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What do you give a GSG for her birthday?

By Robyn Openshaw, MSW | Mar 13, 2014

Robyns Birthday Basket

Robyn’s Birthday Basket

My 20-year old son is moving back in. He signed a year-long contract with his friends, and now, after 6 months, has that contract up for sale. He said, “I’m not sorry I did it. I needed to know I could live on my own. Now I know I can. Can I come back now?”

Kid misses his baby brother and mama. He visited us nearly daily anyway. Plus he misses the FREE RENT. He says he does NOT miss green smoothies. But that’s okay—drinking them is a requirement for living here. I forgo a lot of other battles in order to pick that one. I buy the food and rent is free—if you eat three healthy things a day that I make, and help out when I ask.

This photo is the goodie basket he brought me for my birthday Feb. 12. I love it! I think if you made this for your health-nut friend, she’d love it, too!

I confess, as weird as it sounds, that Cade isn’t the only one who bought me cucumbers that day. It’s only weird unless you have been with a person who peels the plastic off an English cucumber and eats it plain. Something I do rather regularly when traveling.

People always say to me, “I don’t know what to get GSG for a present!” (A former boyfriend once confessed he agonized over where to take me to dinner, at first.) Oh, gosh, it’s easy. You get someone what she loves, that tells her, “I care about you.” It’s really simple.

My ex-husband once had a surprise party for me where he told everyone to bring me NOTHING except dried apricots. I had whined to him, after Christmas, two months before:

“So you know my mom put dried apricots in my Christmas stocking every year. I loved it. It was a total treat! How come you never do that?”

He decided he’d show me! I had a year’s supply, after that party.

I love my friends for NOT bringing me cake and ice cream and my old demons—Junior Mints, anything Hershey, and Skittles. I used to think that Skittles were healthy, because they were “low fat.” Or that was the story I told myself. Anyway, the good news is, they don’t interest me at all anymore.

As Kristin said regularly, when people from her old, junk-food life would give her things, or if she’d walk past the candy aisle:

“I don’t eat that shit anymore.”

I laugh out loud, every time I think of it. Kristin pushing a cart past the spot in the store where muscle memory would normally steer her towards Peanut M&Ms—and literally saying that out loud. (It’s a lot funnier when you realize we live in Utah County. If you know anything about the demographics of this place.)

I love my life without corn syrup and MSG and soda and hamburgers. At first I missed it. You really don’t miss it forever, though.

As a 29-year old former university student of mine texted me today, after finishing the 26-day GSG Detox, and then transitioning to 12 Steps to Whole Foods in near-record time (he pretty much did the WHOLE COURSE all at once, especially when I told him Coach Sarah did the whole year-long course in 3 weeks):

“After eating clean for nearly 2 months, I want junk food less and less. If I get cravings for junk, I make a substitute from whole foods!”

You got it, Lyle, that’s just it! You don’t give up pleasure in eating. You retrain your tastes, you discover simple pleasures and tune back into how amazing an avocado is, or plate of steamed asparagus. Or a sweet potato, or a ripe peach. We had parties all weekend before my birthday, and the actual day was a boring Wednesday. My good friend Melinda took me to a movie that night, and when I got home, late, because I hadn’t eaten dinner, I cut one of the grapefruits Cade put in that basket, and ate it with a grapefruit spoon. So simple.


Posted in: Parenting, Standard American Diet

One thought on “What do you give a GSG for her birthday?”

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  1. Kandace Wittwer says:


    I am a big fan! I have been to 2 of your classes in St. George and visited with you briefly at each one. I was just reading this post and realized that we share the same birthday! I guess I can be called Green Smoothie Girl as well! Thanks for sharing your wisdom. I learn a lot from you!

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