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A Healthy Breakfast

Mmm. I'm enjoying my favorite breakfast of late, a green smoothie. I start with frozen tropical fruit (blend of strawberries, mango, pineapple, papaya, and bananas) in a pint mason jar, add spinach, unsweetened flake coconut, chia seeds, and unsweetened vanilla almond/coconut milk. Since regular-mouth mason jars have the same diameter threads as most standard blender pitchers, you can put your gasket, blade, and collar right on the mason jar. Invert the jar, blend till smooth, and hey presto! One delicious, healthy green smoothie already packaged to go to work or wherever. Even if you drink it right away, you have still managed to avoid the chore of washing your blender pitcher plus a drinking glass if you prepare it in a jar.

Spinach is very mild in flavor, so you only taste the fruit and coconut. I find this smoothie to be plenty sweet for my taste without adding any additional sweetener. One other note: I add coconut for protein and a little bit of fat so the smoothie is satisfying and will tide me over until lunchtime. If coconut isn't something you like, you could substitute a tablespoon or two of almond butter to achieve the same effect. Nutrition facts will depend on how you prepare this smoothie, but made as written below, it's worth about 150 calories. Not bad for a delicious and satisfying healthy breakfast.

Ingredients

1/4-1/2 c frozen fruit
1 c raw baby spinach, rinsed
2 T unsweetened flake coconut
1 t chia seed
1-1.5 c unsweetened almond/coconut milk, to taste

Directions

  1. Add all dry ingredients to a pint mason jar in the order given above. Note: if the chia seeds settle to the bottom of the jar, they will tend to stick when you start blending, so add them to the jar last.
  2. Add the almond milk to the jar. I usually eyeball it using the graduations on the side of the jar. A volume closer to a cup will give you a very thick, milkshake-like smoothie. Additional milk will thin it out until it reaches a consistency that is a little easier to drink.
  3. Fit the mason jar with a standard blender gasket, blade, and collar, then invert the jar, set it into the blender, and blend on medium power for several minutes, until smooth.
  4. Remove blender hardware. Either cap the jar for transport, or enjoy straight away! So refreshing and healthy.

 

Target worries

Well isn't this just peachy. I haven't stepped foot in a Target store for a good 5 years. I haven't bought anything online from them, either. When news of that giant data breach surfaced, I felt very relieved and secure in the knowledge that I was not affected by this nonsense. But no! Today, I got the 'Sorry, but you're screwed' email from Target. Apparently, a five year estrangement was not long enough. Sigh.

 

I had a great lunch today. I went out this morning with my husband; we had a bunch of little things to do (bank, hardware store, jeweler to have my rings cleaned, etc.). We stopped in at b.good for lunch, and I had a terrific salad. Their Grilled Kale salad is right up my alley: kale, grilled romaine & radicchio, roasted red pepper, parm, garbanzo beans, pine nuts, lemon, lemon-caesar dressing. To go with, I had a yummy smoothie, the “Kokomo,” with pineapple, orange, lime, fresh ginger, coconut milk, and agave. Delicious! I'll have to see if I can duplicate the salad for my lunches.

 

We got sent home early from work today. I'm glad they let us go before the driving got any worse. It's bitterly cold outside, and the snow is incredibly fluffy. Every snowflake that hit my windshield was one single crystal of ice. Even with the defroster on, they didn't melt. I could see that perfect, six-fold symmetry in every snowflake, and it was beautiful. It put me in mind of the crystallography course I took in grad. school, which I really enjoyed.

 

Test post

This is a test post from the Drafts app.

Well what do you know.  It worked!  I’ve been waiting what seems like forever for the blogging service postach.io to finish up and roll out their WordPress blog post importer, but it just doesn’t seem to be happening.  Postach.io is brilliantly easy to use, particularly if you’re an Evernote user.  It represents a much lower barrier to entry than a service like WordPress.com, and I’m eager to port my whole blog over to see how well the service handles the content.

In the meantime, I set up a one-button post action from Drafts on my phone and tablet, to make putting up brief text posts from my mobile devices easier.  This post confirmed that I’ve done it right.

Saw a mention of NaNoWriMo on a Washington Post comment thread yesterday. It was an Ask Amy column in which a first-time author used a pseudonym because she was afraid of negative criticism. For the record, there are plenty of perfectly valid reasons to use a pseudonym, and it is not “cowardly” as Ms Dickenson suggested. But anyhow, one of the commenters mentioned that she frequently used WaPo commenters as a basis for fictional characters, and hoped that the attention to writers would induce more of said commenters to put on their novelist hats and sign up for NaNoWriMo. It’s been years since I last participated in NaNoWriMo, and I think it’s high time I got back into the writing grove. I still harbor dreams of being a published novelist someday. Someday isn’t going to get here if I don’t knuckle down and write.

I just had a late-night panicked remembrance that, oops, trash pickup is Monday now, and I had better get the bins out before I forget. As I was stealthily trundling our official town trash can out to the curb, I was struck anew by one of the reasons I love our new home town. One terminus of the Boston MBTA subway system lies perhaps 15 miles from our house; not too far, all things considered. And yet here, at 12:15 am, it is absolutely silent. Even the crickets and tree frogs respect the deep quiet of this midsummer night. The traffic down a nearby state route has ceased for the night, and the interstate is far enough away that we do not hear the cars. It's finally cooled off enough that most of the a/c units in the neighborhood are quiet for the moment, and the air traffic into the local AFB has stopped for the night. The air is heavy, damp and still, and the only sounds are the rustlings of small things that are active during the night. When I take a deep breath, I smell the woods. The city is very far away tonight, and I like that.
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