Live Detox starts May 4! Here’s what a detoxer said about her experience…..

Full-SupportDetox PromptOne of our amazing GSGLife Founding Instructors, Natalie Hadley of Ogden Utah, introduced her friend Shelly to the GreenSmoothieGirl Detox in December.

Shelly shared an amazing story that I thought you would enjoy reading. If you’re like me, before you undertake a signification cleanse program, you’re terrified! (I wanted to do one for years, before I finally did it. This was long before I developed the GSG detox, of course, which is fully supported and anyone can do it. It’s challenging, but not scary, like the one I did 20 years ago, when I ate nothing but veggie juice, and bentonite clay and psyllium husk powder in water, for 3 weeks!)

Natalie is again supporting friends in our upcoming May 4 Detox and you can see her at myGSGLife.com/NatalieHadley or email her at sunshineofwellness@gmail.com.

We do a supported Detox just 3 times a year, so join us! The average person loses 12-13 pounds and enjoys deep cleansing of the liver, kidneys, and gall bladder. Watch my short video about it HERE.

This is Shelly’s story:

What a great start to 2015! My sister and I were talking at the beginning of this year. She told me how her friend, Natalie Hadley, had told her about a detox program she was going to do. My sister and I had for several months compared aches and pains we have been having, as well as lack of energy. As she shared about the detox with me, I told my husband and 25-year-old daughter about it.waist measure man (1)

My husband was just going to start a biggest loser contest at his work. As we talked about it, we were all at a mental state where we were ready to go for it, so January 3 started our new adventure—GreenSmoothieGirl Detox #1!

I probably ought to tell you a bit more about my family. My husband is Samoan and so a meal was not complete without meat, and it is heavily salted to make it taste even better. For family gatherings, often four or five meats are common and maybe one salad. Sugar has always been my weakness, so I have battled weight for many years. This detox was definitely a big change for all of us.

I must admit the first couple of weeks when I was using our Ninja blender, our vegetables were not blended as much as we would like and it made for some interesting smoothies—but we stuck with it. When my daughter bought us a Blendtec, we all celebrated.

After the first couple of weeks of the detox, my husband commented on how he felt his hands weren’t as swollen and joints didn’t hurt as much. We started going on more walks, and walking farther each time. We stuck with the detox for the whole 26 days and saw some great changes.

After the first detox was over, we decided to do the 31 day green smoothie challenge and try to eat more whole food, plant-based meals. We stuck with this then realized in March that my husband had just about 26 days to go before his contest was over at his work. We decided to do the detox one more time! Doing this the second time, we realized what we were getting into, so our attitudes were even better.

green smoothiestraw berries (1) (Small)Our daughter in Florida also did it with us the second time, and it was great to share our successes with each other. Eating healthy has become a good topic for all of us to visit about. We are sharing recipes and good tips with each other.

When my husband weighed in at the end of his contest, he had lost 48 pounds (16.9% body fat)! And won the biggest loser contest! I lost 37 pounds and my daughter lost over 30 pounds! Not only did we lose this weight, but we have all felt better with more energy. We are exercising more. My daughter has several times said, “Thank you, Mom, for doing this for us.” We all did it together–it definitely was a team effort!

Another real benefit is that before we never used to have breakfast. Now the three of us get up together and have our green smoothie as well as fix our lunch bags before we go to work. It is nice to spend this time together in the morning and start our day out right.

shutterstock_187878188 (Small)I am starting a new hobby this summer of gardening, and I look forward to trying new recipes with our garden vegetables and herbs. We are heading to Samoa in October, and my husband has already said that he wants to do one more detox in September before we go.

Thanks so much to Natalie Hadley for her great classes, encouragement and willingness to share with us. Thanks to Robyn Openshaw for sharing all of this information with us and for all the research that she has done. I am so excited for the 12 Steps to Whole Foods Workshop this Saturday, and to continue to develop healthy habits.

[Note: Robyn is teaching the local GSGLife Instructors her 12 Steps to Whole Foods course, this Saturday, and it is sold out and wait-listed. However, she is teaching it to ANYONE who wants to attend, Saturday, June 6, get tickets HERE!]

Life is great!

Thoughts on changing habits

images-57I built my house 9 years ago on the culdesac of a quiet street of just 12 homes. My house backs up to the canal that carries irrigation water for hundreds of miles along the base of the Rockies on the Wasatch Front. I have illegally run thousands of miles next to this canal, since Utah has no trail system so we’re left with few options.

