RETREAT 2011!

 

I’m so excited to announce the 2011 GreenSmoothieGirl retreat, Overthrowing the Standard American Diet, One Family at a Time!

Come meet my posse of amazing nutrition-superhero friends–parents, authors, and chefs, all of them!–at Noah’s in Lindon, Utah, this April 21-23. We will instruct and inspire you in a direction that can profoundly change your life for the better.

My staff will cater meals featuring each author’s favorite recipes. We’ll be doing demos, workshops, panels, and all kinds of other fun stuff like yoga and mini-massages and meditations! The group will be small enough that you can meet and ask questions and get your books signed by any and all of the participants.

Bring the kids so we can change their paradigm too and let them rub shoulders with other kids and families who care about health and nutrition! They’ll visit an organic indoor farm, tour the healthy parts of a grocery store, and learn in lots of ways to cook and enjoy healthy food.

We have only 200 adult seats at the retreat, and all the other six authors participating will be announcing to their folks in a few days. You’re hearing it here first, so please grab your seat now.

If you register before Feb. 15, you get fun giveaways worth over $150 from EVERY ONE of the 7 superhero authors: tons of recipes, meal planners, gluten-free info, and support! Check it all out HERE.

Can’t wait!!

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.

When Grandma Comes to Spoil the Kids, part 3 of 3

I don’t know if this draft of a letter helps anyone, but please feel free to use any of it for your own purposes. I think the point is to be both CLEAR and COMPASSIONATE. Not CONFRONTATIONAL, which will just cause defensiveness.

Dear Mom,

I love you and I know that you love my children. There are only a few people in this world who love my kids as much as you do, and I will forever be thankful for that! I want to talk to you about something that’s really important to me.

I spend a lot of time, effort, and money studying, buying, and preparing whole foods for my family. If you’re interested, I can tell you more about what I’ve been learning and why I’ve been changing our nutrition.

I know it’s different than what everyone around us is eating, but I feel strongly as a mother, that for MY family, it’s important to take another path, back to the kind of nutrition we had before fast food and processed food. I feel strongly that for my children’s health and their future, that it’s critical we avoid sugar and other processed foods and dairy and meat products. Our diet isn’t “perfect,” but I believe that what we do 95% of the time will determine whether we are healthy and fit, or sick, overweight, and miserable. We have had many improvements in our health because of these changes, and I don’t want to go backwards.

I know that for you, candy and treats are a way to show love. Again, I so appreciate you and your love for my babies! For me, good nutrition is a way to show love. These two things have the potential to come into conflict while you are here.

I feel that candy is not an appropriate reward for children, and it creates a habit, into adulthood, that high-calorie foods are “earned” by good work or good behavior.

It’s very important to me that when you visit, you not use the desire to “spoil” my children as a reason to feed them foods I feel jeopardize their health. Could you “spoil” them in another ways, like reading to them, playing with them, or making a healthy treat?

I would love to provide you with a healthy cookie recipe and buy the ingredients. I will have healthy treats in the fridge and freezer so you don’t have to wonder what to give them.

I would like us to be friends, and not have any strain between us. I know that the way we view diet and nutrition is different, but I am asking for your support while you are here in something that’s very important to me.

We are all very excited to see you! Thank you for honoring this request.

I love you!

Momof3

When Grandma Comes to Spoil the Kids, part 2 of 3

Momof3, I feel your pain. Been there.

I could give you my usual responses, but I sense you’ve read the Intro to 12 Steps to Whole Foods, and my further comments on this topic, on this blog. You seem to know my ideas on this subject really well. What I hear is deep concern, anxiety even, for what your children are learning as well as what they’re eating in Grandma’s care.

I remember once being at my mother-in-law’s house many years ago, where the Standard American Diet rules and the Standard Health Consequences inevitably do, too. I walked around the kitchen corner to find her hurriedly shoveling chocolate cake in my toddler’s mouth. She startled, seeing me, since I was the one she was hiding the cake from.

I’m sure I stopped short and frowned. I remember she said something in her own defense, to the effect of it not being “normal” that my kids weren’t fed candy and cake and cinnamon rolls like other kids. Refined and processed foods are so ingrained in us, now, as a culture, that it seems some grandmas feel junk food belongs in the Bill of Rights.

Your family may truly feel they are “rescuing” our children from “deprivation.” My friend Jan told me the other day about her friend who secretly took Jan’s kids to McD’s because she felt sorry for them. She tells people her Down’s son, Jordan, is “allergic” to dairy and sugar. I laughed because I did the same thing when my kids were little and I delivered them to a babysitter or a teacher at church.

Jan says, “He’s allergic because I say he is!”

