Green smoothies for old, fat, busy executives

GreenSmoothieGirl and our franchise in the Highland, Utah Roxberry are on Forbes.com. Check it out HERE.

Business contributor Ken Krogue feels like he showed up late to the party, just this week discovering a green smoothie at Highland, Utah’s Roxberry store, introduced to him by one of Utah’s most successful company founders.

Go to the article and tell him you love green smoothies and that we can change his whole world and make him Forbes’ healthiest writer. (He takes comments at the end. He was excited the day after the story ran that it was #8 on all of Forbes.)

I told my best friend in San Francisco that I had an interview with the journalist yesterday, and she texted me and said, “Tell him Mitt Romney is your cousin. Forbes will love that.”

Yeah. Cuz THAT’S relevant. (I wonder if I could work that into the interview. I also worked out in a gym with Barack Obama last year. Just sayin’. The conversation could drag. If I get desperate, I’ll throw that in.)

Roxberry, featured in the story, is a franchise, and the two with a GreenSmoothieGirl franchise in them—frequented by Utah mega-millionaire Greg Butterfield in the story— are owned by Mark and Holly Jackman. I love them. The true family-owned business, totally loved in that community. Holly is one of the most “CAN-DO” people I know. Our daughters have been competitors in soccer.

She insisted on bringing me something, after my oral surgery, when she’d read I couldn’t really chew stuff. She was coming over last week to get a box of The Green Smoothies Diet. She brought fresh squeezed orange juice, and some wheat grass juice too. Thank you, Holly!

Roxberry carries more of my books than anyone else locally, since—as with putting a GSG franchise in stores, we don’t initiate any sales efforts—we just hook people up with our self-published books if they come to us. (Tip for locals: get my books at Roxberry, avoid paying shipping!) The Good Earth carries The Green Smoothies Diet (as do Barnes and Noble and a few others), Dr. Christopher’s in Springville has 12 Steps to Whole Foods. But Roxberry carries the most of my information products.

Roxberry is sponsoring our Provo and Sandy lectures in the next two weeks, and that’s lucky for you if you’re coming, because when they make them, they are yummier than when I make them. Just ask my kids.

Ken Krogue agrees that they’re delish, and couldn’t believe something with so many greens in it tasted so beautiful.

He says they’re perfect for old, fat, busy executives. I think they’re perfect for young, skinny, bored people too. Pretty much everyone.

GSG.com in Forbes, whoda thunk? A national internet sensation, my site? Aw, shucks. I dunno about that, but me likey! The more people are talking about it, the more people are taking a step in the right direction. A step AWAY from Mickey D’s, my arch nemesis. Good stuff, great movement, thanks for being in it with me.

Just did an interview with Ken, the Forbes reporter, and when his story about GSG comes out, I’ll show it here!

 

If you get the chance, tell my kids what good nutrition means to you

I won a singles league tennis match at another club a while ago. After the match, I was tanking up on water and talking to my son Tennyson, who came to watch me play. I said,

“Want to go to Good Earth and get some wheat grass juice?”

My opponent was looking at me strangely, so I said, “Yeah. I know. It’s weird. But he LOVES the stuff.”

She said, “I don’t drink wheat grass juice. But I do drink green smoothies. I just read a book called The Green Smoothies Diet.”

Haha, I love my life! I guess my photo isn’t on that book’s jacket.

Then there was the day I was pumping gas in my car and two different women, both named Carrie, came up and gave me a hug.

And recently, someone at the gym told me that Holly Mendenhall, who has attended a few of my classes, turned her onto green smoothies. She said, “Do you know Holly?” (Nope.) She said, “She’s the wife of Bronco Mendenhall.”

BYU’s football coach! (What a great man, who has done great things in this community.) YAY! Does that mean that Bronco Mendenhall’s family is doing 12 Steps to Whole Foods? I can only hope.

That was all awesome, but maybe even better is what happened the night before, at Kincade’s baseball banquet. One of his friends and his mom got out of their car in the parking lot with us. So since Cade was talking to his buddy, I chatted with the mom all the way in to the banquet.

While we listened to the awards ceremony and ate dinner, two women came over to my table to say that green smoothies, or my whole-foods course, have been transforming their energy and health. One said, “I no longer get tired training for my marathon—I love it!”

But best of all, both women turned to my son and said, “I feel so great drinking green smoothies—do you drink them, Cade?”

He said, “Every day of my life. My house is the Vegetable Capital of the World.” No sarcasm….just kinda proud, actually, of his own healthy habits–because what else are you going to do in the face of such ardent enthusiasm?

