David’s guacamole bruschetta

bruchettaI was at my friend David’s house the other day and he made me this yummy lunch he calls guacamole bruschetta. He is a vegan foodie, started a journey a few years ago after a lifetime of eating meat and processed food. He lost 25 lbs and is now lean and passionate about teaching people how to eat plants. It turns out you CAN be a 6’3″ big guy and just eat plants. He feels so much better and looks great. He told me 20 years ago, a family member gave him a lecture about all the dairy products he ate, and how bad they were for him, and Dave rolled his eyes. Sometimes we don’t have ears to hear. Until we do!

The lesson I learn from this is, never give up on people. Just be the change. Show up as the example. Zero judgment, leave the door open always.

Here’s the photo, and David’s Instagram page for the recipe is HERE.  Look for the recipe on September 6!

 

 

Kathy Supports Her Co-Workers in the GSG Detox!

blog 1
Chuck and his brown smoothie.

I recently blogged Kathy’s story. I met her in Baltimore, on speaking tour, and then again 6 months later when she looked like a different person! She lost 40 pounds doing the 26-day GreenSmoothieGirl Detox.  You can see the before and after photos she took with me, here. An amazing testimonial to the miracles that happen when  we eat clean, nutrient-dense, healing plant foods and give up our vices…..even if it’s just for a season.

Kathy has been sharing with us how her co-workers about to finish the GSG Detox, and one she has converted to green smoothies, are doing:

Ron and Brian have started Day 15 (Watermelon Extravaganza!).  Ron has lost 13.5 pounds!  He can now fit into pants he had outgrown. He has struggled with lower energy, and I told him his body is working overtime to detoxify, and that energy comes back.  Brian shared that he cheated a little because he was afraid of losing too much weight.  It was a minor cheat.  I told him that 98% of a detox is better than 0%!  Brian has been able to keep his weight loss to just 5 pounds.  In his case, that is good news as he doesn’t need to lose any weight. He likes the Hockey Pucks recipe in the program, and his kids ate them all, so he had to make more. His 5-year old asks for “pucks!”

Chuck is getting used to drinking brown smoothies.  Chuck and I are having a debate as to whether to peel a beet or leave the skin on before putting it in a smoothie.  He is determined to convince me that I should leave the skin on the beet.  (I peel my beets.)  I know that most of the nutrition in a potato is in the skin.  I also scrub carrots (instead of peeling).  But beets?  I think the skin of a beet is pretty “earthy”.  I’d rather peel.

The pictures were taken shortly before our Tuesday lunch-time Bible study began.  Our group is small.  It consists of myself, Brian, Ron, Chuck, Jean (Ron’s girlfriend), Cole, Louie and Bill (a recent addition to the group).   Bill entered the room with his lunch and sat down at the conference table.  He looked over at my mason jar filled with a brown smoothie (FYI:  blueberries!) and commented, “That looks disgusting.   You’d never catch me drinking that stuff.”

Kathy with bill
Kathy and her Bible study friends.

I looked over at him and said, “Just for that, I’m going to get you a drinking cup from the water fountain so you can taste it!  I know you chew tobacco so tasting this smoothie won’t kill you.”

Bill quipped, “Yeah, but I don’t swallow my tobacco!”

Jean suggested, “Why don’t you get 3 cups so he can taste them all?”

Bill looked around the table and saw that the majority of people had a green smoothie in front of them.  I arrived with the cups and poured Bill a sample from my smoothie.

Bill commented, “That’s pretty good.”

“What was that, Bill??”  I said.  “Say it again!”

“That’s pretty good.”

Next, Bill tried Chuck’s smoothie.  “Yuck!  That’s nasty!  What’s in it?”

Jean pipes in.  “It’s probably his gall bladder medicine.”

“There’s no medicine in this.”  Bill countered in disbelief.

“Yes, there is.”  responded Chuck.  “I put gall bladder medicine in everything I drink.”

The entire room busted out laughing.  Bill’s expression was priceless!

pura-vida-costa-ricaI later found out that Chuck had an entire (unpeeled) beet in his smoothie as one of his ingredients.  Bill, to his credit, did try Brian/Ron’s smoothie and liked it.  I asked Bill if he was willing to sample a smoothie some other time, if I thought I made a good one.  He was willing.  The next day, I left Bill a sample of Robyn’s delicious, famous “Hot Pink Smoothie” recipe on his desk.  (It’s part of the Detox, and also 12 Steps to Whole Foods.) He emailed me and said it made him smile.

Note from Robyn: Kathy, thank you! Here’s Chuck’s green smoothie recipe she shared. He has embraced the idea of “green smoothie with whatever you have on hand.” Cheers to NEW CONVERTS to an amazing lifestyle in a world full of toxic food that destroys “la vida pura!”

Chuck’s Good Stuff (Green Smoothie)

2 cups water

Spinach

Kale

Berry-Green-Smoothie1 small banana

1 ½ cup of berries

1 TBS agave

3 TBS concentrated lemon juice

3 TBS olive oil

One peeled and pitted avocado

Cilantro (to taste)

Added enough spinach and kale to 2 cups of water until the blended mixture reaches 4 cups.  Add remaining ingredients.  Blend.  Enjoy.

