I'm having one of those rare moments where the only sound I hear is the arctic blast from the air conditioner kicking on, then silence. Blast, then silence. I could go on like this for...seconds. Ha. The phone is not ringing, my sweet Sage is fast asleep on my brother's bed, Folsom is napping, even my brother's dog and cat are napping. Occasionally, I hear the faint sounds of bumper-to-bumper downtown Dallas traffic. Not loud enough to rupture my tranquility, but just enough to remind me that there is an entire world bustling on the other side of the fence.
This is one of the rare moments I have all to myself. David is off meeting with clients and my brother is at work. Everyone and everything around me is giving me time to pursue my own passion: writing. I'm not running or cleaning or returning emails or jacking around on facebook (though I have a kabillion tabs opened for email, facebook, mapquest, etc.)
Breathe. I need to take a deep breath and let the silence inspire me. Close my eyes...wait, damn. Now I can't see my computer. What...?
This is rare, indeed. So many topics swim around in my imagination and I feel pushed to rush through a checklist. Slow down, Christy. Breathe. Write about what you KNOW...
(Pausing for a few rare moments to catch my breath, to choose ONE thing to write about...)
Green smoothies. I know, I seem to be obsessed with juicing and smoothies. I assure you, this is no superficial love-affair. Not a crush, nor a fling. My interest in the liquid component of my diet is pure...true...love. Why? First, to further the romance metaphor, let's look at the 'nice ass' factor, the superficial layer of first attraction. The first thing I love about smoothies and juicing is their convenience. Quick and easy to concoct (and clean up), liquid nutrition is also very portable. Throw a bunch of nutrition into a superfast machine, then pour and slap on a lid. Done.
Second, just about anybody will drink it. No longer will texture prevent you or your loved ones from trying super-healthy (but possibly too mushy, too slimy, too ICKY) produce. Throw just about anything together, sweeten with a few apples, and it's tasty. Unless of course you are opposed to apples...try pineapples instead!
Third, these concoctions feed your body what it needs efficiently. Proteins, fibers, vitamins/minerals A to Zinc, and more. No cooking, no chewing, no competing with processed ingredients. In your mouth and directly to the systems that rely on this "fuel."
Fourth, eating this way is more affordable than you might think. Buy fruits, veggies and herbs that are in season and locally grown, if possible. Usually they are at their lowest prices then, and are more nutritious because they didn't have to be picked too early to survive a long transport. Organic is ideal for some but not all produce. Check out Environmental Working Group's "dirty dozen" and "clean fifteen" guides to help you decide which is better for you and your family: http://www.foodnews.org/walletguide.php?key=39035933
Next, if you are trying to lose weight, this is much better than other choices available. No pills, no hard-to-remember rules (like only eat before 6pm or you'll turn into a pumpkin...) No learning curve to figuring out new recipes...I could go on...but let me just remind you of the KISS principle. "Keep it simple stupid or silly or sweetie", depending on your mood. Experiment and feel good because you have blessed your body with what it needs. In return, it thanks you by purging all the processed foods, the chemical junk you have been consuming throughout your lifetime.
And finally (at least until I edit this and come up with many more great things about smoothies and juicing), eating in this way is very eco-conscious. If the produce is organically or least locally grown, you are supporting agricultural practices that minimize (and in many cases eliminate) synthetic chemicals, such as pesticides, herbicides and fertilizers. You reduce emissions resulting from transporting produce over long distances, thereby improving air quality. There is virtually no waste involved in the preparation or consumption of these meals. Any scraps resulting from preparing the produce may be diverted from the landfill and instead composted or reused (e.g., muffins made with carrot pulp, etc.) Plentiful recipes are included with various brands of blenders and juicers. As you incorporate more and more of this liquid gold into your diet, and you begin to shed excess weight, you will take up less room on the planet, too. :)
As I sip my green smoothie (watermelon, spirulina powder and water), I think back to the moment I first became infatuated with smoothies and juicing. Victoria Boutenko explains in her Green For Life the nutritional content of all sorts of greens, with special emphasis on things we commonly refer to as "weeds." Lambs-quarters, dandelions, and more are packed with higher nutritional quality than more familiar greens, such as romaine or iceberg. Fascinating book, and it completely changed the way I view food, nutrition, wellness. No cooking necessary; rare, indeed.