raw food diet: isn’t steaming good? and, my kids come back sick

Update: Yep.All four of my kids puked their guts up at their dad’s family reunion.Just like always.Poor little guys. (Well, one of them is 6’2″, not that little, huh?)Back to the green smoothie diet!So happy to have my kids back.It’s my job to help them recover.

My daughters come back from an extended period away, wanting to cleanse.I told the girls today to sit down and brainstorm a list of fruits and veggies they want me to buy for them.That way they’re in the driver’s seat, eating things they like, and I get my way, too (high nutrition, mostly raw food diet).Remember that old prayer asking God to grant me the serenity to accept the things I can’t change, and the will to change the things I can?I can’t change what their dad feeds them.   (My girls report that their aunts and uncles all provided a vegetarian option to the menu made for everyone else on the nights they cooked, which was sweet.)But I CAN help them cleanse and drop unwanted pounds when they’re home.Once the girls came home and said, “Mom, we want to eat nothing but fruits and vegetables for three days.Can you help us do that?”(Of course I can.)

Still talking about the raw food diet today.Everybody, including nutritionists, suggest steaming.I’d rather have you eat steamed broccoli than no broccoli!(I personally do not enjoy raw broccoli unless it’s chopped small and in a really yummy salad.NO, NOT THE KIND WITH BACON.)

But that broccoli is still heated to well over 212 degrees, and vitamins and enzymes die over 116 degrees.And mineral salts are lost and deanimated.Cooking, even steaming, destroys indoles in vegetables, which are wonderfully anti-carcinogenic.

Worse, when you cook things, free radicals are created.(Free radicals are unpaired molecules that destroy cells and cause cancer.Antioxidants in raw foods mop them up.)Some amino acids (lysine and glutamine) in proteins are destroyed by cooking.You probably already know what high heats do to fats: alter them to become trans fats that are highly destructive carcinogens.And when fiber in food is cooked, it is slimy and soft and doesn’t have the broom-like power to clean the intestine any more.

I do eat cooked plant food and make no apologies for it.But I make every meal or snack at least 60% raw food, and often it’s 80% or more.Then you’re supplementing the cooked foods with enzymes.Doing this regularly will have a dramatic effect on your youthfulness.

On a related topic, here’s the dehydrator I recommend, by the way, to make crunchy snacks like in Ch. 7 of 12 Steps, preserving enzymes and vitamins:

http://greensmoothiegirl.com/dehydrator.html

the raw food diet

I’m going to be talking for a while about the raw food diet.That’s the only “diet” I approve of (the very word is annoying, isn’t it?).Why?First, because it’s the biggest focus of this web site and the program of whole foods I promote: raw plant foods.Of the 9,000 new visitors to this site monthly, many are coming from the Standard American Diet.And like all things Americana (GSG readers come from 149 countries in the past year), the SAD has spread to all but the most remote parts of the globe.

But many others who read this site are committed raw foodists.The first group may find what I teach daunting.(BUT . . . this is for you, and you can do it.What I teach is very do-able by anyone who wants better health.)And the latter group may call my teachings “transitional”–a good stepping stone on your way to the ultimate, a completely raw diet.

I am unconvinced that 100% raw is necessary for ideal health, and I believe it may even not be ideal.But I do believe this: 60-80% raw plant food is absolutely necessary for good health.

Second, because this is the time of year to get the very best produce, in North America, at least.This is my favorite time of year, when my garden is exploding with vegetables and greens, and my trees are heavy with peaches and apricots.And roadside stands are selling the best foods on Earth.

If you think the raw food diet is some kind of fad–it is exploding on the internet for sure–think again.It’s been around since the dawn of time.In fact, degenerative disease began when mankind discovered fire and began cooking his food.We have gone downhill at an accelerated rate as we’ve discovered more ways to pervasively destroy the nutrition in our food.

Think about undertaking a raw food diet for a few weeks, now that we’re in the easiest time of year to accomplish it.You will need less sleep, as your body needs less recovery because digestion becomes a snap.You’ll have lots of energy, so plan in advance what you are going to do with the extra!Every time I go 95-100% raw for a couple of weeks to a couple of months, I’m always so happy I did.

Green Smoothie Testimonials, Part 10

More Green Smoothie testimonials from my research:

Green smoothies are easy and quick to do and keep me full and alert way past lunch time. This past growing season I had access to lots and lots of lettuce. I would use between 2 and 3 cups in my smoothie along with other greens, but long after the other greens were gone there was still plenty of leaf lettuce in many colors and kinds. All of my greens came from my local farmers’ market.

–Anon

I wish my mother had fed me green smoothies from birth. If she had I would not have had all this pain and suffering I have been through. I understand nowadays that my body was only crying out for help from me. I only wish all people I know–soon–will come to understand this. Good health to all– THANKS!!

–Anon

I have enjoyed physical changes in my body. I have enjoyed some weight loss, great digestion, and increased desire to reduce cooked and processed foods. I have talked to others about using the green smoothies as a means to improve their overall health.

