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Naked, Vitamix, Save Money, and Rubarb

Jonathan: Hey, everyone, Jonathan Bailor and Carrie Brown back with another Living the Smarter Science of Slim podcast. Carrie, how are you?

Carrie: Awesome.

Jonathan: Feeling good?

Carrie: Awesome.

Jonathan: Ready for another grab bag of SANE and eCentric topics?

Carrie: Yes, this grab-bag thing kind of suits my brain pattern, kind of random and bright- shiny-objectish. What’s our first bright, shiny object, Mr. Bailor?

Jonathan: Our first is this new term I have been kicking around that I want to debut here on the show, and if things go according to plan, you will be seeing a lot more of this term in the future.

Carrie: Uh-oh, now what have you come up with?

Jonathan: Let me explain the problem first.

Carrie: We have a problem?

Jonathan: We may not, but there is a problem out there, Carrie.

Carrie: This is kind of a global problem?

Jonathan: It is a global problem.

Carrie: All right.

Jonathan: You and many other people have given awesome feedback to that first non-profit animated video we did, the Slim Is Simple piece. We talk about it is simple, but it is not easy, especially in modern culture when we are surrounded by all of this inSANEity, both lower case and upper case, inSANEity. Part of the reason this is hard, Carrie, you and I, when we were on Jimmy Moore’s podcast, we talked about how a SANE lifestyle to obesity and diabetes and many other diseases is like not smoking is to lung cancer.
If you don’t smoke, you probably aren’t getting lung cancer. And if you eat SANE and get eCentric and walk around, we’re not going to become obese and diabetic. The challenge is our current culture is so inSANE that it is a bit like smoking in the 1920s when everybody else smoked; even if you didn’t smoke, second-hand smoke was everywhere. So the feedback really isn’t to avoid smoking, it is to avoid inhaling smoke. If everyone around you is smoking, even if you chose not to —

Carrie: That’s kind of difficult.

Jonathan: — second-hand smoke is a problem. Well, Carrie, that inspired me to coin the term “second-hand sugar.” How many times have all of us, we visit family, and sugar, for lack of better terms, is served; and if we chose to abstain, we are being rude. Or if we go to the office and someone is having a birthday, and we want to say no to the cake –

If you are a vegetarian and you say no to meat, no one is going to judge you. It seems like in our culture, we are victim to second-hand sugar very frequently, where if we want to say no to sugary options, there is a bit of a social stigma around that. Children especially.

Let me give you a concrete example. We were at Costco this weekend, this little child was sitting in the shopping cart with their parents. The child was not misbehaving, the child was not doing anything, was just sitting there, was not demanding a sample, and the parents were pushing the cart next to some GoGurt, which is garbage. It is sugar-loaded, processed nonsense. They essentially grabbed the sample, and the child was not interested, and they were like, No, eat this. The child was a victim of second-hand sugar. It was as if the parent was taking a drag of a cigarette and blowing it into their child’s face.

Carrie: Except that the parent probably thought it was doing something good.

Jonathan: I think that’s the key here, Carrie, is the analogy and the parallels continue where once we can educate folks on just how similar sugar is to our metabolic system, as smoke is to our respiratory system, this second-hand sugar really is a problem and really is something that we need to think about.

Another good example of again, we say second-hand sugar, second-hand anything is really unintentional ingestion of stuff. Carrie, you brought this up all the time, try to buy water, second-hand sugar. Try to catch up things you would think are benign, weight-loss bars, second-hand sugar, second-hand sugar. You don’t even know you are eating it.

Carrie: Right, yes. Whey protein powder, more sugar than protein.

Jonathan: Exactly. The net here, and hopefully you will see a bunch more of this in the future, but listeners, watch out, just like you watch out for second-hand smoke, watch out for second-hand sugar.

Carrie: That’s very good advice, Mr. Bailor, very good advice. I was a bit worried when we started out there, but good job.

Jonathan: You were worried; wanted to rethink how I presented this information?

Carrie: I just never know what’s going to come out of your mouth, that’s all.

Jonathan: You can be assured it is going to be SANE and eCentric.

Carrie: Okay, then.

Jonathan: Capital SANE, not insane.

Carrie: Okay, thank you for the clarity there.

Jonathan: This is good news. Second-hand sugar is not really good news, but this good news, Carrie. We love spinach.

Carrie: Yes, we do.

Jonathan: We do, we love spinach. Some research is showing that spinach contains a substance, along with some other vegetables, that can actually help increase muscle strength. So Popeye —

Carrie: Was right on.

Jonathan: So I mean, yes, we need to eat quite a bit of spinach, but certainly —

Carrie: Let’s not eat the canned spinach. Let’s eat fresh spinach.

