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 2 of 5

Breastfeeding versus formula is our topic today.

First of all let’s talk about how long to nurse your baby.

We’ve over-sexualized breasts in our culture. We’re squeamish about the use of breasts for feeding babies.

Cover it up, don’t let anyone know you do it, get your boobs back as fast as you can for their main purposes, and perish the thought that they LOOK like they nursed babies!

I’m not suggesting they aren’t sexual, okay? Nor that we should give up looking good. Not my point. Here’s what I’m saying.

Young moms, if your baby needs your breast milk for 6-9 months longer than most people do it, for her brain health, for her budding immune system, for her pancreas and liver to finish developing…..will you do it? Or is doing what everybody else does more important?

(Look how it’s working out for them. We’ve NEVER had so much degenerative and neurological and congenital disease, at young ages, in the history of the world.)

Your baby needs breast milk for 18 months. I nursed my last child till he was 21 months old. He was my healthiest child, never got sick, never has visited the doctor for illness, never has needed an antibiotic or any other drug.

But because I nursed him so long, one day he ran over to me when we were watching his sister’s soccer game. At nearly 2 years old, poked me in the chest with his finger, and yelled:

“Nurse you!”

(Yes, I was embarrassed. I am not a hippie. I do care what people think. However, I’m just not going to do the wrong thing for my child out of peer pressure. I was about done nursing anyway, and that embarrassing little incident pinkie-pushed me, pun intended, into quitting.)

But young mothers are not taught that the body does not produce and release digestive enzymes at birth. The infant body is programmed to receive human breast milk, which is rich in its own enzymes. Digestion of human breast milk is easy for an infant and a toddler. Part of the genius of each species is that the milk adapts and becomes precisely what the baby needs, at each stage of development.

What a tragedy, then, when we deny our babies this birthright. When companies like Enfamil and Similac convince mothers in the hospital, all over the world, including now in poor Latin nations, to take home a whole case of formula. (It’s free!) Formula manufacturers know if they get you before you leave the hospital, any milk they give your baby is milk your body then doesn’t produce, so you will not be able to give your baby a full supply of breast milk. Unless you’re very careful.

Plus your baby will become used to fake foods, instead of quickly developing a taste for human milk, making him that much less likely to reject formula later.

Of course, cooked baby formula, cooked and processed, has no enzymes, and this begins heavily taxing the infant body and causing it to produce mucous. Not to mention you’re fighting the antibiotics and steroids fed the cow, and the terrible food supply of GMO corn and soy products.

A buildup of mucous creates an acidic climate to invite infections, both bacterial and viral. Breastfed babies get sick far less than formula-fed babies. Everyone knows this. But I’ve just described one of the reasons why.

So you can’t nurse. Or you’ve adopted. Or you want to wean the baby. What do you wean her onto?

My friend Dr. Ritamarie Lozcalzo was an adoptive mother to two children who are now young adults. She is a raw vegan and nutrition expert and a prominent internet personality. She developed a high-nutrition, raw baby formula using nut milk, vegetable juices, and some specific supplements that include the right fats babies need. I’m always sending young moms to her, but you can get her formula recipe here if exclusive breast feeding is not an option.

If you won’t make your own formula, I would look for an ORGANIC goat-milk formula. If you can’t find that, an ORGANIC dairy formula. Soy formula would be my last choice.

I personally weaned my babies, once I learned not to use cow milk and baby formula, onto whole, raw goat milk.

Your instant reaction is to fear the word “RAW.” Doesn’t pasteurization of milk kill all the bad bacteria that might hurt your baby?

Yes. And no.

It kills the bacteria. There can be some bad bacteria in milk. There’s bad bacteria in your body right now—some really deadly stuff, actually. It’s in a teeming metropolis of bacteria, actually. Think of it as the Manhattan of living organisms, what’s going on in your gut, tissues, and bloodstream as you read this.

There are pathogens there. Molds. Fungus, bacteria, cancer. Not only now, but 10 years ago too. And 10 years from now.

But even organisms you think of as “bad” play an important role, often. It’s not fully understood, but I did a fascinating recorded call with Dr. Jack Tips, PhD, N.D., recently, for the Detox program I’ve been developing for over a year. He discussed how even bad bacteria play good roles. Even candida. The thriving metropolis has an intelligence that is crippled and devastated with the atom-bomb approach of antibiotics.

