Hello, from Austin! Today’s edition of Smoothie Tuesday comes to you from my new home in Austin, Texas. You may remember my recent post about a lovely lady named Kristy. Well, we are engaged and getting married in November. It feels great to be in such an amazing city. There are some many vegetarian friendly restaurants here; there are even several raw food establishments. The one that is most well known is called Daily Juice. I actually haven’t been yet, but will probably make a trip there sometime soon.
Not only does Austin have lots of great food, but also there are plenty of recreational opportunities here. I will have not shortage of places to run, cycle, and climb. The live music scene here is also awesome. I think I am really going to feel at home here.
Anyway, today’s smoothie recipe is truly a superfood. Inspired by Naked Juice, I decided to make my own at home because I love the taste of the Naked drinks, but I’m unable to digest them well. I always end up with a weird stomachache. I assume it’s because of the flash pasteurization the drinks are put through. The process kills a lot of the beneficial enzymes that aide in digestion. But, this homemade version leaves all those nutritious enzymes fully intact.
Place all the ingredients in a blender and process thoroughly. If you have a Vita-Mix blender this will be a fairly quick process, but other blenders will take a lot longer to break everything down, especially the greens.
I also apologize for there being no photo this time. I tried, but the lighting in my fiancees apartment is horrible, I couldn’t get my own reflection out of the glass, no matter how hard I worked different angles. Hopefully I get this figured out before next weeks post.
The other day I randomly got the idea of using finely ground mate in a smoothie to create an energy drink. I got the idea after discovering a green tea powder some friends of mine had. I inadvertently put a scoop of it into our smoothie, and it was wonderful! So upon arriving at home after that weekend I decided I would try a similar drink with peppermint yerba mate, thus creating a raw energy drink.
Although mate is caffeinated, it’s only about the equivalent of 1/4 cup of coffee and is naturally caffeinated. The mate I used for this smoothie was by Explorer’s Bounty. The mint flavor was just right, and became a bit stronger the longer the drink sat. Mate is a common ingredient in a lot of recipes by Brendan Brazier, as well as my own Shot Blok recipe. Mate is an excellent source of natural energy.
* You can use your choice of mint flavored tea if you don’t have mate. Also, if you want to increase the amount of mint flavor, simply add another tea packet.
Place all the ingredients in a high speed blender, (preferably a VitaMix), yes I am partial, and blend.
I can’t attest to how effective the drink is in providing energy, but combined with healthy greens and the sugar from the banana, I’m pretty sure it will be quite effective.
Also, if you have been considering a Vita-Mix you can get free shipping through ordering from my affiliate links. I do get a small commission on the sell to, so I would greatly appreciate purchasing through my site.
Note: I apologize for the long delay in getting this post up. I have had it half way written for about three weeks now. Due to the length of this post I also decided to break up the trip report into three parts, so this will now be part two of three.
Also, I am pleased to announce I am now an engaged man. If you want to know more about the wonderful lady, read this post that I wrote a couple months ago. Anyway, enjoy the trip report.
Climbing Fandango (5.5 II) last year was perhaps the highlight of my climbing career. It was 7 pitches of enjoyable run-out climbing. So, it would only make sense that I would be psyched about climbing the Direct East Face (5.6 III). The climb pretty much goes directly up the middle of the First Flatiron (in Boulder, CO) and then traverses the ridge, west, to the summit block. It’s 10 pitches of pure enjoyment on easy terrain. The climb this year did not disappoint.
We woke up at 5 a.m. with the goal of being at the base of the climb at 6 a.m., but due to a slow start leaving the Hostel in Boulder and making a wrong turn off the trail we didn’t make it to the base until about 7:15 a.m. There was also another couple getting started at the base of the climb, so after waiting on them we probably got started close to 7:45 a.m.
Naren lead the first 5.6 pitch, which actually ended up being two pitches rolled into one. Naren ran out a full rope length to a good ledge. I actually had to take him off belay and stop down from my belay ledge to give him enough rope to put me on belay from above. The first pitch was the hardest pitch of the day, and I was thankful Naren had taken the lead. The first pich had two bolts on it due to the inability to place protection, but that was very surprising considering the only other bolt on the entire 1,000ft face was at the top of the second pitch for an anchor.
After arriving at the belay ledge with Naren I took a short rest, took the rack and began the second pitch. My first piece of protection was about 10-15 feet from the belay ledge. After that I didn’t get another piece in for at least 20 feet. At this point I began to wander off route towards what I thought was the path of least resistance. As it turns out, I was getting myself into 5.9 terrain, and Caleb doesn’t do well in run-out terrain like that. After much contemplating about continuing on my path of destruction, down-climbing, and then climbing back up again, I decided to completely down climb all the way down to my last piece of protection and then traverse left to meet back up with the route I was supposed to be on. I gave Naren a good scare too, he thought we ware going to have to bail off the route and call it a day, but I managed to collect my cool and proceed with the route.
Naren then lead the third pitch without any problems, other than passing a good belay stance, which required a bit of down climbing to return to the proper belay. I was up for the fourth pitch, which turned out to be a really run out 5.4 – 5.5, and was the headwall pitch. I didn’t find any gear right off the bealy, and was a good 30-40 feet above the belay before slinging a large horn. My second protection point was another slung horn – my only two places of protection on the entire pitch. The top of the fourth pitch had a nice large ledge that we decided to rest on. At this point a guide and his two clients caught up to us. They were moving very fast. The guide would solo the pitch, just hauling up twin ropes and would bring both clients up at the same time. What an efficient way to lead a part up 1,000+ feet of rock.
Naren lead pitch five, but ended up far right of the correct belay, thus adding an extra short pitch for us, which ended up being a short traverse that I lead. I contemplated connecting the entire pitch, but the guide that ended up passing as at this point had conjured up some mental blocks in my head my telling me a certain way was easier than going up the obvious gulley. I wavered back and forth for about ten minutes then decided to break up the pitches and bring Naren over. The anchor here was also pretty sketchy, so upon Naren arriving at the belay I made sure he didn’t put any weight on it. Since we had created an extra pitch here, Naren took the lead what became the seventh pitch. Since we ended up combining the first two, this put us at the correct number of pitches to reach the summit ridge.
From here we had several ridge line pitches until we reached the summit block. Since I had lead all but one pitch on this ridge I let Naren lead most of them. They were all very easy, with one 5.5 crux section, which was really the only place we needed to be roped up. The exposure on the ridge was quite nice, but the terrain was so easy it never became an issue.
After reaching the summit we made the rappel down the backside of the Flatiron, that took almost a full 30 meters. Other than having to pull the rope off a ledge on the way down, the rappel went perfectly smooth. Upon riving back at the car we had spent close to a full 12 hours. Not too bad considering we got slightly lost on the way in and ended up having to wait on two different parties during our climb; not to mention my wayward route finding skills. The journey was a blast, and I look forward to doing more Flatiron routes in the future. Hopefully one of them will be with my wife to be!