10 GSG readers win an Ecojarz gift set!

ecojarzHere’s the Ecojarz gift set my new friends at that company sent 10 of my much-loved readers. I love mine, and I love how it makes my glass canning jars endless reusable with my favorite nutrition habit ever, green smoothies! Plus I’m not throwing plastic straws away. If you have a product you think I should give away on this blog, that helps people be healthier and greener, fill out our request form HERE (no network marketed products please).

Congratulations to the first 10 to write us!

Mary Enright-Olsen
Lafayette LA

Andrea James
Maricopa, AZ

Brandie Lund Dickey
McMinnville, OR

Dana Robinson
Ammon, ID

Joy Traugott
Orlando, FL

Kristen Vlcek
Las Vegas, NV

Mary Ann Hill
San Jose, CA

Mellissa Richwine
Gladstone, OR

Stancie Wilson
La Porte, IN

Sandy Zent
Ten Sleep, WY

My new favorite thing! GIVEAWAY TODAY!

ecojarzIf you drink green smoothies, you’re green, by definition, right? We are people who try to live low on the food chain, lightly on the Earth.

So, you’re gonna love this. I don’t make a dime from it–I just felt you had to know about it.

You know I often drink mine out of glass jars, right? My life just changed for the better! Now I don’t have to take the goopy green lid off and set it on the leather seat in my car, or find a place for it at a tennis match. And get green goo everywhere, when I put the lid back on. Nor do I have to send plastic straws to the landfill!

Enter EcoJarz to the rescue! Check out all these products on EcoJarz.com. You can put the lid on your glass canning jar–pint or quart, regular or wide-mouth–and you even have reusable stainless steel straws, and straw cleaners! They work perfectly. You can even re-use glass spaghetti jars or applesauce jars using these lids.

ecojarz2The first 10 GSG readers to write us (U.S. addresses only) get a FREE gift from EcoJarz with some of their awesome products for green smoothie lovers! You’ll get a jar mug, a stainless steel EcoJarz lid, a jar ring, and a smoothie straw and cleaner! You’re recycling, and you’re drinking green smoothies toxin-free!

We’ll announce the winners soon. Tell your friends about EcoJarz online, and share their link on facebook. Let’s support anyone making life greener!

 

Dementia and aluminum: every North American should know this

dementia treeMy grampa died with severe dementia, as did my former husband’s lovely grandfather. Both remembered no one in their later years, which was heartbreaking for their families. I’ve always wondered if my grampa’s was related to his massive exposure to DDT pesticide. Many of my family members including my dad worked in the family cherry orchards in the 60’s before that chemical was banned in the U.S., inhaling and even swallowing the pesticide. My sweet father seems to not be as mentally sharp as he once was, which worries me based on that past and that genetic connection.

aluminum-dark-side-fbThere is mounting evidence (none of it a landslide by any means) but quite a few case-study type pieces of research, showing that the brain malfunctions when aluminum builds up there. The human body does not easily eliminate heavy metals, so they tend to accumulate and cause all kinds of toxicity issues.

One thing I did 10 years ago was to stop using commercial deodorant. It’s scary at first, after a lifetime of thinking that you need to–but you can find something else that works at the health food store. Another thing I did is to remove my metal fillings in my mouth (replaced with much less toxic materials). I am careful not to breathe petrochemicals at the pump. I get back in the car and close the door.

Dr. Mercola covered this issue well, in a story about a case study that clearly documented massive aluminum toxicity in a man who died with severe  Alzheimer’s disease.

Some holistic-oriented M.D.’s practice in IV chelation to remove heavy metals, such as EDTA. My body can’t handle it, and the infusions burn and I nearly scream until they get the needle out of me. I prefer prevention whenever possible!

 

Is eating kale going to kill your thyroid?

kale-woman-leafy-greens-vegetablesI have a number of people asking about kale, since a New York Times columnist recently implied that her diagnosis of hyperthyroidism could be related to eating kale. And flax.

Never mind all the devastating endocrine disruptors out there, like chlorine and fluoride in our water, BPA and phthalates in plastics we drink from. Those are not even mentioned in her totally unscientific opinion that I believe people are giving too much attention and credence to.

