8 Foods You Think Are Healthy But They Aren’t!

I did a new video last week on 8 foods you may think are “healthy” but the evidence shows they AREN’T. Check it out. 

How many of these do YOU eat on a regular basis? If your answer is ZERO, you get 100 GreenSmoothieGirl points! 100 more if you drink your quart of green smoothie every day!

Have a wonderfully healthy week!

Nutrition for pregnant moms, babies, toddlers….part 3 of 5

Today’s topic: WHAT DO I WEAN MY BABY ONTO?

So, you can’t feed your baby nothing but breast milk, and then goat milk (or yogurt/kefir) forever. Now you know why I highly encourage you to breastfeed as exclusively as you can, for 18 months.

But when you do begin to wean your baby, avoid all the boxed ‘cereals’ and the jars of baby food. I never fed my last three any of those things, not even once. Not one of them drank any ‘formula.’

Babies sensitive to dairy formulas are often given soy formulas, which is deeply troubling to me. Soy is estrogenic, and it is a very well-known endocrine disruptor. It is very possibly my least-favorite option to feed an infant. Plus, over 85% of America’s soy crops are genetically modified. Some evidence links it to degenerative gut conditions. Obviously we don’t want to start your baby down that path, shortly after birth!

I started weaning my babies onto raw, primarily non-sweet plant foods. More greens and vegetables than fruits.

If you start there, when your baby is hungry (beginning to outgrow the milk-only diet, and getting interested in table foods, wanting what you eat), you’re setting her tastes, which truly last a lifetime.

What you feed her NOW will be things she always gravitates towards. Programming at this very young age is very powerful. (Even the things you ate while your baby was developing in the womb, are often foods the baby later craves.)

So you have the opportunity to craft your child’s tastes. Make it easy on yourself, instead of choosing years of tantrums if you don’t feed her Skittles at every meal. That’s what you’re choosing for yourself, if you start feeding your little one sugar! A guaranteed future of refined-foods addiction.

Mash avocado. Make a simple green smoothie with only two ingredients. Chard and a small amount of banana, with water. Spinach, and an apple, and water. Blend it in your turbo blender. (Blendtec is the best one, Vitamix is the second-best one.)

MAKE IT ORGANIC. Your body doesn’t do well metabolizing pesticides. Your baby’s body is even more sensitive—plus, his body is just tiny. It should be developing, not struggling against organophosphates, or heavy metals.

Don’t cook the veggies to puree them in the blender. Blend RAW carrots and just enough water to blend. Cooking makes it soft, yes, but also kills vitamins, minerals, and enzymes. Remember your baby isn’t producing digestive enzymes yet anyway. So give them to her in the form of raw plant food!

Don’t feed your baby raw honey until after 12 months, to be sure that her body is equipped to deal with the very mild pathogens occasionally found in that food.

Don’t sweeten the green smoothies with any concentrated sweetener. The only reason YOU think they have to be sweet is that you weren’t lucky enough to have a mother systematically weaning you onto wonderful living, whole, raw plant foods. Your baby has no addiction to sugar. Yet. Your baby has no emotional attachment to eating. Yet. Add nothing to sweeten but a bit of banana, or dates.

Add only one food a day, or each few days, to carefully observe any reactions in your baby, any potential food sensitivities. If you noticed when you were nursing, that your baby reacted to your breast milk when you ate certain foods, there is a higher likelihood that your baby is going to be sensitive to some foods when you feed them to her directly.

A mashed banana is a wonderful food for a baby. I think a banana and an avocado mashed for a baby is a FABULOUS baby or toddler meal. Perfect fats for brain health. Great potassium and many other vitamin and minerals, full of enzymes to make it easy to digest.

When you see the eyeteeth come in, at about 18 months, your baby is better able to digest foods, because that developmental milestone also generally means the body is in full digestive enzyme production as well. That is when I introduced cooked foods. But every meal or snack, then and now in my home, has been 60-80 percent raw. That way we are providing most or all of the enzymes our bodies need, rather than forcing the pancreas to release its limited stores.

