ideas from readers, part 2 of 3

I often hear about people falling off the wagon, after a period of having tremendous results with their 15 servings of raw greens and fruit daily (what you get in the quart of green smoothie daily that I recommend).

It happens. Shall we problem solve, so it happens less often?

Thursday after tennis I ran to Supersonic to get my car washed. While I was waiting, two women rushed up and said, “GREEN SMOOTHIE GIRL!” (They didn’t know my actual name–this happens a lot, and I think it’s funny!)

Turns out they have a really unique and cool arrangement. They are best friends: Karri is single and lives alone, and Bo is married with kids. Karri has more time but less money, and Bo has more money and less time. Karri makes green smoothies for Bo and her husband every day since she doesn’t need the whole blenderful. I think Bo pays for the ingredients. Win-win for everybody.

I like it. If you’re struggling with something–time, money, whatever–there’s always a way. It’s just about getting creative and being dogged about creating a habit. Don’t give up!

Oh, and I am glad to meet new people in the revolution. The whole-foods revolution, kicking the S.A.D. to the curb. Love it when you come up and make friends with me–I’m going up to Strawberry to look at Bo’s cabin and see about getting land to build a cabin for retreats! Wouldn’t that be fun?

the healthiest shopping cart in Costco

I was in Costco a few days ago and the lady behind me in line said, “That is the healthiest shopping cart I have ever seen!”

I told her I write books teaching people how to eat whole foods and I have a site called GreenSmoothieGirl.com. I told her about GSG because she looked like a young mom. And you know how I feel about young moms–I see them as having tons of power to change the world, and I want to know them all! Before their kids are McD’s addicts and so much harder to change.

And it turns out her name is Marla and she is already a GSG reader. I don’t know if the camouflage shorts I was wearing actually WORKED, or if it’s the fact that my hair has morphed excessively blonde, that she didn’t recognize me as GSG.

That’s one thing that isn’t entirely “natural,” my need to change my hair color. Also. I do weird things sometimes. A couple of weeks ago I wanted to make a gift basket of “favorite things” for the guy I am dating. I would love to tell you that his favorite things are green smoothies and sprouted hummus with flax crackers and wheat grass juice. But alas, I had to go to the grocery store and slink out of there . . . ducking my head, hoping not to be recognized . . . with a six-pack of MOUNTAIN DEW. Then I went somewhere else to find really good, made fresh daily, CHOCOLATE CHIP COOKIES. (He has been telling me that he could blackmail me with that info, should he ever need to–”GSG was seen buying Mt. Dew!” he guffaws. Might as well pre-empt that by coming out of the closet.)

I was also “in and out” of an In-N-Out Burger last night. This is because my children asked their father what he wanted for Father’s Day, and he wanted a gift certificate and t-shirt from there. Even though I have never eaten their food, and I would not eat in that establishment unless I were completely without other options (notice I didn’t say “wouldn’t be caught dead”), I aim to please. He can eat what he wants. (Sure wish he wouldn’t feed it to my kids, but again–no use fighting unwinnable battles.)

I also ate at Texas Roadhouse Grill last night. Okay, I ordered the vegetarian platter for both me and my son! But I’m just sayin. I ate there. That’s where my friends and sister-in-law wanted to eat after we watched Ten’s baseball game.

I seem to be rather cavalier with the nutrition of those close to me who are not my children. Here’s why: people will eat right when they want to, and not a minute sooner. So I’m not going to expend my energy trying to change anyone else’s diet or feeling frustrated about it.

He, Dixon, of the Mt. Dew, started drinking green smoothies even before he read my book. He said when I asked a couple weeks ago, on Day 17, that he notices no health benefits. (I told him that a green smoothie doesn’t cancel out the deleterious effects of the Coke and Mt. Dew. And he is still making and drinking GS because he knows academically that they’re good for him.)

A couple of other close friends, though, who have finally taken the plunge, told me this month they notice more energy and no need for caffeine, less than a week into the new habit.

It’s philosophical for me: I won’t wreck relationships over food! I was talking this week to a certain person who is a huge presence in raw food, on the internet. She and I bonded a while ago in our common mission and in our single-mom status. Sometimes we talk about world domination via raw food. I asked her what happened with the last guy and how it’s going with the new.

She said, “Turns out the raw foodist had no personal ethics. Now I’m with a meat eater and I think I’ll keep him.”

True enough, that. Let’s live our healthy life, speak up when it’s appropriate, shut up when it’s appropriate. In general, be as “normal” as possible while doing what’s right.

does anybody in Idaho care about nutrition?

My son Ten turns 10 in ’10 (I feel a theme for birthday posters coming on). He has, along with yoga, raw plant food, and “a little help from my friends,” gotten me through the toughest 18 months of my life. I can’t overestimate the power of his love and loyalty in healing me. He’s emotional and sensitive, like his dad, and he can’t stay mad for longer than 90 seconds, like me.

He and I just got home from Idaho Falls for his baseball tournament. He’s smart, funny, smiles constantly and is a ridiculous athlete. Teachers and coaches whisper to me, “He’s my favorite.”

