If you get the chance, tell my kids what good nutrition means to you

I won a singles league tennis match at another club a while ago. After the match, I was tanking up on water and talking to my son Tennyson, who came to watch me play. I said,

“Want to go to Good Earth and get some wheat grass juice?”

My opponent was looking at me strangely, so I said, “Yeah. I know. It’s weird. But he LOVES the stuff.”

She said, “I don’t drink wheat grass juice. But I do drink green smoothies. I just read a book called The Green Smoothies Diet.”

Haha, I love my life! I guess my photo isn’t on that book’s jacket.

Then there was the day I was pumping gas in my car and two different women, both named Carrie, came up and gave me a hug.

And recently, someone at the gym told me that Holly Mendenhall, who has attended a few of my classes, turned her onto green smoothies. She said, “Do you know Holly?” (Nope.) She said, “She’s the wife of Bronco Mendenhall.”

BYU’s football coach! (What a great man, who has done great things in this community.) YAY! Does that mean that Bronco Mendenhall’s family is doing 12 Steps to Whole Foods? I can only hope.

That was all awesome, but maybe even better is what happened the night before, at Kincade’s baseball banquet. One of his friends and his mom got out of their car in the parking lot with us. So since Cade was talking to his buddy, I chatted with the mom all the way in to the banquet.

While we listened to the awards ceremony and ate dinner, two women came over to my table to say that green smoothies, or my whole-foods course, have been transforming their energy and health. One said, “I no longer get tired training for my marathon—I love it!”

But best of all, both women turned to my son and said, “I feel so great drinking green smoothies—do you drink them, Cade?”

He said, “Every day of my life. My house is the Vegetable Capital of the World.” No sarcasm….just kinda proud, actually, of his own healthy habits–because what else are you going to do in the face of such ardent enthusiasm?

And they gushed to him with such enthusiasm about how positive their nutrition changes have been. I acted cool, I hope, but secretly was SO THRILLED.

THANK YOU SO MUCH, if you ever have any interaction with my children, and you give them a third-party endorsement of the principles I teach!

Then as I went to leave, the mom I had walked in with came rushing back up to me. She said, “Oh my gosh, you are Robyn? I just figured that out! I just read your book and now I’m studying 12 Steps to Whole Foods with my co-workers and I love it!”

And my son sat there and listened. Three times in one night, and I didn’t even have to pay them. (hehe)

I am always trying to give the parents following a whole-foods path some endorsement with their kids. By writing The Adventures of Junk Food Dude, by doing readings for kids, then writing the recipe book Junk Food Dude’s Yummy Healthy Recipes, by encouraging readers to bring their older kids to my events, by talking to kids whenever I get the chance.

So, WHAT AN AMAZING BLESSING when it comes back to me and someone returns the favor!

I need others to confirm the truth of these principles, for my children, as well.

 

Bruce says, “GreenSmoothieGirl Isn’t Just for Girls!”

I have a testimonial from a guy for you, in a minute. But first….

I play on at least two tennis teams, all four seasons a year. Last Tuesday morning, I did yoga for an hour, then did my 20-mile bike ride in the canyon in 100-degree heat. That night, I had our last tennis match of this season, and for some reason my captain put me in as first singles.

That’s where you generally put your best player, since you usually face the opponent’s best player.

I mostly play doubles—hadn’t played singles ONCE since advancing rank in December. Most of my new teammates have played at this rank for years, and they take or even teach private tennis lessons. Most were high-school tennis players. One of them plays on five teams at a time, and many of them play tennis 20-30 hours per week.

I wish I had time for that, but I don’t. My entire team, besides me, is married and not employed outside the home. I started playing tennis less than 4 years ago, not in high school.

For my night matches, my ritual is to drink a quart of green smoothie on the way there. That’s all. And I’ll find myself in a third set—or a second-set tiebreaker at 10:30 p.m.—like I did last Tues., thinking, “I’m not tired at all!” while I see my opponent falling apart.

I truly haven’t been tired once, and I’ve had 8 wins in a row. I won that singles match last Tuesday, 6-4, 7-6, in high winds. Even though I am, to be honest, too new at this rank to be qualified to play the top seed.

My green-smoothie ritual is becoming an important part of pulling that off. My teammates sometimes complain between sets that they’re tired. I never am. Despite hard workouts earlier in the day.

