Reflections on Life and Blogging….and my new lecture starting in September

energy (2) (Small)Nikki at GSG has been going through 7.5 years of my blog, deleting old stuff and cleaning it up. She’ll text me something I said years ago that strikes her as funny, considering where I “live” now. She sends commentary about how she’s getting to know a previous version of me.

Like Madonna, we reinvent ourselves every so often. We have to. You’ve heard the saying, “Change or die!” Change has defined my life, probably yours too? Just when I get to a “new normal,” it seems things change again—often radically. In my family, in my professional life, in my private world of emotions and thoughts.

When I put the GSG site up, I ran a huge, thriving garden and three composting boxes and 12 fruit trees, feeding my family of 6. I’m now struggling a bit to adjust to having just one child left at home. There’s almost nobody around to eat whatever I’d plant, and I’m on the road a lot. When I’m home, I find myself living on quarts of green smoothies and almond bars.

If there’s one thing I’ve learned since my divorce 6.5 years ago, it’s to be flexible. To let go. To adapt without resistance.

flexibleI believe, and say often, “Flexible people are happy people.” This week I put my ambitious humanitarian daughter Emma on a plane for yet another humanitarian adventure. This time, for several months in Thailand she is paying for, entirely, herself. Goodbye again. Moving forward with grace and enthusiasm into new chapters in life has been key in maintaining my joie de vivre.

When I taught my son to ski, I told him, “If you lean backwards, you’ll fall, and more importantly, you’ll feel scared, which won’t help you get better. If you push yourself to lean forward, into the downhill, you’ll have far more control, especially making turns, and you’re going to enjoy skiing more.” Sometimes I kick and scream for a minute, until I remember my core value of “leaning into” change.

I believe we are happiest when we are keenly self-aware, but we also consciously let go of negative feelings, of terrible experiences that haunt us, of self-criticism and criticism of others. My observation, as I near 5 decades on the planet, is that happy relationships are ones where both people give each other wide latitude to “just be.” Be who we are—flaws and quirks, all of it. Not just “live and let live,” but enjoying the differences and quirks of others, and be forgiving of the small ways they may fail us.

I’m going to talk about far more than nutrition in my upcoming lecture tour titled,

Secrets for Achieving Radical Health At Any Age

(Right now we’re ticketing in Utah, California, and Texas, so grab your VIP or free tickets.) As always, I want to share only messages that I believe will bless your life.

I want to talk about what I’ve learned that has changed my life and my health for the better, in all areas. Not just physically.

Just when you think you have things figured out, Life reminds you how much more you have to learn. I had a year like that, last year, in 2014. The last 8 months of it were, very frankly, the worst experience of my life. Worse than my divorce.

I thought I had a grip on forgiving, letting go, and not letting negatives have my energy. It’s become a pretty strong talent of mine. But a few times in life, it’s just bigger than you can handle. In that moment, anyway. You process and release it in bits, in stages.

On my own, though, my process is to learn how to regain trust and faith, how to heal after difficult experiences, and how to thrive and be happy again.

measure waist (2) (Small)Thanks for being patient with me. I’M BACK. So glad to feel positive about the future and back out in love and light. Now I have more life experiences and “key learnings” to draw on. I feel my character deepened and I have more to offer. I’m making lots of YouTube videos about things I think will be helpful and relevant for you, on your nutrition journey and your life path.

My next blog will be about how, in the worst crisis of my life so far, I stayed upright, and never even got sick—amazingly, maintaining great physical health through it all.

(Don’t you love “tender mercies?” Compensatory blessings? Noticing them and feeling gratitude is part of how I turn the corner on major adversity. My friend Megan W., who is only 40 but has been through both divorce and stage 4 cancer, says she journals starting with this every day: “And the good news is…..”) But I want to share with you more about how I made sure that was the case, that my physical health was strong through a moral, emotional, and mental crisis.

Stay tuned for my next blog, on that. And hope to see my Utah, California, and Texas friends on my new lecture tour starting in September!

Texas A&M Coach Changes His Life Drinking Green Smoothies

billy kennnedy
Billy Kennedy

I got an email this week about this Houston Chronicle news story, about Texas A&M Coach Billy Kennedy and his wife reading my bestseller The Green Smoothies Diet. Check out how Coach Kennedy’s health has improved, after a scary diagnosis and then 2 years of drinking a quart of green smoothies a day. This gives my life’s work meaning, and I love emails telling me your stories!

A&M’s Kennedy uses new diet to combat Parkinson’s

When I came to your class I had just been diagnosed with rectal cancer

green smoothiestraw berries (1)Our customer support rep Kami forwarded this to me and said, “This brought tears to my eyes.” Me, too.

“I was in so much pain I couldn’t sit. So I kept squirming. I felt that I was distracting those who wanted so much to learn from you. I kept starting to leave…but I selfishly wanted to learn too.

I want to tell you I have now been doing green smoothies for almost two years and am constantly getting other people started. Years of compulsively overeating carbs,sweets, and fats gave me the giant belly you saw that literally hangs to my knees.

What you would never have imagined is that my health was already greatly improved by your green smoothies. I truly believe the cancer was already being driven out by the greens. I believe that if I beat this, it will be because of you. If I had found you sooner I would never have had to go through all this.

hands hearts (1)Thank you for all the good information you made available to me. I am done with radiation and my first round of chemo . I am barely able to eat again. I am starting back on my green smoothies. I wish you could guide me through this but I could never afford you. I wonder how many lives you have saved and they don’t even know it.

Never become discouraged. The world needs you. Be well, dear sister, and never stop.”

Subject: Tiny little orgasm in a cup?

