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Birthday parties with whole foods!

Robyn Openshaw - Aug 03, 2009 - This Post May Contain Affiliate Links

Dear GreenSmoothieGirl: What do you do for birthdays?

Birthday 1

So it’s my kids’ birthdays (yes, all of them–within three weeks of each other–go ahead and make your jokes about me and November).   And last night I had a family party.   Dinner was taco salad without the taco meat (though my mom brought BBQ chicken for those who wanted it).   I provided sprouted-wheat tortillas as shells, and I cooked brown lime rice, and black beans cooked in veg broth and salsa, plus all the fixings (lettuce, tomatoes, onions, cilantro, shredded cheese if you want it) and homemade dressings and guacamole and salsa.   And a big fruit platter.   It was easy.

You can see here I made a chocolate beet cake (see Ch. 11 of 12 Steps), containing pureed beets, no refined sweeteners, no white flour, and only high-nutrition coconut oil.   I also made a regular cake-mix with tub-o-frosting cake.   Check out my two oldest kids (and my niece, Macie) in the photo above, blowing out candles on both cakes.   Everyone had both options, and I told them exactly what each cake was.

Now check out what happened.   The cake that not a single person chose was . . . drum roll please . . . the cake mix.   Everybody loved the beet cake and some wanted seconds:

Birthday 2

See, what happens when you become the nutrition guru, the health food nut, the earthy crunchy, is that people learn that WHAT YOU MAKE TASTES GOOD.   They expect yummy food of you that doesn’t make them feel regretful.   They make the healthy choice at your house because they trust you.   I influenced my family in no way last night, didn’t say “This beet cake is really good,” or anything like that.   I just said, “This one is a cake mix, and this one is beet cake; which one would you like?”   It’s not that you’ll NEVER make anything that doesn’t taste good.   (Read the dedication in my new book for evidence of that!   No one is perfect.)   But you’ll learn a repertoire of things people really like.   And the people you love will appreciate that.

And then here’s what you’ll do with the junk.   This is where the entire cake-mix cake ended up, an ignoble end, but a fitting one.   Nobody ate propylene glycol and partially hydrogenated fat and refined sugar and vegetable oil and a dozen chemicals and preservatives I can’t pronounce.   (I’m so proud of my family.)

Birthday 3

Posted in: Relationships, Whole Food

15 thoughts on “Birthday parties with whole foods!”

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  1. Anonymous says:

    I hope your son didn’t get ladies un-mentionables in the Victoria Secret bag for his birthday……

  2. I can’t wait to try the chocolate beet cake for my birthday in a couple weeks! And I won’t make fun of you for the November birthdays, after all that is when my little one is due!

  3. Anonymous says:

    Haha, I took that photo down right after it was posted. It was a joke (I wrapped his gifts in Victoria’s Secret bags).

  4. Anonymous says:

    Just a note about beet cake. In the recipe, I say that 1 3/4 cups pureed beets is about two medium/large beets. I would say 4 medium beets. Also, the frosting turns out well (texture wise) only if you really blend that Sucanat very, very fine.

  5. Anonymous says:

    Hi Robyn! I’ve been reading a short time your blog but in depth, tha bad part is that in these two days i found your blog I was starting to eat raw, almos vegetables and some cooked stuff and fruits! Here’s the problem, I thought that the most alkaline type fruits incoming will create a more alkaline ph in my body, aparently this was fatal. Yesterday night instead of doing some soup I ate a little bit of bad, inorganic, shitty watermelon, banana and other white fruit in season here at Ukraine. I never, not even at my country used to cosume this kind of fruits, I went always for acidic types, like lemon, tangerine and orange, avocado. I never felt good eating sweet fruits. Well i think that I was feeling to much alkaline, and couldn’t continue eating anything after three incomes in my stomach, I felt like salivating was difficult also swaling. Well I made the biggest mistake ever, I ate those very bad qualities peaces of fruits and instantly felt them stuck in my throat. I thought that evebtually they will go down, but after an hour or less didn’t move and gave this irritable sensation as having foos stucked. An entire day passed I went to the specialist and she checked and told me that the only thing she saw was irritation, but not food at all. But I still can feel the thing there, and for worst and not salivating at all. I wanted t ask anyone here if you know whar could cause this problem and how to fix it. Please, I really feel deseperatly, and I kind of trust you. Help me please. I’m only 26 and this is serious. Thanks.

