Smooth Up In Ya



I can finally scratch use a BulletBoys song as a blog post title from my bucket list. Though I believe their song is a bit more lurid than what this post is about.

I’m officially on the smoothie train. Choo Choo? As I continue to improve my eating habits, I realized I still wasn’t including enough fruits and vegetables in my diet. The main reason is that I don’t like fruits and vegetables. Or I’m not used to consuming them, as my previous diet consisted of gallons of slop masquerading as a delicious, addictive dinners in boxes and plastic wrap. Frozen pizza or kefir? Corn dogs or watercress? Hot Pockets or chia seeds? The previous me always chose the former because it was easy and I can be a bit lazy at times. And I think when a person struggles mightily with addiction and depression, we tend not to eat properly. We just stuff crap down our throats and head back to the racetrack, the pipe, and/or the couch with the sole intent of killing the hunger without caring about vitamins and minerals and overall nutritional value. Junk in the belly, then a dose of poison for the mind. It’s a lovely way to live if living like a degenerate vagabond sounds fun to you. Anyway, I needed more fruits and vegetables in my diet, so I hopped aboard the smoothie train.

First, let me say that my posts about food/ health are geared more towards folks who have dealt with relentless mental adversity at some point and they have a growing desire to make changes, tiny or massive, in an attempt to begin life again. My advice is quite simple, I’m not offering anything revolutionary or complex, just basic ideas to help a person get started on a new path to a healthier lifestyle. I only write about concepts that have worked for me. I was a notoriously horrible eater my entire life and If I can make adjustments, anyone can. Choo Choo?

I bought a blender. An affordable blender. I’m on a tight budget and I always use research to help me find quality products at a fair price. I settled on the Hamilton Beach Single Serve blender. The reviews were almost universally positive, and at a cost of less than $20.00, I couldn’t resist. You can find this one at Wal-Mart and many other big box stores. This isn’t really a device to use if you’re making smoothies for the entire family. If that’s the case, you should probably spend the extra cash and purchase the highly-regarded Vitamix or something similar. The Hamilton Beach makes a single serving, which is probably why it’s called a single serve blender. One benefit/detriment: When you buy one, the people behind you at the store, as well as the clerk, will know you’re a lonely drifter who finds solace and connection in fruity, blended beverages, and you’re one who eschews the taunt of organic love, not because of enlightened philosophical insight, or the caustic belief that long term relationships breed robotic emotions and monotonous hearts, but because making a smoothie is more appealing than staring at bland walls during the dark night of the soul, when you realize that you mock fated love and all its entanglements because it continues to elude you. So, enjoy buying that single serve blender!

I was now armed with a machine that obliterated things. I briefly thought about blending my mercurial pet, but I wasn’t convinced the Hamilton Beach could pulverize cat bones. And she would most assuredly seek feline vengeance with her other eight lives. No gracias. I also considered dropping a lock of hair from a previous love interest in there, with the hope that I could drink a chilled glass of sweet and sour indifference mixed with coconut shampoo. But that seemed too Ted Bundy-esque. I decided to go with fruits and vegetables.

Through vigorous keyboard pounding, I learned that frozen fruits and vegetables are just as healthy as fresh ones. The difference between the two is almost nonexistent, contrary to the narrative that fresh is always better. When produce is frozen, it occurs at peak ripeness and it retains most of its nutrients and will continue to do so for months in the freezer. Fresh produce loses nutrients each day it sits in the grocery or your refrigerator. Tick Tock. Here is one of many online articles about this subject. You can use whatever you want. I actually do freeze a couple of fresh fruits myself, like bananas and red grapes. Basically, you lay them out on a sheet pan with parchment paper and place them in the freezer for around 4 hours. Then remove and place them in plastic freezer bags. Keep in mind that frozen fruits and vegetables tend to be more budget friendly as well.

