Portland, part 2 of 3

I met Nita, whose blood sugar dropped 100 points a week after starting her 3-pint-a-day green smoothie habit in September. Her A1C test dropped 3 points, which is HUGE. She’d had bypass surgery, and thanks to 12 Steps habits, she got her energy back. She said the week she bought 12 Steps, she was looking at a program that cost twice as much, to guide her in choosing clothes, hairstyle and jewelry. She said to herself, deciding between the two: “Do I want to spend my money on getting well, or looking good on my deathbed?” Nita, if you’re reading this, you’re beautiful already.

I met Mary, who drove 3.5 hours from Seattle, wearing pink in the photo below with me and her friend. Starting green smoothies, she had no headaches getting off Diet Coke, her depression decreased, she lost 20 lbs., and she stopped retaining water.

I took tons of photos with young moms (see photo on yesterday’s blog entry, and they are popping up on facebook). I guess they got the message loud and clear that THEY ARE MY HEROES….especially when they buck popular trends to do right by their kids. They may feel powerless some days, but they actually wield tremendous power to turn the ship around before it wrecks.

(I am going to do some videos this week, with my 10-year old, showing you how I talk to him about nutrition and health. Stay tuned.)

One of favorite college roommates came to my Sandy class, where I was whisked away to make the drive to Corvallis without getting to chill with her. So she came to my hotel the morning I left (see photo below) with a lovely green smoothie breakfast sendoff. XOXO Paula, I heart you! And Debbie, the green smoothie you made me was HARD. CORE, woohoo!

Back from Portland now, where possibly because I’ve been speaking so much (10 classes in the past 2 weeks), my voice completely quit and I spoke in a squeak the last two classes. I want to move to Portland because you have it so good with health food and composting and organic everything, oh, and the BLUEBERRIES! (I’d miss sunshine, though.)

I wish I had movie star photos from Sundance

I’ve just finished skiing for three days with Tennyson during the day and teaching 5 nights in a row at Good Earth at night. I took my camera skiing just in case I saw any movie stars, since Sundance Film Festival is going on here and sometimes we see Parker Posey or JLo or somebody. Unfortunately this photo of Ten and me is the only thing I got. I didn’t even see Bob up there (that’s what we call Robert Redford, to pretend like we know him). (Maybe I would, if I went to movies instead of skiing, but I’d rather ski!)

One thing I share with my son is that we are both easily bored, so on the long ski lifts to Back Mountain we play games like trying to sing all the ways Bruno Mars wants to die a violent martyr death for us. Or singing a Beatles song like Hey Jude with someone else’s voice. (Celine. Whitney. Tom Petty.) Or the best of all, singing Don’t Stop Believin’ at the top of our lungs, and then stopping, until someone else behind or ahead on the ski lift supplies the missing line.

Speaking of believing, in Riverdale Friday night we talked about the power of BELIEF as it was shaped by our mothers and grandmothers. Mine taught me a plant based diet with lots of raw food, so I never had a huge uphill battle to shift mindset. I spoke about how food shopping and prep has fallen to women forever, and we’ve always learned from our mothers. But now, because our mothers were taught false doctrines, we can’t look to them for answers. They were shaped by the bad habits of the culture in the 1940’s and 50’s. Processed, fatty, chemical-laden food as side dishes, and slabs of animals as main dishes. A little squishy blob of canned peas as the “vegetable.”

Our mamas didn’t know any better.

In the coming year, I hope to do more to address core beliefs and how to shift them.

I love teaching Friday night classes, because so many husbands are in attendance. See a few of them here, in photos. I said, “I love seeing the attentive, enthusiastic wives, with their husbands, whose faces say: ‘Yeah, WHAT. Don’t tell me I can’t have my Pepsi, burger, and fries.'” But I was set straight when one of the women in these photos said, “No, my husband dragged ME here!”

I love it. Other women in my classes this week brought their whole neighborhood, or their ward, or, like this darling girl to my left, Barbie, who said her story with her son’s asthma is identical to mine with Kincade–bringing her mom and friend (see photos). A reader named Justin Southwick in Ogden who has lost 45 lbs. following 12 Steps sends everyone he knows.

Tomorrow, some photos of the most singular person I’ve ever had volunteer in my class: her name is BABE and she ate fistfuls of raw green food, flat out, in record time. Juices oozing onto her sweatshirt. I don’t think this lady even NEEDS a blender. Hard core. Check in tomorrow.

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.

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.

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

A nutrition book for kids. What do you want in it?

Were any of you on GreenSmoothieGirl.com early enough to remember this photo of my daughter Emma, then 11 years old?

It used to be the concept the site revolved around. My original intent was to support moms in their quest to feed their families good nutrition even as the world they live in has made that very difficult.

My daughter was the “green smoothie girl” poster child I had in mind. She is now 14 and taller than I am at 5’9″.  Still lovely and healthy and enjoys green smoothies. She plans to try out for the soccer team of the state championship high school this fall.

As traffic on the site (and feedback) grew, I wanted to be more inclusive, as the moms on the site were joined by single people, grandparents, couples without children, and so many others whose health would benefit from a natural, mostly raw and plant-based diet. Others working with me convinced me to put my own photo up.

But I want to get back to the roots and possibly co-author a book with my teen daughter.   Any title ideas? I’m thinking something like this:

20 Reasons Why Kids Who Eat Right Kick Butt

Would you want your tween (age 10-15) to read a book focusing on the motivations compelling to that age group? A separate, illustrated book for the younger kids, may end up on my to-do list.

Obviously I have a lot of ideas of my own, but imagine this book containing the things you want YOUR kids to know. (Or grandkids, or any children in your life.) More and more dieticians/nutritionists are approached by desperate parents, saying, “Please help me teach this to my kid–she won’t listen to me!”

Those of you who have studied child development know that after the latency period of childhood (ending about age 12), the parent is no longer usually the pivotal influence. The peer group is. This, of course, makes me very motivated to reach the young moms who have the most influence, as well as control of the diet. But as kids leave home more often and are eating at school, friends’ homes, and social events, what might motivate them to choose natural, whole, raw plant foods? We can’t give up on nutrition just because a headstrong child has reached 13. Many parents are watching helplessly as their children slide into weight problems in middle school.

So imagine the book as an extension of your own pure motive to help your child eat a healthy diet. What should it cover?

You are always so helpful when you comment on my blog, so thanks so much for any feedback!