The journalist congratulates herself on being a “health nut,” I assume to establish her credibility on health topics? But she seems to have no idea that soy is bad for you. (Qualifier: mostly because it’s very genetically modified, and shows up in the food supply as processed, fractionated products.) That has been known in a pretty widespread way for 10 years, to anyone following health trends and research at all.

She is a journalist, not a researcher, practitioner, or subject matter expert. She quotes exactly zero studies or experts. It’s simply an opinion editorial—with an inflammatory title. My only point here is, don’t over-invest in this concept that kale is going to wreck your health.

Here’s one of the journalists who, in response to that editorial in one of the most widely read publications in the world, actually took the time to dig deeper and understand whether or not kale is really a problem:

Remember that it’s practically a sport in the media to stir the pot. Being controversial gets readers. Creating a maelstrom sells newspapers and causes stories to go viral.

Even in that story, above, which is a far more sensible treatment of the same subject, the author teases by saying, yes, maybe kale is bad. Then she goes on to quote a number of sources who assure us that kale is nutritionally spectacular and a good part of a healthy diet as long as you have iodine and selenium in the diet, just, don’t go crazy with it.

critical thinkingThe sensationalism gets you to keep reading. Beware of gimmicks.

The “information age” with everyone on the internet having an opinion has led to a great need to use your critical thinking skills, consuming information.

I’ve written about goitrogens and thyroid before. I’ll boil down some salient points, in response to this latest firestorm:

1.     A number of studies show that even 5 oz. of crucifers several times a week had no negative impact on thyroid function. Surely going bonzai with bok choy isn’t the same thing as making a variety of cruciferous vegetables of your regular diet. (The “scare” stories come from people eating a ton of the same food for long periods of time.) I see this often in sensationalism in the media. (For instance, the guy who turned blue from using colloidal silver. What people don’t know is that he drank a CUP of silver daily for many years!)

non sequitur2.    The New York Times columnist’s suggestion that kale somehow led to her thyroid problem is a non-sequitur logical leap and fallacy, since correlation does not prove causation. That’s Latin for “it does not follow.”

(I had several friends who got divorced in 2007. And I got divorced that same year. Research says people who have friends getting divorced are more likely to do the same. Therefore, my friends’ divorces caused mine. You shouldn’t be friends with people who get divorced. You get how problematic the logic is here?)

Let’s follow this journalist’s logic:

I was diagnosed with thyroid problems. I eat kale sometimes. Kale is part of the cruciferous family, which may or may not contribute to thyroid problems in the absence of iodine, according to a few case studies. Therefore kale caused my hypothyroidism and is bad for you.

There are so many chemicals in our environment that damage the thyroid. She couldn’t have known that her opinion piece would go viral, of course. But since the Times has a readership of millions, it sure would be nice before an editorialist maligns an amazing green food, if she would analyze the problem from a variety of angles. I would imagine that what many people got from that is, “Kale is bad for me.”

symptomsofhypothyroidism3.  Hypothyroidism is virtually an epidemic, with some experts estimating that 25-50 percent of women have low thyroid function, many of them undiagnosed. Surely that epidemic didn’t happen because Americans eat too much kale. Americans haven’t eaten too much kale in the past 50 years, period. Most Americans still don’t eat kale, ever.

4.  Many compounds in greens are nurturing to the thyroid. Abandoning them seems unwise. Goitrogenic compounds that can, in extreme cases of over-consumption, without iodine, contribute to goiter, are just one class among many of nutritional properties in this food.

5.  Getting enough iodine may negate any negative effect for the rare person who has a problem with crucifers contributing to a thyroid problem. So says Dr. Jeffrey Garber in the Commonhealth story I’ve linked to above. Dr. Barbara Jennings, in Denver, an auto-immune specialist, also referenced this issue in our live detox call last week.