This summer, they piped the canal with a billion-dollar federal grant.  Then they put a through-street over it.

Until this happened, you could only turn West at the top of my street, and go far out of your way. Even if you wanted to go East, you had to turn right, wind through a junior high school, and double back up towards the mountains. Everyone in Utah knows, the mountains are in the East.

So I’ve calculated how long it takes, taking the new through-street, compared to the old, out-of-the-way route. Going right, the old way, it’s 1 minute 35 seconds, to arrive at Main Street. That’s the straight shot to the gym,  the kids’ high school, etc.

Going left? Only 1 minute flat.

So why is it, that every single time I leave my house, I turn right?

It’s infuriating!

Entrenched habit. It’s far more powerful than I want it to be. I WANT to go the faster route! But I get in my car, and I’m on mental auto-pilot. I’ve driven this route thousands of times, so I start thinking about

–what I’m going to do at the gym

—some issue one of my children is having

–my to-do list for the day

……and BAM, next thing you know?

I’ve turned right and am wasting time and gas driving through the junior high again.

images-58I literally go the wrong way 90 percent of the time. I am determined, this month, to completely break myself of this habit.

But I’ve been reflecting on how powerful HABIT is. How significant, and even powerful, it can be when we break a habit in favor of something better. Some things we do not because we want to, or even like it or are addicted to it, so much as that it’s simply the default path. It’s what we know.

I’m going to learn to go left—after 9 years straight of going right. I will I will I will.

Matthew would tell me to pull my ever-present ponytail elastic I keep on my wrist, and then release and snap my wrist, to cause myself pain, every time I go the old way. Pain avoidance is one learning technique. It isn’t my favorite.

What old habit are YOU determined to change this year?

Why we developed the Menu Planner

I spent all of 2008 developing 12 Steps to Whole Foods, in response to many readers discovering GreenSmoothieGirl.com and asking for a step-by-step plan to learn the lifestyle I was advocating for.

In the 1990’s, my little boy had nearly died of severe asthma and allergies. In eliminating sugar and dairy, and converting to a whole-foods, 60-80% raw diet, we eliminated all-night wheezing and suffering. We eliminated steroids and bronchodilators and antibiotics. In the process, I lost 50 lbs. and regained my deteriorated eyesight. I regained my ability to run and play sports, dropped my cholesterol to 100 and blood pressure to 98/56, and eliminated eczema and allergies. I never again had debilitating migraines or TIA (mini-strokes) that plagued me in my 20’s.

I became preoccupied with wanting others to be able to do what I’d done, but without all the frustrating bumps along the way. I’d made countless recipes that no one in my family liked. I’d bought hundreds of dollars of ingredients that were hard to find and expensive, with limited or one-time uses.

I’d made recipes that took several hours in the kitchen. I’d wasted time chasing down nutritional bunny hills with little or no gain, and I’d read a lot of useless books about food cults. Along the way, I did find many invaluable nuggets of information and good practices that enormously impacted my family’s life for the better, and others’ as well, when I taught them.

I like the free-form nature of 12 Steps to Whole Foods. You can eat whatever salads, whatever dressings, whatever main dishes you want. Feeling free to explore new foods, learn new habits, try new recipes, anytime you want.

However, in working with thousands of people the past few years, we found that many were trained in how to “diet.” I resist the idea that 12 Steps is a diet. The word itself connotes “temporary”  and “restrictive.” What I am teaching here is a lifestyle that I intend to bless your life and minimize your disease risk, forever. It’s about abundance, since the world of plant foods has nearly infinite colors, textures, tastes, and combining potential.

However, there is value to making things simple and easily planned, and as a planner and list-maker myself, I understand the value of living from lists!

Our just-released Menu Planner tool was highly requested, so we’ve spent well over a year developing it!

It is an effort to help your initial foray into the whole-foods lifestyle be as predictable as possible! Many thanks to Desiree Ward and Tina Huntsman, who assisted in developing the menu plans and shopping lists and counted every penny to give you budget predictions. They found that feeding a family of 4 with these menu plans cost $100/week.

According to my research, that’s what families spend who budget very strictly and have to live on a young, single-earner income.

Anything new can be frustrating in the beginning. There are a number of habits to change, and at first, you may feel out of your depth, like you have no idea what to eat. (Especially for the overachievers, who try to do 6 steps at a time!)

