Karla wins a 12 Steps manual and shares her 57-old athlete story!

good newsRight as I got home from my first trip on my 2014 book tour, I got this high-vibration letter from Karla in Arizona–hope you enjoy it!

Karla, I can relate to so much of this. I had plantar fasciitis, too, for nearly a year. This was devastating, as a competitive tennis player, until I got on top of it. I sat out while my team went to six-state Districts, which almost killed me! I’ve been symptom free for 3 years, even though my doc demanded I get steroid shots (I refused, and am glad I did). Plus, like you, I took up cycling, which gave me a new hobby/sport I totally LOVE, even now that I’m way past plantar fasciitis.

Eating an anti-inflammatory diet is key! No hybridized gluten grains, and minimal or no animal proteins, dairy, and sugar. What I did is eat my 12 Steps to Whole Foods diet, looking for LOTS of greens, and alkaline fruits and veggies, as the base of my pyramid. Your EVERY CELL will thank you. Inflammation is optional!

Here’s the letter from Karla, who is living life out loud, at the age of 59—so inspiring!

Dear GreenSmoothieGirl

6EF9879DB1D199012D7D6398A6051600I attended your presentation in Mesa last night with my husband, Rod. I was the very lucky winner of the 12 Steps Course Manual! I cannot begin to tell you how thrilled we both were to receive this valuable tool. The excited shriek you heard when read our number was genuine! THANK YOU!!

We love our green smoothies, and your website has inspired and taught us during our journey. We refer those who ask about what we are doing to your website. You have been our “guru.” We thank you so much for sharing your knowledge with us. And for the amazing gift we won—we are so excited to incorporate more healthy eating and improve our health even more!

Last year, we decided to cut way back on meat and dairy and try to eat a plant-based diet. Rod has read the China Study, and we watched Food Inc., Forks over Knives, and Fat, Sick and Nearly Dead, all of which are amazing documentaries on health and food. We have an amazing green smoothie story!

Two years ago, I was diagnosed with plantar fasciitis—a tendon inflammation in the arch that goes up the heel. It felt like someone stuck a red hot poker up my heel every morning when I would step out of bed. Rod and I were avid hikers and this was devastating, as walking at all was very painful. The podiatrist said, “Ride a bike.”

That was life-changing advice. We were riding 10 – 20 miles at a time and discovered a network of bike trails here in the Phoenix area. We started green smoothies, and bought a Blendtec.

life-life-is-beautiful-quotes-text-favim-com-511717We eventually began training for an 85-mile race—I was turning into an athlete at age 57! Last year we did two CENTURY rides!

Last year, Rod and I rode 5,000 miles, and we sacrificed a bike ride in 70 degree weather to come and hear you speak last night!  Cycling has been a wonderful hobby that we enjoy together, and green smoothies are our fuel every day.

Every day is amazing. I feel better than I have felt in over a decade! And I will turn 59 in June. People ask me what I am doing—how does my skin look so good? I don’t wear any foundation makeup, so I don’t hide my age spots and wrinkles, but my skin glows and that is what people see.

Love to you,

Karla LaMunyon, Peoria, AZ


Dream Big. Live Big. Fail Big. Recover Big.

Success-Through-FailureMy best friend, Kristin, and I, live on parallel tracks. Everything that happens to her, something eerily similar happens to me. It has been like this for YEARS. Raising teen/young adult children, divorce, career, real estate…..we seem to live parallel lives and we constantly make note of it.

Everything is better when Kristin’s here. Whatever she says, you can take to the bank. She’s smart, and organized, and everyone loves her. She has a systems brain, and she doesn’t tell me 100 reasons why I can’t do my BIG PLAN OF THE MONTH. She just helps me do it.

Today we texted each other, simultaneously, “Parallel tracks!” We’ve had a similar 2013. She’d texted me this statement that resonated so much, I wrote it with a Sharpie on a 4×6 card and pinned it to my corkboard that I see every day.

