Gloria shakes it up, nutritionally

GLORIA YODER

People have been so good to us. They’ve shown their support in more ways than I could count. As I think of what everyone has done for us, including you readers, I just feel so blessed and unworthy. There have been untold little things and big things done by friends and family to show support since we started doing foster care eight months ago. One specific blessing that I’ve been so thankful for is our neighbors, Nate and Sarellen Zehr. Their bountiful produce patch is bearing an amazing harvest as always, and bless their big hearts, they are constantly sharing with us. With all our little ones we decided to only have a small garden this year so their generosity really does help us out. Besides the garden goodies they share, their very capable girls come and help me with cleaning or babysitting whenever I need them. Perhaps one of the things that have meant the most is the healthy energy shakes they’re constantly sharing with me.

In fact, this really is the most nutritious shake or drink, call it what you want, that I’ve ever had. It is loaded with anti-oxidants and, I think, helps with overall health.

So this is what Sarellen does. It’s exactly what I dream of doing someday. Every morning she makes a batch of these for her and Nate’s breakfast. Talking about starting out your day loaded with all sorts of fresh fruits and veggies, all blended together, resulting in an amazing combination. With it being blended up it makes it quite simple for your body to absorb the nutrients. According to Sarellen’s report, until she has a banana, an apple, a cucumber, a handful of this and that, it makes three servings, enough for one more person. I’ve felt so incredibly blessed many a time as I answered a knock at the door to find one of their children beaming with the extra shake for me! It just seems God has used it many a time to give me the lift at the moments I needed it the most. Imagine how I felt one Sunday morning, after we were done handshaking and were ready to go find a seat before church started, when Sarellen came to me and quietly told me that she brought a shake along for me. “How did you know how my morning was?” I asked her. “Well I don’t know,” she responded, “I just remember what it used to be like when I had little ones.” It didn’t take me long to locate a spoon and take a bite of the wholesome combination. Ah, how satisfying after a truly hectic morning! What a beautiful reminder that God really sees what all is going on in our lives, even Sunday mornings with fussy babies, a mom who is desperately trying to get everyone fed and presentable, and a diaper bag equipped for three babies. Yesterday morning when 11 year-old Abigail and her three-year-old sister, Heidi, came with a gorgeous bouquet of cut flowers, fresh candy onions, and a shake, I knew I’ll have to be sharing this recipe with you!

At first, Julia and Austin weren’t too fond of the taste of these shakes. “That’s okay, I told them, if you just take a little taste every now and then you’ll learn to like it!” You can just imagine how impressed I was when they started coming back to me for more! Julia, like her daddy, likes peanut butter with every other thing, so she’s starting out by eating hers with peanut butter! Austin got his first good impression after watching mama eat healthy chocolate with hers. Little Jesse eats it down like a little man!

And by the way, thanks to my motivating husband, by Saturday evening we aim to have the children’s clothes for the next morning all ready to go, the diaper bag packed with some simple quiet pass time toys for the children and baggies with snacks for them, and all the other “musts” for little ones. And yes, our Sunday mornings are actually a pleasant experience for all of us once more!

MORNING ENERGY SHAKE

One banana

One apple

One cucumber

3 Tablespoons chia seeds

A small chunk ginger root

A couple pineapple rings

A handful of each of the following:

Kale

Spinach

Blueberries Put everything together in a blender (a Vita-mix works best) and blend until smooth. Enjoy a full cup of nutrition!

GLORIA YODER