Travelers’ Meal #5 – Mango and Persimmon Smoothie (and thoughts from this summer)

Happy 4th of July! This is the last Traveler’s Meal post (at least for a loooong while), as I am currently on a plane back to the USA. Sadly, I will miss the patriotic festivities today, since the flight I am on is next-day arrival. However, I figured I would post this as inspiration for a healthy, chilled treat for your Independence Day breakfast, or any time really. Oh, and please eat some of that Americana-goodness known as a flag cake for me. I miss those!

Persimmon Mango Smoothie. Such a great flavor combination!

Buenos Aires has been a great experience, but I am ready to get home to the country that I grew up in, even if it does leave me miffed just as much as a foreign culture sometimes. Personally, I have learned a lot about trusting the tools that my support network, therapists, and faith have given me over the past few years.

This summer, though I am still processing, has really been a testament to my continuing journey of respecting and cherishing my body. Countless people have been, and still are, supporting me and speaking truth into my life. Of course, I am still working towards balance and self-love, but this summer was my time to put “the pedal to the metal” and really see if all of my training (and therapy) has paid off.  In Europe and in Argentina, while not exactly third-world,  I was away from almost anything familiar and my schedule, my diet, and my opportunities to exercise were severely limited. It was challenging to not escape by trying to control my eating and to not give into feelings of guilt from enjoying the unique foods around me.

Staying emotionally connected enough to recognize, acknowledge, and respect my body’s hunger signals, as well as to stay open enough to question if it was really hunger, or perhaps something else, was also a struggle. Many times, when I took time to sit with my guilt or anxiety over exercise and food, I found there was a much deeper anxiety at the heart of it, often pointing to my feelings of being out of control (there was actually an interesting, related article to diets and control in the NYTimes recently).

I thank God for my friends back home and their prayers for me to stay connected and not give in to a diet mentality. After all, it was only 4 years ago that I let fear prevent me from going on vacation. Now I have proved that I can travel the world.

Speaking of traveling the world, here are some pictures from around Buenos Aires. A city of immigrants, a city whose identity seems to constantly be in negotiations, but always seeks to press onward.

Traveler’s How-To for a Mango Persimmon Smoothie:

All blended and ready to drink.

First, pack a one-person blender in your suitcase before leaving home (don’t make your mother stop at buy one on the way to the airport like I did). You can find one at Wal-Mart for less than $16 and simply pack a power converter with you, if you are going out of the country. If you are afraid it takes up too much space, you can always pack stuff inside the blender caraffe, but be careful of the blades cutting you or whatever you place inside. I am so glad I decided to sacrifice the space in my suitcase to bring this blender, especially considering that I kind of spontaneously decided to stop by the store to buy it on my way.

1/3 Mango, cut into chunks

1 persimmon, peeled and de-seeded and cut into chunks

1/2 cup skim milk

1/2 cup vanilla yogurt

Combine all ingredients into your blender and blend for 20-40 seconds. Enjoy.

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