Video: Denise Gets Off Coumadin

Never have I raised the ire of more readers as when I did a video with Dr. Kirt Tyson, one of Dr. Gabriel Cousens’ 30 diabetics he treated in the documentary and wellness program Simply Raw. Dr. Tyson told me he is a clearly Type 1 diabetic, who is off insulin except on the occasion he gets a virus, or falls off his raw diet.

Dr. Cousens claims that 83 percent of Type 1 diabetics still have some functioning in their Islets of Langerhans in the pancreas, and can therefore heal, regenerate, and improve their situation, some of them even coming off insulin dependence. His program has people eat a raw, plant-based, alkaline diet. People leave with biomarkers radically changed, many of them off insulin, including 100% of the Type II diabetics who did the program.

It sounds crazy to people who’ve bought into the School of Medicine’s endocrinology specialty, who put people on insulin for life and tell them to eat whatever they want.

I am not making a claim about diabetes. Not here, nor in the video that infuriated some people. And I’m not making a claim now, showing you Denise’s story. I’m just letting her tell her story.

I met Denise at a class I taught in San Francisco in April. She won both Grand Prizes, the Blendtec and the 12 Steps course. And she told me how she got off blood thinners and solved her desperate health problems. Check it out here, and then read my comments below.

Some cardiac patients are ordered to take blood thinners by their doctors, and further, they are ordered to never stop taking them. Obviously, disregard for this advice for someone with a history of blood clots is no laughing matter. Don’t go off your blood thinners without competent medical supervision. However, you should always get a second opinion, and often a third. You may wish to find extremely competent practitioners outside those educated exclusively in drug approaches to advise you. They often have other ways to view the situation that consider the multi-faceted whole human organism. Rather than a focus on one body part separate from the whole, and the what-insurance-code-will-pay-for-what-drug approach.

I often have readers taking warfarin (brand name Coumadin) tell me, sorrowfully, that they cannot consume greens because they are taking Coumadin. I cannot advise you whether you can, or cannot, have green smoothies while taking this drug. I do think it’s tragic that people who have a major health problem have to eliminate the most important class of foods—foods that they need even more desperately than everybody else does. It’s because there’s high Vitamin K in greens, which binds to the drug and renders it ineffective, creating increased risk of blood clots.

I will say that I’ve had people on Coumadin tell me (a) that they’re not allowed to drink green smoothies or eat greens, and also (b) that they’re allowed to, but in managed amounts. This leads me to the advice to seek a second opinion, and really study an issue out. Not every doctor knows everything.

The advice to patients taking Coumadin is all over the map, so clearly it’s not as cut-and-dried as some cardiac patients think. Here’s a Mayo Clinic M.D. saying kale, spinach, chard, collard greens are highest in Vitamin K, and to limit Vita K consumption to 90-120 mcg daily.

http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/warfarin/AN00455

Be informed. Own your own health care. I hope before you get blood clots in the first place, you learn how to utilize nutrition, hydrate, alkalize the body, and exercise, to keep your blood flowing well and your red blood cells robust, with good tension, not sticking together. Or that you take a diagnosis like that, already issued, as a wake-up call to activate your immune system with healthy practices and, if you can, intervene early to avoid a doc ordering Coumadin for you.

I just did darkfield live-blood microscopy last week at Parecelsus al Ronc in the Southern Swiss Alps. I looked at thousands of my own red blood cells, lymphocytes, and platelets under microscope. I also looked at many cancer patients’ blood, to compare. It was fascinating to look at my highly mobile, round, healthy red blood cells that move around and perform their functions independent of each other rather, than clumping together, slowing down functions and impeding oxygen and nutrient exchange. My white blood cell count was healthy and normal, and they were active and mobile.

Then, I looked at slides of very ill patients’ white blood cells, too many of them and too sluggish. Their red blood cells had bacteria attacking them, and one patient had shards of crystals sticking out of her RBC’s after a year of taking the immune suppressant methyltrexate! Absolutely fascinating. (No HIPPA laws in Europe—the clinics let me see LOTS of things U.S. docs would never let me see, even let me go on rounds with patients.)

