Today is Health-Nut Appreciation Day!

My friend Matthew made me realize that bucking popular culture to eat a different, healthier, plant-based diet, is so much easier when your support system is…..well, supportive.

Matthew: thank you for always ooh-ing and aah-ing when you come over to my house for a green smoothie, or when I bring you one. For loving whatever is in my dehydrator, or my fridge, or whatever I bought you at Good Earth that day, that I feed you. You always make me feel so happy about the effort I make to feed my family right and nurture my friends to a better place in their nutrition. You help me feel that just because I’m not quite “normal” doesn’t mean I’m “bad.”

Last night, after Zumba, Matthew was drinking green smoothie, and munching on sprouted almonds and flax crackers and brown-rice crisps with guacamole. I said, “That basil-tomato soup I got you today? It’s the best thing that’s ever been in my mouth–and you haven’t said anything about it.”

He said, “It’s so awesome! But look at me! I’m surrounded by amazing food!” (He lists it all.) “It’s all so good that my ADD is off the charts here, I’m having so much fun!”

OMG, I love you so much, Matthew. (In the middle of the snack-fest, he got up and did a parody of a video he wants to make with me: searching my house for Twinkies and cans of Coke. Inappropriately walking behind me and checking me out. Noisily ransacking cupboards, yelling WHERE ARE THE CHEETOHS?!, while I talk to the camera.)

I won’t dwell on this, but many of my readers feel torn down and discouraged in their beginning stages of a nutrition overhaul, or even a year or two into it, by friends and family who criticize.

On behalf of anyone who sends you a link to this blog, I want to offer our most sincere thanks for supporting us….and to anyone whose support we WISH we had, let me say this about that:

TODAY IS APRIL 17, MATTHEW’S 40th BIRTHDAY and also HEALTH-NUT APPRECIATION DAY:

Regardless of your own dietary path, thank you for supporting mine! I’m trying to eat lower on the food chain, to be kinder to the Earth and animals. I’m trying to eat natural foods rather than things from cans, boxes, and the drive-thru, because I want to nurture my body. I want to offer these foods, with love, to people I care about. Including you. It’s okay if you say no, or if you don’t like it.

But thank you so much for encouraging me. Because it’s a difficult path! There are landmines everywhere–my old addictions, fast food on every corner, people showing me love with gifts of food I’m trying to eliminate, social eating. My path is so much easier and more enjoyable with the love and support of “my people!”

(Feel free to send the link to this blog to those YOU love, who encourage you, who bravely try your samples, who take a minute to tell you that you AND your food are beautiful. Like Matthew does for me.)

From me (GreenSmoothieGirl) to your friends and family: thank you a MILLION times over, if you are encouraging one of my readers! Because of your support, they will do many cool things.

They will influence others for good, they will support good agricultural practices and over time make produce and organics less expensive. They will raise children who won’t tax our economy with health crisis. They will be more productive, more healthy (body, mind, and spirit), and more even-tempered, kind, and loving as they continue down this path.

If your friend is trying to go down a path to MORE whole foods, and FEWER processed and animal foods, know that he or she needs support more than anything else! Just because she has a commitment to natural, healthy diet doesn’t mean you won’t see her make a less-than-optimal choice sometimes. But please tell her how impressed you are with her progress.

Know that he isn’t judging you, and it’s not relative to your choices. He knows you are on your own path. When you’re ready, come along with us.

I am so grateful to those who support us in our quest to learn the truth about nutrition and then practice it!

XOXO, much love from

Robyn (GreenSmoothieGirl)–and the friend who sent you this link!

The Rest of the Story with Rich the Pharmacist. Part 2 of 2.

I don’t buy that baloney. (In more ways than one.)

If you eat hot dogs and soda on a regular basis, you’re almost certainly spending lots of money on doctor bills. Or you’re about to, as springs start to break loose in your internal box spring.

Your health insurance company is going broke, too. I may buy bulgur and quinoa and collard greens instead of hot dogs and Mountain Dew, but guess what. Mountain Dew ain’t cheap. And neither is a lot of what my reader claims is all America can afford.

Legumes and whole grains, and many vegetables and fruits, are cheap and don’t hurtle you towards cardiovascular disease and cancer and 100 different auto-immune nightmares. Let’s learn how to use them!

Maybe some aren’t ready to hear this. But what you can’t afford is to have your chest and abdomen weigh so much that it’s crushing vital organs so you can’t breathe all night and are exhausted all day. THAT is what you can’t afford. It’s crushing more than lungs. It’s just crushing, period–literally and figuratively.

