that ubiquitous blue, sugary sports drink

That blue drink. It’s everywhere. I’ve never tried it, but it’s in the photo with my son in the dugout from last week.

One of my kids reported to me not long ago, “My soccer coach says I HAVE to drink Gatorade, because it’s good for us and she doesn’t want us passing out.” I told her, “I’ve never tasted Gatorade in my life, and I’ve run 10 miles at a time, or played tennis for 3 hours and haven’t passed out yet. There was no Gatorade until 20 years ago or less. [Thanks, University of Florida! Not.] What do you think all the distance runners in Africa are doing? All you need is what I already give you–good ol’ water. Mom trumps the coach in this case–I am not buying Gatorade.”

Chemical food dyes, chemical sweeteners, chemical electrolytes, no thanks. Good water and fresh fruits and vegetables, plus some nuts or seeds for good fats, are the best thing to fuel a workout before or after. I also love Hot Pink Breakfast Smoothie–what I make every morning–for a perfect electrolyte and fat/carb/protein ratio for athletics, 400 calories. It’s in the Breakfast recipe collection or Ch. 11 of 12 Steps.

Green smoothies for birthdays?

So my 12-y.o. was sitting here with me, excitedly planning her birthday party next month. Making a list of girls to invite, foods she wants provided. We’re doing “Café Rio” type salads, a big platter of pineapple (her favorite thing), and she has asked for . . . green smoothies.

No lie. And this is my most resistant child. (The youngest likes to play “picky,” which I don’t indulge, and the oldest has been condescending about the nutrition I provide, the past year or so since splitting his time between my home and his other home, where the Standard American Diet rules.)

I couldn’t be more shocked. I said, “Wow, really?” And she said, “Yeah, my friends like the green smoothies you make and tell me they don’t know what my problem is.”

More evidence that if you stay the course, they often come around eventually. Sometimes the pressure to cave into pop culture’s tastes can be intense. And I’m not saying you have to take up an extremist position. But I really believe that if you just keep on keepin’ on . . . your kids will thank you eventually. You’ll one day see them doing the right thing by your grandchildren!

Independence Day, part 2 of 2

So I told you my dad is the most rad dude ever. He is unfailingly positive. In fact, if you’re grumpy, he just gets MORE peppy and smiley. He epitomizes the idea that work is a blessing, because he embraces hard work.

Forgive me if I’ve told this story before. As a teenager, my dad sprayed his grandfather’s cherry orchards in the summers, in Santaquin, Utah. Back then they didn’t even wear masks! And they were spraying Malathion, a pesticide so carcinogenic, so deadly that the U.S. banned it many years ago. Dad told me a story once of turning, as he was spraying, and getting sprayed full in the face accidentally by his brother Ron–into his mouth and eyes, even–with those deadly, now-illegal chemicals.

So why doesn’t my dad have cancer? Instead he’s a 67-year old runner (even if I kicked his trash last Monday in a race) enjoying retirement. No knee issues.

For that matter, I am fairskinned and have basically refused to stay out of the sun (because of tennis/running) since I was young. From 16-20, I sunbathed in a bikini almost daily, from April to October every year. I’d burn and burn and burn, until I finally tanned. So why have I never had any skin cancer?

The answer to both questions, I think, is LIFESTYLE. My dad eats mostly plant foods. My parents’ diet isn’t as stellar as it was when I was young. But they eat little animal protein and processed food. They eat homemade kefir and drink alkaline water.

With massive raw plant food in the diet, you are mopping up free radicals instead of letting them grow into cancer.

Remember in The China Study (Oxford/Cornell), all of the mice and rats were injected with aflatoxin, a very carcinogenic compound (mold). But only the rodents fed a 20% animal protein diet actually developed cancer. Those fed a very low animal-protein diet (5%) were lively and healthy past their prime. Enzymes, vitamins, minerals–found abundantly in raw greens, vegetables, fruits, sprouts–prevent cancer from growing.

So my dad had off-the-charts Malathion exposure, and I had 100+ sunburns before age 20. This is very similar to the animals’ carcinogen exposure in the Oxford-Cornell project. Carcinogens can be neutralized effectively if the body’s natural weapons are in place.   You must FEED your body’s natural defenses, not burn them out.

Eat plants. It helps the earth, since your consumption of resources is 1/20th what a meat eater’s is. But if you know someone with cancer, you know that disease is hell on earth. And eating plants is your best cancer prevention.

(p.s. How much is 5% of your diet? As an example, for me, since I burn 1600 calories per day without exercise, that’s 80 calories. 80 calories is ½ cup of low-fat yogurt or 4 oz. of fish/chicken. That’s the average for a 5’8″, 130-135 lb. woman.)

Independence Day, part 1 of 2

Here are photos after my family’s annual 5K run at Provo’s Freedom Festival.

Runners in the photo are my dad, my son Cade, my brother Ben, my sister Betsy, and her husband Matt. (And my mom, who walked.)

