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Tag Archives: smoothie
A crash of thunder jolted me awake, but I kept my eyes closed. The rain pelted the metal roof – loud, but soothing. I miss the sound of rain on the roof, you don’t hear that when you live in an apartment and have four floors above you. You don’t hear thunder in a corporate high rise, you just see the sideways rain if you happen to look over at the windows that are several cubicles away. And you think to yourself, well, look at that. That is something, before you hunch back over your computer.
A flicker of light penetrated my eyelids, and thunder broke apart in the sky again, not more than a mile away, from what I could tell. I snuggled further under the soft white sheets and linen comforter.
The low background rumbles came as persistently as waves crashing, punctuated by angry exclamations that sounded as if they were directed solely out our house. I opened my eyes to the dim morning light and watched the flickers of lightning across the sky. I checked my phone: 8:30 am.
I pulled back the covers and walked over the the wide bank of windows. The flowers beneath my window trembled under the onslaught of rain, and the pond out back was white with the splash and froth of excited droplets. It was so dim, that I walked to the door and flicked the light switch.
Nothing happened. I flicked it again, tried the other, then went back to the bed to try the lamp. Nope.
Slowly I thought through the full implications of no electricity. No lights for reading. No way to charge of my cell phone and laptop, both which were almost empty. We have well water, which gets pumped up to the house with electricity, so no washing my face, brushing my teeth, taking a shower, or even flushing the toilet.
I sighed and crawled back into bed and dozed, jumping awake at claps of thunder and falling back asleep to soft dreams, until the rain eased and the thunder and lighting moved slowly west. My grandmother woke me up, and we made do with some mouth wash before we lifted up the garage door by hand and took the car out on a little morning jaunt.
Luckily the gate to our property is battery powered, so it swung open to let us out. The gravel driveway is lined by such intense green. I took this green for granted when I lived here, and now it seems like such a luxury to have it right outside my door. I made a note to get out of the central air conditioned house at least a few times during the day and take a walk.
We passed Lou’s corner store, then the tiny Mayo post office, where the power company workers fiddled with the power lines.
We stopped at a gas station to get my grandmother her paper. Behind the counter was a familiar face. “You still work here!” I exclaimed to the guy at the counter. “You’ve worked here since I was in high school.” The day after big field hockey games, I would grab a copy of the Washington Post and eagerly leaf through the sports section to see if they had a picture of me or my stats, and he was always the one who sold me the paper. He smiled his crooked smile, and the manager grinned too. “He’s been working here since he’s been in high school.”
“How long is that?” I asked.
“Nine years,” the guy said. That was comforting to me, that some things stay the same. Everytime I come home there is another new ugly neighborhood cut into what used to be forest, full of McMansions. But this guy was still here at the Exxon, doing his thing with a smile. I left the money for the paper for the paper and went back out to the car.
Next was McDonald’s. Yes, yes, I know. My mom claimed that the smoothies there are just as good as anywhere else, with just fruit, yogurt, and ice, and she wanted us to pick up a couple. I considered this as we parked the car. Do I refuse to give McDonald’s any of my money, regardless of what I’m paying for? Or do I reward them for being willing to offer healthier, whole fruit options? I decided to give Mickey D’s the benefit of the doubt.
Well, I didn’t let them off the hook that easily. “Can you tell me what are in your smoothies?” I asked the girl at the counter.
“Um…” she seemed to be searching for the right words. “It’s got…yogurt… and, mmm, ice…and…wild berry.”
“Um, wildberry? What is that?”
She shrugged. I shrugged. I ordered three smoothies, and asked for some nutrition information. She pulled out a sheet from behind the counter, and I sipped my smoothie while I looked at it. The Wild Berry smoothie tasted pretty good, and had 330 calories. Of course, the sheet didn’t have the ingredients.
When we got home I tucked into a new book by Barbara Kingsolver until the lights all came back on. Then I booted up the computer and looked up the ingredients to the smoothie.
Wild Berry Fruit Blend
Strawberry puree, water, sugar, blackberry puree, blueberry puree, concentratedpineapple juice, concentrated apple juice, contains less than 1% of the following: cellulose powder, xanthan gum, colored with fruit and vegetable juice, natural (botanical source) and artificial flavors, pectin, citric acid.
