To understand the thinking behind the Berrymato Power Shot Smoothie–or any other No MPs Recipe concocted in my effort to eliminate microplastics from my diet insofar as possible–it helps to know a bit of backstory.
Why? Because this No MPs Recipes cookbook is being tailored to my health needs and my tastes. You may find it useful or useless; we are not all the same when it comes to dietary details any more than we share the same fingerprints.
Caveat: The first two photos are not food oriented but medical and may gross some readers out. If your gag reflex is easily triggered, feel free to scroll down past those as quickly as possible, ignoring the images if you can
At the time of this writing (November 2017) I am 74 years of age and in generally excellent health, still willing and able to do a day’s work that would put many twenty year old men to shame. That said, my body does have its issues, being human, and one of those issues is a massively swollen group of lymph nodes. I first noticed the swelling in January of 2013, nearly five years ago. Between then and now, many protocols have been followed, several showing great promise but all failing in the end. Medical doctors have taken one look and run screaming for an exorcist…well, it seemed that way. Some insisted I must have cancer, specifically Hodgkins lymphoma. Those types usually ended up looking horrified when I would calmly tell them that even if I did, too bad so sad, but I would not accept treatment.
But then, I’ve never respected the AMA version of the medical profession a whole lot anyway, except when it came to surgery. An expert cutter? Yeah, I get that.
About two weeks ago, I finally decided to try a specific spiritual technique. When drifting off to sleep at night, I would ask my spiritual guide to “…please take me to where I can learn to heal the physical body.” I still hadn’t slowed down any, but my immune system was clearly not as powerful as it should be and the aesthetics were highly unsettling to others. Bluntly put, I looked like a troll had mated with a bullfrog and produced a lopsided frog-troll hybrid. A trollfrog.
A whole new take on Beauty and the Beast. Disney, eat your heart out.
Three mornings after starting the dream exercise technique, I heard three crucial words just as I was waking up: “Deconaminate the salt.”
The light bulb was on. A bit of online research uncovered the fact that our oceans have become thoroughly contaminated with microplastics, MPs, invisible bits of pigment, foam, fabric, and fragments. These little manmade horrors have been found in nearly every brand of sea salt, and even table salt comes originally from the sea in most cases. This convinced me of several things:
1. No longer could I dine out; I would need to learn to cook everything for myself, from scratch. Main dishes, salads, dressings, mayo, ketchup, pie crust…if it came from a restaurant or a store, it had “contaminated” salt in it. Ai-yi-yi! I would have to elevate myself from a camp cook to a chef, or close to it.
2. No MPs salt (completely uncontaminated, no microplastics at all) could be purchased from Utah sources, salt that used to be sea salt, all right, but from the Jurassic era. Unless the dinosaurs used plastics, that salt should be safe.
3. The scientists behind one major MPs study mentioned that there might be even more microplastics in our drinking water, so I’d need to be careful about that, too. Plastic bottles should be okay to drink from as it’s the slow destruction process over time that produces microplastics, not newly minted containers…but that was a guess.
After one week of following the new protocol, I had my first go-to recipe, the Berrymato Power Shot Smoothie…and I also had noticeable health benefits to record:
1. My heart arrhythmia, noticeable for the past 20 years or more, does not exist on this diet. In the “old days” my resting pulse rate (sitting at ease, no major stress) was usually between 68 and 72 beats per minute with at least one or two skips in there. Now that rate is 61 beats per minute, steady as a clock, no skips at all.
Wow. Love it, but I have to admit I didn’t see that one coming.
2. Digestion is much smoother. A mistake in a recipe experiment will produce a gut ache, but get it right and it’s out of sight.
3. Huge improvement in bowel movements. That took a few days to kick in but was well worth the wait.
4. Noticeable reduction in node swelling size. This is where the “may be gross” photos come in. There’s still a mountain of swelling to eliminate, but if there are dozens or perhaps hundreds of microplastics penetrating my body’s various organs as we speak, getting them all out of there could logically take a while. Years, even.
5. Immune system appears to be recovering.
That said, note the following differences between the Before and After pictures:
The monstrous swelling in front of the throat, just to the right of center, is greatly reduced. That’s incredibly important as that cluster was pestering my windpipe Before. After, not at all.
On the left side of my neck (your right as you view the photo), the convex curve between neck and shoulder is now a concave curve as swelling in that area has eased.
There are numerous other areas of reduction, especially under my right armpit, but that’s enough for the purpose of this post.
Now that we’re finished with the TMI part of this post, here’s the recipe.
BERRYMATO POWER SHOT SMOOTHIE
This recipe completely fills our Hamilton Beach Professional blender’s 40 ounce blender jar. The finished product feeds Pam and me for breakfast, usually 24 ounces for me and 16 ounces for her. Ingredients are added to the blender in the order listed (not critical except for ice cubes).
+ 4 full sized ice cubes
+ distilled water to the 1 1/2 cup line
+ 1/8 teaspoon vanilla extract
+ 8 baby carrots (approx.), peeled
+ 1 smallish vine ripened tomato (not huge beefsteak tomato), cut in chunks
+ 1 handful of baby spinach leaves
+ 2 heaping tablespoons of organic light brown cane sugar
+ 1 cup Greek yogurt
+ 1/8 tsp. cinnamon (optional)
+ 2 cups frozen triple berry blend (raspberries, blackberries, blueberries)
With lid in place, run CRUSH blender program to smoosh the ice.
After CRUSH program is complete, run SMOOTHIE program.
Pour and enjoy.
Note: I’ve made this either with the tomato or without it. I like the flavor better without it, but Pam prefers it with tomato and men need the lycopene in tomatoes . Plus, it’s runny without the tomato and quite thick with it, so it’s “tomato included” from now on at our house.
Post script: Eliminating all those processed foods for the sake of microplastics avoidance also sidestepped umpteen other not-so-good-for-you ingredients found in restaurants and stores. For instance, no longer do I need to read endless labels in search of high fructose corn syrup, msg in any of its forms, etc.