Bonnie writes us about emphysema and green smoothies

I met Bonnie at my lecture near Baltimore. What a delight she is, a caretaker to her husband with emphysema. We got this email from her. (And I love to read the stories you send my way, so keep sending them!) Bonnie told me she knows diet won’t “cure” emphysema. I said, “But what if it gives you more years with Bob, and he was happier and healthier?”

I think you’ll enjoy this letter Bonnie wrote as our East-Coast friends hunkered down to get through the hurricane:

As I wait for Hurricane Sandy to slam into the east coast, I have been reading The Green Smoothies Diet.  I attended Robyn’s seminar/class last week in Edgewood, Maryland. I had the great pleasure of meeting Robyn after the class. What a warm and sweet spirit!

Since that night I have read 12 Steps To Whole Foods, given up anything containing aspartame (including my 6-pack-a-day diet gingerale addiction), and added sufficient water to my daily life.

I have begun to purge our kitchen of processed foods and anything containing MSG. I was already on the green smoothie train. I have added Steps 2, 3, and 4 from 12 Steps to Whole Foods to my life.

I talked with Robyn about my 3-year journey down from almost 300 pounds through Overeater’s Anonymous. I am no longer on the 100-pound roller coaster I have ridden for most of my life. God has allowed me to release 88 pounds. (I say “released” because saying “lost” implies I am going to look for them.)

God has led me from bingeing and food compulsion, to green smoothies and whole foods, towards health and well being.

There was a time when I would eat 4+ fast-food “meal deals” on my way to or from work.  I would then look for somewhere to throw away the trash so no one would know.  Food was my cocaine….my drug of choice.

Now God has brought me to this new phase of my life.  He did not do this just for me, but also for my husband who has advanced emphysema.  His diet consisted of sugar, pasta, beef and junk.  Why? Because those white flour / sugar products are SOFT.  It is difficult for him to chew, swallow, and breathe.  Eating salad was a major challenge for him.

He had his first green smoothie about 6 weeks ago, and every day since.  His favorite right now is the Hot Pink Breakfast Smoothie. He is virtually off sugar except for us Uncrustables each morning because they’re easy to chew. But he used to have 4 every morning with coffee.

Tomorrow morning I plan to make him a PBJ sandwich using peanut butter powder mixed with coconut water, 2 tablespoons of raw organic coconut oil, on Italian bread. Baby steps! Whole-grain bread will soon make an appearance.

Robyn is teaching me how to make the quality of Bob’s life so much better.  His coloring is no longer gray and sallow.  His skin is pink and his eyes are bright.  I am seeing him get back his sense of humor along with his appetite.  He does not have the constant hacking cough that plagued him all the time. He still coughs, but it is immeasurably better. I think his body was full of inflammation that is being cleared with nutrition. We will not “cure” the emphysema, but we can certainly make the body that houses those terribly damaged lungs a better place for him to live. If this gives us a few more years with a better quality of life for Bob, that’s another blessing in this journey.

As a side note, my carpal tunnel is almost gone in my right hand.  I had surgery for carpal tunnel in my left hand last year, and actually had surgery scheduled for my right hand earlier this year. Life events caused me to cancel the surgery. Thank God! I have (had) severe arthritis in my left thumb that the specialist wants to operate on to rebuild the joint. The pain in the base of my thumb is virtually gone.

I reach out to anyone who asks about what Robyn calls a “gateway drug”—green smoothies.  Okay, I’ll be honest—people don’t really need to ask. I find myself telling total strangers about green smoothies.

I talked with two people yesterday in a grocery store packed with people prepping for Hurricane Sandy, and gave them the website address so they could get more info.  There are five people in my office who have now progressed from the NutriBullet (gateway equipment) to the Blendtec and green smoothies for themselves and their families.

Robyn is on a mission, and the seeds she plants are growing in so many ways, but growing in the same direction toward health and a new happiness with life.  I see my husband and people around me changing…sprouted seeds.

I think Bob may be concerned about power failure in the storm more because the Blendtec needs electricity than for his oxygen concentrator! He says he has backup oxygen tanks, but no backup for the Blendtec.

God richly bless each of you for the work you do.  You have a special place in my heart and in my prayers each day.  You will hear from me down the road to let you know how this is changing our lives.

Bonnie Kauffman

Seven reasons not to drink soda…..part 1 of 2

I watch the addiction of a few people close to me, to soda. One of my closest friends drinks it every day and calls it her “binky.” She kicks the habit but always goes back—because when she quits diet soda, she finds herself taking up sugar. Another tells me he is not addicted but seems to be in denial. I see him drink it 2 or 3 times a day. I’m not saying this to judge—just to express my concern, because soda is not food. It’s toxic acid.

One of my tennis teammates is 70 years old, athletic and quick and has never been overweight. One of the Jackson brothers, two local osteopathic surgeons, told her regarding a surgery they were planning related to her arthritis, “If you are going to drink soda after the surgery, I won’t do it. It will just quickly undo my work.”

If you drink soda, you can virtually guarantee that you will have arthritis by age 50. (Both my parents, nearing 70, have “bone on bone” arthritis problems, and neither of them drink soda.)

Oh, and guess what. I don’t care how young you are—50 is coming up faster than you think! If you’re 25 and think that when you’re 50, you’re washed up and don’t care about anything anyway (I thought this when I was 25)…..well, you’re wrong. When you’re 50, you love your life, you want lots more of it, you care about how you look, you’re a sexual person, and you have lots of goals. (For some reason, 5 years from that age myself right now, I feel the need to tell 20-somethings to care more about their future! I wish I had! I wish I didn’t eat so much sugar in my 20’s and get so much sun.)

