Robyn and Emma save a starving college student from marshmallow overdose

Marshmallows 2
Marshmallows for breakfast, lunch AND dinner?

My daughter, Emma, is 19 years old and a sophomore at SUU, about 3 hours south of our home. She texted me recently about her friend Aaron:

“Mom! Aaron has no money, so he is eating only what’s in his cupboards till the semester ends. He has had MARSHMALLOWS for breakfast, lunch, and dinner for the past 2 days!”

I was headed south that night, for a hiking weekend with my girlfriends in Zion’s Canyon. So I proposed an intervention. I said:

So my girlfriends and I raided Aaron’s apartment, with Emma, that night, GREEN SMOOTHIES TO THE RESCUE! This is a VERY low-quality cell-phone video of the scene. It isn’t worthy of the GSG YouTube channel, so we’ve marked it private, and you can watch the silly intervention we staged in Cedar City, Utah, if you can forgive the low production values!

College students may be broke. But they need our love and they need some good food. After we made this video, I took Emma and Aaron to get a real meal at Café Rio. Emma and I always get vegetarian salads with lots of black and pinto beans and chopped greens and pico de gallo, hold the fried thingies, please, and substitute a whole-grain tortilla.

robyn mountainsAfter we saved a starving college student from marshmallow overdose, my girlfriends and I headed on to Zion’s Canyon where we hiked Angel’s Landing. I’d done it before and wanted my friends to see the beautiful views. It’s a 3-hour climb where the last ½ mile you have to pull yourself up with chains mounted in the rock, and 6 people have died in the last 10 years because it’s narrow and scary. We lived to make another green smoothie and tell this story.

“Em, I’ll be there this evening–tell Aaron GOOD FOOD IS WORTH THE MONEY. I’ll be there soon!”

starving student1I ate Top Ramen and bananas, for months, my own sophomore year of college. I was falling off the sidewalk as I’d walk to school, with terrible vertigo and I kept getting sick. I was also having terrible headaches. Now I know it was because of all the MSG (monosodium glutamate, a neurotoxin in many seasonings and salad dressings and packaged foods like Doritos) in the Top Ramen seasoning packets, and I would never eat that now. Sure, Top Ramen costs $0.20 each ($0.10 back then), but the savings weren’t worth the lost days spent in bed, ill or with headaches, and the money I spent at the Student Health Center trying to figure out what was wrong with me. (The neurological symptoms are classic of people who eat MSG or aspartame or other “excitotoxins.”)

If you ended up with multiple sclerosis from nerve damage from years of a crappy diet, would the savings be worth it?

Are your power company’s smart meters harming your health?

smart metersThis is a new subject few people know anything about. But power companies are installing “smart meters,” and they can apparently be very damaging to human health.

Arizona GSG reader Marianna Hartsong wrote me about her retina tearing, when 6 smart meters were installed, triangulating her and devastating her health. THIS is an article you can read about it. You can contact your power company to learn if they have installed smart meters in your area, or if they plan to.

The ideas in this article range from talking to the power company, organization petitions, all the way to civil disobedience (finding and smashing the meters with a hammer every time they are installed). I’m not condoning those actions. Just sharing information here. I wonder how many health problems of “unknown origin” are because of the chaotic energies caused by these meters? It’s best to be educated!


Goodbye to Heinz. And the mannequin named Bob

Heinz and Coach Amanda at Paracelsus al Ronc

I’ve been processing, since the death of my amazing friend, Heinz Valenta, on May 29, before I could really write anything cogent. I’ve rarely been so impacted by someone in a short year. My attraction to him was a rare soul connection.

His story, and our story, is all tied up with my world-wide cancer research. We came together in a most spectacular, unexpected way due to the power of the Internet.

Beautiful Boulder Colorado

In Heinz’ last days, although he is adored by a big community of friends in Boulder where he lives, he had no family present. His brother was in Singapore, his college-student son was in Vermont, and his mother was in a care facility in Canada. His housemate and dear friend Ann was maxed, unable to go to work, and not sleeping at night, because of Heinz’ increasing need for care.

Talking to Ann on the phone, I decided to throw a few things in a bag, jump in my car and buy a ticket at the airport–and look for a rental car when I got to Denver. A few hours later I was at Heinz’ bedside, learning how to care for him, administer morphine and the anti-psychotic that morphine necessitates.

I told Ann to go to bed, shut the door, and sleep deeply. She is a saint, and she needed it.

I then proceeded to have possibly the most stressful night of my life, on a mattress on the floor in Heinz’ bedroom. It wasn’t Heinz, so much, although he was agitated and needed to get up about once an hour. Really, part of the stress of that night relates to Bob. Some of Heinz’ friends told me they secretly were weirded out by Bob, a mannequin who stood at the head of Heinz’ bed. They’d asked if they could ditch him, but Heinz had earlier been emphatic: Bob stays!

death1Somehow, there was no rail on Heinz’ hospital bed installed in his bedroom. So I didn’t sleep, terrified that he would try to get up, and in his weakened state, fall and injure himself. I imagined him crumbling–which seemed a distinct possibility, as Heinz’ bones were now full of cancer.

