I know that traveling around the country, meeting new people, doing new + interesting stuff and living out of a suitcase sounds really glamorous. Far more glamorous than sitting in the same place, at the same desk day after day, I’m sure. But I’m going to be super honest here; sometimes I worry that this bouncing actually makes me a less interesting person. I worry that my opinions become dull, my vocabulary becomes small, and the things that fill my mind become so mundane (where will I find coffee in the morning? Did I pack enough underwear? When will I have the next chance to wash said underwear?) my intellectual charm is at risk. I’m worried that in the shuffle, my brain is turning to a nice little mush.
I say this because sleep deprivation, sensory overload, emotional exhaustion and just the lack of time to indulge some of the things I love to do -that keep me, me – are part and parcel to the bouncing. As much as I love the excitement of the road, I despise that this constant migration sometimes keeps me from feeling like I’m present in the world. I love to read, and write, and doodle ideas. To spend hours whittling away at a project with my hands, or digging into basically anything with curiosity. I always have a long list of things – books, articles, ideas, projects – to digest when I get home from a long trip; a nice little stack of periodicals and newspapers waiting for me to digest. But for at least the first few days after I return, I end up whiling away the evenings just staring at social media feeds, mustering up the energy to click, to engage, to absorb, and to consider. And then I fall asleep. Horror.
Some may look at this sort of brainlessness and suggest that I need just another nap, or a bit more time to decompress. And maybe they’re right. But what if they’re not? What if I wake up one morning and discern that I actually have become just a big smile without a brain. Welp.
It’s not just in the literary department; sometimes my creativity in the kitchen gets stifled as well. For dinner tonight, there was soup. And rice. And a salad of whatever-the-hell-was-in-there, which may or may not have been only an avocado and a handful of nut dust from an empty bag. There was a little light at the end of the tunnel, though because for lunch, I whipped up this Beet + Berry smoothie (again, with whatever the hell we had on hand) and since it actually required a moment of inspiration, and was certainly more complex than a bowl of cereal, my faith is slowly renewing.
I’ve admitted before that I have waves of being a Smoothie Girl, and with this recipe (and a dearth of time to whip up something more elaborate much less to eat with a proper utensil,) I’m going through another of those moments. Unlike other recipes I’ve pulled together, I really like this one because it has all the great superfoods you want, plus a little sweetness. It feels balanced in a way that most smoothies don’t; it’s not too sweet, or tart, or grassy. That said, if you like very sweet smoothies, you may want to add a bit of extra honey or maple to sweeten the deal. It was a great treat to have on a busy afternoon and I imagine it will be a great treat en route to the airport, or stored in a thermos for a long car ride to Utah this weekend. Nourishing, filled with good stuff, and tasty.
I’ll take that nap. I’ll watch a movie, have another bike ride and decompress. Tomorrow will be better and I’ll aim to dig into the weeks of Economists that I’ve missed out on. Even if they’re outdated. My brain will turn on again and I’ll return to my verbose, opinionated, almost-paralyzingly-creative self, and maybe this smoothie will help with all that.
I hope you’re having one helluva week! xx – L
- 1 tablespoon chia seeds
- 3/4 cups water
- Juice from 1 lime
- 2 cups kale leaves, roughly chopped
- 1 cup fresh blueberries, raspberries or blackberries
- 1 small handful of ice cubes
- 1/2 cup cooked and peeled beets
- 1 tablespoon maple syrup or agave syrup
- Roast the beets: wrap the beets in aluminum foil and bake them at 350°F for roughly 40 minutes to 1 hour. Remove from the oven, let cool, peel open the parchment and then slip off the skins.
- Next, make the smoothie: add the chia seeds, water and lime juice to your blender. Let this sit for about 10-15 minutes.
- Add the kale, berries, ice, beets and maple syrup to the blender blender. Blend on high until smooth. Pour into a glass and enjoy immediately.