Who makes a goal to FAIL BIG?

People who DREAM BIG do! Okay, maybe they don’t make a GOAL to fail. But at some point, people who play big just ACCEPT that failure comes with success, and they use it as a tool.

Dream BigHere is a song by Ryan Shupe and the Rubber Band. They’re a local band who made it big on the pop charts as a one-hit wonder, with this song, Dream Big. I have loved this song for many years and am listening to it while I write this to you. So you can dream big with me.

To me, dreaming big isn’t necessarily making up big wild plans. It’s thinking on what the greatest use of your life is, and BEING IT. By taking as many small steps that direction as possible, every day. Living fearlessly. Being consistent about who you are and manifesting it—in all the ways you run your life.

Leveraging all the painful things in your life as opportunities for learning. Accepting them. Just embracing and loving the process of becoming. Not slowing down just because painful failures happen. Giving the pain points the attention they’re due, and no more. That’s what “Dream Big” means to me. How about you?

“When you see, see the beauty, all around and in yourself.”

“When you pray, pray for strength, to help you carry on, for when troubles come your way.”

–Ryan Shupe, Dream Big

When I was in grad school, I studied marriage and family therapy, with human sexuality / sex therapy as an emphasis. My original career goal was to be a marriage therapist. It seems like I should say something, right here, kind of apologetic or embarrassed or qualified–about how inappropriate it would be for a broken divorcee to counsel any married people.

But it isn’t those who have sailed through life without challenges who are the most empathetic therapists. In fact, there was a theory in the world of the helping professions, when I was a grad student and practitioner, of the “wounded healer.” We studied scholarly work on the idea that those who have been wounded have the most to offer those others, among us, who are wounded.

Does this feel true to you? That broken people have tokens to offer others on the path to wholeness?

always make mistakes windowPlease don’t let your failures become an excuse to fail. I choose for mine to be instructive. (Even though occasionally I scream and rant, for a minute, and my friends have to listen to it.) I’m still going to minimize them, and holy cow, I’m not going to wish some of the stuff I’ve been through on my worst enemy. But nobody gets to their 40’s without living through SOME STUFF.

(Insert another word for STUFF, if you prefer. This is a G-rated blog. Although I’m not editing the PG-rated quote coming up.)

Kristin texted me today, another quotable quote about the truly epic failures she and I have both had this year:

“Look at how that ass-kicking gave me epic growth and stretching and personal power and tolerance and compassion for broke people and and and and. NEXT! (We won’t make these same mistakes again, right?)”

[Well said. I got nothing to add. NEXT! And no–I intend to make lots more mistakes. But they will be different ones.]

Welcome, 2014. Bring it.

My Gratitude Blog, part 2 of 2

P.S.-Its-PerfectMy best friend, Kristin, and I had a year, going through divorce and various single-working-mom struggles, where we decided to look at the world differently. Instead of griping about how this-or-that didn’t go our way, we’d find the ways that  any series of events was actually PERFECT, just the way it was. Even though we wouldn’t have planned it that way. We’d look at a situation, in the rear-view mirror, and make this pronouncement:

“It’s perfect.”

We said it a lot. And it was shocking how often it was true! The thing we were trying to avoid? When it happened, it turned out to be so instructive that it literally felt necessary to our growth–or our kids’, or a relationship’s.

I’ve often said to the people closest to me that divorce, and also raising teenaged and adult children, is an exercise in Letting Go.

Let goI can’t believe how many things I used to cling to, 10 years ago, that I’ve let go of. It’s freeing, and it’s abundant, and it’s made me a more tolerant, patient, fun person. I like this Me better than the more-rigid Me of 10 years ago. I don’t even want to think about the girl I was 20 years ago–except as a necessary developmental phase. (You can’t get Through It except…through it.)

I’m sure many of you in mid-life, moving into new phases, can relate.