Good cooked foods for toddlers would include toasted sprouted English muffins, “buttered” with coconut oil, or manna bread, or homemade, wholegrain sourdough bread. You can make lots of soups that feature legumes and vegetables, and many ideas are found in 12 Steps to Whole Foods, recipes I’ve raised my own family on and continue to make. Sometimes we eat whole-grain pastas, which is an excuse to make a sauce full of raw tomatoes and vegetables, and toss in steamed veggies. We make lots of different things with sprouted-wheat tortillas, and vegetarian refried beans that we make our buy, and veggies.

We eat a lot of salad. All of my babies were big salad eaters well before they were 2 years old. This helps them build a strong jaw capable of breaking down whole, raw plant foods.

You have perfect control of what fuel you give your child to make the most of his natural gifts, his natural intelligence, his naturally perfect mental health. Avoiding giving your baby sweet foods in his first two years of life also helps him have a better chance of excellent dental health, for many years to come. You can easily avoid white flour and sugar, food dyes and chemicals, hormone- and steroid-fed animal products. You might have to talk to church and daycare workers and ask them not to feed your child the standard snacks. (I told them my child was “allergic.” Aren’t we all?)

It’s worth it to swim upstream against the culture, to protect our children’s right to grow up healthy and strong. It’s worth a little money to buy organic for our babies. It’s worth a little time to plant a garden to control more of our food, decrease our carbon footprint, and set an example to our kids.

Tomorrow, nutrition during pregnancy.

Use nutrition to stoke your sex drive! Why young moms aren’t “into it.”

You think I’m going to start talking about chocolate syrup and strawberries in the bedroom as props. I’m not. I have WAY better advice than that.

Moms of young children are very often less interested in sex than their partners. Husbands are frustrated and wonder what happened to the energetic woman they married. (Have a little patience, guys. It very well may be temporary. Kind of a LONG temporary, I know, but still—it’s a season.)

Historically, at least when Masters and Johnson were doing their landmark work on North Americans and sexual practices and attitudes, women hit their “sexual prime” at 40, but these days, researchers see less of that. More and more, some women don’t even HAVE a sexual prime. They’re perennially exhausted, and with reserves running low, sex is the first thing to go.

Another growing phenomenon is low testosterone in men—so men have less interest in sex now, many of them, than they did 50 years ago. (Not all of them, of course. But a surprising number.)

If you’re GreenSmoothieGirl, many people know you’re single, some people know you’re a former sex therapist, and everybody knows you know a lot about nutrition…..my point is, people tell me stuff. Turns out, lots of women, and some men, too, are suffering with sexual dysfunction, or just a lack of interest in it.

Child hugging mother's legI have some thoughts. First of all, if you’re married to a mommy who seems disinterested in taking her clothes off for you at 10 pm, keep in mind how women get their sexual needs met. It’s primarily through touch. Think about how much TOUCH a young mom is getting. Sometimes you literally have multiple small, cuddly, cute people hanging around your neck. By the end of the day, you’ve had more touch than you can take. Or, at least—you’ve had that need met.

This is not, however, how a man gets his sexual needs met. So he’s frustrated. The 30’s, while couples are raising small children, is typically the lowest marital-satisfaction period of time in the span of a marriage. And this phenomenon we’re discussing today is the most often-cited reason.

One thing everyone needs to do, to clear all the negative energies from your endocrine system, male or female, is get away from endocrine-disrupting chemicals. Don’t drink out of plastic containers or microwave stuff in plastic (or heaven forbid, Styrofoam).

Don’t drink tap water–avoid fluoride and chlorine. Get a carbon filter on the whole water system in your home. Get a reverse osmosis filtration system, at a minimum. Best of all is if you have R.O. water, and a water ionizer.

Say No to SoyDon’t eat soy! Most of it in the U.S. is genetically modified, but also, there is soy protein isolate and soy lecithin and a dozen other processed soy fractions in everything boxed, everything canned, everything manufactured by humans these days, including almost all BREAD products. Soy mimics estrogen in the body and disrupts normal hormone function. Don’t use soy milk or any other products—occasionally, organic only, small amounts of miso, edamame, tofu, nama shoyu or Bragg’s, are okay.

Quit using chemical skin-care products. Putting it on your skin is the same as eating it. Your skin is a living, breathing organ, and it takes what you put on it into the bloodstream. Make a shift to the things you put on your skin being only natural. My moisturizer is organic coconut oil. And essential oils, especially lavender, for the sun damage.

