Goodbye to speaking tours!

I’ve loved traveling to 450 cities on speaking tours in the past 6 years. And I’m not “burned out.” But for the rest of the year, maybe permanently (haven’t decided yet), I’ve decided to stay home and focus on some neglected projects that I plan to bring value to your life.

I’ve learned so much meeting GreenSmoothieGirl readers nationwide, sharing my story with you and hearing yours. I have thousands of faces and hundreds of stories in my head and heart.
IMG_0554

I have one more tour ahead of me in Boston, Philadelphia, Baltimore, and Northern Virginia. I just came back from Idaho Falls, which is an interesting town because it’s rather drab and nondescript, except for the beautified section of the Snake River along the hotel and shopping district where I run into little surprises like this art in a little pond and this spectacular roundabout in a “downtown” with no multi-story buildings. I have spoken there for 7 years in a row, since I started traveling and speaking.

IMG_0720I’ll miss stuff like this—running in new places and discovering your city’s treasures, teaching things that matter for your health and your life.

I’m not saying goodbye. I am just getting back to research as well as revitalizing the whole GSG site that will relaunch by end of July to be far more encompassing than just about nutrition and eating whole foods. Much of my research and life experience in the past 5 years goes far beyond food. My site will be blog-centric and the blog and newsletter will get more of my focus.

Thank you, Boise and Idaho Falls, for the fun memories. And thank you to so many who have come to hear and taste how amazing whole foods are and how your health can transform when following basic principles. I’ve loved every minute of it. Maybe sometime, I’ll do it again. For now, Baby Boy gets his mama at all baseball games, and GreenSmoothieGirl.com gets some TLC and a facelift!

One-Minute Microwave Flax Muffin, for quickie breakfast, even in a hotel room!

muffin in a cupNew GSGLife Instructor Peggy Richter, in Pittsburgh, PA, told me that she takes a quick homemade mix and makes herself a flax muffin for one, with all whole, high-nutrition foods, in her hotel room! She uses GSG Sprouted Flax with Berries.

While it’s not ideal to use a microwave, this recipe is still a far cry better than the hotel’s continental breakfast! (I was in 75 hotel rooms this year. I ate at the continental breakfasts exactly 0 times. I do sometimes walk through to see if they have bananas and apples, for the road—but that’s all.)

I’m going to give Peggy’s recipe a try.

60-SECOND BERRY FLAX MUFFIN IN A MUG

Serves 1, great for hotel-room nutrition, when a microwave is all you have!

2 rounded Tbsp. GreenSmoothieGirl Sprouted Flax with Berries

1 Tbs. buckwheat flour (buckwheat is not wheat and contains no gluten)

1 Tbs. coconut crystals (raw, organic, unrefined)

1 rounded Tbsp. EnerHealth Coconut Milk Powder

1 1/2 tsp. EnerG Egg replacer

1/2 tsp. Rumford Baking Powder (gluten and aluminum free)

1/2 tsp. Cinnamon

3 Tbs. Water, filtered and room temperature or slightly warmed.

(optional: add 1 Tbsp. finely chopped nuts of your choice)

flax-berries-720x720Measure all dry ingredients into a microwave safe 8-12 oz. mug. Add water and mix thoroughly with a fork. Let sit 30 seconds, then bake in microwave for 60 seconds on high. When removing from oven, use mug handle, as it will be hot! Let cool 30 seconds, then use heel of hand to tap sides of mug to loosen muffin. Pop out onto plate. Let steam escape a minute before slicing. Enjoy your fresh baked muffin!

Note: for easy travel, put all dry ingredients for each muffin into a ziploc baggie. Then at hotel, dump into the mug most hotel rooms provide, just add the water, and bake. (You can also borrow one from the hotel restaurant or travel with a ceramic mug. The paper cups at the hotel are often lined with plastic and not safe for the microwave.)

Vegan, gluten free, grain free, dairy free, egg free.

From Peggy Richter; Pittsburgh, PA, check her out at

mygsglife.com/Smoothies4Health

Who says you can’t eat right while traveling?

