Raw Foods and “Funny” Stomachs

Dear Robin,

I have a few health related questions I wanted to ask you regarding starting a raw food diet. I consider myself a beginner raw fooder, I have  taught myself how to drink green smoothies, learned how to eat cabbage and other greens.

Here is my question. I have a history of having a sensitive stomach. I’ve had 6 pregnancies where I’ve thrown up (sorry) for months on end. It’s been horrible. I’ve also had a lifetime of debilitating carsickness. I’m in my 40’s now, and I think I am just prone to having my head/stomach upset easily. As far as the raw food issue, there are times when I just feel down and out nauseous, at those times, how do I incorporate a raw diet ? For me, soothing stomach foods can be high fat/high sugar/high carb – easy processed from a box things. I cant think of a single raw recipe that I’ve had that would help me during these icky times. And my second question. What about the stomach flu? My diet this year has been better than ever (much better than the average American, though not raw) yet we just had a 10 day intestinal bug go through our family, and there was no way during that time that I could stomach ANYTHING that needed major digestive juices! I have searched the web for answers to these question, but have come up empty so far. I’m sorry to take up your time here, I know you are a busy mom. Please take your time in responding if you feel you can! Thank you, Robin

raw food diet: isn’t steaming good? and, my kids come back sick

Update: Yep.All four of my kids puked their guts up at their dad’s family reunion.Just like always.Poor little guys. (Well, one of them is 6’2″, not that little, huh?)Back to the green smoothie diet!So happy to have my kids back.It’s my job to help them recover.

My daughters come back from an extended period away, wanting to cleanse.I told the girls today to sit down and brainstorm a list of fruits and veggies they want me to buy for them.That way they’re in the driver’s seat, eating things they like, and I get my way, too (high nutrition, mostly raw food diet).Remember that old prayer asking God to grant me the serenity to accept the things I can’t change, and the will to change the things I can?I can’t change what their dad feeds them.   (My girls report that their aunts and uncles all provided a vegetarian option to the menu made for everyone else on the nights they cooked, which was sweet.)But I CAN help them cleanse and drop unwanted pounds when they’re home.Once the girls came home and said, “Mom, we want to eat nothing but fruits and vegetables for three days.Can you help us do that?”(Of course I can.)

Still talking about the raw food diet today.Everybody, including nutritionists, suggest steaming.I’d rather have you eat steamed broccoli than no broccoli!(I personally do not enjoy raw broccoli unless it’s chopped small and in a really yummy salad.NO, NOT THE KIND WITH BACON.)

But that broccoli is still heated to well over 212 degrees, and vitamins and enzymes die over 116 degrees.And mineral salts are lost and deanimated.Cooking, even steaming, destroys indoles in vegetables, which are wonderfully anti-carcinogenic.

Worse, when you cook things, free radicals are created.(Free radicals are unpaired molecules that destroy cells and cause cancer.Antioxidants in raw foods mop them up.)Some amino acids (lysine and glutamine) in proteins are destroyed by cooking.You probably already know what high heats do to fats: alter them to become trans fats that are highly destructive carcinogens.And when fiber in food is cooked, it is slimy and soft and doesn’t have the broom-like power to clean the intestine any more.

I do eat cooked plant food and make no apologies for it.But I make every meal or snack at least 60% raw food, and often it’s 80% or more.Then you’re supplementing the cooked foods with enzymes.Doing this regularly will have a dramatic effect on your youthfulness.

On a related topic, here’s the dehydrator I recommend, by the way, to make crunchy snacks like in Ch. 7 of 12 Steps, preserving enzymes and vitamins:

http://greensmoothiegirl.com/dehydrator.html

enzymes, raw food, stomach acid

An excerpt from the FAQ of my new book coming out next month:

Dear GreenSmoothieGirl: How can enzymes and eating raw food be so important when stomach acid would kill any enzymes that came with the food anyway?

 

A: Good question. Some people think that the low pH of the stomach stops salivary and any other food or supplemental enzymes from working. A number of experiments Dr. Howell writes about show that this is not so. Some enzymes are shown to work actively at two different pH ranges. Another study shows that salivary and supplemental enzymes were re-activated in the alkaline duodenum and lower in the intestine after going through the stomach. Hydrochloric acid in the stomach is not as strong as once thought to be and neither when used in in vitro experiments (outside the body). A Journal of Nutrition-published study at Northwestern University showed 51 percent of amylase from malted barley was intact when passed into the intestine.

