Dear GreenSmoothieGirl: How much weight should I gain in my pregnancy? I want to eat whole foods—but should I do it while I’m pregnant? Video answer here:
Dear GreenSmoothieGirl: How much weight should I gain in my pregnancy? I want to eat whole foods—but should I do it while I’m pregnant? Video answer here:
I have been studying a massive amount of information in the past few months about over 80,000 toxic chemicals and metals in our environment. Where they come from, what they do to us, how to avoid them, and how to get rid of them. Food (especially meat/dairy and processed foods), cosmetics, clothes, furniture and paint and carpet, water, air, dental and medical procedures, and more.
I’m doing this for a few reasons. First, I just finished an 8-page paper on the effects on your health of far infrared sauna treatment. I’ve been using mine every day, plus taking fulvic acid, to bring metals and chemicals out. I want them gone, and in my hyper-focus on toxicity lately, I find myself undertaking new, good habits to get as clean as possible. I need my energy and health so I can take my mission further, harder. I go 100 miles an hour and I don’t want to slow down!
I keep encountering more information about how chemical toxicity in our cells impedes weight loss. I can’t imagine that it doesn’t cut both ways, impeding your ability to arrive at your optimal weight, whatever direction that needs to go, up or down.
Second, I’m developing a detox program. I joined Tera in hers last year, but I concluded that I wanted a harder-hitting, information-dense, educational cleanse that would educate you while giving you measurable results. (If you’re going to suppress calories, might as well be getting healthier at the same time that you’re getting thinner!)
I’d hoped to kick it off right after New Year’s, but I keep getting more ambitious with it so we won’t be ready. Much like I did with 12 Steps to Whole Foods, I’m synthesizing all the best texts and best practices in detoxification and disease risk minimization. All boiled down into one 21-day program. It’s a food-elimination program to test your food sensitivities / allergies. It’s a kidney cleanse. It’s a colon cleanse. And it’s a liver and gall bladder flush as well. You can do it with us once, or join for life and do it twice a year. We’ll have expert phone calls every night with fabulous content, you’ll be assigned a “detox buddy” to be accountable to, if you don’t bring your own, and you’ll know exactly what to do and eat every day.
The manual holds your hand, answers common questions, educates you in the briefest way about what products you’re using that are toxic and what the alternatives are. It gives you recipes to get through an effective cleanse, using food, either at a newbie’s pace, or a more advanced one for those already “initiated” who eat pretty clean and have detoxed before. There will be a fully medically supported option—I am talking to a few docs who have published in the arena of cleansing, and will pick one to work with. You’ll know exactly why you’re doing each part of the detox.
My point is, purging fat cells (and organs) of the chemicals they’ve been storing for years is something that cannot be neglected in any effort to change your weight–up or down. Did you know that thin people can be fat inside? That’s right—a study I read about three years ago found that many people who are normal weight have organs marbled with fat, which is far more dangerous than fat held in adipose tissue under the skin, the kind we can see. People who work out regularly, who are visibly overweight, have much lower morbidity, that normal-weight people who don’t exercise and are internally “fat.”
So fat can’t necessarily be thin……but thin can be fat!
And no matter how much whole plant foods some people eat, and no matter how many chemicals they eliminate, those who have a damaged gastrointestinal tract can’t fully utilize nutrition. Another element that absolutely must be addressed is healing the gut. Because of many years of a wretched diet, you might have an inflamed digestive system in serious need of some rehab. Many underweight people fall in this category.
That rehab is done by eliminating dairy and gluten for a time and learning to eat probiotic-rich foods to build up an army of healthy microorganisms to protect and defend the lining of the stomach, intestines, and colon.
Can’t wait to share more with you about detoxification, one of my major projects of 2012. I am very excited about it and the potential to help people get better, rise above their health problems.
