Creative Health Institute, part 2 of 5

Here’s a video of our teacher, Madeleine, talking about Rejuvelac, and a great idea for green smoothies—and the “banya” by the Coldwater Creek that is my favorite part of the CHI experience.

If ALL you got at CHI was any two of the following things, the experience is well worth the money–and of course, you get all five:

1. The education in the form of classes every morning and afternoon, and the chance to learn from Bobby Morgan. (He was unfortunately not there when I was, as his daughter got married; however, I heard 100% good things about his knowledge base, teaching style, and overall nurturing personality.) I had Madeleine instead, and I’m so crazy about her I’m talking to her about co-teaching a retreat next summer. You’ll learn about everything from affirmations, to genetically modified foods, to how to stimulate peristalsis in the colon. I did a guest lecture and so did our scholar-monk (another guest at CHI), Bhante. You’ll get lots of food demos: how to make Rejuvelac (an enzyme-rich probiotic drink from sprouted wheat or quinoa), seed cheese, almond milk, raw treats, sauerkraut, and more.

2. The wheat grass juice. You get three 2-oz. shots a day, 8 oz. to put in your bath every other night, 8 oz. twice a day as an “implant” (I will explain in a minute), wheat grass face masks, and more. While I was there, our lung-cancer patient was given poultices for his chest. Our eye-infection patient put it in her eye. Someone with a foot fungal infection was offered foot baths. If you’ve ever juiced wheat grass, you know it’s highly time consuming, requiring special equipment. You are getting about 30 oz. a day, which would cost you about $60 if you called in an order to your health food store or Jamba Juice! You’ll be treated to a tour of the wheatgrass greenhouse, and they teach you to grow your own.

Their grass tastes sweeter and far better than what I get here in Utah. In fact, despite a 15-year aversion to the stuff (it’s a long story), I did fine taking three shots a day, putting it on my face, and even in my bath. When I got home I got a 4-oz. shot at my health food store, and I gagged at the taste like I usually do—far more bitter and….I don’t know, yucky!

3. Raw-food meals (and Rejuvelac that you drink 16 oz. of daily) made for you. The first three days are raw red-cabbage sauerkraut, and “Energy Soup” (you add flaxseed and kelp or dulse) only. Energy Soup is like green smoothie, only no fruit, and you eat it with a spoon. On Day 4 forward, they offer you salads, sprouts, fruit, and some gourmet raw dishes and even an occasional treat. The chef, B.J., is very solicitous, and you can make a special request if you want. I didn’t, but I saw Chris got blueberries every morning, and other guests’ requests were honored.

4. The social atmosphere. It was amazing how emotional it was to leave the 15 others participating in the Detox and Rebuild program because we’d bonded so much. My detox symptoms consisted of one zit I got that lasted a day. I got up early in the morning and went for my usual run, though much shorter than I do at home, partly to get back in time for the 30 min. rebounding class. But other guests were experiencing headaches, nausea including vomiting, depression, and loss of energy. They usually lasted a day and the next day the guest’s eyes cleared and he or she felt better. But the shared experience–camaraderie, humor, wide diversity of age, health, race, religion, and goals—made the whole experience enjoyable and even fun as well as physically rewarding.

5. The detox protocols. The most important one, IMO, is enemas followed by a wheat-grass implant, and while you do them yourself morning and night, you’re given the equipment and careful instruction and support. This is invaluable, because it’s a lost art in modern culture, and it’s critically important. Coffee enemas or wheat-grass enemas are widely used by the alt-docs I am studying, including Nick Gonzalez, Hippocrates Institute, and the Gerson Therapy.

But another fun amenity at CHI is the “banya” or Russian sauna that Victoria Boutenko and her family built. It was my favorite part of my experience at CHI, getting in there half-naked with Melinda and Ed-and-Ed and whoever else every night. Then I’d leave, plunge into Coldwater Creek 10 steps away, and go back to the banya for more sweat-lodge therapy. Hot-and-cold practices like this are health practices followed by many around the world. You can get a professional colonic or massage or reflexology session at CHI as well (not included, but affordable). You do skin brushing and use the Chi machine. You do a bentonite-clay-and-wheat-grass mask on your face in the morning. You do yoga and meditation sessions. You participate in a half hour of rebounding, lymphatic massage, and EFT tapping every morning together. You are asked to get in the sun at least 15 minutes, and the grounds are beautiful, on the bank of a creek, so the outdoors will draw you out.