I still have standards, and routines,  and beliefs. But fewer of them. And the ones I have are more flexible, less dogmatic. And I talk about them and impose them on others much less. The more I let go, the happier I am.

I’m grateful for learning and growth. I’m grateful for letting go, and for learning to love better. I’m beyond grateful for those who have loved me, in all my weaknesses.

The day I was writing this blog, I got the sweetest hand-written letter from a GSG reader named Shellie V. She said she’s doing 30 days of gratitude notes in November and I made the cut. She told me all the ways that GSG has changed her life and expressed her thanks. Not only did she make my day, but her heart rate went down.

HappyThanksgivingThere’s not one bad thing about feeling and expressing gratitude. Thank you for reading my words on this blog, the past 6 years. I love you and think of you, and the stories you’ve shared with me, every day. GSG readers are an integral part of my life that I adore. Thank you for sharing the journey with me.

Life is complicated and hard sometimes, but so beautiful. Although I’m in Switzerland with the GSG retreat / detox at Paracelsus through the American holiday, I’m thinking of home, and of you, and hoping you and your loved ones have a wonderful Thanksgiving weekend.

Dr. Jorgenson tells the beautiful story of her “autistic” son Luke

Luke 1
Little Luke in the sink for his shower.

This is a story by Dr. Michelle Jorgenson, a GSG reader in Highland, Utah, whose story is featured in the intro to How to Raise Healthy Eaters. I think you will find it inspiring:

One of my pet peeves is when people say, “I try to help my family get healthy, but they just won’t eat that kind of food.”

You aren’t punishing them by giving them healthy food to eat.  You are giving them a gift.  I have personal experience with a child who was literally “starving” on the typical kid diet of chicken nuggets, mac-n-cheese, french fries, and white bread.  This child is my son Luke.  We adopted him when he was 2 1/2 years old.

He could barely walk, and he couldn’t talk–not even one word, and doctors thought he was autistic. When we first brought him home, I had him tested by an early intervention center, and he tested at a 8-month old level on everything. He was so tiny. In fact, the first night I had to bathe him in the sink at our hotel because he was too little for the shower.

luke 2He’s Hispanic, so most people ask what country we adopted him from.  Well, Luke was from Las Vegas, Nevada.  Last I heard, that wasn’t a third world country!  He did have a rough start in life: he was born severely premature at 25 weeks. His birth mother was single, with very little money, and very little help.  I think it’s a miracle that he lived that first year: feeding tubes, oxygen at night, surgeries. He is a fighter!

But the prematurity wasn’t the only thing to blame. In fact, most kids catch up from a premature birth by 3 years old. Luke was nowhere near catching up. In the short few hours I had with his birth mom, I found out what they had been eating. Things food stamps buy: bread, crackers, cereal, bananas, peanut butter. Add in chicken nuggets and french fries, and you have his entire food chart. Our first meal with him made me cry. He shoved the food in with two hands, as fast as he could eat. There was no way he was even swallowing. He ate at warp speed until he was sick. This continued for many months.

He wanted what he was used to: crackers, bread, anything carb-loaded and white.  He was eating so much food, and was still so tiny, and so hungry.

luke 3That first night I also noticed a strange sound in his belly. We scheduled to see a pediatric digestive system specialist. He found that one of Luke’s early surgeries had failed, and Luke’s stomach had moved up to where his lungs should be. He had to have major surgery to put everything back where it belonged. After the surgery, they told us his diet would be restricted.  He couldn’t eat all those simple carbs anymore–they would go straight through.

luke 4This was right about the time I found Green Smoothie Girl and was contemplating some serious family diet changes, so the timing was perfect.  We added green smoothies every morning, and he liked them. We also started eating more and more vegetables in every meal. He still ate ravenously, but it changed to anything green! He couldn’t get enough broccoli, green beans, asparagus, peas, lettuce. He loved them all. He started avoiding the carbs on his own: he would leave bread uneaten on his plate on any occasion it was given to him.

luke 5Other things started changing, too. He started using sign language, and then finally, words! He started to grow a little. His motor skills improved and his behavior seemed to mellow some. Something was making a difference.