Holistic healing is the wave of the future. America is going that direction, after a few decades of experimenting with the hope that drugs will make us well. More and more people are realizing the futility of this approach, and are fleeing to places like Paracelsus, where docs are committed to treating the person, rather than treating a tumor or a hardened artery.

Wrecking whole foods with nasty other stuff

Matthew texted me this photo he took at Walmart, and said, “Can you tell me where to get some pork jowls?”

What the devil are pork jowls and why would anyone eat them? Who makes these signs? Has anyone reading this ever eaten the fatty underbelly of the chinny-chin-chin of a little piggy?

My least-favorite thing ever is taking a perfectly legitimate food, and wrecking it. Collards are lovely greens, great in a marinated salads, as dehydrated chips, as a wrap for some combination of hummus or guacamole, and brown rice and veggies. Or in a green smoothie or juice.

But frying it in bacon fat? This is simply begging for obesity, inflammation, and misery. Not to mention wrecking a perfectly good food.

When a recipe calls for nuts, skip the salted/roasted, and soak some sunflower seeds or (truly raw) almonds, then dehydrate them below 115 degrees. Now you’ve skipped the toxic food in favor of a living, high-energy food, and you’ve lost virtually nothing, taste-wise.

When you want something crispy, make chips out of unsalted, organic, sprouted-grain or corn tortillas. (Organic is EXTRA important with corn, since that means it’s also not GMO.)

If you want some ranch dip, use good fats instead without MSG and salt: mash an avocado, and mix in some salsa, or a tomato, with garlic powder (or fresh garlic).

If you want chocolate, have some fudge made from 1 part non-alkalized cocoa, 1 part agave, 2 parts extra-virgin coconut oil, stir together and refrigerate or freeze. Or there’s our hot cocoa, which is fabulous with coconut milk as a base.

If you want bread, get Manna Bread or Ezekiel Bread. (Sprouted, gluten proteins broken down.) If you like butter, use organic/unsalted, or use coconut oil instead.

We’re formulating an energy drink that uses only whole foods, tastes good, and has NO central nervous system stimulants. Meantime, drink plain green tea sweetened with stevia, and add a spoonful of chia just to make it fun. (Caffeine, yes, I know—far better than Rockstar, Diet Pepsi, or coffee though.) Or drink Crio Bru or Choffy, one of the brewed cocoa drinks. Better yet, if it’s not about wanting something to drink, and it’s more about needing an energy shot, just have a glass of water and a few capsules of Maca when your energy is low.

I have all kinds of substitutions like this. These are just examples, my friends. Don’t quit—it’s a journey, a learning process, and it’s one of the BEST journeys you’ll ever go on.

There are so many ways to substitute whole-foods habits for the lousy habits that are a direct cause of all those “diagnoses” you’ve been lugging around. You’ll acquire a taste for things that are good. It really does happen.

Nutrition for pregnant moms, babies, toddlers….part 3 of 5

Today’s topic: WHAT DO I WEAN MY BABY ONTO?

So, you can’t feed your baby nothing but breast milk, and then goat milk (or yogurt/kefir) forever. Now you know why I highly encourage you to breastfeed as exclusively as you can, for 18 months.

But when you do begin to wean your baby, avoid all the boxed ‘cereals’ and the jars of baby food. I never fed my last three any of those things, not even once. Not one of them drank any ‘formula.’

Babies sensitive to dairy formulas are often given soy formulas, which is deeply troubling to me. Soy is estrogenic, and it is a very well-known endocrine disruptor. It is very possibly my least-favorite option to feed an infant. Plus, over 85% of America’s soy crops are genetically modified. Some evidence links it to degenerative gut conditions. Obviously we don’t want to start your baby down that path, shortly after birth!

