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

 

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

So, “cleansing reactions” can happen two months or six months or even six years later. They can even happen—on a much milder scale—when your engine is very clean because you’ve completely transitioned to a high-raw diet and eat 5% or less processed food and animal proteins.

Personal example. I drank 4 oz. of wheat grass juice (very potent and medicinal, and 4 oz. is a LOT) every day, for two months recently. (Until my 4-wheeling accident where I wasn’t able to drive for 10 days.) I noticed my skin breaking out during the second week of that period, a very common detox reaction.

A couple of weeks later, one day I had 4 oz. in the morning and then 4 oz. again at night, and I got a brain fog and slight headache. (I never get headaches!) That’s my body trying to process so much elimination that occurs through many channels, when it gets some power fuel to work with.

EVERYONE needs to detox. You breathe polluted air, you experience stress—both of which have physical byproducts in the body—and nobody’s diet is “perfect.” My brain fog was mild and lasted about an hour. (The skin breakout lasted a few days.)

The longer you’ve been eating the S.A.D., and the worse your diet, and the weaker your inherited constitution, the more likely you are to have ROUGH detoxing.

If a “cleansing reaction” lasts longer than 2 weeks, generally you may be looking at a food sensitivity. These issues are now epidemic because of so many ways we degenerate the gut. I think the top of the list is probably genetically modified grains causing so many people to be celiac or have lesser gluten intolerances. (Monsanto is now breeding pesticides into SEEDS and using the legal system to bully farmers out of stockpiling non-genetically-modified, or “heirloom,” seeds.)

Mark my words: this epidemic is going to continue to explode until MOST people have major gut issues. Many people who think they’re fine NOW will be diagnosed later.

The way out is to stop attacking our own pancreas, thyroid, digestive tract, kidneys, liver, heart, and blood pathways with chemicals and fake foods. The way out is to return to eating what people ate since the dawn of time, before these diseases began just three generations ago. Grow our own food, support local organic co-ops.

But far too much animal protein and too little plant fiber has surely contributed to much of the Irritable Bowel Syndrome, Crohn’s Disease, Leaky Gut, Fibromyalgia, Chronic Fatigue, Epstein Barr and other fatigue and degenerative gut issues affecting so many of us.

You know little kids with Crohn’s? Me too. We’re passing down our degenerated DNA to our babies.

Aahh, I’ve gone sideways. What do you do if you’re not losing weight, if you’re constipated, even though you’re drinking green smoothies?

The answers? Rest. Drink a lot more water. Slow your program down for a brief period of time. Add some fresh ginger to your smoothies. Before you get out of bed in the morning, deeply massage your transverse colon (preferably with a tennis ball, but your hands will work), starting lower right in your pelvis, straight up to the level of your navel, across to a couple inches inside the left hipbone, and down.

And grin and bear it, knowing your body is doing good, necessary work, you ARE burning fat, and the discomfort or plateau in weight loss is temporary.

First and foremost, stay the course and remember, this too shall pass. It is an immutable law that when you replace high-calorie foods with low-calorie, high-nutrition foods (green smoothies!), weight loss will follow if you are overweight.

If you’re still not losing weight, get a FULL BLOOD PANEL workup at a hormone clinic specializing in bio-identical hormones (rather than synthetic). Even if your doctor told you that your T3 was in the “normal” range. You may need a broader-spectrum blood test. You can even start the most natural way, taking a couple of kelp tablets a day (nourishing the thyroid with iodine). The bioidenticals are cheaper and work better anyway, and they cover T1, T2, T3, and T4, broader spectrum hormones, from a natural (dessicated animal glandular) source rather than giving you a synthetic drug with its inevitable side effects. If your thyroid isn’t working, with its complex interplay of hormones, you can’t metabolize food effectively and lose weight.

(Actually look at TOMORROW’S blog for part 1, we messed that up while I’ve been out of town…..)

Barbara has an amazing story after just 3 months, watch her on video

Barbara inspired us in Boise! If making simple changes in her diet helped her drop 20 lbs., disappeared a pre-diabetic condition and allergies, gained energy, decreased fibromyalgia symptoms–what will happen if she sticks with it for a year? Or for life? Watch her tell her story in 2.5 minutes here:

We are coming back to Boise in September–sign up for my free class here.

Kala in Boise PUMPS HER FIST (thank you, whole foods diet!)

