Green Smoothie Revolution - Victoria Boutenko

 

Following my reading of Victoria Boutenko's earlier book, Green For Life I was keen to read her 2009 follow-up, Green Smoothie Revolution. Here, she again carries on her mission to extol the virtues of getting more greens into our diet via the blended fruit and vegetable drinks which have come to be known as 'Green Smoothies'.

In this second volume the author briefly explains her background in the raw food community for the benefit of new readers and the family health problems which led her to exploring more unorthodox methods of healing. She also provides more tips and tricks on making the best, most nutritious Green Smoothies possible and addresses many of the questions readers of her previous book have asked. She gives advice for those who are interested in giving Green Smoothies to children and even pets. Some interesting case studies are also included, particularly that of a 400lb man who lost more than half his body weight on a Green Smoothie regime.

I would say this book suffers a little from the same 'dubious science presented as fact' problem as her previous one. And Boutenko does come across as rather eccentric and evangelical in places. However, if you can gloss over this I think there is much to be gained from following some of her advice.

The bulk of the book is made up of smoothie recipes, about 200 in all, so there is plenty of choice for different palates. Many of them sound quite appealing so I'm looking forward to giving them a try!

 

Green For Life - Victoria Boutenko

 

The last few years have seen a huge surge in the numbers of people adopting a vegan or raw food lifestyle, and while I do not follow such a diet myself, I am always interested in new theories on improving our diet and health. The internet abounds with websites, blogs and videos from people documenting their quest for superior nutrition, and if you are at all interested in healthy living or increasing your intake of fruit and veggies, chances are you will have come across the phenomenon of the 'Green Smoothie'.

For those who do not know, a Green Smoothie is essentially a drink made from a mixture of fresh greens and fruit blended together into a smoothie. As many people suffer from a lack of leafy green vegetables in their diet, the idea is that it is much easier to consume large amounts of liquefied greens blended in this manner as opposed to chomping your way through pounds of raw salad. Advocates of the Green Smoothie even claim all manner of dramatic improvements in their health and well-being simply from drinking these concoctions daily.

I admit to being intrigued by the Green Smoothie concept since I stumbled across it in a Youtube video - it seems like such an easy way to radically improve your diet. I have known about juicing and its associated health benefits for years and have dabbled in it myself, but could never really see the sense in throwing away all the fibre from the fruit and veg and only drinking the juice. The Green Smoothie seemed to me like a more logical extension of the juicing method and I was keen to find out more.

After a bit of research I discovered that the original proponents of this idea are Victoria Boutenko and her family who claim to have cured themselves from a host of illnesses after going on a raw food diet out of desperation. The were plagued for years by hyperthyroidism, rheumatoid arthritis, fatigue, asthma, diabetes and depression, and The Green Smoothie concept was eventually born out of their experiments to consume more fresh greens.

Green For Life is Mrs. Boutenko's book documenting the development of the green smoothie and the health benefits she and her family have experienced. I found it to be an engaging, quick read, though it must be said that Boutenko is not the best writer. The text can be a little plodding, but the content is inspiring, especially with the abundant case studies and testimonies included from testers.The recipes included range from mostly fruit based smoothies to mixes with a high percentage of green matter for more adventurous smoothie makers.

The main reservation I have with this book is the sometimes questionable deductions Boutenko makes regarding the science behind the success of her green smoothies. For instance, she studied the diet of wild chimpanzees, and because they share approximately 99.4% of their genes with humans she concludes that we should imitate their eating habits. Who knows - maybe she is right. But I would have liked to have seen this sort of pseudo-science backed up by some more rigorous data.

Readers could find many quibbles of this sort in this book, but regardless of that, it would appear that many people are indeed finding the benefits from drinking Green Smoothies and I don't see any harm in trying it. As someone who suffers from Lupus (creating chronic fatigue and arthritis), I am eager to see if I notice any health improvements. I've already purchased my high-speed blender!

For anyone interested, here is a video from one of the Boutenko family answering a few questions about Green Smoothies and demonstrating how to make one:

 

 

Has anyone experimented with Green Smoothies? What were your experiences? Do let me know!