Luke still has his challenges, but food is no longer one of them. Now he is a thriving 7-year old who loves  anything green and will eat veggies over anything else he’s offered. He turns down sweets, carbs and most meat. He is small, but he

The Jorgenson family, happy and healthy.
The Jorgenson family, happy and healthy.

is growing, and I know that it is because he is actually getting fuel, rather than just food.

He does well academically, and is not autistic.  He is coordinated and has excellent motor skills.  He is a different boy than the one eating the standard diet of most American kids.

If I had let Luke continue avoiding the food that his body needed, who knows where he would be today. We owe it to our families to help them get what they need to be as happy and healthy as they deserve to be.

Be tough and do right by your family to make nutrition changes. It’s worth it!

Dr. Michelle Jorgensen

St. Louis young mama loses 40 pounds and raises a healthy eater!


mona lisa baby
Ellen’s sweet baby boy enjoying his green smoothie.

In our entries for the “Raising Healthy Eaters” contest was this sweet and amazing story from Ellen S. of St. Louis, Missouri. I love hearing that some of those who end up on my site, or in my lecture tour audiences, don’t just mix in a green smoothie to their Standard American Diet (which is still a good start, of course), but actually make a major, comprehensive lifestyle shift. I think you’ll be inspired by Ellen’s story:

First, I wanted to say THANK YOU! I came across your blog last winter when I was searching the internet to determine the root of my infant’s symptoms–constant runny nose, ear infections and overall discomfort.  I knew something wasn’t right when he had so much trouble with breastfeeding AND formula feeding. I wish I connected the dots before I gave up on nursing him.

Luckily, you were coming to my town soon so signed up for the seminar immediately!  I went in January of this year and never felt the meaning of the phrase “right time, right place” more than I did then.  I may have gone with the intentions of healing my family through nutrition, but I soon realized I was there because I needed healing–of mind, body and soul.

I had been ignoring the fact that I was unhappy with my lifestyle in so many ways.  I ignored the fact that I was 26 with chronic back, knee and shoulder pain. Ignoring weekly migraines and headaches almost daily. Ignoring my insomnia and permanent dark circles under my eyes. Ignoring my food addiction and the 25 extra pounds from 2 pregnancies that I had kept on.

Ignoring the wall I was beginning to build between my husband because I couldn’t even look at myself in the mirror. All those emotions came flooding to me as I sat there listening to you speak. But as soon as I told myself I needed a lifestyle overhaul, I let my fear of failure dry up my tears and tell myself it would just be too hard.

Just minutes later, you called my ticket number and announced I had won the BlendTec.

adventures-junk-food-dude-720x720I was out of excuses, I knew what I needed to do. Since that day, I spent countless hours researching, planning and praying. I started small and got rid of the obvious crap in the house that was sabotaging a healthy way of life. And I read The Adventures of Junk Food Dude to my boys, then ages 2.5 and 9 months, every night.

About 3 months later in March (and a few failed attempts), I finally woke up ready one day.  With your inspiration and Dr. Fuhrman’s Eat to Live, I set out on my journey, dragging my boys along!

Fast forward to May and I was 40 pounds lighter, working out 4-5 times a week, actually SLEEPING at night, and finally feeling like I was living with no chronic pain.  I was 165 lbs. before my children, 190 after…and now 150!  But possibly the most exciting outcome was the health of my boys.

I switched to goat’s milk (as you did) for my youngest, and what seemed like instantly, his symptoms disappeared.  And my toddler was surprisingly thriving on this diet change.  I thought for sure we’d struggle to get him to let go of his chicken nuggets and extra sharp cheddar cheese (and we did, at times, struggle), but within months he was eating like Green Smoothie Guy and NOT Junk Food Dude!

banana choc smoothieI am proud to say he walks through grocery stores now shouting “that’s NOT healfy, Mama!” Unfortunately, he is usually pointing at items in other customers’ carts. We are working on “discretion.”

