Intention is Everything

This is a photo of my son picking a sophomore named Tate off the ground to celebrate what happened last night at Utah’s legendary Gates Field where state high school playoffs are held.

Tate told Cade, “Last night I dreamed you hit a grand slam!” He reminded Cade over and over that day, telling him, “It’s gonna happen!”

And, with his team down in the 4th inning, two outs, and the bases loaded, Cade hit his first pitch way, way over the deepest part of the center field fence. His teammates heard the infielders swearing as they jogged past them rounding the bases.

Grand Slam in Game Three of the state finals, taking his team to a 13-10 win. Also shown here are two reporters interviewing him. One for the Deseret news, wrote THIS ARTICLE.  He asked, what was the pitch like that you hit? Cade quoted his favorite movie, The Sandlot: “Low and outside, just how I like it!”

So I’ve been thinking. About the highs and lows of my son’s high school baseball career. Just weeks ago, I was sick and unable to sleep because my son was emotionally destroyed over a loss, and a small slump he was in. How I couldn’t rescue him from the hard things he has to go through in this life. Would I, if I could? It’s a really good thing I couldn’t, because those lows, and having to climb out of them, are what make him strong and charactered.

It’s scary to see your boy become a man and wonder if you’ve done everything you need to, if he has the right tools.

And I’ve been thinking, in my euphoria, how intention is everything. That cute sophomore, Tate, created an intention in my son that materialized into a Game Changer and possibly the most spectacular moment in my son’s life, given how high-stakes that game was.

I am going to create more positive intention in my life. Live from that spot. The low-lows will still come. I’ll stay there a shorter time. Tap the positives that come from expecting greatness, with more consistency.

For now, I’m grabbing my son’s white jersey to wear at Game Four at 11 a.m. today, where my boy is the starting pitcher. The moms decorate the bus and send the boys off with a bag of junk food. Last night I inoculated my boy against that, and for what faces him today, with a green smoothie AND a big glass of celery-beet-carrot juice. He knows the value of it and downed it willingly.

Thanks for indulging me in sharing this personal baseball story with you. We’ll be back to a cool video and All-Nutrition-All-The-Time around here tomorrow!

Cade pitches state finals today

This is my boy Kincade, graduating from high school this month. He’s a delightful kid to have around, loving and funny. He’s also the starting pitcher today at Timpanogos High School, in Game 3 of the state playoffs. He’s 6’3” and throws 90 mph. He’s injury free and healthy as an ox. This is the collage I am printing as a graduation gift to him, highlights from his senior year.

Eighteen years ago, he was below the 5th percentile for weight, and taking multiple drugs including steroids, bronchodilators, and frequent antibiotics. He was in and out of doctors’ offices and emergency rooms because he couldn’t breathe. When we eliminated sugar and dairy, and began eating greens, raw vegetables and fruits as staples, his asthma symptoms decreased quickly and finally disappeared. He gained weight and began to thrive quickly. I will never go back. And I will be forever grateful for this discovery.

Hope and pray with me today that he pitches well in the spectacular $2.5 million Kearns stadium and that the scouts are out so Cade might be offered scholarships. I’m so proud of him. And so thankful that I was able to find the answers to avert a health disaster and allow my son to fulfill the measure of his creation.


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.”

My boy makes green smoothies to impress hot girls

Last night my 18-year old son had some hot girls from his school over to…..wait for it….do a green smoothie demo. I mocked him pretty hard. Since he has never made a green smoothie in his life. I guess the hot girl asked him point-blank if he would make her a GS. (Shameful, yes, that I’ve not taught this to my kid. Until last night, they were always made FOR him. Don’t worry, though—he’s had lots of vacuuming and lawn mowing and other tasks under his belt. He does make salad.)

He nervously asked me to train him, before the actual demo event. He also shut me in my office when the kids got here, so I could not embarrass him by laughing at the idea of him demonstrating something he’s never done before. (Not that I would! Muahaha.)

He pulled it off and a gang of teenagers settled into watch The Rookie after their green smoothie initiation.

I should have mentioned a few days ago, for my soda-addicted friends, that if you really have to have a soda now and then, Zevia brand in health food stores is a much better alternative. It’s no superfood. But no artificial colorings or chemical sweeteners or sugars—just stevia sweetened. Carbonation isn’t good for your blood. But—many of the dangerous things I wrote about last week are NOT in the Zevia sodas.

Kristin is on the wagon right now. She promised her brother Todd she’d get off “the stuff.” (That would be Diet Pepsi.) She is drinking stevia-sweetened green tea in the late afternoon now, and she adds a spoonful of chia. This is helping her feel that her mouth has something to do.

Her mouth is used to being entertained by carbonation. So she has to find another party for her mouth. She says the funny little chewy chia seeds make her pretty happy.

