Thursday, July 09, 2009

Start From Where You Stand

(... apparently atop a soapbox. I wrote this initially for a magazine, the topic being Think global and Act local. I thought it would be apropos here.)

When I first began to regularly floss my teeth, I was admittedly close to thirty. One would think that threats from a hygienist wielding a sharp rotating pick might convince me to start flossing, but it didn’t. Rather my leap into responsible dental health was in fact a new sense of self care and awareness. It slowly began to dawn on me that this boring and frankly unappealing task was actually a small labor of love and burgeoning gratitude for the teeth that I had the good fortune to care for.

The expression Think Global and Act Local has been on everybody’s mind, coined and applied to divergent areas of life spanning the environment and even business. Many people are beginning to become mindful of how and when to spend their hard earned dollars, even educating themselves on lowering their carbon footprint. Whenever I hear the rally to switch perspectives in order to understand the impact of the individual, I get downright literal. Past the country, to the town, on the street, at the front door to my house and smack dab, to the mass which makes up the entirety of me. Five foot four and a hundred and something pounds- Local!

I think about the myriad choices that I make for the actual care of this body, my earthly vehicle. Naturally next, I think about eating. Now as a person who has boundless enthusiasm for everything food, I have no problem scaling the highest peaks to achieve some illusory culinary ideal. But I understand that not everybody has the patience or interest for complicated fussy foods which yield little more than a sink full of dishes, a depleted wallet, and maybe even a stress induced headache. Most I know however, would like to feel more energized, maybe fit into a certain too small outfit and let’s admit it, eat more vegetables.

I have one suggestion that could improve people’s health and that is to begin consuming Green Smoothies. The green smoothie is the sleeker, fiber filled, grown up version to the primped up too sweet fruit smoothie. The ingredients are variable to an individual body's needs and to acclimating taste buds. Essentially it is a fruit smoothie which has bred with some good alkalinizing greens like kale, lettuce, parsley, and celery. Because the raw leaves and stalks are all blended up, the mouth and gut do not have to work so hard to digest the foods. Relief! It is much easier to consume an extra two or three servings of vegetables and fruit a day, and the body is actually assimilating the amino acids, phyto-nutrients, minerals, and vitamins. Don’t you feel better already?

The power of the drink is deceptive. Kids love it, in spite of the fact that dark leafy greens are hidden within. Yes it is true that small health issues might resolve themselves, weight might be lost, and one’s outer beauty begin to sparkle. But I think the power of the drink is that it is a signal to the self about deep nourishment. Somehow I feel we have lost connection with that which cherishes life fearing we don’t have time or thinking that care is self indulgent. One change begets another, and the power of reverence wedded to action, cataclysmic. As we come to this cross road and find so many aspects of life in need of healing, I say we raise our glasses to the health of all: our cells, our communities, and our world. Salut!

Basic Green Smoothie:
2 kale leaves, washed and torn
A handful of spinach
1 ripe banana, roughly chopped
1 handful of frozen berries
½ -1 C water/soymilk/juice
1 Tblsp. Of any: Hemp powder, flax seed oil, coconut oil, carob or cocoa powder (optional)

Directions: Most basic recipes call for about 40% greens to 60% fruit. Experiment and see what you like. Many variety of fruits and vegetables can be used, but be aware of vegetables that are too bitter. As well, consider the power of your blender. I put all my vegetables and fruit in first and then add a bit of liquid to start with, jiggling the container every once in awhile to allow the food to come in contact with the blade. Add more liquid if need be, as the mixture begins to break down and you get the desired consistency. Enjoy!


Anh said...

Beautiful, beautiful post! I cannot agree with you more about the "think global, eat local" mojo!

Callipygia said...

Anh- it is much easier to follow this during summer months. A parsnip squash smoothie doesn't quite sound the same!

Chelsea said...

That was on the mark.

How lucky we are to have these 'earthly vehicles' and for so many of us to be able to choose our nourishment. I'm eager to try this recipe.

Of course, I have to agree - smoothies in winter are just not the same. Bring on the soup!

Callipygia said...

Chelsea, I think you'll love it with your garden! I've put everything from salad mix, kale, cucumbers, lemons and limes into it and pretty much tastes great. Avocado and pineapple go particularly well... Let me know what you think!

Lucy said...

Very apropos.

Just made it with kale from the garden - it's a genuine tonic, and really yum. I'd never have thought to put veg in the blender - the juicer, yes, but the blender, no. Very clever. Mind you, I see from your earlier commentary that some seasonal variations would not be quite so lovely...parsnip...ick!

Caring for the body...sigh...I've just been told I need 4 crowns on my teeth. Damn. I am a Very Good Flosser though.

Callipygia said...

Lucy- I know this drink is a shocker. The friend who introduced this to me drinks one full blender full a day! Very good use of your garden is so nice with cocoa/carob too.

Would it be helpful to think of your new crowns, like bionic teeth impervious to bones and other such hard matter? ... I love flossing too!

Lucy said...

THAT is exactly as I will see them.

Christine said...

This is something I could for sure have all summer long and consider it in the winter, just depends on how cold it is :)

Bill Medifast said...

This is definitely something I could get my kids to drink and they wouldn't even know it's good for them!

Rachael said...

My kids would love this, and they wouldn't even have any clue that I'd let them drink endless amounts of it.

Callipygia said...

Christine, last year I abandoned the smoothie in the wintertime but I am determined to do them throughout the year. Perhaps add a little warmed water so the end result will be more room temperature.

Bill, it is true. I have given this to "vegetable haters" and they love this. With a little OJ or a banana you can easily blend in 2 cups of so of greens!

Rachael, I think some kids would even find the green color fascinating. Adding cocoa and coconut milk makes it even more kid friendly. Also you can freeze these into healthy popsicles!

SarahKate said...

Very well written. I'm trying to practice the idea of eat local here in the UK. It's easier some months than others, but I enjoy a challenge! The smoothie is a fantastic idea!

Callipygia said...

Hi SarahKate, sounds like we're in the same boat. It is definitely much easier eating locally in CA. Give the smoothie a go, I swear it is such an easy way to get a lot more veggies into your life! I have a friend who drinks a whole blenderful a day.

Vivian said...

Hmmm. Now I have to figure out what I did with my juicer...

Thanks for the recipe!

Caleb said...

I found your food blog going through a few links. Glad I ran into it. Didn’t know that the food blog/recipe community was so big online. I love your posts!

I was wondering if you would like to exchange links. I’ll drop yours on my site and you drop mine on yours. Email at or stop by my site and drop a comment. Let me know if you would like to do a link exchange.