foreword to 12 Steps to Whole Foods, part 1 of 2

Just want to share the foreword in the just-published printed manual for 12 Steps to Whole Foods, and I’d like to thank Dr. Denise Punger for writing it!

by family physician Denise Punger, M.D.

Robyn Openshaw’s 12 Steps to Whole Foods is like having a personal nutrition coach in the kitchen with me, guiding me towards better health.

Prior to finding, my own eating habits were not a main concern. My mind was on a busy medical practice. My husband, also a family physician, took on the responsibility of picking up our groceries and take-out food. Before marriage, I was in school many years, depending on dormitory meal plans and hospital cafeterias.

Holidays were a time for home cooked meals by our families, who were glad to contribute something to our insanely busy medical-school lifestyle. Meals were always provided for me and very welcomed. Besides my reckless eating patterns, preparing meals in the kitchen as I became a young mother was intimidating. I didn’t know where to start. I never had to do it before. Good nutrition was barely a thought, let alone a priority. Like most people, for me, it was all about taste and convenience.

In the months leading up to my wake-up call to feed my body right, I was always hungry, despite always eating. I couldn’t figure out why I never felt satiated. I was 40 pounds heavier than I am now, and my skin often broke out. I had an irritating cough that disrupted work and time with patients. I often had headaches. I didn’t represent the preventative health message that I wanted to give.

Like most Americans, I read labels and believed the “heart healthy” and “low fat” claims often made on them, yet I was also confused by the labels. Finally, through blood testing, like a wake-up call, I found out I had some food sensitivities.

After a few months of feeling deprived coping with my intolerances, I found GSG changed my approach radically. As I became engrossed in Robyn’s blog and videos, I became excited about all the new meal possibilities. “Good nutrition” once seemed like a tasteless curse but was now looking like an exciting adventure.

I had once wondered if I would live the rest of my life on the defensive side of food. With all the new recipes ideas and diverse ingredients to experiment with, I became empowered.

Once I found it, I read and re-read Robyn’s blog and website to glean everything from it I could. I love making green smoothies. When my ordinary blender burned out, I ordered the Blendtec Total Blender Robyn recommends through and finally received her 12 Steps to Whole Foods program free when I purchased the blender.

The title of the course grabbed my attention. I initially assumed that “12 steps” was a spin-off of anonymous recovery type programs. That spoke to me, because I was and am a food addict.

Really, “12 Steps” refers to making small nutritional changes through the year, introducing a new idea each month. Green smoothies were just the beginning. I was totally mesmerized as I read through this guide. It was like having Robyn in the kitchen guiding me, step by step. Remember, I’d never spent time in the kitchen!

[I’ll post the rest tomorrow]