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What’s for dinner, Mom?

By Robyn Openshaw, MSW | Aug 25, 2010

I used to get asked, “What do you eat in a day?” all the time, but since the blog is searchable, you can find my answers to that question, in specific. So I don’t get asked that QUITE as often—just by new readers.

But just as an example, tonight I made Indian Dahl (last recipe in Ch. 6 of 12 Steps). It features brown rice and split peas, it’s EASY, and we like it. And cut up some tomato and cucumber slices from the garden, piled them on some raw sauerkraut (Ch. 8 of 12 Steps) I made 2 years ago.

I did have to start dinner late in the afternoon, which requires some thinking ahead, but the total kitchen time was about 20 minutes. And the meal is extremely inexpensive, all whole plant foods, 60-80% raw including the watermelon for dessert.

Going from 5 minutes (drive thru meal) to 20 minutes (the meal I’ve just described) of dinner-prep time is actually a net time gain. Sound impossible? Here’s how that’s possible. You’ll feel light and energetic after eating the dinners I teach you. You’ll sleep less because your body isn’t sluggish from spending so much effort in digestion. You’ll wake up more energized and have higher productivity, increased desire to exercise . . . I could go on and on, but you get the idea.

You know that a lot of recipes in Ch. 6 (plant based, hearty main dishes) have a legume and a whole grain, like the Dahl recipe. In the 70’s, vegetarians thought that was necessary for a “perfect protein” (all the amino acids) in one meal. Now we know that your body can access amino acids you ate YESTERDAY, in combination with amino acids you ate TODAY. (Amino acids are the 18 building blocks of proteins.) So you don’t have to worry about that.

However, I do feel that meals are heartier when they have a legume and whole grain, so I tried to include mostly recipes with that combo, in the Main Dishes (Dinner) chapter. Because I hate when my kids say, “I’m hungry!” a couple of hours after the dishes are done. (Standard answer: “Kitchen is closed!”)

My 17-y.o. Kincade is a Yellow personality, if that means anything to you. (His core motive in life is FUN—yours might be peace, or intimacy, or achievement, google Taylor Hartman Color Code). He’s always doing goofy stuff.

As he was eating dinner last night, and I was sitting chatting with him, he picked up a garden cantaloupe and dropped it—splat!—in his dinner. Just to make me laugh and to see what it would sound like. When he was little I used to get annoyed with this kind of stuff. Now I laugh at it and say, “Awesome—now you get to eat dirt! Good Vitamin B12 for you! Let me get my camera.” Consequently we get along so much better.

Here are the photos for your entertainment too.

Posted in: 12 Steps To Whole Food, Parenting, Whole Food

8 thoughts on “What’s for dinner, Mom?”

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  1. Anonymous says:

    I know that this wasn’t the focus of your post, but the part about understanding Kincade’s personality type really hit me. As a more Red personality, that would have enraged me if my kid did that. But understanding that they have the Yellow/fun type puts it all in perspective and would allow me to calm down about it!! (Unless of course they broke something!)

    1. Robyn Openshaw, MSW says:

      Hey Katie, I’m a Red/Blue, so I get that. I get along great with my kid now that I understand him. I understand now that Yellow is a perfectly valid personality/motive and that while he’ll travel a different path than I do (avoiding some responsibility), his off-the-chart likability and charisma will take him places every bit as good as my check-things-off-tasklists and people-connected qualities do.

  2. Anonymous says:

    I have been eating green smoothies for 5 days now and am having a cleansing reaction, yesterday I was feeling ill then vomited. Today I feel tired and weak. I have not had a green smoothie today and am wondering if I should continue or wait until I feel better. What should I do?

    1. Robyn Openshaw, MSW says:

      Heather, listen to your body–slow it down, eat your GS with other foods and maybe don’t drink it all at once. Also, make it taste better to you with something you like in it. (For me, that would be peaches and mixed berries.) Good luck–I’m sorry you’re one of the 18% who has that problem!

  3. Anonymous says:


    I love everything that support and my family is a strong green smoothie supporter. However, I do have one question regarding spinach – do you eat spinach everyday, and if so, what is your response to people who state that eating spinach everyday can lead to oxolate poisoning in your system? Thanks for any insight you can provide.

  4. Anonymous says:


    I believe I have found my answer in a previous post, so no need to respond, thanks!

  5. Anonymous says:

    Thanks for the tips. I went ahead and made a GS but had 50/50 greens and fruit. Spinach and strawberries. I sipped it during lunch but still have a pint or so left to drink. I searched your site and saw that I can add ginger to help my stomach. I don’t have fresh ginger, will ginger from a spice bottle work?

    1. Robyn Openshaw, MSW says:

      Dry ginger is good, and fresh ginger is even better, Heather.

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