Nutrition for pregnant moms, babies, toddlers…..part 4 of 5

Today’s topic: NUTRITION DURING PREGNANCY.

Remember, what you’re eating when you’re pregnant is also contributing to healthy blood, bones, tissues, and organs—or not.

It’s so painful for me to remember back to eating 7-11 nachos, Diet Coke, a Special Burger and fries (extra fry sauce!) at lunch, and Ben & Jerry’s after dinner, throughout my first pregnancy. I didn’t know any better. I assumed my body was making good fuel for my baby, out of the bad fuel I fed myself—as illogical as that is.

I imagine that’s why I not only gained 65 lbs., but it’s also why my baby developed significant auto-immune problems in his first year of life. With my later pregnancies, I was learning and implementing good nutrition strategies, and the babies were FAR healthier.

My last baby was (and still is, at age 12) completely healthy—never once a bacterial infection of any kind, never any antibiotics or meds or even doctor visits. The labor and delivery got easier, too, when I ate the right foods throughout the pregnancy and gained only 35 lbs. instead of 65!

I can’t even count how many times a 12 Steps to Whole Foods young mom has talked to me after a class I teach, and told me this:

“I’m so thrilled that I changed my diet to eat whole foods, because this last pregnancy has been my easiest and healthiest!”

I’ve had many moms tell me about major complications they had during their earlier pregnancies, while they were eating the Standard American Diet, and how all that changed when they embraced whole-foods fuel.

One mother in Texas told me that with her first 4 children, she was on bed rest, with terrible edema, and pre-eclampsia. As she told me this, she was 9 months pregnant, and beaming ear to ear. She said, “This is my first problem-free pregnancy. I’m about to deliver, and I’m so excited I learned all about whole foods from you.”

My diet now is the diet I would eat if I were pregnant again. The “pregnancy diet” is no different than the ideal diet for life.

It’s high in greens, in vegetables, and in fruits—80% of more of them raw. I also eat cooked legumes (beans, split peas, lentils), and whole grains (organic quinoa, whole wheat, rolled oats or oat groats, spelt, Kamut, buckwheat, millet—most of them sprouted before they are baked at low temperatures). I buy sprouted-grain (whole grain only) bread or English muffins or tortillas at the health food store. But I also make my own granola.

I eat nuts and seeds every day, some of them sprouted, many of them rich sources of essential fatty acids. I soak and dehydrate nuts and seeds to add to my granola.

I use coconut oil on my skin and in occasional baking, for medium-chain triglycerides. I always have a quart of green smoothie a day. Most days, I also have a glass of vegetable juice, although at many points in my life, I’ve not had the time to make juice, and now I hire someone to do it.

I choose big salads in restaurants. I don’t eat refined sugar, ever, nor do I ever drink soda, or eat processed meats, or pork or beef. I eat a 95 percent plant-based diet, and I keep refined foods or animal products at 5 percent or less.

While I was having my babies, I was learning how to do all that. It was new to me then—it is habit now. I didn’t give up sugar cold-turkey back then. I had fits and starts in dealing with my addiction.

My changes involved bucking “the system.” Lots of systems, in fact. The medical system. The social system of parties and barbecues and family events and Easter and Halloween and Christmas. The church system of keeping kids quiet in nursery and later, in class, with junk food. The family system of generations of “comfort foods” that contributed to my babies’ health problems. It wasn’t easy. But it was one of the BEST THINGS I’VE EVER DONE. I’ve never looked back, and I have absolutely zero regret.

What I did HAD TO BE DONE.

So, what I’ve just described my diet being now is a great diet for a pregnant or nursing mom. It’s a terrible idea for a pregnant mom to eat a diet high in refined carbs. The baby does need good protein for brain health, and overall for building. There’s plenty of protein in nuts, seeds, legumes, grains, and greens.

