The Best Kind of Kindness (Coconut Almond Protein Shake)

I once read a quote that said something along the lines of how if any of our friends talked to us the way so many of us talk to ourselves in our heads, we would not want to be friends with that person anymore.

We all have things we don't like. I'm always amazed by the insecurities we have. I once dated a guy who was super sexy and brilliant, but incredibly self-conscious about his looks. "I wish you could see yourself through my eyes for even a second," I once told him.

I occasionally stand in front of the mirror and pinch my arm chub back, thinking that I would look so much better if I had slender arms. It sounds kind of harmless, but if a friend were to come up to me and pinch my arm chub and say "You'd look better with slender arms," I'd probably smack her across the face.

We're so mean to ourselves. Unnecessarily so.

It's not wrong to want to make changes. In fact, it's a wonderful thing. But not in a way that denigrates all the good we already are and have. 

We live in a hard kind of world, have you noticed? It's present all year long, but especially in January when the ads and the gym posters are all about hard! and firm! and taut! I think this is meant to motivate and excite, but I don't like it.

Hard doesn't motivate me. It's too harsh. Extreme. Hard makes me want to dive back into bed. Preferably in the company of a warm baguette.

I'm more into words like soft and curve. I like the word energy. I like beauty and focus and inspiration. I like luscious. I think, in the long run, those words win out.

Slow and steady, you know?

This shake is what I've been having for breakfast these days. Lunch too sometimes if I'm not very hungry or running out the door. A sweet mix of almonds, coconut, and a touch of spice. It's full of protein and good fats, in a totally luscious, creamy, gentle way. It's a delicious way to do something good and kind for yourself.

This year, let's be kind to ourselves. Let's see ourselves through loving eyes. Let's treat ourselves like we treat our friends (and if you pinch your friend's chubs you need to stop that and be a better friend).

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Coconut Almond Ginger Protein Shake Recipe
Makes 2 servings
For the nuts:
3/4 cup raw almonds
1/4 cup unsweetened shredded dried coconut
2 cups warm water

For the shake:
2 cups cold water
1 teaspoon kosher or celtic sea salt
1 rounded scoop vanilla protein powder (with no added sugar)
2 teaspoons grated fresh ginger
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 tablespoons coconut butter (or substitute coconut oil)
Honey, to taste (optional)

The night before: Combine almonds, coconut, 2 cups warm water, and salt in a container. Make sure the nuts are completely covered with water, if not, add more water. Cover and let sit 8 hours or overnight at room temperature. This is a key step as it will help you activate the nuts, breaking down the naturally occurring phytic acid which can cause bloating and other digestive issues. It also activates the enzymes in the nuts, again making them easier for your body to digest.

In the morning: To prepare shake, drain the almonds and coconut from the soaking water. Discard the water and add the soaked almonds and coconut to a blender. Add 2 cups filtered cold water to a blender along with ice, protein powder, ginger, cinnamon, vanilla, and coconut butter or oil. Puree until very smooth (about 4 minutes with a conventional blender). If you prefer a thinner shake, you can pass through a fine sieve to remove the almond meal, though I like the additional fiber. Sweeten if desired and serve immediately. (I don't as the natural sweetness of the nuts, coconut, and whey is enough for me.)
Variation: If you prefer, you can skip using whole nuts and simply replace the 2 cups of cold water in the shake with 1 cup of boxed coconut milk and 1 cup of almond milk, and proceed from there. 

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