Texas, part 2 of 7: our volunteers amaze us and we love them!

In Dallas, we had folks who drove 4 hours from Oklahoma City, and a whole family who had driven from 6 hours to the south.

We had amazing volunteers. Like Jennifer and Ian in San Antonio, and Kim Mitchell who is thriving with good nutrition.

Britni Brown, Elizabeth, Michelle, and Rhonda–plus Amy Bailey and her mom, in Austin, whose story you’ll read this week.

Vic and Kathryn in Dallas. (Kathryn recovering from a jetski accident the same time as my ATV accident this summer—we bonded over that!) Dana and Charlene, and my old friend Pamalee from the first time I went to Dallas. And this darling young couple, Amy and Ray, who own Fitness Together in Allen–raw vegan personal trainers! (Too many trainers are eating too many animals.) Love them, love the gallons of green smoothies they made for my Dallas friends.

April and her posse of friends in Houston–I don’t know many people who have so much influence with their friends as April does. I think they want to be her! Angela, Amanda, thank you!

We had fabulous sponsors like Dr. Edgerton, M.D. and Dr. Ritamarie Lozcalzo in Austin. Georgia’s Farm to Market in Houston, who served a meal of my 12 Steps dishes, and made the biggest vat of green smoothie maybe in history? Certainly the biggest I have ever seen. (I would have taken a photo but I saw it after it was emptied!)

Andie Hamilton Photography in Dallas, who didn’t even want us to promote her already bursting-at-the-seams business—she just sponsored us because she wanted us to come so she could bring her friends, ’cause she’s cool like that.

All of you who sponsor, make smoothies for the crowd, lend me your BlendTec, work with us before/after/during….you all get to work with my event planner, Amanda. I love it when I can hire people who are not only incredible at what they do (not everybody is a detail person, but this amazing mom of three planned our first Boise event and I said HOLY COW, YOU’RE HIRED!), but they’re also evangelists for the super kick-butt message we are trying to fling all over North America. THANK YOU AMANDA!

I could not be more blessed. Thank you, 1,000 of my friends in Texas, for taking time out of your busy life, to listen to my message. I feel your spirit and your collective life experience buoys me up!

Stay the course. Hold fast to your healthy habits because your health underpins every darn thing you do.

Cheryl says green smoothies were her catalyst for a fabulous life!

I recently received this inspiring letter (edited for length) and photo from GSG Cheryl. You’re going to love reading it!

Dear GreenSmoothieGirl:

I met you at the Portland conference, and had you sign my book after the talk. I know you meet a lot of people and probably don’t remember me, but I was there with my mom, and told you about how Costco hooked me up with GreenSmoothieGirl.com when I purchased my blender.

I am 5’6″ and weighed 155 pounds when I came back from our home in Arizona in May 2011. When my husband and I returned to our home in Washington, we went to our local Costco for food. I told my husband that if the blender road show was there, THIS was the year I was going to take the plunge. Lo and behold, the BlendTec guy was there and I became the proud owner of a high-speed blender. The demo guy gave me a paper with three recipes, and the URL GreenSmoothieGirl.com.

I came home that day with my blender, spinach and fruit. The first thing I did was go to GSG on the web and my life was transformed from that day forward.

I have been making green smoothies daily since May. I’m now 100% vegan and eat mostly raw. I have lost over 23 pounds and have no desire to eat bad foods anymore. My taste buds have been reprogrammed to the beautiful plant foods offered by nature and I now love myself too much to use my body as a garbage can.

Once you learn how good real food tastes, you can’t go back to the SAD (Standard American Diet) way of dying (it’s certainly not living).

Robyn, you were my catalyst for change along with my own will for a better life. I am eternally grateful that you are there to spread the message about how we can all benefit from changes in our food. I am now sharing your message with people that ask me what I’ve done to look so great and feel so fabulous. I’m proud to call myself part of the “green team.”

Sincerely,

Cheryl Ulrich

Arizona here we come! And some fun comments from readers….

