Thyroid—you might have a problem and not know it

All estimates I’ve read are that 25 to 50 percent or more of American women have significant thyroid issues. Possibly over half of women over 40. Most of these women are undiagnosed. If you have low thyroid, which is the most common thyroid problem, symptoms may be low energy, slow metabolism / weight gain, dry skin, bags under your eyes, fatigue, hair loss, depression, poor circulation, low immune function, and insomnia.

My best friend since childhood, on the other hand, has the “auto-immune” condition of hyperthyroidism, which is just as miserable. Her thyroid is always revved and overproducing. She goes the drug route. The symptoms are a racing heartbeat, weight loss, increase or decrease in appetite, insomnia, fatigue, diarrhea, mental disturbance, infertility, thinning hair, itching and hives, heat intolerance, and tremors / shakiness.

All the endocrine disruptors in the environment and food supply affect thyroid function. Don’t eat soy! Don’t expose yourself to pesticides, or plastics, or heavy metals. Avoid drugs, alcohol, and unchecked stress.

Doctors will likely put you on synthetic hormone. Remember that the drug thyroid is not bioidentical to the thyroid produced in your body. It’s been molecularly altered, each drug different from each other, to earn a patent.

If you find a clinic that specializes in bioidentical hormone, the cost is far less, and your body can assimilate and utilize the hormone effectively, like the hormone your own thyroid produces.

I spent four years on a synthetic thyroid drug, many years ago, before I knew any better. It helped me drop the 40 lbs. I’d gained in a year since I became hypothyroid. But it increased my risk for cancer. I happily transitioned to bioidentical and have been on it ever since. Recently I went completely off thyroid to test whether perhaps my good diet compensated, and maybe I could produce hormone effectively by myself.

The good news is, my baseline was much better than it was 10 years ago when I first was tested. The bad news is, I got ugly bags under my eyes. I made some videos last summer in Denver when I was completely off thyroid, and I can’t even look at them. Ugly. My body makes about 60% of the thyroid I need. I take a few drops of nascent iodine each day, now, and my bioidentical thyroid keeps me happy and balanced.

You can read whole books on the thyroid phenomenon by Mary Shomon, a bestselling author. Too many women are hypothyroid and going without treatment. Remember to google “bioidentical hormone” rather than starting with the standard M.D.’s practice of automatic drug-oriented HRT (hormone replacement therapy).

And remember, having an M.D. check you for T3 will not give you the whole answer. When I gained 40 lbs. because I was very hypothyroid in my mid-30’s, I was tested for that and the doc told me it was “normal.” I knew I was NOT feeling normal, but what was I to do?

You must get the full blood panel and have a highly specialized bioidentical practitioner look at the interplay of T3, T4, progesterone, estrogen, testosterone, and a variety of co-factors. When I did that, my life changed dramatically because they could treat my whole body, rather than just drug one element, throwing other critical elements into imbalance.

If you’re feeling healthy but want to make sure you’re getting enough iodine, using refined salt with chemical, synthetic iodine enrichment, is harmful. If you want ways to get more natural, bioavailable iodine in your diet, to enhance your body’s ability to make and utilize thyroid hormone?

Talk to your holistic practitioner about whether you should take nascent iodine (available online, google it) or Lugol’s solution (prescription). My practitioner had me paint a 1”x1” patch of my inner forearm with drugstore iodine, and if it disappeared in an hour, she said that was a sign my body needs iodine. (However, I believe others dispute this test as valid.)

Food-based sources are kelp (which you can take in tablets, or it’s a wonderful salt replacement seasoning), or dulse, or nori sheets (seaweed). Those are high-iodine sea vegetables. If you take too much, you would notice being jittery, anxious, shaky, so if so, you could back off those foods. But generally, you’d have to eat an awful lot of sea vegetables to create an imbalance.

Too Much of a Good Thing? Ken and Kaye’s testimonial

I got this letter from Ken:

My wife and I saw you at the San Jose event in April. I was gung-ho to give the smoothie a try, mainly to drop some weight and begin to get back into shape for summer. I’m a logical thinker and all the points you made were clear and compelling. We started the smoothies over two weeks ago.

