Monday, August 31, 2009

THIS IS IT. Are You Ready?!

The 30-Day Throw Down! begins Tuesday, September 1, 2009.

DON'T FORGET! If you want to be entered into the $100 Amazon Gift Card Giveaway, you MUST sign up to follow this blog and write a comment letting me know, "I'm in and I'm following."

Here are your final details.

Our first objective: Say good-bye to fast food for 30-Days and get in touch with your inner healthy eater. Your body – MY body – longs to be fed. The fatter we are, the easier we get sick, or the less energy we have, the more likely it is we are starving ourselves. This may not be true in terms of food volume, but we are depriving ourselves of life-giving food filled with vitamins, minerals, phytonutrients (the stuff you get from all the gorgeous colors in fruits and veggies), enzymes, and trace elements that are essential to good health and well being. God created it without pesticides and chemicals and he created our bodies to extract every good thing possible. So with that in mind, let’s go.

One example of what not to eat:



MOST IMPORTANT – DROP FAST FOOD. Eat whole foods as often as possible. Make healthy choices when eating out.

ALSO IMPORTANT: Avoid HIGHLY (key word here) processed foods at the grocery store which are just fast foods, or convenience foods, we fool ourselves with by thinking they are healthy options or it doesn’t matter that much. We wink at the fact that they are full of chemicals, flavorings, additives, hydrogenated oils, dyes, emulsifiers, door knobs, and possibly, coat hangers. Okay. The last two were just to see if you were paying attention. For a more complete overview of how to make healthier choices at home and when EATING OUT, read THIS. In the next few days, I’ll be listing label examples of HIGHLY processed foods and the ingredients they include. I think it will be helpful.


Avoid products with MSG. In a different 30-Day period we’ll talk about why and all the different names for it but the BIGGIE is Monosodium Glutamate - MSG. Avoid sodium nitrates or nitrites (mostly found in processed lunch meats and some bacon), and trans fats/hydrogenated oils. Avoid foods that have long lists of ingredients, most of which you don’t understand. Buy organic – IF POSSIBLE and buy local – IF POSSIBLE. If not possible, make your BEST choices and feel good about it. These few changes will go a long way toward taking a load off your liver, or nervous system, and/or blood fats (bad cholesterol and triglycerides – those things the doctor is always on you about).

I have been asked, “What about flour? It’s processed.” And, “What about dairy? Same thing.” Or, “I just CAN’T give up my diet soda. Can I do this anyway?”

The answer to all these questions is, “I need a hair cut. I SERIOUSLY need a hair cut.” I scared myself this morning when I looked in the mirror.

But I’ll try not to think about it for a minute and address your concerns.

Here’s the deal: Remember the rules? “Do Your Best. No, REALLY, do your best.” That’s it. I told you that would be hard. Because your best won’t be perfection. Neither will mine and I’m not convinced they need to be. If we feed our bodies healthy, REAL food most of the time, they can stand up to the occasional assault of bad choices. Our problem, especially as Americans, is we often live the other way around. We eat pretty poorly, especially if we eat fast food a lot, and then think we can regain our health, or proper weight, if we throw in something healthy now and then.


What if I slip up and find myself at the drive through?

There are no cameras and no police to arrest you. YOU will be asking yourself, “Is this my best?” Only you can answer that. If you cave this time, keep trying! Did you know that research shows ONE MEAL can make a difference in your blood chemistry? For good or bad. Keep going and don’t let one bad meal make you quit. DON’T GIVE UP!

But, what if I can give up fast food and not my diet soda (or regular soda)? Do I even qualify to join you?

Of course! If you can give up fast food, you’re STILL way ahead of the game. Don’t count yourself out. After 30-Days of no fast food, you may find you have the willpower to say goodbye to soda, too. Keep the big picture in mind.

Okay, I gave up fast food but I’m not ready to worry about processed foods. Am I still in?

Again, YES! Because one good choice often leads to another and I’m betting you’ll start thinking more about what you’re feeding yourself.

But what about if I already eat well?

You’re WAY ahead of the game so start trying to find organic and locally grown as much as possible. And increase your veggies, especially raw. It’s where most of us are lacking even when we eat well.

And if I’m already doing all that?

Then start growing your own organic grains and grinding your own wheat and baking bread for the rest of us! And please ship us your grass-fed beef and free-range chickens! And weigh in here frequently and tell us how you do it all. Because you are much admired and I honestly have NO idea.

There are multi-levels and ways of doing this.

