Seven Principles of a Perfect Diet

Do you agree with my new video? Is a PERFECT DIET the same for everyone?

With so many competing “food cults” trying to tell us what to eat, it is easy to wonder if there is ONE right way to eat. I don’t believe so. I do think, though, that there are some TRUE PRINCIPLES that apply to everyone within a framework of genetic biodiversity.
What’s right for you might not be right for me. But that doesn’t mean that anything goes! Some foods are just bad, PERIOD. And some foods are great for everyone. (Unless you have compromised gut health leading to food sensitivities or outright allergies.)
Check out my new video on 7 Principles of the Perfect Diet, and tell me what you think. This video shares the basic truths that have emerged from my 25 years of studying nutrition plus application of experience and common sense.
Do you agree, or not? Tell me what YOUR experience is! Anything I left out?

To your health!

—Robyn Openshaw

On the Epic Price of Bad Food

images-26I’m running through tiny towns near pastoral Nidda, Germany, early in the morning in mid-November through a frost-bitten field of collard greens. Past a stream full of tiny, white-as-snow ducklings, cowbells clanking in the distance.

Or I’m winning a doubles match in an 11-9 third-set tiebreaker. Or losing it. Doesn’t matter, for the purpose of this little essay.

Or I’m bending myself in half, with the tops of my feet on the floor over my head, a yoga pose called the Plow.

I often want to put the scenes from my life, just a few from the last couple of months, in my back pocket, for later recall.

My LIFE! I only get ONE! I want to live it OUT LOUD doing new things, doing outrageous service that helps others! Meeting new amazing people all the time! Putting stuff on the bucket list and checking it off.

In these moments, like the frosty morning with the amazing white ducklings, I often think about the majority of people around me immobilized by their appetites. Salt, sugar, refined fats, MSG and aspartame have sidelined millions of people from the most rewarding parts of life. They don’t know what they’re missing! Or they do—but they think this cool stuff is for OTHER people.

images-28When you fuel your body right, do you know you make more money? Dream bigger? Experience more JOY? Actualize more goals? Live more authentically in your relationships? Act true to yourself more? Attract more good people in your life?

When I was fat and ate the S.A.D., my life was a flat line. Sure, it’s AGONY to lose a third-set tiebreaker after a 2.5-hour match, which I didn’t have when I couldn’t run a city block at age 26.

But ecstasy and agony are what gives life rich complexity.

I wouldn’t trade the highs and lows of the life I have now, for the flat-liner life I had then. Eating ice cream and watching TV and not much else. Wouldn’t trade for a million bucks.

I say this not to judge. I say it to encourage, to help you dream of finding that health, peace, spine-bendy, giddy, loving-to-be-in-my-skin quality you once had and CAN BE HAD AGAIN.

images-30I taught a wellness class recently. A lady raised her hand, after I made a passionate plea for a shift in lifestyle and diet. “I’m in my 50’s. Is it too late for me?” she asked.

“That’s the exciting thing!” I said. “A year from now, you will have replaced virtually every cell in your body! You will, in a very literal sense, be a completely different person! So, you can and should start RIGHT NOW and expect to see RADICAL CHANGES, and soon!”

In just 90 days, you’ll have a completely new liver. A GSG reader named Jeremy, in Dallas, recently found out he has Fatty Liver Disease, NAFLD. He tells me it’s a silent epidemic, and kids as young as 10 have it. He’s undertaken a 45-day juice feast, and a 45-day raw vegan diet after that. He intends to have a brand-new, clean, lean liver, so he can be playing basketball when he’s 65.

I said, why stop at 65? I know 80-yo basketball players who go to the Senior Games. You can be the most competitive you’ve EVER been, at that age! Because 99% of the competition is in a La-Z Boy or dead!

images-32In Europe, far fewer people are overweight. In Switzerland especially. I said this to the Swiss, and they laughed at me and said, “One in four of our schoolchildren are overweight!” Well, there’s a bakery on every corner.

I think they seem so thin to me partly out of relative comparison (70 percent in the U.S. are now overweight or obese), and partly because they ALL SMOKE. Seriously, I’ve never been around so much smoking.

And they drink coffee. So those two things make you sick (and they are sick, just like we are), but not fat. I choke on the exhaust in European cities, where there are no emission controls—Prague and Budapest, in Eastern Europe, are the worst.

