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Smoothie Shred & Reversing autoimmune disease


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Has anyone heard of this or tried it?

I stumbled on Dr Brooke Goldner on YouTube.  She had end stage kidney failure at 16 and got diagnosed with Lupus. Went on chemo, went into remission, went to college and had a relapse in medical school that involved multiple blood clots.  She fell in love with a trainer who put her on a raw vegan diet so she could drop weight before her wedding (she went from a size 12/13 to a 2/3 in 4 months).  When she went in for routine blood work she found her Lupus blood markers were negative, though she still had high clotting factors.  Kept going in every few months for a year and everything kept improving.  Now she's a psychiatrist who helps people "reverse" auto immune diseases by switching to a mostly raw, plant based diet with high omega 3's (like a quarter cup of flax seed per day!) until symptoms are gone and then slowly incorporate more cooked foods.

I also have a history of lupus (and some other autoimmune stuff that I question) that went into remission when I switched to a lower histamine diet and started taking turmeric, cinnamon, and ginger together.  I haven't been back into a doctor and I've been sliding on my diet ever since my wheat allergy got healed from probiotics.  In the past few days not only have I started feeling fatigued and "old" again, but also like I have arthritis, which is all over my body and new.  Also, hair loss.  And one hour inside a car after 3 pm but without my normal sunblock got me a 3 day malar rash.  Before I get signed up for a new rheumatologist I thought I would try this.  I've made green smoothies before, but not at the quantities or for the duration that she does.  And I don't think I've stuck to using guacamole as salad dressing for more than a few days before I pour on something with "bad" oils.  I figure it's worth a try.

Anyone tried this?  Has it worked?

Edited by Katy
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I’m not familiar with this doctor, but I started eating whole food plant based a few years ago (after years of being vegetarian and vegan) and have felt so great ever since. My rosacea and arthritis pain disappeared right away, which I assume was due to a decrease in inflammation. I’m 51 and feel the same as I did in my 20s, and better than I did in my 30s and 40s. Dh agrees - he’s 54 and eats this way, too.

For salad dressing, I like a bit of mashed avocado with garlic and sometimes cumin. My other favorite is a sprinkle of flavored white balsamic vinegar. The two I’ve been using the most lately are jalapeño lime and orange passion fruit mango. I don’t eat or cook with oils at all anymore and have lost my taste for them completely.

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I haven't heard of that particular diet and doctor, and this doesn't address everything you've mentioned.  Just some random thoughts...  (Also, one thought... Because you reacted so quickly to changes makes me wonder if part of the problem is food allergies?)

None of this would have meant anything to me before having children.  But, most of my children have various very strong allergies and reactions (mostly to food, but environment as well), and one was given an autoimmune diagnosis with high ANA numbers and has typical autoimmune symptoms.   Another dd broke out in hives on the day she was born!  So we have pretty extreme reactions here -- all from my dh's side of the family, I'm sure -- haha.  😏)   When my kids were young and growing up, I knew nothing about how the body can react and change so much depending on diet and environment, so unfortunately -- even though we ate a generally healthy and simple diet, it wasn't quite right for them.  But, my kids seem to be figuring this out as young adults. 

The one with the high ANA numbers is GF and dairy-free now.  She is mostly vegetarian, and eats a lot of veggies, especially greens.  She hasn't taken the ANA blood test in years, but her health has improved  so much -- everything except her chronic migraines.  (Chronic migraines, btw, are slowly becoming recognized as an auto-immune condition.)

The dd who broke out in hives on the day she was born eats only pure foods -- but she's able to eat meats and cheese and whole-grained bread.  She makes all of her own meals from scratch with lots of green veggies.  She has had to completely eliminate lots of fresh fruits and a few vegetables.  She no longer breaks out in extreme hives in the sun, and her severe asthma has drastically improved.  

Another child also has completely eliminated anything processed, eating mostly meats (only grass-fed, etc.) and lots and lots and LOTS of green vegetables.  He is GF.  His health has also vastly improved!  (He used to have a lot of digestion issues and suffer from chronic fatigue.)

