Home from AZ

Kristin and I are back from our trip to Arizona, and soon, I’ll share with you a video or two of interviews with a couple of readers. The drive is long and boring. We stopped and toured the spectacular Glen Canyon Dam. We prowled around Orderville, UT, gawking at polygamists and whispering about our little fantasy to kidnap their daughters. We busted up the 11-hour drive with my iPod. I yell, “ARE YOU READY?!” and Kristin yells back, “I’M READY!” and I blast a Poison, Heart, Van Halen, or Aerosmith song from her speakers.

I named my senior thesis, in college, after a line from an Aerosmith song: “Live and Learn from Fools and Sages.” (We learn from the wise people in our lives–but we miss out on learning opportunities if we don’t learn from the people doing stupid things, too.)

A beautiful blonde physical therapist about my age talked to me after the Glendale class. Her eyes brimmed up with tears when she said, “Thank you for giving me my lungs back.” I didn’t give her back her capacity to train and run races without tightness in her lungs, of course. Eating whole foods did. (When I made the shift, my autoimmune problems reversed themselves, too–no more seasonal allergies, eczema, or occasional asthma attacks!)

She told me her problem is her kids: after some initial successes, they’re currently resisting the new healthy menus. I suggested that she not panic, consider that they probably don’t want her to suddenly turn into a Little Caesars mom, regardless of the way kids overstate their opinions. (They aren’t geniuses at communication. And remember, even junk-food moms’ kids complain if they don’t get the food they want.) This mom abandoning her principles would be inconsistent and confusing for the kids. They’re probably fine with her being the health-nut mom, just need to know she can let her hair down, be a little flexible.

Every once in a while I invite all the friends of one of my kids over, for a pizza party. This is so my kids know I can lighten up, even if the rest of the time we are really very consistent. (On those rare instances, I am also very nervous that a GSG reader will see me at Costco buying things I normally never would–any remainder of which will go in the garbage after the party.)

I don’t, however, EVER have junk food in my house for the kids to snack on. (Kristin says people always talk to her after my classes to find out if I’m the “real deal.” She assures them that she spends about 60 hours a week with me, with our work-from-home, and travels, and our “social life,” what there is of it. Feel free to grill her. She says, “I’ve never once seen her have junk food in the house for the kids.”)

My kids know what the snacks are, and I find that if someone is complaining, it’s because I need to pay a little more attention to having things on hand that they like. (When moms talk to me about their “picky” and “resistant” kids, they also always name for me the nutritious foods the child WILL eat.)

To that end, it’s helpful to have a list of the food foods that each child seeks out. Making a list on paper will help you realize there are more things than you think, and it’ll motivate you to discover new ones to add to the list. Put it on the inside of a cupboard.

Paying attention to that may go a long way toward helping them eat right. Add to the list when your child discovers another healthy food she likes–praise her when she does.

This is part of a list I have that helps my kids feel there’s enough to eat, and something to look forward to, at home:

Tennyson, Libby, Emma: fresh blueberries

Libby: raw sweet potatoes, cucumbers, raw chocolate in her green smoothie, nori sheets, prunes

Tennyson: Naked juice, wheat grass juice, sprouted “candied” almonds

Cade: pink apples, Raw Melissa spring rolls, bell peppers eaten like an apple

Emma: carrots dipped in hummus

Cade, Libby, Ten: cases of Costco mangoes

I find any complaining at my house stops, as long as I tune into what the kids want that is good for them and make sure I stock those foods. And as long as on a rare occasion, I “lighten up” for a party.

Sorry if you’ve read this before, but my grandmother told me: “It’s not what you do 5% of the time that’s going to kill you. It’s what you do 95% of the time that’s going to save you.”

6 thoughts on “Home from AZ

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  1. You were WONDERFUL, Robyn! A dream come true, hearing you. You radiate love & peace & everything fabulous! Much l♥ve… !

  2. Hey Green Smoothie Girl! I was just thinking about this stuff last night.

    See, I’m a 23-year-old (just out of college) kid back at home. My mom has gout, my dad’s overweight (and complains about it,) and I’m trying to nudge everyone into eating healthier, more whole foods.