When I see an obese fellow planet-dweller, American or Euro, I don’t feel condescending; I feel sad. I simply have this thought:

images-29“You are missing all the good stuff, my brother.”

Besides momentary pleasure on the tongue, sick foods rob us of nearly all the other pleasures of life. You know that “flow” of doing meaningful work you get lost in? It’s one of my favorite things in life.

Getting deep in a project. Pure PRODUCTIVITY, utilizing your talents. Challenging your brain, grabbing references off the shelf and looking them up, absolutely lost to the world. Getting thoughts on paper. Those are MY favorite projects, research and writing.

When your head hurts and you have no energy, FLOW is lost. Sleep apnea and fatigue mean that sitting through a play, or a movie, isn’t pleasurable like it should be.

Even sex isn’t the sweaty, athletic, joyous thing it’s meant to be.

images-33You see all the losses? The Standard American Diet adds up to nothing more than a pathetic mountain of loss.

I think sometimes that Americans are mice trapped in a labyrinthine maze. Nobody protests. We just eat the pellets we’re fed and walk around in the maze as directed. Asking no questions, following all the other mice.

Hop the wall of the maze with me, friend. Let me help pull you up. Hang around the GSG blog, come to our classes, do my 12 Steps course, never stop learning and practicing.



I buy drinks at convenience stores!



2I’ve not been to Tennessee in well over 20 years, so it was a treat to visit Memphis and Nashville to speak, recently. I didn’t get close to the Tennessee Valley, which I drove through those many years ago with my new husband. We were totally awed by how lush and green it was—truly one of the most beautiful places I’ve ever been on the planet, rivaling the coast of Italy.

Memphis and Nashville were a different part of Tennessee, and new for me.

We drive past a town called Bragadoccio! And we stop for gas at a place that sells DEEP FRIED PEANUTS. I text a photo of this to Coach Abby, a Nashville native with a drawl, and she writes back, “Welcome to the South!”

Believe it or not, there IS one thing I will buy at convenience stores, occasionally. It’s no green smoothie, okay? But it’ll do in a pinch.

2It’s Vitamin Water Zero. The stevia-sweetened kind. It has a bunch of vitamins in it, most certainly synthetic. But the lemonaid flavor is sweetened with stevia, and it makes me feel like I can buy something to drink with everyone else.

Enjoy! Let it never be said that GSG is a radical fringey weirdo who can’t let her hair down.

Lookie there. I bought a drink at a convenience store in the South.

Live kvass drinks giveaway today!

Kvass line upZukay Live Foods sent me some of all their Kvass products to try. What’s kvass? You ferment organic, raw vegetables, and then you make juice out of it.

Cultured-food habits, and gut health, is what I teach in Step 8 of 12 Steps to Whole Foods. Eating live, fermented probiotic-rich foods is the BEST way to restore the health of your gut. People have used natural fermentation processes, to preserve raw vegetables, for centuries in many cultures of the world, before cooking and canning came along! Kvass is a Russian tradition.

I sometimes talk about good, better, and best foods. This one ranks in the BEST category, nutritionally! Scale of 1 to 10? This product is a 10! Not only is it organic, raw, and probiotic, but it’s full of digestive enzymes, too—more than plain vegetable juice, more than a salad, even more than a green smoothie, due to the fermentation process.

Eating live, probiotic foods is critical if you have Leaky Gut Syndrome (millions of people have it and are undiagnosed), if you have Crohn’s or IBS, or just have gas or bloating. If you’ve been on antibiotics anytime in the last few decades. If you take meds. If you have eaten hybridized grains (all wheat not labeled as organic) or genetically modified foods (nearly all corn and soy). If you see yourself in this paragraph at all, you need to get DAILY probiotic cultured (fermented) foods in your diet to restore healthy digestion.

Scott Graybek and Family
Scott Grzybek and Family

I LOVE ZUKAY’S STUFF! The founder, Scott Grzybek, makes all the lacto-fermented vegetable juiciness in rural Pennsylvania.

I’ve arranged for the first THREE of you to write us your NAME and PHYSICAL ADDRESS at, to get a CASE of 6 Kvass drinks of your choice.

