Sunday, July 24, 2011

Balance, It’s All About Balance

I know how busy everyone is, so let me make this as brief as possible. If you were at our green smoothie demo at Summerfest or you just love throwing a lot of kale in your smoothie, you will want to read this.  If you are a woman approaching menopause, going thru menopause or are post menopausal, you will want to read this. 

The following all relate to each other:
1-The smoothies I make typically contain the equivalent of one full bunch of raw kale. 
2-This year I discovered a creamy delightful unsweetened yogurt made by Whole Soy and was eating it by the case.
3-This year I discovered the joy of making “massaged” raw kale salads and have been eating a lot of them.
4-A few months ago I went from my usual complaint “I have way too much energy” to feeling like doing anything was too much effort.  My first full blown exhaustion.   In addition, my throat felt tight and I sounded like a cigarette smoker.  The exhaustion was accompanied by brain fog….forgetting even simple words.

After lots of research into possible causes, I decided that the symptoms could be thyroid related. 70% of menopausal and post-menopausal women have thyroid issues. My research into hypo-thyroid consistently came up with the same results:  Eating way too many raw cruciferous (cabbage family) vegetables (also known as brassica veggies) can be harmful to thyroid function.  Eating way too much processed soy can be the same.  

6 days ago I stopped eating processed soy and cut out all the raw cruciferous veggies to see if I felt any different.  I continued to make green smoothies but used wild greens, lettuces, parsley, and other raw non brassica greens.  Within two days I could feel my energy coming back.  By day 5, I was back to my familiar “too much energy” and I no longer sound like a cigarette smoker.

I will start including raw kale and some soy back into my diet, but in balanced proportions.

Let me just be clear.  I am not a doctor or registered dietician. And, this is NOT AN ANTI-SOY OR ANTI-RAW GREENS STATEMENT!
While I am in touch with how my own body is feeling, I do not know a lot about the physiology of a human body.  Before this experience, I did not even know exactly what the thyroid did or that it is shaped like a butterfly.
My conclusion after all my research and my own experience is that soy and raw greens are both healthy foods.  Soy is one of the best foods for hormonal balance in menopausal women.  Raw and cooked greens are great for healthy nutrients and minerals. 
And, too much of a good thing is….well….too much.
While nutrition is not my expertise or even my number one passion, I love the idea of healthy energetic vegans going out into the world and making it a more compassionate place for all species. is how I want you to feel....

So, eat your raw greens and eat your soy and don’t overdo it!
Balance, Balance, Balance….It’s all about balance.

Here is a link to one of the many articles I found about this issue:

Saturday, July 16, 2011

Cow Love

We stopped on a road in New Hampshire and JC napped while Bean and I walked a dirt road.  We passed a gate with a large cow pasture.  Bean and I stood by the fence and I said quietly to the cows across the pasture, "We are working on it.  You won't be milk machines for long if we can help it."  And I just stood there feeling a lot of love for these long lashed big eyed beings.  They were all looking at us and when I spoke out loud, the leader of the herd came over to see what was up.  She sniffed Bean through the fence and then brought her sweet face up to me and licked me.  It was what you would expect of a dog.  Then the rest of the herd saw that there was something nice going on and hurried over to join us.  I had my arms out rubbing their heads and necks and eventually I had a dozen tongues licking my bare arms.  Exactly like a pack of affectionate puppies.  We love the little cute animals and disregard the older ones who we may not see the beauty in.  These cows loved the affection....couldn't get enough of it.  Of course.  They feel everything that the dog living under your roof feels.  Given the opportunity they love affection, play, relating to their favorite friends, feeling comfortable.....Given the opportunity they avoid pain and all of us. 

I recently read a story about a cow who gave birth to a stillborn calf.  She was weak and in pain after the ordeal.  And still, she managed to get up and walk a long distance across miles of fields to find her own mother for comfort.  She was found in the distant field with her mother wrapped around her nuzzling her.  Their two large bodies like one.

I have lots of friends and family who still eat dairy.  What most of them do not know (or do not want to know)  is that dairy involves more prolonged suffering than the meat industry and that in fact dairy cows do end up slaughtered for beef.  So they just go through a longer captivity/slave period before being slaughtered.  Their babies are stolen from them so that humans can drink the milk.  This is just a small part of the suffering these gentle beings go through before being slaughtered.  I know that many people do not want to read about or watch the reality of the horrors we inflict on other species.  Not wanting to witness the violence is fine....IF you are not contributing to it in your daily choices.  For those who have already chosen a path that does not support this kind of cruelty, there is no need to witness the violence.  For those who still choose to support animal agriculture, at a minimum, please be willing to witness what you choose to support.  If it is too difficult to witness, you may want to consider not supporting it in any way.  Next opportunity, stand face to face with a cow.  Look her in the eyes.  Connect with her.  Then do all you can to ensure that her well-being is all you are willing to support.