The Best Packaged Kale Chips in the World (Plus, Why Green Smoothies Will Change the World) : The 7 Things I Learned This Week

Saturday Apr 9 | BY |
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chocolatree restaurant sedona arizona
El “Viva Burrito” es muy rico.

I spent this week traveling…

When I travel, I usually learn a lot – or at least get stuck in some interesting situations.

This week was no exception to this rule. I think you’ll find some valuable nuggets in this installment of “The 7 Things I Learned this Week,” including how to change the world, the best packaged kale chips around, how to eliminate your fear of flying, where to access over 100 hours of great raw food interviews and a very, very powerful mental health tip.

Check them out…

1. Green smoothies really are the answer to changing the health of the world.

I’ve often said that raw food desserts are the gateway drug to healthy eating… they taste so good that you can’t possibly hold back from trying other healthy foods and recipes.

Smoothies, I feel, have a similar effect.

This week in Sedona, I had the opportunity to watch as our friends demonstrated some healthy recipes for a friend of theirs who wants to lose weight.

Harry was interested in taking control of his eating habits, but more importantly, he wanted to feel better.

The two biggest concerns Harry had about changing the way he eats was that he loves food and he doesn’t want to feel like he is always depriving himself.

I can completely relate this this. I love to eat too.

As Harry spent some time with us over the week, he realized that we ate a LOT of food. So his own belief system about losing weight and getting healthy changed.

Just by watching this, he saw that he didn’t need to starve himself to lose weight – as long as his meals were filled with fresh fruits and vegetables, he could eat a bunch of food.

He was happy about this.

Who wouldn’t be?

Second, an important point that we all shared with him was that the best way to start eating healthy is to change just one thing.

We suggested that he just start with green smoothies in the morning and not worry about changing anything else.

This was a relief to him, but also likely the best advice he could have received.

What you start your day with defines what you eat for the rest of your meals.

If you start your day with bacon and eggs, you have a bacon-and-eggs-type day.

If you start with smoothies, you’re much more likely to make better health choices along the way.

Speaking of smoothies, Harry even liked my pond-scum green blends that Annmarie even has trouble choking down.

I think things will work out for him.

One other observation I had while this was all going down was that I noticed how Harry learned from us – he learned by being around us.

He helped make the smoothies, he ate with us, and he went shopping with us.

As I was leaving, we all had a conversation where Harry made it clear that if he wasn’t with us – seeing it happen real-time – he probably wouldn’t know what to do after the week he spent with us was over.

This confirmed how powerful experience is in facilitating change.

We don’t know if Harry will be a success, but we do know that by seeing – firsthand – how we all ate healthy, he’s got a much better chance of reaching his goals.

So be sure to give Harry some love right now to help him make his path that much easier.

2. The best kale chips around.

I must have spent $40 on kale chips this week from Chocolatree in Sedona. I know it’s a little excessive, but they’re just the right mix of tang, spice and salt. (Not the Orange TANG. I mean tangy.)

They’re the best ones I’ve had.

The Chipotle are my favorite.

If you’re spending any time in Sedona, you must put this allowance into your budget.

(Or skip the Pink Jeep Tour, to make sure you can afford ’em.)

3. Chocolatree is still my favorite place to eat.

I went to lunch with some friends on Wednesday at Chocolatree (Sedona, AZ).

My meal confirmed that I still think this is the best place to eat a vegan or raw meal in the U.S.

I had the Viva Burrito and their prickly pear kombucha. The burrito (all raw), unlike other raw burritos, does not sit like a rock in my stomach. I’ve pretty much stopped going to all raw food restaurants because the food never sits well with me. So it’s refreshing to go to a place where everything is light and delicious.

As for the prickly pear kombucha, it tastes as awesome as it sounds.

After we ate, I spoke with Jen Warr the owner for a while and got her on film to show the garden in the back of the restaurant. You’ll see that this week.

I also spent some time with Jeff and Kelly who are the in-house chocolatiers. As you know I don’t eat much chocolate, but if I do have a small piece, it’s usually theirs.

They’ve all got a cool thing going on over there, so be sure to check it out the next time you make it to the Red Rocks.

