Robyn’s answer to a famous doctor’s anti-green-smoothie claim

green smoothiestraw berries (1)Dr. Caldwell Esselstyn of the Cleveland Clinic is a hero of mine. Former President Bill Clinton cites Dr. Esselstyn, a proponent of a plant-based diet as a solution to cardiac problems, as one of his inspirations to go vegetarian. As you know, President Clinton was triple-bypass survivor who gave up fried foods and hamburgers to “never eat anything with a mother.”

Although I don’t specifically advocate for vegetarianism, I’m supportive of Dr. Esselstyn’s plant-based diet, and none of my recipes in my own 14 books have meat in them. It’s not that I don’t think you can be very healthy eating an entirely plant-based diet. I also think you can be healthy eating reasonable amounts of organic, free range, or wild caught animal flesh. The reason my recipes don’t have animals in them is that you already know how to eat meat—I don’t need to provide you those recipes, because you already have them. We have no lack of knowledge about how to prepare meat, in our culture. My goal is to help you eat more plants—easily, inexpensively, and deliciously.

Dr. Esselstyn argues that green smoothies should be avoided, because their fiber is pureed, destroying helpful properties.

In my research published in The Green Smoothies Diet, one of the top 3 health benefits my 175 participants reported, is improved digestion. We defined that as soft, formed stool, and increased throughput. I cannot find any evidence that fiber is “destroyed” just because we blend it. With all due respect to Dr. Esselstyn—he and I are on the same team, teaching people whole plant foods!—green smoothies are a fantastic way, in a fast-food world, to massively increase consumption of greens, and plant foods in general. I’ve found that while most people won’t sit and plod their way through a plate of kale, chard, and collard greens, they will almost always drink a green smoothie.

Esselstyn also says that fructose in the fruit contributes to inflammation and hypertension.

green-smoothies-diet-book-720x720On the contrary, lots of evidence, including numbers from many GSG Detox participants (we’ve had several thousand since August, 2013) are that inflammation and hypertension often decrease by eating high-fiber, raw plant foods, rather than the many animal foods and processed foods dominating the Standard American Diet.

I just read all of the questionnaires from the past month of people completing the Detox, and one included a participant’s blood pressure dropping into beautiful normal numbers and his cardiologist taking him off meds, after only a week on the Detox. He remains in the low-normal range after completing the program. (While this is an interesting story, it is not intended as advice, so please seek competent medical advice for your own health concerns. Getting off meds should be supervised by a doctor.)

Victoria Boutenko’s research published in Green for Life, with 30 people who started drinking a quart of green smoothie daily, showed that blood pressure decreased and inflammation did, too. Perhaps Dr. Esselstyn’s claim is related to eating concentrated fructose and other sugars (like in corn syrup and agave), rather than the whole fruit, with fiber and micro-nutrients, accompanied by lots of greens in the smoothies I teach.

I calculated how much fiber is in a quart of green smoothie, and it’s about 12 grams. That’s more than the average American eats in a whole day!

Of course, if you make a fruit smoothie with a handful of greens thrown in, that’s not what I call a green smoothie. I agree with Dr. Esselstyn that fruits should be minimized. I don’t agree that fruits need to be eliminated (perhaps except for some Type 1 diabetics or very rare conditions).

I like my smoothies to be REALLY GREEN. I’m not drinking them for entertainment, after all—I’m drinking them for the health benefits. I also love to put a scoop of GreenSmoothieGirl protein, and also our TriOmega (it’s back!)–sprouted broccoli, chia, and flax seed, for their high essential fatty acid content.

shutterstock_216030343Lots of folks have major jaw and dental problems in North America and Europe, after several generations of eating so much processed food. (Prehistoric man had a wide, strong palate and teeth that could grind up nuts, greens, berries, and meat easily.) With these challenges, a pre-masticated green smoothie may be just the ticket. I love Dr. Esselstyn’s work, but I stand by my premise:

A quart of green smoothie a day increases micro-nutrients in the diet by 700% compared to the average American. And that’s almost categorically a good thing.

See my YouTube video HERE for more about the Great Green Smoothie Debate.

The new Pepsi commercial

Pepsi sugar 1I’ve been hearing this ad on the radio lately. For Pepsi, or maybe it’s Coke. It reminds me of how the media has people so twisted up, with messaging, that the vast majority of us have NO IDEA what’s good for us, and how our diet affects our health, in hundreds of critically important ways.

The ad said, five times, Pepsi is now made with REAL SUGAR! This was their entire pitch. This is what makes Pepsi such a quality product, such a good choice.