If the “party in your mouth” is your reason to drink soda, maybe that’ll work for you.

Libby Goes Vegan

You know I don’t   promote any “isms”–vegetarianism, veganism, raw foodism.  I’m secretly a fan of all those movements. But I don’t adopt them as extremist positions because I think they send most people running for the hills. And I believe that sticking to the idea of eating MORE PLANT FOODS wins more converts.

But I don’t cook/serve animal flesh in my home. My older daughter, though, is a militant vegetarian.

The younger one, Libby, 14, struggles. She admires her sister’s “cause” orientation, and has “gone veg” several times but it doesn’t stick. She goes to her dad’s where meat is a staple, and she caves in, falls off the wagon. She has been looking at vegetarian vids on youtube and studying the issue.

Today she brought me this typed statement:

“I, Libby Pay, am going vegan. I will not eat anything with eggs or milk. Or meat. So I want to make  special veggie foods for myself since the rest of you drink kefir in the mornings. If I have to drink kefir I will be deeply hurt. Anyways, to make my special food I would like these ingredients. Some of them I have already, but just want to make sure I am allowed to use them. I want to be hardcore vegan. You don’t have to be. But I really want to.”

“Brussels sprouts, spinach, broccoli, asparagus, sweet potatoes, fresh kale (to try this one recipe I found), black beans, that seaweed stuff you buy, big carrots, garlic and onion, green and black olives (not needed, just somewhat wanted!), green beans, cucumbers.”

“I feel very strongly about this. If it gets too hard, I’ll just be vegetarian, but I really want to do this.”

A few hours later, she came in with a binder she’d made, with lots of printed material about cruelty to animals and nutritional support for a plant-based diet, in plastic sleeves. The cover page has this printed, in large text:


“Yes, God may have put them on the earth for us to eat. But in the scriptures it says to eat meat sparingly in times of winter and famine. I don’t think our Heavenly Father intended for the animals we eat to be tortured, stuffed into tight cages for their whole lives, beaten, and to rarely see sunlight. Chickens, pigs, and cows have been chemically altered to grow way bigger than they are supposed to. They put steroids in the animals to make more meat. These animals can’t walk, and are tortured daily.”

I’m so proud of my kids when they stand for something. When it’s something that will benefit them and the world, even better!

Now if I could just get them to take a vigilante stand against SUGAR.

How things change, from age 8 to age 18

Sometimes in my lectures, I encourage the moms of young children to make the change NOW while they’re still “in control” of so many things in the home, including diet. Making the change later is harder. NOT IMPOSSIBLE. Just harder. When your son is 8, you can educate him. When he’s 18, he no longer thinks you’re a goddess. It’s harder to convince him.

My 18 yo son, when his dad abandoned the habits Cade had been raised with, kind of gravitated to that. To the appeal of the Standard American Diet that they eat over there. He was never a “picky” kid, pretty compliant….but late in high school, he definitely has had that tendency to do whatever is mainstream.

Unlike his sister, who invited the vegetarian kids from her high school over, this week, to make Vegetarian Kids t-shirts and give her friends a tour of my fridges-full-of-weirdness.

They spray-painted “Meat Sucks” on their shirts. It’s not a slogan I would have chosen. It’s a bit vulgar and not likely to convert anyone. (Emma’s father “freaked out” when she joined PETA Juniors and called that organization “terrorists.” His objection, of course, made her join it with that much more enthusiasm.) But “Meat Sucks” also seems to malign the poor animal who was already rather put-upon, caged in a tiny stall, injected with who-knows-what-all, and slaughtered. No one asked my opinion, though.

Cade finally got his driver’s license and my rule is, when you’re at your dad’s house, you drive his car, and at my house you drive mine. Problem is, his dad isn’t really cooperating with that. He’s not yielding his spare to Cade.

So of course Cade has been calling, asking for mine, while at his dad’s.

My brilliant idea has been, “You can have the car if you come drink a giant glass of carrot/celery/beet juice before you go.”

He’s more than willing. Small price to pay. The second night in a row, when that happened, he texted, “Okay, but a smaller glass this time!” And I wrote back, “No, haha, just for that, a BIGGER one!”

Though he went for it, the juice-drinking event was not without drama. A small gang of high-school senior friends watched him do it, and declined to help him drink it. He texted me later,

“That was so healthy it actually made me nauseous.”

 I told you I put vinyl lettering in the back window my kids’ car that says, “If you hate my driving, text my mom,” with my phone number?

Emma still has a learner’s permit. The first day I was out driving with her, after putting that in the window, I got this text from a stranger:

“Your daughter’s driving is horrible. She’s hot, though, and that’s all that counts.”