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what I do every day, in my family

Robyn Openshaw - Oct 25, 2010 - This Post May Contain Affiliate Links

In a couple of interviews I’ve done for people lately, I’ve been asked, “What do you do in your family to ensure a healthy diet with lots of enzymes and nutrition?”

I find myself thinking, “Really, you want that in a 30-second sound byte?” I mean, everything I do is about that. I’ve written whole books about it.

But it’s a good exercise to have to boil it down. Like you, I have times when I’m better, and times when I get a little lazy or at least busy. But these are quick-n-dirty habits that “stuck” with my family, that I do every single day without fail. They involve a snack, breakfast, lunch, and dinner:

  1. Always the green smoothie. Make it in the morning, put a pint for each kid in the fridge, follow up to make sure he/she drinks it after school. Automatic 7 servings of greens/fruit for each kid.
  2. Homemade kefir for breakfast. Sometimes I just blend a banana in. I add pea protein powder for my 17-y.o. Occasionally I add frozen strawberries. This ensures a healthy microbial population in the gut, against all the nasty critters we’re exposed to throughout the winter.
  3. A raw vegetable and a raw fruit in the brown-bag school lunch. My mom always did it. I always do it.
  4. Big green salad of some kind for dinner. Most often it’s romaine and spring greens, with whatever veggies are in the fridge. Bell peppers, cukes, and tomatoes are staples. On our busiest nights, dressing might be as quick as pouring a little EVO and raw ACV on the salad and tossing it. Automatic guarantee that dinner will have enzymes supplied, for whatever other main dish I might serve.

Those ideas are detailed in Steps 1, 2, and 10 in 12 Steps to Whole Foods. But they’re the things we never slide off the wagon on. They go a long way, even if we are not perfect on vacation or in someone else’s home. I sometimes feel awkward about people who seeing me as GSG instead of just . . . me. (Regular girl next door. Single mom. Doing my best but with good days and bad days.) I feel like I need to say, occasionally, hey, I’m not perfect either. I always mean to have a fermented vegetable on every dinner plate, but sometimes I forget. I know my kids eat crap at school and their dad’s house sometimes, and if I told you I’d never eaten a brownie with ice cream, I’d be lying. Remember how I always quote my Grama, who was my original inspiration:

“It’s not what you do occasionally that will kill you. It’s what you do 95% of the time that will save you.”

Those four things I’ve just listed, I can tell you with confidence, we ALWAYS do them. With those four things in place, 60-80% raw is almost assured. With those four things, we’re far, far ahead of our culture’s low standards.

Posted in: Green Smoothies, Lifestyle, Relationships, Whole Food

17 thoughts on “what I do every day, in my family”

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  1. Anonymous says:

    Robyn – At what age would you suggest starting green smoothies? I have an 11 month old breastfed son who I’ve been feeding organic fruits and veggies, but he’s experiencing terrible constipation (even eating plums). I’m thinking greens could help this. What do you think?

    1. Robyn Openshaw says:

      Amy, if you’re weaning him onto food and off breast milk, then green smoothies are a great choice. Keep your smoothies simple, with very few ingredients, to test them (for potential allergies) one at a time if possible. Greens should help, and lots of water. Make sure he gets a good amount of fats, such as avocadoes, and higher-calorie fruits like bananas. (Not so great with the constipation, though, bananas!) Put some prunes into his smoothie?

  2. Anonymous says:

    We don’t use any oils.

  3. Anonymous says:


    I love your ideas. I stopped eating meat since April this year and my migrains have disappeared!!! I had to do something because I was getting them several times a week and my next step was to see a neurologist and get more drugs. My Mom raised us pretty healthy, always trying to follow her brothers suggestions, he is a doctor in natural medicine. But I had gotten away from that and am now trying to get back into it. My problem is my husband (big meat eater) and my 14 year old daughter. I am going to order your new books for her to read. But I wanted to ask you to consider writing a book for teens, that would be great! Also, if you could write a book about packing healthy lunches. That is something we struggle with every day. I buy the lunch meats at Whole Foods with no nitrates, use whole grain bread, vegan mayo and cheese and lettuce in her sandwiches but other ideas would be great. She never wants to warmup her food because the lines at school are to long so that limits what she can take to school.

    1. Robyn Openshaw says:

      Rosie, great stuff, thanks for sharing! Writing a book for teens is definitely on my to-do list. Meantime, have her read Chew on This. It’s about fast food, whereas I’ll write a book about nutrition for teens (what they SHOULD eat and how to do it), but it’s a good and quick read.

  4. Anonymous says:

    I also don’t have a coop down here in St. George- unless you know someone that will be doing it for this area- But I would drive to S.Lake to pick up things I would like to order. My 16 year old and I have been doing the green smoothies for about 3 months- I am down 17 lbs. and we both can tell a difference in our days if we miss a smoothie- thanks:)

    1. Robyn Openshaw says:

      C. Heaton, I have a very active group in St. George headed by RuLea Taggart, do you know her? Did you check the forum under the Group Buy tab on

  5. Anonymous says:

    Dear Robyn,

    I have tried and tried, but I am seriously and absolutely crippled by raw foods.

    Its so bad that the cramps have me on my knees with pain. I am a vegetarian

    but I have to limit salads although I love nothing more than a crunchy bowl of green

    stuff. My doctor, who is also a friend, has told me that some people simply do not

    have the enzymes to help digest raw foods in a normal way. Have you heard the

    same complaint from other people who would really like to be a green smoothie

    person for life, but find it impossible.? I cant leave the house when I drink them.

