Reinventing the Protein Shake

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“This couldn’t possibly be good for me” I say to myself right now as I sit here, drinking my experimental Orange Julius. This is even better than I remember, and I have very good memories. When I was a kid, I LOVED Orange Julius’s. Who wouldn’t, right? Milk, frozen OJ concentrate, vanilla, sugar, ice. Sometimes I even convinced my mom to let us have them for breakfast, but even then, I’m pretty sure I knew it was a glorified orange milkshake. So what does a nasty and unhealthy milkshake, the kind you get at the mall in the food court have to do with health, you ask? How is it going to revolutionize my morning, giving me energy for my workouts, pack me full of essential nutrients, and add years to my life? To answer this question, I must start from the beginning, a couple days ago…

A large container of soy protein powder was purchased at Trader Joe’s for an anonymous consumer. It did not make me happy, in fact it totally grossed me out. As most of you know, I am not an advocate of soy (see footnote). When asked what I thought a better alternative would be for a quick morning protein shake, I was sort of at a loss as most conventional protein supplements are made from whey or soy, then filled with sugar and synthetic vitamin supplements. Not my idea of a great jumpstart to your day. The ones found in health food stores may be better, with hemp, pea, and rice protein options topping my list of viable vegan options. Then I got to thinking: “What would be an EVEN BETTER way to jump-start your day?” It just so happens that several things had happened in the previous weeks that helped formulate an answer, so we go back further still.

First, my friend Tiana who works at the honey stand at the farmers market gave me some great local raw honey when I was battling a cough induced by seasonal allergies. Then my new friends, the Butt family, gave me 5 amazing eggs from the chickens they raise at their house (I’m officially obsessed with getting my own chickens). Then last week I started making homemade yogurt from raw cows milk and didn’t have the allergic reaction that I get to normal milk/yogurt. Also, as some of you know, I was a die-hard raw foodist for 6 weeks last year. Though I wasn’t able to stick with the diet and have a life, I did learn a lot about the benefits of eating much more raw food and the importance of keeping the natural enzymes intact with food, especially with harder to digest things like dairy, eggs, and beans. So as these pieces returned to my mind, I naturally began formulating a recipe (I can’t help it, all thoughts eventually come back to this): RAW MILK + YOGURT + RAW EGGS + RAW HONEY…hmmmm, still missing something…ORANGE JUICE!!! Is this coming together for you yet?!?!? ORANGE JULIUS!!! And the story has come full-circle. Into the kitchen I go…

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Orange Julius

1/2 cup whole raw milk

1/2 cup plain Greek-style yogurt (or even better, homemade)

1-2 T raw honey

2-3 T OJ concentrate

2 tangerines or 1 large orange (peeled, seeds removed)

0-8 lg. ice cubes (depending on the consistency you like, though cold is harder for your body to digest)

2 fresh raw eggs

Add all ingredients except the eggs to a variable high-speed blender (I adore my Vita-mix) and blend well. Add eggs and blend very gently until just incorporated. This may not be necessary, but I read that the delicate egg proteins could be damaged by too much blending, so I took the precaution. Pour into a glass and drink with your favorite bendy straw. You will feel like a kid on many levels in no time 🙂

The links to the research and information about each component are below, but to summarize:

Raw eggs: Contain essential nutrients for the brain, nerves, glands and hormones, and are nutritionally balanced. The sulphur amino acids help to keep you young, raw eggs also contain an abundance of other vital substances including protein, essential fatty acids along with niacin, riboflavin, biotin, choline, vitamins A, D and E, magnesium, potassium, phosphorous, manganese, iron, iodine, copper, zinc and sulphur. Egg yolks are one of the few foods that contain vitamin D (more here).

Raw honey: a healthy way to get an energy boost. Its carbohydrates supply us with energy and strength. It can boost your endurance and reduce muscle fatigue (more here).

Raw Organic milk from grass-fed cows (from www.realmilk.com…included it all b/c it’s important to know the distinction between pasteurized milk and raw milk): Real feed for cows is green grass in Spring, Summer and Fall; stored dry hay, silage, hay and root vegetables in Winter. It is not soy meal, cottonseed meal or other commercial feeds, nor is it bakery waste, chicken manure or citrus peel cake, laced with pesticides. Vital nutrients like vitamin A and D are greatest in milk from cows eating green grass, especially rapidly growing green grass in the spring and fall. Vitamins A and D are greatly diminished, and Activator X disappears, when milk cows are fed commercial feed. Soy meal has the wrong protein profile for the dairy cow, resulting in a short burst of high milk production followed by premature death. Most milk (even most milk labeled “organic”) comes from dairy cows that are kept in confinement their entire lives and never see green grass!

Pasteurization destroys enzymes, diminishes vitamin content, denatures fragile milk proteins, destroys vitamins C, B12 and B6, kills beneficial bacteria, promotes pathogens and is associated with allergies, increased tooth decay, colic in infants, growth problems in children, osteoporosis, arthritis, heart disease and cancer. Calves fed pasteurized milk do poorly and many die before maturity. Raw milk sours naturally but pasteurized milk turns putrid; processors must remove slime and pus from pasteurized milk by a process of centrifugal clarification. Inspection of dairy herds for disease is not required for pasteurized milk. Pasteurization was instituted in the 1920s to combat TB, infant diarrhea, undulant fever and other diseases caused by poor animal nutrition and dirty production methods. But times have changed and modern stainless steel tanks, milking machines, refrigerated trucks and inspection methods make pasteurization absolutely unnecessary for public protection. And pasteurization does not always kill the bacteria for Johne’s disease suspected of causing Crohn’s disease in humans with which most confinement cows are infected. Much commercial milk is now ultra-pasteurized to get rid of heat-resistant bacteria and give it a longer shelf life. Ultra-pasteurization is a violent process that takes milk from a chilled temperature to above the boiling point in less than two seconds. Clean raw milk from certified healthy cows is available commercially in several states and may be bought directly from the farm in many more. Homogenization is a process that breaks down butterfat globules so they do not rise to the top. Homogenized milk has been linked to heart disease. (Sources are listed on www.realmilk.com.)

*On soy: It’s largely made from genetically modified soybeans and been heavily marketed by the soy industry as a healthy food, but over the last couple years, several studies have emerged that links soy to cancer and hormone imbalances, inhibits vitamin and mineral absorption, and a litany of other charges. To be fair, there are many respected healthcare practitioners who consider soy to be healthy, and in its pure, unadulterated form or when fermented, may very well be. Japanese cultures have been thriving on soy for centuries, but I am not of the belief that all cultures have the genetic makeup to thrive on soy, especially the soy available in our supermarkets.

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