Slices of Life: Of smoothies and kayaks

My birthday is approaching and because of the thoughtful gift of the atomic blender, I’m looking forward to being in better shape this year than last. There’s just one birthday gift I can think of

Jill Pertler
Jill Pertler
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I wanted a kayak. It was a simple request I repeated repeatedly. I talked about how we would go kayaking this summer on the lake. We’d have a blast making family memories while building our triceps and getting a tan. I communicated as clearly as I could, in English, which is the language they speak. I wanted a kayak.

They got me a blender.

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There was a reason for their actions. They like smoothies. And, despite the allure of a sleek kayak cutting through the cool, clear water, it was a distant vision. In my climate zone, you can’t kayak in the winter. You have to wait until summer. Smoothies are available all times of the year—for those with the machinery to make them. Months of waiting for warm weather or immediate gratification: the choice was obvious.

To their credit, they didn’t get me any ordinary blender. They purchased one with a motor capable of powering a rocket to the moon. This thing doesn’t blend food. It pulverizes cells; turns them inside out and supercharges the nutritional value like no blender ever dreamt of doing. Well, that, and it makes smoothies.

I appreciated my supersonic blender, I really did. But you know how it is with some gifts that aren’t kayaks. They sit in the living room for one week, then two, until we sort of become oblivious to their being there at all.


My boys were dying to make smoothies, of course, but they didn’t dare remove my megatron blender from its packaging. They left that privilege to me. They can be surprisingly considerate to the needs of others in the most unexpected ways—sometimes.

The box sat unopened because (it wasn’t a kayak) and I’ve never been much of a smoothie kind of gal. I like a little crunch in my food. But, somewhere between weeks two and three, I got tired of stepping over my non-kayak, missile blender and carried the bad boy into the kitchen.

My kids reacted with a one-word exclamation: “Smoothies!”

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We revved up our rocket and shot out frozen, ice cream laden, calorie-laden smoothies like nobody’s business. The kids were happy. I took a look at the literature in the box, which offered healthy smoothie recipes containing a small amount of fruits accompanied by lots of vegetables only a guy like Popeye could love.

Call me crazy, but I decided to give it a try.

I threw in leafy greens by the handful and added minimal fruit and water. I hit the switch and watched the cyclonic action take my normal food and transform it into a nutrition explosion. I poured the mixture into a glass and was worried. Then I took a taste.

It wasn’t half bad. Surprisingly good, in fact. I didn’t mind drinking it one bit and have blended similar concoctions every day since. I’m having a blast while becoming the epitome of health. (Or so I like to think.)

My birthday is approaching and because of the thoughtful gift of the atomic blender, I’m looking forward to being in better shape this year than last. There’s just one birthday gift I can think of that might further enhance my new dietary routine: a method of exercise.


You know, like the kind you can get with a kayak.

Jill Pertler is an award-winning syndicated columnist, published playwright and author. Don’t miss a slice; follow the Slices of Life page on Facebook.

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