Tuesday, January 16, 2018

An Apple A Day

Me and my friend Angela like to share ideas. Even though we have different ways of eating, we both share in the love of a good smoothie.

She was recently interested in what I put in my smoothies so, because I consider my smoothie an important part of my day, I figured I would just share it here.

Let me start off by saying I don't make my smoothies to taste good, although I've been making them so long I can make one taste pretty palatable. I make them as a way to get in all the super foods I can into one day. I like to call my daily smoothie, my daily medication. I also have an aversion to the medical industry which fuels my personal health responsibility.

I would like to note that it must work, because me nor Toby have been sick with any colds or viruses since the beginning of our smoothie days, which was around 5 years ago....knock on wood.

I see so many people my age with aches, ailments, chronic sickness or disease, obesity and just plain decrepit. I know as I age I look older, but I certainly don't want to feel old. I attribute my good health and energy to my daily smoothie, and of course, a healthy eating lifestyle and daily exercise.

Anyway, on with the smoothie.

First, I keep most of my ingredients frozen. I will only freeze my greens if they're starting to limp in the fridge. I don't complicate freezing greens. I wash and drain them, then grab a handful and stuff them into a baggie and into the freezer.


Things I keep frozen for my smoothies include: All and any fruits, veggies (broccoli, celery, cucumber, etc.), turmeric, avocado, ginger, and lemon slices. I'm never opposed to adding anything out of the ordinary to it either, I've been known to throw in some cabbage and zucchini.

I buy my turmeric and ginger fresh, usually from Whole Foods because that's the only place I can find it fresh in my area.

When I get them home I wash and chop into small pieces...about 1/4 of an inch. I don't know why, but I peel the ginger, but not the turmeric. Be careful with the ginger though, a little ginger will go a long way and ginger can taste really overpowering if you put too much in there.

I also cut my lemon up into slivered halves, skin on. Be careful of too much skin though, as it will make your smoothie bitter.

I quarter my avocados and freeze them. I cut up my celery into 3 to 4 inch stalks and freeze. Broccoli is just washed and thrown into a baggie. I've also been known to buy frozen broccoli in a pinch. I also save and freeze the chunky stalks of the broccoli for smoothies. Cucumbers are just sliced up and frozen.

One hint, if you don't want your cucumbers, lemon slices, ginger or turmeric to be all stuck together I'd recommend flash freezing it first.

Also, if you're including oranges in your smoothie, I found that if you don't drink it right away, it has a really bitter flavor to it, most likely from the pith. Toby doesn't seem to notice, but it's disgusting to me.

Okay, on to the preparation of the smoothie itself. I make my smoothies for two. I really don't have any actual recipe, I just eyeball it.

First, a handful of greens. Today it was collards. A lemon slice, a piece of turmeric, a hunk of broccoli stalk ( I also use the floweret, just not in this one), and celery....


Then a half slice of banana, and a quarter piece of avocado...


Then a whole kiwi, a handful of pineapple, and a few grapes....

 

Then about a tablespoon of unsweetened coconut flakes (mine are organic from Walmart) 3 or 4 Brazilian nuts, and a tablespoon or two of a combo of chia and flax seeds....


Then I add about 5 cubes of ice ( I like my smoothie very cold) and about 2 cups of water and whiz it up....


Ta da...ready to drink. I like to drink mine immediately so I can get the most out of it's nutrients, but Toby saves his for an "afternoon snack" at work...


As you can see, because I eyeball everything, some days I get more than what I need and others I'm off a bit.

Fruits I use the most are pears, strawberries, pineapples, kiwis, grapes, and blueberries. I will buy others if they're in season, and I do use more oranges during the winter months for vitamin C.

Oh!, and I will sometimes use parsley or cilantro if I have it on hand. If you're not a fan of cilantro I would definitely use it sparingly, and even though I like cilantro I have to pair it with certain fruits....usually apples, to mask it's strong flavor.

I hope you found this post helpful.

Sunday, January 14, 2018

Hippity Hop

I don't know why I called the name of this post, Hippity Hop. It was just the first thing that came to my mind, so I just went with it.

Not too much has gone on the first half of the new year. Toby and I did celebrate our 18th wedding anniversary. I always like to mentally note that it's really one more year than what we tell everyone because we "lived in sin" for a year before we actually wed, so in my mind we've been married 19 years.


As with most special occasions, we didn't make a big deal out of our anniversary. We ended up meeting up with a couple we've been socializing with on occasion at THE OWL in Elgin.

