Arizona here we come! And some fun comments from readers….

We are pretty excited to leave early in the morning for Arizona. We’re doing something really new and cool: BLENDTEC is sponsoring the show from here on out, and I’m giving away a $435 blender at each lecture plus $500 in others of my favorite things. Get your raffle tickets here for MESA, TUCSON, or GLENDALE.

A long time ago, I wrote this blog entry: “Do you use your green smoothie as a license to eat a boatload of junk?”

A brave and honest reader just posted this yesterday, in response:

“I had to come back a year and a half later and comment.   For the longest time I didn’t think I was that “Oreo” person, but I am. I think I went and got a handful of Oreos right after I read this post thinking, ‘That’s not me, I eat super healthy. I don’t eat junk food, I have salad every night, I’m practically vegetarian, I eat all whole grains, that just isn’t me. I haven’t had Oreos in years. I eat so healthy– I’ll just eat this handful of Oreos to reward myself. Just this once won’t hurt.’   I have the ‘just this once’ conversation with myself every night about 8pm, then I find something nice and sugary.

“I’m a sugar addict and I often use smoothies, salad, and other health foods from the day to justify the sugar sprees at night.   I used to wonder why you always said ‘get off sugar’ like it was a drug or something, but I’m starting to realize it is like a drug.   Maybe not a drug for everyone, but it is for me and probably a lot of other people.   I’m admitting it now, so I think I might have a chance at finally kicking the habit.   Wish me luck.”

Also, JILL and her husband drove two hours to attend my class in Bakersfield. She wants us to check out the exciting changes in her husband’s heart health, in just 5 weeks since implementing what she learned there….check it out HERE! In her blog, she took photos of the class, inserts links to my story, and copied the text messages from her twin daughters Kim and Kris (internet celebrities in the crafting world), 12 Steppers who attended my class in Utah a year or so ago. Some of her friends sound like they want to follow suit with whole-foods habits!

 

Are you fixing the plumbing, or building a mansion? Part 2 of 2

At church Sunday, someone was making an announcement about a care center that wants us to bring them snacks for the mentally handicapped residents: “The care center staff said they want HEALTHY treats, like fruit snacks and Gushers.” I don’t know what Gushers are, but the fact that they have a brand name is a bad sign. The person making the announcement turned to the side of the room where I was sitting and said, “Robyn would not approve of these ideas as healthy snacks, and neither do I, but anyway, that’s what they want.”

(I love how at church I seem to have a “rep” even though I never talk about food there.)

It’s a throwback to my days as a grad-school intern on the State Hospital Children’s Unit 15 years ago. I went to the director to plead for less sugar on the unit. I could see that the kids were constantly ill, incessantly fed antibiotics, most of them overweight, because the school and therapists rewarded them with candy, the hospital cafeteria’s nutrition was appalling, and after-school volunteers brought cookies and junk nearly every day. I was brushed off by the psychiatrist director who said, “Sugar is the only love most of these kids every get, and it’s not a big deal. We’re dealing with REAL issues here.” In other words, he was saying: nutrition doesn’t matter for these kids.

I don’t want to roll my eyes. I want to educate patiently. I hope I am always tolerant. I hope I always teach to the knowledge level of the audience. I hope I never act superior.

Whatever knowledge I have, I gained it as God was building a courtyard in my cottage, while I would have much preferred just a little cleanup. I lean on others in their areas of subject-matter expertise where I am shaky. (Computers. Applied math. Spatial puzzles and maps.)

God is making a mansion of me. When He knocks out a support beam, I want to grow from it instead of shake my fist at heaven.

Last Sunday at church, Carla, in our women’s organization, gave a lesson on the Word of Wisdom scripture. I attend a lay church, where the parishioners are also the teachers. She said my name three times during the lesson, as if she had no right to teach on nutrition because I happened to be there.

Fact is, as I told her later, it was the best lesson I’ve ever heard on the Word of Wisdom, my religion’s scripture about nutrition. I told her, “I don’t think I would have had the courage to be so bold.”

She’d researched statistics about the health risks associated with red meat, caffeine, carbonation. She indicted Utah’s prescription drug dependency (especially anti-depressants) as fueled by the culture, even reading a quote from our attorney general. She read stats about the benefits of whole grains, the benefits of drinking a lot of water.

She didn’t cover sugar, she didn’t cover the Word of Wisdom’s counsel to “eat meat sparingly,” she said that poultry and fish are good for you. But overall, I found the whole lesson to be starkly committed to the truth, relative to most lessons I hear on that topic.

She did cover the closing line of D&C 89, that if we eat whole foods, “I, the Lord, give unto them a promise, that the destroying angel shall pass by them, as the children of Israel, and not slay them.” This seemed to have a profound emotional impact on the teacher. No wonder, as her husband has battled prostate cancer this past year. Who doesn’t want to put that amazing promise to the test?

She was so stunned when I gave her a hug and told her I would probably have soft-pedaled the topic, myself. Why? I hate offending people. And, as I said to her, “People are more emotional and opinionated about food than they are about religion and sex.”

Anyway, thanks for the food for thought, Jennie, and the Word of Wisdom lesson, Carla.

