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Greetings! I have been enjoying a bit of a hiatus from the blog, more prompted by a lack of time than anything else. I had to make a trip back to Houston recently and it was exhausting! I like to try to fly in and fly out with as little commotion as possible, but some people just can’t let that happen. You know who you are!! But I’m back now, settling back into island life and trying to reassess my habits. I turn 40 years old soon. EEEEEK! Actually, I’m not bothered by that as I’ve accepted that you cannot slow down the hands of time. Rather, you need to try to LIVE every minute that you can. What I am bothered by is that I was in better shape prior to moving to the island than I am now. I miss Crossfit!!! We all know diet plays a huge part in ones health and physique as well. Although I am starting to believe that Savla Vida (my FAVORITE Honduran, or maybe all time, beer) can solve a lot of problems, the size of my waistline is not one.. unless expansion suddenly becomes fashionable. Before making the move to island life, I almost religiously started my day with a green smoothie that included just about everything under the sun. The smoothie craze started when a friend of mine referred a smoothie book to me full of great information and easy recipes. It’s called “10-Day Green Smoothie Cleanse” by JJ Smith. I stuck to the recipes for a while, but me being me, decided I didn’t have time to read recipes and actually put thought into the preparation. If all of these random ingredients are good for you paired a few at a time, think how awesome you’ll be if you mix it ALL at once! Not to mention the time you’ll save! I’m all about simplifying. Call me crazy, but I actually enjoyed drinking the green sludge and prepared it for my long and nerve racking drive into the office. Well, now that my routine has been simplified, I’m not quite as disciplined with my smoothie consumption. (Honestly, how much can one drink while walking down one flight of stairs?) Come to think of it, I’m pretty sure my discipline was left stateside. That’s a topic I will definitely revisit.
In an effort to return to my healthier lifestyle I’ve resurrected my smoothie skills. Well, I’m TRYING to resurrect them. Back home I used a Nutri Bullet which I LOVED. Throw in your ingredients, mix, slap a new lid on the same container and you’re out the door. Easy to clean too! Well, move over Nutri Bullet, I have a new love. The Vitamix. I would have never experienced the smooth pleasure it provides if my cohabitant didn’t already own one simply because it’s surpasses the monetary threshold of an appliance that I would buy to clutter up my counter. I have to say, I have since changed my opinion. Should this one die, I would not hesitate to replace it. I may even upgrade from the boring black model to one of the trendy colors!
One of the many perks to living on an island is learning about the local fruits and vegetables that you often find growing in your own backyard. We have a couple of citrus trees, some avocado trees (allegedly, as I have yet to see any fruit!), bananas and apple bananas (my favorite). We don’t have our own mango tree, but believe me when I say they are everywhere. “I slipped on a mango,” I feel is something that you would only hear on an island.
After I moved in and took inventory of our edible landscape, I was delighted to learn that we had our very own Noni tree. The super fruit of all super fruits… so I’ve been told, both by locals and Pinterest. (Yes, I check all of my facts via Pinterest.) I stared at it in awe. Beautiful dark green tree covered with buds of alien looking fruit…buzzing with hummingbirds and butterflies. If they like it, it must be good! I couldn’t wait to get my hands on one to slice up in my smoothie!! Finally, the day came when I deemed a couple of the fruit to be ripe for the picking. So, one evening I walked around to the back of our property, plucked 2 and headed back inside feeling like I was holding the key to some kind of super power. The curer of all ailments! Look out world, I will be hyped up on the Noni in less than 24 hours! And we have an entire tree!! According to Pinterest, I won’t ever be sick again! This was the beginning of great things!
Let’s just cut to the chase and fast forward to the moment when my bubble burst. The next morning, I walked to the kitchen with as much energy and enthusiasm as I could muster without the appropriate amount of caffeine. What did it matter? Coffee would soon be irrelevant because I’d be fueled by Noni alone. Rounding the end of the counter where I had left my little jewels, I noticed the most horrid smell! Holy moly, a mouse must have snuck by our excessive number of animals just to die under our kitchen cabinets. It was rancid! I immediately started opening cabinet doors to sniff out the “source”. It didn’t take long to realize it was coming from the Noni. I stared in disbelief. Surely, I was wrong. People have said all along that the Noni was disgusting, but most people think green smoothies are disgusting too and I love them! As such, I never gave the unsolicited opinions a second thought. Well, there I was with my “magic” fruit that smelled as though it was rotting on our countertop. And I don’t mean normal fruit rot. I mean dead animal in the hot sun rot! I had to get them out. There’s no way that was going in
my our Vitamix!
That’s when bad turned to worse. Not only did it stink, when I picked it up, it was warm and almost squishy….like the skin was barely holding all of the nastiness in and it was going to bust in my hand. Let me preface this next statement by stating that I am an animal lover, extremely softhearted (to animals..and limited categories of defenseless people that are unable to protect themselves from horrible people), so living in the states, I always hated seeing the number of animals dead on the side of the road. Both domestic and wild. It’s just sad. However, have you ever seen, let’s say, a deer, on the side of the road in the middle of summer? It’s usually swollen and looks like it’s about to burst. Well, that my friends is what I thought about when I had the Noni in my hand. I almost gagged…and I’m not squeamish! However, I summonsed my (non-Noni) inner strength and carried both fruit to the back door to launch them as far as I could. I haven’t picked another since. Although, recently, one of my favorite people on the island clued me in on how to get the benefits without the horrible taste. Apparently, you’re supposed to put the fruit in a dark container for 2 weeks and let it ferment. She let me smell the outcome, and I should say it smells one hundred times better than the fruit itself. I have yet to try it, but plan on doing so soon, once the appropriate equipment is acquired.
In closing, here is my opinion for anyone able to get their hands on a fresh Noni. Unless you are preparing to assume the role of Hannibal Lecter, I would not touch OR consume this fruit. Definitely do not leave it unattended in your kitchen for any length of time! I am open minded and will give the juice a try once I conjure some up, but I don’t think I could pair a fresh Noni with anything in the world that would mask the taste of death rot!
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