Energy drinks, to “get through the day?”

danger-energy-drinksI have been researching energy drinks—a fairly new phenomenon, but exploding in popularity, especially among young people. The Millennials and Gen Y (actually, all young people in all generations) are generally ill-educated about health and nutrition and also unmotivated by risks. 30 years from now, they’ll be saying what we are:

“Ah, I wish I wasn’t so stupid when I was a kid.” (Indulging in excesses of junk food, sun, alcohol, filling cavities with metals, and just generally being blithe about our choices. Once my mother left an article on my pillow about skin cancer resulting from sunburns, and she said, “When you’re 40, you’re going to be sorry you did all that sunbathing!” I thought, “Who cares? When I’m 40 I’ll be OLD and I won’t care how I look!” Ah, the bitter laughter, every time I share that story with friends. Who knew that at 40, we care as much about our appearance as we did at 20? For the record, let me say: I wish I’d listened to my mom.)

I recently asked on my blog, how many of you drink a stimulant to get going in the morning, or to get through the day? The results are not necessarily representative of America, because my readers are likely healthier than most, plus they’re reporting with their name and photo, so statistically less likely to be honest.

(However, the guy who said he drinks Jagermeister to get going in the morning has been discarded rather than included in results. We did try to get a meaningful statistic.)

But the results are that 71% of 211 GSG readers responding on FB admit to anywhere from 1 to 6 caffeinated beverages daily, to deal with energy deficits. Amazing! Let’s talk about soda, and energy drinks, how they compare, and what the antidote is, how to get off them forever.

What percentage of Americans drink soda regularly?

A Gallup poll in 2012 revealed that 48 percent of Americans drink soda daily! More young adults than others—56 percent of those 18 to 34 admit to a regular soda habit.

energy drinks side eWhat are the dangers of energy drinks?

Medical literature shows a limited number of cases of caffeine-associated deaths, as well as seizures from drinking energy drinks. A few reports include cardiac arrest and death in young, healthy people from drinking energy drinks.

Drinking caffeine leads to caffeine-withdrawal headaches. Even changing the amount you drink can cause frequent headaches. I always warn those doing the GSG Detox: caffeine comes out hard! Those who drink caffeinated soda and coffee almost always have headaches.

That’s toxicity leaving via the neurological system.

Australian research based on calls to their poison center shows these symptoms of people drinking energy drinks:

Heart palpitations / tachycardia, tremors / shaking, agitation / restlessness, gastrointestinal upset, chest pain, dizziness, tingling or numbing of the skin, insomnia, respiratory distress, and headache.

One of the scariest things to me about energy drinks is that 11-year olds are buying them. The marketers have made it very trendy and cool to walk around with Monster or Red Bull drinks, which have as much caffeine as 1, 2, or even 3 cups of coffee—or 4 or more colas. You can’t always tell the total effect by the milligrams of caffeine on the label, because other stimulants on the label, such as guarana and ginseng, which have a compounded effect. Plus there are 13 teaspoons of sugar in a 16-oz. can.

Worse, they are being marketed as a calorie burner and a workout enhancer. (Certainly you can work out harder if you’re flying high on a stimulant.) Athletes using energy drinks to fuel a workout can experience dehydration, due to the diuretic effect.

For reference points, a can of Coke has 34 mg of caffeine, and Mountain Dew has 55 mg. An energy drink has 75 to 200 mg per serving.

But what about kids who drink two of them in a row? (An 18-year old died during a basketball game after drinking 2 Red Bulls, reported in the Mayo Clinic Proceedings last November.)

So little is known about theenergy-drink-mixed-with-alcohol-trigger-alcohol-related-problems long-term effects of drinking these drinks packed with sugar or chemical sweeteners, chemicals, and caffeine. Watchdog groups worry about the effect on heart health, diabetes rates, and more.

There’s a trend towards young people mixing energy drinks with alcohol, an upper and a downer, with frightening results. In fact, some companies have followed this trend, and made drinks to oblige, such as Joose, a doubly toxic whammy with both caffeine and alcohol.

