I have been making nutritional smoothies for almost 15 years. They have evolved and my current version of a green berry smoothie is awesome, loaded with nutrition, fiber and anti-oxidantsand it tastes great.  My intention is to share great recipes, pics and eventually video.  Most of these recipes are easy to make, very nutritious and best of all taste great!

When it comes to anti-inflammatory nutrition the things I focus on are getting a variety of organic vegetables, fruit, omega 3 oils, healthy protein from non animal sources (quinoa and veggies)

The things I avoid are animal protein, dairy, sugar, wheat / gluten and alcohol.   These all contribute to inflammation!

Dave’s Anti-Inflammatory Green Berry Smoothie
Organic – Gluten Free – Dairy Free – Vegan – No Added Sugar or Sweetener

Be sure to watch the last minute of the video – at about the 7 minute mark – it’s really funny!

I have been having a smoothie for breakfast when I am home, every day for over 15 years.  Here is the current version of my green berry nutritional smoothie.  I use a Vitamix to prepare my smoothies, blend tec makes a good high speed blender as well.  Not a fan of lower priced blenders like the ninja or magic bullet.  They don’t seem to pulverize the greens as well and I don’t like chunks in my smoothie! Measurements are approximate – I kinda just wing it so feel free to alter the amounts of each ingredient to your liking.

2 cups of coconut wateressential oil fatty acids
2 leaves of organic dino kale peeled off the stem
2 handfuls of organic baby spinach
1 organic apple (sometime I use an organic banana instead – one or the other or 1 of Each if making for 2 people)
2 tablespoons of organic chia seeds
2 tablespoons of organic hemp hearts
1 oz of Udo’s Oil (omega 3 oil mix from organic seeds) You can get this at any health food store, vitamin store or most natural grocers
1/2 cup a of frozen organic anti-oxidant berry mix – I get this at Costco.
1/2  cup of organic blue berries
1/2 cup frozen organic cherries
1/2 cup organic frozen broccoli

Blend it up in the Vitamix for about a minute or so on high.  It tastes great and is loaded with anti-inflammatory nutrition!

I’ll tell ya what – do this smoothie every day for 30 days, eliminate all meat, sugar, wheat / gluten and dairy – you will feel amazing.  It has worked for me for many, many years!

This makes enough for 2 people so my girlfriend and I split it or if I’m making for myself I drink half and save half in fridge for a few hours later.

When it comes to Anti-Inflammatory nutrition for Autoimmune connective tissue disease – this green berry smoothie has been my staple for 15 years.  Regardless of what else I eat, I know my body is getting great nutrition, Vitamins, Minerals, Omega 3 – 6 – 9 Fatty Acids, Protein, Enzymes, Antioxidants, Phytonutrients and Fiber.   vitamix green berry smoothie nutrition

I make this smoothie every day. My girlfriend and I are heading to Maui Hawaii for 2 weeks and we pack the vitamix so we can make our healthy organic green berry smoothie every day on the road. Now that’s commitment to good nutrition!

I was diagnosed with MCTD – Mixed Connective Tissue Disease, Lupus and Rheumatoid Arthritis 16 years ago (1999), Brandi was diagnosed with Rheumatoid Arthritis  15 years ago (2000)

We have learned through our experience that by making our Organic green berry smoothie, juicing vegetables, and eating lots of fresh organic vegetables, fish (not farmed) has made a huge difference with the amount of inflammation in our bodies.  We both walk every day, wear are able to swim, bike, hike – albeit at a slower pace than most but we are able to get out and live a somewhat active lifestyle.

We are looking forward to riding a motorcycle on Maui and going SUP or Stand Up Paddle Boarding and snorkeling.  I might even go scuba diving.  We are able to do this things because of good nutrition over many years.  Minimizing or cutting out meat, dairy, sugar, gluten / wheat and processed foods has played a big part in our nutritional success as well.

Have a healthy and happy day!    davenbrandi300

Mahalo!  Dave & Brandi

When I was out and about yesterday I stopped in at the local grocery store (Fred Meyer) to pick up a few organic produce store400items for my green juice. At the checkout I looked at the items the people in front of me and behind me had in their carts,

They didn’t have much produce, mostly processed foods, sodas, chips, yogurt, white bread and processed foods. At least one of them bought Organic milk!

