Kincade comes home from Scout camp, my best friend reminisces

I wrote last month about Emma coming home from girls’ camp.   Yesterday Kincade, who is one of my two children who is not always supportive of the “nutrition regime” around here, came home from camp.   Tonight at the dinner table this conversation ensued:


Emma:   “Mom, Cade thinks it’s stupid that we eat healthy.”

Cade (embarrassed):   “Emma!   I said that like a year ago!”

Me:   “I know that.   And I won’t lie: it hurts my feelings.   But I believe that someday, Cade’s going to thank me for the way I fed him.”

Cade:   “At Scout camp, where everybody was eating crap all the time, I really tried to eat healthy.   And even though it was better than everyone else, it was worse than how we eat at home.   I felt like crap the whole time.   Now that I’ve been home for a day eating like we usually do, I feel a lot better.”  

I’m in this for the long haul and I really believe that sticking it out, with our nutrition program that makes us different than most people, is so worth the sacrifices.   My best friend of almost 30 years (who makes “rainbow smoothies” for her own three children) wrote me today and said this:

“I thought the shout-out to  your mom  on your blog  on Mother’s Day was so cute.   Of course I remember when you were a teenager and you were so completely disparaging of those whole wheat cookies & carrot juice. . . but what teenager wouldn’t be?   And in the end it led you to where you are today.”

When they’re adults, our kids will have not only lots of nutritious plant food they’re used to and enjoy, and stronger bodies and minds—but they’ll also be smart enough to know why we did what we did, even if they don’t now.   I hope and believe they’ll be more likely to transfer that example to their own children.

Foods that cause constipation . . . part 2 of 9 about ELIMINATION

Yesterday, pee.   Today, poop.

Green bowel movements are completely normal (that’s the plant fiber in all those greens  you’re eating!).   Take a look at the horse poo you see along the road, if you live where you can see horses.   It’s indicative of what they eat (alfalfa, all plant foods).   You can read about indigenous people who  have no toilets and therefore “squat” outside.   They don’t worry about human waste removal like we do, because it’s not toxic and disgusting, like it would be here in the U.S.   The poop of indigenous people who eat mostly raw plant food looks like horse poop: lots of it, lots of fiber in it,  greenish, no odor.   Brown feces are simply a result of bile pigments coming from the liver, also normal.

What you should be concerned about is dark, hard, smelly, putrified poop–that’s what most of America is experiencing.   (And that, I believe, is why we’re so shamed about the topic of elimination–feces of people eating the S.A.D. are, in fact, disgusting!)   That’s what eating meat gets you: rotted stool that took days (or with pork, even weeks) to digest.   Accumulation of decaying material in the digestive tract, euphemistically known as constipation, is the single biggest threat to our health, the “modern plague,” according to Dr. Jensen.

I helped run a babysitting co-op for 10 years while my children were small, and I was always horrified when I had to change other babies’ diapers–the smell was astonishing.   I was at a party last week where everyone watched a little boy straining, his face beet red, trying to have a bowel movement in his diaper.   This little boy is fed a steady diet of hot dogs and potato chips, zero-fiber foods.   I never once saw any of my children do that.   Many parents have come to think of that phenomenon as normal (people thought this was funny at the party—I just felt bad for the little guy).   It’s not normal.   Straining at a bowel movement is this, plain and simple: constipation.

People get painful hemmorhoids–that’s when your bulging veins pop out of the anus instead of staying inside like they should–when their colons are overtaxed with low-fiber foods and they must exert lots of force to eliminate.   And that’s just one of many side effects of eating a low-fiber diet.

Diverticulitis is a very dangerous disease caused by chronic constipation, where pouches of the colon sag, lose nerve/muscle tone, and become breeding grounds for bacteria that eventually rot the colon.   Foods that cause constipation?   Meat is mentioned above, and constipation is well catalogued in any honest review of results of the Atkins Diet, since anyone on that diet is excessively eating animal proteins.

But Dr. Jensen and his researchers also constantly noted that those suffering from the worst colon problems ate lots of WHITE BREAD, which functions like the gluey mess that it is, slowing and gumming up your digestive system.   He said anyone eating refined flour better be eating lots of vegetable roughage at the same time (and he recommends whole millet, rye, cormeal and rice instead).

