Texas Part 3 of 7: Houston’s Stephanie–a Green Smoothie Transformation

Stephanie was smack on the front row in Houston, a gorgeous tiny little mom who has lost 50 lbs. doing green smoothies. (Check out her before-and-after photos!)

Her husband was with her, and Stephanie said he’s gone from “couch potato to marathon runner.” Stephanie told me that despite the oohs and aaahs about how she looks, “What happened is more on the inside than on the outside!” I believe she would endorse my statement that a change in fuel impacts your emotional and psychological health as much as your physical health.

Here’s her story:

Since Green Smoothie Girl was so pivotal in my own transformation, it is poetic that I now get to share my story here with Robyn and her readers.

Just a few short years ago, I was overworked, overstressed, and overweight. I was living in a daze and life was not joyful. I was headed in the wrong direction and I was bringing my family with me.   I had to hit rock bottom before I decided to make any changes. I was a junk food junkie, not spending much time in the kitchen and never shopping in the produce section.

I had already tried diet pills, the no-carb diet, boxed food delivered in the mail, and counting points. I knew that I did not need a temporary diet, I needed a permanent change. I learned about a Raw Foods lifestyle and my interest was piqued. However, there was one major problem. I really did not like eating vegetables.

I soon discovered that I could drink them instead. I am a visual learner, so I hit YouTube to learn more. And voilà – I discovered Green Smoothie Girl. I soon bought some fruits and veggies and pulled out my 15 year old blender and went to town. I LOVED them! Before long I purchased a Vitamix and decided that I would replace 2 meals a day with green smoothies and incorporate more whole foods into my diet.

Magical things happened! As my diet cleaned up, my head cleared. The weight was coming off (50 lbs total) and I was feeling really good.   The fog had lifted. I decided that I was not going to return to my legal career.   I had a new passion for everything associated with health and wellness. I researched more, and the more I learned, the more I wanted to share with others.

This led me to enroll at The Institute of Integrative Nutrition. I am now working as a Health Coach and a Raw Food Chef and have a new zest for life!   I became “The Nutrition Mom” and my message is “Simple-Healthy-Solutions.” Eating does not have to be so complicated.   Let’s bring it back to basics.

I coach others to take one step at a time. I feel so blessed to not only teach people about proper nutrition, but to go on the journey with them.   I meet them where they are and give them the support that they need along the way. It’s a beautiful journey.

Thank you Robyn, for sharing your message.   You have set me, and so many others, on a new path and I am forever grateful.

Stephanie Merchant, Health Coach

TheNutritionMom.net

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)

Green smoothies for kindergartners and pretty girls

Dear GreenSmoothieGirl:

I have been a special education teacher for 17 years and switched to teaching kindergarten this school year!  I am so excited to spend my days with 37 energetic little people.

To start the year off, we talk about how to treat each other and filling each other’s invisible bucket each day with kindness.  We want to be bucket fillers, not bucket dippers.

We now have a jar in our class, and whenever I catch someone being kind we get a warm fuzzy (a pom-pom).   When our bucket is full, we get a class party.  Well…I have been a green smoothie drinker for over a year.   My students see me drinking one every morning.   When I asked them what kind of party they wanted to have, when our bucket is full, can you guess what they wanted?

Not ice cream, not candy, but a green smoothie party!   I am so proud of them, and this Friday we will be earning our first green smoothie party!  Way to go kindergarteners! Thank you Robyn for inspiring me and generations to come!

~Jenn Jettner, Spring Lake, Michigan

 

Robyn’s note:

If it weren’t for the internet, how would I ever “meet” Jenn, who loves teaching and children so much that she teaches kids to fill kindness buckets every day AND she teaches them to drink green juice! (See the photo attached I asked her to take–she said the party was a brilliant success!) Sometimes I can’t believe I get to read awesome stuff like this every day! I love it!

Kids just want a party! It just has to be special and fun. It doesn’t have to feature junk food! In fact, we do them a disservice by modeling the attitude that parties have to be toxic. If we stop and check ourselves, we might realize that WE, not the kids, have some kind of mental rule that it’s not a party if there’s no sugar?

Jenn (unintentionally, perhaps) did exactly what I did with my 18-month old when I started making and drinking green smoothies. I originally acted like it was very special, and I kept it all to myself at first and just let him watch me drinking it.

