I know the story of Sergei Boutenko because of his mother, Victoria Boutenko of the “Raw Family.” Victoria is known in the raw food community as the woman who made green smoothies so popular. She is truly the “Queen of Green Smoothies.”

Sergei Boutenko is Victoria’s son. When he was nine years old he was diagnosed with diabetes. His family doctor told his parents he had to go on insulin immediately. His mother refused the conventional treatment of synthetic insulin and set off to search for an alternative solution. During her research, she stumbled onto the raw food diet and decided to switch her whole family to raw foods.

The results were remarkable for the whole family, including Sergei, who overcame his diabetes and is now living disease-free.

But not just that: he became an athlete, an avid promoter of green smoothies – or as he sings in his music video clip – green smoothie hustla, and a film maker.

Check out his website and support his latest project, “Powered by Green Smoothies“, a full length documentary about how hardcore, endurance athletes perform when given regular doses of fresh, organic green smoothie.


Interview with Sergei Boutenko

BEFORE WE BEGIN, I just want to be clear that I am not a medical doctor and thus cannot give any sort of medical advice. When asked questions, I share my own experience. It is up to you whether you choose to implement what I say or not. If you have diabetes, I recommend finding a doctor who is willing to monitor your health and work with you on changing your diet / lifestyle.

1. When people hear the diagnosis of diabetes they are usually told that this condition can be “managed” with proper diet and lifestyle, and – of course – medication. In the mainstream media, you rarely (if ever) hear stories like yours, of people completely overcoming this condition, without medication, and living disease-free. Did you talk to any doctors about what happened to you and what was their reaction?

I have talked to thousands of people over the years, many of whom have been doctors. People’s reactions are as different as the people themselves. Many of my followers are grateful for making them aware of an alternative to the conventional medical route. Some people seem to get offended by my story and call me a snake oil salesman. Having been at this for over 19 years, I am beginning to understand that stories like mine are not unique, they just get suppressed and never make it into the mainstream media.

Since my own diagnoses, I have met hundreds of diabetics (both type 1 and type 2) who have successfully reversed their diabetes. Because I have seen this over and over again with my own eyes, I am a firm believer in what I advocate. As green smoothies and raw food become more popular, I am beginning to meet more doctors who endorse a healthy diet. And this to me is encouraging.

2. I think one of the reasons no one is promoting raw diet or high-raw vegan diet as a solution to diabetes (besides the fact that there is no money in promoting it) is that it requires such a drastic change to one’s eating habits that people will not be willing or able to make the switch. What are your thoughts on that? How hard was it for you and what advice do you have for people facing the diagnosis who don’t know where to start?

You are absolutely correct. Switching to an all-raw diet is very difficult if not impossible.

Presently, I recommend green smoothies as a first step towards excellent health. If I may quote my own rap song: “Greens are incredible, they’re healthy and they’re edible.”

When you make a green smoothie, you unleash all the vitamins, minerals, chlorophyll, etc into the smoothie. You then drink the smoothie and transfer all that goodness into your body. This is easy and painless. If you do it regularly (about a quart every single day) you will notice miraculously positive changes occurring in your body.

Even if you continue eating and drinking “normal food” as you always have, the green smoothie will benefit you and your health. Eventually after you do it for awhile (approximately one month) you will find that you are naturally starting to crave more fresh organic foods. When this happens, it will be much easier to eat healthy because that is what your body will request.

3. People with diabetes are told to avoid foods that contain sugar. Are green smoothies that contain sweet fruits, such as bananas, suitable for people with diabetes? Or should people with blood-sugar problems be sticking to the low-glycemic fruits only, such as berries?

It is commonly thought that fruits are bad for diabetics. If you are concerned about this, I invite you to use low-glycemic fruits in your green smoothies. You can also make a savory green smoothie, which resemble a delicious soup.

That said it is important to make a distinction that fruit sugars do not affect diabetics in that same way as processed sugars. Sugar within fruit comes with fiber, which naturally regulates how fast the body is able to absorb it. Since whole fruit and smoothies contain lots of fiber, your blood sugar should not spike too much from consumption.

At our retreats we often have a diabetic or two concerned with the amount of fruit intake. By the end of the retreat, after they’ve affirmed that fruit does not affect them negatively, they are not longer afraid to eat it.

That said, every person and body is different and it is good to approach all new practices cautiously so as not to shock your body. If you’re not used to eating whole fruit, experiment on yourself in small doses and monitor your blood sugar simultaneously.

4. What were you and your family eating before your diagnosis? Was your diet what we consider a typical diet or SAD (Standard American Diet)?

My diet was absolutely terrible! It was SAD and ARD (Average Russian Diet). Just made the up BTW. We pretty much ate everything and anything.

5. There are some variations of raw food diets. Can you tell us what were the main foods you eating when you switched to raw food diet that helped you overcome diabetes?

I ate fruits, seeds, nuts, soaked grains, and lots and lots of greens. I should also mention that in addition to changing my diet, I began a vigorous exercise regime. For diabetics it is a must to run, bike, dance, and do anything to burn off excess sugar. The whole thing was really a lifestyle shift.

6. What are you eating today? Are you 100% raw? What are some of your favorite foods/dishes? Do you drink green smoothies regularly?

Today I am not 100 % raw. After 14 years on a strict raw diet I decided to relax a little bit and now incorporate some cooked food in life. I don’t go too big though. No hamburgers or pizza’s. On occasion, I cook quinoa, steams yams, squash, and the like. I find that eating a little bit of cooked food prevents me from overeating nuts and seeds and I feel better because of it.

7. I know that you live an extremely active lifestyle and love hiking, biking, snowboarding, running, and dancing. How important is physical activity to staying healthy and diabetes-free?

Over the years I’ve learned that health is a puzzle comprised of many different pieces. I think I’ve figured out many of those pieces, but I may never know all of them. Being physically active has not only helped me overcome my diabetes, but has consistently brought a sense of accomplishment and happiness into my life. There is so much written about the healthy benefits of exercise that there is very little I can add to the subject. I will say that if you’re not exercising regularly, you are TOTALLY missing out!

8. Is there anything else that you would like to share?

YES! I am excited to announce that will be filming a feature length documentary about the affect that green smoothies have on endurance athletes.

I’ve launched a Kickerstater project to help me fund this huge endeavor. If you would like to contribute to this film, please click on the link: http://kck.st/11g6hL4 your donation gets you cool rewards, supports a good cause, and is tax deductible!

Watch the trailer and support the project here:

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Listen to Sergei as he talks about overcoming diabetes:


Check out the “Green Smoothie Hustla” Music Video – if it doesn’t make you run to the kitchen to get your “fix”, I don’t know what will 😉

Powered by green smoothies