We are pretty excited to leave early in the morning for Arizona. We’re doing something really new and cool: BLENDTEC is sponsoring the show from here on out, and I’m giving away a $435 blender at each lecture plus $500 in others of my favorite things. Get your raffle tickets here for MESA, TUCSON, or GLENDALE.

A long time ago, I wrote this blog entry: “Do you use your green smoothie as a license to eat a boatload of junk?”

A brave and honest reader just posted this yesterday, in response:

“I had to come back a year and a half later and comment.   For the longest time I didn’t think I was that “Oreo” person, but I am. I think I went and got a handful of Oreos right after I read this post thinking, ‘That’s not me, I eat super healthy. I don’t eat junk food, I have salad every night, I’m practically vegetarian, I eat all whole grains, that just isn’t me. I haven’t had Oreos in years. I eat so healthy– I’ll just eat this handful of Oreos to reward myself. Just this once won’t hurt.’   I have the ‘just this once’ conversation with myself every night about 8pm, then I find something nice and sugary.

“I’m a sugar addict and I often use smoothies, salad, and other health foods from the day to justify the sugar sprees at night.   I used to wonder why you always said ‘get off sugar’ like it was a drug or something, but I’m starting to realize it is like a drug.   Maybe not a drug for everyone, but it is for me and probably a lot of other people.   I’m admitting it now, so I think I might have a chance at finally kicking the habit.   Wish me luck.”

Also, JILL and her husband drove two hours to attend my class in Bakersfield. She wants us to check out the exciting changes in her husband’s heart health, in just 5 weeks since implementing what she learned there….check it out HERE! In her blog, she took photos of the class, inserts links to my story, and copied the text messages from her twin daughters Kim and Kris (internet celebrities in the crafting world), 12 Steppers who attended my class in Utah a year or so ago. Some of her friends sound like they want to follow suit with whole-foods habits!

 

Mother’s Day Blueberry Dessert

The more you eat raw food, the simpler it becomes. When I’m by myself, what I eat at home tends to be bare-bones, if I’m not in restaurants with friends. But when I have a Sunday dinner for my family, or a special occasion, I make it fancier. I’m not always the greatest at planning ahead, so sometimes I open the fridge and make something up, based on one ingredient I’d like to use.

Yesterday my two youngest kids made a lovely Mother’s Day dinner. I had a quick brainstorm about how to make the two pints of blueberries (currently in season) in the fridge into a dessert.

I put some young Thai coconut meat (1/2 cup?) and coconut liquid (1/2 cup?) into my BlendTec, with a little lemon juice (1 Tbsp?) and agave (2 Tbsp?), plus some cashews (1/3 cup?) and 6 frozen strawberries. I whizzed it up into a cream sauce and served it with ½ cup blueberries in each of five crystal glasses as a parfait. Yum, everyone gobbled it up.

(I put question marks after the measurements because I didn’t measure, so these are guesses–don’t hold me to them!)

The rest of the story with Rich the Pharmacist. Part 1 of 2.

So here’s the rest of the story with Rich, my first high-school boyfriend. I told you how I ran into him on the plane on his way to pharmacists’ immunization training, and he helped us out in Seattle.

I told him, as we reminisced, that before I straightened out my lifestyle, I was 26 and weighed 206 lbs. I was walking in the mall trying to induce labor 2 days after my due date. I saw him and cheerfully said, “Hey Rich!” He looked at me, like, “No comprendo!” and walked right on by. He literally hadn’t recognized me. I was mortified.

Guiltily, he said, “Well, I relate to that. I saw you getting out on the curb, outside. I didn’t even want to approach you because I am ashamed about how I look.”

With 70% of America overweight, I often get the sense that the vast majority of us feel trapped inside someone else. We barely recognize ourselves. Can’t believe this happened to us. Just a five-pound weight gain annually is obesity, in a decade. That’s gaining just ounces a month.

And it seems almost sudden that, in mid-life, we’re ashamed and shocked that we got this way and we wonder how it happened and where’s the way out.

Rich texted me after we were both home in Utah. This is part of it:

“If I do this I want to do it full on, full tilt, full bore, hardcore, never look back, no holds barred, past the point of no return. If I am going to approach it like that, I figure I need the very best tools.”