29 yo cowboy a detoxing 12 Stepper

 

Lyle from Springville
Lyle Thor

My friend Lyle is a 5th generation farmer. He has a marketing degree (partly thanks to yours truly, as I was once his professor). He lives and works in Boston and bears an uncanny resemblance to Jesus. But he grew up in a very small farming community in Utah, the youngest of a big family, where he says, “We were dirt poor and couldn’t afford junk food. So we ate food we made on the farm.”

He said his mom would “go into town” (he’s referring to Springville, Utah, which is pretty funny if you live near here) to this “crappy store” where they had unlabeled can sales. Only $0.10 a can, but you have no idea what you’re buying. Then his mom would make Ten Can Soup. They’d open 10 cans, and no matter what was in them……into the pot they’d go, with some broth and hamburger.

The kids got good at shaking the cans and listening carefully to make their best guess at what was in them. What a relief when a can was some form of tomatoes! One wrong move, and you’ve got yourself some mighty weird dinner.

One time Lyle and his brother dared each other to open one can and eat the contents no matter what they were. Lyle’s can was……dog food.

Imagine my surprise when Lyle announced he was going to do the GSG Detox. In fact, he was my own Detox buddy in January, while he was here for a month helping on the farm. He lost 10 lbs. and felt great, never cheated despite having a typical single 29-year old’s social life…and then devoured the 12 Steps to Whole Foods course, and did pretty much everything in it, in a matter of weeks. (I told him that Coach Sarah did it in 6 weeks. He is rather competitive.)

healthy habitsI think he slid back into his front-row days as my Management Communications 320 student where he got A’s. Just as long as I dished out lots of praise. (I’m pretty good at that—happy to oblige, if it provokes the student to work and learn.) Six years later, he repeats specific compliments he got on specific papers he wrote. He liked teacher praise and still does—I guess I’m dishing out more in this blog.

A few months after the detox, he’s devoted to making kefir, green smoothies, kale chips with his dehydrator, and eating healthy treats he makes himself, instead of former processed go-to snacks. Gone are the days of drinking gallons of cow milk. It’s not that he eats a perfect diet. It’s that he has a solid foundation in true principles of nutrition, now, and lots of great habits. As opposed to bits and pieces of nonsense from the various food cults, and a lot of food from boxes and cans and the drive-thru.

Lyle has great habits now that very few 29-year old single American men would be willing to make. Not while they’re at their ideal weight and not yet suffering from any health issues. We have whole conversations about how his kefir grains are getting much bigger, and are acclimating well after he accidentally shocked them. Stuff like that. He was bold and growth-oriented during the detox…..even did Level 2 after a while! I couldn’t be prouder.

slight edgeHis whole life will be radically different if he stays the course. Jeff Olsen’s book, The Slight Edge, talks about how small healthy, or unhealthy, habits, don’t show up as radically different lives, in the first week, or month. But after a year, the positive slight edge habits arc your health upward dramatically. And negative slight edge habits take you downward, quickly, after a significant period of time. I wish we could all see an age progression of what we’ll look like, in 20 years, eating the S.A.D., versus eating 12 Steps to Whole Foods. I think we’d find it shocking and compelling.

No one is ever sorry they adopted healthy eating habits.

Lyle is even trying to talk his parents into changing the farm into an organic operation.

Today he told me when he was home in January, his mom’s two-year old Blendtec had 87 cycles on it. When he left a month later, it had 175. And they’d given him a new one for Christmas.

Lyle Thor 4
Way to go Lyle, A+!

(Use that sucka! Touring Blendtec last year, I saw their sound-proof testing rooms where they run test blenders 24/7—they’re committed to making a blender that literally never overheats. It’s kind of freaky, actually. A blender running all night, while everyone’s gone? They’re serious about making the best blender in the world.)

I give Lyle’s effort an A+.

 

 

Parenting and Nutrition: I hate being the bad guy, Part 2

So I observe that even very overweight, ill people who overindulge, still pass up lots of junk food! You could have a year or two of depression where you ate everything in sight, and then, because it takes shockingly few calories to sustain fat cells, bam, you’re seriously overweight. And you could be more vigilant about your diet for years afterward, and remain obese. Losing weight is MUCH more difficult than maintaining a healthy weight is.

So it comes down to, are you willing to say no to MORE of it? 99% instead of 95%. That 4% is deadly. You know where that line is, between eating too much junk and eating just a reasonably sized treat now and then. You’ve been living in your body for a good while now so you know where that “fine line” is. (Lots of people haven’t discovered how much MORE food you can eat when you eat whole-food treats only!)

So what does this have to do with kids? Everything. THEY WILL GET THIS, the idea that their fuel impacts their life in absolutely every way. They need to understand it. We need to have lots of conversations with them about it. Taking different angles, not defaulting into mindless mantras.

