Kale and Pineapple Smoothie

Today's Green Smoothie

Or I could have called this "Today's Green Smoothie" since it wasn't premeditated at all. Whatever is knocking around the freezer and produce drawer. (And mothers, no. My kids won't touch this. They get a fruit smoothie. We're working up to it.)

I'm trying to eat more vegetables earlier in the day. I find it reduces my cravings for crap later on, I have more energy, and my skin is softer, clearer. Could that be the case? It's not researched, just experienced. 

I just started what I know will be a life-changing book. No Ordinary Time by Jan Phillips. Thanks to Janet Ott for sharing so many resources with me, including this one. Jan tells this story:

I was in graduate school...on the verge of quitting, when I called [my good friend] for a consult. I told her how out of place I felt, how I was old enough to be everyone's mother, how the students cared more about spring breaks and Cancun than anything we were there to learn. I felt like an outcast.

She asked me three questions, and those three questions changed the course of my life. "Are you eating and drinking moderately?" No, I confessed, admitting to drinking lots of Chardonnay and having a stash of Almond Joy miniatures in all my pockets.
"What are you doing for your body--are you working out?"
"No, nothing."
"What about a spiritual practice? Do you have a spiritual practice?"
"No."
"Jan, don't make any decisions about quitting school right now. Your life cannot work right if you don't have those three things taken care of. Take two week to get it together, then call me back."

When two weeks was up and I called Paula back, I was like a new person.
"Paula, you're not going to believe it, everyone on campus has changed dramatically!"

And I'd add a fourth question: "How much sleep are you getting?"

I'm better or worse at it depending on the day, but these questions are so important! The trick is to let them guide my life without feeling guilty, and this is where discipline comes in. I'm trying to make morning meditation NON-NEGOTIABLE, but it's amazing how many ridiculous excuses I come up with. 20 minutes isn't a long time. I can easily pass 20 minutes reading stupid tidbits on Facebook that don't do one thing for my soul. When I am cultivating awareness of my body and spirit--eating vegetables, walking, meditating, sleeping instead of screen time--I don't crave the junk as much. I feel settled. I feel me. And I can't do my work in the world--let alone have a prophetic voice!--unless I'm me. This is the only sacred ground I have--the ground of my own being.

Smoothies won't accomplish all this. Ha! I wish. But I find they get me in good groove for the day, and that's pretty darn great.

Kale and Pineapple Smoothie
Into your blender, throw a giant handful of washed kale, some spinach if you have it, a couple stalks of celery with leaves, a big handful of frozen pineapple (or fresh pineapple plus a couple ice cubes), a wedge of lemon with the peel off, a knob of peeled ginger, and however much water you or your blender requires. My Vitamix just needs about 1/2 cup. (I can't resist another chance to mention it. Appliances make me stupidly happy.)

Almond Cocoa Smoothie

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Watch out, world. I got a Vitamix for my birthday.

Yancey coordinated with all our family members to go in on it. Thank you, tribe! I keep joking that someday I won't ask for kitchen appliances for my birthday, but that day hasn't come yet.

I will avoid devolving into an infomercial here, but it's true what they say about Vitamixes. They're amazing, and we're about to embark on the Summer of Pureeing. I love how no special prep is involved--nectarines with peel, whole oranges, half apples, a bit of juice concentrate from the freezer, a big handful of kale. I had briefly entertained asking for a juicer instead, but I'm glad I didn't. All that fiber, gone to waste! 

Of course I am doing the green smoothies (the kids love to gross out) and oodles of fruit. But I made this one for breakfast, and it satisfied that "I just did a good job by having some protein for breakfast" thing.

In other news, I walked the Seattle Rock and Roll Half Marathon with my dear friend Molly, and they announced my name when I crossed the finish line. My first race, first medal of my life (everyone got one--don't get too excited), and it felt good. My favorite part was walking on the Alaskan Way Viaduct on a 75 degree day with no cars and looking out over Elliott Bay. I said to Molly, "I'm so glad we are here." And I was.

And I threw a birthday party for myself, invited some incredible women, and basked in their wisdom, their love for me, and the miracle of another year of life. My spiritual director told me yesterday there was "more of me" in the room than she'd experienced before, and that's Grace. Gift after gift.

Almond Cocoa Smoothie
Get our your blender and throw in one frozen banana, 3/4 c. almond milk, 2 Tb. almond butter, 1 tsp. unsweetened cocoa powder, 1/4 c. old fashioned oats, and a dash of cinnamon. Blend until smooth.