How I Spent My Summer Vacation

Last week Tennyson had a close encounter with a curb he tried to jump on his bike. I had his broken tooth repaired later that day. Everything scabbed over and his giant fat lip was subsiding, when he got stung by two wasps at a baseball game.

Here’s a photo of him 18 hours later. His friends were in my bedroom late last night poking and prodding Tennyson’s enormous dome. My oldest daughter Emma can’t stop saying, “Awwwww!” and hugging him.

The next morning was his first day of school. I didn’t have the heart to make him go. It’s a new school, with kids he doesn’t know. He had a new outfit picked out, ready to walk in the first day, all cool, parking his new ride (an electric scooter).

Talking to other people who’ve had similar reactions to wasp stings, it’s going to take a week to subside. I can’t let him stay out of school for a week.

He looks just like Will Smith in Hitch. I told him about Gwyneth Paltrow in the movie Shallow Hal, too. She wears a fat suit and has the eye-opening experience most beautiful women never experience: learning how people treat the obese.

I said, “See, Ten, you could have a once-in-a-lifetime experience like that. You get to meet people and find out how they treat you that’s DIFFERENT than when you’re your good-looking REAL self. You could do a school project on what it’s like. A week later, your face will be back to normal and all the girls will be like, ‘Alien Boy is HOT, who knew?!”

He was unimpressed with my idea.

So instead I went to have a t-shirt made with last year’s school picture on it. That way he could wear it to his new school on his first day and show people, “This is what I REALLY look like!”

(I spent all afternoon on it. As you can see by the photo, he was still unimpressed.)

Hopefully this way, though, he won’t be traumatized for life and tell a shrink when he’s 43 and still lives in my basement that everything went wrong the day his head swelled up like a watermelon and his mom made him go to school anyway.

(After 18 hours, when it had only gotten worse instead of better, I finally bought some Benadryl. It did nothing except make him sleepy.)

 

“Best Day Ever” stuff

I have a group of friends I play a game with called “Best Day Ever.” When something good (or bad–that you decide is Perfect in its learning opportunities!) happens—we find that moment in every day that makes it the Best Day Ever—we text each other.

It makes your day so great, looking for that funny or cool spot, and hearing about them from people you love. It’s a reminder that truth is stranger than fiction. (One day last week my BDE moment was seeing Orem High School’s boys’ track team do the Macarena on State Street, shirtless. I have no idea why. Maybe they lost a race?) Playing this game is a reminder that there are gold nuggets even in hard days. Here are a couple from last week.

Wednesday. The checkout employee at Good Earth told me I should go to a really great site called GreenSmoothieGirl.com. (Is this because I have returned to my natural hair color? Cracked me up.)

Thursday. I was walking out of BlendTec’s offices after doing some filming with their crew. This gorgeous 25-ish woman’s eyes got big and she grabbed my arm as she passed me. “Are you…..?”

I told her I am GSG, and she introduced herself:  Elona, originally from Albania. She has a 2 ½ year old son with severe asthma, and her friend Heather, the wife of BlendTec’s founder (Bev, whom I have not met), and a small group of friends sent her to my site.

She said, “We have gotten him off dairy. We’re still working on sugar.”

I said, “Know what the easiest way to do that is? Don’t have it in your home.”

That sounds hard, but once you know some good alternatives and you start filling your diet with greens, vegetables, fruits, legumes, whole grains, nuts and seeds (in that order), it’s easy.

He won’t be deprived of treats. Unfortunately they’re everywhere at church, Grama’s house, preschool, after sports events, neighborhood and family parties, and his friends’ homes. (If you’re not willing to police those sugar sources as I confess to doing when my children were younger. Now I stick to getting them to drink a big green smoothie before they go to the party, and requiring that they have a big helping of salad before they eat the other junk. And I draw the line at soda and processed meat.)

Anyway, Elona said, “Do you have two minutes that I can tell you how my life has changed since I started all this?”

She said her little one hasn’t had his constant Pulmacort spiked with Albuterol, and frequent liquid steroid prescriptions, in three weeks. A first for him! She described the doctor’s and nurses’ guilt trips, bordering on bullying….she said it’s scary because everyone around her places so much faith in doctors.

I literally got chills listening to her–took me back to that “fear spot”  of the day it became clear to me that my doctor’s authoritative statements and prescriptions to cure my extremely ill child were of little value. As I say when I speak, I became aware that the entire medical model is like Oz. We’ve built it up in our collective consciousness to be something it isn’t. It has some value. Much more limited value than what we’ve invested in it.

And it wasn’t gonna save my little boy. I was going to have to start at Square A and look for other answers.

Elona ‘s eyes filled with tears and she threw her arms around my neck. I’m so happy for her.

Drugs are an expressway to hell. I’m not saying everyone should go off them, cold turkey, immediately when they figure out that something more is needed. I’m saying that you have to go to the BOTTOM of the pyramid and deal with what’s at the root of the problem. If you’re weak, mucousy, acidic, with a beaten-down immune system, more drugs isn’t going to solve that.

