You guys want a recipe for a great raw shake? It's called the I Am Delicious and that it is, my friends. Ok, first you have to get one of those intimidating-looking young coconuts from a good produce section. It looks like that white thing pictured to the left. I found out that there is no such thing as an electric young coconut opener so I resorted to a sort of hacking technique that seemed to work ok. Apparently a cleaver works best, but I used my largest chopping knife, slit a little reference cut on the top, put my other hand behind my back and whacked at it until I saw some coco water slipping out. Dump the coco upside down on your blender and let all the water drain out. Then, with super human strength, pry the coco open with your fingers from the hacked cuts until that mother rips in half. The flesh of a young coco is gooey and yummy. Scoop out all of that young meat and fling it in the blender. Try to avoid all the little shell chunks you've made from the infamous Choppy Chop Technique. Then scoop in three heaping tablespoons of raw almond butter. Then throw in ten pitted Medjool dates. Blend that on high. When it's mixed up to your satisfaction, pour about 3/4ths-ish of the mixture into a container to save for later, unless you're making the shake for someone else too, because I say this recipe makes about 3-4 servings. Add lots o' ice to what's left in the blender, then blend away. VOILA! Deliciousness. Mina said it tasted like graham crackers with vanilla ice cream and I say she's about dead on.
I just realized that if I'm going to share recipes, I better make them look more professional and easier to follow. Me culpa.
After the Junior Olympics, Maya, in a nondramatic fashion, wanted to quit Tae Kwon Do. We were sad to hear that, but we understood. We told her she'd never have to do a tournament again, but we wanted her to go at least once a week to practice the art of self defense, and to get a good workout. She agreed without resistance which relieved us. We signed Maya & Mina up at a new Tae Kwon Do studio a week and a half ago. I told the head guy, Master N, about Maya's broken spirit and how she was hesitant about going again. I told him she was out of shape. Master N is Brazilian. He is warm and smiley -- we aren't used to that in the TKD world -- and he nodded and said in a singsong fashion peppered with random "zzsh" sounds, "Ok. Noi problem." His studio is brand spanking new. Husband happened to notice it by chance as he was driving home one day. It's so new, you can smell the rubber from the mats freshly delivered. Maya said happily, "It doesn't smell like feet!" It turns out that Master N is an eight-time open world champion and he just happened to train two sisters that medaled in this past Junior Olympics in Atlanta, one of which is a 130lb twelve year old that is a quick and powerful bad-ass. We happened to stumble into a new gym -- we were mainly happy it was close to our house -- that happens to also be the exact den of training we needed before. I said, "Wow, ok, well, I'm not sure what Maya wants to do, but she'll be happy other competitive girls are on board." I do believe that was a big part of Maya feeling fed up with TKD. She's a social being. She craves interaction. She loves to show off for others. Training alone took it a major toll on her.
A week ago, after Maya's third training session, as Master N was realizing how good she is naturally, he asked me as he plotted in his head, "When's the next Olympics?" Maya was training on the bike when he said this. I knew she had heard him and I didn't want to sound excited or overly enthusiast. "The grown-up, real Olympics?" With each class that she has taken with Master N, I can see the love and tenacity for the sport finally fill back in. Master N has been hard and equally encouraging. He said, "Ok, Olympics too soon, but she will definitely be a champion next Junior Olympics." He rattled on excitedly about Junior National team then National team then ok, the Olympics, but I kind of tuned him out only looking at Maya's back as she pressed away on the bike. I couldn't tell what she was feeling. In the car, I said, "Do you feel too pressured by what Master N said about you? About being a champion and making the Olympics?" And she looked up at me and beamed. She said, "No! I love that he believes in me. I'm excited." My baby champion is back. I can't even fathom the possibilities yet, but what I do know is that since she's been working out hard again, there have been no after school 2 hour crying jags. If Tae Kwon Do can help her defend herself and make her feel emotionally more even keeled then that's better than any old Olympics.
Oh, Maya also went to her first junior high dance last Friday . . . Her peoples at school had been creating a huge dramatic dust up about this for the last three weeks. Maya had been asked to the dance by two different boys to whom she told, "Ah, I'll just see you there" which made them pouty and caused them to say mean things that have swirled around in the circle since. Maya's like, Jeez boys are lame. The dance started at 4:30 and I wasn't able to see her get ready with her three friends, but we thoroughly went over outfits and etiquette the night before. When I picked her and her soon-to-be-BFF Pam up from the dance, I got the low down. First off, the two other girls that they got ready with apparently put on so much make up, they looked like baby clowns. One girl said, "I've never looked prettier" and that broke my heart into many pieces. With every detail of the night, I'd interject reinforcements to their own behavior. Call it Trying Way Too Hard, but it seemed necessary. "I'm proud that you guys didn't feel a need to wear make up." (P.S. Maya's not allowed, but still) "You guys look great." "You guys are smart and beautiful." Then they got to the part where some seventh and eighth grade girls came equipped with Stripper 201 moves. Maya said, “One girl danced like this:” And she squatted, knees in opposite directions and then got back up, her ass leading the way; a hand felt the ass on the way up. I blinked and swallowed hard. I said, "Whoa." They said, "IKNOW!" in an oh-my-god tone. "Ok, so you know that's inappropriate right?" "YES!" "And sometimes girls dance like that to get attention, but sometimes it's the worst kind of attention." I feel like I've given this speech to one of my own friends only a few years ago. It's disheartening to give it to two wide-eyed, makeupless eleven year olds that just wanted to do the Sprinkler and other goofy dance moves. There was also freaking at the dance, which is good old fashioned fast grinding. I wasn't doing that until 17, but I was also paying rent at 17. I said, "How do you feel when you see girls or people dancing like that?" They said that they felt uncomfortable. We walked to the Italian Icee spot and then we walked Pam home. They talked about more drama in their circle --it never ends! --and how the dance was disappointing. I felt disappointed too. When we got to Pam's house, I noticed the living room was decorated completely in Tibetan Buddhist stuff; a tanka on the wall, gorgeous photos of the Dalai Lama and other monks lining everything-- which is KINDA ODD, don't you think? It turns out that Pam's mother, who is Tibetan, and her American father, a photographer of the Buddhist theme, are, in fact, practicing Buddhists. Oh, and they still know my mother's long-time live-in boyfriend from a million years ago, who is also Tibetan. "It's a small community," she said. They also knew the Rimpoche that gave my La Rim teachings when I was fifteen. It's a small everything as far as I'm concerned.
We leave for Hawaii on Wednesday. The planning is stressin' me because the girls aren't coming with us and I want to make sure I remember everything. Also Grandma Carmen doesn't drive so making arrangements has been a wee bit taxing. But I Am Grateful that G-ma Carmen IS coming because in the ten years that I've known Husband, these four days in Hawaii will be the longest we've vacationed alone together. I Am Grateful for Hawaii in advance.