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Sunday, 19 July 2015


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Fancy contraption. You get, predigested fruityvege pap. So you skip the benefits of saliva and it's enzymes, when doing it your new way. The old traditional way is much more healthier and gives your teeth a job they are for. The last one, You don't need the sugar you get from fruits. It is easy, for a busy person, but not much more.

Curious: did you do the "white bowl-black fleck" test?

Add some whey. You'll be sorry if you don't up your protein (I speak from experience). It's relatively tasteless and can add an interesting milkshake consistency. Or just rotate in some protein shakes. I like Premier Protein shakes.

We have a black Vitamix - one of those model numbers you mentioned that looks just like yours except the color. While we don't make 2 meals a day with it I can honestly say its get used almost everyday. Fantastic invention - almost as much fun as a camera.

I drink a green smoothie everyday for breakfast, but I admit to adding a chocolate flavored protein mix to it, which thickens it into a shake like consistency. We have a Blendtec. I wonder if there are Vitamix vs. Blendtec wars on health food forums?

Great way to get a lot of greens in your diet. Been making green smoothies for 5 years now. Started with a Blendtec but eventually went with a Vitmix. Well worth the money. Use mine every day.

Made this video a few years ago for a friend who liked my smoothies. You might find it useful: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eqQv0-f7aS4 Lots of great resources but it takes time to find a recipe that works for you.

People are freaked out the first time they see them. For those brave enough to try them they are always surprised how tasty they are.

I hate cooking also so this post was inspiring. Any chance you might share your healthy recipes?

I admit that I don't know much about smoothies. I like vegetables and fruits, so I can just eat them the way nature intended. I do advise people on nutrition, though. And I always tell them the two things you put in your article.

1. No one really knows anything definitive about human nutrition. 99% of everything the "experts" say has no scientific or clinical evidence to back it up. I would hate to be a nutritionist as they are faced with the dilemma of having to claim expertise in a field where there are no facts.

2. The only thing everyone agrees on is that fruits and vegetables are a good thing.

And, everyone pretty much comes to the conclusion that there is nothing out there that competes with the Vitamix.

There's an appliance that would fit in perfectly at a 1980's themed party. Just looking at it and I can hear Whitney Houston.

Whatever it is, as long as you stick to it Mike, it's going to be OK. The reason I've always been suggesting you should marry an Italian girl, was that Italian kitchen is the best compromise between taste, health and simplicity to prepare, although admittedly you need to learn what to buy and how it should taste in the first place. Maybe a honeymoon in Tuscany could appear somewhere down the line in your to do list.

Please follow-up, at some point in the future, if you get tired (or not) of the green smoothie.
and maybe one or two of your favorite concoctions

There were 3 colleagues and myself out to dinner. The Vitamix conversation came up. One colleague says '$500 for a blender, forget it. In unison the three of us say 'it's not a blender, it's a Vitamix.

You'll love cooking, but don't get too hung up on recipes. Most of the time, you just have to cut things up and make them hotter. Over time, you'll learn various ways of adding other flavors to the main ingredient(s). Don't get distracted by foreign cuisines, because it'll probably clutter up your pantry. Instead, focus on the techniques and principles of cooking, from wherever, and you'll be able to improvise like a jazz musician.

And...if you can...move to California. Or Santa Monica more specifically. You'll like fruits and vegetables after a week.

BTW, collard greens cooked with ham hocks are way better than kale. And try eating squash and sweet potatoes as staple foods.

If you think you don't like the green veggies I have simple advice:

Buy the Chinese ones and cook them the way the Chinese do. I don't mean those huge hot salads that a lot of "stir fry" recipes turn into. I mean:

1. Buy the green leafy stuff, bok choy for example.

2. Cut it up.

3. Saute it in a pan and finish it with salt/pepper and a bit of water.


All of my friends who "don't like" veggies eat this. Every time. If you want to get fancy add some garlic.