Notice I said conversations. Not lectures. The difference being, we might ask a question, and then listen patiently, in between saying anything instructive. (In a minute, I’ll explain how you have to put 5 positives in the bank for every 1 instructional comment.)

What does your child think about things? One of my daughters gave me a huge compliment recently, saying (in so many words) that the reason she comes to me, rather than other people close to her, with a difficult or controversial subject, is that I listen and don’t judge her thinking and her developmental stage.

It’s not a problem to have high standards, or to talk to kids about choices, or to say NO to them. By not stocking the house with junk, by drawing a line at a party. (Even better, by modeling what WE do every day, which is pass up the vast majority of bad food in our path.)

Instead, it may be a matter of WHEN we talk about it.

Let me explain. When I was training to be a marriage therapist, I studied how one of the most well documented research findings is that stable marriages have 5 positives for every 1 negative. In other words, if you’re going to give your spouse (or child) some “tough love,” you darn well better have some currency in the bank. Your last five interactions should have been rife with love, praise, and tolerance. If you’ve done your time, you have credibility and influence.

I used to walk in my house and immediately take stock of the messes, the uncompleted chores, the people breaking well-documented rules. And I’d start verbally setting the place straight:

“Emma, why are these wet towels STILL on the kitchen floor? Pretty sure this is the fourth time I’ve asked you to take care of them! Kincade, did you pick the apples out of the tree? I don’t see them. Tennyson, turn the TV off and get out of the living room with the bowl of food, you know better!”

Sometimes just for good measure, I’d tie it all together and make myself seriously popular with a martyr trip. Something like, “When I leave, this place just goes to heck! Can’t you guys take a little pride in your own rabbit hole?”

A period of tension would follow. Usually the wet towels would still be on the floor and my oldest would be in his room instead of outside picking the apples. And we’d all be grumpy and avoiding each other.

Then I made a goal for myself: to not say ONE word of negative to anyone unless I’ve come in and first ENJOYED my children for five minutes. I’d ask them about their day, give them a hug, and listen to whatever they had to say. (I’m super lucky that way: all four of my kids talk to me a lot. But if your kid ISN’T a talker, all that much more important to not walk in barking orders, I’m thinking?)

An amazing thing happened. When I DID point out the wet towels or the bowl and spoon in the TV room, even just five minutes later, the kids were happy to get the job done or apologetic about breaking a rule.

So, it’s important to you to have your kids drink a glass of green juice every day. You are happy to make it if he’ll just drink it. After one of my Texas classes, a mom of adults told me she takes a green smoothie to her son when she wakes him up in the morning. He’s trapped there in bed, she said, and he’s happy he didn’t have to make it! LOL!

What if you were super careful about WHEN you talk to your child about good food choices? Do it only after giving him tons of love and attention about some things he’s doing well? Do it when you have lots of capital in his emotional bank account.

Don’t leave it at that. If your child’s nutrition isn’t what it should be, think what point you want to discuss next. But don’t just blurt it out, any old time.

Time it for a period you’ve got five positives on the balance sheet. And as I always say, make it relevant to your child’s interests. Will what you want her to do make her a better student, a better athlete? I’m not above pointing out how raw green food makes hair and skin prettier.

more tips and thoughts about feeding kids

So I was just hanging out with my friend Karl, a single dad to a 6-year old adopted son. He said his son has a very strong personality and he can’t “make” him eat anything. So Karl carefully observes what raw fruits and vegetables his sons likes, and leaves them around for him. As if he doesn’t care whether Jayden eats them or not. A bowl of carrot and celery sticks, left on the table–gone! A big bowl of cantaloupe–gone! It’s a great tip from an intuitive dad who watches for ways to help his son be healthy.

On Saturday, I had dinner with my friend Jennie before deciding last-minute to go to the BYU-U of Wash game where I paid a ridiculous sum for scalped tickets, for me and my sons.

I tease Jennie that for a really educated person with an advanced degree, she is surprisingly ignorant about nutrition. (But then, I have this reaction often, probably because I was blessed with a mother and grandmother who taught me well and were good models. Thus the genesis of this site and my books, to help fill that knowledge gap.)

As an example, my son came back from the salad bar and I told him I meant to suggest he get some FRESH pineapple, not CANNED. Jennie asked,

“Why, is the canned not as good for you?”

And so we were talking about her upbringing and how the reason she doesn’t know anything is that she simply does what her mother did. For instance, she asked, “Is Jell-O good for you?” (She really did ask me that.)   I told her it’s just sugar and a little gelatin and chemical food coloring, and she said, “When I make dinner for company, my friends ask why I always include Jell-O, and I have no reason except that my Mom always did. When I think dinner, I think Jell-O.”

This is pretty profound, if you take a minute to consider it. This should get us through those moments of discouragement when our kids complain, because habit and modeling are so powerful well into adulthood.

As for me, I simply can’t serve a dinner that doesn’t have a raw green salad. Even though I didn’t get along with my mom as I was growing up, she absolutely always served a huge green salad. So that is what I know and understand and copied.

Once again, I have this message for you: stay the course, teach them correct principles.

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.