The story I’ve linked to, however, also refers to Americans not having an iodine deficiency. Dr. David Brownstein, MD, says otherwise. He believes we are mostly iodine deficient and in his book on the subject calls iodine the “most misunderstood nutrient.” He advocates for iodine therapy for ADHD, autism, many cancers, and thyroid diseases like Hashimoto’s, Graves’, and hypothyroidism.

I personally take five drops of Lugol’s iodine in water daily. It’s available on the internet or health food stores, and kelp or dulse (seaweeds) are a whole-foods source. They contain natural iodine. You can season popcorn, soup, or anything savory with them, or put them in your smoothie.

(I was diagnosed at 34 as hypothyroid. My good diet has brought my thyroid back to 80% functioning. I continue to work on heavy-metals detoxification in hopes of restoring 100% function. Meantime, I take a bioidentical thyroid rather than a drug.)

You have to take careful note—if you notice a racing pulse, you may have overdone it with iodine. This is not precise, for purposes of troubleshooting your own health. My telling you that I take iodine, and how I know if I’m getting too much, shouldn’t be inferred wholesale, to your own health issues. This is just standard practical advice that practitioners give. I am mildly hypothyroid, and 135 lbs., and they say I should take 5-6 drops of Lugol’s solution, and if I notice heart racing, I should back off the dose.

Keep in mind I’ve experimented with this under the care of my bio-identical hormone practitioner (usually they are nurses with master’s degrees, and sometimes doctors).

bioidentical flowersSo, best to go to a bio-identical hormone specialist for balancing the endocrine system in a far more natural way than the “Standard of Care” drug approach. (The thyroid drugs that docs prescribe are not molecularly the same as the thyroid your body produces. They also cause risk of cancer and other problems.)

Best if you can get a full blood panel test, for not just T3, but also for all the factors upstream and downstream of it, precursor hormones and hormones. A good practitioner can analyze the interplay of those factors and recommend a course of action that can have you feeling better soon.

You can google your city and “bio-identical hormone” to find a practitioner near you.

6.  Working with a good naturopathic doc who knows a lot about these issues may be helpful, if you suspect or know you have thyroid issues. (Google hypothyroid symptoms for some clues.) Find someone with more than just a cursory understanding of the issues. I have found that some practitioners say, “Cruciferous vegetables can be a problem for hypothyroid patients, so don’t eat any.” This makes me wonder if they have  a knowledgeable, balanced approach like the experts quoted in the story above, or if their knowledge of nutrition is really quite limited. Quiz them to learn how experienced and knowledgeable they really are. And don’t depend entirely on practitioners for information—be your own best advocate, and research on your own, so you can start at a higher place with working with a holistic practitioner.

Watching and measuring your own thyroid response, and overall wellness, relative to the quantity you eat, of this amazing class of greens and vegetables, may be wise.

7.  I personally have found significant quantities of greens (not all of them crucifers) to be a critical component in healing my own thyroid of radiation exposure, since I was a “downwinder” baby during the Nevada Test Site radioactive detonations in the late 1960’s. (Radiation is well known to depress the thyroid, and cause thyroid cancer.) “Goitrogenic” greens and veggies have many thyroid-nourishing compounds as well, and massive anti-cancer benefits. I use a variety. It’s fair to say I eat about 5 servings a week of kale, broccoli, cabbage, bok choy, etc.

8.  I’m not a big fan of the “cook it to neutralize the anti-nutrients” advice. Sure, you’ve addressed one issue, goitrogens—but you’ve also killed all the living enzymes and damaged or destroyed most vitamins and minerals. I’m a fan of steamed broccoli and cauliflower, by the way (otherwise I would eat those vegetables only rarely)—but also a big fan of eating 60-80% raw plant food at every meal.

variety of greens
Eating a variety of greens helps keeps us in balance.

9.  Why the big preoccupation with kale, specifically, anyway? There are collards, chard, beet greens, varieties of spinach, cabbages, celery, spring greens available organic year-round, and so many other choices. They are all good, and they all have a different nutritional profile. A variety helps keep us in balance. Mix it up!

I really hate to see unhealthy people bailing on a whole class of the most nutrient dense foods available to us, because of a “tempest in a teapot” buzzing on the internet.