If you avoid those good food categories, eating a vegan diet, you’re likely to develop dental problems, blood sugar issues, and fatigue-related disorders. If you want more protein, I suggest a scoop of our whole-food, vegan protein powder added to your green smoothies.

Doctors tell women to eat lots of protein, and everyone’s first thought with protein is meat and dairy. Those are “perfect proteins,” to be sure. But “perfect” doesn’t meant “better”—it just mean it is protein the body doesn’t have to assemble from amino acids, because it matches human flesh very closely. Protein from greens, seeds, legumes, grains, and nuts is protein the body has to work harder to build muscle with. But it’s far more durable muscle mass.

Always eat protein when you’re eating sugars. For instance, if you have a green smoothie and yours is high in fruits, eat a handful of almonds, too, or a bowl of lentil or split pea soup. Or add a scoop of protein powder. I make my green smoothies as high in greens, and as low in fruits, as I can tolerate. Slow down and regulate impact on blood sugar, by eating FIBER and QUALITY PROTEIN. This is how you can, with lifelong habits, avoid insulin problems and eventual diabetes, which currently most of our population is heading toward.

Don’t undertake a major, radical detox program while you’re pregnant or in the first year of nursing. As toxins range your body, on their way out, they flush through a developing fetus, and through your breast milk, as well.

Again, don’t take my advice in lieu of competent practitioner care and counsel.

Tomorrow, we talk once again about WHAT TO DO ABOUT PICKY KIDS.

 

Depression and Anxiety Nutrition Strategies, part 3 of 3

 

More strategies, if you’re serious about addressing what causes your depression and/or anxiety:

5.      High-fructose corn syrup has to go. I noticed that any HFCS, such as found in candy, drinks, and cheap processed food, caused me anxiety for several days after I ate it. In a few times in my life, when life circumstances were taxing my coping abilities, bad nutrition even contributed to brief, dark depressions.

No treat is worth that. I have studiously avoided HFCS for years. Refined sugar is terrible for anyone with a tendency towards mood disorders, but HFCS is the very worst. Most packaged drinks and candy have HFCS as a main ingredient. It’s in many breads, condiments, soups, and cereals, too. Not only does it create a heavy drain on your pancreas and liver, causing your insulin to go haywire and your triglycerides to skyrocket, but it is virtually always genetically modified, too. You will also pay the price, over time, in your gut health, if you eat products containing HFCS.

6.      Are you getting enough essential fatty acids? 80 percent of Americans are deficient in Omega 3. Many studies link deficiency to depression, since you must have Omega-3 to break down and transmit serotonin, epinephrine, and dopamine.

And it’s not just the quantity of Omega 3 that is the problem. It’s the excesses of Omega 6, probably largely because of consumption of refined oils (anyone eating fried foods, chips, etc.), which are high in 6.

To get control of this balance, eliminating toxic refined oil in your diet has to be part of the solution.

The other part is to get 2-3 Tbsp. of chia, flax, and / or hemp seed in your diet. The sprouted varieties of these seeds are more bioavailable than the plain seed or seed oils.

Use 1 Tbsp. chia seed soaked in 3 Tbsp. of water as an egg replacer in a baking recipe. Or make chia pudding.

You can drink 1 Tbsp. chia in a glass of water as an appetite suppressant, if eating later at night is a problem for you. Then, you’re covering your Omega 3 need at the same time. Chia has a phenomenal nutritional profile, in addition to the Omegas—lots of calcium, iron, Vitamin C, and protein.

7.       Is your weight in the “ideal” range? Even ten pounds of extra weight, studies show, can dramatically affect not only feelings of self-worth, but also lightness of mood. Chronically heavy mood is not a natural state, to be accepted over time as simply a part of your personality. It is a problem as biological in nature as multiple sclerosis or asthma are.

Extra weight heavily taxes the endocrine system (hormones), and imbalances of hormones cause depressed feelings—which make it hard to problem-solve life circumstances. And those things contribute to more weight gain—so it’s a vicious cycle! Of course the last 10 lbs. are the most stubborn, but the clear path to getting rid of them is to eliminate white flour and sugar.

