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 

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?! : )

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