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.

Educate your kids about nutrition!

Here’s my video showing Tennyson why food matters in his life, and why he

should make good decisions about food.

He’s no different than you and me. He needs REASONS. And praise.

Here are my tips for teaching your kids–some I mention on the video, and

some you’ll just see me DOING:

1. Make it relevant to their lives. (In Ten’s case, link it to sports

performance.)

2. Keep it short. (I didn’t do a good job of this in the video. This

was for your benefit to tell you a bunch of things you can say to YOUR

kids.)

3. Make it interesting.

4. Make it visual.

5. Involve them. Ask them questions.

6. Avoid clichés like “eat your greens.” Tell them WHY eat greens.

7. Use car time. We spend a lot of time in the car. They’re trapped

there. So talk to them about things that matter when they can’t roll their

eyes and run away.

8. Ask them what they notice, when they eat right, and praise their

good choices!

I wish I had movie star photos from Sundance

I’ve just finished skiing for three days with Tennyson during the day and teaching 5 nights in a row at Good Earth at night. I took my camera skiing just in case I saw any movie stars, since Sundance Film Festival is going on here and sometimes we see Parker Posey or JLo or somebody. Unfortunately this photo of Ten and me is the only thing I got. I didn’t even see Bob up there (that’s what we call Robert Redford, to pretend like we know him). (Maybe I would, if I went to movies instead of skiing, but I’d rather ski!)

One thing I share with my son is that we are both easily bored, so on the long ski lifts to Back Mountain we play games like trying to sing all the ways Bruno Mars wants to die a violent martyr death for us. Or singing a Beatles song like Hey Jude with someone else’s voice. (Celine. Whitney. Tom Petty.) Or the best of all, singing Don’t Stop Believin’ at the top of our lungs, and then stopping, until someone else behind or ahead on the ski lift supplies the missing line.

Speaking of believing, in Riverdale Friday night we talked about the power of BELIEF as it was shaped by our mothers and grandmothers. Mine taught me a plant based diet with lots of raw food, so I never had a huge uphill battle to shift mindset. I spoke about how food shopping and prep has fallen to women forever, and we’ve always learned from our mothers. But now, because our mothers were taught false doctrines, we can’t look to them for answers. They were shaped by the bad habits of the culture in the 1940’s and 50’s. Processed, fatty, chemical-laden food as side dishes, and slabs of animals as main dishes. A little squishy blob of canned peas as the “vegetable.”

Our mamas didn’t know any better.

In the coming year, I hope to do more to address core beliefs and how to shift them.

I love teaching Friday night classes, because so many husbands are in attendance. See a few of them here, in photos. I said, “I love seeing the attentive, enthusiastic wives, with their husbands, whose faces say: ‘Yeah, WHAT. Don’t tell me I can’t have my Pepsi, burger, and fries.'” But I was set straight when one of the women in these photos said, “No, my husband dragged ME here!”

I love it. Other women in my classes this week brought their whole neighborhood, or their ward, or, like this darling girl to my left, Barbie, who said her story with her son’s asthma is identical to mine with Kincade–bringing her mom and friend (see photos). A reader named Justin Southwick in Ogden who has lost 45 lbs. following 12 Steps sends everyone he knows.

Tomorrow, some photos of the most singular person I’ve ever had volunteer in my class: her name is BABE and she ate fistfuls of raw green food, flat out, in record time. Juices oozing onto her sweatshirt. I don’t think this lady even NEEDS a blender. Hard core. Check in tomorrow.

Under the Big African Sky, part 2

In the village of Muukuni, everyone lives in huts made of mud and straw. The “palaces” of the female and male chiefs are just BIGGER straw-mud huts. Virtually everyone drops out of school at age 15 because their families cannot afford to send them to secondary school through age 18.

I am fascinated by this very large village comprised of smaller villages–with fenced compounds for each family. I believe I was there for a reason, and I intend to find out what that is. They don’t seem to have any help in sending children to school. Only 3 in the village with 3,400 school-age children have had the chance to go to college, which makes them local celebrities.

My guide, Philip Muwba, is 32 and wishes he could study to become a math teacher. Instead, he has a part time job giving tourists elephant rides. My other guide, Lumba Simulube, is a single mother of a 4-year old daughter, and she would love to study to be a nurse. I asked how many children would LIKE to go further in school, and they said, “Many! They just can’t afford to.”

