The Essential GreenSmoothieGirl Library . . . part 5

These are the last three of my general nutrition Top Shelf. (Then we go on to the best books about CLEANSING, the best books for PARENTS, and the best books on VEGETABLE GARDENING.)   Again, if you want to buy the book, click on it for a link to Amazon.


Steven Arlin’s Raw Power, for anyone who wants to build muscle mass or compete athletically  not eating animal flesh or dairy products.   I’m just a girl, not a true bodybuilder, but I love weight training, and this book long ago helped me  hold my own, strength-wise, with much-younger, carnivorous weightlifting friends.   Arlin has eaten a 100% raw vegan diet for 20 years and would be the biggest guy in most gyms’ free-weight rooms.   His recipes are interesting and unique. (p.s. Those of you blogging here recently about men who need to gain weight, Arlin eats a lot of raw olives, as well as avocadoes, nuts, and coconut.)


William Dufty’s The Sugar Blues was written in the 1950’s in a very provocative and engaging style.   This seminal book is your chance to get up the motivation to kick the sugar habit.   As many nutrition authors have stated, sugar is killing us.   And it’s more addictive than cocaine.   (I’m not telling you anything you don’t already know, am I?)   Even more fascinating is Dufty’s claim that the sugar industry sabotaged his efforts to publish his expose.  


Dr. Edward Howell’s Enzyme Nutrition: The Food Enzyme Concept is a 162-page abridgement of this medical doctor’s lifelong work that originally culminated in a 700-page book with 700 references.   It is an old book, published in 1985, reviewing all the scientific literature from the beginning of the 20th century pointing to enzymes being the most critical element that our diet is now deficient in, as we have strayed from raw foods.   It draws conclusions and postulates scientific theory long before the recent raw-food movement gained any traction. (I am going to do a blog series shortly on what we learn from the studies done on ENZYMES.)

Who you gonna call? Part III: nutrition advice from personal trainers

My friend Cheryl told me at the gym the other day that she got online with a “Virtual Personal Trainer.”   This guy has quite a following here locally and helped a friend of Cheryl’s.  

She  said to the trainer, “I’m trying to be vegan.   Can you help me increase my muscle mass and get more toned?”   (Don’t know why–Cheryl is turning 50 and is a size 3–she’s incredibly fit and looks about 34.)

 He said, “Sure, you can do that, if you’re willing to eat a lot of soy or whey protein powders.”   Cheryl’s pretty educated and knows why BOTH of those are a rotten idea.   If you don’t, see my Nutrition Manifesto Myth #1 on the home page (and my “Soy Is A Health Food” myth is coming soon in  a free e-letter).  

Cheryl told him she didn’t want to eat that stuff.   The trainer told it would be impossible for her to get more toned, then–she simply HAS to eat chicken or fish or protein powders.   One of my personal-trainer friends is eating a 60 PERCENT animal-protein diet right now in preparation for a powerlifting competition!   I spend a lot of time at the gym, and every single trainer I know is pounding the protein bars and powders and slabs of dead animal carcasses (that’s what my vegetarian daughter calls them, lol).

Again, like most medical doctors and dieticians, like the Diet Doctors and Celebrities, personal trainers just aren’t a good source for nutrition information.   The vast majority of them accept the mainstream position wholesale, and the only thing they know about nutrition is to MAXIMIZE PROTEIN.  Thank goodness for that rare M.D. or dietician who does extracurricular homework.   And props to bodybuilders like Jason Ferruggia, Stephen Arlin, and athletes I blogged about last month.  They show you CAN be fit–even huge and ripped, if that’s the goal–eating a plant-based diet.   I’ll run a blog in a couple of days with good stuff from Jason Ferruggia.

 Ask a personal trainer how to lift weights.   Just please don’t ask him what to eat.

Parental responsibilities and rights

You might consider that part of parental responsibilities and rights includes keeping your talk about nutritious food positive, while expecting some reaction to your changes toward good nutrition.Avoid adopting the attitude, as you speak to your kids, that eating good food is a chore to be endured on our way to dessert.

With a little thought and effort on your part, children become “invested” in the process of improving the family’s nutrition, through the several ideas that follow, and many more you may think of.

First, ask your children to taste a new recipe and suggest ways to change it.What does it need more of, or less of?Treat the experience as a taste test.I have a lot of experience in this, having tested every one of the recipes in this book on my own four kids (sometimes several times, because I didn’t get it right).They loved telling me what they liked and what needed to be different, and they contributed many ideas to the recipes herein.

Second, have a child help you make the recipe, or give him the entire responsibility.My mother always started dinner with the “compliments,” such as, “The salad is compliments of Robyn.The vegetables in the soup are compliments of Dave,” etc.We rolled our eyes at this tradition but secretly appreciated the acknowledgement of our contribution.

Third, as you’re educating yourself, educate your kids.As with so many things, knowledge is truly the key!Some of your children may relish the opportunity to read each chapter of this book with you, and discuss it with you afterward.Everyone knows “vegetables are good for you,” but when we know several very specific reasons why they’re critical to a quality life, suddenly we care more.Then it’s a group project everyone is invested in, not just you, and they know what’s coming next in your plans to get healthy, and why.Tell your children what you’re learning as you read 12 Steps to Whole Foods.

Someone once said, “I’ll go to the ends of the earth for you, if I know WHY you want me to.”I often use the dinner table conversation as a parental responsibilities and rights opportunity to talk about why the foods we’re having are so good for us.I use descriptions relevant to my children’s lives.They may not be interested in a discussion of the interplay of phosphorus and calcium in soft drinks, especially when they’re too young to study chemistry.However, my competitive soccer players are very interested that carbonation robs their red blood cells of the ability to exchange oxygen–they are therefore more competitive than soda drinkers because they abstain.

A teenage, weight-lifting son might be interested to know that Bill Pearl was a vegetarian Mr. Universe.He’d be interested to know that Arnold Schwarzenegger said that while Bill didn’t convince him to become vegetarian, he did convince Arnold that a vegetarian can be a world-class bodybuilder.That leads into a conversation about proteins–which proteins lead to lasting muscle mass and why.