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!”

I have more energy at 42 than I did at 22!

Thanks again for signing up for my free newsletter.   See, I was just like you might be.   I found myself in a place I hated: sluggish, 15 pounds overweight, suffering with a variety of health problems . . . and I was only 25 years old!

But that’s a story you already know well, because millions of people can tell that story.

Where I’ve come since then is the tale you’ll find much more interesting, I think.   Because it represents the way out of the nightmare for you, too.   The mess that is the modern American lifestyle of overweight, energy drain, and failing health.   There’s only one way out of that mess.   It’s a straight path.   And it’s the road less traveled.

I am teaching, on GreenSmoothieGirl.com, my recipe collections, my blog, my 12 Steps to Whole Foods course, and my new book The Green Smoothie Diet, and this newsletter what that path is.

I got to that straight and narrow path through a fairly zigzaggy way . . .

But first, the cataclysmic moment when I knew something had to change.   I had a 15-month old baby who was desperately ill.   He was just fine until I quit breastfeeding him at 7 months old.   Then, on formula and then eventually cow’s milk, he was mucousy and coughing, constantly ill, sickly and miserable, up all night wheezing.   This went on for many months.

The pediatrician gave Kincade lots of syrups and pills and inhaled drugs.   He was always drugged up.   The meds may or may not have sometimes slowed the symptoms (I never was really sure), but one thing was certain: my little boy wasn’t getting healthier.   And the doc told me the steroids were “guaranteed” to stunt his growth.

After quite a few months of this, I realized one thing very clearly, even if a lot of other things were still fuzzy for me.   And that things was, doctors were not going to solve my little son’s health problems.   After this information settled in for a while, in a terrifying way, I made a second realization: I, and I alone–not doctors or anyone else–was responsible for finding the information that WOULD solve Kincade’s problems.

A series of coincidences (that I now believe were inspiration, not coincidences) led me to study nutrition.   I learned that a diet rich in raw vegetables and fruits, with whole grains and legumes and nuts and seeds as complements, might help my son.

Little did I know that it would actually save the whole family–including children not yet born.

A radical shift took place, not over a year or over an extended period of time, but literally overnight.

 

We were done with steroids.   Done with bronchodilators.   Done with cough syrups.   Done with late-night emergency room visits.   Cold turkey, just like that, we were done with fatigue, and all-night coughing, and stressed-out-Mom tears, and “What do I do?” after-hours calls to the nurse, and counting breaths per minute, and rocking a baby who was turning blue.

All because I got him off dairy products and sugar and white flour . . . and onto green smoothies and whole foods.

What we undertook was a lifestyle of eating–in this order–greens, vegetables, fruits, legumes, whole grains, nuts, seeds, and unadulterated oils.

That sounds like drudgery, but more than 250 recipes and dozens of video demos in my course show you otherwise.   You can eat like a king–food with vibrant, complex flavors and textures–enjoying life . . . while returning your body to a state of health!

I developed GreenSmoothieGirl.com to make your path less zigzaggy.   Writing and developing recipes for 12 Steps to Whole Foods http://www.greensmoothiegirl.com/12-step-blog/12-step-program/ was a labor of love to flatten that learning curve for you, so it doesn’t take you 15 years of trying hundreds of different things.   You can do it a much more linear way!

To Your Health,

–Robyn Openshaw

p.s.   I’ll tell you more about my story later!

Extra ingredients for green smoothies [part 7 of 9]

Pomegranate juice

Pomegranate juice is another very hot product because of a few studies linking it to slowing growth of prostate cancer and arthritis, and reducing breast and skin cancer.   It’s been linked to improvement of several cardiovascular measurements, including thinning the blood and improving blood flow, lowering LDS cholesterol, and increasing HDL (“good”) cholesterol.

I would prefer to see people use the whole fruit, which is available in the winter.   You peel away the red outer peel and the inner white membranes to harvest the seeds, which look exactly like rubies.

It is labor intensive to take apart a pomegranate!   However, it is fun for children because the fruit is so beautiful and because it’s a bit of a treasure hunt.

