Texas, part 4 of 7: Video with Cancer Survivor Shelly in San Antonio

Kristin and I got up early and went for a long run on the River Walk. I said to her, “Why don’t we live here?” I always say that, when we discover stuff like how there are bike trails all around Denver, or it’s warm all winter in Mesa, or there’s a health-food store on every other corner in California.

Then when we were packing up after our class at a beautiful church out in the woods, we got in the car and it was full of…..mosquitoes! Ahhhh. THAT’S why we don’t live here. We slapped ourselves silly on the drive to Houston and escaped with, oh, only a dozen mosquito bites apiece or so?

My favorite thing about Southerners is their openness—not just to us, but to each other. I remarked to Kristin later that what struck me about all my Texas classes, but especially Houston, was that I’d be talking to someone about a problem she was having, and the person behind her in line would poke into the convo and say, “I can help you with that.”

For instance, a 26-y.o. woman who just completed treatment for ovarian cancer, bald and swollen from steroids, wants to eat whole, raw plant foods. But she’s on disability income. I talked to her about joining a co-op and the woman behind her in line said, “I’ll tell you exactly where the co-ops are–let’s talk.”

The community that builds around the movement we’re in warms my heart. I love seeing GSG readers form co-ops for the group buy. These things, as I write in the Intro to 12 Steps, are more valuable than just hooking up with resources. The women I met early in my search for answers were my teachers, my guiding stars. I learned so much from Charlene Stott, Brenda Corbridge, Gwen Lund. Now I stand on my own two feet, but I see them around town and I feel great affection for them.

Talking to Shelley really made my day. She’s not only recovering from breast cancer and chemotherapy by embracing antioxidant-rich foods, but she’s had some other exciting “side effects” of nutrition treatments, which has flowed to her young-adult son. Watch my very short video with her:

Making fun of Green Smoothie Moms, for your laugh of the day

Do you watch Kid History? Brett Roberts is a neighbor of ours here in Lindon, Utah, and the Roberts family is such a sensation I heard they’ve moved away to make a real show of what was a just-for-fun YouTube lark. They’ve just made Episode 6 featuring their lovably wackadoo, health-nut mom and GREEN SMOOTHIES. Enjoy it HERE!

My kids constantly quote Kid History and watch the episodes over and over, so maybe you can be cool and introduce your kids to it. Someday, you might find yourself fortunate enough to be the butt of your adult kids’ jokes. Because you brewed nasty cultured stuff in your pantry while their friends’ moms were supplying them an endless supply of stale Red Vines. Because you sell them in a sing-songy voice on the virtues of glasses of green goo you want them to drink.

(Once my six brothers, my sister and I made a movie years ago called “What About BobDad.” It’s our effort to cram as many of my dad’s one-liners and idiosyncracies into 20 minutes as possible. My brother Spencer was a dead ringer for BobDad—complete with baseball hat perched on his head, obsession with Shoe Goo, a one-liner for everything—Academy Award stuff, really.)

If your kids leverage your earthy crunchy ways in a highly public and humiliating way? Just act grumpy, purse your lips, and say, “I’ll be happy to accept a royalty check for the excellent health that enabled you to make those videos!” Pretty sure that’s what my mom would do.

Fermenting foods: it’s freaking me out!

Dear GreenSmoothieGirl: I really like the idea of adding the Rejuvelac as my green smoothie base, but I’m honestly totally freaked out to leave something perishable on my countertop in an unsealed container for several days. What are the chances that “bad bacteria” get in there and make me sick? I really appreciate any feedback you have. It sounds like a great opportunity to make green smoothies do even more for me, but I can’t get over the initial concept. –Grace

Answer: Grace, I think it might help if I explain the concept a bit more. Fermented foods are part of your diet already, if you eat yogurt or sauerkraut, or even beer. The manufacturer had to let it sit at room temperature for a time, to grow the cultures.

Also, before refrigeration, human beings had a stronger inner terrain and microbes rarely harmed them. Of course, now we have antibiotics that have seriously damaged most people’s balance of beneficial microorganisms colonizing the digestive tract. We also have refined foods weakening us, and few, if any, cultured foods strengthening us. We now seem to believe that killing a couple million of the billions of microscopic critters around us will somehow do the trick.