I started weaning my babies onto raw, primarily non-sweet plant foods. More greens and vegetables than fruits.

If you start there, when your baby is hungry (beginning to outgrow the milk-only diet, and getting interested in table foods, wanting what you eat), you’re setting her tastes, which truly last a lifetime.

What you feed her NOW will be things she always gravitates towards. Programming at this very young age is very powerful. (Even the things you ate while your baby was developing in the womb, are often foods the baby later craves.)

So you have the opportunity to craft your child’s tastes. Make it easy on yourself, instead of choosing years of tantrums if you don’t feed her Skittles at every meal. That’s what you’re choosing for yourself, if you start feeding your little one sugar! A guaranteed future of refined-foods addiction.

Mash avocado. Make a simple green smoothie with only two ingredients. Chard and a small amount of banana, with water. Spinach, and an apple, and water. Blend it in your turbo blender. (Blendtec is the best one, Vitamix is the second-best one.)

MAKE IT ORGANIC. Your body doesn’t do well metabolizing pesticides. Your baby’s body is even more sensitive—plus, his body is just tiny. It should be developing, not struggling against organophosphates, or heavy metals.

Don’t cook the veggies to puree them in the blender. Blend RAW carrots and just enough water to blend. Cooking makes it soft, yes, but also kills vitamins, minerals, and enzymes. Remember your baby isn’t producing digestive enzymes yet anyway. So give them to her in the form of raw plant food!

Don’t feed your baby raw honey until after 12 months, to be sure that her body is equipped to deal with the very mild pathogens occasionally found in that food.

Don’t sweeten the green smoothies with any concentrated sweetener. The only reason YOU think they have to be sweet is that you weren’t lucky enough to have a mother systematically weaning you onto wonderful living, whole, raw plant foods. Your baby has no addiction to sugar. Yet. Your baby has no emotional attachment to eating. Yet. Add nothing to sweeten but a bit of banana, or dates.

Add only one food a day, or each few days, to carefully observe any reactions in your baby, any potential food sensitivities. If you noticed when you were nursing, that your baby reacted to your breast milk when you ate certain foods, there is a higher likelihood that your baby is going to be sensitive to some foods when you feed them to her directly.

A mashed banana is a wonderful food for a baby. I think a banana and an avocado mashed for a baby is a FABULOUS baby or toddler meal. Perfect fats for brain health. Great potassium and many other vitamin and minerals, full of enzymes to make it easy to digest.

When you see the eyeteeth come in, at about 18 months, your baby is better able to digest foods, because that developmental milestone also generally means the body is in full digestive enzyme production as well. That is when I introduced cooked foods. But every meal or snack, then and now in my home, has been 60-80 percent raw. That way we are providing most or all of the enzymes our bodies need, rather than forcing the pancreas to release its limited stores.

Good cooked foods for toddlers would include toasted sprouted English muffins, “buttered” with coconut oil, or manna bread, or homemade, wholegrain sourdough bread. You can make lots of soups that feature legumes and vegetables, and many ideas are found in 12 Steps to Whole Foods, recipes I’ve raised my own family on and continue to make. Sometimes we eat whole-grain pastas, which is an excuse to make a sauce full of raw tomatoes and vegetables, and toss in steamed veggies. We make lots of different things with sprouted-wheat tortillas, and vegetarian refried beans that we make our buy, and veggies.

We eat a lot of salad. All of my babies were big salad eaters well before they were 2 years old. This helps them build a strong jaw capable of breaking down whole, raw plant foods.

You have perfect control of what fuel you give your child to make the most of his natural gifts, his natural intelligence, his naturally perfect mental health. Avoiding giving your baby sweet foods in his first two years of life also helps him have a better chance of excellent dental health, for many years to come. You can easily avoid white flour and sugar, food dyes and chemicals, hormone- and steroid-fed animal products. You might have to talk to church and daycare workers and ask them not to feed your child the standard snacks. (I told them my child was “allergic.” Aren’t we all?)