Creative Health Institute, part 1 of 5

I’m home from Hodunk, Michigan!

I’ve just returned from a phenomenal experience at Creative Health Institute, in Hodunk, Michigan. It’s my first stop in a tour over the next year studying non-toxic ways people treat themselves.

In this blog series, I have people’s astonishing real stories, some fabulous recipes, and a bunch of videos including me wearing a wheat-grass face mask.

CHI is one of the oldest “homes” of the late Ann Wigmore, who was a genius far ahead of her time. Her work was one of the first things I studied in my 20’s as I began my nutritional quest for health. Check out my video today about the basics of her work.

CHI has a rich history. It was founded by Don Houghey, who healed himself using Wigmore’s therapies. He died in a lumber-mill fire just across the street from CHI, nine months ago. He’d sold the facility to Lonnie Avra, who also regained his health at CHI but sadly, died in a plane crash very recently, and now his sons are the owners. Bobby Morgan is the current director, and he’s a survivor of throat, tongue and thyroid cancer, and he now stays uber-well on a raw, plant-based diet.

The program I went to was a 10-day Detox and Rebuild. On my itinerary in the coming year, I am visiting places and interviewing experts, scientists, and docs from Hodunk to West Palm Beach to Malaga, Spain. But I cannot imagine that I am going to encounter a better value for your money than you get at CHI–whether you are struggling with a major illness or you are healthy and just wanting a great detox and rebuild experience.

Do this rather than a “spa” week, because the rejuvenation you’ll get starts on the inside, with organs of elimination, where it matters most. And what shows on the outside is a reflection of what happens inside–you’ll look better as a result of a true detox than any facial scrub, massage, and steam room will achieve. (A nice benefit, for most people, is that folks lose an average of a pound a day at CHI!)

Our main teacher at CHI (in Director Bobby Morgan’s absence), Madeleine, was 67 and is fit, healthy, and energetic because she’s taken impressively good care of her temple. She’s the perfect example of someone who walks the talk.

Remember, prevention is so much easier than treatment! Everyone should detox once a year. For about $2300 at CHI for 10 days, you get lodging in a beautiful setting. (CHI told me they have an affiliate program where I’d get $200 for each person I refer, but you can have it, if you go. Say you’re a GSG reader and they’ll give you that $200 off your price!)

The accommodations are 2 star, but it’s comfortable and clean, and the group areas are really very nice, the private rooms adequate. (Don’t save $300 by sharing a bathroom–you will want your own, trust me! Get a room in the basement if possible in the summer, if you like to sleep in a cold room. Take earplugs to sleep because the walls are thin. If you’re newlyweds, get the room in the far back that will give you the best privacy. And don’t plan on hotel services–no maid making your bed or cleaning the bathroom! That said, at least you don’t have to take your own sheets or sleep in log cabins. It’s all perfectly comfortable.)

That’s a spectacular price for what you get. At $210/day with your GSG discount, that’s less than you spend on most vacations where there is little benefit to your health besides the R&R.

Why do I get constipated or not lose weight on green smoothies? Part 2 of 2

So, “cleansing reactions” can happen two months or six months or even six years later. They can even happen—on a much milder scale—when your engine is very clean because you’ve completely transitioned to a high-raw diet and eat 5% or less processed food and animal proteins.

Personal example. I drank 4 oz. of wheat grass juice (very potent and medicinal, and 4 oz. is a LOT) every day, for two months recently. (Until my 4-wheeling accident where I wasn’t able to drive for 10 days.) I noticed my skin breaking out during the second week of that period, a very common detox reaction.

A couple of weeks later, one day I had 4 oz. in the morning and then 4 oz. again at night, and I got a brain fog and slight headache. (I never get headaches!) That’s my body trying to process so much elimination that occurs through many channels, when it gets some power fuel to work with.

EVERYONE needs to detox. You breathe polluted air, you experience stress—both of which have physical byproducts in the body—and nobody’s diet is “perfect.” My brain fog was mild and lasted about an hour. (The skin breakout lasted a few days.)

The longer you’ve been eating the S.A.D., and the worse your diet, and the weaker your inherited constitution, the more likely you are to have ROUGH detoxing.

