The title of Victoria Boutenko’s updated classic is Green for Life… not red, white, purple or orange- GREEN!
I could sum up this entire book in just a few words from Michael Pollan.
” Eat food. Not too much. Mostly plants.” and add especially leafy greens!
Leafy greens and nutrition is the primary focus of this classic on green smoothie nutrition and research that was first published in 2005. This has been translated into 40 languages and for anyone getting into green smoothies and wanting to know more about the power of leafy greens it is a compulsory read!
Why? For the first time someone has pushed greens fully into the limelight. Her search for what was the healthiest food on the planet and consequent research on greens led her to discover-
Chapter 1. Dare to Observe!
To observe is our birthright. Start to observe which of your actions make you feel and look the healthiest. Victoria Boutenko, through looking for solutions to her family’s health problems discovered through research, scientific studies and observation that leafy greens are one of the most nutritious food on the planet that have incredible healing powers and help our bodies repair and heal. In other words we are what we eat. You are your own best expert.
Chapter 2. What Was Missing In Our Raw Food Plan?
VIctoria Boutenko discovered after eating a raw food diet that was based around fruit, vegetables, nuts and seeds that she and her family were not feeling as healthy as they should be so she started researching information on every single food that existed for humans. She found one particular food that matched ALL human nutritional needs: leafy greens and realised they were eating too many nuts and seeds and not eating enough greens. So she began to study chimpanzees, since they are the animal genetically closest to human beings.
Chapter 3.How Chimpanzees Eat
We stopped eating fresh, raw leafy greens as we made the shift to more processed food since the Industrial age and food was milled and canned for convenience. The standard American/Australian/European/Western diet is totally and completely different. It is the intake of greens that has declined most dramatically in the human diet with obvious consequences.
The two major food groups for chimpanzees are fruits and greens and have a very high immunity to many human diseases. She observed them in the wild eating and discovered they spend a great deal of their time chewing tough fibrous greens so they would be easily digested. Do not confuse greens with root vegetables like carrots, beets, or potatoes. Also do not confuse greens with non-sweet fruits like cucumbers, tomatoes, zucchini, and bell peppers. Chimps only eat root vegetables in the case of drought or famine as a fall-back food.
Chapter 4. Green Smoothie Revolution
Victoria discovers that blending greens bypasses the hours of chewing that tough fibrous greens need and her first green smoothie experiments start in August 2004. Blending breaks the cell walls down and turns the greens into a delicious tasty smoothie. The green smoothie was born in her office when she tried to blend kale into a highly nutritious palatable drink that would make greens easier to digest. Her first green smoothies made from kale and water were an inedible failure. Then she remembers observing the chimpanzees wrapping a leaf around a banana so she adds bananas transforming the green sludge into what we have today- the green smoothie! She realized this was the first time in her life that she consumed two good-sized bunches of greens in one day, and without any oil or salt.
Chapter 5. Why Is It So Hard To Love Greens?
We generally don’t like eating greens because they are sometimes too bitter for our palates that have become used to over salty sweet foods. They are too tough to chew with jaws that are used to soft foods. as opposed to in the past.
Why don’t greens taste good to us? Why isn’t our body wise enough to intuitively crave what it needs? Yet few people crave highly nutritious greens. It seems clear that if we do crave the foods with stimulants, like sugar, caffeine, white flour, it means that our intricate bodily balance has become distorted.
Beetroot greens are more nutritious than the beet as are the turnip greens. Why are we throwing away so much of our most nutritious food sources?
There are 3 pages of nutritional tables here where the roots of beets,parsnip and turnip are compared to their green leaves. Leafy greens come out the clear winner here.
Chapter 6. Greens: A New Food Group
People consider a huge range of foods vegetables, when there is actually a massive difference between them. All have different nutrients.
Look around the supermarket. We have fresh food categorised as fruit and vegetables but Victoria asks the question what is a vegetable? Why are the semi sweet fruits eg put in the same category as roots and spinach? Why aren’t leafy greens in their own food group!? They are not fruits. vegetables or starches and she believes they should be in their own section in the supermarket. They are the only food group that helps digest other foods through stimulating digestive enzymes.