 

GSG on the front page of the Salt Lake Tribune

check-this-out-to-the-rightHere’s a fun story that ran on Dec. 31 on the front page of the Salt Lake Tribune. All about why I am so passionate about what I do, and a little about my speaking tour that starts this week in Utah! Unfortunately it reports that Bountiful, Sandy, and Provo are sold out, and it’s true—but we just opened a few more in Bountiful, and we still have tickets in Logan.

HAPPY 2014! It’s a great time to raise your vibration!

Update: Read the article, here!

What you should know about what happens when you BBQ meat, or fry potatoes

acrylamide_foodsUSA Today wrote recently about the FDA’s new rules instructing the food industry how to reduce acrylamide. That’s a carcinogenic chemical produced in many processes involved in creating “foods” like French fries, cold cereal, and coffee.

This article bizarrely focuses on the fact that even toast causes acrylamide (anytime you brown, or especially burn, anything). (Personally, I wouldn’t worry too much about browning toast. I’d worry mostly about fried stuff and barbecued stuff.)

backyard-barbecueThe article says nothing about the massive amount of this toxin produced by your backyard barbecue. I gave mine up years ago, probably about the time I stopped eating the things you generally cook on such a thing. We had one, but my ex got it in the divorce, and I haven’t missed it. (I did date a guy for 18 months who asked me once, “If we get married, I can put my BBQ in the back yard, and my Dew in the fridge, right?”)

The processed food industry cutting potatoes thicker before frying them, and teaching fast food workers to not burn the fries, isn’t going to solve our problems. Even if you put lipstick on a pig, it’s still a pig.

Acrylamides are something to think about: Blending up kale and spinach and chard in your blender? Or chopping up a big, fresh salad? No acrylamides. In fact, the millions of antioxidants you eat, in your salad, help mop up acrylamide free radicals.

Moral of the story: Eat more plants. Eat less BBQ.

eat more plantsHave a little faith that if you change your eating patterns, stuff charred on a grill gets less appealing. I played in a mixed-doubles tennis tournament last summer at Liberty Park. During the match, our opponents, and my teammate, commented on how the smell of barbecuing hamburgers, near us, was distracting them and making them hungry.

I realized that it was actually making me slightly nauseous. It may sound crazy to you that BBQ meat does not smell good to me. It used to, though. It wasn’t purposeful that I changed my diet to the point that my tastes changed, too. But it did happen, and it bodes well for my health, especially during the last half of my life. Fewer addictions to things that wreck my well-being.

I highly recommend it–more plants, far less acrylamide-tainted processed and cooked foods.

Elementary School Teachers and the GREEN SMOOTHIE SCIENCE FAIR!

BeckyWGS
Coach Beckie shows the kids how to make a green smoothie

I hope my readers send a link to Beckie’s story, to teachers they know, to give them ideas. Teachers WANT to motivate and educate their students towards good nutrition choices, and they want good Christmas gift ideas too! Thank you for sharing, and for being a great teacher, Beckie!

Dear Robyn:

This is the story about how Green Smoothie Girl has impacted Kazoo School, with its progressive philosophy of education. This means that students get to have a say in what they want to study. I decided November would be a great time to introduce them to healthy eating, with the holiday season coming.

BeckyW8One morning I read them The Adventures of Junk Food Dude and did a simple green smoothie demonstration. They loved it! They even requested I read the book to them again the very next day. This mini lesson sparked their interest and we had many discussions about healthy food choices.

For Christmas, I gave all my students their very own Ball jar to make smoothies at home!

When everyone returned from the Winter break, I heard many stories of green smoothies made and I even had parents coming to me asking for tips. It was exciting to learn that the information was reaching home, and that is when I realized how big of an impact I could have on their food education. So my co-teacher Whitney suggested we make our Science Month a “Healthy Bodies” theme. She knows how passionate I am, and she basically said, “Whatever you have in mind, go for it!”

Music to my ears! I started by taking information I had learned from the 12 Steps to Whole Foods Manual and Greensmoothiegirl.com and adapted it into activities appropriate for 1st and 2nd graders.