You will not miss them like you think you will. I immediately signed on for a second year of my $10,000 no-sugar bet, because when $10k is at stake, I don’t fret over whether to eat the brownie or not. I think about other, more interesting things, like enjoying my friends at the party.

8.      If you are taking SSRI’s or other drugs, consult your doctor before adding any natural, adjunct therapies, because adverse reactions can occur when using both Prozac (for instance) and herbal treatments. The following are the most well-known and well-studied herbs for depression and anxiety.

St. Johns Wort is helpful for depression, with at least 10 active constituents involved in that intervention, especially hypericin and pseudohypericin. It apparently works in part by increasing the activity of neurotransmitters like serotonin and norepinephrine. Drugs do not operate by utilizing metabolic pathways.

Kava is the most-studied as being efficacious for anxiety and insomnia. Kava affects a GABA-receptor-binding capacity and blocks norepinephrine uptake. One study in Germany found it to have effects equal to benzodiazepines, but without side effects.

Other supplements shown to be effective against depression include L-tryptophan, or 5-hydroxytryptamine (5-HTP).

Their function is to increase beta-endorphins, your “feel-good” hormones. A typical dose of 5-HTP is 200 mg per day, and this supplement can be found online or in health food stores.

I need to gain some weight! Part 3 of 3

I have been studying a massive amount of information in the past few months about over 80,000 toxic chemicals and metals in our environment. Where they come from, what they do to us, how to avoid them, and how to get rid of them. Food (especially meat/dairy and processed foods), cosmetics, clothes, furniture and paint and carpet, water, air, dental and medical procedures, and more.

I’m doing this for a few reasons. First, I just finished an 8-page paper on the effects on your health of far infrared sauna treatment. I’ve been using mine every day, plus taking fulvic acid, to bring metals and chemicals out. I want them gone, and in my hyper-focus on toxicity lately, I find myself undertaking new, good habits to get as clean as possible. I need my energy and health so I can take my mission further, harder. I go 100 miles an hour and I don’t want to slow down!

I keep encountering more information about how chemical toxicity in our cells impedes weight loss. I can’t imagine that it doesn’t cut both ways, impeding your ability to arrive at your optimal weight, whatever direction that needs to go, up or down.

Second, I’m developing a detox program. I joined Tera in hers last year, but I concluded that I wanted a harder-hitting, information-dense, educational cleanse that would educate you while giving you measurable results. (If you’re going to suppress calories, might as well be getting healthier at the same time that you’re getting thinner!)

I’d hoped to kick it off right after New Year’s, but I keep getting more ambitious with it so we won’t be ready. Much like I did with 12 Steps to Whole Foods, I’m synthesizing all the best texts and best practices in detoxification and disease risk minimization. All boiled down into one 21-day program. It’s a food-elimination program to test your food sensitivities / allergies. It’s a kidney cleanse. It’s a colon cleanse. And it’s a liver and gall bladder flush as well. You can do it with us once, or join for life and do it twice a year. We’ll have expert phone calls every night with fabulous content, you’ll be assigned a “detox buddy” to be accountable to, if you don’t bring your own, and you’ll know exactly what to do and eat every day.

The manual holds your hand, answers common questions, educates you in the briefest way about what products you’re using that are toxic and what the alternatives are. It gives you recipes to get through an effective cleanse, using food, either at a newbie’s pace, or a more advanced one for those already “initiated” who eat pretty clean and have detoxed before. There will be a fully medically supported option—I am talking to a few docs who have published in the arena of cleansing, and will pick one to work with. You’ll know exactly why you’re doing each part of the detox.

