News and Opinion from Sisters, Oregon

'Green smoothies' catch on in Sisters

We all know we should eat our greens, right? But let's face it, good dietary intentions all too easily end up on the compost pile of life.

What if there was a palatable way to consume volumes of green leafys that didn't involve a major change of lifestyle? Sisters acupuncturist and healer, Greg Wieland, is an advocate of the green smoothie, a blended drink of raw green leafy vegetables and fruit, with herbs and spices such as ginger root added.

There is science behind all this whirring of blenders and Vita-Mix machines, contained in a book called "Green for Life," by Victoria Boutenko.

Wieland summed it up thus: Our blood pH level needs to be alkaline for optimal health.

"Most chronic disease occurs when blood pH is acid," he said.

Green vegetables have the ability to change that due to their alkalinity.

Wieland cautions that incorporating green smoothie drinks into one's diet should be done gradually.

"It is cleansing to the system, removing toxins, so if you have too much at once, you might feel sick," he said.

Wieland recommends starting with 10 to 12 ounces several times a week, gradually increasing to up to a quart a day. People battling chronic disease should check with a doctor and proceed carefully.

How does one make a green smoothie? Basically, you loosely fill a blender about three-quarters full with leafy greens and flavor enhancers. Water may be added. Flavor boosters include fruit, lemon or lime juice, garlic, arugula, mint or other aromatic herbs.

"As long as you're not adding sugar, it's OK," said Wieland.

He personally uses a Vita-Mix machine which is a restaurant-grade blender made to whir thousands of times without any problems. Keep the ingredients cold by using ice cubes or frozen fruit pulp. Experimentation is encouraged, though there are several recipes in "Green for Life."

Green smoothies can be sampled at the Depot Café and Angeline's Bakery in Sisters. Greg Wieland, at Sisters Acupuncture, welcomes questions, and "Green for Life" is available at Paulina Springs Books or by request from the library.


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