Peru, part 5

I did, of course, take a Total Blender along to Peru to teach the orphanage’s cook. The kids were enthralled with how high tech it is. Here’s Carlos drinking a green smoothie and a not-great photo of me making it. I went to this open-air market (that’s how you buy food in Peru) and chose a lot of interesting things, including fruits kinda like we have in the U.S. and kinda different. Tree tomatoes. Apples that are long and skinny. Little, super-sweet bananas. A variety of spinach I’ve never seen.

My big mistakes were using cactus berries, which I thought would darken up the smoothie, but which actually just made too-big chunks of seed in it that had to be spit out. (I couldn’t find any berries that are dark in color.) And not using any ice (nobody has any) or frozen fruit. It wasn’t the best thing I’ve ever made, to be sure.

Here’s the green smoothie recipe I almost always use!

Here’s my everyday green smoothie “template” recipe.   It allows you to use virtually any green, and any fruit, maximizing the greens.   Enjoy!

Robyn’s Green Smoothie Template Recipe

Makes 8 cups of 100% raw smoothie.

Put 2 1/2 cups filtered water in the BlendTec Total Blender.

Optionally, add:

  • ½ tsp. stevia (herbal sweetener) or ¼ cup raw, organic agave nectar (low glycemic index)
  • ¼ whole lemon, including peel (anti-skin cancer, high in flavanoids)
  • 2-3 Tbsp. fresh, refrigerated flax oil (omega-3 rich oil)

Gradually add greens until, briefly pureed, the mixture comes up the 5-cup line (or less if you are “converting”):

  • ¾ to 1 lb. raw, washed greens, added up to 5 ½ cup linespinach, chard, kale, collards

Puree greens mixture for 90 seconds until very smooth.

Gradually add fruit until the container is very full, blend 90 seconds or until smooth:

  • 1-2 bananas
  • 1-2 cups frozen mixed berries
  • any other fruit to taste: pears, peaches, apples, oranges, apricots, cantaloupe, mango, pineapple

Make a full blender and you’ll have some to drink, and some to share. I know from my research that 84 percent of my readers who have adopted a green-smoothie habit are teaching others about it!

That’s your goal for today!
To Your Health,
–Robyn Openshaw

 

p.s. Tips: For beginners and those trying to convert children, consider using LESS greens and MORE fruit (especially berries and bananas) in the beginning, gradually working up to a 50/50 ratio as described here. With kids, consider using only spinach the first few days, then sneak in chard, collards, and kale, the other mild but excellent greens gradually. Add other savory or bitter greens only when your family are “experts” in green smoothies! Add a bit more water if you feel the smoothie is too thick.

I also have a collection on the site of 230 green smoothie recipes, most of which were contributed as “favorites” by readers! Check it out.

California trip: sometimes you just have to punt (part 1 of 2)

When I went to CA last week (Thurs. through Mon.) with my daughters, I was hard pressed to get all my work done before I left. I was up very late the night before we left for the airport and consequently didn’t have any time to think about how to get through five days eating well. (If I don’t eat well, I lose my energy and my digestive system shuts down. As long as I’m eating 60-80% raw and 95% whole foods, I have energy and to spare, wherever I go!)

Car trips are conducive to taking lots of frozen pints of green smoothie, but plane trips aren’t. And our hotel room had no fridge, something I usually try to ensure by booking online where you can see the hotel’s amenities. (I had booked the hotel awfully late.) So, besides taking a bunch of VitaMineral Green, buying two boxes of snack bars from Costco which I will review tomorrow, and bringing my BlendTec in the suitcase (which I did not have a chance to use after a day of teaching in San Diego and Fullerton), I was on my own.

The Costco Bora Bora bars and Trio bars helped a lot. That and the oranges my daughter stuffed her backpack with, from the hotel, got us through lunch before we headed to a buffet with a salad bar at the end of each theme-park day. Breakfast at the hotel, sigh. You know how continental breakfast is. What I do when I have to punt like that is scout out what the best thing is to eat. I don’t touch donuts/pastries, ever. I don’t drink juice–too much concentrated sugar. Cold cereal, no. So every day, after my run, for breakfast we ate oatmeal (instant, unfortunately–you made your own with really hot water) and two oranges. Not wonderful but not too bad.

You probably don’t believe me that I’ve never fed my kids at McDonald’s, but while I’m telling you outlandish tales, here’s another one: we’ve never eaten a meal inside a theme park, even though we vacation at them about once a year.

Tomorrow I’ll do a product review to compare the healthy snack bars at Costco that got us through, since planning for our California trip was minimal at best.

I’ll also post some photos of the class I taught in Fullerton, if I get them from Christy, which was lots of fun.

It’s a long and winding road to good nutrition!

In my first newsletters, I told you a little about the rocky path to health that my family and I traversed.  It’s not very often clear and linear, that path, is it?  You try a lot of dumb stuff, yucky recipes you throw away, before you end up at the truth—and that’s if you’re lucky.  (A lot of people spend an entire lifetime following false prophets and believing false information.  Like the folks who put all their faith in the barbaric practices of oncology, or the crazy dietetics of the Atkins Diet, for instance.)

The good news?  That the failure of all the dumb stuff you tried before (drugs, Atkins Diet, etc.) were useful in one sense: they help you recognize the truth when you see it.

The longer and more twisty that path, the more likely you are to recognize the beauty and efficacy of pure, simple truths.  Like the one GreenSmoothieGirl.com is dedicated to: that eating an unadulterated diet of whole plant foods is a savior in a thousand different ways.

