Monday, March 30, 2009

Using Green Smoothies to Control Blood Sugars

This blog post will soon appear as the final post in my guest blog series on Tami Groth's Green Smoothie Blog. My thanks go out to Tami for inviting me to share information on her blog!!


Hello, again! This is Pamela Reilly again. I want to again thank Tami so much for inviting me to be a guest poster on her blog. Thanks, Tami! Today I want to follow-up on my post about the factors that separate a raw diabetic from other raw foodists with a post about foods and herbs that are traditionally known for helping control and lower blood sugars. I’ve included herbs because one of my favorite things about smoothies is that you can easily add herbs to them and never even know they’re there! Although this post is aimed primarily at diabetics, anyone can benefit from including these foods in your diet, as eating them can give your pancreas a rest and help keep it healthy. There is also some evidence that these foods can possibly help prevent the occurrence of Type 2 Diabetes. Each of these herbs and foods contain high levels of vitamins, minerals, enzymes and amino acids that anyone’s body will thank them for eating.

Note: This information is being shared purely for educational purposes. These statements have not been evaluated by the FDA and this information is not intended to treat, cure, diagnose or prevent any disease. Use these foods with caution if you have Diabetes and do not make any major dietary changes without first consulting your healthcare practitioner.

Enough of the legal mumbo jumbo … let's get to it! Many of the foods and herbs that I’ll be discussing are useful for controlling blood sugars because they contain high amounts of the following natural elements:
  • Acetic Acid: Found in vinegars, lemon and lime juices. Acetic acid slows down the digestion of food by neutralizing some digestive enzymes. This serves to delay the blood sugar raising effects of carbohydrates. I recommend using only small amounts of foods containing acetic acid, as you don’t want to “kill off” too many of your digestive enzymes during a meal.
  • Chromium: Helps the body metabolize carbohydrates and fats; also helps the body utilize insulin. An added benefit of Chromium is that it has been shown to help with weight loss, and many people develop diabetes as a result of being. I currently use Chromium to help lower elevated blood sugars and can personally attest to its effectiveness. I’d much rather pop a couple of Chromium capsules (200 mg) than take a shot!
  • Insulin Imitators (aka “Mimetics”): Several of the foods shown below are known as “insulin imitators” because the body uses them just like it does insulin. In other words, their action mimics what insulin does in the body.
  • Magnesium: The body uses Magnesium to regulate blood sugar levels. It also helps the cells of the body utilize insulin, which can lower insulin resistance. Some studies have shown that Type 2 diabetics typically have low Magnesium levels. (Other studies have shown that 70% of the US population is deficient in Magnesium, so those Type 2’s have plenty of company!)
  • Omega 3 Fatty Acids: Help the body metabolize glucose and also increase insulin sensitivity.
  • Zinc: Essential for the body to produce and store insulin. Some studies have shown that Type 2 diabetics typically have low Zinc levels.

The following foods and herbs have a reputation for lowering or helping control glucose levels and/or for supporting the pancreas:

  • Aloe Vera Juice: Contains high levels of compounds called Glyconutrients, which the body uses for healing. Glyconutrients have been shown to be helpful for a wide variety of health issues, but are known for being especially helpful for Diabetes. You can either use the interior gel from a fresh Aloe Vera leaf or can purchase Aloe Vera Juice in bottles. When purchasing Aloe Vera Juice, be careful to purchase one that does not contain chemicals and artificial ingredients. Be vigilant to avoid any containing artificial preservatives.
  • Avocado: Increases insulin sensitivity and contains insulin imitators. The healthy fats in an Avocado also help delay the body’s absorption of glucose. I add an Avocado to every smoothie I make because it makes smoothies really creamy.
  • Cinnamon and Coriander: Are insulin imitators, increase insulin sensitivity, and work in combination with insulin to improve its effectiveness. Cinnamon has also been shown to help lower cholesterol and triglyceride levels. So pour it on!
  • Fenugreek: Helps delay the absorption of glucose by the body and also increases insulin sensitivity. The best way to get a healthy dose of Fenugreek is to sprout the seeds and use the sprouts in smoothies.
  • Flax and Hemp Seeds: Very high in Omega 3 Fatty Acids and in fiber, which slows the body’s absorption of glucose.
  • Ginger: Increases insulin sensitivity.
  • Gymnema Sylvestre: An Ayurvedic (Indian) herb that is wonderful for Diabetes. It is an insulin imitator. More importantly, Gymnema has been shown to actually help the body regenerate the insulin-producing beta cells in the pancreas. Gymnema typically needs to be taken at least three months before beta cell regeneration is seen, but the regeneration rates are much higher and faster for anyone eating a raw food diet. Although Gymnema Sylvestre leaves can be purchased in a dried form from many herb vendors, I recommend taking it in capsule form or emptying the capsule(s) into your morning smoothie. Typical dosage is 400-1200 mg/day.
  • Jerusalem Artichoke (aka “Sunchoke”): A type of sunflower that is very common in the Southwestern US. Is an insulin imitator and its high fiber content slows the body’s absorption of glucose. Jerusalem Artichokes are the roots of the plant and look kind of like Ginger roots. They have a light, almost sweet taste that reminds me of water chestnuts, and have a really nice light and crunchy texture. They work great in smoothies but can be hard to get broken down in a traditional blender. A Vita-Mix handles them without problem.
  • Lemon and Lime Juices: Contain acetic acid (see above) which delays the glycemic effects of carbohydrates.
  • Nopal Cactus (aka “Prickly Pear Cactus”): Nopal has a long history and tradition for use in addressing Diabetes issues. Nopal’s high fiber content delays the body’s absorption of glucose. Nopal also increases insulin sensitivity, is an insulin imitator, and may help regenerate pancreatic beta cells over time. The pads of the Nopal are typically used, although the fruits may also be helpful. You can typically find Nopal pads in Hispanic or international groceries. To use, scrape the thorns off with a knife, then dice to add to a smoothie. This is another food I use on a daily basis, so I know it works!!
  • Nuts (especially Almonds, Pecans, Walnuts): High in Omega 3’s and other essential fatty acids. The healthy fats in nuts help delay the body’s absorption of glucose.
  • Spirulina: High in Magnesium, protein (which helps keep blood sugars stable), and essential fatty acids. One more reason it’s a superfood!
  • Stevia: Is not only the perfect sweetener for diabetics, but is also very high in Chromium and therefore supports the pancreas, too. It’s perfect!

Missing from this list is the “infamous” Bitter Melon, which looks like a leprous Cucumber and is a powerful insulin imitator. I spent a few days experimenting with Bitter Melon a while back and learned very quickly why they call it “bitter.” I couldn’t find any combination of vegetables or spices that covered the bitterness. Apparently the only way to get rid of the bitterness is to cook it, which simply wasn’t an option. I had half of a Bitter Melon left when I was done experimenting. I can’t stand to throw “good” food away, so I gave it to our dogs. (Please don’t report me to the ASPCA!) They wouldn't touch it and appeared rather suspicious of me for the rest of the day. This one’s best taken in capsules.

Following are a few easy-to-make, delicious smoothies that incorporate some of the above foods and supplements. I didn’t include instructions because I know you’re already proficient in the fine art of throwing ingredients into a Vita-Mix and turning it on. *grin* Please note that Stevia (to taste) is an optional ingredient in all of these smoothies if you like a sweeter taste.

Sugar Buster Smoothie

1 ounce Aloe Vera Juice (or 2 tablespoons fresh gel from leaf)
1 cup Purified Water or Unsweetened Nut Milk
1 Avocado
3 diced Jerusalem Artichokes
1 Cucumber
1 Nopal pad, diced
2 tablespoons cup Ground Flax or Hemp Seeds
2 teaspoons Cinnamon
½ teaspoon Coriander

Lemon Aid Ginger Smoothie

3 tablespoons – ½ cup Lemon or Lime Juice (add more if you like extra pucker power)
1 cup Unsweetened Hemp Milk
1 Avocado
½ teaspoon Fresh Ginger Root (¼ teaspoon dried)
1 Sweet Orange Pepper, diced
1 Sweet Red Pepper, diced
1 handful Fenugreek Sprouts
1 Nopal Pad, diced
Stevia to taste

Mega-Green Smoothie

¼ cup Spirulina Powder
1 handful Fenugreek Sprouts
1 Avocado
1 oz Aloe Vera Juice (or 2 tablespoons fresh gel from leaf)
1 cup Purified Water
4 Jerusalem Artichoke Bulbs, diced
2 Nopal pads, diced
1 Cucumber

Thanks again for Tami for allowing me to guest blog! Have a glorious day and go live abundantly!

Please feel free to contact me via any of the following:

My website: Good Works Wellness Research, LLC

Twitter: RawHealer

I'm very exciting to announce that in April I will be launching a 30-day "Rawvolutionary Healing" Living Foods Coaching program specifically designed for diabetics and others on Phase 1 of the Rainbow Green Live Food Cuisine program. Please contact me if you'd like to receive updates on this program.

I'm also very excited to announce that I will be a speaker at Raw Spirit Fest in Prescott, Arizona. Raw Spirit Fests are two to three day festivals that celebrate every aspect of the raw food lifestyle. Please check out the website and come join me!