Before now, you may have eaten prepared and processed foods, or fast foods, but you had a routine, you knew where to buy everything, and how to get or make it. Now that you’ve committed to a change, of course, you have to re-learn those things. Keep in mind when I suggest Costco as a source, and you don’t have a Costco membership, there are other places to obtain the same item in your hometown. Having a health food store, a buying club, an Asian market, and a regular grocery store with a good produce section, you’ll be just fine. Even if you’re missing one or even two of those, you can definitely do this!

If you stay the course, your new habits will become as easy and habitual as your old ones were. Those new habits have the power to nourish you, energize you, and endow you with health, lovely skin and hair, and ideal weight. Your old habits were likely clogging your digestive system, draining your energy, and causing your weight to gradually creep upwards.

To the end of nourishing you well and providing the benefits you seek, I hope the plans and lists in our new Menu Planner are helpful on your journey to amazing health!

How GreenSmoothieGirl.com is doing

An internet marketing maven friend of mine wrote a report in Feb. called “[a very prominent raw-foods guru] versus GreenSmoothieGirl.” He wrote me this:

“You have higher traffic ranking than any of [Prominent Guru’s] web sites with a fraction of the name recognition. More traffic with fewer sites linking in, and you spend no money on advertising. You’re slowly and steadily nailing it.”

[Prominent Guru] has been out there for 15 years or more. I first ventured onto the internet a bit over 3 years ago with zero products to sell (I had early readers screaming about that, demanding recipes and help). I plan to keep steadily providing information in response to reader requests. I have never once accepted advertising dollars despite many offers of people who want to park their ads on my site or blog.

Google tells me lots of interesting things about my site. If you’re curious….

From Dec. 15 to Jan. 15, GSG had 70,000 visitors from 147 countries/territories. Highest traffic comes from U.S., Canada, the U.K., Australia, Germany, and New Zealand.

Search engines were sources of 52% of the traffic, other sites referred 15%, and 33% of you come here directly. The average time spent on the site is 5.23 minutes, with 3.37 pages visited. The 12 Steps program page is most visited, with almost 20,000 views. 8,141 people signed up for the newsletter in that time period. (Higher than usual. I think being in an article with Dr. Oz helped.) Three times as many people (over 7,000) searched for “green smoothie girl” than searched for “green smoothie.”

Three years ago I was a college professor/mom and knew nothing about the internet. Today I know just slightly more than nothing about the internet.

The site’s success has floored me, so when I am interviewed about it, I struggle to name the reasons. I think what it is, is that I just choose to support and nurture people, which is unusual in the nutrition space. The usual M.O. out there seems to be guilt and fear.

Someone at one of my Portland classes said that a prominent author in my space ends each chapter of one of their books with, “COOKED FOODS ARE POISON” or something. I really dislike hyperbole, hype, gimmicks, and especially negativity.

It’s easy to fall into that negative space. We could go on and on about how sugar or hot dogs or soda are killing us. I’ll touch on that occasionally, and I’m not Polyanna dancing on the Good Ship Lollipop: I’ll occasionally counteract voices out there I think are preaching false doctrine or skewing logic or common sense. I do believe in standing up for truth.

But as soon as I can, I’ll get back to the positive place. I dislike fear as a motive for anything–in parenting, in religion, in relationships, in school or career. So I like to keep it about hope and light here. New ideas. Encouragement. Sharing successes. Remembering children and families. (Not a place to beat you up about food. You’ve been doing that to YOURSELF for years. It’s not productive and I don’t want to add to it.)

I’ve always wanted GSG.com to be the place where we REPLACE the bad stuff with exciting ideas and delicious recipes and thrilling health benefits my readers report. I love unique or exciting, fresh ways to look at traditional practices of nutrition.

So this would be a great time to ask you this: what support do you need that you aren’t getting? What should be next for the GreenSmoothieGirl mission to bring back a whole-foods diet and kick the Standard American Diet to the curb?

Are “eating healthy” and “obsessed” synonymous? Part 3 of 3

If you feel you are annoying your family, go ahead and transfer their feelings to me if you want!

If it helps you, you can say,

“Green Smoothie Girl says my ‘obsession’ is normal and that it’s just a phase. She had that phase, too. The only way through it is THROUGH it! Now she’s way past it and doesn’t really even talk about food unless someone asks.”

Even when someone asked, back in my “OBSESSIVE” (read: hyper-learning) phase, I said too much. I overestimated people’s interest routinely. In fact, I remember one member of my former husband’s family asking me questions that I *knew* intuitively were really just bait. They were passive aggression, edged with sarcasm.