So Tuesday, I got home at midnight because my match was an hour away. Before I went to bed, I read this email from Bruce in Michigan, forwarded by our customer support team because they know I love to read this stuff:

“I noticed that you don’t have very many testimonials from men…so I thought I would tell you about how the green smoothie lifestyle is changing my life.

I am 48, and over a year ago I weighed 206 pounds.  I decided that I needed to lose about 40 to 45 pounds since I am 5’10” tall and a thin frame.

I bought P90x and started the most difficult exercise program and followed Tony’s diet..  P90x is not for the faint of heart. I worked hard for 7 months, lost 23 pounds. My blood sugar was all over the place, and I felt tired and hungry all of the time. I stopped after 7 months and did absolutely nothing for the next 6 months and went back to eating poorly since I could not do that diet. I gained back 13 pounds….discouraged, I searched for a better way.

I found www.greensmoothiegirl.com and heard Robyn say, if you do what I tell you to do you will lose weight faster than ever, never be hungry and you can even work out while just drinking green smoothies. I bought the complete program and I must say she was right!

On May 15th I started to drink 2 quarts of green smoothies each day and started working out again doing P90x.  I am 10 pounds away from my goal weight in just 60 days! I have lost weight faster, feel better and look better than I have in 15 years.

Ok, men… here is the deal….drinking green smoothies, doing p90x is crazy….but it works!  I have had zero blood sugar dips, no hunger between smoothies and feel great!

I have done more in 60 days than I did in 7 months on the p90x diet….I just can’t believe it!  So Robyn, I am proud to tell other men….I visit www.greensmoothiegirl.com and have had several of my friends already buy turbo blenders and start drinking smoothies. You rock, girl!”

Bruce in Michigan

Idaho Falls, traveling and eating right, part 2

I love my five-mile run on the Snake River in Idaho Falls. It’s quirky. Thousands of geese of all ages, everywhere, and apparently it’s illegal to scare or chase them, Tennyson was informed. A shrine to a 16-year old girl who died three years ago. Man-made waterfalls. Saturday flea markets with people selling really weird stuff like homemade dog food.

I’ve run many times in so many places—the streets of downtown Paris, along many stretches of California and Hawaii and Florida beaches, through packs of dogs in Urubamba, Peru, last weekend along Lake Michigan. But truly the Snake is one of my all-time favorites.

When I travel, I take more stuff if it’s a road trip, and less if it’s on a plane. Lately on planes, I’ve been taking frozen pints of green smoothies and vegetable juices, packed in double Ziploc bags, and rolled up in jeans in the middle of my suitcase. It makes it to the hotel fridge before it thaws.

Here’s my road trip list, which caused us to never purchase food from a gas station, and never set foot in the hotel “Continental” breakfast. (Thank you to GSG readers who manage Le Ritz—beautiful suite overlooking the river, great value, we always stay there!)

(We did eat salads for lunch and dinner at a couple of restaurants, and once we splurged on spinach/artichoke dip and chips—I’m not promoting it, I’m just being truthful here.) So here’s what was in the cooler:

—Cooler with quarts (me) and pints (Tennyson) of green smoothie, and veggie juice from my Norwalk (beets, cukes, celery, greens, carrots)

—Gallon Ziploc bag of granola, with a pint of soaked/drained raw sunflower seeds, to add to the granola. With cups and spoons and a box of organic rice milk from Kirkland (Costco)

—a big tub of cut-up watermelon for the drive

—whole-grain crackers from Good Earth that Tennyson likes

—some maltitol-sweetened chocolate that I like (which won’t cause me to have to pay Matthew $10,000)

—apples, baggies of celery sticks, baggies of baby carrots

—pistachios

—dried fruit

—a cooler of alkaline water

—Ormus Greens and a shaker cup (I drink a pint of water, with greens in it, when I wake up)

Tennyson and I eat at Subway a lot when we travel. Whole-wheat bread, veggie sandwich (push them to put more, more, more spinach, bell peppers, onions, tomatoes, sprouts, and cucumbers, till it’s a big fat sandwich!), no condiments except brown mustard. We both eat a 12″ sandwich! Remember Colin Campbell, PhD from Cornell discovered, to his shock, published in The China Study, that those who eat 95% plants can eat 200 calories a day more than meat-eaters, and stay lean!