Do you know what it’s like to be trapped in a quagmire of health problems that seem insurmountable, requiring lots of pharmaceuticals? I talk to tons of people who describe the life they’ve lost–in my internet world and travels.

Kala in Boise (one of the three readers who put that event together) has been doing 12 Steps to Whole Foods since January and is escaping the ravages of arthritis and Pharma-Hell! She told us her story on this little video:

James Lautner: green smoothies a weight-loss miracle

James came to our Bakersfield class with his girlfriend, and his grandma who has a brain tumor. He has an amazing story, found GreenSmoothieGirl.com a year ago, where he wrote the day he found my blog. (His story is found in response to my musings on the book Eat, Pray, Love in June, 2010.)

Since then he has lost 90 POUNDS and can run and enjoy his life now! Here is his “BEFORE” photo, and here’s a little video of him talking to me after class. Do you have a story like this in you–but maybe you’re at the start of the journey?

GO JAMES! You’re an inspiration!

My quirky weight-loss strategies, part 3 of 3

Another of my strategies is that I’m not afraid to skip a meal. I never, ever miss breakfast. And at lunch, because I always work out in the morning, I’m ravenously hungry. I don’t skip that either. But I often skip dinner, probably once a week on average. If I’ve had a big, late lunch, or a big late afternoon snack. Or if I’ve got a couple pounds to lose. It’s so good for your body to give it a rest.

I make sure I have at least a quart of green smoothie made FIRST THING IN THE MORNING. Then it’s made, so I’ll be sure to drink it since I’m not going to let it go to waste. And about 1 or 2 days a week, I have nothing for dinner except a green smoothie.

I go to bed hungry occasionally. Your body gets used to it. Your digestive system needs intermittent rests. (Don’t do this night after night, though.) It works best on a night that I’m really busy. If you’re really that hungry that you can’t sleep, eat a apple or banana (the magnesium in a banana will help you sleep). Or eat a big spoonful of chia seeds and chase it with a big glass of water. (It fills you up, for 40 calories and outstanding protein and nutrition.)

So, my second tip:

2. Skip dinner one or two days a week as needed, or have nothing but a quart of green smoothie. Have a day or two a week where you drink TWO quarts of green smoothie instead of one.

I virtually never eat after dinner, and I really try to avoid eating dinner late. (Eating late is only necessary occasionally because of a social situation.)

I drink a ton of water, most of it in the first half of the day. It helps your metabolism in countless ways. I drink a pint of water first thing, when I wake up. I don’t drink water with meals, but when I begin to feel just the tiniest big hungry, I drink a glass of water. Then I wait 20 minutes to eat a meal. That way the water is purifying, rather than being mixed with food and diluting gastric juices.

3. Don’t eat late at night.

4. Drink a ton of water.

I also never snack on sugar or processed foods by themselves. If I DO eat those foods, I don’t do it more than once a day and I do it only after a really good, 80%+ raw meal.

5. Don’t eat sugar/dead foods alone, only after a high-raw meal, and not more than once a day.

Finally, and this is a weird one, wear form-fitting clothes. ALL the time, even when you’re at home. The fastest way to lose track of how much weight you’re gaining is to do the baggy-sweats thing. Big, elastic-waist pants is you saying to yourself, “I’ve given up. Now I’m going to hide!”

They don’t have to be uncomfortable. On a day I’m working at home, in front of my PC, nobody’s around, like right now? I wear bike shorts or low-rise spandex pants and a very fitted t-shirt. If I’m up a couple of pounds, I’m annoying myself and I get serious about changing that situation.

6. Dress a little bit sexy. Even when there’s no one to impress but yourself, wear things that won’t let you get away with anything.

(Notice I said A LITTLE BIT. Please take this in the spirit it is intended, which isn’t to be provocative; it’s to wear things that keep you aware of any gradual onset of weight.) I never count calories, and I rarely get on a scale. This Strategy #6 keeps me honest.

You already know that keys to maintain a healthy weight are to rarely (if ever) eat animal proteins (and never processed meat), exercise regularly, and eat abundantly of whole, raw plant foods.

But these are my quirky, “works for me” habits that I believe lead to stable weight on the low end of the weight chart. I will be on a quest to learn more of these secrets that have served healthy people well, over a lifetime. Share your own tips here!