Tiff with her glass of green smoothie

My tennis teammate, Tiff, runs races and is an incredible 4.0 tennis player. Before we ended up playing competitive tennis together, I used to see her on the gym treadmills and be downright scared of her. Who runs for 90 minutes straight at an 8.0? It’s not normal. I couldn’t do it if you held a gun to my head.

I try, periodically, to talk her out of her Diet Mountain Dew habit. And into a new green smoothie habit. Sometimes skinny athletes not having any health problems are the hardest sell.

Finally, since I spoke to her women’s group at the Riverside Country Club last week, she tried her first green smoothie! She even bragged later that she had two cups. Tiff is the biggest smack-talker in Utah competitive tennis. She is super funny and has this never-ending banter thing going with our teammates Cindy and Jill. She is well-known for saying things, when an opponent puts the ball away at the net, like,

“I wish you were never born!”

When I saw her drinking her first ever GS, I had to memorialize the occasion with this cell-phone photo, of course. This conversation ensued:

Robyn: This is so awesome! I think I am going to put you on my blog. You should give me a quote, though.

Tiff: Okay. Here’s my quote. It’s a tiny little orgasm in a cup.

green smoothie (Small)
Take the 31 day Green Smoothie Challenge!

Robyn: Ummmm. I was thinking of……you know, some DIFFERENT kind of quote.

Tiff: Well that’s what I have to say.

[Note: she may be right. Since this conversation actually took place over 48 hours. That’s how long it took Tiff to give me a quote.]

Super proud of you, Tiff! And my other teammates who were at the demo and texted me the next day that they were starting their Green Smoothie Challenge! Make sure you sign up for our 31-Day Green Smoothie Challenge for support and love and recipes from us on the journey!

 

Sandra in Canada has a great story of health through plant-based eating!

Dr. Joel Fuhrman
Dr. Joel Furhman

Recently we got this story from Sandra P. in Canada I thought you would enjoy!

My family started our plant-based journey less than a year ago. My husband saw Dr. Joel Fuhrman on the Dr. Oz show, and cut out all animal products, as well as all processed foods and oils from his diet! I was stunned by his declaration and told him that if he thought I was going to cook two separate meals for our family, he was crazy! I mean how could he ask me, with my Italian descent, to cut olive oil from my diet!

Nonetheless, he ignored my drama and began eating only whole plant-based foods (vegetables, legumes, fruits, whole grains, nuts, and seeds) and he started losing weight. That did it for me! There was no way he would lose weight effortlessly and leave me behind with the extra weight I couldn’t get rid of no matter what I tried!

veggiesDon’t get me wrong; this is a lifestyle change that doesn’t happen overnight! It took me a while to completely cut all animal products. My family thought I was insane and my mom tried to force feed me chicken! The hardest thing for me to give up completely was cheese! Now I notice that dairy products give me cramps, hives, and gas.

My children have been off dairy since September. One of my sons, Michael, was diagnosed with asthma as a baby and has been on puffers since then! This is the first season that he hasn’t had a chest infection!

Overall health benefits for all of us: weight-loss, anxiety and depression gone, sleeping better, more energy, and I’m always in a good mood, which is a bonus for the rest of the family, too!

Forks over KnivesYou already know about the amazing Robyn Openshaw, also known as Green Smoothie Girl! She is helping to spread the word about the benefits of plant-based nutrition and has already changed so many lives! Watch Forks Over Knives, and read Dr. Joel Fuhrman, and Dr. Campbell’s The China Study too!

The greatest gift that I gave my family was that of knowledge! They can now take their health into their own hands, and can make our world a better place, one person at a time!

God Bless,

Sandra Perri

 

 

Awww. This Texas story is so cute and sad!

Tony2
Tonya’s kids climbing in a tree

Tonya S. is a 44-year old mom and cancer survivor. Her cancer doc told her to drink Ensure for nutrition when she lost 30 pounds in treatment. This is a highly processed, canned “medical food” I hear about often from cancer patients. Then her radiologist told her to make green smoothies! She got started with that habit, started getting healthy, and then a friend introduced her to GreenSmoothieGirl.com. She says, “our world changed!”

This is a photo of Tonya’s kids Ainsley (9), Keagan (7), and Trevin (5), whom Tonya is committed to feeding a healthy diet. She missed my San Antonio lecture I did recently and wrote us a sweet story:

Tonya1
Picture of green smoothies drawn by Tonya’s kids

I had to miss tonight because my son got sick, from sneaking gobs of Halloween candy that we were going to donate. He threw up just two hours before Robyn’s lecture. I was so disappointed. My husband was in Canada on business, and I had a long drive to San Antonio. But, then my sweeties drew me this picture. I’m a mom trying to do my best, provide good meals for my family, and offer grace when needed. I was so sad to have missed the class. My kids made this drawing as an apology and I wanted to share it. I’m so impressed that my green smoothie is making an impression on them already. Blessings!

 

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!

 

David’s guacamole bruschetta

bruchettaI was at my friend David’s house the other day and he made me this yummy lunch he calls guacamole bruschetta. He is a vegan foodie, started a journey a few years ago after a lifetime of eating meat and processed food. He lost 25 lbs and is now lean and passionate about teaching people how to eat plants. It turns out you CAN be a 6’3″ big guy and just eat plants. He feels so much better and looks great. He told me 20 years ago, a family member gave him a lecture about all the dairy products he ate, and how bad they were for him, and Dave rolled his eyes. Sometimes we don’t have ears to hear. Until we do!

The lesson I learn from this is, never give up on people. Just be the change. Show up as the example. Zero judgment, leave the door open always.

Here’s the photo, and David’s Instagram page for the recipe is HERE.  Look for the recipe on September 6!

 

 

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!