Monday, March 23, 2009

Sorry for Being Incommunicado!

I owe everyone a huge apology for being MIA for almost two weeks. I do apologize! This has obviously been a very busy time. Most of my activities these days are related to spreading the message of the healing properties of raw foods. I LOVE spending my days helping others find renewed health!! Following is some of what I've been up to:
  • On St. Patrick's Day, I had the privilege of speaking to the Indianapolis Office of Customs and Border Patrol on the environmental impacts of natural living. This was one of those opportunities that fell into my lap out of nowhere, and I am truly grateful it did. I had a great time sharing all the different ways our choices affect and impact the environment. It was so much fun! While there, I got to meet Renee, one of the founders of the Indy Green Piece organization. Indy Green Piece sends weekly emails sharing tips for living green and protecting the environment. You can view their website and sign up for their emails at I highly recommend them!
  • I am honored and privileged to have recently been a guest blogger on two different blogs:

    Tami Groth's "Green Smoothie" blog:


    Duong Sheahan's "Healthy Beauty Secrets" blog:

    My thanks go out to each of those very special women for including me in their blogs. Follow their blogs to be regularly blessed with important and inspiring information!
  • On March 19th I taught my favorite class, "The Raw Truth: Foundations of the Living Foods Lifestyle" at Georgetown Market in Indy. The participant group was incredible! They had many fantastic questions and it was obvious every person there was serious about going raw. It was amazing! Unfortunately, we kept the poor staff of Georgetown Market there far past quitting time. My thanks and apologies go out to Andrew & Crystal who had to stick around for so long. I'm repeating this class (and finishing much earlier!) on Thursday, March 26th, because the first class filled so quickly. I am blown away at how many people are interested in raw foods in Indy and hope to see the raw food movement really take off here!!
  • As you probably know. my biggest passion is helping those with Diabetes make the switch to the living foods lifestyle so that they can reverse or better control their Diabetes. As part of those efforts, I am very active in the "Reverse Diabetes Naturally" forum at The forum is open to diabetics and supporters. Please come join us!
  • In the midst of everything else, I continue to see private clients and to work as a consultant at Georgetown Market. I'm incredibly thankful to be surrounded by an amazing group of positive, inspiring people on a daily basis.
  • I've also been working very hard on my new book, my 30-Day Rawvolutionary Healing Coaching Program that will launch in April, and on a multitude of other raw projects. As the saying goes, "no rest for the wicked!" LOL

As always, please feel free to contact me with any questions! Have a blessed day and go live abundantly!

Sunday, March 8, 2009

Raw Emotion Detoxification

I chose this blog topic because so many people get blindsided by the raw emotions that appear while transitioning to a living foods lifestyle. I'm frequently contacted by dear people who are shocked by unexpected negative emotions that interfere with the joy and peace that raw foods brought them. Be aware that you may experience an emotional and spiritual detoxification process very similar to the detox your physical body experienced.

As we continue incorporating higher levels of raw foods into our diets and continue eliminating toxic foods and habits, it is perfectly normal for "stuffed" emotions to surface. These negative emotions tend to catch us by surprise because they are typically emotions or habits that we chose to ignore or deny long ago. Although we were able to effectively avoid dealing with those uncomfortable emotions by stuffing them to a deeper level of consciousness, those emotions are still present in our emotional life and must be addressed so that we can move on in freedom. The emotional detoxification process is part of the joyous journey of the living foods lifestyle. Some people experience very little emotional detox, while others go through intense periods of soul searching and emotional healing. Remember that your personal journey will be perfect and unique.

Negative emotions that may surface could include bitterness, unforgiveness, frustration, anger, resentment, jealousy, feelings of worthlessness, etc. These emotions are poison to your emotional and physical health. Be ready for these old emotions to rear their ugly heads. As you increase the levels of healthy, raw foods in your diet, your brain will begin to "clean house" and you will gain mental and spiritual clarity that you may never have experienced before. Part of the cleansing process will include a cleansing of any toxic emotions that are impacting your physical and spiritual health. This cleansing is a beautiful, wonderful thing, but may not always be comfortable. All cleansing is good, so welcome and embrace any opportunities you receive to clean out musty thoughts and emotions that have been buried in the attic of your mind.

Give yourself permission to recognize old emotional baggage and to release it. Prayerfully ask God to reveal old emotional baggage and to help you address and release them. When negative emotions surface, try to determine where they came from. Ask yourself where the emotion came from and why you're holding onto it. Do you need to forgive someone who hurt you? Do you need to learn to be content? Take time to work through these issues. Find a friend who will lovingly help you talk through these issues. If you have deep issues from past hurts or abuse, find a professional counselor to help you work through the issues and find freedom.

