Happy Smoothies

So last week, my wife was all PSMee and I was all stressed out with no hormonal excuse whatsoever (just general, all-purpose neurosis, I guess) so I found myself modifying our daily smoothies specifically for mood healing, calming and upliftment. Here's what I did: To your usual smoothie ingredients, add a fistful of Prozac capsules, half a bottle of Valium and two tumblers of your favorite vodka, chilled. Blend.

Kidding! I kid because I love! Seriously though, here it is:

The base was a young Thai coconut, and I added another tablespoon of raw, virgin coconut oil. WHY? The medium chain triglycerides burn nice for good, clear energy, and raw coconut oil has been shown to tonify the thyroid.

I added Whey Protein from Premier Research Labs (also called Quantum Nutrition Labs); an exquisitely clean, organic product, dried at low temperatures to preserve enzymes and delicate proteins. WHY? The more stressed we are, the more protein we need. Its effect can be "grounding" or "anesthetizing," depending upon who you to talk to.

I added 2 heaping tablespoons (remember, this is a smoothie for two), of maca. WHY? Maca is an adaptogen, which means it brings us toward homeostasis. It also harmonizes and tonifies the hormones in general.


I added an avocado, chia seeds and pumpkin seeds. WHY? EFAs (Essential Fatty Acids) have been shown, in oodles of research, to lift mood and ease mild to medium depression. They are also crucial to hormone health (the body makes its hormones out of fats).

I added Premier Research Labs' Max Stress Nano B, a super absorbable, amazing B complex. WHY? B for stress, big time.


I tossed in some Himalayan Sea Salt: WHY? The adrenal glands absolutely need good salt (with its full mineral complex).

I threw in some Premier Research Labs Nutritional Flakes: WHY? More good B vitamins and more protein, too.

I added 3 raw egg yolks: WHY? The choline in egg yolks is vital for neurotransmitter function. Plus, as mentioned, EFAs and protein.

I stuffed tons-o'greens in: WHY? Greens are full of magnesium (among other things, calcium, iron, chlorophyll, etc.), and magnesium has always been known as the CALMING mineral.

Lastly, against my better judgment, I threw in 2,000 mg of L-Tyrosine, 1,000 mg of L-Phenylalanine and 1,000 mg of L-Glutamine. These are amino acids known to improve moods and fight depression and anxiety (usually, I'm not into supplements that are "fragments" and "isolates" like these, but I made an exception).

Actually, believe it or not, there was other stuff in there, too, but this post is getting awful long.

So, did it work? I have no idea! We both felt saner and happier by the evening, but that could also have been the power of placebo. Or any number of things. But I'll bet over time, these bad boys (the smoothies) would perk up just about anybody's mood to the point of obnoxiousness!

Absurdly Easy Snack

I only do one kind of snack: Absurdly easy ones. Plain old "easy" snacks don't cut it. Absurdly or nothing. It's all about the absurdity. Here's a new one I stumbled on to. Ready with pen and paper? Okay. Drum roll, please. Figs and raw olives. Together at last. Crazy mad yumminess.

You buy the dried figs (I like the mission ones) and soak 'em overnight, or all day, in a glass of water (fridge or not). Or if you're Warren Buffet, you can buy the fresh figs (for the 8 days that they're available each year). Then you scarf, along with the raw olives. Take a bite of a fig, and pop an olive in your mouth. Chew. Swoon. Not rocket science.

I go for the raw Kalamatas. If you're in the Minneapolis, Minnesota area, they've started carrying raw olives at The Wedge Co-op. Otherwise you can get them on-line.


It's all about the sweet and salty combo. They're just like Reeses Peanut Butter Cups, except not at all. But darn yummy all the same.

Healthy Eating and the Organized Life

Many things stop people from eating clean—emotional issues, lack of a smart transition plan, lack of knowledge. But one of the common obstacles that people often overlook is simply life chaos! Many people have lifestyles that are so disorganized that there’s just no way they’re gonna successfully revolutionize their eating and make it stick.

When this is your obstacle (or one of them!), I recommend both an inner and an outer approach. The inner approach has to do with shifting your thinking, the “pace” of your thinking, and cultivating a slow, quiet mind. It also includes the usual suspects of stress reduction tactics. I’ll talk about all that in a future entry. The outer approach has to do with concrete actions to start bringing order, structure, balance and efficiency to your daily life. Sometimes it’s wise to work on this kind of stuff before transforming your diet.

Here are a couple links to sites that might give you some cool ideas and inspiration about organizing your life. Because an organized (or at least more organized) life makes transforming your eating, and all the simple habits of a rejuvenative diet, so much smoother, easier and happier.

This one is a fairly long but groovy talk by David Allen, my favorite life organizing guru.


And here’s David Allen’s official site;


And one more site with some good ideas:


Just Rewards

I work a lot with rewards in my coaching work with people. They work. By fully acknowledging and affirming the things you accomplish toward clean eating, small and large, you literally make yourself stronger, fueling yourself for further accomplishment. Just like if you were coaching a young child.

