TEXAS, part 4 of 7, Amy’s Story

Amy was our key volunteer organizing our Austin, Texas event. I felt terrible that somehow I did not get to talk with her, as I arrived only 10 mins. before the event. (My GPS said the flagship Whole Foods Market, that I really wanted to see in the few hours we were in town, was only 7 minutes away. I didn’t know to account for traffic, and it took 25 mins. each way!) After the event, Amy didn’t have time to wait in line and I never actually met her. I wrote her an email to thank her for all her efforts and tell her we are sending a present, and this is what she wrote back:

Almost four years ago my husband ran into a health issue that “regular” doctors couldn’t help him with.

It started with only a small part of his lips and spread to both his lips and the area around them over the next couple of years, while we tried everything that we could think of and everything the doctors said to do.   It got to be so that he couldn’t laugh or smile, and he was so embarrassed to be in public.

He is a youth pastor, so having to speak in front of people often is a part of his job.   We went to 13 specialists.   They kept sending us on to other people.   They got angry or annoyed with me when I told them everything we had tried, asked questions, and tried to understand.

I kept asking, “But what’s the problem?!   How can we keep this from coming back?   Isn’t this just masking the symptoms?” I got so tired of just another prescription for some steroid that I knew could be causing other problems.   The final straw was on a second visit to a doctor who was apparently pleased with my husband’s “progress”, and we were horrified.   He was the farthest from well he had ever been.   The doctor was writing him another steroid prescription refill, and we said no thank you.   I told him we already tried that and the solution was only as lasting as the end of the prescription.

We didn’t know what else to do, but we knew that any other answer was better than another prescription.   I became obsessed with reading any kind of nutrition information I could get my hands on, became best friends with health food store workers, and my husband was willing to try anything!   I couldn’t believe the amount of information available.

I called my grandmother who has been making me crazy morning drinks when I visited her my whole life and the people I knew from my church that didn’t wear regular deodorant and told me one time they would give me a kefir starter before I knew what that was!   Luckily, they were so excited to share everything they knew.

We went to a homeopathic doctor they recommended.   The doctor was not frustrated by my questions, and when I asked for suggestions on what to study the doctor gave me greensmoothiegirl.com!

I was so encouraged by what a regular person you are.   I thought, “maybe I don’t have to be a social outcast!”   I am so thankful for you.   I would never have the courage to try things, but following your blog and watching all your videos makes me think I can do anything!   I had so much information whirling around in my brain but no idea what to do with it or where to begin.   You gave me things to DO!

I have also taken your advice, and I spread the good news with everyone I can.   I share my green smoothies even with my students (I teach art at a small elementary school).   One time I told a 4th grader that the MSG in his Cheetos were a neurotoxin.   I explained to him what it was, and the next day he told me he asked his mom if he could throw their Cheetos away.   He wanted to taste my green smoothie!

I have 6 siblings and my mom, and all but 2 of my brothers drink green smoothies regularly now.   My mom has struggled with weight loss all of my life.   She has lost about 40 pounds and is still losing!   She felt inspired by your class [in Austin] to do a green smoothie cleanse for a week!

When we first started making all our dietary changes I tried to lay low because I didn’t want people to think I was weird, but you helped me to see that that was doing them a terrible injustice.   I love what good nutrition has done for my life and the people I love most!   I want everyone to know that they can be healthy and strong.

My husband’s lips are well.   Our homeopathic doctor treated him for a mineral deficiency, using lots of greens mix, and a change in diet and nutrition.   We saw results within 2 weeks, he was completely well in 2 months.   I couldn’t believe it, after four years of battling!   Despite the pain and misery for my husband, we are so thankful for his illness.   It made us take responsibility for our own health, and forced us to educate ourselves and learn to listen to our bodies in a way that we may not have otherwise.

I recently started taking correspondence courses at a natural school of medicine to get my CNC (certified nutritional counseling).   Thank you so much for the work that you do and for sharing your life with so many people!   You have helped to make my family’s life so much better!

Texas, part 1 of 7: Wide open spaces, big hearts, what a great trip!

Do I sound like a broken record when I come back from a speaking tour and tell you how in love I am with my job? My job where I get to hear people tell about their SUCCESS, achieved through simple but true principles, applied consistently?

And those who haven’t yet achieved a miracle, I get to give them some ideas, some facts, some of my own experience…..which translates into HOPE?

I’ve been “public” for less than 4 years now. Before that I was just in my kitchen, and with my nose in a book, studying and practicing.

Now, though, my conviction is complete—because in addition to my own family’s experience (I personally eliminated 21 chronic health conditions), I now have thousands of others’ experiences to draw on.

