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 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, 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:


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!

the raw food diet

I’m going to be talking for a while about the raw food diet.That’s the only “diet” I approve of (the very word is annoying, isn’t it?).Why?First, because it’s the biggest focus of this web site and the program of whole foods I promote: raw plant foods.Of the 9,000 new visitors to this site monthly, many are coming from the Standard American Diet.And like all things Americana (GSG readers come from 149 countries in the past year), the SAD has spread to all but the most remote parts of the globe.

But many others who read this site are committed raw foodists.The first group may find what I teach daunting.(BUT . . . this is for you, and you can do it.What I teach is very do-able by anyone who wants better health.)And the latter group may call my teachings “transitional”–a good stepping stone on your way to the ultimate, a completely raw diet.

I am unconvinced that 100% raw is necessary for ideal health, and I believe it may even not be ideal.But I do believe this: 60-80% raw plant food is absolutely necessary for good health.

Second, because this is the time of year to get the very best produce, in North America, at least.This is my favorite time of year, when my garden is exploding with vegetables and greens, and my trees are heavy with peaches and apricots.And roadside stands are selling the best foods on Earth.

If you think the raw food diet is some kind of fad–it is exploding on the internet for sure–think again.It’s been around since the dawn of time.In fact, degenerative disease began when mankind discovered fire and began cooking his food.We have gone downhill at an accelerated rate as we’ve discovered more ways to pervasively destroy the nutrition in our food.

Think about undertaking a raw food diet for a few weeks, now that we’re in the easiest time of year to accomplish it.You will need less sleep, as your body needs less recovery because digestion becomes a snap.You’ll have lots of energy, so plan in advance what you are going to do with the extra!Every time I go 95-100% raw for a couple of weeks to a couple of months, I’m always so happy I did.

family parties on the 4th of July

I hope you’ve all enjoyed family and fun–plus a chance to reflect on the great blessing of our freedom–this Independence Day weekend!   My two oldest brothers are in town from Dallas and Boston, and with the other four brothers and sister who live here, we’ve had a blast.   Golf, volleyball, and a tennis tournament and swimming tomorrow.   (Do you sense a theme in what we all love to do?)

We had a conversation on the 4th about one of my brothers’ church leaders being about 5’8″ and 450 lbs.   My brother was saying he is the biggest person he has ever known who is actually ambulatory.   He said this man is known as an epicurean (everyone asks him where the best place is to eat this or that).   It takes him a good 30 seconds to stand up, and his knees are in serious jeopardy of being unable to hold him.   This gentleman routinely mocks my brother, a 38-year old marathon runner with washboard abs, for “doing all this crap just to look good.”   (My brother indignantly  declared to me that looking good is nowhere near his primary reason to  care for his body.)

Another brother of mine (who, ironically, just lost 20 lbs.) said, “Yeah, but all those overweight people are laughing at us because they’re actually HAPPY!”

We had quite the lively debate about this principle.   You’ve heard people say things like this many times, right?   That the “eat, drink, and be merry” and “take no thought for tomorrow” folks are somehow having better lives than us health food nuts?

What is wrong with this notion?

You probably have something to say about this, but my sister was the first to react: she sputtered and said, “Whatever! One second it tastes good in your mouth and then you HATE yourself until the next time you put it in your mouth again.   That’s HAPPINESS?”

Interestingly, there were proponents of the “fat people are happier” argument among my family.   (Or maybe we all just grew up loving a debate so much that someone always naturally slides into the “devil’s advocate” position!)

We discussed one of my sisters-in-law’s parents completely running out of steam in their 60’s after a lifetime of energy.   We discussed some other inlaws’ several joint replacement surgeries.   We discussed the brother who made the “they’re happier” comment (the least interested in nutrition of all my sibs) having been in the hospital at the same time as his wife–with gall bladder and kidney stone problems, respectively–hobbling out of the hospital while two 300-lb. people carrying Big Gulps came barrelling past them.

I said, “You can trust in the law of karma. Sometimes it takes a while. But it’s called a LAW for a reason.”   I was sitting there listening to the raging debate, thinking, I wonder what FORTY YEARS of drinking green smoothies — getting literally 15 servings of greens and fruit daily (in a quart) even if that’s all you do  — will  do for someone, compared to his peers.   We just don’t have that data yet.   But I’m certain that over an extended period of time, it can make a MASSIVE difference in preventing the diseases felling everyone else around us.

I think the idea that the obese among us are happier because they eat whatever they want is ludicrous.   First, they can’t actually eat anything they want without gaining weight.   It takes very little calories to maintain fat.   (Muscle burns more calories.)   Second, they’ve lost the ability to do the TRULY beautiful things in life.   Go down the slides at the water park.   Play on the ground with the grandchildren.   Go for a long hike and enjoy nature.   Have enough stamina to be truly productive.   (I could go on and on.)   When all the other things that give life meaning and pleasure are gone because we’ve abused our temple, and the only pleasure left is junk food, something has gone terribly wrong.

I’m not advocating for being food monks.   It’s not either-or.   A miserable life of eating miserable food, or a happy life of eating happy food.   I’m wanting us to have a rich, fabulous life and ENJOY FOOD, too!   Just find more foods that are whole and nourishing and indulge only rarely, if ever,  in the rich foods that make us ill.

an interesting green smoothie testimonial

I have lots more testimonials I haven’t posted yet.   I’ve blogged in the past about the personality changes and mood improvements that people experience when they toss the refined foods and start eating whole, mostly-raw plant food.   Here’s an interesting testimonial from a reader named Grace that came in this morning through the questionnaire on the site:

“Green smoothies have changed my life in so many ways. At first, I got caught up in the physical changes and although very important, I am now seeing other transformations taking place on mental and emotional levels as well, which I had not anticipated. I feel more focused, have smoother energy, am less irritable, and am noticing the ‘beauty’ of nature, people, things. . .