That said, if smoothies are your thing the Vitamix is a great toy. Investigate the thing where you can make hot soup in it.

Easy recipe, get bread, bananas, and peanut butter. Put together with peanut butter and bananas between two slices of bread- or on top of one slice ( your choice) and eat.
Use crunchy peanut butter to really kick it up!

[That's funny, that's what Xander eats for breakfast every day. --Mike]

I love my vitamix! But I also like to cook, so my comments come with a pinch of salt... We used it a LOT when we first got it, about 18 months ago, and now we use it less, but still at least a few times a week, sometimes more often. I love to throw whatever in there rather than make vegetables sometimes, and have a smoothie along with my starch and/or protein. We blend a lot of frozen fruits and vegetables, and you're right, it's almost always pretty great. Coconut milk (the lighter, boxed variety) makes a nice liquid, the fattiness moderating some of the fibrousness/chalkiness of the veggies.

Anyway, enjoy! Even if you don't keep blending stuff in the long term, at least you chose the right color...

I've been making green smoothies for breakfast for 4 years with a Ninja. The money I saved was used to buy 4 types of berries which can get expensive in the off seasons.

A diet, by definition, is a temporary abstention of food, partial or total, for personal or therapeutic reasons. One day it has to stop.

Eating is about fresness, quantity, variety, quality.

While the USA is just about the most technologically advanced country in the world, it may be in the last rows when it comes to eating.

Avoid the center aisles at the supermarket.

For simple cooking I would recommend you research stir frying. You can buy a cheap carbon steel wok from an Asian grocery. Hopefully you have a gas stove top. Stir frying is fast and simple and generally the recipes are strongly plant based. Think how many people in Asia eat this way.

We managed to talk my father-in-law out of his unused Vitamix, same color, and we love it. For us it's soups even more than smoothies.

At first I was irritated with it, trying to make smoothies that same way I do with my food processor (toss everything in and blend). I read up a little and learned that if you put the liquid in first and then work in the other ingredients you'll avoid the air pocket above the blade and usually not even have to use the reamer.

Good luck on the cooking quest. It's a worthy goal. Cooking takes both skill and a little manic energy or at the very least an obligation (like your girlfriend arriving) to get something on the table. Unfortunately 5-6pm usually does not coincide with high energy. My wife and I are both long-time foodies with probably close to 75 good cookbooks, but sometimes it's all we can do to steam some rice and put a fried egg on it with a veggie on the side if we are feeling virtuous.

In your search for what to cook for solid food, I'd like to suggest "the minimalist cooks at home", by Mark Bittman. The paella on page 90 is a house favorite. And, leftovers can be your friend when you want to eat well and stay out of the kitchen.

There is an interesting TED talk that explains the mechanism of converting fat to carbon dioxide and water. You can watch it here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vuIlsN32WaE The human body is wonderfully efficient and anything that you don't need is converted to fat to be consumed in a future time of need.

Bottom line: if you want to lose weight you simply need to consume less and increase your activity levels. In North America, with an over-abundance of processed foods, fast foods, and Super-Sized portions this is more easily said than done.

And, as you get older your calorie requirements become lower (the Harris-Benedict equation will calculate your BMR and you can convert that to calories depending on your physical activity level). So as you get older you need fewer calories; for most this is a hard adjustment since you simply need fewer calories as you get older and making that adjustment is hard for many.

The take-away from the TED talk is that you need to consume less and be more active if you want to convert your body fat to water and carbon dioxide.

Reminds me that I need to renew my membership to the gym; I need to get back to a daily cardio program.

Having lived with someone with a nutritional backgrounf for 44 years and now being ~50 pounds lighter than when we met, I have followed the advice "eat a varied diet and avoid processes foods."
But as a scientist, I have read widely on health and nutrition and think most of what you read is bunk. But recently, we are seeing more research on our microbiome - the collections of organisms that live inside and outside our bodies. Serious research has shown that microbes in your gastrointestinal tract can make you hungry for nutrients they need! This area of research offers promise.