But I’d take the questions as legitimate, and I’d answer them at length, from my recently acquired knowledge. (Knowledge no one trusted yet, because just a month before, I ate just like they did!)

In my gut, I knew the “bait” questions were designed to be socially acceptable criticism, statements more than questions. But I purposefully ignored it to further my agenda. I think my agenda was pure: I wanted THEM to acquire the health benefits that were occurring for us. I wanted them to validate and enjoy the exciting things happening in my family. But my methods were suspect:

“Here, this is the path I’m on, so you better get on it, too! Let me ram some information down your throat! You can FEEL my disapproval as I change the rules we’ve always lived by!”

Well, hindsight is 20/20. I look back and feel pretty chagrined. I’ve learned (the hard way!) to answer questions briefly. Then wait for another question rather than deliver a long, unwanted lecture.

I’ve also learned that many folks who are “health nuts” are actually perennially obsessive people, and people who live in a place of fear. (They don’t do us any favors, trying to convert the world to whole foods.)

I know that if you’re living in the fear place, or you’re feeling like thoughts about food and food shopping/preparation have taken over your life, it might be time for a little introspection.

I *started* in the fear place. You may know my story: I thought my 18-month old son might die. I was having panic attacks and not sleeping, consequently.

I am in the OPPOSITE place now. I know that I’ve put building blocks in place that minimize my disease risk….so I do not worry and wring my hands about the health problems others my age are virtually all suffering from.

Am I immune from health problems? No. I’m just much less susceptible to them than everyone else around me, and there’s no need to fear, because I’m doing what I can reasonably do.

The meditations I’m working on will address these fears that, I’m afraid, attract a lot of people to this site and to my program. It’s natural that people suffering from anxiety will attach that anxiety to what goes in their mouth.

But it’s a MUCH nicer place to be to be ENJOYING the journey, doing it out of a positive love place rather than a dark fear place.

This is a good time to check yourself and ask, “Am I in a natural first part of a journey, where it’s natural to get a little out of balance because I’m gobbling up information and it’s blowing my mind? Or am I STUCK in food obsession and fear?”

Big, big difference.

Any thoughts about this, feel free to share!

Taking stock of progress…part 2 of 2

Once upon a time, my whole diet was Ben & Jerry’s, pizza, French bread, Diet Coke, and a fruit or salad mixed in to make myself feel better about it all. I started to change one thing at a time. Sometimes I’d have periods of big progress, and other periods of slight backsliding.

It was almost imperceptible, the forward motion, but now I find my whole kitchen is full of…..

A container of sprouted flax crackers on the counter.

Bags of buckwheat, quinoa, pumpkin seeds, sesame seeds, oat groats, currants, and homemade sundried tomatoes in the fridge.

Coconut oil and extra-virgin olive oil in my pantry.

Jars of homemade raw sauerkraut in my food storage.

Always a quart or two of kefir growing on the counter.

The top shelf of my fridge full of young Thai coconuts. And pints and quarts of green smoothies.

Today I stopped to take stock and chose NOT to beat myself up because of how long it’s been since I made sourdough whole-grain bread.

Instead, I chose to be blissed out today because (a) I did a perfect headstand for the first time, and (b) my daughter asked me last night if she could have a handful each of pea sprouts and fresh blueberries in the fridge.

(There are lots of things to do WRONG as a mom, and there’s plenty of reminders of that when you’re raising teenagers! But apparently I’ve got some things right, and today I’m going to live in that spot, bask in it. They’ve developed tastes for good food, and I know how to shop for,  grow, cook, and store the good stuff.)

Sometimes when something stressful happens, Kristin and I remind each other, “It’s PERFECT!” This is our code for, “What just happened might not be what you wanted, what you would have chosen. But it generally works out to be better than you think. And it teaches you really cool stuff. Maybe even provides you something you wouldn’t have thought to want. So, it’s PERFECT in its ability to instruct and shape you. At a minimum, it gives you a story to tell and something to laugh at.”

Please, today, congratulate yourself on your progress. Let’s spend today ignoring anything we want to do in the future that isn’t part of our current reality, and just BE. When I’m fully present in my NOW, I’m far happier.

I’m so proud of you for being here, on this journey, to being a better you. To influencing people in subtle and positive ways to raise the bar for themselves. I’m just brimming over with gratitude for PROGRESS! Congratulations on yours–wherever you are in the journey! Feel free to share your own here, today and always.