Will I buy flour? Yes. Mind you, I buy organic, and mostly whole-grain flour but I’m not growing and grinding my own. Don’t I think buying fresh, recently grown grains, and grinding them into the flour I will be using to bake our bread is the best way? Well ABSOLUTELY! It’s just that most of us will not live that way and don’t find it sustainable due to busy schedules and full, demanding lives. So then we quit in a puddle of failure, drive through “Diabetes R Us,” and give up. This isn’t “all or nothing.” This is a very healthy and balanced “SOMETHING.” And it is HUGE.

Will I buy milk? Yes. But I will, and do, buy organic milk. If it costs more, we drink less. And I supplement with raw milk which is readily available in California. We’ve also been drinking raw milk for over three years. Luscious. If you have questions about this, I’ll be glad to do a posting and send links to great sites.

Will I buy bread or bake it?

Yes. The End. We need bread. But when I buy it, and I WILL, I will look for organic bread, preferably with sprouted grains. Costco carries organic bread and Trader Joe’s carries organic, sprouted grain breads. Also, Trader Joe’s has committed to trying not to buy foods that contain GMO’s (genetically modified organisms). They will not guarantee that it never happens as there can be cross-contamination but that is their desire and goal in all their foods.

Will I drink soda? No. Not diet or anything else. And we don’t use any artificial sweeteners.

Will I eat sugar or chocolate? If the world continues to revolve in 24 hour cycles and does not come to a complete halt, then the answer is yes. If not, then I’m getting off anyway. Now mind you, it will be only OCCASIONALLY and I will TRY to substitute raw honey, or rapadura (raw unprocessed cane sugar – sort of powdery) but it won’t always happen and I will not consider myself a failure. When I eat chocolate – oh, chocolate, have I told you lately how flat, dark, and handsome you are? – I will use or eat dark chocolate, and if possible, organic. In other words, REAL FOOD, not food made to SEEM real.

Will I buy canned goods? Yes. Because I’m not making a pot of beans everyday, or canning my own tomato sauce. If you do, WONDERFUL! but I can’t manage it. So I will be buying organic and made in the U.S.A. (check all labels for country of origin where standards might not be as high as ours and THAT’s saying a LOT…ahem….I’ll stop there). Again, I’ll be showing some label comparisons in a few days but look for SIMPLE, EASILY RECOGNIZABLE INGREDIENTS. NO MYSTERIES. Your food should not be worthy of a C.S.I. episode.

To repeat: This is about making HEALTHY CHANGES. A little at a time. Slowly. In 30-Day increments. This isn’t about thinking of your food 24 hours a day. You know why? I’ve thought about food 24 hours a day. I’ve taken our family down to eating 15 different kinds of food for eight weeks to find out what we are sensitive to. It was hard. It was amazingly informative. What it wasn’t was sustainable.

As a VERY wise 19th century newspaper editor named George Dennison Prentice once put it: “What some call health, if purchased by perpetual anxiety about diet, isn’t much better than tedious disease.” I know that to be true.


30-Days from now we will move on to the next 30-Day phase which will be exercise. We will look at ways to incorporate a little or a lot, depending on our individual abilities. But we’ll get moving. And we’ll commit to each other to “DO OUR BEST” if we want to continue on.

My vision for this is a year of 30-Day increments where we change habits a little at a time, slowly adding up to big, significant changes that can impact our health, the health of our families for years to come, and the way we grow our food. But I simply CAN’T do everything all at once. I’m thinking it might be hard for you, too. I’m positive we’ll all be an encouragement to each other. You are not obligated in ANY WAY to continue on, but I think you may want to. I quit fast food three weeks ago – and so did Grizzly, Bo, and The Wild Man. We all feel better for it. We’re all committed to continuing.

And there will be incentives to continue! Even now, I’m negotiating with sponsors who will be supporting our efforts through great giveaways. A big THANK YOU to Chipotle who wants to support our healthy efforts by offering giveaways! They will not be shaping or dictating what we do. They will be supporting what we’re already doing.

One last thing……

PLEASE DO THIS: Make a few tiny notes (or huge long paragraphs if you’re desperately compelled to do so like, uh, certain people I may or may not know and who may or may not author blogs known as Robynn’s Ravings) about any positive change you see. It’s EASY to forget GOOD THINGS and think nothing is different. I have already noticed changes in my skin and weight, and a slight increase in energy (even though I had the usual reaction to medicine which ALWAYS impacts my liver and leaves me in pain and with a liver that doesn’t want to show up for work.) Write it down and share it with us along the way as well as your own readers, if you blog.