Yet another child eats only pure foods, mostly GF, mostly vegetarian.  

So, yes -- I sure do believe there's something to the green veggie diet, and the spices you mentioned are ones my kids take as well.

 

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No experience with that specific doctor's protocol, but my mom went raw vegan to heal her thyroid cancer.  She was also a bit overweight and had Hashimoto's...not surprising considering she was eating the Standard American Diet.  The doctor wanted to take her thyroid out and do radiation ASAP, which she declined.  The first few months after diagnosis, she was just drinking green juice and eating raw green salads while she took a deep-dive into credible alternative treatments since no oncologist would offer any treatment other than surgery and radiation.  She got down to her ideal weight, all markers stabilized to a normal range, and had no signs of cancer after just three months.   Her primary care doctor said it was a miracle.  All of her blood work was great (staying on a mostly raw, all vegan diet) for about 10 years and then my brother got into an accident and was paralyzed.  She has been his only caregiver for three years which has caused massive stress and decreased sleep due to turning him every two hours at night.  Survival mode has taken over, and her eating has taken a nose-dive causing her Hashi flare up again.  Food is monumental to health!  Unfortunately, one must stay on top of it to keep healthy, which is exhausting at times.  The more I read up on epigenetics, the more I try to instill in my children the importance of staying healthy because their genes are not great (I also have Hashi and manage it well through diet and lifestyle).  Best wishes on your journey to healing.

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Katy—I have heard of it. It’s a common enough discussion in the AI world since so many with lupus have RA symptoms and so many with RA have some criteria for lupus and all of us want to feel better 🙂 . (In fact there was a recent thread here with re: to diet and RA.) PubMed has some studies on vegan diet and other nutritional interventions re: lupus. For a small subset of people there appears to be a correlation between symptom alleviation and a restrictive diet (ie going vegan leads to lasting remission/no longer meeting dx criteria). Whether that is because food allergies have duplicative symptoms to lupus and the allergies are resolved or whether the reduction in estrogen (with weight loss) and the increase in D3 and omega 3s (through nuts) through change in diet are enough to stabilize kidneys/reduce inflammation/whatever... I haven’t seen anything definitive in the studies on that point.

Personally, I went vegan and did a full elimination diet and saw no improvement...in lab work or symptoms. 

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I have not heard of that diet or doctor, but I'm currently reading "Brave New Medicine: A Doctor's Unconventional Path to Healing Her Autoimmune Illness" by Cynthia Li.  I think the idea of reversing some of these issues is starting to gain some traction.  I hope it works. 

I haven't gotten far enough into the book to know exactly what she does.  I first saw her interviewed by a well-known doctor who preaches Keto and Intermittent Fasting so I assume she does something along those lines. 

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I know someone whose lupus symptoms dropped by about 2/3 once she went completely off of wheat.  I saw the change personally.  It was quite remarkable.  Not sure whether that means that she was allergic to wheat and the symptoms were from ingestion, or whether it tends to increase lupus issues for her, but the change was very dramatic.

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3 hours ago, Carol in Cal. said:

I know someone whose lupus symptoms dropped by about 2/3 once she went completely off of wheat.  I saw the change personally.  It was quite remarkable.  Not sure whether that means that she was allergic to wheat and the symptoms were from ingestion, or whether it tends to increase lupus issues for her, but the change was very dramatic.

What I've been reading about autoimmune is that it often triggered by a stress reaction in the body.  It would make sense that, if she was eating something that she was allergic or senstive to, it would create constant stress hormones (corisol?) in her body.  Over time could cause an autoimmune reaction.  

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14 hours ago, Katy said:

Has anyone heard of this or tried it?

I stumbled on Dr Brooke Goldberg on YouTube.  She had end stage kidney failure at 16 and got diagnosed with Lupus. Went on chemo, went into remission, went to college and had a relapse in medical school that involved multiple blood clots.  She fell in love with a trainer who put her on a raw vegan diet so she could drop weight before her wedding (she went from a size 12/13 to a 2/3 in 4 months).  When she went in for routine blood work she found her Lupus blood markers were negative, though she still had high clotting factors.  Kept going in every few months for a year and everything kept improving.  Now she's a psychiatrist who helps people "reverse" auto immune diseases by switching to a mostly raw, plant based diet with high omega 3's (like a quarter cup of flax seed per day!) until symptoms are gone and then slowly incorporate more cooked foods.

