Do all of GSG’s friends drink green smoothies?

The answer to that question is NO. Only about 95% of them. A longtime holdout is Kristin, very possibly my best friend, who is a newly single mom and stays with me 9 nights out of the month when her ex moves in with the kids. She also works for, and she’s been my assistant at tons of my speaking events. She drinks up to 84 oz. of Diet Coke every day. It’s her safe place, her stress reliever, her energy prop.

Kristin has lost 38 lbs. in the past year. She has a thing she has done to stop buying junk food (M&M’s formerly being her vice). When she goes to the store, she walks past the candy aisle and sneers, says to herself, “I don’t eat that s%#! any more!” I don’t know if that’ll work for you, but it works for Kristin so I’m passing it along.

Despite being surrounded by offers of green smoothies and raw food, at my house, and listening to my enthusiasm for the topic nearly ad nauseum, she had yet to try anything except Hot Pink, which I have fed her for breakfast fairly regularly and which she likes.

How is this possible, you ask? Believe it or not, I don’t talk about food much when I’m not teaching about it. I probably talk about it less than the average person, in fact. I figure, when people want to know, they’ll ask. They know I know stuff.

Kristin has never asked. I have, on a rare occasion, made a mild comment. Like, “Hey, I really think your anxiety isn’t just circumstantial. Nutrition might make a real difference.” Stuff like that.

I watch and wait. I’ve been friends with someone for YEARS, or dated a guy for many months, before they really get motivated to start the GS habit. Finally, this week, Kristin announced that she’d started green smoothies the day before. Mostly because her oldest daughter (age 18) decided SHE wanted to!

Next day, she went to Costco and they had no spinach. Her 12-y.o. twin daughters cried, “Oh no, what will we do?!” LOL.

I asked Kristin what her experience was after 24 hours and 2 smoothies. She’s one who always tells me the truth, good or bad, because we trust each other completely. She said, “I feel happier today, not my usual anxiousness. I got up this morning easily and was alert–-I actually WANTED to go for a run.”

Then my friend Liz came over last night for a while. She asked me to tell you her tip. Like Kristin, she’s a busy, working, single mom of 6 kids. She spends two hours, every few weeks, making 40 GREEN SMOOTHIES and freezing them! Her counter is covered with green foods and fruits and she just bangs it out and fills up her big freezer.

Not a bad idea–then your nutrition for a few weeks is a guarantee. She takes hers to work frozen and it thaws there.

Why soft drinks stink, and what happens when you drink green smoothies.

Here’s part 2 of the interview I did with Leslie Smoot. It’s a little about my program, why the first step of my 12 Steps is to quit drinking soda and start drinking greens. And what happens when you do, according to my study of 175 people who did that!

Portland, part 2 of 3

I met Nita, whose blood sugar dropped 100 points a week after starting her 3-pint-a-day green smoothie habit in September. Her A1C test dropped 3 points, which is HUGE. She’d had bypass surgery, and thanks to 12 Steps habits, she got her energy back. She said the week she bought 12 Steps, she was looking at a program that cost twice as much, to guide her in choosing clothes, hairstyle and jewelry. She said to herself, deciding between the two: “Do I want to spend my money on getting well, or looking good on my deathbed?” Nita, if you’re reading this, you’re beautiful already.

I met Mary, who drove 3.5 hours from Seattle, wearing pink in the photo below with me and her friend. Starting green smoothies, she had no headaches getting off Diet Coke, her depression decreased, she lost 20 lbs., and she stopped retaining water.

I took tons of photos with young moms (see photo on yesterday’s blog entry, and they are popping up on facebook). I guess they got the message loud and clear that THEY ARE MY HEROES….especially when they buck popular trends to do right by their kids. They may feel powerless some days, but they actually wield tremendous power to turn the ship around before it wrecks.

(I am going to do some videos this week, with my 10-year old, showing you how I talk to him about nutrition and health. Stay tuned.)

One of favorite college roommates came to my Sandy class, where I was whisked away to make the drive to Corvallis without getting to chill with her. So she came to my hotel the morning I left (see photo below) with a lovely green smoothie breakfast sendoff. XOXO Paula, I heart you! And Debbie, the green smoothie you made me was HARD. CORE, woohoo!

Back from Portland now, where possibly because I’ve been speaking so much (10 classes in the past 2 weeks), my voice completely quit and I spoke in a squeak the last two classes. I want to move to Portland because you have it so good with health food and composting and organic everything, oh, and the BLUEBERRIES! (I’d miss sunshine, though.)

What I DON’T do, every day, in my family

So I admit (on a regular basis, actually) that I’m not perfect. Anyone who knows me and sees the inside of my fridge, and what I do on vacation, knows that I “walk the talk.” I really do the stuff I teach, and I do it consistently. But I am also human. If I indulge, it’s generally going to be in a restaurant on the weekend, or on vacation.

