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GreenSmoothieGirl Nutrition Quiz: new! improved! interactive!

By Robyn Openshaw, MSW | Oct 09, 2008

Here it is, at last, the refined quiz to test how excellent,  energy promoting, and disease preventing  your diet is.   It should identify ways you can improve, and of course you know that  EVERY  ONE of those ways  is addressed in 12 Steps to Whole Foods.   It’s interactive, so your score is totalled automatically-it will take you two minutes!

Take the GreenSmoothieGirl nutrition quiz.

Some of you beta tested this quiz  a couple of months ago and gave me feedback through email and comments on the blog.   I believe this would be the nutritional equivalent of what we call in academia “rigorous.”   That is, it demands a lot of you.   It isn’t going to tell you, like the USDA will, that you’re doing well if you mix in a salad now and then.

It does, however, give you extra credit to cover for some of your nutritional sins.   I have carefully considered, based on the volumes of data available, HOW important each area of nutrition is, and I have weighted questions accordingly within the 100 points.

I would like to hear from some of you lurkers!   It’s so easy to comment-you don’t even have to register in order to comment on this, my blog,  I think.   If anyone beats my score, and I’m sure someone will because some raw foodies read this, please let us all know!   (If anyone’s mad because the quiz doesn’t give them the score you believe you deserve, feel free to sound off here, too!)

My score is 97.

Here it is again:

Posted in: 12 Steps To Whole Food, Nutrition, Tools

29 thoughts on “GreenSmoothieGirl Nutrition Quiz: new! improved! interactive!”

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  1. Anonymous says:

    The quiz was quick and easy to take and showed me areas that I am doing really well and others that I need to improve in. My score was 85! What a lot of changes I have made in my life in the last year.

    The other day I was looking through my recipe file for an old recipe for vegetable soup from years ago. As I looked through the recipes I realized that ALL of them were loaded with dairy, sugar, refined flour, baked, and meats. My poor children! I thought I was being a good mother to make homemade chocolate chip cookies etc. It was an eye opener for me to see what a different life we are leading now. It has been a learning curve and I realize that it will take me years to collect my favorite recipes and get used to doing things differently just like it took me years to collect my old recipes. It is interesting now because 1/2 of my children are leading the way to improved health by becoming as near vegan as possible and the other 1/2 love their fast food menus. Looking at what my DH has been through this year (cancer – still recovering) I am afraid for the health of my fast food kids.

    I have learned so much this year in trying to bring my DH back to health and am so grateful to you Robyn, for zooming past me on your way to the health food store and having your web site on your car! I am just realizing that you started this whole movement and web site about the time he was diagnosed and I started to change my ways. What a blessing you have been to me and countless others. Thank you so much.

    My husband is again in the hospital and with the stress of that I have thought many times to just stop and get a hamburger on the way home. But I have been surprised that I have been able to resist. I know that the health food store has a great restaurant with good food choices and that even Target had a couple of good vegetarian choices. I also know that I have a fridge full of things that I can throw together. I think that is also a key – to make sure that you always have enough of the right kind of things around to eat. The other thing that is important for me is to constantly keep reading and rereading articles that support this change.

    well, once again, thanks!

  2. I get an 81, which doesn’t surprise me. We tend to have 2-3 oz of dairy a day, and I don’t do the sprouting thing (yet, sigh). I don’t know how to do the lactofermenting thing since I don’t have a garden. I am making my own kefir today, though!

  3. http:// says:

    Oh, Karen, I’m so sorry your husband is in the hospital and I wish him a full and quick recovery. The more LIVE, the better, with cancer. With anything.

    It’s so true–things we thought we were doing for the health of our family were rooted in nothing but ignorance (certainly not in a lack of love for them). I have heard my sisters-in-law comparing notes on how much milk their children drink, with the one whose little children drink the most feeling quite self-congratulatory. As you can imagine, I have never said anything. They know a little what I’m about and will hear me only when they ask–certainly not in THAT situation. And I used to walk around the corner at my mother-in-law’s home and see her stuffing chocolate cake in my kids’ mouths as fast as she could. She thought (still thinks) I was depriving them. We all operate with the understanding that we have.