I had all organic produce in my cart. To each their own.

Before I was diagnosed with MCTD, Lupus and Rheumatoid Arthritis I never gave  thought to what I ate. I didn’t know any better.  It got me thinking about what I ate growing up.

inflammation disease autoimmuneGrowing up my Mom was somewhat nutrition conscious but we were on a limited budget so we ate a lot of processed foods, canned foods and frozen foods. Who didn’t love kraft Mac-N-Cheese with cut up hot dogs made from animal lips and nitrates, with a little canned pears, cottage cheese and green jello on the side?

She at least always tried to provide the four food groups –   Spam, Gluten, Powdered Milk and Sugar!    Just kidding – she really did try hard and did the best she could according to what she knew and what she had to work with.

I didn’t like vegetables so I didn’t eat them much. You couldn’t pay me to eat a Brussel sprout or a beet!organic vegetables anti-inflammatory inflammation autoimmune disease

Believe me,  my Mom tried!  Beets were like alien invaders that leeched into the rest of the food on my plate rendering them inedible!

Brussel Sprouts were disgusting little balls of green dirt that I wouldn’t feed to my dog – well, that’s not exactly  true,   I do remember slipping a few into my napkin under the table for the dogs consumption! At least someone in the family was getting good nutrition!

What’s with creamed corn?  Corn is perfect on the Cobb. Who came up with that?  Lets throw our corn in the blender, puree it with horse urine and feed it to the kids! Yeah – great idea. NOT!

Then there’s broccoli –   little green bushes that brings Yule Gibbons to mind! “Ya ever eat a pine tree? Many parts are edible!” Enough said!

healthy organic produce anti-inflammatory prevent diseaseToday my diet consists of mostly all organic produce – a green smoothie for breakfast, green juice for lunch and either a vegetarian and / or fish. for dinner. No gluten. No sugar. No dairy. No processed food.

If I hadn’t gotten sick, very sick, I would probably never have discovered good nutrition or cared about what I ate. Making the shift from eating for pleasure to eating for health came out of pain and fear – the great motivators.

I’m not a health nut – everything I’ve learned about anti-inflammatory nutrition came out of necessity. I had to make a shift in my eating philosophy and habits or I was going to die.

Auto-Immune Disease may be INCURABLE but I believe it is PREVENTABLE!

Here is a list of the DONT’S when it comes to quality Anti-Inflammatory Nutrition.

I like to call them The Four Horseman of the Nutritional Apocalypse!

The Four Horseman of the Nutritional Apocalypse

  1. Sugar
  2. Meat
  3. Dairy – Casein
  4. Wheat / Gluten

They are acidic – make your body more acid than alkaline and can cause inflammation and disease or dis-ease!.

Minimize or eliminate consumption of Sugar, Meat, Dairy and Wheat or Gluten and you will reduce inflammation in your body.

It’s necessary for me, I don’t have a choice unless I want to be in extreme pain.  You may not have health issues today, but what about tomorrow?  Prevention is the best medicine!

Everything I have gone through in life, every challenge, was necessary to break down the ignorant, selfish, egotistical and immature belief system I had toward life, and toward nutrition.

At the end of the day, the pain and adversity I have endured in my life has been the greatest gift because  it is what eventually brought me to a place of nutritional consciousness and gratitude.

Today I take action in my life to help others.  I know that is the cornerstone of my spiritual belief system. My mission is to help educate people about anti-inflammatory nutrition, promote wellness and healthy living.

I am forever grateful for the many health and nutrition mentors who have helped me, held me and educated me along my journey from sickness to health.

My darkest hour has truly become my greatest gift, to myself and to the world.

You can also follow my anti-inflammatory nutritional journey by “Liking” my Beyond Inflammation  “Facebook page, Follow Beyond Inflammation on Twitter or Instagram or Subscribe to my YouTube Video or Pinterest pages.

Have an organic nutritious day – I know I will!

Dave

Here’s my toxin cleansing anti-inflammatory energy enhancing organic juice of the day.  

All Organic – All Fresh. Always! 

1 Apple, 2 Carrots, 1 Beet, Ginger, Parsley, Kale, Spinach, 2 Celery Stalks, 2 Radishes, 1 Cucumber. 

 

It tastes awesome – seriously! 

