Breast Cancer and ObamaCare . . . part 1 of 3

The headline in my paper, Mar. 26, is “Up to a Third of Breast Cancer Cases Could be Avoided.” Western countries could avoid 25 to 30 percent of breast cancer cases if they ate less and exercised more.

(That’s lowest-common-denominator stuff. What if they not only got thinner and exercised, but they ate POWERFULLY HEALING RAW PLANT FOODS EN MASSE EVERY DAY? Then how much breast cancer would be avoided? Two thirds? Almost all? I don’t know–but it’s exciting to think about.)

Carlo La Vecchia, head of epidemiology at University of Milan, said that what can be achieved with screening has been achieved, and now it’s time to move on to other ideas. Like prevention with nutrition.

The research discussed by researchers at a conference in Spain (sponsored by an agency of The World Health Organization) revolved around what is known about breast cancer AND what a sensitive subject it is.

Who wants to “blame” breast cancer patients for their disease? Certainly not their oncologists. Not me either! If you’re reading this and have breast cancer, I just want you to get well!

On the other hand, would any breast cancer victim deny those 7 out of 8 women who haven’t contracted the disease the opportunity to avoid it? To have the information necessary?

Your chance of contracting this disease is 60% higher if you’re overweight. In 2008, 40,000 women died in the U.S. and 90,000 in Europe. The more fat tissue you have, the more estrogen you produce–fueling excesses that put you at risk for this ugly disease dreaded by women everywhere.

We can’t avoid teaching people how to avoid breast and other cancers (and our #1 killer, heart disease) because we don’t want to hurt their feelings telling them it could have been avoided.

For the sake of everyone else, and for the survivors who have the chance to make lifestyle changes, let’s talk about prevention rather than just mammograms and chemo and radiation.

If we are going to continue to put up with outrageous rates of women cutting off , burning, and poisoning their breasts, well, we have to look at completely insane solutions like ObamaCare.

But if we’re willing to abandon the insanity and become calm, logical, and practical about our health, we must begin the journey back to our roots.

Back to the days when breast cancer was very rare.

The days when we ate greens, vegetables, fruits, from our gardens. When we also ate legumes, whole grains, clean animal protein in the winter, cultured milk and vegetables assisting our digestion and immunity. We didn’t have as much variety and choices. But we made our food in our homes, with simple, whole ingredients.

Dr. Punger’s foreword, part 2 of 2

[continued from yesterday, Dr. Punger’s foreword to my 12 Steps to Whole Foods course]

The mystery of making tasty, healthy meals out of whole foods was unraveled. I needed all the information she posts on the web, but the organized, sequential course is essential. I wish I had it when I first found out I was food sensitive. In fact I wish I had this information before I began dealing with my sensitivities. Now, I grow my own herbs and sprouts. I use my dehydrator. I even make fermented vegetables. And it’s easy!

I finally lost weight without deprivation or hunger (and so did my two pre-teens!). In fact, I rarely feel hungry eating whole foods, now, when starting my day with a green smoothie. My skin is clear. Ankle swelling, which I tolerated (had no idea was food related) because I attributed it to aging, now disappeared. Headaches, which I thought were stress related, are rare. I focus on whole, plant-based foods as the 12 Steps course teaches, and that naturally pushes the refined sugars and flours and preservatives and chemicals out of my diet. I am not a slave to my food intolerances.

I have made virtually all the recipes from the videos. I use my BlendTec Total Blender several times a day for smoothies, puddings, sauces and dressings, and desserts. I can’t imagine being without it, as Robyn predicted would be the case.

In a broader sense, after years of medical school where nutrition is barely addressed, nutrition finally made sense to me! I don’t depend on food labels anymore. In fact, packaged foods are a minimal part of my diet now, and I feel better than ever.

I am excited about Robyn expanding the original 12 Steps course to include a journal, audio support, and video demos, and printed steps and recipes, because this will help me help my patients. I already refer my patients to via my blog and handouts I give in my office, but now I can provide a comprehensive and practical tool to refer my patients to.