I guess on the gradient, REAL SUGAR is now not as bad as many of the even-worse baddies. Somehow the OLD BAD is now the NEW GOOD. Because there are thousands of products containing chemical Nutrasweet and Splenda. Because high-fructose corn syrup as gotten such a deservedly bad rap. Can we just remember that REAL SUGAR started the diabetes and obesity epidemic? It’s still terrible. Our great grandparents got an orange for Christmas, and it tasted so sweet, they’d make it last for days. Cultures that have no disease eat no processed sugar.

But somehow, REAL SUGAR is now a health food?

Please help your kids, your friends, and anyone you might be able to influence, learn the little truths that add up to a huge difference in someone’s health. These are things that I’ve taken the opportunity to educate regular folks in my path, just THIS WEEK, about:

  1. How the Synthroid she is taking is cancer-causing, a drug, and not molecularly the same as what her body produces. That she has a choice. I sent her to Kristie Rosser, my own bioidentical hormone specialist, in American Fork, Utah. How M.D.’s, even those who hang out a shingle prescribing “bioidenticals,” don’t do the deep and detailed homework, to ascertain the variety of interventions needed to balance a 40+ woman’s hormones. That usually includes several blood tests, over the course of a year, allergy testing, and adjustment using natural substances, of several hormones and precursor hormones. That women are programmed to begin dying at about age 40, so in order to “stay young” till we’re 90, we need to have balanced hormones.
  1. That taking salt pills is not a way to stay hydrated and keep electrolytes up at a tennis match.
  1. keep-calm-and-no-sugarThat it’s easy to start remembering to take water everywhere you go, in glass, from your RO (or alkaline!) water faucet at home, rather than drinking out of plastics. That plastics leach into water and cause hormone system malfunction for men, women and children.
  1. That gluten in bread isn’t good for human beings, anymore. It’s been too altered. That it may be why you’re hanging onto 5 pounds and your belly is never flat.

Ah, I could go on. The point is, I love that I get to play a role in teaching people small details that can make a vast difference in how they feel and look. Take the opportunity. Do it non-critically. Tell them you’re happy to help anytime they need it. That you love to share your own research and discoveries in nutrition and wellness.

 

 

Kathy Supports Her Co-Workers in the GSG Detox!

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Chuck and his brown smoothie.

I recently blogged Kathy’s story. I met her in Baltimore, on speaking tour, and then again 6 months later when she looked like a different person! She lost 40 pounds doing the 26-day GreenSmoothieGirl Detox.  You can see the before and after photos she took with me, here. An amazing testimonial to the miracles that happen when  we eat clean, nutrient-dense, healing plant foods and give up our vices…..even if it’s just for a season.

Kathy has been sharing with us how her co-workers about to finish the GSG Detox, and one she has converted to green smoothies, are doing:

Ron and Brian have started Day 15 (Watermelon Extravaganza!).  Ron has lost 13.5 pounds!  He can now fit into pants he had outgrown. He has struggled with lower energy, and I told him his body is working overtime to detoxify, and that energy comes back.  Brian shared that he cheated a little because he was afraid of losing too much weight.  It was a minor cheat.  I told him that 98% of a detox is better than 0%!  Brian has been able to keep his weight loss to just 5 pounds.  In his case, that is good news as he doesn’t need to lose any weight. He likes the Hockey Pucks recipe in the program, and his kids ate them all, so he had to make more. His 5-year old asks for “pucks!”

Chuck is getting used to drinking brown smoothies.  Chuck and I are having a debate as to whether to peel a beet or leave the skin on before putting it in a smoothie.  He is determined to convince me that I should leave the skin on the beet.  (I peel my beets.)  I know that most of the nutrition in a potato is in the skin.  I also scrub carrots (instead of peeling).  But beets?  I think the skin of a beet is pretty “earthy”.  I’d rather peel.

The pictures were taken shortly before our Tuesday lunch-time Bible study began.  Our group is small.  It consists of myself, Brian, Ron, Chuck, Jean (Ron’s girlfriend), Cole, Louie and Bill (a recent addition to the group).   Bill entered the room with his lunch and sat down at the conference table.  He looked over at my mason jar filled with a brown smoothie (FYI:  blueberries!) and commented, “That looks disgusting.   You’d never catch me drinking that stuff.”

Kathy with bill
Kathy and her Bible study friends.

I looked over at him and said, “Just for that, I’m going to get you a drinking cup from the water fountain so you can taste it!  I know you chew tobacco so tasting this smoothie won’t kill you.”

Bill quipped, “Yeah, but I don’t swallow my tobacco!”

Jean suggested, “Why don’t you get 3 cups so he can taste them all?”

Bill looked around the table and saw that the majority of people had a green smoothie in front of them.  I arrived with the cups and poured Bill a sample from my smoothie.

Bill commented, “That’s pretty good.”

“What was that, Bill??”  I said.  “Say it again!”