We had a good time. We had just missed the filming of a super bowl commercial with the Clydesdale horses. The bartender showed us a video of it. I didn't really care about the filming, but I would have loved to look at the horses. One of the bar guests, said they were still around, just up the street. If I had been by myself, I would have gone in search of them, but I really didn't want to embarrass Toby buy dragging our dinner companions to look for horses.

I will be watching the Superbowl this year, just so I can see downtown Elgin in a commercial.

Later on in the week, we had a date to meet up with some friends at the Domain. I was really looking forward to our get together because I had not seen them in a long while. Unfortunately, they had been battling winter colds and ended up not making it.

Jordan was the only one that ended up making it, so it was nice to get to see and talk to her. Here are some pics of us at the Domain....


Testing out the Tesla....


The weather has been really cold this year, so we haven't been doing too much venturing outdoors other than our morning walks. Toby and I did go downtown to walk one day last week. We like to walk downtown because it's the most convenient area for us, and we get a variety of walks....lake loop, greenbelt, urban walk, etc. Just whatever we get in the mood for, we can find it downtown.

 


 
 If I had my rathers, I'd rather hibernate during the winter, but that's not they way it works for humans.

Thursday, January 4, 2018

Ending 2017 and Beginning 2018

We ended our year 2017 uneventfully. Toby had to work and it was too cold for me to do much moving around. Skye alerted me it was "snowing" (or what we southerner's call snow) at one point, so I managed to uncoil myself out from underneath a blanket to go outside and witness the neighborhood fireworks show behind the haze of snowfall. If I had not been so cold, I may could have enjoyed it a bit more..


Despite the freezing weather, Toby and I didn't let that stop us from doing our usual weekly outdoor activity. We drove to Richard Moya Park for a short hike and some sightseeing of the Moore's Crossing Bridge.

It was so peaceful. We were the only ones at the park and the park is situated right next to ABIA, so I got to watch the planes come in and land...


I consider the bridge very photogenic. One of my favorite things to take photos of is structures...







After we played on bridge for awhile we took the short hike around the park....





As we walked along the trail Toby and I noticed a HUGE wide hill that ran alongside the park. We discussed what we thought it could be, and later discovered it was Pilot Knob an old extinct volcano. I wish I had taken pictures of it now, but I'm pretty sure it's one of those things you have to see in person to appreciate it.

After our hike we decided to go check out Barton Springs. Not too many people swimming, but there were a few that were braving it....



Toby testing out the water temp...







It was the first time I had ever seen "Barking Springs" without a soul in it...


 


Toby and I sat out at the springs for awhile and enjoyed the afternoon. It was nice to get outdoors.


Wednesday, December 27, 2017

Christmas 2017

We had a wonderful Christmas, nice and relaxing just the way I like it.

After many years of saying I wanted one of those pencil trees, I finally broke down and bought me one this year. My home is on the smaller side, and finding a spot for even an average sized tree was always challenging. Plus, I love the idea of having my tree glisten through the window.

Kitty Cat enjoyed lying under the tree...


After Santa put out the gifts on Christmas Eve...


I surprised Skye with a gingerbread house to make on Christmas Eve. She did a wonderful job decorating it...


The day after Christmas we went to Six Flags for the Holiday in the Park. We picked up Skye's girlfriend, Leanna along the way. The park was not very crowded so it was a pleasant time.

Toby and I hung out together while the girls roamed the park doing their thing. I'm not an adrenaline junkie, so I stick to the sissy stuff like the Ferris wheel and the train. Toby is sweet and doesn't complain, even though I know he would rather be riding the big rides. At this point in our life, we are just glad to be hanging out together...








We met up with the girls a little later, and switched out riding partners. Leanna likes the crazy rides too, and even though Skye will ride them with her, she prefers the more docile rides.

So, while Toby and Leanna were riding a large roller coaster,  Skye talked me into getting on a larger ride. She claimed it wasn't bad and that I would like it even though I was skeptical, and very suspicious of it. I'm always lecturing her to take challenges and do things that scare her, so I had to take the opportunity to practice what I preach while I silently scolded myself for giving her that bit of motherly advice.

This is the ride she took me on...


All I can say is NEVER. AGAIN.

Skye allowed me to take some pictures of her and Leanna....


 They had some fake snow blowing about, which gave it a real holiday feel...


Here are some other photos of our day in the park...









Our Christmas 2017 was a good Christmas.