Placing greens and vegetables into the same category has lead researchers to the erroneous conclusion that greens are a poor source of protein. Contrary to this popular belief, greens are an excellent source of protein. Victoria proposes that we separate greens from vegetables. Greens have never received proper attention and have never been researched adequately because they have been incorrectly identified as vegetables.
I discovered that someone was obviously thinking the same thing in this Brookvale Sydney supermarket. Leafy vegetables in their own section!
As greens have never been properly researched Boutenko had to do research herself on the nutritional value of leafy greens but discovered no one has done a study on nutritional value of carrot greens.
Chapter 7. The Abundance of Protein In Greens
This chapter starts with a quote from Gandhi. “I submit that scientists have not yet explored the hidden possibilities of the innumerable seeds, leaves and fruits for giving the fullest possible nutrition to mankind.”
The Recommend Daily Allowance for protein is greatly overestimated. Placing greens and vegetables into the same category has led researchers to the wrong conclusion that greens are a poor source of protein. Contrary to this popular belief, greens are an excellent source of protein. This has never been properly researched resulting in the misconception that if you don’t eat animal foods you are not getting enough protein. There is complete protein in greens and it is far more easier to digest than second hand protein that has passed through an animal’s gut eg the greens they eat that result in the end product- the meat, dairy or eggs on the supermarket shelf. Leafy greens are first hand protein with far more nutrients and fibre than animal protein!
T. Colin Campbell the author of The China Study says plant protein allows for slow but steady synthesis of new protein which is the healthiest type of protein. His studies showed that animal protein particularly casein (the primary protein in dairy) can turn ON cancer cells and plant protein has the amazing ability to turn OFF cancer cells. Read more here about The China Study, my dailygreenbar post- http://dailygreenbar.com/?p=242
Chapter 8. Fiber: The Magic Sponge
Without fibre, complete elimination is nearly impossible, if possible at all. Almost all the toxins from every part of the body, including millions of dead cells, end up in the colon. Fasting with water or juice will not take out the garbage!
When our bowels are clogged, our body attempts to excrete more mucus, through our eyes, nose, and throat. We sweat a lot more, and the body uses every possible channel to eliminate, but it’s like pushing the garbage out through the window screen instead of the door. By consuming enough insoluble fiber, we can eliminate toxins from the body the easy and normal way. Juicing gets rid of all of the fiber, while green smoothies ensure none of the fiber is lost. Our entire system benefits in so many ways from a diet high in fiber. Flaxseeds and chia are one of the greatest sources of fiber, nature’s sponge.
You need raw fibre, the magic sponge and a green smoothie fast is perfect for this reason. Add chia seeds that has 18gms of fibre in 2 tbs and you have the ultimate magic sponge.
Chapter 9. Greens For Homeostasis
Greens are healing, tear a leaf from a plant and the plant grows a new leaf. The body has this power to heal itself, repair our skin and keep us well.
The physiological process that keeps all substances in the body at the levels necessary for optimal body health is called homeostasis. If we are helping our homeostasis— we are taking the best possible care of our health. This extraordinary ability of all living organisms to repair themselves is the only power that can heal any illness. All other healing techniques invented by people can be successful only if they are directed towards helping the body’s own natural ability to regulate itself.
Homeostatic balance depends on the performance of the endocrine glands. If the glands do not secrete the proper amount of hormones, the homeostatic balance in the body will shift and disease could start. By drinking green smoothies we support our endocrine system and homeostatic balance in the most optimal way.
Chapter 10. The Significance of Stomach Acid
We need and thrive on normal levels of stomach acid (HCL-hydrochloric acid). There is a connection between HCL and overall health. Low stomach acidity (hypochlorhydria) is a condition that occurs when the human body is unable to produce adequate quantities of stomach acid. Low stomach acidity inevitably and dramatically impacts digestion and absorption of most nutrients necessary for health. Despite the billion dollar antacid industry we actually need stomach acid to help digestion!