But after age 11, parents must pay for uniforms, exams, and tuition. The exciting thing about this village I found in Zambia (formerly Northern Rhodesia), different than working with villages further north in Africa, is that Victoria Falls (one of the 7 natural wonders of the world) is just minutes away. So the large town of Livingstone has grown up around it, with secondary schools and a college where young people from the village can be educated. I am gathering more information to find out how directly I can work with those schools and the University of Zambia four hours away.

It’s very inexpensive to send an African child to school. I am hoping to put together a great way to sponsor the students who excel in school but have no way to access higher education. I have a contact in the village who is highly motivated to help ambitious, smart kids who have a desire to help their people, become educated and return to help their people. I hope to put something together that’s really cool and tell you about it, but first I have to research how you get money directly to the educational institutions to sponsor kids, etc. I’m talking to my full-time humanitarian friends.

Check out my photos of the children in the village fascinated by the photos we took of them. (You could entertain them for hours by taking their photo and showing it to them, as they have no mirrors and have never owned a photo of themselves.)  

We took four of the kids from the village (with their adult chaperon) to our five-star resort for the day. I can’t even describe how fun it was to watch 12-year old Precious, 6-year old twins Austin and Herbert, and 2-year old Kala, swim in a pool for the first time. Eat in a restaurant. Play with my two iPods. Watch soccer on TV. Kala couldn’t stop stroking my white skin and hair. All firsts for them.

They were completely fascinated by ice floating in glasses of water, and couldn’t eat enough of it. Ditto shaking salt on food. Shaking it on a plate and dipping their fingers, or their food, in it. It was an experience I will never forget.

Why you will always be nurtured here on GreenSmoothieGirl.com

On the internet, if you’ve been around a while, you know that many of the comments people make in public forums are angry, negative, and nonproductive. On the rare occasion I read these forums, my stomach ends up tied in knots after a few minutes.

I hate conflict. I grew up in a home with a lot of it. It took me many years to figure out that it’s toxic, and that you can choose not to indulge, encourage, and embrace conflict. That you can defuse it or at least walk away from it. I now choose to minimize it in my life. When I’m exposed to it, I try not to wallow in it and relive it, after the fact.

The best thing is to find unusual ways to neutralize it and move on from it. I interrupt the thought patterns that revisit it, break down conflicts in my head as honestly as possible if they’re bothering my heart, and then when I’m done with it, discipline myself to think about something more productive.

I like when people comment on my blog with views contrary to my own. You can’t grow or learn without other ideas and people pushing back on your own. So bring it on!

I promise not to get offended if your opinion differs from mine.

If you dig deep on this site and blog, you’ll find that I won’t engage in conflict that doesn’t seem productive. If someone is hostile or abusive in a blog comment, I delete it. If someone is a bit contrarian and lively in their disagreement, even if it’s a personal criticism of me–I approve the comment.

But there is precious little anger and hostility even in others’ comments here. Generally GSG readers almost always take the “high road.” I hope that’s because my goal is consistent and comes across clearly: to nurture people on their journey. Not tear them or their choices down. We do enough of that to ourselves to last a lifetime!

It isn’t productive to be negative. And the corollary is this: it’s infinitely valuable to praise good first steps, good efforts, towards a healthier and happier life. I have always appreciated comments that are constructive and helpful.

Ideas and experiences abound in the comments made here on my blog. Those who contribute, thanks for helping me build valuable resources for others!

My thoughts after Educ. Week: stand up in a sit-down world, part 4 of 5

I listened to this presentation for an hour by a very nice and apparently very poorly educated woman who very frankly has no business telling anyone what their diet should be.   I love formal education and am often impressed by doctorate degrees. But sometimes a PhD is worthless when the person who earned it has no critical thinking skills, is not discerning.

 

When she lauded mypyramid.gov as the best diet in history, I began to fidget rather uncontrollably as only people close to me know I do.   Just the day before, I’d been in attorney-activist-author-cancer survivor Merilee Boyack’s auditorium lecture, standing-room only, called “Standing Up In a Sit-Down World.”   Just today I read this from Seth Godin’s blog:

 

It’s uncomfortable to stand up in front of strangers.

It’s uncomfortable to propose an idea that might fail.

It’s uncomfortable to challenge the status quo.

It’s uncomfortable to resist the urge to settle.

 

I really hate conflict. Believe it or not, I don’t argue with people about nutrition, not in the last 10 years anyway.