People who eat lots of plant food have soft but formed stool.   People who have been eating an almost exclusively plant-based diet for a long time, and have been through all the “cleansing” so they are now rather clean, have . . . are you ready for this? . . . poop that doesn’t stink.

Chime in about this, if you’re brave!   You can always post on my blogs as “anonymous” if you like!

Kincade writes an essay (or two)

We had 15 minutes of fame on ABC’s show Wife Swap, where the show was quite fascinated with our discipline technique of assigning our children five-paragraph essays (with intro and conclusion) for breaking major family rules.   In Albuquerque, in the Espinosa-Marquez home, several of the “tribe” of skaters wrote essays I assigned about why using the “F” word is inappropriate.

We actually don’t do this very often.   But, we do find that our kids all ace English and don’t experience writer’s block at all, thanks to their copious home writing experience.   I keep their essays to entertain them in the future when they are adults (or to entertain all of us if they continue to not learn the lesson, by reading us all their original essay out loud).

My 14-year old son, Kincade, had a bad day on Sunday and wrote not one, but TWO, essays.   Because I thought one of them was hilarious, I share it here for your enjoyment.   Note the skilled use of lots of “filler,” which will come in handy for high school length requirements:

Are Fathers Important, and Do They Deserve Our Respect?

 Fathers are very important in a family, and so we should be respectful to them.   In my second essay of the day, I will discuss why fathers are so important to families.

In our family and in most families in our country, and the United States, and the world, and probably the universe, the fathers bring home the bacon; or, in our family, it’s more like the lettuce.   Fathers all around the world work very hard to provide the “lettuce” for the family and they work too hard for their snot-nosed kids to be disrespectful to them.   I think this is pretty much the reason why fathers are so important, but because I need to fill up this page, I guess I’ll need to make some more stuff up.

Fathers are also important because as a clinical study shows, families with fathers who take an active role are less likely to have children who become juvenile delinquents.   I think that 86% of these “clinical studies” are just made up, but fathers are important because if we didn’t have fathers, we would probably drive our mothers crazy.

Fathers are also incredible role models.   They set examples for their children like being responsible, working hard, and being a stud.   These are some of the examples that my father has showed me, even though I have picked up only on the last one.   If a father were a gang member, then the child would probably show some type of interest in joining a gang.   Fathers’ examples are the most important because every child looks up to his father.   This is why I think fathers’ examples are important.

Now I have told you why I think that fathers are so important.   I feel bad about being disrepectful to Dad last night, and I know that I should try harder to be more respectful.

By Kincade Pay

Being sensitive to bad food–a blessing in disguise?

My teenaged daughter Emma came home from camp today.   After giving me a hug and saying hello, the first thing she said was, “MOM! Did you make green smoothies yet?   I neeeeeeed one! I missed them so much!”


Just now, at dinner, she sat down to a big plate of veggies and said this (I ran in to write it down so I could get it word for word):


“I am so happy to be home.   Every single meal at camp, I felt disgusting afterward.   I didn’t eat the meat, but you just couldn’t avoid all the junk.   It’s just not what I am used to.”   To support each other, Emma ate meals with a 12 Stepper mom/leader at the camp, another girl who is a veg, and one of Emma’s friends who loves animals and is kind of a “veg wannabe.”


I have always been amazed that some people eat toxic sludge, three meals a day, and they seem to be okay.   They’re not, of course–they’re ticking time bombs, and many of them, when you get to know them, suffer from multiple chronic conditions and a lack of energy.   But I once read that Heather Locklear (a size 1 who looks 10 years younger than she is and gets paid to show her skin and hair close up) never eats ANYTHING green and hates vegetables.   Some people don’t look, on the outside, like they’re unhealthy.


What gives?   Why do Emma and I feel so terrible the minute we eat bad food?


I think the human body, being fed the S.A.D. long-term, goes into coping mode.   It isn’t able to repair, regenerate, cleanse, or fight infection or cancer cells well.   It just has to survive, put all its energy into just completing required tasks.   Some people seem to be getting by, drinking lots of caffeine and eating lots of fried, processed, sugary foods and animal proteins.   But if you think about it, it’s SCARY that some people’s radar or response to bad food is stunted or damaged.     We NEED our bodies to tell us what’s good and what’s not.   It’s nothing to be jealous of.


