Parenting and Nutrition: I hate being the bad guy! Part 1 of 3

Dear GreenSmoothieGirl: I get so sick of cajoling my kids to eat right. It’s exhausting! So a lot of the time, I just cave to the pressure and let them eat crap. What do I do?

Answer: This is a big topic. I write on it a LOT, you know if you’ve been here for a while. But I’ll share some new thoughts today.

I was doing some research recently and read an interview Kevin Gianni did with Mike Adams where Mike said something like, “I get so sick of hearing people tell me that this or that good food doesn’t taste good. I wish people would just get over the idea that EVERYTHING has to taste good.”

I laughed out loud reading it. Amen, my brotha.

Sometimes I’ll tell someone griping to me about that, “Yeah? Well guess what. Don’t be shocked, but I don’t even really like green smoothies.”

It’s true. I don’t much like drinking stuff, except water. I have never bought a Jamba Juice smoothie, even before I was mega-healthy. It’s just not that appealing to me. I prefer things you eat with spoons or forks.

That’s not why I drink green smoothies. I drink them because they’re fast, easy, portable and super powerful in my energy-maximizing nutritional strategy.

I think the 80/20 rule applies. I eat about 80 percent foods that are outrageously good for me, whether I like them or not, and 20 percent foods I really love. (Like guacamole or raw olives. Anything made with coconut, or chocolate. Or sprouted-grain English muffins with butter.) Note that most of the foods I love are a 6 to 8 on a 1-10 scale (1 being pork rinds, 10 being the juiced collards and carrots I made with my new Norwalk Juicer this week). None are a 1 – 4 on the scale. But my favorites are higher calorie and not superfoods like a green smoothie is.

Caveat: if your “foods I love” list is pure Cheetos and Snickers and Diet Pepsi, 20 percent is waaaaay too much. You’ve not yet learned to replace that list with things that are both yummy and pretty darn good for you.

Helping your kids find a list of things they like, that also happen to be nutritious, is IMO one of the best things you can do for them as a parent!

I don’t have a standard that everything I put in my mouth has to taste good. Matter of fact, I often get MORE pleasure out of the sense of accomplishment (“I am so proud of myself for drinking that glass of collard juice and handful of sprouted almonds!”) than I get from the taste and texture of ice cream in my mouth.

Think about that, because human beings are in hot pursuit of pleasure. I value accomplishment, and building healthy cells and tissues, more than I value instant gratification. (Mostly. I do occasionally screw up a little.)

Do you? Your kids are noticing. I promise.

Also, they actually WANT you to talk to them, and set the example—regardless of the mixed messages (with the eye rolling and the “ya ya, I know Mom” stuff).

If you don’t talk to them and show them?

Well, you know all that talk about heredity being the primary factor in health, in obesity, and in cancer risk? People believe that. But it isn’t really true. More and more studies are showing, when researchers bother to isolate factors, that it’s not your genes that lead to three generations in a row getting cancer, as once thought—it’s the fact that, for the most part, we eat what our parents ate.

Some things we do simply because they’re good for us. I was telling this to Kristin in an airport last week. I said, “How many things did you just walk past on the way to our gate, that you LIKE eating, but you didn’t stop and buy?”

She said, “Hundreds.”

So, I continued, “Everyone says yes to a few things, and no to MANY things. Everyone. Even the folks we all look at and think, ‘Wow, you’ve really let it go, pal.’ If you say no to 99% of the bad-for-you foods in your path, you could be super healthy and fit. If you say no to only 95%, you could be obese, miserable, nearly immobilized.”

I’ll explain where I’m going with this tomorrow……



Green Juice: Can It Be Yummy? I’m in Arizona to Find Out!

I’ve just checked into An Oasis of Healing to study what Dr. Thomas Lodi, M.D., does to help people. One of my readers, Inge, read what we’re doing and wrote about how much she loves Dr. Lodi, who has been helping her. She wasn’t the only one of our readers to write telling us they’ve been treated and greatly benefited by Dr. Lodi’s work.

I’ll be filming interviews and treatment there, and I’ll be participating too, myself, in a 5-day juice fast and the treatments that are safe for healthy people.

Inge wrote us that Dr. Lodi does wonderful raw vegan classes at his clinic, and that they have the best-tasting green juice she’s ever had.

I just bought a Norwalk Juicer. I’ve always been curious about it not only because it’s $2,500, and because the alt-cancer docs use it, but also because it’s quite a contraption and the best juicer available. I’ll do a video soon. It grinds the plants, then presses them in a second step. You get about 50% more juice from a Norwalk than the others (Champion, Omega, Jack LaLanne, etc.) and there is no damage to the plant or heat involved.

I discovered this week a huge patch of collard greens in my garden that somehow escaped use all summer. What to do with it all?! I made two quarts of collard juice, and added some of the yummy apples from my tree, and organic carrots. It was……not super good.