He schooled me for hours, to and from the tourney, in the finer points of baseball. For instance, what a “pass ball” and a “two-seam fastball” are.

Just when, after 10 years as a baseball mom, I am finally recognizing the “balk,” there’s more to learn. From a 9-year old.

It’s kind of monumental that we went to Idaho Falls. Here’s why:

When he was 4, the children’s organization of our church asked me to fill out a “spotlight” survey for each of my 4 kids. I recorded, for each of them, a “favorite place on Earth.” The oldest three said Goblin Valley, Disneyland, and Grandma’s house in Arizona.

Tennyson pondered for quite a while, and said, very thoughtfully,

“Costco.”

For “Where in the world I’d love to travel someday,” the other kids said: Australia, China, and France.

Tennyson again furrowed his brow to really give this difficult question all his focus, and said:

“Idaho.”

(We live in the bordering state of Utah.)

Anyway, he got his fantasy trip this weekend–we stopped at Costco and went to Idaho Falls!

The weather was wet and cold, but each morning I went for a run along the beautiful Snake River. The first morning, the 5 miles I intended to run became 13 miles (in the rain and mud) in 2.5 hours because I got lost. How do you get lost running along a river? That is a very good question. Unfortunately telling you the answer will not rehabilitate my credibility.

Of course, as with all my travels, I posted my intention to go, last-minute, on the GreenSmoothieGirl facebook fanpage. Readers immediately hooked us up with ideas of who might want to host my gig, so I could share a little green love in spud-land.

The first idea was Wealth of Health, apparently the ONLY health food stores in town! This is what the manager told us:

“Nobody in Idaho cares about eating whole foods. We don’t even sell any.

We tried selling organic produce once but nobody bought it. We don’t have room for 100 people, but even if we did, nobody would come.”

(Apparently you will only achieve a wealth of health eating supplements and the like. Not food.)

Well, facebook reader Lori pounded the pavement and found the Eagle Rock Coop, and the manager Lisa (who rocks out loud, incidentally, and looks just like people do who eat right) “got it” right off the bat.

She set up a class for me, and TOMORROW I will answer for you whether people in Idaho are just as the Wealth of Health dude says. Is it true, what I always say, or just true everywhere but Idaho? (This is what I always say: “People want to eat right. They don’t know how.”)

I will prove the truth or falsehood of that, tomorrow, with photos.

processed meat: it’s on my “never” list

If you’ve read my books, you know there are two foods I never eat and I don’t let my kids eat either. We are virtually 100% about good nutrition at home, but at a party or in a restaurant, we make good choices but aren’t perfect.

The two “over my dead body” foods, though:

One, processed meat. (Bacon, sausage, hot dogs, salami, deli/luncheon meat.) Two, soft drinks.

Here’s a meta-study (my favorite kind–a review of lots of different research studies, in this case almost 1,600 pieces of research) showing how damaging processed meat is to our health:

http://health.yahoo.com/news/reuters/us_heart_meat.html

Nearly 20 years ago, I read a study examining childhood cancers. Kids who developed cancer had no risk factors in common except a prevalance of high (11 or more monthly) hot dog consumption. I have no idea why I remember that–11 hot dogs a month–but I do. Then my best friend worked for Bain & Co., out of college, and one of her clients was a meat-packing plant. After working inside that business, she said to me, “Promise me that you and any offspring you have will never eat a hot dog. You would not believe how disgusting all the ingredients of that product are.”

Everything I’ve read since then confirms those original seeds planted in my brain that hot dogs are . . . well, nauseating. Get the vegan kind at the health food store if your family likes hot dogs.

That’s why you’ve heard them called “cancer sticks”–they are not just full of salt, but also nitrates and nitrites, which are well documented to be highly carcinogenic.

I’ve had ONE bite of a hot dog in the past 20 years. That was when I was on national television with two cameras and 20 teenagers chanting, “EAT. IT! EAT. IT!”

You know I’m here to nurture you towards better nutrition without being radical. But some “foods” really don’t qualify as such and I ask you to consider a full-on ban in your home of processed meats.

ObamaCare . . . part 3 of 3

Congress has been wringing its hands over the tragedy of millions of uninsured Americans, for years. The question has been, “How can we pay for all the drugs and surgeries and doctor visits of the Baby Boomers?” How indeed. (And we aren’t even thinking, yet, of the soda generation of obese kids–we’ll worry about that later.)

The Boomers are headed into old age, and they are the biggest generation in recent history, and they’re EXPENSIVE. Social Security is teetering on bankruptcy. Americans haven’t exactly been investing and saving well. Who will pay for it?

Wrong question. It’s unanswerable. It is too expensive and doesn’t work anyway.

Here’s a better one. What if we didn’t look to drugs and surgery to save us?

Here’s another. Is our medical care system even capable of solving our health care crisis?

Here’s another. Would it be less expensive to just start eating right? A heavily plant-based, mostly raw, whole-foods diet? Would we actually solve our problems that way, rather than drugging symptoms of the problems caused by lifestyle in the first place?