Just watch for my awesome video coming up, with SHELLEY in San Antonio, and young-mom 12-Steppers WENDY and JANET in Austin!

Out of my own kitchen, we implement strategies to help people attain better health on a bigger scale every year. Kristin and I have long convos in the car and on airplanes about how clear it’s become that the mission we are on is so much bigger than we are.

After an event for 300 people, Kristin and I sometimes just sit and process and revel in our general awestruck-ness…..at how many phenomenal people we meet and exciting stories we hear. I cannot even begin to tell them all on this blog.

We are trying to bring together the internet, and a very active blog, with real-live events, great recipes and good books, solid tools and instruction, and third parties telling their stories on film, to spread an exciting message of good news:

  1. That turning away from the S.A.D. has all upside, virtually no downside, after a learning curve
  2. That you can eat natural, whole, healing foods, without being deprived or counting calories
  3. That whole foods can be delicious, easy to prepare, and affordable

Green Smoothie Guy convert: Boston Blake’s Blog

I got this email after my class last month in Sandy, Utah. Give Blake some encouragement on his new blog, or here? The idea of eating living/raw plant foods is new for him!

Dear GreenSmoothieGirl:

You probably hear this a lot, but what’s one more compliment?

Last week my wife dragged me to your event in Orem  (yes, dragged me – I didn’t want to go, I wanted to stay home and play video games). But I am so happy I attended!

As I listened to your story, I considered my own life, and the thing in your speech  that affected me most was a word you used: lifestyle. I had recently been seeking for other changes in my life: physically, emotionally and spiritually, and I had concluded on my own, that very week, that the only way I could effectively become the man I want to be, would be to make lifestyle changes, and not just temporary ones.

You spoke about making an eating lifestyle change, and I put down my phone (I admit I was playing a game at the beginning of your event) and listened. Your experience and recommendations were just what I needed then. I don’t think I would have been open before that week. It was perfect timing. I give the Lord all the credit for that.

I have been trying to find a way to eat healthy, keep my calorie count down, get the necessary vitamins and minerals, and get back in shape. I have had a goal for about 2 years to get back in “high school” shape when I was an athlete, but still find myself eating hamburgers and fried chicken because I don’t like the taste of salads every day.

And to be honest, I am not a huge fan of raw foods. But your smoothies were the answer I needed. After trying the sample, I realized how good green smoothies can be. My wife already has a VitaMix, so all I needed to do was purchase the raw foods. We spent a couple days trying different recipes until we found some I like.

Today I begin my new lifestyle. I am starting with making raw foods a bulk of my diet — mostly in the form of green smoothies (according to your calculations, I am getting about 40-50 servings of vegetables and raw foods per day!).

I plan to maintain that until I get closer to the weight I want. During my weight-loss/get-fit months, I will try different types of recipes that don’t include the smoothies, so that when I am in the shape I want to be, I can have the smoothies for breakfast and have other healthy, raw foods for my other meals.

My wife is very grateful for your story and work. She has been trying to get me to eat healthy for the longest time (she is very good at eating healthy). And after a week of spiritual awakening and revelation, and attending your event to cap it off, I think I am on the right track for a healthier, happier life.

Thank you, Robyn, for your work. I hope to attend more events and continue supporting you and your efforts. You have changed another life this month.

Here’s my new blog about the health journey that I’ve just started:

http://fattofittoday.blogspot.com/

Best,

Boston Blake (South Jordan, Utah)

Halloween Controversy: better to feed candy to the homeless? or nothing?

Last year on Halloween, I posted that I pay my kids $20 for the privilege of dumping their Halloween candy in the trash outside. On facebook, I have the interesting situation of 90% of my personal page’s friends being GSG readers, and 10% being people I actually know. One of my high-school friends, cheerleader Beth, who has no idea who I am 25 years later, protested:   “Awww, don’t throw the candy away, give it to the homeless!”

A few of my more vociferous readers pounced on her. She had no idea what she’d gotten herself into, poor girl. She wasn’t on the GSG page with 13,000 people who know exactly what we’re all doing there.

She was on the Robyn Openshaw page—for all she knew, I was that girl she left the high-school campus with, at lunch, to get 7-11 Nachos and a Diet Coke.

When I was at CHI spending 16+ hours per day with the same 15 people, only one heated argument broke out. It was on this topic: “Is it wasting food, to throw away candy?” A mother, Esther, and her two adult daughters, Kendra and Melinda, had apparently been “going the rounds” on this subject.

I inadvertently stepped on that land mine when I said, “I don’t want to poison my own kids–why would I want to poison homeless people?” KABLAM, the room instantly divided into two camps.

