Victoria Boutenko’s Green Smoothie Song–and me, giving her props

When my book The Green Smoothies Diet came out, last year, I got an email saying, “Who do you think you are? Victoria Boutenko invented the green smoothie! You owe her some credit!”

In fact, I give V. Boutenko, one of my heroes, credit every single time I speak. (Back me up here, if you’ve been to my classes?) Also I give her credit in my books. I love her, own every one of her book and her kids’ book, too. I want to give her a shout-out here, as I hear she is going through a very trying time because of her divorce.

Here is a goofy, sweet YouTube video she and her daughter Valya did, where she sings a song about green smoothies. I laughed all the way through it. (Maybe since I’ve been accused of being her lackey, I’ll do a song too—but it’ll be all edgy and rap):

Victoria, please know I think you’re so cute for doing that video. Thanks for your impressive and tireless efforts to educate people about the benefits of a raw, plant-based diet.

Here’s a video I made to give you the credit you deserve. Victoras Kulvinskas and others like Ann Wigmore may have “invented” ideas decades ago that led to the green smoothie concept. But, for the record, I think you’re a pioneer, and today I want to say, thank you and God bless you through this difficult time in your life.

“I love my body,” part 4 of 4

Dear GreenSmoothieGirl: “Should I do a cleanse, and what products should I use?”

Answer: I think hardcore colon cleanses are something you should do only a few times in a lifetime. (They are invasive. Plan on a need to rebuild a healthy colonization of intestinal flora with a high-raw diet and lots of probiotic for a couple of months afterward.) I recommend instead participating in the GSG Detox Program which will clean out the toxic sludge that has built up in your digestive tract for decades, as well as chemicals accumulated in your liver, kidneys, skin, and lymphatic system. This program is a very thorough cleans, but not as invasive as some of the other colon cleanses available.

Also, on a pretty regular basis, I take a day or two to let my body rest if I’ve not eaten as well as I normally do. If I’m feeling a little off, a little low-energy. If I’ve gained a few pounds. If I’m traveling.


“I love my body,” part 3 of 4

My heart got broken earlier this year–-but that very same heart kept on beating. It pumps blood every second, to my brain, to every extremity, perfectly. Every minute of the past 43 years. When I sleep, my heart miraculously never skips a pulse. I should be on my knees thanking God every day for my beautiful body.

“My body serves me well.”

In a thousand ways. I am going to record a meditation CD about this, to go along with 12 Steps to Whole Foods, in 2011. (Keep my feet to the fire about this! I have a lot of plans for 2011!) At the end of the meditation I am working on, I want you to feel awed by your gorgeous body. (Which then will translate into your making good choices to treat it with respect.)

Tell yourself, “I love my body. It serves me well” every day. Repetition is key. (Thus the need for the meditation I’m working on.) If you think what I’m telling you here is ridiculous, that’s okay. Just do it anyway.

Since you’re a woman, I’m not going to bother trying to get you to talk like a man. (My 17-y.o. son said last week:

“I poned that basketball today!”


“I was DOPE at practice, Mom–I’m maxing the bench press!”

I don’t know how you pone something or what exactly dope has to do with the bench press. But male culture allows, even demands, macho bravado–and confidence. Ours doesn’t.)

In all reality, if you’re a woman, I’m not going to get you to talk about yourself this way. You didn’t create the system for girls–you just operate in it. I get that.

But there are ways you CAN love your body that are socially acceptable. Will you commit to saying this:

“I love my body. It serves me well.” Or something LIKE that, every day several times, when you catch yourself thinking negatively about yourself? Say it a thousand times, until you believe it. (It took me a long time before I believed it.) Then say it, still, to reinforce that knowledge.

I think you are beautiful. I don’t care that you have stretch marks or your breasts sag or whatever. When you show up in my class or on my blog, I know you are a seeker of truth. You’re a goddess with unlimited potential. You are many things to many people who love you. You are good at your core and have a divine source, which endows you with divinity. You aren’t perfect, but your imperfection makes you relateable. I hope you believe that, let it sink deep until you begin to tap your potential.