In Idaho Falls, after teaching a class where people bemoaned that they have no health food store, I found Scoresby Farm’s Market, with two locations. I bought a flat of strawberries, bags of cherries, pints of blueberries to add to our granola every morning, and a watermelon.

I had them wash all the fruit for me. Unfortunately they wouldn’t cut the watermelon because the law now requires them to ACID WASH knives and cutting boards with only certified acid wash, to cut melons. I guess there was some problem with melons recently, so as with so many other food issues, our government decides to overreact with chemicals and processes that take the life from our food. (Like pasteurizing all of California’s almonds and the federal government’s goals to irradiate much of our produce.) I ended up bringing the uncut watermelon home.

I took the flat of strawberries into the dugout and the whole team ate it. It’s the first whole food I’ve ever seen in a dugout, in 14 years of being a baseball mom. Except for what my boys are eating, of course, or what I occasionally send in there for everybody. Whatever Tennyson is eating is ALWAYS a big curiosity. Usually what you see is nachos, hot dogs, sodas, Gatorade, burgers, and candy. At the end of the game, with all the strawberry tops on the ground, it looked like somebody bled to death in there.

Scoresby Farm’s Market isn’t a health food store, at all. But there’s lots of produce, much of it locally grown, and I asked the manager,

“I’m an health activist from out of town. I spoke to 250 people last night in Idaho Falls, who say there are few options to get nutrient dense food around here. Would you be responsive to my readers asking you to find things for them and stock them? Like young Thai coconuts, for example? If I wrote about you on my blog?”

“Sure,” she said. “In fact, that’s how we ended up with the kale in here that you just noticed—our customers asked for it.”

Go, GSG readers! I have a feeling you had a hand in that. Muah! I love you! Bunches of kale are only $0.69 there!

I asked about organics, and the manager was able to tell me which produce was unsprayed (not organic certified) and “minimally sprayed.”

I hope that helps. Check out Scoresby’s, my I.F. friends!

Sugar-Free Baseball, Part I

Tennyson has a nickname on his team. In the dugout, when he’s up to bat, they chant,

“Sugar-free! Sugar-free! Sugar-free!”

When he gets on base, they yell, “Sweeeeeet!”

I love the nickname, of course, and Tennyson embraces it. I like to yell dumb stuff like, “That was a sugar-free hit, kid!”

It’s pretty easy to make a dugout of 11-year olds laugh. (Remember Tennyson’s joke last summer, when I’d buy him Naked juice at the Good Earth? “Hey guys, my mom got Naked!”)

But my 18-y.o. Kincade, at last night’s game, said, “Never say that again, Mom.”

We’re just back from Tennyson’s team’s tournament in Idaho Falls, where they were one run short of landing in the championship. They won three games, and were up 11-1 in the fourth, when the other team made a massive rally and TIED at 12-12! (My son was the pitcher as his team fell apart, behind him, committing errors upon errors in one horrible inning.)

Lately my boys come SO close to glory, only to be robbed at the 11th hour. Tennyson sobbed all night.

I had a long convo with a dad on the team, a high school football coach, the next day when he saw Tennyson crying into my shoulder (again). He told me that’s where we learn the most, when we kill ourselves trying, but fail. So I should stop mourning things like my oldest son’s state championship loss….at the bottom of the third overtime inning, at 10:30 p.m., after five long days and 8 games of baseball. It’s the crucible of life. We learn more from loss than success.

What a great way to see it. I’m going to embrace it.

So after the game in Idaho Falls, one parent polled everybody about where we wanted to eat. I said, “Just anything where they have salads, not fast food.” Well, the decision was to go to Five Guys for burgers and fries, and they told us Café Rio was next door. Works for me!

Tennyson and I got our vegetarian salad—whole wheat tortilla, double black beans and no rice, extra greens and pico de gallo, no chips, dressing on the side. We brought it over to sit with the team in the burger joint.

The entire rest of the team, and their families, ate burgers. It’s good for me, to be around what most people eat every day, which I now find truly revolting. It reminds me to be grateful for the education I have that makes eating that stuff completely impossible now. Coagulating lard on black patties of dead cows, white flour buns, deep fried, salted sticks of fat- and chemical-soaked potato. None of it looks appealing.