I also have a history of lupus (and some other autoimmune stuff that I question) that went into remission when I switched to a lower histamine diet and started taking turmeric, cinnamon, and ginger together.  I haven't been back into a doctor and I've been sliding on my diet ever since my wheat allergy got healed from probiotics.  In the past few days not only have I started feeling fatigued and "old" again, but also like I have arthritis, which is all over my body and new.  Also, hair loss.  And one hour inside a car after 3 pm but without my normal sunblock got me a 3 day malar rash.  Before I get signed up for a new rheumatologist I thought I would try this.  I've made green smoothies before, but not at the quantities or for the duration that she does.  And I don't think I've stuck to using guacamole as salad dressing for more than a few days before I pour on something with "bad" oils.  I figure it's worth a try.

Anyone tried this?  Has it worked?

 

I had not heard of that specific one, but yes to similar.

Also real healthy foods type keto orientation including real vegetables particularly raw ones seems to help some people, as do other such nutritional approaches — I don’t think people are one size fits all for approaches — but real food rather than food products seems to be a consistent overlap. 

 

If something worked for you personally in past, is there a reason for not going back to it now? 

I have repeatedly had experience of “sliding “ in regard to wheat and thinking I could tolerate wheat again—but each time it has been very short lasting. 

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Avocado has never really bothered me, symptom wise.  Even a bit of tomato is fine.  Bananas can be a problem during allergy season if I have more than one.

I'm going to try this more extreme thing, rather than just my old low-histamine wheat -free diet because while I wasn't feeling worse, and clinically I was in remission according to the lab work, I didn't feel great.  Some of the people this works for claim to feel healthier than they did before they got sick as teenagers.  I got my first malar rash at 15.  The six weeks are going to pass anyway, and extra omega-3's during a pandemic that involves inflammation doesn't seem like a terrible idea.  If I lose a bunch of weight and feel much better so be it.

I've had two smoothies in the past 24 hours with a handful of flax seed, and a huge salad but I've also had a bit of cooked food and chicken.  Maybe it's that I eat a lot of veggies anyway, but I've had no GI problems at all.  And several waves of an intense feeling of well-being. Extra energy.  Less aches and pains.  After the second wave I decided to start tomorrow and do a full 6 weeks of her recovery program.  It's worth a try and I don't mind green smoothies at all.  I've never put flax in them or made a point to make them daily instead of a few times a week, but I think it's worth a try.

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2 hours ago, Katy said:

Maybe it's that I eat a lot of veggies anyway, but I've had no GI problems at all.  And several waves of an intense feeling of well-being. Extra energy.  Less aches and pains.  After the second wave I decided to start tomorrow and do a full 6 weeks of her recovery program.  It's worth a try and I don't mind green smoothies at all.  I've never put flax in them or made a point to make them daily instead of a few times a week, but I think it's worth a try.

 

Ah I understand reason now—

please keep reporting on results!!!

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11 hours ago, Pen said:

please keep reporting on results!!!

Will do.  Lost a pound since yesterday, but I was at the top of my typical 3 pound fluctuation/set point for years so that could be nothing.

Waited a bit longer to do morning walk because it was too cold for one of the toddlers and I haven't drug out the winter stroller gear yet.  Added an extra few blocks (maybe half a mile) to my normal morning loop.  Walked faster than usual to discourage my yappy dog from barking. I feel happy. My skin looks brighter.  Harder exercise or just the brisk air?  Maybe both.

Put on makeup with no where to go, which I rarely do since this pandemic started.  DH came upstairs for an eye break and complimented me.  It's hours before my typical lunch but I'm hungry.  Think I'll make another smoothie now.

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40 minutes ago, Katy said:

Will do.  Lost a pound since yesterday, but I was at the top of my typical 3 pound fluctuation/set point for years so that could be nothing.

