My boy makes green smoothies to impress hot girls

Last night my 18-year old son had some hot girls from his school over to…..wait for it….do a green smoothie demo. I mocked him pretty hard. Since he has never made a green smoothie in his life. I guess the hot girl asked him point-blank if he would make her a GS. (Shameful, yes, that I’ve not taught this to my kid. Until last night, they were always made FOR him. Don’t worry, though—he’s had lots of vacuuming and lawn mowing and other tasks under his belt. He does make salad.)

He nervously asked me to train him, before the actual demo event. He also shut me in my office when the kids got here, so I could not embarrass him by laughing at the idea of him demonstrating something he’s never done before. (Not that I would! Muahaha.)

He pulled it off and a gang of teenagers settled into watch The Rookie after their green smoothie initiation.

I should have mentioned a few days ago, for my soda-addicted friends, that if you really have to have a soda now and then, Zevia brand in health food stores is a much better alternative. It’s no superfood. But no artificial colorings or chemical sweeteners or sugars—just stevia sweetened. Carbonation isn’t good for your blood. But—many of the dangerous things I wrote about last week are NOT in the Zevia sodas.

Kristin is on the wagon right now. She promised her brother Todd she’d get off “the stuff.” (That would be Diet Pepsi.) She is drinking stevia-sweetened green tea in the late afternoon now, and she adds a spoonful of chia. This is helping her feel that her mouth has something to do.

Her mouth is used to being entertained by carbonation. So she has to find another party for her mouth. She says the funny little chewy chia seeds make her pretty happy.

If the “party in your mouth” is your reason to drink soda, maybe that’ll work for you.

Seven reasons not to drink soda, part 2 of 2

Here are seven kicks in the pants, to help you quit the soda habit:

1. SODA BRAIN! Brominated vegetable oil, or BVO, is added to soft drinks. It’s an industrial chemical used in plastics as a flame retardant. (It’s also in sports drinks.) It is known to cause nerve disorders and memory loss. It builds up in body fat and causes behavioral and mood problems, infertility, and heart problems.

2. FAT ON THE INSIDE! Researchers in Denmark found that those who drink soda have fat stores around their liver, other organs, and skeletal muscles, which leads to diabetes. Soda drinkers in the study also had much higher triglyceride blood fats and cholesterol than non-soda drinkers.

3. HORMONE UPSET! Aluminum cans are coated with BPA, which interferes with hormones and causes obesity, diabetes, cancer, and infertility. Neither Pepsi nor Coke has been willing to switch to BPA-free, while everyone else in America is doing so.

4. FRANKENFOOD! Lots of soda ingredients are corn-derived, and nearly 90 percent of the corn grown in the U.S. is now genetically modified. The U.S. government isn’t particularly interested in testing this horrible social experiment, but we know that genetically modified crops are linked to rapid aging, infertility, and gastrointestinal tract damage. Not that those ingredients really resemble corn by the time you drink them….but you get none of the fiber and other nutritional benefits of corn (which are limited anyway) and all of the downside of the GMO “frankenfood.”

5. CARAMEL CANCER! Two chemicals with reeeealllly long names are known to cause cancer in animals, and they make the lovely brown color in colas. Center for Science in the Public Interest tried unsuccessfully last year to get the FDA to ban them. The chemicals are just cosmetic, but of course Coke and Pepsi aren’t gonna back down. (Look how big the experiment went over when Pepsi tried to make a clear cola called Crystal Pepsi in 1992. All they care about is what sells.)

6. DIET AIN’T ANY BETTER! Even diet soda makes you fat. A study in Texas found that those who drink diet soda gained 70 percent in waist circumference in 10 years, compared with people who don’t drink soda. Those who drank more than two per day? They had a 500 percent waist expansion! The culprit is the neurotoxin aspartame. It actually raises your blood glucose levels, even though it contains chemicals rather than sugar.

