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Spring Smoothie Talk, Organics Warnings, A Book Review and Recipes

It's finally spring (I pray) and time to crank up the blender for smoothies after our long, cold and snowy winter. I want to remind you of three powdered products that are great tasting and wonderfully nourishing for your smoothie routine: Living Fuel , Paleo Meal and Mediclear.

Living Fuel is expensive but is a winner in every way. I spend thousands of dollars every year experimenting with new companies and new products for us to use and I would say that fully 80% of the products and companies don't so the job for me and ultimately for you. Either the product is impure, it doesn't muscle test well, it's too expensive for what you get or it does not perform the way it purports to do.

Living Fuel fulfills every performance standard I require. Splattered all over the cans of Living Fuel is suspicious hyperbole like 'Everything Your Body Needs" and NEW Revolutionary Superfood" but in this case I have found it to be all true. Living Fuel has no GMO, no irradiation, no pesticides, no sugar, soy, wheat, yeast, dairy, whey, egg, nuts, maltodextrin. preservatives, fillers, artificial flavors, artificial colorings or hydrogenated oils. It contains concentrated sources of vitamins, minerals, proteins, essential fats, enzymes, co-enzymes, herbs, botanical extracts and soluble and insoluble plant fibers. It also has an alkaline pH and will not disturb our insulin levels. Pretty amazing stuff and most likely hypoallergenic for most everyone.

I have tried many so-called meal replacement products and end up ravenous a couple of hours later. Not so with Living Fuel: It is expensive, but it does what it says it will do. Log onto their website - www. livingfuel.com - read all about the product and order online if it interests you. You will pay $84 (including postage) for a 928 gram can but maybe there will be a break if you order more than one. I would also order in bulk if I can get enough of you (my patients) to buy it. In that case, I could eliminate the S & H and charge you $75. I know it's an outrageous price, but it is worth it.

2) Paleo Meal, chocolate or vanilla. This is a whey based protein flavored with xylitol (which is very low on the glycemic index). Designs for Health who manufactures Paleo Meal says that their whey is biologically active; from grass-fed cows and free of hormones, chemicals and rBGH and rBST. Although Paleo Meal does not satisfy me like Living Fuel (TM) as a meal replacement, it tastes good and I do use it many times a week for flavor and added oomph to my Living Fuel smoothies. Paleo Meal is about $48 for 540 grams.

3) Mediclear: This is similar to Paleo Meal and is manufactured by Thorne Research which many of you by now know is my favorite supplement company because their products test well, are pure, do what they say they are going to do and are reasonably priced. I trust their products. Mediclear is rice-based protein, contains many vitamins, minerals and nutrients and tastes pretty good although there is no discernible "flavor" that I can detect. It is about $44 for a 920 grams.

If you have the above three powders to play with, you will never tire of your morning smoothie. Add plenty of blueberries, 1/2 of a banana for texture and smoothness, ground flax seeds or flax oil, non-tap water, maybe some stevia if you like it sweeter, vanilla extract, some ice if you like it cold and you're in business.

IF IT QUACKS LIKE A DUCK . . . You know the old saw . . chances are that it is a duck. But, regarding the organic labeling, I don't know anymore. The ubiquitous "THEY" are slapping the treasured organic label onto almost everything now which means we must be evermore vigilent - shopping at stores we trust and asking questions. Organic Food is becoming BIG BIZ now, so the BIG GUYS are getting in line for their cut of the billions of bucks per annum - up from $3.6 billion in 1996 to more than $9 billion in 2001.

-- Pepsi and Coca-Cola are breaking into the organic food market. -- Frito-Lay (owned by Pepsi) has begun selling organic salsa and blue and yellow corn chips with the brand name Tostitos. --Coca-Cola purchased Odwalla in 2001 and is selling organic spices, carrot, apple and orange juices. --McCormicks (spices) has been selling organic spices, including thyme and rosemary since 2002.

Here's another problem: Please do not blindly buy everything just because it has an ORGANIC label on it. That doesn't necessarily make it OK for you to eat. Couple of examples: Will we be seeing organic Coca Cola made with organic sugar? Will you buy it? DON'T! What about organic whole wheat bread: It is made with (organic) wheat and (organic) sugar both of which contribute to chronic degenerative disease in the majority of people who use grains and sugars, organic or not.

