I’ve Got the Magic In Me!

Do you know this song? It’s called Magic, by B.o.B.

If that doesn’t turn your bad mood around, listen to this OTHER song also called Magic, by Selena Gomez, too.

Sometimes when I’m in here on my PC working, I play Magic and bust out all my dance moves. (The ones that embarrass my kids.) Jump out of my chair and just kick it for a while. These songs are so awesome I can’t stand it.

I’ve got the magic in me. It comes from whole plant foods. They make me glow, they make me dance, they make me bust out smiling for no reason, they help me see good things even in the hard times in life. They are magical!

It’s perfect, living, expansive nutrition, delivered directly to organs, tissues, blood, and bone, with the cell walls crushed and all the micronutrients immediately available. It makes me SO HAPPY to think that my kids went to school this morning with amazing nutrition now feeding their brain so they can learn.

Enjoy. Go ahead. Nobody can see you. Dance! You’ve gotta do SOMETHING with all that energy!

simple habits change lives

This was posted  yesterday. WOW! Scott, thank you for sharing this! (And YES, it is amazing to see people’s lives change for the better!)

Robyn,

First I want to extend a heartfelt thank you for what you do. I know it sounds a bit dramatic but you may have helped to save my life. And for that I will be eternally grateful.

I cannot for the life of me remember how I ran across your website. But the important thing is that I did. I would like to share a little bit about the impact you have had on my life up to this point.

I first found greensmoothiegirl.com somewhere around the end of February of this year.

Before that point I was somewhere around 370 or 380 pounds. I am not exactly sure but the only way I could estimate is that my doctor’s scale (350 lb max weight) wouldn’t weigh me and I had to press pretty hard on the end of the balance point to get that thing in the middle. We guessed about 370 or 380. Not good. Obviously! I was officially “fat, forty five and ‘fraid a dyin.”

I have been in the medical field for more than half my life. I have seen people die senselessly for 25 years. All products of bad nutritional choices. And here I was heading in the same direction.

Back in 1985 when I started in this field it would be uncommon for people in their 50′s to die of sudden cardiac death. As time has gone by that age has continually dropped. Now it is COMMON for us to see patients in their 40′s go into cardiac arrest and the 30 year olds are the new 50. Uncommon, but they are now dropping dead in their 30′s. Scary.

Two months ago my friend had a 14 year old patient who was having a full blown STEMI (ST segment elevation myocardial infarction). A STEMI is a type of severe heart attack in which the coronary artery is completely blocked off by a blood clot. It’s usually recognized by an elevation of the ST segment on an ECG, which indicates that a large amount of heart muscle damage is occurring.

So back to me……..

I started reading all your stuff and decided to try the green smoothies or what I affectionately call  my swamp water. I was very pleased. And have only missed about 3 days of smoothies since I began the first of March this year.

Reading your content led me to “The China Study” which led me to “Prevent and Reverse Heart Disease” which led me to Dr. McDougall.

My life has been altered and changed for the better since. I no longer eat oils of any kind, meat, poultry or dairy and have not had a single “cheat day” since. You couldn’t pay me enough to go back to the dark side of nutrition.

My numbers are very impressive to date. I am down almost 70 pounds in 5 months, my total cholesterol is 119, triglycerides 59, LDL’s 64, and HDL’s 25.

I no longer take either of my high blood pressure meds. I was on those for nearly 20 years and it took all of 1 month to throw them away. Absolutely amazing.

It all started with green smoothies. Thank you, thank you, thank you for what you do. It must feel amazing to affect lives in such a profound way.

Respectfully,

Scott Venezia

The house that BobDad’s building

My former husband nicknamed my parents BobDad and MomPam in the 80’s. I just went down to return my dad’s Mini Cooper and pick my car up in the shop. And look what my dad was doing, to the side of his house! It’s a shed, with the top level being a grandkids’ playhouse.

Cool, right? I TOLD you he was tireless and energetic!

We were talking about my son having no job this summer and how my dad and I, being rather ambitious by nature, don’t get it. Don’t get him.

BobDad said, “You told me when you were 15 that you wanted to go see Laura in Florida. And I said, ‘Great! Get a job to pay for it then! How about McDonald’s?’ And you were horrified. You said, ‘Who’d want to work in that greasy place?’ And you came home with the polyester uniform THAT DAY.’”

Heh. If you want, you can go check out the photo of me in my McD’s uniform at age 16 on facebook, mercilessly dug up by an ex-BF.

