Throw a starfish back in the water

 

Check out this USA Today article.

images-39In the U.S., we’re living longer but we’re sicker. We’re prolonging desperate, miserable lives.

Remember, “A man with his health has many dreams. A man without it has only one.”

In America now 10% of us have diabetes, 28% of us are obese, 31% of us have high blood pressure, 26% percent have done no exercise whatsoever in the last 30 days.

Reed Tuckson of the United Health Foundation points out how unsustainable this is:

“There’s no way that this country can possibly afford the medical care costs and consequences of these preventable chronic illnesses. We have two freight trains headed directly into each other unless we take action now.”

That’s my whole mission, trying to turn the freight train around.

images-38I feel like the proverbial guy on the beach, picking up stranded starfish and tossing them back in the water. Someone points out that his mission is futile and doesn’t matter: “There are too many starfish!”

You and I can’t save all the starfish of the world, but it matters for each one we pick up and toss back into the ocean. Everywhere I go, someone says, “It’s funny, my friend Maddy [for instance] reads your website and tells everyone to go there.”

I feel like I have a small army of friends I’ve mostly never met, silently, one at a time, helping save a starfish.

That’s the way I know of, to throw more starfish back in the water and give them a chance: send them to the site I’ve built for 5 years. Although it’s been a gradual process, I know there’s a ton of free info there, since I’ve had 8 engineers working on overhauling it, since March! That, plus live teaching events, are how we reach out.

images-40The average American is eating 100 times more sugar than their pancreas can process. Estimates are that in 10 years, the 10% diabetic statistic will be double or triple of our current rate! Many diabetics are undiagnosed. We cannot go on this way.

I am forever changed by my research at dozens of cancer clinics all over the world, the past 18 months. I’ve met hundreds of people who are fighting for their life and trying to change their lifestyle before it’s too late. I’ve been brought to tears by many of them.

When we model an example of change, and give people other options, a way out, we’re giving a starfish another shot.

Nick and Kristin are on the road with me!

Our beautiful reader and 12 Stepper Sheryl Babcock came to 6 of my free lectures with her friends and we think she is wonderful. But her record was smashed by the amazing Nick and Kristin Lassonde, who have now traveled to NINE cities to hear the GreenSmoothieGirl message.

They showed up in St George, Las Vegas, and Riverside this month. They love their people, and every single time they come, they bring friends and family. From Mesa, San Jose, Sacramento (an 8-hour drive for them), and other cities in 4 states!

Thank you to GSG readers who ensure that 12 women who run this mission with me, plus our 14 coaches, keep spreading a message that is radically, positively transformative so we can continue to spend $0 on advertising and focus on better things. We love you for sending your family and friends to our lectures. Next up, I am in

Provo
Sandy
Bountiful
Logan
Dallas
Austin
San Antonio
Houston
St Louis
Memphis
Nashville
Jacksonville
Tampa
Orlando
Miami

My commitment to you is that I will help the people you love feel my own love for them and for the authenticity of our mission and hopefully move them towards great changes.

Love you, Nick and Kristin!

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Bonnie writes us about emphysema and green smoothies

I met Bonnie at my lecture near Baltimore. What a delight she is, a caretaker to her husband with emphysema. We got this email from her. (And I love to read the stories you send my way, so keep sending them!) Bonnie told me she knows diet won’t “cure” emphysema. I said, “But what if it gives you more years with Bob, and he was happier and healthier?”

I think you’ll enjoy this letter Bonnie wrote as our East-Coast friends hunkered down to get through the hurricane:

As I wait for Hurricane Sandy to slam into the east coast, I have been reading The Green Smoothies Diet.  I attended Robyn’s seminar/class last week in Edgewood, Maryland. I had the great pleasure of meeting Robyn after the class. What a warm and sweet spirit!

Since that night I have read 12 Steps To Whole Foods, given up anything containing aspartame (including my 6-pack-a-day diet gingerale addiction), and added sufficient water to my daily life.

I have begun to purge our kitchen of processed foods and anything containing MSG. I was already on the green smoothie train. I have added Steps 2, 3, and 4 from 12 Steps to Whole Foods to my life.

