my last post on the anti-China-Study Mercola newsletter

Related to questions received from yesterday’s post—

I don’t know if anyone has critiqued the China Study who isn’t associated with the Weston A. Price Foundation. All the criticism I have read has been. I’m not sure who financed Denise Minger, a 23-year old college student and “professional sock puppeteer” who is paid to write nutrition/health articles, according to her facebook profile.

Again, my friends, I trust Oxford and Cornell’s research (I grilled Campbell about his funding sources)   a bit more than a college student and will be interested to read the Johns Hopkins epidemiologists’ and Campbell’s rebuttals to her arguments.

What else might be to blame for a vegan diet making people feel unwell? There are many answers to that, but the problem is that over and over, comments reveal that

People think I am advocating for a vegan diet.

I’m not.

What I advocate for is eating far more plant food. Period. It’s up to you to decide where animal protein belongs in your life, if it does.

Can anyone really disagree with eating far more whole plant foods, in the face of America’s average of 1-2 servings daily, half of that being in the form of fried potatoes? In the face of now THOUSANDS of studies (even if you leave the China Study out of it?) telling us that myriad compounds in raw plant food heal us and prevent degenerative disease?

I believe when we’ve been eating a certain way (i.e., 20% animal protein, a U.S. average), we often experience a reaction that isn’t entirely pleasant when we shift that balance. Just like when you try to change patterns in a relationship, the other person often doesn’t like or understand it and chaos ensues until a new equilibrium is achieved. If you eat meat for dinner every night for 50 years, and one night you eat a vegetarian meal and you don’t feel the same afterward, does that mean that vegetables and brown rice aren’t good for you personally?

I purposefully leave you to your own personal experimentation to find what works for you. I don’t say there’s a “one size fits all” approach. I’m not into “typing,” until I see some major data backing it up. My interest is primarily in practical ways to actually DO what others’ research has already documented very well. I would like to see us return to eating whole foods. (However, my own research published in The Green Smoothies Diet is a slam-dunk that when we eat more green foods, we feel better–almost 96% of us do, anyway.)

If some want to ignore SEVERAL THOUSAND statistically significant pieces of data in the China Study, that is their prerogative. (Statistically significant means the findings fall outside the margin of error.)

I maintain my own prerogative to point out some problems underpinning Mercola’s wholesale rejection of those thousands of data points, as he sells his nutritional typing and related animal-protein products.

Mercola says he has THREE specific eating plans and about 33% of the Western population fits in each one. He says those ratios are different in other countries. I would like to see the data behind that, peer reviewed in a scientific journal. Because if there isn’t any, it’s a grand assertion with big, potentially dangerous, ramifications for people following those recommendations.

food and love, part 2

Gilbert went to an ashram in India and studied, meditated, and prayed as a follower of a Guru. At first I was skeptical of the Guru idea, but in Eastern traditions, a person is so committed to devotion to God that she may obtain a tremendous amount of education, and spend many hours a day meditating and seeking to know God, for a lifetime. (Think Buddhist monks, or the Dalai Lama.) Do you think God could hide from someone that loyal, who wants sacred connection that much–regardless of what her “religious affiliation” is?

How many of us do that here in the Western world? As for myself, I am running around like a headless chicken most of every day. I consider myself at my spiritual zenith when I read scriptures for a little while, say a two-minute prayer, ponder a bit in the car or at yoga, and go to church on Sunday.

So regardless of your religious belief, you have to be impressed at that kind of commitment to finding a spiritual center. Everything out of the mouths of the Gurus Liz studied seems very true to me, even profound. I would love to go to an ashram for three months. Unlike Liz, though, I’ve got these four kids to feed and haul to school and soccer practice. By myself. So, I hope to find my own unique path to the same place.

One teaching of all the Gurus, one constant at all the ashrams, is vegetarian meals. If someone cannot access spiritual experiences, the Guru asks, “How is your digestion?” Don’t gulp your food, she says. Eating light meals consisting of plants (and not animals) is critical for spiritual enlightenment. Gilbert, having come from a decadent three months in Italy eating everything in sight and putting 20 lbs. on her divorce-gaunt frame, noticed a dramatic difference in her ability to access sensitive spiritual experiences, eating the ashram’s vegetarian fare. You simply can’t sit for hours to meditate, she says, if your body is struggling with digestion.

She sheds obsessions (about broken relationships, mistakes, denied wants) that had taken over her thought processes. She is able to quiet her mind and tune into her spirit. She experiences profound, undeniable phenomena that remind her that she is more than just human, that she is connected to God. She overflows with positive emotion towards others that she’s never experienced before.

Granted, lots of meditation and a pure intent to have these experiences play a big role. But have you noticed that a lightness in your body, in your gut, results in lightness in your mood? I have commented on this before on this blog. Many times when I have been eating all-raw for a while (which I often do for days or weeks at a time), I experience sustained periods of such joy, energy, compassion, generosity, and pure love for literally everyone, including strangers, that I ask myself this question:

“Why don’t I do this ALL the time?”

What is your experience with this?

raw food diet: isn’t steaming good? and, my kids come back sick

Update: Yep.All four of my kids puked their guts up at their dad’s family reunion.Just like always.Poor little guys. (Well, one of them is 6’2″, not that little, huh?)Back to the green smoothie diet!So happy to have my kids back.It’s my job to help them recover.