    I make green smoothies and they wrinkle their noses at me – won’t even try it. My little brother is even worse. I keep trying to convince him that he doesn’t need to eat so much meat (he buys 4 chicken sandwiches at a time at fast food joints!) even though he’s body building. I’ve been making raw banana “ice cream”, and I almost got the bro to try it – but then dad was all “Don’t let her trick you!!” >:(

    Every week, I buy us each a donut to enjoy as a treat. Dad told me “you have to stop doing this to me!” …I wanted to tell him that it’s the soda all the time, the huge portions, the excess of meat, etc. that is “doing this”, and not the once-a-week sweet treat.

    It’s so frustrating. Diabetes runs heavily in my family – and though my parents don’t have it, I would love to try and introduce foods into their diets that can improve their health and wellness.

    I don’t think I’ll ever get them off of meat. There’s just no way to do it in my family’s food culture.

    What can I say/do to try and get my family to eat better?

    I’m so worried about my mom and dad. Mom had an accident several years ago and is in so much pain all the time – and with the gout flaring up, she ends up in tears. Dad is overweight, and Robyn I *LOVE* my dad. He’s the best dad ever. Sure, we fight sometimes, but I love him so much. My brother is seriously hilarious and my best friend. The fast food is awful for him. My fiancee’s family has a history of cancer (his grandpa died of it, his dad is a survivor). I don’t want to lose him early, either!!

    Then there’s me. I’m trying to lose weight, but I mostly just want to eat healthier because one day, I’m going to get pregnant, and I’m going to have kids. I want to eat right for them *NOW*, and have the right stuff to feed them when they’re not just in my brain.

    Any suggestions? If I were the parent, it would probably be easier, but as the daughter I have no real power over my family’s eating choices, and I’m just the “wacko”. 🙁

  3. We made the switch to healthy foods just over a year ago. I can tell you that my kids complained every bit as much as they do now, so when I’m frustrated I, like you said, just remind myself that they complained just as much when our house was filled with junk food. You can’t win with children either way, so you may as well go healthy. It’s more work but there’s no mommy-guilt.

    I “lighten up” once in a while too. I provide the children with junk once a year when it’s their birthday. This makes grocery shopping so much easier. Whenever they ask for something I just say, “Yes, you can have that on your birthday.” That way I’m not always saying no to them and it reassures them that they aren’t completely deprived. Eventually they’ll get what they want. When their birthday rolls around they pick out whatever they want (my husband takes them to the store because I just can’t stomach putting oreos in the cart) and once their birthday is over everything that is left over goes in the garbage.

    Great idea about the list.

  4. Thanks Robyn for the list of snack foods your kids eat. My question–my kids will eat most of the items on your list, but then they still want to fill up on starches like bread, tortilla chips, crackers (whole wheat type). I understand they are teens and need calories but I am wondering what starches you are ok with? I really love all your foods ideas and your 12 Steps.

    1. Patti, whole-foods starches are fine. I just don’t buy anything with white flour in it. And when we DO eat grains, of course, 60-80% of that meal or snack is raw. Unless you’re gluten intolerant, whole-grain breads, tortillas, pitas, cereals, etc.

      (That list was far from complete–those are just a few of the RAW PLANT FOODS that each of my kids gravitate towards. I’ve noticed most moms have a list like that in their heads! But putting it down on paper lets you begin to look to expand it. When that list is LONG, you don’t have such an uphill battle to getting kids to eat right. And of course, smoothies allow you to get lots of things in their diet they wouldn’t otherwise eat–like sprouted flaxseed, or kale/collards/chard!)

  5. Hi Robyn,

    Thanks for the fantastic seminar! I had a lot of fun and learned so much! We’re struggling a little and I’m still trying to break my addiction to fast food, but I’ll get there. My kids so far, do not like anything new I’ve tried to get them to eat, but I told them tonight, if they didn’t eat their salad, they were going to have it for breakfast. It worked! I gave my 3 yr old so much praise! He gagged a couple of times, and I felt bad, but he got it down! That’s the first salad he’s eaten in his life! (Not because I never put one on his plate before, but because I never made him eat it before.) Anyway, I was so proud of him. And the baby is a green smoothie aholic. Before your seminar I was just putting lettuce in my smoothies and now I’ve got collard greens, chard, beet tops and kale. Lots of fruit and coconut water too, (LOVE coconut water) and the baby drinks it right up! I’ll send you a picture of her green mustache. =-> Thanks again for all of your awesome info!

    If the lady from Chandler who’s kids and hubby went up to eat the greens is reading this, I have your bag of protein powder. Can I put my e-mail here for her to contact me? I’m going to try. Just mail me at neotyler123@yahoo.com Good luck to everyone on their green smoothie mission. =->

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