You know without even thinking what the response will be: “But homeless people don’t get enough to eat! It’s not like homeless kids are eating salad anyway, or have any options! Who cares what their nutrition is—they’re just trying to survive.”

I opt out of those conversations at that point, because they’re a little contentious. But if you ASKED me, I’d say that generally in America, the homeless are not in jeopardy of having a choice between going hungry versus eating candy.

Actually, I could go on all day with my more indirect arguments to that line of reasoning. (If I thought anybody cared.) Okay, just a little academic argument here, acknowledging right up front that I know the homeless aren’t academic—they’re real people, trying to survive. I get it.

But for instance, did you know that the #1 factor related to longevity is LOW-CALORIE DIET? Yep, when people are calorie-suppressed for many, many years, they live a long time! Really thin people have minimal disease risk. Whenever I say this, I just about get strung up from the nearest tree. Check out my report on what the weight charts should REALLY be–this is John McDougall’s stuff, okay? Not mine. But it’s interesting and (sorry!) really valid:

http://www.greensmoothiegirl.com/nutrition-manifesto/healthy-height-and-weight-chart/

I realize it’s not politically correct to advocate for extreme thinness! I am just making an observation: the low end of our weight charts are the UPPER end of the weights of cultures who have impressive longevity.

My points are, related to whether we give the Halloween candy to the “less fortunate” families/kids, or do the whole world a favor by throwing it away:

  1. Kids who eat candy are HUNGRIER as a result. Sugar just fuels food obsession and cravings. So you fill their belly with fun-sized Snickers. Guess what: they then want MORE of it, not just in two hours, but the next day, and the next day, and the next. They are little addicts. Poor kids are America’s fattest kids. Sure, the poorest among us are the most addicted–but is it my job to feed the addictions?
  2. IS IT REALLY better to give them candy, than nothing? Pretty sure going without—(within reason, of course, I’m aware we do have to eat SOMETIME)—would be better. Less comfortable, but much healthier.
  3. It’s a matter of principle for me. I’m just not going to feed people toxic fuel. It goes against everything I believe in. It was HARD for me, at first, to throw candy away. I compost everything, for crying out loud! I grow my own food! I buy very little stuff in boxes and cans! BUT. If it’s poison for my kid (and it is!), it’s poison for everyone. Bottom line: I feel more guilty feeding someone else’s child candy than I do throwing out “perfectly good food.” Read about 1,000 books on the nutritional-deficiency health crisis in America as I have, and you will never look at candy the same way again. You will not see it as “food.”

I think I will make a new rule for myself, in honor of the reflecting I’ve done writing this blog entry.   From now on, for every $20 I pay my child to throw his candy away, I will also donate $20 (or more) to our homeless shelter, earmarked for raw plant foods. In fact, maybe I will come up with a fund to start making sure they have leafy green salads, and veggies and fruits at the shelters here.   Hmmmm, I’m glad I wrote this blog…..now I’m thinking about a plan……

420 lbs., scared, stressed, humiliated. Help!

Just received this letter from Mark. Mark, lots of people will be praying for you to make lifestyle changes like K’Lynne’s, with spectacular results! Such a great idea to just start eating whole foods instead—I have known so many people who can no longer absorb nutrition after those surgeries that hack and rearrange your digestive system, as you put it. Put lots of green stuff in your blender–the stuff that isn’t green has lots of sugar in it. The green foods slow down sugars to your blood stream. Maximize them, challenge yourself, and starting eating giant salads too! You can do it! I bet some of my readers will have some wise words for you. Much love, and stay in touch!

Dear GreenSmoothieGirl:

I just ordered your 12 step program!

My wife and I are slowly adding green to our now multiple daily smoothies.

We want to learn more, so we are taking the first step by buying the program.

The main reason I am writing is to say thanks! Thank you for your dedication to this cause. Thank you for opening my eyes.

I work in an extremely stressful environment. I am a network escalations manager, which means I help customers when their network is down, costing them sometime thousands of dollars an hour, and we have hit roadblocks in the process of getting the data flowing again.

About a month ago, I was on my way to work and thought I was having a heart attack. I was scared, and felt awful. I stopped at a urgent care center and my BP was 140/100. I got a trip in an ambulance to the hospital.

My left arm had gone numb and my left hand was cold and blue. I spent the weekend in the hospital undergoing many tests. I weighed 420 lbs. and was too heavy to have the normal test.  The nurse looked at me with disgust and said, “I’m not going to risk breaking my equipment. He’s too heavy to do this.” My wife was really upset and we both just wanted to cry.

