A FISH STORY: the food, and the oil supplements

The debate over fish, and fish oil, is to me one of the most interesting ones in nutrition in its complexity. We have to ferret out, from the debate, the sophisticated marketing of the fish industry, which capitalized on emerging data 15 years ago that red meat is bad for us. (But fish is good for us, they clamored—and scrambled to provide “data” that this is so.)

Then we must evaluate the sources of fish, in a planet where virtually every waterway is highly contaminated and fish retain mercury at high levels off the coast of every continent. (Canned tuna is one of the most high-mercury foods you can find. I recommend you eliminate it from your diet.)

Then we have to look at farmed fish—even more problematic because they are fed ground-up fish pellets, made of guts and skin and bones. (Also chicken feces and genetically modified corn, soy, and canola oil.) These fish products, then, actually containconcentrated environmental pollutants.

Farmed fish is well documented to be higher in PCBs, dioxins, and other carcinogenic chemicals than wild fish. Most of the fish consumed by humans is now raised in farms. Wild “free range” fish eat plenty of toxins, too—but not concentrated in “fish pellets” like on the farms. Fish in farms are fed chemicals to make them pink rather than their natural grey color, are low in Omega 3’s due to their lack of a natural diet, and are given antibiotics at a higher rate than any other livestock!

And we have to look at the nonsense about fish oil. Does it really prevent heart disease? Everyone accepted this quickly as “settled science” mostly because a few data points were being repeated by so many doctors and so many supplement companies. But now we have 20 years of data and those who look at longitudinal trends know that fish oil has saved us from nothing.

What if a fish died and was floating in the water? Would you eat that fish’s flesh, or squeeze oil from it to eat, even 12 hours later? Of course you wouldn’t. It would be rancid. So says Dr. Brian Clement, N.M.D. and PhD, with whom I spoke in Orlando and Ft. Lauderdale. What if it sat for days, and then you deodorized and purified it, highly refined it, put it in gelatin capsules, and put it into distribution so it sat another several months before you ate it?

You’ve noticed that you burp up rancid fish oil taste for hours after you take yours? Rancid oils are carcinogens. The pharmaceutical companies that produce the vast majority of the fish-oil pills will pacify you by saying, “But we deodorize the oil.” Ah, so they use petroleum products, like coal tar, to mask the rancidity. I ask again, do you want to refine a fish-oil product and cover up the obvious signs that it is putrefied and not appropriate as food?

This is not an effective way to get Omega 3 fatty acids in your diet. Especially when there are perfect plant-food sources that don’t cause you to burp up rancid nasty.

Flax, chia, and hemp seeds are fabulous sources of Omega 3 fatty acids. I recommend having all three on hand. I love sprouted flaxseed to add to green smoothies. (I know of 28 anti-cancer compounds in flax. And this product is sprouted, which increases not only fiber, but also explodes vitamin and mineral content. Flax has 7x more lignans than the next-highest source—these compounds are highly breast-cancer protective.)

You get no fiber in your rancid fish oil caps. I really don’t think it’s a good source for anyone, of Omega 3’s. Save your money and eat some good whole foods instead:  greens have Omega 3’s in small but highly bio-available amounts.

And chia, flax, and hemp are perfect green smoothie ingredients, but I eat them in lots of ways:  roll raw cookies in them or put them in baked products. I love chia drinks from the health food store (one variety of Synergy kombucha is full of it). A spoonful of chia seed at night, chewed well and swallowed, and chased with a big glass of water, will fill up your stomach and get rid of your hunger.


Dear GreenSmoothieGirl for Arizona, part 3 of 4

Jenny B: I feel sick if I eat ANY cooked food. (She catalogues her diet and laments how difficult it is to stay almost all raw.) Will I always have to be this careful? Do you ever see people as food-sensitive as me? Will my health problems ever turn around?

