Thursday, April 8, 2010
Beat the Heat
I really don't understand what is happening inside the heads of people whom you've called and scheduled to come to your house to do a service, when they inform you that they'll be there some time within a five hour window of the day and then opt not to show up at all. Twice. What is that?? Do they have a misunderstanding of their commitment? Is there always a scheduling malfunction? Does every single company providing repair service of any kind struggle with time management? Is it just hard to estimate how long repairs will take, or is the math too difficult? Is there only one genius capable of repairing air conditioning systems who they have to send out to do every single job in the Washington metropolitan area? Or do they make so much money repairing air conditioning and other appliances that they don't care whether or not you hire and thus pay them? If so, how do I score a job repairing air conditioning systems??
There is one thing for sure, however, when your air conditioning breaks and the one ultra-wealthy, unmanageable, technologically savvy yet math-impaired genius can't make it out to fix the system: it's going to be a hot day. This means two things for me. The first, that I don't have to travel to do my hot yoga class-- it is now possible in my living room. The second, that my blender will be running most of the day, crushing frozen mangos and strawberries until the freezer is empty and there are no more juice cartons left in the fridge.
Here are a few tried and true smoothie recipes I've come to enjoy, but to be quite honest, you can blend up almost any fruit with some juice and soy yogurt and have a fantastic smoothie. The proportions that seem to work best are approximately one cup of fruit juice (pressed, with no added sugar), one cup of frozen fruit, and a half cup of yogurt. Sometimes I add more fresh fruit or dump some spirulina and/or protein powder in with it, and add agave nectar if the fruits aren't ripe or have sour flavors. My next move is definitely going to be adding soy ice cream, but for now the healthy options are more than satisfying since I've been drinking them breakfast-style instead of for dessert!
The most basic "breakfast power smoothie" from Alicia Simpson's Quick and Easy Vegan Comfort Food is a simple formula of a cup of fruit juice, 1/2 cup of plain soy yogurt, a cup of frozen fruit, and an additional two tablespoons of ground flaxseed and a tablespoon of spirulina powder, plus a teaspoon or so of agave nectar to sweeten it up. If you're thinking of skipping the flax and spirulina, click the links I attached to check on the health benefits before you decide to sell yourself short! I like to combine apple juice with frozen peaches and strawberries, or pear juice with frozen mangos. If all I have is orange juice, I add a mix of frozen fruits because the citrus flavor is so strong, and sometimes I add a whole banana.
Alicia Simpson also provides some fantastic recipes for incorporating green veggies into your life through the art of smoothie making. Often when we eat quickly on the run, it's difficult to figure leafy greens into the schedule-- I myself don't, nor do I know anyone who would enjoy a handful of raw green spinach from a snack baggie, and if anyone would enjoy that it would be me. My all-time favorite so far is green, and surprisingly the most delicious smoothie I've had yet: two handfuls of fresh baby spinach, one cup of frozen mango and a cup of fresh pear juice. Simple, perfect texture, amazing taste, fantastic health benefits-- you've incorporated your salad into a smooth, sexy green smoothie! Hoorah!
There is also a quick fix idea that Ms. Simpson calls The Green Goblin, and this she recommends making in a large quantity and thereafter scooping it into a cup of juice when you have no time for blending. It consists of a tablespoon of ground flaxseed, a tablespoon of wheat germ (or brewer's yeast), a tablespoon of protein powder, one and a half teaspoons of spirulina and one and a half teaspoons of psyllium seed. You just mix it up, add a full glass of juice and drink it quickly. My personal adaptation is to leave out the psyllium seed (it mostly just provides fiber) and just blend up the mix with a cup of frozen fruit instead. I took Simpson's advice and made a big batch in advance that I keep in my refrigerator with a little scooper, and I just add it to frozen fruit and juice for nutritional kick!
So I'm off to enjoy a quick practice of hot yoga and then a cold green smoothie while I read up on the "poetics of violence" for class tonight because there is STILL NO AIR CONDITIONING REPAIRMAN here. If he doesn't show up today I think my house may have to become clothing-optional... look out.