My point is, purging fat cells (and organs) of the chemicals they’ve been storing for years is something that cannot be neglected in any effort to change your weight–up or down. Did you know that thin people can be fat inside? That’s right—a study I read about three years ago found that many people who are normal weight have organs marbled with fat, which is far more dangerous than fat held in adipose tissue under the skin, the kind we can see. People who work out regularly, who are visibly overweight, have much lower morbidity, that normal-weight people who don’t exercise and are internally “fat.”

So fat can’t necessarily be thin……but thin can be fat!

And no matter how much whole plant foods some people eat, and no matter how many chemicals they eliminate, those who have a damaged gastrointestinal tract can’t fully utilize nutrition. Another element that absolutely must be addressed is healing the gut. Because of many years of a wretched diet, you might have an inflamed digestive system in serious need of some rehab. Many underweight people fall in this category.

That rehab is done by eliminating dairy and gluten for a time and learning to eat probiotic-rich foods to build up an army of healthy microorganisms to protect and defend the lining of the stomach, intestines, and colon.

Can’t wait to share more with you about detoxification, one of my major projects of 2012. I am very excited about it and the potential to help people get better, rise above their health problems.

Gain weight the right way….I hate when a young mom tells me her pediatrician told her to feed her underweight baby lots of candy, ice cream, butter, and fried food. So then you’ll have a baby with more body fat who is ill and damaged in many ways, with tastes set to junk food. How is that useful? Take the time to find ways to get higher-calorie WHOLE PLANT FOODS in your diet if you are truly malnourished. The plant kingdom is VAST. With a little creativity and dedication, it can provide weight loss, weight gain, whatever you need.

I need to gain some weight! Part 2 of 3

But some of the uber-thin are actually not digesting food and are quite unhealthy. They might be eating as much junk as the overweight people are, but because of chronic gut issues, they are not absorbing nutrition—not even calories, but certainly not minerals and many vitamins as well.

Last week after a tennis match, both my doubles opponents wanted to ask me questions while my teammates waited in the car. One of them told me about her daughter-in-law, who is in her 20’s, but exhausted, pale, sick, and underweight. She has open, pus-oozing sores all over her head that are stuck to her pillow in the morning. My opponent said to me, “She’s trying to heal with steroids–luckily her father is a doctor.”

I withheld my opinion on most of that, but I did say, “Steroids heal exactly nothing. What they do is suppress some symptoms, only temporarily, while knocking out the immune system.”

If you want to gain weight, eat healthy, exactly like I’m teaching in 12 Steps, with an emphasis on higher-calorie whole foods. Not dead, denatured, refined-oil,   If you want to boost protein, do it with vegan protein powder, and high-protein unprocessed plant foods like legumes and nuts rather than animal products like meat, eggs, and cheese.

Boost your good fats, with avocadoes, nuts, seeds, and unprocessed oils like coconut oil, extra virgin olive oil, flax crackers (Ch. 7), etc. Avocadoes might be nature’s most perfect food, so eat 2-3 a day if you want, as guacamole or in sandwiches. Eat lots of young Thai coconut meat–make it into pudding, smoothies, chocolate mousse, ice cream. Make yourself a 4th meal, between breakfast and lunch, or after dinner, that is a high-calorie protein shake with lots of almond butter and raw chocolate and frozen bananas! Make kefir or yogurt (Ch. 8) with whole, organic, preferably unpasteurized goat or dairy milk. Freeze it in ice cube trays and make frozen yogurt with it in your BlendTec. Eat a handful of Brazil nuts every day—great selenium as well as good fats and calories.

Don’t forget to eat a big bowl of GRANOLA for breakfast—I have a baked recipe as well as a live/sprouted recipe (both delicious, but the raw/live one is more time-intensive but the most delicious thing ever). If you make the baked one, add a big spoonful of raw pumpkin or sunflower seeds, soaked overnight.

Britni, do you have the 101 Healthy Lunches book? I love a baked potato (with the skin) with tons of garlic aioli sauce on it, yummy. Plus a big green smoothie, and put some flax oil in his. You can get plenty of calories without resorting to meat, dairy, or processed foods. There are coconut-milk frozen desserts (sweetened with agave) that your husband will love. Or you can make your own (see Ch. 11).