Get on my diet. It’s called 12 Steps to Whole Foods. When greens are what you eat most of, then vegetables, fruits, legumes…..guess what, those are the most nutrient-dense classes of foods…..weight loss is nearly invariable. Green smoothies are just a good first step.

Even being 10 pounds over your normal weight can very noticeably affect libido. You think depressed libido is because you don’t feel sexy or uninhibited when you’ve got love handles or thigh flab. That’s only part of it.

(An important part! Feeling sexy and energetic DOES lead to you being your best self—in all ways. On the flip side, having to turn the lights off, avoid certain body parts being visible, or worrying about insecurities, leads to nothing good in the bedroom.)

The other part is how even just an extra 10 lbs. truly depresses circulation and endocrine functions. You really need those functions, for good lovin.’

If the nutritional suggestions I’m about to give you don’t do the trick, consider visiting a bioidentical hormone specialist. A little natural testosterone cream can be a libido lifesaver, but only if blood or urine tests show you’re low in that department. (Women over 40, did you know there’s a female testosterone?) Most women are estrogen-dominant, as well, no thanks to the above-mentioned endocrine disruptors. (The list would be as long as my arm of all the chemicals in our food supply and cosmetics that can play a role in that.) So often a progesterone cream is needed, which balances estrogens in the female body.

Please get these ONLY from a bioidentical practitioner. The drugs, from the other guys? The substances are not identical to what your body makes. They are harmful and may have some symptom-abatement results in the short term, but they are also associated with negative side effects and disease risk. Dr. Bryan Turner, M.D., is a bioidentical practitioner sponsoring my lecture in Provo this Friday  night.

Add these things to your green smoothie. Call the recipe Good Green Love. Or Sexy Smoothie 2.0. Half for you, half for your partner. Here they are:

Maca1. Maca. Easy to get online or at the health food store, prized by the Incas for its effect on sexual performance and libido, as well as all types of energy.

2. Bee pollen. The queen bee uses it for reproductive health. Humans respond well to it, too.

 

Celery3. Celery. Yes, the vegetable I affectionately like to say comes from the cardboard family. Put it in your smoothie where you won’t notice it, since it contains androsterone, a precursor to pheromones that positively affect the sexual behavior of your partner.

Get more foods containing ZINC, which blocks the enzyme that converts testosterone to estrogen. Soak raw pumpkin seeds and put them in your oatmeal or granola. Watermelon relaxes blood vessels and increases blood flow and lubrication. You can get a supplement of L-arginine, which is an amino acid which can dilate the right blood vessels to improve arousal.

AsparagusAsparagus is rich in folate, which regulates histamine (released during orgasm). Bananas have several compounds that lead to testosterone production and blood flow, and therefore great sex: potassium, B vitamins, and the enzyme bromelain.

So try those ideas, and get in the bedroom and see what happens.

Enjoy! (Also, have a little moment of grieving silence, will you, for your SINGLE friend GreenSmoothieGirl?)

Regardless of whether this is all academic for me personally at the moment, I want y’all happy in every area of your life, including and especially the part that happens behind closed doors.

XOXO,

Robyn

 

Thyroid—you might have a problem and not know it

All estimates I’ve read are that 25 to 50 percent or more of American women have significant thyroid issues. Possibly over half of women over 40. Most of these women are undiagnosed. If you have low thyroid, which is the most common thyroid problem, symptoms may be low energy, slow metabolism / weight gain, dry skin, bags under your eyes, fatigue, hair loss, depression, poor circulation, low immune function, and insomnia.

My best friend since childhood, on the other hand, has the “auto-immune” condition of hyperthyroidism, which is just as miserable. Her thyroid is always revved and overproducing. She goes the drug route. The symptoms are a racing heartbeat, weight loss, increase or decrease in appetite, insomnia, fatigue, diarrhea, mental disturbance, infertility, thinning hair, itching and hives, heat intolerance, and tremors / shakiness.

All the endocrine disruptors in the environment and food supply affect thyroid function. Don’t eat soy! Don’t expose yourself to pesticides, or plastics, or heavy metals. Avoid drugs, alcohol, and unchecked stress.

Doctors will likely put you on synthetic hormone. Remember that the drug thyroid is not bioidentical to the thyroid produced in your body. It’s been molecularly altered, each drug different from each other, to earn a patent.

