Are you fixing the plumbing in your cottage? or building a mansion? part 1 of 2

My high-school junior son’s photo is on the front page of Sports, rubbing the snow of the baseball before he pitches it on Tuesday. Brrr! And then the next day, I’m skiing in a t-shirt at Sundance. Gotta love Spring in Utah!

I was in warmer St. George last week with a lot of downtime, watching my younger son play baseball.

(Tips for traveling there? Café Rio, this is what I always order. Vegetarian salad, all beans/no rice, no fried tortillas chip-strips, whole-wheat tortilla, extra romaine. And Dixie Nutrition’s frozen yogurt with no sugar, one flavor has just stevia, $0.99 for a small.)

Some GSG readers were in the baseball stands in St. George. They talked to me through my son’s last two games–except the times I’d leap out of the stands as my son (shameless bragging alert):

–bottom of the last inning with two outs, score tied, got trapped in a pickle between 3rd and home but beat it (that’s where the catcher and 3rd baseman have the runner in between them trying to get back to either base), and then:

–slid face-first into home plate, beating the tag with a “SAFE!” call from the ump only after the dust cleared, with the other team’s coaches and parents screaming, “OUT!” — to score the winning run, 11-10.

One of the GSG readers is in her 70’s and pointed sadly at her adult son, who had just shown up, Coke in hand. She said, wistfully, “I wish I had an influence on that. I just don’t.” She’s already lost one of her 9 children to colon cancer.

Young moms, you have all the power in the world. Ghandi said, “Be the change you want to see in the world.” Your children are all yours, right now. They won’t be forever. Eventually the larger culture starts to own them. So walk the talk now–they will respect you for it always, even if they have occasional tantrums.

So with more free time than usual, I had some long convos with friends I’ve been neglecting and needed to catch up with. My friend Jennie, as I was driving home for 4 hours, reminded me in a long philosophical chat, about this quote I’d forgotten about, from C.S. Lewis in his book Mere Christianity:

“Imagine yourself as a living house. God comes in to rebuild that house. At first, perhaps, you can understand what He is doing. He is getting the drains right and stopping the leaks in the roof and so on; you knew that those jobs needed doing and so you are not surprised. But presently He starts knocking the house about in a way that hurts abominably and does not seem to make any sense. What on earth is He up to? The explanation is that He is building quite a different house from the one you thought of–throwing out a new wing here, putting on an extra floor there, running up towers, making courtyards. You thought you were being made into a decent little cottage: but He is building a palace. He intends to come and live in it Himself.”

Jennie and I had been talking about two subjects, switching back and forth. One was religion, and the other was nutrition. Comparing C.S. Lewis’ comment to religion, she said this to me:

“Robyn, you take for granted all your knowledge about nutrition. You sent me to Dr. Rodier, and I did this cleanse, and I had no idea what to eat, for so long. I still don’t. I obsessively read labels. You might roll your eyes, but that’s because two months ago I was that girl you blogged about once who asked if fresh fruit is as good for you as canned fruit. The one who thinks there has to be Jell-O at every meal, because that’s what my mom did.

“I’m still celebrating that I ate whole-corn tortilla chips with my lunch, because it’s better than the Doritos I ate before. And that won’t make any sense to you. But you have to know where I’ve come from to celebrate where I am.”

I’ve been thinking of Jennie’s words for days. She’s so right. I have become aware over and over, recently, that many of us start from a very low point, knowledge-wise, regarding nutrition.

More tomorrow….

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.

California trip: sometimes you just have to punt (part 1 of 2)

When I went to CA last week (Thurs. through Mon.) with my daughters, I was hard pressed to get all my work done before I left. I was up very late the night before we left for the airport and consequently didn’t have any time to think about how to get through five days eating well. (If I don’t eat well, I lose my energy and my digestive system shuts down. As long as I’m eating 60-80% raw and 95% whole foods, I have energy and to spare, wherever I go!)

Car trips are conducive to taking lots of frozen pints of green smoothie, but plane trips aren’t. And our hotel room had no fridge, something I usually try to ensure by booking online where you can see the hotel’s amenities. (I had booked the hotel awfully late.) So, besides taking a bunch of VitaMineral Green, buying two boxes of snack bars from Costco which I will review tomorrow, and bringing my BlendTec in the suitcase (which I did not have a chance to use after a day of teaching in San Diego and Fullerton), I was on my own.

The Costco Bora Bora bars and Trio bars helped a lot. That and the oranges my daughter stuffed her backpack with, from the hotel, got us through lunch before we headed to a buffet with a salad bar at the end of each theme-park day. Breakfast at the hotel, sigh. You know how continental breakfast is. What I do when I have to punt like that is scout out what the best thing is to eat. I don’t touch donuts/pastries, ever. I don’t drink juice–too much concentrated sugar. Cold cereal, no. So every day, after my run, for breakfast we ate oatmeal (instant, unfortunately–you made your own with really hot water) and two oranges. Not wonderful but not too bad.

You probably don’t believe me that I’ve never fed my kids at McDonald’s, but while I’m telling you outlandish tales, here’s another one: we’ve never eaten a meal inside a theme park, even though we vacation at them about once a year.

Tomorrow I’ll do a product review to compare the healthy snack bars at Costco that got us through, since planning for our California trip was minimal at best.

I’ll also post some photos of the class I taught in Fullerton, if I get them from Christy, which was lots of fun.

healthy options eating out

Dear GreenSmoothieGirl: I know you make a green smoothie and take it to work in a quart jar.   But what about when you get up late, don’t have time, and you’re out in town and STARVING?   What do you eat?

 

Answer:   Here, locally (Utah County), my favorite thing to do is go to New York Burrito at about 1600 N. State, Orem.   Get a vegetarian wrap on a whole-wheat tortilla.   Skip the white rice (they don’t have brown rice, but mention that you hope they start using it).   Instead, get lots of black beans.   (They don’t salt their black beans.)   Then ask for TONS of extra romaine and tomatoes, and have some onions (and guacamole and salsa) for plenty of RAW.   You’re out the door for under $5 and 5 minutes, with a whole-food lunch that tastes great–and New York Burrito doesn’t even cater to the health conscious.

 

You can look around for healthy options like this and know where to head on a day you’re crazy-busy.   If you’re in Springville, anything you get at Ginger’s is really tasty and also raw and really nutritious.  

 

If I’m in a sit-down restaurant with friends, I try to avoid Mexican and Chinese, because they rarely have a lot of raw ingredients.   And I mostly stick to salads.   Ask for special things in it–like, skip the chicken, please, and give me extra spring greens and lentils instead, or whatever.

 

At Pizza Factory, I get pasta and veggies–only the pasta I order is actually the steamed yellow squash noodles (this dish is fantastic with any sauce).   And instead of going to the salad bar where the lettuce is iceberg, I ask them to bring me a plate of romaine and build my salad from there.   (Iceberg lettuce is nutritionally pointless; darker greens are so much better for you.   Every time I do this in a restaurant, everyone else at the table does it, too.)

 

Any tips you have for each other would be appreciated.