During the month they:

1)     Had to find two food labels. The first one had to contain, only, ingredients that they recognized and could pronounce. The second was a label with ingredients they could not pronounce or know what they were. We then proceeded to pick one ingredient they could not pronounce and research what it was. We made a bulletin board display of our findings.

BeckieW12)     They kept a food log for two weeks. Each student rated how they felt, what they ate and how much exercise they got each day. At the end of the two weeks they charted the healthy food choices they made vs. the “not-so-heathy” choices.

We also did two experiments. We recreated the McDonald’s experiment you wrote about HERE. We also did one that showed how our bodies use and absorb sugar.

BeckieW2The culmination was our Science Fair night where we presented all of our findings to the whole school, friends and family. I did a green smoothie demo at the fair, and it was a huge hit! I could tell that the parents were really starting to take notice of all the information their children had accumulated over the year.

It was great to see the response from the whole school (I have become the Green Smoothie Girl of Kazoo school), but there were two moments where I really knew my students had retained what they learned.

In our after-school program, we offer a snack to each child. The bin is full of the usual choices: granola bars, crackers, fruit snacks etc. But one day I noticed one of my students taking their time choosing and I inquired as to why. His response blew me away.

BeckyW7He said, “I am checking the food labels to find the healthiest choice.” I almost fell over!  The second moment happened after a parent brought in cupcakes at 9:30 a.m. for a birthday treat. Around 11:30 everyone was grumpy and tired.

I took that moment to point out that this is what we call a “sugar crash”. The very next day there was another birthday and this child’s parents chose donuts. One student raised his hand and asked, “I don’t want to crash, can I not have the birthday treat?” Even if only a handful remember what they learned this year about healthy eating and continue to make better, more informed choices, I feel accomplished!

I have attached some pictures from the year. Thank you so much for providing the tools for me to educate my students!

Let’s develop a GreenSmoothieGirl curriculum for teachers!

Beckie Waalkes

 

Best-kept healing secret in the world: Come with me back to Switzerland!

almost to heaven
Suspended between Earth and Heaven

We’re just back from a place, as one patient at the clinic put it, “suspended between Earth and Heaven.” I couldn’t agree more. Usually at the end of a two-week trip, I’m dying to get home.

Not this time. I went kicking and screaming, back to the Milan airport. Al Ronc feels like a second home.

Come back with me in November, over Thanksgiving!

I’ve been to some lovely places. But none of the clinics I’ve visited, in 2 ½ years of research, are so peaceful and beautiful as Paracelsus al Ronc, a charming clinic several thousand feet up in Castaneda, Switzerland. None offer a better value for the money. None have such personalized care. None have such amazing food, or accommodations, both on-site and part of the price.

Dr. Petra, her husband and son Ulf and Freddy, and GSG Coach Amanda
Dr. Petra, her husband and son Ulf and Freddy, and GSG Coach Amanda

Click HERE to skip the rest of this blog and read about it AND the dates / prices for our November trip, and learn how to come with us. And read what those who came with me in May had to say about it!

This time, we have Americans who have been there, to answer your questions. Write Madeline at coachmadeline@greensmoothiegirl.com.

Al Ronc is the perfect place for a cancer patient to get outstanding holistic inpatient treatment for 3 weeks. But it’s also a great place for absolutely anyone to recharge and restore health, for a 2-week liver cleanse, too. (Or one week, if that’s what you can do.)

Because I’m a little obsessed with when I can go back, we’ve arranged for another trip for GSG readers! With an amazing price for you to come with me. Come for 8 days, or 16—you get one night FREE in each session.

Who wouldn’t want three gourmet, multi-course, detoxifying meals prepared for them? In a sunny dining room with panoramic views of a precipitous drop into the river cutting through the valley, with snow-covered peaks in the background.

room at al Ronc
A room at Paracelsus al Ronc
wildflowers at al Ronc
Wildflowers at al Ronc

You have a beautiful room you can rest in, between treatments. An entire wall of your room is a bank of full-length windows, and a deck with lounge chairs. Every room has the amazing view. You won’t want to miss a daily hike, and discover the ranging goatherds, springs of mineral waters, grottoes and tiny towns, pristine Alpine wilderness.