 

With my own university and community education experience, I’m pretty quick to formulate relatively articulate responses.   I did raise my hand, with this in my head ready to say, politely:

 

“That curriculum and ideology you have on the big screen was bought and paid for by the   most powerful industries in America: DAIRY, and MEAT.   It is not in keeping with the Word of Wisdom we profess to believe.   It has led to an epidemic in all the modern diseases that are destroying someone each of us knows and loves.   It has led to two-thirds of us being overweight or obese, which is bringing our economy to its knees.   There IS a better way than the diet you have on your screen.   It’s called living close to the land.   Eating mostly raw plants and whole foods.   The way God made them.   Before men discovered fire, and invented boxes and cans–and McDonald’s.”

 

My friends, I would like to finish this story with something besides what actually happened.   I know I’ve built this up, but unfortunately, you’ll find this to be a story with no climax.   She looked right at me, and didn’t call on me.   I should have raised my hand higher.   That was the place to speak up.   I didn’t get my shot.

 

Sounding off on my blog, here, is the next best thing.   I think I’ll send a newsletter to my 12,000 newsletter subscribers pointing to this blog entry.   This is important.   The world is going to teach your children a bunch of GARBAGE about nutrition.   Your children will listen, they’ll take notes, they’ll memorize it for tests.   This starts in elementary school.   I hope you’re teaching them the truth.   If you’ve been with me for long, you have sources.   Point to them.   Speak up when it’s appropriate.

 

(Even Merilee Boyack told a story of when she remained silent in a city council meeting when she was being considered for mayor after the mayor died.   It’s not always right to speak up, when speaking up constitutes “shooting off your mouth.”   But let your gut guide you: there is a time and a place to speak up.   I missed one this week. Boyack was actually sitting in this nutrition class near me, taking notes. If she reads this by googling herself, I would like to formally apologize here for NOT speaking up.)

thoughts after Educ. Wk.: they’re teaching baloney (literally) part 3 of 5

So I went to the lady’s class and learned two interesting facts that I shared with you yesterday.   But that’s where the useful information ended.

 

I was hoping for some good tips since I’ve spent quite a bit of time assembling an arsenal of good information and great expert speakers for my upcoming 6-part teleseminar on Developing a High-Nutrition Food Storage.

 

Imagine my shock to spend an hour in this class on stocking a healthy pantry, and never hear any of these three important words: Vegetable (with one exception you’ll love, later in this paragraph). Fruit. Whole.   Not even any talk of grains or legumes. What I did hear was advice to stash things like creamed soup (full of MSG), Otis Spunkmaier cookie dough, cake mixes, canned anchovies, and “Krab” meat.   A long discussion of whether to freeze your meatloaf before or after you cook it.   Instructions to blanch all your veggies before freezing them to stop the enzymatic action.   The teacher laughing about how she never uses her oven because she adores her microwave so much.   A tip about a wonderful taco salad she eats often, full of chips, cheese, and hamburger meat.   A suggestion to use your canned chickpeas to make hummus, and don’t bother going to the health food store for tahini (raw sesame seed paste)–just use sour cream instead!

 

I could write paragraphs on each of these pieces of COMPLETELY BOGUS ADVICE.

 

The teacher put mypyramid.gov up on the screen, the U.S. government’s dietary guidelines.   She said this:

 

“Recently a man asked me, ‘Is there a better way to eat than the American diet? Like the Mediterranean diet, for instance?'”   The teacher pointed at the government’s pyramid, which prominently features meat and dairy and ignores raw plant food, and said this:

 

“I told him, ‘No.   This is more research based than anything in the world. It is the best diet anywhere.'”

 

I was astonished.   I got a book out to read until class was over, writing her off as being a rather ignorant grandma who was recruited to teach the class maybe because she was willing and maybe has a very organized year’s supply of food.   But then she mentioned being single and living alone, and a few minutes later mentioned, “When I was getting my PhD . . .”

 

PhD!   I put my book away.   Please, please, I thought to myself, don’t let her PhD have anything to do with nutrition.   Hundreds of people are sitting in this class learning falsehood from her.   Please, please tell me she is not influencing young people, the parents of the future, every semester on this campus.

 

I quickly flipped to the back of my Education Week magazine to learn her credentials, and this is what it said: “Association professor and dietetics program, director in nutrition, dietetics, and food sciences.”

 

So what did I do then?   I’ll tell you tomorrow.

Thoughts after BYU’s Education Week, and hope for young moms

Part 2 of 5

In a very huge curriculum across all topics, I found next to nothing on nutrition. I should really teach at Education Week. Somebody make that happen and I’m there.

