smoothie chart / Cole Kazdin 7 questions / sunday kids class!
A little while ago I got a great note from Courtney:
“Long time listener, first time caller. Not sure if you take requests but could you do a smoothie matrix?”
I sure can! Here you go!
It’s all pretty straight-forward, but I think the best formula for a smoothie is frozen fruit (keeps it cold + means you can do less prep!) covered with liquid, plus something a little creamy (a spoonful of yogurt of half a banana usually do the trick!), plus a jolt of something really flavorful. This last bit is what sets most smoothies apart from the rest. It could be a squeeze of fresh lime or a spoonful of peanut butter — just a little something to make you come back for more.
FWIW, the smoothie I drink most often is a version of the Black Forest smoothie — I do frozen cherries, coconut water, and a scoop of chocolate protein powder (or unflavored protein powder + a little squeeze of chocolate syrup). It’s so simple and so good and is one of my favorite snacks! I make it in my small Ninja blender and then drink it out of the blender cup— I love this thing! (not sponsored and not an affiliate link — just what I actually use….also very handy for salad dressings + pesto!!)
Keep Calm & Cook On is a reader-supported publication. To receive new posts and support my work, consider becoming a free or paid subscriber.
Speaking of smoothies…I am doing a fun Kids Cooking Hour! class this coming Sunday at 2p EST and we will be making Sour Cream Pancakes + Peach Smoothies! Kids of all ages are welcome. Questions are encouraged!
MORE ABOUT CLASS: I have loved to cook since I was a little kid. Feeling empowered in the kitchen has made a big difference in my life. I hope to share this feeling with young cooks in this special Kids Cooking Hour! For this class, we’ll be making Sour Cream Pancakes and Peach Smoothies. Depending on age, experience + kitchen confidence, an adult might be needed to help (grocery shopping, turning on the stove, handling the blender, etc.). We will walk through every single step slowly and answer questions. This is going to be FUN!!!!! Note this class is 1 hour / $25! »» MORE INFO + SIGNUP HERE! ««
I’m so excited to share a short Q&A with Cole Kazdin, author of What’s Eating Us: Women, Food, and the Epidemic of Body Anxiety. Cole’s book is a mix of her personal story plus her award-winning investigative reporting. I really appreciate her time answering my questions! You can also listen to Cole on this episode of Burnt Toast with the one and only. They had a great conversation on “The Myth of ‘Full Recovery.’”
1. What do you hope readers will feel when they're in the pages of What's Eating Us?
I hope readers will feel less alone. That was such a pervasive feeling for me when I had an eating disorder. And isolation is such an impediment to getting better. At the time, I didn’t know anyone personally who’d had an eating disorder and I think if, when I was at my sickest, I understood just how many people were walking around feeling almost exactly like I was, doing the same destructive things, it would have been comforting. To hear someone say, “I get it,” without pressuring me to change would have meant the world to me. I don’t believe there’s necessarily a straight line from understanding to recovery, but I do find information to be empowering. Learning about the complexities of these illnesses, that if you have one, it’s not some personal failure – that helped me a lot. And knowing that there is hope, that healing may look different for everyone, and that others have done it (you’ve done it!!) – well, that’s everything.
2. How has working on this book impacted you?
It really healed me. I didn’t expect that. I set out to solve the mystery of my own unsatisfying “recovery” – I genuinely thought maybe there was something wrong with me that my treatment didn’t “stick.” But then I started talking to other women and they felt the same. Even the top researchers in the world confirmed that there’s no real standard of care, and that many people who are fortunate to get treatment (most people don’t) just don’t get better. Understanding how complex eating disorders are, and how challenging it is to recover in the diet culture land we’re swimming in, helped me to develop self-compassion that I never had before. And knowing that the negative self-talk that still bubbles up from time to time isn’t some deep-down-inner voice-of-truth – it’s diet messaging. It’s advertising. It’s not me. That’s brought me a lot of comfort. I feel stronger in my recovery now than I ever have before.
