Thursday, April 15, 2010

Happiness is a Spinach Smoothie. Also Singing in the Morning.

So so so busy. SO busy. But a few tidbits to keep you hanging on:

I just finished Gretchen Rubin's "The Happiness Project." Fascinating, people. Seriously--I recommend that every single one of you go out and find this book (a fellow preschool mom lent her copy to me) and read it. It has the potential to be life-changing--whether you feel like you're truly "unhappy" or not. Gretchen didn't think she was unhappy before she started her year-long Happiness Project; she just thought she could be happier. And the way she went about it--and the results--kept me up reading past my bedtime several nights in a row.

Not everything resonated with me, of course, and at times I shook my head in discouragement over how HARD and TIME-CONSUMING it seemed to work on being happier. I mean, Gretchen's project was intense! But I can also see how adopting even one or two of her ideas could have a big effect on anyone's daily life. For instance: I have decided from now on to respond to my daughters' school-morning meltdowns by singing. It can't hurt, right? Except for how it may strain my brain to resist the SNAPPING and the YELLING?

In other life-improving news, my new obsession is having a Green Monster every morning for breakfast. Do you know about these? Stay with me here, people. A Green Monster is a smoothie made from--and this is the basic recipe, which can be plumped up in various ways with more or less of the ingredients, or by adding things such as ground flaxseed, protein powder, peanut butter, etc. etc. etc.--1 cup vanilla soy milk (or regular milk with a splash of vanilla extract and honey, though soy milk makes it creamier and, I think, yummier), 1/2 banana, and 2 cups (I use 2 large handfuls) of raw spinach.

STAY WITH ME PEOPLE. You whip it all up in a blender and it ends up being a bright green, frothy drink that DOES NOT TASTE LIKE SPINACH. Honestly, it tastes like banana and vanilla. Yum! And you cannot do much better, health-wise, than eating 2 cups of raw spinach every morning. After breakfast you've already gotten 3 servings of fruit/vegetables! All sorts of health-food/fitness bloggers rave about the energy-producing and skin-glowing properties of regular Green Monsters (all that vitamin C!), and I've got to say, after three weeks straight of a.m. Green Monsters, I feel it!

OK, I'm off my health-food soapbox. I understand that may have been boring. Sorry.

More news: off to the podiatrist this morning to review what is wrong with my poor arthritic runner's feet. I plan to preface my evaluation by telling the doctor--who happens to be the father of one of Genevieve's nursery school classmates; gotta love this small-town living--that I am willing to do pretty much anything to ensure that I can continue to be a runner. The main objective here is CONTINUING TO RUN. So that Mama can pound out all her mama-stress on the road rather than harboring it in her head. Where it seems to come out in snapping and yelling. No, in all honesty, I just love to run. I had to give it up for five years awhile back, and it was seriously depressing. I honestly went through a grieving period. I need to run; it's the only exercise I really like, and it's my favorite hobby.

Sorry, nothing about my children today! My life is very boring right now. Busy yet boring. Onward!

Go read the happiness book and try the spinach smoothie. You won't regret it!


Trish said...

ooh yummy, i NEED something with protien, carbs & veggies. Wonder what it would do if you added some oats?? My baby is HUNGRY, I have been having the hardest time A. finding something to keep me full for more than an hour or B. something that doesn't make me want to vomit, ha! Thanks Shan, I'm gonna try this!!!

Rob Hardy said...

Definitely try the Green Monster. It's good!

Anne said...

I'd love to read that book! Read the review in Hip Mama. Do you have a copy or did you borrow it? Still need to read Waiting for Birdy too; I'm impressed by all you get done!!

And isn't it funny how there seems to be more birthday parties this time of year????

Mom and Kiddo said...

Yum, I put the ingredients on our shopping list, but my blender pitcher is broken. I'm going to try and make it in the food processor. I hope it works! Did you cook the spinach like she suggested? I'm wondering if I can deal with that extra step. :)

Rita said...

Ok, the Green Monster sounds HORRIBLE...

But I'm going to try it.

Just for you.

(and if I vomit? well, it's all your fault.)

Shan said...

Rita! You are so wrong! It DOES NOT TASTE LIKE SPINACH! :)

Shan said...

Oh no, no, no people, I didn't realize that link said to cook the spinach. DO NOT COOK THE SPINACH. That will NOT TASTE GOOD. (cooked spinach has a much stronger taste than raw spinach.) RAW SPINACH, PEOPLE! Just blend it up good, until it's totally smooth.

Gretchen said...


I saw the nice mention of my book, The Happiness Project, here! I very much appreciate those kind words and you shinning a spotlight on my work!! Thanks and best wishes,

Donna said...

Look at that! You got a comment from the author of the book!

(and yes, I'm late with this comment, but that is so awesome.)