Drinking caffeine with alcohol causes a person who is intoxicated to feel like they aren’t, since tiredness is one of the signs you’ve had too much to drink. Research shows those who combine caffeine and alcohol drink more and have higher blood alcohol content. The hangover is worse, since both alcohol and caffeine cause dehydration and increase toxicity. It creates a serious problem for people with an underlying heart problem–and many cardiovascular problems are undiagnosed until a cardiac event occurs. Younger and younger people are being diagnosed with cardiac issues.

What’s a better approach to low energy?

Eating nutrient dense foods is. Getting them throughout the day, the crux of every meal and snack. A green smoothie daily is a good start, but it isn’t enough. I like raw vegetable/green juicing. But most people won’t do that. It’s very time-consuming. I also like our whole-food drink mixes for an easy, nutrient-dense addition to your day.  And our plant-based, organic protein powder gives you staying power. It’s a great addition to water, a green smoothie, or our drink mixes.




Good Vibrations

good vibrationsIt’s a song by The Beach Boys that you’ve never about thought much. Feel free to listen to it HERE while you read this blog.

I’ve been obsessed with studying vibrational energy in the past year, and my 2014 lecture is all about this. How to stop obsessing about calories and macronutrients and other fairly useless nutritional concepts. How to focus on what you care about most anyway, with your food choices—raising your vibration.

cellular energyCells, organ systems, and human beings have electrical frequencies, and higher frequencies are better. People who are dying have ever-decreasing energetic measurements. Higher vibration is needed if we are to be compassionate, loving, productive, intelligent, spiritually connected, evolved in every way. When we are around a substance or a person of a higher vibration, did you know that it can raise ours?

Did you know that these things lower your vibration: cell phones, angry or depressed people, power lines, fear, TV watching, candy and coffee? Did you know that these things raise your vibration: certain crystals or gemstones, people telling you about an idea they are excited about, meditation and yoga, loving physical touch or sexual release with someone you feel connected to, green smoothies, and essential oils?

EatRightInTheRealWorldFinalSo I’m not going to deliver a treatise today on vibration, even though I’d like to. It’s in my new book releasing in a few weeks, How to Eat Right In the Real World, and in my lecture tour by the same title.

But let me share a few somewhat random thoughts with you from my own pondering and also from Coach Amanda’s Pinterest collection of talks and articles on the subject that she created after I told the coaches we should develop a class. Don’t you love short little quotes, by someone really smart, that hit you between the eyes? That’s what these did for me.

1.Perhaps stress is more about the stories we tell ourselves about our lives.

–Dr. Mark Hyman, MD

(I think the most important book on this subject is The Bonds That Make Us Free, by Terry C. Warner. I read it 20 years ago, when it was an unpublished manuscript, and it may have changed my outlook in life, for the better, more than any other book I’ve ever read. Read that, or Warner’s business book, Leadership and Self-Deception, for an exercise in getting really clear about how the stories you tell yourself, about your life, may be holding you and those you love back from your true potential.)

aura2This next quote contains very New-Agey-jargon, but see if it speaks to you anyway, even if it’s a little outside your comfort zone. Sit with it, tell me what you think?

2. “…..spiritual hygiene and the proper use of our energy fields are imperative to our well-being. Our aura is our PROTECTION so if we get in an argument with someone and we are upset, it is highly likely our energy field will expand so rapidly that we will get tears and holes in it. In addition, excessive drinking and drugs also greatly affect our shield of protection, as well as a very poor diet. We need to keep our aura STRONG, our thoughts in alignment with our highest good, and also we need to pray and meditate so we can incorporate more LIGHT into our being. LIKE energy attracts LIKE energy……so make sure your thoughts are constructive, not destructive, and also be careful of your FEARS. Whatever we fear will be magnetized to us.