Of course, food isn’t the only issue when it comes to weight loss or gain. It’s the biggest one, but there are two other biggies. About that, tomorrow.

I need to gain some weight! Part 1 of 3

Dear GreenSmoothieGirl: I have a slight dilemma:  we have been working toward a whole foods lifestyle and I have 12 Steps to Whole Foods.  I have a supportive husband who is losing weight like me.  I’m ecstatic, him not so much.  He is 6 ft and 165 lbs and would love to be 175.  He has been open to trying new things and scaling back on meat. He works as a County Attorney and is in court most days, which makes eating enough calories during lunch essential. Do you have any suggestions? How can I get more calories in him, in something that is portable? –Britni

Dear GreenSmoothieGirl: “I’m 34 and have always been super-skinny, but not because I want to be. I want to start lifting weights to put on some muscle, and I was wondering: how can I eat healthy and put on weight? – Rachel

Answer: So you know everyone ELSE who reads this blog hates you now, right? (Over 70% of America wants to be thinner.)

Believe it or not, I get this question often. (Most of the inquiries are about weight loss, of course, but it’s still an issue for some.) Rachel and Britni, when your body absorbs minerals appropriately, AND you are eating good nutrition, you tend to find your healthy weight, whether that’s up or down. Getting enough minerals isn’t always the problem—usually gut imbalances and degenerative problems are in the way of utilizing the minerals you DO eat.

I can’t prove it, but my observation from talking to thousands of people–and hundreds of underweight people—is that they are flip sides of the same coin. (I believe Dr. Robert O. Young also writes about this.) The same thing that makes some people too fat, makes other people too skinny.

You know what I’m talking about, because all of us know some thin people who eat tons of junk. “It’s not fair,” their friends say.

Of the 5-10% of Americans who are underweight, some of them aren’t actually underweight. Our weight charts have trended up, up, up in recent decades based on averages. Check out my report about that and Dr. McDougall’s weight charts HERE.

That page is the one that infuriates people on my site. Oh, and also this page—once I got a profanity-laced email from a lady who just flunked my nutrition quiz you can find HERE.

They find the low weights shocking. So I say, when people write in, hey, it’s not my weight chart. I’m not even promoting it. (My own weight is 7 lbs. over the “ideal” for my weight, in his chart, BTW.) It’s based on averages of indigenous peoples who eat only whole foods. There’s ONE purpose the U.S. weight chart serves, and that is to help us feel better about being overweight.

I put it that alternate weight chart up to show another perspective. To show that the weight charts currently being promoted are just based on averages of people who eat a processed diet, so don’t treat it like the Bible and bet the farm on it. They aren’t the averages themselves–they are set by bureaucrats, and INFLUENCED by averages. The original section of Fenway Park I visited last year? Most Americans wouldn’t even fit in the chairs. Back in the 40’s, virtually everyone did.

I wish we could mentally inoculate naturally thin people against this idea that there is something wrong with them. Men especially–they think they have to be bulked up, when some men are naturally lean. (I personally think super-lean men are ATTRACTIVE. Big, muscular guys are, too, but I think skinny is awesome. Do any of the women here want to agree with me?) Extreme thinness is the #1 factor associated with longevity. Skinny people live to be very old.

See what I’m doing here? I wish Britni’s husband would get stoked about being 165 lbs. I’m a huge fan of spending our energy learning to love our body, instead of spending that energy trying to change it. If we have a healthy body and we have healthy habits, that is. (It’s always good to change bad habits, adopt new ones.

Why do I get constipated or not lose weight on green smoothies? Part 1 of 2

This is Chris, the GSG webmaster. Robyn has been in Michigan for a week and I have been posting her blogs. I accidentally posted part 2 yesterday without part 1. I remedy that here:

Dear GreenSmoothieGirl: I’m drinking green smoothies, and you said they were low calorie, high nutrition! Why have I GAINED two pounds in the last two weeks?