When juicing it’s important to me to always use organic fruits and vegetables. I have enough health problems and I don’t want to compound them with toxic chemicals and pesticides that can cause even more inflammation. 

I also was taught by my amazing friend and nutrition mentor Amy Arnold to be careful about the amount of fruit I use in my juicing because of the high natural sugar content.  

But fruit does make the juice taste much better. Moderation is the key! Carrots also have high sugar content. 

Thus only 1 Apple and 2 carrots in this juice – the rest just plain ol’ nutritional organic veggies packed with healthy vitamins, minerals, enzymes and yes – protein.  

Vegetables do have protein.  The challenge with getting protein from vegetables is not one individual vegetable has the complete Amino Acid chain to make up a complete protein, which your body needs to absorb and utilize the protein.  You have to eat or drink a variety of vegetables in order to get the complete chain of protein amino acids your body needs.  

An option I sometimes use is I will add vegetarian organic protein mix to my juice ensuring I am getting enough protein and all the amino acids without the meat, dairy or Casein.  

I will use Metagenics UltraInflamx 360 which is an anti-inflammatory blend of all organic ingredients designed to reduce inflammation.  It has a lot of Turmeric in it which is thought to have anti-inflammatory properties.  The protein comes from organic brown rice.  

I also use a product called “Maca Up”

It is vanilla flavored (naturally) all organic and is a vegan protein supplement with the complete amino acid protein chain. It tastes incredibly good and makes my juice and  green berry smoothies taste awesome! 

The protein in Maca Up comes from organic peas and organic brown rice. 

I’ve been juicing for around 15 years now – ever since I was diagnosed with Lupus, Rheumatoid Arthritis and MCTD or Mixed Connective tissue Disease.  

I believe my healthy nutritional eating habits are the reason I am still above ground today.  

I didn’t think much about nutrition until I got sick and was diagnosed with the auto-immune connective tissue disease. 

Auto- Immune Connective Tissue disease are where your immune system is overactive and attacks your own body.  

I have systemic inflammation throughout my body. 

Inflammation sucks.  Joint and muscle pain, fevers, sensitivity to sun, frequent sore throats, extreme fatigue – these are some of the symptoms I have experienced.

I truly believe that having my green berry smoothie for breakfast and green vegetable juicing for lunch – over time has greatly reduced the amount of inflammation in my body and I am able to enjoy a limited but relatively active and pain free lifestyle.  

If you are suffering from an auto- immune or connective tissue disease like  Lupus, Rheumatoid Arthritis, Psoriasis, Chronic Fatigue Syndrome and Fibromyalgia you might benefit from Juicing Healthy Organic Fruits and Vegetables Daily! 

You should always consult your Doctor or Rheumatologist before starting on a new nutritional regimen.  

My Doctor talked with me 2 weeks ago, he ran some blood tests to check my inflammation levels – they were pretty high.  He told me that most people with the amount of inflammation in their body are not moving around very easy and normally they would prescribe a biologic like Humira or Enbrel.  He said “You don’t need it because You are doing great physically despite the inflammation, Lupus and Rheumatoid Arthritis and MCTD ( Mixed Connective Tissue Disease) 

He also said “just keep on doin what your doing with nutrition! • Ok Doc! Will do!  

I am currently on Prednisone an anti- inflammatory steroid medication,  but down to 5 mg a day and hopefully be done in 4 days.  2 weeks on prednisone for a bad lupus flare and DVT blood clot scare!   First time in 4 years.  My flares are usually brought on by emotional stress or lack of sleep.  This time it was a reaction to the DVT blood clot I had in my leg.  

I pride myself in managing my inflammation and conective tissue issues with nutrition. 

It works for me.  

It’s a beautiful sunny day in Seattle so I’m gonna head out for a ride on my Harley Davidson because – well because I can!  Because I am pain free – just for today!  

Happy juicing! 

Dave 

Prednisone | Lupus | Auto-Immune Disease | Inflammation | Rheumatoid Arthritis

When I was first diagnosed with Lupus, Rheumatoid Arthritis and MCTD or Mixed Connective Tissue Disease 16 years ago I was in a great deal of pain. It was difficult to simply get out of bed to go to the bathroom.

