‘S’pinach smoothies are not for the faint of heart

I generally get in all kinds of trouble when I start talking to other moms.

Usually, the kind of trouble I get into is brought on by my inability to filter information about myself. Yes, in the course of five minutes, you are extremely likely to learn that I’ve had breast cancer, that my child is about to have open heart surgery and that my parents were once rescued by boat from their flooding home.

I don’t intend to volunteer this information. It just pops out at what feels like appropriate points in conversation for me. It completely makes sense as I’m saying it. Then, I see the horror on the faces and I feel like some guy behind me must have just admitted to abusing puppies. I never seem to get that my casual attitude about these things is distressing to others. As Andy says, “Sack up, people.”

So, it was with this in mind that when a mom at the ball park struck up a conversation with me, I stuck to the niceties.

We were freezing our butts off, so, naturally, we first talked about the weather. Then, we started making small talk about how well the girls were doing. I swear to you, she was the first one to make a snarky comment about how, if we were being honest, all of them threw like girls. Snark equals instant bonding in my world, so even when the talk turned to how she had worked out twice that day and had to stop at the store to get something to eat because she had burned so many calories, I did not just throw my hands in the air and walk away. I stuck it out because I do not want to sit alone on the bleachers for the rest of softball season.

It turns out, her snack choice that day was a green goddess juice blend. I knew exactly what she was talking about, as I occasionally drink those. I love them! We high fived over our love of drinking our spinach! This new woman was going to be my softball BFF!

If you aren’t familiar with this juice blend, it’s basically a bunch of green veggies masked by a bunch of sweet fruit. I think it contains spinach, celery, green apple and pineapple. Not only do I find the blend she was talking about pretty tasty, but I also have had a similar fresh juice blend at a hotel at DisneyWorld and it was super delicious, too.

However, I don’t buy the grocery store variety often. Partly, from what I know about juicing (which isn’t much) and what I definitely know about nutrition, the good stuff in veggies begins to lose its goodness when you process it. I assumed to achieve shelf stability, those juices might be heat processed or have salt added. Regardless, they are no longer in food form and have now lost most of their fiber and some of their nutritional complexity. Furthermore, they aren’t cheap. So, every now and then, I’ll treat myself and feel the kick of the heavy dose of easily absorbed vitamins, but, for the most part, I just try to eat more salads.

After my new softball BFF and I parted ways, I started thinking how delicious these juices are and how I have always intended to work on doing this at home. If I was ever going to impress the two-workouts-a-day mom, I was going to need to step things up a notch. And this, my friends, is how NOT talking about important things gets me in trouble.

I found a smoothie recipe and headed to the store. I was so excited at the idea of blending spinach, kiwi and pineapple into a delicious treat that was sure to solve all of my ailments. I happened to see agave nectar on the shelf and threw it in the cart. I try not to buy into hype about the next great thing, but when I looked up agave nectar on Wikipedia, it said, “from the Agave Americana and tequiliana plants.” I must stress to you that I am something of an etymologist and I KNEW “tequiliana” must be where we get tequila and, folks, I was sold. My spinach smoothie now would contain the very plant that gave rise to the best drink ever: a margarita. My afternoon delight would have a secret, special meaning, as the slight hint of a tequila flavor would make me dream of beach days.

My mouth was watering all day thinking of my DisneyWorld vacation juice and how my afternoon pick-me-up was going to rival that concotion in every way. I would recreate not only the nutritional value of the juice blend, but the feeling of being in the greatest place on earth. I laid plans for taking a blender to my office, so I could indulge in this fresh and nutritious treat every day. I considered whether it would be overboard to also give my parents a blender for when I was at their house and decided, no, that’s the kind of commitment it was going to take to get me on the road to wellness! My new softball BFF was going to be so impressed, she could surely overlook the fact that I have paid for a gym membership for two years and never have stepped foot in the place!

I was excited to be throwing ingredients in the blender this afternoon. I smashed in the fresh spinach, pushed the button and waited. I took an initial taste and decided we needed a bit more agave. More blending. How about some more Greek yogurt? Blend, blend. Ok, maybe I overestimated the sweetness of agave, let’s add just a bit more. Blend. Pineapple? Blend. Ok, this tastes alright. Let’s put ‘er in a pretty glass. I’m sure the taste will grow on me.

Wrong.

The taste grew WORSE. Do you know how red wine gets tastier when it is exposed to air? Well, I am here to tell you that does NOT work for spinach. It seems to get more BITTER. As I sipped, I kept telling myself I would get used to the flavor. I like spinach, so it shouldn’t be THAT bad. Push through, Blankenship. But, by the fifth sip, I was out.

On my way to ball practice next week, I’m totally stopping at the store to pick up a green goddess juice blend and I’m going to drink it in the stands until my new softball BFF shows up. Maybe when I share with her, she will tell me what her name is.

Addendum: In the kind of move only bad mothers will make, I tricked the kid into accepting the remains of my smoothie as an after school snack. She also likes spinach, so she was willing. She had three sips before I heard from the other room, “this tastes icky.”

Author: rosie

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