I worked at McDonald’s when I was 16…..the french fries’ ingredient list was a paragraph long, with about 18 ingredients I couldn’t pronounce. Yucky. I haven’t eaten a McD’s french fry since.

Some of the parents told me they were going to take a photo of us in that place, post it on the internet, and blackmail me. Just in case, I took this photo with my cell phone of Tennyson’s Café Rio salad, and my quart of green smoothie, on the table with all the other boys’ dinners.

Our dinner wasn’t a dreary alternative to the good stuff. We LOVED our dinner. YUMMY. Zero deprivation. We went back and had the same thing the next night, at Tennyson’s request.

My next post will take you through what we took, what we ate, on our trip. Just because I haven’t done one of those posts for a while, and it’s a very common request. (“What do you eat in a day?” Also, “What do you do when you travel?”)

As we were eating dinner, one of the boys yelled,

“Hey Tennyson! In twenty years, we’ll all be FAT, and you’ll still be playing baseball!”

Out of the mouths of babes.

an update on my sports-mom dramas

If you read my silly blog last week about the mom who asked me to make Funeral Potatoes, here’s the update. The boys are still high on their last game, a shutout (10-0) against Springville. My son pitched the whole contest  and was the star of not only the game, but also this Daily Herald article the next morning. Go Kincade!

Tonight’s the big dinner for 40 boys at my house. Here’s the text message I finally wrote to Baseball Mom, who wanted to serve pork, “funeral potatoes,” and dessert. She’d rejected my interest in making a big green salad:

“Hi, I am super excited to host the boys on Monday!

“It’s a big part of who I am to always provide raw veggies in yummy ways, and all the boys who hang out at my house know and expect it. My green veggie salads always get eaten….but if [your son] won’t, I could easily bring a big veggie tray AND a fruit tray instead if you prefer?

“It’s funny you mention funeral potatoes because I spoke in four Northern Cali cities last week on my book tour, and I have this whole routine on how that recipe is the worst of Mormon cooking and why they are called “funeral potatoes.” (Cheese, butter, sour cream, potato chips all in one recipe….not named that because we serve them at funerals, but because they are causing funerals? Anyway, it gets a laugh.)

“So, I don’t push an agenda of no animal food and no sugar at stuff like this—I know you will have meat and dessert there—but I have never served a meal that doesn’t feature an awesome raw-veg salad. My boys eat a big plate of it as main dish every night of their lives, so I know many kids eat it even if some aren’t used to it.

And then it makes me feel better that meals are good/appropriate fuel instead of exclusively appealing to taste buds.”

I just copied that from my phone onto the blog here….and realized it’s the longest text in the history of the world.

That’s what happens when you stew about it for days before writing it!

The good news is she wrote back saying no problem, make the salad. And get water and utensils and stuff and I said DONE and DONE! (If I am super helpful, flexible, and generous everywhere I can be, maybe people will indulge me with my standing my ground about a few things that really matter to me. That’s a core value I try to live by—be flexible everywhere possible!)

Anyway, I think I’m gonna make Spinach Orzo Ensalata from Ch. 2 of 12 Steps to Whole Foods—it’s so delicious.

I had this convo with my 11 yo son, Tennyson, after his baseball game Saturday—I found out he lied to me about two things before we left for the game (including that he left his lunch at home). So he was in a little trouble.

I say: “Well, then you get to drink half of my quart of beet/celery juice in the car now, on the way home.”

Tennyson:  “GOOD! Because I **LIKE** beet juice!” Long pause. And now he wails, “WHY do you have to be weird?! Why can’t you just feed me what everyone else does!?”

[The context here is that a very obese grandma brought a bag of blue-food-coloring-dyed popcorn balls into the dugout. I’m sure everyone was thinking, “Aw, how sweet!” I, of course, was thinking, “How do I not let this lady poison my kid with the same dye used in blue jeans according to Scientific American—and high-fructose corn syrup—without being a jerk in front of anyone? I went and whispered to Tennyson to please not eat it. My ex-husband was in the dugout eating it for, like, an hour. I’m totally okay with that, though.]

(Isn’t this world we live in INSANE, when you really think about it? We should have to protect our kids from pedophiles and swimming in canals, not snacks made by nice old ladies.)