–C. Brown

I feel that prayer led me to your Web site, and looking at the other testimonials, this seems to be a common theme! What a blessing to have such information at my fingertips! I felt good about the smoothies, and they made obvious sense to me, so I decided to make them. Imagine my surprise, therefore, when suddenly all of my pregnancy-fat from the last two kids melted away (I haven’t worn this size jeans in 3 years) and I found myself struggling to get enough calories to nurse!

My husband has noticed a definite improvement in my attitude after I started a colon cleanse (smoothies clean out your liver, and everything needed somewhere to go) and so now, he wants to do one, too! My 2 1/2 year-old likes smoothies just fine (‘moothie!) and that’s even with chard!

–Steffanie D.

I started drinking green smoothies almost three years ago and lost over 30 pounds, regained my health, and felt 10 years younger. My children never need visits to the doctor unless they have been injured. The evidence is so obvious that I cannot ever cease this miracle drink.

–Julie Greenman

I don’t want green smoothies when it’s cold!

Dear GreenSmoothieGirl:   I LOVE green smoothies, but lately, since it’s getting cooler outside, I’m wanting something warm . . . got any ideas?

 

Answer:   Yes, what I do is have my green smoothie (never warm, yuck!) PLUS something warm or hot that I really enjoy, like warm sourdough bread or a bowl of soup.   Eat the hot thing last!   (That’s a better idea anyway, as enzymes are already in your stomach when cooked food arrives, signaling to bodily systems not to tax themselves providing manufactured enzymes which take resources away from metabolic functions.   At my house, we always eat the green smoothie or salad FIRST, then our other food.)

benefits of drying food . . . part 2 of 3

So what are the benefits of drying food?   Pressure cooking preserves food, too, but kills all the enzymes at 240 degrees.   Canning also destroys water soluble vitamins.   Freezing is the other best way to keep your fruit and vegetables, but nutrients are lost over time, and most people just can’t keep much in their limited freezer space.   I have a large freezer and two fridges with small freezers–and I still never have enough room to preserve everything I want to keep.

Dehydrating with Excalibur is safe, with dark doors to avoid nutrition loss from light.   The 3000 model has an automatic 26-hour timer so you can leave food drying overnight or even while you’re out of town.

Storebought fruit leathers and dehydrated fruits often contain sulfites, sugar or corn syrup, and other preservatives and chemicals.   They’re also expensive!   At the end of summer, I often pick fruit from my neighbors’ trees that would otherwise go to waste.   (Make sure you get permission first!)   Dried apricots are one of my favorite things, and they’re so easy to make: just wash them, pop them in half, and put them on the dryer trays until dry.  You can also puree fruit in your BlendTec Total Blender, pour it onto the Teflex sheets, and dry it into fruit leather.

To make the crackers, chips, flavored almonds, and other fun stuff in the Crunchy Snacks Recipe Collection, or all the fun stuff in Ch. 7 of 12 Steps to Whole Foods, you definitely need a food dehydrator.   It’s a great way to make inexpensive, “live” snacks that nourish you well.

So here’s the link to get all the benefits of drying food:

http://tinyurl.com/56cn36

what enzymes do to make food digestible . . . part 6

Dear GreenSmoothieGirl: Which enzyme supplement should I take?

 

If you’re going to eat at least some of your meals that are partially or fully cooked or processed, please always take 1 or 2 capsules of digestive enzymes first.   If you read my site, blog, or book, you know I am generally skeptical of eating pills, period.   I believe synthetic supplementation is massively inferior to the complex way that nature designed food to give us just the right ratios in the most natural, easily assimilated way possible.

 

Digestive enzymes, however, are a necessity if you’re not planning to buck modern culture altogether and eat a mostly-raw diet every meal, every day.   I know of no controversy about taking enzyme supplements, because so many studies have shown their effectiveness.   I recommend having them in your purse or wallet at all times, as well as in your kitchen.

 

Enzyme supplements come from animals, plants, or microorganisms.   Supplements made from animal pancreas extracts become inactive when hydrochloric acid enters the lower stomach.   They aren’t particularly adapted, since they operate in the controlled internal environment.   Microbial enzymes, on the other hand, are active at pH as low as 2.0 and as high as 10.0. Microorganisms use their enzymes to break down the plant material they grow on, and since fungus can grow in a variety of places, fungi have very adaptable enzymes.   Manufacturers coat pancreatic enzymes for acid resistance, with chemical coatings I don’t trust.   So I much prefer plant-based or microbial enzymes.

 

I don’t advocate for lots of supplements, fractionated and processed far from the holistic packages we get in whole plant foods.   I believe nature provided well for us.   The two supplements I do believe in taking on a regular basis are DIGESTIVE ENZYMES and a good PROBIOTIC (to heal and nourish the gut and guard against takeovers by bad bacteria).

 

Look for microbial or plant-based enzyme supplements. (And no, I don’t have a brand I know to be superior to others to recommend to you.   I am still researching.)

 

Take one capsule at the beginning of a meal that is 50-70% raw.   Take two capsules if your meal is less than 50% raw.   If you forget at the beginning of the meal, take your enzymes in the middle or even at the end of the meal.   They work on contact!