Say HELLO to my Little Friend!

Welcome back to SOLO at SIXTY!

Ok, I know what you are thinking… But you are going to be surprised!

March 1, 2017… D-DAY – Divorce is final. It’s also the first day of Lent, a season of reflection and preparation before the celebration of Easter. So, what do I do? Celebrate? Cry? Or pull myself together and realize, Hey I am now totally free to do whatever I want, whenever I want, wherever I want, and with whoever I want? I chose the latter. I decided I needed a present to celebrate my new-found freedom. For years, I coveted my friend’s VITAMIX Blender (yes I remember the 10th Commandment: “Thou shalt not covet…”)  but I just could not justify the splurge. Now, however, I felt that I deserved a special gift just for me. So I broke down and bought myself a VITAMIX Blender! And we have been best friends since.

“In three words I can sum up everything I’ve learned about life: It goes on.” (Robert Frost)

Right after my separation, I could not eat. Could not sleep. Could barely function. As I said before, I was so thankful to have a job that forced me out of bed that first Monday SOLO, or I might still be there with the covers over my head. Food was the farthest thing from my mind. After dropping too much weight, I knew I had to get my act together and begin eating something, and if it was not going to be much, it should be healthy. HELLO smoothies! I became a smoothie QUEEN! (I am also a Dancing Queen – just ask my coworkers.) Using my old blender, I experimented with smoothies that included a big handful of spinach, frozen bananas, frozen strawberries (or whatever fruit I had on hand), dash of cinnamon, some protein powder, and Almond Milk. I figured that if nothing else, each smoothie would give me 2+ fruits, a veggie, and did you know that Almond Milk has 50% more calcium than regular milk? Plus, it is a good source of Vitamins D and E. Score one for me! (Sidebar: When my kids were growing up, I bought about 8 gallons of milk each week – Thank you SAM’S for cheap milk! I have not bought a gallon of milk since I moved into my new house. I buy a quart of milk each time my son comes to visit. And last week I bought a quart as I was making dinner for some friends and was not sure Almond milk would work in mashed potatoes and banana pudding. I only have Unsweetened Vanilla Almond milk in my refrigerator.)

Yes, the old blender worked (did I mention it was a wedding gift?), but I had to stop and start it too often because it would get “clogged” (like my marriage). Still, I used that old blender every morning until I brought my VITAMIX home! The other week I had all of my kids down at the beach with me (remember the longest day of the year post?), and I made them smoothies every morning. Just grab and go and take them to the beach (and be healthy!). I went to the Farmer’s Market down there and bought fresh local peaches and strawberries. I always buy a big bunch of bananas, (cheapest at Trader Joe’s) let them get overly ripe, then peel, slice, and store them in baggies in my freezer. This adds a perfect sweetness to any smoothie. And I promise you, unlike Pop-eye, you will not taste the spinach! A lot of people use kale but I have only used spinach. Did you know you can freeze fresh spinach? I could never use all of the spinach before it spoiled, so it was a blessing to learn that spinach can be frozen, which makes for a better smoothie anyway. My freezer is always stocked with ziploc baggies of bananas, spinach, and lots of different fruits for my smoothies. (I picked 17 pounds of fresh strawberries this spring – and did you know you do NOT have to cap them? Turns out the tops are really good for you… wish I had known that BEFORE I capped all those strawberries!) I make a smoothie every night and keep it in the fridge so I can have it for breakfast first thing in the morning. Starts my day off right!

strawberries

“I can’t control everything in my life, but I can control what I put in my body.”

BD (Before Divorce), my ex was the master griller, and as our old neighbors can attest, we grilled out steaks every Saturday night. Filets, medium rare, baked potatoes, salad, garlic bread. AD (After Divorce), now SOLO, I have become the master griller (I got the Weber Grill), but I rarely grill steaks – only if my kids are in town (which they were this weekend and yes we grilled steaks). Now I grill salmon. And it is not the salmon of my childhood (pronounced SAL-MON out of a can) that my mother fried in patties and served with pinto beans. (Don’t ask!) No…this salmon (wild caught) is so good…seasoned with a little olive oil and Trader Joe’s Everyday Seasoning. (I love TJ’s) I will bake a sweet potato and grill okra to go with it. Heavenly! Honestly, BD I never ate salmon. AD – it is on the menu every week! And speaking of food and dinners, last night we grilled turkey burgers, corn on the cob, gray zucchini (found at the Charlottesville Farmer’s Market Saturday), and roasted sweet potatoes sliced into rounds and seasoned with… yes… Trader Joe’s Everything Bagel Seasoning! (this is NOT a commercial for TJ’s). I also have to admit that most nights, my favorite dinner is scrambled eggs, grits and toast. It just does not get any better (or easier) than that.