4. A bunch of great raw food education…

My own personal health education has come from traditional methods like taking courses and reading books, but I have to say I learn the most from two very specific types of information.

The first is experience. Nothing can trump this.

As you know, if you touch a hot stove, you learn pretty quickly that you probably don’t want to do it again.

With health education, it’s the same thing. If you had a digestive issue (which I did) and healed it (which I did) then you have a good idea what really works and can share that with others.

The other way I learn is by interviewing experts (or listening to interviews.)

I was turned on to raw food when I friend of mine gave me some audios of David Wolfe. I listened them for a whole summer, while I was training for a few trail marathons.

Audios are great because you can listen to them on your computer or download them and put them on our phone or other listening device.

Over the years, I’ve done a lot of interviews, but someone who’s done more than me is Steve Prussack.

He’s the host of Raw Vegan Radio.

Right now, he’s offering an opportunity for you to access over 100 interviews (that you can download and listen to at your leisure) from raw food or vegan experts of all different ideas and belief systems.

I think this is a valuable package considering that the price of each interview is less than $1.00.

If you want to access this archive, here’s where you can go… click here.

NOTE: The program isn’t all about raw and vegan either… included are interviews with Don Miguel Ruiz, Dan Millman, Louise Hay and more!

5. I’ve figured out how to ease my fear of flying.

My flight from Phoenix to Oakland was probably the least stressful flight of my life.

The reason why?

I started up a conversation with the guy next to me.

We talked the entire 2 hour flight.

I didn’t think about the take off, the landing or anything in between.

If you’re afraid of flying, or just dislike it, like I do, then this may be a practice you want to adopt. It never felt like we were in the air.

6. Confirmed again: Enzymes and probiotic foods / supplements work.

On the plane, Jerry told me about his experience with his own digestive issues.

A few years back, he had suffered with some pretty uncomfortable digestive issues like gas, bloating and unrest.

Instead of going the conventional route, his wife suggested that he take some enzymes for a little while to see how they work.

Within days, his digestive issues disappeared and he hasn’t had any since.

I’ve heard these stories in many different settings from many different people. Enzymes and HCL worked for my mom, who was having issues as well.

The reason why they work, is because once you reach about the age of 35, your body can start to slow the production of HCL and enzymes. If you don’t have enough, your digestion will suffer. If you supplement or eat enzyme-rich foods, you likely will eliminate or lessen the pain, uncomfortable feelings or embarrassment that comes with poor digestion.

I’m not trying to sell you on anything here.

I’m just telling you the truth that I’ve heard repeated many, many times.

If you want a full protocol on how to get your digestion on track (for various issues), please click here: how to improve your digestion.

7. Please back up your computer data (MENTAL Health Tip).

If you’re reading this, chances are you have a computer.

If you have a computer, chances are you don’t have a regular backup system.

According to a Harris Poll in 2005, “more than a third (35 percent) of U.S. adults who have
personal/professional data and digital information stored on a PC or a laptop never back up their files, and a vast majority (76 percent) of those who do back up their files don’t do it often enough.”

On Wednesday, my computer, who has been with me for almost 4 years, finally spun its last hard drive. (That means it crashed.)

In the past, this was an awful experience for me.


Because I never took the time to back up my data. I’ve lost everything more than once.

Over the years, I’ve gotten a little smarter.

This time, I was almost 100% prepared – about 99%.

The extra 1% was the fact that Annmarie was not with me, so I couldn’t use her computer to edit videos. Given the fact that we’ve only spent about 12 days apart in the last 2 years – it’s a fluke that my computer crashed when we were separated!

Anyway, here are some the ways that I am able to recover and use my data now, plus how I’m able to smoothly continue my work when electronic disaster strikes.

This list may help you in the future…

a. I create and edit all my word processing and spreadsheets on Google Docs. This way, I can easily switch computers in a matter of seconds and continue working. Plus, I can access anything at any time, anywhere.

b. I have an automatic backup system that uploads and stores everything virtually. This service is new, so once I update my new computer, I’ll be able to recommend it or not!

c. Every month, I manually back up important files by putting everything on an external hard drive.

d. I keep a password document in Google Docs, so I don’t have to remember all my passwords or have to request all of them when my computer is done.

e. I triple back up any big or important files on Amazon S3 – where you can store items or use their hosting for streaming audio or video.

f. I use Dell and their 3-4 year Advanced Service Plan, so that when something breaks down, they come out to you and fix your machine in 1-2 days. Mine was expired for this last computer, so I figured it was only a matter of time.

g. When the computer starts to show signs of running hot or getting a little funky, I make sure I do an extra backup or two.