Most of all, make every effort to take those negative thoughts into captivity and to replace them with new, healthy thought patterns and habits. When negative emotions surface, focus on scripture verses, positive affirmations, encouraging quotes, etc., to move away from the negativity and into peace. Celebrate your successes and learn from times of struggle. Each moment is precious. Live life abundantly and always seek to move forward! I welcome your comments. Please let me know how I can be praying for and with you.

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Reaping a Harvest from Fruitless Smoothies

Hi, all. This post is very, very old but still contains great information. Please visit my new site to view much more information on natural healing:

Greetings!! This blog post is specifically for anyone out there who is seeking extreme healing  and is therefore strictly adhering to Phase 1 of Gabriel Cousen's Rainbow Green Life Food Cuisine program. This post also contains valuable info for anyone who is trying to cut back on sugar and fruit to help fight Candida or blood sugar issues. Dr. Cousens' research has proven that greater healing and wellness occurs when folks eat minimal amounts of fruits and high-glycemic vegetables and limit their intake of mycotoxic foods. Mycotoxic foods are foods that contribute to Candida (yeast) overgrowth, cause acidic pH levels, and/or cause toxic poisons to develop in the bloodstream. Examples of mycotoxic foods include mushrooms, vinegar, etc. For my buddies with Diabetes, Dr. Cousens also describes Phase 1 in his book, There is a Cure for Diabetes. (I apologize for the spacing issues in this post. I've adjusted the HTML multiple times and am still having issues. I do apologize.)
So what does no fruit mean for those who rely on smoothies as a staple of their diet? It means you have ample opportunity to exercise creativity while creating delicious new recipes!! It IS possible to make creamy, great tasting smoothies without using fruit. My breakfast every morning is a delicious, all-vegetable, green smoothie that sticks to the Phase 1 guidelines. There are some days when I choose to have smoothies for all three meals so that my body needs less energy for digestion and can use that energy for additional healing. My daily smoothies not only provide huge amounts of energy, but also keep me feeling full until my next meal and beyond. Starting my day with any other food would be a tough adjustment for me. I've come to look forward to each day's new creation or to relish the chance to have old stand-bys that I've come to love.
Following are some guidelines you can use as a basis for creating wonderful fruit-free smoothies:
  • Use sweet fruits such as yellow and red peppers, tomatoes, etc., to add natural sweetness to smoothies
  • Add Avocado to make smoothies creamy and thick
  • Use Stevia as a sweetener if needed
  • Use neutral tasting veggies such as cucumbers and zucchini to add bulk to smoothies without adding a lot of taste
  • Add dark leafy greens such as kale, spinach, etc., to increase the nutritional content of smoothies
  • Use liquids such as the leftover soak water from sundried tomatoes or nuts, unsweetened nut or seed milks, or vegetable juices to add flavor, sweetness, and additional nutrition to smoothies
  • Strategically add ingredients such as protein powders, green powders, superfoods including seaweeds, powdered greens, maca, raw cacao powder and others to add unique flavor and increase the nutritional content of smoothies.
Using those guidelines, you can create a multitude of uniquely delicious and nutritional smoothies. Your options are limitless! Please feel free to share your recipes. 
Following are a few smoothie recipes I enjoy. Please let me know what you think of them!

Vitamineralicious Smoothie Delight


1 Avocado, diced
1 Cucumber, diced
1 scoop Hemp Protein Powder
1 Tomato
1 Handful Kale or Spinach
1 tablespoon Organic Lemon Juice
1 Serving Trace Minerals or Green Superfood Powder
1 cup Raw Unsweetened Nut Milk
1/2 - 1 cup Purified Water (adjust amount to achieve desired thickness)
Stevia to taste (optional)

Place ingredients in blender or VitaMix and blend well. Garnish with a few nut shavings if desired.

Red Light District Smoothie


1 diced Tomatoes
1 diced Sweet Red Pepper
1-2 cup(s) Sun Dried Tomato Soak Water, purified water or organic tomato juice (adjust amount to achieve desired thickness)
1 Handful Red Leaf Lettuce
1 teaspoon organic Cinnamon
1 Avocado (optional)
to taste (optional)

Place ingredients in blender or VitaMix and blend well. Garnish with additional cinnamon.

Mock Raw Diabetic Chocolate Shake


1 Avocado, diced
1/2 cup Raw Cacao Powder*
1-2 cup(s) Raw Unsweetened Nut Milk
to taste

Place ingredients in blender or VitaMix and blend well. Garnish with a sprinkling of raw cacao powder.
* I don't recommend using raw cacao powder in excessive amounts, as it can be stimulating to some people. As an occasional treat, it is a great addition to smoothies.