The grocery is teeming with frozen produce. I had no idea, to be honest. I ended up choosing a large bag of a fruit medley consisting of strawberries, raspberries, blueberries, and blackberries. I also purchased bags of frozen kale and spinach. Wait, what? I BOUGHT KALE AND SPINACH. Choo Choo indeed! And being an aspiring hipster doofus, I bought some almond milk. I was wearing skinny jeans and an ironic t-shirt when I bought the almond milk.

When I got home, I made my first ever smoothie. It was divine. Tart and refreshing, it was like drinking a frosty, liquid unicorn. And the bitter taste of kale was obscured by the luscious fruit. So good. Ridiculously good. I added a splash of water to thin the smoothie out a bit. I make them too thick pretty much every single time. I do not add a sweetener of any kind. Nor do I use fruit juice. Almond milk, fruit, vegetable = delicious. I also make a pumpkin smoothie. I use pure pumpkin, frozen bananas, pumpkin spice, almond milk, and a touch of vanilla extract. Pumpkin is basically a super food, which was news to me. Just make sure the can only includes “pumpkin,” and nothing else. That goes for other products too, like “peanuts” should be the only ingredient in peanut butter and so on. You can experiment with various recipes as well. I recently began playing around with peaches, red grapes, apples, and spinach in a smoothie. You can do whatever you want. The goal is to incorporate nutrient-rich foods into your diet any way possible, and smoothies are an efficient delivery mechanism for that purpose. If you want more smoothie recipes, you can check out the videos of the Domestic Geek on YouTube.

An app called ShopWell has also helped me at the grocery. You can use the app to scan barcodes on food products and it will give each item a score from 0 to 100, as long as it’s in the database. I use it often. Fooducate is another solid app that gives you nutritional information on a vast amount of products. EWG is another site that uses food scores and whatnot.

I’ve also recently been intrigued by aromatherapy. The use of certain aromas to soothe the mind and whatnot seems to be a legitimate practice that is lauded by many, and continues to gain traction in a world where we are constantly searching for a personal pool of serenity. I bought an ultrasonic diffuser and essential oils. I currently use lemongrass, peppermint, and grapefruit. The living room smells wonderful and maybe it’s helping my mood, time will tell. doTERRA, Edens Garden, and Young Living are three respected essential oil companies if you’re interested in learning more. You can also watch videos by the Healing Cave Lady on YouTube. She is knowledgeable and passionate about essential oils and diffusers. She knows her stuff. I also made a couple of reed diffusers using small glass bottles, bamboo skewers, and scented oil. I use one in the bathroom and the other in the kitchen. I’m brand new to aromatherapy, so I’m still learning. It’s only been like two weeks or so.

There is no magic bullet to combat depression. But therapy, medication, healthy food choices, sunshine, exercise, and aromatherapy all have the ability to help in various ways. Try one, try all. Acceptance = Quitting. Persistence = Trying.

The most formidable opponent of change is ourselves. Our attitude. Our expectations. Our flimsy confidence. Our irrational fear. The first step when attempting any type of physical or mental transformation is to start small and only take on what you feel comfortable with. You won’t wake up tomorrow a new person because you drank your first smoothie or ate a salad for lunch. The goal is to let healthier food choices become part of your daily routine. This can happen slowly, you don’t have to change everything overnight. Day by day and meal by meal, you can gradually make improvements in what you choose to put inside your body. And at some point, you’ll wake up and realize, damn, I’m kinda proud of myself. I didn’t eat junk food all month. I’m on the right path.

Improved health is only a blender away. Get that smoothie up in ya.


{The draft of this post was finished before the election results. I’m gutted at the moment. I shared my views a bit on Twitter and Facebook, but let me say that I’ve never been more disappointed in my fellow Americans as I am right now. The bigots and misogynists won. We elected a man who talked about grabbing women by the pussy. We elected a man who wants to build a wall to keep immigrants out. We elected a monster. A reality TV host. I’m sickened by the uninformed, shady Trump voters who set this country back 50 years. What fruit, vegetable, or essential oil can remedy this? America is a dumpster fire.}









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