7. GET OLD FASTER! Phosphates in cola extend their shelf life and improve taste. But they rob your bones and blood of desperately needed minerals. That leads to kidney problems, osteoporosis, heart disease, and rapid aging. It stops children and teens from building bone mass, in the critical period they are developmentally meant to do so. (After 30, we generally lose bone mass.) Soda manufacturers have increased phosphate levels higher and higher—but a medical journal article two years ago showed that lab rats with elevated phosphates died much earlier than normal.

Seven reasons not to drink soda…..part 1 of 2

I watch the addiction of a few people close to me, to soda. One of my closest friends drinks it every day and calls it her “binky.” She kicks the habit but always goes back—because when she quits diet soda, she finds herself taking up sugar. Another tells me he is not addicted but seems to be in denial. I see him drink it 2 or 3 times a day. I’m not saying this to judge—just to express my concern, because soda is not food. It’s toxic acid.

One of my tennis teammates is 70 years old, athletic and quick and has never been overweight. One of the Jackson brothers, two local osteopathic surgeons, told her regarding a surgery they were planning related to her arthritis, “If you are going to drink soda after the surgery, I won’t do it. It will just quickly undo my work.”

If you drink soda, you can virtually guarantee that you will have arthritis by age 50. (Both my parents, nearing 70, have “bone on bone” arthritis problems, and neither of them drink soda.)

Oh, and guess what. I don’t care how young you are—50 is coming up faster than you think! If you’re 25 and think that when you’re 50, you’re washed up and don’t care about anything anyway (I thought this when I was 25)…..well, you’re wrong. When you’re 50, you love your life, you want lots more of it, you care about how you look, you’re a sexual person, and you have lots of goals. (For some reason, 5 years from that age myself right now, I feel the need to tell 20-somethings to care more about their future! I wish I had! I wish I didn’t eat so much sugar in my 20’s and get so much sun.)

I wonder if seven sobering facts about accelerated aging and disease risk from drinking soda would help any of my friends—including you?—kick the habit? Share this with anyone you know who loves the burn of carbonation—or is addicted to the caffeine rush—or maybe both.

I’ve been quizzing my readers who talk to me at classes about their soda addiction. I ask them what they like about it, and carbonation is a major answer. Try drinking kombucha from the health food store once a day instead. Synergy brand is most popular. Or if you need the caffeine boost and haven’t gotten your nutrition to the level where it sustains you, rather than needing the caffeine kick, drink an unsweetened, or stevia-sweetened bottled green tea from the health food store.

Tomorrow, the 7 reasons…..

“After I eat chocolate cake, I want to die”

I got this email from my friend Matthew:

He had just read this quote: “When I eat chocolate cake, 20 minutes later I’m under my desk wanting to die, When I eat broccoli, in 20 minutes I feel good. But given the choice I always eat the cake.”

Matthew asks: “Why do people choose the chocolate cake?

“Have I ever talked to you about how Tony Robbins talked about training himself to push his plate away when he was full? He grew up in a home with the ‘doctrine of the clean plate’ (or something like that) and had to retrain himself. The psychology of how to train yourself about what is okay and what is not okay is fascinating to me. (I have taught my kids to waste food anytime they want for example, and that was SO WRONG in the tribe I grew up in.)

“I wonder if you wrote some blogs about how to train yourself and condition yourself to have feelings and opinions about healthy eating that are more useful. How about Affirmations for Health by YOU?”

I told Matthew that I was raised with the same rule: you must finish everything on your plate. I’m developing a meditation to go to the very root of why we sabotage ourselves nutritionally, and correct those subconscious beliefs. (I wrote about this in a blog series months ago called, “I love my body. It serves me well!”)

What are your beliefs about yourself and food, that cause you to make poor choices over and over? What are the words you say in your head? Could you write them on a 3×5 card and think about whether they are useful or harmful?

What if you could write NEW beliefs and statements that you could replace those with, which are more useful? It would work only if you repeated those beliefs over and over.

Do you “make” your kids finish their dinner? At my house, you don’t have to finish anything—except your green smoothie, fruits/vegs, or salad. You can skip the rest of the dinner.