–author Sabrina Reber

Dr. Jared Nielsen, in a seminar he did with me, after I spoke on vibrational energy at the GSG Retreat in Switzerland that just ended on Dec. 8, said that he has read evidence that vibration of food increases when you pray over it.

He had us all say, “Thank you” together, out loud. It was a simple thing to do, but it was very powerful, and Cynthia B. declared “I feel better already!”

group energyAs a public speaker, I notice that energy shifts in a group have a clear, quick, vibrational effect on all members of the group. Someone who is doing something irritating in an audience negatively charges the energy of a large group of people. (Answering their phone, or ignoring their crying baby.) The speaker sharing something intimate and inspiring raises vibration. A speaker being self-indulgent and arrogant lowers vibration. A speaker with little energy, poorly prepared, lowers vibration. An audience member interrupting the teacher to change the subject to something the audience doesn’t want to hear about lowers vibration. A teacher who is passionate about what she’s speaking about raises vibration.

I love being a student of these principles and practicing and learning more about raising my own energies, so my cells can thrive and do their work, and so that I can raise the vibration of those around me! I, too, find myself doing things that bring me lower. Today, on the very day I write about this, I have done some stuff that lowered my vibration.

I am still learning from my mistakes. Tomorrow, though, is new!


15 Ways I Optimize Health and Energy Every Day—Besides Good Food! (part 3 of 4)


Sex is an important part of a healthy life, and people with good, monogamous sexual relationships are more likely to have good emotional and physical health. But part of the reason why is due to the fact that their need for physical touch is being met.

Everyone has read about how babies and young children need touch almost as much as they need food and water. It is actually critical to our survival. Babies in orphanages who are never touched wither away, do not develop normally, and sometimes die or have severe personality disorders.

One way that I have met this need since becoming single 5 years ago, is with massage. (That’s right, I’m not afraid to admit it. When I’m not in an intimate relationship, I PAY for appropriate physical touch! It accomplishes some of the same benefits.)

My daughters aren’t huggers, but luckily, my sons are. I constantly hug and love on my boys. And, a little, on my girls, when they let me. Intimacy, for women, is accomplished far more through touch, than through sexual release. Men who figure this out early have stronger marriages.


To people who least expect it. When no one is looking. To people who don’t deserve it from you. And especially people who do! Expect nothing in return. Little is more satisfying and more conducive to your OWN good health, than service. Serve when it’s inconvenient, when you don’t feel like it, when you’re tired. Not always—it’s okay to take care of you!—but sometimes.

Smile and wave at someone who flips you off, when you’re driving. Love better, love more, find new ways to love. Observe the ways your family and friends want to be loved, and meet them there–rather than giving love your own preferred way. Spend a whole day in service. Find a janitor or a server or a bus driver and tell them how much you appreciate their work.

Acknowledge your innate selfishness. (Me, too.) And then feel the full measure of your humanity—what differentiates us from animals—when you do the right thing for someone else even though you had 20 pressing things on your to-do list and the personal sacrifice is significant.


Maybe you’re like me and it doesn’t feel like a workout unless you’ve done it for 60 minutes. Or maybe you spend only 20 minutes in high-intensity workout like my very fit friend Dr. Jared Nielsen. Whatever method you wish! As the actor Matthew McConaghey said, whom I always quote, “break a sweat every day!”

Take one or two days off, per week, but not more. Do something you like, at least some of the time. (I admit, I put my time in, running, which I don’t particularly enjoy, and on the boring stationery bike in hotel gyms. That’s what books, and iPods, are for! But I also do things I love, like cycling and tennis and Zumba.)

The body wants to sweat, it wants to move, it wants to be outdoors. Breaking a sweat is key to getting on top of mood disorders. Sex and exercise yield the best endorphins—and even single people can get those endorphins with the latter activity, anytime!

daylight-benefits10. GET IN THE SUN.

There is no substitute. Take your Vitamin D3 in the winter, great idea—but we still need sunshine. Human beings were used to getting regular sunshine until the past couple of generations. With the shift away from an agricultural society, populations, in general,  now spend the majority of their time indoors.

