Tales of Veggies

I hate veggies.

Well, not all veggies, but most of them. Especially overcooked ones. Raw veggies I can tolerate but something evil happens to vegetables when heat is applied. Spinach, once firm and crisp, becomes slimy, foul smelling ooze to me. And don’t even get me started on broccoli.

(By the way, don’t take offense if you love vegetables. I wish I loved vegetables. Then I’d eat more of them because I really do think vegetables are loaded with nutrients.)

Two years ago I eliminated all grains and processed food from my diet and have experienced significant health benefits as a result. Even though foods common to my diet include healthful things like grass-fed beef, pork, pastured eggs, whole-fat dairy, nuts, and avocado, I believe that an optimal diet should include more vegetables than I’ve been eating. Not high glycemic vegetables like beets and potatoes, but green and yellow veggies like spinach, squash, kale, and chard. And even though I’ve been promising myself for two years now that I would “start eating more veggies,” as with many things we promise ourselves, promising is easier than doing.

The final straw came a couple of months ago when I watched this amazing presentation by Dr. Terry Wahls. In this talk, Dr. Wahls describes how she reversed her MS (multiple sclerosis) by replacing her diet of grains and processed foods with a diet rich in unprocessed, natural foods. In a matter of months, Dr. Wahl went from being wheelchair bound to walking without aid, primarily by modifying her diet.

While I’m fortunate to not suffer from MS, Dr. Wahl’s presentation only served to reinforce my deep belief that a proper diet can be the most significant factor in achieving optimal health and that I must start eating veggies on a regular basis.

If you watch Dr. Wahl’s talk, you’ll notice that she doesn’t just eat some veggies, she powers them down. In huge quantities. Quantities that seem more suited to the herbivores in Jurassic Park than for a normal human being. Aside from my dislike for veggies, there’s just no way that my lifestyle is going to support eating what appears to be three cubic feet of leafy vegetables per day.

But, I decided, I would be willing to drink them. The answer was to make vegetable smoothies. That way, I could consume veggies raw and in large quantities and best of all, without facing a Volvo-sized pile of shrubbery at each meal. I knew I didn’t want juicer that would merely extract the vegetable juice. I wanted a blender that could turn Dr. Wahl’s intimidating avalanche of green, leafy healthfulness into a manageable green sludge.

Fortunately, the solution came a week later in the form of a serendipitous sale at Costco where I bought this beast:

Thanks to my Blendtec, I can turn piles of veggies like this…

…into glasses of veggie smoothies like this:

I really don’t worry about a recipe. I just grab whatever low glycemic vegetables are available at the local farmer’s market, toss them into the Blendtec with enough water (or coconut milk) to form a drinkable consistency, and add some spices to taste. If the mixture contains some of the more bitter vegetables like chard or kale, I might need to add a bit of stevia or other sugar substitute.

Common ingredients include:

  • Spinach
  • Kale
  • Chard
  • Avocado (yes, I know it’s a fruit)
  • Celery
  • Squash
  • Broccoli
  • Peppers
  • Lemon juice
  • Lime juice
  • Liquid stevia (not too much; just take the bitterness off)

(I don’t recommend trying to sweeten your vegetable smoothie with fruit juice, as many smoothie recipes advocate.)

I’ll make a large pitcher of veggie smoothie and then drink a large glass with each meal. Even though I don’t do this every day, I’m still consuming more vegetables than I used to eat.

(Note: I was going to name this post “Veggie Tales,” but I didn’t want an angry phone call from these guys. That tomato looks like it could kick my ass.)

2 thoughts on “Tales of Veggies

  1. Has this had any effect on your Blood Glucose levels?

    I worry that the processing (blending) would effect how fast your body gets the glucose from the vegetables. The fiber you keep by not just juicing the vegetables might be enough to prevent this.

    • Thus far, no BG elevation. It’s probably because I choose low glycemic vegetables like chard, kale, squash, and spinach, so even when they’re blended there’s not many net carbs to matter. Plus, I don’t blend it to thin, liquid consistency. It’s more of a thick sludge (yum! sludge!) with a consistency of thick applesauce. This probably keeps much of the fiber intact. Finally, I consume this along with a meal, so the mass of the low-carb meal can further attenuate any BG rise.

      This is in sharp contrast to fruit smoothies that many people make, or even heavily fruit-laden vegetable smoothies. Some of those can be frightening. When I watched the blender demonstration at Costco, the man demoing the blender made a “healthy” smoothie of kiwi, strawberries, low-fat yogurt, a ton of agave nectar, mango, orange juice, bananas, etc. Then, to “control blood sugar,” he sprinkled a little cinnamon on top, as if a bit of cinnamon had a chance against all that. I shudder to think of the people who are having those sorts of smoothies every day, thinking that they’re doing themselves a favor. Can’t say anything, though. The typical response would be “You’re crazy! Fruit smoothies are healthy! They’re natural and there’s no fat in them.”

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