fun with community supported agriculture


I just got home from picking up at our CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) co-op.   We each paid $400 for a half share: weekly pickups of whatever they have, for a 4.5-month growing season.   Four friends and I take turns picking up.   It has been so much fun!   This week, we got baby carrots (put the tops in green smoothies), beet thinnings, bok choy, spring greens, onions, mustard greens, dandelion greens, and fresh mint.



I came home and was putting a green smoothie together.   While I did that, I quickly sauteed some of the boy choy, baby carrots, and the garlic from last week (some interesting variety that looks/is like an onion but tastes/smells like garlic).   I sprinkled it with sea salt and fresh pepper, tossed in some Bragg’s Liquid Aminos, and a couple teaspoons of agave.   Yum, dinner in five minutes!   It would have been good with brown rice, if I’d thought ahead to make some.   Or tossed with quinoa, which takes only 10 minutes to make.  


Last week one of the items were these little baby turnips.   My 12-year old daughter said, “This is the best thing that has ever been in my mouth, EVER.”


Bell Organic ( is in Draper, Utah, and although they sold out for the full season, they’re selling mid-season shares for August-October.   They are so adventurous with what they grow, and we’re consequently getting amazing variety in our green smoothies.


I highly recommend getting involved with a local CSA for 12 Steppers and anyone interested in increasing plant-food nutrition in your home.     You’ll not only get amazingly flavorful, organic produce at a fraction of the cost, but you’ll  make your family’s “footprint” on this earth  smaller.   Every bite of food you eat grown locally is a bite of food you DIDN’T eat that had to be shipped from somewhere else in the world that consumes packaging and nonrenewable fossil fuels.

THAT old story: Grandma smoked a pack a day and lived to be 108 years old

This Aussie lady named Mary we ate dinner with every night on our two-week cruise to Asia . . . she was so funny.   The third night in a row she held court, telling everyone that diet and lifestyle have NOTHING to do with how long you live (a big study she saw on the “telly” said it’s all the people doing the exercising who are dropping dead of heart attacks), I finally said something.   It was pretty innocuous, I thought.


“Weeeeelllllll, Mary,” I said, smiling, “thousands of studies say otherwise.”   Up until then, she’d told me affectionately how I remind her of her rather ambitious, health-nut oldest daughter.   But just then, she snapped:   “Oh, you remind me of my daughter–just SHUT UP!”   (It reads worse than it sounded, since of course she has that cute Australian accent.)   My friend and my daughter–and my new friends, too—laughed and repeated that line for the rest of the vacation.


You know that argument well, that because Grandma never ate a vegetable in her life and outlived all the healthy eaters in the family . . . well, therefore, we should all throw common sense out the window.   A convenient if ridiculous argument!   This is the logical fallacy known as the non sequitir.   It goes like this, and people use this kind of reasoning all the time (it would get thrown out in court by even semi-competent lawyers, though):


“Eating hot dogs is supposed to be bad for you.    Grandma ate hot dogs for breakfast, lunch, and dinner.    Grandma lived 30 years longer than the average American.   Therefore, eating hot dogs isn’t bad.”   (You can track where the logic goes wrong, I’m sure.)


Fact is, you always have outliers in any study of any variable.   Fact is, anomalies like  Grandma are always going to happen.   But don’t bet the farm on them.   They’re still outliers and anomalies.


A dentist in the ’40’s named Francis Pottenger studied genetics, through the effects of processed food on hundreds of cats.   Half the cats were fed natural foods and half were fed processed foods.   What was interesting was that those fed junk developed health problems in later life, but their CHILDREN developed degenerative diseases in MID-life and their GRANDCHILDREN developed severe issues EARLY in life.


We’re seeing identical patterns in human beings, now that we’re on the third generation of people eating lots of processed food.   Sure, our grandparents look okay, some of them, but our children aren’t doing so hot.   For evidence, review the statistics on the childhood obesity epidemic from the Associated Press multi-part story I blogged about a few weeks ago.   Even if your kid isn’t overweight, he’s got significant risk of other problems if he’d eating the S.A.D. (Standard American Diet).   (Atherosclerosis is now prevalent in 8-yr. olds, and this discovery is so new that most don’t even know about it.   What will be the consequences to the economy, to families, of this trend, 20 years from now?)

 Incidentally, those cats?   Pottenger put the sick cats on whole foods, and they gradually got better, but it also took three generations to return to excellent health.   Just like it took three generations for processed food to DESTROY their health.   Let’s treat our kids like that third generation, which they are.   They need us.   We’re the ones providing their food and we have such an important responsibility to them.  

Another important implication of this very old piece of research is that genetic markers are less important than diet.  Your genetic weaknesses show themselves ONLY when your lifestyle brings them out.

Take this nutrition quiz! Are you a GreenSmoothieGirl (or Guy)?

