Does everything that goes in your mouth have to TASTE good?

food is fuel qoteIt finally snowed here in Utah! In fact, it dumped a foot in the valley, in 24 hours. I shoveled my walks 3 times in one day. One day after Christmas, my kids Emma and Tennyson and I went skiing at Brighton with friends of mine, a pediatric dentist and a plastic surgeon.

These friends know next-to-nothing about what I do. On the ski lift, the dentist was griping to the surgeon about how he got “the runs” for 3 days from a pint of green smoothie I’d fed him. (He then wanted nothing to do with the green smoothie habit, and continued his diet of Muscle Milk and lots of packaged foods, the usual bachelor diet.) The dentist then asked the surgeon, “Have you ever had a green smoothie?”

Who replied, “Oh, there’s one in my freezer at work. I took two sips, and it was disgusting, so that was that.”

The conversation moved onto other topics. But in my head, I thought of something I say to Baby Boy, now 14, who is my “pickiest eater.”

(I always tell people, there weren’t any picky eaters until we gave the kids the option to eat fake, addictive foods.)

I often tell Tennyson, “Some foods we eat because they taste good. Some we eat because they’re good for us. This one is in the latter category. So, just eat it!”

It’s probably one of those quotes they’ll pull out in the eulogy at my funeral.

food-fuelI’m not trying to say that food shouldn’t taste good. In fact, my whole mission is to help people realize that whole foods can be easy, affordable, and delicious!

However, if you walk into your first green smoothie from a lifetime of eating processed sugar, well, you might not like it at first. Not if that green smoothie is really green, like mine are!

But my point is, if we all had a goal to recognize food as fuel, serving an important function, then maybe HOW IT TASTES wouldn’t be the #1 consideration for absolutely everything we eat.

Very frankly, sometimes my green smoothies don’t taste that good. I drink them anyway.

Think of it as a badge of honor. You just did something really cool for your health.

New-Year_Resolutions_listI have a treat once a day. It’s almost always a pretty healthy treat, compared to what most people have. But the majority of what I eat is selected because I count the consequences. I want to have crazy awesome good health, and I know that the fuel I choose is possibly the #1 predictor of whether I achieve it on a regular basis.

It would be a great New Year’s Resolution. Eat food for the health advantages first, taste second!

(p.s. Congrats to nearly 5,000 GreenSmoothieGirl readers who just took the “Fitter Not Fatter” 31-Day Green Smoothie Challenge in December, to drink a quart of green smoothie a day in December!)

You can join it any time now! Commit to drink a a quart of 31 days and we give you free support and recipes the whole time!

 

1,000 Cheap Plant-Based Meals You Can Make in 15 Minutes

veggie wrap 1I’m about to tell you exactly how I eat. Simply, inexpensively, and with endless variety.

Except for salad dressings, I use few recipes. (And even those, I take liberties with!) The first few years in your journey to a whole-foods, plant-based diet, you follow a lot of recipes. (Longtime raw foodies call this “transitional eating.”) It’s normal. In fact, it’s an important phase. It’s instructive, as you experiment with whole foods and ingredients.

You spend a lot of time. Then eating starts to get much easier and simpler. You have many tricks up your sleeve. You are resourceful. Missing an ingredient or two is no problem.

The key to my method is, don’t stress about it. You can’t mess this up! Eating this way is cheap, and it’s also a great way to use a hodgepodge of random plant foods or leftovers in your fridge.

Be inventive and never get stuck in a rut–anything in the produce section fits in this way of eating. I virtually never add salt (even sea salt) to my food. Many of these fillings and sauces have so much flavor, you won’t miss added salt.

Start with a base, add one or more toppings or fillings, and play with sauces or spices. I hope this helps you enjoy the magical world of eating greens, vegetables, fruits, legumes, whole grains, and nuts and seeds–the nutrient-dense plant kingdom of food!

 

BASE:

Bowl: brown or wild rice, quinoa, millet, lentils, split peas

Salad: romaine, spring greens, bean sprouts, or other sprouts

Wrap: sprouted grain tortilla, collard leaf, organic corn tortillas, nori (seaweed for sushi)

Noodles: spiralized yellow squash or zucchini, gluten-free whole-grain pasta, kelp noodles

 

Brown rice peas freeeFILLINGS / TOPPINGS:

Choose one or more of the following that you have on hand:

Lentils (with taco seasoning), any beans (seasoned however you like), or split peas (thick, day-old split pea soup is good!)

Brown rice, wild rice, quinoa (seasoned however you like

Hummus or baba ganoush (eggplant) spread

Sautéed vegetables (with fajita seasoning): think peppers, onions, tomatoes, parsnips, carrots, turnips

Raw vegetables: think jicama, tomatoes, any sprouts, matchstick carrots or other root vegetables, scallions

Olives of any kind, or olive tapenade

Tahini (sesame seed paste)

Avocados, sliced or mashed

Pumpkin, sunflower, or sesame seeds

Walnuts, pine nuts, sliced almonds, or chopped walnuts or pecans

 

pesto freeSAUCES AND SPICES:

Any salad dressing at all from Ch. 3 of 12 Steps to Whole Foods! They all work! Mix and match, at will!