3. Where and when do you feel most connected to your body?
The most direct connection for me is when I’m moving. I was a really active kid, despite what my fourth grade gym teacher Mrs. Francombe would have me believe (shakes fist!). I hated gym class running drills, and I was turned off from team sports because of cruel kids soccer coach who demanded the girls take their shirts off – those of us who didn’t were benched; I quit after the first day. Which is all to say: I love to move my body and had to find my own way. I danced from a very young age and it brought me so much joy. As an adult, later in life, I’ve discovered roller derby! And also dance classes that don’t trigger the rigid ballerina shit that isn’t good for me – a friend recently turned me on to Gaga which is pretty liberating. And I LOVE heavy lifting. In fact, I was inspired to get back into it after you posted something about it, Julia. I love lifting heavy shit! It’s exciting to feel strong, get stronger, lift something so heavy that I fail a little (a lot). And then try again. There’s something meditative about it too – focused, and slow.
My younger sister lifts and the last time she visited, she hauled a 40 pound bag of cat litter up the stairs to my apartment like it was nothing. I want THAT, I thought. And if I can set a concrete, non-weight loss goal with any sort of movement or exercise, it’s a bonus. And today, I run the cat litter up the stairs.
4. What does the word 'healthy' mean to you? Is it a word you use?
I try to avoid it – it’s too loaded and so often proxy for low-calorie, gluten-free or some other diet culture term that has been handed to us that translates to some sort of food restriction. I like to think of health these days as getting enough sleep, finding ways to manage stress (in the form of sporadic meditation), and spending more time with my friends.
If the word “healthy” creeps into my head with respect to foods or a way of eating, I try to challenge it. For example, if I have the thought, “I want a healthy dinner tonight” – I ask myself what I really mean by that? Often it’s that I want to eat something light because my body’s not feeling that hungry, or I ate a big lunch. Maybe it’s hot out and I want a cold, crisp salad. I do want to think about nourishment and nutrient rich foods; I want to eat a variety of foods. Also, I have a child now and I very much want him to have a curious palate, too. But most of all, I want us to enjoy it.
5. What's the role of community in your work?
Community is everything and it can take so many forms. It can be one person, a support group, a knitting circle – it doesn’t have to look one way. Even a handful of social media strangers. I’ve restructured my Instagram feed so that I don’t see diet messaging. I follow a lot of fat activists and body liberation activists, so I see people who speak the language I want to get more fluent in.
BIPOC and LGBTQ+ folks are typically left out of eating disorder conversations, and so community is imperative in supporting healing. There’s a lot of amazing work happening on grass roots levels.
We absolutely can’t do it alone, and in my work now, I feel like it’s my job to be that for other people any chance I get. If someone needs a reminder that this isn’t in our heads, that there are a lot of us out here, that there’s an alternative – and more peaceful – way to live – I’ve got you.
6. What was the last thing you cooked or baked?
I make this lemony-orzo-with-toasted-breadcrumbs concoction for dinner at least once a week – it’s a riff off of a NYT recipe – I think it’s supposed to have asparagus? But I kind of incorporate whatever I have on hand – peas, chickpeas, spinach. I almost tossed an avocado in the other day but lost courage at the last moment. The lemon zest and olive oil make it an absolutely beautiful dish – simple and elegant, and always a crowd pleaser. I double the amount of breadcrumbs and garlic that the original recipe calls for. I don’t like to think of cooking as having too many rules, but “doubling the breadcrumbs and garlic” is a pretty solid one.
7. First thing to come to mind right now: what was your favorite thing to eat when you were a kid?
There’s a club sandwich I ate once that I *still* think about from time to time – I was around four or five years old and my father had a conference in New York City that he brought my mom and I to and so we were in a hotel and they went out and got a hotel babysitter (an idea which kind of terrifies me now? But that was the 70’s when everything was ok??) and ordered me a club sandwich from room service. We didn’t really eat out a lot when I was a kid and my parents were very health conscious so this was like ordering a pack of cigarettes and a chocolate bar as far I was concerned. Rebel, rebel.
The sandwich was perfect as I remember it – toasted white bread, smokey bacon, crisp lettuce, and – excuse me?! THERE’S BREAD BETWEEN THE BREAD IN THE MIDDLE? Fries. Ketchup. I ate it in bed, watching TV. I think I’m maybe talking too much about this sandwich? But it was so much a vibe. Independence. Decadence. Fries.
I just double checked the ingredients in a club as I was thinking about this question, to refresh my memory. I haven’t eaten meat since I was a teenager, so, today, the idea of an actual, by-the-book club sandwich is a little repulsive to me. But there’s a restaurant near my home in LA, M Café, that does a fantastic veggie dupe – with fries, of course.
okay, that’s all for today friends. tell me about your favorite smoothies + things to eat when you were in a kid in the comments!!! xxoxoox Julia