“That’s pretty good.”

Next, Bill tried Chuck’s smoothie.  “Yuck!  That’s nasty!  What’s in it?”

Jean pipes in.  “It’s probably his gall bladder medicine.”

“There’s no medicine in this.”  Bill countered in disbelief.

“Yes, there is.”  responded Chuck.  “I put gall bladder medicine in everything I drink.”

The entire room busted out laughing.  Bill’s expression was priceless!

pura-vida-costa-ricaI later found out that Chuck had an entire (unpeeled) beet in his smoothie as one of his ingredients.  Bill, to his credit, did try Brian/Ron’s smoothie and liked it.  I asked Bill if he was willing to sample a smoothie some other time, if I thought I made a good one.  He was willing.  The next day, I left Bill a sample of Robyn’s delicious, famous “Hot Pink Smoothie” recipe on his desk.  (It’s part of the Detox, and also 12 Steps to Whole Foods.) He emailed me and said it made him smile.

Note from Robyn: Kathy, thank you! Here’s Chuck’s green smoothie recipe she shared. He has embraced the idea of “green smoothie with whatever you have on hand.” Cheers to NEW CONVERTS to an amazing lifestyle in a world full of toxic food that destroys “la vida pura!”

Chuck’s Good Stuff (Green Smoothie)

2 cups water

Spinach

Kale

Berry-Green-Smoothie1 small banana

1 ½ cup of berries

1 TBS agave

3 TBS concentrated lemon juice

3 TBS olive oil

One peeled and pitted avocado

Cilantro (to taste)

Added enough spinach and kale to 2 cups of water until the blended mixture reaches 4 cups.  Add remaining ingredients.  Blend.  Enjoy.

A green-smoothie toast to the new Roxberry in Orem!

 

Roxberry2
Robyn and friends at new Roxberry location in Orem.

I’m so excited! Right in my hometown, Orem, my friends Mark and Holly Jackman opened a new Roxberry! I can get giant green juices, and a shot of wheat grass juice, like I’m holding here, delivered to my house! I’ve never had any place near home to buy a green smoothie or veggie juice. You can also get green smoothies. Call ahead and order yours, and they have an app where you canrox gotta get some order it, pay for it, and tell them when you want it! Just go in your App Store and search “Roxberry.”

Here are a few of GSG reader-friends who showed up to toast the grand opening and enjoy a green drink with me.

Congrats to Mark and Holly on another Roxberry opening. Please go support their contribution to a high-vibration life, if you’re local! They’re a few blocks West of University Mall on 1300 South, in the old Red Mango location.

Carrot smoothie, anyone?

1carot smoothieGSG’s very own Amy Jensen created this delicious carrot smoothie recipe using GreenSmoothieGirl Organic Vanilla plant-based protein, right before she ran the Ragnar relay for 36 hours. (You people who do this are nuts. I love running and playing sports. But I’m going to sleep at night, not run!)

Consider the smoothie a healthy dessert—it’s sweet! Enjoy!

 Amy’s Carrot Smoothie

1 cup carrots, chopped

2 frozen bananas

1 scoop GSG Vanilla Protein

1 cup almond milk

Dash of cinnamon

Dash of nutmeg

My green smoothie makes me……

hugger logoGSG rockstar employee Amy Jensen was new to green smoothies and whole foods when we hired her in the Spring. She’s also the new owner of a Blendtec. I think she gets up in the morning and hugs it. She’s a newlywed, and hoping to be a mama in the next year or two, so I’m excited we’re well underway brainwashing her for the benefit of her future children, as well as her!

She goes out on our facebook page and posts her gorgeous photos of her healthy green blender creations. Recently she asked our followers to fill in the blank:

My green smoothie makes me feel __________?

My next blog post will be our readers’ answers to how they feel when they eat a burger-fries-soda lunch! For now, these are some of the answers, which I hope inspire you! Who doesn’t want to feel ALL these ways, every day?

high vibration…..high vibration! (Kerri Price)

….satisfied and happy! (Terri Hays)

….like I’m on Cloud 9! (Elena Romero)

….youthful! (Carrie Rose)

….powerful! (James Smith)

….loved by myself! (Dianna Musselmann)

feel amazing….alive inside! (Leigh Browne)

….complete! (Dawn Lawrence)

….fresh! (Miseon Yang)

….renewed! (Nicole Dammert)

….awake! (Janice Sandquist)

….like I can do anything! (Joyce Stratton)powered by gs

….smart! (Cheryl Borkowski)

….awesome! (Berenice San Juan)

….that I care about myself! (Beth Nicely)

….fantastic! (Linda Powers)

….supercalafragalisticexpealidocious! (Tari Bryan)

….clean! (Kim Bennett)