Stacey, I see you mentioning “green powders”.  Can you please tell me what these are and the benefits I’d get from using them? 

You’ve no doubt heard or probably even used Spirulina at some point – this is just one of the many “green supplements” around.  Green powders (or powdered greens) are essentially greens that have been dried and packaged to make it easy for us to consume.  Without high potency green powders, our other alternative is to spend time juicing our greens. 

For the sake of this article, the types of greens were are talking about are primarily grasses, sprouts and algae – we still need to make sure we’re eating our other veg also! 

Along with spirulina we have things like wheat grass, barley grass, chlorella, alfalfa, broccoli sprouts, oat grass, parsley and loads of others. 

The main health message that is promoted with these greens are their alkalising effects on the body.  Dr Robert Young claims that the root cause of all disease is acidic body tissues, whether or not you choose to believe this claim, there is one fact that is true, and that is that our bodies must maintain a pH balance of around 7.3 to be healthy.  Eating lots of greens and especially taking a daily powdered green supplement helps to maintain this acid/alkaline balance. All serious disease aside, my personal opinion is that a balanced alkaline body will get sick less, as I discovered myself at the end of a very acidic winter last year. 

What I really like most about powdered greens is the nutritional content.  I can’t comment on all powders, but pHresh greens contains around 30 different nutrients, a great multivitamin that your body will find easier to deal with, as it is a whole food.  1tsp of powdered greens is equivalent to around 3-4 servings of veges. 

So, with a happy alkaline body that is properly nourished with vitamins and minerals, this can help with weight loss, energy and digestive function, from digestion right through to elimination. 

Now, I’m about to share too much information but this is my personal experience with powdered greens.  I’m “regular”, like clockwork, but since I included pHresh greens I have been going 2x every second day.  This is not like me at all.  Many naturopaths say we should be going 2x per day, but I support the 1-2x a day camp.  I also noticed my energy improved (it was pretty good to start with), and a few spots I had on my legs disappeared (can be a sign of a nutrient deficiency). 

Most powdered greens are quite earthy, and some have quite a sea-earth taste.  pHresh greens is one powder that doesn’t have a strong taste and didn’t really taint my protein shake at all.  The most amazing thing is that pHresh greens does that I haven’t seen other powders do, is it sticks to the spoon in the same way that you would see iron filings stick to a magnet.  This indicates it has a high electrochemical potential and is very much a living food.  We want food with high electrochemical potential, as molecules with high ECP will move to areas with low ECP (which may exist in our unbalanced bodies) 

Other benefits of powdered greens are detoxification, boost immunity and antioxidant action. I can’t really see any reason not to include them in a healthy balanced diet. 

If you’d like to know more about pHresh greens or buy a tub to try please contact either Lisa or myself.

As with any supplement, powdered greens and pHresh greens are not intended to diagnose, prevent, cure or treat any disease

Stacey Hancock
14 March '11


I've been told that I should have soup more often as it might help me lose weight' Is this true?


Yes, this is one of those ‘is it too good to be true' things that actually is true for a change.  There have been plenty of studies done confirming the inclusion of soup prior to a meal to encourage satiety without overeating at the meal.  So, soup as such won't lose the weight, but the satiety experienced from soup can prevent overeating later on, thereby helping you stick to your calorie deficit.


But, here's where it can come unstuck - That creamy bowl of corn chowder before your steak and salad is not what we're talking about here.  You still need to consider your ingredients, calories and portions or else you could find yourself doubling your meal intake.


Here's how to do it sensibly:

•1.       Firstly, you should know what your calorie intake needs to be, or at least some idea of types of foods and their associated portion sizes for your weight loss

•2.       Now, work out which meals need the soup treatment.  Typically it will be a meal that you always feel hungry after and this hunger would typically lead you to overeat after the meal.  Alternatively, it could be for a snack, and would be far more filling than just a piece of fruit on its own.

•3.       Then, decide whether you want your whole meal as soup or if you want soup as a starter followed by your meal.

•4.       Work out your calories accordingly.  For example, if you are replacing an entire 300cal meal, then your soup needs to be 300cal.  If you are using soup as a starter, then you will need to account for your calories - so your soup may be 100cal with your main being 200cals.  You may want to leave it to chance and just eat your soup and then see how much of your meal you eat, but again - do you know how many calories this is?


The other thing that can happen when we get stuck into a soup diet is that we may eat too few calories and cause our bodies to slow down.  So at the end of the day, treat soup as a food item as you would with anything - just because it's a liquid, it doesn't mean it's from another planet with a different set of calorie rules.


Now, why does it work so well?


Foods that are higher in water content such as fruit, veges, soups and shakes are considered low in energy density (less calories) while being high-volume (more bulk).  This increases satiation and reduces our desire to overeat.  It has been proposed that adding water to food instead of consuming it with food increases the satiety due to stomach distension, but one study dispels this.  Another study proposes that the digestion of minerals with liquefied food contributes to its effects.   It is also proposed that psychological factors may have an influence, one study discussing soup in a large cup vs casserole in a small bowl.


Now, I did also say fruit and vegetables were satiating.  Fibre can also become a high-volume food when either mixed or consumed alongside water and provide the same effect.  Similarly, one study also showed that a salad as an entree influenced satiety equally as well as soup.


So before we get too souped up, just remember that feelings of fullness come from water content, along with things that take longer to digest and provide bulk like fibre, fat and protein in a meal.  By all means try the soup strategy, but you may also want to look at the composition of your meals in general to see if there is anything you're missing and why you have a tendency to possibly overeat.


When choosing a soup - home made is best, packets are too be avoided and tinned soups use in moderation - watch out for the high sodium.


22 Feb 2011

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