, I was better able to stay on raw for much longer.

Let me explain. I had made three attempts to go raw in the past. (Two of the three were 99% raw attempts, with only condiments and nori being the only cooked food I consumed) Once in 2008 or 09, when I took my first raw food class, I thought I’d give raw a chance. The raw food class however, was offered by vegetarians who used raw food merely for detox – they never really encouraged going raw full time. I wanted to try going raw full time, but by the time I hit my second week, I was dreaming of eating some childhood favorite meat treats.

I made another attempt early this year, but then it happened again! I was craving meat after my second week. I gave in to the craving and tried eating chicken. Since I was vegetarian for a long time, I could not eat meat without tasting blood. Seriously. Even if it was cooked well enough, I could actually taste it.  If bloody taste wasn’t the issue, it was something else, like the meat feeling like carcass. Organic, free-range chicken was a big improvement to non-organic, but the bloody taste was still there. This led me to try kosher meat for the first time. I enjoyed it immensely (no bloody taste, no carcass texture) but it also meant spending a lot more just to keep up the better-tasting meat fix.

When I discovered some health issues in early August, I knew I needed to make a decision. I prayerfully considered going high-raw full-time, which meant really seeking help and not just Googling piecemeal information.

This time, I decided that I would go high-raw instead of 100% raw. I asked for support from family and close friends. I asked God for supernatural help to stay on course and not give in to food cravings. Without any fanfare about my decision, friends, colleagues and acquaintances started forwarding me seminar info for short raw seminars. Most people I met who heard that I was going raw were encouraging. I can count the fingers on one hand those who blatantly challenged my position during that break-in period.  

A really good friend saw a post on Facebook I wrote to a contact considering going vegan, and she sent me one of Sergei Boutenko’s Youtube Videos where he mentions green smoothies.  I researched a bit more and found Victoria’s book, 12 Steps to Raw Foods: How to End Your Dependency on Cooked Food, which I immediately started reading.

Victoria says that after eating raw for quite some time and experiencing its wondrous benefits, their family hit a plateau, and she felt that even she regressed. This led her to research about what was lacking in her diet: greens, and she found that the tastiest and most efficient way to incorporate greens was to make green smoothies.

The idea of green smoothies was not new to me. I started making smoothies early this year after taking a one-day raw course taught by Aileen de Guzman. Her recipe was perfect for the green smoothie newbie: really yummy, hardly used any water, and used a tolerable amount of greens. (Think 55% fruit, 40% greens, 5% amino acids) It made less than a liter of green smoothie but it was good enough as a stand-alone breakfast item. It did have quite a variety of fruit though. I let other people try the smoothie, and they all liked it! It was perfect for encouraging a few diabetics to get more greens in their diet. The thing was, I did not make them everyday on each of my attempts to go raw. 

Victoria’s book paved the way for that aha moment. I was reading about this guy who cured his eczema by eating a completely raw vegan diet, but after a while, he started craving meats. I checked his earlier protocols and found that he was eating mostly fruits, which reminded me of my previous raw diets. I thought I would check to see if the green smoothies would arrest those cravings.  

And they did!

These days, my green smoothies are much simpler. The ratio is about 50-50 now. Half fruit, half greens. No added amino acids through flax seeds, no oils, no extraneous ingredients, nada. I try to take into account some rules of raw food combining, and some of the tips Sergei gives in the video as well as tips given by Victoria Boutenko in 12 Steps to Raw. (Although when I’m short on fruit I do break the rules!) I am able to make 2 batches of green smoothies. 1 for breakfast and 1 for dinner, a liter each. Then I also eat more sprouts for lunch, or a snack, or in a green juice. I find that when I eat more greens than fruits, I am able to stave off those irritating cravings.  I still haven’t broken into the 60-40 smoothie zone, though. (60% greens, 40% fruit)

All that to say, thank you to Sergei (happy birthday again!) and most especially to your mom, Victoria, for giving me that “aha”! moment. Thank you to my family and friends for your support. And Thank You to God for giving me a chance to take care of my body before it was too late. Thank You for allowing me go beyond just two weeks of high-raw. To You be all the glory! 


Just a reminder: 

When you make your nutrition-dense green smoothie, plan to enjoy it by itself; do not drink it as an accompaniment to your meal. If you mix it with food that does not combine well with it, your stomach will hate you for it. To be on the safe side, it is best to have your smoothie on an empty stomach. :) I take my first smoothie 30 minutes after I take calamansi water in the morning, and my second smoothie when I get home from work :). 


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