where do we get the most radiation?

Here’s an interesting  Associated Press story today for your consideration since we’ve been talking about radiation exposure from cell phones.

To summarize it, we get more radiation from medical testing than anything else, including airport scans and cell phone use.

Preventative medicine is the best way to avoid those medical tests. (My older son recently required an MRI because of a pitching injury. My younger two kids each fell from a significant height when they were little and had worrisome injuries, each requiring a scan. But many CT and other scans can be avoided.)

Prevention is just a euphemism for making good lifestyle choices.

I was talking to my friend Tif today about how so many men we know have the philosophy, “If you’re active, it doesn’t matter what you eat.” (This is an actual quote from a real live guy I am close to.)

(If that’s true, why are so many people who work out regularly still overweight?) Diet is still a bigger part of the picture than exercise is. Not to diminish exercise, of course.

I love the ridiculous things we come up with, sometimes, to justify floating along in popular culture’s dirty river.

bowling and baby food

Caveat about this post (two days after I wrote it): I mean NO disrespect to any parent. Parents are just doing their best! My intent is always to expose the refined-foods industries and their products for what they are, to raise awareness and help others get educated earlier than I did. In about a week, I will post a blog about my oldest child and the garbage I fed him. When I had my first baby, I was young and actually believed that because the jars were pasteurized, they were safer than raw fruit was! So, I cast no stones here ……

So I went bowling with my kids, nieces, nephews, siblings and parents last night.

(Here’s what we often get when we’re out, that’s really healthy. This will mean something only to those in Utah/Idaho. Café Rio or Costa Vida, whole-wheat tortilla in a vegetarian salad. No rice, chip strips, or cheese. Extra romaine, pico de gallo, black beans, and guacamole.)

When we were hanging out afterward, I noticed my sister-in-law taking little things out of a container and putting them on my baby nephew’s tongue. The container said Parents’ Choice Little Puffs.

I am always fascinated by how products have changed since I was a mom of babies. That chair that vibrates your baby to sleep–where was that 15 years ago?!

Anyway, I asked her what the point of these little things are. They look like the marshmallows in Lucky Charms but not as brightly colored.

She and my brother said they help keep the baby quiet when you’re out with him. They melt on his tongue so they can’t choke a breastfeeding baby who is unaccustomed to food.

You get this stuff at Walmart. (But please don’t.)

It has all kinds of synthetic stuff in it that I cannot pronounce. Like cyanocobalamin. And pyridoxine hydrochloride. But it also has “natural strawberry flavor.” That’s comforting, right? Because it’s NATURAL! (What does natural mean? Pretty much nothing, according to the law. Refined sugar is technically “natural” because it derives from actual food if you trace it back far enough–cane juice being a food.)

The packaging touts that the product is “Naturally Flavored! Whole Grains and Real Fruit!”

Well, the second ingredient is sugar. And there’s lots of processed stuff in it, even if there’s a pinch of whole grains and a pinch of something that started as a fruit.

I’m underwhelmed on behalf of babies everywhere. They need nutrition, real food, more than anyone.

growth of GSG.com

Today I got auto-emailed by Alexa, which ranks GSG.com 154,101. I am told this is incredible for a site less than 3 years old run by an internet moron. (I was clueless about the WWW 3 years ago and, sadly, continue to be.)

It tells me we have achieved a google rank of 4, that oodles of external websites link to us, and that we had 166,300 visits in the past 30 days. That 1,100 people read this blog daily.

It kind of scares me. Exciting, too, of course–since I continue to pay exactly $0.00 for advertising.

My point is that with such rapid growth (600% growth in traffic in the past year), I find more evidence of what I always say:

“People want to eat right. They don’t know how.”

200 years ago, eating was simple because choices were limited and people ate close to the land.

With an increase in choice, and technology (allowing us infinite variety in taste, texture, and color), and economies of scale, we began to remove nutrition and add chemicals to our food supply. The impact on our health has been deleterious, insidious, gradual, and profound.

I want to thank all of you who arrive at this site, get lost in it for hours, and write me emails telling me all the people in your life you’ve sent here.

Thank you for sending the young moms here (dads too). They alone have the power to change the direction we are collectively going, to reverse the childhood obesity epidemic and the trending upward of diabetes, osteoporosis, asthma, and more.

I’m humbled by what has happened to this little site and blog. I’m overwhelmed by all the information I want to develop to address the questions, needs–cries for help, really–that I and my little team get every day.

I love running this site. I love hearing from you. There are frustrations, too, like the fact that I can’t consult personally to everyone who writes. That I can’t write back to every personal email.

Please keep asking your questions. I will address them as I can on this blog.

Thank you for caring not only about your own health (strap the oxygen mask on yourself FIRST!) but also your children, your parents, your friends, your community.

Thank you to those who ask me to come speak. I am getting a bit more organized and am making a list of the requests I get, so I can watch for an opportunity to speak to your group when I’m in that area. My goal is always, first and foremost, to help you get enthusiastic about returning to the way your body was biologically programmed to eat. That is, less refined/processed/animal foods, and more whole/raw/plant foods. And learn quick and inexpensive ways to do that.

Please write support123@greensmoothiegirl.com if you have a location (seating 75 or more) and would like me to come. We’ll keep you on a list and I very much hope to get to your area.