 

Enzymes manufactured by the pancreas of a person or animal are sensitive to pH because they aren’t adapted to anything outside the restrictive confines of the body. But microbial-derived dietary supplement enzymes are very adaptive, since fungus grows in a variety of places and conditions. These enzymes survive the acidity of the lower stomach. These plant-based sources are the digestive enzyme supplements I prefer.

 

As with so many other things in the human body, we’ve been provided with the ideal environment to digest food. Problems occur when we alter our food instead of giving our body the kind of nutrition we were designed to digest easily, that people used to eat for thousands of years.

 

Dr. Howell says that we’re born with a finite ability to produce endogenous enzymes, and by middle age, most of that ability is gone. (And he said this 25 years ago, before the modern diet worsened. Some experts make even more dire projections, such as Westerners are burning out enzyme capacity by age 35.) The answer, of course, is to eat as much raw food as possible, and as little cooked or processed food, too.

Green Smoothie Testimonials, part 3

I’m 44 years old. I’ve always had very regular menstrual cycles. For about one year prior to drinking green smoothies, my menstrual cycles had become very irregular. After about two months of green smoothies, I returned to a very regular cycle of 20 – 30 days and my periods are just like they were in my 20’s and 30’s.  I’ve been drinking my quart of green smoothie per day for six months now and my cycles are consistently regular.

 

–Kathy M.

 

I love green smoothies! I drink them every morning, and I was so surprised how great they make me feel! I have lost weight, have lots of energy, feel healthier than ever and feel like my immune system is even stronger than it was.

 

Drinking green smoothies also influenced all of my eating and cooking decisions, and allowed me to lose weight safely. When we travel, I am always carrying my blender with me so I can have green smoothies anywhere I go!

 

My 20 month old daughter also loves them. I am sure that green smoothies are the best way to get babies/toddlers to get their greens. She gets so excited when I get out the blender and she always wants more! Thank you, green smoothies, and thank you to my friend, Tara, for introducing them to me!

 

–Kathryn Rose

 

I drink a quart of an all-vegetable green smoothie every day. I have more energy, sleep better, wake up ready for the day, and generally feel much better. I believe it’s because of the green smoothie and a whole foods diet, mostly raw. I have cut out all processed foods, sugar, and caffeine, and I feel great! Thanks for your website; it’s very informative and inspiring!

 

–Carol J.

 

After a few weeks of drinking green smoothies via wimpy blender, we were hooked and made our best nutritional investment to date–BlendTec. Our green smoothies have become greener and we have been known to eat 3-4 bunches of greens and 1 pound of baby spinach in a week between two adults and two toddlers.

 

I sometimes find myself looking around at all the green plants and wonder, “What would that taste like?”  I was skeptical at first, but my then-barely-two yr. old and three-yr.-old both enjoyed the green smoothies as well. They were converted before my husband!

 

Summer proves to be an easier time to drink them due to the warmer weather.   However, we still maintain regular GS drinking throughout all the seasons. I do not have to force them on my toddlers; rather, they will request them and are especially excited to help put all the ingredients into the blender.

 

GS have helped control my sugar cravings, eliminated Irritable Bowel Syndrome, and boosted my energy. My kids have regular bowel movements that do not have the stench as pre-GS days.

 

It is best to start children early on GS as it will develop their palate towards REAL, nutritionally sound foods.

 

–Laura M. and family

extra ingredients for green smoothies [part 9 of 9]

Bee pollen

Bee pollen has been a fascination of European researchers for a long time.   The dust from the stamen of blossoming plants collected from bees is fairly well documented to improve a lot of things most of us care about.   First of all, it increases your energy throughout the day and stamina for physical activity–it’s a powerhouse nutritionally, with 35 percent protein.

It has natural weight loss properties that have been mimicked chemically in various weight-loss drug remedies.   Bee pollen not only stimulates metabolism, but also suppresses appetite naturally.   It slows aging and prevents cancerous tumors from developing.