Turns out, it is a misconception that people should stay out of the sun and/or slather themselves with sunscreen. In fact, the #1 correlate for cancer risk is how far from the Equator you are! The further away, the less sun, the higher the cancer risk. High Vitamin D levels actually correlate to low cancer risk.

Lack of sunshine is also a perfect recipe for depression. In the last two decades, a diagnosis of “Seasonal Affective Disorder” is practically an epidemic. That’s because people who live far from the Equator, with long, overcast winters, are living in conditions that few humans ever have—totally indoors. Our biology demands sunshine and everything that comes with it—hands in the black dirt, grounding us, breathing clean air, and feeling the warm sun on our skin. Don’t wash that Vitamin D off when you come inside. It takes hours for it to internalize, as hormone, and work with calcium to build bone.

Raw honey and more awesome stuff—GIVEAWAY!

Our friend Nature Nate’s is a family-owned business, and they sponsored my lecture in Austin. Be one of the first three to write us at and get this awesome giveaway package pictured here!

GSG Basket (2)The three winners are getting a 32-oz raw honey, a 12-oz raw honey, a Nature Nate’s apron, a BPA-free shaker bottle, a 4-oz bottle of Madagascar Vanilla, and an orange spatula. Lucky you! They sent me their product as a Christmas gift, and we love it at my house! We mix it into raw almond butter for sandwiches.

I disappeared my family’s seasonal allergies the year that we began using raw, unfiltered honey. It’s a perfect example of how food can be medicine. The pollen content in honey, untreated by heat, can act much like a homeopathic. I used to be miserable in the spring and fall when pollens were in the air, and thanks to eating just small amounts of raw honey on a regular basis, I solved that problem long ago. Raw honey is also high in minerals, unlike refined sugar, as well as the energy- and sex-drive-stoking royal jelly that keep that queen bee happy.

Check out Nature Nate’s STORE LOCATOR because there are very few companies who are committed to providing truly raw honey, so please support them as a friend of GreenSmoothieGirl, raw food nutrition commitment, and good business ethics.

Questions and Answers about PROTEIN

Check out these common questions about protein, with my answers:

how much proteinQ&A

Question: What about “PERFECT PROTEINS?” Aren’t those the best?

Answer: No, not at all. A “perfect” protein just means it very closely matches human flesh. In fact, proteins from plants, where the body builds from the “raw materials” of amino acids (protein’s building blocks) yield more durable muscle mass. They aren’t “perfect” proteins, but that doesn’t mean they are inferior. Quite the opposite.

Eating the flesh of animals does “bulk you up” more quickly. It also breaks down more quickly.

boddy builderAnd eating the amount of animal protein that bulks up a bodybuilder also dramatically accelerates aging and increases disease risk.

(For a moment, stop looking at a bodybuilder or fitness competitor’s body, 99% of them who overload on animal proteins and whey protein powders. Look at their FACES. They look OLD.)

Question: Should I be worried about getting enough protein?

Answer:  Again, nope. The World Health Organization says 5% protein is adequate! Even an exclusively plant-based diet averages about 10%, especially if it contains decent amounts of greens, legumes, and nuts/seeds. Virtually no one in the world has a protein deficiency. We do, however, have deficiencies in many nutrients found in PLANTS.

R U sureWhat does the average American eat, relative to the 5% “adequate protein” recommended by the most legitimized health organization in the world? Fully 20% animal protein! This is more than any culture in the history of the world has ever eaten.

And the China Study (Cornell/Oxford collaboration) found, by tracking 6,500 people in China, that eating 20% animal protein is highly correlated to cancer, heart disease, and other risks.

Question: What if I feel better eating more protein?

Answer: First of all, consider this. The research doesn’t say, only A blood types have high cancer and other disease risk if they eat a lot of meat. It’s ALL blood types who do. The New York Times called The China Study the Grand Prix of Epidemiology. It’s the biggest nutrition study in history, and its main macro implication is, high animal protein diseases lead to all the diseases of the modern age.

