8G: Greens in a soluble tablet

- A former model says greens saved her life when she was diagnosed with cancer, so she created her own business that makes getting green vegetables every day cheaper and easier. It's called 8G. Dawn Russell says that at the most basic level it's an effervescent tablet.

But this effervescent tablet just might change your life. 8G is packed with 8 greens that helped save Russell's life 16 years ago. Russell is 41 now but was diagnosed with a serious cancer when she was 25. She had surgery, but couldn't do chemo or radiation because of a bone infection.

She says anytime someone told her there was a must-see doctor or a must-see center, she literally got on the plane and went. She would go to farmers' markets and the organic centers in New York and in Chinatown and would test everything.

Russell says greens were what really worked. Eight greens in particular packed the biggest punch: spinach, wheatgrass, kale, blue-green algae, spirulina, chlorella, barley grass and aloe vera. Russell says those 8 greens are important because they're anti-oxidants, they help with immunity, they have vitamins, and the most powerful element for her: they detox the body.

Russell spent 5 years figuring out how to cram those raw greens into a little tablet that you could take on the go, without adding sugar or losing all the good stuff. Eventually she says, they found a way to take all the water out of the greens, and just added a pinch of sucralose for flavor.

8G has truly been a family affair. Russell's 5-year-old son drinks 8G. She says there is no way on earth he would drink it without the sweetener. Russell's husband helped on the business side and tasted 263 prototypes until they finally found the right taste, texture, and nutrients.

Each tablet has the vitamin equivalency of 5 oranges, 20 cups of broccoli, 18 cups of carrots, 7 cups of lima beans, and 10 cups of asparagus. Russell says they are jam packed.

She also calls herself an accidental businesswoman. Russell never went to business school and didn't have a life dream of starting a business. She says she just wants 8G to do well and get to as many people as possible.

And she is off to a good start. Since launching this fall with Nordstrom, Russell has sold twice as much 8G as they projected.

The first weekend she went live on www.8greens.com she sold 17,000 tubes and crashed the site. 8G is also sold at Sisley and Russell is working with The Peninsula Hotel to have it served there too.

8G is $12.50 for a tube of 10 tablets. You definitely can't make or buy your own green juice that cheap.

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