Green with gladness: spring/summer green smoothie

green_fresh2I started this week a little glum, a smidgeon green with envy. I ended feeling green with gladness and good luck. Like so many things (baby smiles, coos, cuddles, giggles, and wiggles), I wish I could bottle up the feeling to recreate another day.  At least I found a smoothie that closely captures its flavor--fresh like spring, radiant like summer. Since our Little Monkey was born, I've been taking time off from the classroom and have continued a little freelance and steady contract work for this great non-profit organization promoting healthy eating and active living called LiveWell Longmont. It's a perfect arrangement, allowing me to stay home with baby while doing my best here and there to stay current, make connections, build skills, and earn a  little income. For the most part, I couldn't be more grateful...

BUT. (There's always a but.)

Some days are hard. Really hard, even. Some days the cortisol pulsing from my brainwaves feels electric, and I struggle to fit everything in, or make reliable decisions on what to cut out. Sleep is becoming no longer an expendable option, yet often seems the only one. Around 6-months post-partum, I could get one decent night's sleep and feel like Wonder Woman the next day. Now, ten months in, my body persistently says, enough already. You need to give me rest, for real, and seriously.

20140611_142316Some days are lonely. Not to say Baby doesn't fill me up with the most satisfying companionship. He does. But... my "work self" interacts with people mostly on the phone and online. Scheduling with other moms and napping babes is an intricate matter. The windows are short. And as an "old new" mom, many of my friends' children are reaching a point of independence that allows for more parental freedom. Others without kids are out there training, racing and exploring to the degree we did pre-kid, and while I don't feel like I'm missing out, I do feel a little left behind, some times.

Some days, in my "old new" mom status, I'm not sure if little niggles, aches, and oddities are down to lingering changes from pregnancy, lack of sleep, regular training, kinks that come with age, or all of the above. The training and lactating combination is an interesting one, for sure. Some days my body doesn't feel like my own anymore.

Some days I exhaust myself with worry--over what's next for teaching, for raising our precious baby with all his innocence in what can be such a harsh and violent world; and mostly for how I'm ever going to muster the courage to one day let him go.

Some days I'm just exhausted.

And all the while, I'm so thankful. I really am. So lucky that these are my worries, and mostly they are blessings. But...there are days when re-focusing energy on  how good one has it only makes a person feel worse...spoiled and sullen on top of indulging in a little sadness.

I love it when, on those days, the universe steps in just a little and injects a jolt of fire that ignites a mood switch.

green_fresh3This week, the switch was hit with a literal puff of smoke that was our old blender blowing up with my bad mood. We had JUST been wistfully saying how we'd like a Vitamix. Storm clouds were gathering outside,  almonds were roaring in the blender, and ZAP. Blue streak and smoke. And then it was over and everyone was safe. It was a sign. Get your head in gear. Or maybe, get a Vitamix.

It doesn't take much to shake off a bad mood when there's an exuberant, dimpled ball of cuddles in the house. Certainly no need for a bolt of lightning. I would have awakened no matter what. But I do like the timing.

Things picked up in cheerful stride throughout the week. We made arrangements with an occasional mother's helper/sitter to allow for extra time for work outside of nap. We (Little Monkey and I)  made a point of listening, sharing, and relaxing with with moms and babies throughout the week  with new eyes and no expectations. We went to fountain parks and baby pools where Baby cruised and stepped with the most infectious glee, beaming and glowing, yelling "Yay", and "Yi"! I ran into a parent of a former student--then 5, she's now 13, oh my. There's barely time to blink, I was reminded. Breathe in the now.

And finally--hopefully not too flippantly--lest it seem I'm never going to get back to that smoothie, we made a whole bunch of green goodness with our new, killer deal of a refurbished, bargain, upgraded Vitamix, including this one. I can't bottle up pure gladness, or baby kisses like I want to. But it turns out Little Monkey likes to share this smoothie and all its fresh, subtle, not-too-sweet and even a touch savory green glory.  I'll always remember his eager grasp, inviting smile, the way he holds his cup.


 Green & glad smoothie Modified from the Vitamix Tastes Like Summer Smoothie

  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1/3 cup orange juice
  • 1 1/2 cups seedless green grapes
  • 1 1/2  cups fresh spinach leaves
  • 1 cup baby kale
  • 1/4 cup fresh parsley
  • 1/4 cup fresh basil leaves
  • 1/2 cup mango chunks
  • 2 cups ice cubes

Put all ingredients in a high speed blender and process on high until reaching the desired consistency.