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.

Does your heredity dictate whether you get cancer?

I saw my friend Glenn at the gym yesterday, hadn’t seen him in a long time. He’s a former BYU Marriott School of Management colleague (he’s still there–I’M former). His daughter has been Tennyson’s girlfriend since first grade even though they broke up for a few months in fourth grade when he decided she was “bossy.” Their only kiss was once when my kids and I were at Glenn and Angela’s house: Anna wrestled Tennyson to the ground and managed to fire one off on the top of his head.

I stopped to chat with him about Ten at the biggest game in Marriott Center history the night before–when Jimmer Fredette scored 43 points to help BYU beat #4 ranked San Diego State. I’d asked Ten, “What do you think it feels like to hear a sold-out crowd chanting, ‘YOU GOT JIMMERED!'” And Ten shrugged and nonchalantly said, “I dunno. I’ll tell you in a few years.”

(LOL! Maybe some “bossy” could do the kid some good!)

So Glenn said to me, “Hey, I’ve got a bone to pick with you! My wife went to your class last week and now I’m eating all this weird stuff! Green drinks! Seriously?!”

I said, “It’ll do you some good! Now you’re tenured, life is good–stick around for a while to meet all your grandkids and travel the world!” Glenn shook his head and said, no, my family is LOADED for cancer. All his grandfathers dead in their 50’s. (Interpretation: I’m screwed.)

I hear this a lot. It’s defeatist. I believe the China Study documents for us that risk factors we can do nothing about are only a small piece of the puzzle. Cancer is far from a foregone conclusion, even if your family, like mine and Glenn’s, has a lot of cancer. That is, it’s not foregone if you’re willing to change your diet and lifestyle.

My dad didn’t even wear a mask, spraying MALATHION in his grandfather’s cherry orchards as a teen and young adult. Sometimes he got accidentally sprayed full in the face, by his brother, with that deadly pesticide banned long ago in the U.S.! Why does my nearly-70 father still run 4 miles a day and has no cancer or any other health problem? (And his brother DOES have cancer.) I theorize it’s his long history of a 95% plant-based diet. My parents do kefir, alkaline water, grow their own produce, and eat very little sugar/white flour.

Campbell’s team injected groups of mice and rats with aflatoxin, a well known carcinogen. Only those who ate 20% animal protein got cancer. Those who ate 5% animal protein didn’t. (Remember, those eating 5% were injected with the deadly mold, too!)

Then his human study in China, tracking 6,500 people, showed very similar results. Those who ate 20% animal protein (like the average American) gained weight and acquired the modern diseases. The usual suspects: cancer, heart disease, auto-immune diseases. Those eating meat “sparingly” (5%) were lean even if they ate 200 calories per day MORE than meat eaters–and they didn’t get diseases.

In the rodent studies, the researchers switched the diets and watched fat, cancerous mice switched to a low-animal-protein diet get lean and TUMORS SHRUNK AND OFTEN DISAPPEARED.

My point? There’s always hope. Starting now, you can radically change your health. (I love repentance. Don’t you?)

Does your heredity dictate whether you get cancer?

Ayna posted this on my blog, and my response follows:

Dear GreenSmoothieGirl: “I have been a vegetarian for so many years I can’t count them. But

my family women have a breast cancer gene. You can’t beat that, it does not matter what you do, it’s in the blood. I have lived through 2 breast tumors which had not spread. That was perhaps God ´s gift to me. I don’t know. We can’t eat healthily anymore unless the food is being grown under anti-chemtrail situations and being watered with pure water without any fluoride.

I wish you would address these issues and tell your “followers” where you get the perfect clean wonderful veg you use for your smoothies. I do not mean to be rude, I just would like to know how you do it.”

Answer: Organically gardened vegetables are “perfect” and I teach about that in Ch. 5 of 12 Steps to Whole Foods. However, I eat both organic and conventional fruits and vegetables that I buy in the store, year-round. I buy organic produce when it’s not more than 50% more expensive than conventional, when it’s available, and when it’s a “dirty dozen” item.

I wash my conventional produce using a good organic soap. (I use Shaklee Basic H, and others are at your local health food store.) Keep in mind that in the hundreds of studies proving a link between raw plant foods and disease prevention, the vast majority of those disease-preventing foods were grown conventionally. (That is, with pesticides.)

I’m not saying this to suggest that eating herbicides isn’t harmful. I’m saying that your alternatives, animal products, are MUCH higher in pesticides/herbicides than conventional fruits and veggies are. (That makes sense since animals’ tissues and organs build up those same chemicals they’ve been eating on sprayed produce.) And I’m saying that if we have to eat conventional produce, we can still reap the benefits and avoid living a fear-based life. Not all budgets can bear 100% organics. If yours can, by all means, buy organic!

I don’t agree with being defeatist about our heredity. True enough that you can’t change your DNA. But read The China Study for a much more detailed understanding of why heredity is a much smaller piece of the puzzle than lifestyle, and why we have far more control than you have been led to believe, Ayna.

