Lessons From A Chard Smoothie

“Would you like some chard?” asked a voice.

Phil my neighbour – a creative director, talented artist and grower of fine veg – appeared from behind his wall with a huge bouquet of dark leafy greens.

My eyes lit up. “I would love some chard!”

With a heart full of gratitude, I popped it into the fridge, anticipating the delights that my beloved Ads would create.

Indeed, delights he promised.

Red pepper and rainbow chard macaroni with wild mushrooms and parmesan …

Crispy pork belly with roasted garlic mash and sauteed chard…

Baked eggs with chard and chorizo … and so the list went on.

Yet, something happened.

The delights didn’t manifest.

In fact, Adam was so busy at work that I had to revert to my own culinary resources (which stretch to salad and jacket potatoes) and after a day or so of me looking wistfully at the chard, it began to look back in a less than pert way.

I panicked.

This could not happen. Phil’s beautiful bouquet was a flourishing, living, explosion of iron and chlorophyll. It was pure super health in the form of a leaf and I had an abundance of it. What to do with it? What to do with it? In the end I had no choice. I did the only thing I could do: grabbed my Nutribullet, rinsed the leaves, poured in some water and then smoothied the lot.

It turns out that chard smoothies are challenging to drink.

I pride myself on being able to consume some pretty diabolical concoctions in the name of health, but this one … this green, tooth coating, tongue drying, throat burning beauty … actually took my breath away.

Adam entered the kitchen to find me clinging to the counter with one hand, feverish with revolt, forcing back mouthfuls of dark green liquid.

“What’s that?”

“The chard. The CHARD.”

“Eww, you didn’t!”

“I did. I had to! It was dying!” I spluttered, my face twisting into contortions of disgust.

“But, you can’t just DRINK it. That will be foul,” he went on.

“It is foul!”

I had the Nutribullet to my lips, but my throat was closing up. There was only half a bullet left to take, but my mouth was flooding with saliva in pre-puke preparation mode. Ads watched in grim fascination as I slammed down the beaker (half filled) tequila style, staggered out of the kitchen and grabbed the laptop.

“What are you doing now?” he asked in dismay.

“Googling,” I spluttered. “Health benefits.”

Within seconds they were there. The evidence. The reason for the chard smoothie torture.

Chard: one of the healthiest foods in the world – a nutritional powerhouse.

Benefits are: blood sugar regulation, bone health, cancer prevention, brain health, blood health, hair health, eye health. It’s oozing vitamin K, is laced with chlorophyll that oxygenates & detoxifies the blood. It is rich in enzymes and high in amino acids. It alkalizes the body, is anti-inflammatory & is an antioxidant. It has been shown to repair damaged DNA and speed up the healing process of wounds.

I read it once. I read it twice. Then with the renewed vigor of David after he’s brought down Goliath with nothing but a sling-shot, I got up, marched through to that kitchen and downed the rest of the chard slime. Slammed down that beaker. Wiped my mouth with the back of my hand and MY GOD I felt healthy.

And sick.

And triumphant.

Why am I telling you this horror story? Because sometimes, when things are really horribly shit, we have to remind ourselves about why we’re doing it. When you’re fighting through an evil workout, dragging yourself through a house renovation that seems to be eating up your life and chewing it slowly, when you’re up to your eyeballs in a business that you’ve created and now seems to consume even your waking dreams … stop and reconnect with the big WHY.

Maybe you’ll reconsider and change course (if the chard slime is too much to swallow), but maybe it will give you the strength and determination to remember why you started in the first place and give you the power to put that baby to bed.

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