 

On Friday, though, I went to a class called Stocking A Healthy and Convenient Pantry.  Please make careful note of the way that title is phrased, for my later comments. I had low expectations of the class, since the LDS (Mormon) people attending the campus event (at the Mormon university) have adopted all the ways of the larger culture, in terms of the Standard American Diet.  We embrace processed food and a heavily meat- and dairy-dominated diet, despite counsel against that in both ancient and modern scripture. (One of these days, LDS friends, I’m going to start posting loads of public comments from the prophets and apostles over the past 150 years on diet.)

 

My low expectations went even lower when I walked into the class and saw the teacher, an older lady who is about 80-100 lbs. overweight. Please know that I love everyone (I am already bracing for the responses to this blog entry), but I say that only because I prefer classes on health to be taught by people who are healthy.  Just like I expect a class on Old English to be taught by someone who has read Beowulf, and a class on dance to be taught by someone who can cha-cha.

 

Before I go just all-out nuts on what was taught in this class—representative of what’s being taught in America—let me tell you the two interesting and valuable facts I learned from the highly academically qualified source:

 

First, in the 1940’s (before Betty Crocker and prepared foods), guess how much time women spent in food-related activities, and guess how much time they spend now? 

 

1940’s:  6 hours a day

Now:    20 minutes a day

 

Sure, we have more pressures now.  More of us work.  But wow.  We could do better.  We don’t have to spend 6 hours.  But maybe we could commit to spending a bit more than 20 minutes?  Remember that includes shopping and drive-thru time . . . ALL food-related activities!

 

And here’s the other interesting fact.  Google “food neophobe” about children who are very “picky,” a new phenomenon that I’m sure is also a spawn of the Standard American Diet and its addictive chemical “foods.”  Children who won’t try new things need 9 to 10 exposures, according to research, to embrace a new food.

 

So don’t give up if you gave them green smoothies three times and it didn’t go over well! Be patient and persistent.

The Essential GreenSmoothieGirl Library . . . part 8

More important books for parents to own:

 

Denise Punger, M.D. is a GreenSmoothieGirl 12 Stepper and a brave new voice in modern medicine.   She’s a board certified doctor married to another medical doctor, but she’s also a mother who has breastfed for 12 years and delivered her last baby via home birth.   She’s an advocate of home birth, doulas, breastfeeding, and trusting a mother’s instincts.   Her Permission to Mother: Going Byond the Standard-of-Care to Nurture Our Children is an important book for young mothers to own.

 

 

Eric Schlosser’s Fast Food Nation and Chew on This: Everything You Don’t Want to Know About Fast Food are geared towards teens.   Give your kid an incentive to read one or both of these books.   My 11- and 13-year old kids loved these best-selling exposes and never wanted to set foot in a fast-food establishment again.   Okay, they never set foot in fast-food establishments anyway, except to make a bathroom stop on a trip.   They inspired my oldest daughter to become a vegetarian, and she later converted her sister.   Written for preteens and teens, this is an excellent education in why you want to avoid all fast food.   I overheard my daughter after she read Chew On This telling a friend regarding the friend’s sugar habit, “You know that children diagnosed with diabetes by the age of 8 shorten their lives by 25-30 years, don’t you?”   (Heh heh, my evil educational plot is working!)   Too bad the author states in the introduction that his favorite meal is a fast food burger.

 

 

Ron Seaborn’s The Children’s Health Food Book is a seriously weird book!   A friend recommended it to me, and when I picked it up at a health food store, my then-four-year old son went crazy for it.   I read it to him several times a day, because he begged me non-stop, until I just couldn’t take it any more and was making up my own words.   The antiheroes are the Starch Creature, the Dairy Goon, the Meat Monster, and the Sugar Demon.   Of course, the vegetable, fruit, and whole-grain superheroes come in and save the day.   This book is good for younger kids–just beware that the preschool teacher might call you and say your kid is scaring the other kids by pointing out how bad their snacks are (this actually happened to me).

Need motivation to eat less meat and more plants? . . . part 7 of 12

Today, good stats about the fact that Americans need EDUCATING on the subject of a plant-based, whole-foods diet. (You know GSG.com has an agenda to get YOU to help spread the word–and many of you already do so, brilliantly.)

 

98 percent of the wheat eaten in the U.S. is eaten as white flour.   Only 2 percent is eaten as whole wheat flour!   In traditional diets, 75-80 percent of total dietary energy comes from whole grains.

 

U.S. children who eat the recommended levels of fruits, vegs, and grains: 1 percent

 

American who are aware that eating less meat reduces colon cancer risk: 2 percent

 

American men who are aware of a link between animal products and prostate cancer: 2 percent

Tell me: How can YOU help, you being much more educated about nutrition than, well, basically almost everybody?