Answer: Most people quickly LOSE weight on green smoothies, and most people’s digestion improves, in my research. (Discussed in depth in The Green Smoothies Diet.) Logic bears that out, since drinking so much volume, of only 200 calories, bumps out other food that is invariably higher calorie. And green smoothies are so high in fiber that digestion should improve. Keeping all other things constant, simple physics DEMAND that you are increasing your metabolism in many ways, you are burning fat, and you WILL lose weight. Note that the sentence began, “KEEPING ALL OTHER THINGS CONSTANT.”

(I don’t want to insult anyone’s intelligence, so forgive me for this. Hopefully it goes without saying, that if you’re increasing your consumption of junk food, because you feel that your new green smoothie habit justifies it, that could be why you’re not losing weight. That’s all, on that topic.)

However, as 175 people in my initial study radically changed their nutrition with the green smoothie habit, these were fairly common reactions within the 18% who experienced a negative initial reaction:

Bloating, constipation, not losing weight

Why does this happen? First of all, anytime you change anything, there are always a number of consequences (some more noticeable than others). Hundreds of things are changing in your body. It is receiving nutrition it has needed from the beginning, but as you begin supplying it, you may notice fits and starts, hiccups and burps and discomfort.

All the new fiber is supposed to act as a broom, sweeping the intestines and colon. However, what happens when, in addition to lots of that, the colon begins loosening and releasing hardened material that has perhaps been there a long time?

The colon can get backed up. There’s over 30 feet of intestines and colon, and often when you’ve been eating the S.A.D., peristaltic action has slowed and become very sluggish. You can perk it up over time by clearing it out and feeding it high-fiber food at EVERY meal and snack.

Your kidneys can get backed up. (Do this for a couple of decades and you’ll need a kidney transplant.) Your liver can get backed up. (Ever seen anyone whose eyeballs are yellow?) The lymph system can get backed up. (Your neck has big, bulging, painful nodes.) The tonsils get backed up. (Doctors say, take them out! They are, in fact, yet another organ of elimination, little understood.)

The heart and arteries can get backed up (this is what ambulances were built for). The skin gets backed up (four letters: Z-I-T-S). Need I say more? We could go on for paragraphs. The parts of your body that aren’t holding things together, and building/repairing, and locomoting you? They’re detoxing you.

I know I’m grossly oversimplifying. But your colon is the most obvious, simple organ of elimination, and the toxic fuel you choose is 90% of why every single one of these organs gets weak, and gets sluggish, and THEN…..when the miracle happens that you change fuels, they get backed up.

This can happen within days of starting green smoothies, or at any point down the line. You didn’t get in the shape you’re in, in two weeks, and it’s going to take you longer than two weeks to truly “clean house.”

Read part 2 here

 

Green Smoothie Testimonials, Part 16

“I have spent all my adulthood overweight and miserable. My weight went from 135 to 280 during that time. Most of the time I had skewed ideas that I was either too fat (when I weighed 135) and not that fat (when I weighed 280). My perception was always off. But I did know that I just didn’t feel good.

I have been on Weight Watchers, the soup diet, hard boiled egg diet, Chinese tea, and every diet that came in magazines. I finally found that Atkins worked for me–three times! Funny that I would go off after several months and the weight would come back on, with its 30.-lb. friend! I realized that if I kept dieting that way I would completely ruin my health. I was so afraid to start another diet, so I decided to never diet again and just accept myself as I was.

I remarried at 210 lbs. and within 3 years had put on 70 lbs. with careless eating, primarily fast food. Then my DH was diagnosed with cancer (digestive related) and I found GreenSmoothieGirl.com. It was an answer to prayer because this is a LIFESTYLE–not a diet. In the last 9 mos. I have lost 40 lbs., my skin glows, I am nearly off the medications I was taking for high blood pressure, arthritic aches and pains, and mucus. My wrinkles also are going away!