'Eat food... not too much. Mostly plants'. Michael Pollan

I agree with Joe Holmes. " . . . Anything but Boring"

Except that peanut butter is high calorie - I mean very high. Suitable for 20s men and not too much older. My rule of thumb is that 2 out of 3 meals a day should be home cooked or raw foods. If I do that and don't drink alcohol or soft drinks, I maintain my weight (combined with 3 x 1 hour gym sessions a week). If I don't, and especially if I add alcohol / soft drinks, I will put weight on- fairly fast.

> I really dislike the incomprehensibly popular kale, which is for people who
> think that things that are good for you must necessarily cause suffering.

The born-again Mike might well be in his virtuous "will it blend ?" phase, but the sadistic me knows that Mike's inner masochist will surface sooner or later, and crave olive oil and garlic and the enjoyment of this kind of suffering  (^^;

regarding your search for meals/recipies may I recommend a blog precisely about that: healthy, vegetarian but first and foremost delicious recipies.


they also have two books, but there are more recipies than I can cook on their website. Many of them are perfectly suitable for cooking a double amount and keeping in ledtovers in the fridge for reheating 1-2 days later, so you only have to cook once for two days of healthy meals.

Hope you and S enjoy them

I don't eat well, don't know how to cook, don't like vegetables... hence, SOYLENT.

I've been taking Soylent for 60-80% of my meals. Lost a few pounds (since I'm eating very little sugar and bread), but I feel much better. Open Source Soylent "type" of food will change the way most of us consume "food".

For what it is worth, having been a natural hygienist and having fasted several times... This because I was diagnosed with Crohn's disease when I was in my teens and the discovery of a book by Dr. Shelton in my local public library.

It was too late for me, I had been overfed as a child, I wasn't fat, but I was trained to eat almost continuously... all sorts of rubbish and liquids and I suffered from strictures which eventually had to be cut out, when I was in my forties.

I have finally come to the conclusion that apart from staying well away from the baby food of cattle (milk and dairy) and the processed food of our profit seeking factories and associated government advice (it represents big pharma and big farma)... that the most important thing, is not what you eat, but how much you eat.

Do not overtax your gut, and your gut will not overtax you.

I am happy to report that I am a vegetarian, I eat animals that enjoyed vegetables on my behalf... Those green things that need cooking for ages or like you suggest above, turning into liquid, are bad for people with short guts... aka human beings. Let cows and sheeps do it for you!

Oh and I am also a carnivore, I eat pigs, chickens and other birds... Those animals that eat other animals...

But the real key...

Is don't over eat...

As Michael Pollan is quoted above.

The occasional bit of fruit and the occasional bit of bread...


Mike, your grand conclusion (i.e. that you must learn cooking) put a big smile on my face. I'm sure this is the beginning of a great story, and I look forward to reading the next chapters at TOP.

Going to blenders, I don't know if it is easy to find in the US, but as far as I know, the very best cooking machine is called Thermomix. I know several people whose job is cooking and all of them agree: If you need one of these machines, then the one is Thermomix:

We got the model from the previous generation, and it is a workhorse which has made countless recipes at home. It is easy to use, reliable, and enabled to make truly fine dishes ensuring a healthy diet. I wholeheartedly recommend it for people like you.

We have a Vitamix, on a shelf in the pantry. Had it for years, but only used it once or twice. My wife, who cooks a variety of meals for herself, uses the heck out of a food processor; but, never really liked liquified vegetables. I've been Vegan for 40 years. I hate anything to do with cooking, so I don't. Throw a bunch of raw veggies in a bowl and chow down.
I'm very impressed with people who actually cook, though.

I love this topic and the comments, particularly Edward's comment about no one really knowing much about nutrition. Amen.

