What my dentist says about whole foods . . . and one really cool testimonial

I went to the dentist for a cleaning yesterday. My friend Craig is my dentist, and before he looked at my (perfect, cavity-free) x-rays, we chatted about life for a while. He is jealous that I can work from home with the freedom to do things with my kids. He said this to me:

“I would love to take a year off like you are doing at the university. And if I did, I’d start a business like what you’re doing with your books and GreenSmoothieGirl. Because people should know something important about their dental health. That is, it doesn’t matter how many carbs you eat. You can eat fruit all day long. It would not affect your teeth at all. What rots your teeth is REFINED carbohydrates. If people would stop eating sugar, they wouldn’t get cavities. But eat the whole grains, fruits, complex carbs–they’re great.”

So mull that over, as I have been. Someone in the dentistry community should be out front telling people that! And today I got this very eye-opening testimonial in an email. Remember my materials on oxalates in Chapter 1 of 12 Steps? This is interesting:

“I have medulary sponge kidney disease that causes me to make kidney stones. My urologist sees me every 6 months to keep an eye on things. I started drinking green smoothies about 5 weeks ago, having 2 a day most days. I lost 6 pounds in 3 weeks, and haven’t gained it back. About 10 days ago I had an ultrasound of my kidneys and 5 days ago I had the usual blood work done. I recently noticed my face (I’m always complimented on my youthful appearance) glowing–and my husband obviously thought so because he reached out to stroke my cheek with the back of his hand. I asked if I had food on my face and he said, “No.” And then he stroked my cheek again.

Back to today’s check-up with my urologist. He was very pleased, saying, “You always have many kidney stones in both kidneys–usually the left has more than the right, but they both have multiple stones. Your scan shows NO stones in the left, and a stone the size of a pin point in the right kidney.” He had to rock the wand forward and back to find it! He said, “You’ve lost weight. You look great! Whatever you’re doing, keep it up! I don’t need to see you for a year.”

Here’s the kicker: in the past he asked me to stay away from “high oxalate” foods such as kale and spinach since my kidney stones are calcium-oxalate stones. But, what greens have I put in my green smoothies? Kale, spinach and beet tops. And I’m better than I’ve been in YEARS AND YEARS, in terms of kidney health.

Go green smoothies!”

–Cindy

Need motivation to eat less meat and more plants? . . . part 8 of 12

Today stats about where foodborne bacteria E. coli, campylobacter, and salmonella come from, and irradiation consequences.   And which foods you should be most concerned about.   (Each of these stats/quotes has a corresponding source in Robbins’ The Food Revolution.)

 

The deadly E. coli 0157:H7 bacteria has occasionally been found in sprouts and raw apple juice.   The vast majority of E. coli has been found in: GROUND BEEF

 

Tom Billy, administrator of USDA’s Food Safety and Inspection Service, estimates how many cases of beef contain E. coli: 50 percent of U.S. cattle carcasses

 

Reuters News Service quote: “A report by the U.S. Dept. of Agriculture estimates that 89 percent of U.S. beef ground into patties contains traces of the deadly E. coli strain.”

 

Leading cause of kidney failures in U.S./Canadian children: Hemolytic Uremic Syndrome, 85 percent of cases caused by E. coli

 

Estimate of how many E. coli cases are actually reported: 2% (William Keene, epidemiologist)

 

Salmonella has been caused by tomatoes, mustard cress, bean sprouts, cantaloupe and watermelon.   Far more cases have been caused by: EGGS AND ANIMAL PRODUCTS

 

Americans sickened by Salmonella-tainted eggs in the U.S., annually: 650,000+

 

Americans killed by eating Salmonella-tainted eggs in the U.S., annually: 600

 

Salmonella cases in U.S. versus Sweden: 1 in 200, compared to 1 in 10,000 (you’ll know why later in a blog about the way animals are raised/processed)

 

Campylobacter is occasionally detected on vegetables.   It’s widespread in: CHICKENS

 

American turkeys sufficiently contaminated with Campylobacter to cause illness: 90 percent (side note: if you don’t get sick, thank your immune system, which incidentally is nourished with antioxidant-rich plant foods)

 

Number of hens screened for Campylobacter by Univ. of Wisconsin researchers: 2,300

Number that were NOT infected with Campylobacter: 8

 

Cause of Milwaukee’s cryptosporidium outbreak in ’93 that sickened 400,000 and killed over 100: dairy manure

 

Campylobacter kills more Americans every year than E. coli and is increasing more rapidly, according to CDC numbers.   The poultry industry does not dispute that most chicken sold in the U.S. is contaminated.

 

Quote by former USDA microbiologist Gerald Kuester of today’s processed chicken: “(The) final product is no different than if you stuck it in the toilet and ate it.”

 

Evidence of that: Univ. of Arizona found higher levels of coliform bacteria in the American kitchen than on the toilet rim because of “a bonus on the animal foods people bring into their kitchens.   The bathroom is cleaner because people are not washing their chickens in the toilet” (Nicols Fox, foodborne disease authority).

 

Listeria has been found on cabbage grown in fields fertilized with listeria-infected animals.   Far more often it’s found in: SOFT CHEESES AND PROCESSED MEATS

 

The U.S. government’s answer to microbial contamination: irradiation (no long-term studies have been done)

 

Consequences of irradiation: Vita A, B-1, C, K, and E are destroyed, and new and potentially carcinogenic chemical compounds are  created (also mutant bacteria and viruses are a possibility)

Water intoxication . . . part 5 of 6 on WATER

Dr. B and other experts say you should drink half your weight in ounces (that’s 8 glasses of water for a 128 lb. person), with ¼ tsp. unrefined salt dissolved in water for every quart you drink.

Of course, the most important fact is that most people are chronically dehydrated and need to drink more.   Clear or very light colored urine shows good hydration, and the darker your urine, the more dehydrated you are (first thing in the morning, most of us are dehydrated).   Small children, the elderly, and athletes are at highest risk for dehydration, because we lose 10-15 cups of fluids daily through elimination, sweat, and breathing.   The biggest factor increasing that amount is exercise–but altitude and temperature are other variables to consider.

You can, in fact, drink too much water to achieve water intoxication.   This usually happens only to athletes, since your kidneys can’t process water during exercise, so competitive athletes must balance sodium and water intake.   Thirteen percent of distance runners whose weight was measured before and after running and their water consumption studied, drank too much water, causing abnormally or dangerously low blood sodium levels.

Dissolve about ½ tsp. of Original Crystal Himalayan Salt (or RealSalt would be my second choice) in your water first thing in the morning to balance water and sodium levels for best hydroelectric conductivity in your body.

Get in the habit of taking your favorite reusable water bottle with you everywhere you go.   Find spaces in your routine where you learn to always drink a glass or two.   For instance, drink your 16 oz. water bottle all the way home from work in the car, before you prepare dinner.