Jonathan: Yes, fresh spinach. But while you are increasing your SANEity, while you are getting a massive amount of vitamins and minerals and otochemicals and all kinds of other good stuff, you are also doing your muscles a service, so that’s cool.

Carrie: So those muscles that I have to sit and stare at every week in the studio is because you eat spinach?

Jonathan: That I subject you to. It does in part. Spinach does the body good, folks. So we can all be like Popeye, eat your spinach.

Carrie: All right.

Jonathan: Fair?

Carrie: Fair.

Jonathan: Carrie Brown?

Carrie: Yes, Mr. Bailor.

Jonathan: Tell me about rhubarb, because I don’t know anything about it and you probably do.

Carrie: I love rhubarb, and if there is anyone you don’t like, just make them eat the leaves.

Jonathan: What is it, I don’t even know.

Carrie: Because they will die.

Jonathan: Okay, I was trying to get us back on track.

Carrie: This is important Jonathan. People who don’t know anything about rhubarb, the leaves are poisonous, don’t eat them.

Jonathan: It is like that fish.

Carrie: This is key information; do not eat rhubarb leaves, you will die.

Jonathan: They are not like spinach leaves, don’t just add them to your smoothies.
Carrie: They are not beet leaves or any of the other cool stuff that you can eat; don’t eat rhubarb leaves, this is key information.

Jonathan: Don’t eat rhubarb leaves, avoid second-hand sugar, but if you do like rhubarb or you don’t know what rhubarb is and you are trying to expand your SANE repertoire, Carrie, tell me about — I am just going to call you Cane from now on. Carrie, tell me about rhubarb. What is it, what can I do with it, what does it taste like? Just rhubarb me.

Carrie: Rhubarb, once you have chopped the poisonous leaves off —

Jonathan: Once you have made it not toxic anymore.

Carrie: Rhubarb is bright pink and it looks like bright pink celery on steroids, that’s what it looks like.

Jonathan: I love that analogy, okay.

Carrie: That’s what it looks like. It is incredibly tart, so you need a lot of sweetener to make it palatable. So that’s where our friend Xylitol will come into it. I grew up eating a lot of it; my father grew rhubarb, we had an enormous rhubarb bush at the bottom of the garden.

Mum just used to stew it, but of course she used to stew it like you would stew apples, but stew rhubarb, but with an awful lot of sugar, which of course we wouldn’t do nowadays. You can use it kind of similarly — you can’t eat it like an apple because it is way too tart, but you can make it into a SANE apple pie. Not apple-pie, obviously, but a similar kind of thing. You can stew it, put it in a pie, you could stew it and Vitamix the living daylights out of it and make a very tasty sauce if you want it to put it on instead of putting — I am trying to think of an example now.

Jonathan: Beets?

Carrie: No, you wouldn’t put it on beets.

Jonathan: Cabbage?

Carrie: No, it is a dessert. It is not a vegetable. It is a dessert kind of thing.

Jonathan: Nice. Could you do it as a side dish, like a mashed rhubarb or that doesn’t work?

Carrie: You can’t eat it without a lot of sweetener.

Jonathan: Got you, okay.

Carrie: So, it is really a dessert thing.

Jonathan: A dessert vegetable.

Carrie: Yes. So you could use it where you might use apples previously. So if you can make a SANE rhubarb crisp or a SANE rhubarb pie, that will be kind of what you will do with it.

Jonathan: Nice.

Carrie: But it does require a lot of sweetener.

Jonathan: All right. Rhubarb folks, now you know.

Carrie: It’s awesome.

Jonathan: You’ve just got to know what you are doing?

Carrie: You’ve just got to know what you are doing.

Jonathan: And don’t poison yourself.

Carrie: I will add it to my list of things I have to write recipes for.

Jonathan: Add it to the list, the ever-growing list. Next, Carrie, is hummus. Because hummus, personally, I think is delicious; and we’ve been getting questions about is hummus SANE? So, two things. One, I am going to add another thing to your list; if you could make some SANE hummus, that would be awesome.

Carrie: Well, hummus is chickpeas.

Jonathan: To be clear, hummus is not inSANE, but it is a legume, which we know are optional in the Smarter Science of Slim, not something we want to go necessarily out of our way to eat; but if there is a creative way to increase the SANEity of some homemade hummus, I would be very interested, because hummus is delicious.

Carrie: Okay, I will add that to my list. In fact, because you pleaded so beautifully, I am going to write it down so I don’t forget it.

Jonathan: The reason I bring up hummus, just even from a personal perspective, is a couple of podcasts ago, Carrie brought up these turkey burgers. Just any kind of bland meat, like meat that in and of itself does not have much taste, or even vegetables, hummus is a wonderful complement at least in my experience. If we could SANEitize hummus, not only could we save some cash, but it would even further my love of it.