    I’m so proud of you. Many people in your stage of life are just on cruise control and not learning new things. You have made a massive amount of change that would impress me if you were 25!! Thank you for your kind words in a tough week. I’m glad you saw on my car, too, and bothered to go there!


    p.s. Nov. 1 is healthy treats in 12 Steps–you can still make your grandchildren yummy things!

  4. I got a 62. That’s disappointing 🙁 I still have the same concerns about the quiz as before. Of course, if I weren’t breastfeeding a food-sensitive toddler, I’d score higher, but not being able to eat most oils, seeds, nuts, as well as no dairy isn’t helpful. But I strongly disagree with this assessment:

    Your risk of cardiovascular disease, cancer, autoimmune diseases, and overweight is very high, and you are likely suffering from a variety of symptoms and chronic conditions. Please consider a dramatic change in lifestyle such as the 12 Steps to Whole Foods right away!

    I’m eating far, far better than the average American, who I still think would score in the 30’s on this test. I’m thinner and healthier than I’ve ever been naturally. I exercise as much as I can with a toddler 🙂 My cholesterol is lower than it’s ever been. I know I have things to work on, but I’m in pretty good shape.

  5. Anonymous says:

    I was very proud of myself, I got a 97! I have made dramatic changes in my diet and lifestyle. I have lost 15 lbs but have alot more to lose. I haven’t lost any weight in along time although i’m disappointed in that, I keep going forward knowing that eventually the weight will come off. I have lost alot of inches because my clothes are really big on me and I can fit into other clothes that i haven’t been able to in years. I’m also disappointed that my blood sugars haven’t dropped to 85 by now. Although they aren’t bad, I thought by now the way i’m eating they would have gone done like in Dr.Gabriel Cousens book “There is a cure for diabetes”. I was reading my diabetic forcast magazine which i get once a mth and I am so appalled what they put into their recipes for diabetics. They had corn syrup, splender, reg sugar, canola oil, & other really bad things for you, oh, & regular white flour. I can take those recipes and change them up to make them healthy but you would think they would be a little more health conscious! The american people really have alot to learn to start becoming healthy. Thanks to you Robyn, you are doing your part & i’m trying to do mine. Thanks again for educating me and making me a more healthy person.

  6. http:// says:

    Leslee, WOW! Go you!!

    Brenna, I hope you join us sometime in 12 Steps. You’re totally right–I did not gear this test to make the average American an “average” quiz score for all the reasons I talked about when I blogged the beta quiz. So I think most people would score an F, yes, particularly people in inner cities and people without any nutrition education. I wouldn’t want anyone to compare herself to the average American, because that’s no baseline at all. But of course you’ve figured out that the bar is high over here on gsg. It’s so do-able, though! Can you eat no seeds at all (i.e., flax)? That’s hard.

    I will be blogging, shortly, my favorite idea for exercising with young children at home. (For 10 years, I couldn’t get away to a gym or outside to jog, either.)

  7. http:// says:

    I felt much better about this quiz than I did after taking the first version. I got a B and that’s about where I thought I would be. One area I know I need to work on is sprouting. I sprout on occasion, but what keeps me from doing it more is that I’m never home long enough to actually rinse and drain several times a day to get the sprouting going. However, I have found that some foods are easier to sprout than others (i.e. wheat berries are very forgiving and usually sprout anyway, even when I forget about them). Nuts are easy too since you don’t have to wait for an actual sprout/tail to form, but I still don’t soak my nuts and seeds enough like I should.

    But here’s my real question: How long do sprouts keep for? I’m sure it depends on what you sprout (i.e. beans, grains, nuts). If I knew, I think I’d be more inclined to sprout more often. When I sprout something, I never know exactly how long it will take. So, I’ll plan to make something with the sprouts and then they end up not sprouting by the time I need to use them! By the time they do sprout, I no longer have time to use them that day or the next day and end up throwing them away. I have this idea in my head that if I sprout something, I have to eat it the very day the sprouts appear or else the nutrition will be lost. Can you keep sprouts in the fridge for a few days and still get the nutritional benefits? If I could sprout a bunch of stuff on the weekends (when I’m home more) and then use them throughout the week, I think I’d do it more.