And when you pasteurize the milk, you also kill all the GOOD bacteria. You kill everybody and everything, machine-gun style. You kill all the enzymes that make the raw food easy to digest.

So killing stuff isn’t the answer.

Establishing, nurturing, and maintaining a healthy environment in your body, where GOOD bacteria flourish, and bad bacteria are managed and controlled, never making you sick, is the answer.

Eating foods that are organic, and living, and whole, is the main answer.

So like I said, I weaned my babies onto raw goat’s milk. You have to go out of your way to find it. The dairy industry has a chokehold on the FDA. Dairy spends $50 million a year in propaganda (read: advertising) to convince us we must drink and eat lots of dairy products to be healthy. One of their tactics is to drive out competition. So you can’t buy unpasteurized goat milk as “food.” You can ask around, at health food stores and with people who have been studying nutrition for years, and find the little goat dairies.

They will sell it to you—for other purposes, not food. (What YOU do with it is up to you.)

My four children drank it for many, many years, without incident. Before I began using it, I studied it, and discovered that no one in the Western United States had registered any complaint, about any goat-milk problem, in the previous 10 years.

(The same cannot be said about cow-milk dairies.)

I also learned to make yogurt out of raw goat milk. Later, I learned to make an even better food: KEFIR. It not only supports healthy flora in the gut, it can re-establish it, build it from the ground up. It does not require heating the milk. It’s very easy and simple, and costs next-to-nothing, as the live kefir grains are infinitely re-useable.

Learn about kefir HERE. It’s a vastly superior food to the raw milk itself, because the culturing (or fermenting) process breaks down the proteins in the milk to be essentially “pre-digested.” Goat milk is not mucous forming for humans. Neither is goat-milk kefir or yogurt.

Tomorrow, what do I wean my baby onto, besides raw goat milk? We discuss a progression of foods to introduce.

The most delicious carrot soup, you’ve gotta try this!

Here’s another fabulous garden recipe that is helping me thrive on my mostly-liquid diet. You will LOVE it, and it’s all raw! Thank you to Patty, who made it for me. I met her at CHI in Michigan a year ago, and brought her out to work for us full-time. I am so thankful, since I was killing myself with overwork, and my kids adore her and think she is the Raw Mary Poppins. It was hard to do, and it’s hard to admit, since I did EVERYTHING myself, from scratch, for 20 years. But because of my work schedule, I needed help. I’m telling you because you’ll see her all over my blog, I’m sure. I’ll share lots of recipes we’re developing.

Patty’s a Level III Raw Chef, which means not only is she very accomplished, but also, she can certify Level I and II. We just decided she’ll be teaching certification classes to locals around the first of the year, in my home. Get excited, because this girl can COOK! Or “arrange the elements,” as we like to say in the “raw” world!

Simply Elegant Raw Indian Carrot Coconut Soup

Ingredients:

  • One young Thai coconut
  • 3 cups Carrot Pulp (I save it from juicing — or you can shred carrots in your food processor or blend carrots with coconut liquid to make a pulp)
  • The juice of one lemon
  • The juice of one tangerine
  • 1 teaspoon Himalayan Sea Salt
  • 1 Tablespoon garam masala (Indian seasoning)
  • 3 Tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 4 cups fresh almond milk
  • 1/2  inch ginger
  • 1 teaspoon turmeric
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 4 Tablespoons coconut nectar
  • Cayenne pepper to taste

Directions:

  • Crack the coconut and pour the coconut water in your high-speed blender. (Or use 1 ½ cups canned coconut water.)
  • Scoop the coconut meat and add it to the blender.
  • Juice lemon and tangerine in a citrus juicer and add to blender.
  • Add all other ingredients — except cayenne.
  • Blend until smooth.
  • Pour into bowl and dehydrate at 110 for three hours.
  • Ladle servings into a bowl and sprinkle cayenne pepper on top to suit your taste. (I like about 1/2 a teaspoon per bowl but that’s VERY hot!)

Birthday season is over, but the CAKE was divine

Aug. 22 ended birthday season around here, when Emma turned 17.

ABC’s Wife Swap, filmed in 2007, when you agree to do the show, waltzes in and figures out what they can string you up for. (I knew they would. I considered it a game.) For me, it was the green smoothies, and the fact that I tell my kids, “The bus leaves at 7:22,” and then I leave them to walk to school, if they’re not ready.