The Rheumatologist prescribed daily dose of prednisone which is a prescription steroid anti-inflammatory medicine. Prednisone was a miracle drug for me. My symptoms disappeared almost overnight. I was out walking, hiking and living my active lifestyle again in no time.

Around 90 days into my initial prednisone use I went to see a highly recommended Rheumatologist at Virginia Mason Medical Center in Seattle.

He told me that long term chronic use of prednisone (more than a year) Would begin to have adverse effects on my body specifically my internal organs. He said I should taper off Prednisone and learn to get by without it.

I tried. I failed. Every time I quit taking Prednisone completely I inevitably had a Lupus and Rheumatoid Arthritis flare up.

I was frustrated and depressed.

I started learning more about anti-inflammatory nutrition. I started making fruit and vegetable smoothies and juicing. I started eating mostly vegetarian. I started drinking 100 ounces of water a day. Under the advisement of a Naturopathic Doctor I started taking anti-inflammatory supplements like glucosamine, Chondroitin, MSM, vitamin D, vitamin B12 and turmeric.

After a couple months I was finally able to stop taking prednisone and not have a lupus or Rheumatoid Arthritis flare up!

Over the past 16 years, since that initial 4 or 5 months on prednisone I’ve only had to take prednisone when I’ve had a severe flare up, which on average has been once every 2 or 3 years.

My flare ups usually seem to be triggered by emotional stress.

I hadn’t taken prednisone for over 4 years until 2 weeks ago when I had to go to the ER for a blood clot in my leg. The Doctors were worried I might have a pulmonary embolism which could kill me.

My Doctor says that because of the MCTD, Lupus and Rheumatoid Arthritis and systemic inflammation throughout my body that I was at higher risk of a DVT blood clot ( Deep Vein Thrombosis). I had no idea I was at high risk. Now I know.

Unfortunately now I have to take blood thinner or anti-coagulation meds (Coumadin / Warfarin) to keep my blood from clotting again.

That’s a major bummer as now I have to be extra careful as to not cut myself or fall and get a head injury or bruise because they say I could bleed out internally due to my thinned blood. Crazy! As if living with Lupus and Rheumatoid Arthritis wasn’t hard enough!

My Doctor told me I will be on Coumadin / Warfarin blood thinning meds for a minimum of a year and probably for the rest of my life.

Initially I got depressed but then I woke up a few days into the anti- coagulation treatment and decided that I’m just not going to accept that.

I have managed my inflammatory disease issues with nutrition and decided to research nutrition to thin my blood naturally. I’ve learned a ton in the past week and am excited to implement my new anti-coagulation nutrition plan.

I will keep you posted on my progress in future blog posts.

Back to the prednisone. My doctor had me on 40 mg of prednisone a day. That’s a lot! I didn’t like the way it made me feel, although my Lupus and Rheumatoid Arthritis symptoms calmed down as did the inflammation in my joints, it made it hard for me to sleep and I felt anxiety.

2 weeks into the process I am now down to 10 mg a day and tomorrow go to 5 mg. In 4 to 5 days I will be going off prednisone completely.

It’s been a long time since I’ve been on prednisone. Like I said, over 4 years. While on prednisone this time around I’ve noticed that in addition to having more energy than normal, my brain is working better. My memory is better and I am articulating thoughts better.

I fee normal for the first time in a long time. I had forgotten how good it feels to have energy and think clearly.

I’ve been living with these health challenges for 16 years so my “normal” is joint and muscle pain, fatigue and low energy. God it feels good to have energy again!

My big fear is that when I stop taking prednisone my energy level will go down and my joint and muscle pain will return.

My Doctor ordered blood tests and of course they confirmed the MCTD/ Lupus / Rheumatoid Arthritis / inflammation throughout my body.

In fact he told me that normally with results as high as mine he would prescribe Enbrel or Humira biologic injections to try and reduce the inflammation in my body.

Then he asked me what I was doing to control the inflammation. He didn’t understand how, with as much inflammation as I had going on in my body how I was even walking around comfortably let alone riding a motorcycle, waking for exercise and living a fairly normal life.

I explained my nutritional regimens to him and he said “well, whatever your doing, keep doing it because it’s working.”

