Thursday, May 27, 2010

In Which I Glow with Health. And Righteousness.

green powder

What's going on in the Submat kitchen? Smoothies! I've been talking to various far-flung friends about eating to boost immunity, and a morning smoothie seemed like a good way to get a lot of antioxidants in at the start of the day. Last week I welcomed a Magic Bullet into our home. You may remember that I have never in my grown-up life possessed a food processor. Nor is my blender very good. (Or it might be good if I could find the little rubber thing that goes on the thing that screws onto the thing.) All I wanted the food processor for was pesto and hummus, so the Magic Bullet meets all those needs. And more!

Y'all, I was so excited that I read the instruction booklet.

Then I asked my friend Beth (she of Remarkably Domestic) for smoothie secrets and she was all like, girl, add green powder to your smoothies! I had to google "green powder." I had no idea that was a thing. But it is. It's a powder that is green. And it contains about fifty various ground-up superfoods like wheat grass, kale juice, and carob pod, but also spirulina, Icelandic kelp, and something called Bladderwrack. Apparently this is a type of algae. A terribly, terribly named algae. I dunno.

So I've been drinking a smoothie every morning that contains:

organic frozen blueberries (they sell big bags at Costco)
a smidge of banana
half a cup of Greek yogurt
a little ice
a little Vermont maple syrup (don't judge me)
a tablespoon of green powder

And also whatever fruit is around. I just got a bunch of organic strawberries to throw in, or yesterday I had mango. Today Hank ate the entire remaining mango before my smoothie happened. I peeled it and he just ate it in his hands like a big, slippery peach.

The instructions on the jar of green powder advise, "Drink consciously and with positive intent." So I have been trying to do that, but I'm landing more on, "Drink abstractedly with loud slurping." I've heard that people can't stand the taste of this powder stuff, but in a fruit smoothie it's not bad at all. Matt tasted it and said, "Hmm, a slightly grassy finish." I did try a little of the powder stirred into a glass of water, and it tasted like the Green Giant took over the municipal water supply and then died in it.

So doncha wanna come over and let me make you a smoothie? By the power of Bladderwrack you are healed!

We are also making other changes in our diet--you'll probably hear more about that 'cause I tell y'all everything eventually. I'm reading a lot about nutrition too. Dr. Weil, of course, and that Anticancer book is really good, I just started it. I decided last week that I was finished reading about the disease of breast cancer. I was a ball of anxiety trying to parse all these studies and figure out what the exact ten-year rate of recurrence is for my exact population, and all these other statistics. I decided to read about health and wellness instead, and take a giant chill pill on the rest. Like, I literally took a chill pill; I got so upset one night that I took one of the Ativan they gave me for nausea. No more reading on the internets.

And I'm swilling green tea. SWILLING.

Since I started this regimen, I have been feeling really great. I don't know if it's the power of Bladderwrack or if it's just that I'm now in week three of the chemo cycle, far out from the treatment, and I've recovered. Just in time for another go 'round on June 2.

Anyhoo. That's what's cooking here. Have a good day y'all. Bladderwrack.

27 comments:

aimeewrites said...

Bladderwrack??

Bladderwrack.

Really?

Okay, if it makes you feel good, go for it. I think we have a new theme song...

Knick Knack Bladderwrack, give the girl a smoothie...

Wallfishwife said...

[delurking]

This is bladderwrack in the third photo down...the brown one with the little 'bladders' or bubbles in it:

http://florafaunadinner.blogspot.com/2010/05/local-colour.html

It's very common on the beaches here - it never occurred to me that the name was odd before!

Beth said...

Thanks for the shout out, Beck! When do you get your book deal? Having tasted the green powder in water, I cannot think of a better description of it than the Green Giant in the municipal water supply. WIth no home filtration.

I'll see your Bladderwrack and raise you a "massive array of implantable species and natural soil organisms."

Michele said...

You know that I'm all over the nutrition thing but even I haven't drank Bladderwrack. I'm putting in a new order for vegan multivitamins today, want in?

Rick Dakan said...

Ever the loud voice of angry reason, I feel obligated to point out that Andrew Weil is at least half a quack, if not more. Starting with illegally marketed, ineffectual flu remedies:

http://www.sciencebasedmedicine.org/?p=2169

His "integrative medicine" approach is based on as much wishful thinking as it is actual, you know, medicine.

Smoothie sounds good right now, though...

Rick Dakan said...

Oh yeah, and on boosting the immune system, this is a must read from Mark Crislip, an infectious disease specialist:

"So when something allegedly boosts the immune system, I have to ask what part. How? What is it strengthening/boosting/supporting? Antibodies? Complement? White cells? Are the results from test tubes (often meaningless), animal studies or human studies? And if in human studies, what was the study population. Are the results even meaningful? Or small, barely statistically significant, outcomes in poorly done studies?

The answer, as we shall see, is usually nothing. It is the usual making a Mt. Everest out of a molehill, and a small molehill at that. If you google the phrase “boost the immune system” you will find over 288,000 pages that give advice on how to give that old immune system a lift. Curiously, a Pubmed search with the same phase yields 1100 references, most concerning vaccination. If you Pubmed ‘enhanced immune system’ you get 41,000 references mostly concerning immunology. None of the references concern taking a normal person and making the immune system work better than its baseline to prevent or treat infection. I have yet to see a quality clinical study that demonstrates that, in normal, not nutritionally or otherwise compromised people, that some intervention can lead to a meaningful increase in immune function and as a result have fewer infections. Maybe such a study exists. I can’t find it. Send me the reference. I suppose the comment section will soon flood me with examples."

http://www.sciencebasedmedicine.org/?p=1828

Becky said...