I say: “Because. You don’t think about your future. It’s my job to do that ‘cause I’m a grownup. I ‘get’ stuff that you don’t get. Trust me, my friend. I have studied this stuff. You make choices to eat blue dye and corn syrup and you get to have problems. You just do. Sorry if you don’t like that I draw the line sometimes, especially because you didn’t bring the lunch I made, like you said you would. Someday you’ll make ALL your own choices and you can eat all the poison you want…..I hope you don’t, though.”

[There’s a two-minute pause while I lick my wounds and Tennyson drinks beet/celery juice.]

Tennyson, small voice: “Mom. I really want to eat healthy, actually. I’m sorry. I was rude.”

Me: “Thanks, kid. You say you’re sorry more quickly than anyone in our family. I’m impressed. Forgiven.”

How much is your health worth?

Yesterday, I rode my bike on my usual path. It’s a 20-mile ride up and down Provo Canyon, turning away from Sundance, to the top of South Fork. The road dead ends there, in front of the Girl Scouts’ Trefoil Ranch.

On the way up, a bull moose in my path took my breath away. I’ve heard moose (Meese? Meesen?) bellowing at each other, but I’ve never seen one up there! I stopped and tried to take a photo, but then he snorted so I figured I’d better get a move on!

On the way down, just past Bridal Veil Falls, there was a bighorn sheep in my path! I have never seen one, outside of the zoo! I had to slam on my brakes to stop short of him. Then he ran down and kinda chased a terrified jogger off the path and into the trees. Then he ran back up into my path and trotted towards me. Scary, because I couldn’t have turned my bike around on the narrow path if I’d wanted to.

I got a picture, but it’s just his tail; you can’t even tell what kind of animal it is.

This made my day and I had a giant grin on my face all the way down. My life is ridiculously awesome because I’m blessed to be so physically active—even though I was fat and ill, 20 years ago. Sometimes when I’m skiing, biking, or just won a tennis tournament, I feel a little guilty. I think of all my peers who couldn’t make it up that 10-mile ascent if they were handed a $15,000 decked-out Trek road bike.

Tons of people my age are coming home from work and going into “energy conservation” mode, plopping into the La-Z Boy every night after work and doing as little as possible until bedtime. They don’t even LIKE television, but it’s all they have the energy for. Some of my peers are sidelined by diagnoses like ALS, migraines, obesity, diabetes.

Somebody said to me recently, “If you don’t have your health, you don’t have anything.” Your work, your hobbies, your relationships, everything is impacted negatively, eroded, as you lose your health. The cool thing is, you can regain it—incrementally, gradually, but you CAN regain it, but only if you’re willing to put in some effort.

I have gone to Zumba the last three nights in a row with Matthew. Last night, the teacher’s music was so LOUD that our ears were ringing and we both left before the end.

Today he sent me an article about how verbal persuasion is the LEAST effective way to motivate people. The MOST effective is personal experience. A study showed that nurses who had suffered a hospital-acquired infection were much more likely to tell others to wash their hands.

But, nurses in the study were just as motivated if a close friend or family member suffered an infection. So, vicarious experience can be just as powerful! This is exciting news—apparently, we DON’T have to learn everything “the hard way!”

Matthew wrote in the same email, “Why were you and I the ONLY people saving our ears and walking out? No one even asked the teacher to turn it down! It’s like people eating stuff that hurts them because everyone else is doing it.”

I like the fact that MY experience can help you avoid the same fate. Matthew also wrote, about the quote from the article that nurses were “turning their hand hygiene into a moral passion:”

“This is totally you, when you teach your class!”

When I teach, I tell my story, of 21 CHRONIC HEALTH CONDITIONS I had at the age of 26, that went bye-bye because of my excellent diet and simple but consistent lifestyle habits. When I teach, I tell about the desperate health crisis of my baby boy, once on constant antibiotics, steroids, and bronchodilators, who is now a 6’3″ drug-free, illness-free college-prep athlete. Learn vicariously from my story, rather than doing it the hard way!

It’s so worth the time I’ve spent educating myself and developing new habits. Drinking Rejuvelac every day, my new habit from Creative Health Institute, makes me happy! I don’t really love the stuff yet, but I don’t hate it, either. And I love the thought, “Wow, I just drank a big glass of enzymes and probiotics!” It’s SO easy to make, and now it’s the base of my green smoothies and no one has even noticed!

I am going to learn something new and awesomely cool everyplace I go in the coming year, and I’m going to teach it to you when I get home!