 

eatout1
A delicious, healthy lunch on the go!

I always feel less alone in the world, as I opt out of the “Standard American Diet” 95%+ of the time……when I hang out with people like Stasia, Jen, and Rachel. They are GSG readers and apprentice coaches.

This is me, having lunch with them downtown, while they were here from the East Coast. You can see my pint jar of green smoothie next to my salad.

Jen had her stick pack of chia seed that she sprinkled on her salad. Stasia had her baggy of sprouted, dehydrated flax crackers. And Rachel had a bag of Costco baby carrots, and baby bell peppers, that she whipped out to
augment our salads.

eatout2
Robyn with Stasia, Jen and April

I love these ladies’ creativity! All of these are “tricks up my sleeve” that I employ, so that I can eat right when I’m traveling, too. Luckily, you can get a great salad almost anywhere. I have them put the dressing on the side,
I didn’t eat the bread thing that was on my salad, and I avoid GMO corn and soy products. You can even ask them for extra greens, or extra vegetables, or additional healthy items you see they use in other recipes. I do it all
the time.

Watching all three of these amazing, healthy women be creative when they travel is an inspiration! It really is possible. It takes a little planning ahead, is all. You know what to look for as the crux of the diet, and you scan the grocery stores and restaurants for these: living foods (sprouts), greens, vegetables, fruits, legumes, whole grains, nuts and seeds.

 

How to Eat Right While Traveling, part 3 of 3

This is how you gain 5 lbs on your vacation
This is how you gain 5 lbs on your vacation

It isn’t that we didn’t eat in restaurants. This list of groceries didn’t cover all the eating we did for 6 days, the five of us. We ate in a restaurant once a day. This is typical of my traveling, that we have green smoothies and other foods I’ve brought, or that we bought wherever we were–and we eat out once a day.

In restaurants, I look for salads, and vegetable-intensive dishes. It isn’t that we didn’t have a couple of treats on vacation that aren’t nutritionally stellar. We did have a few treats. There were a couple of times when someone in our party had wine with dinner, coffee after dinner, or a dessert. I often tell GSG readers when I talk to them one on one: “I don’t eat a perfect diet. I eat a really, really good diet.”

Years ago, I valued my money more than my time. Now I am in a different life situation, and so the list I made in my last blog entry is higher on “convenience healthy foods” and lower on homemade, cost-minimized, healthy stuff than it did back when I developed 12 Steps to Whole Foods and lived on a very limited budget.

Robyn, Emma, Dr. Petra Wiechel
Robyn, Emma, Dr. Petra Wiechel

You can find other times I’ve written on this topic on my blog from years ago, HERE and HERE and HERE. You can see how our tastes and habits have changed over the years. Green smoothies are a constant staple, because they massively ramp consumption of a variety of our #1 most important foods, LEAFY GREENS. When we let green smoothies slide out of our routine, nutrient density in our diet drops sharply. If that happens, I notice the difference in my energy immediately.

And always, when you’re on the road, morning and night, have a scoop of GreenSmoothieGirl Green Light, Chocolate Green Light, or Red Light.

I always have 1-2 gallons of purified water on the road with me. Make sure you’re drinking a lot of water when you’re on the road, especially airline travel.

3 Blog 2
No Western trip is complete without horseback riding

If you are traveling by plane, make sure to have healthy snacks in your carry-on bag. By doing this, I never end up having a canned V-8 and bags of pretzels to survive till touchdown. I often take pints of organic blueberries and apples, raw-food bars, baby carrots, and sunflower greens in my bag. I’ve even taken recycled containers of salads, and leftovers from home.

Some people don’t know that food is totally legal when traveling by plane. It’s just liquids (green smoothies, bottled water, etc.) they’ll confiscate.

Freddy and Emma hike a waterfall in Yellowstone
Freddy and Emma hike a waterfall in Yellowstone

If you think you can’t find anything nutritious on trips that involve airports and taking a cooler is impossible, think of it as a challenge to find something good in the airport. Very frankly, I don’t even try too hard. I eat really well on the road. It’s just not that hard.