And they gushed to him with such enthusiasm about how positive their nutrition changes have been. I acted cool, I hope, but secretly was SO THRILLED.

THANK YOU SO MUCH, if you ever have any interaction with my children, and you give them a third-party endorsement of the principles I teach!

Then as I went to leave, the mom I had walked in with came rushing back up to me. She said, “Oh my gosh, you are Robyn? I just figured that out! I just read your book and now I’m studying 12 Steps to Whole Foods with my co-workers and I love it!”

And my son sat there and listened. Three times in one night, and I didn’t even have to pay them. (hehe)

I am always trying to give the parents following a whole-foods path some endorsement with their kids. By writing The Adventures of Junk Food Dude, by doing readings for kids, then writing the recipe book Junk Food Dude’s Yummy Healthy Recipes, by encouraging readers to bring their older kids to my events, by talking to kids whenever I get the chance.

So, WHAT AN AMAZING BLESSING when it comes back to me and someone returns the favor!

I need others to confirm the truth of these principles, for my children, as well.

 

Should I “eat right for my blood type?”

A recent grad from Institute for Integrative Nutrition applied for the GreenSmoothieGirl Health Coaches certification and said this:

“I’ve studied over 100 nutritional plans, and the 12 Steps to Whole Foods program is the most comprehensive, practical, grounded approach I have found.”

(That’s the goal. I think I’ve studied all those nutrition plans, too. Most have a kernel of truth, or lots of truth, along with, usually, some problems. And many of the diet plans appeal to popular tastes – such as Atkins, South Beach, The Zone, etc. — rather than being supported by evidence.)

One of the more frustrating diet plans, to me, is the blood type diet. The idea is that you have a certain blood type because your ancestors were from a certain place, so they adapted to a specific diet. You are then instructed, based on having O, A, B, or AB blood, to eat according to the prescription. Vegetarian, highly carnivorous, a mix of the two, grains or no grains, etc.

The diet has no real science backing it. Only a very dubious theory. The theory collapses when you consider that every indigenous population of the world has all the blood types: A, B, AB, and O. It’s also highly problematic when you consider how much genetic mixing and nomadism we’ve had in recent centuries. Few people have both parents going back to the same origins.

Peter D’Adamo fathered the first blood typing program (based on the theory of his father James, both naturopaths) that gave rise to a set of nutrition principles. But others have leveraged the same concept, with different recommendations. It’s tempting, financially, to author a new diet, since those books sell well. I know this all too well, since I waged an epic war with my publisher over the name of my bestseller, The Green Smoothies Diet. I hate the word diet because “diets” don’t work. I wanted to teach good principles, towards a sustainable lifestyle, but my publisher said,

“But American love diet books. They fly off the shelves.”

I lost the war and, in so doing, probably gained financially, as my book was instantly a bestseller for my publisher. It wasn’t a hill I was going to die on, because if it gets the same message out, I can “sell out” on the fairly minor point of a title. (Mostly, I just wanted, on principle, to name my own book!) And Ulysses Press was right—Americans do, apparently, want to “go on” yet another diet.

The whole idea of blood typing does call legitimate attention to the fact that we are all different, with different needs. This doesn’t obviate the fact that there are certain classes of foods that are nutritious to just about everyone. Just because you feel weak if you try to eat only plants, after a lifetime of eating animals, doesn’t mean that for you, vegetables are bad food.

It could mean you are transitioning and cleansing, and that is uncomfortable in the short- to mid-term. It could mean that because degenerative gut problems are nearly ubiquitous (everyone who has indulged in the S.A.D. suffering from them to one extent or another), many of us have developed sensitivities to specific foods. Some of those sensitivities are to good foods. This doesn’t mean that food X or Y is necessarily “bad” for you personally—it may mean that you have a problem to rectify so your body can accept and utilize nutrition from that food class.

Some people are reading this article and preparing to scream at me that I’m wrong because they went on the blood type diet and feel much better. I believe that! But not because you’re eating “correctly” for your blood type.

You feel better because the author of the nutrition program eliminates gluten from the type O diet. That will make everyone feel better, as grains have been hybridized and are causing many people problems. And he tells all type A’s to eat vegetarian, which is actually a good diet for most, if not all, people.

(As always, I refuse to take a stand on whether a limited amount of animal protein is good or desirable or at least acceptable—but it’s clear that more plants, and less animals, is across the board, more environmentally sustainable and more health-promoting.)

You feel better because regardless of your blood type, you’re told to eliminate processed foods such as white flour.