If a “cleansing reaction” lasts longer than 2 weeks, generally you may be looking at a food sensitivity. These issues are now epidemic because of so many ways we degenerate the gut. I think the top of the list is probably genetically modified grains causing so many people to be celiac or have lesser gluten intolerances. (Monsanto is now breeding pesticides into SEEDS and using the legal system to bully farmers out of stockpiling non-genetically-modified, or “heirloom,” seeds.)

Mark my words: this epidemic is going to continue to explode until MOST people have major gut issues. Many people who think they’re fine NOW will be diagnosed later.

The way out is to stop attacking our own pancreas, thyroid, digestive tract, kidneys, liver, heart, and blood pathways with chemicals and fake foods. The way out is to return to eating what people ate since the dawn of time, before these diseases began just three generations ago. Grow our own food, support local organic co-ops.

But far too much animal protein and too little plant fiber has surely contributed to much of the Irritable Bowel Syndrome, Crohn’s Disease, Leaky Gut, Fibromyalgia, Chronic Fatigue, Epstein Barr and other fatigue and degenerative gut issues affecting so many of us.

You know little kids with Crohn’s? Me too. We’re passing down our degenerated DNA to our babies.

Aahh, I’ve gone sideways. What do you do if you’re not losing weight, if you’re constipated, even though you’re drinking green smoothies?

The answers? Rest. Drink a lot more water. Slow your program down for a brief period of time. Add some fresh ginger to your smoothies. Before you get out of bed in the morning, deeply massage your transverse colon (preferably with a tennis ball, but your hands will work), starting lower right in your pelvis, straight up to the level of your navel, across to a couple inches inside the left hipbone, and down.

And grin and bear it, knowing your body is doing good, necessary work, you ARE burning fat, and the discomfort or plateau in weight loss is temporary.

First and foremost, stay the course and remember, this too shall pass. It is an immutable law that when you replace high-calorie foods with low-calorie, high-nutrition foods (green smoothies!), weight loss will follow if you are overweight.

If you’re still not losing weight, get a FULL BLOOD PANEL workup at a hormone clinic specializing in bio-identical hormones (rather than synthetic). Even if your doctor told you that your T3 was in the “normal” range. You may need a broader-spectrum blood test. You can even start the most natural way, taking a couple of kelp tablets a day (nourishing the thyroid with iodine). The bioidenticals are cheaper and work better anyway, and they cover T1, T2, T3, and T4, broader spectrum hormones, from a natural (dessicated animal glandular) source rather than giving you a synthetic drug with its inevitable side effects. If your thyroid isn’t working, with its complex interplay of hormones, you can’t metabolize food effectively and lose weight.

(Actually look at TOMORROW’S blog for part 1, we messed that up while I’ve been out of town…..)

Training for Green Smoothie Smackdown: wheat-grass juice overdose?

So Jillene of Total Care Dental and I are gonna do Green Smoothie Smackdown on Weds. night after my class in Orem. On camera. If you’re coming to that class, stay and cheer us on!

She’ll make me a quart of GS, and I’ll make her a quart, and we’ll race to drink it. There will be some awful athletic punishment for the loser.

(Jillene just did a 206-mile bike race last week, so I’m not sure I could find a punishment she wouldn’t enjoy. So I think I’m going to have her write a long essay about green smoothies. Maybe a song too. She’ll probably make me ride a unicycle up Mt. Everest.)

Somehow Jillene heard about my wheat-grass-juice aversion/phobia. It dates back to when I was pregnant 14 years ago and was juicing it all through the winter, with two friends. It made me gag. Sometimes I’d run over to my friend’s garbage (we did the juicing in her garage, took turns) and throw up.

It’s such powerful stuff it is sold by the ounce, and most people drink 2 ounces, chased by water. It’s incredibly detoxifying. Crazy anti-cancer, oxygenating, power food like virtually no other.

I’m going to have to put a limit on Jillene’s plans. (YOU CAN’T DRINK A QUART OF WHEAT GRASS JUICE!)

But, this has inspired me to CONQUER MY AVERSION. Do. Not. Tell. Jillene. This:

I’ve been secretly training.

Every day I get FOUR OUNCES of wheat grass juice from Good Earth and slam it.

When Tennyson is with me, I get grass juice for him, too. He actually likes the taste of it and begs for it! I, on the other hand, did fine the first week, got a little cocky even. But the second week I started to dread it and make jokes with the employees who made it for me. The third week, the dread would start hours before I was going to call in my order and stop by. (Tip: if you call as you leave home, it’s ready when you get there.)