Carrie: I have written it down. You are officially on the list.

Jonathan: Excellent, I am on the Carrie Brown list.

Carrie: Let’s just be clear, hummus that you would buy in the store ready-made, it is not really superSANE, so you don’t want to eat a ton of it. It is kind of like cheese; eat as much as you need to make you happy, but don’t make that the central point of anything.

Jonathan: Like Carrie said, for example, if hummus enables you to eat vegetables that you would not be eating otherwise, it is fine, but don’t just eat tablespoons of hummus.

Carrie: Yes, and don’t eat it every day. Just don’t build your world around it.

Jonathan: Don’t build your world around hummus, it is a fickle lover and will turn its back on you when you least expect it. Oh, my goodness. I don’t know where that came from.

Carrie: What’s the next question, Bailor?

Jonathan: Are you going to reel me in?

Carrie: I might.

Jonathan: All right. So the next question, we talk about Vitamixes a lot. Again, neither Carrie nor I work for the Vitamix Corporation and you don’t have to use Vitamix. Vitamix is just a great example of a really high-end blender which does good work with non-starchy vegetables and other kinds of fun stuff. You can get — like buying a certified used car, you can get a certified reconditioned standard-level Vitamix. It is still expensive, but let’s be clear folks, the normal Vitamix is $500, that is expensive.

It has got a seven-year warranty on it and, trust me, that is a seven-year warranty. Any problem, they just ship you new stuff, it’s great. It will last more than seven years. So when you break it down, it is like $50 a year, that breaks down to a couple of cents a day, it is worth it, but still lot of money. However, the certified reconditioned Vitamix is $330, which is a non-trivial discount.

Carrie: It is less than 500.

Jonathan: I can’t do the math off the top of my head, but that’s 30% off-ish. And in the SANE store you get free shipping. So not bad, $330 for seven years, it has got the same exact warranty, meaning if anything bad happens to it, they just replace it; so that breaks down to like again $50 a year, good stuff, save yourself $170.

Carrie: Awesome. And I’ve got to say the chef in me, the difference in the results you can get in both texture and consistency and flavor from a Vitamix versus a blender is huge. It’s not insignificant, it really isn’t. For me, just the texture and the consistency in the flavor makes it worth the extra money.

Jonathan: For me, the non-chef, the —

Carrie: Assembler.

Jonathan: And just a pragmatist, there are things you literally — I compare a Vitamix to a blender or a Blendtec, or any kind of high-end blender, to a normal blender like I would compare an airplane to a car. They are both modes of transportation, but if your goal is to get from America to Carrie’s hometown of London, you ain’t going to get there in a car.

So a Vitamix will enable you to do things that you just can’t do with a regular blender. Green smoothies is a perfect example. If you try to make a green smoothie in a regular blender, it will be disgusting and chunky and foul. If you try to put seeds in a regular blender, if you try to make – well, cauliflower kind of works. So it is good stuff, and we can save you 30%,. So we’re trying to increase SANEity, trying to shrink our waistlines while expanding our wallets.
Carrie: Awesome, we love that.

Jonathan: That’s good stuff. Speaking of SANE “juice smoothie options,” there was a wonderful question in the delightful Smarter Science of Slim support group – which is an awesome place to check out because it is not like other internet chat rooms where people snipe at each other; it is friendly and nice and supportive – is store-bought juices. Specifically, someone asked a question about Naked brand juices. Now, I am going to make a global statement here: if it is a store-bought bottled drink that contains calories, it is almost certainly inSANE.

Carrie: It is easy, flip the bottle over, look at sugar, look at the number, put it back on the shelf. You will get real bored of doing that real fast, because you will do that, you will go through that process for every single bottle on the shelf. So do it twice and then quit because you are going to get the same result over and over again. Most of those juices — Odwalla, love Odwalla juices, never drink them, 41 grams of sugar right there. It’s green, it’s juice, it’s all good. Forty-one grams of sugar, may as well drink Coke.

Jonathan: Absolutely. The challenge here, folks, is again remember the goal of these companies. No matter what their marketing says, their shareholders are not investing in the company because they want to make people healthier. And it is not a criticism, it is just a fact.

Carrie: It is an observation.

Jonathan: It is a fact, for-profit organizations are in business to make profit. That’s not bad, and we live in a wonderful country which has more abundance than almost any other country in the world, because we have this delightful capitalist economy. Just keep in mind that you are the only person really that is looking out for your health, nobody else is.