Gain weight the right way….I hate when a young mom tells me her pediatrician told her to feed her underweight baby lots of candy, ice cream, butter, and fried food. So then you’ll have a baby with more body fat who is ill and damaged in many ways, with tastes set to junk food. How is that useful? Take the time to find ways to get higher-calorie WHOLE PLANT FOODS in your diet if you are truly malnourished. The plant kingdom is VAST. With a little creativity and dedication, it can provide weight loss, weight gain, whatever you need.
But some of the uber-thin are actually not digesting food and are quite unhealthy. They might be eating as much junk as the overweight people are, but because of chronic gut issues, they are not absorbing nutrition—not even calories, but certainly not minerals and many vitamins as well.
Last week after a tennis match, both my doubles opponents wanted to ask me questions while my teammates waited in the car. One of them told me about her daughter-in-law, who is in her 20’s, but exhausted, pale, sick, and underweight. She has open, pus-oozing sores all over her head that are stuck to her pillow in the morning. My opponent said to me, “She’s trying to heal with steroids–luckily her father is a doctor.”
I withheld my opinion on most of that, but I did say, “Steroids heal exactly nothing. What they do is suppress some symptoms, only temporarily, while knocking out the immune system.”
If you want to gain weight, eat healthy, exactly like I’m teaching in 12 Steps, with an emphasis on higher-calorie whole foods. Not dead, denatured, refined-oil, If you want to boost protein, do it with vegan protein powder, and high-protein unprocessed plant foods like legumes and nuts rather than animal products like meat, eggs, and cheese.
Boost your good fats, with avocadoes, nuts, seeds, and unprocessed oils like coconut oil, extra virgin olive oil, flax crackers (Ch. 7), etc. Avocadoes might be nature’s most perfect food, so eat 2-3 a day if you want, as guacamole or in sandwiches. Eat lots of young Thai coconut meat–make it into pudding, smoothies, chocolate mousse, ice cream. Make yourself a 4th meal, between breakfast and lunch, or after dinner, that is a high-calorie protein shake with lots of almond butter and raw chocolate and frozen bananas! Make kefir or yogurt (Ch. 8) with whole, organic, preferably unpasteurized goat or dairy milk. Freeze it in ice cube trays and make frozen yogurt with it in your BlendTec. Eat a handful of Brazil nuts every day—great selenium as well as good fats and calories.
Don’t forget to eat a big bowl of GRANOLA for breakfast—I have a baked recipe as well as a live/sprouted recipe (both delicious, but the raw/live one is more time-intensive but the most delicious thing ever). If you make the baked one, add a big spoonful of raw pumpkin or sunflower seeds, soaked overnight.
Britni, do you have the 101 Healthy Lunches book? I love a baked potato (with the skin) with tons of garlic aioli sauce on it, yummy. Plus a big green smoothie, and put some flax oil in his. You can get plenty of calories without resorting to meat, dairy, or processed foods. There are coconut-milk frozen desserts (sweetened with agave) that your husband will love. Or you can make your own (see Ch. 11).
Of course, food isn’t the only issue when it comes to weight loss or gain. It’s the biggest one, but there are two other biggies. About that, tomorrow.
We’re just back from a whirlwind tour speaking in Boise, Kennewick, Portland, and Seattle in just over 48 hours! (Photo is in Kennewick.) Besides a stop along the Oregon coast to buy an armload of the most fabulous blueberries that have ever been in my mouth, we SAW nothing and DID nothing besides teach and drive, teach and drive!
In Portland, I met Michael, who was officially the ONLY person who raised his hand to say he does NOT need any weight loss, energy, or better digestion, because he’s operating at peak performance. He sometimes does bike races where he cycles 150 miles in a day, and he’s a tap dancer.
And he is 70 YEARS OLD.
The audience wanted to know: what are you doing? (When we die, we all want to go out, late in the 9th inning, flipping a light switch, right? Sorry I just mixed my metaphors. We don’t wanna go out on a dimmer switch for 10 to 30 years like so many people around us are doing!)