    Also, where do you get alfalfa seeds to sprout?

    And, are the raw pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds, cashews, peanuts, etc… that you can buy at Good Earth or other health food stores truly raw? I’m just wondering if they say “raw” but have really been heat treated like all of the “raw” almonds in health food stores now.



  8. Anonymous says:

    79, ouch! I thought I would get better than that. I eat pretty good but have a couple of bad habits to kick still. The main one is sugar. Still getting too much. One of the things that is really hard for me is to control what I eat after a long run. I am usually really hungry and craving some calorie laden foods.

  9. http:// says:

    OK, so I know I’m meeting my goals. I did get a 100. I guess this 90%+ raw is the way to go even though I still don’t loose weight on it. LOL. I do love the way I feel though and I love the new flavor(s) combinations I am discovering!

  10. http:// says:

    Lynn, WOW, way to go! You win so far!! (Not that we’re competing or anything!! 😉 Sometimes weight plateaus and then you find a trigger that drops you off that plateau. For some eating mostly raw, that’s cutting down on nuts, or sweeteners (agave/honey etc.) or oils.

    Steff, pumpkin seeds and sunflower seeds can be bought at Good Earth, Azure Standard, etc. truly RAW. You can sprout them. Don’t bother sprouting cashews or peanuts, because they are virtually never truly raw. David Wolfe sells truly raw cashews, but they cost a fortune. Not worth it, IMO.

    You can still sprout, rinsing/draining/turning your jar of sprouts once a day. I have a YouTube vid coming out sometime soon that shows my sprouting method. (You can subscribe on YouTube to my vids–it’s free.)

    Alfalfa seeds are also available (and they do sprout) from Good Earth (since I know you are local) or through Azure. I like to buy alfalfa, clover, and fenugreek and mix them together myself in gallon freezer bags. This saves money over buying the mixes. Sprouted, this mix lasts in the fridge at least 2 weeks. (They continue to grow very slowly.)

    Sprouted sunflower seeds keep in the fridge about a week. Ditto almonds, although I much prefer to just dehydrate them and put them in the fridge when they’re totally dry, where they’ll keep for a couple of months–if you truly dry them.

    So yes, you can easily sprout everything on the weekend and use it the whole week.

    I personally find sprouting wheat berries to be very difficult. They almost always mold on me.

  11. I do eat flax, coconut oil, raw pumpkin seeds. I also eat tahini, and I recently found a place to get it raw. I cook with extra-virgin olive oil or coconut oil, and some canola, which I know isn’t great, but EVOO & coconut oil are cost-prohibitive.

    I think this just made me realize that we all have very different ideas of what healthy looks like. I eat 6-7 servings of veggies (probably 8+ some days since I usually have a quart of green smoothie), at least 3-4 fruits, I rarely eat processed meat unless I’m in a real pinch, and I eat meat once a day, max. I eat all whole grains, way over 1 cup of legumes a day, I don’t eat dairy, I drink plenty of water, I don’t drink caffeine or alcohol (I think I may have misread that question the first time), and I never eat fast food. I can’t eat corn & try to avoid refined sugar (dark chocolate is my weakness & I’m still saving up to buy some raw chocolate!), I don’t eat much sprouted foods, but I’m trying, and I exercise most days (I think I misread this one too, forgetting that walking counts as exercise!). I eat very little yeast & do use powdered green.