Chapter 11. The Roseburg Study. The evidence!
With the help of Doctor Feiber, the author conducted a test in Roseburg Oregon where 25 participants with low hydrochloric acid levels (HCL) drank one quart/900ml of green smoothie every day for 30 days, at which time another HCL test was taken. One person dropped out in the middle of the study and out of the other 24 participants, 16 of the group showed vast improvement in their production of HCL.
The fiber content and nutrient value of the green smoothies made for an incredible success. All the participants also noted many other improvements in their health, some of which were dramatic changes such as more energy, improved eyesight, reduced cravings, vast weight loss, lowered cholesterol, improved digestion, better sleep, and even reversal of cancer. Many of the participants kept making their green smoothies after the study had finished and made significant changes to their diet.
Chapter 12. Greens Make The Body More Alkaline
Cancer statistics are rising as every year goes by. In 1931 Otto Warburg was awarded the Noble Prize for his work on discovering the effect of low oxygen on our cells. This causes fermentation, low pH and acidity in the body with some detrimental health effects.
“But nobody today can say that one does not know what cancer and its prime cause be. On the contrary, there is no disease whose prime cause is better known, so that today ignorance is no longer an excuse that one cannot do more about prevention. That prevention of cancer will come there is no doubt, for man wishes to survive. But how long prevention will be avoided depends on how long the prophets of agnosticism will succeed in inhibiting the application of scientific knowledge in the cancer field.In the meantime, millions of men must die of cancer unnecessarily.”
Nobel Prize Winner Otto Warburg in a meeting of Nobel Laureates, June 30, 1966
This chapter discusses alkalinity/ acidity and the author wonders has any doctor ever tested your pH levels? The factors that affect your alkalinity and how green smoothies and foods can help you achieve a pH balance.
Her conclusion in this chapter is “It is impossible to maintain a good alkaline pH balance without consuming large quantities of dark leafy greens.” The best way to do this? Green smoothies!
Chapter 13. Healthy Soil Is More Valuable Than Gold
“We are the dust of the earth.”Dr Bernard Jensen
Permaculture, organics, chemicals and fertilizers? Why are these so important to our health? This chapter is on why soil is so important for the plant’s health because we literally consume minerals from the soils through the plants we eat. Healthy soil, healthy plants, healthy food, healthy us!
Chapter 14. The Healing Powers Of Chlorophyll
The moment one gives close attention to any thing, even a blade of grass it becomes a mysterious, awesome, indescribably magnificent world in itself. Henry Miller
The first line in one of my favourite chapter is ” The longer I live the more I admire nature.” Nature, the power of the sun’s energy and the chlorophyll which is turned into liquid sunshine that we eat through leafy greens! Find out more about the benefits of amazing chlorophyll and the importance of good gut bacteria, chlorophyll as healer and an entire page of chlorophyll’s healing benefits including purify your liver and counteracting toxins.
The Green For Life philosophy is simple. Plants depend on sunshine and we depend on plants! Where do they get their food? I never get sick of telling people this- food from the soil and directly from the sun mean the roots are under the ground becoming sweet while the leaves are above the ground drinking in sunshine and converting this to chlorophyll and carbohydrates. As anyone who has a garden knows, plants just keep growing! Look around you outside when out of the city, you are surrounded by an abundant green world when you have all the elements in place, healthy soil, sunshine and water.
The concept of drinking wheatgrass juice invented by Dr Ann Wigmore and is 70% chlorophyll. Why is it so hard for some to drink? The author discovered it was only after a year of drinking green smoothies that she now loves wheatgrass juice and can drink up to 8 shots at a time! I was the same but haven’t got up to anywhere near 8 shots! http://dailygreenbar.com/wheatgrass-and-green-smoothies/
Chapter 15. The Wisdom Of Plants
Plants, people and animals have strong symbiotic connections. Did you know that nature conspires in almost magical ways to disperse the seeds of fruit and other plants ensuring their survival? Why do plants produce green leaves? We eat their fruit but plants need their leaves for their own use too, to produce chlorophyll.
