extra ingredients for green smoothies [part 2 of 7]

We had a very informative teleseminar on alkaline water and the group buy on IONIZERS tonight!   Watch here for the recorded seminar tomorrow, and the prices / offer of a free shower filter (removing chlorine, etc.) tomorrow–the DEALER PRICES are good through Fri. midnight.

On to more green smoothie ingredients you should try:

Aloe vera

Aloe vera is an inexpensive extra ingredient is something I would encourage everyone to use in green smoothies, except pregnant women until further testing is done for that population.   I keep an aloe vera plant in my windowsill for quick and effective treatment of burns or scrapes.   (You simply cut a spear from the plant, slice it in half, and rub the inner pulp on the sunburn or stovetop/curling iron burn for dramatic healing.)   You can buy these plants in nurseries, and they grow wild in some climates, such as in Arizona.

Aloe vera has been extensively studied for its immune-stimulating effects, and hundreds of research papers have been published documenting some very interesting benefits.   One I find most interesting is the fact that it contains Vitamin B12, one of the only plant-based sources of this nutrient, so adding this ingredient to smoothies can help vegans and vegetarians achieve complete nutrition.   Additionally, the plant has anti-inflammatory, anti-bacterial, and anti-fungal properties.   It heals ulcers and reduces asthma symptoms.

I often cut a large spear, wash it, and throw it in my green smoothie as well.   Having your own plant is inexpensive, compared to the slightly processed and nutritionally inferior product you can buy in health food stores.   (It’s still excellent nutrition, in the jug from the health food store, just not as powerful as a spear from the raw plant.)   A small amount is best, as you can overdo with this ingredient and cause too much bowel stimulation, especially if you are new to green smoothies and transitioning from a fairly typical American diet.


Ginger is an ingredient I add to my smoothies almost daily.   The most inexpensive place I find to buy it is Asian stores, and I always pick some up when I stop by the Asian market for my cases of young Thai coconuts.   The unpeeled ginger “roots” last a few weeks in the fridge.   (I also look through their interesting greens selection while I’m at the Asian market and take home some cabbages, for variety in green smoothies.)   Fresh ginger is not actually a root, but rather an underground stem.   You peel the brown outer layer off and add an inch or two, or more, to any smoothie.   It adds a lovely flavor, but it also has powerful anti-inflammatory, digestive-function strengthening, and anti-nausea properties.   It’s a great natural remedy for motion sickness, morning sickness, and intestinal gas.   If someone struggles with feeling nauseous while starting a green-smoothie habit, I recommend adding as much ginger as you can.   It is a warming herb and helps stimulate blood circulation and promotes decongestion, and it can help knock down a fever.



extra ingredients for green smoothies [part 1 of 7]

Many health food nuts like me have a mental list of ingredients they know are nutritional powerhouses, and we want to get them in our diet but often fail to do so, because we don’t know how or don’t fit it into the day’s menu. Green smoothies are the perfect way to do that–just toss some stuff in! Be adventurous. Use those exotic, high-impact nutrition items if you can afford them. If not, please don’t worry about it–you’re getting tons of fiber, vitamins, minerals, and enzymes from the simple greens and fruit combinations. Smoothies don’t have to contain expensive, exotic ingredients. But not all of the “other ingredients” discussed in this section are expensive.

Kelp and dulse

If you don’t mind the seaweedy taste of sea vegetables like kelp and dulse, use those high-impact foods in your blender. Just a little bit is enough, and they are more thyroid nourishing than any other food. So if you are hypothyroid (as about 25 percent of women are in America, many of them undiagnosed), consider getting one or both of these foods in your daily diet. Green smoothies are an easy way to do that. Those who suffer with low energy and slow metabolism often have low thyroid problems. (And diagnosing it can be difficult, involving full-panel blood testing done by a hormone clinic, examining the interplay of several different variables.) Taking a thyroid hormone causes disease risk and can burn out the thyroid even more over time, especially the synthetic drugs such as Synthroid and Cytomel. Sea vegetables nourish and support the thyroid rather than sort of jab and poke it to perform.