Stand by for details we are finalizing on upcoming classes in Ogden, Lehi, Layton (all Utah), and New York City.


food and love, part 2

Gilbert went to an ashram in India and studied, meditated, and prayed as a follower of a Guru. At first I was skeptical of the Guru idea, but in Eastern traditions, a person is so committed to devotion to God that she may obtain a tremendous amount of education, and spend many hours a day meditating and seeking to know God, for a lifetime. (Think Buddhist monks, or the Dalai Lama.) Do you think God could hide from someone that loyal, who wants sacred connection that much–regardless of what her “religious affiliation” is?

How many of us do that here in the Western world? As for myself, I am running around like a headless chicken most of every day. I consider myself at my spiritual zenith when I read scriptures for a little while, say a two-minute prayer, ponder a bit in the car or at yoga, and go to church on Sunday.

So regardless of your religious belief, you have to be impressed at that kind of commitment to finding a spiritual center. Everything out of the mouths of the Gurus Liz studied seems very true to me, even profound. I would love to go to an ashram for three months. Unlike Liz, though, I’ve got these four kids to feed and haul to school and soccer practice. By myself. So, I hope to find my own unique path to the same place.

One teaching of all the Gurus, one constant at all the ashrams, is vegetarian meals. If someone cannot access spiritual experiences, the Guru asks, “How is your digestion?” Don’t gulp your food, she says. Eating light meals consisting of plants (and not animals) is critical for spiritual enlightenment. Gilbert, having come from a decadent three months in Italy eating everything in sight and putting 20 lbs. on her divorce-gaunt frame, noticed a dramatic difference in her ability to access sensitive spiritual experiences, eating the ashram’s vegetarian fare. You simply can’t sit for hours to meditate, she says, if your body is struggling with digestion.

She sheds obsessions (about broken relationships, mistakes, denied wants) that had taken over her thought processes. She is able to quiet her mind and tune into her spirit. She experiences profound, undeniable phenomena that remind her that she is more than just human, that she is connected to God. She overflows with positive emotion towards others that she’s never experienced before.

Granted, lots of meditation and a pure intent to have these experiences play a big role. But have you noticed that a lightness in your body, in your gut, results in lightness in your mood? I have commented on this before on this blog. Many times when I have been eating all-raw for a while (which I often do for days or weeks at a time), I experience sustained periods of such joy, energy, compassion, generosity, and pure love for literally everyone, including strangers, that I ask myself this question:

“Why don’t I do this ALL the time?”

What is your experience with this?

food and love: a really personal blog entry, part 1 of 2

I always talk, when I speak in public about my whole-foods lifestyle, about my research. It’s published in full in The Green Smoothies Diet.

One of my biggest surprises was discovering that 54% of people who drink green smoothies regularly, in my study of 175 people, report a more positive, stable mood. Also, 20% experience higher libido.

(The sex-drive statistic, to me at least, relates to both energy and interest in a very intense, personal connection with other people. You might say it’s just making your hormones balanced and healthier, and that’s a good point, too–I believe a high libido is a natural state.)

Less surprising in my study is that 80% experience better digestion. What do all these things have to do with each other? That’s the subject of today’s and tomorrow’s blog entry.

I have been thinking a lot about love lately in philosophical and personal ways. I am reading the book Eat, Pray, Love by Elizabeth Gilbert. I adore this book. Highly recommend it. Julia Roberts had better do it justice in the movie!

Just like me, the author got a painful divorce, then rebounded into a painful long-term relationship that didn’t work out.

She spent a year in Italy, India, and Indonesia seeking pleasure, then spirituality, then wisdom, and the book is her memoir. It’s the story of “one woman’s search for everything,” the cover says.

I want everything! Don’t you?

I’ve been reading a few pages and then THINKING about what I just absorbed, for days. Consequently, it’s taking forever–which is annoying a couple of my girlfriends who are waiting to borrow my marked-up copy.

The next book I plan to read is Mastery of Love. I want to love in the most pure way possible–never thinking of the person I love as an object. Never “measuring” what I get back in exchange.

I want to love just for the sheer joy of it. Because it’s the best thing we experience in life, love is, the most natural and pure state. I have been observing the way I and other people love and making mental notes, for a while now.

How do you love? (This question is offered for self-reflection purposes–you don’t have to answer it here.) Is it needy, desperate, anxious? Measuring, giving only as much as you’ve historically gotten back? Is it calculated rather than given happily, organically, wholly? (Does needy/anxious love even qualify as love, anyway? It is certainly passed off as such, in daily life.)

So I have been reading and thinking about how I have loved (and been loved) in the past. Who I have loved and why. When I have felt a loss of “self” and just given myself over to God as well as what is divine in me and others.

I’ve been asking this: why I have been more able at times, and less able at other times, to recognize the divine in myself and others and respond appropriately?

Part 2 on this tomorrow.

The verdict on Idaho

So here is our class in Idaho Falls. Turns out, people in Idaho DO care about good nutrition.

Tennyson is my helper in the photo. My favorite thing from this class was when I was asked if it’s expensive to incorporate whole-foods habits. I discussed my top two money-saving ideas (one, grow a garden; two, have a full-size freezer to store greens and fruit, nuts and seeds, when you can get them inexpensively).

Then I mentioned that I know the edible weeds, and I just get some out of my backyard sometimes for smoothies. Dandelions and morning glory, for instance. I freeze them for the winter, too. The whole audience burst out laughing and I wasn’t sure why, for a minute. Until I saw them looking at Tennyson.

Ten and I have been discussing his “poker face” or lack thereof. (It was a big problem, playing cards all weekend.)

His eyes were big and shocked and his mouth was hanging open.

Tip for those of you who would like to put weeds in your smoothies: don’t tell your kids. They wouldn’t understand.