We drove down to the shop, and as I gave Miguel the third $600 check this year, BobDad gleefully started lecturing me in front of all the guys who did the work on my Pilot’s front end: “So, Robyn, as you drive away, glance around, at things in front of you. It’s important not to drive CLOSE to those things.” (All the shop guys yuk-yukking.)

What’s for dinner, Mom?

I used to get asked, “What do you eat in a day?” all the time, but since the blog is searchable, you can find my answers to that question, in specific. So I don’t get asked that QUITE as often—just by new readers.

But just as an example, tonight I made Indian Dahl (last recipe in Ch. 6 of 12 Steps). It features brown rice and split peas, it’s EASY, and we like it. And cut up some tomato and cucumber slices from the garden, piled them on some raw sauerkraut (Ch. 8 of 12 Steps) I made 2 years ago.

I did have to start dinner late in the afternoon, which requires some thinking ahead, but the total kitchen time was about 20 minutes. And the meal is extremely inexpensive, all whole plant foods, 60-80% raw including the watermelon for dessert.

Going from 5 minutes (drive thru meal) to 20 minutes (the meal I’ve just described) of dinner-prep time is actually a net time gain. Sound impossible? Here’s how that’s possible. You’ll feel light and energetic after eating the dinners I teach you. You’ll sleep less because your body isn’t sluggish from spending so much effort in digestion. You’ll wake up more energized and have higher productivity, increased desire to exercise . . . I could go on and on, but you get the idea.

You know that a lot of recipes in Ch. 6 (plant based, hearty main dishes) have a legume and a whole grain, like the Dahl recipe. In the 70’s, vegetarians thought that was necessary for a “perfect protein” (all the amino acids) in one meal. Now we know that your body can access amino acids you ate YESTERDAY, in combination with amino acids you ate TODAY. (Amino acids are the 18 building blocks of proteins.) So you don’t have to worry about that.

However, I do feel that meals are heartier when they have a legume and whole grain, so I tried to include mostly recipes with that combo, in the Main Dishes (Dinner) chapter. Because I hate when my kids say, “I’m hungry!” a couple of hours after the dishes are done. (Standard answer: “Kitchen is closed!”)

My 17-y.o. Kincade is a Yellow personality, if that means anything to you. (His core motive in life is FUN—yours might be peace, or intimacy, or achievement, google Taylor Hartman Color Code). He’s always doing goofy stuff.

As he was eating dinner last night, and I was sitting chatting with him, he picked up a garden cantaloupe and dropped it—splat!—in his dinner. Just to make me laugh and to see what it would sound like. When he was little I used to get annoyed with this kind of stuff. Now I laugh at it and say, “Awesome—now you get to eat dirt! Good Vitamin B12 for you! Let me get my camera.” Consequently we get along so much better.

Here are the photos for your entertainment too.

Borrowing Dad’s Mini-Cooper . . . and his attitude

I kinda wrecked my car. Today my dad met me at the auto body shop where the owner and I are now on a first-name basis, since this is the third time this year I’ve had pointless parking-lot fender benders. My dad came so he could lend me his cute yellow Mini-Cooper for a couple of days.

As I was sitting in the front seat re-familiarizing myself with the controls, I could feel him staring at me. Glancing over, I saw a nostalgic look on his face I am very familiar with as a parent myself. “When you’re with me, do you ever,” he asked, “go back to when you were a little girl? Kind of feel like one again?”

I smiled. “Well, I know what you mean because I look at my kids and suddenly see them as a little child again. I was doing that with Kincade the other day, looking at how he’s a year from adulthood but imagining him as the 6-year old boy carrying his pet chameleon around. And suddenly I was shocked: ‘What are you doing with those whiskers on your chin!'”

So I start the car and my dad says, “You don’t need to drive me home. I’m just going to run it.” And he takes off down the highway, miles from his house.

Oh my goodness, this bodes well for my future. I love that dude. He’s so upbeat all the time–you can’t bring a depressed mood or be whiny with my dad. He’ll just ignore it and be all cheery and spunky till you either knock it off or get really annoyed. He has so much energy, always undertaking projects. If he calls me, he starts with, “How ya doin’?!” I find myself saying “Great!” even if I just wrecked my car and broke up with my boyfriend.

You’ve gotta find your lodestar. That person who is way ahead of you in life and has consistently, one day at a time, lived a wholesome life and looks and acts like YOU want to, when you’re that age. I know I write about my dad all the time, but really, he is the living proof that you don’t have to slide into sedentary, substandard, subsistence living as you age.

p.s. Got a few emails about this, immediately–I didn’t just break up with a boyfriend (mostly bc I don’t have one), but thanks for the concern. It was just a hypothetical example of how my dad lightens everything up even if you’re having a rotten day.