GSG: I have seen documentation and heard testimonials of thousands of people who, like me, beat:

Seasonal allergies, eczema, occasional asthma, fatigue and excesses of sleeping, skin problems, elevated blood pressure, hypoglycemia, anxiety and mood instability, hemorrhoids, vision deterioration, food addictions, tumors, repeated viruses and strep infections, overweight, low thyroid, PMS and severe menstrual cramps, infertility, Transient Ischemic Attacks (mini-strokes with migraine, right arm going numb, couldn’t speak or see)

That’s just MY list, from 20 years ago. I now have NONE of those things, 20 years later, except I still battle a mild obsession with chocolate. One of my children was born with severe food reactions, and now has no food sensitivities. I hear about turnarounds in health everywhere I go, and on my blog, and in thousands of emails—when people eliminate gluten, or just shift to whole, mostly-raw plant foods. By the way, my theory based on nothing more than observation is that if you stay away from refined and GMO foods and eat at least 60% raw, you won’t likely develop a gluten intolerance–if you’re blessed to not currently have problems with grains.

Just because you have a condition now (like a food sensitivity) doesn’t mean you’ll have it in a year, especially if you go about the business of healing your gut. The vast majority of problems, wherever they occur in the body, are related to a toxic colon. The blood in the colon recirculates everywhere in the body, so filth there means toxicity everywhere. Our goal with a shift to clean foods is the clean the gastrointestinal system first and foremost, with plant fiber, easily digested with high enzyme content–and build it up with good probiotics, and well-absorbed vitamins and minerals.

If you are patient and a truth seeker, and willing to heal your gut with good nutrition, you have a good prognosis. Obviously I can’t promise you any specific outcome for any specific diagnosis. But I believe there is no other way out, without addressing lifestyle! Taking drugs will not cure the health problems you named. Tapping your forehead will not heal the problems you named. (At least the latter won’t hurt you.)

And while you battle an entrenched, difficult problem (like an autoimmune issue), you may find a dozen other health problems reverse themselves!

Make a big ugly list of all your symptoms, like I just did in the bolded paragraph above. Stare at them for a minute. Maybe you’ve never thought about them all at once. Put EVERYTHING on it, even stuff like your brittle nails, thinning hair, insomnia.

What if you could get rid of them all just by eating fabulous food? I did. Would it be worth a try?

does my device REALLY neutralize harmful radioactive EMFs on my cell phone?

Before I post my thoughts about the antibiotic issue, I will give more people an opportunity to give an opinion. (My readers are smart, thoughtful, and experienced, so it’s fun to listen rather than talk sometimes!)

I got this comment on the blog today about a product I have on all my kids’ cell phones (and mine), my PC monitors, the TV screen, and the microwave, that I researched and then tested, myself, that neutralizes radioactive EMFs harmful to our brain. It’s called the xZubi Disc:


I just wanted to let you and others know that I showed the xZubi product to the naturopath doctor that I go to. She was very skeptical about it since there are many gimmicks out there that don’t work. However, to verify that it works, she used a device that measures EMF.

First she measured the EMFs emitted during a call using her cell phone (without the xZubi Disc) and then using my cell phone (with the xZubi Disc). The meter went off during the call using her her phone, but when we made a call using my phone the meter read 0. Based on our basic test, it appears that the xZubi Disc is neutralizing EMFs.


Happy Mother’s Day! on prenatal vitamins……

Mothers do the greatest work in the world! On this day, I’d like to say how thankful I am that Kincade, Emma, Mary Elizabeth, and Tennyson made me a mom, starting nearly 18 years ago. I love you guys so much.

And thank you to anyone who reads this blog who does that work every day. It’s hard work and sometimes it feels thankless. But there is nothing else like it–in its highs and lows and its impact on human beings and the world.

If you’re a mom, or if you might be someday, or if you participate in nurturing others, I honor you every day, and especially today!

Here’s an email I got this week about PRENATAL VITAMINS, from Sashleigha:

Dear GreenSmoothieGirl:

My doctor prescribed prenatals . These are the “other ingredients”:

hypromellose, beeswax, pyridoxine HCI, Zinc oxide, magnesium oxide, d-calcium, pantothenate, microcrystalline cellulose, cupric oxide, thiamin mononitrate, dibasic calcium phosphate, titanium dioxide, FD and C Red #40, shellac, and cyanocobalamin.