Would we have higher Gross Domestic Product and start to turn the trade deficit and the national debt around, if we all had more energy, a more positive mood, and a disappearance of our chronic health problems? If we ate close to the source, locally, without chemicals and huge corporations controlling us and our diet and health?

My ex-husband’s co-workers are a prime example. They go into diabetic comas in the bathroom, three of them died the last year we were married, and two health insurance companies dropped them after increasing rates a couple of times a year, because the employees were so expensive and so ill. Several had cancer or serious cardiac problems. Everyone he worked with was overweight or obese. Lunch every day was fast food.

We continue to frantically wring our hands over an unsolvable problem–how to pay for the endless healthcare needs of those who are sabotaging their health with lifestyle choices. To do this is to be hamsters forever running in a little wheel. Getting nowhere.

YOU have power to turn it around. Start with your own life. If you’ve gotten off the Standard American Diet, teach someone else how to do it. That’s how my site got started. A way to go quantum with the information I’d culled from a hundred different sources, to CORRECT MY FAMILY’S HEALTH.

Teach someone what you know today. Teach someone else the next day. A lot of you are already doing it. Let’s make it a groundswell, an uprising, an outright revolution.

When I consulted with my LNP friend this week to interpret my Vitamin D test results (see my blog posting about that experiment last week). She referred to testing and said, “If you get your doctor to order the test, your insurance will pay for it.” I said, “I don’t have a doctor.”

She said, “What?” I really don’t. I don’t go to one. Ever. I went to an OB/GYN when I had my babies, but the youngest is 9. I haven’t ever even been to a naturopath.

I don’t need them. THAT, my friends, is the best way out of the downward-spiralling health care nightmare that so many people around us are in. It’s a whirlwind. You reap what you sow. JUST SAY NO.

Put. Down. The hot dog.

Pick up my 12 Steps manual. Or my book The Green Smoothies Diet. Grab an apple and a handful of almonds for the car ride. The GOOD option, take the manual (with recipes/ingredients) into Whole Foods Market. Or BETTER, buy a share in a local community-supported agriculture co-op. Or BEST, plant a garden on your patio or backyard. Make a green smoothie. A big salad. A lovely pot of vegetarian chili. Some homemade whole-grain sourdough bread.

It’s good food and it can save us from being in the downward spiral of ObamaCare. It’s enabling the sickness of drug layering: one chemical pill causing a problem that requires another chemical pill, and on and on until our seniors must have other family members managing their complicated, outrageously expensive drug schedules. Many of them are swallowing pills all day long, and to what advantage?

Start taking steps, my friends. Start today. The Pelosi-Reid-Obama “solution” starts in 4 years.

Breast Cancer and ObamaCare . . . part 1 of 3

The headline in my paper, Mar. 26, is “Up to a Third of Breast Cancer Cases Could be Avoided.” Western countries could avoid 25 to 30 percent of breast cancer cases if they ate less and exercised more.

(That’s lowest-common-denominator stuff. What if they not only got thinner and exercised, but they ate POWERFULLY HEALING RAW PLANT FOODS EN MASSE EVERY DAY? Then how much breast cancer would be avoided? Two thirds? Almost all? I don’t know–but it’s exciting to think about.)

Carlo La Vecchia, head of epidemiology at University of Milan, said that what can be achieved with screening has been achieved, and now it’s time to move on to other ideas. Like prevention with nutrition.

The research discussed by researchers at a conference in Spain (sponsored by an agency of The World Health Organization) revolved around what is known about breast cancer AND what a sensitive subject it is.

Who wants to “blame” breast cancer patients for their disease? Certainly not their oncologists. Not me either! If you’re reading this and have breast cancer, I just want you to get well!

On the other hand, would any breast cancer victim deny those 7 out of 8 women who haven’t contracted the disease the opportunity to avoid it? To have the information necessary?

Your chance of contracting this disease is 60% higher if you’re overweight. In 2008, 40,000 women died in the U.S. and 90,000 in Europe. The more fat tissue you have, the more estrogen you produce–fueling excesses that put you at risk for this ugly disease dreaded by women everywhere.

We can’t avoid teaching people how to avoid breast and other cancers (and our #1 killer, heart disease) because we don’t want to hurt their feelings telling them it could have been avoided.

For the sake of everyone else, and for the survivors who have the chance to make lifestyle changes, let’s talk about prevention rather than just mammograms and chemo and radiation.

If we are going to continue to put up with outrageous rates of women cutting off , burning, and poisoning their breasts, well, we have to look at completely insane solutions like ObamaCare.

But if we’re willing to abandon the insanity and become calm, logical, and practical about our health, we must begin the journey back to our roots.

Back to the days when breast cancer was very rare.

The days when we ate greens, vegetables, fruits, from our gardens. When we also ate legumes, whole grains, clean animal protein in the winter, cultured milk and vegetables assisting our digestion and immunity. We didn’t have as much variety and choices. But we made our food in our homes, with simple, whole ingredients.