The great news is I didn’t have a heart attack! I checked out of the hospital, and spent the next few days thinking and visited my family doctor. She had previously recommended stomach surgery. It seemed the only way to save my life.

I had tried diets and hate the taste of most vegetables. I am a southern redneck kind of guy. I love my fried foods, especially fried chicken, lots of meat, lots of fried food. “If it ain’t fried, I ain’t eatin it” was my mindset. But I felt I had no choice. I signed up for the initial consultation to learn about the various forms of the surgery. The Lap band, the Y thing, the sleeve…. so many choices, so many risks…what do I do?

I learned about Gerson online, but it was too radical for me. But the principles made sense. I was browsing the web and somehow stumbled into your site. I watched a couple videos, loved the way you tell things like they are. You’re a real person! You mention Costco, and how to save a few dollars here and there. You think like a real person, because you are one. Thanks!

So I have been drinking smoothies, not always green smoothies, but we are working our way well into them. I’ve learned so much from your videos. I’ve learned a lot in the past month. I’m still over 400 pounds, but just barely. I can almost weigh myself on the scales at the center we just joined. We are taking yoga classes. We are trying to get over and swim or exercise a few times a week. I have at this point gone vegetarian. Heading more and more towards whole food vegan.

So far in the past couple weeks my energy has gotten a major boost! I am feeling better every day.

Thanks to you, and a few other people who believe in a whole food lifestyle I have decided to not get the weight surgery and tough it out. Do it the healthier way. Besides, had I decided to get the surgery, I would have to go on a liquid diet for a few weeks anyway, and I would have had my stomach stapled and part of it removed with the sleeve, or my digestive tract hacked up and rearranged. I had no interest in the lap band. I just don’t like the idea of some foreign object strapped around my stomach.

So again, thank you so very much. I will keep you posted of my progress if you would like. I hope, that as people are able to see the progress I am making that more people will ask how I did it. The first place I will send them is greensmoothiegirl.com. My wife and I have already sent a few people your way already. Watch for folks from Charlotte, NC!

–Mark and Rosa Allen

I love the Pacific Northwest!

We’re just back from a whirlwind tour speaking in Boise, Kennewick, Portland, and Seattle in just over 48 hours! (Photo is in Kennewick.) Besides a stop along the Oregon coast to buy an armload of the most fabulous blueberries that have ever been in my mouth, we SAW nothing and DID nothing besides teach and drive, teach and drive!

In Portland, I met Michael, who was officially the ONLY person who raised his hand to say he does NOT need any weight loss, energy, or better digestion, because he’s operating at peak performance. He sometimes does bike races where he cycles 150 miles in a day, and he’s a tap dancer.

And he is 70 YEARS OLD.

The audience wanted to know: what are you doing? (When we die, we all want to go out, late in the 9th inning, flipping a light switch, right? Sorry I just mixed my metaphors. We don’t wanna go out on a dimmer switch for 10 to 30 years like so many people around us are doing!)

Michael’s been vegan 25 years. Raw 15 years. Green smoothies 3 years. (OF COURSE!) Sure wish we’d gotten a video with Michael, another example of who I want to be when I grow up, before we tore out the door to Seattle. (The last person who raised her hand for that question was about 2,000 people and 8 classes ago, in Denver: a 65-year old kayaker….she’s a raw foodist, too.)

Occasionally I meet someone like an ex-BF of mine, D., who is hands-down the handsomest man I’ve ever dated. He eats a burger and fries for lunch every day, always chicken or beef for dinner, and drinks 64 oz. of Dr. Pepper every day. (He did read my book and take up the GS habit.) He took Trazadone to sleep and combat anxiety (and still doesn’t sleep), and two “Vitamin P” (his name for Percocet) to get through a tennis match. (And then he could barely walk for two days.) But to look at him? Movie-star good looks. Very fit and toned despite getting very little exercise and terribly painful arthritis.

But D. is an anomaly. A freak of nature. Once I read that Heather Locklear will not eat anything green, hates vegetables. She’s a freak too.

Let’s talk about the rest of us, the 99.9%. We have to take very good care of our organism or it all goes to Hades.

For the most part, when I talk to people in my extensive travels, what you SEE is what you ate. Our fuel becomes us. If we eat lots of raw plant foods, we look alive, positive energies, attractive. If we eat toxic, dead fuel, we look aged, haggard, grey.

Don’t you love K’Lynne’s “after” photo? Meeting people like Michael who are kicking trash at the age of 70, and the 65-year old kayaker lady, make me feel so much mojo for this mission I’m on. Because it shows up in how you LOOK as much as how you FEEL.