Thursday, July 16, 2009

Tropic of Smoothies - Soursop

Last night I stopped at El Oriental de Cuba in JP to pick up a Tamarindo Smoothie. Across the street is a Hi-Lo Supermarket. I needed harvarti cheese so I walked over there. No sign of havarti, because this is a tropical supermarket. They have Goya products you won't find at your local Hannafords and -- oh joy! -- they have frozen unsweetened tropical fruit puree -- Tamarindo, soursop, parcha (passionfruit) and more. I bought the soursoup, also known as guanabana.

I had my first soursop shake in Cruz Bay while on vacation in St. John, USVI and was immediately hooked. I would amble down to the town every day for a shake and a patty. These days I pay $3.00 for one but now -- I can make them myself!! The puree, which makes 3 shakes is just $1.49. I use a modified recipe to substitute for sugar and milk. This was my breakfast shake:

Soursop Breakfast Smoothie

Makes one large shake:
- 1/3 package of frozen soursop puree
- 1/2 cup frozen strawberries (optional)
- 3/4 cup of almond milk (unsweetened)
- juice of 1/2 a lime
- scoop of whey protein powder (optional)
- liquid stevia (I like NuNaturals brand) to taste
- 2 or 3 ice cubes
- 1/2 cup of water
- 1 heaping tbs. of Benefiber (optional)

Blend thoroughly and enjoy. Here's a more traditional Jamaican version:


  • 1 pound sour sop peeled, seeded & sliced
  • 1.5 cups milk
  • 5 tablespoon sugar (add more or less to taste)
  • 1 cup crushed ice
  • 1 squeezed lime (optional)
I see no reason why rum and more lime cannot be added for an evening libation.

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Today's Quote

"Pain is a great place for growth"
Neuroeconomist Paul Zak, from Speaking of Faith, WBUR-FM, click here to listen or download

Okay. I have found this to be true. Suffering can spur great growth.

But what about pleasure? Don't we also grow through pleasure, through trust? I think we do.

But as a society based on Puritanism, we tend to focus on the pain, suffering and mistrust portion. We even place pleasure in this context. Overeating, alcoholism, anorexia, adultery, sports addiction, gambling, sexual addiction -- these are pleasures turned to pain. They have gone haywire because we lost that sense of trust, that core elemental "thing" in us that connects us to the energy of everything else on the planet and provides peace and balance between pain and suffering and extreme pleasure.

In my beginning tai chi class, my teacher told us to stand and shift our hips subtly from side to side and as we did, to imagine a carpenter's level in our pelvic area. As we shifted the bubble in the middle should stay level.

As I shift through life, that "level" is the innate harmony of my body, mind and spirit with the outside world. It's not something I need to learn, just to draw forth.

This is a good program if you have the chance to listen to it. Zak talks about how our brains adapt during times like these, and about the neuroscience and psychology of trust, as they relate to Madoff and AIG.