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How often do you get sick? Should I buy hand sanitizer?

Dear GreenSmoothieGirl: I was wondering, while eating the great raw food diet that you eat, when is the last time you “caught a cold.”

Can you give us an idea about whether you and your kids have been sick or the magnitude of it? Do you or the kids get a cold and you are able to fight it off much quicker with a healthy diet OR do you guys not get sick at all.

Here in Jersey our kids go back to school soon and that’s the time I start to really worry about the “germs.” Do you believe in Hand Sanitizer and what are your thoughts on it. It seems like they are becoming MANDATORY on the Back to School Supply list and I was just curious on your thoughts about this.

Answer: I think the Hand Sanitizer is silly. Don’t get me wrong–I am a big fan of washing hands well. But there are millions of bad bacteria everywhere, air, counters, clothes, food. And all the antibacterial products out there are doing very little, if anything, to protect us. And they are possibly helping “bugs” become more resistant and super-virile. A spray or hand gel is like sticking your pinkie in the hole in the dam, when the dam is breaking.

Fact is, people don’t get sick because we get exposed to a “bug.” We’re being exposed to bugs all the time. Why did my tenant, who I saw every day and exchanged food with, etc., get deathly ill from swine flu last year for six long weeks, requiring an ER visit, and I didn’t, and neither did my kids? (My oldest son got a little sick for two days.)

If we are a good host for a bug to overpower our natural defenses, when we create an internal climate where nasty micro-organisms thrive, then we get sick.

How do we become that perfect host? We eat lots of acidic foods–dairy, meat, coffee, yeast bread, and especially sugar. (Stress, pollution, medications, and not sleeping enough also contribute to a highly acidic internal climate and susceptibility.)

If we drink lots of water, eat raw, alkaline food (greens being the very best on that list), and do all the other good stuff (moderate exercise, sleep, etc.), we are minimizing our risk of catching the “bugs” that are omnipresent.

As for when I last “caught a cold”–I can’t even remember. Maybe 3 years ago. I think getting a mild cold that lasts a day, with clear mucous, is a good thing. It’s a way that your body flushes itself out. Getting a “cold” once or twice a year is not a sign of failure. It’s when illnesses linger, when the mucous becomes stagnant and thick and acidic (yellow or green), or when we get things worse than a cold, that we know we’ve become the perfect host for illness. Strep, bronchitis, flu–”catching” these is a sign something is very wrong.

And at that point, it’s time to clean house. Lots of green smoothies, maybe a juice cleanse, and adherence to a 60-80% or more raw plant-based diet.

In my family, none of us has been really ill, or had the “flu,” or had anything requiring an antibiotic, in at least 12 years. But before that? When we were eating the Standard American Diet? We were sick constantly. All of us, especially me and my oldest son.

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