Michael’s been vegan 25 years. Raw 15 years. Green smoothies 3 years. (OF COURSE!) Sure wish we’d gotten a video with Michael, another example of who I want to be when I grow up, before we tore out the door to Seattle. (The last person who raised her hand for that question was about 2,000 people and 8 classes ago, in Denver: a 65-year old kayaker….she’s a raw foodist, too.)
Occasionally I meet someone like an ex-BF of mine, D., who is hands-down the handsomest man I’ve ever dated. He eats a burger and fries for lunch every day, always chicken or beef for dinner, and drinks 64 oz. of Dr. Pepper every day. (He did read my book and take up the GS habit.) He took Trazadone to sleep and combat anxiety (and still doesn’t sleep), and two “Vitamin P” (his name for Percocet) to get through a tennis match. (And then he could barely walk for two days.) But to look at him? Movie-star good looks. Very fit and toned despite getting very little exercise and terribly painful arthritis.
But D. is an anomaly. A freak of nature. Once I read that Heather Locklear will not eat anything green, hates vegetables. She’s a freak too.
Let’s talk about the rest of us, the 99.9%. We have to take very good care of our organism or it all goes to Hades.
For the most part, when I talk to people in my extensive travels, what you SEE is what you ate. Our fuel becomes us. If we eat lots of raw plant foods, we look alive, positive energies, attractive. If we eat toxic, dead fuel, we look aged, haggard, grey.
Don’t you love K’Lynne’s “after” photo? Meeting people like Michael who are kicking trash at the age of 70, and the 65-year old kayaker lady, make me feel so much mojo for this mission I’m on. Because it shows up in how you LOOK as much as how you FEEL.
Another of my strategies is that I’m not afraid to skip a meal. I never, ever miss breakfast. And at lunch, because I always work out in the morning, I’m ravenously hungry. I don’t skip that either. But I often skip dinner, probably once a week on average. If I’ve had a big, late lunch, or a big late afternoon snack. Or if I’ve got a couple pounds to lose. It’s so good for your body to give it a rest.
I make sure I have at least a quart of green smoothie made FIRST THING IN THE MORNING. Then it’s made, so I’ll be sure to drink it since I’m not going to let it go to waste. And about 1 or 2 days a week, I have nothing for dinner except a green smoothie.
I go to bed hungry occasionally. Your body gets used to it. Your digestive system needs intermittent rests. (Don’t do this night after night, though.) It works best on a night that I’m really busy. If you’re really that hungry that you can’t sleep, eat a apple or banana (the magnesium in a banana will help you sleep). Or eat a big spoonful of chia seeds and chase it with a big glass of water. (It fills you up, for 40 calories and outstanding protein and nutrition.)
So, my second tip:
2. Skip dinner one or two days a week as needed, or have nothing but a quart of green smoothie. Have a day or two a week where you drink TWO quarts of green smoothie instead of one.
I virtually never eat after dinner, and I really try to avoid eating dinner late. (Eating late is only necessary occasionally because of a social situation.)
I drink a ton of water, most of it in the first half of the day. It helps your metabolism in countless ways. I drink a pint of water first thing, when I wake up. I don’t drink water with meals, but when I begin to feel just the tiniest big hungry, I drink a glass of water. Then I wait 20 minutes to eat a meal. That way the water is purifying, rather than being mixed with food and diluting gastric juices.
3. Don’t eat late at night.
4. Drink a ton of water.
I also never snack on sugar or processed foods by themselves. If I DO eat those foods, I don’t do it more than once a day and I do it only after a really good, 80%+ raw meal.
5. Don’t eat sugar/dead foods alone, only after a high-raw meal, and not more than once a day.
Finally, and this is a weird one, wear form-fitting clothes. ALL the time, even when you’re at home. The fastest way to lose track of how much weight you’re gaining is to do the baggy-sweats thing. Big, elastic-waist pants is you saying to yourself, “I’ve given up. Now I’m going to hide!”