By contrast, not really celebrating your achievements weakens your resolve. It’s like driving with one foot on the brake pedal. Plus rewards just add a quality of lightness to the whole process of diet transformation. So do like this: Sit down and make a list of cool rewards. I suggest two lists, actually, one of rewards that cost money, such as:

* getting a massage
* buying yourself a CD or a book
* a half-day at a spa

And one list of rewards that don’t cost money, like:

* a day at the beach
* a long bath with some “guilty pleasure” magazines that you don’t usually let yourself indulge in
* a couple hours browsing in a cool used bookstore

Your lists should include both small and large rewards.

Then, come up with some landmarks of clean eating: having found a certain number of delicious, clean dishes that you love, going a week without eating refined sugar, completing a fast or cleanse, sticking to your menu plan for a certain stretch of time, whatever. Now match them up, the landmarks with the rewards. This is one of the obvious—but nevertheless potent—“tricks of the trade” to play your own psychology like a flute. Watch your rejuvenative eating snowball like magic!

Green Smoothies

The big craze in the raw food movement these days (or one of the big crazes) is green smoothies. And here’s a craze that earns its craziness. I’m telling you, these things—green smoothies—are a supersonic, turbo-charged, double-barreled, stealth weapon in the game of eating a regenerative diet and gaining outrageous health (while keeping your day job). Green smoothies combine mega-health plus dazzling ease and convenience plus over-the-top yumminess.

Here’s what you do: Throw fruit and a bunch of dark leafy greens in a blender. Blend. Drink. Take a nap. Watch an episode of Scrubs, despite Zach Braff’s annoyingness. Okay, the nap and TV part isn’t actually part of green smoothies per se. I added that.

What a lightning fast and deliriously scrumptious way to drench your body with ridiculous nutrition—enzymes, minerals (they are mineral-o’-ramas!), oxygen, chlorophyll, vitamins, protein, fiber, phytochemicals up the yin yang and EFAs (Essential Fatty Acids, for those keeping score at home). It’s a party in your cells! Green smoothies are big, two-fisted salads in a glass—orgies-o’-rejuvenation!

For the record, dark leafy greens (kale, spinach, collards, dandelion greens, etc.) are the healthiest things you can put in your body. More on this on another post. Raw foodies have been drinking these concoctions for decades, but the recent holy bible on green smoothies is a book called Green For Life by Victoria Boutenko.

Green smoothies can be as quick and easy as a banana or two, a couple leafs of kale and some purified water. Or a half a bag of frozen, organic berries (way healthier than banana) and a handful of spinach (ditto the H2o). Start with less greens and gradually increase over the weeks, as your taste adapts. A couple stalks of celery are also huge for health. The organic sodium is heavily alkalizing and it also helps your body absorb and use the calcium from all the greens. I usually add raw pumpkin seeds (zinc, EFA’s), an avocado and all sorts of other veggies (i.e. not just green leafy ones).

Last, you can also throw tons of other wacky, superfoody stuff in there, too—goji berries, maca, spirulina, supergreenfood powders, Big Macs, etc. I also like to add cayenne, ginger and cinnamon. Well, okay, maybe the Big Macs might not be such a great idea.

The Great Paradox (for Success in Transforming Your Eating)

Tons of books tell us how important it is to have a clear vision of anything we want to create in our lives—like a clean way of eating. But here’s the paradox: Yes, you need to have a clear vision of what you want; but you also have to be merrily un-attached to that vision.

Sports psychologists get paid big bucks teaching athletes not to take winning too seriously. The ancient Samurai warriors trained themselves to be indifferent to winning or losing. Recovering alcoholics are cautioned against “white knuckling it.” Why for?

Because if we’re too attached to a goal that means that, on some level, we’re actually scared of NOT getting it. And fear magnetically pulls us in the direction of the very thing we’re afraid of (okay, that MAY be a paraphrase from Master Po, one of Kwai Chang Kane’s wise old teachers in the 70’s show, Kung Fu. Master Po wore scary white contact lenses!).

So, oddly enough, if we’re too invested in eating healthy, we’re almost guaranteeing our failure. The art, then, is to balance laser-like intention with a playful humor about the whole thing. Both must be there. To transition to a super healthy way of eating, you need a clear vision of exactly what you want (in terms of vibrant health) but you also must know that nothing ultimate depends on it. Your essential wholeness, okayness or lovableness is not at stake. That is innate and untouchable. There are many cool ways to get in touch with this "knowing." Meditation is one of the best. As the old saying goes, “If you’re not whole without it, you’re not whole with it.”

This exquisite balance makes you adaptable, resilient and tenacious as you learn to eat cleaner and cleaner. So transition to a radiantly healthy eating lifestyle, but always wear your transition as a loose gown.