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  • Why Your Body Loves Liquid Nutrition

    Have you noticed how super-nutrition at its most digestible is often in liquid form?  I have begun to take more of my food as liquids. I’m aware both from what I have learned and from first-hand experience that in the transition of moving to a higher raw diet, people can find raw foods more difficult to digest.  A lifetime of eating conventional processed and cooked food can leave the digestive system stressed and weak so raw foods, with all their fibre intact, can be hard work initially if you go full-on.  Also recent research shows that blended foods like soup keep us feeling full for longer than the same meal eaten as unblended solid food so liquid food could be helpful in controlling weight.

    Long term raw fooders report that digestive strength improves over time.  I look forward to that, but meanwhile, I am focusing more on liquid nutrition.  I want my food to work really hard for me, giving as much benefit as possible for as little effort as possible.  I want food that cleanses, heals and nourishes me, all at the same time if possible.  I want liquids that love me and lift me and give me everything I need to thrive.

    I am finding to my great pleasure that far from being boring,  there aren’t enough hours in the day to drink all of my favourite stuff.  My menu has to cycle over several days because of the variety of good things available.  If it was possible to have a day where I could somehow fit it all in, that day might look like this;

    For example, first thing in the morning I always have a litre of lukewarm spring water with the juice of a lemon, a teaspoon of sole*, a tablespoon of MSM and a good dose of ionic minerals like Ultratrace.  A litre might sound a lot but it goes down easily because it’s slightly warm.  The salt in the sole takes the edge off the tartness of the lemon nicely.  The lemon helps cleanse the liver, as does the MSM.  In fact the MSM does a whole lot more.  The list is too long to mention here but the benefit I particularly value is that it’s a methyl group donor so it helps detox the body and clean up bad oestrogens.  If I had unlimited funds I would also add Crystal Energy and MegaHydrate.

    *Sole (‘solay’) is a saturated solution of Himalayan pink salt that tops up the body’s electrolytes and is made simply by adding coarse pink salt crystals to good water until no more will dissolve.  A saturated salt solution is 26% salt so I add around one part salt to two parts water and leave it, giving it an occasional stir.  If after 24 hours there are still undissolved crystals, I know no more will dissolve and it’s ready to use.

    Next is a green juice, usually cucumber, celery and spinach with a squirt of marine phytoplankton. A nice combination is spinach, celery and pear (tastes like milk, yummy).  Also there’s kale, celery and cucumber if I’m being saintly or kale, celery and apple with a squeeze of lime if I’m not.  The lime and apple means you can hardly taste the kale, the result is almost like green limeade.  Green juice is a drink with a list of benefits too long to detail here.  Suffice to say, it is alkalizing and nourishing and very digestible – very handy way to get your green into you especially if your teeth are as dodgy as mine are.

    When my stomach is empty again, I have my first half-litre mug of tea, a powerful tonic tea like gynostemma or a good herb tea blend.

    For lunch I might have my absolutely favourite thing, a raw chocolate (or carob) and chia smoothie.  I love this not just because it’s delicious and filling but because I can stuff lots of my favourite superfoods into it.  Smoothies contain fibre which makes them more complete as a meal while still being easily digested.  My ‘chock full’ smoothie has soluble fibre from the chia seeds.  Soluble fibre is important for many reasons, not least because it’s the only kind of fibre that will transport waste from the liver (in the form of bile salts) through the intestines to the exit.  If there's no soluble fibre and the bile salts are left in the intestine, they get re-absorbed into the blood stream and the liver has to deal with them all over again.  Other sources of soluble fibre include seaweed especially irish mossaloe vera gel, flax seeds, oatsapples and any fruit containing pectin. The smoothie recipe is;

    Put everything except the maca into the blender.  Add a little water (or leftover cool tea), no more than half a cup, and blend until smooth.  Add up to 1T of maca, and little more water and blend again.  With the maca you can add all sorts of extra goodies.  I add kelp, tocotrienols (makes it extra creamy) and moringa, TMG, barleygrass powder.  It’s a good smoothie for adding all the stuff that doesn’t taste nice on its own because the chocolate hides nasty tastes, some days in goes the shilajit and the mucuna as well.