Why do we need to have respect for nature? We have built up symbiotic relationship with plants over millions of years but we could ruin this in decades…
This chapter also discusses the importance of rotating your greens and why we need to avoid eating the same green over a long period of time. Chimpanzees rotate the green plants they eat in the wild, using up to 117 different plants in a year!
Wild edible greens eg edible weeds contain more nutrients and vitamins than commercially marketed greens. Why they are so important and information on which ones to eat and resources here too. Dandelion!
Chapter 16. Greens: The Original Source of Omega-3s
“The important thing is not to stop questioning.” Albert Einstein
This is a new chapter in this new edition. Topics include metabolism and what effects it. The author uses the example of the hummingbird compared to a bear. The hummingbird eats a diet loaded with Omega 3 fatty acids and in contrast the bear has to accumulate a lot of Omega 6 before it can go into hibernation for the winter. There are major differences in their diets and obviously in their metabolisms. Omega 3 vs. Omega 6. Healthy vs not so healthy when eaten in abundance. Oils ain’t oils as the old motor oil says!
There’s Omega 3 in leafy greens especially spinach,rocket (arugala) and cos/romaine lettuce. Do you know which green has the highest level of Omega 3? It’s an unknown green called purslane. Chia and flax seeds are also another great source, I add 2 tablespoons of chia seed every day to my green smoothie. There are 5 pages of tables with the ratios of Omega 3 to 6 in oils, seeds and greens and the reasons why you need to eat greens if you eat lots of nuts and seeds as raw foodies often do. Oh yes those raw cakes can be a real trap. Balance! Be a busy energy filled hummingbird not a big sleepy bear!
Chapter 17. A Tribute To Dr. Ann
Dr Ann Wigmore (1904-1994) co-founded the well known US Hippocrates Health Institute (originally known as the Ann Wigmore Foundation) in 1968. She is the original researcher of the healing properties of wheatgrass, chlorophyll and the power of living food. She also invented some of the original raw food recipes like seed cheese, raw soups, nut milks, almond loaf and dehydrated flaxseed crackers. Dr Ann also popularised sprouting and came up with the concept of the sprouting bag and also promoted organic gardening in the 1960s and stayed vibrantly healthy all her life.
She discovered the benefits of blending especially greens and before this people only used blenders for “whipping eggs and making cocktails”. I remember in the late 70s as a teenager when I moved away from home I bought an avocado coloured Breville blender and mainly used it to make cream of vegetable soup with steamed veges blended with wholemeal flour, butter, milk and seasonings. Instant cream of vegetable soup! I still make this today though a healthier version in the Vitamix with raw veges, nut milk, nuts and seasonings. This was when I also bought my first juicer, a General Electric Juice Factory made in Japan and still working today though over the years I have updated to a Breville.
Working part time in our family bookshop as a teenager I came across many books on alternative topics that fascinated me like wholefoods, organics, how to make tofu, sprouting and on the disease healing powers of raw vegetable juicing.
Victoria Boutenko acknowledges Ann Wigmore for inventing her energy soup which blended leafy greens with other ingredients though it definitely isn’t as tasty or as palatable as a green smoothie. The author turned this concept into a delicious smoothie that she then had no problems popularising and converting what is now millions around the world to become green smoothie fans. The extensive research in this book can only support the reasons why green smoothies are everything that you need to start the transformation of your diet to the most healthiest ever!
Many people have experienced tremendous benefits from incorporating green smoothies into their lives. Some of the remarkable healing benefits that people have had include: losing weight, healing multiple chronic illnesses, healing rosacea, no more medications for anxiety, sinus infections healed and surgery avoided. The actual list is longer and shows the incredible healing power that green smoothies have.
