I’ve been thinking, guys. Dangerous stuff.
Over the course of my lifelong quest for perfection, I have found many things. First of all, the very act of being on a lifelong quest for perfection has a tendency to turn any human into an awful, anal-retentive beyond belief totally stressful bore. It’s a bummer.
But what does that mean? Continue to strive for perfection, but relax sometimes?
Okay. How hard is that? For me, REALLY hard. I can compare this in some ways to the Atkins diet. Please come along with me on this metaphorical exploration.
For those unfamiliar, the Atkins diet consists of eating nothing but eggs and bacon until you are either thin or die from high cholesterol.** (Please excuse my coarse paraphrasing; you get the idea. Bread and its evil carbohydrate pals are the devil and permanently banished from your life. You are separated, permanently. There are no visitation rights. Am I being clear here?)
One time, I did the Atkins diet. For two weeks, I ate a ton of eggs, bacon, and salad (ugh), and I lost some weight, and was even feeling a little better after a few days of no-carb dizziness and general crankiness over being separated from my BFFs, bread/pizza/everything delicious.
Then, I was under instructions to “gradually add back in good carbohydrates like whole wheat, etc.” First of all, I was like 17 and the idea of eating whole wheat anything was about as appetizing as lima beans (am I right, guys?). I dig it now, but come ON. No bread, and then whole freaking WHEAT? I don’t think so.
ANYWAY, my point here is that it was pretty much impossible to “gradually” add back in anything after deprivation of that scale. I ate everything I saw and forgot all about stupid Atkins. For reference, do you guys know how he died? He slipped on ice and fell. And died. After not eating any bread for like ever. I think they should start his book that way. “You could still get hit by a bus tomorrow. NO MORE BREAD!”
SO. Regarding the “how to not be a jerk” theme for this post: I find it really difficult to be virtuous and not kind of come off like a jerk. Because, let’s be honest, most people spend most of their time trying harder to exercise regularly, eat better, have a good job, be nice to people, be in a stable relationship, and so on and so forth. So, if you ARE successfully doing those things, it is really hard to represent the fact that secretly, you too are that failure person, and you just happen to be doing it successfully at the current time.
Do you guys know what I’m talking about? You know those people, the ones who REALLY seem to have their act together? I hate those people. Not them, but the idea of them. But also kind of them. You know who you are. I am terrified of either being that person or even just perceived as being that person. Nightmare status, here.
As someone who’s lost about a first grader’s worth of weight and consequently gotten into much better shape over the last year, I kind of wish I could carry around a “before” picture with me all of the time. Like, “yes, I am exercising now. If you saw this picture, you would understand why.” Because THAT’S how I feel. Not: “Look at me, I am so virtuous, I exercise most days and eat salads. Come along with me and learn how I got so much better than you!”
However, that said, as that same person who did that stuff and now is in a much better place, despite continuing to be a relatively crazy and stressed-out person, I do feel like I want to function as a resource for other people if they want it. Not in a self-help way, but in a “changing is the WORST and super hard, want some help?” kind of way. Because changing is the WORST and is super hard. Ain’t no escapin’ that. Sorry that I just became Southern for a second, but you’re over it already and you get it and relate to the sentiment. Right?
So here is my question to the world of people wiser than me: HOW DO YOU DO THIS? Does anyone know how to try to better yourself and help other people without turning into a pompous jerk or Jillian Michaels? How can I stop myself from forgetting how hard it was to be unhealthy, while not sounding like someone who has it all figured out?
Happy to take any and all suggestions here, people. Lay it on me.
The other part of this post’s title, “and also Green Smoothies,” I would like to address with a recipe. Can we talk about green smoothies?
I know they look disgusting and not at all appetizing. I know the prospect of putting kale into your blender probably makes you want to yak. I guess what I’m trying to say is this: please trust me. Although my recipes have been few and far between, I hope that their quality will speak for my taste buds and their reliability.
Green smoothies are DELICIOUS. I had an issue at Whole Foods for a period of time last year where I regularly bought them for lunch. Once I reflected on the percentage of my wallet that I was forking over for those per week (humiliating), I decided to learn how to make them my OWN self. And so, I submit to you, an AMAZING beginner green smoothie. You will love it. Please trust me. I cannot say it enough.
What you need:
- A blender (duh)
- 1-2 handfuls baby spinach (wash if you are careful; I am not and therefore do not.)
- 2 big leaves of lacinato/dino kale, ripped from their stems
- 1 big pineapple round (get it fresh! They are SO FUN to hack away at with a big knife!)
- 1/2 an apple (I’ve been using gala apples, but pretty much any apple will do)
- 1/2-3/4 cup apple juice
- 1/2-3/4 cup water
- 1 tblsp chia seeds (totes optional!)
Directions: Put all of these things in the same location (the blender) and hit blend until it is blended. Then drink and enjoy. I believe in you.
So, until we can ALL figure out perfection and be jerks together, let’s just drink green smoothies in harmony. It’s better that way, anyway.
**I would like to acknowledge that this is not an entirely fair description of the Atkins diet, and that some people eat Paleo or Atkins-based in a very healthy plant-based manner. That section of this post is not in any way intended to offend those who have chosen these dietary paths, and is only representative of my own personal experience of and feelings towards these eating plans. I would also like to acknowledge that judging other people’s dietary choices makes me a jerk.