(He then asks me to hook him up with a BlendTec.)

About the lecture in Seattle, he said:

You gave me hope. I’ve listened to so many doctors, psychologists, “professional” pharmacists, counselors with all their psycho-babble and I can tell they are just saying what they’ve been told to say. You and I talked about people who claim to be experts on nutrition but who look like the ‘before’ poster for a weight-loss program.

“Because of the way I know you, I was already open to your message. I watched you very closely, as you talked to a long line of people after the lecture about their very personal problems and hopes and challenges. To make sure you’re the same Robyn with whom we hid our affection for each other when we were young. And, you are. Just more secure and wiser. Your smile never turned and your enthusiasm never changed.

“Because I am apple shaped rather than pear shaped, people are surprised to know that I carry all my weight in my upper body. So I can still bench press 225 a few times, but I have to wear a C-pap at night with supplemental oxygen so I don’t stop breathing and suffocate. My lungs have more weight pressing on them than they can handle. If I could become one of your miracles, I could kick the C-pap habit. That would be worth so much more than money could buy. I guess I don’t have to tell you that. Look at me, preaching to the choir.”

A few days ago, a GSG reader pushed back on this blog, not just once but more–against my stating that YOU CAN’T AFFORD TO EAT HOT DOGS.

I always appreciate pushback, because it keeps an honest conversation going. But I’ll tell you what I think of that tomorrow.

Introducing the Cornia Family: GreenSmoothieGirl Makeover [part 4 of 4]

Our third selection is the video that moved me to tears as I watched it. You know how I feel about young moms. You knew I’d pick a young mom. This was our most difficult choice–but BlendTec and I were unanimous with each of the three picks.

Samantha Cornia is only 25 years old and has four children. Everyone in her home struggles with MRSA infections–staph that is immune to antibiotics. That’s because they’re constantly on antibiotics and other prescriptions, like steroids.

You’ll hear more of her story as we release segments of their journey, on YouTube and here. Her 3rd child was born with all her organs outside her body. When my baby was very ill, a woman named Ginger Ford whose son had the same syndrome, spent a year pumping breast milk while her baby was in the NICU having many surgeries to get his organs put inside his body. She gave all of that breast milk to me. (I was under a lot of stress and was very underweight, 115 lbs. at over 5’8″. My own milk disappeared and my baby refused most foods and was allergic to the rest, like Samantha’s baby.) Largely thanks to her, my baby recovered and thrived. I told Ginger that if I could ever do anything for her–anything at all–I want that opportunity, because she helped save my baby’s life in a very intimate way.

As I watched Samantha’s video, I wrote in my notes, “She reminds me of me. When I was her age.” Very ill. So tired of drugging my babies and watching them struggle. Desperate for something else, something better than drugs and fatigue.

What a crucible for powerful change that awful place in my life turned out to be. Sometimes we have to hit rock bottom before we climb out.

Samantha’s youngest is 14 mo. old and has massive food allergies and won’t eat. He’s on lots of steroids and recently had an upper GI and colonoscopy–his esophagus is swollen and raw and he cries constantly. He falls asleep at night clutching his throat. He is a heartbreakingly gorgeous little boy, and you will fall in love with him on film.

I am ecstatic to work with the Cornia family of Lehi, Utah. They are big soda drinkers, and until attending my Junk Food Dude book reading last weekend, they’d never had a green smoothie.

They don’t generally eat whole foods. Samantha’s parents struggle with obesity, and she was raised on what she calls “Mormon Mom casseroles.” When a friend suggested a few years ago that she visit GreenSmoothieGirl.com, she said, “Green Smoothie Gross!”

Now Samantha finds herself in a very different place in her life. Devastating health problems have humbled her, and she finds her mind and heart open to change.

(Make a mental note of that. Those who mock you now, for taking a whole-foods path, may be on your porch begging for mentoring a few years from now. When they’re ready, they know where to go.)

Please stay tuned for more from the Cornias, and watch their sweet video here.