And share this with a family member or friend. Don’t become an obnoxious food nazi. But when they ask why you’re packing your own lunch or why YOUR food looks SO much better than theirs, tell them. Gently. Don’t do what I did to a sweet friend who recently asked a bunch of us about all these ideas. I think we opened up a fire hose of information on her. She went away shell shocked. I'm grateful she’s still speaking to me. Use me as a terrible warning.

Time to gird our loins. Time to put on the gloves. Time to kick some serious fast food booty. Let’s THROW DOWN!

(The 30-Day Throw Down! will soon have its own blog so that information about what we’re doing is readily accessible and you won’t have to hunt for back articles.)

Copyright 2009


  1. I don't know how ready I am, but I'm gonna do my best! I've stocked up on oatmeal and whole grain bread...fresh fruit, and skim milk.

    I won't have a driver this week, so I will have to settle for frozen veggies, but that's better than canned - right?

    I've got fresh lemon's to squeeze into my water (to replace the Gatorade Powder), chicken breasts are in the freezer, but shoot, I forgot to get eggs. Maybe a friend will take pity and pick some up for me.

    Tatie and I have been eating up all our Ding Dongs, Ho-Ho's, and Double Stuffed Oreos, so that they won't be a temptation for us!
    Ain't ya proud? LOL

  2. I blogged about it and some of my friends said they will do it as well.I have only lost a pound so far but I can wear 2 shirts I couldn't before so this gives me hope:)Hugs Darcy

  3. This comment has been removed by the author.

  4. I'm sitting here eating a Tombstone Pizza just to get rid of it. I've eatten all my vanilla creme filled cookies and switched to low fat graham crackers. That is a HUGE step for this old Okie. I'll be eating a lot of home grown blackeyed peas and boiled red potatoes, home grown tomatoes, perhaps made into salsa to go in my beans because I've got an abundance of hot banana peppers and cayenne peppers that I've grown... but I will be trying to learn as I go along and that, truthfully, is something that I've never even tried to do. I figured at almost 65 and not being a cook except by necessity, something was gonna kill me one of these days so I'll watch out for other things than what I put in my face... But someone wants me to hang around a bit longer so I'm going to do it like I got into computers... kicking and screaming but taking little baby steps forward until I learn to enjoy it.

    Love you SASS!


  5. I'm committed. But maybe I need to BE committed - I dunno.
    All I know is that I'm going to give this my best shot and if YOU can do it, Libby and I can too!
    (ya hear me, my little Crosco co-hort? We CAN do this!)

    The milk is a no-brainer for me, because I've refused to use processed milk for years, so only buy organic or raw... but as for the rest?
    Oh my... say a prayer for me, please.

    Oh sweet CHEESES! My word verification is:
    HERSHY !!!

    Sorry about deleting the last comment, but my spelling was horrible - I shoulda had the light on. ;-)

  6. Whoopah!! I'm ready!

    I am actually starting today (Monday) and plan to blog my daily intake and how I'm feeling. Started today with a 5km walk with a friend at 6am so I'm off to a good start already. Lunch will be a wholemeal salad sandwich and dinner is planned.

    If you're doing this Throw-down how about posting your healthy recipes as you go. Can't wait for mre inspiration.

    Cheers - Joolz :)

  7. I am thinking you need to find a more appetizing fast food meal. No one would eat that crap and not all fast food look that bad. ;)

    Can we have another week to clean out our fridges and pantries? Please?

    OK, I'm ready.

  8. I'm in for the 30-days! I love the fact that it is starting on Sept. 1 since to me that always feels like New Year's Day!

    I already quit soda so that part won't be hard. Fast food will be a little harder, but even at those places there are better choices than the burger and fries.

    Thanks for suggesting the challenge!

  9. I'm in and I'm following, but just because I want the challenge, not because I care about the $100 gift card to Amazon. Frankly I just want to be more aware of what goes into my mouth. I'm pretty close already, but there are things... glad chocolate (in limited amounts) is permitted, or right there I'd be a goner.

  10. Okay, question. My family and I ate ice cream tonight, but it was made from scratch in the ice cream maker in my very own kitchen, with the most pure ingredients -- organic milk, sugar, egg, cocoa powder, cream, & vanilla -- so that really makes it like health-food, right?

  11. I'll do my best...will check out the blog for this challenge!

  12. I'm a follower now! Sign me up for the give away and I am GOING to give up fast food for 30 days. Hubby and I discussed it tonight and he is supportive.

    Let's throw down!!!