I talked with Robyn about my 3-year journey down from almost 300 pounds through Overeater’s Anonymous. I am no longer on the 100-pound roller coaster I have ridden for most of my life. God has allowed me to release 88 pounds. (I say “released” because saying “lost” implies I am going to look for them.)

God has led me from bingeing and food compulsion, to green smoothies and whole foods, towards health and well being.

There was a time when I would eat 4+ fast-food “meal deals” on my way to or from work.  I would then look for somewhere to throw away the trash so no one would know.  Food was my cocaine….my drug of choice.

Now God has brought me to this new phase of my life.  He did not do this just for me, but also for my husband who has advanced emphysema.  His diet consisted of sugar, pasta, beef and junk.  Why? Because those white flour / sugar products are SOFT.  It is difficult for him to chew, swallow, and breathe.  Eating salad was a major challenge for him.

He had his first green smoothie about 6 weeks ago, and every day since.  His favorite right now is the Hot Pink Breakfast Smoothie. He is virtually off sugar except for us Uncrustables each morning because they’re easy to chew. But he used to have 4 every morning with coffee.

Tomorrow morning I plan to make him a PBJ sandwich using peanut butter powder mixed with coconut water, 2 tablespoons of raw organic coconut oil, on Italian bread. Baby steps! Whole-grain bread will soon make an appearance.

Robyn is teaching me how to make the quality of Bob’s life so much better.  His coloring is no longer gray and sallow.  His skin is pink and his eyes are bright.  I am seeing him get back his sense of humor along with his appetite.  He does not have the constant hacking cough that plagued him all the time. He still coughs, but it is immeasurably better. I think his body was full of inflammation that is being cleared with nutrition. We will not “cure” the emphysema, but we can certainly make the body that houses those terribly damaged lungs a better place for him to live. If this gives us a few more years with a better quality of life for Bob, that’s another blessing in this journey.

As a side note, my carpal tunnel is almost gone in my right hand.  I had surgery for carpal tunnel in my left hand last year, and actually had surgery scheduled for my right hand earlier this year. Life events caused me to cancel the surgery. Thank God! I have (had) severe arthritis in my left thumb that the specialist wants to operate on to rebuild the joint. The pain in the base of my thumb is virtually gone.

I reach out to anyone who asks about what Robyn calls a “gateway drug”—green smoothies.  Okay, I’ll be honest—people don’t really need to ask. I find myself telling total strangers about green smoothies.

I talked with two people yesterday in a grocery store packed with people prepping for Hurricane Sandy, and gave them the website address so they could get more info.  There are five people in my office who have now progressed from the NutriBullet (gateway equipment) to the Blendtec and green smoothies for themselves and their families.

Robyn is on a mission, and the seeds she plants are growing in so many ways, but growing in the same direction toward health and a new happiness with life.  I see my husband and people around me changing…sprouted seeds.

I think Bob may be concerned about power failure in the storm more because the Blendtec needs electricity than for his oxygen concentrator! He says he has backup oxygen tanks, but no backup for the Blendtec.

God richly bless each of you for the work you do.  You have a special place in my heart and in my prayers each day.  You will hear from me down the road to let you know how this is changing our lives.

Bonnie Kauffman

avoid pleasure, embrace pain?

At my lecture in Albany, New York, I met a 92-year old cancer patient who came with his two adult sons, all of them Quakers. The sons are GSG readers and pressed me to help their father understand how important an alkaline, raw, plant-based diet is in eliminating cancerous growths.

The elderly man, who is fit and lively and looks to be in his 70’s rather than his 90’s, said to me,

“I’ve lived a long life already.” He then told me he is still a practicing psychotherapist.

“You’re still active and productive, and your family clearly wants you to stick around. So why not stick around?” I asked him.

He thanked me for the lecture I’d just given. And then he shared with me something that has been on my mind for weeks, ever since that night.

“I teach my patients,” he said, “to avoid pleasure seeking.”

