it was exhausting writing all those books

I got a call last night from my fulfillment company, saying we are getting low on 12 Steps: Complete Course, and I needed to autograph 200 books (The Green Smoothies Diet) and get them there by the next morning.

I was leaving for Cade’s baseball game and then Tennyson’s and wouldn’t be home till 11 p.m.

So I loaded several boxes of books in the car, took a couple of pens, and sat in the bleachers signing piles of books all night.

Tennyson came out of the dugout to chat with me at one point, and his buddy followed him over. I heard him whisper, incredulously, “Ten! Did your mom write ALL of those books?”

LOL! I love kids!

Speaking of, I have written a draft of Green Kids Rock Out Loud (or whatever the name ends up being). It’s a book about nutrition for kids age 3-9.

Two questions for you!

One, do you know a book illustrator who does colorful, fun illustrations? So far the ones I’m talking to need 9-12 months to do the work.

Two, would you let me interview your child who eats lots of healthy plant food, and is fairly chatty by nature? I’d do this by phone, asking just a few simple questions. If I use your child’s testimonial, you’ll get the book free. Even better, you’ll help get this book out. I was dismayed to survey the children’s literature on nutrition: not impressive. Thus this effort. I think it’s really needed.

If you know a book illustrator or want to participate in the testimonials, please write Jenni and Jackie at support123 at greensmoothiegirl.com. Tell me your phone number and your child’s name and age. J&J will forward it on to me.

Thanks!

the healthiest shopping cart in Costco

I was in Costco a few days ago and the lady behind me in line said, “That is the healthiest shopping cart I have ever seen!”

I told her I write books teaching people how to eat whole foods and I have a site called GreenSmoothieGirl.com. I told her about GSG because she looked like a young mom. And you know how I feel about young moms–I see them as having tons of power to change the world, and I want to know them all! Before their kids are McD’s addicts and so much harder to change.

And it turns out her name is Marla and she is already a GSG reader. I don’t know if the camouflage shorts I was wearing actually WORKED, or if it’s the fact that my hair has morphed excessively blonde, that she didn’t recognize me as GSG.

That’s one thing that isn’t entirely “natural,” my need to change my hair color. Also. I do weird things sometimes. A couple of weeks ago I wanted to make a gift basket of “favorite things” for the guy I am dating. I would love to tell you that his favorite things are green smoothies and sprouted hummus with flax crackers and wheat grass juice. But alas, I had to go to the grocery store and slink out of there . . . ducking my head, hoping not to be recognized . . . with a six-pack of MOUNTAIN DEW. Then I went somewhere else to find really good, made fresh daily, CHOCOLATE CHIP COOKIES. (He has been telling me that he could blackmail me with that info, should he ever need to–”GSG was seen buying Mt. Dew!” he guffaws. Might as well pre-empt that by coming out of the closet.)

I was also “in and out” of an In-N-Out Burger last night. This is because my children asked their father what he wanted for Father’s Day, and he wanted a gift certificate and t-shirt from there. Even though I have never eaten their food, and I would not eat in that establishment unless I were completely without other options (notice I didn’t say “wouldn’t be caught dead”), I aim to please. He can eat what he wants. (Sure wish he wouldn’t feed it to my kids, but again–no use fighting unwinnable battles.)

I also ate at Texas Roadhouse Grill last night. Okay, I ordered the vegetarian platter for both me and my son! But I’m just sayin. I ate there. That’s where my friends and sister-in-law wanted to eat after we watched Ten’s baseball game.

I seem to be rather cavalier with the nutrition of those close to me who are not my children. Here’s why: people will eat right when they want to, and not a minute sooner. So I’m not going to expend my energy trying to change anyone else’s diet or feeling frustrated about it.

He, Dixon, of the Mt. Dew, started drinking green smoothies even before he read my book. He said when I asked a couple weeks ago, on Day 17, that he notices no health benefits. (I told him that a green smoothie doesn’t cancel out the deleterious effects of the Coke and Mt. Dew. And he is still making and drinking GS because he knows academically that they’re good for him.)

A couple of other close friends, though, who have finally taken the plunge, told me this month they notice more energy and no need for caffeine, less than a week into the new habit.

It’s philosophical for me: I won’t wreck relationships over food! I was talking this week to a certain person who is a huge presence in raw food, on the internet. She and I bonded a while ago in our common mission and in our single-mom status. Sometimes we talk about world domination via raw food. I asked her what happened with the last guy and how it’s going with the new.