My MIL and I then went through a period of learning to work with each other. She eventually did respect my wishes even if she never had any interest in nutrition, herself. She was the one who taught me, through her reaction, when I was in my 20’s and first began studying nutrition, that people aren’t interested until they’re interested, and not a minute sooner, and sometimes never.

(I had mistakenly thought, in my own reading and discoveries, “Everyone should know about this! I think I’ll undertake a mission to teach everyone!” Mistake #1! Not to be repeated!)

As strongly as you feel about this, it’s time for a frank talk with your mother-in-law. Being short with her, or rolling your eyes, just builds tension–so you’ve nothing to lose by just talking.

Tell your husband that you intend to do it calmly and with love and every benefit of the doubt possible, but you do plan to do it.

I would do it on the phone BEFORE she comes. Or, write her a letter. That way she can mull it over before arriving and clear the air on any “hurt feelings” in advance. I would cover the points in my blog tomorrow, which I’ve written as if I were you.

When Grandma Comes to Spoil the Kids, part 1 of 3

This is edited for length, from “Momof3.” It was a response to one of my recent blog postings and I re-post it here.

I often get long emails like this from readers, asking what to do about the older generation’s visits to our children, filled with junk-food “spoiling.” Parents feel that their hard work to provide good nutrition is being un-done by Grandma.

Today, read her comments. Tomorrow, read my reply:

“I needed a pep talk! The in-laws will be staying for 8 DAYS.

I wish I was making it up when I say my mom in law (when she came after the last baby birth) feeds my kids chocolate chip cookies FOR BREAKFAST. (I came down from nursing baby and sleepless night and the kids had milk and cookies sitting on the table at 7:00 am. Grandma just smiled and said, “I’m spoiling them.”) Maceys giant ice cream cones FOR DINNER!

I asked if she would buy spinach at the store and lemons for a wonderful whole wheat pasta spinach dish. She came home with a chocolate ice cream kong cone at 4:30 pm and Cheetohs.

What adult thinks that is a good dinner for a 2- and 3-year old? Again, she smiled and said, “Grandma is spoiling them, and I’m not that hungry either.” I was not amused. I confronted her about it and she just said, “Grandma spoiled them.”

She also bribes them w/ Smarties to ‘be good’ at the store, I looked over at my son in church and he had a mouthful of Skittles and was munching on ‘fruit by the foot’. Grandma had a list of fast food places w/ takeout every night for dinner and brought it home, then tried to give my babies pop and “diet juice” with artificial sweeteners to wash it down because “diet juice” is “healthy.”

Plus, I guess, my freezer full homemade smoothie bars did not seem to be a good summer treat because grandma decided they needed a huge gigantic bag of popsicles instead. (I had made smoothie bars before going to the hospital and pointed out there were lots in the freezer along with all my other healthy snacks.)

I will get through this. I can do it. The kids WILL thank me someday. I KNOW I am fighting the good fight! I can do this even if my in laws (not to be rude, they are good good people and loving grandparents but they are morbidly obese) will try to sabotage me where I live. In my own home with my babies. I WILL be strong. I will not cave. I quietly will go about my ways and quietly do my thing with my babies and self and hubby and the world will stay right. I will do right by my family. I will do it as kindly as possible, but I will be kind but firm. Any suggestions?

What happens when I’m outnumbered 3 to 1? (Hubby and parents against me? especially when hubby’s mom is making all hubby’s ‘favorites?’) When it’s not just pop culture trying to sway our children…but loved ones too? The kids see the Twizzlers, soda, Captain Crunch, potato chips, Cheetos, big pink Grandma cookies, pimento olive bologna loaf, white bread, big greasy Costco muffins, hot dogs, M&M’s, milk, fake peanut butter, Cream of Chicken soup casseroles. This is what my in-laws buy and make and eat at our house. Of course that is what my kids want instead too.

It doesn’t work to have meals and menus ready and food bought and planned. They SHOP for ALL their favorites when they don’t find them in my cupboards because they won’t eat what I make. (They say it ‘messes with their digestion’ to eat whole grains, legumes, greens, and so much fruit and veggies.)

Even when I plan it all out, “cookie salad” (nothing salad about it) gets whipped up or something like it and stuck on the table. Unfortunately, if it’s in the house (or in Grandma’s purse) it finds its way into my children. It’s such a sporadic encounter because they live out of state that it’s difficult to just go off about how EVERYTHING they buy and eat for the 8 days is just unacceptable to feed my kids.

But, the BIG no-no’s for me Grandma tries to feed to them on a large scale: processed lunch meat, artificial sweeteners, soda, milk and ooooodles of sugar constantly. I don’t want to feel like the bad guy for 8 days, but they really are over the top with their terrible eating habits while staying at my house and feeding my children. More pep talks please! I’m in serious anxiety mode. Family pressure is intense!”

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