“Idleness is not just a vacation, an indulgence or a vice; it is as indispensable to the brain as vitamin D is to the body and deprived of it we suffer a mental affliction as disfiguring as rickets. The space and quiet that idleness provides is a necessary condition for standing back from life and seeing it whole, for making unexpected connections and waiting for the wild summer lightning strikes of inspiration — it is, paradoxically, necessary to getting any work done.”
Tim Krieder, “The Busy Trap”
To me, summer feels like it has only just begun. That’s probably because June was filled with summer school, tight deadlines and a lot of commitments, all of which are the complete antithesis of summer. The month flew by quickly – an uncomfortably familiar thing that’s been occurring far too often lately – and included only one trip to Dairy Queen.
That seems practically criminal. For it is small, simple acts like eating my favorite DQ chocolate-dipped cone that force me to be present as I alternately peel crunchy chocolate pieces off the cone and slurp up the fast-melting vanilla soft serve. It reminds me of all the nights I spent after softball games sitting at Dairy Queen with my parents, coaches and teammates doing what we should all do more of: enjoy the quiet idleness that only a warm summer night can bring.
This month, let’s make it a point to do that more often…with or without ice cream (I prefer with).
Let’s back off the computer and get outside. Better yet, let’s order extra drinks at happy hour, just because the sun doesn’t set until well past 8:00pm, and we should enjoy the extra warmth while we are graced with it. Let’s go camping and hike through bright green trees to connect with earth and all those bigger things that remind us how small we are. Let’s say no to a few invitations and instead, say yes to a dinner picnic in the park. Let’s make a summer bucket list that includes doing nothing, vacations, naps, meditation and free time. And when you do all this, be sure to leave your phone at home. It’s an unnecessary distraction and the sworn enemy of idleness.
I don’t know about you all, but that is what July is going to be about for me.
And it’s going to be major.
Even though ice cream is my favorite food, it’s probably not a bad idea to occasionally swap out the dipped cones for something equally refreshing but perhaps, a bit more nourishing. That’s where smoothies come in: they’re cold, refreshing and sweet. They help take the edge off my notorious summer ‘scream cravings with crazy amazing homemade flavors like Blood Orange Tropical Coconut, Mint Berry Cucumber, Chunky Monkey and Tropical Avocado.
Now that it’s nearly July, it’s time to another crazy amazing flavor to the mix.
Creamsicles have always screamed SUMMER to me in that obnoxious, all capital letters S-U-M-M-E-R kind of way. That tangy, creamy combination of orange and vanilla is by far one of my favorites. With ruby red strawberries and raspberries in-season right now, I thought it be the perfect time to shake up that flavor combination just a bit.
Cheers to summer, my friends.
BERRY CREAMSICLE SMOOTHIE
Cook time: 5 minutes
1 cup Almond Breeze Unsweetened Original or Vanilla Almond Milk
1/2 cup or 1 (6-0z) container vanilla Greek yogurt
1 heaping cup frozen raspberries*
1 heaping cup fresh strawberries*
1 scoop vanilla protein powder (I use this one)
splash of real vanilla extract
drizzle of honey
*you can easily swap frozen strawberries for fresh and fresh raspberries for frozen (I just happened to have frozen raspberries in my freezer)
In a food processor or blender, blend all ingredients until smooth and creamy. Add more milk, if a thinner smoothie consistency is desired.
Makes 1 to 2 servings (depending on how thirsty you are)
[This post is sponsored by Almond Breeze. All opinions are my own.]