Archives for posts with tag: Frank Lipman MD

This is by far the ‘recipe’ for which I get the most requests and about which I get the most questions.  My husband gave this smoothie its name for obvious reasons; the details of which I’ll spare you.  And I’ve been promising for months that I would post it, but (and I know you must tire of this excuse) Baby #3 will be one-year-old this week and he literally just started sleeping through the night a couple weeks ago.  So much for the third child being the easy one.  But this one actually looks like me so it’s a little tougher to be upset with him.

A couple things to note about my smoothie recipe.  About 3 or 4 years ago, we made the investment in a Vita-mix 5200 blender and I honestly don’t know how I survived without it.  My friend and former Pilates instructor, Jeff Riley of Fitness Innovations in Mt. Lebanon, PA introduced me to the smoothie concept probably 12 or 13 years ago.  At that time I had a Cuisinart blender and I had no idea what I was missing out on other than that I didn’t understand why my smoothies didn’t taste like the ones from Jamba Juice.  Those were so smooth and creamy. But I hung in there.  I didn’t know then what I know now about eliminating dairy,  incorporating alkaline-forming foods, etc.  So, to say the least, my smoothie recipe has evolved over the years.   But the concept of a smoothie for breakfast is a great one and that has stayed constant.  I agree with Frank Lipman, MD who states in his book Spent: Fight Exhaustion and Feel Great Again, that (I’m paraphrasing) if you only make one permanent dietary change, the addition of a smoothie for breakfast (replacing bagels, processed cereals, commercial baked goods, etc.), then I’ll be happy!

Please don’t be deterred if you don’t own a Vita-mix because you can still make great and worthwhile smoothies.  But, if you want to take your smoothies to ‘the next level’, then consider taking the plunge.  They are an amazing company and their products are manufactured in the US and the warranty is great.  I contacted them a couple years ago when our church was sending a team to Honduras to ask if they would give us a discount on a machine and they, without hesitation, offered to GIVE us two machines.  If you check out their website and sign up for their newsletter, you will receive emails when they are having specials.  They often have refurbished models that carry the same warranty as the new ones, which I believe is 10 years.  These things are MACHINES. Everyone who tastes my smoothies wants to know why they are so creamy and it’s definitely because of the Vita-mix.  I bought ours directly from their website but my mother-in-law has since purchased two (beautiful red ones) from QVC, so that’s another option.  And I think I saw that Williams-Sonoma now carries one of their models.

If yours is a ‘regular’ blender, you just need to make a couple adjustments to get great smoothies.  I’ll note those in the recipe. Depending on your blender’s power and performance and your own personal preferences, you may need to adjust the solid to liquid ratios I recommend; use the approximate quantities I list as a guide.  The general rule of thumb is about 1 cup liquid to 1 cup fruit and add water and/or ice to suit your taste and your blender’s power.  I use frozen organic fruit and fresh if I have it; feel free to use your own combination of fruit, fresh or frozen.   If your blender doesn’t handle frozen fruit well, you may need to use more fresh than frozen.  Ingredients marked with an asterisk are those that I add for my kids.  I make mine first, then add yogurt and banana for them.  So if you want a vegan version of this, go with the version I use for myself.  If you don’t have all the ingredients I list, feel free to substitute with what you do have.  But keep in mind that by incorporating the ingredients I list, you will get a good dose of protein, iron, calcium, B vitamins, the proper ratio of Omega 6 to Omega 3 Essential Fatty Acids and dietary fiber, in addition to other vitamins and minerals too numerous to list.  And if you suffer from irregular bowel movements, prepare to make friends with your toilet.

BA’s ‘blow it out’ smoothie (serves about 4)

1/3 c. organic raw almonds, soaked in filtered water overnight & rinsed well (if you have a high-power blender; otherwise about 1/4 c. unsweetened almond milk; soaking is important because nuts contain a protective enzyme inhibitor that is acid-forming and soaking will cause the enzyme to be released into the water; additionally, this process maximizes the nutritional content)

3-4 raw, organic Brazil nuts, soaked with your almonds (they are high in selenium which, in addition to providing protection from free radicals, acts as a chelator to help rid your body of mercury, but that’s another post entirely; I find nuts available in the bulk purchase sections to be tasteless & often rancid so be sure to buy from a reputable place & store in the fridge; I order ours from

1/2 c. organic hemp seed (I order mine in bulk from and store it in the fridge)

1/2 to 1 whole ripe avocado (you will know it’s ripe when it’s just a bit soft; a ‘good’ monounsaturated fat that has been shown to improve everything from heart-disease to arthritis;

1/2 c. organic carrot juice (I use Odwalla brand to save time; you can also, obviously, juice your own or throw in some baby carrots if your blender can handle them)

1/2 c. coconut water (we like the ZICO brand that I purchase in bulk from; if using almond milk rather than almonds, cut this to about 1/4 cup)

1 cup organic frozen fruit (I use cherries, pineapple, blackberries, raspberries and blueberries; the pineapple is high in thiamin[one of the B vitamins] and manganese; the berries are all high in polyphenols, or antioxidants)

1 large fresh, organic kale leaf (2-3 leaves if you can; the benefits are too numerous to list so take a look here when you have a chance

1-2 Tbsp. Catie’s organic greens powder (; Laird Hamilton swears by this and that’s good enough for me!)

