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Thursday, 10 August 2017 09:07

It’s real smooth sailing once you have the right ingredients

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It must have begun with my New Year's resolution to eat more vegetables.


Ordinarily, I do not resolve.
Rather, I allow a dim awareness to turn into an unofficial acknowledgement, until I hit some kind of rock bottom, leaving no choice other than to make new choices. It's my personal paradigm. And if I could've, I would've stuck with it. I was at my fifth or so of about a dozen physiotherapy appointments to treat a suspected slipped disk and a slamming together of local joinery, when my therapist said, "At your age..." And I'm afraid that, for at least the rest of the appointment, that's all I heard.
 "At your age, you can no longer take your body for granted," is what I think she was saying. "At your age, you must use it or lose it, or your mortal coil will find new ways to slough you off."
And the next thing I knew was, not only had I been set on a lifelong track to manage lower back pain with lifestyle changes that would include Pilates, but I was drinking a greenish-greyish sludge of a health smoothie, even though no one had specifically made me. It came as a two-pack. Two 1 litre bottles of sludgy green that, despite the colour and glop of their contents, their general resemblance to churned up mill weed, had  managed to woo me with obfuscating labeling and clever branding. But it wasn't just those things that made me reach for the juice in the store. I'd already tried another brand of bottled green, which had tasted of the plums and other good things pictures on the heat-shrunk label.
How different, I thought to myself, could one x-treme green be from the other? And truly, after the first sip, there seemed to be little to distinguish one juice from the other. Mill weed green? Check. A little slimy? Check. Tastes of plums and sundries? Check.
And then, there it was. An aftertaste not present in the first brand, which I'd bought in an easy-to-swallow 355ml container. Now, facing 2 liters, I resolved to waste not.
"How bad was it, really?" I thought. Let's get back to the aftertaste. At first it was hard to tell. "Here, you try it," I said to Chefhusband, who sipped, then made a face.
Now, my palate is nowhere near as refined as his. But the fact that he'd made the same face as me meant there was something other than apple juice, banana puree, passion fruit puree, plum puree and lemon juice in my glass.
"Hm," I muttered, peering under my prescription lenses to read more small print. "I'd say it's either the spirulina powder, the chlorella powder, the alfalfa powder, the kelp powder, the spinach powder, the stinging nettle powder, or the dulse powder. What do you think?"
I settled on nettles, but figured it was really probably the combination of so much powdered greenery, having joined together to produce a weedy aftertaste that, before squinting, I would have sworn was actually the fault of a bushel of juiced kale.
"We have a juicer, you know," said Chefhusband as I glugged again the next day. "We can make you all the smoothies you want. No nettles required."
I put down my glass and smiled sheepishly.
"Okay," I said. "But berries this time. Nothing green. And wait until I've finished this stuff...after all. I did resolve."

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