And on my recent trips, very easily, I found:

—a lunch counter in Jackson Hole, Wyoming that made me fresh cucumber, celery, carrot, ginger juice

—a juice place in the Detroit airport where we got fresh carrot juice

—a regular restaurant, La Grande Orange, in the Phoenix airport, where I got a Kale Quinoa salad

—a place in the Amsterdam airport that made me wheat grass shots, on the way out, and the way back

—a place in downtown Prague where I got fresh celery-carrot juice made to order

I often freeze pints of green smoothie, and put them in sealed Ziploc freezer bags, and roll them in my jeans in the middle of my suitcase. When I get to a hotel, I can put them in a fridge if they have one. (Marriotts usually have fridges, and the big hotel chains like Hyatt, Sheraton, Westin, etc. are most likely to have them.)

Yellowstone is beautiful!
Yellowstone is beautiful!

This will get me through two days with my greens. Not the whole trip. But it helps! I have green smoothies then next morning. I do NOT love the texture of a thawed green smoothie. But it’ll do, in a pinch.

When we are on speaking tour (75 cities by Dec. 1 this year!), we look up whether the city we’re leaving, or passing through, or arriving at later, has a Whole Foods Market. Virtually all of them have salad bars. That, and filling up my bottle with green smoothie at my lectures, for the next morning, are important features in my agenda to eat well while traveling. Of course, salad bar at WFM can easily be $15-$17. Not cheap! We also look for salad bar places like Soup Tomatoes / Soup Plantation, and we search Google for raw and vegan restaurants in the area.

Nutrient density throughout the day, every day, is the key to sustained energy and no need for stimulants while on the road.

How to Eat Right While Traveling, Part 2 of 3

eat rt traveling1This is a big topic, and it will be covered in more detail in my new book How to Eat Right in the Real World and in my 2014 lecture tour. But I’m asked it constantly. I’ve had two flight attendants who are GSG readers, and even a passenger in the seat in front of me, say, “Hey GSG, how do you eat right on the road?”

It must be a question burning on everyone’s minds. Since folks I don’t know ask me so often.

First of all, this is a huge topic. It is, for sure, harder than eating right at home, where you have a kitchen and a routine. It’s also entirely possible to do. It involves some simple strategies. I am very accustomed to these practices and so they honestly don’t take me extra time. I do not come home from trips depleted of energy. I feel normal, have zero jetlag unless I’m coming home from another continent, and get right back to real life.

I will share some details of a few of my recent trips.

whole vs. processed First, though: people are obsessed with macronutrients (protein, carbs, fats). If we eat a variety of foods high in micronutrients (vitamins, minerals, enzymes), the macronutrients have a tendency to take care of themselves.

Our culture’s focus is too much on CALORIES and MACRONUTRIENTS. This obsession leads them towards “low fat” and “calorie reduced” and “lean meats” (processed and problematic) instead of raw, whole plant foods. My goal is to get people to focus on what’s actually important related to diet, and if they do, the calorie and macronutrient issue just takes care of itself. That is, focus on MICRONUTRIENTS.

Eat the foods highest in vitamins, minerals, and enzymes. Those same foods are also high in fiber.

That’s greens, vegetables, fruits, legumes, whole grains, nuts and seeds. In that order. Every meal I eat, or serve to my kids, has vegetables and/or fruits. I don’t eat 100% cooked meals, pretty much EVER. I can’t always get the exact foods I want in a restaurant or on the road. But I can virtually always get 60-80% greens, vegetables, and fruits of some kind—virtually all raw. Whatever I can get.

Pack a cooler with good foods
A cooler is key to packing along healthy foods

As I took my friends from Switzerland to Jackson Hole, Yellowstone, and Sun Valley this summer–in 6 days—having a COOLER was key. It was July, so replacing the ice every night in the hotel was important. Most of the hotels we stayed in weren’t nice enough to have fridges in the rooms.