None of that bothered me. What I didn’t see coming was that they would make a federal case about the two times I rented out a skating rink, or the municipal pool, for back-to-back parties for my kids. Each had their own party, their own cake, their own friends and presents. It wasn’t cheap to rent out the pool, and my kids decided that was what they wanted.

We did it just twice, the last time 6 years ago. The kids had a ball at their party.

Wife Swap made out that I am “obsessed with efficiency” and “won’t let them have their own party.” They purposefully failed to mention that all four of my kids are born within 3 weeks of each other. They made it seem as if my four children born at different times of the year are forced against their will to have a joint party because I don’t care about them.

I recently brought Patty out from Creative Health Institute. She works for us fulltime now, and we love her!  She became a long-term volunteer there for 18 months. I will tell you Patty’s story later, on a video, with her making Choca-Maca-Laca that I learned at CHI last year from Madeline Wilson.

The recipe is named that for the superfood ingredients Maca and Lacuma. But I LOVE this yummy recipe, and Patty lost tons of weight eating the Ann Wigmore diet plus two whole quarts, daily, of Choca-Maca-Laca! Wow. I guess “a calorie is not a calorie is not a calorie,” because that’s a lot of calories. Remember Colin Campbell discovered in the Oxford-Cornell China Project that those eating a plant-based diet stay lean eating 200 calories a day MORE than animal-flesh eaters, who were not lean, ate!)

I also posted Patty’s raw peach cobbler on the blog a year ago.

Patty is a Level III raw chef, and she made this delicious cheesecake, with the ingredients in my kitchen, for Emma’s 17th birthday on the 22nd. All the kids loved it. She blends tangerines and peaches from my tree, into Rejuvelac, and tells the kids it’s Powerade. Even though she’s not a mother, she has the instincts: she tells them it gives them energy for school and sports. (It’s true, of Rejuvelac.) She puts a half gallon of it in the fridge, like at CHI, with a masking-tape label saying “Don’t drink this after 6 pm!” That’s because it’ll keep you awake.

The photo is of Patty with Cade (19), Emma (17), Libby (15) and Tennyson (12).

Sunday I’ll post the recipe!

Angie starts the Salad Club at work!

Here’s a letter I just got from Angela in California. She’s a renegade and a leader, and I love what she did at her office! I think you will, too.

Dear GreenSmoothieGirl,

I wanted to write you and tell you how you have really changed my life and in turn the lives of many others. I read Victoria Boutenko’s “Green for Life” three years ago. I devoured it and soon was ready to begin my smoothie endeavor. I purchased a Vitamix and started making my green smoothies. I eventually fell off and stopped making them, but when I was ready to hop back on I searched the internet for more recipes. I then discovered your website. I became obsessed to put it mildly. I was ready to take on all the challenges and changes you wrote about. Your 12 Steps to Whole Foods course was a Christmas present to me from my husband, and I was off!

I am 27 years old and didn’t have any chronic illnesses or auto-immune diseases, but I wanted to make sure it stayed that way. I became serious about my health and what I put into my body. I stopped drinking diet soda (tough one). I dumped all refined sugar, white flour, white pasta, white rice, bottles of corn syrup (yuck), canola oil, vegetable oil, etc.

In came the whole wheat flour, spelt, coconut sugar, coconut oil and quinoa! I started only cooking vegetarian meals at home, and my husband has been wonderful in accepting all the changes that were happening overnight. (He knows that is how I work!)

I became known as the witch-doctor at work, drinking my weird green drink, carrying around my pink salt, using gritty milk in a mason jar on my granola. Well, you are right! Soon people were asking questions, why is dairy bad? What should I eat when I go out to lunch? What’s kin-o-ah (quinoa)?

Soon others at work were starting to make little changes too. Seeing these changes and that people actually wanted to be healthy (at least part time), I started a salad club. It began with about 15 members (all female plus my husband, who works with me).

People would bring in certain ingredients for the week and all the club members could make salads all week long (see my blog post for more details: http://stylethatfood.com/?p=804)

People started eating 3-5 salads a week instead of going and getting the fast food they usually did. As the weeks went on people would ask what salad club was about and soon would join in. I am proud to say the club now has about 25 members and 5 are men. People who poked fun, joined the fun!

I wanted to share that one person can make a huge difference. From what I learned from you, and a little time and effort I feel I have made a difference in the lives of others. I will continue to spread and share everything I learn about good health and nutrition, and I am willing to teach as long as people want to listen.