But what is especially fascinating, Mike, is how fruits taste to you. My initial hypothesis is that there is some sort of chemical oddity going on there. I wonder if organic fruit local to your new home might taste at least somewhat different to you when consumed raw, i.e., not blended into a smoothie. Or maybe as you change your eating habits, this will shift significantly. Many are the stories of women whose taste preferences change radically after pregnancy. I have a female friend who actually became allergic to all shellfish after she became pregnant; the allergy has persisted to this day, decades later.

I have a very good friend who has travelled the world and he is emphatic that the absolute best vegetables he has ever had were in Turkey. Overall he loved the food there. Marek's advice to eat in Italy is another example of food terroir. The industrialization of food has largely been a detriment to health and the enjoyment of food.

Years ago I had a big honking food processor, forget the brand, but I am pretty sure it had more horsepower than my first car. The kitchen floor would shake.

I suppose it is a good thing you did not get the Blend Tek blender. If you had, you would have been swamped with links to: Will It Blend videos

Re: cooking. Just like any activity, it's far more useful to master the basic techniques, rather than collecting recipes. The latter can be useful, but the former will allow you to improvise. Also, most recipes assume a working knowledge of the former. Recipes are like the scene modes in a camera. Maybe useful sometimes when in a specific situation. Otherwise, more effective to leave the camera on A, with quick access to ISO and exposure compensation. Or advance the film on that Leica IIIf with the collapsible Hexanon, if you get my analogy. Thirty years ago, I learned the basics from Jacques Pepin's excellent illustrated book, and I have never found myself at a complete loss in any kitchen. Highly recommended.

Great piece of glass! 500mm?

In reply to Robert Hudyama I think the calorie in calorie out low fat hypotheseis is in question
Good Calories, Bad Calories: Fats, Carbs, and the Controversial Science of Diet and Health Paperback – 1 Sep 2008
by Gary Taubes (Author)
Gary Taubes has ritten extensively on this. After a long time looking at people trying to loose weigt i/am moving to hisway of thinking ..... the problems are Carbohydrates rather than fat. But assomeone else said there are remarkably few facts.
The relevance being that smoothies made from fruit my not be as good for youas you think.

I think that as an adjunct they may be fine but not too much and more veg less fruit. Also it bypasse the bodies mastication and breakdown mechanisms.

Interms of 'what works'n my time in practice the 5/2 diet. with relative fasting on two separate days a week really does help a lot of people .... other diets are spectacular in their failure rate ... sadly But good luck and my advice wouold be only do the Smoothies if you enjoy them.

I LOVE to cook. Now that you made a large investment in a "food processor" try investing in the type of food processing that gives me joy - four items:1) a good knife that will cost you about $400 2) a nice bamboo cutting board 3) a Le Creuset pot or pan 4) a three liter bottle of olive oil. Chop and stir and don'e forget the fresh herbs. I'm sure after learning to sharpen your knife you'll be as fast as your new Vitamix. Congratulations on your healthy investment.

Mike, I think it is strange that you should hate cooking given your methodical approach to coffee.

As rich a subject as coffee can be, cooking is a 100 times richer and more interesting. Cooking is all about science and technique. You need to learn methods and their scientific basis, not recipes. Not that you shouldn't have some go-to recipes to hone and perfect, but they should be thoroughly understood from the bottom up. Work like a pro, toss out all clutter from the kitchen, prep the ingredients in advance and do precise and methodical heat treatment to bring the dish together.

This approach would be the cooking equivalent of craft based photography. Just cooking from recipes is more like snapshot photography.

A liquid diet is just sad and barbaric, IMHO (coming from someone who would never ever touch Soylent)

I too, hate to cook. That said, here is an easy one for folks like us:

Tilapia filet- simply place in pyrex pan with butter and seasoning, and bake. Rice- rice cooker. Peas- dump in pan and heat. Minimal effort; excellent result.

I once witnessed kale, in my own garden, in Illinois, grow throughout the year. It's growth was seriously retarded during deep winter, but, it did survive. It was at that point that I realized, any plant this tough has to be good for you. I have been eating it, grudgingly, ever since. There are a few companies drying it out and selling it as a seasoned snack. It is not too bad.......Well, not as bad as it could be.

