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Smoothies are a great way to get a lot of High Nutrient Dense foods into our bodies quick and easy. You can put so many diverse foods together in a snap and have them come out tasting delicious. Fruits, vegetables, flax seeds, sea vegetable (for iodine), ginger (anti-inflammatory and warming in winter months), herbs and spices like a bit of turmeric (anti-inflammatory and anti-cancer) to name just a few.

Many people use them as a meal replacement because they have so many nutrients with all the variety, are packed with health-promoting fibre, are great on the go and taste delicious.

And we always recommend including greens in a smoothie because they have the highest nutrient density of all the fruits and vegetables, so they're a great way to get one of your servings of greens in as well.

We've been doing green smoothies, with all the fixin's, pretty much every morning for several years and recently read some things that have us reconsidering doing them so often.

Keep in mind, we are not saying not to have smoothies. They're great. But we are real finicky about wanting what we eat to provide the very highest health benefits the food can provide so look at this as fine-tuning an already great eating plan.

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So, there you have it. The bottom line is, it's generally best to chew your fruits and veggies. When we blend them all up, it breaks down the cell walls in the food, allowing the natural sugar to be absorbed more quickly which affects our blood sugar levels.

It also breaks down the fibre, which means that fibre doesn't work as well at controlling blood sugar levels and it isn't as beneficial to our microbiome. Being broken down also means we don't feel full as soon, so we may eat more.

Think of when you eat an apple whole or eat applesauce. Which fills you more quickly, and which keeps you feeling full longer? I've often been surprised how much applesauce I eat when we make our own during apple season compared to how many apples I would eat if I ate them whole. It seems like I could eat the applesauce all day, but eating apples whole definitely comes to an end shortly after the first one.

Now, we aren't saying don't have smoothies. By all means do when they serve you to get the High Nutrient Dense foods in quick and easy or on the run. But keep in mind, chewing those same foods will contribute to better digestion, a greater sense of satiety, better blood sugar levels and benefit the microbiome more.

Here's a short video with a professor talking about this too.

The recipe this week is Mexican Rice and Beans. Mexican is one of our favourite foods and this is a great combination of the simple ingredients that make it so delicious.

To your Amazing Health,
Bill and Connie

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Mexican Rice & Beans (Serves 4)

  • 1 large onion, diced
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • ½ cup filtered water
  • 3 - 15-ounce cans pinto beans (or 4 cups cooked pinto beans)
  • 4 cups cooked brown rice
  • 2 - 4-ounce cans Diced Green Chilis
  • 1 yellow or orange pepper, diced
  • 1 Jalapeno, diced
  • 2 cups cherry tomatoes, cut in half
  • 3 tablespoons tomato paste (optional)
  • 1 teaspoon red pepper flakes 
  • ½ teaspoon chili powder
  • juice of 1 lime
  • Optional: 1 cup fresh or frozen mang

In a big pan, add onion, garlic and filtered water and cook over low heat until soft. About 5 minutes.

Turn heat to low and add all remaining ingredients except the mango if you’re using it. Stir well and let cook on low, low heat for 30 minutes to soften vegetables.

If using mango, fold it in in the last 5 minutes.

Mix all ingredient and serve.