D’Adamo’s theory gets really silly when he tells Type A’s to meditate, Type O’s to do aerobics, etc. (Does this mean Type O’s shouldn’t meditate, and Type A’s shouldn’t exercise their hearts?) He delves into stereotyping personality and character based on blood type, too. It’s really nonsense but can “look” true because some true principles are involved.

Many other experts have soundly debunked D’Adamo’s reasoning and recommendations. He claims type O is the oldest blood type, but in fact, A is. This decimates the crux of his theory. Also, agriculture developed in different parts of the world independently, and his theory is based on unilateral development worldwide and positive outcomes for that development, neither of which is fact.

Most of his theory rests on lectins, proteins on the surfaces of foods that can cause cells or molecules to stick together. But a number of doctors object to the hypotheses the D’Adamos make, saying that there is no documentation of the health effects they predict if you eat “wrong” for your blood type, which virtually everyone does, of course. Michael Klaper, M.D. said that the effects he describes would be fatal for millions of people, if D’Adamo were correct in his theory.

The diets D’Adamo advocates for are not particularly harmful or out-of-the-ordinary, and all of them eliminate the worst of the bad in the Standard American Diet. (He isn’t telling any of the blood types to eat Twinkies or Cocoa Puffs. He is just making certain recommendations within whole-foods groups and macronutrients. Most Americans, of course, are eating Twinkies and Cocoa Puffs! Any  involves less processed food is likely to result in health improvement.)

As a culture, we need better critical thinking skills. We have a long love affair with personality testing and typing, horoscopes, and other ways to try to categorize and make sense of our world. But blood-typing theory is flawed on so many levels. I believe that individuals have specific dietary needs that may fall slightly – not massively — outside a prescribed set of guidelines.

Looking to blood type does not provide those answers. As logic might suggest to you, only experimentation and intuition do.

The latest green smoothie debate! part 1 of 3

Dear GreenSmoothieGirl:

Somebody on the internet says they don’t recommend green smoothies because apparently the fiber is too broken down. And the fruit causes blood sugar to spike. Please prove them wrong so I can keep enjoying them.

—Carly

Answer:   We have gotten this question several times this week, via email, but with at least three different sources saying that. The three sources are Caldwell Esselstyn (one of my heroes), a nutritionist, and a new diet plan.

Every time something becomes wildly popular, like green smoothies have, there is eventually a backlash. This happens with everything, from science to religion to pop culture. Critics spring up and evaluate the original claims of a new product, trend, or habit. And through the free flow of information, the truth emerges, although many people are frustrated and become disillusioned before that occurs.

An example is that this week, Matthew forwarded me a link to a five-page New York Times article, as he often does, regarding the dangers of yoga, the serious injuries that can result.   (My take-away, by the way, is not to push yourself in yoga class for the sake of your ego, or hold poses for long periods of time or do the uber-daring ones that push limits. I personally like to warm my muscles up with a little cardio before yoga, too.)

GSG reader Carly asked me to prove her source wrong saying that green smoothies are bad. I’m more likely to be able to do that than the doubters are, as I’ve not seen any data to support the idea that blending greens is not helpful—or even harmful.

My research with 175 green smoothie drinkers, published in The Green Smoothies Diet, shows 95.4% stating there was a noticeably positive impact on their health or quality of life, simply from drinking green smoothies regularly.

The top three health benefits reported were more energy (85%), improved digestion (79.5%), fewer cravings for sweets and processed foods (65%), more positive/stable mood (54%), weight loss (50%), and improvement in skin tone (50%).

If someone has real data on how fiber is “destroyed” in green smoothies, please point me to it. Matter can be neither created nor destroyed. The fiber didn’t go anywhere. The soluble fiber still turns to gel during digestion and slows digestion and impact on the blood sugar of the fruit (or other sugars you may eat with the meal). That soluble fiber binds to bile and removes it.

Insoluble fiber is blended, and could possibly be less effective at sweeping the GI tract, but it is still there, binding to bile increasing stool bulk.

More on this tomorrow.

Why do I get constipated or not lose weight on green smoothies? Part 1 of 2

This is Chris, the GSG webmaster. Robyn has been in Michigan for a week and I have been posting her blogs. I accidentally posted part 2 yesterday without part 1. I remedy that here:

Dear GreenSmoothieGirl: I’m drinking green smoothies, and you said they were low calorie, high nutrition! Why have I GAINED two pounds in the last two weeks?

Answer: Most people quickly LOSE weight on green smoothies, and most people’s digestion improves, in my research. (Discussed in depth in The Green Smoothies Diet.) Logic bears that out, since drinking so much volume, of only 200 calories, bumps out other food that is invariably higher calorie. And green smoothies are so high in fiber that digestion should improve. Keeping all other things constant, simple physics DEMAND that you are increasing your metabolism in many ways, you are burning fat, and you WILL lose weight. Note that the sentence began, “KEEPING ALL OTHER THINGS CONSTANT.”