Let’s see what grade you get for a healthy lifestyle with the Nutrition Quiz! Add up your points, and if you’re not getting an A, well, get on board 12 Steps to Whole Foods, and we’ll get you to an A at the end of one year! This is just the first part of the quiz: see the whole thing at

Feel free to come back to this blog after taking the quiz, and let us know your score and what your goals are to increase it, if you didn’t ace it!

How many daily servings of vegetables (including greens) do you eat?
(serving = ½ cup cooked or 1 cup loose greens)

8     8 or more
7     6-7
6     5-6
5     4
4     3
3     2
2     1
1     0
0     I don’t much like vegetables, don’t eat any on most days
-1     I hate vegetables and never eat them (except potatoes and fries)

How many daily servings of fresh fruits do you eat?

5     4 or more
4     2-3
3     1
2     0
1     I might eat a piece of fruit every couple of days
0     I rarely or never eat fruit

For the rest of this quiz, go to


on dehydrators, from an eater of Cheetos and Sweetarts

My good friend Michelle loves the Atkins Diet (has adopted it as an apparently permanent lifestyle, in fact).   She in no way embraces (or even acknowledges the benefits of) my lifestyle.   But I did convince her that she needs a dehydrator so she can soak/germinate her raw almonds that she just got in my local group buy.   I thought you’d be entertained and hopefully educated by this email from her today (especially if you want a dehydrator–alert: needed for upcoming step in 12 Steps!):

 “You know how I’m a compulsive over-researcher when it comes to buying toys? Well I realized that I wanted a dehydrator and wondered which one I should get. After quite a bit of looking, I decided that IF I believed that there were health benefits to eating raw foods, I would definitely want this one:

because it has a special 60x/second thermometer which makes sure the temp throughout the entire machine stays exactly where it is set. For people who want to keep the nutrients in their raw/sprouted foods, that’s really important.  By way of contrast, this machine

was widely reported to have a thermometer which was off by up to 25 degrees, and Excalibur brand machines (like this one:  had “hot spots” and “cold spots” so the temp at the thermometer was even, but different trays could have very different temps. (Goodbye raw; hello cooked!)   Of course all the “cheapie” models (like at, here:    

had the same or even more serious problems in the reviews,   like catching on fire, or motors that broke quickly, or fans that didn’t work, or no fans, or no thermostat at all . . .  So, why am I telling you all this? As an FYI to your readers, the Bosch

Kitchen Center in Orem just put the L’Equip dehydrator on sale today for $99. That’s a great deal, and I think they only had 5 or 6 in stock, so I don’t expect them to last very long. The best price I found on the internet was $139, and most places had it at $159.  

So anyone who 1) cares about preserving the nutrition in raw foods and 2) wants a good price on what is, IMO, the best dehydrator on the market . . . there it is.


Of course, I’m not necessarily ready to concede that there’s any benefit to eating raw/sprouted foods. I ate Cheetos and Sweet Tarts for lunch, and I’m not yet dead . . . “



teens drinking greens!

Anyone think teenagers won’t drink green smoothie?  This is my son (on the left) who was shorter than me at the beginning of this year and, I noticed tonight,  is now taller than me when I’m in heels.   (Who says kids fed a plant-based diet are scrawny?)   He brought his two friends over while I was making  green smoothie  today and asked me for some, for his friends to try.   Cool, right?


Eating right while traveling internationally . . . last part

We visited a coastal area of China where the average age is 79 years old!   People very routinely live to be over 100 and the area has become known as the “longevity region.”   I asked the tour guide what they eat, and he said, local vegetables and fruit, and seafood.   I saw not one overweight person.   (I felt like I was visiting the China Study!)


Everywhere we went in Asia, the people eat YOUNG COCONUTS, like I advocate for in 12 Steps and recipes.   Malaysia, the Philippines, Brunei, China, Hong Kong, Vietnam.   They are plentiful and inexpensive, sold in snack stands at every tourist spot.   Purveyors just whack the top off with a machete (see photo below) and pour the liquid into a container to drink.   Or they’d just poke a hole and stick a straw in for you.   What incredible nutrition.  


Unfortunately, Coca Cola is also everywhere on the globe as you’ll see in the photo, competing with natural snacks like electrolyte-rich coconut liquid.   The sons of the ladies serving the coconut liquid were running around underfoot drinking not coconut liquid, but Cokes!   They were only 7 or 8 years old, but their teeth were black and rotted.   (After I saw them, I wish I’d taken a photo.   I taught them some Americanisms, though, like how to say, “Get OUT!” from Seinfeld and do “knuckles”).   I’m sure these people think, Coca Cola is from America, so it must be good, because Americans are rich and happy!   (Their exposure is limited to the mass media of glamorous celebrities, and tourists with pockets full of cash.)


What a terrible thinking error THAT is!