Let’s play a little game. I’ll think of a small appliance in my kitchen and you’ll guess what it is. Ready? OK! Yes, it makes as much noise as a rocket launching into outer space. Yes, I did have to take a second mortgage on my house to be able to afford it. Yes, a person without teeth would find it very useful. Yes! It is my Vitamix! Wow. You sure are good at guessing games!
Two years ago at Whole Foods Market, a magician with fast hands was mesmerizing a hungry crowd of bystanders simply by turning the dial on his Vitamix. For his first trick he turned water, a handful of spinach, a whole orange with part of the skin intact, and a wedge of lime into a refreshing and extremely delicious green smoothie. Next up was a cream-less strawberry “ice cream” followed by a flavorful tortilla soup. All of these lovely creations were prepared effortlessly in less than two minutes. Best of all, the Vitamix could clean itself. “I’ll have one!” I thought to myself, licking my lips in anticipation. All that was left was to convince my practical-minded husband that we were in dire need of a powerhouse blender that cost more than his first car. Fortunately, my practical-minded husband is also a supremely nice guy, and I can be extremely convincing when motivated. It took three months of wheedling, cajoling and eyelash batting, but I finally had my prize on the kitchen counter, ready to perform a few tricks of its own.
I have a silly habit of naming many of the inanimate objects in my life toward which I feel affection. My car is Patty. The little evergreen that sits on my terrace is Irwin, and now the blender was begging for a name. I narrowed it down to first names beginning with the letter “v” since Vitamix was to be its last name and my ear tends to favor the alliterative sounds in such names as Mickey Mouse, Peter Pan and Charlie Chaplin. Of course, when naming a blender, knowing its gender would be helpful. I turned it upside down to see if I could locate any distinguishing body parts but found none. What I did find was a label identifying it as a “Household Food Preparing Machine.” That sounded decidedly feminine to me so I named said machine “Vicky” and have referred to her as such ever since.
Short of hooking myself up to a super-greens IV machine, Vicky was the most effective delivery system I could imagine for loading up on the nutrient-rich foods my body craved. Immunity-boosting, superhero foods like kale, spinach, bok choy, flax, chia and pomegranate seeds could easily be incorporated into my daily diet in a variety of lip-smacking formats…soups, smoothies, dips…the possibilities were endless. Warming foods in the winter and chilled creations in the summer were a major part of Vicky’s appeal.
It’s worth noting that blended raw vegetables and fruits are rapidly absorbed into the bloodstream because they come to the body with their cell walls already broken down. That means the protective compounds in Mother Nature’s beautiful, edible plants are available to promote cellular repair right away. However, unlike juicing, blending maintains the full fiber content of the produce which slows down the absorption of natural sugars, preventing unhealthy spikes in blood glucose levels. Every time I crank up Vicky’s turbo engine, I know that my body (and the three lovable bodies that live with me), are getting a powerful shot of micronutrients (vitamins, minerals, fiber and phytochemicals) that optimize our well-being.
Now, not everything I make in Vicky’s pitcher is what I would call nutritionally optimal. There’s a mind-blowing chocolate concoction I whip up that my family lovingly refers to as “doodly mousse” (see, they like naming things too), whose three main ingredients are heaps of high-quality dark chocolate, heavy cream and Tahitian vanilla. That luscious indulgence is not doing a darned thing for the health of our cells but it does amazing things for our souls as we savor it together after lunch on weekends. There simply has to be some benefit to our bodies from the serotonin release that results from a single spoonful (and trust me, one generous spoonful does the trick. This stuff is potent). Vicky gladly obliges us without judgment when we choose chocolate, but for the most part she is the steward of our good health, protecting us from harm and regarding us with pride as we drink in her magic.
I am happy to report that I have not been sick since Vicky entered my life on August 17, 2013. These twenty-eight months have passed without a miserable cold and lingering cough. I feel full of vitality and so does my family. I celebrated Vicky’s first anniversary of coming to live with us by having her prepare something special to accompany each of our three meals. On Vicky’s second anniversary at Casa Kerstan I presented her with a stylish hat that she could wear to work and I even snapped her photo while she tried it on for size (it fit perfectly). This year’s festivities are still in the planning phase, but I’m thinking about placing Vicky on the floor in the center of the kitchen and asking my family to join me in an uplifting, ritualistic-type circle dance around her to demonstrate our devotion. I also feel compelled to cross out the lackluster descriptor “Household Food Preparing Machine” and replace it with a moniker that pays homage to her worth and loyal service. I’m thinking, “Health Safeguarding Device,” “Instrument for Personal Transformation,” or “Never-Run-Out-Of Steam Machine.” All of these labels help to paint her portrait and define her function, but which one to choose???? Perhaps it would be best if I asked Vicky to chew it over and come up with something satisfying. After all, it’s what she does best.