Waited a bit longer to do morning walk because it was too cold for one of the toddlers and I haven't drug out the winter stroller gear yet.  Added an extra few blocks (maybe half a mile) to my normal morning loop.  Walked faster than usual to discourage my yappy dog from barking. I feel happy. My skin looks brighter.  Harder exercise or just the brisk air?  Maybe both.

Put on makeup with no where to go, which I rarely do since this pandemic started.  DH came upstairs for an eye break and complimented me.  It's hours before my typical lunch but I'm hungry.  Think I'll make another smoothie now.

 

This is making me want to try it too.

Are you following a book? Website? Video?

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2 hours ago, Pen said:

This is making me want to try it too.

Are you following a book? Website? Video?

 

I started by stumbling upon her YouTube channel.  https://www.youtube.com/user/SkypePsychiatrist

Then I read her first book.  https://www.amazon.com/Goodbye-Lupus-Medical-Naturally-Supermarket/dp/1516994027/

But it's really not that complicated.  The first book is more of an autobiography than a program.  Basically there's a spectrum.  If you just want to lose weight you can join their Smoothie Shred facebook group.  Once a day you make a smoothie that's 75% packed greens, has a handful of flax seed, a frozen banana, and any other frozen fruit you want.  Fill it up with water so the greens are submerged and blend.  They use a vitamix and say it takes about 3 minutes, but it might be more with other blenders.  The idea here is to add this very healthy food rather than taking anything away.  Also exercise 50% more than you have been.

 

If you want to do the "healing protocol" it's a bit more complex.  The idea is to eat as many raw vegetables as possible, especially cruciferous veggies, and a bunch of omega 3's in the form of chia or flax seeds.  It's fine to just eat them rather than blend them, but they've found that people find it MUCH easier to comply with when they make 1-2 smoothies per day.  Whenever you're hungry, eat more.  While it's fine to eat a whole tub of guacamole (or blend it with spices and water to make a salad dressing), it's not okay to eat oils, too many nuts, or other cooked foods.  The idea is to raise your omega 3 fat ratio as high as possible as fast as possible. Some people are so sensitive they have to start with flax oil rather than seeds.  So adding in salads, raw fruits or veggies, eating a whole head of broccoli with a tub of guacamole is fine.  Getting fancy with spiralized zucchini recipes and most any other raw vegan recipe you find is probably fine too, as long as you avoid too many nuts that your fatty acid ratio gets off.

The official guidelines (sort of copied but edited for clarity from their facebook group) are:

  1. 1.5 lbs or 12 cups of healing raw greens and/or cruciferous vegetables per day.  Aim for 2 lbs or more.
  2. A maximum of 3 cups of fruit (1 apple or 1 banana counts as 1 cup).  For every 3 cups of vegetables you can have 1 more cup of fruit.  Try to keep it at a 75%/25% ratio.   As long as you have MINIMUM one pound (or twelve cups) of the healing greens, you can have unlimited avocado and tomato.
  3. All herbs are fine, green or dried.
  4. All fruit must be fresh and raw. No dried or dehydrated food.
  5. No oil (except if you use flax oil in place of flax seed).
  6. No cooked food.
  7. No processed food.
  8. No nuts, peanuts, or seeds. No nut butter.
  9. No tofu.
  10. Unsweetened almond milk is okay.  Flavored is okay, sweetened is not.
  11. Unsweetened plant based coffee creamer is fine, even with flavor, as long as it has no sugar.
  12. No artificial sweeteners. This is the only concession to "processed" food for the coffee drinkers. Yes, coffee is allowed. But if you think it's hurting you for some reason you can stop drinking it.
  13. Herbal tea is allowed, but no sugar. And doesn't count as part of water.
  14. Nutritional yeast, Balsamic vinegar, Mustard, Bragg's, Soy sauce, and Sriracha are fine.
  15. If you're still not sure about something, just leave it out.
  16. If you don't like smoothies, make HUGE gorgeous salads.
  17. Look for oil free, nut free salad dressing recipes, preferably without beans. You can use some flax or chia seeds in place of nuts. You can grind flax and chia seeds and sprinkle them on your salad.