I drank it all, but it took me three days and I felt a little nauseous every time I thought about it. So I was curious about the yummy green juice Inge told us about. So Clothilde in Dr. Lodi’s office gave me this recipe. Apple, lemon, and ginger seem to be what cut the “green” taste:

An Oasis of Healing’s Green Juice Recipe

Yields approximately 2 quarts of juice

Use only organic ingredients

10 stalks of Celery

1 to 2 Cucumbers (peeled if waxed)

2       bunches Kale

2       bunches Spinach

2       bunches Dandelion

1       Granny Smith Apple (Optional)

½     stalk Broccoli

1       Lemon (peel the yellow rind, being careful to leave as much white pith on the lemon as possible

¼ ” Ring of fresh Ginger Root, peeled

7 to 10 stalks of Parsley (Add last, after all the other ingredients have been juiced, because it tends to bind in the juicer)

This recipe makes approximately 2 quarts of juice depending on the freshness, ripeness and water content of the vegetables. Cut recipe in half to yield 1 quart.

Taste and adjust ingredients to your liking.

Tips for success:

  • Strain fresh prepared juice to increase absorption and benefit to the body.
  • Store juice in glass jars with rubber seal.   Fill jar as full as possible, as extra air trapped in the bottle destroys nutrients.
  • The highest nutritional value is within the first 45 minutes after making the juice.   This is not always feasible; however, do not make your juice the night before.   At a minimum, make your juice each morning and evening.

Buy enough vegetables for a week’s worth of juices:

  • When you bring the vegetables home, wash immediately and dry thoroughly. Cut off root end of spinach and celery to separate, rinse thoroughly with water to remove all dirt.
  • Use salad spinner to dry spinach, dandelion, and kale.   Place all other vegetables on towels to air dry thoroughly.
  • Buy green stay fresh bags for vegetables.   Portion the vegetables out according to the number of juices you will make.   (i.e. Enough veges. for 1 qt of juice per day for a week, then portion & pack veggies in 7 bags)   Pack green veggies only NOT including cucumbers.   Cucumbers, lemons, apples, and ginger are prepared at time of juicing.   If using paper towel to dry and store veggies use chlorine free variety.

Texas, part 6 of 7: Kaye in Houston, Kaye in San Antonio

Here’s a photo of me with Kaye Barnard, whom we also met in Houston. She eats almost 100% raw vegan, which she calls “God’s way,” and credits that lifestyle with her current health, despite not one, but multiple, STAGE IV cancer diagnoses in the past!

Dr. Lodi and I spoke last Saturday morning in Mesa, and his talk was about “HOW TO STOP MAKING CANCER.” The more I study, and the more people I meet like Kaye, the more I believe that principle. That while there are “no guarantees” with cancer, we CAN stop feeding cancer cells, and we can stop manufacturing more of them, with correct nutrition and other healing therapies that support a strong immune system.

In San Antonio, I met another Kaye, who has been following since the very beginning, 4 years ago. She cured her 15 year old daughter of severe lupus with nothing more or less than raw plant foods. Her daughter is now 19 and had to work, so I didn’t meet her—she was too busy living her wonderful life. I want nothing less for Kaye’s daughter, and for you!

My friend Matthew and I decided only three things matter (in no particular order): your health, your relationships, your finances. We choose not to concern ourselves much with anything outside of those three core areas. (That’s why I don’t watch TV—it contributes to none of those things.) So we focus our efforts there. And every time we do something in our day that enhances any of those areas, we call it a success.

TEXAS, PART 5 of 7: Video of WENDY and JANET in AUSTIN

As Kristin says, our Texas trip was “pure abundance.” She and I always talk about relationships that are “all good things,” versus relationships or activities or thoughts that are scarcity-oriented or damaging rather than nurturing. We met lots of Texans who are gravitating towards a lifestyle of abundance, even while the culture around them sinks further into “scarcity places” of obesity, illness, and loss.

(Do we not become obese from a long period of scarcity thinking? For instance, “If I don’t eat this now, I don’t know when I’ll get it again.” Or, “I’m so tired, this is the only pleasure in my day.”)

A group of moms packed into a car for the drive into Austin and enthusiastically told me their stories after class. Two of them, in this video, are busy, with 4 and 6 children, respectively. They pretty and young—but Janet overcame some absolutely debilitating health problems. Both of these moms confess to doing my entire 12 Steps program.

What a rush, to know that 10 children are the beneficiaries of the effort of these two women. I’m so proud of young moms who take the time to become educated, and then opt out of “what everybody else is doing.” Listen to their story here (I somehow heard Wendy’s friends calling her Whitney, so Kristin was tasked with covering that up in this video–sorry I’m a moron, Wendy!):

Texas, part 4 of 7: Video with Cancer Survivor Shelly in San Antonio

Kristin and I got up early and went for a long run on the River Walk. I said to her, “Why don’t we live here?” I always say that, when we discover stuff like how there are bike trails all around Denver, or it’s warm all winter in Mesa, or there’s a health-food store on every other corner in California.

Then when we were packing up after our class at a beautiful church out in the woods, we got in the car and it was full of…..mosquitoes! Ahhhh. THAT’S why we don’t live here. We slapped ourselves silly on the drive to Houston and escaped with, oh, only a dozen mosquito bites apiece or so?