Same with organic milk: It is still pasturized (by law) which destroys enzymes, denatures fragile milk proteins, destroys vitamin B12 and B6, kills beneficial bacteria, promotes pathogens and is associated with the incidence of diabetes in children, osteoporosis and arthritis in adults plus heart disease and cancer. Until Colorado allows raw milk to be sold, I would recommend either drinking no milk at all or maybe some non-fat.

How about the so-called healthy energy bars or protein bars? Most of them are not good for you. Boulder Bars, Source Bars, Power Bars, Clif Bars, Balance Bars, Think!, Dr. Soy, Biozone Bars and Atkins Advantage ALL have bad things in them, like soy (lots of this), high fructose corn syrup (ditto) rice syrup, wheat, palm kernal oil, fructose syrup, corn, sucralose. Anyway, lots of sugary sweet stuff disguised in unpronouncible names, lots of advertising HYPE directed at YOU and not much protein. You're better off with a handful of almonds, celery, a Living Fuel drink and even carrots (although high on the glycemic scale) dipped into hummus. Candy-Health bars are convenient, but not the best for you.

BOOK RECOMMENDATION: The No Grain Diet by Dr. Joseph Mercola. As many of you know, I believe that the root of much ill health lies squarely on the shoulders of grains, especially refined grains and their sweet and addictive cousin, sugar. Dr. Mercola explains this concept,very well, offers compelling evidence for it all and will probably convince you to give up your bagels, wheat breads and cookies and to limit even the so-called "good" grains like brown rice. The book has tons of good ideas and will allow you - a motivated person! -to switch easily into the no-grain way of life. I particularly liked his recipe ideas and here is one for no-grain muffins that I have made several times ( they freeze well, too.)

NO-GRAIN MUFFINS

1C flaxseeds, ground (coffee mill best for this) 1/2 C walnuts, ground (Cuisinart best for this) 3/4 C protein powder (Paleo Meal Vanilla is good) 2 t. baking powder 1t. baking soda 1t. cinnamon 1/2 t. salt 4 t. oil 2 eggs 2 t. vanilla 2/3 C ricotta cheese 2/3 C zucchini, grated on the large holes Grated zest of one or two oranges (I use the large holes) (I also add the juice of one orange even though the recipe doesn't call for it) 1/2 C walnuts

1) Line muffin tin (normal sized ) with paper muffin cups

2) In a small bowl, mix ground flaxseeds and walnuts, protein powder, baking powder and soda, cinnamon and salt.

3) In a large bowl, mix oil, eggs, vanilla, grated zucchini, cheese, orange zest (and orange juice)

4) Fold dry ingredients into liquid ingredients, then fold in chopped walnuts.

5) Pour into muffin tins and bake at 350 for 20-25 minutes. Test with toothpick after 20 minutes.

This makes about 12 muffins, so I usually double the recipe and freeze the rest.

Here is also a recipe for a punch that I make and keep in my refrigerator at all times. It replaces my need for sugary juices, like (organic) orange or (organic) apple. I dilute it with Pellegrino or just plain Eldorado Springs water and never tire of it.

DELICIOUS PUNCH RECIPE

A 2 quart glass container 3 Tazo Passion tea bags 2 or 3 lemons juiced Knudson's Just Cran Stevia Plus to taste

Allow 3 of the Tazo Passion tea bags to sit overnight (or for 1 hour in the sun) in your two quart container in 1 quart of water. Remove (or not) your tea bags and add the following to the Passion tea. Juice from your juiced lemons, 1/2 C (or more) of the Knudson's Just Cran and Stevia Plus to taste. I usually add about 2t. of the Stevia Plus to the 2 qt. container and since the powder is kind of clumpy, I use my whisk to whisk it into the lemon juice then just pour the whisked lemon juice-Stevia Plus into the tea all at once. Then just fill the 2 qt. container to the top with filtered water and chill. You will notice that the hibiscus in the Passion tea will work your kidneys and bladder - all good for you.


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