Flax oil

If you don’t know how to get flax oil in your diet, minerals from greens are absorbed better when eaten with some fats, so putting flax oil in your green smoothie is a great idea. You’ll never even notice it, used in this form. A tablespoon daily is a good dosage for an adult to avoid inflammatory ailments, and protect healthy cell membranes needed to keep toxic elements out but allow nutrients in. Flax oil has wide-ranging benefits uncovered in research in the past decade involving the immune, circulatory, reproductive, cardiovascular, and nervous system. It’s rich in essential fatty acids, including the rather rare omega-6 and omega-9 nutrients that your body cannot manufacture itself and must receive from outside sources.

Using flax oil, you can avoid taking fish oil with all its attendant risks (fish being tainted with mercury and other pollutants). Flax has more lignans by 80 times than the next-highest food, which cut your risk of breast and colon cancers dramatically. Research connects it to reduction of PMS symptoms, improvement in multiple sclerosis treatment, reduction in allergies and arthritis and diabetes, as well as eczema, asthsma, and loss of eyesight. It increases fat burning and allows you to recover from sprains and muscle fatigue more quickly.

You should never heat flax oil, which damages its nutritional properties, and you must purchase it refrigerated and use it very fresh, as it becomes rancid in only a month or two. This is one of the more expensive ingredients you can add to smoothies. If you prefer, you can grind a small amount of flaxseed instead. This is inexpensive, but the whole seed is mucilaginous, thereby making your smoothie thicker and bulkier, so if you add ground flaxseed instead of oil, you may want to add more water to compensate. Use freshly ground flaxseed, as it oxidizes and becomes rancid quickly once ground. You can use your BlendTec Total Blender, or a small $10 electric coffee grinder from any store like Target or Walmart.

If you add interesting things to your GS, let us know! I’ll be posting more of my additions over the next 6 days.

GreenSmoothieGirl’s weird opinion on soy

Dear GreenSmoothieGirl: Your information about soy is unfortunate, incorrect and not based on science or the latest research or studies!   [Writer then pastes a study out of Harvard on PRNewswire Mar. 28 of this year saying that eating soy nuts and soy protein “may improve many problems associated with metabolic syndrome” in postmenopausal women.]


Answer:   I might agree with you if this were the only study I saw.   I would also agree with you if a huge and growing body of evidence comprised of dozens of other studies have not become to be fairly undeniable about the danger of overconsumption of SOY ISOLATES.   In other words, when the soy industry convinced us that its refined products and even waste products were a “health food,” we began to see a shift toward hormonal problems in particular and widespread health effects overall.


Google “soy danger” sometime and you can read for hours about another point of view that simply demands to be considered.


Using whole soy products in moderation shouldn’t be a problem.   But soy lecithin and protein and many other soy products are ubiquitous in thousands of breads, salad dressings, canned and boxed foods, and so many items in the health food store as well.  Far too much of it in the food supply is causing widespread hormone imbalances.


For more information about my digest of research related to soy that requires reconsideration of the “soy as health food” position:



Storing green smoothies: BPA in plastics [part 2 of 2]

I was recently in a conversation where a 23-year old adult said,  regarding this topic, “If I don’t drink bottled water, where will I get it?”   She was totally serious.   Back in the olden days (before water bottles but after the wheel was invented), we used to fill a reusable water bottle or cup at the sink or from the pitcher in the fridge or water cooler or fountain at work.   Soccer moms took a 2-gallon cooler with paper cups to the game.

A popular email goes around constantly about how a Johns Hopkins newsletter stated that Sheryl Crow’s breast cancer was caused by dioxins leaching into the bottled water she drank.   Sheryl Crow doesn’t know what caused her breast cancer any more than anyone else can isolate one factor like that (out of so many in our daily environment).   The watchdog sites like truthorfiction.com and snopes.com were quick to repudiate the story.   This should not, however, be taken as evidence that plastics are perfectly safe.

While this email has no accuracy, and highly dangerous dioxins do not leach from plastic into water, other toxic chemicals like phthalates do.   Avoid bottled drinking water, which often contains more chemicals in the water than tap water does.   It may be convenient, but taking five seconds to fill our own water container not only saves us from drinking chemicals, it also decreases the impact on the environment.   Currently well over 1 million drinking water bottles DAILY are filling up our municipal garbage piles.

My town of 10,000 people ships its garbage to Price, Utah, two hours away, because our landfills are full.   One of the biggest-impact and lowest-sacrifice things we can do to ameliorate that situation is to SWEAR OFF BOTTLED WATER.

The best thing to put your green smoothie in is a simple canning jar.   No leaching of anything.   The only bad thing is that you have to be careful not to break it.