Paul Leatham, my original mentor, taught me 60-80% raw. He was my beginning. Or my renaissance, since my grandmother and mother originally mentored me–but until Paul Leatham taught me the connection between my son’s illness, and nutrition, I was floundering.

Paul taught me, “If you have a swamp full of alligators, what do you do? Throw a pill in the swamp to kill the alligators? IT’S STILL A SWAMP! More alligators are gonna show up.”

You have to DRAIN THE SWAMP.

That is what we are doing. We are not putting mucous-forming foods in our mouths to burn out our tissues with acidity. We don’t want our body spending its precious energy fighting being swamped with thick goo that is a breeding ground for bacteria, virus, mold, fungus, and the waste products of all those ugly creatures.

Green food and other raw plant foods DRAIN THE SWAMP.

Off topic, Elona said this to me:

“I watch all your videos. I thought you couldn’t be older than 35. I mean, you look so amazing, for how old…..” (Her voice trailed off….)

I cracked up. “For how old I am?” I said. “Um, my English isn’t that good,” she said, weakly.

What an adorable girl. I laughed all the way home.

this is what it looks like when I’m sick

True confession: I got sick on Tuesday. I did yoga and worked out with my tennis team from 8-11 after waking up feeling a little weird and weak. I went home and took colloidal silver, with some powdered Vitamin C mixed in, every few hours. I texted my massage therapist Kortni, who fit me in and worked on my neck/lymphatic system.

In the afternoon I felt a little feverish, so I climbed in bed and slept for a couple of hours. Then I got up and worked at my computer and took care of my kids, feeling about 50%. I watched TV for the first time in a year and slept 8 hours that night (which is 2-3 hours more than normal). I took a big spoonful of my friend Charlene’s Anti-Plague formula before bed, which is raw apple cider vinegar and raw garlic and 8 immune-strengthening herbs. (It’s based on a Dr. Christopher’s formula which you can buy.)

Then I woke up feeling fine and normal the next morning, went to the gym and ran 4 miles.

In my 20’s, I used to get sick a dozen times every winter. I’d go into a dark depression because I couldn’t seem to get healthy. I believe this happened because of MANY rounds of strep throat and antibiotics when I was a child weakening my immune system. Finally when I was 28, I got strep for the last time. I’d been reading a lot, starting into better nutrition, and becoming less enamored of medicine. Also, I was pregnant. So I refused to take antibiotics, and instead took the herb GOLDENSEAL. The strep disappeared quickly and has never returned.

I’ve never had any respiratory problems or sinus infections or bladder or yeast infections, ever—since abandoning the S.A.D. and drug interventions.

So often I hear people say, “I never get sick” as evidence that they are very healthy. I’ve known a number of people who suddenly have Stage 3 cancer even though they rarely got viruses. My point is just that whether or not you’re susceptible to viruses is only ONE measure–not even necessarily the most important measure–of how your immune function or even your overall health is. There are many functions of immunity.

That said….I now get sick about one day, every year or two, and even then I’m totally functional. If that were the ONLY miracle that occurred from our switch to a whole foods, mostly plant-based diet 17 years ago, it would still be one of the best decisions I’ve ever made!

And, your body flushing out with clear, thin mucous when you get a cold or slight fever is a POSITIVE THING. It’s necessary and it builds those immune-function “muscles.” Suppressing a fever is unwise. Read Dr. Robert Mendelssohn (who was a pediatrician and wrote How to Raise a Healthy Child in Spite of Your Doctor) on how utterly rare an out-of-control fever is, and how helpful and necessary it is for the body in resolving the illness.

What ISN’T healthy is when that mucous becomes thick, yellow, green, and/or stagnant. Thick, acidic mucous sitting in your throat, sinuses, and lungs is a breeding ground for infection and cascading problems. Lots of alkaline water, lots of green food, living plant food, and extra REST, are the best enemies of that condition.

If you saw what I see….part 2 of 2

If you make it even to 60 eating the Standard American Diet, without chronic health issues, you have dodged a bullet and you’re an exception to the rule. Your parents and grandparents degenerated the DNA you inherited, with their lousy diet. (They didn’t know better. You have more data and options, in 2011, so you have fewer excuses.)

(The fact that your mother’s father chain-smoked his way to age 103? That may be as useful and relevant as a glass eye in a keyhole, as my dad would say.)

(I’ve no clue what that means either.)

Let’s turn this thing around BEFORE an x-ray shows lesions on your nerve column in the spine and your right arm goes numb. Let’s change habit BEFORE cancerous cells become a diseased organ that you really need.

Let’s start supplying your body vibrant, living reds, greens, yellows, and oranges as fuel — instead of dead, chemical-preserved foods fried in toxic refined oils.

You can totally do it. Many people have, and are.

