Become a modern-day hunter-gatherer! Dr. Wahls beats M.S. with nutrition!

I love this TedTalk by Dr. Terry Wahls, M.D., great data and slides about how she reversed multiple sclerosis. She talks about how she was wheelchair-bound with MS and on many drugs, and is now a healthy mom and doctor. She became a “modern-day hunter-gatherer,” because indiginous people’s diets exceed our RDAs by 200% to 1000%. Check out the chart in her slide show showing the percentage of Americans deficient in each nutrient. The top two answers were OMEGA 3 (85%) and IODINE (80%!). We’re also highly deficient in calcium, magnesium, and B vitamins. Dr. Wahls undertook to address her nutritional deficiencies, which over the course of just a few months got her out of the reclining wheelchair and onto a bike, eventually completely regaining her life.

Daily, she eats 3 cups green leaves (dinner plate), 3 cups sulfur-rich colorful vegs (broccoli, cauliflower, onion, garlic, mushrooms, asparagus, many more), 3 cups  colorful high-antioxidant fruits and vegs—yes, 9 cups! Also wild fish and organ meats and grass fed meat, seaweed foods. Now she has dedicated her life to teaching others about the benefits of the hunter-gatherer diet and doing clinical trials to document its effects.

That doesn’t sound yummy to you? Destroying my myelin sheaths and losing the ability to walk, and feed myself, doesn’t sound yummy to me. More and more of us have these kinds of dire futures if we don’t stop eating what you see in the photo with the family of four: a week’s worth of their food, which is almost entirely processed.

Tomorrow we will talk about Dr. Brian Clement’s teaching about whether fish oil is really a good source of Omega 3. (Hint: as I’ve said in my books and speaking, fish is highly problematic both as a food and as a supplement. We’ll talk about WHY, but fish in clean water is difficult if not impossible to find.)

cardiovascular health: nature vs. nurture

I went to give blood today, hoping that my always-borderline hematocrit was high enough.   It was.   Though one point lower and I’d have been rejected–again.   Like most other things the RDA does, those hematocrit averages aren’t based on the ideal, but rather the average.   The averages are, of course, of a heavily meat-eating population with (IMO) a too-high iron concentration in the blood.   By USRDA standards, though, a 120-lb. woman needs 44 grams of protein daily, and a 150-lb. man needs 55 grams.   The average American gets 100 grams daily!   A higher hematocrit is just one result of the tragic false education of the American public that has led to a lethal diet.

As usual, the Red Cross worker took my resting heart rate, and then took it again.   Do you exercise a LOT, she asked?   Well, six days a week, I answered.   Then she called the supervisor over to do an override, since the computer does not believe them when they input my resting heart rate of 45.   The supervised asked: are you a runner?    I answered in the affirmative.

 Sure, good heredity plays a part.   It’s nice to have blood that moves languidly through clean blood vessels, not straining inflamed heart muscle.

But according to the literature, environmental influences play a much bigger role in heart disease than genetic ones do, and fortunately, you can control that with five things.   Don’t drink or smoke, and bring your weight into the healthy range.   Get the blood pumping and muscles and heart toned with exercise: ideally, three things:

 (1)         cardio (walking, running, Stairmaster, aerobics)

(2)          weight-bearing (Nautilus and free weights)

(3)         lengthening and toning (yoga or Pilates).

And of course, eat more unrefined plant foods and fewer animal and refined foods.

Thing is, I didn’t have good cardiovascular measurements at ALL when I was 26 years old.   I got pregnant after 5 years of trying, lost one of my twin babies in the first trimester, and was afraid to so much as sneeze thereafter.   I didn’t exercise, the whole pregnancy.   I indulged all my demonic cravings–for stuff I’d never eaten in my life.   Burgers/fries and 7-11 nachos were my two favorites.   (Haven’t eaten either one before or since–go figure!)   Sometimes at night I’d eat half a pint of Ben & Jerry’s.      

You guessed it: I gained 65 lbs. during the pregnancy, had horrible edema (swelling) and drastically increased blood pressure.   I basically sat around like Jabba the Hut, watching TV and bossing the poor guy who got me pregnant (I figured he owed me), and my sister (who was entirely innocent), to get me stuff.   People don’t believe me, so I haul out the photos of the day that sweet little 9-lb. baby was born.   They shriek with horror.  

That’s right.   I was my very own version of Supersize Me, my blood sugar was out of control, and my blood pressure was higher than the national average (120/80), even though I’m usually 95/55).   All that in a few short months.

And DH?   At the time of our wedding, he was 22 years old, a 6’4″ tall, 257-lb. college offensive lineman.   He had high blood pressure and a family history of heart disease (aunt, father, grandparents).   Eating what I fed him (whole plant foods for all but the aforementioned one year), he’s had low cholesterol and very healthy blood pressure for 20 years.

My point? Obviously heredity is not the most predictive factor for heart disease.  

If I haven’t convinced you on green smoothies YET . . .

I did an experiment just now that is really quite astonishing.

I went to my BlendTec with a list of fruit and vegetable serving portions according to the USRDA.   I made myself a green smoothie for tomorrow with 11 servings according those portions—that’s right,  11 SERVINGS, of fruits and vegetables.   You are imagining a giant blenderful of stuff.

Nope.   It yielded THREE CUPS of smoothie—that’s one cup less than I drink every single day—I would still be hungry if that’s all I ate.   And consider that’s just ONE meal (I eat three, FYI), and I usually have some flax crackers, sprouted-wheat tortilla with almond butter, a quick raw-food bar, or manna bread,  with my smoothie for lunch.   Also consider that 3/4 cup of that smoothie is water!

So yes, your government says that 5 servings of fruits and veggies a day is enough, and I am telling you that 11 servings, liquified, make a meal that liquifies to just over ONE PINT (without the water).   That would not satisfy even my 7-yr. old for more than an hour or so.

Here’s a quote from the 5-a-day website:   “These portion sizes are for adults. Children under five should also eat at least 5 portions of a variety of fruit and vegetables a day, but the sizes may be smaller.”   My goodness.   How much smaller can  they get?   A portion of blackberries is 10 berries, and a portion of cucumber is 2 inches!

Apparently, according to the portion sizes, my kids and I eat  20-25 fruits/vegs a day.   I really want to say that the USRDA serving sizes and nutritional recommendations are pathetic.   In fact, yes, I will say that.    They are dumbing down nutrition curriculum and standards because only a small percentage of Americans are getting even 5 servings (I wonder how many that would be if  they quit counting  french fries, which should happen *yesterday*).   So,  friends, they’re telling you need  MUCH  lower quantities of fruits and veggies than you really do—lower than any truly healthy population on earth eats—because they don’t want to HURT YOUR FEELINGS.   They don’t want anything to be  hard for you.

Green smoothies are EASY.   This is what’s in my too-small green smoothie that I just made and will have to add to, tomorrow, to survive my day at work:

3 servings of 10 blackberries, 1 serving of a medium apple, 1 serving of a medium banana, 5 servings of  one cereal bowl of raw spinach, and 1 serving of three celery sticks.   A pinch of stevia, 3/4 cup water, and VOILA!    Yummy.   Sixty seconds in the BlendTec and I’m outta there.   Do not try this with an Oster blender or some old thing you got at WalMart unless “CHUNKY green smoothie” sounds appealing.