In this article, Victoria Boutenko shares on HCL levels, rotating greens and hiking raw. Victoria Boutenko, is part of a raw food family and is the author of Green Smoothies and Green for Life.
Kevin: So does someone just drink green smoothies to bring their HCL levels up again? Should someone be testing for their HCL levels and then see how it works? How you go about that?
Victoria: There are different ways how people could test a level of hydrochloric acid. There are some invasive and expensive ways and there also tests. I have in my book, “Green for Life” a simple test which is 99% accurate. If you answer any of the questions “yes”, like four or more questions “yes”, then you probably have low hydrochloric acid. And then it explains, the whole chapter explains what happens. And it doesn’t hurt to even just add green smoothies, just a prevention so it doesn’t happen.
And also in my book, together with Dr. Paul Faber, we performed a pilot study. Dr. Paul Faber, he’s been working with people who had low hydrochloric acid and he’s been placing them for years on the pill, a hydrochloride pill. With every snack they had to take it in order to be digested, the food. And so he asked if anybody would volunteer instead of this pill, or in addition to this pill, to add a green smoothie for one month. And he tested people before and after. After he retested them, the 28 people volunteered to participate in our experiment and I provided the smoothie. I made for them freshly made and delivered to them for one month. It was in 2004 and after one month he retested them and the improvement was 68.5% on average. That pretty much tells us that most people will reverse thesituation, if not in one month than in two months. Their improvement was depending on the age. The younger people reversed it more, the older people reversed it less.
Kevin: And do we know how it’s working?
Victoria: We know how it’s working. Most people have low hydrochloric acid because of deficiency in zinc. This is one of the key deficiencies according to my research and other people’s research too. And the greens, when they’re blended, they do have easy digestible, absorbable zinc and other minerals of course. And when we being to nourish our body then our digestive system recovers, it rests from overworking and then the hydrochloric acid level recovers, becomes normal.
Kevin: You put out the book “Green Smoothies” and now you’re putting out a new book because a lot of questions arise. What are some of the biggest questions people had about green smoothies or just about their health as applied to?
Victoria: It’s interesting that my book reached not only raw fooders but a lot of general public who didn’t even think about changing their diet or who thought they were already eating a good diet because of its simplicity. Raw fooders, usually their typical question is, how can you mix fruit and vegetables? Which I already explained. But other people ask more practical questions. For example, Can you freeze them? Can you dry green smoothies? How many greens do you have to rotate? Because I teach to rotate greens so you don’t eat the same greens all the time. I teach to always rotate greens. It’s very, very important.
Kevin: Can you explain that just a little bit more?
Victoria: I can explain in just a minute. Other questions would be, what diseases? How long can you keep green smoothies? There are lots of questions. Why am I getting bloated when I drink green smoothie? Some people drink green smooth and they right away they eat their steak or their breakfast or pancakes and they get bloated. So I would say drink your green smoothie first without anything. Just green smoothie. And drink it slowly, make sure it mixes with saliva, sip, sip, sip and then 30 minutes after you’re done you can eat whatever you want. Because in 30 minutes it will be penetrated in your body. So many questions.
So in my next book I don’t repeat what I said in the first book. It’s totally new information and I answer all these questions, many questions, and I add 150 recipes of green smoothies. Some unique recipes. Something with pine needles, with cactuses and some just good ideas for recipes. How to make puddings, how to make super green smoothies and other things.
So now why do we need to rotate is because greens are the most nutritious food on the planet and in order to prevent greens from extinction, nature placed a little bit of poison in each green leaf. But don’t be afraid. This amount of poison, or I should say alkaloid, is so minimal, it is actually minute or homeopathic amount. The homeopathy as a science was based on poison in green leaves. This small amount makes everybody’s immunity stronger, but we have to rotate. Because for example, parsley has arsenic as an alkaloid in it and spinach has oxalic acid. For example clover has alkaloid nicotine in it and romaine has opium and so on, so on, so on. If you just take one and the same you accumulate it, if you drink green smoothie made out of kale for six months you going to accumulate that alkaloid and it will affect your thyroid. You will begin to feel cold. That’s why I say it’s very important t that you rotate your greens. If you rotate at least a dozen of greens. One day parsley, one day chard, one day grape leaves, one day pursalane from your garden or dandelions. Rotate. Then you will be fine. But don’t just drink one and the same all the time.
Kevin: We’ve never put grape leaves in our smoothie and they grow everywhere.
Victoria: Everything that’s sold in a store originally came from wild nature. In wild nature most things are edible. But of course you need to check, whether it’s poisonous in your area. Before you being to pick up everything, you need to check what is poisonous in your area. Because I don’t want you to make cocktail out of poisonous hemlock or foxglove. But most things are edible and one thing you must always remember is you always pick your greens before blooming. That’s when they’re really nutritious. After blooming the nutrition moves into the blossom – the blossoms are very nutritious also. And when the seed is formed then the greens become not nutritious. Because the greens accumulate nutrition predominantly for the sake of the seed and propagation. And shortly after the seed is gone the nutrients from greens go back into the soil and then greens just fall off.
Kevin: Now you and your family hiked… did you hike the entire Pacific Crest Trail?
Victoria: We hiked from Mexican border to the Canadian border in in 1998.
Kevin: Wow, and you did it all raw?
Victoria: We did it all raw.
Kevin: Not even all raw though, actually with foraging, right?
Victoria: I will tell you that my husband, he carried 85 pound bag. I had mine was 50. And Sergei, he was 12 years old then, he carried like 35. And then, the girls, my daughter and my niece went with us, they carried maybe 10, 15. They were too young to carry very heavy backpack.
Victoria: So when we started, when we hiked, me and my husband we carried most of the food. And, we couldn’t really take that much food for five people for the hike. For example, date people donated us enough dates to have seven days per person per day during the entire hike.
Victoria: Lots of dates.
Kevin: Yes, lots.
Victoria: And, we shipped them along the trail. And so, in the beginning of 100 mile stretch that will be many, very, very heavy chunk of dates. And, one time in the beginning, we were doing 100 mile stretch, and children would ask, they would eat seven dates, they would ask for more, because they’re sweet and there’s no treats there. And, we kind of let it go, OK, if they will eat them, then we’ll fast with them two or three days in the end and then they will know that they should really ration.
Victoria: But, after we ate all the food and continued hiking, we figured out it’s not easy to hike and fast at the same time. We started to feel kind of down. And all we had left was a little bottle of olive oil, maybe a head of garlic and some kelp, that’s all. And, suddenly we noticed that lots of greens, luscious greens around us were looking so yummy to us. Then we were so hungry. And, I knew a little bit about herbs. We started to pick up and try and taste and smell and try to remember , and we figured out there was malva there, there was wild celery, there was wild watercress.. There were things that we knew, plantain, sorrel. We started to pick it up and we would make a salad with few drops of oil, kelp, one clove of garlic thinly sliced with a small pocket knife.
Victoria: And, that was the best food we ever ate. Like the best gourmet food. It was so delicious. Everybody were eating and saying, “Hmmm, never ate better food in my life. I would always eat this way.” And then, next station we reasoned that there is no reason for us to spend money and buy more food because we can find it everywhere all the time. We just went to local library and looked up some more greens that we could pick up and some berries. And, for the rest of the hike, it’s more than 2,000 miles, we hiked mostly foraging.
Kevin: Wow. That’s incredible.