Don’t write if you aren’t interested in fermented foods and love CRAZY-AWESOME nutrition. If you’re a newbie just dipping your toe into the green smoothie concept, adding very little green and lots of agave, and if you make a scrunchy nose at the word “fermented” and get it confused with “rotten”….this product isn’t for you.

It’s a product the uber-crunchy and the open-minded and the “I’m willing to try anything good for me” folks will love. Tastes like vegetables, but TART.

And the next 10 runners-up will get a free bottle of your choice, shipped to you. Anyone who doesn’t win can “like” Zukay on facebook and then write, to get a coupon book.

veggie-bioticIf Maria or Amy writes you back, it’s because you’re a winner! (If not, sorry, watch the blog for giveaways in the future, and be quick about it!)

Maria and Amy will forward your email to Zac at Zukay to hook you up with your freebies, if you’re a winner, and we’ll post the winners here later. has a store locator, to show you where you can buy, or I just got some cases online, myself, HERE. Bottoms up! Thank you, Zukay, for sharing with my readers.

Wrecking whole foods with nasty other stuff

Matthew texted me this photo he took at Walmart, and said, “Can you tell me where to get some pork jowls?”

What the devil are pork jowls and why would anyone eat them? Who makes these signs? Has anyone reading this ever eaten the fatty underbelly of the chinny-chin-chin of a little piggy?

My least-favorite thing ever is taking a perfectly legitimate food, and wrecking it. Collards are lovely greens, great in a marinated salads, as dehydrated chips, as a wrap for some combination of hummus or guacamole, and brown rice and veggies. Or in a green smoothie or juice.

But frying it in bacon fat? This is simply begging for obesity, inflammation, and misery. Not to mention wrecking a perfectly good food.

When a recipe calls for nuts, skip the salted/roasted, and soak some sunflower seeds or (truly raw) almonds, then dehydrate them below 115 degrees. Now you’ve skipped the toxic food in favor of a living, high-energy food, and you’ve lost virtually nothing, taste-wise.

When you want something crispy, make chips out of unsalted, organic, sprouted-grain or corn tortillas. (Organic is EXTRA important with corn, since that means it’s also not GMO.)

If you want some ranch dip, use good fats instead without MSG and salt: mash an avocado, and mix in some salsa, or a tomato, with garlic powder (or fresh garlic).

If you want chocolate, have some fudge made from 1 part non-alkalized cocoa, 1 part agave, 2 parts extra-virgin coconut oil, stir together and refrigerate or freeze. Or there’s our hot cocoa, which is fabulous with coconut milk as a base.

If you want bread, get Manna Bread or Ezekiel Bread. (Sprouted, gluten proteins broken down.) If you like butter, use organic/unsalted, or use coconut oil instead.

We’re formulating an energy drink that uses only whole foods, tastes good, and has NO central nervous system stimulants. Meantime, drink plain green tea sweetened with stevia, and add a spoonful of chia just to make it fun. (Caffeine, yes, I know—far better than Rockstar, Diet Pepsi, or coffee though.) Or drink Crio Bru or Choffy, one of the brewed cocoa drinks. Better yet, if it’s not about wanting something to drink, and it’s more about needing an energy shot, just have a glass of water and a few capsules of Maca when your energy is low.

I have all kinds of substitutions like this. These are just examples, my friends. Don’t quit—it’s a journey, a learning process, and it’s one of the BEST journeys you’ll ever go on.

There are so many ways to substitute whole-foods habits for the lousy habits that are a direct cause of all those “diagnoses” you’ve been lugging around. You’ll acquire a taste for things that are good. It really does happen.

Good, Better, Best: Oils and Pastas

Dear GreenSmoothieGirl: What are the good oils, and what are the bad ones? And how about pasta?


Worst oils: shortening, lard, margarine. Also refined canola, safflower, vegetable, soy, peanut, corn oils.

Good oils: unrefined almond, borage, evening primrose, cod liver, butter (in small amounts)

Better oils: coconut, flaxseed, palm, extra virgin olive oils Best oils: same as in the “better” list, but organic


Worst pasta: durum/semolina/white/enriched pastas of all kinds

Good pasta: whole wheat

Better pasta: organic whole grain of any kind

Best pasta: organic quinoa, spelt, or Kamut