Raw Lemon Almond Macaroon recipe

GSGLife Instructor Amy Erickson in Provo, Utah says her friends and co-workers are raving about this yummy macaroon recipe! Enjoy!

raw lemon almond macaroon pict.Raw Lemon Almond Macaroons

4 3/4 cups shredded unsweetened coconut

2 cups almond flour

1/2 cup cold pressed, organic coconut oil

1/2 cup sliced almonds

3/4 cup raw, light agave

1/2 cup 100% pure maple syrup

1 tsp salt

2 Tbsp vanilla

1 Lemon, zested, and the juice of 1/2 the lemon

Combine coconut oil, agave, maple syrup, vanilla and salt. Add in almond flour, coconut and almonds. I like to crush the almonds a little in my hand as I add them, to create smaller pieces.  Zest lemon over the top and squeeze the juice of half the lemon over the mixture. Stir to combine, it will be loose but should hold together. Use a small cookie scoop to scoop onto a baking sheet lined with parchment or wax paper. Refrigerate to set for 30 mins. These are best after a few hours when the flavors have had enough time to blend together.

delicious lemonAmy Erickson

Provo, UT

MyGSGLife.com/amyeerickson

 

Mike Murdoch’s amazing story!

GSGLifeI’ve announced it almost nowhere, so far, but we have a huge opportunity to start a business teaching green smoothie classes, soon to be followed by other nutrition education modules. Click “learn more” on GSGLife.com and watch my webinar there, to learn how to  teach the classes you may have heard me teach. With your help, I intend for our message to go from 4 million to 40 million! Spend 3 minutes filling out an application on that site if you’re interested in joining us as a GSG Instructor in our launch!

A longtime GSG fan, Mike Murdoch, signed up as our Instructor #156, and wrote us this inspiring story, to introduce himself:

Three years ago I met Robyn for the first time where I heard her speak. I was in a lot of pain and was needing to lose some weight. I was at a point in my life when I was willing to listen. My wife was the one who has always been into health, and I wasn’t really on board.

But when Robyn said you don’t have to change everything, just start with 10% of your diet, a light bulb went on in my head. I said, “I can do that!” She made it easy and possible.

RobynAt first I judged Robyn pretty harshly. I remember sitting there on my chair, waiting for the class to start. Robyn was up setting up the table and getting everything ready. There were about 300 people coming into the classroom. I had no idea who Robyn was. I was blown away with how many people were there.

As I was watching Robyn set up, I told my wife, “Look at her. She looks like a Barbie Doll. She looks perfect. She probably hasn’t ever had a problem with weight or anything. What is she going to teach me?” Pretty harsh words, but then the class started and I found myself eating my words and being humbled by her story and what she has gone through in life.

I learned you shouldn’t judge a book by its cover. She was right on with the things that she said. I tuned in and was at the edge of my seat the whole time. I ate up every word she said, and I found myself becoming a believer in what a green smoothie might do for me. I couldn’t wait to buy a blender and start my adventure to better nutrition.

After that class, my wife and I purchase a high-speed blender and started to make green smoothies, and my wife became an expert. We went to follow up classes with Robyn. Wherever she was, I tried to be there. I brought people. Following her advice on changing my lifestyle.

energy (2) (Small)I stopped eating sugar. She said it was more addictive than cocaine. I started to drink a quart of green smoothie every day. An amazing thing happened to me. In 10 months I had lost 35 lbs! I didn’t even exercise during this time, just followed Robyn’s programs and re-discovered whole foods. My aches and pains went away, and the best part was my energy went through the roof!

I couldn’t believe how much energy I started having because of this change. Fruits and veggies tasted so much better, too. I began to eat things I normally wouldn’t eat. I became a raw food lover and I want to share it with the world!

 

 

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.

 

 

Are you a “stress eater?” Here’s what I do about it!

stress eatingHave you noticed that most people line up in two camps, when they’re under heavy stress: the people who don’t eat enough, and the people who overeat?

Nikki, our operations manager, asked me recently to write on stress eating. She’s in the hot-seat in a major new venture we’re working on, and both she and I have been under considerable stress.

So I agreed—it’s an important topic.

I probably can handle more stressors than the average person and seem to thrive in a space of 95-99% capacity and a significant amount of pressure. But there’s always a “too much,” and I’m pretty sure every human being on the planet has gotten into that “red zone.” When I reach that threshold, with stress, where I tip over into “I’m not happy, and I’m not coping well,” my reaction is to NOT eat much.

The reason is, I’m not enjoying the food anyway, since my stomach is tied in knots! So I eat functionally. In these periods of my life, I eat the healthiest. The only food I eat is just to meet caloric needs, so it’s vegetable juices and green smoothies and the like. I usually drop several pounds below my normal weight.