I had three days’ worth of green smoothies in jars. They’ll last that long. The third day they don’t taste as great as the first day. I’m not hardcore enough to take my blender and buy greens and fruit, and make them in hotel rooms. I used to. I’m simpler now. Hats off to you, if you’re willing to go to some trouble.

That gets you three days’ worth of smoothies for the road. That’s better than none. I find that I’m happy, healthy, and high-energy on trips to the extent I eat right. Continental breakfast just isn’t worth it. You eat bagels that turn to glue in your intestines. You eat pastries that spike, and then crash, your blood sugar, making you not want to walk from Fantasyland all the way over to Adventureland!

I don’t honestly spend much time planning any more. But this list is the contents of my box of food and cooler, on the road last month. After a quick trip to the Good Earth, all I made is green smoothies and granola:

jars of greensmoothieQuarts and pints of green smoothie

Baby carrots

Happy Monkey hummus (I don’t even love hummus, but OMG I love their stuff)

Blue corn chips (organic, no salt)

Tub of organic goat cheese

perfect food barPerfect Foods Bars (almond butter flavor) (I’m obsessed with these lately)

A couple of tubs of sunflower greens and other sprout greens I bought (we have a big handful before breakfast–bitter greens stimulate digestion and provide enzymes to a cooked meal) (this is a form of green food that travels well)

Gallon Ziploc bag full of my homemade granola (and bowls/spoons)

2 boxes almond milk

go raw super cookies (I bought some Synergy brand, but you can make your own, see Ch. 8 of 12 Steps to Whole Foods)

Tubs of organic blueberries (put on granola)

Go Raw’s Super Cookies

Bag of cocktail cucumbers (our new favorite thing at Costco)

Bag of mini-bell peppers (our other new favorite things at Costco)

Four days later, I went to the general store in Yellowstone, all our produce gone, and bought

A bag of plums

highway to healthA bag of nectarines

All the cucumbers in the store

All the blackberries in the store

Bottled unsweetened green tea (emergency stash for any snoozy drivers)

More thoughts on keeping your nutrition level high, on the road, next time!

I almost go Dumpster diving in Malaga, Spain

 

I finally know what my Spanish minor in college is good for. (Okay, I didn’t actually finish it. I got to 300-level classes, couldn’t get A’s competing with classrooms full of Mormon returned missionaries who were immersed in the language for 2 years. I dropped it, for a quick-and-painless Poli Sci minor.)

My trip to Malaga, Spain was an epic adventure, and not in a good way. Speaking Spanish (rather pathetically) wasn’t just handy, but critical.

The morning after we landed, I went for a run and got lost. Thanks to the fact that every road twists and turns and lasts only 100 yards before it meanders 20 degrees and becomes a different street name altogether. I run everywhere, all over the world, and haven’t ever been lost before. I supposed I was due for it.

Two hours of wandering later, I’m supposed to be at the clinic meeting Dr. Jenkins. I don’t have my cell phone with me, or any money. I have no recall of the address of the flat we’re staying at, not a street name, nada.

Instead I find a police station: no phone number to call, and three policia have taken my photo, vital stats, and interviewed me. I’m totally humiliated and stressed, with tears welling up in my eyes.

Fortunately I know enough Spanish to NOT say “Estoy embarazada,” which doesn’t mean “I’m embarrassed.” It means, “I’m pregnant.”

Finally I get back. (Turns out I was two blocks from home. Even more embarrassing.)

Unfortunately, I go in the apartment building next DOOR to mine, can’t figure out why 6D doesn’t look anything like I remember, and have to walk to the Budwig Clinic to find out that there are TWO identical apartment buildings side-by-side. I meet Dr. Jenkins with a tear-stained face, no makeup, in running clothes. To ask him and his staff what the problem is, that I cannot find the apartment I was dropped off at, the night before.

I tell Dr. Jenkins I’ll be back in an hour, cleaned up. For the rest of our visit to Spain, Shari tells me, to make me feel better, “This town is SO easy to get lost in!”