My daughters come back from an extended period away, wanting to cleanse.I told the girls today to sit down and brainstorm a list of fruits and veggies they want me to buy for them.That way they’re in the driver’s seat, eating things they like, and I get my way, too (high nutrition, mostly raw food diet).Remember that old prayer asking God to grant me the serenity to accept the things I can’t change, and the will to change the things I can?I can’t change what their dad feeds them.   (My girls report that their aunts and uncles all provided a vegetarian option to the menu made for everyone else on the nights they cooked, which was sweet.)But I CAN help them cleanse and drop unwanted pounds when they’re home.Once the girls came home and said, “Mom, we want to eat nothing but fruits and vegetables for three days.Can you help us do that?”(Of course I can.)

Still talking about the raw food diet today.Everybody, including nutritionists, suggest steaming.I’d rather have you eat steamed broccoli than no broccoli!(I personally do not enjoy raw broccoli unless it’s chopped small and in a really yummy salad.NO, NOT THE KIND WITH BACON.)

But that broccoli is still heated to well over 212 degrees, and vitamins and enzymes die over 116 degrees.And mineral salts are lost and deanimated.Cooking, even steaming, destroys indoles in vegetables, which are wonderfully anti-carcinogenic.

Worse, when you cook things, free radicals are created.(Free radicals are unpaired molecules that destroy cells and cause cancer.Antioxidants in raw foods mop them up.)Some amino acids (lysine and glutamine) in proteins are destroyed by cooking.You probably already know what high heats do to fats: alter them to become trans fats that are highly destructive carcinogens.And when fiber in food is cooked, it is slimy and soft and doesn’t have the broom-like power to clean the intestine any more.

I do eat cooked plant food and make no apologies for it.But I make every meal or snack at least 60% raw food, and often it’s 80% or more.Then you’re supplementing the cooked foods with enzymes.Doing this regularly will have a dramatic effect on your youthfulness.

On a related topic, here’s the dehydrator I recommend, by the way, to make crunchy snacks like in Ch. 7 of 12 Steps, preserving enzymes and vitamins:

http://greensmoothiegirl.com/dehydrator.html

extra ingredients for green smoothies [part 8 of 9]

Brewer’s (nutritional) yeast

Brewer’s or “nutritional” yeast is grown on barley, and it is often used as a supplement, especially for nursing mothers.   It is high in protein, and it is also extremely rich in B vitamins.   It has been linked to reduction of symptoms of diabetes, eczema, constipation, and hypoglycemia.

It is also one of very few plant sources of B12.   Vegetarian lifestyles are often criticized because of low Vitamin B12, and while vegetarians may not actually be suffering from low B12 (depending on which study you are looking at), using aloe vera and nutritional yeast are good ways to address that, if you are avoiding all red meat as many health-conscious vegetarians and vegans do.

Cayenne

Cayenne has long been used not only as a “heat” spice, but also for the medicinal purpose of opening the arteries and preventing cardiac events.   Cayenne is well known to herbalists for its ability to accelerate and intensify the effects of other herbs.   It will add heat and interesting flavor to your smoothies, and it will also open your blood vessels, improving blood flow.

The Essential GreenSmoothieGirl Library . . . part 8

More important books for parents to own:

 

Denise Punger, M.D. is a GreenSmoothieGirl 12 Stepper and a brave new voice in modern medicine.   She’s a board certified doctor married to another medical doctor, but she’s also a mother who has breastfed for 12 years and delivered her last baby via home birth.   She’s an advocate of home birth, doulas, breastfeeding, and trusting a mother’s instincts.   Her Permission to Mother: Going Byond the Standard-of-Care to Nurture Our Children is an important book for young mothers to own.

 

 

Eric Schlosser’s Fast Food Nation and Chew on This: Everything You Don’t Want to Know About Fast Food are geared towards teens.   Give your kid an incentive to read one or both of these books.   My 11- and 13-year old kids loved these best-selling exposes and never wanted to set foot in a fast-food establishment again.   Okay, they never set foot in fast-food establishments anyway, except to make a bathroom stop on a trip.   They inspired my oldest daughter to become a vegetarian, and she later converted her sister.   Written for preteens and teens, this is an excellent education in why you want to avoid all fast food.   I overheard my daughter after she read Chew On This telling a friend regarding the friend’s sugar habit, “You know that children diagnosed with diabetes by the age of 8 shorten their lives by 25-30 years, don’t you?”   (Heh heh, my evil educational plot is working!)   Too bad the author states in the introduction that his favorite meal is a fast food burger.

 

 

Ron Seaborn’s The Children’s Health Food Book is a seriously weird book!   A friend recommended it to me, and when I picked it up at a health food store, my then-four-year old son went crazy for it.   I read it to him several times a day, because he begged me non-stop, until I just couldn’t take it any more and was making up my own words.   The antiheroes are the Starch Creature, the Dairy Goon, the Meat Monster, and the Sugar Demon.   Of course, the vegetable, fruit, and whole-grain superheroes come in and save the day.   This book is good for younger kids–just beware that the preschool teacher might call you and say your kid is scaring the other kids by pointing out how bad their snacks are (this actually happened to me).