Since I am analytical in nature and tend to point out flaws or errors, my wife does not like me to watch her cook or prepare anything.  So from my perspective, I would see a jug of smoothie in the frig, either greenish or brownish.  Each day, I would tell her the characteristics of the flavor and make suggestions on how to tweak the recipe.

[Interruption from Robyn here: Ken, Ken, Ken. You’ve got yourself a good woman. Get out of the kitchen unless you want to say, “Honey, you’re the best thing that’s ever happened to me! Thank you for my green smoothie today! Regardless of how it tastes, this is making me healthy! You’re a goddess—what can I do for YOU today?” Okay, back to you.]

I’m using the smoothie as a lunch substitute to achieve my weight loss goal of dropping 10-15 pounds.  I would usually go to a deli, Taco Bell or In-N-Out for lunch, so I figured the weight would start coming down easily.  I would drink 1/3 of the smoothie at 10 am, another third at noon and the remainder in the early afternoon.  That also left me free to walk at lunchtime.

After a week, I had dropped only one pound! That was a little discouraging, but one benefit I did find was with my skin.  I have a bald head and after my morning showers, the top of my head has some dry skin that I need to rub or scrub off. Well, that was no longer the case! Woohoo!

I’d lost only two pounds and was whining to my wife. [Ken, search “constipation” and weight-loss related articles on this blog for ideas on why you didn’t lose weight faster.] However, in addition to the lack of dry skin, I also was noticing that I wasn’t getting tired in the afternoons like I used to do. I had discontinued my daily diet sodas as well. Woohoo again!

Then one morning, my wife comes out of the bedroom with tears in her eyes and says she has a confession to make. I hate those kind of marriage moments! Just like the moment before you die, everything was flashing through my head, trying to predict what the heck she was going to tell me, and what I would have to forgive.  She then blurted it out:

“I have been giving you twice as much smoothie as needed.”

She said she watched your video again on making the smoothies and this time noticed you mentioned it would make a two-day supply (2 quarts).  It hadn’t dawned on either of us that the jug I was taking into work was a half gallon! At work, I was pouring it into paper cups for each serving and still didn’t make the correlation to how many ounces the cups held.

For the last few days, I have been just drinking a quart of smoothie, which seems like a piece of cake.  The attached photo is of Kaye and me on a day-long motorcycle ride.  I can fit the smoothies in a little cooler in my bike trunk so it is nice and cold.

For anyone who is having difficulty getting used to the quart a day, try going a week or two drinking a half gallon a day!  That will make a quart seem like child’s play.  By the way, after a few days like this, my weight loss is picking up pace.  Woohoo again!

 

They might be enjoying their food more than I am

Today I was driving down State Street, trying to drink a pint of beet/carrot/celery juice that I’d brought with me. I had a kitchen towel wrapped around it because when I ran out to the car with it, it was leaking. I’d jumped back out of the car and used the towel to re-trace my steps back to the fridge wiping up the floor, because it looked like someone was bleeding to death all along the path from fridge to car.

So I was at a stoplight, where I took the lid off and was throwing it back. Not very yummy. Really I was just pounding it. Getting it down the hatch.

And I noticed that in a beat-up truck next to me was a middle-aged couple, both eating fast-food burgers and fries.

And I had the thought, “This *!&! well better be making a difference in my life, because they look like they’re enjoying what they’re eating more than I am.”

Then I cracked up, right out loud, no one else in the car, because I just caught me talking to me.

Ten minutes later, though? I had millions of antioxidant molecules neutralizing, literally, the day’s stresses and exposure to chemicals. Giving me energy and a positive mood.

Which is good, because I’ve got a boatload of work to do. And I want to go to Zumba tonight with my friends. And I want my kids to get the best of me tonight, rather than the dregs.

Ten minutes later…..my friends in the pickup truck DON’T have powerful compounds keeping their blood thin and mobile.

Whatever pleasure it gave for the drive down State Street is gone. In fact, they might already be starting to feel sluggish and heavy. Dozens of processes in their bodies are rushing to their rescue to enable their hearts to continue beating despite the assault of chemicals and fats in the bloodstream.