If you “feel better” eating more protein, it’s only temporary. It has nothing to do with your blood type. Or what your ancestors ate.  That diet has made its creator a lot of money, but it’s been very well and soundly debunked. (Sure, you feel better “eating for your blood type,” but that is because the diet eliminates refined carbs for ALL the diets. Virtually all Americans eat lots of processed carbs, and you will always feel better getting off them.)

The easiest way to explain why the Blood Type Diet is a sham is to ask you two questions and let you mull it over. Use your critical thinking skills. First of all, are ALL your ancestors from the same place? How do people whose ancestors are from different continents prescribe their diet according to A, O, or AB blood? And, why did every one of the ancient cultures the authors refer to have ALL THE BLOOD TYPES? That’s right, ancient Asians had O, A, B, and AB blood. Ditto ancient Europeans. Hmmm. Makes you scratch your head, doesn’t it?

If you feel better eating a lot of protein, it’s because when you shift to eating a plant-based diet, your body immediately begins to detoxify. That process often initially involves weakness and fatigue. That’s simply a transition.

vegan energyI felt the same way when I stopped eating animals, a temporary malaise. Now I virtually never eat any animals (a bite of red meat now and then makes me nauseous, which I couldn’t have imagined back in the days I ate a burger for lunch every day). And I have never had so much energy. In my 20’s, I was exhausted by the things I now do on a daily basis, and love every minute of it! When I was 22, I was exhausted by the time I rented skiis, drove to the resort, and strapped on my boots. I did it to be with my friends, but secretly I wondered, “What’s fun about this?” That was my attitude towards much of my life! Now I ski 2-3 afternoons a week, after working out in the morning and doing my job all day, and I still have plenty of energy for my evening.

I’m just a case study. My experience isn’t everyone’s. I get that. I’m just using my own experience as an example. The principles in this answer are a synopsis of much reading and research, and they are solid and well documented. Unfortunately some of the Food Cults of the past few decades have you legitimately confused, conflicted, and overwhelmed.

Give any shift towards nutrient dense foods TIME. Be patient with temporary reactions that aren’t always comfortable. Proteins are needed to build and repair. But excesses of them rob the body of minerals. Excesses of them radically increase risk of cancer and heart disease and auto-immune conditions, due to fragments of undigested proteins floating in the bloodstream en masse, far more than the body can metabolize.

If you do eat animal proteins, eat only range fed and organic. This will massively increase your grocery bill, whereas legumes and whole grains, with 10 percent protein (which is ideal for digestion) are very inexpensive.

eat bloodQuestion: What about “eating right for my blood type?” Aren’t O blood types supposed to eat lots of animal protein, and A types do well as vegetarians?

Answer: I have written more extensively on this subject on the site. ( read it HERE) Let me give you the nutshell version of why experts like Dr. Joel Fuhrman have thoroughly debunked the junk science that underpins this fad diet. Before you get emotional about this because you feel better “eating for your blood type,” let me point out that EVERYONE will feel better eliminating processed foods, and thankfully, the D’Adamos tell ALL of the blood types to eliminate processed carbs.

But the entire philosophy is based on where your ancestors came from. What to do about people whose mother and father are from two different continents / cultures? And what about the fact, just think about this, that ALL of those cultures had A, B, AB, and O blood types? It all falls apart here.

Certainly people are all different and there is no “one size fits all” diet. If you are very emotionally attached to meat, eat it. Just eat very little of it (there is NO “type” who shouldn’t eat disease-preventative, low-environmental-impact raw plant foods, none!). And eat clean meat. (It’s very expensive.)

Question: Tell me one more benefit to not over-consuming animal protein, to pinkie push me into eating more legumes and nuts and seeds and greens!