It’s worth it to swim upstream against the culture, to protect our children’s right to grow up healthy and strong. It’s worth a little money to buy organic for our babies. It’s worth a little time to plant a garden to control more of our food, decrease our carbon footprint, and set an example to our kids.

Tomorrow, nutrition during pregnancy.

THINGS TO DRINK, 1 to 10 scale! (My interview with Ken Krogue of Forbes)

I told my lifelong best friend, Laura, in San Francisco, that a Forbes article talked about GSG. I told her I was doing an interview with the writer, Ken Krogue, founder of InsideSales, the next day.

She texted me, “Tell him Mitt is your cousin. Forbes loves stuff like that.”

I started that morning with this inner dialogue:

“For once DON’T ramble off about stupid things. Don’t don’t don’t. Do NOT talk about Mitt Romney being your mom’s first cousin. Then he might actually KNOW Mitt and somehow perhaps discover Mitt doesn’t actually know you from Eve.”

(The Romneys, we are a BIG family. I have 65 first cousins. My mom has more.)

So Ken calls me for our interview. Right while I am reminding myself to, as my friend Ben says,

“FILTER!”

Ken tells me he is jumping in and out of cabs in New York City, and this is what comes out of my mouth:

“I love New York  City! Just last Thanksgiving, I was running along the Lower East Side, along the Hudson in Manhattan, and I found a dead body in the river!”

That’s good stuff. Really cool thing to say when you have 20 minutes to somehow capture your great passion in life, which you feel is wildly important to millions of people’s futures.

It’s at LEAST as uncool as name-dropping your famous cousin you don’t actually even know.

We did eventually roll around to the great green smoothie:

Ken:  “On a scale of 1 to 10, where is a green smoothie? Is it a 10?”

Robyn:  “Well, no. It’s a 9.”

Ken:  “Wow, then what’s a 10?”

Robyn:  “Fresh juice made from greens and vegetables. I make cucumber, beet, celery, carrot juice. Or a shot of wheat grass juice.”

Ken:  “What about Naked Juice? I know it’s pasteurized. The bottle says ‘lightly pasteurized.’”

Me:  “Mmm, it’s a fruit smoothie, all the enzymes killed, some of the vitamins and minerals degraded, with a little pinch of some good green stuff like spirulina in there. I don’t know that I have anything for 6, 7, and 8, but I give that green Naked juice….maybe a 5.”

Ken:  “How about a V-8?”

Me:  “Um, that’s a 4. Too much salt. Very pasteurized. High in sugars. Mostly tomato, not much else.”

Ken:  “And a glass of orange juice?”

Me:  “2 or 3. An orange is a synergistic thing of beauty, a whole food. Lots of fiber. Some sugar, not too much. The juice, though, has no fiber and the sugar of eight oranges! I’ve never fed my kids juice as I’ve raised them.”

Ken:  “And how about a soda?”

Me:  “Can we have negative numbers?”

Ken and I decide on a ZERO for the soda.

He asks me to do a ranking, for DRINKS a busy executive might buy. The idea is to help someone trying to make better choices. In Ken’s case, the demographic he calls the “old, fat, busy executive.” But we’re all busy, whether we’re an executive or not.

I’m in the demographic you could call “trying-to-pretend-I’m-not-middle-aged, thin, busy, single working mom-athletes.” I think “busy” goes in all the demographic descriptions these days.

Matthew, a “40-ish, busy, thin, single-dad realtor,” sometimes texts me, “IM2BZ2P!”

What about you?

