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:


The NASTIEST green smoothie ever…a war is brewing…and Samantha’s blog

Today I filmed inside a closed Good Earth store, where the Wilberts, Cornias, and Total Care Dental got the following fun surprises:

$50/week for the next 2 months in groceries from The Good Earth, presented by co-owner Scott Howard

$50/week for the next 2 months in groceries from SunWarrior, plus free protein powder, Liquid Light, and Ormus Greens, presented by co-owners Denley and Jan Fowlke

$100 gift certificates for green smoothies from the Roxberry franchises that have GreenSmoothieGirl franchises inside them, presented by co-owner Holly Jackman

Everyone was pretty excited. I gave each group a tour around the inside of a health food store, so they begin to feel comfortable there. I told them that you spend MOST of your dollars in Produce and Bulk…and when you figure out something is going to be a staple at your house, you buy a case/box of it and ask for a case discount. (Good Earth is happy to arrange this.)

The Wilberts and Cornias break my heart every time I see them because they are such beautiful families facing such daunting health challenges. The Hot Chicks of Total Care Dental crack me up because they are so much fun–they never stop laughing and joking around.

Dental Hygienist Jillene and I are cooking up a total GreenSmoothieGirl smackdown. She’s an extreme-athlete mom like me, and we are gonna have a contest: wearing athletic gear, a ref wearing a jersey and whistle on hand to enforce the rules, all oiled up with black football-player lines under our eyes, we are gonna make each other the NASTIEST. EVER. GREEN SMOOTHIE. Whoever takes the longest to gag hers down is GOIN’ DOWN.

(Help me with this: what should the loser have to do? I sense I should be spending some time boning up on pushups.) (I made the mistake of telling Jillene’s co-workers that I gag on wheat grass juice….they were quick to inform her of my Achilles Heel, my Kryptonite….I am SCARED. Maybe I will stop by Good Earth every day for a few weeks to drink wheat-grass shots. UGH. Her co-workers said, “Do you know who you’re dealing with?!”)

Anyway, it’s gonna be a smackdown of epic proportions. Stay tuned because that video will eventually air here. I called Jillene on Saturday to tell her about my idea, and she had to pull her bike off the road to answer and listen to my ideas. She is not jokin’ around, that girl.When I’m skiing, she’s biking. When I’m playing tennis, she’s training for a marathon. When I’m kickboxing, she’s probably crocodile hunting or something.

GAME ON. Bring your wheat grass juice and I’ll match you….ohhhh, no, I am not going to give my tricks away here. Muahahahaha.

And here’s Samantha’s blog, so you can follow along her path to whole foods and health. She and Nate quit drinking soda and started green smoothies on Monday. Enjoy her blog!


door-to-door meat salesmen

I just answered my front door and thought you would like this:

Salesman: “Do you like chicken or beef?”

Me: “Neither! We like to eat plants. We serve a more or less vegetarian diet here.”

Salesman: “What if it’s only $2/lb.?”

Me, big smile: “Even if it were free!”

Salesman, face falling: “Oh. Sometimes people say that but they change their tune when I tell them about the great prices.”


Just a reminder to look back about 10 days in this blog if you didn’t hear about my IDAHO FALLS class tomorrow, June 3, and you live near there or know someone who does. Looking forward to meeting Idahoans and watching a lot of baseball!

Power foods? Really?

I saw a People Magazine article last week about 10 “power foods.” They listed agave, along with the aggressively marketed, uber-expensive acai and goji berries. Now I’m not going to diss  acai and goji, which are certainly high in antioxidants.

But if you’re trying to adhere to a budget, do you really want to pay $10 to $60 a pound for these “power foods” from thousands of miles away from your home, when you can buy oranges and apples for $0.69/lb.? Their antioxidant levels may not be as high, but they’re wonderful foods grown close to home that won’t break the bank, and IF YOU EAT THEM REGULARLY they can be an important part of an aggressive anti-disease and pro-energy healthy diet.

Not too exotic, I know. And if you have lots of discretionary income, great. Eat interesting little berries from mountain ranges all the way across the world. (I do really like goji, though I justify the cost only now and then.)

But meantime, common sense suggests that if you stick to greens, vegetables, fruits, nuts, seeds, legumes, and whole grains grown near you, you’ll be JUST FINE.

As for agave being a power food, no way.

WHAT?! You offer agave in the group buy and it’s in your recipes, GreenSmoothieGirl! WHAT. ARE. YOU. SAYING!

My friends, it is much preferable than sugar. If you get a reputable brand that certifies it to be raw and organic, you should use it for treats that are alternatives to junk food.

