Today is mostly going to be a confessional of what has happened in the last four months and an apology to you.  I was not the writer I should be, the friend I should be, the WordPress person I should be. Similar to taking in partners because I thought it was the right thing to do, I changed my diet.

“Green smoothies are the way to add fruits and vegetables to your diet.”  At a seminar, a Raw friend made some.  I seemed to have more energy that first day, but seminars give me energy.  Having just joined Bountiful Baskets (produce co-op) I had lots of fruit and vegetables even when sharing it with my parents.  It seemed this would be an easy way to consume more healthy foods and help me not have to cook as much.

It’s not that I mind cooking, but cooking for one sometimes gets old.  While I thought I didn’t eat “that healthy” I didn’t realize until this Green Smoothie challenge, how healthy I eat.

My parents had a farm.  I grew up with a vegetable garden, berry shrubs, orchard, rabbits and chickens.  They read “Mother Earth News” in the 70s, in the early 80s I’d skim it.  (Hey, I was just a kid it wasn’t *that interesting.*) So I have known about eating healthy since I was young.

Something Wicked This Way Comes

But the first sign that I wasn’t in the right group was when the group talked of brussel sprouts, and I stated I didn’t like them.  The friend challenged if I actually “tried to like them.”

When people ask the “What strange foods have you tried?” I laugh about posts of squid, calamari, escargot, alligator.  I’m not afraid to try foods; my parents raised two very adventuresome eaters.  While at restaurants I often stick with my favorites, it’s because I don’t eat out often, and know I will enjoy those plates.

Perhaps I should have gotten a glimpse of “average diet” watching my ex-husband consume sodas, chips, pop tarts and other processed foods.  He believed cooking meant fried, and they weren’t done until they were greasy.  When I tried to fix stir-fries and vegetables he complained.  He made life more miserable than my stomach made me with his fried food.  Rather than eat that “American diet”, I basically stopped eating.

Yes, I became anorexic rather than eat junk food 7 days a week.  At 22, after one year of eating healthy and junk, I knew how bad processed greasy foods are.

That was only one.  The incident that should have made me taken notice was that while they all talked about their desire for candies and sugars was decreasing; mine was going through the roof.

Dad’s Dad was diabetic (hyper-glycemic), Mom’s Dad was hypo-glycemic.  So I started watching my sugars 5 years ago if not more.  Since I love desserts, I have worked on decreasing sugars or creating healthier versions of what I love.  Currently I have a variety of desserts I enjoyed before but now have far less sugars than the original versions.

Perhaps I should have realized something was off in my body when I got a yeast infection.  Other than being on antibiotics (which is rare) and forgetting to up my probiotics, I haven’t had a yeast infection.  Never did I have one this bad, and it was 2 weeks into this green smoothie challenge.

Plus side I found out yeast infections are actually candida, and quite possibly the reason I have had a chronic sinus infection.  Also like strep, we all have candida at all times, but we “have” it when they get out of control.   Sugar can be one of the things that cause candida to get out of hand.  Dairy can be as well, but my dairy habits remained the same.

Depressed and Brain Fog

MJ SchraderThe smoothie group was talking how fructose was not the same as sugar, and honestly in retrospect, I wasn’t thinking clearly anymore, actually instead of having the ADD brain of constant idea flow, I was in a mental fog.   My energy level was way down. My creativity was gone.

I didn’t realize that I wasn’t thinking clearly, but I did realize I was depressed.  Not a little, I was massively depressed.  I hated getting up in the morning, but walked the girls because it was the thing to do and got the puppy calmed down.  I was tired.  I felt unmotivated and very discouraged.

While I did choose to eliminate my business partners and friendship with Pat,  I was more depressed than I should be.  Business dried up the moment they joined, money was/ is extremely tight and I’ve had to borrow money… while that doesn’t make me feel good, I was still more depressed than I should be.

To be honest, I was extremely depressed.  I should have reached out to friends, because so many people reached out to me in my darkest moments when I posted on FB.

Yet, I went through a miscarriage and a rape and had no one to turn to, told no one for years.  When I did tell someone about the miscarriage, it was met with one-upping and dismissal.  Not until the last few years has anyone said it was ok to grieve over the loss.  The rape, well it was ignored.  With the thoughts of all those people who are gone from my life, family, friends (death and because they weren’t friends), my creativity gone, my energy gone, I was even more depressed. In my depression and foggy brain, I didn’t know how to respond to these requests to help me, I wondered if they were real.  To you who reached out, I’m sorry.

Fortunately I said something about lack of energy to a client who sent me Diamond Dallas Page Yoga.  While I ignored the stuff for a while, I started doing yoga about 3 weeks ago.  This got my brain to think a bit more clearly, but still not what I was.


Then another friend talked to a nutritionist about “Green smoothies,” who said they weren’t balanced.  There was too much sugar and not enough fiber with them being blended.  While that may or may not be true… remembering while fruit is healthy through the day, fructose was still sugar woke me up.

Suddenly I looked at the smoothies differently. Fruit smoothies like Jamba Juice and others aren’t good because of the sugars. These green smoothies had enough greens to turn these fruit smoothies green.  They were extremely high in sugars.  The ratio was way off for something that started my day.

Here are some scary numbers.  The first is a Dunkin Donuts Chocolate Frosted Donut, the other 5 are green smoothies pulled randomly from 2 weeks of recipes.  Given these sugar numbers, this is part of why I had way more energy when I tried the ones my Raw Friend made.

Item Calories Fat Carb Fiber Sugar
Donut 200 9g 29g    1g  10g
GG 1345 6.1g 302.3g  22.9g  203.3
FS 301 2.1g 69.2g  13.6g  44.3g
TC 1234 23.1g 219.6g  55.4g  76.8g
BH 1290 88.7g 126.9g  22.9g  23.1g
CD 732 19g 134.7g  25.5g  64.6g

My sugar intake was low before. Consuming “green smoothies” made my sweet tooth go crazy, which indicates my blood sugar was off. The candida feeds on sugar. The brain fog, lack of energy and depression were indicators of too much sugar. While I found nothing on creativity, it probably is affected as well. Even worse; and what makes sugar so bad, is all these feed on each other, making things spiral down.

Last week I doubled the greens to the last 2 smoothies I had in my fridge, and felt better. Then I went back to my regular breakfast of coffee and something with protein.

In days I’ve done more than I have in the past 4 months. I slept only 3 hours last night, and have more energy than I had in a long time. (Congestion from sugar detoxing).

While I admit that Green smoothies may help someone who is going from eating a more typical “American diet”, I don’t believe they are healthy in the long run. They certainly aren’t healthy for someone who already eats healthy. I may add them back as a vegetable smoothie with little to no fruit.

To You:

But I write this to say, no matter what you do for your health, check the facts. Look up calories, sugars, and think about where you are and where you want to be. I really messed up my health.

I’m sorry I didn’t confess what was going on in my life sooner.  I’m sorry if I owe you emails or blog posts, or anything.  Now that i have more energy, hopefully I’ll start blazing  through them and get caught up…

But I also messed up my life, for I knew I was beyond ordinarily depressed, and I didn’t see what I did, and didn’t accept any of the kind invitations of friends reaching out to help me.  And I’m very sorry.  Accepting help is not easy, but it denies both of us the opportunity to grow and develop.

Thank you for being an amazing and wonderful person.