That said, I’m good but imperfect at the “Do’s” but pretty great at the “Don’ts”. These are half a dozen things I NEVER buy:

  1. Soda
  2. Processed meat (or meat of any kind, except when I’m cooking for company and they expect it)
  3. Hot dogs (I know that’s redundant with #2, but really. REALLY! Please don’t eat hot dogs. I am not sure how they ever became known as food.)
  4. Fried foods
  5. Fast food (anything bought in a drive-thru)
  6. Refined oils and fake fats (shortening, margarine, vegetable oil, “fat free” spreads, etc.)

The “DON’Ts” are easier than the DO’s.  Just don’t buy them.

Amorphous Blob of Diet Pepsi Jelly-Sausage

Just got back from the Bay Area–yummy raw food at Café Gratitude in Berkeley (photo below). Taught a really fun class in Oakland (will post photos as soon as someone sends me some–since I forgot my camera), so great to meet y’all who came!

So Laura (my best friend for 30 years) and I were hiking in Lafayette this weekend [photo below] and had this conversation:

Laura: You know, this really makes me mad, I had ONE vice. Is that too much to ask? You know, at 3:30 every afternoon, no matter where I was, I would fill a cup up with ice. Everywhere I work, everybody knows what I’m doing when they see me coming with the SMALL cup of ice: to fill it up with a SMALL amount of Diet Pepsi.

Robyn: Well, you drink wine. So technically isn’t that TWO vices?

Laura: No. Wine is good for you.

Robyn: Oh.

Laura: Anyway, so now, I have my own soda fountains, how lucky is that? But no!

(Laura owns a really cool store store that sells much better stuff than just Diet Pepsi.)

Laura: So my employee Greg was cleaning out the soda fountain machines one day, and he said, ‘Laura, you have got to see this.'” And I go over . . . and there is . . . [a look of horror comes over her face] . . .

. . . this quivering, gelatinous, mucousy sausage of goo. It was heinous, I’m telling you. Trembling, jelly-like, thick, brown . . . OMG! I don’t have words for the horror. It was in the tube coming out of the Diet Pepsi thing! [She is gesticulating wildly with her hands.]

And I have never had a Diet Pepsi since. That was last fall. I will never drink it again.

Robyn: I feel a blog entry forming in my head. But the problem is, a lot of people would read that and it wouldn’t slow them down for a minute. They’d keep drinking Diet Pepsi.

Laura: NO. No one would! No one! OMG! [She shudders.] You don’t understand. Did I say that it was like a giant SAUSAGE of slithery chemicals?

Robyn: I need a photo.

Laura: No! Then no one will come in my store! Everyone will stop buying Diet Pepsi! Anyway, I’m not sure a photo will do it justice. You have to see the quivering to fully appreciate it. It’s a video kind of thing.

Robyn: [stopping her on the hiking path, making a praying sign with my hands] A video then. I would pay money for that. Pretty please, I’m begging! This won’t hurt your business. It should hurt Pepsi, though it probably won’t. Remember 20 years ago when you worked at Bain and one of your clients was a meat packing plant? And you told me to promise you I would never eat a hot dog? Or let any of my future progeny eat one? I’ve kept that promise–no hot dogs!

End of conversation . . .

We’ll see whether I get my way on this one. If I obtain the photo or video. My birthday isn’t till February. Do not think I won’t remember to ask her for a photo of the Diet Pepsi Mucousy Sausage then, if she hasn’t sent me visual evidence yet.

Those of you who attend my classes may know my answer when some dude raises his hand and says, “If I drink a quart of green smoothie daily, it’s okay that I eat all kinds of other crap, right?” (Always, always a man who says that.) And my answer is, “I’m not answering that.”

Ditto my answer for the question, “So I should switch to Diet Coke, right?”

processed meat: it’s on my “never” list

If you’ve read my books, you know there are two foods I never eat and I don’t let my kids eat either. We are virtually 100% about good nutrition at home, but at a party or in a restaurant, we make good choices but aren’t perfect.

The two “over my dead body” foods, though:

One, processed meat. (Bacon, sausage, hot dogs, salami, deli/luncheon meat.) Two, soft drinks.

Here’s a meta-study (my favorite kind–a review of lots of different research studies, in this case almost 1,600 pieces of research) showing how damaging processed meat is to our health:

Nearly 20 years ago, I read a study examining childhood cancers. Kids who developed cancer had no risk factors in common except a prevalance of high (11 or more monthly) hot dog consumption. I have no idea why I remember that–11 hot dogs a month–but I do. Then my best friend worked for Bain & Co., out of college, and one of her clients was a meat-packing plant. After working inside that business, she said to me, “Promise me that you and any offspring you have will never eat a hot dog. You would not believe how disgusting all the ingredients of that product are.”

Everything I’ve read since then confirms those original seeds planted in my brain that hot dogs are . . . well, nauseating. Get the vegan kind at the health food store if your family likes hot dogs.

That’s why you’ve heard them called “cancer sticks”–they are not just full of salt, but also nitrates and nitrites, which are well documented to be highly carcinogenic.

I’ve had ONE bite of a hot dog in the past 20 years. That was when I was on national television with two cameras and 20 teenagers chanting, “EAT. IT! EAT. IT!”

You know I’m here to nurture you towards better nutrition without being radical. But some “foods” really don’t qualify as such and I ask you to consider a full-on ban in your home of processed meats.