When I saw the title of this post and the photo, I started laughing and immediately showed my wife. A few years ago we spent a year away from home. We rented a furnished home with a not-so-well furnished kitchen. However, there was a Vitamix. We used it constantly for soups, smoothies, and everything else. When we returned home to what we previously thought was a well-equipped kitchen, we only lasted a few months before breaking down and buying a Vitamix. Can't live without it.

I wish you well but it sounds 'faddish' to me. I speak as someone who owned something similar for a while. I gave up on it because I seemed to get through a wasteful amount of fresh produce to make anything.

I think you would be best served cooking fresh vegetables with the occasional helping of fish or chicken. Avoid too much dairy produce.

Something like the Mediterranean diet springs to mind.

Good luck!

I went cheap and bought a Nutribullet (< $100) about a year ago. It's perfect if you're only making green smoothies.

For me, the Vitamix seems like a giant full-frame DSLR with an 80-200 attached. Nowadays, I love small, less expensive mirrorless solutions that also get the job done. Just think of the counterspace you'll save!

My "go to" mix is greens (spinach or "spring mix" or "power greens"), a banana, chia seeds, nuts (almonds or cashews), some frozen fruit and water ... better basic, super easy. Yes, I feel healthier, and I'm 15 pounds lighter!

I am only giving green smoothies partial credibility because it is you who are recommending them, otherwise I would put them in the "yet another American dietary fad" bin. I suppose that if cooking is off limits, then yes, maybe green smoothies might not be the worst option. Half way through your article I immediately felt the urge to comment that you cannot possibly eat a healthy diet unless you prepare your own food, a.k.a. cook for your self. Then I got to the "My grand plan" part.

Where I live, we have been eating kale for centuries. The two main recipes are:
- in a broth with chouriço (google "Caldo Verde");
- sauteed with garlic and olive oil (after blanching in water with baking soda).

On our knowledge of nutrition, I bet that within a decade it will be a universally accepted truth that every persons' nutrition needs are different, in the same way that every persons' fingerprints are different. The challenge for home cooks is to prepare meals that include all food groups so every person can put on his plate his specific needs (the ability to make the selection is innate with no science required). I gained this knowledge by cooking daily for a family of 4 that has 4 very different appetites. My 8 year old is almost vegan while my 6 year old will almost burst into tears at the sight of a green leaf. I crave beans on a daily basis (as does the vegan boy) while my wife can't stand them. Still, with practice, trial and error, it is possible to prepare meals that have something for every one, and I always insist that everyone try at least a tiny bite of everything that goes on the table.

I will contribute with an easy recipe for a balanced meal that requires no cooking: black eyed beans and tuna salad. The four ingredients:
- One can of black eyed beans (peas);
- One can of tuna in olive oil;
- One small onion;
- Fresh parsley.

Open the can of tuna into a large bowl together with the olive oil that comes in the can, and break tuna with a fork. Dice the onion and mix with the tuna. Open beans and wash in a colander under running water, then mix with tuna and onions. Chop the parsley and mix with beans, tuna and onion. Done!

Some notes to get you started. Hard boiled eggs on the side are optional, as is ground black pepper. Those with serious carb cravings will enjoy this with a roll of white bread on the side. Salt is not needed. Don't sweat over the brand of beans or tuna - start with the most expensive and experiment with ever cheaper brands until you are happy with the price/quality ratio. The cheapest is fine for me.

you'll be fine with a $40 8" victorinox forschner chef's knife, if $400 is over budget. also, the best thing for stir frying on a standard gas or electric stove is a large, flat frying pan, not a wok or wok-like pan.

a thought for picking recipes: look for techniques or "dish formats" that you want to learn, e.g. blended soups, pan fried fish or pork chops, or stews.

a soup recipe for your blender:

1 kabocha, sliced, peeled (if time allows), then cubed. if you don't peel it, make sure to scrape off the scabby bumps with a spoon.
3 leeks, white part only, cut in half lengthwise, rinsed and sliced
water to cover
a little salt and pepper

boil for 20 min then blend. got the idea from potato leek soup! you can add bacon, cream, chives, etc. if you want to gild the lily.