I don't know what Weil has been up to since _Eating Well for Optimum Health_ (I linked to his website rather than his book out of laziness), but he's hardly a lone voice crying in the wilderness about the ills of the Western diet, good fats, or as Crislip says, we should, "Avoid being a a fat ass couch potato American whose idea of exercise is driving to Burger King for a triple whopper with extra large fries."

I'm increasing my efforts in that direction. Don't worry, I won't drink anything actually labeled "Snake Oil."

Just the bladderwhack.

And Wallfishwife, way to delurk at the perfect moment! Great pics too.

Julie at ModernDayMiddleAge said...

Is that an Orla Kiely Target canister I see behind the green powder? I hearted EVERYTHING in that line ... I even have the laundry bags!

Hey, I know you just got that delicious green powder but when you're ready to re-up, seriously try the Amazing Grass brand (online, Whole Foods, the usual suspects). It tastes so, so, so much better than all the other ones I've tried. They even have a chocolate flavor but the berry is the best.

Just a little unsolicited advice for a Thursday ...

Michele R said...

I love smoothies with frozen fruit and yogurt. But I am bad and add raspberry sherbet. I keep meaning to buy and add some flax seed.
You could make a "sisterhood" smoothie and add some Vegemite...

Lisa Lilienthal said...

Becky, you are going to love me forever when you go get some Jason's almond butter with maple syrup. Usually at Whole Foods. Jason does up some other nut butters too, and all of them are really good, but this one makes me swoon. I throw a spoonful in a smoothie (or directly into my mouth) and it's yuuuuuummmmmm. The other thing I adore in a smoothie that may sound weird is a half avocado. It's so creamy. MMmmmm. Get the kids into it too!

Camp Papa said...

I think you should throw out that container of Vitamineral Green and buy a new one, because Rick's western rational empirical incantation has made it impossible to "Drink consciously and with positive intent."

Michele said...

Seriously? Becky, could your dad be any funnier? I busted a gut over his comment.

Becky said...

Ha! I know, there goes my positive intent. THANKS RICK!

Julie, that IS an Orla Kiely canister. You probably weren't reading back then but I went BANANAS for that stuff.

There are some yummy suggestions in here guys, thanks! And Michele, thanks for the hookup but I've got a vitamin source.

And omg there's almond butter with maple syrup already in it?!?

Crystal said...

Very cool.

A Lawyer Mom's Musings said...

You are definitely on the right track! And, ooh, that spirulina? Will have you doing cartwheels backwards -- and lots of other good stuff I can't put in print. Think "multi" . . .

Swill, baby, swill!

A Lawyer Mom's Musings said...

P.S. -- could I also suggest coconut water?

Veronica said...

Love the smoothies, I sometimes just put spinach or kale (surprisingly mellow underneath the more powerful flavors of fruit) in but I've never tried the powder stuff. Bladderwrack, gotta try it. And OMG, almond butter with maple syrup? I am having trouble not running out to the grocery store RIGHT THIS VERY MINUTE, and I am not a big fan of grocery shopping, so that's saying something.

Steve said...

Rick, try some decaf. "Drink consciously and with positive intent."

Elle said...

Oh, snap, Steve. Nice work.

Three thumbs up for you, Becky! Maybe we could have an Anticancer readalong; I had to stop because it isn't really the right thing for an anxious health-nut to read before bed. xo

gretchen said...

Bladderwrack sounds like something you'd buy off a shelf next to the Eye of Newt.

But hey, if it works...

Amy said...

I will now name my band Bladderwrack. So, thanks for that.

Get down with yo bad, healthy eatin' self! And don't forget that magic juice I sent you. It has Powers.

The Messy Mom said...

I am so motivated now. Thank you. My husband used to work for a nutrition company (his boss, the owner, was a breast cancer survivor) and we got free $50 jars of green miracle all the time. I am sure it is a lot like what you got. I can't imagine having it in just water, but it was pretty good in orange juice.

Common Household Mom said...

"tasted like the Green Giant took over the municipal water supply and then died in it."

I can't stop laughing at this! It's the most I've laughed in two weeks, since I got sick with a nasty infection. Thanks for performing this community service of making sick people laugh.

The Stiletto Mom said...

I tried the shakes with the flaxseed oil, there is no way to remain positive with that when you are yelling "GAK!!!!" at the top of your lungs. I like the sound of Bladderwrack...I also think it's something I'd enjoy threatening my children with!

Jason, as himself said...

I'm glad this green stuff tastes good in smoothies! I sincerely hope that these things you are doing continue to help!

I am so glad you are blogging about all of this.

Keely said...

Bladderwrack sounds like something out of a Harry Potter book.

In my humble opinion (as someone with one foot in Western medicine and one in alternative medicine, who has been more or less constantly amazed at the effect diet can have on health), ALL medicine is half science and half black magic. So keep drinking with positive intent.

Sara said...

I always enjoy Rick's loud voice of angry reason in your comments.
I just hope it doesn't really discourage you from snake oil bc I've heard it's super good on toast.

One time I made brownies with avocado in it so I'd say it would be lovely in a smoothie. Except I have trouble with smoothie texture. Kind gets stuck *right here* in my throat. shudder. But I'd like all that stuff in a yogurt bladderwrack parfait foshizzle.

The Silver Bullet makes me laugh every time bc I picture an adult toy, not a blender.