R.I.P. Dell Latitude 630

That’s it for me!

I want to know your thoughts: What did you learn this week?

Live Awesome!

Kevin Gianni

Kevin Gianni is a health author, activist and blogger. He started seriously researching personal and preventative natural health therapies in 2002 when he was struck with the reality that cancer ran deep in his family and if he didn’t change the way he was living — he might go down that same path. Since then, he’s written and edited 6 books on the subject of natural health, diet and fitness. During this time, he’s constantly been humbled by what experts claim they know and what actually is true. This has led him to experiment with many diets and protocols — including vegan, raw food, fasting, medical treatments and more — to find out what is myth and what really works in the real world.

Kevin has also traveled around the world searching for the best protocols, foods, medicines and clinics around and bringing them to the readers of his blog — which is one of the most widely read natural health blogs in the world with hundreds of thousands of visitors a month from over 150 countries around the world.


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  1. Sarah says:

    Hi Kev:
    Oh your story about not backing up really struck a nerve with me! Several years ago now, I had never learned how to back up(I had a computer “guru” who would come over and sort my computer woes out for me from time to time and she said “I’ll do back-ups for you when I come – you don’t need to learn how to do this). WRONG!!! I had not called her for quite awhile when my computer decided to have a melt down. And I mean melt down! No recoverable data. I lost all the work I had done on my graduate course, all the stored papers I had written in the past and well, you get the picture. My NEW computer guru come over and said “Backing up is the very first thing I am going to teach you how to do before we learn anything else!” When I wrote my book, as I wrote each chapter, I not only backed it up I emailed it as an attachment to myself just in case the house with the computer and my new external hard drive burned to the ground!!

  2. Suni Ferrer says:

    I agree about the green smoothies changing lives. I tell my friends about how easy they are for breakfast and several have added them to their daily routine. I invite my friends to come grocery shopping with me and I help them find the best tasting greens possible and show them how to save money on health food.
    This week, I learned that some babies don’t need cribs or other special bed for naps or bedtime. My youngest son is 21 months and has used his crib for less than a day since he was born. We safely bed-share. I finally got rid of his crib today, it was just wasting space.

  3. RJ says:

    Hello Kevin and Annmarie!

    I loved your info about backup. I’m tending to go back to the pencil and paper route. My business phone was out for 24 hours last week and the phone company found the problem to be on their end, thankfully…no charge on my end.

    We are never protected electronically. I’ve been backing up my favorite websites with pencil and paper for quite some time now.
    What I learned this week was that both of you have taught me much…I recieved my May issue of Oprah magazine today and the cover reads this…
    6 Superfoods That Will Change the Way You Eat
    (And You’ve Never Heard of Them Before)
    Well, WE have heard of them before thanks to you and Annmarie. This info is becoming mainstream, thank goodness. I think both of you will resonate with O’ Magazine’s article written about Peru.

  4. a says:

    hey Kevin, found a site claiming rain water radiation levels 181 times over drinking water standards detected in San Francisco. I can’t remember exactly where you moved to out there, but here’s a link:

  5. Tara Burner says:

    Bummer on computer crash, I use for my backup that way i don’t have to deal with it.
    Meanwhile, this week i learned that I have aways to go to get back in the running shape i used to be in…am committing to running so i can get back to my prior race times

  6. Judy says:

    Thanks for the reminder Kevin. I also haven’t back up any of the files from my hard drive and have been getting messages that I no longer have Dell support.

  7. DAVID BROAD says:


  8. Eridawni says:

    David Broad — thanks for writing about Elizabeth’s Gone Raw. ’tis a nice one.

    When Kevin and Annmarie come I will share Cafe Green with them. Light Raw Cuisine that won’t leave you feeling heavy or unsettled. Amazing Kim Chee. I will introduce you to owner DJ Kim, raw for 2.5 years healing himself of many symptoms. He is on a silent mission to improve the health of his restaurant customers with the finest ingredients.