Thank you Robyn for being my Health Hero!

PS I have also taken on the sugar bet with a co-worker, we are starting with 1 month. She initiated it too, and I am not one to back down from a challenge.

Angela Merchant

The manliest men on the planet

Ben texted me that surfer Laird Hamilton is 48 and looks 26, eats a lot of raw and organic, and is one of the “manliest men on the planet,” and I should blog about him. Then I said, “Then how come I haven’t seen him on vegetarian athlete lists?”

He said, “Because he’s not pure vegetarian. Which is why he’s still a manly man.”

Eye roll. I texted him back and said, “Two words for you. BILL PEARL.”

(He was a vegetarian Mr. Universe. Arnold Schwarzenegger once said, “Bill Pearl didn’t convince me to be a vegetarian. He did convince me that a vegetarian could become Mr. Universe.”) Gotta love the brilliant things that The Governator says sometimes.

I looked Laird Hamilton up, and found this quote from him: “You eat potato chips, you’re going to perform like a potato chip.”

I don’t date much anymore, but I recently went out with a guy named Brent who, like lots before him (when I used to date), was rather terrified of what I do for a living. (A bane of my existence is that men feel I will judge them when I see what they eat. Often this is a deal-breaker for them, even though I am realistic and non-judgmental. I’m not likely to meet a guy who has my philosophies about food! However, I do really like guys who at least are interested in eating better. As long as they are that AND tall-dark-and-handsome! Hehe.)

So Brent is 38, attractive, and looks fit. But he wanted me to know he eats a whole box of Cap’n Crunch, or 8 cookies and a glass of milk, before bed. And sometimes a plate of nachos. And wakes up with a flat stomach. He doesn’t work out routinely—only in fits and starts.

In other words, he’s a genetic anomaly and gets away with murder. I don’t know why some people are born capable of full-on nutritional abuse without obvious or mid-term consequences. If I did what he does, I’d have no energy and would weigh 300 lbs. almost overnight. It’s not fair!

That said, I believe in karma, and the fact that at some point, everybody has to pay the piper.

On facebook, GSG reader Joel W. pointed me to Scott Jurek, one of the world’s best ultrarunning phenomenons featured for running with the legendary Tarahumara Indians as profiled in Born to Run. (I’m reading this book, and most serious runners have done so. It fueled the “barefoot running” craze.)

Scott Jurek can run 6.5 marathons – nearly 166 miles – in a 24 hour period. And he’s a long-time vegan, after being raised in a meat-and-potatoes family. His book Eat & Run tells all about it, helps you commit to the understanding that food is FUEL. His book contains his favorite plant-based recipes.

Perhaps the most spectacularly credentialed, famous ultrarunner in the U.S., though, is Dean Karnazes, who is 46 years old and looks 20. My friend Ben is preoccupied with Karnazes, an ultrarunner with superhuman genetic gifts. But unlike my date, Brent, Karnazes is increasingly laser-precise about his diet as he gets older.

Wikipedia has his list of Karnazes’ staggering accomplishments, one of which is running 50 marathons in 50 consecutive days. (He ate 5,000 to 7,000 calories each day during that period.) He also ran 350 miles in 81 hours without stopping, even though he took a break from running from age 15 to 30.

He eats vegetables, fruits, lean meat, and things you could “pick and eat.” The Neanderthal diet, he calls it. He says, could cave people have eaten whole grain? (They couldn’t have milled it, etc.)

In an interview I read of Karnazes, he was asked if he misses pies and stuff he used to eat, and he says,

“I really don’t! It was kind of an indulgence…I really don’t long for those things anymore. I think cravings for sugar and sweets just stop when you stop eating them for a while.”

Another Karnazy quote: “…if you’re going to be a foodie, you’re going to suffer the consequences! Some people live to eat, and I eat to live…”

I don’t know that it’s a good thing to run 42 miles a day for 100 days, as Karnazy recently did. I’m in awe, while at the same time I have no interest in pushing my body that hard. But I do like that he has found things that are not FOOD to give him joie de vivre.

People for whom food is their passion are, as he says, in trouble.

And I think it’s interesting how, even though meat is hard to not eat, if you eliminate grains as Karnazy does, the best athletes, who are able to continue for decades, as Jurek and Karnazy have, eat a LOT of greens, vegetables, fruits, nuts, and seeds.