6 tips to make any baking recipe healthier, part 1 of 2

At the Zermatt in December, I taught these six tips for making a baking treat healthier. You don’t have to know anything about recipe development. These are no-brainers. Three tips today, three tomorrow. (All of this information is in Ch. 11 of 12 Steps to Whole Foods.)

1.           Substitute finely ground whole wheat instead of white flour.

What you see on recipe labels as “wheat flour” is actually a toxic, nutrition-less white gluey mess. It’s the grain with the germ (vitamins) and bran (fiber) removed).

Ask for a good grain grinder for Christmas. I love K-Tecs, which you can find here. They aren’t terribly expensive, and you’ll need one in an emergency where you have to make your own bread, so it’s a good preparedness item.

For cookies, cakes, pastry recipes, I like SOFT WHITE WHEAT, ground on the finest grind setting your mill has. Your kids won’t even know the difference. A coarser grind will cause a heavier product, and red wheat will make it look darker. (I use red wheat for breads, etc.)

Some people think they don’t like whole wheat flour products, when in fact they’re just used to eating RANCID whole wheat. When the grain is ground, the protective shell of the grain is destroyed and oils inside begin to deteriorate. Consequently, those milled grains go rancid quickly and taste bad in baked goods. (Plus, rancid oils are carcinogenic.) Bags of whole wheat flour sometimes have spent months in warehouses and in transit before arriving in your home, and then you store them even longer.

Thus a grinder becomes essential, so you can have FRESHLY milled grains anytime you want.

2.           Substitute coconut palm sugar, or Sucanat, for sugar.

I recently mentioned coconut sugar in a blog entry and since then, we’ve gotten many queries from readers who can’t find it, to buy. I spent some time looking for it and have obtained the best organic product I could find for a good price in the GreenSmoothieGirl store: get some here.

Read about it here.

I’m thrilled about this product because of its low glycemic index for far less impact on your blood sugar and pancreas. It has high vitamin and mineral content, it is highly sustainable, more so than cane sugar, and it tastes lovely. Sucanat is in my baking recipes in 12 Steps (it’s dried, unrefined cane juice) but coconut sugar is my new favorite and is an easy substitute.

Substitute it 1:1 for any white or brown sugar called for in a baking recipe.

3.           Baking powder

Please buy the kind in the health food store that is ALUMINUM FREE. Don’t buy giant quantities because it’s good for only 1-2 years. Aluminum is a toxic metal your body has a very difficult time eliminating, and it’s linked to Alzheimer’s and many other health problems. And it’s in commercial baking powders. Substitute the aluminum-free version 1:1 in your recipes.

Mary kicks white carbs to the curb!

Dear GreenSmoothieGirl:

I sent you my story of healing over the past six years. I hope you received it. [From Robyn: I didn’t. ??]

Just want to add that if I eat no “white” nor alcohol, I have no inflammation, i.e., pain, in my body. I have fibromyalgia and arthritis, and went from being bed-ridden to EVERYONE thinking I am fifty, when I am now 71.

What I am now doing for over 3 years (smoothie every AM and vegetables, fruits and whole grains) is reversing age. My hair is losing the gray, I feel 19 and have so much to share.

I want a mic and a stage!! No one can “get it” unless they do it. I have gone back into pain and exhaustion when I poisoned my body with some simple carbohydrates. These tests prove that my plan works! I hope you got my story. Just ask and I will email it to you again. Yeast is the result of the sugar from simple carbohydrates, and the yeast inflames the weaker parts of our bodies and is also addictive. Weight is a sub-issue. Health is the issue!

[Mary, please re-send your story!]

sugar replacement: possibly the best solution

You know I recommend only sparing use of any concentrated sweeteners. A while ago, I posted a recipe featuring COCONUT SUGAR. I’d been given a sample of it, and I was enjoying substituting it for Sucanat (my previous “standby” for baked goods). I didn’t realize how hard to find it was until y’all wrote me a bunch of emails saying, “WHERE DO WE GET IT?”

So I had to spend some time tracking an affordable, organic, reputable source of it.

Fact is, coconut palm sugar is a great find. If you have been here long, you know refined sugars have no place in your kitchen or your baking. (White flour and refined salt are in my kitchen for making play-dough at least. What is sugar good for? NOTHIN’!)

In the past, I’ve recommended Sucanat. On a scale of 1 to 10, if 1 is high-fructose corn syrup (the very worst) and 10 is dates (a whole food), Sucanat is about a 4. It is unrefined, dried cane juice.

Read here why I feel coconut palm sugar is a big step up from that.

In that “sugar replacement” report I wrote, check out the charts showing amino acid profile, micronutrient comparisons to other sweeteners, and the glycemic index rating.

Now we have it in our store so you can obtain it easily.

It’s vastly higher in micronutrients.

It’s far more sustainable.

It is a low-glycemic-index food, which is rare in sweeteners.

Substitute it 1:1 in any recipe calling for sugar. Bakes well, tastes wonderful, no aftertaste. In a couple of weeks here on the blog, I’ll teach you six ways to make ANY baking recipe much more nutritious.

Here it is in the GreenSmoothieGirl.com store.