Help me if I’m leaving anything out, or if you disagree with this ranking, tell me why:

THINGS YOU CAN DRINK, WORST TO BEST

-1            Red Bull and other energy drinks, alcoholic drinks

0              Sodas, Diet Sodas, Coffee, Nutrasweet Drinks (Capri Sun, etc.)

1              Zevia or other naturally sweetened sodas, no chemicals, or stevia-sweetened Vitamin Water Zero

2              Fruit juices (no sugar added)

3              V-8

4              Naked Juice, the green one (there’s a small amount of greens in it, read the label for how small!)

5              Kombucha, no sugars added

6              Kefir of any kind, no sugars added (add only fruit)

7              WATER (arguably a 10, because of its importance, but something has to go here in #7)

8              Our green drink you shake up with water

9              green smoothie (no sweetener added)

10           Fresh green / vegetable juice, and wheat grass shots

 

 

 

 

 

 

and the oxalate controversy rages on……

We got lots of interesting email in response to my rebuttal to the wildly exaggerated and completely undocumented article posted by one “Sarah, the Healthy Home Economist” that tells people not to drink green smoothies and says they can “devastate” your health.

Heidi, a “low oxalate” blogger / site owner wrote a response. I like to look at all viewpoints and appreciate that she listed lower-oxalate greens for those who wish to concern themselves with this issue. She has eliminated some health problems by carefully reducing oxalates for 20 years. Those include turnip and mustard greens, dino kale, curly kale, romaine, cabbage, and collards.

Hopefully Heidi has been creative to keep lots of greens and raw roods in her diet while controlling for oxalates. If not, we eliminate one compound causing a problem and dozens of other compounds desperately needed and hard to find in other sources.

I disagree with Heidi that it’s a good idea to boil greens, as has been passed around the internet as a solution to the “problem.” George Mateljan surveys the literature well and concludes that this does not significantly reduce oxalates. And of course we know boiling destroys most of the food’s other best properties—enzymes, vitamins, and minerals.

I do not disagree that there are a few people who are not metabolizing greens well, and I absolutely agree that improving gut health is key to reversing many conditions. Greens have many critical properties that other foods do not, and these nutritional benefits are desperately needed by virtually everyone. So I’m very reticent to embrace the idea that we eliminate an entire class of foods—or we nuke them to death—because a few people have degenerative gut issues wherein an “anti-nutrient” becomes indigestible and even harmful.

As counterpoint, if you have become alarmed, you owe it to yourself and your health to read another viewpoint. Author Victoria Boutenko, my friend and companion in green crime, has written this extremely detailed, source-rich article on all the research that oxalates are FRIEND RATHER THAN FOE. I covered the more neutral ground of referencing the macro study that concluded the evidence does not support oxalates being harmful, nor does it support that cooking greens neutralizes that compound.

We had a few comments on facebook or on the blog that someone who drinks green smoothies got kidney stones. I know people who eat some whole foods and got cancer, too. It’s a major logical fallacy to leap to the conclusion that because you eat one healthy thing, that healthy thing is causing a disease. Even if you started green smoothies two weeks before you get a kidney stone, that doesn’t mean anything. Kidney stones take a long time to build up before they release and begin to cause pain—and possibly damage. Although I cannot rule out that a nutritious food played a role in oxalates binding to calcium, I think far more likely culprits for the vast majority are long-term indulgence in soda, salty foods, and animal proteins—and low water consumption. Please read George Mateljan’s meticulous reviews of oxalate research and conclusions, and/or Victoria Boutenko’s report below.

Before you change your diet to eliminate or massively reduce the highest micronutrient foods on the planet from your diet, the foods that are the crux of the primate diet worldwide (we share more than 98% of their DNA), you ought to read this documentation suggesting that greens may actually prevent kidney stones. We already know they prevent many, many other modern health risks.

Read Victoria’s report HERE.

Can green smoothies “DEVASTATE” your health?

Sarah the Healthy Home Economist online recently posted an article about how green smoothies can “DEVASTATE” your health.  The content was so unsubstantiated that at first I refused to respond to it. But Amanda said, “She has a big audience and people are freaking out about it.”

Sarah cites the oxalates phenomenon, wherein a natural compound (oxalates) occasionally bind to calcium to cause kidney stones. (She infers, without citing evidence, that other more serious health consequences could also be possible.) Greens have oxalic acid in them. Sarah makes several logic leaps and concludes that no one should be drinking green smoothies.