I will NEVER diet again because I can eat everything I want and truly enjoy it (even chocolate). I am never hungry because I have God’s fast food with me all the time (fruits). I have found that the more raw I eat, the faster I lose weight. I am no longer fanatical about it and believe that my body will end up the weight I am supposed to be, not the way society says it should be. I just wish I had been able to learn this earlier in life.

Sorry about the long blog, but I feel that finding GreenSmoothieGirl.com and Robyn’s blog has saved my life! Thanks, Robyn and every one else!”

–Karen L.

obesity conference

This is an email I got from a GSG reader. Dr. Larsen is a dentist who studies nutrition to help his patients and practices what he preaches. His observations at the obesity conference he recently attended parallel my own, as documented sometimes on this blog. What do you think?

Robyn,

I attended a seminar in Salt Lake a couple of weeks ago titled, “Obesity: A Scientific Update.” It was presented by Beverly White, PhD, RD and it was very interesting, thought you might be interested in what was said.

I will attach my notes, some of which may not make any sense, but the following are my overall impressions after the seminar.

First of all, the room was mostly full of nurses and dieticians, and I would say at least half of the group were either over weight or obese. These are the dieticians who are teaching Americans how to eat and be healthy.

The success rates for Americans who attempt fad diets is about 5-10% after 1 year. The success rates of the prescription medications is less, and ALL of them have serious side effects, and some physicians are leaving patients on them indefinitely because they know if they take them off, the weight will return, although none of the drugs have been approved for long term use. Bariatric surgeries are super expensive, and have complications and side effects as well, and not a great success rate. Dieticians working with clients may have a slightly higher success rate than the 5-10%, but when they stop seeing the nutritionist, the bad habits return and the weight comes back on. I got a very weird feeling about the whole obesity epidemic, kind of like there is nothing we can really do about it, even though we are the ones trained to help people eat healthy. Beverly cautioned the dieticians to not try to make too radical of a change to anyone’s diet, or they will rebel and not follow through.

I asked Beverly one-on-one between one of the breaks if she had read Colin Campbell, Joel Furhman, Mike Anderson, or had studied anything about plant-based diets in her PhD program. She was not familiar with any of the people I mentioned, had never heard of the China Study, for example, and they did not study plant-based diets.

At one point in the program, she asked how many eat 3-5 servings of fruits or vegetables/day (could be from a can, frozen, etc.) and about 30% of the group raised their hand. She asked if anyone eats 6-9 servings/day and I raised my hand along with I think one other person. After the class, one of the RD’s came running up to me and asked me how in the world I eat that many servings a day. I said it’s easy. I told her about green smoothies, she had never heard of them. I told her about plant-based diets, she had never heard of them.

They have done research that shows that children who are taught good nutrition at a young age can follow that for many years to come, and may be more likely to eat healthy than adults. Too bad what we’re teaching children isn’t always the best information, when it comes from government food pyramid.

Anyways, thought this might be interesting to you. It was kind of an eye-opener to me. I really feel like the MD’s and the RD’s and the nurses who are in our health care system don’t really believe in nutrition themselves.

Sincerely,

Garon Larsen

God created the Earth. Who created HMO’s?

My friend Claudia sent this to me two years ago and I just stumbled on it again:

In the beginning, God created the Heavens and the Earth and populated the Earth with broccoli, cauliflower and spinach, green and yellow and red vegetables of all kinds, so Man and Woman would live long and healthy lives.

Then using God’s great gifts, Satan created Ben and Jerry’s Ice Cream and Krispy Creme Donuts. And Satan said, “You want chocolate with that?” And Man said, “Yes!” and Woman said, “and as long as you’re at it, add some sprinkles.” And they gained 10 pounds. And Satan smiled.

And God created the healthful yogurt that Woman might keep the figure that Man found so fair. And Satan brought forth white flour from the wheat, and sugar from the cane and combined them. And Woman went from size 6 to size 14.