Answer: I confess I made this question up. No one has ever asked it of me before. It’s a totally opportunistic fake question designed so I can tell you THIS:

food moneyWhen the economic bubble supporting meat and dairy bursts, you’re not going to be able to afford meat or milk. It takes 20 pounds of plant food to yield one pound of beef. That’s why no other culture in the history of the world has eaten as much meat as we do! (Yes, some cultures who lived on the water ate LOTS of fish, or whale blubber. But this was long ago, when fresh fish nutrition wasn’t heavily counterbalanced by terribly polluted waters.)

Do the math. If one pound of plants costs $1, then a pound of meat, with NO PROFIT for the rancher, should cost $20/lb.! Oops, we forgot to factor in that that same pound of beef also requires 1,000 gallons of water! You read that right. One thousand gallons.

So, when the U.S. government stops propping up meat and dairy with subsidies, people will be FORCED to stop eating it, unless they have a ranch with all the raw materials and can raise beef and pigs and chickens themselves.

We might want to just get used to eating low on the food chain now.

update on the Sugar Bet

Do you ever stop and think about the ways karma just flows and flows?

When I was over six months into my year-long Sugar Bet, last February, I confessed that I’d screwed up, when I was in Hawaii.

I came clean immediately when I got home. Not just here on the blog, but I went to Matthew, handed him $1,000 cash, and asked him to let me finish the year. He, on the other hand, was legitimately released from his obligation.

He thought about my request for a WEEK, while I agonized. Then he accepted. He tried to give me the $1,000 back and I said no.

He said he was changing the rules. I got to have three weekend vacations where I could have sugar, for the rest of the year, while I finished it out through Sept. 18. (That’s the full year, plus a week as penalty.)

I did take advantage of that recently—on our trip to Portland, I ate sugar and Kristin was amazed. She said to her brother, “I don’t know who she is! She is usually in constant motion!” She was referring to how I’d lost my energy. I’d fall asleep in the car. I’d say I didn’t want to go out till late.

Sugar does that. It wrecks me. I hadn’t eaten it in a long time, and now I remember why it’s the devil. It trashes my adrenal glands and makes me a lesser version of myself.

I said, “On the rare occasion I eat like other people do, even for a few days, I feel like other people feel. Like, bleh. I don’t like it! I can’t wait to go back home, to juicing and green smoothies and salads and NO SUGAR.”

Anyway, I’m finishing out my year on the Sugar Bet—just one more month. (Actually, I’ve already found another friend to bet $10,000 for another year, more on that later.)

But some people on the blog and facebook took me to task. They said I took advantage of my relationship with Matthew, and that I should have paid him $10,000.

Well here’s the funny thing. Early in the year, I told him to look for a rental property for me. I told him what I wanted and that I was willing to wait.

Shortly before the Sugar Bet ended, Matthew’s realtor partner Drew took me to see a property, and I bought it.

Guess what the realtor’s commission is that I’m paying Matthew?

It’s $10,000.

That feels good, doesn’t it? I have learned to trust karma. I will have a big smile on my face writing that check to Armstrong Flinders and Associates at the closing.

I think we reap what we sow.  I have this card on my corkboard in my office that says, “ MAKE SOMETHING BEAUTIFUL OF YOUR LIFE.” It’s a statement of my belief that this is within my grasp—the ability to take hold of my existence on the planet and make meaning of it.

Ecclesiastes 11:1 says something like, cast your bread upon the waters and after many days it will come back to you.

What’s coming back to you? Good stuff?

As Abraham Lincoln said, folks are about as happy as they have a mind to be. We don’t get everything, but we tend to get out of life what we want most.

We look like what we eat, and what we spend our time doing. If someone bikes 100 miles a week and drinks carrot juice and eats a salad every day for lunch, you can tell. If we drink beer from Thursday to Sunday and eat T-bones and fries and chocolate cake, we look like it.

We have positive relationships if we’re generous, kind, and forgiving. If we laugh a lot, other people laugh when they’re in the room with us.

Examples of karma.

Occasionally bad things happen to good people. The bad guys get away with stuff sometimes. But I believe it evens out in the end. It’s a beautiful phenomenon. The universe’s need for homeostasis creates it.