It’s that moment when your mouth starts to water and your palms get sweaty. Your hand trembles and reaches for the instrument you believe will set you free; relieve you of the aches and pains of the day – your fork. You grab it and stab at the lifeless form in front of you. You chop off a hunk of flesh with your fork. You raise it to your mouth and gobble it down like a savage. You inhale and savor the goodness you’ve just eaten. At it’s best, it’s moist, it’s gooey, it’s scrumptious… Comfort food. What are we talking about here? Red Velvet Cake, of course. (To those of you that don’t like chocolate, I’m sorry. You’re really missing out.)
And when the moment is ended, you bow your head in shame, knowing that you’ve chosen, again, to oblige your senses for the umpteenth time, instead of listening to your head.
I know this moment all too well. Single tear.
Well, what do you do when you’ve made a decision to pay more attention to what you eat between New Year’s and Christmas, rather than what you’ve eaten between Christmas and New Year’s? You become resolute. “I will not eat 2 slices of birthday cake… I will not eat 2 slices of birthday cake…” Hmm, that’s not working. I still want chocolate. And ladies, (sorry guys, you may wanna turn your heads for a moment,) you KNOW when no matter WHAT resolutions you’ve made, there’s no WAY that ANYBODY’S gonna be happy when you’re “Aunt Flow” comes along if you don’t get some chocolate. Smell what I’m cooking? Well, figuratively speaking, not literally. We’re trying to make a point here. Ha.
I could spend a very long and lengthy post about my own resolutions for this season in my life. I’m sure I’ll get extra deep and personal at some point. Right now, however, I don’t feel the need to expound upon the obvious; I needed to make a change. Again. (Check out my last post. Be warned, it’s pretty old.) Even a small one. Because I knew then (at the beginning of this journey) as I know now: All it takes is one step. One act of courage. One moment of impact to change the world. Be it your own world or the collective at large.
As January comes to a close and we celebrate the 2nd Inauguration of President Barack Obama; the what-would-have-been 84th birthday of the life, legacy and ministry of the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.; and the coming of Black History Month, it’s important to remember that an entire movement was created that changed the course of an entire nation (and arguably, the world) because one woman made a small decision. One small act of silence that deafened the ears of the world.
You know, that whole small-step-for-man, giant-leap-for-mankind thing. That’s all it takes. One step. So, if you’re like me and you want(ed) to make a change, know that it’s not too late. Start small. Even if you stray for a moment, just get back on it. You can do it. We can do it. Together.
My ode to chocolate begins here. I’ve decided I can no longer treat my body like a garbage disposal. Because it’s not a garbage disposal. It’s a fearfully and wonderfully made temple that houses a spirit that yearns to walk in freedom.
But it still craves chocolate.
So here it is. People have asked me about this for weeks, and rather than send a bunch of texts, emails or Facebook posts, I’m posting it here. Why not? I’ve got a blog. Might as well put it to good use. Congrats to you if you’ve made it this far. You win a prize.
Red Velvet Smoothie*
Note: You will need a high speed blender for this, or else you will have to chop things in bite-size pieces.
- 1 medium sized raw beet, skin removed (or not. Most of the nutrients are in the skin. Be warned, if you leave the skin on your beet, wash it. It grows in the ground.)
- a handful of leafy greens (I used baby kale. You can use spinach, romaine, or any leafy green you like!)
- 2 cups of spring water, or almond milk (If you prefer another nut milk, by all means! Just try not to use cow’s milk or soy milk. Reasons in another post.)
- 1/4 cup of cacao powder** (or nibs), or to taste
- Honey, to taste
- Ice, as needed
Throw everything in the blender. Blend until well combined. Drink. Yum.
*For a smoother smoothie, blend the beets and water/milk first, strain through cheese cloth or a sieve, place back into the blender and then continue.
**Cacao powder is raw chocolate powder made from the cocoa bean – the dried and fully fermented fatty seed of Theobroma cacao, from which cocoa solids and cocoa butter are extracted. They are the basis of chocolate, as well as many Mesoamerican foods such as mole sauce and tejate. Cacao contains an abundance of antioxidants, vitamins and minerals, such as magnesium and iron. My brand of choice is Navitas Naturals. You can purchase this brand at any health food store, i.e. Whole Foods Market.