They don’t have to be uncomfortable. On a day I’m working at home, in front of my PC, nobody’s around, like right now? I wear bike shorts or low-rise spandex pants and a very fitted t-shirt. If I’m up a couple of pounds, I’m annoying myself and I get serious about changing that situation.
6. Dress a little bit sexy. Even when there’s no one to impress but yourself, wear things that won’t let you get away with anything.
(Notice I said A LITTLE BIT. Please take this in the spirit it is intended, which isn’t to be provocative; it’s to wear things that keep you aware of any gradual onset of weight.) I never count calories, and I rarely get on a scale. This Strategy #6 keeps me honest.
You already know that keys to maintain a healthy weight are to rarely (if ever) eat animal proteins (and never processed meat), exercise regularly, and eat abundantly of whole, raw plant foods.
But these are my quirky, “works for me” habits that I believe lead to stable weight on the low end of the weight chart. I will be on a quest to learn more of these secrets that have served healthy people well, over a lifetime. Share your own tips here!
I yo-yo like everybody else. (Women can gain and lose 4 lbs. in a week, simply from hormone changes within a cycle and accompanying water retention.) But I yo-yo within a 5-lb. variation. A year ago I dropped 7 lbs., and quickly, because of some stresses in my life. That is highly unusual, though.
I will tell you the things that work for me. Not that I think they’re the ONLY things, nor even that they’ll work for YOU. But they might help some people.
Have you read Malcolm Gladwell’s The Tipping Point? Sometimes, I really believe, a very small shift in thinking, or a small shift in behavior, can put you over the tipping point. Perhaps a new little way of doing something could make a difference for you in managing your weight. Dropping whatever extra pounds you’re carrying, and staying there for life. That makes sense, since drinking one can of soda a day means a 15-lb. annual weight gain, or obesity within 2 years. On both the negative and positive ends, SMALL THINGS ARE BIG THINGS!
I’m going to record a free online event where I interview 30 Famous Skinny People and get their Healthy Weight Loss Tips. It will take a us a while to produce. If you know someone I should interview with a big name on the internet or anywhere else, who has great control over her weight and is rather verbal and articulate, write KRISTIN@GREENSMOOTHIEGIRL.COM.
My mom is my original inspiration when it comes to a woman who respects and values her body and limits weight fluctuations to a reasonable five pounds. (I know super-neurotic women who obsess, fret, tell everyone they know when they’re 2 lbs. over their “ideal” weight. This is, to me, not living a balanced life. Plus nobody likes you when you do that. Since almost everyone else is way more than 2 lbs. over their “ideal.”)
My mother isn’t a supermodel and has her flaws, was kind of your standard Mormon mom, except for one thing: she was never overweight. As she was raising 8 kids, she did the basics: broke a sweat every day, and ate whole foods and very little processed food. She did have her closet foods. With 8 kids, any “treat” food you buy is gonna be GONE. She used to hide yogurt-covered almonds in her closet. (She wasn’t one of those super-human, uber-disciplined people none of us can relate to. Neither am I…I love chocolate!)
But, two really cool things. One, she never talked about not liking her body. Two, she didn’t change clothes endlessly and agonize over how she looked and denigrate herself with “I’m fat” comments.
Consequently, that stuff didn’t rub off on me. Until I was a teenager, I didn’t learn that part of what it means to be a girl, in this culture, is to put myself down and swing wildly from thin-to-fat, bingeing and dieting. (There was plenty of that to observe from my peers, in high school, college, and beyond.)
However, if my mom ate too much all day Sunday, on a fun family day, she ate strictly minimally and healthy the next day. If she ate too much for two days, she ate really well for 2 or more days until her weight was back to normal.
My mom didn’t “diet” and neither do I. So, here’s my first tip:
1. Get control before you’ve gained more than 5 lbs. If you keep thinking , “I’ll worry about this next spring,” or “I’ll go on a diet next month,” you are choosing to create a crisis rather than a mild, rather painless correction.
Five more tips, tomorrow.