He wanted some and I was a little miserly in my sharing it at first—I purposefully created a bit of scarcity and demand! He asked what it was, and I said, “Green ice cream!”

FYI, the whole thing eventually lost its cachet. That 18-month old is now an 18-year old. Last month he won the popular vote for Homecoming King in a landslide.

(Unfortunately, no teacher nominated him–you can make the obvious inferences about my kid, both good and bad, LOL! I used to wring my hands about his attitude towards grades and school, when he was little, but I’ve “grown up” a lot in my parenting. Now I just enforce the lower limits–nothing less than a C- is acceptable! And I laugh about and enjoy how different he is from me, and hope that rather impressive charisma gives him what his GPA lacks, because it’s his life to live, not mine!)

But despite his rolling his eyes at my healthy habits, sometimes he comes over from his dad’s hot-dogs-and-Top-Ramen house to get a healthy meal or snack here. A really pretty girl at school recently baked him something. He knows her to be really interested in health and taking care of her body. She told him he could pay her back by making her a green smoothie! Suddenly he is interested in not only drinking them, but also MAKING them.

Green smoothies are making a popularity comeback in his life I haven’t seen for….oh, a decade and a half?

 

Cheryl says green smoothies were her catalyst for a fabulous life!

I recently received this inspiring letter (edited for length) and photo from GSG Cheryl. You’re going to love reading it!

Dear GreenSmoothieGirl:

I met you at the Portland conference, and had you sign my book after the talk. I know you meet a lot of people and probably don’t remember me, but I was there with my mom, and told you about how Costco hooked me up with GreenSmoothieGirl.com when I purchased my blender.

I am 5’6″ and weighed 155 pounds when I came back from our home in Arizona in May 2011. When my husband and I returned to our home in Washington, we went to our local Costco for food. I told my husband that if the blender road show was there, THIS was the year I was going to take the plunge. Lo and behold, the BlendTec guy was there and I became the proud owner of a high-speed blender. The demo guy gave me a paper with three recipes, and the URL GreenSmoothieGirl.com.

I came home that day with my blender, spinach and fruit. The first thing I did was go to GSG on the web and my life was transformed from that day forward.

I have been making green smoothies daily since May. I’m now 100% vegan and eat mostly raw. I have lost over 23 pounds and have no desire to eat bad foods anymore. My taste buds have been reprogrammed to the beautiful plant foods offered by nature and I now love myself too much to use my body as a garbage can.

Once you learn how good real food tastes, you can’t go back to the SAD (Standard American Diet) way of dying (it’s certainly not living).

Robyn, you were my catalyst for change along with my own will for a better life. I am eternally grateful that you are there to spread the message about how we can all benefit from changes in our food. I am now sharing your message with people that ask me what I’ve done to look so great and feel so fabulous. I’m proud to call myself part of the “green team.”

Sincerely,

Cheryl Ulrich

I Never Knew My Green-Smoothie Habit Was Making a Difference!

Sometimes I re-post comments my readers make, because….I think they’re important enough not to get buried. Because someone said something pithy or cool or weird. Or because it’s my blog and I just feel like it.

In response to my post “Classroom Rewards That Aren’t Food”:

Dear GreenSmoothieGirl: I’m new! Just bought your book, which is brill. When should I drink my green smoothies, and how many times a day?

Answer: Sue, you can have green smoothies WHENEVER YOU WANT, as much as you want!

I drink mine at the baseball game, in the car, at the tennis match, in the airport, at my classes. The more publicly, the better. The more people who see, RIGHT ON! Turned up noses, gagging sounds, jokes? Bring it. That’s just a first reaction. Starts a conversation and in 90 seconds of my telling WHY I do it, they’re 80% more likely to go make something GREAT happen in their daily food regimen.

Dear GreenSmoothieGirl: As an elementary music teacher, I have to explain that my green smoothie isn’t kryptonite or mold. (No coffee or soda for me!) Several students wrote me thank-you letters at the end of the year and drew pictures of my green smoothies (your drink). I didn’t realize it had made any kind of impression! I quoted you about sugar being “the nice girl’s crack cocaine” and asked friends on facebook to join me in the sugar bet….no takers so far! —Sandi

Answer: Sandi, kryptonite, mold. Haha! Realizing WHAT AN IMPACT we make when we set a nutritional example. Isn’t it AMAZING?! In no area of life are people MORE desperate for a Pied Piper than in the arena of NUTRITION. It’s like people need to be led out of the abyss, through the Red Sea, somewhere better than the hell of lupus, high blood pressure, and obesity they’re living in. We need as many examples as possible. On average, when people hear it from the 3rd person, that’s when they start listening.