Help! I’m in Zucchini Hell!

I have this kind of random list of questions to ask God when I get on the other side. Some of them are The Big Questions. Why do 15-year old crackheads get pregnant so easily when my friend Jamie, who would be a world-class mother, can’t? Why are people supposed to make huge decisions like who to marry, and have babies, in their 20’s when they don’t know anything about anything yet?

Stuff like that. But I have some small questions, too, that really nag at me.

Like, WHY ARE ZUCCHINI PLANTS SO PROLIFIC? I mean, how much can one family eat?! It’s not even like people LIKE zucchini that much, if my kids are any indicator. Why can’t raspberry plants produce so much??

The amazing thing is that I seem to plant MORE THAN ONE plant each year. Why do I do this?? When I pick up my produce from Jacob’s Cove each Monday, I get my allotment of wonderful things like multi-colored cherry tomatoes, and unusual greens, and beets. And then they point at these giant boxes and say, “TAKE ALL YOU WANT OF THE SQUASH.”

I heard this joke once about someone coming from out of state to visit a Utah friend. One the way home from the airport, the friend stops at 7-11 for a drink and leaves the door unlocked to go inside. Then they stop for lunch at a restaurant and she again leaves the door unlocked to go inside. Then they go to church and she LOCKS THE DOOR. The out-of-state visitor said, “Uh, that’s random. You don’t lock your car at 7-11 or a restaurant–why at church?” The Utahan whispers, “It’s zucchini season! When we get out of church, if we don’t lock it, the car will be full of squash!”

There’s this “Share the Bounty” shack near my house somebody built. (Cool idea, right?) This time of year, it’s All Zucchini All The Time.

I put some of my favorite squash recipes in Ch. 5 of 12 Steps to Whole Foods and the Jump-Start recipe collection. Zucchini pitas, carpaccio, and cookies. I love spiraled, raw or barely-steamed zucchini “noodles” instead of pasta. (Pizza Factory makes them, if you’re local.)

Did you know squash leaves are edible? Throw them in your green smoothies!

Please tell me what you do to dig your way out of zucchini hell! Favorite recipes welcomed here! (My kids are sick of all my ways to slip squash into the dinner . . . yesterday I texted my 17-y.o. telling him when to come home to eat, and I had to entice him by saying, “It’s a NO-SQUASH meal!)

Amorphous Blob of Diet Pepsi Jelly-Sausage

Just got back from the Bay Area–yummy raw food at Café Gratitude in Berkeley (photo below). Taught a really fun class in Oakland (will post photos as soon as someone sends me some–since I forgot my camera), so great to meet y’all who came!

So Laura (my best friend for 30 years) and I were hiking in Lafayette this weekend [photo below] and had this conversation:

Laura: You know, this really makes me mad, I had ONE vice. Is that too much to ask? You know, at 3:30 every afternoon, no matter where I was, I would fill a cup up with ice. Everywhere I work, everybody knows what I’m doing when they see me coming with the SMALL cup of ice: to fill it up with a SMALL amount of Diet Pepsi.

Robyn: Well, you drink wine. So technically isn’t that TWO vices?

Laura: No. Wine is good for you.

Robyn: Oh.

Laura: Anyway, so now, I have my own soda fountains, how lucky is that? But no!

(Laura owns a really cool store store that sells much better stuff than just Diet Pepsi.)

Laura: So my employee Greg was cleaning out the soda fountain machines one day, and he said, ‘Laura, you have got to see this.'” And I go over . . . and there is . . . [a look of horror comes over her face] . . .

. . . this quivering, gelatinous, mucousy sausage of goo. It was heinous, I’m telling you. Trembling, jelly-like, thick, brown . . . OMG! I don’t have words for the horror. It was in the tube coming out of the Diet Pepsi thing! [She is gesticulating wildly with her hands.]

And I have never had a Diet Pepsi since. That was last fall. I will never drink it again.

Robyn: I feel a blog entry forming in my head. But the problem is, a lot of people would read that and it wouldn’t slow them down for a minute. They’d keep drinking Diet Pepsi.

Laura: NO. No one would! No one! OMG! [She shudders.] You don’t understand. Did I say that it was like a giant SAUSAGE of slithery chemicals?

Robyn: I need a photo.

Laura: No! Then no one will come in my store! Everyone will stop buying Diet Pepsi! Anyway, I’m not sure a photo will do it justice. You have to see the quivering to fully appreciate it. It’s a video kind of thing.