1-2 Tbsp. organic ground flax seed (buy it ground or buy the seed & grind yourself so it’s easily digestible; I use Bob’s Red Mill organic ground flaxseed and it’s readily available)

1 Tbsp. soaked chia seed (I buy mine from; just like you used in the terracotta chia pets you made as a kid…it’s high in protein, fiber, Omega-3 fatty acids, iron & potassium)

2-4 ounces freshly juiced organic wheatgrass (only we crazy people juice it ourselves but you can also buy it frozen from health food stores; you don’t need more than 2 ounces per person)

filtered water to taste/consistency preference

*1/3 c. organic plain goats’ milk yogurt (available at Whole Foods & some grocery stores; goats’ milk is more easily digested & tolerated by humans than cows’ milk; we have a local place that carries raw goats’ milk which I use to make yogurt, then strain it, adding the liquid part to the smoothies & keeping the cheese to use elsewhere)

*1 whole ripe banana

*oil of oregano (‘thanks’ to my oldest brother who recommended this to me years ago; we use this for a week, about every other week throughout the year to help prevent and/or minimize ‘whatever is going around’; I order mine here


After the granola recipe post, I received several emails asking about gluten-free options.  If this is something that concerns you because you truly need to be gluten-free (perhaps you have Celiac disease) or you have just noticed that limiting your intake of gluten makes you feel better, then the following information should be GOOD for you.

There is a book I highly recommend by Frank Lipman, MD called Spent, in which he describes the immune system response to gluten (which is a mixture of gliadin and glutenin proteins found in wheat, rye and barely) as making you feel ‘a vague unwellness’.  Perhaps you haven’t yet paid attention to gluten in your diet and this post will inspire you to do some further homework.  Dr. Lipman references a book Dangerous Grains by Dr. James Braly & Ron Haggan, M.A. in which they show research that suggests ‘that gliadin causes our immune system to to react as though it is responding to a foreign body rather than a nourishing food.’  They believe that some people produce a liver enzyme that helps our body to metabolize it but others don’t produce it and, as a result, the gluten isn’t broken into smaller particles (in other words, it’s not digested properly) and these bigger particles then leak through the walls of our gut and enter our bloodstream at which point our body attacks them as foreign substances.  I’m over-simplifying it, but as I’ve mentioned before, if you see your body’s energy as a ‘pie’, your immune system has to use a huge slice of your ‘energy pie’ to fight the effects, which leads to the ‘vague unwellness’ Dr. Lipman references.

The good news is that there are alot of whole foods that are satisfying alternatives to products containing gluten (cereals, pastas, commercially-produced cookies, etc.), such as brown rice, buckwheat, nut flours, quinoa and millet.  There are many packaged gluten-free products (pastas, fruit bars, etc.) but in my experience, many of them taste like cardboard.  However, there are a handful (and probably more that I’ve just never tried) of good options.  Many years ago, before I had even heard of gluten, my oldest brother got me hooked on Ezekial bread.  I actually started eating it to help reduce carbohydrates in my diet, back in the day.  Most large grocery stores and probably every health food store carry it in their freezer section. We love the cinnamon raisin variety (in the purple bag) and I happen to think the ‘plain’ version (the orange bag) is a little ‘cardboardy’ but I know plenty of people who like it.  It is a grain bread, but it is flourless and sprouted.  Dr. Lipman indicates that most people can tolerate it well.  Apparently, the problems that many have with gluten are actually with the gluten lectins which are primarily in the seed coatings and are actually destroyed in the sprouting process.  They also make English muffins, pitas bread and corn tortillas; we are big fans.

One friend wanted to know about the oats in Margo’s granola recipe. Here’s the deal with oats:  apparently, if they are pure and uncontaminated, they should not cause a problem.  Dr. Lipman references a study from the European Journal of Clinical Nutrition 57, no. 1 (2004): 163-169 (S. Storsrud et al., “Adult Coeliac Patiens Do Tolerate Large Amounts of Oats”).

There are supposedly two companies that sell ‘pure oats’ that have not been cross-contaminated with wheat, barley and/or rye during harvesting, processing, etc.

I have not tried these so please do your own homework.  Here they are:

My boys would eat pasta for breakfast, lunch and dinner if I let them. We do mostly 100% whole wheat pasta but if someone in the house seems a little under the weather, I’ll use the best gluten-free pasta I’ve tasted, which is from bionaturae; the best price I’ve found is from and here’s the link:

I know that many of you have had your own experiences with gluten-free products; please share if there’s anything you love and think we should all know about.