I read in Shape magazine that beets make you all skinny and hot, so I was like, what the hey? I want to be all skinny and hot; I’m going to get me some beets.
I figured it didn’t really matter what they tasted like; I would eat them. I eat anything and usually enjoy it. And if I don’t, I just douse it in loads of Himalayan pink salt (I heard it was healthier than the regular white stuff and I figure with those mysterious health benefits and the blood pressure meds I pop daily, I’m golden) until I do enjoy it.
Tangent: When I first started working for my current company about 7 years ago, my co-workers in the break room would watch in horror as I shook salt all over my lunch; they would ask things like, “Doesn’t all that salt make you bloated?”
I would use one hand to point to my stomach and go, “Yep” while the other continued salting my Brussels sprouts.
One of them once tried to grab the salt shaker from me—something that has happened all my life and annoys me to no end. I clutched the salt shaker to my bosom and spat, “I don’t slap the cookie out of your mouth when I think you’re looking a little bloated, do I, my friend? So leave the salt shaker where it is, thankyouverymuch.”
It wasn’t the best first impression to make, but she and I are now really good friends. She no longer touches my salt shaker (of course I have my own salt shaker that I carry with me everywhere), and I leave her food alone, too, except for the one time I actually did snatch part of her lunch out of her hands, but only because she was going to throw away the rest of her Lean Cuisine chicken broccoli fettucine alfredo and I grabbed it at the last second—just before it left her fingertips to sail into the trash can—and ate it, using her fork and all.
I mean, that stuff is delicious. I couldn’t just watch it splatter into a trash can, low-carb diet or not. It just felt wrong.
Anyway, I eat anything. I once almost came to blows with a friend over a tater tot casserole. We were around 22 years old and we were at her place for after-bars. I must have made a huge impression on the hot dudes we’d brought back to the apartment when the first thing I did was make a beeline for her fridge, stick my face in, and start rooting around like an old sow. My whole body quivered when my eyes alighted upon a tray of tater tot casserole. I grabbed it, set it on her stove, and started eating it cold.
“SHAY!” she said, snatching a tot out of my mouth with a hooked finger, mom style. “That tater tot casserole is like two weeks old. You’ll get sick if you eat it!”
I grabbed another tot from the pan—this one with a little dried up beef hanging off of it, SCORE—popped it into my mouth, and held up my index finger. “That’s where you’re wrong, my friend,” I said around the tot in my mouth. “I have a stomach o’ steel. This old broad?” I said, pointing to my stomach. “She can handle anything.”
She tried to wrestle the pan from my cold, drunken hands that night, but I wasn’t having it. We ended up in a stalemate in the kitchen, one side of the tray in each of our arms in an inebriated tug-of-war as we stared at each other, breathless, while our two after-bar attendees watched, slack jawed, undoubtedly thinking, “What mistakes have I made in my life that have brought me to this point in time, trying to score with a girl who is willing to fight to the death for a tater tot casserole? Why is God punishing me? These girls aren’t even that hot…”
I woke the next morning, fully clothed, belly full of tater tot casserole. I was fat and happy and I had won. Who needed those dorks, anyway? If they’d been that cool, they’d have already found a couple of sorority girls or something and wouldn’t have had to wait around at bar closing time for a couple of last chances like my friend and me.
You want food stories? I’ve got plenty.
Another time, I was dating a guy named Milos who was from somewhere in Eastern Europe and had the best accent. He was a little bit of a shady character; it was rumored that he was a drug dealer and the cops were after him, but I figured that was just my cop friends ribbing me and being silly, so I always laughed it off.
Until one night when we went on a double date with another couple and we were standing in the movie ticket line. Milos walked confidently to the front of the line and paid for all four of our tickets.
I looked up at him, breathless, and smiled. “WOW, that was really nice of you, babe,” I said. He smiled dazzlingly down at me (he was 6’7” to my 6”), but then when I made what I thought was a joke—“Maybe you really ARE a drug dealer, haha”—he literally jumped, snapped his head around in all directions, and said “SHHHHHHH!”
Still I didn’t believe it until I heard he was arrested for—wait for it—dealing drugs. This was after he had broken up with me for the upstairs neighbor at my apartment building to whom I had introduced him benignly one night.
It’s really fun being me.
Wait, what was the question again??
Oh! So anyway, one night when we first started dating, Milos the drug dealer and I went to a karaoke bar that I used to love, and I parked my car in the bank parking lot across the street since it was after hours. Because I’m a responsible drunk, Milos and I called a cab when we were finished singing our hearts out…and then overslept the next morning because even though it was Monday, it was during the summer and I was on summer break from college and he was a drug dealer who could make his own hours.
We hurried to the bank parking lot…only to see that I had been towed. (I swear there’s a semi-point to this story.) It was 11 AM and probably 100 degrees outside, hot and humid. We got ourselves to the towing place and Milos, my affluent drug dealer boyfriend, paid the $200 to free my car.