They’ve absorbed the energy of the misery and suffering of that cow, who got pumped up with antibiotics and steroids and growth hormones before slaughter. They have millions of molecules of trans fats and chemicals running around their bloodstream wreaking havoc.

My beet-celery juice is sounding a lot better.

I think I’ll go get another glass out of the fridge.

Nutrition is usually a gradual process of changes and improvement!

I think it’s important you know how gradual my health changes were. Because I don’t want you to be discouraged if you like how you feel eating whole foods, but your problems didn’t disappear overnight.

I’ve written about 21 health problems I had in my 20’s that have all gone the way of the Dodo.

Aren’t people supposed to develop more and more health problems the older they get? We’ve come to think of this as normal and inevitable. I have a tennis teammate, Gloria, who will NOT divulge her age. She has a beautiful little body that any 30-year old would love to have, she eats right, and she’s never been overweight in her life. But her daughter plays with us and is 52! That puts Gloria well into her 70’s, and I’m telling you, she is an excellent tennis player, runs as fast as we do, and doesn’t have joint problems!

So, you might start drinking green smoothies and even though you’ve read the crazy-awesome testimonials people send to me on this site, you aren’t at your ideal weight with all health conditions gone.

Me neither. I started making serious changes at 28 years old, but they were gradual and hit-or-miss for quite a while. Two steps forward, one step back. I was 100% about it for my little boy, whose health crisis was desperate, but I was still addicted to some processed foods and didn’t quite give up animal products. I gradually read more, implemented more, conquered my addictions more—but not overnight. My behavior lagged behind my education. I was frustrated by that, mad at myself, sometimes.

I was diagnosed with 20/20 vision when I was 40—that was the last degenerative condition to completely resolve. That and insomnia, which resolved when I started taking amazing fulvic acid (now in the form of GreenSmoothieGirl Ultimate Minerals)—love the minerals, the chelating ability, the detoxifying ability, the power in that product. My eyesight was completely restored after 12 years of an increasingly whole-foods, plant-based diet.

All the other problems disappeared much faster than that—some were virtually overnight. Quick to disappear were all my hypoglycemia and eczema. (Seasonal allergies took quite a few years and happened when I started eating raw local honey.)

The migraines ended when I completely gave up artificial sweetener and caffeine.   Circulation problems (cold hands and feet) went away when I started to get medium-chain fatty acids in the form of coconut oil in my diet and on my skin. The weight problem went away when I quit eating sugar every day.

I quit getting sick when I stopped eating sugar every day and started eating probiotic (cultured) foods. My energy returned, more and more—what I ended up with is something I wouldn’t have had the vision to hope for. I have tons of energy, every day, from early till late.

But let me say this, and it’s important: green smoothies alone would not have been enough for me. I would have been still overweight—but just less so, and healthier.

More commitment is needed, more than just green smoothies. Take more steps!

More info about Rejuvelac, part 1 of 3

[Because many people are asking: group buy has not kicked off, hopefully early next week, stay tuned here and we’ll announce it!]

We got more comments about my Rejuvelac video and blog than anything I’ve written about in a long time. The main reaction was, “This is so easy now that I’ve SEEN it, can’t wait to try it!”

Rejuvelac is a probiotic, enzyme drink made from sprouted grain. It costs about $0.25 for half a gallon and it takes about five minutes. Here’s my original video and blog about it.

Keep in mind the fermented Rejuvelac (“done” to my liking in about 24 hours, here in Utah in September where my house is 76-78 degrees) will taste tart, lemony. Another day or two would likely make it naturally carbonated and highly tangy.

Here are questions I’ve been asked, with answers.

Question: What do I do with the stuff at the bottom and top of the jar?

Answer: I failed to show that you can strain the solids (sprouts) out of the Rejuvelac, with a nut milk bag so that it’s just a drink, no floaties or sediment. What I do is drink a glassful from a half-gallon jar of it, but if I’m using it in my green smoothie, I go ahead and use the sprouted-grain solids.