It also contains a gonadotropic sex hormone and contributes to improved sexual performance and reduction of PMS symptoms.   Perhaps most interestingly, it may prevent seasonal allergies, like eating raw honey allegedly does, but in a more direct way and without the blood sugar impact.   If you can buy it collected from multiple sources instead of one source, that’s a better product.   Bee pollen is a fantastic ingredient to add to a green smoothie.   I like to get it from All Star Health on Amazon, because (a) the price is good, (b) it’s very fresh and not dry like other sources, and (c) they collect from around the U.S. so it’s not just one geographic area’s bees, which I feel is best for allergy prevention.

Wheat grass juice (fresh or powdered)

Wheat grass was first famously studied and used extensively by Ann Wigmore, founder of Optimum Health Institute and a pioneer of many therapies still used now, 50 years later, in natural healing.   She wrote The Wheatgrass Book, documenting its megapowerful healing properties.

If I had cancer, the first thing I would do is begin growing, juicing, and drinking wheat grass daily.   Nothing compares to it nutritionally, for oxygenating and healing.   I have juiced wheat grass in a few periods of my life (including an early pregnancy, which may have been part of my current problem with it), and I would continue the habit if it weren’t simply the most awful-tasting thing on this planet.   Not everyone agrees with my assessment, fortunately, so give it a try.

In the event you can’t stomach the fresh juice, more and more companies are dehydrating the juice under 118 degrees and selling it as a powder.   While I find this to be too much in a green smoothie, some people like it.   I prefer to see people add this ingredient to water to alkalize their cells and energize throughout the day, since your green smoothie already provides many of the ingredients concentrated in wheat grass, in other green ingredients.

Generally speaking, wheat grass is juiced and the remaining grass discarded because its fiber is not digestible by the human stomach.   The juicers we used ten years ago are less than efficient at getting the juice from the grass, which is digestible only by a four-chambered stomach such as in a cow.   However, completely liquefied wheat grass such as occurs in a BlendTec Total Blender may render unnecessary the expensive, labor-intensive, and messy process we used to go through with specialized wheat grass juicers.

Extra ingredients for green smoothies [part 7 of 9]

Pomegranate juice

Pomegranate juice is another very hot product because of a few studies linking it to slowing growth of prostate cancer and arthritis, and reducing breast and skin cancer.   It’s been linked to improvement of several cardiovascular measurements, including thinning the blood and improving blood flow, lowering LDS cholesterol, and increasing HDL (“good”) cholesterol.

I would prefer to see people use the whole fruit, which is available in the winter.   You peel away the red outer peel and the inner white membranes to harvest the seeds, which look exactly like rubies.

It is labor intensive to take apart a pomegranate!   However, it is fun for children because the fruit is so beautiful and because it’s a bit of a treasure hunt.

All juices are concentrated, with high natural sugar content, and also quite acidic.   The whole fruit achieve the same benefit (while in lower vitamin and mineral concentrations) without the downside of a product with all the enzymes killed and high in sugar benefits.

Yogurt or kefir

Yogurt or kefir, particularly homemade, adds a creamy, smooth texture to smoothies.   You can learn more about this topic in Ch. 9 of 12 Steps to Whole Foods, including how to make them at home inexpensively and easily. They are the only animal products I actively promote, as their proteins are predigested and broken down for easy utilization by the body, unlike other animal proteins.  

Even more importantly, they contribute to a healthy gastrointestinal tract by populating it with good micro-organisms that are your main defense against bacterial infections and other harmful micro-organisms.   Most people have 10:1 bad microorganisms to good, and the ratio should be reversed for a healthy colon.   The best way to address this is to eat yogurt or kefir daily and avoid foods (like dairy and meat, and processed foods) that feed the bad bacteria.

If you are going to purchase commercial yogurt or kefir, organic is better, and buy plain flavor rather than the excessively sugar-sweetened vanilla and other flavors.   Goat yogurt is nutritionally superior to dairy (cow milk) products.   It is not mucous forming and easier to digest, due to its smaller fat molecule that permeates human semipermeable membranes without triggering the body’s defense mechanism to flush out with mucous.   People do not experience “lactose intolerance” with goat milk products, and even many who are lactose intolerant with regular milk do not experience those symptoms with dairy yogurt.