GreenSmoothieGirl is the nutrition plan I am recommending to my pregnant and breastfeeding mothers. The program incorporates or supersedes any other previous nutrition recommendations I was making.

I find myself recommending green smoothies to many of my other patients to help control glucose and cholesterol levels, and to improve antioxidant levels, which decreases risk of cardiovascular disease and cancers. Anyone with digestive problems, I immediately teach them about nutrition so they see the relationship between what goes in their mouth, and their symptoms of ill health.

Since many of my patients are facing surgery and other procedures, incorporating green smoothies and whole foods into the pre-op plans optimizes nutrition to give them the highest probability of a smooth and easy procedure. I am recommending green smoothie plan to most anyone who is motivated and self responsible. My patients appreciate a nutritional approach first, before drugs or surgeries.

Many of my patients have started on the first step, which is to incorporate green smoothies into their diet. I am impressed by how the GSG nutrition program has influenced my practice. Many times the focus of my patients’ office visits are on staying well, rather than searching for disease. Through nutrition I can help prevent illness and often control burdensome symptoms.

GSG nutrition is compatible with both staying well and preventing disease. My young moms love green smoothies and whole foods through their pregnancies and breastfeeding years. And my own family has been tremendously blessed by my newfound education in nutrition. We are all enjoying the benefits of a much healthier diet!

Denise Punger, MD FAAFP IBCLC

Dr. Punger is a Family Physician and International Board Certified Lactation Consultant. In private practice with her husband, John, Coquelet, in South Florida, she emphasizes prevention and wellness through breastfeeding and nutrition. She strives to set an example to her patients by following a high-raw, plant-based GreenSmoothieGirl diet.

She is the author of Permission to Mother: Going Beyond the Standard of Care to Nurture Our Children inspired by her three sons and extraordinary patients, to show all mothers that they have choices when it comes to their young children. She offers her blog as an extension of her services to further communicate with patients and readers nationwide:

raw food in India? an interesting email from a reader

We get some really interesting email, and I’ve pasted one below that we got this week that I think you’ll enjoy. It corroborates what I have noticed being in 16 countries in the past 18 months. That is, the influence of American culture on the rest of the world has not been wholly positive, and has in fact been devastating in the area of nutrition. My country has helped many cultures previously eating close to the land adopt both a processed diet and all the diseases that come with it. Read what Anu has to say:

Dear GreenSmoothieGirl:

I am ecstatic reading your myths. I want to wave it in people’s faces saying “Ha! I told you so!”

I come from India, where the food habits is slightly better than USA, but just. Here are too people have become enamoured by soft drinks, burgers and pizzas. KFC and McDonalds in every city! Add to that, spicy and oily fried snacks that have become indispensable for every meal. Fried potatoes in any forms sells fast. I hate eating out because I am sure MSG is added in almost everything to make it tastier. There is a high increase in diabetes in the country and you don’t see any advertisement asking people to cut down on white sugar but a number of clinics have come up instead–diabetes is a huge health market here! It’s crazy.

My father-in-law who was a top athlete in his younger days is now confined to his chair all thanks to sugar, diabetes, and the diabetes doctor who just pushed pills on him. I have been telling my husband not to eat those vitamin pills, soy products, and processed products — all pushed aggressively by the industry — all waiting to form cancer in the body.

I’ve had fresh “cooked” food (rather than frozen) all my life, but not raw food.

This is the land of the thulasi and many other medicinal herbs and plants. Much before modern science and medicine and counting calories, entire systems of sensible eating has evolved here. The importance of eating the right food and its effects on your mental makeup have been given out in detail.

I don’t know where we lost this! I think, somewhere people got so poor, that they took the easiest thing to cook and they forgot about fruits which couldn’t be preserved with fridges.

I am vegan by choice (with the exception of organic honey for medicinal purpose) and avoid the five whites in my food. I have always felt I must have fresh food, raw food.