Low Fat Yogurt
Cultured Grade A reduced fat milk, sugar, whey protein concentrate, fructose, corn starch, kosher gelatin. Contains active yogurt cultures.
Oh, that’s nice. This “healthy” smoothie has lots of sugar, artificial flavors, cellulose powder, corn starch… I should have known better than to trust McDonald’s. Oh well, you live and you learn, I guess.
The rest of the day was fairly uneventful. I met my ex for a casual lunch, just to say hello. I haven’t seen him since we split up in April, and I wanted to see how he was. It was pleasant, sitting on the dock with Maryland crab quesadilla and a Baltimore beer.
After that I went to one of the many new farmers markets in Annapolis, picking up corn, tomatoes, watermelon, onions, and sunflowers. It was a rinky dink little market, with only two tents and bland offerings. No goat cheese, wine, duck, muffins and bread, mushrooms, jam, seafood, or any other beautiful and delicious foods available at Union Square in NYC. But you make do, right?
Maryland is always a lovely break from the city. The dark green and whirr of cicadas, the slower pace. It resets my clock a bit. When will I come back? I don’t know… but New York calls, so I must get back.
I do love buying myself a smoothie, but sometimes I get back too early from my workout and my favorite place is closed. What to do? Make my own! After a couple months of this, I think I have it perfected. And here it is for you dear readers:
Ok, so here we have all the ingredients:
- Kombucha tea, either in Trilogy or Strawberry. (I would suggest it even if you don’t like kombucha, because the flavor isn’t strong in the smoothie. You can find it at whole foods or any upscale grocery store. If you’re totally opposed, – like this gal - Vicki likes using apple juice.)
- Yogurt in strawberry or blueberry.
- Frozen berries (you can get fresh, but this way you get the variety with less packaging and a lower price. Plus they’re already frozen, which I’ve found ups the quality of the smoothie. Less ice and more yumminess! Thanks to Vicki for that!)
- Agave nectar (pronounced A-gauve-ay) for some healthy sweetness. Stevia might work as well, I’m not sure. Either can be found at a health foods store.
- Acai powder, which I got from Whole Foods. The whole bag is pricey, but just a spoonful is enough, so it will last you awhile.
- Protein powder, which you can get almost anywhere.
- A few cubes of ice.
I didn’t give any quantities, because I don’t measure myself. Just use common sense. Lowball it for the protein powder though, because too much can make the smoothie gritty and gross.
It will be deliciously thick and yummy… and healthy!
Yes. I have an addiction. It’s an addiction that makes me walk seven blocks out of my way almost every day. I dream of that sweet (but not too sweet!) fruity flavor of crushed ice, mixed with goji berry, acai, coconut, or organic soy milk. I’m like a devotee to Starbucks who gets the shakes after a day of no tall non-fat lattes from Starbucks, even if I make one for myself at home. But this is better. (Worse?)
In fact, I just walked all the way down there for the express purpose of getting a smoothie. I was devastated to find the lights off and door locked. Missed it by five minutes! I made my own smoothie to make up for it, but it’s just not the same…
It’s called Juice Generation. It’s on 104th and Broadway, with other NYC locations at 72nd and Columbus, 9th Ave and 45th, and 7th Ave and 4th Street. If the guys who work there don’t know my name by now, they certainly know my face. I tend to stop in after yoga, after a workout at the gym, for breakfast, for lunch, for an afternoon snack…really, any route that takes me past that spot will inevitably find me eagerly scanning the menu.
But I’m not ashamed. That’s because many of their ingredients are organic, and Juice Generation sources their apples, wheatgrass and dairy products from local farms. (Can’t say the same for mangosteen, but really? Let’s not be unreasonable.) Also, unlike many smoothie places, they don’t add sugary syrup, just agave nectar.
If I’m feeling a bit too peckish for just 350 calories of the Antioxidant All-star, I’ll grab a Raw Bar or similarly healthy crunchy something to go with it. Perfect!