How GreenSmoothieGirl.com was born–it’s a crazy story!

Welcome to GreenSmoothieGirl.com!

I put this site up in August, 2007 when I went on a reality show and ABC/Disney told me I’d better prepare for an onslaught of publicity and requests for information.

My family eats a rather unusual diet that has led to exceptionally good health.  People notice because we buck American trends, and it shows.

I frequently have people who know about our diet show up on my porch, call on my phone, and stop me in public.  People are sick, they are overweight, they lack the energy to get through the day . . . and they want help.  They have lots of questions.  My experience as a nutrition educator has led me to this conclusion: People want to eat right. They just don’t know how.

The reality television experience was just the impetus I needed to make information about my family’s lifestyle more accessible to more people.

Little did I know what GreenSmoothieGirl.com would become!

A year and a half later, I have a small group of people working on the site, have written two books, and we are getting 80,000+ visitors monthly.  I take my responsibility to teach people how and why to eat whole foods very seriously and am willing to do whatever it takes.

This newsletter is my first-line effort to educate a terrifyingly underinformed public about basic principles of good nutrition, as well as, very specifically, how to live a healthy lifestyle.

I’ve had a wide and varied career. But besides being a mom, I’ve never done anything I feel is as important as my role teaching, helping, and nurturing people towards good health.

Today, a woman stopped me at the grocery store.  She said, “I have been seeking answers to my health problems.  I saw your car and the web site burned into my mind.  I’ve spent three hours reading your site, so far, and trying some things you suggest, and I’m amazed how when I eat right, I don’t crave bad stuff!”

That’s the beautiful thing about whole foods.  They are what God put on the planet to nourish us.  When we eat them, we don’t need anything else.  We get off the roller coaster of craving bad food and succumbing to the temptation and then hating ourselves for our indulgences.  GreenSmoothieGirl.com is the summation of my 15 years of studying exactly how to implement good nutrition in a real American family’s diet.

When we eat whole foods instead of the Standard American Diet, we have the boundless energy to not just dream big, but also fulfill those dreams.

In future newsletters, I’m going to tell you a little more about my story and introduce you to some fun parts of my site.

Thanks for joining me—I’m thrilled to have you along.

To Your Health,

–Robyn Openshaw


Storing green smoothies: BPA in plastics [part 1 of 2]

Dear Green SmoothieGirl: What should I store my green smoothie in?   I’ve read that certain chemicals in bottled water and other plastic items leach into my food.

Answer:   A government study by the nonprofit Environmental Working Group (EWG) in Washington, D.C. recently uncovered a surprising (and unnerving) finding.   The plastic lining used by manufacturers of metal food cans have more bisphenol-A (BPA) than plastic containers do.   BPA is an endocrine-disrupting chemical that is linked by research to breast and prostate cancer, diabetes, and neurological problems for babies exposed in utero, among other things.   Cans that test to have the highest BPA levels are chicken soup, infant formula, and canned pastas.   And, the FDA says the average American eats about 17 percent canned foods.   The longer a can sits on the shelf, the more leaching occurs in the food.   And when a container is heated, more chemical is released into the food as well.

What can we do about this?

I believe that eventually the BPA will be removed from cans.   But in the meantime, the first tip is that Eden Foods, a maker of organic items found mostly in health food stores, has BPA-free cans, if you can afford a pricier product.

Second, we can make more of our own food (like soups and beans) and keep cans around for only food storage and emergencies.   Cook the beans you use a lot and freeze them in 2-cup amounts for later use.   Some foods you buy in cans can be purchased in glass jars (spaghetti sauce, for instance).

Third, store your green smoothies in glass pint or quart jars.   I have always done this.   The downside is that if you drop it, glass shatters.   It’s not as convenient as some drink containers for taking in the car and putting in the car’s drink holder, either.   You can obtain stainless steel containers, too.   With either of those options, you will have no chemicals leaching into your food.   And keep in mind that the best way to keep your body removing toxins like BPA from sources we just can’t control is . . . to drink green smoothies.   The insoluble plant fiber in greens mops up several times its own weight in toxins and removes it from the body.

Fourth, you can google “BPA free” and buy baby bottles and other items free of toxic synthetics.  

More tomorrow about what to store green smoothies in, plastics, and the Sheryl Crow email.