So I don’t care how pretty the bottle is, I don’t care about the health claims on it, they have one goal, to make money; and to make money, it has to taste good. If you do what Carrie tells you and you make a smoothie in your kitchen, you will make a smoothie as delicious and you will make a smoothie that is 10 times healthier for you than anything you buy in the store. Because, for example, you will not add apple juice to it. You can say a green smoothie you bottle is all natural and healthy, when the first ingredient is apple juice, which is just pure sugar with very little nutrition in it. If you look at most of these smoothies, the first ingredient is apple juice.
Carrie: Bananas are another big thing. Actually, if you are looking for smoothie recipes on the web, just go to my blog, CarrieBrown.com, and make mine. The vast majority of smoothies that I have seen on the web have bananas in and/or apple juice. So you are already at a huge disadvantage before you even start.

Jonathan: The key thing here, folks, as well, is that we all know fructose is not good stuff. Many fruits are a rich source of fructose. In some ways, fructose is called the fruit sugar. That doesn’t mean we should avoid all fruits; it means that we should focus on low-fructose fruits such as berries and citrus.

The interesting point, though, is if you drink one of these store-bought juices, again, I don’t care how much marketing they have got on them, when you see that juice and you turn it over, one, it has probably got two servings in it, and most people don’t realize that, they think it is one. So when you see the fact that it says 40 grams of sugar, that bottle actually has 80 grams of sugar in it.

The percent of that that is fructose, you would have to drink like two or three sodas to get that much fructose into your body, and you would never eat that much fructose if you were eating the fruit. The way we consume liquid versus the way we consume solid foods is different in terms of brain chemistry and the filling effect in your stomach.

Carrie: Also, the fiber slows down the uptake of the sugar when you eat it.

Jonathan: Yes, and that’s the key thing too. These smoothies oftentimes, they are not just taking fruits and blending them up, they are taking fruit juices and some fruits and blending them up. When we make smoothies, we take whole fruits and we blend them up only.

Carrie: Right. So we have the fiber; the sugar that is in there, the fiber helps stop the sugar being released so readily into the bloodstream.

Jonathan: You also just won’t overdo it. That’s the beauty of whole foods, is it is very, very difficult, if not impossible, if we just eat the whole food and we eat a combination of non-starchy vegetables, nutrient-dense protein, whole-food fats and low-fructose fruits, it would literally be painful to overeat because of the wonderful fibrous, water-rich and protein-rich wrappers these things come in.

Also, it has been shown numerous times in brain-scan studies, if you eat something and you derive no pleasure from it, you are probably not going to keep eating it; and these foods are so satisfying that they fill us up quickly, so why would we continue to eat them? It is not like once you pop you can’t stop. Once you start eating whole foods, you feel satisfied and you stop and you are good, which is kind of ironic because when we look at these food products, they actually market that this doesn’t satisfy you.

That is what light beer is. Light beer is beer that is calories that do not fill you up. Yay, sign me up for that. That sounds awesome. How can we take a poison – again, you can drink alcohol intelligently in the Smarter Science of Slim, but it is fundamentally a poison. How can we take a poison, package it with some starch and then make it not fill you up?

Carrie: That actually is a really bright, shiny object, what you said before that. It is actually a brilliant point that they actually market that they don’t fill you up. One pop and you can’t stop. You are right. Its marketing doesn’t —

Jonathan: There is always room for Jell-O.

Carrie: Yes, I had never thought of it like that.

Jonathan: It is marketed as an attribute, as a positive benefit of their food, low satiety.

Carrie: But it doesn’t fill you up.

Jonathan: You are paying for a food — that’s like saying, Our university actually doesn’t teach you anything.

Carrie: You can come back forever and you will never learn.

Jonathan: You will never learn anything. Like how twisted of a system do we live in? This water will never quench your thirst, buy our water. It doesn’t — what? Isn’t the point of consuming something to be satisfied by it? I guess that’s what a couple of billion dollars in marketing will do.

Carrie: You are going have to reel me in because my brain has gone off over there now. People, fruit juices, don’t do it.

Jonathan: Don’t do it. Stay smoothie at home. If you can do a Vitamix, do a Vitamix, we have got reconditioned ones for $330. If you can’t, Ninja is another brand which folks use; not as good as Vitamix or Blendtec, but it’s like $120. So those aren’t too bad, but Carrie, I think that’s good stuff.

Carrie: Yes.

Jonathan: I think what we should do is just eat more and exercise less, but do it smarter, what do you think?

Carrie: I am so with you, especially the exercising less part.

Jonathan: I love it. Well, folks, I hope you enjoyed Carrie and myself just having a good time this week, as we try to do every week.

Carrie: Yes, we do.

Jonathan: We will see you next week.

– Are Naked brand juices SANE?
– What’s all fuss about Vitamix and how to save money on one?
– Rhubarb and the SANE things you can do with it. Note: If you have or are at risk for kidney stones please read this important note about rhubarb.