    Thanks for your time, and all the very best


    1. Robyn Openshaw says:

      Ayna, that’s tragic! I hope you see a naturopathic doctor about this? I hate to see anyone not able to leverage the power of all the hundreds of compounds found only in raw foods.

  6. Anonymous says:

    Hi Robyn,

    I am just beginning my third week of GS. So far so good…however: I am in my third year w/o breast cancer (and don’t want it anymore!) and am about 50 pounds overweight. I have lost NOTHING in the last two weeks, and am wondering why. The first recipe I got was “Laura’s” with the avocado and I love the fact that there are no sweets in it which is good for anti cancer but the avocado is high fat. What do you recommend?

    I am eating more raw veggies and nuts and some fruits. Much less sugar, breads, etc. I just want to be on the right track.


  7. Anonymous says:

    First of all, I want to thank you, Robyn, for the wealth of information you supply me with. Thank God for people like you!!

    After reading what Erin and Nona had to say, I must add my comments. It’s a shame when a person tries goat’s milk for the first time out of a grocery store, that is usually the last time they will taste it. Believe me, I couldn’t drink it either. Good tasting goat milk starts with the process of milking clean, straining, and getting it on ice to reduce the animal heat. Also, if the goat has a good diet (there we go again) her milk will be as good as what she ate. One day I let my goats out to graze on the hill. They consumed a lot of sumac. Wow! did that ever come through the milk. A friend of ours told me when he was a kid his uncle had goats. He didn’t like the milk. However, when he tried my goat’s milk, he couldn’t believe how good it was. He also made yogurt with it and loved it.

    When I make yogurt, rather than heating it like it calls for in recipe, I take it immediately from goat while it’s still warm and put it in warm jars in yogurt maker adding a little starter in each jar. Now that’s good stuff!!

  8. Anonymous says:

    I used to prepare green juices for my family but now i just prepare 1 cup of shakeology for them…there is no way I could provide all this nutrition for my famility when i was trying to do it myself.

    look how my daughter goes crazy for this simple green drink–>

  9. Anonymous says:

    Thanks Robyn, my family and I are somewhat new to all of this. I bought your 12 steps about a month ago and love it!!! I am even looking into being a wholistic nutritionist from being so inspired by your research and work on nutrition. I feel a deeper purpose in learning about health and nutrition, and sharing this knowledge and information with others.

  10. Anonymous says:

    Robyn: You a single mom??? That’s too bad. . I always believed you had a caring husband in the background. . keeping a low profile.

    Somehow I always want to believe there are ‘conscious’ men out there. Sad to say I haven’t found many, if any.

    You’re doing great….and are a huge inspiration. Huge hug and pat on the back from me. . . Thanks for all the information you share .. . . and all the work you do.


  11. Anonymous says:

    Dear Robyn,

    I have loved how I feel since I started drinking green smoothies. I learned about you from my 2 daughters in CA, and have since been to one of your classes and started the 12 steps program. I just can’t do one at a time, so I just do what I can with many. I am getting fresh goats milk on Thurs. and am so excited and afraid. The comments I’ve just read were interesting but worried me about whether I will like it or not. I sent for water & milk kefir grains from Australia and want to make kefir and yogurt. I appreciated the comments from JoAnn Fox and would love to communicate with her if that is ever possible. I have several daughters doing this and a granddaughter that is lactose intolerant and gluten intol. She is 10 yrs. old and weighs 140. She needs this so much. She loves the smoothies and I really want to get everyone on yogurt and kefir if at all possible. She has started losing weight because of the change in eating. If we can get rid of her sugar addiction, it will help. My sister has a friend that has goats and I can get milk every week but I’m so afraid of the taste. I also have a daughter that has passed a couple of kidney stones since she has been drinking smoothies. Another daughter did some research and thinks it might be the oxalates in the spinach. What do you know about this? You have done so much research that maybe you may have some ideas and remedies. I was hoping that it was just helping her get rid of them since she has a tendency toward them. But, maybe not. Thank you for all your research, teaching and the help you give us all. What a difference you have made in so many lives. This is the closest I have ever eaten the way our health guidelines tell us to eat and I know in my heart that this is right. Oh, by the way, I have lost 15 lbs in the last month just changing my eating habits. It’s a whole lot of time consuming work cooking all the whole food meals but so-o-o worth it. I’m so interested in your ideas to these thoughts. Thanks!!!


  12. Anonymous says:

    Smoothie Girl,

    I sent via email my story of healing over the past six years. I hope you received it. Just want to add that if I eat no “white” nor alcohol, I have no inflammation, i.e., pain, in my body. I have fibromyalgia, arthritis and went from being bed-ridden to EVERYONE thinking I am fifty, when I am now 71. What I am now doing for over 3 years (smoothie every AM) and vegetables, fruits and whole grains is reversing age, my hair is losing the gray, I feel 19 and have so much to share. I want a mike and a stage!! No one can “get it” unless they do it. I have gone back into pain and exhaustion when I poisoned my body with some simple carbohydrate. These tests prove that my plan works! I hope you got my story. Just ask and I will email it to you again. Yeast is the result of the sugar from simple carbohydrates, and the yeast inflames the weaker parts of our bodies and is also addictive. Weight is a sub-issue. Health is the issue!

    1. Robyn Openshaw says:

      Mary, I love it. Haven’t seen your story via email, but I’ve cut and pasted this and will post it on my blog front and center soon! XO,

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