She said, “Turns out the raw foodist had no personal ethics. Now I’m with a meat eater and I think I’ll keep him.”

True enough, that. Let’s live our healthy life, speak up when it’s appropriate, shut up when it’s appropriate. In general, be as “normal” as possible while doing what’s right.

what do you do with picky kids?

I was driving far away to a tennis match with my team, this week, and picky eaters was the topic of discussion.

If you think this blog entry is going to fix your picky kids, let me lower the bar right now. Your picky kids will still be picky when you finish reading this.

Sorry.

You can read my more complete (and hopefully much more helpful) thoughts on the topic in the 12 Steps to Whole Foods intro. But what I’m writing today is kinda just for laughs.

My kids have the delightful habit of giving me an uncensored stream-of-consciousness regarding what I make/serve. This is partly my fault because I was soliciting their feedback while developing recipes, for a couple of years.

Now what I want is for them to just shut up and eat it. But it’s too late: they think they are food critics.

My mother (AKA “MomPam”) didn’t indulge opinions on food. Didn’t much care what you thought. You could have ONE food you hated. (You still had to EAT it, but you were allowed to hate it. Mine was this store-bought spinach soufflé she liked. My choice came down to a tossup between that, creamed corn, and mushrooms. Like I said, you just got the ONE.)

(Later, when she quit buying the soufflés, I switched to creamed corn, which makes me convulse. If they served it in the Cannon Center when I was a freshman in the BYU dorms, I walked in the cafeteria, stopped dead in my tracks, and wheeled around and walked out. Skipped dinner. My roommates would look at each other, sniff the air, and say knowingly: “CREAMED CORN.”)

We weren’t allowed to say “hate” or “don’t like” (let alone “gross,” “nasty,” etc.). My mom once helpfully offered “I don’t care for that” as an acceptable dinner-table statement. The eight of us said that, in an exaggerated, proper British accent, well into adulthood.

My longtime friend and tennis partner Laura always has a way of making stressful or annoying parenting situations funny. For instance, we were discussing kids looking at porn on the home PC, and she said she told her 3 boys, “If you look at porn, I will see it in the Google history, and I will call you in and we will look at it TOGETHER.”

If Laura’s kids tattle on each other, they have to do it SINGING.

She said her kids are allowed to say anything at all about what is served, as long as it is followed by,

“And that’s just the way I like it!”

So, imagine this:

“Mom, this is a slimy, disgusting insult to the human palate and it makes my intestines revolt. And that’s just the way I like it!”

Your own tips for dealing with picky kids will be highly appreciated by GSG readers!

bowling and baby food

Caveat about this post (two days after I wrote it): I mean NO disrespect to any parent. Parents are just doing their best! My intent is always to expose the refined-foods industries and their products for what they are, to raise awareness and help others get educated earlier than I did. In about a week, I will post a blog about my oldest child and the garbage I fed him. When I had my first baby, I was young and actually believed that because the jars were pasteurized, they were safer than raw fruit was! So, I cast no stones here ……

So I went bowling with my kids, nieces, nephews, siblings and parents last night.

(Here’s what we often get when we’re out, that’s really healthy. This will mean something only to those in Utah/Idaho. Café Rio or Costa Vida, whole-wheat tortilla in a vegetarian salad. No rice, chip strips, or cheese. Extra romaine, pico de gallo, black beans, and guacamole.)

When we were hanging out afterward, I noticed my sister-in-law taking little things out of a container and putting them on my baby nephew’s tongue. The container said Parents’ Choice Little Puffs.

I am always fascinated by how products have changed since I was a mom of babies. That chair that vibrates your baby to sleep–where was that 15 years ago?!

Anyway, I asked her what the point of these little things are. They look like the marshmallows in Lucky Charms but not as brightly colored.

She and my brother said they help keep the baby quiet when you’re out with him. They melt on his tongue so they can’t choke a breastfeeding baby who is unaccustomed to food.

You get this stuff at Walmart. (But please don’t.)

It has all kinds of synthetic stuff in it that I cannot pronounce. Like cyanocobalamin. And pyridoxine hydrochloride. But it also has “natural strawberry flavor.” That’s comforting, right? Because it’s NATURAL! (What does natural mean? Pretty much nothing, according to the law. Refined sugar is technically “natural” because it derives from actual food if you trace it back far enough–cane juice being a food.)