    I'll blog about the 30 Day Throw Down on Tuesday.

  13. Ready Set GO! BANG and were off.
    I FOLLOW YOU ALREADY ROBYNN! Going to twitter this posting again and again!
    and.....maybe sometime during all this my new domain will be officially up and running...running a muck right now with weird bizarre transfers.
    Before I finally finish submitting this after several attempts let me say this...Bloggers leave your comments is the pits!!! Works half the time.

  14. I think I just got though the hard part...that is I figured out how to sign up! I am computer stupid BUT so ready for this! Being a organic farmer, I have no excuses why I have not been doing this all along. I even have my own chickens and we sell our produce at the farmers market so if there is something I am not growing myself I have access to it weekly. Really, NO EXCUSES!!!

  15. I'm ready! I already talked to Hubby and he's going to do it with me (and the kids by proxy of course).

    Also, I might not be kicking the diet soda habit (thanks for the honorable mention) but I have decided to go vegetarian again. I was vegetarian for 6 years and I just always felt so good back then! Not to mention I was SO SKINNY. Of course, I was 16 and hadn't yet had 3 kids in 5 years so that may or may not have been related to vegetarianism, but what could it hurt? Vegetables are awesome.

    And so are you! Thanks for hosting this =)

  16. Well done you guys!! I am kind of doing this anyway (really REALLY trying not to sound Smug And Irritating)... but as a token of love to you, will bake my own bread. There... how about that! Would send you my freshly laid eggs from my girls in the garden, but might get a bit Yucky in Transit.
    Drink Loads of Water. Not too much,or that is bad too.. but a good eight to ten glasses a day. That alone will put a spring in your step. (read 'Your body's many cries for water,' by Doctor Batmanghlidj... hope I spelt that right... read with a pinch of salt because the guy is extreme in his views, but he sure has made my headaches and asthsma better)
    Hugs! XXX

  17. I think I already said so but I can't remember so..I am in. I follow.AND I am ready. I am behind on reading and catching up with everyone though...I feel your pain re: Bo. It's like the universe shifted. They are no longer those little girls but they actually think they are adults.Uggg,I miss the pigtails and tea parties.

    PS: look at the great word verification you gave me today: futromen

  18. I am sooooo ready to kick FFB (Fast Food Booty!) Because of your original posting ... and some serious self-analysis (and work) I am starting this week (and this Throw Down) with FOUR LESS pounds. Woo Hoo for me ... and Thanks for you.

  19. Well, here goes! Good Luck to everyone!

  20. I so love this article!

  21. I so love this article!

  22. Man, my last BW3's. *sigh* I can do this!!! We are canning our tomatoes this week and I have a freezer full of farm-raised, grass-fed, we butchered beef. It is going to be a good month.

  23. Amen to giving up FAST FOOD!! so hard....but a must! ♥

  24. I started yesterday. mainly because I couldn't eat a thing all day until dinner time. (you know why) I ended up just having a very healthy salad last night and man... it was yummy!

  25. Hey Robynn! I am throwing down with ya...consider me in!!! (And a loyal follower I am). Love this challenge! :)

  26. Kudos to all who are doing this. We don't eat fast food but we do dine out often and always ask for alternatives to french fries. You will notice a difference in how good you will feel.

    Robynn I finally did some sewing with the japanese fabric and it's a giveaway. Come check it out!

  27. You will find a list of the ingredients in which MSG is hidden on the Web page of the Truth in Labeling Campaign:

  28. I am in ....funny we know these things but sometimes take a little prodding to make the effort.. Love you for doing this Robynn.

    Debra G

  29. I'm in too. Organic it is. If there's anything else I should be doing or not doing, please let me know!

    The fast food part will be the easiest...I don't do it much anyway. I'd really like to cut out meat...

  30. I would like take part as well.. I have already pretty much give up Fast food, and soda.. I am working on making all our own bread using soaked grains...I am going to grind our own grain.. as soon as the grinder gets here:> tomorrow

  31. I am in, Robynn! Thanks for doing this, and inspiring all of us to follow suit! love, Pam

  32. Hi Robyn! Michele at KMK sent me by. Just wanted to drop you a line about beans - Eden Organics beans are grown in the U.S. Eden is based in Michigan.

    Also, I know you said you weren't up for a pot of beans every day, but cooking them in a pressure cooker makes it super easy. Here's my basic refried beans recipe. Big batches of beans are easy in a pressure cooker, and they freeze well once cooked. It saves a ton of money, and since dry beans are a fraction of the weight of canned, it saves gas on their commercial transport.