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Oprah, raw food, and parenting (part 1 of 2)

By Robyn Openshaw, MSW | Oct 28, 2009

When my girls and I were on our way to California for me to teach classes in San Diego and Fullerton recently (see photo below of the Fullerton class at BellySprout), one of my daughters brought Oprah up. “Mom,” she said, “Oprah is really amazing and accomplishes so much. But she keeps gaining weight. She loses it, but then she gains it all back again. Why is that?”

We puzzled over it as we drove and I realized something very important related to the Introduction to 12 Steps to Whole Foods where I address parenting children to eat well at some length.

That is, we tend to go back to what we learned as children. Oprah can avoid ever spending time in her kitchen and can dictate exactly what she wants to eat, because she’s been rich enough to pay a full-time cook for many years. So the #1 and #2 reasons I’m given to avoid shifting to a high-raw, plant-based diet don’t even apply to her. Those are (1) “I don’t have time to cook” and (2) “I can’t afford to eat right.”

But she was powerfully influenced by the Southern U.S. diet she was raised with: fried everything and lots of animal protein. Even having tremendous advantages of money and a hired help hasn’t been able to overcome that programming!

So it is with us. Let’s look at the positive side of that. If we raise our children to eat mostly vegetables, fruits, legumes, whole grains, nuts and seeds, they certainly may stray. (I did for the first half of my 20’s, and you can read my story on the site.) But our children will always have the positive associations that came with eating according to correct principles throughout their childhood. (If you start now despite your children being half-raised, that’s still so much better than NEVER providing those learning opportunities.)

For me, the positive associations weren’t about those healthy foods I was raised with being comforting–my mother wasn’t a “food is love” person like some moms. She spent minimal time in food prep, wasn’t a good cook by anyone’s standards, and didn’t bother with artful presentation.

But I learned that I had energy and a positive mood, avoided illness, and stayed at an ideal weight back then when she fed us lots of raw fruits and vegs and legume/whole grain main dishes–and dessert only rarely, made with whole wheat and the sugar/butter cut in half. I feel sorry for people who never learned that in their childhood as I did! And so, after deviating for a number of years and not liking how I felt or looked, I came back to the “straight and narrow path” of eating simple, whole, plant foods. It’s a lot easier to RETURN to it than it is to INVENT it from scratch as an adult.

audience in Fullerton CA

Posted in: 12 Steps To Whole Food, Mind/Body Connection, Nutrition, Parenting

36 thoughts on “Oprah, raw food, and parenting (part 1 of 2)”

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  1. Anonymous says:

    Hi Robyn,

    This is my first time to blog with you, but I do read your information often and enjoy and have put to practice many things that you teach. I also spread the word about your web-site to many others,which was given to me by my niece.

    Some of the blogger’s having trouble reverting back to their old ways, along with Oprah, might want to check into a 12-step program that has to do with over eating or eating disorders in general. My husband and I are service missionaries for a 12-step program at our church and the program is amazing. If you don’t mind having a little spiritual guidance in your life, along with a program that helps you remain focused on your issue’s, problems, or DESIRE’s , one of these programs might help. You could goggle and probably find out more info on where they are held in your community. Please let me know if anyone needs help finding such a place and I’d be glad to do that for them. Addictions are becoming more prevalent in our society and there are wonderful programs out there to help. If you don’t believe you have an addiction, but want to improve or move forward in your life, the classes are also wonderful for building back self-esteem and self worth. Eating right, staying fit, feeling good, and your mental and spiritual awareness in check, is a blessing for anyone.

    Thanks for your site. It’s great


  2. Anonymous says:

    Hi Robyn,

    Can give an update on the group buy please. I live in the Northeast and some folks on these parts are trying to get a group together and I would like to know when we should place our order.



    1. Robyn Openshaw, MSW says:

      Jenni here, GSG Admin

      Hi Charmaine,
      You can place a group buy order up until Nov. 30th. For more details concerning the group buy here is a FAQ list to help answer any quetions you might have:

      You may also write me at support123@greensmoothiegirl.com if you have more questions.

      Have a great day!

  3. Anonymous says:

    Robyn, you continue to amaze me and inspire Me 🙂


    Your Ma 🙂

  4. Anonymous says:

    And yes I think you should be on Oprah too 🙂

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