My favorite thing about Southerners is their openness—not just to us, but to each other. I remarked to Kristin later that what struck me about all my Texas classes, but especially Houston, was that I’d be talking to someone about a problem she was having, and the person behind her in line would poke into the convo and say, “I can help you with that.”

For instance, a 26-y.o. woman who just completed treatment for ovarian cancer, bald and swollen from steroids, wants to eat whole, raw plant foods. But she’s on disability income. I talked to her about joining a co-op and the woman behind her in line said, “I’ll tell you exactly where the co-ops are–let’s talk.”

The community that builds around the movement we’re in warms my heart. I love seeing GSG readers form co-ops for the group buy. These things, as I write in the Intro to 12 Steps, are more valuable than just hooking up with resources. The women I met early in my search for answers were my teachers, my guiding stars. I learned so much from Charlene Stott, Brenda Corbridge, Gwen Lund. Now I stand on my own two feet, but I see them around town and I feel great affection for them.

Talking to Shelley really made my day. She’s not only recovering from breast cancer and chemotherapy by embracing antioxidant-rich foods, but she’s had some other exciting “side effects” of nutrition treatments, which has flowed to her young-adult son. Watch my very short video with her:

TEXAS, part 4 of 7, Amy’s Story

Amy was our key volunteer organizing our Austin, Texas event. I felt terrible that somehow I did not get to talk with her, as I arrived only 10 mins. before the event. (My GPS said the flagship Whole Foods Market, that I really wanted to see in the few hours we were in town, was only 7 minutes away. I didn’t know to account for traffic, and it took 25 mins. each way!) After the event, Amy didn’t have time to wait in line and I never actually met her. I wrote her an email to thank her for all her efforts and tell her we are sending a present, and this is what she wrote back:

Almost four years ago my husband ran into a health issue that “regular” doctors couldn’t help him with.

It started with only a small part of his lips and spread to both his lips and the area around them over the next couple of years, while we tried everything that we could think of and everything the doctors said to do.   It got to be so that he couldn’t laugh or smile, and he was so embarrassed to be in public.

He is a youth pastor, so having to speak in front of people often is a part of his job.   We went to 13 specialists.   They kept sending us on to other people.   They got angry or annoyed with me when I told them everything we had tried, asked questions, and tried to understand.

I kept asking, “But what’s the problem?!   How can we keep this from coming back?   Isn’t this just masking the symptoms?” I got so tired of just another prescription for some steroid that I knew could be causing other problems.   The final straw was on a second visit to a doctor who was apparently pleased with my husband’s “progress”, and we were horrified.   He was the farthest from well he had ever been.   The doctor was writing him another steroid prescription refill, and we said no thank you.   I told him we already tried that and the solution was only as lasting as the end of the prescription.

We didn’t know what else to do, but we knew that any other answer was better than another prescription.   I became obsessed with reading any kind of nutrition information I could get my hands on, became best friends with health food store workers, and my husband was willing to try anything!   I couldn’t believe the amount of information available.

I called my grandmother who has been making me crazy morning drinks when I visited her my whole life and the people I knew from my church that didn’t wear regular deodorant and told me one time they would give me a kefir starter before I knew what that was!   Luckily, they were so excited to share everything they knew.

We went to a homeopathic doctor they recommended.   The doctor was not frustrated by my questions, and when I asked for suggestions on what to study the doctor gave me!

I was so encouraged by what a regular person you are.   I thought, “maybe I don’t have to be a social outcast!”   I am so thankful for you.   I would never have the courage to try things, but following your blog and watching all your videos makes me think I can do anything!   I had so much information whirling around in my brain but no idea what to do with it or where to begin.   You gave me things to DO!

I have also taken your advice, and I spread the good news with everyone I can.   I share my green smoothies even with my students (I teach art at a small elementary school).   One time I told a 4th grader that the MSG in his Cheetos were a neurotoxin.   I explained to him what it was, and the next day he told me he asked his mom if he could throw their Cheetos away.   He wanted to taste my green smoothie!

I have 6 siblings and my mom, and all but 2 of my brothers drink green smoothies regularly now.   My mom has struggled with weight loss all of my life.   She has lost about 40 pounds and is still losing!   She felt inspired by your class [in Austin] to do a green smoothie cleanse for a week!

When we first started making all our dietary changes I tried to lay low because I didn’t want people to think I was weird, but you helped me to see that that was doing them a terrible injustice.   I love what good nutrition has done for my life and the people I love most!   I want everyone to know that they can be healthy and strong.

My husband’s lips are well.   Our homeopathic doctor treated him for a mineral deficiency, using lots of greens mix, and a change in diet and nutrition.   We saw results within 2 weeks, he was completely well in 2 months.   I couldn’t believe it, after four years of battling!   Despite the pain and misery for my husband, we are so thankful for his illness.   It made us take responsibility for our own health, and forced us to educate ourselves and learn to listen to our bodies in a way that we may not have otherwise.

I recently started taking correspondence courses at a natural school of medicine to get my CNC (certified nutritional counseling).   Thank you so much for the work that you do and for sharing your life with so many people!   You have helped to make my family’s life so much better!