Robyn: [stopping her on the hiking path, making a praying sign with my hands] A video then. I would pay money for that. Pretty please, I’m begging! This won’t hurt your business. It should hurt Pepsi, though it probably won’t. Remember 20 years ago when you worked at Bain and one of your clients was a meat packing plant? And you told me to promise you I would never eat a hot dog? Or let any of my future progeny eat one? I’ve kept that promise–no hot dogs!

End of conversation . . .

We’ll see whether I get my way on this one. If I obtain the photo or video. My birthday isn’t till February. Do not think I won’t remember to ask her for a photo of the Diet Pepsi Mucousy Sausage then, if she hasn’t sent me visual evidence yet.

Those of you who attend my classes may know my answer when some dude raises his hand and says, “If I drink a quart of green smoothie daily, it’s okay that I eat all kinds of other crap, right?” (Always, always a man who says that.) And my answer is, “I’m not answering that.”

Ditto my answer for the question, “So I should switch to Diet Coke, right?”

Despicable Me

My baby just turned 10 years old. (I can’t believe it.)

And I took him on a date last night to dinner (Jason’s Deli salad bar) and to see Despicable Me.

I got him and his sister (turning 13) really nice bikes for their birthdays. All four of my kids were born (as made semi-infamous on primetime television) within 3 weeks of each other. My oldest son is getting a date with me to some MLB Rays games (his favorite team) in Tampa. My oldest daughter is getting scuba lessons and a trip to Catalina to dive with me.

Rather selfish gifts, I know—all of them time with Mom doing something fun.

So Tennyson had asked me if when we got home (at 10 p.m.!) if we could go for a bike ride. (I will tell you later about my new Cannondale carbon-frame road bike I can lift with one finger–I am in love with it. Ten and I have been itching to ride, ride, ride.) I said “Sure, if you change into a white shirt.”

We rode in silence for a few minutes and he said, “Mom. I have a weird feeling in my stomach.”

Not something I’ve ever heard from him before. I said, “You’re worried about something.”

“Yes.”

“Well,” I probed, “shall we skip the bike ride?”

“Yes.”

“Does that make your stressed tummy go away?”

“Yes.”

We’ve been discussing how Momof3 finds her mother-in-law’s visits stressful because of their very disparate ideas about what is good for Momof3’s children, nutritionally.

What’s important and what’s not? It’s smart to sometimes let go of the need to CONTROL and remind yourself, “It is just food, after all.”

I know, that doesn’t sound like something I would say. But there is that occasion when grace and larger issues (such as relationships) dictate just “letting it go.” I’m not at all convinced that Momof3 should “just let it go” every time her in-laws come for a week. Only she knows that for sure. But my point is, your gut tells you things.

Does it matter? Or doesn’t it?

I trust my intuition as a mom. I have 17 years of experience and therefore more confidence in what my gut tells me, than I did 15 years ago.

One of the most important things I would tell moms is to TRUST INSTINCT. It’s valuable. After all we can read and ponder academically, I love that intuition guides me and you. It’s God-given and it takes us the rest of the way.

Emma makes soccer team, Tif off sugar, Megan stung by swarm

Highlights from yesterday at my house.

Emma was the original Green Smoothie Girl on this site when she was 11. (Anyone been here long enough to remember when she was the face on the site, not me?) She’s 14 years old, and yesterday she made the Timpanogos High School soccer team despite more girls trying out than ever before, because of last year’s state soccer championship. YAY EMMA, GO TIMBERWOLVES!

Here she is getting a congratulatory attack-hug by her older brother, who pitches on the baseball team for the same school (that has won state in baseball three of the last 10 years).

And here is that same, mullet-wearing older brother and his cute girlfriend Tiffanie, for whom I’d just made a Hot Pink Smoothie (Ch. 11) when Em walked in with her announcement. Tiffanie has just given up sugar, which she says comprised about 100% of her diet. I couldn’t talk her into carrots and hummus, but she loved the smoothie. Then Cade asked me to inform her what is in it, for the shock value. (It’s beets and carrots.)

He said, “My mom does that. She makes stuff that tastes really good but has all this crazy stuff in it that’s good for you.”

A bit later, I made this whole-wheat penne thing, with summer squash and baby tomatoes from my garden, and served it outside on the deck table. Everyone sat down and started eating just as about 20 wasps came up from a nest under the table, all around my daughter’s sweet little friend Megan. By the time we all got up and ran inside, she’d been stung 7 times.

I share this in case you don’t know how to treat bee and wasp stings: I immediately made a paste of baking soda and water and put it on the stings. Takes the sting out, works like a charm. Here’s a photo of Megan with soda paste. No tears, no swelling.

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.)