posting this up at the blog. The column goes out every month or two. I figured, I'd post up Q & As each week as they come to me quite frequently... Ask Linda! Please feel free to submit your questions to email@example.com. Questions don’t have to be completely raw food related but please bring questions on health, recipes, diet, weight issues, nutrition, parenting, nursing, pregnancy, spirituality or whatever it is you’d like to ask. I’ll do my best to answer and will most certainly learn from this as much as I can give. Question: If my daily organic/raw diet is: fruit in a.m. (no bananas), green drink around 11:30, guacomole on raw crackers (maybe 1 cup), fruit around 4 or 5 pm, green drink at 7. How much trouble would I be in (health-wise) if I kept to this diet for 3-6 months? Thanks, P Answer: Hey there P!! Hoping you are well! Can I ask why you are wanting to stay this strict for 3-6 months? Do you plan on varying it at all? My general response is that I think you'll be able to eat it and you'll probably feel quite good from all the greens and fruit. I'm thinking that you'll want some variety or else you will start to get bored and then one would be more likely to pig out on something unhealthy. But health-wise, I think you'll probably feel pretty darn good. Here's some recommendations/suggestions/questions: * 1 cup of guacamole is a lot of avocados to eat each day. In the beginning, that will feel like a damn good treat and for that, I say go for it. I also want to let you know that most likely the body will grow tired of 1 cup of guac a day pretty quickly. I like that you are choosing to have your biggest caloric meal in the middle of the day. That is something that I'm working on here but habit and schedule dictates something other for me at the moment. Tell me how that goes for you. It's most important to get a varied diet in. I personally find myself able to eat similar things for about 1-2 weeks and then I want to change it up. Variety is the spice of life and for your body, it's how you can make sure you get the most nourishment. * I'd probably recommend an ample amount of greens each day. Greens are the healers and fruits are the cleansers. Both work well together. I'd recommend that you eat more greens than fruit though for greater health and vitality. Remember to change up your greens. This is important. Some greens have high amounts of oxalic acid in them and if you overindulge, it may cause problems in the long run. SO best to change them up. Eat local lettuces, chard, kales, collards, mesclun mixes, spinach, green sprouts and even get in some wild edibles while we still have some in the ground. (Better hurry! It's snowing as I write this!) * Quantity and quality is key for your green drinks and fruit. If eating this diet that you have below is going to work, I would imagine the quantity is going to increase and because of that, the quality will have to be there. I'm glad you wrote organic because in order to eat a lot of fruits/veggies, it would be important to me to ensure that I wasn't ingesting a slew of pesticides, herbicides, fungicides in my fruit/veggies. (Kind of defeating the purpose of eating all those fruits and veggies.) Also, by QTY, I'm wanting to say that having a green drink in the late morning doesn't really consist of an 8 or 10 oz drink. Please don't be surprised to find yourself wanting to drink 16+ oz juices and 32 oz smoothies. This is what fills you up and gives your body super vitamins and nutrients. * What kind of trouble are you imagining yourself getting in? I would say that if you imagine trouble for yourself, chances are great that it will occur. So if you want to do a change in your diet like this, why not try for just 30 days and see how it goes? Then you can adjust and adapt and change to suit what your body is telling you from there on. From what you are describing below, I think 30 days will be a great time frame to give yourself this blessing. I see it as a blessing and if you gear yourself to receiving a gift, then it will come to fruition that way. To me, if I set myself up to have to endure something for 3-6 months, then it won't work out to my benefit in the same way. Do you see the difference? If you are worried that you might become deficient in something after 3-6 months of a trial diet/lifestyle, then try it only for a month. Unless you are really sick, it would be hard to become deficient in one month. And incorporating all that fresh fruit and veggies would only be beneficial, me thinks. * Please remember to incorporate seaweeds in your daily regimen. Seaweeds (sea veggies) give us important minerals and help to get the junk out of our bodies. I know for some the thought of eating seaweed is weird to them. I hear people say that the oceans are polluted and therefore eating seaweeds is bad. I tell you what, eating the flesh of animals living in the ocean is a lot worse. Toxins reside in the fat of all of us. Eating fatty, fleshy fish is only ensuring that you are eating those pollutants from the ocean. Seaweed is like eating a filtering system in a way. It also gives us iodine and other vitamins/minerals like calcium, sodium, magnesium, potassium, iron, and zinc, to name a few. Here's a link of other health benefits of seaweed: http://health.learninginfo.org/seaweed-benefits.htm * Please remember to incorporate fermented foods, too. Fermented foods are probiotic foods. They are good for your gut and your overall health. Things like kim chi, sauerkraut (if you don't find it in the refrigerated section, then don't eat it! Sauerkraut is a beautiful fermented food but if you find it on the shelf with the condiments, it has been pasteurized so it is no longer full of life.), miso, kombucha (another thing to watch out for pasteurization), to name a few. (Note: In Japan, tempeh and tofu are fermented but in the US, they are all pasteurized in order to have a longer shelf life at the stores. Bummer. So make your own or ask your local tempeh/tofu makers to sell you their tempeh BEFORE they pasteurize it. Here's a good article on the health benefits of fermented foods: http://www.chelseagreen.com/content/cultural-rehabilitation-the-health-benefits-of-fermented-foods/ * Also remember superfoods - things like VitaMineral Green, Spirulina/Elixir of the Lake, Maca, Fruits of the Earth, cooconut oil are great foods to have with your smoothies as they boost up the nutrition and that helps when we live in colder climates. So that's what I have to say for now. (I'm sure I could go on, actually) However, this is already getting long and then I risk giving you too much information. Good luck to you and many blessings in your life and health endeavors, Linda