  6. Anonymous says:

    Also i’ve been trying to be vegan, but with a very poor meal. Sometimes I felt sick of this food, rice and fried veggies with the disgusting refined sunflower oil. Then I went for more fruits and at the beginning it wasn’t that bad, but yet I didn’t enjoy them or ate a lot. At the last days of the vegan month I became nervous, anxious, couldn’t sleep which in me is impossible and finally ate at night having already salivation problems those non organic bad quality fruits. Also now I feel tension under my facial muscles more in the right side. Sometimes I have crumbles and cold. I’m hungry but eating is painful and my stomach gets full with 3 almonds. Now I took the pills that the specialist told me but they are for allergies and I don’t feel any improvement and have the same sensation and 5 % of salivation. I’m really worried, as you can notice. I’m from Cuba, by the way.

  7. Anonymous says:

    I made the cake for my husband and son-in-law’s birthdays. It was good, except I didn’t get the Sucanat fine enough!! It was gritty. Also, my daughter-in-law is pregnant and can’t even stand the smell of coconut, so the cake didn’t go over great with her! But she was a good sport about it. I didn’t have enough beets, so added carrots to make up the difference. They knew that if I made it, it probably had something healthy in it, but they were surprised it was beets!!

  8. I love your blog! The cake looks GREAT!!!! Can’t wait to read more. 🙂

  9. Anonymous says:

    ok…i posted this question elsewhere, but now that i’ve read this thread, i think it belongs here…so here goes.

    has anyone made the choco beet cake with less sugar? date sugar? i usually don’t bake since recipes usually call for sugar and i don’t eat/use sugar at all — except for natural sugars from fruit, stevia and local raw honey on occasion..

    Robin, i know you’re busy, but wondering if there’s a way you can come up with choco brownie/cake without sugar — maybe using dates instead to sweeten?

    if not, is sucanat really safe to use? i know it’s not processed, but does affect the body the same way as refined sugars?


  10. http:// says:

    It does affect the blood sugar similarly–this recipe will not be appropriate for someone who needs to count sugar grams and severely limit carbs. But it’s more whole and therefore higher in nutrients (not causing leaching of minerals from the bones as processed foods do) and is less acidic.

  11. Hey–I love the work you’re doing with green smoothies and helping people find healthier options! Have you ever tried making RAW cakes, pies, cookies, cheesecakes, etc.? I have found these to be even healthier options. Perhaps check out the book “Sweet Gratitute”, written by the chefs at Cafe Gratitude in San Francisco. All raw, all organic, and all vegan. Just made 2 of the cheesecakes the other day, and they are better than any cooked cheesecake I’ve ever had! Best day ever to you!!

  12. Anonymous says:

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  13. Anonymous says:

    Hi Anonymous and Robyn,

    I would also love to see a recipe using agave or stevia; or if I could get some tips on how to replace sucunat or sugar using one of the other two.

    The recipe does look great. I am looking forward to trying it out on the family.

    Robyn, thank you so much for sharing. You are doing an amazing job teaching your children to make good food choices. I’m sure you are grateful to the LORD and so proud of your babies, and yourself too!

    Have a healthy, happy day,


  14. Anonymous says:

    Thanks for this wonderful recipe. I ‘ve made the chocolate beet cake and my kids loved it!

  15. Anonymous says:

    Dear Robyn,

    you are a gift to the raw community, thank you for all that you do. (most people sell the info you provide for free) I never knew I could sprout sunflower seeds until you showed how on youtub. I will make the chocholat cake for my son’s birthday coming soon. It sounds deliciouse.

    with much love and appriciation.


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