If you find a clinic that specializes in bioidentical hormone, the cost is far less, and your body can assimilate and utilize the hormone effectively, like the hormone your own thyroid produces.

I spent four years on a synthetic thyroid drug, many years ago, before I knew any better. It helped me drop the 40 lbs. I’d gained in a year since I became hypothyroid. But it increased my risk for cancer. I happily transitioned to bioidentical and have been on it ever since. Recently I went completely off thyroid to test whether perhaps my good diet compensated, and maybe I could produce hormone effectively by myself.

The good news is, my baseline was much better than it was 10 years ago when I first was tested. The bad news is, I got ugly bags under my eyes. I made some videos last summer in Denver when I was completely off thyroid, and I can’t even look at them. Ugly. My body makes about 60% of the thyroid I need. I take a few drops of nascent iodine each day, now, and my bioidentical thyroid keeps me happy and balanced.

You can read whole books on the thyroid phenomenon by Mary Shomon, a bestselling author. Too many women are hypothyroid and going without treatment. Remember to google “bioidentical hormone” rather than starting with the standard M.D.’s practice of automatic drug-oriented HRT (hormone replacement therapy).

And remember, having an M.D. check you for T3 will not give you the whole answer. When I gained 40 lbs. because I was very hypothyroid in my mid-30’s, I was tested for that and the doc told me it was “normal.” I knew I was NOT feeling normal, but what was I to do?

You must get the full blood panel and have a highly specialized bioidentical practitioner look at the interplay of T3, T4, progesterone, estrogen, testosterone, and a variety of co-factors. When I did that, my life changed dramatically because they could treat my whole body, rather than just drug one element, throwing other critical elements into imbalance.

If you’re feeling healthy but want to make sure you’re getting enough iodine, using refined salt with chemical, synthetic iodine enrichment, is harmful. If you want ways to get more natural, bioavailable iodine in your diet, to enhance your body’s ability to make and utilize thyroid hormone?

Talk to your holistic practitioner about whether you should take nascent iodine (available online, google it) or Lugol’s solution (prescription). My practitioner had me paint a 1”x1” patch of my inner forearm with drugstore iodine, and if it disappeared in an hour, she said that was a sign my body needs iodine. (However, I believe others dispute this test as valid.)

Food-based sources are kelp (which you can take in tablets, or it’s a wonderful salt replacement seasoning), or dulse, or nori sheets (seaweed). Those are high-iodine sea vegetables. If you take too much, you would notice being jittery, anxious, shaky, so if so, you could back off those foods. But generally, you’d have to eat an awful lot of sea vegetables to create an imbalance.

Raw green food and kidney stones

I have more requests to address oxalates.

It’s another one of those “they” things: first they tell us greens are good for us, and then they tell us oxalates will cause kidney stones and other problems.   Many people are fearful of kidney stones since they’re not only common (estimates are than 10 to 15 percent of Americans are diagnosed at some point), but also terribly painful.

Here’s the thing: it’s a gross oversimplification to say greens contain oxalates, oxalates cause kidney stones, and so you shouldn’t eat greens.   First of all, calcium is so plentiful and highly bioavailable in greens, and calcium binds to excess oxalates to render them harmless and easily removed from the body.   With all but a few serious health problems where specific nutrients are banned by your doctor, green foods are VITAL and should be eaten DAILY.   Some evidence says BLENDING oxalate-rich foods neutralizes it–voila, green smoothies!)

Foods high in oxalates include soy, beer, wheat, nuts, beets, chocolate, rhubarb, spinach, and strawberries.   I eat wheat, nuts, beets, chocolate, spinach, and strawberries regularly, most of them daily.   But if you have a problem with kidney stone formation, I would address eliminating three deadly S’s rather than greens: SODA, SUGAR, AND SALT.   Those chemically upset your body’s ability to utilize minerals like calcium and magnesium, leading to stones.

I know a schoolteacher who suffered with stones and eventually kidney failure, probably because for 30 years she didn’t want to have to leave her classroom to go to the bathroom, so she avoided drinking water.   Drink LOTS of water to avoid kidney stones!

GreenSmoothieGirl’s weird opinion on soy

Dear GreenSmoothieGirl: Your information about soy is unfortunate, incorrect and not based on science or the latest research or studies!   [Writer then pastes a study out of Harvard on PRNewswire Mar. 28 of this year saying that eating soy nuts and soy protein “may improve many problems associated with metabolic syndrome” in postmenopausal women.]