Salsa of any kind

Pesto sauce (see 12 Steps recipe)

Mustard or Vegannaise

Sauces for Chinese, Thai, Mexican foods (avoid MSG, corn syrup, and other chemical ingredients–these are very inferior to all Ch. 3 dressings)

Have Indian, Italian, Thai, and Mexican organic spice blends on hand.

Always have ginger, turmeric, chili pepper, cayenne, dried parsley, and garlic powder, too. (I avoid pepper, as it is a gastrointestinal irritant.)A few dashes of whatever you feel like, to any of the above, and you’ve completely changed the flavor of the meal, plus added some nutrition!

You can toss into your fillings raw apple cider vinegar or miso (non-GMO) for flavoring.

Lee and Kristen on the East Coast show how medical expenses decrease as green smoothies increase!

KristenchartGreenSmoothieGirl reader Kristen, from the east coast,  sent me a story about her family’s improvement in health when they started drinking green smoothies and “cleaning up” their diet. Check out the chart that Kristen’s husband, Lee, made, showing how dramatically their healthcare costs went DOWN when their consumption of nutrient-dense foods went UP!

Kristen’s daughter’s health was declining, as a preschooler. An ENT doctor told Kristen that Riley needed tubes, as well as tonsil/adenoid surgery. Kristen began to study. She bought the Blendtec at Costco. The sales guy wrote GreenSmoothieGirl.com down, for Kristen, and told her to go there. Lee bought Kristen a 12 Steps to Whole Foods program several years ago, and she’s been devoted to increasing whole foods in her family’s diet. They cut out dairy. They dramatically decreased sugar. Within 6 months, Riley was off all drugs, including albuterol. She’s now 9 years old!

[Note from Robyn: Kristen is probably aware my oldest son was on albuterol and many other drugs, and that’s what we did–got him off dairy and sugar, and onto a diet of primarily greens, vegetables, fruits, legumes, whole grains, nuts and seeds, in their natural state. As with Kristen’s story, the drugs and underweight and mucous and constant viruses didn’t disappear overnight–but they disappeared over 6 months. I agree with her, that it takes a dedicated effort, and a willingness to watch and wait as changes show up!]

what your story (2)Kristen writes,

“I love our story. I love how God has directed our path to better health. Four lives are changed, right here!”

Kristen, thank you for sharing. Your story is so similar to mine, and I hope that for years, as people search this blog and find you, that you are a part of inspiring them to make nutrition part of their wellness journey!

 

 

Do 8-year old boys choose a healthy, no-sugar treat for their birthdays?

Melissa's Son
Melissa’s son enjoys his healthy birthday treat!

If their mama raises them to love whole foods, they do! We’re inspired!

GSG reader Melissa H. wrote us:

I had to share this picture with you!  For my son’s birthday, he requested a “chocolate oatmeal cookie cake.” I made the no-bake chocolate oatmeal cookies from your Junk Food Dude’s Yummy Healthy Recipes book, as a treat, and that is what he wanted for his cake!  No sugary, food-dyed cake for this boy!  I made a raw chocolate ice cream too that everyone loved.  Thank you for helping this mom create a healthier home for her family!

 

 

 

 

Pudding candy?

puddingcandy
“Pudding Candy”

Our reader Britni wrote us:

This picture was affectionately named “pudding candy” by my 5 & 3yr old children. I just saw your blog post about the bowl of candy.I used to love all of the candies in that bowl, and peanut butter cups as well. Here’s what I do now, instead, since I’ve learned to love whole foods!

The mixture below is a spoonful of natural peanut butter next to a spoonful of “pudding”. The pudding is made from

Avocados, organic raw agave, organic raw cacao, organic cold pressed coconut oil, and vanilla. Then I added a scoop of vanilla GSG protein and a scoop of GSG Chocolate Green Light.

It’s a delicious treat that satisfies my kids’ sweet tooth.

Yum!

My daughter Libby writes this essay

LIbby 2
Libby Pay

What makes entrepreneurs tick?

 By Libby Pay (my youngest daughter)

I think that for an entrepreneur to be successful they have to be in it for success and not for money. My mom is an entrepreneur; she started her own business and what drives her is the desire to be successful in everything she does.

She didn’t start her business because she wanted to get a bunch of money out of it. She didn’t need the money because my parents were married when she started it, and my father is an engineer; we had plenty of money.

She wanted to help people. She runs a health food site and travels around the world teaching people how to feed their families well. She sells many health products and books. She has always been driven by the desire to help people and to be successful.

Entrepreneurs have to be passionate about their business and not about the money. Entrepreneurs have to love their job or they will fail. If an entrepreneur hates their job and can’t handle the stress of running a business then they will fail.

They have to have the ability to stand up and brush the dust off of their shoulders and keep trying, and keep working when someone tells them that their ideas are stupid, or that they can’t do it. Being an entrepreneur is hard, hard work and it will take up time and effort and if they are willing to put everything into their business and never give up then they will succeed.

Not everyone is meant to run a business. Some people just don’t have the dedication and work ethic to maintain a business, and that is why they can thrive where others have failed, because they are willing to keep trying until they have succeeded. To be successful in the business world, one must be willing to work hard, and never give up, but they also have to want success for the right reasons.