When we finally, blessedly, got inside my hot, sweltering car (I had cracked the window but it was still a sauna in there), we were assaulted by the smell of farts, and that’s when I noticed the fiesta nachos, leftover from our dinner at Chile’s the previous evening, that I had placed on my passenger seat. As they had been broiling in a 105-degree car for the past 12 hours, they smelled horrible, but they looked oh-so-good.
Milos watched in horror as I held up an index finger, indicating that he needed to wait to sit down so he didn’t crush my nachos (although it would have been hard because by this time they were wilting), and grabbed the one that looked the most delicious—a small puddle of grease in the middle of the gooey-ish, matted cheese; crusted over refried beans and a bit of beef in the middle—and ate it in two long, slow bites, savoring the flavor before moving the Styrofoam container to the back seat and allowing him to get into the car.
“Babe, you going to get sick,” he said in that thick, adorable accent as he settled his long legs into the passenger seat.
“That’s where you’re wrong, my friend,” I repeated in what had become my mantra. “This right here? Stomach o’ steel.”
Come to think of it, that might have been the beginning of the end for me and old Milos. And even though he chose a passing acquaintance of mine over me without even telling me—he did one of those sort of graceful slides out of my life, calling less and less frequently until I stopped waiting for him to call at all and then ran into him several months later at a bar with my neighbor—I still thank him for the stories.
I mean, who gets to say that they were unceremoniously dumped by a drug dealer who ended up in jail?
This girl does.
Another tangent, but it has to do with food: When I first started dating Milos and told my siblings about him, my younger brother misunderstood and thought I said I was dating a guy named Meatloaf. A nickname was coined, and a few weeks later, I called my dad and told him I was bringing Meatloaf over for dinner the next night. Dad’s response was, “Okay, great. I’ll make some mashed potatoes.”
I had thought it was kind of an odd thing to say; I mean, usually when people are making dinner for others, they don’t sing the praises of the sides. If they’re making steaks, they’re not going to say, “Yes, I’m so glad you can come for dinner! I’m making green beans!”
So when we arrived at Dad’s the next night and he did, in fact, simply have a pot of mashed potatoes warming on the stove, I looked at him quizzically. “Where’s the rest of the food?”
“I don’t know, you tell me,” he replied. “Where’s the meatloaf you said you were bringing?”
I stared at Dad blankly, then realization dawned on me and I burst into laughter. “Right here!” I said, pointing to Milos.
I guess Dad hadn’t heard my brother’s nickname for my flavor of the week. Or he just didn’t care. I went through a lot of them back in my day (casual hair flip) and Dad didn’t even try to keep up.
It was okay, though, because Milos and I were used to drinking our dinner, anyway. We hadn’t come to eat. We’d come to hang out on the back deck with my siblings and drink beer.
So here’s the point of the story: I eat anything.
I had tried beets at an old friend of mine’s house one night after I’d gone back to my alma mater to watch a football game. She had recently read an article about the life-changing nutrition of beets, and she was trying to get her family to eat them. She was using me as an example: “SEE? Shay loves the beets, so you guys should, too!”
And I did like them…but then again, the copious amounts of rum I’d had during the tailgate and after the game could have been coloring my view.
In fact, I think that was the case. Because when I bought a bundle of beets the next week and prepared them in the exact same way that my friend had, I came to find that…well, I can eat anything…
…but I can’t eat beets.
Here’s the rub: I want to be all skinny and hot and all nutritious, so I wasn’t ready to give up on the beets. I just had to find a way to make them work for me. So I got out my trusty Ninja and made a smoothie and omg you guys, it was DELISH.
An added bonus to the fact that I’m fairly certain I’m going to be all skinny and hot really soon with the help of my beet smoothies is that it keeps me from drinking rum until a little further in the evening. And if my beet smoothie can save even one hour from my rum habit? Well, then it’s all been worth it.
Here’s what I put in what I like to call my Beet Smoothie:
a handful of frozen pineapple bits
3 slices of a beet along with a big beet leaf
½ (or so) cup of ice
½ (or so) cup of water
a big honking tablespoon of sugar (which probably negates all of the health benefits of the beet)
Blend, stopping to add water in order to get the desired consistency
My younger son, my little sugar addict, walked around the house like he was getting away with something as he drank his the first night I made them. “What, Dad?” he said out of the blue, daring his dad to say something about his sweet treat as he sucked on his straw and gave a shrug and a nod. “It’s really healthy.”
I was inspired to write this post when I received an e-mail from testfacts.com letting me know that they had reviewed my blog and placed it on their Top 300 Mom Blogs list. Although I made fun of myself in a text to a friend (“Top 300?? LOL I’ve hit the big time!” He responded, “But like IN THE WORLD!”), I loved their review of Trashy Blog, and I saw that they really liked my Trashy Recipe Recommendations, so I thought hey, I’ve been wanting to write about my beet smoothie for a while, anyway, so why not?
Thanks for including me and inspiring this post, testfacts.com!