 

Answer:   I might agree with you if this were the only study I saw.   I would also agree with you if a huge and growing body of evidence comprised of dozens of other studies have not become to be fairly undeniable about the danger of overconsumption of SOY ISOLATES.   In other words, when the soy industry convinced us that its refined products and even waste products were a “health food,” we began to see a shift toward hormonal problems in particular and widespread health effects overall.

 

Google “soy danger” sometime and you can read for hours about another point of view that simply demands to be considered.

 

Using whole soy products in moderation shouldn’t be a problem.   But soy lecithin and protein and many other soy products are ubiquitous in thousands of breads, salad dressings, canned and boxed foods, and so many items in the health food store as well.  Far too much of it in the food supply is causing widespread hormone imbalances.

 

For more information about my digest of research related to soy that requires reconsideration of the “soy as health food” position:

 

www.greensmoothiegirl.com/danger-of-soy-products.html

Good, Better Best: CHEESE

Dear GreenSmoothieGirl: what’s good, better, and best for CHEESE?

Answer: Some people think soy cheese is a good alternative. I think it’s highly processed and not worth the expense. Also, it tastes yucky.   :-)

Good: cheese made from organic, no-hormones or -antibiotics-added milk

Better: raw, organic cheese, no salt added or sea salt added

Best: chervil made from goat milk, which is not mucous forming like dairy (lovely spread on crackers)

Good, Better, Best: what should I put on my cereal?

***Note: I apologize to all those who have sent me unanswered email questions.   I am trying to get to them all.   FYI, I  prioritize what is blogged over what is emailed.   :-)  

Dear GreenSmoothieGirl: What should I put on my cereal?

Most people put fractionated (skim, 1%, or 2%) antibiotic- and steroid- and hormone-treated cow’s milk on their cereal.   Then, they figure out that dairy isn’t good for them and they switch to soy milk, another fractionated/processed, highly  estrogenic and thyroid-suppressing food.   (A great man named Ezra Taft Benson who held the highest agriculture post in the U.S. said, in the 1950’s, way before  research showed this more definitively, that any time we alter our food source, it will be to our detriment.)   I recommend you avoid both of these options altogether.   Even if you’re not a milk drinker, you may wonder what to put on your cereal.

Good: (1) Rice Dream (still a bit processed but made from brown rice and unsweetened) or  almond milk from the health food store, or (2) raw, whole dairy milk

Better: Raw goat’s milk (an especially good option for young children)

Best: Homemade nut “mylk” (put 1 part nuts like cashews, almonds, or pumpkin seeds, soaked overnight and drained, with 4 parts water in your BlendTec and puree until smooth, optionally with a tsp. of vanilla)

Why is raw goat’s milk better for you than dairy?   First, you usually find it directly from the people milking the goats, not huge dairies using many chemicals.   It’s raw, not homogenized or pasteurized, thus retaining its enzymes.   It has a smaller fat molecule than cow’s milk, so it permeates the human semipermeable membranes rather than causing the body to produce mucous to flush it out.   And its enzyme and amino acid profile is more similar to human milk.   Babies weaned onto it do better than with dairy or soy.  

Nut mylk avoids animal proteins altogether, and if you soak the nuts overnight, they are germinated and “live,” containing an abundance of enzymes to add to your breakfast cereal, not to mention good omega 3 fatty acids and a wealth of vitamins, minerals–and  insoluble fiber, if you don’t strain  it (just shake before using).

Who you gonna call? Part III: nutrition advice from personal trainers

My friend Cheryl told me at the gym the other day that she got online with a “Virtual Personal Trainer.”   This guy has quite a following here locally and helped a friend of Cheryl’s.  

She  said to the trainer, “I’m trying to be vegan.   Can you help me increase my muscle mass and get more toned?”   (Don’t know why–Cheryl is turning 50 and is a size 3–she’s incredibly fit and looks about 34.)

 He said, “Sure, you can do that, if you’re willing to eat a lot of soy or whey protein powders.”   Cheryl’s pretty educated and knows why BOTH of those are a rotten idea.   If you don’t, see my Nutrition Manifesto Myth #1 on the GreenSmoothieGirl.com home page (and my “Soy Is A Health Food” myth is coming soon in  a free e-letter).  