I’m not going to promote her blog article by pointing to it here. She rates her content for how controversial it is. Controversy generates more readers, I guess. It also has the potential to do harm, if what you’re saying is (a) undocumented, (b) contrary to hundreds of studies about the benefits of greens, and (c) featuring a bizarre and untenable conclusion.

Just because someone posts stuff on the internet does not automatically endow that person with credibility. Her argument locks in on a detail — that greens are high in oxalic acid — and misses the larger picture.

Only one source is listed at the end of her article and none are quoted or referenced. The source is a PhD’s book on oxalates and autism and “chronic disorders,” but she never quotes the author or anyone or anything else, so I’m not sure how many of her claims came from this one guy, or what.

I don’t bet the farm on one book or one source. There are quite a few other sources that show that some of the anti-nutrients in our most nutrition-dense foods, actually work together synergistically for our health, rather than against it. I’ve done quite a few blog series on anti-nutrients such as oxalates, goitrogens, purines, and phytates, concluding that none of the anti-nutrients should generally cause people to avoid foods containing them.

Note that at the end of the article, Sarah says to eat greens, if you like them, but not very much. Always cook them, she says, and eat them with butter.

Wow! Really?

Let me quote Dr. Norman Walker in his book Fresh Vegetable and Fruit Juices: What’s Missing in Your Body?

“Spinach should never be eaten when cooked unless we are particularly anxious to accumulate oxalic acid crystals in our kidneys with the consequent pain and kidney trouble. When spinach is cooked or canned, the oxalic acid atoms become inorganic as a result of excessive heat and may form oxalic acid crystals in the kidneys.

“When the food is raw, whether whole or in the form of juice, every atom in such food is vital ORGANIC and is replete with enzymes. Therefore, the oxalic acid in our raw vegetables and their juices is organic, and as such is not only beneficial but essential for the physiological functions of the body.

“The oxalic acid in cooked and processed foods, however, is definitely dead, or INORGANIC, and as such is both pernicious and destructive. Oxalic acid readily combines with calcium. If these are both organic, the result is a beneficial constructive combination, as the former helps the digestive assimilation of the latter, at the same time stimulating the peristaltic functions in the body.

“When the oxalic acid has become INORGANIC by cooking or processing the foods that contain it, then this acid forms an interlocking compound with the calcium, even combining with the calcium in other foods eaten during the same meal, destroying the nourishing value of both. This results in such a serious deficiency of calcium that it has been known to cause decomposition of the bones.”

So according to Dr. Walker, what Sarah is telling her readers to do is really terrible advice.

One of my favorite sources is George Mateljan, because his staff, and his book The World’s Healthiest Foods, review and quote a tremendous amount of empirical data before making claims. Each section contains an extensive bibliography, and the conclusions are scientific and objective.

He says that a review of the peer-reviewed research reveals that the ability of oxalates to lower calcium absorption is small and does not outweigh the ability of those foods to contribute significant calcium to the diet, since spinach is rich in calcium.

So, one of the primary recommendations of most the sources I’ve read, to avoid stones forming in the body, is to get plenty of calcium from plant sources.

So, the high calcium content in spinach may actually inhibit the formation of stones, even though spinach is also high in oxalates. This is at least some logic or evidence, then, underpinning my theory that there are far more synergies than we currently know about in whole, raw plant foods leading to their clear, incontrovertible place (based on volumes of published research) as the necessary mainstay in our diet. We know that people the world over who eat mostly whole, raw foods simply don’t get sick. We don’t always know WHY.

So screaming that the sky is falling about one compound—in an entire class of our most nutritious foods—seems not only unwise, but even irresponsible, if you have an audience and give nutrition advice.