(I don’t want to insult anyone’s intelligence, so forgive me for this. Hopefully it goes without saying, that if you’re increasing your consumption of junk food, because you feel that your new green smoothie habit justifies it, that could be why you’re not losing weight. That’s all, on that topic.)

However, as 175 people in my initial study radically changed their nutrition with the green smoothie habit, these were fairly common reactions within the 18% who experienced a negative initial reaction:

Bloating, constipation, not losing weight

Why does this happen? First of all, anytime you change anything, there are always a number of consequences (some more noticeable than others). Hundreds of things are changing in your body. It is receiving nutrition it has needed from the beginning, but as you begin supplying it, you may notice fits and starts, hiccups and burps and discomfort.

All the new fiber is supposed to act as a broom, sweeping the intestines and colon. However, what happens when, in addition to lots of that, the colon begins loosening and releasing hardened material that has perhaps been there a long time?

The colon can get backed up. There’s over 30 feet of intestines and colon, and often when you’ve been eating the S.A.D., peristaltic action has slowed and become very sluggish. You can perk it up over time by clearing it out and feeding it high-fiber food at EVERY meal and snack.

Your kidneys can get backed up. (Do this for a couple of decades and you’ll need a kidney transplant.) Your liver can get backed up. (Ever seen anyone whose eyeballs are yellow?) The lymph system can get backed up. (Your neck has big, bulging, painful nodes.) The tonsils get backed up. (Doctors say, take them out! They are, in fact, yet another organ of elimination, little understood.)

The heart and arteries can get backed up (this is what ambulances were built for). The skin gets backed up (four letters: Z-I-T-S). Need I say more? We could go on for paragraphs. The parts of your body that aren’t holding things together, and building/repairing, and locomoting you? They’re detoxing you.

I know I’m grossly oversimplifying. But your colon is the most obvious, simple organ of elimination, and the toxic fuel you choose is 90% of why every single one of these organs gets weak, and gets sluggish, and THEN…..when the miracle happens that you change fuels, they get backed up.

This can happen within days of starting green smoothies, or at any point down the line. You didn’t get in the shape you’re in, in two weeks, and it’s going to take you longer than two weeks to truly “clean house.”

Read part 2 here

 

My quirky weight loss strategies, part 1 of 3

So, I’ve never written about this because…..

First, weight loss is my least-favorite topic ever.   I think it’s boring and pointless because, to me, it happens permanently ONLY as a byproduct of focusing on eating the right foods for your health. There aren’t one set of foods for heart health, a different set of foods for cancer prevention, and another set entirely for weight loss. It’s all the same stuff.

It’s the low-calorie, high-micronutrient, high-fiber, perfect-little-packages-just-like-Nature-made-them plant foods, that all accomplish the same thing.

Second, there are just so many people out there yammering on about WEIGHT LOSS. Writing books, creating elaborate recipes and diet plans, manufacturing fake foods, selling you all kinds of stuff.  Pills in all their varieties. I don’t really like being in that space.

Third, when you FOCUS on weight loss, it turns some powerful psychological switch on. You know this if you’ve read books like Intuitive Eating. It’s much like telling a 2-year old, “Don’t touch that plant!” The toddler is going to do one of two things. Personality differences are the differentiator. She’ll either make a beeline for the plant and tear it to pieces, or she’ll wait, furtively, till you’re out of the room to sneak over and pull a couple leaves off.

But inevitably, that houseplant is goin’ down.

Since, like Freud, I don’t believe adults are much different than 2-year olds in some important areas regarding our basic motivations and needs and emotions, I **loathe** the word DIET. It’s like yelling, “NO!”

Tell me no, and I’ll do anything to find YES in it.

Have I ever told you about the epic battle I had with my publisher over putting the word DIET in my book The Green Smoothies Diet?  Obviously I lost. Turns out they were right. I assume the word DIET made that book a bestseller.   (Oh, what’s that you say? Maybe the fact that it’s actually a good book had something to do with it? Ha, I hope so!)

Anyway, I was right too.  As in, it’s not a diet and it’s stupid to call it a diet. It’s a component of a lifestyle change.   But I decided, rather than Die On That Hill, to just (cough, choke, SELL-OUT) and get the message out there.

My publisher assured me that I could explain in the book that it is a NOT A DIET.

So that’s my long preamble and disclaimer to my telling you….yes, I’m going to do this….my own personal top 6 tips for weight loss and weight maintenance.