Dozens of protocols are administered at the clinic by compassionate staff, your schedule made each evening before. The clinic is well organized and non-stressful. Therapies that assist your body’s processes in cleaning up and rebuilding. Tests of the health and strength of your organs, adaptive and regulatory systems, nutritional status, and many other functions.

You’ll take advantage of hyperthermia, acupuncture, thermography, IV chelation or oxygen infusions, cupping, reflexology, colon hydrotherapy, darkfield blood analysis, lymphatic drainage, iridology, liver wrap. And so many more methods.

Dessert bar at Gala Dinner! (no sugar, still delicious!)
Dessert bar at Gala Dinner! (no sugar, still delicious!)

I’ve been to some clinics with very competent care before. Not like here, though, with everything you’d want to find, under one roof. You don’t pay “a la carte.” Everything is included in your stay. A gala dinner every Friday night, in-house concerts on Friday and Sunday.

You don’t have to have cancer to benefit from a 2-week stay here. Or even 1 week. We’ve negotiated a rate, and a schedule of treatments, for 1- or 2-week stays at our next retreat.

I highly recommend doing the Liver Detox protocol, one of the specialties Dr. Wiechel is known for. Everyone can benefit. Your food will be low-carb, low-fat, and low-protein. High-fiber and easy to digest, while your body prepares to eliminate crystalline structures before they can do you any harm.

You’ll be gently guided, with surprisingly delicious vegetable-intensive meals, towards a “liver flush” at the end of your first week. You’ll go home with a significantly rehabilitated liver. And you need that. Because your liver serves you in more than 500 ways!

After the flush, you’ll have an even more delicious diet. All whole foods you’ll want to take photos of to send home!

You could also choose the Heavy Metal Recovery program. Or the Intensive Burnout Recovery week. We can send you the rate for any of those. But the Liver Detox, which I recommend, is 2,490 swiss francs per week. Right now the Swiss franc and dollar are about 1:1.

Sightseeing at Lake Magriorri
Sightseeing at Lake Maggiori

Not only do we have a special price, lower than anywhere I’ve been world-wide, but al Ronc is also offering us an extra night (8 nights for the price of 7), free internet, and they will take us for sightseeing excursions at Lake Maggiori, Lake Lugano, and a huge open-air market (where I got three beautiful Italian leather jackets and several other fabulous items).

Many people spend far more than this, for a vacation, with no benefit to their health besides the R&R. I am so pleased with the value received at Paracelsus al Ronc—a vacation, and health reboot, all in one.

For the dates (Nov. 24 – Dec. 8, come for one week, or two weeks, and get a free additional night added to each week)…..and the prices…..click HERE.

 

Sugar as dangerous as alcohol and cigarettes

sugar alchohol ciggarettesA study out of University of California at SF says that sugar should be regulated like alcohol and cigarettes, because it’s every bit as dangerous and deleterious.

Click here to view the News Video on Sugar Study

It changes your metabolism, raises your blood pressure, and destroys your liver, they say.

They state that it contributes to 35 million deaths, compared to 6 million deaths from smoking each year. Sadly, you and I both know that sugar is an American darling, a sacred cow that no one is going to touch. GreenSmoothieGirl can dream, though.

american sugar(Actually, I don’t dream about government regulation. That would never work as a solution. We should get it out of the schools, hospitals, and vending machines though, and implement education programs.)

“Empty calories” as the descriptor for sugar is language that isn’t nearly strong enough – because sugar is filled with bad stuff, not just nothingness.

eat more sugarThe Sugar Association, of course, is screaming bloody murder and claiming those calling attention to the study are  “irresponsible.”

As if the SUGAR industry is a paragon of responsible virtues with the right to get in a self-righteous snit. That would be entertaining, if it weren’t so infuriating.

What would it be like to have a job working for the sugar industry where you do NO good for anyone, only HARM? Once the High-Fructose Corn Syrup people posted here on my blog, spinning their product as some kind of health food. INCREDIBLE.