It’s a weird modern concept that everything we eat has to be sterilized—ancient peoples lived amongst billions of organisms very peacefully for thousands of years. So maybe our food is sterilized, fumigated, pasteurized, irradiated…..but there are billions of organisms everywhere ELSE (which makes the antibiotic wipes a pointless waste of money).

So, it feels unnatural to you but only because of our strange modern traditions, and the fact that we’ve gotten away from eating foods that nurture our gut’s need for healthy colonization. Just ONE course of antibiotics can change the gut’s internal terrain forever.

Every culture of the world eats cultured foods. Some chew up a food and spit it, with their saliva, into an earthen pot, and drink it a week later. (I won’t be teaching you those methods, don’t worry.) There are literally hundreds of types of cultured foods, in traditional / indigenous peoples, and in people who have not completely adopted processed diets.

The most complete and well known work on this concept is Sally Fallon’s Nourishing Traditions, which has some good info but advocates for lots of meat and dairy and a very rich diet. My 12 Steps to Whole Foods program deals with it in a condensed way in Ch. 8 and uses what I feel are a do-able, moderate amount of probiotic foods that do not require us to purchase $10/lb. animal parts. My work focuses on culturing vegetables, optionally some raw, antibiotic- and hormone-free milk, or coconut liquid. (I now culture my coconut liquid before using it in Hot Pink Breakfast Smoothie).

My blog on 9/15 talks about learning vicariously through others—the examples I gave were learning from others’ health disasters. But you can learn from my health victories, too. Does it help you to know that I have had a quart or a half gallon of raw kefir, or yogurt, or coconut kefir, or sprouts, or Rejuvelac, or sauerkraut, on my counter, pretty much every day of my life for the past 17 years? We have had zero instances of problems, illness, food poisoning.

It also helps if you understand the process of how food has historically been preserved. You can preserve foods a few ways. One, drying it to dramatically slow oxidation, which often involves lots of salt. Two, can it by killing all its lifeforce (enzymes and vitamins) so that there’s very little to oxidize, and then sealing it against air and bacteria. Third, utilizing lactobacillus and other beneficial organisms and lactic acid to break down the proteins and preserve the food (fermenting).

The way I make sauerkraut (see Ch. 8 of 12 Steps) is that the unrefined salt preserves it for a few days while the (slower) lactic acid begins to take over. I have two-year old raw sauerkraut (that I preserved with whey from my yogurt/kefir) that has been unsealed (but covered tightly with a lid) that we are still eating. It’s too soft, and it’s better, texture-wise, at six months old. But it’s preserved, and the healthy bacteria help my family stay healthy.

It might help to address the semantics. The word “fermented” has a negative connotation. (Although beer drinkers who wouldn’t be caught dead eating fermented vegetables drink PLENTY of fermentation.) When you think of fermented, do you think of ROTTEN? We aren’t eating any rotten foods at my house. We could mentally replace that word with a much nicer one: cultured!

So, don’t eat fermented foods. Eat cultured ones!

If “bad” bacteria gets into your cultured foods and makes them “go bad,” you will know. They will taste bad and/or mold. I have almost never had this happen. Once it happened with a bottle of sauerkraut. Never with kefir or Rejuvelac.

My Rejuvelac ferments in a day. At CHI, they told me 3-5 days, but mine tastes plenty tart 24 hours after I blend the sprouts and water, and put it on the counter to grow (aka ferment, aka culture).

Here’s my new video showing this easy, inexpensive habit that has the potential to see you through the winter without viruses or infections!

SUGAR BET!

It’s September 11, 2011.

Today Matthew and I make a bet that we will pay an astonishing sum of money to each other, if we eat sugar anytime in the next year. (He has been texting me, “OMG! There’s sugar in my SOUP! It’s in Corn Nuts!” On and on goes the list.) Check out this video for the details.

Making a Sugar Bet keeps you accountable.