This past Saturday, all morning, I had the angel on one shoulder and the devil on the other, arguing:

“You get a day off!”

“No, you don’t–the Smackdown is coming right up, don’t be a baby!”

“No, you don’t have to do it. You’re gagging just thinking about it. It’s SATURDAY! A quart of green smoothie is ENOUGH today.”

“What is the matter with you? You cannot win if you take days off. You don’t even DESERVE the name Green Smoothie Girl.”

Even WRITING about wheat grass juice, I keep getting chills down my spine. The bad kind. I truly have some kind of mental/emotional problem with it. Only one other food invokes my gag reflex. (My roommates in the dorms knew, if we walked into the cafeteria and I immediately turned and ran out–when I caught a whiff. They’d turn to each other and say, knowingly, “Creamed corn.”)

In these photos taken yesterday, ask Matthew–I made all kinds of drama about drinking my two shots, while he kept saying, “Yummy!” and complaining that I bought him only 2 oz. (Also a basket of homemade fudge from Ch. 4 of 12 Steps, green smoothies, kombucha, sprouted flax crackers, and other stuff.)

So I’m still standing after 3 weeks of “training.” I’m ready to take on whatever Jillene wants to dish out Weds. night. Bring it on.

However, I’ve had some interesting detox reactions. I’m generally an emotionally even-keeled person. I don’t cry a lot or get really sad. But the second week of drinking large amounts of grass juice, I found myself revisiting old issues and even cried a little bit—about things both happy and sad. (Did you know that your emotions are closely linked to your biology, and you may find yourself extremely sad, irritable,  or angry, when you detox?)

My skin also has been awful for several days!

Only the most hardcore health-food junkies can probably answer this:

What have been your experiences with wheat grass juice?

The Rest of the Story with Rich the Pharmacist. Part 2 of 2.

I don’t buy that baloney. (In more ways than one.)

If you eat hot dogs and soda on a regular basis, you’re almost certainly spending lots of money on doctor bills. Or you’re about to, as springs start to break loose in your internal box spring.

Your health insurance company is going broke, too. I may buy bulgur and quinoa and collard greens instead of hot dogs and Mountain Dew, but guess what. Mountain Dew ain’t cheap. And neither is a lot of what my reader claims is all America can afford.

Legumes and whole grains, and many vegetables and fruits, are cheap and don’t hurtle you towards cardiovascular disease and cancer and 100 different auto-immune nightmares. Let’s learn how to use them!

Maybe some aren’t ready to hear this. But what you can’t afford is to have your chest and abdomen weigh so much that it’s crushing vital organs so you can’t breathe all night and are exhausted all day. THAT is what you can’t afford. It’s crushing more than lungs. It’s just crushing, period–literally and figuratively.

It crushes vitality. Hope. Your sex life. (C-pap at night? Your partner loves that. It’s like the scene in the trailer for the recent movie where Tina Fey asks her husband, Steve Carrell, if he’s in the mood, and she then offers to remove her retainer and does so, drool everywhere. Sorry to be blunt, but obesity isn’t pretty in the bedroom, and neither are medical devices, digestive disorders, or immobility.)

Sorry for the tough love. But hot dogs just might be ruining your life.

A friend of mine in his 50’s who owns a runner’s shop and sometimes hosts my lecture saw an obese woman in the crowd as he ran past, running a marathon. He said to her, “YOU SHOULD BE OUT HERE RUNNING WITH US.”

She was shocked. (Who says that?!) They became fast friends as she snapped out of her dream fugue and decided to change her life. Join the race. Show up in his shop. She’s now a normal-weight marathon runner and I read her story in the paper, quoting my friend who said that to her and changed her life.

It can be done. It starts with a tenacious statement like Rich’s, in yesterday’s post. Read his “no holds barred” paragraph and see if it inspires you!

Watch Karen Wilbert when the first GreenSmoothieGirl Makeover film clips come out, as she cries in frustration, telling us how her friends in the neighborhood run races together, while she stares at the trees outside her window, through all four seasons. Like Rich, she’s younger than me. She hates that other people are living life while illness, loss of energy, and depression have drained her own life to a tiny slice of what she once enjoyed.

Eating M&M’s does NOT stand in for a life. What a sorry substitute. Start visualizing the price for eating cancer sticks (hot dogs–also bacon and sausage) being $200 a bite. How does it taste now?