He also said that the biologicals like Humira and Enbrel come with a myriad of challenging potential side effects and he wouldn’t prescribe it unless I absolutely needed it.

I am enjoying being on the prednisone and having less pain and more energy.

I am going to stop taking the prednisone next week and hopefully won’t have any flare up symptoms. I expect for some of the pain, inflammation and low energy fatigue to return but I’m used to that.

In response to the recent DVT blood clot health scare I’ve taken my nutrition program to another level. I’ve been doing my nutritional organic green berry smoothies every day and eating a lot of organic veggies for many years but I only have been juicing twice a year when I do my juice cleanses usually for 7 to day 10 days each time. I started juicing every day again.

Funny how when your told your life is on the line the the motivation to do better shows up.

I’m juicing every day now. I have a green berry smoothie for breakfast, organic veggie juice for lunch and a vegetarian meal for dinner. I am also taking all my anti-inflammatory supplements every day like vegetarian liquid glucosamine, Chondroitin, MSM, Udo’s oil, fish oil, vitamin D, B12 and turmeric.

I am determined to live prednisone free, reduce the inflammation in my body naturally and also to thin my blood naturally and get off the blood thinners.

I even finally started writing a book on anti – inflammatory nutrition for people with auto immune diseases like MCTD, lupus, rheumatoid arthritis, psoriatic arthritis, chronic fatigue syndrome, and fibromyalgia. I’ve been writing every day.

If you suffer from any inflammatory auto- immune disease, please subscribe to this blog site and keep checking back for new articles and nutritional information.

My girlfriend Brandi has been very supportive through all of this. I am grateful to have such an amazing, loving, accepting, patient and kind partner in my life.

She s a great chef too! We’ve created some amazing organic vegetarian, dairy free, gluten free, sugar free recipes that taste amazing. We’re working on some videos which we will be posting on this website soon. She’s the cook and I’m the smoothie and juice guy. We make a great team.

Until next time…. Live with passion and purpose!

Dave

I had pretty serious health scare last week.

Went to Doc for nagging pain in left calf – got to the point where ibuprofen wasn’t taking the edge off anymore so after a week of suffering silently I buckled and made a Dr. appt.   Saw Dr. Guler at UW Medicine in Covington. Fantastic patient experience, great clinic.   All initial signs and examination eliminated likelihood of DVT or Deep Vein Thrombosis (Blood Clot) but just to be sure Dr Guler asked me to go to a vascular clinic for an ultrasound.  I went directly from clinic to Pacific Vascular in Auburn which is located in the same building as Auburn General Hospital.  Long story short – they found a major blot clot in a vein in my left calf and escorted me immediately to ER to be admitted.  A couple hours later I was sent on my way with blood thinner prescription and instructions to contact a Coumadin / Warfarin clinic to manage the blood thinning process. Was also prescribed Lovenox which is a fast acting injectable blood thinner and instructed on giving myself injections in the stomach twice a day for five days until the Coumadin takes effect. .

The danger of DVT or blood clot in the leg is if the blood clot breaks loose it can cause PE or Pulmonary Embolism where the blood clot lodges in the arteries in the lungs and  can cause sudden death.

After much research I have discovered that between 10 – 30% of DVT patients die from PE within 30 days of DVT diagnosis and is estimated that between 100,000 and 300,000 people die in the US every year from PE making it potentially the 3rd leading cause of death behind heart disease and cancer. Statistics are somewhat vague as many DVT/PE deaths happen after surgeries or in cancer patients so cause of death is sometimes attributed to other causes although DVT / PE may have been the final blow.

Crazy huh?  I feel very fortunate that  I swallowed my pride and overcame my stubborn resistance to go to the Doctor (with prodding from my girlfriend and father!)

Why am I writing this?   Two reasons.  With the reality of facing possible death from PE  I woke up today and asked myself 2 questions. 1. What is great about this? (Thanks Tony Robbins)  and Who can I help with the information and experience I have gained?

I think the second question answers the first and impetus for this blog post.