We negotiated for what natural sweeteners we’ll allow:

Not allowed: white sugar, brown sugar, corn syrup, aspartame (Nutrasweet)

Allowed: real maple syrup, molasses, organic/raw agave, raw coconut sugar, dates, fruit, stevia, raw honey

JOIN US, and find yourself a partner! Make a sugar bet. State your intention here! What is your length of time, and what do you lose if you eat sugar? Matthew wanted to have shooting each other in the butt with his BB gun, or eating silkworm larvae, or zapping each other wearing a shock collar, part of the deal. He’s kinda odd like that; his colleagues and he do this all the time to accomplish their goals. But even if you’re not motivated by fear of physical pain like he is (I said NO), say yes to an amount of money that blows your mind, whether that’s $50 or $500 or $50,000. That will keep you motivated.

Because sugar is the Nice Girl’s Crack Cocaine.

I am giving it up because it’s my only vice. I don’t eat fast food, soda, fried foods, or chemicals. Not that I eat it very often, but I do have a thing for chocolate. I go “off sugar” completely, often–for weeks or even a few months. And what sugar I DO eat is an unrefined kind from the health food store, usually, eaten only after a mostly-raw meal—but it’s still a concentrated sweetener I’d be better off without.

I want this challenge, to see what happens if I literally NEVER eat it for a whole year.

I’ll be blogging about what happens to us, as we go through the year, here.

Tell us about your own Sugar Bet, and come BACK to give us updates! You can remember where to find it because it’s on this blog on the historic date of 9/11/11! (Plus this blog is searchable.)

Tell ALL your friends about your Sugar Bet so you’re not tempted in social settings. Tell everyone you know, to keep you honest.

I’m excited to hear what your specific, detailed health benefits are, as you kick the habit. Read the seminal book The Sugar Blues by William Dufty, for some education and motivation as you start your journey away from addiction!

Creative Health Institute, part 3 of 5

Here’s a video of Ed and me. He makes a living selling processed food, and he came to CHI because his mom paid for it and told him to go. He had no idea what he was getting himself into. I told him, “That’s because if she told you about the wheat grass implant, you wouldn’t have agreed!” He acknowledged this is likely the reason. That said, he’s glad he did.

I’m always looking for easy preventative nutrition habits that enrich my life and keep me well. I have MANY years of spreading my message, raising my kids, spoiling grand- and great-grandchildren, seeing the world, and tennis, biking, and skiing left to do! My takeaways, from CHI, for my permanent lifestyle so I look and act as young as Madeleine 23 years from now? Two new things:

First, I am going to add Rejuvelac to my habits. My first batch is just finished and sitting on the counter. It’s so easy, extremely inexpensive, and a habit I’ve decided is worth my time. Soak a cup of soft white wheat berries (or quinoa) in water overnight. Rinse and drain it twice a day, covered, for 2 days. Blend it with 8 cups water and let it sit, covered with a tea towel or in a jar with a mesh lid, several days. Then refrigerate it in jars and drink 2 glasses a day. I was a little afraid of it at CHI, but the taste isn’t strong and I acclimated quickly.

Madeleine had a fabulous idea that I use it instead of water in the base of my green smoothies. I might as well—it’ll put probiotics in the smoothie and my kids won’t even notice.

Second, I’m going to start rebounding again. I have a rebounder in my bedroom that I haven’t used in a long time. It’s so incredibly great to move lymph fluids–nothing else really compares. The lymph system is something we take for granted and rarely talk or think about, but if your blood delivers the groceries, the lymph system takes out the garbage. Even a few minutes a day is helpful, and add some lymphatic massage and EFT tapping during that same few minutes.

You’re wondering about this “wheat grass implant” business. It seems foreign at first, and some of the people at my session had NO idea what they were getting themselves into. The three-bag enema cleans anything out of your colon, and then you put 8 oz. of wheat grass into your colon with the enema bag. Best if you can KEEP it in. It is powerfully detoxifying, and it travels that rectal vein very quickly to the liver and cleanses it and opens the ducts for that all-important release of many toxins directly into the colon for elimination. This is a tough one to add to an everyday routine, but a week of wheat-grass juice implants, once a year, is a powerful preventative.

Tomorrow I’ll talk about people I met at CHI and how they’ve impacted my life and studies.