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

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

Happy Thanksgiving everyone!  I am grateful for so many things in my life today.  My health, my family and friends and all the wonderful things I am learning about health and nutrition today.
I have been eating very healthy – doing all of my nutrition smoothies and juicing and wheatgrass and Udo’s oil and supplements and eating veggies and green drink and drinking lots of purified water and the list goes on.  I feel wonderful when I eat this healthy!   Then Thanksgiving comes – Turkey and mashed potatoes and stuffing (with sausage) Gravy  and OMG!  I splurged a bit – I made some roasted sweet poatatoes myself -they are loaded with nutrition and ant-oxidants.  I felt horrible after.  My stomach hurt and I was bloated.  I woke up the next day (today) not feeling too well. Kind of like a bad food hangover!  Amazing how sensitive my body is to “bad for me” foods when  havent been eating them very often.  The GOOD NEWS is I am back on track today and feeling better already!   I have discovered roasted veggies and they can be really delicious.   The more veggies -organic of course and the the bigger variety the better.  Here’s a picture of a recent roasted veggie meal I made – was so yummy!

Roasted Veggies

I added a liitle olive oil and seasoning – then broiled both sides.  Yams, red peppers, asparagas, zuchini, portabello mushrooms, tomatoes,  and i added some roasted acorn squash, lightly steamed spinach with lemon and freshh avocado to the meal.  Delicious and nutritious!  Also good on the grill.

I am learning so much about nutrition.   Science is helping us understand more and more about what our bodies need to be healthy.   I have discovered a new acai juice product that is absolutely amazing.    There are over 1000  nutritional properties in Acai.   The juice I take is a patented flash frozen acai combined with many other healthful fruits.  Loaded with antioxidants and phytonutrients.   I’ve been drinking this juice for about a month now and it has made a major impact on me.  I have more sustained energy than ever.   It is amazing to me how how well our bodies do when given the proper nutrition on a consistent basis.     Email me if you want info on the juice product I am taking.  It tastes great too!

THANK YOU!  THANK YOU!  THANK YOU!  For supporting my 3 Day Walk for Breast Cancer and the Susan G Komen Philanthropic Trust.   Thanks to you I raised $2700, and Alex raised almost $6,000.   There were more than 2200 Walkers, and  400 volunteers,  this years walk raised  5.5 Million Dollars!   Since it’s inception, the 3 Day Breast Cancer Walk has raised over  400 Million Dollars.

When asked if I met my goal, I passed on something I heard from another walker, “What, did they cure breast cancer?”    because that is the ultimate goal. I walked (hobbled much of the time) in honor of my sister Jill.  She is my hero.

I wanted to share a bit of the experience with you, my supporters.  Without you I would not have been allowed to walk, each walker is required to raise at least $2300 to participate.

Training for the walk had challenges itself.  It was difficult to make time to walk 3, 4 , 5 or 6 hours even once or twice a week, so we did much less walking than they recommend.   Back in early August I suffered what I thought was a stress fracture but turned out to be Gout  in my right foot on our longest training walk of 17.5 miles.   That pain nagged at me throughout the rest of the training and the 3 Day Event.  Then less than 2 weeks before the walk I severely sprained my ankle and was forced to stay off it as much as possible and ice as much as I could.   I was seriously questioning my ability to participate in the walk.

Anytime I experienced pain, I just kept thinking about Jill, and how my pain is nothing compared to the suffering she endured.  Thinking of Jill carried me through this experience, which, as it turns out, was meant to be.

A week before the walk, Alex and I received an email from one of the 3 Day Event Organizer’s, saying she saw our 1KpaperCranes.com website  and read about our reasons for walking.  She had been searching for 2 more people to fill the last 2 spots carrying Honor Flags at the Opening and Closing Ceremonies. One was the “Sister” flag, and the other the “Father” flag.  Alex’s father had esophageal cancer and also has passed on.   She said it was a perfect fit.  We agreed and accepted the honor.

We awoke at 4:30 Friday a bit tired but ready to go.  My ankle felt pretty good and so did my foot.  I was excited for the experience ahead.   We proudly carried our flags at the opening ceremony then off we went.  So many people, so much PINK!   Mostly women, occasionally I’d see another guy sporting a “Real Men Wear PINK” shirt or a Pink ball cap. Me, I wore a T-Shirt that said “I LOVE (heart symbol) BOOBS!  With Support Breast Cancer Awareness underneath.  Any other context and I would have been crucified!

I met a gentleman at the opening ceremony, who was in his full fireman uniform, coat pants, helmet and all, over 40 pounds of gear.  His name was Tony Scoccolo, so I asked him if he knew Pat Scoccolo, who was a close friend of mine in Junior High and High School.  It was his cousin.  Tony’s Mom passed away from breast cancer last Sept. and he decided to do the walk in honor of her, and his Aunt, who is my friend Pat’s mom, and a breast cancer survivor.   Tony is a firefighter for the port of Seattle and when his firefighter buddies got word of the walk, they egged him on and challenged him and 4 others to do the entire walk in their full firefighter gear. They made bets and received larger donations to do the walk in full gear. And they did it!   At the end Tony said it was the hardest physical challenge of his life. I have to agree with that, and I was only wearing shorts and a t-shirt!