On our way, we’ve come through Charles de Gaulle airport, with only a 45-minute layover, and have to sprint, inasmuch as one can sprint, dragging a carry-on with wheels. They hold the gate for us, luckily. But unluckily, our luggage never makes it. Not for THREE DAYS. The Malaga airport gives us a toothbrush and a white t-shirt. We spend three days hand-washing our only set of clothes, hanging them on our balcony to dry, and sleeping naked.

Travel lesson learned: take a change of clothes in carry-ons, if you’re checking a bag. I’ve always heard that before, but now I’m actually going to DO it.

Trying to leave Spain, later, having finally just gotten our luggage, we’re dropped off at the airport to learn that all the pilots in the country have gone on strike today. We’re forced to get on an Iberian Airlines plane for $2,000 to Germany, in order to be at the next clinic, late that night, and we will sit in airports in Malaga and Madrid, waiting all day.

We arrive in Germany and find the bad luck hasn’t left us. The prearranged driver isn’t there, so we have to take a $200 taxi ride, driven by Ahmet the chain-smoking Jihadist….to a clinic in a tiny little town, population 50, where our “hotel” turns out to be dark, closed, and locked.

But back to Spain. In the ill-fated Malaga airport, a nationwide strike isn’t our only challenge.

I’d bought a $65 carryon bag with roller wheels, because my Nike bag was killing my shoulder. In the U.S., I have Gold Medallion status and Delta looks the other way at my too-heavy suitcases. In Europe? Forget it. No forgiveness.

One ounce over, and they have you opening your suitcase in front of God and Everybody and pulling out all the heavy stuff, to carry it in whatever’s on your shoulder.

Turns out the $65 bag is a P.O.S. That’s short for “Piece of Sh**,” if you didn’t know. Two airports and the thing is falling apart already. Drags on the ground, hard to pull.

I break down buy a nice $350 Samsonite carry-on set in a luggage shop in the airport, and I ditch the P.O.S. bag in the middle of the airport.

Two hours later, having gone through security, sitting at the gate reading a book, I remember that all my cash for the trip was in the P.O.S. bag I abandoned. $1,000. In a tiny little zippered compartment.

Keep in mind I just had to fork over $2,000 to get us to Germany. Through Madrid. At midnight. Plus the overpriced luggage.

I’m grumpy.

I tear off through the airport, back to the scene of the abandoned bag.

Nada.

Lost and Found? “No lo tengo!” they say.

Ah, la policia in Malaga! Otra vez! Geez, these guys won’t be sorry to see me leave the country.

They gather around and make calls and find out that an officer found my P.O.S. bag abandoned and threw it away. The head of Security hangs out with me, while two officers go into the bowels of the airport, where apparently a Dumpster contains the P.O.S. bag I refer to as “mi maleta roja,” since I do not know the translation for “piece of sh*@.”

The chief of airport security is no novice at discovery. He grills me. In Spanish of course:

Chief: So, you left the bag in the airport on purpose?

Me: Yes.

Chief: And it was empty.

Me: Yes.

Chief: But you want it back now?

Me: Yes.

Chief: Why?

Me: Because it has something in it that I need.

Chief: We looked through it. It was empty.

Me: Yes Except in one small part.

(You see what I’m doing here? I’m giving as little information as possible. He’s good, though, and isn’t going to let it go despite my dodginess.)

Chief: Ah. And what is it you are missing?

(You can see his curiosity is very high at this point. And it’s at this exact moment the elevator doors open and two officers walk toward me, holding out the P.O.S. red bag.)

Me: Dinero!

I open the bag and all 3 men peer into it with me, as I unzip a tiny pocket and pull out a folded stack of $100 bills. Their eyes get VERY WIDE.

I thank them and shake their hands. The $2,000 on the airfare, the $65 and then $435 luggage, losing half a day sitting in the airport….all my annoyance is gone. Instead I’m high on recovering something that was lost.

I’m feeling lucky that we’ve escaped a strike. Add that to my other travel adventures in recent years: outrunning a landslide, a fire, two hurricanes, and an earthquake. As my friend Laura says,

“Either things turn out well, or they make a great story later.”

Looked at from that angle, “It’s all good,” verdad?