Green Smoothie Week, Day Five

I just left my weekly (well, bi-weekly of late) eating disorder-related therapy session, and boy, I have a big week ahead. My therapist and I discussed sexuality, pregnancy, and the likelihood of my menstrual cycle ever returning. I derailed it with my anorexia, and it has not yet returned naturally. Naturally, the absence of a period makes pregnancy a difficult thing to come by, at best. And yes, the Best Husband Ever and I are thinking children. Wow!

Here comes the hard part. The "big week ahead" part. My therapist has challenged me to workout no more than 10 hours per week, for the duration of the next seven days. At the moment, I'm averaging at least 14 hours a week, if not more. This week has been particularly intense. Not only have I been running and biking for long sessions, but I've even gone on more than one run in a day.

In addition to her 10-hours-a-week charge, my therapist also wants me to take tomorrow off completely in light of the 10K race I'm running on Saturday. This wouldn't be too hard to swallow if my summer work hadn't ended today, leaving me with loads of time on my hands. All of a sudden I can't hike, do yoga, or swim tomorrow! It's going to be a difficult day. I guess I'm jumping in with both feet first. I imagine that I'll be doing a deep house cleaning tomorrow . . . .

Why this new challenge all of a sudden? It all goes back to baby. If I want to have a baby the biological way, I can't be training like a super-triathlete. My body just can't handle it. When I pointed out to my therapist that professional runners can run almost all the way through pregnancy, she in turn stated that their bodies are not built the way most people's are. I don't know if that's true, but I'm still left with a choice. Do I want a family more or less than I want to race/bike/climb/swim/move?

I know that parenthood requires many, many sacrifices. And I also know that I'm not being asked to completely give up all activity. But cutting back will be hard, folks, very hard. Especially considering what's at stake, and that it might not even restart my period in the end. Still, I'm not sure why this choice is so difficult. Shouldn't the answer be obvious? Shouldn't my running, etc., immediately fall to the background and having a family leap to the fore? It's more anorexia fallout, I suppose, but still, I wonder -- is this a choice that other amateur athletes wrestle with?

As if grappling with all of these questions wasn't tough enough already, I'm adding another part to my therapist's challenge. In addition to cutting back my exercise to 7 to 10 hours per week, I'm also going to try to eat more intuitively. In other words, I will try to eat when I'm hungry. If my body's telling me that it needs fuel, I want to honor that by feeding it responsibly. That doesn't mean to grab every doughnut my cravings call for, but it does mean that eating a healthy snack when needed is a good thing.

Big week. Big challenges. Big choices. Gulp.

And that's how I drank today's green monster, making it the fifth smoothie in Kitchen Courage's green smoothie week. At let me tell you, this puppy was green! Extra spinach-y, I suppose. I made it in a hurry this morning as I was running late for the last day of the summer school I teach (or, now, taught). I still managed to whip up a cool, frothy, and superbly green smoothie. Not to mention flavorful! I dipped into my jar of peanut butter with Asian curry spice for this one, and all I can say is yum. I drank the smoothie in a hurry, too, as I drove to work. (Excuse the not-so-wonderful photos. In addition to my poor, wonderful camera being broken, I believe that I may have mentioned how much in a hurry I was this morning).

Curry in a Hurry, Green Smoothie-Style

3 cups fresh spinach
1/2 banana (frozen, if possible)
1 T curried peanut butter (OR 1 T peanut butter, 1 tsp curry powder)
1 handful ice cubes

Combine all the ingredients in a blender or food processor. Lick the remnants of peanut butter from the spoon as your smoothie blends. Serve. Try not to drink it in too much of a hurry or you'll miss out on some of the great savory flavor.

Serves 1.

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