D-tox January, Day 20: Groovy Green Smoothie from Diet, Dessert and Dogs

San Francisco skyline

The San Francisco skyline from my morning dog walk

Today starts out on somewhat of a serious note. It starts with a steady stream of cars at the bottom of our street and nobody giving us a break, slowing down and letting us turn right. I blurt out “typical – everyone is thinking of nothing but themselves”. Oops. C replies “yeah, that really is a problem a lot of the time”. Wise words from a 7 year old boy. Somehow we then jump from how in England someone definitely would have given way (the country of politeness, diplomacy and knowing how to queue), to a broader discussion on cultural differences all over the world. C then asks “what are Asians like?”. Wow, what a question. I tell him that there are a lot of different countries that make up Asia and that there is no one way of describing the personality of an entire continent. I explain that that’s why it’s so important to travel and see the world and get a better understanding of how different people live. The response to that is “but I wouldn’t want to travel to Afghanistan. There’s a war there”. We agree that traveling to a country where there is a war probably isn’t a great idea and we then go on to discuss why wars happen – land, religion, oil – all that kind of stuff. As we pull up to school, I ask whether all of that was too complicated a conversation for first thing in the morning. “Oh no” C replies. “It’s good”.

It makes me realize how quickly my kids are growing up and I start to wonder what they are going to be. I quickly conclude that that’s irrelevant as all that matters is that they are happy. I really hope that I can stand by that in a few years time! I get home from the school tun and dog walking and turn on KQED radio. Amy Chua is being interviwed on her new book, “Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother.”, and her views on parenting. It’s amazing what a stir her book and her recent article in the Wall Street Journal, “Why Chinese Mothers Are Superior,” has been causing. In her interview she actually comes across as pretty reasonable. Opinionated – but reasonable. She points out several times that the book is based upon her own experiences and also suggests ‘everything in moderation’ more than once. I’m now wondering whether I should read the book in order to be able to form my own opinion. I guess it was good PR… Maybe I’ll start with going back to the WSJ article first. Too many books to read, so little time.

On to another amazing lady, who writes beautifully and is very eloquent in the voicing of her opinions: Ricki Heller is a fabulous cookbook author, blogger and many more things too. Her Blog, ‘Diet, Dessert and Dogs‘, is a great place to go and hang out and she has so many cute piece of her dogs. Ricki even has her own Amazon page (I get impressed by stuff like that) and today she introduced me and D-tox January by calling me ‘affable’. Now I’ve never knowingly been called affable before, but realize that it’s probably rather accurate and that it’s actually quite endearing. I’ll say that over in my head the next time I’m feeling a tad grumpy. Thank you Ricki.

Ricki has posted a wonderful flu-busting groovy green smoothie today. Why ‘groovy’? Ricki explains it all with a wonderful story from her childhood. Love it. This smoothie is a great way to start the day and will keep your hunger pans at bay. Enjoy!


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  1. Ricki says:

    Thanks, Nicola! I think you need to visit Toronto if you really want to experience “polite.” ;) And “affable” is a good thing, yes? :)

    • nstockmann says:

      It is indeed a god thing. ;-). Funny – when we went to Vancouver a few years ago, the first thing we said was “everyone is just like us”. ‘Just like us’ is stretching it a bit far, as we are a British/German/Swedish mix between us, but the politeness thing definitely made us feel like home. Toronto is well and truly on the ‘to do’ list!!!

  2. Funny, I just read another blogger’s thoughts on the “Tiger Mother.” http://hailbritannia.com/2011/01/18/on-celebrity-mothers-and-tiger-moms/
    Off to check out Ricki’s smoothie.

    • nstockmann says:

      Everyone is talking about her… Rumor has it that the WSJ added the ‘superior’ in there. I find her methods extreme and ask myself whether the kids are truly happy, but she is very open about the fact that that’s how Western parents feel. It doesn’t make me angry. Amazing that people can get so angered about the fact that someone has pointed out a cultural ‘this is how it is’ fact….

  3. Another thought-provoking piece, Nicola. Your little guy is a sage at a young age. Am not aware of Tiger Mom. Will check her out. Love Ricki. And, I do think you’re affable. :-)


  4. [...] Smoovy”), Brittany (Real Sustenance with Raw Cacao-Raspberry Avocado Smoothie), Ricki (Diet, Dessert, and Dogs with Groovy Green Smoothie), Sea (Book of Yum with her version of Apple Mojitos), Amy (Simply Sugar & Gluten Free with [...]

  5. Nicola, I’d never heard of Tiger Mom as I said, but I heard more about her right after this post. Here’s one link: http://www.getrichslowly.org/blog/2011/01/27/the-tiger-mother-and-you-are-we-preparing-our-kids-for-a-better-financial-future/. She was on CBS Sunday morning, too, but I couldn’t find a link.


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