As you do, you will find yourself refusing to engage in behaviors that abuse your beautiful body.

And if you eat something that makes you feel ill rather than well, choose not to guilt-trip yourself. One of my grad-school professors used to repeat often, “Guilt is a useless emotion.”

I agree. Do you love your body more when you pound on yourself about every less-than-optimal choice? Just because you ate those frosted sugar cookies today doesn’t mean you’re a bad person or that you can’t make good choices tomorrow. It means you’re human.

(I teach my kids: “Sin is not a tragedy.” It’s inevitable and it’s how we grow.)

During this holiday season, there are so many opportunities to abuse our bodies. So please start now in nurturing self-talk and spend some time meditating on how blessed you are to inhabit your own skin.

This really can translate into a strong desire to honor your body that transcends addiction and self-medication.

“I love my body,” part 2 of 4

I spent far more than my share of time hating my body. For 20 years, in fact, before I experienced a dramatic mental shift. Ask my best friend, Laura, who started in junior high school trying to get me to see myself differently. We spent a lot of time on beaches or in her backyard pool in Florida, after she and I both moved away from Bellevue, Nebraska, where we met the first day of 7th grade.

“You are beautiful,” she would tell me when I’d tear myself down. For a long time, I’d wonder what she was seeing that I did not see in the mirror and in photos. After many years, I began to believe, at least, that SHE thought I was beautiful.

“You have two choices,” she said to me once. “You can spend your whole life miserably trying to change your body. Or you can learn to love it.”

I figured out it was much easier to put my energy into the latter. (If you’re reading, Laura, I love you. Thank you for teaching me this.)

One day years ago I was at the gym, and a friend I’ll call Dawn, who lived in my neighborhood, changed my life unintentionally. I was criticizing myself for my physical flaws, and she said, “Hm. Well, I love my body. It serves me well.”

I found myself speechless. First of all, Dawn was no supermodel. By the world’s standards, she was 20 lbs. overweight and not particularly pretty. Second, what she said violated the code of women.

For the men reading this, women all know the drill: if given a compliment (that you look pretty or whatever), you must reply by saying the compliment is not true and then saying something derogatory about yourself.

Usually girls have this important social code mastered by, oh, about 7th grade! My oldest daughter has it down pat. She is phenomenally gorgeous and has a beautiful body by anyone’s standards, but if given a compliment, she will say something like, “My thighs are huge,” with a disgusted sigh.

For the women reading this: ask a man. They HATE this. They looooove to give you compliments. They would LOVE it if you just said “thank you!” and it brightened your face into a big smile. (I know this because I used to poll my university students–-the guys would get very passionate in responding to this statement. Male readers can please agree or disagree with what I’ve said here.)

But when my friend Dawn said that to me (“I love my body. It serves me well”), I was speechless. I walked away and saw her differently from that moment forward. I saw her as far more beautiful than I ever had before.

Confidence is beautiful. Confidence and humility are not opposites. Insecurity or self-deprecation is not the same thing as humility and is not attractive.

I have learned to love my body. As I experienced this dramatic mental shift, I changed in numerous ways. I dressed differently: I dressed to flatter my body rather than hide it. (Appropriately.) I learned to spend my time and energy enjoying the positive ways my body serves me.

You can imagine the impact this can have on a sexual relationship. (I have mentioned before that I was once an MSW therapist trained in sex therapy. Many if not most sexual problems in couples point directly to the woman’s negative opinion of her body. If she feels negatively enough, she divorces herself from her sexuality, with potentially dire consequences for her marriage.)

Learning to love yours also has these profound possibilities, which became a reality for me:

I learned to make better choices about what I ate, AND I learned to stop battering myself with guilt if I made a poor choice.

As I learned to love my body, I quit shying away from competitive sports.

When you love your body, you’re far less likely to eat foods that harm it, and far more likely to enjoy foods that nourish it. This will be a natural byproduct of valuing that beautiful mortal place that your spirit and heart and mind reside in.