It’s an exciting revolution. Back to our roots. Living in the modern world with all its abundance but skipping the past century’s love affair with plastic-food addictions. It’s like straddling ancient and modern worlds, picking the best of both. It’s an exciting time to be alive—if we can be selective!

I stayed with my film crew after Thursday’s class, to film segments in the Good Earth, of the products I buy in health food stores. We also filmed the class; we’ll edit it and offer it on the site, soon, for those who live away or want to share the message with others who can’t attend.

My daughter asks, “Why do we get sick?”

Dear Mom: “Why do we get colds? Why did I get this cold and you didn’t?”

Answer: (This question came from my 13 y.o. daughter, my most resistant healthy eater. I explained it to her and thought you might like the answer as well, highly simplified.)

“First of all, a mild cold with clear mucous is a helpful thing to get now and then (once or twice a year, even). It is your body flushing out toxins.

(When the mucous sticks around for a long time, settles in the lungs or elsewhere, and becomes thick, and yellow or green, THAT’S when you have a problem. That’s a highly acidic climate that is just begging for more viral or bacterial infections. That’s a perfect host for illness. How do you create that perfect climate for germs to take over? Take medications. Eat meat, dairy, refined flour and sugar, soda, coffee. Drink little water, get little sleep, fail to manage stress.)

Doctors believe that we die of things because germs are chasing us around, and finally they win and we die. The problem with this theory is that we have millions of harmful bacteria and viral and fungal “bugs” around us all the time. On the countertop, in our clothes, in the air, in our bodies. So why aren’t we always sick?

Because our immune system protects us. It fails us when we do not support it, or when we undermine it. Those with strong immune systems–and a healthy gastrointestinal tract where most of the bacteria populating it are good, supportive “germs”–do just fine. We might be exposed to swine flu, or strep, or meningitis, and the various systems in our immune support army just knock it out.

Those who make lifestyle choices to SUPPORT those complex, sensitive immune systems are more likely to avoid illness. Those who eat more colorful and especially GREEN raw, living plant foods are at least risk. Of course heredity, and inherent weaknesses, play a role. But the thing we can control in all of it is what we put in our mouth.

Now go drink a big glass of alkaline water please!”

How often do you get sick? Should I buy hand sanitizer?

Dear GreenSmoothieGirl: I was wondering, while eating the great raw food diet that you eat, when is the last time you “caught a cold.”

Can you give us an idea about whether you and your kids have been sick or the magnitude of it? Do you or the kids get a cold and you are able to fight it off much quicker with a healthy diet OR do you guys not get sick at all.

Here in Jersey our kids go back to school soon and that’s the time I start to really worry about the “germs.” Do you believe in Hand Sanitizer and what are your thoughts on it. It seems like they are becoming MANDATORY on the Back to School Supply list and I was just curious on your thoughts about this.

Answer: I think the Hand Sanitizer is silly. Don’t get me wrong–I am a big fan of washing hands well. But there are millions of bad bacteria everywhere, air, counters, clothes, food. And all the antibacterial products out there are doing very little, if anything, to protect us. And they are possibly helping “bugs” become more resistant and super-virile. A spray or hand gel is like sticking your pinkie in the hole in the dam, when the dam is breaking.

Fact is, people don’t get sick because we get exposed to a “bug.” We’re being exposed to bugs all the time. Why did my tenant, who I saw every day and exchanged food with, etc., get deathly ill from swine flu last year for six long weeks, requiring an ER visit, and I didn’t, and neither did my kids? (My oldest son got a little sick for two days.)

If we are a good host for a bug to overpower our natural defenses, when we create an internal climate where nasty micro-organisms thrive, then we get sick.

How do we become that perfect host? We eat lots of acidic foods–dairy, meat, coffee, yeast bread, and especially sugar. (Stress, pollution, medications, and not sleeping enough also contribute to a highly acidic internal climate and susceptibility.)

If we drink lots of water, eat raw, alkaline food (greens being the very best on that list), and do all the other good stuff (moderate exercise, sleep, etc.), we are minimizing our risk of catching the “bugs” that are omnipresent.

As for when I last “caught a cold”–I can’t even remember. Maybe 3 years ago. I think getting a mild cold that lasts a day, with clear mucous, is a good thing. It’s a way that your body flushes itself out. Getting a “cold” once or twice a year is not a sign of failure. It’s when illnesses linger, when the mucous becomes stagnant and thick and acidic (yellow or green), or when we get things worse than a cold, that we know we’ve become the perfect host for illness. Strep, bronchitis, flu–”catching” these is a sign something is very wrong.

And at that point, it’s time to clean house. Lots of green smoothies, maybe a juice cleanse, and adherence to a 60-80% or more raw plant-based diet.

In my family, none of us has been really ill, or had the “flu,” or had anything requiring an antibiotic, in at least 12 years. But before that? When we were eating the Standard American Diet? We were sick constantly. All of us, especially me and my oldest son.