This site is testimony to what all I heard about good sensible eating.

Reading about the benefits it has done to you physically, I’m hoping it’s the same for me, as I hope to run a marathon strong one day.

Thank you. I purchased the green smoothies ebook. We don’t get so many berries over here but otherwise, I will adapt this to what is available over here. And hey, this is coconut country, we get them easily here. I am exploring new options that I would not have otherwise. Oh my, I don’t think I am going to look at any vegetable the same way ever!

You may be interested in reading up about siddha and ayurveda. These systems are the pride of this country. They are more about prevention than cure.

Thanks for sharing Robyn. If you ever come to India, do contact me. Its a crowded, noisy and fascinating country and I love it.


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!”


Getting off meds on a GSG diet

The BEST kind of evangelizing there is, is the EXAMPLE kind.   Just do what you do, and people will ask–no lectures or persuasion needed.   I was just writing in my book about how Victoria Boutenko used to run people down in the Safeway and tell them they needed to eat a raw-food diet.   It’s a funny image.   That is Never. Gonna. Work.

But there is no shortage of miserable, ill people, and they are looking for a prophet–anyone who knows more than they do, anyone experiencing good health, anyone willing to help.   I know that a lot of you are helping others, many of you helping LOTS of others, and I want to hear about that in the questionnaire.   Because my new book challenges readers to not stop at just changing their own health, but at influencing others you care about (who in turn influence more people, and more people, and it never ends–it becomes quantum).   It’s RADICAL.   Not like the teenagers use the word, but like the original definition.

I got a call this morning from a man who has lost 80 lbs. and bought a Total Blender on, asking the usual questions about how much to feed the kids, how long it keeps in the fridge, etc.   He said he got an email blast from his doctor, an M.D., saying,

“Here’s a link to something that will absolutely change your life, that has the power to help you lose 100 lbs. or more, with no other lifestyle change.   DO IT.”  

And what was that “something?”   It was a link to my goofy little 3-min. home-video green smoothie demo on YouTube that has now had 50,000 hits.   Green smoothies rock.

The Essential GreenSmoothieGirl Library . . . part 5

These are the last three of my general nutrition Top Shelf. (Then we go on to the best books about CLEANSING, the best books for PARENTS, and the best books on VEGETABLE GARDENING.)   Again, if you want to buy the book, click on it for a link to Amazon.


Steven Arlin’s Raw Power, for anyone who wants to build muscle mass or compete athletically  not eating animal flesh or dairy products.   I’m just a girl, not a true bodybuilder, but I love weight training, and this book long ago helped me  hold my own, strength-wise, with much-younger, carnivorous weightlifting friends.   Arlin has eaten a 100% raw vegan diet for 20 years and would be the biggest guy in most gyms’ free-weight rooms.   His recipes are interesting and unique. (p.s. Those of you blogging here recently about men who need to gain weight, Arlin eats a lot of raw olives, as well as avocadoes, nuts, and coconut.)


William Dufty’s The Sugar Blues was written in the 1950’s in a very provocative and engaging style.   This seminal book is your chance to get up the motivation to kick the sugar habit.   As many nutrition authors have stated, sugar is killing us.   And it’s more addictive than cocaine.   (I’m not telling you anything you don’t already know, am I?)   Even more fascinating is Dufty’s claim that the sugar industry sabotaged his efforts to publish his expose.  


Dr. Edward Howell’s Enzyme Nutrition: The Food Enzyme Concept is a 162-page abridgement of this medical doctor’s lifelong work that originally culminated in a 700-page book with 700 references.   It is an old book, published in 1985, reviewing all the scientific literature from the beginning of the 20th century pointing to enzymes being the most critical element that our diet is now deficient in, as we have strayed from raw foods.   It draws conclusions and postulates scientific theory long before the recent raw-food movement gained any traction. (I am going to do a blog series shortly on what we learn from the studies done on ENZYMES.)