Several of you asked if they should drink it if it smells bad. So I made a batch and smelled it. Since I have no fear of cultured foods, I’d never smelled it before. I agree, it smells pretty bad! But it tasted fine–like Rejuvelac. Tart/tangy, not unpleasant. So my advice is, don’t smell it, taste it!

(That’s the one thing I can’t do for you in my video—reach out and give you a taste.)

Bobby Morgan, the director of CHI, reminds me, “You can ingest huge amounts of nutrients, but unless your body is able to actually absorb them, they’re useless. Dr. Ann Wigmore taught us that Rejuvelac is full of the vitamins, minerals, protein, carbohydrates, destrines, caccharins, and phosphates that our bodies need to be healthy. In fact, she felt that ‘Although a beverage, Rejuvelac is actually so nutritious, it could be classified as a food by itself.” (Quoted from “Rebuild Your Health with Dr. Ann Wigmore’s Living Foods Lifestyle.”)

Question: When should I drink Rejuvelac?

Answer: At CHI, we were told NOT to drink Rejuvelac after 4 p.m. Why? Because it gives you so much energy, and if you drink it too late in the day, you might not be able to sleep! Now there’s an exciting answer for those of you who use caffeine to get through the day! Like I am constantly teaching in my classes, get your energy surges from critically needed plant nutrition, rather than a chemical stimulant that hurts you in the process. So, try drinking it on an empty stomach, in the low-energy part of your day. It will cost you $0.05, and if you try it for a few weeks, you may start to really enjoy the lemony taste. You’ll save $4.45 over a Starbucks latte, and you won’t have to stand in line, and it will help rather than hurt your health.

I love the Pacific Northwest!

We’re just back from a whirlwind tour speaking in Boise, Kennewick, Portland, and Seattle in just over 48 hours! (Photo is in Kennewick.) Besides a stop along the Oregon coast to buy an armload of the most fabulous blueberries that have ever been in my mouth, we SAW nothing and DID nothing besides teach and drive, teach and drive!

In Portland, I met Michael, who was officially the ONLY person who raised his hand to say he does NOT need any weight loss, energy, or better digestion, because he’s operating at peak performance. He sometimes does bike races where he cycles 150 miles in a day, and he’s a tap dancer.

And he is 70 YEARS OLD.

The audience wanted to know: what are you doing? (When we die, we all want to go out, late in the 9th inning, flipping a light switch, right? Sorry I just mixed my metaphors. We don’t wanna go out on a dimmer switch for 10 to 30 years like so many people around us are doing!)

Michael’s been vegan 25 years. Raw 15 years. Green smoothies 3 years. (OF COURSE!) Sure wish we’d gotten a video with Michael, another example of who I want to be when I grow up, before we tore out the door to Seattle. (The last person who raised her hand for that question was about 2,000 people and 8 classes ago, in Denver: a 65-year old kayaker….she’s a raw foodist, too.)

Occasionally I meet someone like an ex-BF of mine, D., who is hands-down the handsomest man I’ve ever dated. He eats a burger and fries for lunch every day, always chicken or beef for dinner, and drinks 64 oz. of Dr. Pepper every day. (He did read my book and take up the GS habit.) He took Trazadone to sleep and combat anxiety (and still doesn’t sleep), and two “Vitamin P” (his name for Percocet) to get through a tennis match. (And then he could barely walk for two days.) But to look at him? Movie-star good looks. Very fit and toned despite getting very little exercise and terribly painful arthritis.

But D. is an anomaly. A freak of nature. Once I read that Heather Locklear will not eat anything green, hates vegetables. She’s a freak too.

Let’s talk about the rest of us, the 99.9%. We have to take very good care of our organism or it all goes to Hades.

For the most part, when I talk to people in my extensive travels, what you SEE is what you ate. Our fuel becomes us. If we eat lots of raw plant foods, we look alive, positive energies, attractive. If we eat toxic, dead fuel, we look aged, haggard, grey.

Don’t you love K’Lynne’s “after” photo? Meeting people like Michael who are kicking trash at the age of 70, and the 65-year old kayaker lady, make me feel so much mojo for this mission I’m on. Because it shows up in how you LOOK as much as how you FEEL.