  9. Jasmine says:

    Check out my raw food travel blog post on Sedona, AZ including ChocolaTree and their kale chips here:

  10. Darlena says:

    I’ve never ventured to be completely raw. But I have been diagnosed with chronic Lyme Disease and no matter what meds or herbs I take, I am unable to herx… After 3 weeks of 100% raw, I am now herx in a big way. I am hopeful that some (if not all) of my symptoms will be lessened.

  11. oreganol says:

    I also have an online backup system that backs everything up in real time. The real problem I had when my laptop died was geting all the software back on there. I had to restore to factory settings and then addall the software I had bought over the last two years. This was a bit of a nightmare, as most was bought online, so I had to find download links, passwords, etc. With some I even had to contact them to get my licence reset, as their systems thought I was installing onto a 2nd laptop. So now I have a master fil of what I need to do to restore.

    I have the same next day service with Dell that you have. But I am definitely not going to use them again. My latest laptop (that cost around $3,000) has had two replacement motherboards (not new, but refurbished), a new screen and some other fixes. If is still not working properly and they are going to come out again this week. I am assuming I will need another replacement motherboard, so that’s another 1-2 days of lost work time while I restore everything afterwards. And will my laptop then work properly? Judging from past experience it won’t. When I pay $3,000 for a laptop I don’t expect to get a heap of junk, which is what I feel like I have. I would have preferred a replacement laptop, as it is well-known that the Dell XPS M1330 has many problems. I’m sure Dell know this, but won’t admit it. They treat me as if everything is my fault and say everything will be hunky dory after they fix it. It never is. After 5 or 6 Dell laptops they have lost a very valuable customer. Customer service is ok, but not as good as it was 5-10 years ago.

    Apologies for minor rant.

  12. Yamina says:

    Hey Kevin !
    This Viva Burrito looks great ! Your blog is very interesting, viewing on many subjects of ordinary life. Thks for sharing with us, especially with foreigners, your american life ! Honestly, I had prejudices about americans, (probably not perfect like all of us), hearing so many negative allegations, but what I discover in the Internet, is that your country is beautiful, your food is largely not so awful and you have many products we don’t find elsewhere and all, thin and fat look very joyfull and friendly ! And more concerned than we think by modern problems like pollution, human rights, freedom, etc. More educated, books lovers (Google books is american after all)than people says. I intend to travel from New York to the Mexican border, and visit your beautiful, young and energizing country (I would wisely visit some Indian yoga retreat…)

  13. Gail says:

    I use for backups, but it only does documents, etc and not the OS, although you can pay a higher price to have them do that also.

    Agree on the pondscum. I feel Victoria Boutenko is the Mother Theresa of Green Smoothies to the world!

  14. Sue says:

    I don’t understand computers! I need to back everything up for this computer. But first, I want to learn how do a few things, like find what I’m looking for when I need to retrieve certain items! I’m glad you were able to show Harry how to change his diet in small steps! When I put my diet in perspective, a year ago, I thought I are a healthy diet. Now, I eat better, exercise more, and have a better mind set!

  15. Em says:

    Only problem with striking up a conversation with the person next to you on a plane is if you are next to a total weirdo (haha) or if the person is reading or something and you keep interrupting them!! haha just kidding around ;)Glad that helped make your flight more enjoyable!! cheers

  16. lLuna says:

    Hey kevin, Why not carry some great kale chips! that would be nice. Luna

  17. nina says:

    Kevin, you are so correct – the way you start out your day – eating, that is – that’s just about how the rest of the day will go!
    If I let myself go too long before eating in the morning, and get too hungry, I’m very apt to not think and grab just anything. That tends to mess up the entire day, for some reason.
    So, Harry, good luck to you. There might be several “restarts” in your future, but don’t let them stop you. Forge on! It’s well worth it.

  18. Angie says:

    I do better when I eat plenty of protein for breakfast, so I often start my day with uncured bacon, &/or organic eggs. I then have my green smoothies (which always contain raw milk or yogurt, kefir, etc.) either after breakfast, or later in the day. It’s not a bad eating day or meal; it’s really good stuff! 🙂

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