Also here’s a random photo of my bro-in-law Matt and me doing a fashion shoot using my mom’s stylin’ bathrobes. (I went in her closet for a coverup because it was chilly after the race. My bro Ben said, “You’ve gone from cold to old.” Matt would like me to write that he is NOT pregnant–it’s the shape of the robe, not him.)

The race, on asphalt, exacerbated this horrific case of plantar fasciitis I’ve developed. On facebook, readers suggested these things that I am now trying: massage, Strassburg Sock at night, ice it, barefoot running, wearing shoes with supports in the house. I just gave up running, tennis, and Zumba for now, in favor of biking, Stairmaster, and weightlifting (ugh).

Anyone else get rid of it? If so, what did you do??

I ran it 5 minutes faster than I did 5 years ago. I beat everyone but Ben and my 16 year old son who has legs “up to here.” I’ve never beat my dad until this year. It’s fun to run with him because he talks about everything he sees as we go along (so, you have to turn your iPod down to chat with him). He turned 67 last month and guess what he did on his birthday. He ran 4 miles, just like he does every day!

My grandmother used to say, “It’s not what you do now and then, that will save or kill you–it’s what you do every day.” I believe my extended family’s excellent health is because of two things. First, the example we had and habit we formed of eating a primarily plant-based diet. Second, the example we had of being physically active. Breaking a sweat every day.

One of the most enduring memories I have of my dad is when I’d get up at 5 a.m. to practice the piano and go to seminary. He’d come home from his paper routes and his run, before work as an Air Force Lt. Colonel, Defense Intelligent Agent in the Pentagon.

I remember it well because he’d always want to talk: he’s Seinfeld’s infamous “close talker” and I have a sizeable “personal space” bubble. He’s the biggest patriot I know–a Vietnam veteran with a huge American flag cemented in his front yard. He’s one of those people who does the right thing, day after day, consistently. He’s my hero. In fact, I think I’ll tell a little story about him tomorrow.

Here are photos after my family’s annual 5K run at Provo’s Freedom Festival.

Runners in the photo are my dad, my son Cade, my brother Ben, my sister Betsy, and her husband Matt. (And my mom, who walked.)

Also here’s a random photo of my bro-in-law Matt and me doing a fashion shoot using my mom’s stylin’ bathrobes. (I went in her closet for a coverup because it was chilly after the race. My bro Ben said, “You’ve gone from cold to old.” Matt would like me to write that he is NOT pregnant–it’s the shape of the robe, not him.)

The race, on asphalt, exacerbated this horrific case of plantar fasciitis I’ve developed. On facebook, readers suggested these things that I am now trying: massage, Strassburg Sock at night, ice it, barefoot running, wearing shoes with supports in the house. I just gave up running, tennis, and Zumba for now, in favor of biking, Stairmaster, and weightlifting (ugh).

Anyone else get rid of it? If so, what did you do??

I ran it 5 minutes faster than I did 5 years ago. I beat everyone but Ben and my 16 year old son who has legs “up to here.” I’ve never beat my dad until this year. It’s fun to run with him because he talks about everything he sees as we go along (so, you have to turn your iPod down to chat with him). He turned 67 last month and guess what he did on his birthday. He ran 4 miles,  just like he does every day!

My grandmother used to say, “It’s not what you do now and then, that will save or kill you–it’s what you do every day.” I believe my extended family’s excellent health is because of two things. First, the example we had and habit we formed of eating a primarily plant-based diet. Second, the example we had of being physically active. Breaking a sweat every day.

One of the most enduring memories I have of my dad is when I’d get up at 5 a.m. to practice the piano and go to seminary. He’d come home from his paper routes and his run, before work as an Air Force Lt. Colonel, Defense Intelligent Agent in the Pentagon.

I remember it well because he’d always want to talk: he’s Seinfeld’s infamous “close talker” and I have a sizeable “personal space” bubble.   He’s the biggest patriot I know–a Vietnam veteran with a huge American flag cemented in his front yard. He’s one of those people who does the right thing, day after day, consistently. He’s my hero. In fact, I think I’ll tell a little story about him tomorrow.

Thanks for coming in Ogden. Two new classes in Orem and Springville

The photos didn’t turn out that well, but that doesn’t diminish that we had a great class in Ogden last night. Thank you everyone for coming! See volunteer Justin in the photo below, who told us he has lost 42 lbs. doing NO exercise and just drinking green smoothies (instead of his former staple, caffeine-intense Rockstar energy drink) as my book outlines.

He says he’ll never go back and feels a million times better. He’s writing his story up and I’ll post it here later.

The Springville class on Aug. 4 is FULL. Therefore, I thought the Ogden/Springville classes would be the last of the summer, but we are adding two more.

Another class the following week, Aug. 11, in Springville, same time same place, 7 p.m.

And, I’ll be teaching at Runner’s Corner on Thurs., Aug. 5, in Orem, at 8 p.m. (kind of a strange time, but the next morning there’s no school).

Hope to see you at one of these two new classes!