    Another good lunch smoothie is the green smoothie.  I’ve tried some hideous-tasting combinations but the best one I’ve found is avocado, peeled lemon, spinach, spirulina, garlic, chilli and salt.  This is based on a recipe by Elwin Robinson of Lion Heart Herbs.  I have Victoria Boutenko’s book on green smoothies and would recommend it to anyone, though I personally would get into trouble with the fruity ones, too much sugar.

    Once my smoothie has digested, I will drink water and/or more tea in the afternoon.  I love gynostemma tea, but will also drink nettle and horsetail for the silica, or blends of tonic herbs like the Three Immortals blend.  Apparently the 3 Immortals blend tastes coffee-like and is good for those who miss coffee.

    If I need a snack in the afternoon I might have spirulina mylk.  Remember this is a hypothetical day to show you all the options.  I wouldn’t have all this in one day in reality.  A  small glass of nut and seed mylk makes a good snack.  I make different kinds but at the moment my favourite is a rich brazil nut and pumpkin seed mylk with a teaspoon of spirulina and a quarter teaspoon of honey added.  This mylk looks an unearthly but pretty shade of pale greeny blue and tastes lovely.  I imagine children might like this one, especially if it came with a raw cookie or brownie though I haven't road-tested it on an actual child - if somebody's child does try it, let me know how it went!

    By tea-time I generally do want something to get my teeth into but still with a liquid element.  I love raw dishes that consist of pieces of vegetable in a tasty sauce or soup and something crunchy sprinkled over.  One of my favourite recipes for winter is by Kate’s son Reuben, Garlick Soup (published on the Bubble).  This is a garlicky curry flavoured soup with pieces of broccoli and beetroot in.  Any vegetable with just about any raw soup or sauce you fancy is worth a try to see what works together.  I do a simple blended sauce made of red pepper, sundried tomato and hemp butter (which has a wonderfully savoury taste) with a little tamari, olive oil and apple cider vinegar, lovely with any kind of seaweed like kelp noodles or sea spaghetti.  It is always good on a spiralized combination of raw beetroot and celeriac, or my holy trinity (sauerkraut, seaweed and avocado) with cherry tomatoes.  As an aside - those three are my favourite trinity of foods not just because they taste wonderful together but because raw sauerkraut gives me a massive probiotic boost, seaweed provides minerals, vital polysaccharides and soluble fibre and avocado is a fatty fruit (as are olives and durian, rare and precious!)  On this dish, it's a treat to have crunchy sprinkles on top too – either Sunseeds, or spirulina crunchies which are heaven, or even the kale chip crumbs left behind when the bite sized pieces are all eaten.

    While relaxing in the evening, more tonic tea is always a good idea because it helps me relax but also I might have a cold refreshing glass of kombucha or water kefir instead of a glass of wine.  Both of these are fermented drinks full of probiotics and enzymes that help cleanse the colon and boost the good bacteria in it.  For everything you need to know about fermented foods and their wonderful health benefits, see Sandor Katz's book on Wild Fermentation.

    In the evening in cold weather, I’ll get some jing-restoring tonic herbs like schizandra, reishi and chaga into me, either as a tea or a tonic elixir.  An elixir is a form of liquid nutrition advocated by David Wolfe, Truth Calkins and Daniel Vitalis.  They take tonic tea, add a load of superherbs (especially the medicinal mushrooms like the three I just mentioned), some form of fat (eg coconut butter, cashew nuts or milk thistle seed mylk) and a natural sweetener and blend that up. An example is one that tastes like a malted milk drink.   Into the blender you put a teaspoon each of reishi, chaga, astragalus, ho shou wu and maca.  You also add a dollop of coconut oil, a tbsp of non-gm lecithin and whatever sweetener you prefer and then blend this up in half a litre of warm gynostemma tea.  The result tastes like Horlicks Malted Milk, and is intensely healing, soothing and nutritious.  Then you go to bed and sleep blissfully, knowing you have done your best to give your body the best nutrients in the most easily digested form.  But make sure you go to the bathroom first…

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