    OK – I must have messed a few things up last time, because this time I got a 72. I feel better about that 🙂 While I don’t really agree that my risk for overweight & disease is significant, I do agree that I could spruce up a few areas! I am trying to make some changes, but breastfeeding is top-priority. I just reintroduced peanut butter, and that seemed to be OK, though not great. I know it’s not the best nut to eat, but I had it on hand 🙂 I’m wondering if raw, sprouted nuts would be better digested. I’m waiting for that raw almond buy you’re going to have, and then I’ll try almonds. I just bought some mung beans that I’m going to try sprouting. And I’m totally purchasing the 12-steps in the next week or two! Just need to discuss it with my husband 🙂

  12. http:// says:

    Here’s a fun idea. Take the quiz AS YOU WERE before doing 12 Steps, or before going vegan, or whatever path you’re on. What’s the difference? Amazing, right?

    I took the test averaging how I do on a very regular basis. Sometimes (like this week) I do much better and would get 105 or higher. But my TRUE average, if I’m honest with myself, is 97.


  13. http:// says:

    Brenna, I don’t think YOU messed it up; I think you took the quiz before I was ready to announce it very officially–I went and looked at it, and it had one score totally messed up (you got the most points for being bad and the least points for being good). So my webmaster reversed the scores and fixed that and one other problem in the extra-credit section.

    It’s all fixed now!

    Everything you’ve described sounds like an excellent diet. Some people have errors of commission and others have errors of omission. In other words, it’s what we ARE eating that’s the problem, or it’s what we AREN’T eating–or both.

    Good, sounds like you can get *some* good nuts in your diet. You don’t need much–small amounts are perfect. Sometimes a sprouted or fermented food does NOT cause a problem with allergies whereas the enzyme-inhibited raw form does.

  14. http:// says:

    Believe it or not that is my norm now and has been for about 2 yrs. Sugars of any form are strictly limited and my pantry and fridge look like you described.. beans, raw tihini, nuts, dried fruits, etc. The only thing we really buy packaged is nutmilk…just cost ristrictive to make. Graves disease has a history in my family and the dr has pretty much throw in the towel on the weight issue. We have decided to stay eating healthy as I am and live my life enjoying it. I have to admit the energy I generally have from eating this way makes life fun again. We are almost 50 and 56 and loving it! Most of our friends are having heart problems and all sorts of other medical problems we just do not have. If thyroid is my only problem I am feeling ok with that.

    My husband is even coming around. He only gets meat products about twice a week and has become quite fond of almond milk with his homemade granola now. He used to eat packaged until I made it for him and now he is hooked. He actually refuses to buy granola even from Whole Foods stores. I snuk it in one morning and he noticed but liked it. If I only have healthy around he will eat it and not say anything. I started making ice cream for him in my vitamix with it and he loves it!

    Have found a local farm market that has kefer yogurt and cheese for him and he is happy.

    Did find a new soup recipe (below) some might like. It isn’t raw but it is awesome if you like the spices they cook with in India. It is my new cheat when I just need something warm!

    Country Style Tomato & Cilantro Soup

    2 sticks cinnamon

    1 te whole coriander seed

    1/2 te whole cloves

    1/8 te whole black peppercorns

    2 fresh bay leaves (4dried)

    2 green cardamom pods ( I use fresh ground right in the soup)

    4c iodized water

    6-7 med tomatoes quartered and seeded ( ~3pounds)

    6 cloves garlic, coarsely chopped

    3/4 inch knob of ginger, peeled and chopped (~1T)

    1/2 lg bunch cilantro, stems reserved & leaves finely chopped (~1/4c)

    1 1/4 te sea salt

    1/4 te fresh ground black pepper

    Make a spice sachet of first 6 ingreds. Add to pot of all other ingreds and simmer about 30mins. Discard spice sachet. Remove tomatoes with fork or slotted spoon and puree in blender/vitamix.(~1min) Recombine with broth, mix and serve topping each bowl with diced cilantro leaves. Makes 4 med-6 small servings.

    Bon Apetit

  15. Anonymous says:

    Can we take this more than once? Like if I have a super day of doing what is right can I take it to see what my life would be like if I did that all the time?

  16. http:// says:

    No, only once. If you take it a second time, or if you lie taking it, your computer will catch fire, and the monitor will begin spinning around, Exorcist-style.