The jury is still out on so many of the issues Sarah the Healthy Home Economist takes strong, unilateral stands on. For instance, what really causes oxalic acid buildup. (She quotes ZERO evidence that greens do.) Whether greens are high in oxalates are only ONE issue related to whether they cause kidney stones. What if they also have dozens of other nutrient compounds, and fiber, that PREVENT stones from forming? A relevant example would be Mateljan’s review of the published, peer-reviewed literature on spinach, oxalates, and calcium as mentioned earlier.

After I investigated this issue, I wrote this in Chapter 1 of 12 Steps to Whole Foods:

“The research is not clear that restricting foods such as spinach helps prevent stones in those who have previously had them. Many researchers believe that dietary restriction cannot reduce risk of stone formation. In fact, some foods that were assumed to increase stone formation because of oxalate content (like black tea) have appeared in more recent research to have a preventative effect.

“Further, cooking has a small impact (about 10%) on the oxalate content of foods, with no statistically significant lowering of oxalates following blanching or boiling of greens. It appears that the nutritional advantages of eating raw greens continue to far outweigh any benefit of cooking them.”

And yet, with slim evidence, if any, Sarah says green smoothies can “devastate” your health and advises at the end of the article, “Skip the Green Smoothies!”

She undertakes no discussion of the true baddies that cause kidney stones:

Soft drinks

Sugar

Animal proteins

Salty foods (or any refined salt)

Oxalates in spinach (also strawberries, soy, and many other foods) can be difficult to digest for a tiny percentage of the population who are suffering from a few very rare disorders (absorptive hypercalciuria type II, enteric hyperoxaluria, primary hyperoxaluria). But let’s not throw the baby out with the bath water here. If you don’t have these disorders, and 99+% of those reading this don’t, greens are not just good food—they are powerful good medicine!

Leafy greens are the most nutrient dense foods on the planet, and cooking them as Sarah instructs kills 100% of their enzymes, and most of their vitamins and minerals, too.

Sarah the Healthy Home Economist uses hyperbolic words to terrify people that eating nutrient dense foods could kill them, but she cites no research whatsoever. She implies that cases of painful sex are on the rise (where does that data come from? Is there any data?) and that oxalates are a “possible culprit.”

There are no references to check, and the bigger issue to me is, if people develop kidney stones, or crystalline deposits in other parts of the body, are greens the real culprit? How would you isolate that factor? Show me the study that did.

It’s terribly unlikely that greens are why we have lots of kidney stones, since almost nobody in America eats very much green food.

And in addition to thousands of testimonials we’ve received, my own research (175 subjects) shows massive health benefits to the green smoothie habit, as published in my bestselling book, The Green Smoothies Diet. In that research, not one person reported kidney stones as a side effect of starting the daily green-drink habit. And yes, we asked.

Nutritionally, crystalline deposits are likely caused by highly acidic foods, especially salt, and not drinking lots of water.

So let’s minimize or eliminate the baddies, listed above. Let’s eat more of the foods that have been linked by hundreds of studies world-wide, to ideal weight and minimized disease risk.

(Dr. Joel Fuhrman does this best, in Eat to Live, quoting literally hundreds of published studies showing the benefits of eating plant foods. This is highly recommended reading.)

Let’s don’t kill greens with cooking, and slather butter on them.

If you’re worried about oxalates, let’s not “throw the baby out with the bathwater,” because people who don’t metabolize that anti-nutrient well need the nutrition in the leafy greens as much as anyone, if not more. Instead:

Let’s rotate greens, use a wide variety in our green drinks—not just spinach. Amanda says a friend of hers had oxalate issues and one took a calcium-magnesium supplement and the pain went away. Several experts I have read suggest getting more calcium from plant sources.

And, eat some good fats with your green smoothie, like avocado or coconut oil or flax oil, to increase calcium absorption. One of my favorite lunches is a quart of green smoothie, with some homemade guacamole and “corn chips” (organic corn tortillas, quartered with a pizza cutter and broiled on both sides, no oil or salt needed).