(In periods of my life when I was overweight, it was because I was bored and NOT stressed! A mixed blessing.)

You may be very different than this. I’d love to know what you do, to check yourself, from eating bad foods just because you’re stressed out?

The most helpful thing I’ve come across is a book on “mindful eating” I read many years ago. I think it was called Intuitive Eating. And I didn’t finish it, because it was one of the those books where, 50 pages in, I was like, “Yeah, I got it. I don’t need to read the whole book.”

But the authors taught a method of checking in with yourself. Getting very purposeful about eating. In other words, stopping every few bites to ask yourself a few questions:

“Am I hungry?”

“Do I really want this?”

“Why am I eating right now?” If the answer is not “because I’m hungry,” then ask yourself, “Am I feeling emotional right now and eating to make those feelings go away? If so, is there something else I could be doing to help myself out of this situation?”

It’s important to always stay “in choice,” giving yourself permission to eat whatever you want. That way, when you opt out, you can do it with your chin up:

“I can if I want to, but I choose not to!”

Then it feels like living a purposeful life, rather than denying yourself. Repeatedly denying oneself generally leads to binging later, creating a cycle of sabotage.

Then, if you’re not sure if you are hungry and REALLY want more, wait five minutes to see if you have another serving, or whether you choose the dessert.

Almost every time I require myself to wait five minutes, at the end of it, I don’t even want the dessert, or to eat more of the food.

The book reminded us to plug into the fact that satiety, or the feeling of being “satisfied,” comes 5 or 10 minutes after you stop eating. So, let it catch up. Stop eating sooner, and check in with yourself. If you wait, giving yourself permission to have more in 5 minutes if you still want to, you’ll end up eating less.

Now these ideas aren’t mine, nor are they about choosing whole foods, which is my biggest agenda. (The authors’ premise is, there are no bad foods, but you have to eat them only minimally. I disagree with that, of course. I think living in the “real world,” we all eat things that aren’t good for us, to a greater or lesser extent, but there are certainly bad foods!)

Until reading that book, I was not very mindful about my eating. Now I stop and check myself more regularly. I also try to not eat anything while working at my computer, unless it’s something super-healthy like my quart of green smoothie. If I eat at my computer, I’ll overeat, being consumed in the email I’m writing or topic I’m researching! Suddenly I’ll notice I ate twice as much as I intended to! (I learned this one the hard way.)

The “mindful eating” principles are good, and they’ve helped me significantly. Consequently, my weight is in check and my health is better.

Back in the day, I ate peppermint patties every day

peppermint pattiesIt took me the longest time to figure out, in my 20’s, that the reason I was sick and fat was because I ate toxic food every day. I try to remind myself of this, when I meet someone who is barely starting to think about the connection between their disease states, and their sugary, fried, chemical diet.

That you don’t know, until you know.

How would they know, the folks who show up in my audiences, at age 40, 50, 60, having not yet made the connections? If everyone around them eats the same kind of crap. If they’ve never tried anything different.

I had a meeting in an office where this big bowl of my former favorite food sat on the reception desk. Welcome to our office, eat some toxic crap that will make you sick!

I sat there and stared at these little goodies I used to eat two bags of a week. And felt a little moment of triumph, that I am not even slightly tempted by this any more.

(Am I tempted by things that aren’t good for me? Yeah. Some things. But LOTS of things that used to sound good to me, just don’t any more. Pizza, burgers and fries, ice cream, candy bars, soda–these are foods in my past, not my  present or future. These are things I never eat, nor do I fight cravings for any of them.)

corn syrup poisonAfter I stared at this bowl of candy, I took my cell phone out and took a photo, right in front of the receptionist. “It’s a long story,” I told her. “I used to eat bags full of these things.”

You can play a little game if you want, and find the other two types of candy bar, besides York Peppermint Patties, in this candy bowl photo. Sadly, I used to eat a ton of both of them—also former favorites, right up there with York peppermint patties.

I learned years ago, that my lifelong ANXIETY became totally manageable if I completely, totally stay away from CORN SYRUP that is the main ingredient of all these candy bars.

brain foodI learned that the more raw plant food I ate–juices, green smoothies, salads–and the less processed and animal-based and even cooked food I ate, the better I felt.

I didn’t know, until I tried it. Thousands of other people have discovered the same thing. Our body loves us for eating nutrient dense, easily digested food. Our emotions sing when we stop zapping them with chemicals-added fuel. Our mental acuity is sharp when we eat brain food.

Take a good, long look at this bowl of candy. Does it tempt you? Would you believe me if I said that if you follow a whole-foods lifestyle, in a committed way, there comes a point when your addiction demons have little or no power over you?

It’s really possible. And so exciting when it does.