Though I’m not in school anymore, I still consider myself a student. I enjoy learning. I believe that every person on this earth has something to teach others. I’ve noticed that when you get someone talking about something they are passionate about, they can offer valuable insight into their topic of passion. Perhaps that’s why my career as a filmmaker brings me so much joy. A camera allows me to capture people’s stories and learn from them. It also lets me share what I learn with others.What was your personal experience with youth diabetes and how it did it affect you?
This skinny is this:
When I was nine years old I was diagnosed with diabetes and was told to take insulin shots for the rest of my life. Instead of taking the conventional approach, my mother convinced the entire family to change our diet. Our new meal plan consisted solely of raw fruits, vegetables, nuts, seeds, and grains. No meat, no dairy, no processed foods. Though this way of eating was extreme, I began to feel better almost instantly. Within several months, my diabetic symptoms started to disappear. Eventually I received a clean bill of health from my doctor. 20 years later I am still diabetes free, and I know I’m not alone because I have met countless other folks that have followed a similar protocol and experienced similar results.
Over the years, my story has stirred up a lot of controversy. I understand that it’s difficult to believe a guy with no medical certification that diet change can lead to the reversal of an “irreversible illness.” But this has been my experience. It is not my intention to misinform people or lead them to do things that will harm their health. After all I am not a medical doctor and thus cannot and will not advise people about their health. When I am asked, I share my story. I believe that the food we eat has more power than we give it credit for. It’s that simple.Green smoothies have really become a craze since you began promoting them with your family.
Yes, green smoothies have really taken off. Next year will be the 10th anniversary since my mother, Victoria Boutenko, came up with the concept. What’s not to love? A smoothie that’s loaded with nutrients that tastes great and is easy to drink. I’d be surprised if there weren’t popular by now.
I’m really excited to hear more about your latest development with your documentary“Powered By Green Smoothies.”
In the summer of 2013 I rounded up 10 endurance athletes (five ultra-runners and five CrossFitters), put them on a green smoothie challenge for six weeks, and documented everything with my camera. So as to ensure that my experiment was…
serious, I put my people through a series of blood tests, demanding endurance tests, and consulted with numerous medical professionals throughout the documentary. The results of this project were fascinating! Even though all of my athletes were healthy and fit to begin with, they managed to further improve their health and endurance simply by drinking whole-food based green smoothies.
Perhaps the most distinguished change we (my team and I) discovered in the before and after blood work of my athletes was a significant reduction in C-reactive protein (CRP). CRP is a test that measures protein particles in the blood. These protein particles are directly linked to levels of inflammation. The higher the CRP the more inflammation is present in that body. All but one of my athletes managed to reduce their C-reactive protein significantly by drinking green smoothies. Less inflammation translated to athletes feeling lighter on their feet, healing their pre-existing, workout-related injuries, and improving their post-exercise recovery times.
After a year of working on this project, I can confidently conclude that green smoothies support the health and performance of athletes in a way that it is scientifically measurable and physically noticeable. The testimonies of the athletes who took part in this experiment are so surprising and inspiring they will make everyone who watches this film reach for their green smoothie and strap on their running shoes. If you’d like to watch my new film please visit Powered By Green Smoothies.
You’ve also created a couple pretty unique products: Wild Edibles playing cards and a Wild Edibles App for iPhone & Android. Tell me about these products and what inspired you to create them?
Keeping my trajectory of eating good food and being healthy, I regularly incorporate wild edibles into my diet. It is my belief that wild-harvested foods are even healthier than store-bought organic produce. Because wild edible eating is often surround by fear, I have taken it upon myself to help other people reap the health benefits of nature’s free food in a safe and sustainable manner.
Here are some resources that will help you learn about edible weeds:
- My wild edible book
- Wild edible playing cards
- Wild edible iPhone app
- I also have lots of free videos on YouTube about wild edibles. Like THIS ONE.
What are your personal top two favorite greens for smoothies?
Persimmon Green Smoothie
5-6 ripe persimmons, sliced (with seeds removed)
4-5 leaves of Romaine lettuce
2 cups of water or apple juice
Blend well in a blender. Serve in a nice glass. Decorate with a sprig of mint.
Yields: 4 cups
Nectarine Grape Smoothie
1 head oak leaf lettuce
4 ripe nectarines, pits removed
1 cup green grapes
2 cups water
Yields: 2 quarts
More free recipes are available HERE
I recall a time in Maui seeing you eat an avocado like an apple. I’d never seen anyone do this before or since! Can you tell me how the benefits of including avocado in one’s diet actually outweigh the feared “negatives?”
Are there any negatives? Are you talking about the “fat content” in avo’s? Avocados contain healthy fats, protein, vitamins, minerals, and dietary fiber. They’ve been shown to decrease chances of getting cancer and diabetes. They also lower cholesterol and promote a healthy body weight and BMI. Given these statistics, I think that avo’s are definitely worth eating.
It appears that the fitness element of your life is incredibly diverse. What all do you do to live a healthy and fit lifestyle?
A few years back I listened to a talk given by one of the ex Surgeon Generals. He said people actually need to get 1-3 hours of exercise per day to stay fit and healthy. During his term as Surgeon General, he was forced to recommend significantly less exercise to the general public because he feared that giving them the actual figures would scare them away from exercising at altogether. Since I heard the General’s talk, the 1-3 hour mark has stayed with me. I think that exercise is one important factor in staying healthy, but the key is to engage in exercise that’s fun and doesn’t feel like work. For me this means variety. On a regular basis I play soccer on a community league, snowboard, go trail running, dance salsa, attend CrossFit, bike, climb, and do pushups.
Can you describe to me what it feels like to be on a mostly raw diet? Are there any challenges, and how do you handle these challenges?
I think the hardest part of eating healthy is going against the grain. It’s harder to go out with friends, take trips, etc., etc. when you eat healthy food. But what’s the alternative? I enjoy feeling good more than eating good, so for me the choice is clear. That’s why I eat fresh, organic, homemade food most of the time. Don’t get me wrong, I still go out with friends from time to time and enjoy myself (I think it’s important to not take yourself too seriously), but 90 percent of the time, it’s just not worth it to me to eat crappy food and pay an arm and a leg for it. So I stick with my salads and smoothies.
What is your advice for anyone wanting to shift to a raw or mostly raw diet?
Green smoothies! It’s easier to add to your diet than delete things. Add 1 quart of green smoothies into your daily routine and observe how you will start craving healthier food.
What products have you developed that are geared towards kids? I love your kids’ lunches ebook! How do you feel this could be beneficial for preventing youth diabetes?
I think it’s very important to educate parents and children about eating healthier. Children are our future generation. If we continue our current course, our children and our children’s children will run into some MAJOR problems. For this reason, my mother and sister have written several books and ebooks targeted at children.
For a full list of our kids products please visit our Raw Family site.
Can you share one wild edible and its benefits that you feel is most scarcely known?
Sure. You can watch my video HERE.
What are your goals with your business?
That’s easy… To keep hustling health!