Daily:

  • 1.5 lbs leafy greens
  • 2 lbs veggies
  • MINIMUM 1/2 CUP CHIA OR FLAX SEED  My own note:  Some people don't tolerate this and have to build up to this amount.
  • MINIMUM ONE GALLON OF WATER (or 96 oz for those who weigh less than 128lbs.)

 

Notes:

You can have more water and more Omega-3.

No nuts, as you may see nuts in her previous recipes like her Caesar Salad Dressing. Replace the nuts with an avocado, it's delicious.

The idea is to stick to this for 6 weeks, but it isn't a magic number.  Some people have no more symptoms in 2 weeks,  others take longer than 6. When your symptoms are gone you can add it some cooked foods.  Start slow, maybe every other day, and see how it goes.  Some people can tolerate a lot of nuts and cooked food without symptoms.  Others get symptoms back almost immediately and need to do another few weeks before they try again.    Dr Goldner and her husband more or less still eat this way.  They have smoothies for breakfast and lunch and generally something cooked but vegan for supper.

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Oh, I forgot that they also pretty strongly believe in a maximum of 1 hour of exercise per day, and high intensity interval training seems to have the best impact on blood biomarkers.  But if you can't exercise at all, just do what you can tolerate.

And along the same plant based lines, this weight loss video is pretty good:  How to Lose Weight Without Losing Your Mind

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1 hour ago, Katy said:

Oh, I forgot that they also pretty strongly believe in a maximum of 1 hour of exercise per day, and high intensity interval training seems to have the best impact on blood biomarkers.  But if you can't exercise at all, just do what you can tolerate.

And along the same plant based lines, this weight loss video is pretty good:  How to Lose Weight Without Losing Your Mind

 

Do you mean Maximum? 

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Katy, as always, your posts are so helpful. I need to follow this thread, because, for different reasons, I just started making green smoothies yesterday.

I made one based on someone who said it was Reese Witherspoon's recipe: 1 green apple, 1 pear, 1 lemon, 2 hands full of spinach (I freeze fresh bagged spinach), coconut water, collagen, but I added a little water and an avocado plus a tiny bit of coconut oil. I see the rules I've broken but just saw this thread.

 

Where do you buy flax seeds in person? I can only find flax meal, but wanted to try making my own hair gel using flax seeds. (Yes, you may laugh at me.)

 

I started the smoothies b/c I've been having some health issues and the only thing helping is that DH and I walk ~1.5 miles every morning. I decided to add more fruits and veggies, hence the smoothies. The source I found for my recipe above (not Reese) said she drinks half and then puts the other half in the fridge for the next day. That goes against all I was taught about fresh is best, enzymes, etc. from my old juicing days, but I did it. Less clean up and work. I bet that breaks rules too. 

 

Thank you, Katy, for all your contributions. That saying that you're the sum of the people you spend time with? Well, you raise my average!

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Anecdotal, but I had hashimotos, hypothyroid, and had been on medication for years at about the same dose. I switched to a mostly vegetarian diet and after about 1.5-2 yrs, my blood work came back bad. The doctor had no explanation for why it was so off and kept waiting and sending me back to retest but it never improved; only got worse. I could feel that something wasn't right. I asked the doctor if he thought my diet could have reversed the hashi's or made it no longer a problem and he scoffed. But I'm off meds completely now and doing fine...I no longer needed medication. The only explanation for my bloodwork was that the medication was too high or unnecessary. I went off and the heart palpitations and sweating stopped and I did not get a return of hypothyroid symptoms. 

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Thank you so much @Angie in VA!  You just made my week!

We're in a small town 60-90 minutes from any cities you probably would have heard of.  My local Walmart had whole flax seed available for grocery pickup.  Many people on the Facebook group just order them from Amazon.

I agree with you about the enzymes.  Even leaving it in the fridge a few hours makes it taste different.  I suspect that they blend them in the morning because they don't have access to a blender throughout the day. It's easier to put what you can in a huge insulated mug or thermos and drink the rest immediately if you're on the go all the time.  I'm home and it doesn't take more time to rinse out the blender a few more times than it does to clean all the storage cups, so I think I might try to make smaller smoothies more frequently. They definitely taste fresher that way.