Huh? Maybe this is ingrained in Quakers. It won’t fly with us regular folks, I thought.

“My patients avoid pain,” he continued. “But pain is instructive. It doesn’t last forever, doesn’t even last long, usually. On the other side of it is growth and redemption.”

“What you teach,” the elderly gentleman said, “is just that. To embrace a change that is new and difficult at first, and foreign. Painful at first. For the reward on the other side of it.” He assured me that if nothing else, I’d convinced him that there is only abundance on the other side of that learning curve.

I signed his book and said goodbye to the absolutely lovely Quaker men, and they went on their way.

But since then, I’ve been preoccupied with thoughts of how everything good in my life is a result of having done something initially painful.

What pleasure do you seek, for comfort or pain avoidance, that is in the way of your progress?

What pain are you avoiding that is actually a temporary, purposeful process that can take you beautiful places?

Think on it with me. And actualize it. As Kristin says to me, sometimes, of pain,

“There’s no way through it, but through it.”

I have a renewed commitment to doing hard things. Even when they’re painful.

Firestarters in the journey

I teach in 50 cities annually. After my lecture, I talk to people one-on-one for 90 minutes, to sign books and answer questions.

This is the first thing they say to me, almost always:
“I’m here because my [brother, hairdresser, college roommate, next-door neighbor] introduced me to you.”
Isn’t it interesting that after standing in line for an hour, sometimes two, the very FIRST thing someone wants to tell me is who the person is they thank for starting them on what they intuitively recognize as a JOURNEY? We’re all on a journey. Picture an actual path. You’re on it. I’m on it. A lot of people you know aren’t even on it yet. It’s a lifestyle shift, and it has to happen to regenerate health. The Atkins Diet won’t do it. Weight Watchers won’t do it. A return to wholeness has to include a return to whole foods.Let’s call the person who introduced you to GSG, or a whole-foods journey, your personal Firestarter.Sometimes the Firestarter is with the person attending my class. Beaming. Because it’s rewarding to get the credit as the person who puts someone on a path to health and wholeness.I always thank and congratulate the Firestarter, if I get to meet him or her.

Sometimes Firestarter is not there. Might even live in a different state or even country. Sometimes introducing a friend to whole foods living is a simple as an email saying, “You should check out this site—you’ll love it.”And the new GSG reader is born and takes it from there. They sign up for the free newsletter. They might become a blog reader, read one of my books, participate in the group buy in the Fall, or dive in with 12 Steps to Whole Foods, which is the game-changer around here.By the way, you know who the #1 group of Firestarters are? The Costco Blendtec demo employees. I don’t know any of them personally. But they send tons of people to the site. Some of them have GreenSmoothieGirl.com printed on their business cards. Some of them write GreenSmoothieGirl.com on the box when people check out at Costco.Why? They’ve told me why, when I stop by and say hi if I’m shopping at Costco. It’s because then people don’t return their blender. They learn that it is actually a powerful tool for turning their health around. It’s not just an expensive milkshake maker.
The commonality in this experience I’ve had hundreds of times, meeting people who attend my class and hearing who introduced them to me, is that we never forget the person who taught us something life-changing.
I will never forget my grandmother, whose example I watched when I was 15, swimming upstream to opt out of oncology treatments and buy a Champion juicer and go to work starving her cancer out from the roots.She was doing it to save her life. Not to save mine, or my son’s, 20 years later. But I was watching and learning. She wasn’t a warm or nurturing person, my grandmother—she was steely and distant. Raised in the Depression without a mother. I still loved her, and she still changed my life. Turns out, you don’t have to be perfect to inspire others.
I will never forget my neighbor Brenda Corbridge, who was diagnosed in her late 30’s with colon cancer. And did wheat grass juice and a mostly-raw diet rather than undergo chemo and radiation, after losing her sister at a young age to cancer.
Brenda told me to go see a practitioner way outside the medical model, named Paul Leatham. He was the biggest Firestarter of all, for me.He shocked me by saying he didn’t give a #$&! what my son’s diagnosis was—he just wanted to “drain the swamp.” He taught me to stop the mucous production and inflammation and spasms in my son’s lungs. In a different way than with pharmaceuticals.
Later Brenda and I took turns making wheat grass in her garage, 2 oz. a day for each of us, while I was pregnant with my third child. It was wintertime and very cold, and the smell of the wheatgrass made me gag. It was banished to the garage because Brenda’s husband complained he didn’t like the smell of it in the house.
Paul Leatham taught me to eat alkaline, living, plant foods. Sixty to 80 percent raw. Abandon highly acidic meat, dairy, white flour, sugar. In so doing, we disappeared all symptoms of my little boy’s asthma. We got his life back, and I got my health back in the process, too.
I will never forget Gwen Lund, who provided my family raw goat milk for 10 years. She taught me about yogurt—years later, I’d learn how to make kefir. (Even better, made with raw milk rather than scalded, and easier to make.) My children stopped getting sick with that step, which I teach, along with lots of other probiotic-food ideas, in Step 8 of 12 Steps.Gwen did little sourdough bread classes in her home, free of charge, and fed her nine children whole foods.
I will never forget a neighbor, Charlene Stott, another mom of a big family living on a tight budget, who went 100% raw for 5 years. Her front yard was filled with fruit trees and her backyard had a big homemade greenhouse. She was a self-taught herbalist and made an amazing concoction she calls “Anti-Plague” that astonished me with how fast and effectively it knocked out viruses and bacterial infections. Garlic, raw apple cider vinegar, and 8 immune-stimulating herbs.
I love these women. And Paul Leatham. Paul died after a motorcycle accident two years ago, and I rarely see any of those women anymore. But they will forever be titans in my memory and in my journey. My personal Firestarters.
You have this power in the lives of people you introduce to the lifestyle you’re living, or even beginning to learn.
Think about this:
People who love you are suffering with all kinds of unnecessary health problems.
Before there were refined foods and chemical additives and a 20% animal protein habit, there was virtually no cancer or heart disease.

