raw food diet: isn’t steaming good? and, my kids come back sick

Update: Yep.All four of my kids puked their guts up at their dad’s family reunion.Just like always.Poor little guys. (Well, one of them is 6’2″, not that little, huh?)Back to the green smoothie diet!So happy to have my kids back.It’s my job to help them recover.

My daughters come back from an extended period away, wanting to cleanse.I told the girls today to sit down and brainstorm a list of fruits and veggies they want me to buy for them.That way they’re in the driver’s seat, eating things they like, and I get my way, too (high nutrition, mostly raw food diet).Remember that old prayer asking God to grant me the serenity to accept the things I can’t change, and the will to change the things I can?I can’t change what their dad feeds them.   (My girls report that their aunts and uncles all provided a vegetarian option to the menu made for everyone else on the nights they cooked, which was sweet.)But I CAN help them cleanse and drop unwanted pounds when they’re home.Once the girls came home and said, “Mom, we want to eat nothing but fruits and vegetables for three days.Can you help us do that?”(Of course I can.)

Still talking about the raw food diet today.Everybody, including nutritionists, suggest steaming.I’d rather have you eat steamed broccoli than no broccoli!(I personally do not enjoy raw broccoli unless it’s chopped small and in a really yummy salad.NO, NOT THE KIND WITH BACON.)

But that broccoli is still heated to well over 212 degrees, and vitamins and enzymes die over 116 degrees.And mineral salts are lost and deanimated.Cooking, even steaming, destroys indoles in vegetables, which are wonderfully anti-carcinogenic.

Worse, when you cook things, free radicals are created.(Free radicals are unpaired molecules that destroy cells and cause cancer.Antioxidants in raw foods mop them up.)Some amino acids (lysine and glutamine) in proteins are destroyed by cooking.You probably already know what high heats do to fats: alter them to become trans fats that are highly destructive carcinogens.And when fiber in food is cooked, it is slimy and soft and doesn’t have the broom-like power to clean the intestine any more.

I do eat cooked plant food and make no apologies for it.But I make every meal or snack at least 60% raw food, and often it’s 80% or more.Then you’re supplementing the cooked foods with enzymes.Doing this regularly will have a dramatic effect on your youthfulness.

On a related topic, here’s the dehydrator I recommend, by the way, to make crunchy snacks like in Ch. 7 of 12 Steps, preserving enzymes and vitamins:

http://greensmoothiegirl.com/dehydrator.html

the raw food diet and swine flu

I hope you’re undertaking a raw food diet while it’s in season?This is the time of year your body wants to cleanse.If you do, you have much lower risk of getting ill this winter, because you’ll be going into that higher-risk time much cleaner and stronger.And that’s important as we face Round 2 of the swine flu possibly this fall.

My friend and tenant, Jean, who lives in my basement and with whom I spend a lot of time, had the swine flu and is still recovering two weeks later.She had to cancel an airline trip, she missed a lot of work, and she coughed for two hours every night.My 15-year old son had it, too.For him (a daily green smoothie drinker), it lasted two days, and besides fever and chills at night, he was up doing his summer school work during the day and rafted the Provo River with us the third day.(We used no drugs to treat his illness.We did use Vitamin C, and colloidal silver.)

My children have been in California for a week with their father and his fiancé, at the family reunion.My other three children were exposed to swine flu and I’m not there with my remedies.I can’t even reach them, as they are camping in the mountains.If I didn’t know that before they went to the reunion (where the traditional Standard American Diet will prevail), they had excellent nutrition, I’d be panicked.Every single time they go to their dad’s family reunions, they puke their guts up because they’re not used to eating like that. When your body says, “NO THANKS!” it’s not a sign of weakness–it’s a sign of strength! I’ll keep you posted on whether or not that happened this time.

I have told you before that eating a clean diet and drinking lots of alkaline water is the best prevention for the swine flu.It’s not that you can’t possibly catch any virus.It’s that your immune system isn’t constantly fighting and weakened by toxic fuel, so it’ll be much more likely to serve you well when you need it.