At Xanders age this recipe poses no problems, however at my age it provides more calories than I burn in a week! Your mileage may vary, but it sure does taste good!

Going "on a diet " is silly. Diet is what you eat.

To help in cooking concepts, I would recommend "Think Like a Chef" by Tom Colichio. My late daughter-in-law, a working chef, gave me a copy some years ago. Transformed my cooking, allowing me to improvise fearlessly.

Hmm, how to make the act of cooking appealing to someone who doesn't like to cook?

The most important thing is probably getting yourself to cook things that taste really good. Positive reinforcement and all. How do you do that?

You know what really changed my cooking for the better? Understanding some of the science behind it all. I'd eat something in a restaurant and try to re-create it, or try to cook from a cookbook, and 90% of the time what came out the other end looked like some junior-high home-ec creation that you'd suffer through while hanging your head in shame. I did everything right, why didn't it WORK? Turns out I needed to pay closer attention to the science. Heat. Reactions. How to get food A to turn into B.

Think about it like it's photography: In your mind you know the final photograph you want to make (the finished dish), but as a beginner you don't have the technical know how to get it to come out right. Reading recipes is almost always useless - it's like telling you how to take a photograph that shows motion blur by saying "make the shutter speed 1/4 second" but telling you nothing about the ISO or the aperture or the existing lighting conditions. You might get close, but it's not what you really want. By understanding some of the science and technique, you learn how to get the finished dish you want. Also, understanding the technique allows you the flexibility to not rigidly adhere to what's written on a page; you're knowledgeable enough to make adjustments on the fly because you understand what's happening and how to control it.

Time to buy some stuff!

For a true scientific look you'll want Harold McGee's "On Food and Cooking". It's a bit dry, but you'll definitely learn something. But you'll also want to watch some of the masters, and in particular I feel that Jacques Pepin is particularly valuable. His classic technique book has been re-issued as "New Complete Techniques". He also has a DVD of techniques called "The Complete Pepin: Techniques and Recipes" which is kind of a hodgepodge clobbered together by PBS, but you can pick it up pretty inexpensively. It's best just to watch the man work and talk, however, and for that I say get some of his PBS series on DVD. "Fast Food My Way" is a great place to start. He's currently working on his 4th iteration of this series for KQED, but just go right from the beginning. He actually explains what he's doing (shocking if you watch any cooking that's on the Food Network), and you'll learn a ton about handling a knife by watching him at work. And of course there's his classic series with Julia Child called "Cooking At Home" which is also a pleasure. All of the above really had a huge impact on my cooking, and as much of the learning came from watching the technique as from the recipes themselves.

I'm not suggesting cooking be a rigid practice - it should be anything but. However an understanding of the technical fundamentals goes a long way to producing finished meals that you're truly satisfied with. And like learning the fundamentals of exposure, it eventually becomes second nature, gets out of your way and let's you enjoy yourself.

Oh, and one other thing that all aspiring home cooks should read:

"French Cooking in Ten Minutes" by Edouard de Pomiane.

This book was written in the 1930's, and you may want to discard the recommendation for a nice cigarette at the end of the meal. But it's a quick, fun read. Although the recipes are certainly a bit dated, they're almost inconsequential. The book is really about making cooking a simple and enjoyable part of your daily life through the understanding of some fundamental techniques and tips and recipes. They need not necessarily be the recipes in the book.

You can also get it used for $.01 on amazon. :)

"1. Human beings don't really know much about human nutrition yet. We think we do, but that's just hubris. We're actually in a dark age of ignorance on the subject."

A great truth far too little recognized or believed.

