I attended the Bar Mitzvah of a family acquaintance this morning. At the Bar Mitzvah, there was a guest speaker, a man who speaks on a radio station. He gave a long philosophical speech that everyone else in the room seemed to love, but the sentiments he expressed kind of bothered me a little. He started out this section of the endless speech with an anecdote from his childhood, when he was in fourth grade at a religious school. The rabbi who ran the school called the kids to prayer every afternoon. But one day, this fourth grade boy confronted the rabbi at this hour and said impudently, “I’m not in the mood to pray today.” The rabbi mulled this over for a moment, then replied, “you’re not in the mood to pray today… who cares?” The audience listening to the speech seemed to find this story very funny. But the speaker continued, with a thesis I did not agree with at all: he said that “studies have shown our country is doomed” because the youth of America don’t think about what is right. They think instead about what they feel like doing, and use that to govern their actions.
Now, I am a member of this accused “youth of America”, and I find that statement offensive. I am constantly considering what is right, and trying to do the right thing. Furthermore, if this epidemic is only present in the youth of America today, how does he explain his own impudence and unwillingness to pray, long ago when he himself represented the youth of America?
The next point this guy made disturbed me even more. He said your feelings don’t matter, and that only your actions matter to most of the world. But the thing is, your actions only matter to others because your actions affect their feelings! The only reason people want you to be polite is so you don’t hurt their feelings or put a damper on their day. The only reason it’s so good and righteous to volunteer in developing countries is because the houses built and shoes delivered make other people feel physically better. The only reason people want a dentist and doctor who practice well is so they can be healthy because being healthy feels good, on a physical and emotional level. Are we each as individuals supposed to disregard our own feelings as worthless but spend our lives working on making every single other person feel good? If each individual subscribes to this philosophy, does that mean everyone’s feelings are all worthless? Or that no one’s feelings are worthless? In the first case, everyone’s feelings are worth nothing so we have no business striving to soothe them. In the second case, everybody should be responsible for taking care of his or her own feelings. Or does this speaker want us all to live as slaves to strangers, with the guarantee that others will be slaves to us and take care of our emotional needs?
I’m no philosopher, but my belief is that we all need to work to be happy so we can make others happy. Just like the philosophy of yoga: we better ourselves through breathing and meditation so we can better serve our loved ones and the community, as better individuals. Indulging one’s feelings is not the same as exclusively spending one’s days pampering oneself, never working for others. What I mean by taking care of our own feelings is doing the things that we know are good for us and make us happy, and just setting aside some time for ourselves while we’re not building homes in developing countries or drilling cavities. That way, we’ll be better rested and able to do these things well. I believe (for those of you who care how I FEEL on the subject) that life is all about balance. Balancing work and play, happiness and responsibility. I don’t think it is healthy or productive to deny myself the simple, small things that make me feel good… such as this smoothie! (Whew, I’m finally getting to the delicious part of this post!)
I blended this smoothie in two halves: the first half was chocolate flavored with chocolate almond butter, then I poured that in my drinking glass and blended the second half, which was strawberry banana with chocolate chips. When I poured this in on top of the chocolate smoothie already in the glass, the two mixed together. I’d hoped, unrealistically, that the pink and brown would somehow stay cleanly separate across the middle of the glass and look really cool. Oh well, it still tasted great: who could argue with such a classic flavor combo?
I didn’t blend either of the two halves of the smoothie very long because I was feeling rushed to get to the Bar Mitzvah. Therefore, you can see in the picture there was some uncrushed ice floating around. The almond butter also didn’t get completely mixed in with the chocolate smoothie, so I had a few bites of smoothie with a fudgey, separate element of dark chocolate richness. It was actually good that way; I reserved half the almond butter to top the smoothie and might even recommend just doing this with all of it.
The texture was good, sort of thin though. I usually prefer my smoothies thicker, but this was just right. I am going to provide the recipe as I did it, in two separate halves, although it may not be necessary to blend it in two parts since they get mixed in the glass anyway.
Banana Split Smoothie
for chocolate half
- 3/4 medium banana
- 1/2 the almondmilk in a single-serve container of Silk vanilla almondmilk
- 1 tbs vanilla extract
- 1 tbs cocoa powder
- 1/2 tbs dark chocolate almond butter
- 3 ice cubes
for strawberry banana half
- 3/4 medium banana
- 4 fresh strawberries (chop off leaves and chop each in half)
- the remaining almondmilk in the container
- 2 tbs semisweet chocolate chips
- 3 ice cubes
optional for topping
- strawberry slices
- 1/2 tbs dark chocolate almond butter (or use a whole tablespoon if desired)
Blend the chocolate smoothie ingredients only in blender until ice is crushed. Pour into a glass. Rinse out blender.
Now place the ingredients for the strawberry banana half into the blender, except for the strawberries and chocolate chips. Blend until ice is crushed. Add strawberries and blend until they are sort of chopped but not entirely blended into the smoothie (I like to add some texture to my smoothies.) Now add chocolate chips and blend for a few seconds more.
Add this mixture to the glass with the chocolate mixture. Top with strawberry slices and almond butter if desired.
This smoothie was super awesome! It also made me feel good 🙂