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foreword to 12 Steps to Whole Foods, part 1 of 2

By Robyn Openshaw, MSW | Feb 24, 2010

Just want to share the foreword in the just-published printed manual for 12 Steps to Whole Foods, and I’d like to thank Dr. Denise Punger for writing it!

by family physician Denise Punger, M.D.

Robyn Openshaw’s 12 Steps to Whole Foods is like having a personal nutrition coach in the kitchen with me, guiding me towards better health.

Prior to finding GreenSmoothieGirl.com, my own eating habits were not a main concern. My mind was on a busy medical practice. My husband, also a family physician, took on the responsibility of picking up our groceries and take-out food. Before marriage, I was in school many years, depending on dormitory meal plans and hospital cafeterias.

Holidays were a time for home cooked meals by our families, who were glad to contribute something to our insanely busy medical-school lifestyle. Meals were always provided for me and very welcomed. Besides my reckless eating patterns, preparing meals in the kitchen as I became a young mother was intimidating. I didn’t know where to start. I never had to do it before. Good nutrition was barely a thought, let alone a priority. Like most people, for me, it was all about taste and convenience.

In the months leading up to my wake-up call to feed my body right, I was always hungry, despite always eating. I couldn’t figure out why I never felt satiated. I was 40 pounds heavier than I am now, and my skin often broke out. I had an irritating cough that disrupted work and time with patients. I often had headaches. I didn’t represent the preventative health message that I wanted to give.

Like most Americans, I read labels and believed the “heart healthy” and “low fat” claims often made on them, yet I was also confused by the labels. Finally, through blood testing, like a wake-up call, I found out I had some food sensitivities.

After a few months of feeling deprived coping with my intolerances, I found GreenSmoothieGirl.com. GSG changed my approach radically. As I became engrossed in Robyn’s blog and videos, I became excited about all the new meal possibilities. “Good nutrition” once seemed like a tasteless curse but was now looking like an exciting adventure.

I had once wondered if I would live the rest of my life on the defensive side of food. With all the new recipes ideas and diverse ingredients to experiment with, I became empowered.

Once I found it, I read and re-read Robyn’s blog and website to glean everything from it I could. I love making green smoothies. When my ordinary blender burned out, I ordered the Blendtec Total Blender Robyn recommends through GreenSmoothieGirl.com and finally received her 12 Steps to Whole Foods program free when I purchased the blender.

The title of the course grabbed my attention. I initially assumed that “12 steps” was a spin-off of anonymous recovery type programs. That spoke to me, because I was and am a food addict.

Really, “12 Steps” refers to making small nutritional changes through the year, introducing a new idea each month. Green smoothies were just the beginning. I was totally mesmerized as I read through this guide. It was like having Robyn in the kitchen guiding me, step by step. Remember, I’d never spent time in the kitchen!

[I’ll post the rest tomorrow]

Posted in: 12 Steps To Whole Food, Books, Testimonials

2 thoughts on “foreword to 12 Steps to Whole Foods, part 1 of 2”

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  1. Denice the forward is awesome can’t wait to read the rest! I have loved “watching” you on your journey! You inspire me with all you do! Again I wish you lived around here I might actually go to the Dr. once in a while! 😉

  2. Anonymous says:

    Earlier this week, after I got home from work my son started to vomit at about 5pm. I called Dr. Punger’s answering service at 5:30pm and she didn’t answer. I called again at 6:00pm and waited another 15 minutes and still no response.

    By 6:30pm I was in the emergency room because he still was vomiting.

    When we got to the emergency room, he was seen by the nurse, then the doctor and was given Zofran to stop the vomiting. He was then given Pedialyte and they monitored him for another hour or so to see if he would keep it down, since he wasn’t even keeping down water before he was given the Zofran.

    Thankfully, the Zofran did the trick and he was released by 10:30pm.

    He had no fever or diarrhea, so I was told that it may have been something he ate, and to just keep an eye on him.

    Thankfully, he was fine and has since been back to normal.

    Yesterday I went to see Dr. Punger because I was astounded that throughout our whole ordeal, she didn’t call once. The nurse in the emergency called her as well to make sure that I was calling the right number and she didn’t respond then, either.

    When I asked Dr. Punger why she didn’t call back, here is what she answered, “I saw your message, but I decided not to call you back. I remembered that you had called twice before asking if your son could consume Maca powder, and another time about why his cheeks were rosy. I asked that you come in, but you decided not to, so when I saw your message about him vomiting, I decided to do what was right for MY family.”

    I said to her that she decided NOT to call a mother when her son was vomiting continuously because I didn’t come to see her to ask her about Maca powder and if I should be concerned about his rosy cheeks?!?!?!?!?!

    She was VERY passive and insisted that she wasn’t going to give out any more “FREE” advice over the phone without an actual visit.

    I told her that she could’ve at least called me to tell me THAT.

    She said, “IF I did call you back, I would’ve told you to go the emergency room any way.”

    Last week I received a bill from Dr. Punger’s office charging me for a lactation consult.

    I don’t physically breastfeed; I just pump and give my son a bottle.

    She tried to charge me once after that as well, but I clarified once again, that all I do is pump and feed from a bottle.

    She went on to say that another reason why she didn’t call me back was because I didn’t have his one year appointment set up, which was inaccurate. I had the appointment set on his birthday for April 16–exactly one year, but the nurse called me in yesterday to see if I could come in earlier, and since my nanny had called out, I took the appointment.

    Dr. Punger said, very passively, that since she didn’t have the schedule in front of her, there was no way of her knowing that at the time of my call.

    We have decided not to vaccinate our son, and I don’t require a lactation consult, and even though we have fantastic health insurance, Dr. Punger will not profit much from our family because where she makes a significant amount of money is on the vaccine visits and lactation consults; we wouldn’t need either one of those visits.

    Her very poor judgment to not call back a mother with a son that wouldn’t stop vomiting because I hadn’t come in for 2 minor questions I had before, AND because she THOUGHT I had not scheduled his one year visit is beyond disgraceful.

    At first, I was going to keep this to myself, but then realized she made a very dangerous judgment, and maybe someone else wouldn’t just take off to the emergency room so quickly, waiting for her to call back. And I didn’t want to risk another child’s well being.

    The hospital staff was shocked by her lack of response, ESPECIALLY, since it involved a child.

    I realize now that Dr. Punger might not push vaccines, which is why I went to her in the first place, but if you don’t make an appointment for every question you have, AND not vaccinate your child, she has no interest in you as a “customer” even when there is an emergency with a baby. Tragic.

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