Cheryl told him she didn’t want to eat that stuff.   The trainer told it would be impossible for her to get more toned, then–she simply HAS to eat chicken or fish or protein powders.   One of my personal-trainer friends is eating a 60 PERCENT animal-protein diet right now in preparation for a powerlifting competition!   I spend a lot of time at the gym, and every single trainer I know is pounding the protein bars and powders and slabs of dead animal carcasses (that’s what my vegetarian daughter calls them, lol).

Again, like most medical doctors and dieticians, like the Diet Doctors and Celebrities, personal trainers just aren’t a good source for nutrition information.   The vast majority of them accept the mainstream position wholesale, and the only thing they know about nutrition is to MAXIMIZE PROTEIN.  Thank goodness for that rare M.D. or dietician who does extracurricular homework.   And props to bodybuilders like Jason Ferruggia, Stephen Arlin, and athletes I blogged about last month.  They show you CAN be fit–even huge and ripped, if that’s the goal–eating a plant-based diet.   I’ll run a blog in a couple of days with good stuff from Jason Ferruggia.

 Ask a personal trainer how to lift weights.   Just please don’t ask him what to eat.

a day in the life . . .

Q:   Dear GreenSmoothieGirl, I’m trying to figure out what to feed my family, now that we’re committed to eating right, so I’m wondering what your family eats every day.   Could you just give me like  a “day in the life . . .”?

A: Sure.   It’s not that this is the ultimate or the only, but it works for us because I *adore* the pink smoothie  and the granola gives my kids the high calories and good fats they need.   (I don’t need/want as many  calories as they do!)   I do sometimes eat the granola instead, especially if I’ve made the Live Granola in the recipe collection, which I love.    

Breakfast:

 

Kids: Kefir made from raw goat milk, blended with bananas, in a glass

              plus

              Granola (in recipe collection) with sunflower and alfalfa/clover sprouts added, served with either raw goat milk or rice milk (Rice Dream brand)

 

Me: Hot-Pink Breakfast Smoothie, 400-500 calories, 9-10% protein

[Note: I’ve been adding a little kefir, and a tablespoon of plant-based protein to increase the protein by several grams.   That’s not because I think I need more protein, because I don’t (see Myth 1, part 2).   It’s because other people think THEY do, so I’ve been trying out uses for pea and hemp protein for my readers, which is so much better than whey or soy protein powders.]

 

Weekends: whole-grain waffles, pancakes, German pancakes, etc. (lots of recipes in Step 10, coming up towards the end of the year for 12 Steps to Whole Foods subscribers)

 

Lunch:

 

Kids: whole-grain sandwich, fruit, vegetable (oranges, apples, carrots, celery, baby bell peppers, etc.)

 

Me: soaked/dehydrated almonds, flax crackers, up to 1 quart green smoothie

 

After-school snack:

 

Kids: green smoothie, plus sandwich or toast or popcorn or flax crackers or sprouted/crunchy snack (whatever they get themselves from what I have on hand)

Me: the rest of my green smoothie, if I didn’t already drink it all

 

 

Dinner:

 

1. Big green/vegetable/raw salad with homemade dressing

 

2. Plant-based hot dish–soups, quinoa dishes, legume/rice/grain/vegetable dishes, etc.  

 

[Note: I’m about to post new recipe collections for Plant-Based Main Dishes, as well as Sprouted,  Live  Snacks.   12 Step subscribers will get  ALL of this stuff already, but  collections will be available with my very best, tested recipes for others.   My goal with the main dishes is to keep meat lovers happy with hearty, substantive dishes.   Most of the recipes are a “complete protein,” and they don’t rely on soy.   An upcoming Myth in the Nutrition Manifesto will deal with the controversy of soy, so make sure you’re subscribed to my e-letter.]

 

3. Occasionally some homemade warm cornbread or sourdough bread, too (Ch.  9 of 12 Steps)

 

4. Sometimes we have a treat like dried fruit, a grapefruit, or one of the healthy desserts in Step 11 (butter-pecan ice cream, chocolate pudding, coconut macaroons or coconut brownies, cherry-almond blondies with  cream sauce, cookies—oh, you 12 Steppers have some fun to look forward to!).