I love that I have a career in introducing people to simple but revolutionary concepts that are nothing less than life-changing.

You have that opportunity, too. Be the change. Introduce others to the magic of a diet rich in nutrient-dense foods.
Remember, most people don’t know what nutrient-dense is. They are obsessed with protein. They’re completely exhausted by all the food cults that compete for their attention. They have no idea that the way they’re eating is all wrong—or at least mostly wrong.
You will enjoy the path to wholeness better if you bring a few friends along.
Make it simple for them.
Good nutrition is simple. We don’t have to obsess about calories or macronutrient breakdown.
We just eat greens, vegetables, fruits, legumes, whole grains, nuts and seeds.
We find easy, low-effort, delicious ways to do that. We root the lifestyle in habits.
Thank you for your role, as a green smoothie girl or guy, in bringing awareness to our grass-roots campaign, to re-educate the Western world about where health comes from and how you get there.

Nutrition for pregnant moms, babies, toddlers…..part 4 of 5

Today’s topic: NUTRITION DURING PREGNANCY.

Remember, what you’re eating when you’re pregnant is also contributing to healthy blood, bones, tissues, and organs—or not.

It’s so painful for me to remember back to eating 7-11 nachos, Diet Coke, a Special Burger and fries (extra fry sauce!) at lunch, and Ben & Jerry’s after dinner, throughout my first pregnancy. I didn’t know any better. I assumed my body was making good fuel for my baby, out of the bad fuel I fed myself—as illogical as that is.

I imagine that’s why I not only gained 65 lbs., but it’s also why my baby developed significant auto-immune problems in his first year of life. With my later pregnancies, I was learning and implementing good nutrition strategies, and the babies were FAR healthier.

My last baby was (and still is, at age 12) completely healthy—never once a bacterial infection of any kind, never any antibiotics or meds or even doctor visits. The labor and delivery got easier, too, when I ate the right foods throughout the pregnancy and gained only 35 lbs. instead of 65!

I can’t even count how many times a 12 Steps to Whole Foods young mom has talked to me after a class I teach, and told me this:

“I’m so thrilled that I changed my diet to eat whole foods, because this last pregnancy has been my easiest and healthiest!”