I am looking for 3 things from this post:

  1. If you or someone you know is experiencing an achy pain, swelling in calf or leg get to the doctor ASAP. Does not feel like a pulled muscle or sharp pain, feels like your muscle is so inflamed that it is going to explode. The pain worsened and I was taking ibuprofen to take the edge off, on a scale of 1 -10   I would say the pain was a 7 but with ibuprofen went down to a manageable 3 or 4. I had never heard of DVT or PE before yesterday. Unfortunately many DVT patients experience PE a result of DVT before consulting a doctor because they think they pulled a muscle. Again, up to a possible 30% of DVT / PE patients die. Some die without ever going to a doctor.
  2.  Awareness. If you are aware of DVT / PE, the symptoms and what to do if you experience DVT or PE your chance of survival increases. That is the main reason I am sharing my experience today to spread awareness. I am by no means out of the woods, my treatment is just beginning and the blood thinning process and hopeful subsequent dissipation of the clot can take months and I am at high risk of PE.
  3. If  anyone that reads this has experienced DVT or PE I would love to hear about your experience.

After meeting with my Doctor the following day, he had ordered a bunch of blood tests and the results were back.  The inflammation in my body is really high. All the Mixed Connective Tissue and Lupus marker tests came back really high.

My Doctor is certain that the DVT (blood clot) was a result of Lupus and the systemic inflammation throughout my body.

Makes sense – my red blood cells are inflamed. Blood tests prove that. My blood clots quicker and runs thicker because it is inflamed.  My Doctor told me that Lupus and all auto-immune disease patients with systemic inflammation are at higher risk of a DVT and PE.  I had no idea.

I have been dealing with Lupus / Mixed Connective Tissue Disease and RA for 16 years!   I manage my disease through nutrition.  My nutrition ROCKS! I’ve been doing Nutritional Organic Green smoothies for almost 15 years! I juice. I eat mostly vegetarian, organic, gluten free, dairy free and sugar free. I don’t eat processed foods very often.  I do Juice cleanses twice a year.

The doctor said whatever your doing, keep doing it because most people with your level of inflammation in their body are in a lot of pain and require Enbrel or Humira, Plaquenil, Methotrexate, Prednisone etc…  Just to get by.

I get it. I live with fatigue and chronic pain every day – for 16 years. But I have minimized the pain through nutrition.  I have accomplished some amazing physical feats (triathlons and bike rides) for someone with Lupus and MCTD like me.

Last week I was a Dead Man Walking – at high percentage risk of having a Pulmonary Embolism from a DVT / Deep Vein Thrombosis – blood clot in my leg.   I’m lucky I’m alive.  I’ve read the stories of those who didn’t make it.   I am blessed and I am going to take my nutrition to an even greater level than ever because I am determined to beat this Auto-Immune stuff.

I am recommitting myself to this blog and the information I’ve learned so check back for updated info. I will be posting at least weekly and adding more great healthy anti – inflammatory recipes!

Even going to create some recipe videos.  This could be fun!

I have recently become aware of how in conversation – when I have been talking about Lupus and Rheumatoid arthritis with friends how I have been referring to my health challenges as “My Lupus” or “My Rheumatoid arthritis.” Thanks to my good friend Rama for calling me on it. What I realized is that I have associated my identity with the disease. I am now making effort to refer to my situation as the diagnosis of…. I am not a victim and I truly believe that the onset of my health issues came from decades of eating poorly, malnutrition and low self esteem. I am taking great care of myself nutritionally and that has made a huge difference in my life over the past 12 years. I am committed to doing everything in my power to heal from the pain lupus, rheumatoid arthritis and auto-immune disease brought into my life. I have started doing healing meditation and positive healing affirmations again on a daily basis. I focus on self love and repeat over and over in my mediatation that “I am healing” and “I am healed” I also visualize that I am conscoiusly letting go of dis-ease in my life. I don’t need it anymore. I am grateful for the awareness it has brought into my life and the lessons I have learned because of my experience. I have changed my life and my health and I am ready to let the dis-ease go. I also visualize white healing light coming into my body and healing every cell in my body. I truly believe I am healing. I do not under estimate the power of intentional thought, directed energy and spiritual connectedness. Everything is possible. Just like nutrition – it is a process and everything takes time. Heard a great quote the other day – “Time brings change and change takes time.” Happy healing my friends! I hope you join me on my journey of good health – physically, emotionally and spiritually. Lupus, Rheumatoid Arthritis and Auto-Imuunity be gone!  – – –  What disease?! : )