Some more benefits-
Getting out of a wheelchair
Less sleep and better quality sleep
Alleviated depression and more stable, happy moods
Fewer food allergies
Looking ten years younger
Fewer cravings for sweets and other unhealthy foods
Reversal of cataracts and improved eyesight
Testimonials of Roseburg Study Participants
The questions in the survey and the answers from the participants in the Roseburg study.
sweet green smoothies/savory green smoothies/green puddings
The book offers a huge range of healing smoothie recipes such as:
Raw Family Wild Banango
Blend well: 2 cups lambsquarters (plantain, chickweed or other weed) 1 banana 1 mango 2 cups water
Blend well: 1 stalk of celery 2 cups fresh blueberries 1 banana 2 cups water
Blend well: 1 cup strawberries 2 bananas 1/2 bunch romaine 2 cups water
Chia Seed Green Pudding
Soak 1 Tbsp chia seeds for 1 hour in 1 cup of water. In one hour you will have 1 cup of chia jell.
Blend well: 1 cup of chia jell (1 Tbsp chia seeds, soaked for 1 hour in 1 cup of water) 4 apples (sweet and juicy kind, peeled) lemon (juiced) 4-5 leaves of kale 1 sprig mint (optional) 2 cups water
Blend well: 4 very ripe kiwis (green or golden) 1 ripe banana 3 stalks of celery 2 cups water
Blend well: 1 bunch spinach 4 apples (peeled) 1 whole lime with peel 1banana 2 cups water
I have copies of Green For Life for sale here if you are now inspired to read the full version!
Green For Life reviews
I simply couldn’t put this book down. Boutenko provides fascinating and well-researched arguments for the health benefits of a diet high in greens, coupled with results of her study of people drinking daily green smoothies. There are also yummy recipes for green smoothies that should be acceptable to most palates. As a dedicated drinker of green smoothies myself, this could have been like preaching to the converted, but there was enough interesting information in the book to make it a very worthwhile purchase. It’s one I’ll be reading & re-reading.
ESSENTIAL!!! The must have book of the century and it couldn’t be easier to read or understand. Victoria definitely has a gift, well many gifts, and relaying vital information coherently is one of them. Nothing makes more sense to me than looking to our closest relatives in regards to how we should be eating. This book not only explains the how and why but also provides delicious green concoctions to get those who want the very best started. Just cruise this forum and you will see that green smoothies will do more for you than improve your health, they will change your very being. Go forth, go now!
What a wonderful book! For the past 20 years I’ve been on a quest to eat more natural foods,and my health improved drastically. But I still suffered from junk food cravings…until I discovered Green for Life!
Following Victoria’s advice, I added lots of GREENS to my fruit smoothies, and the first day I did so MY FOOD CRAVINGS STOPPED. Bang. Just vanished. Just like my brain’s “cravings switch” was flipped to the OFF position. Apparently my body had been craving minerals all those years, and once I started eating GREENS the cravings stopped. And I’m finally trimming down!
Victoria’s research in this area is much needed, and much appreciated. I especially love the chapter on the chimpanzees and their daily eating habits.
My wife and I participated in one of Victoria’s Green for Life teleconferences, and we loved it. She speaks from her heart, is really a nice lady, and this was one of the best conferences ever. We love Victoria! And we sure love the changes that are happening in our bodies!
Get this Green for Life book, make yourself some green smoothies, and watch your food cravings vanish. This is the secret to losing weight!
If you are looking for just one book to help you improve your health in one easy step then ‘Green For Life by Victoria Boutenko’ is the book for you. Victoria was looking for something to help her family improve their health and although the family had been following a raw lifestyle for some time, each family member felt something was missing in their diet. This something was greens. Yes those misunderstood plants that largely end up as a garnish on a plate and left uneaten on the side. I rate this book highly and I am sure that anyone who reads it will say, ‘I can do this, its so simple. Why hasn’t someone thought of this before’. Jocelyn Bishop
This book is the best book I have bought for awhile and I read it cover to cover in one sitting. It is easy to read, well written, and has some great testimonials at the back from participants in the Roseburg study. These people were not necessarily into eating raw when they took the challenge to drink a green smoothie every day for a month. It goes to show that you dont need to be a long term raw fooder to experience the great health benefits of the green smoothie. I am going to lend this book to family members who eat 100% SAD cooked diet. I value Victoria’s knowledge as well, as she and her family are long term raw foodists with years of first hand experience.