If my summer ever slows down, I would really like to get to know my VITAMIX better. I want to make my own Almond Butter, guacamole, soups (yes it even heats the soup up!). There is so much more I can do with it. But for now I am happy with my special smoothies. And yes, I am happy!

“If you look for the good in life, you’ll find it.  CHOOSE to be happy, to be at peace.”

Do any of you make smoothies? If so, what fruits, combinations do you use? I am always looking for new recipes AND new ways to use my VITAMIX. Please share!

DSC_0426

Maybe we will talk about the OTHER little friend later on!

Off to make my smoothie for tomorrow!

See you next week.

Best,

Leslie

9 thoughts on “Say HELLO to my Little Friend!”

  1. Your smoothies sound great! I use almond milk, also. Is there a Trader’s Joe close to Surfside? And are you serious??? You don’t have to cap strawberries? You eat the green part? You are such a source of information, Leslie….thanks for sharing! 🙂 P.S. We have a Living Well Health Master blender which is collecting dust. You are inspiring me to use it!

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    1. Irene…I had heard one was coming…not sure if it is there yet….the Everyday Seasoning is GREAT! As is the Everything Bagel Seasoning! And I get their whole wheat pizza dough, Protein powder for Women, Flowers, bananas, avocados, etc….Oh and their goat cheese with honey is to DIE for!

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  2. Leslie:Robyn shared your Blog with me recently. I am sorry about the big D! I shared your Blog with a relative recently who’s story is similar. She told me last week she has been blessed by your honesty! Now ..the Vitamix..Neil and I gave that to each other for Christmas! You have to try broccoli soup! Microwave 1 package of Broccoli florets 2 minutes. Add 1/2 of Broccoli to Vitamix. Add 2cups of milk dash of white pepper and salt to taste. Process on soup settings I add remaining broccoli for texture. After processing. Delicious lunch in minutes! Smoothie: almond milk frozen pineapple, and carrots. Another one of lunch menus! Love you! Keep writing!

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    1. Hey Beverly! You are a DEAR! Your relative is the whole reason for my blog….I realized that I was not alone in this situation – honestly I have been blown away by how many have experienced or are experiencing this now! Please keep sharing! and reading! Love you too!

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  3. It was good seeing on the 4th. I have been drinking more smoothies as well. They are great for breakfast. Every month Prevention has a smoothie of the month recipe. Here is one I like. 1 apple, 1/4 cup oats, 1 tbsp almond butter, 1 tsp apple cider vinegar, 1 tsp cinnamon and 3/4 cup almond milk.

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  4. I love that you’re big splurge is a blender! It’s liberating but also really really scary hard to know that you have so many choices in your life after so many years of raising kids. Your choices are inspiring as is your honesty.
    PS: it was wonderful seeing Kendall at the wedding

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  5. Great to learn strawberry tops are healthy…saves much time. Have been using my new Vitamix to make smoothies for about a month. Fun to see what fruits I can mix with my greens! Drink my smoothie after laying 25 minutes on my PEMF (Pulsed Electro Magnetic Field) mat. I am NOT going to have pneumonia this winter! Smoothie helps overall healthy while PEMF works on the internal bronchial system. Already feeling better and am accepting some things I can’t change. Leslie, your blog is such an awesome inspiration to me. Thanks! May you have returned to you the abundant blessings your blogs give me! I love you BD and AD!! Rachel

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  6. You know from FB that I am a BeachBody Coach so all of my smoothies contain Shakeology. One of my favorite ones is as follows:

    Scoop of Chocolate Shakeology
    Between 10 to 15 red grapes
    3 frozen banana slices
    1 teaspoon of homemade peanut
    butter
    1 cup of water
    1 cup of ice

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