Saturday, August 13, 2011

Living Organically - Part 2

I went to visit an old family friend, Lorene.  She's a doctor living in Chicago who got into Eastern Medicine as a supplement to her Western training about 15 years ago, so she's a unique medical practitioner who balances both worlds.  She founded The Whole Life Center in Lagrange Park, IL.  I never remembered her as a kid since her younger sisters babysat me, so I figured she had to be at least 10, maybe 15 years older than I.  But when I actually saw her again, I saw a woman before me who looked no older than 35, 15 years younger than she is biologically.  That was the moment I was really sold.

I went to visit her because I have a mild blood condition that western medicine doesn't have a solution for.  They say they'll jump in if the condition becomes critical.  Really?  Critical?  And then the solution they have in mind has severe side effects.  So it seems like a lose/lose situation all around.  So my mom talked to her mom, and her mom talked to Lorene, and Lorene said there was a TON that could be done from the Eastern medicine point of view.  She's a specialist in nutrition as the first line of defense, so off to Chicago I went for a session with "Weastern" doctor who looks at life holistically.

One of the main things that she recommended was getting more Greens into my diet.  She recommended a book called Green for Life by Victoria Boutenko.  Downloaded it from Amazon onto my iPad's Kindle app and was reading it voraciously the very next day.  Isn't technology spectacular sometimes?  Such a simple, old concept that in this modern day and age we've forgotten all about.  The premise is this: we don't eat enough organic greens.  Not vegetables, mind you, but the deep leafy greens that you've heard time and time again when you get into the mode of wanting to be healthy in your life, and then you don't do it.  Why?  Because let's be honest.  McDonald's fries taste so much better!  In Boutenko's book, she facilely outlines why greens are just so important, and if someone had told me that while he or she perfunctorily said, "Eat more green vegetables," I would have heeded the advice much more ardently.  Boutenko's gig is to get the greens via smoothies.  Blend it all together and voila!  All the greens you're supposed to have!

Today, I ran to the local supermarket and for $20 got an organic smorgasbord of collard greens, mixed salad greens, swiss chard, green apples, bananas, and lemons.  We've now switched almost exclusively to organic produce, and we're now purchasing grass-fed, free-range meat and eggs.  Whoo hoo!  We're finding that we're not buying as much food because organic is more expensive, but we're also not wasting as much.  So our food bill evens out.

Into our Cuisinart went the whole lot of collard greens, 2 green apples, 1 bananas, the juice of half a lemon and 2 cups of water.  And as I'm wont to do, I didn't follow one of the myriad of recipes outlined in the book and thought I'd wing it.  Well, I didn't add enough water to the mixture and it came out all pulpy and fibrous.  But it was my first time "drinking" it and I didn't know what the texture was supposed to be.  I poured both Eric and myself a healthy glassful, and we sat there looking at each other as we sipped, and chewed at it like cows on the range.  Not bad, I thought.  At first.  Upon reaching the midpoint, I looked up and declared, "I can't do this.  I think I may throw up."  

I went back to the concoction, threw in another apple, another banana, and 2 more cups of water.  Alright, this is starting to look and taste more like a smoothie!  Thank goodness for the sweetness of the fruit, I say.  

But what to put it in?  Eric had an empty beer growler hanging around the kitchen.  Fair game.  Lorene told me that I had to keep my body's pH in balance.  Beer, she said, was acidic and if I could stay away from it, it would do my body good.  Ahhh....  so if I can't drink beer, I may as well replace it with this!!

A glass a day is supposed to keep everything away.  And this should take us a few days to get through.

I'd like to think we'll stick with this.  Eric actually really loved drinking it, and he proclaimed, "I think this is more greens that we've eaten all week!"  I'm sure that's true.  So check back, and I'll let you all know how it goes.  And wish me luck.

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