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Dear GreensmoothieGirl for Arizona, part 2 of 4

Robyn Openshaw - Jul 13, 2011 - This Post May Contain Affiliate Links

[By the way, that video I blogged on Sunday? Alternatives for milk? We had the wrong video up, but now it's right!]

Amy: What's the right balance of macronutrients?

GSG: Americans have been duped into thinking we need 20% protein. Dr. Robert Atkins spread that far-and-wide, popularizing the way fast-food-enamored America wanted to eat anyway. (Too bad bacon-and-eggs are NOT a way to health.) Poorly educated bodybuilders and personal trainers continue to perpetuate this skewed diet that consumes far more resources than is sustainable. (20 pounds of plants are needed to produce 1 pound of animal flesh for you to eat.)

There are two ways to achieve that 20%. One, eat a lot of processed protein products (bars and powders and drinks). Or a boatload of animal flesh (this is what most Americans are doing–many of them at all three meals).

Colin Campbell's Oxford-Cornell China Project is the biggest nutrition study in history, documenting with both animals and then people that a high animal protein diet is linked to cancer, heart disease, and auto-immune diseases.

Read my review of that study here. Dr. Douglas Graham has begun to shift the obsession with macronutrients to a more appropriate breakdown. (He's a raw vegan.) He advocates for 80-10-10--which is essentially just validating the perfect balance found in nature if you eat a fair variety of plant foods. The average plant food has 10% protein (and about 80% carbs, 10% fats). Greens, of course, have much lower fat and much higher protein.

If you are struggling to accept that 10% protein is perfect, consider that the World Health Organization states that 5% is ideal! Also, carbs aren't bad. Carbs are your body's FUEL and should be your predominant macronutrient. Just eat complex carbs, not refined ones that spike-n-crash blood sugar and insulin. That takes a toll on your energy and ages you quickly.

Very frankly, I pay very little attention to macronutrients. I guess I have a sense of what a balanced meal/snack is. For instance, I don't eat fruit all day. I make sure to get nuts/seeds, greens, lots of veggies, and often some grains/legumes in my diet. But besides making sure each snack or meal is 60-80% raw, and purchasing and eating whole foods, I don't worry about macronutrient breakdown.

(Do you think Adam and Eve did? Do you think your grandparents did? To me it's a national neurosis–I'd rather see you focus on other things, because if you follow correct basic principles, macronutrients take care of themselves.)

Posted in: Whole Food

14 thoughts on “Dear GreensmoothieGirl for Arizona, part 2 of 4”

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  1. Anonymous says:


    I would love to know what a daily diet for you looks like!

    Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner & Snacks.

    1. Robyn Openshaw says:

      Hi Alecia, I have done a number of “what I eat in a day” blog entries in the past–this blog is searchable. 🙂 Watch the blog for my newest favorite lunch, in the next few days.

  2. Anonymous says:

    How do I get my 4 year old daughter to drink enough water? I know at her weight (30 lbs.) she needs at least 2 cups of water, but most days she doesn’t even get one. I am constantly making it available to her and her water bottle is always around. But she just won’t drink it. And then it becomes a huge battle near the end of the day when I’m telling her she needs to finish her water. Even when she sits on the toilet and says, “I can’t get the poop out.” I tell her that our bodies have a hard time pooping when we don’t drink enough water. Ugh. Even when I try not to make a big deal about water, she drinks even less.

  3. Hey Sarah,

    Why don’t you try to make smoothies for her. Fresh fruit and vegetables contain pure water which also counts for the total daily intake, besides this you will be adding some fresh water to the smoothie. If you make a healthy green smoothie use higher ratio fruit against greens so that youre daughter will like the taste!



  4. Thanks RObyn for the blog! I agree with everything you said in the latest. I am sick of living a life where all I think about is what is in each meal etc.. I don’t like diets. I don’t like “fixed” pills, powders, etc… There are so many false prophets out there! What I do love is finding out all the cool things that are in my fruits and veggies. They have so many amazing properties. But I never have to look at their nutrition content to see if they are harmful in any way. I can eat them, drink them, etc… and focus on more important things like my family and myself 🙂 Thanks again for your movement!

  5. Anonymous says:

    Oh, good. I didn’t know smoothies count! She drinks 1 cup of smoothie everyday!

  6. Anonymous says:

    Hi Robyn: I have 3 questions.

    1.Have you used cherries or papayas in green smoothies? – I don’t see them in the index of your book.

    2. What green leafy plants can I freeze directly from my garden if I want to have some for the winter?

    3. Do you have a recipe using coconut oil that my 16 year old son would enjoy daily?

  7. Robyn Openshaw says:

    Sarah….nothing stands in for water. My way is to wait to serve breakfast until my child drinks a glass of water. (Best if it’s 20 mins. after.) And just make it a habit and a requirement–generally little kids don’t starve themselves. Or, we will do X as soon as you drink your water! (And then keep it positive , reminding her of MANY things that water does for her.)

    Debbie, yes, Chapter 4 in 12 Steps is all about that and has great recipes your son will like. You can freeze all greens, see Ch. 1. You can use cherries and papayas (yes, I do sometimes, especially papaya–cherries we love to just EAT)–they are in some of my books, not sure which one you’re looking at. 🙂

  8. Anonymous says:


    I’ve been drinking green smoothies and eating no animal meats for over a year now and here are the results: no more adult acne (seriously clear skin), lost 8 pounds (without even trying), hair that shines and is smooth, more energy and no more problems with… you know… body waste. My eye doctor even said that I have disgustingly healthy eyes for my age (44 years). My family doctor ran my blood tests and said that I am exceptionally healthy. I’m telling everyone about green smoothies, and your books. My best friend told me about the green smoothies. I’ve learned so much from you about taking care of my health and knowing that I am what I eat. My seven year old son has also learned good food choices from watching me eat/preach about natural foods. I’ve witnessed him choose raw veggies to snack on when he could have chosen sugary substitutes. He eats his raw foods, has a cup of my shake almost every day and tells his cousins to stop eating “garbage food”. Robyn, you are an awesome motivator for helping others stay healthy.

  9. Anonymous says:

    Hi Robyn!

    I’m a huge fan! I love green smoothies! I’ve been making them for myself and my family for over a little over a month now and they’re great! However, I recently noticed that I now have a small nickel size bald spot on the top of my scalp. I havn’t had any injuries there, so I was wondering if that could be a cleansing reaction. I have a quart of green smoothie most days made from spinach, celery, coconut oil, and a little fruit.

    1. Robyn Openshaw says:

      Rachel….I haven’t heard of that one!

  10. Sarah.. I know little kids (I have 2) love juice. I allow my kids 100% fruit juice and I mix it half and half with water. My kids too don’t really enjoy just water, although we only allow that before bed, so I feel mixing it at least they are stay hydrated and maybe getting some vitamin C out of the deal.

    1. Robyn Openshaw says:

      Sarah, how about adding fresh lemon juice and stevia to their water? Then it’s lemonaide, but with no sugar, and lemon juice is very good for them and even a bit alkalizing!


  11. Anonymous says:

    I was just about to mention the “lemon-aid” idea and I noticed it’s already been mentioned. My kids, age 4 and 2, LOVE this and will drink a lot! (just be ready to take them potty a lot if they haven’t been potty trained too long.) 🙂

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