Parents, or anyone with opinions, what do you think? I know it’s no longer popular at all to ‘make’ kids do ANYTHING. But I ‘make’ myself eat 60-80% raw greens/vegs/fruit before I consider eating anything else—so it isn’t as if I’m requiring anything of my kids I’m not doing myself. I have done this for so long that I don’t even think about it. It’s not deprivation or neurotic; it’s just habitual.

I have some rules for eating. All of them are based on common sense. All were developed by learning that I don’t feel good if I ever break them. I’ve never written them down until now; they’ve just been in my head. Here are my 13 rules:

1. Don’t eat after 7 p.m. except on a very rare occasion.

2. Always drink a pint of water as soon as I wake up.

3. Never eat sugar on an empty stomach–always with lots of raw food and some good plant protein (like almonds, greens, or beans).

4. If I eat any concentrated sugar (besides fruit), it’s only once in a day.

5. Never eat processed meat.

6. After working out, drink only water for a while.

7. Every meal or snack is 60% or more raw plant food (often 80-100%).

8. Don’t drink soda.

9. Don’t buy anything from fast-food restaurants.

10. Don’t eat anything with MSG in it.

11. Don’t add salt to food.

12. If a meal is below 80% raw plant food, take digestive enzymes.

13. If I eat too heavily for a weekend or more, I take a few days to detox. I might eat all raw food, two quarts of green smoothie instead of one, wheat grass juice, extra water–or even a couple of days of nothing but Meal Replacement.

The Rest of the Story with Rich the Pharmacist. Part 2 of 2.

I don’t buy that baloney. (In more ways than one.)

If you eat hot dogs and soda on a regular basis, you’re almost certainly spending lots of money on doctor bills. Or you’re about to, as springs start to break loose in your internal box spring.

Your health insurance company is going broke, too. I may buy bulgur and quinoa and collard greens instead of hot dogs and Mountain Dew, but guess what. Mountain Dew ain’t cheap. And neither is a lot of what my reader claims is all America can afford.

Legumes and whole grains, and many vegetables and fruits, are cheap and don’t hurtle you towards cardiovascular disease and cancer and 100 different auto-immune nightmares. Let’s learn how to use them!

Maybe some aren’t ready to hear this. But what you can’t afford is to have your chest and abdomen weigh so much that it’s crushing vital organs so you can’t breathe all night and are exhausted all day. THAT is what you can’t afford. It’s crushing more than lungs. It’s just crushing, period–literally and figuratively.

It crushes vitality. Hope. Your sex life. (C-pap at night? Your partner loves that. It’s like the scene in the trailer for the recent movie where Tina Fey asks her husband, Steve Carrell, if he’s in the mood, and she then offers to remove her retainer and does so, drool everywhere. Sorry to be blunt, but obesity isn’t pretty in the bedroom, and neither are medical devices, digestive disorders, or immobility.)

Sorry for the tough love. But hot dogs just might be ruining your life.

A friend of mine in his 50’s who owns a runner’s shop and sometimes hosts my lecture saw an obese woman in the crowd as he ran past, running a marathon. He said to her, “YOU SHOULD BE OUT HERE RUNNING WITH US.”

She was shocked. (Who says that?!) They became fast friends as she snapped out of her dream fugue and decided to change her life. Join the race. Show up in his shop. She’s now a normal-weight marathon runner and I read her story in the paper, quoting my friend who said that to her and changed her life.

It can be done. It starts with a tenacious statement like Rich’s, in yesterday’s post. Read his “no holds barred” paragraph and see if it inspires you!

Watch Karen Wilbert when the first GreenSmoothieGirl Makeover film clips come out, as she cries in frustration, telling us how her friends in the neighborhood run races together, while she stares at the trees outside her window, through all four seasons. Like Rich, she’s younger than me. She hates that other people are living life while illness, loss of energy, and depression have drained her own life to a tiny slice of what she once enjoyed.

Eating M&M’s does NOT stand in for a life. What a sorry substitute. Start visualizing the price for eating cancer sticks (hot dogs–also bacon and sausage) being $200 a bite. How does it taste now?