An RN engaged in nutritional research for decades said something like this to a group of us years ago - as long as we can't lock people up, feed them controlled diets, kill them and do autopsies, we will not know much.

I prefer the little knowledge option. \;~)>

Good luck with the new diet. Since I like vegetables and fruit I don't see the need to grind them all up beforehand but to each his own.

The only thing that raises alarms for me is the word "detoxify" in the title of your first book. That makes me think of the know-nothing anti-vaxxers and other graduates of the google school of medicine. The idea that the body accumulates toxins which need to be removed - and can be removed by diet - is just snake oil designed to sell product.

That said, bon appetit!

- James

I finally received my Soylent order a few months back (took longer than six months for delivery), and yuck, yuck, YUCK!! I tried it once and never again; a waste of time and money says my taste buds.

I am a vegetarian and find great pleasure in the meals I make. Maybe it’s a girl thing since I was taught cooking early-on by my Grammy on weekend visits growing up. My problem is I can get crazy busy and forget to cook, and then I am hungry, but too tired to cook. So last year I thought I would try something new. I bought an Omega juicer to see if making homemade juice would help feed me between work and too tired-to-cook days, but what a mess that whole process can be. So, I am back to making quick salads when I do not feel like cooking and cooking only when I feel like it. I would miss my raw veggies if I did not have them, so I am passing on the Vitamix and the like.

My son recently told me his father misses my cooking – good to know and Grammy would be proud, so I guess I am a good cook, just taking it for granted. Cooking involves a bit of preparation and clean-up, so if I have the time and energy, I do not mind doing it because it tastes so darn good. I use to go out to eat a lot in my younger days, but not too much now as I have become a picky eater in my mellowing years. My boyfriend gets annoyed with me when he wants to take me out for a special occasion because I usually just ask for pizza. I hope you find your nutritional bliss with the Vitamix.

Further to BH's recommendation of Edouard de Pomiane how about:
http://youtu.be/lzjyfqPe7ZE for inspiration.
Recipes and recipe books are all very well but I think it is better to read inspirational books about food. That video is more inspiration (and amusement) than instruction.

In your case this might be preaching to the converted, but I recommend watching the 2010 documentary Fat, Sick & Nearly Dead by Joe Cross. The transformation in his weight and health when he switched to a green smoothie diet tells us a lot about the processed food diet many north American's (and Australians in his case) live on. You can find it on YouTube.

[I believe he was doing a (60 day?) juice fast, as a way of kickstarting a new, healthier diet plan. Smoothies are not juice--it's the whole fruit or veggie made into a purée in a high-speed blender. Juicing actually extracts the juice and discards the pulp/fiber. There's no reason not to do both except perhaps the cost of the machines. --Mike]

My Scottish roots must be less withered than Mike's. I'm with Gavin McLelland on kale, love it. In fact it's on the menu tonight, great wodges of it. Yes, it gets stuck in the teeth, but so does meat and fish. Just deal with it. However a dislike of veges is hard to dislodge.

I also don't think Mike's right about diet, a lot is known, except that at the population level we haven't found how not to eat too much when it's readily available.

My wife and I have owned one for many years. One of those rare items that lives up to the hype. By the way...the vitamix company has the best customer service I have ever encountered. Plus it has a 7 year guarantee. The guarantee means just that....guarantee. We had a minor problem 6 years into it and Vitamix took it and fixed it. Free shipping both ways. Plus....it came back with all new parts. Not just the minor problem we asked about. They essentially sent us a brand new unit. Best thing we ever bought for the kitchen.

Best photography discussion in months!

Mediterranean diet is of course pretty great except certainly here in Greece the evidence would seem to be that the young are not eating it.

The Greeks are following the US and the Brits into obesity.

Me im sitting here eating Salada Horiatiki ... Tomatoes, cucumber , feta , onion and loads of olive oil. Heaven Heaven Heaven . Oh and a very refreshing Lager... Oh well!

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