I’ve had many moms tell me about major complications they had during their earlier pregnancies, while they were eating the Standard American Diet, and how all that changed when they embraced whole-foods fuel.

One mother in Texas told me that with her first 4 children, she was on bed rest, with terrible edema, and pre-eclampsia. As she told me this, she was 9 months pregnant, and beaming ear to ear. She said, “This is my first problem-free pregnancy. I’m about to deliver, and I’m so excited I learned all about whole foods from you.”

My diet now is the diet I would eat if I were pregnant again. The “pregnancy diet” is no different than the ideal diet for life.

It’s high in greens, in vegetables, and in fruits—80% of more of them raw. I also eat cooked legumes (beans, split peas, lentils), and whole grains (organic quinoa, whole wheat, rolled oats or oat groats, spelt, Kamut, buckwheat, millet—most of them sprouted before they are baked at low temperatures). I buy sprouted-grain (whole grain only) bread or English muffins or tortillas at the health food store. But I also make my own granola.

I eat nuts and seeds every day, some of them sprouted, many of them rich sources of essential fatty acids. I soak and dehydrate nuts and seeds to add to my granola.

I use coconut oil on my skin and in occasional baking, for medium-chain triglycerides. I always have a quart of green smoothie a day. Most days, I also have a glass of vegetable juice, although at many points in my life, I’ve not had the time to make juice, and now I hire someone to do it.

I choose big salads in restaurants. I don’t eat refined sugar, ever, nor do I ever drink soda, or eat processed meats, or pork or beef. I eat a 95 percent plant-based diet, and I keep refined foods or animal products at 5 percent or less.

While I was having my babies, I was learning how to do all that. It was new to me then—it is habit now. I didn’t give up sugar cold-turkey back then. I had fits and starts in dealing with my addiction.

My changes involved bucking “the system.” Lots of systems, in fact. The medical system. The social system of parties and barbecues and family events and Easter and Halloween and Christmas. The church system of keeping kids quiet in nursery and later, in class, with junk food. The family system of generations of “comfort foods” that contributed to my babies’ health problems. It wasn’t easy. But it was one of the BEST THINGS I’VE EVER DONE. I’ve never looked back, and I have absolutely zero regret.

What I did HAD TO BE DONE.

So, what I’ve just described my diet being now is a great diet for a pregnant or nursing mom. It’s a terrible idea for a pregnant mom to eat a diet high in refined carbs. The baby does need good protein for brain health, and overall for building. There’s plenty of protein in nuts, seeds, legumes, grains, and greens.

If you avoid those good food categories, eating a vegan diet, you’re likely to develop dental problems, blood sugar issues, and fatigue-related disorders. If you want more protein, I suggest a scoop of our whole-food, vegan protein powder added to your green smoothies.

Doctors tell women to eat lots of protein, and everyone’s first thought with protein is meat and dairy. Those are “perfect proteins,” to be sure. But “perfect” doesn’t meant “better”—it just mean it is protein the body doesn’t have to assemble from amino acids, because it matches human flesh very closely. Protein from greens, seeds, legumes, grains, and nuts is protein the body has to work harder to build muscle with. But it’s far more durable muscle mass.

Always eat protein when you’re eating sugars. For instance, if you have a green smoothie and yours is high in fruits, eat a handful of almonds, too, or a bowl of lentil or split pea soup. Or add a scoop of protein powder. I make my green smoothies as high in greens, and as low in fruits, as I can tolerate. Slow down and regulate impact on blood sugar, by eating FIBER and QUALITY PROTEIN. This is how you can, with lifelong habits, avoid insulin problems and eventual diabetes, which currently most of our population is heading toward.

Don’t undertake a major, radical detox program while you’re pregnant or in the first year of nursing. As toxins range your body, on their way out, they flush through a developing fetus, and through your breast milk, as well.

Again, don’t take my advice in lieu of competent practitioner care and counsel.

Tomorrow, we talk once again about WHAT TO DO ABOUT PICKY KIDS.