None of your friends wanna give up their cocaine? Heh. Well, that’s too bad, but do it with me and Matthew and we can all feel superior, holier than thou. (I’m kidding. We’re doing it, and we’ll tell about how great we feel, and more people will join in…..when they’re ready. Maybe after they get the flu this winter.)

In response to my blog entry, “How much is your health worth?” Victoria invoked this saying (let us know if you are aware of the author):

“A person with their health has hundreds of dreams. A person without their health has ONE.”

How much is your health worth?

Yesterday, I rode my bike on my usual path. It’s a 20-mile ride up and down Provo Canyon, turning away from Sundance, to the top of South Fork. The road dead ends there, in front of the Girl Scouts’ Trefoil Ranch.

On the way up, a bull moose in my path took my breath away. I’ve heard moose (Meese? Meesen?) bellowing at each other, but I’ve never seen one up there! I stopped and tried to take a photo, but then he snorted so I figured I’d better get a move on!

On the way down, just past Bridal Veil Falls, there was a bighorn sheep in my path! I have never seen one, outside of the zoo! I had to slam on my brakes to stop short of him. Then he ran down and kinda chased a terrified jogger off the path and into the trees. Then he ran back up into my path and trotted towards me. Scary, because I couldn’t have turned my bike around on the narrow path if I’d wanted to.

I got a picture, but it’s just his tail; you can’t even tell what kind of animal it is.

This made my day and I had a giant grin on my face all the way down. My life is ridiculously awesome because I’m blessed to be so physically active—even though I was fat and ill, 20 years ago. Sometimes when I’m skiing, biking, or just won a tennis tournament, I feel a little guilty. I think of all my peers who couldn’t make it up that 10-mile ascent if they were handed a $15,000 decked-out Trek road bike.

Tons of people my age are coming home from work and going into “energy conservation” mode, plopping into the La-Z Boy every night after work and doing as little as possible until bedtime. They don’t even LIKE television, but it’s all they have the energy for. Some of my peers are sidelined by diagnoses like ALS, migraines, obesity, diabetes.

Somebody said to me recently, “If you don’t have your health, you don’t have anything.” Your work, your hobbies, your relationships, everything is impacted negatively, eroded, as you lose your health. The cool thing is, you can regain it—incrementally, gradually, but you CAN regain it, but only if you’re willing to put in some effort.

I have gone to Zumba the last three nights in a row with Matthew. Last night, the teacher’s music was so LOUD that our ears were ringing and we both left before the end.

Today he sent me an article about how verbal persuasion is the LEAST effective way to motivate people. The MOST effective is personal experience. A study showed that nurses who had suffered a hospital-acquired infection were much more likely to tell others to wash their hands.

But, nurses in the study were just as motivated if a close friend or family member suffered an infection. So, vicarious experience can be just as powerful! This is exciting news—apparently, we DON’T have to learn everything “the hard way!”

Matthew wrote in the same email, “Why were you and I the ONLY people saving our ears and walking out? No one even asked the teacher to turn it down! It’s like people eating stuff that hurts them because everyone else is doing it.”

I like the fact that MY experience can help you avoid the same fate. Matthew also wrote, about the quote from the article that nurses were “turning their hand hygiene into a moral passion:”

“This is totally you, when you teach your class!”

When I teach, I tell my story, of 21 CHRONIC HEALTH CONDITIONS I had at the age of 26, that went bye-bye because of my excellent diet and simple but consistent lifestyle habits. When I teach, I tell about the desperate health crisis of my baby boy, once on constant antibiotics, steroids, and bronchodilators, who is now a 6’3″ drug-free, illness-free college-prep athlete. Learn vicariously from my story, rather than doing it the hard way!

It’s so worth the time I’ve spent educating myself and developing new habits. Drinking Rejuvelac every day, my new habit from Creative Health Institute, makes me happy! I don’t really love the stuff yet, but I don’t hate it, either. And I love the thought, “Wow, I just drank a big glass of enzymes and probiotics!” It’s SO easy to make, and now it’s the base of my green smoothies and no one has even noticed!

I am going to learn something new and awesomely cool everyplace I go in the coming year, and I’m going to teach it to you when I get home!