Every now and then, do you surprise yourself with doing something out of character, out of spontaneity that you wouldn’t normally do? Getting out of your “comfort zone” and just saying hell with it, I’m going to do x y and z today? Yesterday was one of those days for me. It was my day off, the day was completely open to do whatever I pleased. After hopping out of bed, fueling up with a bowl of cereal and snuggling with the cats, I decided to drive out to Mount Hood National Forest and go on a hike that I had been jonesing to go on for weeks now. I dog-eared my trusty hiking books, double checked the driving directions on Google Maps, filled up my 3 liter hydration Osprey pack, packed some pretzels and Reese’s peanut butter eggs (because Girl Scout Rule #1: if you ever get lost in the wilderness, always be sure to have some candy on hand at all times) and drove an hour (in the pouring rain) out into the mountains. Call me crazy. But it felt simultaneously exhilarating and frightening to be that spontaneous. I do this sometimes.
After purchasing a NW forest pass to access all hiking trails in Oregon and Washington for the next year, I’ve been inspired to get outdoors more. I’ve been itching to explore. And solo hikes are definitely something I enjoy. I like going at my own pace, not having to worry about walking too fast (which I definitely have a habit of doing) and stopping to take as many photos as I please. However, I do notice myself on high alert, sometimes being a little too jumpy or paranoid about the critters scurrying through the brush, or the sound of snow hitting the ground from rain hitting the tree branches, which was the case yesterday. The hike was supposed to end at Devil’s Point (about 4 miles up a very steep 4,000+ elevation climb), an old fire lookout that is now a first-come first-serve camp refuge for anyone that wants to hike in and stay for a night. As ambitious as I set out to be, I didn’t end up getting to the top. My quads, lungs and soul were in it, but the higher I climbed, the more ice and snow I encountered. Being a logical Girl Scout, my intuition told me to turn around and not chance it. Which is exactly what I did about 1.5 miles in. However, I did manage to spend a few minutes gazing at these beautiful views, and feeling gratitude for what was right before my very eyes. My quads and gluteus muscles are perfectly sore enough today with the amount that I did manage to hike, but next time I will try this again mid-summer and with a partner. For now, I think sticking to solo hikes in the Gorge will be more my speed (and are a bit nicer of a drive).
Anywho, back to my point. I hiked. I was drenched with rain and melted snow. I stopped for a donut in a teensy little town called Sandy. And then I drove to a gem store on the way home that I’ve always wanted to go to and bought a few pretty things. And then I came home and made this smoothie because it sounded good. And it just so happen to color coordinate the gemstones I bought at the gem store. Because life is weird like that sometimes. And that was the entire point of this post, was so that I could share the recipe with you.
Sometimes I take the long way home.
After having my Vitamix for about 2 months now, I’ve mostly made green savory smoothies rather than fruity creamy ones. It’s good to have a balance of both, right? I deviated from my green smoothie mode, but just a little. I had to sneak some spinach in there somehow, of course. Like sneaking some greens into a picky palates milkshake or brownies or mac ‘n cheese. I felt like I was feeding my 5-year-old self (although I did eat my broccoli). Can you tell there is leafy green spinach in that beautiful blueberry concoction? Yeah, didn’t think so… sneaky.
This is your ultimate antioxidant, vitamin C power popeye smoothie to the max. You’ll start lifting iron 2x your own body weight, bench pressing more than those gym rats and winning the 50 yard dash sprints (don’t try the 2x your own body weight thing…). Let’s just say this is the perfect pick me up feel good power goodness smoothie and you will love it regardless of how spontaneous your day turns out to be and you just need to sit yourself down and relax and drink a damn good smoothie. The end.
BLUEBERRY POPEYE SMOOTHIE
Makes one 10 oz smoothie
- 1/2 frozen banana
- 3/4 cup frozen blueberries
- 1 handful spinach leaves (about 1/2 cup packed)
- 3/4 cup nonfat honey greek yogurt
- 2/3 cup almond coconut milk (I just fell in love with this brand)
- 1 tablespoon hemp hearts
- 1 tablespoon vanilla whey protein powder
- 1 teaspoon maca powder
- 1 teaspoon maple syrup
- bee pollen, for topping (optional)
Blend on high. Pour. Sip. Enjoy. (Fresh ginger root might also make a great addition to this as well!)