  17. So THAT’S why I got the blue scree of death, I took it like four times! 🙂

  18. Anonymous says:

    I thought the quiz was pretty good. I agree with most of it but not all of it. I think on the meat products the source of the meat should be listed and graded. Wild meats are very good for you in moderation. Also coffee in moderation has been proven to have health benefits. Even though it wasn’t listed on the test.

    But one thing should be on the test. Water, we are mostly comprised of water. The QUALITY and quantity are both VERY important and should be included on the quiz.

    Also where do the greens, vegetables come from? Store bought vegetables are very poor quality. I feel most of them are not just poor in quality. I think that many of them are bad for you.

    Just like meats, if the way the greens were raised is bad the product will be bad for you. Most people in america love pork products. I have raised pigs. The word pig has its reputation for a reason. All pigs are raised the same way.

    I eat chicken because it is in a cage. Otherwise they will eat anything they find on the ground. We have a great resource of deer and elk in this state. Wild meats, from my observations are good in moderation. Obviously bear and mountain lions thrive on them.

    I think the research has proven we are omnivorous. Also where do vegans get their source of b12 from naturally. The only great source of b12 in nature is liver and only from herbivors sheep, cows, goats, deer, elk. The bacteria in their gut produces the b12.

    What do you think Robyn? I don’t claim to have all the answers but I know what my observations have told me over the years.

    Also physical activity and stress level should be included. Even though these are not diet they affect health so drastically they should be included.

  19. http:// says:

    If you look at the test again, you’ll see that not only is water addressed (you get points for drinking more, the most being 6-10 cups per day, since some experts don’t feel 8 is a magic number), but alkaline water is extra credit, too. Coffee falls under caffeinated beverages and is on the quiz.

    Physical activity is on the quiz.

    Stress levels are awfully hard to quantify. For instance, if I assume that being below the poverty line would be stressful, I could put that on the quiz. But some people don’t find that stressful at all! It’s such a subjective thing to put on the quiz, and it goes a bit outside the domain of nutrition, which the quiz is sticking to, primarily.

    Tracy, read The China Study and come back to me on the meat issue. You can also read a bit ABOUT it before reading the book (which may very well change your life) at I also highly recommend John Robbins’ The Food Revolution. I won’t go into detail since most of the regular readers of this site and blog and in 12 Steps to Whole Foods have heard what I have to say on these subjects ad nauseum!

  20. Anonymous says:

    Comment re B12: I just had my annual checkup with requisition for tons of blood work, one of which was B12. Not knowing anything about where B12 comes from, and always being told that it comes from meat source, I was very pleasantly surprised that my B12 score is absolutely perfect. I have been a veggie for ages, plus an 80% raw vegan for the past 4 months.

    Your comments please, Robyn. Thnx.

  21. Anonymous says:

    Rereading what I wrote I can see what I should have said is the things I mentioned (one the quiz) I thought should be given a different point scoring. That is what my thinking was.

    Great quiz Robyn! I love your blog, I read it all the time. I will read the China study when I get the chance. I have read what you have written on the subject here. I need to read the china study so I can get up to speed with all of you.

    I can’t wait til you have a forum on here so we can get in some group discussions.

    Mind, body, and spirit. That is the pathway to ultimate health in my opinion. A being needs all three in balance for a health and fullfilling life. 🙂

    Have a great weekend all.

  22. http:// says:

    Hal, I’m not surprised at all that you have plenty of B12 despite being a longtime vegan! I wish more people knew this. B12 comes from microorganisms in the soil. Of course, animals ingest those microorganisms and so beef has been thought to be the best source of B12, and lots of carnivores believe it’s the ONLY source.

    But in many vegetarian populations who live close to the land (on whole foods), no one has B12 deficiencies.

    In our culture, we’ve become irrationally terrified of microorganisms, which seems ridiculous to me since they outnumber us millions to one–they’re everywhere, and we can’t kill them all with our antibacterial sprays. We spray and bomb and nuke everything–including the plants we grow for food and the soil they grow in. So we don’t have the B12 populations that we should.