So God said, “Try my fresh green salad.” And Satan presented Thousand-Island dressing, buttery croutons and garlic toast on the side. And Man and Woman unfastened their belts.

God then said, “I have sent you heart healthy vegetables and olive oil in which to cook them.” And Satan brought forth deep fried fish and chicken-fried steak so big it needed its own platter. And Man gained more weight and his cholesterol went through the roof.

God then created a light, fluffy white cake, named it “Angel Food Cake,” and said, “It is good.” Satan then created chocolate cake and named it “Devil’s Food.”

God then brought forth running shoes so that His children might lose those extra pounds. And Satan gave cable TV with a remote control so Man would not have to toil changing the channels. And Man and Woman laughed and cried before the flickering blue light and gained pounds.

Then God brought forth the potato, naturally low in fat and brimming with nutrition. And Satan peeled off the healthful skin and sliced the starchy center into chips and deep-fried them. And Man gained pounds.

God then gave lean beef so that Man might consume fewer calories and still satisfy his appetite. And Satan created McDonald’s and its 99-cent double cheeseburger. Then said, “You want fries with that?” And Man replied, “Yes! And super size them!” And Satan said, “It is Good.” And Man went into cardiac arrest.

God sighed and created quadruple bypass surgery.

Then Satan created HMOs.

green smoothies and calories

Dear GreenSmoothieGirl:   I am nursing  my three-month old daughter and at the same time trying to lose the rest of my baby weight (I have about 43 pounds to lose…I gained 70 . . . oops!).   I have been trying to incorporate the smoothies into my diet, but it seems that I do not lose in the weeks when I am very consistent with drinking them.   This is what I am typically eating:

 

hot pink breakfast smoothie

1 small homemade pumpkin muffin (with wholegrain flour and agave nectar)

 

1/2 portion of whatever we had for dinner the night before (we are vegans, so usually some kind of veggie soup, stew, etc….always low fat)

1  quart green smoothie

 

vegan dinner…small portion

1 small homemade muffin

 

i also drink 2 cups of decaf chai and mother’s milk teas with stevia and a splash of vanilla almond milk

 

I am 6 feet tall and weigh approx 225 lbs (weighed 185 when I conceived, but would like to get back down to 165 eventually) and work out a few times a week.

 

I love drinking the smoothies, but am worried about the scale not moving down when I am drinking them . . . should I make my lunch only the smoothie and not any leftovers?

 

Answer:   I’m not a fan of strict calorie counting, but it helps to know some essential information.   First, your body can handle 600 to 800 calories at a time.   So, when we eat a huge meal of well over 800 calories, the body has to store some of that food energy as fat.

 

Second, a quart of green smoothie (good job!) is about 400 calories, or 500 if you’re adding a Tbsp. of flax oil.   So just keep an eye on that.   It’s obviously very nutritionally dense and low in calories.   If your leftovers portion is 600 calories, however, you might want to eat a smaller amount.

In general, your menu sounds good.   So, third, if you are eating in accordance with principles of good nutrition, not overeating, and not indulging in processed foods, and you are still not losing weight you need to lose, then my next suggestion for you would be to have your thyroid checked.   Don’t go to your OB/GYN or a standard lab for this.   Find a clinic specializing in women’s hormones, and the practitioner may be a nurse.   Have a full blood panel run, because the T3 measurement your OB/GYN would likely have you test does not tell the whole story.   You will need to have your blood workup analyzed for a fairly complex interplay of a number of factors, including T4 and some other hormones that work with your thyroid.

 

If you are one of the burgeoning number of women suffering from low thyroid (estimates seem to fall about 25% of American women), ask to be prescribed a bioidentical thyroid hormone rather than a synthetic drug (like Cytomel or Synthroid).   The natural bioidenticals are also cheaper than the drugs, since you can’t patent a natural substance.