Happy Herbivore Blog

Green For Life (and a new smoothie recipe - Apple Jack Smoothie)

Posted by: Lindsay S. Nixon |

Category: Recipe

Buying Green for Life by Victoria Boutenko was an impulse purchase. It was on sale for $2.99 (kindle) and I bought it. I'd seen the book before but had glazed over it since 1) I'm not raw and 2) you'll never convince me I can live on smoothies alone. 

I basically bought the book for the recipes... Although I LOVE HH's Green Goddess Smoothie (it tastes like chocolate!) I've wanted a little more variety and thought this book might give me some guidance.

Imagine my surprise then, when I really LOVED this book. An entire section is dedicated to chimps, which I wasn't expecting, but found absolutely fascinating. I couldn't put the book down, and kept spouting off bits of information that was so exciting and interesting to me that I just *had* to share it, (Scott, Jim and Bethany were periodically interrupted by my factual outbursts as we rode the train through the Alps -- sorry guys, but you really needed to know 1lb of kale exceeds our daily protein requirements - I swear!). 

For starters, chimps share 99.4 percent of their genes with humans. I'm a total nerd and love reading about animals anyway, but knowing how closely they were related to me, it was also introspective and I was hooked. 

One thing I found particularly fascinating is that chimps who are taught sign language spontaneously use their signs to communicate with humans and each other and they have the ability to combine signs to metaphorically label a novel item, for example: calling a radish "cry hurt food" or referring to a watermelon as a "drink fruit." Fascinating.

I'd always thought chimps were smart, but this blew me away. 

Anyway, it was also the chimps natural diet that the author was most interested in and ultimately, she used their diet to figure out how humans are supposed to eat. Her basis? If we share 99.4% of our DNA with chimps, than shouldn't our diet by 99.4 percent similar? 

The chimps diet is best reflected in a pie graph, but I'm not savvy enough to know how to make one, so I'll just describe it: Half of their diet (50%) is fruit, the other half (45%) is mostly greens and blossoms, with a small amount of pith and bark and a tiny, tiny bit of insects. 

As a raw foodist, the author was already eating a lot of fruit but she wasn't eating many greens. The rest of her diet was essentially fat (nuts, seeds, oils) so she decided to eat like a chimp and see how that worked for her. Out went the fats, in came the greens. 

Early into her experiment, Victoria (the author) found it annoying to have to chew so many greens each day and she frequently experienced stomach discomfort (which she later identifies as a problem when we don't chew greens enough before swallowing). Her solution? Green smoothies -- the blender would do the chewing for her.

Victoria then talks about all the positive experience she and her family experienced once they were getting enough greens every day. (Victoria says 50% of her diet is green smoothies). Although I'm not ready to live on green smoothies alone, some of what she was saying --- some of her experiences -- resonated with me. 

I started drinking HH's Green Goddess Smoothie every day because I noticed I had more bounce in my step on the mornings I had a green smoothie. I'm not sure I'll get to 50% like Victoria (and if I'm being totally honest, I'm not sure I want to) but I am convinced that if I can start my day with a green smoothie -- I should. And if the spirit moves me, maybe have one in the afternoon, too. 

This morning I blended what I had on hand: A little unsweetened almond milk in the bottom of the carton (about 1/2 to 3/4 cup), 1 frozen banana, 1 date, a handful of spinach and about 1/3 of a red apple. I blended it together, then mixed in a little cinnamon.... omg! delicious!

I hope my post inspires you to try a green smoothie! 

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