I used to resist everything–subway ride to and from work, incoming calls (work in an office), bills, deadlines, etc. Nowadays, I just feel more appreciative and have changed the way I look at life, drawing strength from things that inspire passion and dream. Instead of resisting, I’ve learned that by treating things differently (keeping an open heart and a positive attitude with much gratitude), I end up feeling differently about them as well. Sometimes the smallest shift can take you in a different direction. And yes, all this from green smoothies!!!

But to keep myself inspired, I will share that my skin is glowing, the shape of my face is much more refined, I’ve lost weight, my eyes are clearer, hair shinier. I feel that my breathing has enhanced–can take in more air. I have to attribute these changes to eating a plant based diet which includes daily green smoothies. Greens are powerful detoxifiers and sources of great nourishment. And fruit, well what can I say about fruit? They get such a bad rap but I think they are the most cleansing foods on the planet. Maybe that’s why they’re frowned upon and viewed as the culprit for candida, high blood sugar, weight gain, etc.–they ‘stir’ things up and work hard to push toxins and sludge out of the body. These cleansing reactions although unpleasant, are necessary. You will feel worse before you feel better. And I think that’s the point. At least, that’s been my experience. Fruits and greens together, I consider them a match made in heaven!!”

Green Smoothie testimonials, part 12

After a year of thinking and searching deeply about going vegetarian, I took the leap in September of ’08. What made the transition easy was the discovery of the green smoothie!I first heard of them on Robyn’s informative website, was intrigued and investigated the origins of green smoothies and started to find whole blogging communities who were drinking these liquid vegetable treats. I viewed many of the YouTube videos Robyn had posted and saw how simple it was to get my veggies the green smoothie way.I started right away, using my simple kitchen blender.My 11 y.o. son and my husband were curious and started drinking them with me almost immediately.We LOVE them!

The chronic eczema around edges of my scalp are clearing up (some are completely gone!), ridges in my fingernails are flattening out and nails have become hard, chronic tiredness has been replaced with vibrant energy, mild arthritic symptoms in fingers vanished, hypothyroid symptoms growing less (although I’m on a low dose of Armour and have been for years, I still experience many of the hypothyroid symptoms – but they are really improving!), insomnia seems to be vanquished, I’ve lost 9 lbs so far, and I don’t know if this could be related but I no longer sunburn!

But what is truly amazing is that I’m growing in streaks of brown hair where it was solid silver before-fabulous!

We are experiencing great health benefits from these marvelous drinks and I think we may be addicted to the vibrancy and high energy kick we get from them.I’ll be getting results from a blood test next week and I can’t wait to see the numbers! I’ve turned several friends and family members into green smoothie drinkers and am actually pursuing a radio show where I will be able to discuss and share my progress with others.Thank you Robyn for GreenSmoothieGirl blogs!Your generosity in sharing your info with the world has inspired so many to move towards health!


I love them, I love green smoothies anyway, and I love your recipes the best. It is so good to have mainly greens and a few fruits instead of the other way around as I was previously doing. I love them and my kids do also. They crave them as I do.


Green Smoothie Testimonials, Part 11

More Green Smoothie testimonials from my research:

My husband and I have been enjoying green smoothies 6-7 times a week for the past 9 months. We are hooked! In fact, we went on vacation for a week and missed our BlendTec blender and green smoothie so much, we could hardly wait to get back home to start again. My husband was diagnosed with bladder cancer three years ago, and the doctor consistently was removing new tumor sites every three months.

Once we found the Green Smoothie site, got our blender, and started making the smoothies, he has consistently been clear of any new tumors. His latest colonoscopy this year was also clear, he has more energy, and feels healthy and strong. We will not go without our healthy green start each day! We can’t thank you enough!

–Nancy K.

I have hyperthyroid (Graves Disease) and have been on Propyl-Thyracil (PTU) for the past 15 years. During this time, doctors and specialists have urged me to go on radioactive iodine, and some of them have even ridiculed me for wanting to consider alternative methods.

I knew instinctively that an answer lay for me in something else besides pills. But I was told that they knew of nothing else and that the iodine treatment was pretty standard. (Well, not for me, thank you very much!) I have searched and searched for years. I even went off PTU for three months thinking that I could use positive thinking and visualization to heal myself…but to no avail.

So when I came across green smoothies in about June 2008, I knew that it was more like a liquid salad, full of nutrition and basic goodness. So together with beginning a high raw foodstyle, I was able to decrease my PTU intake every 3 months since then, when having an appointment with my endocrinologist to check out blood work. I had been on three PTUs per day.

So after the first three months, I decreased it to two, thinking that there would be some changes to my blood work results. Since there was none, again after three months, I decreased it to one PTU per day. Again no changes in T4, Free T3, and sTSH results. My last appointment with the endocrinologist was in January 2009. Again no changes.

She was delighted and suggested that I come off PTU completely. I almost fell off my chair that a doctor would suggest no pills. Of my own choice, and with her approval, I asked if I should consider half a PTU per day until my next appointment. She agreed. To date, I feel fine with no increased palpitation and an abundance of energy. Thank you so much green smoothies, and most of all, thank you to Robyn for her relentless pursuit of research.

–Hal Walter (Ottawa, Ontario, Canada)