During this time we also discovered our son’s Sensory Processing Disorder.  It affects almost every aspect of our daily life, especially meal time.  I used to worry constantly about his diet, because he would not eat certain foods due to the texture, temperature or appearance of a food, and he constantly had tummy troubles.

Once I introduced him to smoothies, my worries vanished.  He LOVED smoothies and was finally getting veggies of all varieties in his diet. Now, he craves veggies and snacks on them all day long.  Smoothies have also become of trick for our once chaotic bedtime struggle.  His occupational therapist mentioned that sucking through straws is extremely calming, and a great trick for kids when overstimulated.

The light bulb went on and I added a “healthy chocolate cake smoothie” (as he calls it) of banana, cocoa powder and vanilla unsweetened almond milk to our nightly routine.

These are just a few ways this lifestyle has affected our family and I see more daily. […] I am so extremely grateful for you and your team’s hard work that I sing your praises wherever I go!

Meditate your way to a new relationship between Self and Food

thepowerofhabitUpdate! I wrote after New Year’s about the sometimes-infuriating power of HABIT. At the time, I was turning right, instead of left, 95% of the time when I got to the top of my street. The city put a new through-street in, but years of having to go the other way controlled my brain for many weeks.

That week that I posted my goal, I was turning the quick way, the way that doesn’t waste gas and time, 80% of the time! Immediately!

And, no offense to Matthew (who loves pain as a change agent), I didn’t even have to snap my pony tail elastic  on my wrist every time I went the wrong direction. (His idea.)

It’s the power of INTENTION. And WRITING DOWN YOUR GOALS. I wrote here, in this public place, about my previous failure and what I want for the future, and that deepened my intention. Now I’m virtually always remembering to turn left.

(My other dumb New Year’s resolution was to completely give up gum. I know, it’s New Year’s Resolutions, not Lent. But I don’t think gum chewing is good, so I ditched it, cold turkey, bye-bye. So far, so good.) State your intention here of a change you want to make, and maybe that will help you shift!goals

12 Steps to Whole Foods is the how and why of the best nutritional practices in the world. Habits and recipes and how-to that leads to youthfulness, longevity, ideal weight, healthy digestion, and optimal energy.

We arm you with best practices, and 1,000 recipes in every category imaginable. But until we address your heart and mind, we’ve won only half the battle.

The fact is, we mistreat only things we do not value. What conclusion, then, do we draw from the fact that many people—most, in fact—abuse and sabotage our bodies daily?

We live in a culture where we are bombarded with images to compare ourselves to. Movie stars, models, airbrushed falsehoods. We’re given a very narrow range of physical characteristics that are socially desirable.

12_Steps_CourseIt’s no wonder so many turn away, in despair, and self-medicate with terrible food. Food that accelerates aging, spikes our disease risk, packs on 20 lbs or more, and makes us feel terrible.

The 12 Steps Meditations is a companion to the 12 Steps Course. But we offer it separately, unlike some of the pieces in the course, because it is my love letter to you.

It is intended to help you rethink and resolve your issues with living inside your body.

Through repetition, and a loving voice, I want you to shift your beliefs towards a love for the beautiful temple that houses your amazing spirit. Only then can you begin to make wise daily choices, within our 12 Steps program, to honor that temple.

I worked on these meditations for nearly two years. And finally I collaborated with my dear friend, a professional voice talent and a phenomenal musician, Carolyn Lundberg, who recorded them, set to beautiful, inspiring music.meditation love

Please listen to them every day, in your car or on your iPod. Let the complete redesign of your psyche, regarding how you view yourself and your body, take place over a short time.

This is the most singular “labor of love” I have created to date, among many information products. Creating them with Carolyn was a very emotional experience. I hope you are profoundly changed for the better by these meditations. My intent is to honor the divine in you, my friend.