Ask Linda! Please feel free to submit your questions to firstname.lastname@example.org. Questions don't have to be completely raw food related but please bring questions on health, recipes, diet, weight issues, nutrition, parenting, nursing, pregnancy, spirituality or whatever it is you'd like to ask. I'll do my best to answer and will most certainly learn from this as much as I can give. Today's question: "Baby's Digestion...Help!" Hi Linda, Can you help a friend of mine? her baby is 1 month old and they have had constipation problems alleviated by cornsyrup added to breast milk in a bottle. Now that is not working. The mom is eating an allergen free diet including rice and potatoes which she's eliminated and added quinoa. baby hasn't had a bowel movement for 4 days. I told her that was fairly normal. But baby had been in abdominal pain she thinks before they tried the Caro syrup... and constipated for up to 6 days. Any suggestions besides prune juice for mom? all the best today, T Hi there T, Caro syrup for a baby... Oh this breaks my heart. I'm sure the intention was good there somewhere but GMO corn syrup that's super highly processed wreaks havoc on grown bodies' digestive tracts, immune systems and wellness - I can only imagine what it might be doing to the tender little developing body... Anyway, the first thing that comes to mind is for this woman to make herself some green smoothies with good fruits in them. (see basic recipe below.) Fruit are the cleansers and greens are the healers. Dried fruits are ok, like prunes, but she should rehydrate them in some water. She/baby need to have more watery/hydrating foods to help flush out the colon. She needs to do this consistently, meaning daily. Momma can take out dairy in her diet as dairy creates mucus in the body and clogs the system. Wheat/grain products can also be a problem if there are gluten intolerances. If momma is eating lots of breads/pastas, she might want to cut that down a bit and see if she sees a difference. Think of dairy as glue and pasta as paste and it's no wonder why all these "comfort foods" clog up our systems. From what you wrote below, it sounds like Momma is eating rather binding foods - rice and potatoes - these are the things that people eat to help bind up when stools are too loose. If I were working with her, I'd personally want to hear more about what a typical day/week looks like for her to establish what she can be doing differently which might be helping her and her baby. Momma can take vitamin C in healthy doses. One way to know when you've had too much vitamin C is that you get loose stools, so she could take this and probably this would also be helpful to the baby. If Momma is still taking her prenatal vitamins, she might want to consider changing it. Sometimes the heavy iron in them can create some constipation. How are the mom's bowel movements? Healthy probiotics would be good for Momma to take. Nature's Way makes a probiotic called Primadolphilus - you can get it in any health food store. She should be on this. She should also be eating probiotic foods, make her own kombucha - eat FRESH kim chi and sauerkraut. South River Miso has the best fermented miso. Stay away from pasteurized fermented foods as really, what's the point of eating them? :-) There's also a wonderful lil product for babies called Gripe Water. You can find it anywhere now - it was hard to find when our kids were babies. Anyway, it really really helps them with gas pains/colic. Last bit of advice would be to go gradually with whatever changes she makes. No need to do a super boat load of fiber and vitamin C and get the pendulum swinging in the other direction. Green smoothies will be so helpful. I typically empty a Primadolphilus capsule in my green smoothie each day. I also add Vitamineral Green powder to my smoothie which is like taking the best multi-vitamin PLUS it has probiotics and digestive enzymes in it. Hope this helps! I know how upsetting it is to watch your little one distressed and not feeling well. This too shall pass. xoxo, Linda Basic Green Smoothie Recipe by Linda Wooliever Serves 1 I serve this in my cafe. It's a basic recipe that you can adapt with whatever greens and fruit you have. These are the basic ratios though. Be sure to rotate your greens, so that means to use things like spinach, chard, kale, collards, lettuce, edible weeds, etc. If you are new to green smoothies, start by using romaine lettuce or red leaf lettuce. Then gradually get yourself into the greener greens. Experiment and have fun! 1 banana, 1/2 cup peaches or mango, (fresh or frozen) 3-4 green leafies, washed & de-stemmed 1 tsp VitaMineral Green, 1 small squirt raw agave, or coconut nectar (feel free to use honey or dates or no added sweeteners if the fruit alone tastes sweet enough for you) fresh water Put all ingredients in the Vitamix and then add water to the 2 cup mark. (Best to add ingredients first and then add the water to make the smoothie thick and creamy. If you add 2 cups of water first, you'll have a very thin green drink to drink.) Blend and serve in your favorite glass. This makes 16 oz of green smoothie.
ASK LINDA! This is a new column that is part of the Raw New England Community Newsletter. It goes out every month or two and is always chock full of good information. Linda receives a lot of questions and thought it would be fun to compile them into a Q&A column. Think "Dear Abby" but for all things related to this raw and living foods lifestyle. Here's what it looks like and please feel free to send any question you have. It's a learning experience for everyone, including Linda.