2 cups frozen spinach
1 cup coconut water
1 cup fresh strawberries with their tops
1 cup frozen pineapple or frozen tropical fruit
1 tablespoon unsweetened coconut flakes
1 tablespoon flax seeds
|Perhaps the world's most unphotogenic food|
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I’ll be honest with you- I don’t have any money. I pay the bills and I’m not in any debt, so that’s nice. But I do not have any money for the little things that spice up the daily grind. In my experience, money is the easiest way to add flavor to your life, as it makes a lot of fantastic things possible. I’d love to add pieces to a funky wardrobe, or fill up the gas tank and hit the road each weekend. But right now, those things- and many other things- are not possible.
Thankfully, growing up in the absolute middle of nowheresville, Vermont, taught me innovation and creativity. I’ve discovered a way to infuse my life with the flavors of joy, delight, and connection, all with the help of a small square of paper, worth 42 cents exactly. That’s right- I use the oldest, most archaic of systems: the post office.
I have always loved to give things, to browse through colorful shelves for pick-me-ups and just-becauses for my friends. I go overboard at birthdays and holidays, sinking as much money into the fancy wrapping as I do for the gift. I’ve always thought that if I won the lottery, I would make a full time job out of buying little things and flinging them around the country to all the people I love.
Eventually, I started to rethink this idea. People don’t actually need the things that I want to send them. And if they’re anything like me, constantly in transition, the last thing they need is clutter building up. Most importantly, the environment just cannot handle unnecessary consumption, even the most frilly, fun- filled, best intentioned kind of consumption that I love so much.
And so, when this concept merged with my pitiful monthly bank statement, I changed my habits. I started to send letters. I filled an old cardboard box with stamps, pens and a velvet-bound address book, so that everything I need to send a letter is right in one place. I can write a quick hello while I wait for the kettle to boil, or while my computer is doing yet another 3- minute security update. Filling those odd moments with something so personal and worthwhile makes me feel crafty, like a little genius.
I create my own stationary from the back of tea boxes, pictures and magazines. I include all sorts of things into my letters- quotations, lyrics, clippings of lovely things I find in magazines. Tossing a thick stack of letters into the mail, all bound for different corners of the US, is the most satisfying feeling.
I am happy to spend an evening listening to the radio and drinking cinnamon tea as I go at magazines with scissors and glue. Knowing that my words and thoughts are zooming across the sky, heading towards their respective mailboxes, always makes my not so glamorous everyday life seem a little more fun.
The week directly after I mail a stack of letters is studded with email and phone messages. Apparently, I’m not the only one who is having trouble adjusting to the constraints of adulthood. “Your letter arrived at exactly the right time,” is a sentiment I hear over and over. “I was having a tough morning….I was having a long workweek….your letter really cheered me up.” Knowing that I am not alone in my mid-twenty anxieties makes them that much easier to bear.
The best by far are the letters that come back, letters heavy with clippings and photos and words of their own. I put them on my fridge so that I see them every day. They are daily reminders of all the wonderful things that are in my life right now. And they’re free. Every time I stand in my kitchen, I feel rich. And I cherish that feeling.
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