What should I take?

Answer:  Zinc oxide? They put it in paint, batteries, batteries, and plastics, because it’s insoluble in water. Shellac? That’s paint/glue! Titanium dioxide has been classified as a carcinogen if you breathe it, proven to cause lung cancer in rats, so perhaps eating it isn’t a good idea?

Red dye #40? Pull up the Materials Safety and Data Sheet on it. This is just part of what it says: “Harmful if swallowed, symptoms may include nausea, vomiting, pain and diarrhea. May cause central nervous system depression; liver and kidney damage based on animal data. Use of this product may aggravate preexisting skin, eye, and respiratory disorders including asthma and dermatitis. Causes skin and eye irritation: symptoms may include pain, redness, and swelling.”

I am so frustrated by medical doctors telling people to eat those synthetic pills. At a minimum, please don’t take the iron pills they sell in pharmacies. That form of iron is not useable by the body, and it will make you constipated.

Food is the best prenatal. All of the nutrients that are found, in synthetic form, in those pills, are found in natural form your body can use in greens, vegetables, and fruits. Also seeds, nuts, legumes, and whole grains (especially sprouted).   If you must take a vitamin (probably a good idea to avoid falling below minimum thresholds, if you’re eating the S.A.D.), at least get a brand at your health food store, not in the pharmacy.

Dear GreenSmoothieGirl: p.s. I was totally blown away by your email! Not only that, I decided to open one of them up and squeeze out what I thought would be powder.  I got a dark sludge that smelled like foul fish!!! THAT’S recommended to go in my body to harbor a healthy place for a potential fetus?! NO THANK YOU! I was so ANGRY!


Seattle….things that come in 3’s….part 2 of 3

I’m not superstitious, but strange things happen to me in threes. You may have heard me speak about that. (I changed this to a three-part series, in honor of that.)

So I almost brought an ex-boyfriend to Seattle with me as an assistant. That kinda blew up. Then another one I affectionately refer to as “Hot Cop” told me he needed a vacation and wanted to come. Airfare was outrageous at that point. So I let go, and got on the plane by myself. And guess who got on with me?

My first high-school boyfriend, Rich. He wrangled me a seat next to him. He had nothing to do that night so he volunteered to come along to our U of W event, and he ran the GSG book table brilliantly after the show. I learned a long time ago not to force things–relationships, work, kids–and karma rolls around and provides solutions. Sometimes the solution is better than the idea you started with. This ever happen to you?

I introduced him to everyone as the guy who taught me how to kiss. On the plane, he informed me that he could never believe it that I let him kiss me, because I was a year older and he kept waiting for me to reject him. (We saw each other, on and off, for 4 years, through my sophomore year in college.)

He was the ridiculously hot, suntanned high-school quarterback. But JV, when I should have been dating varsity! I never acknowledged him to my friends, because his being a year younger and a friend of my brother’s embarrassed me. We talked about going to prom but then didn’t–I went with someone a year older than me. But we’d make out for hours in the forest behind my parents’ house. Or in the basement. Or at Burke Lake.

We reminisced about a night we both remember as one of the most-fun times of our lives. At that point we were friends, and he and I drove out to an “away” game where my then-boyfriend (#2 of 3 in high school) was the Center on the basketball team. (My senior year, it was the tight end–back to the football team!)

On the way home, an inch-thick layer of ice on the road brought Washington, D.C. to a standstill. We had to abandon my car to traverse the last couple of miles home, sliding on the ice in our shoes. It was a very still, silent night and all the trees had become thousands of delicate icicles. With no cars on the road, we had a blast, dancing around, falling, screaming, and laughing until our sides hurt.

Rich came home from Bosnia a USAF veteran, and is finishing a PhD to become a pharmacist. He was on his way to Seattle for a one-day immunization clinic. He said, “If the pharmacist thing doesn’t work out, can I come work for you?” I said, “People on my site would chew you up and spit you out. Lots of them don’t immunize their kids. I don’t either.”

He told me story after story about the stomach-turning literature he reads about the side effects of vaccines. One that is known to cause a child’s digestive system to fold in on itself. One was linked to Failure to Thrive.

