Green Smoothies Saved My Dad’s Life
July Cooking Tool of the Month – Blender
Update 2019: this is still a very popular post on my blog, but many years after this was written my father went back to his old lifestyle. I lost him on June 28th, 2019 at the age of 73 from cirrhosis of the liver.
As many of you know I moved back home in March of 2011 because my dad was diagnosed with early-stage prostate cancer. This type of cancer is prevalent in older men and most men die with it rather than from it. But I wasn’t going to take any chances. He was also highly anaemic and B12 deficient (what do you know, even meat-eaters can be B12 deficient), on blood pressure medicine and seeing the doctor once a month. My goal was to get as many nutrients into his body as possible. Unfortunately, he had only a few teeth left (from alcoholism and poor diet), so I had to take special care in making foods he could actually eat. What did I make him every day for months? A big green smoothie.
(Watch this video of me going through his pantries and my usual green smoothie)
Green smoothies saved my dad’s life. I’m not kidding. Since his diet was basically fruit juice and crackers with peanut butter I made smoothies filled with greens and protein powder for him every morning for two months straight. His blood work after the first 3 months on a whole foods vegan diet was excellent. The cancer hadn’t progressed, he got off his blood pressure medicine and no longer had to get weekly B12 injections. He was feeling great, had lost weight, started to exercise more, and was really enjoying cooking and eating healthier. After 5 months his doctor said he could come in for a check-up once a year.
When I moved to Austin last month the first thing I did was go out and get him a decent blender so he could make his own smoothies. I know that he eats better when I’m there and cooking for him, but it was time for me to move on to other things in my life. I hope that I’ve taught him what he needs to know to continue down a healthy path.
You may read on the internet that green smoothies are not good for you and that you should only chew your food instead of blending it up. While I believe that eating the whole food is ideal, in a situation where someone is severely deficient in nutrients having smoothies filled with vegetables will quickly turn someone’s health around. You can pack way more veggies into a smoothie than you could ever eat at one sitting. And if you don’t have all your teeth, then blended drinks and soups are the way to go.
A part of me thinks that green smoothies saved my life as well. I have one every morning and it fills me up until lunch and gives me the energy I need to have a productive day. Paired with exercise, it’s helped me maintain a healthy weight and the protein has helped me build muscle that I didn’t think I could as a vegan.
Do you do green smoothies? What is your favorite combination of ingredients? Share with us in the comments!
I hope you’ve enjoyed this month’s Cooking Tool of the Month and I hope you are enjoying this series on my blog. Please feel free to let us know how you are liking the feature and if you want to see any specific cooking tools in the future months. I appreciate all my readers very much and I do this all for you! So don’t be shy 🙂