It crushes vitality. Hope. Your sex life. (C-pap at night? Your partner loves that. It’s like the scene in the trailer for the recent movie where Tina Fey asks her husband, Steve Carrell, if he’s in the mood, and she then offers to remove her retainer and does so, drool everywhere. Sorry to be blunt, but obesity isn’t pretty in the bedroom, and neither are medical devices, digestive disorders, or immobility.)

Sorry for the tough love. But hot dogs just might be ruining your life.

A friend of mine in his 50’s who owns a runner’s shop and sometimes hosts my lecture saw an obese woman in the crowd as he ran past, running a marathon. He said to her, “YOU SHOULD BE OUT HERE RUNNING WITH US.”

She was shocked. (Who says that?!) They became fast friends as she snapped out of her dream fugue and decided to change her life. Join the race. Show up in his shop. She’s now a normal-weight marathon runner and I read her story in the paper, quoting my friend who said that to her and changed her life.

It can be done. It starts with a tenacious statement like Rich’s, in yesterday’s post. Read his “no holds barred” paragraph and see if it inspires you!

Watch Karen Wilbert when the first GreenSmoothieGirl Makeover film clips come out, as she cries in frustration, telling us how her friends in the neighborhood run races together, while she stares at the trees outside her window, through all four seasons. Like Rich, she’s younger than me. She hates that other people are living life while illness, loss of energy, and depression have drained her own life to a tiny slice of what she once enjoyed.

Eating M&M’s does NOT stand in for a life. What a sorry substitute. Start visualizing the price for eating cancer sticks (hot dogs–also bacon and sausage) being $200 a bite. How does it taste now?

After we completed some filming at Samantha Cornia’s today for GreenSmoothieGirl Makeover, Kels, my filmmaker, was telling me about his mom doing my 12 Steps program, in her second bout of chemotherapy against ovarian cancer. He says she’s sick of the devastation of chemotherapy, and she’s motivated and excited to try something different.

I told him to make sure she gets a juicer (in addition to her new green-smoothie-blending habit) and juice beets, carrots, celery, parsley, apples, and wheat grass in huge quantities. And I told him, “Tell your mom to visualize, as she drinks it, that beautiful, powerful, high-oxygen, high-antioxidant super-powered drink starving EVERY CANCER CELL into oblivion, exploding, obliterating them into nothing. Have her imagine the healthy cells kicking butt and taking names.”

She’ll be blasting the hell out of cancer while strengthening the muscles of her immune system. Rather than nuking everything in sight like chemo and radiation do.

David Wolfe said this, last weekend, about watching animals heal themselves–we could learn a lot from them:

“You can heal almost every condition there is by hiding, sleeping, being quiet, and not eating.”

I totally agree and suggested to Kels that his mom just eat little or nothing for a while after chemo is over, just juice and green smoothies and lots of water. Give cells and organs a chance to rest, repair, rebuild.

You, my friend, reading this:

YOU SHOULD BE OUT HERE RUNNING WITH US.

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.

Jennie: “I want to go back to that raw restaurant”

My friend Jennie was a total junk food addict. Although she’s smart, well read, and has an advanced degree, she was also shockingly ignorant about nutrition (once I wrote about how she thought Jell-O was a food group).

At 29, she had horrific endocrine problems, including unbearable menstruation pain and endometriosis and infertility.

I begged her for a long time to consider the effect that her diet was having on her health. Finally she agreed to go see Dr. Hugo Rodier in Draper, Utah.

She took on his cleanse program and did it religiously. She was in tears a number of times because her education in nutrition was at such a low place, and she just didn’t know what to eat.

She completed the cleanse recently and her mind-blowing pain has not returned so far. She feels and looks much better. She drinks a green smoothie every day and missed it desperately when she went to a 3-day family reunion last weekend. She brought me some gluten-free, whole-foods banana cookies last week and was so proud of herself.

Last November she was with me at Sarma’s raw restaurant, Pure Food and Wine, in New York City. I treated her and my friend Jamie (who also has horrible pain and endocrine and fertility problems) to a 10-course meal. Neither of them would eat much of anything until the dessert. They left HUNGRY after 10 courses because they turned their nose up at virtually everything that was served–all of which was FABULOUS.

(I also got Jamie a meal at Go Raw Café the month before, in Las Vegas, which she wouldn’t eat and left hungry! Jamie’s highly influenced by years as a fitness competitor, a world of preoccupation with eating massive amounts of animal protein.)

