how do you have the time?

Dear GreenSmoothieGirl.com: I’m a working single mom.   I know you are, too.   How do you make breakfast, lunch, and dinner for your family?

 

Answer: I don’t spend a lot of time doing things that don’t matter.   I’ve just learned the high-impact things that ARE worth my time.   I also teach my kids how to cook and clean up, and we all pitch in and take turns.

 

Green smoothies are a high-impact item.   Once a week making a gallon of kefir, and a big roasting pan of granola, also high-impact and worth my time.   Making a salad for dinner is another 5-10 minutes that is worth the effort.   Those are the things I do every day.   Sometimes, but not always, I’ll make a quart of salad dressing, something from Ch. 3 of 12 Steps, to last several days.   If I don’t do that, then a splash of raw apple cider vinegar and olive oil dresses the salad, with maybe a sprinkle of Trocomare and/or kelp.   I spin my romaine in a salad spinner so that the salad dressing “sticks” instead of getting diluted with water at the bottom of the bowl.

 

And then, I keep my dishes simple when I do cook, and I often double batches, having some for a second night, and some to freeze.   Before I go to work, I take a pint of pesto sauce or an 8″x8″ pan of wild mushroom rice bake or a Tupperware of vegetarian chili out of the freezer.   Once a week we end up having “leftover night.”

 

Whichever child I need to spend some time with, I’ll often call into the kitchen to help me.   I have a child who loves potatoes, and she likes to come in and scrub some potatoes while I make a salad.   While we do that, we catch up on what happened to her that day at school.  

 

Speaking of that, I have a brand-new YouTube video out about how to get your kids invested in nutrition.   They have to care about it, themselves, if you want them to leave home and do what you’re doing (prepare and eat whole plant foods).   Here it is:

 

http://in.youtube.com/watch?v=R-O0voLkxBI

 

(If you subscribe to my videos, then when I release new ones, you’re notified via email.)

healthy options eating out

Dear GreenSmoothieGirl: I know you make a green smoothie and take it to work in a quart jar.   But what about when you get up late, don’t have time, and you’re out in town and STARVING?   What do you eat?

 

Answer:   Here, locally (Utah County), my favorite thing to do is go to New York Burrito at about 1600 N. State, Orem.   Get a vegetarian wrap on a whole-wheat tortilla.   Skip the white rice (they don’t have brown rice, but mention that you hope they start using it).   Instead, get lots of black beans.   (They don’t salt their black beans.)   Then ask for TONS of extra romaine and tomatoes, and have some onions (and guacamole and salsa) for plenty of RAW.   You’re out the door for under $5 and 5 minutes, with a whole-food lunch that tastes great–and New York Burrito doesn’t even cater to the health conscious.

 

You can look around for healthy options like this and know where to head on a day you’re crazy-busy.   If you’re in Springville, anything you get at Ginger’s is really tasty and also raw and really nutritious.  

 

If I’m in a sit-down restaurant with friends, I try to avoid Mexican and Chinese, because they rarely have a lot of raw ingredients.   And I mostly stick to salads.   Ask for special things in it–like, skip the chicken, please, and give me extra spring greens and lentils instead, or whatever.

 

At Pizza Factory, I get pasta and veggies–only the pasta I order is actually the steamed yellow squash noodles (this dish is fantastic with any sauce).   And instead of going to the salad bar where the lettuce is iceberg, I ask them to bring me a plate of romaine and build my salad from there.   (Iceberg lettuce is nutritionally pointless; darker greens are so much better for you.   Every time I do this in a restaurant, everyone else at the table does it, too.)

 

Any tips you have for each other would be appreciated.

Dehydrator Recipe . . . part 3 of 3

Sprouting (and dehydrating) is very frankly the most sophisticated nutrition principle I teach. For newbies, I start with lower level things: getting more fruits and vegetables in the diet, and eating whole grains, for instance. Most Americans are not prepared for the idea of sprouting and live foods. Some of my readers are so ambitious that they go ALL OUT and within weeks of leaving a processed diet, they’re already sprouting.

Others of you have been doing the first few steps in 12 Steps to Whole Foods. . . and you feel you’re in strange territory, but you’re ready to try.

If that’s you, ask for an Excalibur 3000 series dehydrator for Christmas to start making live snack foods from Chapter 7 (or the Crunchy Snacks recipe collection).

Here’s one of my favorite recipes for using the dehydrator to get get LIVE flaxseed in the diet. These crackers are easy to make, yummy, and filling.Remember with dehydrated foods to always drink water with them. (Otherwise they aggressively soak up all the liquids in your digestive tract, like stomach acids.)

Flax-Veggie crackers

  • Soak in 4 cups water for several hours:
  • 3 cups flax seeds (1/2 brown, ½ golden)
  • 1 cup raw sunflower seeds
  • Shred in food processor, or very finely dice
  • 1 red bell pepper
  • 2 carrots
  • Puree in Blend Tec:
  • 4 tomatoes
  • 2 stalks celery
  • 4 cloves garlic
  • 1/3 cup nama shoyu
  • 1 tsp. sea salt
  • 1 Tbsp. chili powder

Mix all all three mixtures together well, by hand, and spread on plastic dehydrator sheets, about ¼” thick.Cut into cracker shapes and dehydrate at 105 degrees until crackers are dry on top, about 24 hours.Turn over, take off teflex sheets, and finish drying until crackers are crispy.