But no concentrated sweetener is a power food–except maybe honey, because of its pollen content and anti-bacterial properties. (Still really high in calories. Use it sparingly.)

Anyway, I rolled my eyes at the People article, so mainstream and dumbed down. But I guess nobody wants to hear that boring old broccoli, or almonds, or raw sweet potatoes, are power foods. Yawn. We want something NEW!

People are always writing me, “What do you think of Dr. X’s heart-disease preventing supplement?” “What do you think of emu oil?”

I haven’t studied every new, well-marketed product out there. But keep in mind that for every drop of something-or-other you can squeeze out of the poor emu, or every new pill full of “natural” stuff, there’s a bunch of people sitting around a boardroom strategizing on how a study they pay for can “prove” that you simply must have it to heal 30 different maladies.

I don’t mean to sound cynical. Try it if it’s in your budget. But now and then I like to pull everybody who might be listening, back to the straight and narrow road. That is, simple, whole, unadulterated plant foods. Those we KNOW will heal us and prevent all the awful things we’d rather not die of. If you’re reading the Emu Oil ad online while eating your second Hostess Ding Dong of the day, an examination of priorities might be in order.

Just my $0.02.

So you’re trying to get kids to eat right!

You’re raising kids (or maybe helping with your grandkids)?  You and me both, my friend!  I’m raising four—two boys and two girls. They all have different personalities, interests, and temperaments. Your kids are “picky,” you say? I get that. I’ve got two kids like that.

I don’t pretend to have all the answers, but I have picked up an arsenal of wisdom, not just from my experience, but from sitting at the knee of other parents who are doing a pretty dang good job. My next book I’m writing is about teaching kids to eat right.

I know what it’s like to work and try to fit healthy cooking in around the cracks in my time. And I’m a single mom, too, so honestly, I can relate to your challenges on so many levels.

I did a YouTube video on things that really help if you’re raising small children—see video 6 on this page:

A few tips might help you, too:

First, make lists and post them inside your cupboard to consult when you’re making a grocery list or deciding what to have for dinner.  Those lists should include favorite nutritious menu ideas, recipes, and ingredient lists.

And make a list of simple whole foods to have on hand that you observe each of your children enjoying.

Second, don’t be afraid to let them in the kitchen to make their own stuff, with you just providing the ingredients.  And let them experiment—as the family green smoothie chef, for instance.  (You can give them a recipe and ask them to follow it.  Ask them to double it, and they’re exercising the “math brain!”)  Owning a kitchen project gives a child a sense of accomplishment.  She’ll make a bigger mess in the kitchen than you would have, of course, but you’ll be glad you allowed it, when it’s all over.

Third, develop an arsenal of much healthier treats that you make or buy, that your family enjoys.  That’s the worst thing, when we start eating fried and corn-syrup- or sugar-sweetened treats.  Ch. 11 of my 12 Steps to Whole Foods program is all about treats, the kind you don’t have to feel guilty about.  If your relatives (or ex-spouse) are open to it, you can send those treats instead of the ones they serve.

Fourth, praise them for their good choices and give them a lot of positive feedback for their kitchen creations that involve whole foods.  Make sure you point out when they seem to have more energy or a more sunny mood as a result of their good choices.  Keep it POSITIVE, POSITIVE, POSITIVE!

And here are some additional tips from the site:

May your efforts pay off with children who support you and learn to love good, natural food!

To Your Health,


national study on grocery budgeting

How much does the average family spend on groceries?   Nationwide, according to the USDA, here it is:


Two adults:

$361 thrifty / $459 low-cost / $569 moderate / $711 liberal


Two adults and 2 kids under 11:

$603 thrifty / $779 low-cost / $974 moderate / $1,182 liberal


Spending for my own family, which includes 4 kids, two of whom are teenagers and all of whom play at least one competitive sport, puts me in the THRIFTY to LOW-COST range.


So much for these excuses for not eating nutritious whole foods:


“I can’t because I’m a busy, single, working mom.”

“It’s too expensive.”


Truly, I believe that the reason nutrition hasn’t gone out the window since I’ve been a single mother is that I had good habits and a repertoire of recipes and ideas in place.   These are what I try to give you with my 12 Steps program.  


And I don’t overspend on groceries (I spend about $800/mo.) because what I spend on produce is offset by what I DON’T spend on processed/packaged food and meat.   While I do like a bargain, I don’t have the time or the interest to clip coupons, drive all over town, or obsess about the budget.   Also, while 12 Steps gives lots of tips, the top two that save me loads of money are (1) summer gardening, and (2) my large freezer that allows me to store produce, seeds, nuts, and more.


See for more info about these nationwide averages.