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How often do you get sick? Should I buy hand sanitizer?

Robyn Openshaw - Aug 22, 2010 - This Post May Contain Affiliate Links

Dear GreenSmoothieGirl: I was wondering, while eating the great raw food diet that you eat, when is the last time you “caught a cold.”

Can you give us an idea about whether you and your kids have been sick or the magnitude of it? Do you or the kids get a cold and you are able to fight it off much quicker with a healthy diet OR do you guys not get sick at all.

Here in Jersey our kids go back to school soon and that’s the time I start to really worry about the “germs.” Do you believe in Hand Sanitizer and what are your thoughts on it. It seems like they are becoming MANDATORY on the Back to School Supply list and I was just curious on your thoughts about this.

Answer: I think the Hand Sanitizer is silly. Don’t get me wrong–I am a big fan of washing hands well. But there are millions of bad bacteria everywhere, air, counters, clothes, food. And all the antibacterial products out there are doing very little, if anything, to protect us. And they are possibly helping “bugs” become more resistant and super-virile. A spray or hand gel is like sticking your pinkie in the hole in the dam, when the dam is breaking.

Fact is, people don’t get sick because we get exposed to a “bug.” We’re being exposed to bugs all the time. Why did my tenant, who I saw every day and exchanged food with, etc., get deathly ill from swine flu last year for six long weeks, requiring an ER visit, and I didn’t, and neither did my kids? (My oldest son got a little sick for two days.)

If we are a good host for a bug to overpower our natural defenses, when we create an internal climate where nasty micro-organisms thrive, then we get sick.

How do we become that perfect host? We eat lots of acidic foods–dairy, meat, coffee, yeast bread, and especially sugar. (Stress, pollution, medications, and not sleeping enough also contribute to a highly acidic internal climate and susceptibility.)

If we drink lots of water, eat raw, alkaline food (greens being the very best on that list), and do all the other good stuff (moderate exercise, sleep, etc.), we are minimizing our risk of catching the “bugs” that are omnipresent.

As for when I last “caught a cold”–I can’t even remember. Maybe 3 years ago. I think getting a mild cold that lasts a day, with clear mucous, is a good thing. It’s a way that your body flushes itself out. Getting a “cold” once or twice a year is not a sign of failure. It’s when illnesses linger, when the mucous becomes stagnant and thick and acidic (yellow or green), or when we get things worse than a cold, that we know we’ve become the perfect host for illness. Strep, bronchitis, flu–”catching” these is a sign something is very wrong.

And at that point, it’s time to clean house. Lots of green smoothies, maybe a juice cleanse, and adherence to a 60-80% or more raw plant-based diet.

In my family, none of us has been really ill, or had the “flu,” or had anything requiring an antibiotic, in at least 12 years. But before that? When we were eating the Standard American Diet? We were sick constantly. All of us, especially me and my oldest son.

Posted in: Relationships

5 thoughts on “How often do you get sick? Should I buy hand sanitizer?”

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  1. Anonymous says:

    Great insight Robyn, thank you for sharing. I am very curious to know what your family eats on a typical day. Also, I have been doing all raw foods for a year to heal from allergies, chronic fatigue and adrenal exhaustion. Now that all is back to normal, I have been trying to add some steamed veggie or potatoes back into my diet in small tablespoon sizes at dinner without spices, just bland. But upon waking the next morning, I my sinuses are congested and my energy is not as high, even with my daily (twice) green smoothie. Any advice on how I can add some of the whole food items you advocate in your book, without this drawback?

    1. Robyn Openshaw says:

      Tressey, nightshade allergy maybe?

      So many different things it could be–you’ll have to isolate them one at a time. You don’t HAVE to eat cooked foods if you feel better on all raw and are willing to go to that effort, of course!

  2. I have 2 daughters 4 and 2 years old. I have not vaccinated them and I really do not want to. However with some recent accidents this past summer with punctures from wood, sticks and all kinds of other items that I didn’t see coming, it’s got me concerned about giving them.

    Once again, I really don’t want to give them a vaccine for fear of what’s in it. Robyn, what do you think about tetnaus. Risks of giving the vaccine vs. risks of getting tetnaus?

    Thanks so much,


    1. Robyn Openshaw says:

      In my studies, tetanus is the lowest-risk shot. It works, it doesn’t have fatal side effects. However, fewer than 50 people annually die of tetanus and all of them are over the age of 50! I would get the tetanus by itself, not the one with diptheria and pertussis in it, if it were me.

  3. Interesting take on the difference between faults in the immune system and exposure to germs when it comes to “catching” a cold or flu. Maybe with a little more education on instant hand sanitizers, schools can cut spending on them and hire more teachers.

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