All the animals in Campbell’s studies were injected with a known carcinogen, aflatoxin. Only the animals who indulged in a high animal-protein diet actually got cancerous tumors. Those who ate a plant-based diet did not.

When you don’t have time on your side and cancer has taken control of body systems, that disease is hard to root out. But you have the option to avoid risk in the first place with a highly oxygenated, mostly-raw, plant-based lifestyle.

Or you can eat lots of processed food, and lots of animal products, and put yourself at high risk for cancer, heart disease, auto-immune diseases and all the other modern maladies. With lots of dead foods going in your mouth every day, combined with your hereditary factors, you give your body the optimal climate to grow cancer. Fortunately, you have a choice about the bigger of those two risk factors.

more M.D. reaction to the China Study

I went to a baby shower, at a restaurant,  for one of my tennis teammates this week. I got to chatting with Sherston, whose husband is the orthopedic surgeon recommended to me recently on facebook. When I posted about my podiatrist wanting me to undergo surgery for my running- and tennis-induced plantar fasciitis.

(After reading that on facebook–thank you Becky, whose M.D. husband’s practice hosted my class recently–I told Sherston. Without my even asking, she  dialed her husband up on her cell phone after our workout–he has a 3-month wait list!–and put me on the phone with him to ask my questions.  Wow!)

Anyway, I loved Dr. Faux, because he advised heavily against surgery even though that’s what he does. (I wasn’t really considering it anyway, but that’s interesting when a surgeon says that the rate of complications for foot surgery is enormous, and suggests I do at least six months of physical therapy first.)

So back to the baby shower–Sherston saw what was on my plate and said, “Are you a vegetarian?” I answered, and  she said, “My husband [Dr. Faux] read The China Study and now he won’t eat meat or dairy products. I make it for dinner and he just skips it.”

I love when medical professionals are health-oriented, acknowledge the risks of very invasive procedures and drugs, and undertake lifestyle changes to prevent disease and promote health.

Response of an M.D. / PhD to the China Study debate

Are you sick of debate on the China Study?

Remember how Mercola said his D.O. experience is more valuable than a PhD nutrition researcher’s?

If you’re not too sick of reading opinions, here’s a comment by a reader  that was buried deep in the comments on my blog, by an M.D. who also has a PhD. I think it’s important to note that while Mercola’s reported experience eating fruit for breakfast, and his triglycerides increasing (he implies these things are linked), is rather isolated.

(With anything that falls in the “case study” category, at best, I have this reaction: “Hm, interesting–but I’m putting no stock in that without more compelling evidence.)

Dear Robyn,

I want to respond to your message here as relates to The China Study and Dr. Mercola. Generally, Dr. Mercola is well respected in the health food industry; however, I think his analysis here is flawed. He is correct that The China Study is an observational study, but so are many studies. It is a very extensive, well designed study done by a top notch team of researchers

over many years.

They studied 6,500 people over diverse parts of China and came up with over 8,000 statistically significant associations between lifestyle, diet and disease.

I do think he may have generalized a little far from the associations found with casein, the major milk protein, and all protein. Nevertheless, it is hard to ignore the results of this study and the associations between high protein diet and diseases ranging from cancers to a wide range of autoimmune diseases.

I also found Dr. Mercola’s experience of moving some fruit into his breakfast and supposedly that causing him to have triglyceride levels of 3000 a little hard to believe. I have done hundreds of lipid panels and have never seen a triglyceride level even remotely close to that, not that it couldn’t happen.

There may be familial illness in his case but even those people generally don’t have levels approaching that. Another point is that high-protein, meat-based diets have for the most part been shown to be often quite harmful. Even the American Heart Association agrees with that. Dr. Atkins would probably also agree if he were still alive.

I do agree that one needs to listen to one’s body, but people are often fooled due to the very strong addictive qualities of our modern food industry. A great resource for that is Dr. Kessler’s book, “The End of Overeating”. People are very fooled into what they think they need and want, food-wise.

Dr. Mercola’s Nutritional Typing test asks a series of food preferences and how people feel with various food selections. How can one answer those questions realistically if they have no concept what true organic food is and how it operates in the body? Of course, more people are

going to associate with the higher protein diets, that is what they have been eating all their lives and that is what they think they need and feel best on. They have never been detoxified from those foods and been in touch with what they could feel like if they only knew.

Keep up your good work Robyn!


Tim M., M.D., Ph.D.

Robyn’s response:

One thing I agree with in Minger’s critique (and what you say here) is that it’s a stretch to assume that because casein (milk protein) caused havoc in the laboratory, that all animal protein causes the same problems. I found Campbell to be honest about this, however, when I attended his lecture.

And he spoke, I spoke to him in person about whether any of his research could indicate whether kefir or yogurt–enzyme- and probiotic-rich raw milks with proteins broken down by fermentation–are a problem. He said, “I don’t know. We didn’t study that. It’s possible.”