Jennie, though, says her tastes have changed radically after shifting to her new whole-foods lifestyle.

She wrote me a text yesterday saying this: “I love raw plant food now! I wish I could go back to the raw restaurant in New York City! It would all taste good to me now!”

Tastes really do change. Get off sugar for 4 days and watch a miracle take place. Of course, the miracle ends the minute you eat sugar, because your addiction come roaring back with a vengeance.

I love to see positive changes like Jennie’s. I see so much more hope and light in her aura, her energy, her outlook. I’m taking her to Omar’s (our only upscale raw restaurant here on the Wasatch Front) for her birthday April 9 when I’m back from San Diego.

Are you fixing the plumbing in your cottage? or building a mansion? part 1 of 2

My high-school junior son’s photo is on the front page of Sports, rubbing the snow of the baseball before he pitches it on Tuesday. Brrr! And then the next day, I’m skiing in a t-shirt at Sundance. Gotta love Spring in Utah!

I was in warmer St. George last week with a lot of downtime, watching my younger son play baseball.

(Tips for traveling there? Café Rio, this is what I always order. Vegetarian salad, all beans/no rice, no fried tortillas chip-strips, whole-wheat tortilla, extra romaine. And Dixie Nutrition’s frozen yogurt with no sugar, one flavor has just stevia, $0.99 for a small.)

Some GSG readers were in the baseball stands in St. George. They talked to me through my son’s last two games–except the times I’d leap out of the stands as my son (shameless bragging alert):

–bottom of the last inning with two outs, score tied, got trapped in a pickle between 3rd and home but beat it (that’s where the catcher and 3rd baseman have the runner in between them trying to get back to either base), and then:

–slid face-first into home plate, beating the tag with a “SAFE!” call from the ump only after the dust cleared, with the other team’s coaches and parents screaming, “OUT!” — to score the winning run, 11-10.

One of the GSG readers is in her 70’s and pointed sadly at her adult son, who had just shown up, Coke in hand. She said, wistfully, “I wish I had an influence on that. I just don’t.” She’s already lost one of her 9 children to colon cancer.

Young moms, you have all the power in the world. Ghandi said, “Be the change you want to see in the world.” Your children are all yours, right now. They won’t be forever. Eventually the larger culture starts to own them. So walk the talk now–they will respect you for it always, even if they have occasional tantrums.

So with more free time than usual, I had some long convos with friends I’ve been neglecting and needed to catch up with. My friend Jennie, as I was driving home for 4 hours, reminded me in a long philosophical chat, about this quote I’d forgotten about, from C.S. Lewis in his book Mere Christianity:

“Imagine yourself as a living house. God comes in to rebuild that house. At first, perhaps, you can understand what He is doing. He is getting the drains right and stopping the leaks in the roof and so on; you knew that those jobs needed doing and so you are not surprised. But presently He starts knocking the house about in a way that hurts abominably and does not seem to make any sense. What on earth is He up to? The explanation is that He is building quite a different house from the one you thought of–throwing out a new wing here, putting on an extra floor there, running up towers, making courtyards. You thought you were being made into a decent little cottage: but He is building a palace. He intends to come and live in it Himself.”

Jennie and I had been talking about two subjects, switching back and forth. One was religion, and the other was nutrition. Comparing C.S. Lewis’ comment to religion, she said this to me:

“Robyn, you take for granted all your knowledge about nutrition. You sent me to Dr. Rodier, and I did this cleanse, and I had no idea what to eat, for so long. I still don’t. I obsessively read labels. You might roll your eyes, but that’s because two months ago I was that girl you blogged about once who asked if fresh fruit is as good for you as canned fruit. The one who thinks there has to be Jell-O at every meal, because that’s what my mom did.

“I’m still celebrating that I ate whole-corn tortilla chips with my lunch, because it’s better than the Doritos I ate before. And that won’t make any sense to you. But you have to know where I’ve come from to celebrate where I am.”

I’ve been thinking of Jennie’s words for days. She’s so right. I have become aware over and over, recently, that many of us start from a very low point, knowledge-wise, regarding nutrition.

More tomorrow….

Total Care Dental wants to tell you about their whole-foods experience!

Dr. Jorgenson has been trying to figure out how to blog here. (I don’t know how. Sometimes readers do.)

She says that her whole office is having so many fascinating reactions and benefits and comments about their whole-foods journey (on GreenSmoothieGirl Makeover) that they really need to be writing it down and sharing!

So, I’m starting this blog entry and they can reply. Enjoy!