After we completed some filming at Samantha Cornia’s today for GreenSmoothieGirl Makeover, Kels, my filmmaker, was telling me about his mom doing my 12 Steps program, in her second bout of chemotherapy against ovarian cancer. He says she’s sick of the devastation of chemotherapy, and she’s motivated and excited to try something different.

I told him to make sure she gets a juicer (in addition to her new green-smoothie-blending habit) and juice beets, carrots, celery, parsley, apples, and wheat grass in huge quantities. And I told him, “Tell your mom to visualize, as she drinks it, that beautiful, powerful, high-oxygen, high-antioxidant super-powered drink starving EVERY CANCER CELL into oblivion, exploding, obliterating them into nothing. Have her imagine the healthy cells kicking butt and taking names.”

She’ll be blasting the hell out of cancer while strengthening the muscles of her immune system. Rather than nuking everything in sight like chemo and radiation do.

David Wolfe said this, last weekend, about watching animals heal themselves–we could learn a lot from them:

“You can heal almost every condition there is by hiding, sleeping, being quiet, and not eating.”

I totally agree and suggested to Kels that his mom just eat little or nothing for a while after chemo is over, just juice and green smoothies and lots of water. Give cells and organs a chance to rest, repair, rebuild.

You, my friend, reading this:

YOU SHOULD BE OUT HERE RUNNING WITH US.

Reversing osteoporosis

I got this from Jackie on my customer support team:

“We’ve been getting a lot of people asking about whether you can reverse osteoporosis. Can you address this on the blog?”

First of all, we have to stop believing, as a culture, that drinking cow’s milk is some kind of insurance against osteoporosis. The U.S. has one of the highest rates of osteoporosis in the world AND the highest dairy consumption! The other highest rates of osteoporosis in the world are the other highest dairy-consuming nations. (Perhaps this is partly because in North America and Europe, we don’t get enough bone-building Vita D from the sun–but clearly guzzling milk by the gallon isn’t helping us build strong bone.)

Some of the lowest rates of the disease are found in countries that consume NO dairy products, such as in African nations where it’s virtually unheard of.

Dairy products have calcium that is about 32% bioavailable to humans, whereas leafy greens are over 60% bioavailable. (Plus dairy products are mucous-forming, they are pasteurized to kill all the helpful enzymes, and full of bovine pus, antibiotics, and growth hormones.

An exception to all those problems is to buy raw, organic milk and make kefir or yogurt from it. The fermenting process breaks the proteins down and avoids the body’s reaction of producing mucous to flush it out.)

So if we need more useable calcium rather than more calcium, greens are the most bioavailable source. I don’t mean to sound like a broken record here, but greens cover a multitude of sins.

And let’s not forget about our soda-drinking habit. If we’re guzzling pop by the liter, we’re draining the bones of calcium because of the massive amounts of phosphorus the body has to work overtime to neutralize. Check out my sources in Ch. 1 of 12 Steps to Whole Foods: kids who drink sodas have three to four times higher risk of bone fracture than kids who don’t. Kids only gain bone mass for 20 years or so, so it’s a crime to let them drink soda. “You can’t recapture your youth” has another important meaning…..you get only once chance to build bone mass.

I can’t promise anybody they’ll reverse anything. That wouldn’t be ethical. Prevention is easier than reversal. But I will tell you that I get emails EVERY SINGLE DAY about exciting stories of chronic conditions reversing, using the practices I teach.

I often have readers of my blog say, when I see them in public, “Is it really true you wore glasses when you were 20 and now you have 20/20 vision at 43?” I don’t know if I have 20/20 vision, but I did 4 years ago when I was last checked. And I didn’t have surgery or any other corrective actions.

I don’t know why that happened except that I juiced or blended vegetable and green juices for years and now eat 20+ servings of vegetables, greens, and fruits every day.

You can take MSM, or chondroitin, or whatever, to reverse osteoporosis, but I don’t think the studies show impressive results. What I have much more faith in is food and good lifestyle practices. Don’t drink or smoke. Breathe fresh air, find ways to release stress like yoga, let go of anger and guilt and resolve your emotional issues, and drink lots of water.