Smoothie anything

Today’s post-run smoothie (don’t gag): spinach, soy milk, protein powder (vanilla), avacado, banana, flax seeds and chia seeds. Mmmm, I have to say I didn’t think it would be as good — or as green — as it was. Tasty!

How did I learn to knock back these  green-brown concoctions that look so much like the witches’ brews we used to stir in the sandbox as kids? Sometimes I wonder.

creamed kale for breakfast? weirdo smoothie after a run? yum!

creamed kale for breakfast? weirdo smoothie after a run? yum!

It’s cliche for a woman over 40 to suddenly become obsessed with health, I know it. I generally avoid stereotypes. I’ve never watched an episode of Survivor, have never owned an SUV and never took my kids to Disneyworld. However the health obsession, I will admit, is one I’m deeply committed to.

It started with soup. Somebody gave me a copy of The New England Soup Factory Cookbook several years ago. When I got laid off I started cooking and my family took cover. Every recipe made enough soup to bathe in. Whisper “mulligatawny” near my kids now and they shudder in horror, they may still have nightmares about lentils.

just the basics of sweet potato and corn chowder

just the basics of sweet potato and corn chowder

Because my family shied away from the gallons of soup that hung around, week after week, I was forced to slurp it down and act superior to their Subway and fried Chinese food choices: I didn’t get a sniffle that winter, I was blessed with abundant energy and clear skin (ok, I was the only post-pubescent but that’s beside the point).

I don’t feel the need to go vegan or organic but the basic plant-based diet really took root in me. But I joined the radical group of moms who were holding seminars about toxin-free skin care products and holding townwide recycling events. My contribution was an attempt to get the Meatless Monday movement (“good for you, good for the planet!”) off the ground but it got rescheduled and sent back for study and, I believe, is still being held hostage by committee although I’ve moved out of town.

So, what’s the point? Sometimes I wonder myself, as my athletic performance hasn’t improved noticeably (maybe I could claim it hasn’t declined as much as it might have on a more traditional American diet), I’m not sure I’m going to live forever with all these antioxidants in my system and I really doubt I’m saving even a few square feet of the planet. I guess I’m just following my gut toward what feels right for me to consume.

quinoa and other stuff I can't believe I eat

quinoa and other stuff I can’t believe I eat

Vegetables aren’t the only thing I consume these days, I wash them down with huge volumes of health information from every source. A lot of it is complete BS, I’ll admit.

What started with a healthy interest in the New York Times “Well” column has devolved into wasting time on stuff like  “6 Powerful Ways to Boost your Magnesium Levels.”  Nor have I heard of many of the things they’re talking about ingesting, like the newest fad grain, teff. Do they pay someone to go find these oddball items just to stoke the obsessive interests of health nuts? I believe so, and here is more evidence: I watched (while working) an entire Dr. Oz show that was about “What Would Jesus Eat?” and I knew I’d surpassed the normal bounds of health information. I had a giddy reaction to a quick stop in a Whole Foods, another red flag! Soon thereafter a former movie star was on a TV show talking about how he consumes most of his food after it goes through a blender and I knew I needed to put the brakes on and chew something before I’m so old that I need to smoothie everything.

Don’t be surprised when we’re all adding expensive packets of dirt to our smoothies to capture some of those elusive “minerals” that are missing from our otherwise over-scrutinized diets. It will happen.

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