He said, “They don’t tell us to stop giving the shot because of terrible side effects and risks. Instead they just tell us to warn people!”

He talked about observing Teflon, from cookware, built up in the crevices of intestines, in the cadavers he’s worked with.

He told me that he’s never seen people in worse health than the Clinical Nutrition professors he has studied under. I said, “Did anyone talk about plant food? The China Study? Raw food, enzymes?” He said, “Nope. I think they teach that in dietetics.” I said, “Nope, they don’t teach it there either.”

Rich bemoaned the way “they” keep adjusting the BMI chart, where “ideal body weight” range gets smaller and smaller–and the overweight and obese ranges get bigger and bigger. This is a big deal for pharmacists because dosing is based on weight. If you’re overweight, you always get higher doses.

There’s no joy in his acceptance of his future, now that he’s this far into a profession the U.S. military has invested a lot of money in, and he has invested a lot of time in.

He doesn’t want to do it. I know, since we were kids together, that he’s a math and science genius. But he wants to do something good with his education, and can’t get excited about injecting babies, little kids, and old people with toxins, bacteria, and heavy metals.

p.s. to yesterday’s blog

I had this phone convo with my dad yesterday:

Me: Dad, remember how you sprayed pesticides in your grampa’s cherry orchard when you worked for him, and a few times you got sprayed right in the face with no mask?

Dad: Sweetheart, I got sprayed many, many times in the face, not a few. Occasionally I’d tie a bandana around my face, but then I’d get hot and take it off and end up with chemicals in my face AGAIN.

[He tells a long story about how his uncle was once adjusting a nozzle and turned, as the pesticide was in a solid, high-pressure stream, and hit my dad in the face when Dad’s mouth was open. He swallowed lots of it.]

Me: Wow. Okay, I was thinking the pesticide was Malathion. No?

Dad: Well, we did use Malathion. But no, the main ones we used were DDT and Parathion. Both of them have been banned for many years.

[Side note: The muckraking book Silent Spring linked DDT to massive human endocrine damage as well as wildlife devastation. The resurgence of the near-extinct bald eagle is linked to DDT being pulled from the market in approximately 1970, and the uproar over the chemical gave rise to today’s environmentalist movement.]

Dad: All that pesticide I breathed and swallowed and soaked through my skin, for years, is the reason your mom thinks I’m gonna die before I turn 70.

Me: No you’re not! I need you around until you’re at least 90.

Dad: Well, the life my dad is living isn’t a life I really want. And my mother’s side….nobody lived to 60!

[He goes sideways with a long story about my grampa, 91 and senile, a recovered alcoholic/chain smoker who lives in a rest home. My brother Glen, named after my grampa, called him on his 90th birthday and said, “Hi Grampa, I’m Glen Openshaw, your grandson.” And my grampa said, “Glen Openshaw?! That’s MY name!”]

Me: You should read the China Study, about how cancer can be turned on or off depending on the fuel you choose to eat. Your heredity doesn’t doom you. Neither does toxicity exposure. Eat lots of plant food, okay Dad? Especially greens.

Dad: I have taken a lot of supplements and done a lot of detox to eliminate heavy metals. And yes, I eat a LOT of greens. Your mom makes green smoothies that you could cut with a knife. But yesterday the one she made was so good, I had seconds. Today I ate a huge salad at Texas Roadhouse Grill.

Me: Go you! Better than a steak! And, just add water to that smoothie.

Dad: The two guys I was with had a steak.

Me: Just one of the reasons you’re my hero, Dad. You go out to eat with GUYS, to a STEAKHOUSE of all places, and you order a salad! You’re the bomb.

[My dad then tells me about how he has questioned God for a long time about why He allows someone like my Grampa to far outlive his ability to progress. Dad believes it’s so that all the people who interact with Grampa get an opportunity to prove who they are, with the way they treat him. For instance, the night employee at the rest home, who can choose to sit and watch TV, or provide love and care when no one is watching, to a lonely old man who doesn’t appear to know the difference.]

I thought about that all day. My dad is so dang cool.