BERLIN - There are more and more healthy food snobs in our society – and I’m probably one of the worst.
It all began when I was sick and a friend showed up with a green smoothie, telling me that drinking it would bring “pure light” into my body. I got better right away, and from then on was stuffing everything from chard to dandelions and parsley into my Philips blender.
But then I read that you need 30,000 blade rotations a minute (or was it a second?) to get all the good stuff – the chlorophyll, or what the article called “plant blood” – that your cells love so much. This is the stuff that keeps you young, beautiful and vibrantly healthy. I couldn’t rest until I’d ordered a Vitamix, the best and the fastest, the Porsche 911 GT2 RS of blenders. It calls itself a "Total Nutrition Center,” and costs as much as an iPad.
When it arrived my son said it looked like a defibrillator and made me promise to put it away when people came over. I spent the day happily mixing kale smoothies – kale has more Vitamin C than all the citrus fruits put together and cleans out your intestines like a brush.
It wasn’t long before I was filling a smoothie into a BPA-free plastic BlenderBottle and taking it to work in the morning. While everybody else in the editorial department was getting lattes from Starbucks I was – somewhat demonstratively I will confess – drinking liquid savoy cabbage, feeling all the better (and a tad superior) for it.
I started being health-conscious about eating in the 1990s when I was in my 20s – I bought a grain mill, ate spelt grouts, also filtered my water. My health consciousness back then made me feel pretty good, but it can’t compare to now – particularly after a friend told me, "Suse, you need wheatgrass, drink that and you’ll be high all day!" I’ve taken up her suggestion and drink a mixture of wheatgrass mixed with protein-rich hemp powder. Ever since I started doing that, I’ve been so high – in a fantastic mood as soon as I jump out of bed in the morning – that sometimes it seems a bit much even to me.
Make juice not love
Yes, I also drink alcohol, but only organic wine, and only young reds – that’s where all the antioxidants are. But wine doesn’t hold a candle to celery and cucumbers – those two are killer veggies, real alkali heroes. I have so much celery in my body that in terms of endurance I could keep a whole club of swingers happy except that I doubt there are many raw food orgies out there.
I remember years ago someone telling me that she ended a relationship because she was afraid that somehow some of the meat ingested by her boyfriend would get into her system. I thought she was crazy. But to be perfectly honest with you, nowadays the very thought of a little steak tartare making its way into my green blood turns me off big time – which limits dating options, but then again I’m not into dating right now. My motto of the moment is: Make juice, not love.
Now that I have a Vitamix, I’ve also bought the book by Victoria Boutenko, who is credited with inventing the green smoothie. She says she drinks several liters of green smoothies a day. She’s a little overweight, which irritates me, but I’ve nevertheless moved on to the breakfast she recommends for “advanced” raw food nuts, which is a liter of mixed fruit (20%) and green veg (80%). The fruit of course has to be low on the glycemic index, what insiders refer to as “low glyx.” That means yes to apples, pears, and also avocado, but watch the mangos, bananas and dates.
Contrary to what many people believe, avocadoes may be fatty but they’re good-for-you fatty and you can’t eat enough of them. Right here is a good place to say that my way of eating has nothing to do with dieting, I’m not a calorie counter and in fact don’t even own a scale. I just love the healthy feeling of clarity, freshness, strength that I get from the way I eat, and that makes me feel – after a glass of green colada (spinach, pineapple, coconut water and almond milk), for instance – as if I could rip trees up out of the ground with my bare hands.
I will say that I sometimes think my skin is getting a faint greenish tinge to it, but mostly I have that radiance they call the "inside glow."
Many find that eating the green way improves sex, and that they lose interest in drugs and coffee. It also has to be said that the food tastes better than most people think it will. Do I ever think I’m going too far? I wonder briefly sometimes – when I see the looks on peoples’ faces at the market after I ask the stand-holder to give me the kohlrabi leaves he’s going to throw out – the leaves actually have ten times more iron than the root. But feeling as good as I do, any doubts fade away pretty quickly.