Off we went, I felt pretty good when we arrived at the first pit stop at 3.1 miles into the first day. Then I stepped on the edge of the pavement where it turned to grass and I sprained my ankle AGAIN! I was so upset, it hurt so bad I actually cried. Alex said it was ok to stop, but I kept thinking about Jill and once again, no amount of pain can begin to compare to what she went through.  I hobbled to the medical tent and they taped my ankle up real good so it wouldn’t collapse again.  We started walking again, I was limping because of sharp pain shooting up my leg,  and developed a painful charlie horse in right butt cheek!   It was sooo freakin painful.   Day one was pretty miserable for me, I was in extreme pain the whole day. One step at a time, 8 hours later, we made it – 21.6 miles.

Wasn’t sure I’d make it back on Sat.   My friend Lonnie re-taped my ankle, and we showed up not sure what to expect.  Lots of stretching and I managed to do ok on Sat, but it was also very hot.  Alex and I were both exhausted. My muscles ached, I got sick,  shivers and sweats all night, it was crazy.  We did almost 44 miles the first two days so only 15+ miles was left on Sunday.  I felt better, my body had recovered somewhat, I had very little pain and honestly Sunday was a piece of cake.

When we signed up for the walk they don’t tell you where in the Puget Sound area you’ll be walking. The last 2 years they started in Tukwila, walked through  the eastside, camped at Marymoor park in Redmond and ended up at Seattle Center.  We found out a week or so before the walk we’d be starting at Shoreline Community College and walking to Everett Friday and Saturday, then Sunday would start around Green Lake, walk up Capitol Hill then end up at the Seattle Center.

The route Saturday  took us directly down Jill’s street and past her, Tim and Anna’s house in Everett. Later that day we passed the church where her memorial service was, and then we started up a walking trail and Alex said to me “is that a golf course over there to the left” I stopped in my tracks and responded something like “OH MY GOD! That is the  cemetery where Jill is buried.   It was a challenging experience both physically and emotionally.   When we passed the cemetery I was overheated, dehydrated and exhausted. I just broke down crying right there while walking along the trail.  Grief is a very powerful emotion, even years later. Ya think maybe I was meant to do this walk?

Alex is a trooper, she battled tendonitis in her Achilles for the past 2 months but she still kicked my sorry butt.  We finished the 60 mile trek together, hand in hand.   With all the challenges I experienced, I doubt I would have made it without her patience, love and encouragement.

I did a ½ Iron Triathlon Swim  (1.2 Miles) and Bike (56 miles) 2 years ago, and 2  – 100 mile+ century bike rides a year ago, they were nothing compared to walking 60 miles, over 3 days.  25 Hours of walking in all (including breaks)

During the walk we were in the presence of 2200 amazing people, all with a story. Some breast cancer survivors, just as Jill was when she did the 3 Day Walk during a remission 8 years ago.

My Parents Jack and Terri, Brother Mark, Sister Linda, Jill’s husband Tim and her Daughter Annelise all joined us at the closing ceremony.

I am grateful for the experience and look forward to doing it again next year, and every year after that as long as I am physically able, until a cure for breast cancer is discovered.  Thank you again for your support. Your money went to a great cause.  You’ll hear from me again next Summer,  I appreciate any and all contributions.  If anyone is interested in joining our 1000 Paper Cranes Team, shoot me an email, we’d love to have you with us.

With Love and Gratitude,

Dave

I have been working very hard the past couple months to take really good care of my health and try to get my body more alkaline.  From doing a 10 day juice cleanse, to colonics and eating mostly vegetarian.  I have eaten almost completely vegetarian the past 2 weeks, no meat or dairy.   I did have eggs one day and fish (salmon) another. I have excercised for at least an hour a day, mostly biking and walking.  One day I walked 10 miles and another I biked 50 miles.   I drink 100+ ounces of water a day and I’ve taken my shot of Udo’s Oil evry day along with my liquid Vitamins, green drink, glucosamine -chondroitin-MSM, and also wheatgrass juice every day.

Since I started testing my alkalinity I’ve never been under 7.0  which is barely alkaline. Today when I tested my alkalinity / acidity I was 6.0  which I didn’t even think was possible!   I am so excited that all my hard work is paying off.  I want to get my cholesterol checked again to see how low it is now.  My goal is to keep it under 150.

The key to alkalinity is eating a whole foods vegetarian diet with lots of whole grain fibre, fruits and vegetables.  Taking my greens, udo’s Oil and wheatgrass drinking lots of water and exercising helps as well.  I am in the best physical shape since I was diagnosed with Mixed Connective Tissue Disease (Lupus, Rheumatoid Arthritis and Scleraderma) 10 years ago!  Get healthy – get alkaline!