Thursday, December 8, 2011

In The Raw And Loving It

Always Looking For Better Health

In what seems to be my never-ending pursuit of good health and nutrition, I get particularly focused on what doctors, exercise gurus and dieticians are promoting during the holidays. A time of overindulgence of all things yummy.

There always are new fangled diets, exercise routines which profess to be the best and latest in lab science technology for proven weight loss. No matter how you scrunch the numbers, it will and still is about calories in and calories out.

However, after menopause it seems to be less about calories in and more about how your body becomes inefficient at burning off those calories, even if you think you are in starvation mode based on a severely reduced calorie diet....which of course this is counterproductive to weight loss.

Paying Attention To The Raw Food Diet and New "P.I.N.K Method Exercise Program

Now in checking out Dr. Phil last week, he had a guest promoting their new workout method and diet, something which now I am seeing on many other shows, but it looks like Dr. Phil got first crack at it.

It is called the P.I.N.K Method. It is based on a series of workouts designed specifically for women and many recipes utilizing wholesome foods, including raw foods rich in micro-nutrients, once they are made bio-available through the use of the VitaMix Blender. Not surprisingly, everyone in the audience got one for FREE and they are upwards of $500 or more. The average household either can't afford such a whipping genius of technology or don't want to spend the money thinking a blender is just a blender....ahhh but that is where we are mistaken.

After the show, I began to do some research on creating better nutrition through the use of this super blender and the science and nutritional value really made sense to me. Then I began researching blenders, wanting to clarify if the blender really makes the difference.

I finally did narrow it down to two master blenders that are utilized in Jamba Juice, Starbucks, Yogurt shops and Chef's restaurants across America....they are the VitaMix and BlendTec, both made in the good old US of A. One caveat: VitaMix was sued by BlendTec (formerly K-Tec) for violation of their patent on the food processing jar design and VitaMix lost, paying them millions in compensation. So this also helped me make my decision, but wasn't the main reason at all.

After much deliberation and comparison shopping of the two, I decided the BlendTec Total Blender would be added to my kitchen. It has a similar price range to the VitaMix, however if you are a member of Costco, you can get them on line for under $400.00, shipping included.

Or you can follow their road show schedule to your nearest Costco and pick one up for $349.00, which is what hubby and I did this past weekend. They are only available at this reduced price during the roadshow and this machine is not sold year round in stores.

Major Differences For My Choice

Overall, both machines perform well for what you want to do in order to release the nutrients in the blended foods, but these were the primary considerations of my choice, regardless of the suit by BlendTec. They both offer colors of Black, Red and White. But I also think the BlendTec is a better looking unit overall and easiest to use.

1. BlendTec has preprogrammed buttons on the face of the unit, making it simple to throw in your foods, set it and forget it, adjusting speeds accordingly automatically and then shuts off when even offers a blend mileage, logging every time you use a blend cycle so you can see how much use you are getting from your unit. No monitoring while blending......VitaMix is manual use only.

2. BlendTec has a design that draws the food into a vortex, making sure every bit of ice and food gets blended to perfection. VitaMix provides this weird plunger device to force food against the blade as pictured below the unit....what a pain that is.

3. BlendTec offers easy clean design of the jar, getting every last bit of your scrumptious soup, ice cream, smoothie or fruit juice out without waste and the blade is not sharp, so no cutting fingers when wiping it clean. VitaMix has a weird design with wings built into the jar, making it more difficult to get all your blend out so it can be a waste of certain blends. Both machines will self clean easily.

4. BlendTec is 15 inches high, fitting under cabinets so it can remain out at all times. VitaMix is over 20 inches high and will not fit under standard cabinets in a kitchen, so hauling it out to make a meal becomes a pain....personal belief, if it isn't readily available, one is less inclined to use it.

5. BlendTec, can be purchased for less money than VitaMix, especially through Costco, and they have now made their warranty 8 years, compared to VitaMix of 7 years. Anything goes wrong, they will replace it free of charge, no questions asked. It is an Unconditional Warranty...where do you find those these days?

Those are my top 5 reasons for my purchase of a major appliance for adding nutritionally to my health. Only really big "con" for something that gets up to speed at a whopping 300 miles per hour, is the noise factor......both machines can be very loud on delicate ears. Getting my 5 to 7 servings of veggies and fruits a day, has never been more easy. If there are certain veggies you can't really get past eating, the BlendTec recipes provide ways to utilize them without taste even being detected.

Spinach or Kale for instance can be added to fruit smoothies or ice cream...yep that's right veggies in your ice cream....unbelievable right? Who says ice cream can't be healthy? Makes a pretty green color, but you can't even taste it. Carrots create a beautiful carrot juice, sweetened with apples or Agave syrup, so easy going down. Make pumpkin ice cream or frappuccino using pumpkin puree. Pie fillings to create the perfect concoction or cream of "something" soup of any wild idea you may have. It is simply about getting the nutrition into our bodies using a machine that makes micro-nutrition easier than ever.

Throw in stems, peels, cores, like in pineapple and you get the fiber and the phytonutrients to boot. Again, can't detect any off flavor when incorporating the parts of the veggie or fruit, we would otherwise throw away.

I love mine so much, that I have already logged 23 blends since last Friday. I am never hungry and have already dropped 2 lbs, without even trying.

I feel better, have a ton of energy, and my cravings are completely gone. Finally, I believe my body is getting what it craves. Whole nutrition through the use of raw foods. I use cooked ingredients also when making my soups, but primarily everything is fresh in my blends.

Best Deals

The BlendTec comes with a recipe booklet, but once you learn the schematics of the machine and how the recipes work for consistency and texture, the recipe book is only necessary if you are trying something new. I already now make my soups and smoothies based on a desire, not a recipe and they are coming out perfect. Oh...did I mention the soup is made right in the blender? It comes out hot directly after the blend. No heating in microwave or on the cool is that?

Follow this link to watch their videos on how this fantastic machine works. BlendTec Costco Roadshow Website. They have demos for Smoothies, Soups and Ice Cream, and the blender will also make terrific coffee blends and cocktails, for those that enjoy a libation, or simply grind your whole beans or whole grains for making homemade flour for baking.

At Harvest Essentials website, they are offering the unit for the price of $434.95, which includes a Free Wildside Jar, just make sure you mark the dot for your Free Jar to be included.....FREE shipping too. Who doesn't like Free shipping?

Or if you are a Costco member, they are essentially offering the same deal year round, for $399.99 on their website only. However, be aware the one on Costco is the Total Blender with 6 pre-programmed buttons, and the one on Harvest Essentials is the HP3A blender with 25 pre-programmed settings....making it a bit more advanced depending on your ingenuity to being a blending maven. Otherwise these blenders are identical in every other way.

Now to be fair and of course make your own decision, if VitaMix is your choice, you can catch their roadshow demos and purchase also at Costco. Here is the VitaMix Schedule at Costco. And for Online Demonstrations of VitaMix you can see how their machine performs. No matter your selection, the recipes are totally interchangeable on either machine. In fact VitaMix is here right now at our Nampa Costco while BlendTec is at our Boise Costco and then VitaMix is moving over to that store in January. It seems to me that VitaMix may have the more aggressive marketing plan.

So if you are looking to improve your diet and health, either treat yourself this holiday, or give the gift of health to a loved one, and then borrow it at every opportunity.....share and share a like I say. ;~)

Wishing everyone a lovely holiday season and Happy Blending.

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