All juices are concentrated, with high natural sugar content, and also quite acidic.   The whole fruit achieve the same benefit (while in lower vitamin and mineral concentrations) without the downside of a product with all the enzymes killed and high in sugar benefits.

Yogurt or kefir

Yogurt or kefir, particularly homemade, adds a creamy, smooth texture to smoothies.   You can learn more about this topic in Ch. 9 of 12 Steps to Whole Foods, including how to make them at home inexpensively and easily. They are the only animal products I actively promote, as their proteins are predigested and broken down for easy utilization by the body, unlike other animal proteins.  

Even more importantly, they contribute to a healthy gastrointestinal tract by populating it with good micro-organisms that are your main defense against bacterial infections and other harmful micro-organisms.   Most people have 10:1 bad microorganisms to good, and the ratio should be reversed for a healthy colon.   The best way to address this is to eat yogurt or kefir daily and avoid foods (like dairy and meat, and processed foods) that feed the bad bacteria.

If you are going to purchase commercial yogurt or kefir, organic is better, and buy plain flavor rather than the excessively sugar-sweetened vanilla and other flavors.   Goat yogurt is nutritionally superior to dairy (cow milk) products.   It is not mucous forming and easier to digest, due to its smaller fat molecule that permeates human semipermeable membranes without triggering the body’s defense mechanism to flush out with mucous.   People do not experience “lactose intolerance” with goat milk products, and even many who are lactose intolerant with regular milk do not experience those symptoms with dairy yogurt.

natural remedies for ear infections

I just met this cute blonde mom named Mary Jane, who was telling my friend about her little boy’s chronic ear infection that multiple courses of antibiotics just can’t eliminate.   She was saying that her son’s “cold” just keeps going—six weeks now of constant, thick mucous.

I sometimes just can’t believe that no pediatrician will do ANYTHING for an ear infection besides nuke it with antibiotics.   Limiting your practice to systemic drugs that hurt more than help . . . well, I guess you’d be a pariah in the community of M.D.s if you did anything different.   Oh, and also insurance companies wouldn’t pay.   (Minor detail, how could I forget?)

And yet their own medical journals are clear that more than 80 percent of ear infections are viral.   Therefore, more than 4 times out of 5, antibiotics won’t do a bit of good.   But they don’t have a clue if it’s that 1 in 5, so they give you an antibiotic because . . . well, that’s all they know how to do.

(I’m not trying to be mean.   I used to ask pediatricians point-blank: “Do you have any way to help me besides an antibiotic prescription?” and the answer is simply, NO.)

And even if it was a bacterial infection that isn’t antibiotic-resistant, with just one dose, you’ve wiped out ALL the healthy flora in the entire gastrointestinal tract.   That’s what was standing between your little one and the NEXT infection.   So now the little guy is down for the count, just waiting for the next bug to come along when he has no resistance.

I administered my last course of antibiotics well over a decade ago.   Moving on to natural treatments that work WITH instead of AGAINST the body has been so liberating that I just want to tell perfect strangers about it!

#1: Eliminate dairy products and refined sugar/flour.   (That all by itself might be enough to say goodbye to infections forever.)

#2:   Use warmed garlic/mullein drops in the ear (in an olive oil base) that you can get at a health food store.

#3:   Colloidal silver: use as directed for a week or two.

#4: See if you can get that kid to drink LOTS of water!

#5: If you’re frustrated reading this because you’ve already done the antibiotics and are in Mary Jane’s position, all is not lost.   Give your child good, homemade kefir or yogurt (in my recipes) every day—no sugar added, please—and you can rebuild a healthy colony of good bacteria in about 30 days.

#6: If you do want to use medical treatment, I actually believe that the simple ear-tube surgery (no general anaesthesia, 15 min. procedure) is much less invasive and harmful than ONE round of antibiotics.   And it’s actually very effective for most children, although you should keep their heads out of the water, which is hard if your kids like to swim or take baths.