I wonder if seven sobering facts about accelerated aging and disease risk from drinking soda would help any of my friends—including you?—kick the habit? Share this with anyone you know who loves the burn of carbonation—or is addicted to the caffeine rush—or maybe both.

I’ve been quizzing my readers who talk to me at classes about their soda addiction. I ask them what they like about it, and carbonation is a major answer. Try drinking kombucha from the health food store once a day instead. Synergy brand is most popular. Or if you need the caffeine boost and haven’t gotten your nutrition to the level where it sustains you, rather than needing the caffeine kick, drink an unsweetened, or stevia-sweetened bottled green tea from the health food store.

Tomorrow, the 7 reasons…..

Reversing Crohn’s disease

I saw this post from Melanie yesterday, in response to an old blog of mine. I thought it warranted front-and-center attention. It’s especially on my mind after a convo after my Lehi, UT class last night with a mother of a young (20-ish) Crohn’s patient who eats no fiber.

That’s the problem with Crohn’s patients, is that high-fiber foods are what they desperately need, and also what irritates their inflamed gut tissues. I’ve reconsidered my statement that Crohn’s is difficult to turn around after talking to a few docs in recent months who say with proper treatment, Crohn’s is one of the easier conditions to treat. I am not a practitioner, and I recommend sufferers get competent, EXPERIENCED, holistic help—such as from Dr. Gaetano Morello in Vancouver, who works with people remotely via phone.

Here’s what Melanie had to say, which folks with this and other inflammatory gut diseases may find encouraging:

“I just wanted to comment on your comment about Crohn’s disease being difficult to reverse with diet. I know in some severe cases, it might be, but I wanted to give a story of success and maybe hope for some people. I was diagnosed with Crohn’s in July of last year. The doctor wrote me a prescription for a steroid and told me to take it INDEFINITELY! I handed her back the prescription, and said “No, this is not going to be my life. I will not take steroids!”

And after two days of intense research and crying, I threw myself head first into a raw, organic, grain-free vegan diet. If it didn’t fall into that category, it didn’t go into my mouth. I lost about 35 lbs. (which I needed to) and within just 2 weeks I was able to go off of both of the prescription meds I was on for the reactive arthritis caused by the inflammation in my body due to the Crohn’s.

Within about a month, all of my Crohn’s symptoms (intestinal cramping, anal fissures, cracked skin on my hands, too frequent bowel movements, hair falling out) were either much lessened or GONE! When I went back for a check-up in October (I had a bet with my doctor – if I wasn’t better by then, steroids it was!), my small bowel series of xrays indicated that I had NO bowel strictures, no inflammation, no irregular fold patterns, no wall thickening!

The doctor said it looks like I’d never had Crohn’s in the first place and that I was in the clear! I will admit that after the ‘all clear’ I thought I could add some things back into my diet – cheese, some fish, rice – and I started getting pain in my joints again. So, now that I eat about 90-95% raw, I am maintaining my good health, and my husband and I are currently trying for baby #2 – something I didn’t think I’d ever be able to have with Crohn’s!”

Thank you for your story, Melanie. Of course, Jordin Rubens (The Maker’s Diet) is a fantastic example of a man who was nearly dead of Crohn’s at 19, and now 20 years later is extremely healthy simple because he changed his diet. I know soil organisms and probiotics had a HUGE place in his healing. Those topics are covered in Step 8 of my 12 Steps to Whole Foods.

Mandy’s doctor says, fastest healing he’s seen!

Mandy didn’t grow back the cartilage in her arthritic knees, eating whole foods last year following my program, to avoid knee surgery. That’s what she was hoping for. But she DID lose 30 lbs. and recover shockingly fast from knee surgery. Watch her tell about it here!

Oh, and next time I go back to Denver, she’s going to set up a Fort Collins class. Can’t wait! Next time the bike rack is going on the back of my car—Kristin and I were so bummed, driving past all the amazing bike trails y’all have in Colorado, and the beautiful Green River through Moab and Aspen areas is calling our name. Spring 2012!

Kala in Boise PUMPS HER FIST (thank you, whole foods diet!)

Do you know what it’s like to be trapped in a quagmire of health problems that seem insurmountable, requiring lots of pharmaceuticals? I talk to tons of people who describe the life they’ve lost–in my internet world and travels.

Kala in Boise (one of the three readers who put that event together) has been doing 12 Steps to Whole Foods since January and is escaping the ravages of arthritis and Pharma-Hell! She told us her story on this little video:

Mary kicks white carbs to the curb!

Dear GreenSmoothieGirl:

I sent you my story of healing over the past six years. I hope you received it. [From Robyn: I didn’t. ??]

Just want to add that if I eat no “white” nor alcohol, I have no inflammation, i.e., pain, in my body. I have fibromyalgia and arthritis, and went from being bed-ridden to EVERYONE thinking I am fifty, when I am now 71.

What I am now doing for over 3 years (smoothie every AM and vegetables, fruits and whole grains) is reversing age. My hair is losing the gray, I feel 19 and have so much to share.

I want a mic and a stage!! No one can “get it” unless they do it. I have gone back into pain and exhaustion when I poisoned my body with some simple carbohydrates. These tests prove that my plan works! I hope you got my story. Just ask and I will email it to you again. Yeast is the result of the sugar from simple carbohydrates, and the yeast inflames the weaker parts of our bodies and is also addictive. Weight is a sub-issue. Health is the issue!

[Mary, please re-send your story!]