On the other hand, a body fed a regularly pure diet of plant foods is more finely tuned.   All body systems are functioning at a higher level and the instruments register more sensitively.   If I were to eat a Krispy Kreme donut or two for breakfast, instead of my daily 100% raw-food breakfast, I’d be ill for hours, and it would zap my energy all day.   I might even have to just go to bed!   I haven’t eaten a donut in many years, just because the consequences aren’t worth it.   Donuts don’t even look good to me.

Sometimes it doesn’t seem fair, what other people are “getting away with.”   It might seem like a drag that the whole police dept. appears to feel fine eating daily coffee and donuts for breakfast, while one donut would put me into a tailspin.   But I believe being sensitive to bad food is a blessing in disguise.   People who feel horrible when eating horribly learn NOT TO!  

How about you? Are you sensitive, or can you eat just anything and feel no different?

THAT old story: Grandma smoked a pack a day and lived to be 108 years old

This Aussie lady named Mary we ate dinner with every night on our two-week cruise to Asia . . . she was so funny.   The third night in a row she held court, telling everyone that diet and lifestyle have NOTHING to do with how long you live (a big study she saw on the “telly” said it’s all the people doing the exercising who are dropping dead of heart attacks), I finally said something.   It was pretty innocuous, I thought.


“Weeeeelllllll, Mary,” I said, smiling, “thousands of studies say otherwise.”   Up until then, she’d told me affectionately how I remind her of her rather ambitious, health-nut oldest daughter.   But just then, she snapped:   “Oh, you remind me of my daughter–just SHUT UP!”   (It reads worse than it sounded, since of course she has that cute Australian accent.)   My friend and my daughter–and my new friends, too—laughed and repeated that line for the rest of the vacation.


You know that argument well, that because Grandma never ate a vegetable in her life and outlived all the healthy eaters in the family . . . well, therefore, we should all throw common sense out the window.   A convenient if ridiculous argument!   This is the logical fallacy known as the non sequitir.   It goes like this, and people use this kind of reasoning all the time (it would get thrown out in court by even semi-competent lawyers, though):


“Eating hot dogs is supposed to be bad for you.    Grandma ate hot dogs for breakfast, lunch, and dinner.    Grandma lived 30 years longer than the average American.   Therefore, eating hot dogs isn’t bad.”   (You can track where the logic goes wrong, I’m sure.)


Fact is, you always have outliers in any study of any variable.   Fact is, anomalies like  Grandma are always going to happen.   But don’t bet the farm on them.   They’re still outliers and anomalies.


A dentist in the ’40’s named Francis Pottenger studied genetics, through the effects of processed food on hundreds of cats.   Half the cats were fed natural foods and half were fed processed foods.   What was interesting was that those fed junk developed health problems in later life, but their CHILDREN developed degenerative diseases in MID-life and their GRANDCHILDREN developed severe issues EARLY in life.


We’re seeing identical patterns in human beings, now that we’re on the third generation of people eating lots of processed food.   Sure, our grandparents look okay, some of them, but our children aren’t doing so hot.   For evidence, review the statistics on the childhood obesity epidemic from the Associated Press multi-part story I blogged about a few weeks ago.   Even if your kid isn’t overweight, he’s got significant risk of other problems if he’d eating the S.A.D. (Standard American Diet).   (Atherosclerosis is now prevalent in 8-yr. olds, and this discovery is so new that most don’t even know about it.   What will be the consequences to the economy, to families, of this trend, 20 years from now?)

 Incidentally, those cats?   Pottenger put the sick cats on whole foods, and they gradually got better, but it also took three generations to return to excellent health.   Just like it took three generations for processed food to DESTROY their health.   Let’s treat our kids like that third generation, which they are.   They need us.   We’re the ones providing their food and we have such an important responsibility to them.  

Another important implication of this very old piece of research is that genetic markers are less important than diet.  Your genetic weaknesses show themselves ONLY when your lifestyle brings them out.

teens drinking greens!

Anyone think teenagers won’t drink green smoothie?  This is my son (on the left) who was shorter than me at the beginning of this year and, I noticed tonight,  is now taller than me when I’m in heels.   (Who says kids fed a plant-based diet are scrawny?)   He brought his two friends over while I was making  green smoothie  today and asked me for some, for his friends to try.   Cool, right?