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lunch smoothie

Originally uploaded by l@in.

The other day 1L asked me some questions about my smoothie making. I thought they were pretty good so I thought that I’d just write about them here, instead of responding on my flickr stream. I didn’t really start making smoothies until the cancer thing was really under control. I wanted to eat more healthfully which was something that I’ve been trying to work on for the past few years, but my health issues really kicked this into high gear. I started reading about people who were using nutrition to combat cancer, mainly macrobiotics. I feel like I’ve made a lot of progress, but it’s an ongoing thing. Joanna and I did a week of raw eating last summer. I’d definitely like to do that again. I don’t think I could do it all the time but I think it’s a good break from normal eating and gets me back into eating more fresh, unprocessed foods. I still eat too much sugar and sweets in general. That said, the last time I saw my doctor, he said my cholesterol was in a really healthy range and I’d lost some weight, so clearly I’m doing something right.

Anyway, 1L asks:
“I’ve been thinking about juicing for a while now, and I’ve got a couple questions for you, if you have the time:
-Where do you find your smoothie recipes, or do you just make them up and experiment?
-Did you buy a special juicer or blender? I don’t have either right now, but was looking to buy a blender with some BB&B gift certificates that I have.
-Do you transport smoothies to work for lunch, or just drink at home?”

At first I looked for smoothie recipes online. I think I found a lot on raw food blogs. It might have been through Kris Carr’s Crazy Sexy Cancer documentary that I really started to consider juicing and green smoothies, using kale as a base for the smoothie. After I made them a bunch, I just started throwing anything in. Now I’ve started to experiement with more vegetables. The other day I put leftover broccoli in it, and today some fresh carrots that need to be eaten. I’ve discovered that pretty much everything works. Also, if you’re drinking it right away, ice is a good thing to add for texture and temperature.

I usually try to throw a little bit of fruit juice in too, but not too much and I use water as the liquid base. Though, if you’re looking for protein, all fruit and a little yogurt or milk is a yummy smoothie. I think the weirdest smoothie I’ve ever made was when I was recovering from surgery and got a really big protein craving. I put a banana, milk, and a few tablespoons of peanut butter in the blender with some ice. It was pretty good.

I use a plain old Oster blender that I’m pretty sure I got in college to make frozen drinks. It’s not special. I don’t think it was the cheapest model I could get, but I don’t think it cost more than $40. You could get something nicer, and it might work better, but right now this one is working for me.

I used to only drink smoothies at home but I was chatting with a friend recently who said that she’d been taking them to work for lunch. I peppered her with questions and she said that it separated a little, but a little stir fixed that. It was fine in terms of temperature if she put it in the fridge right when she got to work. She said that she just put whatever fresh or frozen fruit she had on hand and sometimes used yogurt and it always worked out fine. I tried it the other day; I made a smoothie, popped it in a drink bottle with a straw and froze it. I took it to work and let it sit on my desk and it thawed out in about four hours and was yummy and slushy. This way I don’t have to make the smoothie in the morning, because I’m really lazy and unless I’m working from home, it won’t happen.

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green smoothie

Originally uploaded by l@in.
It’s day 4 of eating raw. Last night I got ambitious and tried a soup recommended by 1L. After fighting with the blender a bit, the soup was blended and looked and smelled delicious. Unfortunately when sitting down to enjoy it there was something in the texture that was simply too much to deal with. The girl and I took several bites, and kept asking each other if we liked it. “It’s good,” followed by the addition of something to the soup – sunflower seeds, more grape tomatoes. The it was decided that it would be better if you had something to cut the flavor and texture – like a cracker or some nice multi-grain bread. Ha! So it was axed and we dined on pre-cut carrots, berries, nuts, tomatoes, and apples. Thanks so much for the recommendation – but it just did not work for us, which sucks since it was so pretty (pictures to come).

That said I got up and made a green smoothie this morning. After last night I was a little concerned but decided to go for it anyway. I used the basic Green and Gone recipe and added a handful of blackberries and a few ice cubes. It was delicious. So good, in fact that I need to get more kale so I can make more.

Green and Gone Smoothie Recipe– modified

* 1 quarter to 1 half fresh pineapple (i used 1/2)
* 3 leaves of Kale
* 1 ripe banana
* 4 fresh mint leaves
* handful of fresh blackberries
* 2 to 4 cups water

Preparation

Place all ingredients in blender.

Start out with only enough water to cover everything about half-way (allows it to blend to a creamy consistency). After all creamy, add more water to get to the thickness you prefer.

When I met Kara Jesella, co-author of How Sassy Changed My Life: A Love Letter to the Greatest Teen Magazine of All Time, at Pete‘s monthly party Chuffed! held during the ALA conference and she said she was doing a piece on librarians for the NY Times, I was intrigued. Fluff piece for the style section? Probably. Fun? The odds certainly looked good. And really if I had a dollar for every time someone quipped that I don’t look like a Librarian, I’d be on vacation right now. So while the “hip librarian” thing might be a new cliche, maybe with a true glut of these articles I can stop trying to come up with a reasonably amusing response every time someone comments on my appearance when I tell them my profession.

I am a little surprised by the twitter over the article (pun intended), although I suppose I shouldn’t be. While I will try to maintain, as my friend Carrie (who is also quoted in the article) put it, some emotional distance from the content of a story that I didn’t write, I will say, that as I stated, it’s true that I finally decided on library school after listening to a zine curator at a public library speak. She was passionate and articulate, and worked in Salt Lake City, for the love of God. I saw her at what was once the Underground Publishing Conference which has since morphed into the Allied Media Conference. The conference that year was full of people who were focused on getting information “out there” to people. Among them, naturally, were librarians, library students, and a great many people who recognized the powerful role that librarians can and do play within society. For me it was less, the job sounding “pretty awesome“, but more opening up the possibility of what the job could be. That it could be more than a job, really but perhaps a personal philosophy, of a dedication to putting information in hands where it was necessary, and useful, and in some, albeit extreme, cases life-changing. To supply an abused woman with the information she needs to get help, to give an elderly world-traveler who can no longer fly on a plane an book that will make them forget that they’re in their own living room, to show a student how to get the information they need to write a good paper. That’s cool. That’s hip. And maybe when I’m done I’ll celebrate with a $10 cocktail, because I’m in DC and that’s just how much a cocktail costs when you miss happy hour.

At the end of the day as Kendra notes, the article wasn’t for us, us being library types. Jessamyn points out that,

“As someone who talked to the author of this article at length about politics, I think the problem was that the publishable article was about hipness but the article the author *wanted* to write about was about progressive politics… I agree, fluffy article, but if it can get a little more attention to the leftist aims of some librarians, I’m all for it.

I couldn’t agree more.

Seriously.

Yesterday when reading the NY Times I noticed that in the top 10 best selling paperbacks in the fiction category, two feature a character who just happens to be a librarian.

“7 – TRUE BELIEVER, by Nicholas Sparks. (Warner, $12.95.) A hip young New Yorker finds love with a beautiful librarian who lives in a North Carolina town.”
“8 – MORNING COMES SOFTLY, by Debbie Macomber. (Avon, $7.99.) A reprint of a romance involving a librarian from Louisiana and a Montana rancher.”

image of red breast irish whiskey

Also Forbes releases it’s list of “must drink Irish whiskeys.” A favorite server at the Irish Lion in Bloomington turned Pete and I on to Red Breast Irish Whiskey, which both of us became rather fond of. mmm….whiskey.

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