So as for today's update,  I don't really have much good to say so much as a warning.  I didn't have time to take a shower before the little kids were up this morning so I don't know how my weight may have fluctuated.  Last night I started feeling drastically worse. Still happy, but... My eyes were really dry, my contact lenses wouldn't stay in place so I was having intermittent vision issues, all of my joints hurt, and I got costochondritis, which I suppose could have been from that extra time in the mid day sun during yesterday's walk (despite SPF 50 and it being October). The sun is usually what causes it.  I should have worn a hat and a sun protection shirt.

In addition, I think I sat on the toilet for a #2 at least 14 times yesterday.  I am not a man, I don't have hours to spend in the bathroom enjoying an escape from the rest of the family. 

I spent some time googling.  Apparently if you ramp up to 1/4 cup of flax seed or more immediately it is OFTEN true that joint pain, dry eyes, itchy skin, and headaches will hit because flax seed absorbs so much water it will dehydrate you.  A gallon of water was a little less than I was drinking before, so I apparently need even more if I have this much flax.  And also, I need salt.  One of the posts in the facebook group said even 1/4 tsp on your tongue before you drink some water makes a big difference in symptoms like this.

So my thought is - I still feel happy mostly doing this program.  I'm still going to do smoothies and huge salads every day.  But maybe 1/8th of a cup of flax seed rather than 1/4 cup.  And if I go up to 1/4 cup again, I think I might need an extra liter of water and a few dashes of salt for every extra tablespoon.  

I also spent some time last night reading all about the studies of the benefits of Flax on Nutrition Facts.  It's worth the time if you're interested. Or if you're just stuck in the bathroom with nothing to do but read on your phone. https://nutritionfacts.org/?s=flax

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3 hours ago, myblessings4 said:

Just FYI.  We just got a Blendtec.  It has a whole juice button, and runs approximately 60 seconds to blend a smoothie as Katy posted, but adding in raw carrots.  I've only had to add seconds once or twice.

I was thinking about getting a BlendTec.  How loud is it?  We have a Ninja-something-or-other, and it is ear-splittingly loud. 

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14 hours ago, myblessings4 said:

It's loud, but low pitch.  So not too bad.  No one comes running out of their bedrooms when I run it first thing in the mornings.  Lol!

 

That's much better than the one we have now - I cannot use it if anyone is in bed, which makes it impossible to make a smoothie at 7am (or even 8am, some days)

 

Thank you!

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On 10/4/2020 at 7:57 AM, Carol in Cal. said:

I know someone whose lupus symptoms dropped by about 2/3 once she went completely off of wheat.  I saw the change personally.  It was quite remarkable.  Not sure whether that means that she was allergic to wheat and the symptoms were from ingestion, or whether it tends to increase lupus issues for her, but the change was very dramatic.

I have Lupus and RA (and more).  I know that if my allergies are flaring (like with spring mega pollen season), all my AI diseases flare.  All of them.  So if someone is allergic to wheat or intolerant, that could make a big difference.

But I am like PrairieWind, my diseases aren't affected by diet changes.

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18 hours ago, jen3kids said:

I was thinking about getting a BlendTec.  How loud is it?  We have a Ninja-something-or-other, and it is ear-splittingly loud. 

It’s crazy loud. Dh makes a protein smoothie with carrots and other veg daily and I wear ear protection if I am within 10’. When Dh uses it in the early morning, it wakes me up at the opposite end of the house.
 

Our Blendtec is 9 years old. I replaced the Blender cup once, but it is still going.

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2 hours ago, prairiewindmomma said:

It’s crazy loud. Dh makes a protein smoothie with carrots and other veg daily and I wear ear protection if I am within 10’. When Dh uses it in the early morning, it wakes me up at the opposite end of the house.
 

Our Blendtec is 9 years old. I replaced the Blender cup once, but it is still going.

 

That makes me rethink getting one, but perhaps the newer ones are quieter??

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