Tip: We like to eat these plain, but we also often put slices of avocado on top.

benefits of drying food . . . part 2 of 3

So what are the benefits of drying food?   Pressure cooking preserves food, too, but kills all the enzymes at 240 degrees.   Canning also destroys water soluble vitamins.   Freezing is the other best way to keep your fruit and vegetables, but nutrients are lost over time, and most people just can’t keep much in their limited freezer space.   I have a large freezer and two fridges with small freezers–and I still never have enough room to preserve everything I want to keep.

Dehydrating with Excalibur is safe, with dark doors to avoid nutrition loss from light.   The 3000 model has an automatic 26-hour timer so you can leave food drying overnight or even while you’re out of town.

Storebought fruit leathers and dehydrated fruits often contain sulfites, sugar or corn syrup, and other preservatives and chemicals.   They’re also expensive!   At the end of summer, I often pick fruit from my neighbors’ trees that would otherwise go to waste.   (Make sure you get permission first!)   Dried apricots are one of my favorite things, and they’re so easy to make: just wash them, pop them in half, and put them on the dryer trays until dry.  You can also puree fruit in your BlendTec Total Blender, pour it onto the Teflex sheets, and dry it into fruit leather.

To make the crackers, chips, flavored almonds, and other fun stuff in the Crunchy Snacks Recipe Collection, or all the fun stuff in Ch. 7 of 12 Steps to Whole Foods, you definitely need a food dehydrator.   It’s a great way to make inexpensive, “live” snacks that nourish you well.

So here’s the link to get all the benefits of drying food:

http://tinyurl.com/56cn36

the best food dehydrator on the market . . . part 1 of 3

Today I’m telling you about one of my favorite tools for incorporating fantastic plant-food nutrition into your diet.   This is my favorite appliance, second only to the BlendTec Total Blender.   It’s the Excalibur dehydrator, my “oven,” the best rated food dehydrator in the world.   See if the person who loves you most wants to get you this for Christmas:

 

http://tinyurl.com/56cn36

 

You can buy cheaper food dryers.   The cheap ones do not have temperature controls, unfortunately, so if you’re going to buy one of the small, Walmart-type brands, you’ll have to vent by opening up the trays, and use a thermometer to try to control the heat to not go above 116 degrees.

 

But you truly can’t buy one better for preserving the nutrition in raw foods than Excalibur’s.   If you have a family, you can also make big batches because the 3000 models have nine trays, so you can dry several recipes at once, or doubled/tripled batches.

 

Excalibur is not only the gold standard in dehydrating, but the company knows raw food well and is used and endorsed by all the pre-eminent raw foodists (Cousens, Boutenko, Kulvinskas, and more).   Dehydrating is the best way to preserve the essential properties of fruits and vegetables, and those are ENZYMES, VITAMINS, and MINERALS.   It’s also a great way to preserve the summer harvest and stock up your pantry with LIVE food.

danger of aluminum in antiperspirants

How many of you are using commercial antiperspirants?

 

Not much research has been published on what happens to our health as a consequence of using them.   But  they all  contain aluminum, which I believe is one of the most toxic ingredients in personal-care products.   (It is followed closely by sodium laureth sulfate and propylene glycol).   I hope you will memorize those three names and avoid products that use them.   And if you want to add a few more ingredients to avoid, add these to your list: talc (containing aluminum as well), dimethicone, clyclomethicone, and polyethylene.

 

We do know that aluminum is linked to Alzheimer’s as well as problems absorbing minerals.   It may be linked to kidney problems and breast cancer as well.   The FDA assures us that we can continue using antiperspirants without concern, but then again, the FDA is not truly protecting us from much.   That organization’s modus operandi with chemicals seems to be “innocent until proven guilty.”

 

You may think, well, I’m putting these products in my hair, or on my skin, which isn’t that bad.   But your skin is highly absorptive, and those chemicals do go into your bloodstream, where they then become systemic.

 

Many companies offer natural deodorants and antiperspirants.   You can find a variety of options at any health food store.   I haven’t personally found the “deodorants” to be effective (and I care about this a  LOT since I like to break a sweat  six days a week, for an hour).   The only thing I’ve tried that I really love is also the simplest: a crystal stick.   You just wet it and rub it under your arms.

 

I hope you’ll decide now to quit using commercial antiperspirants.   I watched my former husband’s grandfather die of Alzheimer’s, and it isn’t a pretty way to go.   It’s also emotionally devastating to everyone who loves that person.   Anything we can do to reduce our risk of that ugly fate is a good thing.

 

(The other significant finding is that we reduce our risk of Alzheimer’s if we READ a lot into our old age.   You’re already on the right path there, all of you, for the obvious reason!   So just work on getting the aluminum off your skin.)

You ready to commit to that?   A crystal stick is about $4 at your health food store and lasts a really long time.