GreenSmoothieGirl Nutrition Quiz: new! improved! interactive!

Here it is, at last, the refined quiz to test how excellent,  energy promoting, and disease preventing  your diet is.   It should identify ways you can improve, and of course you know that  EVERY  ONE of those ways  is addressed in 12 Steps to Whole Foods.   It’s interactive, so your score is totalled automatically-it will take you two minutes!

Take the GreenSmoothieGirl nutrition quiz.

Some of you beta tested this quiz  a couple of months ago and gave me feedback through email and comments on the blog.   I believe this would be the nutritional equivalent of what we call in academia “rigorous.”   That is, it demands a lot of you.   It isn’t going to tell you, like the USDA will, that you’re doing well if you mix in a salad now and then.

It does, however, give you extra credit to cover for some of your nutritional sins.   I have carefully considered, based on the volumes of data available, HOW important each area of nutrition is, and I have weighted questions accordingly within the 100 points.

I would like to hear from some of you lurkers!   It’s so easy to comment-you don’t even have to register in order to comment on this, my blog,  I think.   If anyone beats my score, and I’m sure someone will because some raw foodies read this, please let us all know!   (If anyone’s mad because the quiz doesn’t give them the score you believe you deserve, feel free to sound off here, too!)

My score is 97.

Here it is again:

Are GreenSmoothieGirl nutrition standards too high?

The interesting controversy over my nutrition quiz prompts this post.

I supported myself in high school and college teaching piano lessons, and I taught again for about 10 years when my kids were  small.   When I quit, I had 33 students and a two-year waiting list.   My big frustration, teaching piano, was that while people brought their kids to me because I had high standards, the parents themselves, ironically, often wanted to pull standards downward.   Practicing six days a week, or three recitals a year, or a requirement to play memorized without mistakes—it’s just too much, they’d complain!

Teachers face constant pressure to lower standards.   I constantly face the exact same thing teaching at a nationally renowned business school (recently ranked #1 with recruiters by Business Week).   If you don’t believe me, I submit Exhibit A, my ratings on the no-holds-barred that every professor learns to dread because it’s so anonymous and every student reads it:

If you read that, you get the sense that I’m super intense, right?   Well, I am ranked against my colleagues once a year, and I am smack in the middle of the GPAs handed out in my department—dead average!

Consider that my nutrition quiz—while some say it’s not fair and some say people eating a  good diet get a D on it—would be considered WAY TOO LENIENT by many nutrition experts.   My bar is lower than Robert O. Young’s, Alyssa Cohen’s, Victoria Boutenko’s, Gabriel Cousins’, and Joel Furhman’s.   The raw foodists, the locavores, the alkalarians?   They’d all say I’ve sold out.

That quiz is by no means the end-all, be-all, and I will revise it based on feedback.   But imagine if I’d put points in there for whether or not you’re eating organic (that would take nearly everyone down).   I have quite a few friends (every one of them incredibly healthy and energetic raw foodists, some of whom beat cancer that way) who call the standards of GreenSmoothieGirl “transitional eating”–in other words, not basic and pure enough, just steps on that path.

So, friends, what I’m saying is that we cannot compare ourselves to averages (or even government standards) when those averages and standards have fallen so low.     I’ve been unpopular before, for holding the bar high (but my students thank me later when they’re in the work force and they realized they actually know how to write).   I’d lower the bar if I believed a lower bar was right and good or would help anybody.   If you want to feel good about your diet, the feel-good folks are the dieticians.   Look up their websites, read their recipes full of cheese and meat and processed ingredients (all they do is count calories and fat/carb grams), and see if that’s what you want to guide your growth and progress.

You’ll read more about why and how the USRDA standards are biased and false very shortly, if you’ve been subscribed to’s free e-letter for a while.   The average diet of Americans is an F, not a C.

Guess what happens to teachers when they respond by lowering standards?   You just have a whole new set of people who think your standards are too high.

I’m listening.   So don’t hold back on what you think.   Controversy is good, and it causes what Aristotle called the “dialectic”: a process of change and improvement through pressure and conflict and discussion.   I value it.

But know that the mission of, and 12 Steps to Whole Foods, is about doing something that might seem hard at the outset, one step at a time so that truly anyone can do it.

Take this nutrition quiz! Are you a GreenSmoothieGirl (or Guy)?

Let’s see what grade you get for a healthy lifestyle with the Nutrition Quiz! Add up your points, and if you’re not getting an A, well, get on board 12 Steps to Whole Foods, and we’ll get you to an A at the end of one year! This is just the first part of the quiz: see the whole thing at

Feel free to come back to this blog after taking the quiz, and let us know your score and what your goals are to increase it, if you didn’t ace it!

How many daily servings of vegetables (including greens) do you eat?
(serving = ½ cup cooked or 1 cup loose greens)

8     8 or more
7     6-7
6     5-6
5     4
4     3
3     2
2     1
1     0
0     I don’t much like vegetables, don’t eat any on most days
-1     I hate vegetables and never eat them (except potatoes and fries)

How many daily servings of fresh fruits do you eat?

5     4 or more
4     2-3
3     1
2     0
1     I might eat a piece of fruit every couple of days
0     I rarely or never eat fruit

For the rest of this quiz, go to