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Kale and pineapple smoothie

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In Praise of Leftovers

(Read caption) Vegetables can help start the day right. Blend kale, spinach, and celery with frozen pineapple and boost the flavors with lemon and ginger for a refreshing breakfast smoothie or pick-me-up snack.

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I could have called this "Today's Green Smoothie" since it wasn't premeditated at all. Whatever is knocking around the freezer and produce drawer. (And mothers, no. My kids won't touch this. They get a fruit smoothie. We're working up to it.)

I'm trying to eat more vegetables earlier in the day. I find it reduces my cravings for junk food later on, I have more energy, and my skin is softer, clearer. Could that be the case? It's not researched, just experienced. 

I just started what I know will be a life-changing book. "No Ordinary Time: The Rise of Spiritual Intelligence and Evolutionary Creativity" by Jan Phillips. Thanks to Janet Ott for sharing so many resources with me, including this one. Jan tells this story:

I was in graduate school ... on the verge of quitting, when I called [my good friend] for a consult. I told her how out of place I felt, how I was old enough to be everyone's mother, how the students cared more about spring breaks and Cancun than anything we were there to learn. I felt like an outcast.

She asked me three questions, and those three questions changed the course of my life. "Are you eating and drinking moderately?" No, I confessed, admitting to drinking lots of Chardonnay and having a stash of Almond Joy miniatures in all my pockets.
"What are you doing for your body – are you working out?"
"No, nothing."
"What about a spiritual practice? Do you have a spiritual practice?"
"No."
"Jan, don't make any decisions about quitting school right now. Your life cannot work right if you don't have those three things taken care of. Take two weeks to get it together, then call me back."

When two weeks was up and I called Paula back, I was like a new person.
"Paula, you're not going to believe it, everyone on campus has changed dramatically!"

And I'd add a fourth question: "How much sleep are you getting?"

I'm better or worse at it depending on the day, but these questions are so important! The trick is to let them guide my life without feeling guilty, and this is where discipline comes in. I'm trying to make morning meditation non-negotiable, but it's amazing how many ridiculous excuses I come up with. Twenty minutes isn't a long time. I can easily pass 20 minutes checking Facebook, which doesn't do one thing for my soul. When I am cultivating awareness of my body and spirit – eating vegetables, walking, meditating, sleeping instead of screen time – I don't crave the junk as much. I feel settled. I feel me. And I can't do my work in the world – let alone have a prophetic voice! – unless I'm me. This is the only sacred ground I have – the ground of my own being.

Smoothies won't accomplish all this. Ha! I wish. But I find they get me in good groove for the day, and that's pretty darn great.

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Kale and Pineapple Smoothie

Into your blender, throw a giant handful of washed kale, some spinach if you have it, a couple stalks of celery with leaves, a big handful of frozen pineapple (or fresh pineapple plus a couple ice cubes), a wedge of lemon with the peel off, a knob of peeled ginger, and however much water you or your blender requires. My Vitamix just needs about 1/2 cup. 


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