After we completed some filming at Samantha Cornia’s today for GreenSmoothieGirl Makeover, Kels, my filmmaker, was telling me about his mom doing my 12 Steps program, in her second bout of chemotherapy against ovarian cancer. He says she’s sick of the devastation of chemotherapy, and she’s motivated and excited to try something different.

I told him to make sure she gets a juicer (in addition to her new green-smoothie-blending habit) and juice beets, carrots, celery, parsley, apples, and wheat grass in huge quantities. And I told him, “Tell your mom to visualize, as she drinks it, that beautiful, powerful, high-oxygen, high-antioxidant super-powered drink starving EVERY CANCER CELL into oblivion, exploding, obliterating them into nothing. Have her imagine the healthy cells kicking butt and taking names.”

She’ll be blasting the hell out of cancer while strengthening the muscles of her immune system. Rather than nuking everything in sight like chemo and radiation do.

David Wolfe said this, last weekend, about watching animals heal themselves–we could learn a lot from them:

“You can heal almost every condition there is by hiding, sleeping, being quiet, and not eating.”

I totally agree and suggested to Kels that his mom just eat little or nothing for a while after chemo is over, just juice and green smoothies and lots of water. Give cells and organs a chance to rest, repair, rebuild.

You, my friend, reading this:

YOU SHOULD BE OUT HERE RUNNING WITH US.

Seattle….I might have a crush on David Wolfe….part 1 of 3

I’m back from speaking in Seattle and Federal Way, WA with David Wolfe, see photos below. In one, we’re sitting on the pier at our Lake Washington party house.  (We had an after-party Friday night, and although I went upstairs to bed at 1 a.m., I woke up at 4:45 and the party was still going! For the raw foodie crowd, KOMBUCHA is the alternative to booze! Yum.) And of course I had to have a picture of the guy named Avocado eating….an avocado.

What I didn’t take a photo of was Bikram Hot Yoga. OMG.

Ninety minutes of it, in 120 degrees of steam. Only SunWarrior’s Cody didn’t make it through. Everybody else? Shirtless, wearing next to nothing, 10 minutes in. There’s nothing else like it. What a release! The first 45 mins., I felt like I was in hell, and I wanted to kill Brent Hauver who insisted we all do this. Endorphins, toxins through the skin, emotions, you have to just let go of it all. (As you stand there holding a pose, dripping from every pore.)

Go to Hot Yoga if you ever get the chance. We don’t have that here in Kansas, Toto.

Making a video in the photo below, I’m with SunWarrior co-founder Brent Hauver, Avocado Noni Cacao Himself, and Sacred Chocolate’s Steve Adler. (He’s a modern-day, nutrition-guru Willy Wonka whose 45th birthday was that day.)

And in the photo below eating a lot of fabulous raw food at Choco Canyon is all of us and the SunWarrior / Hyperthrive crew, where Dave the Raw Trucker downed FIVE shots of wheat grass juice to all of us egging him on.

We had 350 people at Mary Gates Hall (see me, then Avocado, speaking there in photos below) and more than 350 in every nook and cranny at Marlene’s Market in Federal Way.

We’re gonna take the GreenSmoothieGirl / David Wolfe show to a few more metro areas. Should we come to your city? Tell me: where?

Not gonna lie, I have a little thing for David Wolfe. I like smart guys who can talk and are passionate about something. And then there’s his Johnny Depp-ness. He is the Encyclopedia Brittanica of biochemistry, human anatomy, superfoods, micronutrients and more.

After I spoke, I literally sat at his feet the second night (since there were no seats and no standing room either), highly entertained by the audience  “getting a drink from a firehose,” someone’s description on facebook yesterday of what it’s like to listen to Avocado speak. Got a kick out of watching folks try to write it all down. Good luck with that! I’m not wowed often or easily. But let me say this: WOW.

I’m not a supplement girl, but I confess he inspired me to try a few of his favorites. We dreamed up some GreenSmoothieGirl superfood chocolate bars in our long drives in the car. We talked about what the best sweeteners are that we’ll use in formulation to keep blood sugar impact LOW, and what superfoods we’ll include in the formulation to slow aging, increase your energy, and rocket your LIBIDO.

(Nobody talks about it. Lots of people struggle with it. Just sayin. I’m going to bring you a chocolate that addresses PMS *and* makes you an enthusiastic lover. Just you wait.)