There’s the thing you’re preoccupied with now.  It might be cancer, or psoriasis, or leaky gut syndrome, or Epstein Barr.  An affliction that’s kinda wrecking your life right now, or someone close to you.

But the crazy thing is this.  Not only are your chances of addressing all degenerative disease and energy issues HIGHEST with a diet approach (and everything else I’m teaching on GreenSmoothieGirl.com), but you’re going to have so many unexpected health and wellness benefits, you’ll barely be able to count them at the end of a year.

Once I took RESPONSIBILITY for my own health and my little son’s, I undertook my own private health course. (I found that health and nutrition education in traditional institutions were heavily influenced by industries like meat, dairy, processed foods, and pharmaceuticals.)

Although my program 12 Steps to Whole Foods is a crystallized version of the education I underwent for 15 years, if you’re a reader, you can immerse yourself in the very best books.  I’ll give you a leg up, because I read a lot of dubious stuff.  Here’s a link to the very best, my favorite books by authors you can trust:

http://www.greensmoothiegirl.com/book-reviews/

Enjoy!

To Your Health,

–Robyn Openshaw

p.s.  The first thing you should do as you’ve decided to get healthy is invest in the most important tool in my kitchen: the BlendTec Total Blender. It’s so much more than the best tool ever for making mixed drinks at your next party. You’ll be a green smoothie chef in no time at all!

How did I discover the “green smoothie” that I named this site after?

It’s a great story, really, how I happened upon the “green smoothie,” the attention-grabbing part of this site dedicated to helping you eat right.

I was 27 years old, sitting on the front porch one warm summer day when my oldest child was a year old.  Knowing me at that time, I was probably letting him play in the sprinkler and eat an Otter Pop.  (This was long before I knew about corn syrup, and food dyes . . .)

I’d just put some canned pineapple juice, and some alfalfa sprouts and lots of spinach, in my blender.  I was sitting there drinking it when my baby toddled over and peered into my glass.  He asked me what it was, and (in one of those genius Mom moments), I said, “green ice cream.”

Well, that created a demand.  He wanted some.  I said, “No, this is Mommy’s milkshake.”  More demand.  It was all part of my evil plot, of course.

I finally relented (as I’d planned to all along) and let him sip some out of my straw.  He was hooked and a lightbulb came on in my Mom brain! This drink, the Neanderthal version of what I now make, came to be known as “Green Cream” in my young family.

 

Well, that pineapple juice thing I made (for over a decade, actually) is totally inferior, nutritionally, to what I make as a green smoothie nowadays.  (Not only is concentrated pineapple juice not a great food, but you had to “slam” that concoction or it settled into an ugly mess, undrinkable just five minutes later.)  But it began a quest for ways to get my kids to eat lots of leafy greens and sprouts.  And it taught me that blended foods are key in that quest.

Now I have a BlendTec Total Blender [link to it in the store].  You really must have this item if you are serious about nutrition.  Before I had a turbo blender, I had to settle for the above-mentioned “green cream” that had to be “slammed” before it became undrinkable.  A regular blender won’t allow you to use frozen fruit, fibrous greens, and lots of ice, for many years without troubles, with the Total Blender’s fantastic warranty.

Why is this so important, the purchase of a Total Blender?  Because you’re going to get 15 SERVINGS OF GREENS AND FRUIT in your one quart of green smoothie daily.  That puts you in the top 5 percent of Americans, for the quality of your diet, with just one simple habit that takes just 10 minutes a day.

I can’t overemphasize it.  It’s not just the best thing I have in my kitchen, it’s the most important thing I own, PERIOD.  I use it half a dozen times a day, and so it’s worth every penny.  We’ll talk more in my next newsletter about why a green smoothie habit is the first thing to change.

May you be blessed with good health from DAY ONE of starting this habit!

To Your Health,

–Robyn Openshaw

p.s.  If you can’t get a Total Blender right now, that’s okay.  Just start with whatever blender you have, but be aware that you may not be able to use lots of frozen fruit and very fibrous greens.  Your blend won’t be as smooth, but use water, spinach, and fruit, and get started anyway.  The important thing is just to START.

Green Smoothie Testimonials, part 14

I’ve been drinking a quart of green smoothies daily for about a year now, with a few exceptions. When I fail to drink them for a few days (too busy, need to go to the store, etc.), I find that the first sip of the next smoothie is so welcome, so delicious, so satisfying.

My children drink them because I put them in front of them. I gave them a pint at first, then my 11 y.o. son struggled to get them down. I let him drink half a pint for a while, until he got used to them. Finally, he asked if he still had to drink the small glass (half a pint), or if he could have a full glass now–YES! He also enjoys drinking them in front of friends and telling what’s in it. That took a couple of weeks, probably.

Now, they drink a pint, and sometimes whatever else is left over after I have mine. They like lots of strawberries in theirs, and fresh peaches, when they’re in season. I have converted several friends to drinking green smoothies, too. (Them: “What is that you’re drinking?” Me: “A green smoothie.” Them: “What’s in it?” Me: “Want a taste?” or “Would you like the recipe?”)

–Janelle B.

I purchased my Blendtec Total Blender at Costco during a demo at the store. The demo guy recommended I go online to GreenSmoothieGirl.com for great recipes and support. Since I have been drinking the green smoothie, my bowels are more regular than they have ever been. I was diagnosed with Irritable Bowel Syndrome and now I do not have constipation. It is the most wonderful feeling to be regular! Also, since adding the dark leafy green vegetables, I have been able to avoid colds from grandkids and friends. I can honestly say I am much healthier. I never miss a day and it has been about 4 months. Thank You, Robyn.

–Barbara A.