The packaging touts that the product is “Naturally Flavored! Whole Grains and Real Fruit!”

Well, the second ingredient is sugar. And there’s lots of processed stuff in it, even if there’s a pinch of whole grains and a pinch of something that started as a fruit.

I’m underwhelmed on behalf of babies everywhere. They need nutrition, real food, more than anyone.

growth of GSG.com

Today I got auto-emailed by Alexa, which ranks GSG.com 154,101. I am told this is incredible for a site less than 3 years old run by an internet moron. (I was clueless about the WWW 3 years ago and, sadly, continue to be.)

It tells me we have achieved a google rank of 4, that oodles of external websites link to us, and that we had 166,300 visits in the past 30 days. That 1,100 people read this blog daily.

It kind of scares me. Exciting, too, of course–since I continue to pay exactly $0.00 for advertising.

My point is that with such rapid growth (600% growth in traffic in the past year), I find more evidence of what I always say:

“People want to eat right. They don’t know how.”

200 years ago, eating was simple because choices were limited and people ate close to the land.

With an increase in choice, and technology (allowing us infinite variety in taste, texture, and color), and economies of scale, we began to remove nutrition and add chemicals to our food supply. The impact on our health has been deleterious, insidious, gradual, and profound.

I want to thank all of you who arrive at this site, get lost in it for hours, and write me emails telling me all the people in your life you’ve sent here.

Thank you for sending the young moms here (dads too). They alone have the power to change the direction we are collectively going, to reverse the childhood obesity epidemic and the trending upward of diabetes, osteoporosis, asthma, and more.

I’m humbled by what has happened to this little site and blog. I’m overwhelmed by all the information I want to develop to address the questions, needs–cries for help, really–that I and my little team get every day.

I love running this site. I love hearing from you. There are frustrations, too, like the fact that I can’t consult personally to everyone who writes. That I can’t write back to every personal email.

Please keep asking your questions. I will address them as I can on this blog.

Thank you for caring not only about your own health (strap the oxygen mask on yourself FIRST!) but also your children, your parents, your friends, your community.

Thank you to those who ask me to come speak. I am getting a bit more organized and am making a list of the requests I get, so I can watch for an opportunity to speak to your group when I’m in that area. My goal is always, first and foremost, to help you get enthusiastic about returning to the way your body was biologically programmed to eat. That is, less refined/processed/animal foods, and more whole/raw/plant foods. And learn quick and inexpensive ways to do that.

Please write support123@greensmoothiegirl.com if you have a location (seating 75 or more) and would like me to come. We’ll keep you on a list and I very much hope to get to your area.

Stand by for details we are finalizing on upcoming classes in Ogden, Lehi, Layton (all Utah), and New York City.

XOXO,
Robyn

processed meat: it’s on my “never” list

If you’ve read my books, you know there are two foods I never eat and I don’t let my kids eat either. We are virtually 100% about good nutrition at home, but at a party or in a restaurant, we make good choices but aren’t perfect.

The two “over my dead body” foods, though:

One, processed meat. (Bacon, sausage, hot dogs, salami, deli/luncheon meat.) Two, soft drinks.

Here’s a meta-study (my favorite kind–a review of lots of different research studies, in this case almost 1,600 pieces of research) showing how damaging processed meat is to our health:

http://health.yahoo.com/news/reuters/us_heart_meat.html

Nearly 20 years ago, I read a study examining childhood cancers. Kids who developed cancer had no risk factors in common except a prevalance of high (11 or more monthly) hot dog consumption. I have no idea why I remember that–11 hot dogs a month–but I do. Then my best friend worked for Bain & Co., out of college, and one of her clients was a meat-packing plant. After working inside that business, she said to me, “Promise me that you and any offspring you have will never eat a hot dog. You would not believe how disgusting all the ingredients of that product are.”

Everything I’ve read since then confirms those original seeds planted in my brain that hot dogs are . . . well, nauseating. Get the vegan kind at the health food store if your family likes hot dogs.

That’s why you’ve heard them called “cancer sticks”–they are not just full of salt, but also nitrates and nitrites, which are well documented to be highly carcinogenic.

I’ve had ONE bite of a hot dog in the past 20 years. That was when I was on national television with two cameras and 20 teenagers chanting, “EAT. IT! EAT. IT!”

You know I’m here to nurture you towards better nutrition without being radical. But some “foods” really don’t qualify as such and I ask you to consider a full-on ban in your home of processed meats.