    Eating lots of produce from well fertilized organic home GARDENS is a great way to not only be more self-sufficient in uncertain times, but also ensure that you have B12. You’ll also get every other B vitamin and hundreds of other nutrient compounds both discovered and as-yet undiscovered.

    Tracy, I’m considering converting this blog to a forum. I’ve gotten a time estimate from my new webmasters to do that. Just a matter of time to make it happen.

  23. Anonymous says:

    I was surprised to see I got an F. I rave about green smoothies to everyone. I take probiotics daily and limit bad foods to as little as possible, but being a student and working full time(needing coffee once a day), I found that the little bad I am doing is having a big affect on my score here.


  24. I just found your blog through Kristen’s Raw. I started making green smoothies for my husband and myself last January, when I was pregnant with our son. We’re hooked, and have been having them every day (sometimes several quarts in a day) since. So when I saw the name of your site, I had to visit 🙂 We have a garden full of swiss chard and kale outside, and my husband just build a cold frame greenhouse over it using old glass doors, so we’re hoping to keep it going all winter. And this summer we started a hydroponic garden in our crawl space, which is overflowing with spinach, chard, basil, tomatoes, peppers, bok choy, and lettuce. And we always have a jar of sprouts going in our kitchen. We gave up dairy several years ago – except for cheese, which is my downfall and something I still eat on occasion. I’m a vegetarian, but my husband eats meat. I do most of our cooking, so he doesn’t eat very much meat (but usually has some free range cold cuts in the fridge). I got a 91 on your quiz. Glad I found you!

  25. http:// says:

    Now THAT is what I call resourceful! I bet your gardening saves you a bunch. And congrats on a good score.

    For other readers, note that she isn’t even a 12 Stepper–so the point is, I didn’t make this stuff up. It’s taught by all the other gurus, those who really study nutrition to the bottom instead of accepting the junk they teach in schools underpinned by meat- and dairy- and refined-food-industry dollars.

    Glad you found us, too. Stick around–I bet you have lots to add. We’ll be a forum rather than a blog, soon.


  26. Anonymous says:

    I’m still at a solid ‘F’, the same as I was 5 months ago 😛 I like the GSG principles, but I guess that daydreaming about doing them isn’t quite the same as actually TAKING ACTION (something I am very bad at!).

  27. Anonymous says:

    I was thinking that back when I started GSG, I was a die-hard Weston A. Price fan. So I took the quiz as a Weston A. Price purist. If a person was following all of the WAPF recommendations, they would score an 85 — not bad!

  28. Anonymous says:

    i got 81 B..better than i thought considering–i think I failed the last test. We are doing okay–have a ways to go. We have mostly fruits and veggies and beans. We have flax seed and nuts everyday (walnuts on top of smoothie) and almonds in salads. I sprout beans a couple times a month, but need to learn more. We eat chicken 1-2 times a week (for hubby mostly)–just went off dairy (suspect allergy in 4mo old BFing)–but before that mostly had plain yogurt and cheese here and there. I cook with mostly EVOO but sometimes use canola because of money.

    I’m waiting for some money to get the coconut oil and himalayan salt.

    can’t get the healthy water for now—but drink tonz of the normal (bad) kind

    We eat a lot raw but I just LOVE a cooked veggie dinner! (soups, etc)

    my problem is exercise–which is a BIG one! no excuses–but still trying to figure out this with my newly 2 kids (haha I bet those of you with like 5 or so are laughing at me-right?!!) this is probably why I have actually been GAINING weight BFing—I eat SO SO SO healthy but can’t seem to lose. Robyn said somethin above that hit me–maybe I need to cut back my fruit, or nuts, or oils–probably all.

    i will say that I feel better and have more energy than I’ve ever had in a LONG long time! (okay I’m only 23–but seriously since like forever)

  29. Anonymous says:

    wow just took the quiz for how we ate when first married –have only been eating better in steps since about 1 1/2 years ago–anyway I got a 26-F

    makes me feel better about where I am–though not planning on staying here!

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