Utah resident Robyn Openshaw began her popular healthy-eating blog Green Smoothie Girl in 2007, writing about the body transformation that happened when she and her family ditched processed foods and began eating more raw fruits and vegetables.
Her posts resonated with online readers and ultimately led to hundreds of demonstrations and lectures as well as more than a dozen cookbooks.
This week, the Green Smoothie Girl empire begins a new chapter with a nationwide tour on "How to Eat Right in the Real World," which also is the name of Openshaw's 14th cookbook.
During the 90-minute class, Openshaw encourages participants to stop thinking about calories, protein, fat and carbohydrates and, instead, learn how to use food as the fuel for a "high vibration life." She says she offers ways to eat nutritious meals for those on a budget, working full time, raising kids or traveling.
The tour begins in Utah (see accompanying schedule) and will ultimately take Openshaw to 87 cities in 2014. The classes are free or $15 for a VIP ticket, which includes priority seating, a cookbook and a chance to win prizes.
"I'm really serious about helping people on a budget make the shift," said the 46-year-old mother of four. "It shouldn't just be the wealthy who can afford to be healthy. I want people to come even if they don't buy a book or any of my products. I want them to hear the message and leave a Green Smoothie Girl lecture inspired."
During a recent interview with The Tribune, Openshaw talked about her green smoothie journey and healthy-eating philosophy.
What forced you to find a better diet?
I was 70 pounds overweight, I suffered migraine headaches, I took steroids and drugs for anxiety. Basically I was just miserable and every day I fantasized about when I could just go back to bed. When my son developed allergies and asthma and at one point was diagnosed as "failure to thrive" by doctors, I started looking for answers. An iridologist I met said that it could be the animal products and processed foods that were causing our health problems. He suggested a diet that was 90 percent plant-based and 60 to 80 percent raw.
What happened when you made the switch?
A year later I had dropped the 70 pounds and all the drugs. My son was also a normal heathy weight.
What is a green smoothie?
It's one-third water, one-third leafy greens and one-third fruit that you mix until it's really smooth. They are low in calories and high in nutrients and only take about 10 minutes to make. It's a high-impact way to ramp up your diet and it's a lot better for breakfast than Froot Loops or bacon and eggs.
What are some other things you promote in your Green Smoothie classes?
Green smoothies are really the gateway drug. I want people in my classes to see an upsurge in energy and mentally connect the fuel they choose with how they feel. I really have 12 steps for getting whole foods in your diet.
What are some of those steps?
Making a salad be the main dish; growing a garden and using everything in it; cooking plant-based main dishes; learning how to sprout; and learning how to make cultured or fermented foods. It's really a grass-roots message: The food we eat isn't everything, but it has to be the foundation.
Do you eat a completely raw diet?
No. I aim for 60 to 80 percent raw, which keeps your energy high and disease risk minimal. I don't believe you have to eat 100 percent raw to be healthy. There are really healthy people throughout time that have eaten cooked food. There's nothing wrong with eating steel cut oats for breakfast, or soup.
What prompted the "How to Eat Right in the Real World" series?
I've done the Green Smoothie Girl lectures a few hundred times so I'm ready to take on new content. I have 18 coaches that I brought on a little over year ago who are located all over the United States who will continue to do Green Smoothie Girl lectures.
'How To Eat Right in the Real World'
Robyn Openshaw aka Green Smoothie Girl kicks off an 87-city tour in Utah this week on "How to Eat Right in the Real World." During the 90-minute class, Openshaw encourages participants to stop thinking about calories, protein, fat and carbohydrates and instead learn how to use food as the fuel for a "high vibration life."
Provo • Thursday, Jan. 2, 7 p.m.; Provo Marriott Hotel and Conference Center, 101 W. 100 North. (Sold out but wait list available.)
Logan • Friday, Jan. 3, 7 p.m.; Riverwoods Conference Center, 615 Riverwoods Parkway.
Bountiful • Saturday, Jan. 4, 11 a.m.; The Canterbury Place, 197 E. 500 South.
Sandy • Saturday, Jan. 4, 7 p.m.; SouthTowne Exposition Center, 9575 S. State St. (Sold out but wait list available.)
Tickets • Free but registration required; also VIP tickets are available for $15. Price includes priority seating, a free cookbook and raffle tickets to win prizes including a Blendtec worth $475.
Details • greensmoothiegirl.com