Are you considering a higher commitment to a raw food diet?Now’s the time!

the raw food diet

I’m going to be talking for a while about the raw food diet.That’s the only “diet” I approve of (the very word is annoying, isn’t it?).Why?First, because it’s the biggest focus of this web site and the program of whole foods I promote: raw plant foods.Of the 9,000 new visitors to this site monthly, many are coming from the Standard American Diet.And like all things Americana (GSG readers come from 149 countries in the past year), the SAD has spread to all but the most remote parts of the globe.

But many others who read this site are committed raw foodists.The first group may find what I teach daunting.(BUT . . . this is for you, and you can do it.What I teach is very do-able by anyone who wants better health.)And the latter group may call my teachings “transitional”–a good stepping stone on your way to the ultimate, a completely raw diet.

I am unconvinced that 100% raw is necessary for ideal health, and I believe it may even not be ideal.But I do believe this: 60-80% raw plant food is absolutely necessary for good health.

Second, because this is the time of year to get the very best produce, in North America, at least.This is my favorite time of year, when my garden is exploding with vegetables and greens, and my trees are heavy with peaches and apricots.And roadside stands are selling the best foods on Earth.

If you think the raw food diet is some kind of fad–it is exploding on the internet for sure–think again.It’s been around since the dawn of time.In fact, degenerative disease began when mankind discovered fire and began cooking his food.We have gone downhill at an accelerated rate as we’ve discovered more ways to pervasively destroy the nutrition in our food.

Think about undertaking a raw food diet for a few weeks, now that we’re in the easiest time of year to accomplish it.You will need less sleep, as your body needs less recovery because digestion becomes a snap.You’ll have lots of energy, so plan in advance what you are going to do with the extra!Every time I go 95-100% raw for a couple of weeks to a couple of months, I’m always so happy I did.

enzymes, raw food, stomach acid

An excerpt from the FAQ of my new book coming out next month:

Dear GreenSmoothieGirl: How can enzymes and eating raw food be so important when stomach acid would kill any enzymes that came with the food anyway?

 

A: Good question. Some people think that the low pH of the stomach stops salivary and any other food or supplemental enzymes from working. A number of experiments Dr. Howell writes about show that this is not so. Some enzymes are shown to work actively at two different pH ranges. Another study shows that salivary and supplemental enzymes were re-activated in the alkaline duodenum and lower in the intestine after going through the stomach. Hydrochloric acid in the stomach is not as strong as once thought to be and neither when used in in vitro experiments (outside the body). A Journal of Nutrition-published study at Northwestern University showed 51 percent of amylase from malted barley was intact when passed into the intestine.

 

Enzymes manufactured by the pancreas of a person or animal are sensitive to pH because they aren’t adapted to anything outside the restrictive confines of the body. But microbial-derived dietary supplement enzymes are very adaptive, since fungus grows in a variety of places and conditions. These enzymes survive the acidity of the lower stomach. These plant-based sources are the digestive enzyme supplements I prefer.

 

As with so many other things in the human body, we’ve been provided with the ideal environment to digest food. Problems occur when we alter our food instead of giving our body the kind of nutrition we were designed to digest easily, that people used to eat for thousands of years.

 

Dr. Howell says that we’re born with a finite ability to produce endogenous enzymes, and by middle age, most of that ability is gone. (And he said this 25 years ago, before the modern diet worsened. Some experts make even more dire projections, such as Westerners are burning out enzyme capacity by age 35.) The answer, of course, is to eat as much raw food as possible, and as little cooked or processed food, too.

Does eating right cause irregular periods?

I just read a highly controversial, really interesting article on Debbie Took’s raw food blog, about the possibility that when a woman eats a vegan, high-raw (mostly raw) diet, she may have irregular periods, very light and infrequent.   Evidence is given and a number of professionals are quoted, that indigenous women don’t menstruate like modern Western women do, and that Western women who change their diet also change their menstruation.   The question is asked, why are so many who are serious athletes or who eat a superb diet . . . not menstruating?

 

Because this has been my personal experience as well, I am fascinated by the theory.   You have been taught over a lifetime that a period of heavy bleeding once a month is normal and healthy.   So this may shake your testimony of that standard “wisdom.”

 

Although I do always see the obvious, regular signs of ovulation, I rarely have a period; when I do, it’s almost nothing; and the horrific cramps of my 20’s (when I ate a lousy diet) are completely gone.