Tomorrow, more thoughts on this, and my challenge for you.

“I love my body,” part 1 of 4

Provocative title of this blog post, right?

The topic I probably spent the most time on at the Zermatt class a week ago is the special talent women have for indulging in guilt and tearing ourselves down! Where we spend our thoughts, and feelings, causes us to unite our body/mind/spirit in positive ways–-or it causes us to abuse the only body and spirit we’ll ever have. This creates a destructive cycle during the holidays (with its highest depression rates of the year) resulting in most people gaining a few pounds every year.

We only get one body. Of course, then, it follows that we should love and nurture it. Not say or do things that tear it down.

What do we abuse? Things we do not value.

What do we treat with great care? Things we value highly.

So what does that say about the cause of most of us mistreating our bodies?

I am not talking about eating a brownie now and then at a friend’s house. Preparing food for someone you love is, in many cultures, a gift, bordering on a sacrament. It’s a dicey thing to say no to food made for you! (Ask LDS missionaries about this one, some of whom come home from Latin America 20 lbs. heavier for this reason alone.) I agree with Melissa that we don’t go to our friends’ homes and demand pure adherence to some set of nutrition principles. Melissa and I agreed that we eat what we’re served, as that food was made with love and that love enriches our lives.

When I talk about abusing our bodies, I mean what we do every day: choosing toxic fuel that makes us feel ill meal after meal. At the root of habitual choices, for many, is self-loathing: a desire to distance ourselves from our body, cover it up (with baggy clothes or fat or both), pretend it doesn’t matter.

Love, you say? How can I love this body?! I have rolls around the middle, a saggy behind, all this cellulite and stretch marks, cottage cheese!

You have heard women speak this way about themselves. It’s tragic. My former husband used to say, about my stretch marks, “Please don’t speak that way about your body. Those are the scars that brought my babies into this world and those marks are beautiful to me.”

This helped me accept and even love my body. I trace those pale white lines on my hips sometimes, with my fingers, and think about that–they’re my battle scars for the best thing that’s ever happened to me: becoming a mother. My body was the vehicle for four gorgeous kids–what a miracle! It deserves respect for that. I have changed how I see those marks.

Let’s focus on them being “marks,” rather than scars-–although my scars in life have been pivotal in shaping me for good. Each scar tells a story. One on my shoulder represents my new cycling hobby–skidding across the road in Provo Canyon. One on my forehead represents my bout with chickenpox when I was 8. A cheloid scar on the back of my heel, caused by a screen door banging shut it, my kids call “the worm” because I can make it start small and grow long by flexing my foot.

Tomorrow I’m going to tell you about two women who completely changed my life and taught me to love my body even if it doesn’t look like a supermodel’s.

Thanks for coming to the Zermatt class

I had the distinct privilege to co-teach with Raw Melissa and Gluten-Free Desi at the Zermatt Resort in Midway last Thurs. With a sold-out event and a wait list, five demos, and a lot of material I wanted to cover with my foodie friends, I wasn’t sure how it would go.

First of all, Leslie Smoot is unparalleled at event planning. This is the fourth time I’ve agreed to teach at her events, and the number of details she has to pull together, I’m amazed she has any time to sleep. A shout-out to Leslie: I want to be you when I grow up! If you get a chance to go to one of her cooking classes, count yourself blessed.

Here’s a photo of the event. Giving our recipes to someone else to make is a trick, and the Zermatt chefs make everything gorgeous. That said, puffed rice was substituted for CRISPY brown rice in our chia snowballs. Consequently they were all wrong. If you were there–trust me, that recipe is really delish, and crunchy too! And Melissa’s orange fudge and my Pomegranate Citrus Salad were also ruined with some rancid walnuts. We were sad about that when we discovered it after class. But those recipes are fabulous with your fresh walnuts from the group buy!

I hope you had a good time at the class anyway. Tomorrow I start a series on a topic Melissa and I discussed in class:

women, guilt, food, love, and how we feel about our bodies