If I started to doze off, I’d wake in a panic because I’d see Bob standing at the top of Heinz’ bed, and for a split second, I thought it was Heinz trying to stand. I’d gotten only a few hours of sleep the night before I came, so I was nearly delirious for lack of sleep when Heinz was restless, in pain, and often trying to sit up or stand throughout the night.

It didn’t matter how many times I reminded myself, “IT’S JUST A DUMMY!” I’d still be startled, heart pounding, every time I opened my eyes and saw Bob in the night, stock still.

On the evening of Memorial Day, unplanned, about 15 of Heinz’ friends gathered in his bedroom. Heinz was no longer saying much that was coherent. He mostly seemed to be somewhere else, in his hallucinations, or in the next world, the one he was transitioning to. Maybe both.

His friend Beth came, and played her guitar and sang some of the music Heinz was so crazy about. He loved music, talked about it constantly, loved beautiful things, women, friends and community, fast sports cars, words and good books, and life—even as it dwindled due to disease. He makes me remember to live life fully present. Being happy  now—not waiting for X or Y to happen before choosing to be joyful.

Into the LightAt one point in our vigil, I told Heinz, not knowing if he could hear me, that there was nothing more to do. He had lived a life he could be proud of. That he was surrounded by a room bursting with adoration for him, by so many. That we were all graced forever by our relationship with him, which is eternal. I told him that where he was going, there was no more suffering there. That there was nothing to fight or resist. That we all wished him Godspeed on his journey and would love him forever and never forget him.

He visibly quieted and was never agitated again in his remaining 2 ½ days. The next morning, he spoke his last words. I woke up and walked over to him and said, “Good morning!” He said, “Good morning!” back and I was stunned. Heinz was heavily sedated, and blood vessels were bursting in his extremities, causing extreme mottling, as his body protected only core functions, neglecting extremities. He was in an advanced stage of multiple organ failure, and lucidity was rare.

Tears welled up in my eyes to hear him respond. He reached out and held my hand. “Hi, baby. Last night…..” he said, looking into my eyes and shaking his head slowly, acknowledging the wonder of a most magical impromptu evening honoring his transition. Then morphine took him away.

death not end“I know,” I said. “It was so magical.” It meant everything to me, to know that while we couldn’t tell whether he was cognizant–he knew. He enjoyed the music, candles, words, and love that we wanted to offer as balm for the journey.

Cancer is a bitch. You suffered mightily. It wasn’t pretty. I heard you say some strong words when pain detonated fireworks in your brain. Who can blame you?

Rest in peace, Heinz. I will never forget you and your love for me, for life, for people. I pray you fly with angels.

Baseball and green smoothies go so well together!

pork rindsIt’s turned beautiful here in Utah, just in time for baseball season.There’s nothing I love more than a double header, sitting in the sun, cheering for my boy and his buddies, booing bad ref calls, and trying to get Tennyson to drink his base-running green juice. The superleague Mojo has been winning tournaments (and losing, too), in a tournament every weekend in March and April all over the Western states. I’m tanned and tanked up on Vitamin D from all the watching. Baby Boy is my last baseball player, and I don’t want to miss any of it!

When I got to the fields for the first game of this tournament, a parent was feeding his little kid Pepsi and this bag of pork rinds. I have never seen pork rinds actually being consumed, though I have seen them in grocery stores. I had always wondered if people actually eat them!

I sat right next to this open bag of “Chicharrones,” dying of curiosity for 20 minutes, before I finally got up enough courage to take a photo of it. Then I laid low, no one having seen the stealth photography, and, when no one was looking, picked up the bag and read at the ingredients on the back. I’d been betting myself that I would find monosodium glutamate.

After all, if someone is going to eat the fried, hairy skin of a pig (a bag is only $2, boasts the packaging! Well, yeah–it’s the SKIN OF A PIG)…….why would they know or care if it was seasoned with some neurotoxins that can do frightening damage to the brain and nervous system?

I was curious, grossed out, outraged, and then sad. That there are companies who actually make this crap.

MSGSure enough, monosodium glutamate is on the ingredient list. They didn’t even try to cover it up calling it “hydrolyzed vegetable protein” or one of many other things that are really the poison, MSG, whose main function as an ingredient is to create addiction. Why hide anything on this particular label? People who eat pork rinds aren’t exactly health nuts. They’ll never know the diff, I guess, is the reasoning.

baseball 2After two wins, my son had a quick meeting with his team where he randomly announced, “LOOK HOW FAST I DRANK MY GREEN SMOOTHIE!” So the boys celebrated that, and their advancement in the tourney, with a cheer to Tennyson’s almost-drained pint-‘o-love.

The best part? Believe it or not, I had nothing to do with this toast to the green revolution. I didn’t even take the photo. I saw it happening, and a coach said to me, “You are wishing you had that in a photo for your blog, aren’t you?” I grinned. Yep. He hollered at the boys to come back and do it again.

Go Mojo 2014!