 

I offer the link here, as well as a few paragraphs from the article following it, to offer alternative viewpoints and get you thinking–not to suggest this is the hard-and-fast truth:

 

http://debbietookrawforlife.blogspot.com/2009/04/periods-they-may-be-normal-but-are-they.html

“Health researchers and writers Leslie and Susanna Kenton found their periods changed after switching to a diet high in fresh fruits and vegetables:

‘Women on an all-raw or high-raw diet often report that menstrual problems such as bloating, pre-menstrual tension and fatigue improve greatly after two or three months. For some of them the improvement is so dramatic that they are not aware of their periods until they arrive. This is something we discovered ourselves and at first we thought we were unique. Then we spoke to numerous other women who said they had had a similar experience. Heavy periods become lighter – a period that lasts six or seven days can be reduced to as few as one or two. In some women, particularly those who do not eat meat, dairy products or large quantities of nuts, periods even cease altogether.’

Bellgene Chung, who healed herself of cervical cancer, and believes raw food helped her do that, has researched menstruation and diet:

‘Menstruation (bleeding) is NOT a necessity following ovulation…We have been conditioned to believe that menstruation goes hand in hand with ovulation…Most women, including myself, experience menstruation because they are not truly clean on the inside…Menstruation is the body’s desperate attempt to free itself from toxins, and many females experience PMS in addition to the needless bleeding. Abdominal pain (cramping), headaches, fatigue and irritability do NOT signify an optimal state of health, yet most of us brush these symptoms off as the norm. If you feel such symptoms, this is how your body is communicating that it wants you to change what you are doing; we must listen to Nature’s messages…Presently, on a mainly raw diet, I do not even realize that I am menstruating until I feel moist and decide to take a peek’.”

Mull over whether, like so many other things in our education provided by the medical profession, our education was erroneous that irregular periods are something to fear.

 

 


Green Smoothie Testimonials, part 6

I have a bajillion of these, and I’ll talk about other stuff sometimes and sprinkle these in, just to keep you motivated with others’ fun tales of their health improving:

I tried the green smoothie after juicing for several years. Juicing was expensive and demanded a lot of time and work extracting the juice from the fiber and cleaning the juicer. Blended raw foods made a lot of sense and I did not need to be converted on the idea.

 

When I began drinking the green smoothie I weighed 285 lbs. One year later I weigh 240 lbs.  Daily workouts have contributed as much to my weight loss as any other factor. However, the benefits of the green smoothie as I experienced them are as follows:

 

1.  Drinking the green smoothie changed my bowel movement habits, which are now frequent (2-3 times a day) and regular.

2.   The green smoothie is my pre-workout, first thing in the morning food. I have been surprised at the energy it sustains throughout my workout.

3.  The green smoothie fills me up without slowing me down. It satisfies my hunger and cravings till early in the afternoon.  It has curbed my overall appetite thus decreasing the overall calories I consume in a day.

4. I find that the green smoothie helps my digestion, especially with the foods that do not digest well. I eat a lot of lean meat and I feel the organic raw food in my gut facilitates digestion and elimination of meat.

5. Beginning my day with green smoothie drinks and working out provides me the momentum, nutrition, and motivation to eat a strict lean diet throughout the rest of the day.

 

The green smoothie has lived up to the expectations I had.  Several of the above benefits caught me totally by surprise.  I have been drinking green smoothies every morning for the past year.  They have served me well.  Now that I have lost the weight I needed, I have significantly increased my strength and energy.  My new goals are not to lose any more weight but to increase my overall lean muscle mass. My idea is to begin drinking green smoothies twice a day rather than just once in the morning.

 

–Gregg L.

 

I started drinking green smoothies and doing about 80% to 95% raw to help improve my migraine headaches. I lost 51 pounds in six months and I feel great. I am 47 years old, and I teach at an alternative high school.   It can be very stressful working with at-risk youth. I have seen my mood and attitude improve so much since I started adding green smoothies as my breakfast.

 

My favorite is 2 bananas, 1 large apple, 2 kale leaves, 6-8 dandelion greens, 2 large handfuls fresh spinach, some wheatgrass juice, 2 cups water and 1 cup of ice. Blend and I have breakfast and my afternoon snack. This great stuff and I will not ever go back to eating the way I used to with fast and processed foods.

 

–Carol N.