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“After I eat chocolate cake, I want to die”

Robyn Openshaw - Aug 28, 2011 - This Post May Contain Affiliate Links

My friend Matthew recently sent me an email. He had just read this quote:

"When I eat chocolate cake, 20 minutes later I'm under my desk wanting to die. When I eat broccoli, in 20 minutes I feel good. But given the choice I always eat the cake."

Matthew asked, "Why do people choose the chocolate cake?

He went on to talk about kids who grow up learning that they have to eat all the food on their plates, even if they're not hungry for it, and how they deal with the consequences of that training well into adulthood. Matthew wrote, "The psychology of how to train yourself about what is okay and what is not okay is fascinating to me. I wonder if you might write some blog posts about how to train yourself and condition yourself to have feelings and opinions about healthy eating that are more useful."

I told Matthew that I was raised with the same rule: you must finish everything on your plate. I'm developing a meditation to go to the very root of why we sabotage ourselves nutritionally, allowing us to correct those subconscious beliefs. (I wrote about this in a blog series months ago -- "I love my body. It serves me well!")

What do you believe about yourself and food? Do those beliefs cause you to make poor choices over and over? What are the words you say in your head? Could you write them on a 3x5 card and think about whether they are useful or harmful?

What if you could write NEW beliefs and statements, ones that are more useful? What if you could exchange the old beliefs for the new ones? It would work only if you repeated those chosen beliefs over and over.

Do you "make" your kids finish their dinner? At my house, you don't have to finish anything except your green smoothie, fruits/veggies, or salad. You can skip the rest of the dinner.

Parents, or anyone with opinions, what do you think? I know it's no longer popular at all to "make" kids do ANYTHING. But I "make" myself eat 60-80% raw greens/vegetables/fruit before I consider eating anything else, so it isn't as if I'm requiring anything of my kids I'm not doing myself. I have done this for so long that I don't even think about it. It's not deprivation or neurotic; it's just habitual.

I have some rules for eating. All of them are based on common sense. All were developed by learning that I don't feel good if I ever break them. I've never written them down until now; they've just been in my head. Here are my 13 rules:

Robyn's 13 Rules for Healthful Eating

  1. Don't eat after 7 p.m. except on a very rare occasion.
  2. Always drink a pint of water as soon as I wake up.
  3. Never eat sugar on an empty stomach–always with lots of raw food and some good plant protein (like almonds, greens, or beans).
  4. If I eat any concentrated sugar (besides fruit), it's only once in a day.
  5. Never eat processed meat.
  6. After working out, drink only water for a while.
  7. Every meal or snack is 60% or more raw plant food (often 80-100%).
  8. Don't drink soda.
  9. Don't buy anything from fast-food restaurants.
  10. Don't eat anything with MSG in it.
  11. Don't add salt to food.
  12. If a meal is below 80% raw plant food, take digestive enzymes.
  13. If I eat too heavily for a weekend or more, I take a few days to detox. I might eat all raw food, two quarts of green smoothie instead of one, wheat grass juice, extra water–or even a couple of days of nothing but Meal Replacement.

Read next: 19 Sugar Substitutes: The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly of Sugar Alternatives

Photograph of Robyn Openshaw, founder of Green Smoothie GirlRobyn Openshaw, MSW, is the bestselling author of The Green Smoothies Diet, 12 Steps to Whole Foods, and 2017’s #1 Amazon Bestseller and USA Today Bestseller, Vibe. Learn more about how to make the journey painless, from the nutrient-scarce Standard American Diet, to a whole-foods diet, in her free video masterclass 12 Steps to Whole Foods.

Disclosure: This post may contain affiliate links that help support the GSG mission without costing you extra. I recommend only companies and products that I use myself.

Posted in: Green Smoothies, Relationships, Whole Food

8 thoughts on ““After I eat chocolate cake, I want to die””

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  1. Anonymous says:


    I wouldn’t worry too much either. Extra weight gain can actually mean extra big baby! I’ve had several friends who ate strictly green smoothie based raw food diets while pregnant and all of them ended up with babies that weighed nearly 10lbs. (all of them girls)! Their babies are not fat at all, but they arrived very tall/long with substantial bone growth. That being said, natural vaginal birth wasn’t possible for them. That’s the only thing I would be worried about…

  2. Anonymous says:

    I find the “Don’t eat after 7pm” rule kind of impractical and stupid. One, I work nights, so that is just not gonna work for me. Two, what if you don’t get home from work until 7pm? Are you going to go to bed hungry? I don’t think so.

    Third, I find if I eat too early (about 7:30pm for me on my nights off is ideal for me), I wake up in the middle of the night starving, and that is really not what I want happening!

    All of the natural heath literature I’ve been reading recommends not eating just 2 hours before sleep, and if a snack is needed, to keep it within 150 calories–a handful of nuts or some yoghurt with a small piece of fruit.

    1. Robyn Openshaw says:

      Roxanne, I don’t mean to be stupid. Obviously if you work late, that doesn’t have to be YOUR rule. It’s mine. I believe the body does best with periodic rests from digestion (including a fast once a month or as you see fit), including a daily one, that is 12 hours long. There is some significant evidence if you study the hormone leptin, that we shouldn’t be eating 6 times a day (like modern food cults teach), but more like what 99% of the world has done, for millenia: eat 3x a day.

  3. Anonymous says:

    Hi. I didn’t know where to ask this question. I’m twenty, and an extremely poor college student in Provo. I want to do the green smoothie thing so badly, but I can’t see myself buying a blender that costs fifty dollars, let alone five hundred. I am totally converted to this way of health, but I only have about a hundred bucks and a cubic foot of fridge space. I can’t just out and buy a juicer or a blender or … a gajillion greens. I feel like I have to eat the way I do because I REALLY can’t afford anything else– and I still eat pretty healthy considering my budget. Brown rice. Organic pasta. Spinach. Canned black beans. Frozen corn. and that’s about it.

    How can I do this without any tools or money?

  4. Anonymous says:

    sorry, one more. You should do a show specifically for kids in college. We’re the moms of tomorrow.

  5. Julie,

    I’m Robyn’s event coordinator. I like your idea about having a class specifically for kids in college. Why don’t you email me and we can brainstorm how to get a group of students together to get Robyn to speak at your college or university? My email address is

  6. Anonymous says:


    I wonder if you could find a mom around here who would let you use her blender and ingredients in return for making the green smoothies for the family? I know Robyn says it takes only 10 minutes a day, but I guess I am a kitchen klutz, because it often takes me significantly longer, and I make a massive mess. If I was close by you, I would be willing to have you come over and make the smoothies, put them in the fridge, and take one for yourself. I am in North Orem now, so I am probably not close to you, but maybe you could find a family nearby?

    How about this? Do you think that enough people in your apartment complex or ward would be interested in the GSG way of life that they would all go in on a blender, and share fridge space, and maybe get a Costco membership together (cheaper spinach)? You could take turns with the blender and at least be able to make GS every other day or 3 days. That’s better than 0, right?

  7. Anonymous says:


    These are both really good ideas, but both would be pretty difficult to execute, just because of where I live and what my schedule is like. I am thinking about maybe donating plasma for a couple months in order to raise the money for my own blender. Hey, then I will definitely have a pretty firm attachment to it. 🙂

    Thanks so much for replying!

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