PLASTICS: which ones to avoid, and why!

You’re likely aware that plastics are harmful to your health. They have phenomenally long half-lives, and don’t break down in the body, causing ongoing damage.

Look on the bottom of your bottle, and see the number in the little triangle. Look carefully at this graphic, because the  numbers aren’t consecutive. The worst grades of plastic are 6, 3, and 7.

A 7 is the worst grade of plastic, and most labeled 7 contain the most infamous chemical in plastics: Bisphenol A (BPA).

Water and other liquids leach BPA. This endocrine-disruptor chemical can do crazy things to your hormones. The U.S. finally banned the chemical in baby bottles, after the European Union and Canada did. Wiki says a study found BPA in 96% of pregnant women. It’s been linked to obesity, breast and prostate cancer, and ADHD.

Please don’t use old baby bottles or any other plastic that isn’t BPA free that comes into contact with your food or water. More and more companies are making their plastics without BPA, including Blendtec’s blender jars. But our FDA continues to support the use of BPA in cans, including drinks, and infant formula!

Another chemical to avoid is PVC (polyvinyl chloride), known as vinyl, which contains phthalates, known to cause birth defects in baby boys, testicular cancer, infertility, and asthma. PVC plastics are labeled with the 3 triangle.

So, anything you use that’s plastic, make sure it’s labeled 1, 2, 4, or 5.

Our GreenSmoothieGirl bottles, of course, are BPA free, vinyl free, and phthalate free.

Drinking and driving: ideas on traveling

We flew into Columbus, Ohio. We then drove through the beautiful foliage in Michigan, Canada, New York, Massachussetts, Pennsylvania, Maryland, and Virginia.

In each of 10 cities, we grabbed whatever was left of the gallons of green smoothie we served our audiences. After the lecture, we’d put them in the fridge in our hotel rooms. Sometimes just leave them in the car when we didn’t have a fridge in our hotel room. Or we fill a trash can with ice in the hotel room, and tossed the gallon in there.

(Other times when I travel, I take frozen pints of green smoothie, bagged and wrapped in my jeans, in my suitcase. Those will last a few days at the most, carefully managed, if you have a fridge where you’re going. Warning: defrosted green smoothies don’t have a good texture!)

Kristin snapped this photo of me “drinking and driving” in Michigan.

Green smoothies are just one way I keep my energy high on a trip. I saw a woman with a green smoothie in the New York City subway. She told me where she bought it, but I forgot. The point is, look around where you are, and you can find good stuff. (We went to Pure Food and Wine in New York City once, too, on this trip—my favorite raw restaurant on the planet.)

Kristin and I are constantly finding the closest Whole Foods Market on our travels. They virtually always have a great salad bar. We load up, and it is our ONE big meal, in a day, along with an herbal tea or kombucha, and a treat (made with no sugar, and only whole foods).

Then we find a Starbucks for the WiFi and find comfy chairs. I prop up my iPad, Kristin opens her laptop, and we work all day till our class starts. A guy walked past me, with my Whole Foods Market box-o-salad, which I confess cost me $13, and said, “We call that Whole Paycheck Market.”

Maybe. But I’m pretty sure his latte just set him back $4. And for what gain?

The rest of the day, on the run in our travels, we have green smoothies, flax crackers we brought from home, dried plums or apricots (favorites of mine). The point is, drive-thrus aren’t inevitable, even if they’ve been your “normal” up till now.

We also look for Sweet Tomatoes or Soup Plantation nearby. We pull up all the restaurants in the area on the Garmin GPS we travel with, and we scroll through them until we find a place with great vegetarian options, and good salads—salad bars being our favorite.

In my hometown of Springfield, Virginia, near our last lecture in the tour, I went to find the house I grew up in, and took this picture. The lovely woman who has owned the home for 20 years asked me if I wanted a tour and of course I said yes.

What a flood of memories to walk through the home I spent many years of my life in. The spot in the basement I’d make out with my boyfriend after my parents went to sleep. The forest behind the house where I’d run to escape my six brothers. The tiny bedroom where I did countless hours of homework.

And just a few miles away is a 25-year old Whole Foods Market with a teeny little salad bar. In high school, I bought nachos at the 7-11 across the street, instead. (It’s still there, too.) Now, I am smarter. I make better choices. I think about the future and the things I want to accomplish and which fuels will send me the right direction.

 

 

Tips for Getting More Greens in Kids’ Diets—besides green smoothies

A number of readers have suggested two ways to get more greens in your kids’ diets:

  1. Green smoothie popsicles
  2. Green smoothie fruit leather (in the dehydrator, on teflex sheets, dry until chewy, and roll)

Of course my other tip (besides green smoothies, obviously) is to make KALE CHIPS, and we have lots of recipes in Step 7 of 12 Steps to Whole Foods. One giant leaf of kale, dehydrated, is a small, yummy “chip” or more accurately a “crisp” that is easy to eat.

(With kale chips, or with fruit leather, always have your kids drink a glass of water with it, so the dried foods don’t “scavenge” needed liquids from the stomach, etc.)

Desiree sent me an Amazon link to this popsicle maker that is perfect to freeze green smoothies for little ones—or anyone who likes frozen treats. If you have more green smoothie than you can drink in 48 hours, this is a good way to preserve it, too.