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A Most Refreshing Green Monster

I thought I’d start my return back to blogging with some classics:  a green monster, and some cat pictures (the Internet definitely needs more of those, right?).  And after the green monster recipe, we can talk about how Fritz and I have had to redesign our entire house multiple times just to accommodate the cavernous black holes we’ve named “Henry” and “Emerson”.

The cat does go on the table.  But I clean it before we eat.  Sorry!

The cat does go on the table. But I clean it before we eat. Stop judging me!

So the green monster first.  I drink this green monster almost every day.  Back when I was in PT school, I made green monsters more filling with granola/peanut butter/milk, etc, so they could be justified as a meal.  Now I always have this basic smoothie as part of my breakfast, with something way more substantial on the side.  It’s basically just an easy way for me to get a major shot of fruits and vegetables (that tastes really good) without having to eat a salad.  ‘Cause I can’t easily eat a pile of spinach and toppings while driving house to house, but I can definitely drink a green monster.

Green Monster 2

Does spinach in salads always just smell old to you? Or is that just me?

Plus, as it gets warmer out, this is really refreshing and light.

Refreshing Green Monster

  • 2 giant handfuls baby spinach or kale (I alternate which giant box to buy every week)
  • 1/2 frozen banana (peel and break in half before freezing)
  • 1/2 C frozen berries
  • 1/3 C frozen pineapple
  • 1 C grapefruit juice, plus water as needed for consistency
Green Monster 3

Trader Joes has the best frozen fruit mixes, by the way. And cheap, too!

I don’t measure everything out, just estimate as I go.  You could easily swap grapefruit juice for OJ if you can’t handle the bitterness of grapefruit (though I gotta tell you, grapefruit juice is KEY to disguising the bitterness of baby kale).

Blend and serve.  My parents gave me a Ninja blender for Christmas, and it has been awesome.  I use it every day, and it’s just as quick at blending as it was five months ago.  Plus, the single serving size blend cup is really convenient, and I can just rinse the blade portion off and stick it right in the dish drainer after using.  The cup and serving top go right in the dishwasher.

This post is not sponsored by Ninja.  Because I've been blogging again for what, ten minutes?

This post is not sponsored by Ninja. Because I’ve been blogging again for what, ten minutes?

The only downside to the Ninja is that the serving lids don’t have a closure.  Since I usually drink this at home, it’s not a big deal most of the time, but in the car I’d love to be able to close the top when I’m done.

Some garage sale candlesticks I shined up are nice distractors from this brown liquid I want you to believe is delicious.

Some garage sale candlesticks I shined up are nice distractions from this brown liquid I want you to believe is delicious.

I won’t show you more pictures of the finished smoothie, because it’s honestly a really unappetizing taupe color.  But “A Most Refreshing Taupe Monster” doesn’t have the same effect as a title.  I sometimes leave the berries out if I want to impress people by drinking a really vibrant-green-I’m-so-healthy smoothie  (I don’t actually do this) (okay, I did it once) (don’t think they were impressed).

If you look in the background of this beautiful berry picture, you can see the faint grey shadow of something lurking in the background.

We can see you back there.

We can see you back there.

It’s this devil cat.  And in the background of THIS picture, you can see some sort of torture device wrapped up in bungy cords.

I could be guarding Azkaban right now.  But, a box.

I could be guarding Azkaban right meow. But–a box!

The cats have gone through different phases of breaking into these feeders (we have one for each of them), and we’ve responded by altering them slightly in the following manner:

  1. Cats laid in front of the feeder and dug their paws up into the holder to knock food down.  They tore out the plastic guards preventing this, and we had to buy a brand new feeder.
  2. Continued to do the same thing with the new feeder.  Fritz put a wire guard across the opening to stop them.
  3. Cats knocked the lid off the feeder.  Fritz put several screws through the lid to hold it down.
  4. Cats pushed the feeder around until they were able to separate the top (with lid intact) from the bottom.  We bungy-corded the feeder to the bakers rack.
  5. Emerson learned how to kick the feeder hard enough to detach the feeding tray, and therefore circumvent the wire we added.  More bungy cords.  Not enough.

This is our last, and most desperate, attempt to try again.  And by “our”, I mean Fritz’s.  I sat on the couch writing annual reports while he built this majestic piece of art.

Feeder 1

Feeder 2

Cats were intrigued.

I could probably sneak this drill up at night and dissemble this thing in 30 seconds flat.

I could probably sneak this drill up at night and dissemble this thing in 30 seconds flat.

Here’s the finished product.  I was very impressed that Fritz was able to design this and put it together without incident–that’s the kind of spatial processing that is not my forte.  The front/top have hinges because you can unlatch it from the sides and lift it to refill the feeders, reset the time, and change settings.

Feeder 4

They’ve had one meal from it so far, and it worked really well.  They did definitely spend a good 30-40 minutes studying the construction to scout for weaknesses, and I wouldn’t be surprised if they have some sort of ninja-plan formulating as we speak.

Feeder 5

But for now I finally have peace of mind.  And for what it’s worth, nice normal cats can free-feed and self-regulate (if you have one of those cats…I hate you).  This doesn’t happen at our house, and the vet says that is pretty common for rescue cats who have ever been really hungry at some point.  These cats have been known to break into the feeder and gain several pounds over the weekend when were away (and IAMs isn’t cheap, man!).  When we didn’t have the automatic feeders, they started crying to be fed around 5:00 AM (and by crying, I mean threatening at clawpoint to feast on our bodies if we didn’t immediately leap out of bed).

Have you ever had to make some crazy alterations to accommodate your pets?  Tell me I’m in good company here!

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5 comments

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  1. Bernadette

    So nice to see you blogging again. Really missed you and the resident cats. Got a kick out of your “taupe” smoothie. I know exactly what you mean. It’s really hard to convince anyone that they actually taste good.

  2. Marisa @ Uproot from Oregon

    So happy to see you back blogging – you were a huge inspiration to me to start my own food blog and I’m still going strong but understand how these things get overwhelming with life still going on too. I am a big fan of green smoothies and on the look out for a new blender – I’ll check out the Ninja!

  3. Lisa c (s?)

    I’m so glad you’re back to blogging because I’m unemployed and bored. This post made me laugh so hard I’m afraid I woke Alex up (he works nights)! I remember you explaining your feeder issues the last time we met up but I didn’t realize that they were THIS diabolical!

    I’ll be home in exactly one month until my wedding in September! Text me if you saved my new number, bc I lost yours :/

    I miss you!
    Lisa

    1. Lauren Zietsman

      Love hearing from you :) sent you a text!

  4. Sandi

    Our rescue kitty, who was seriously underweight (and badly abused) did eat like the food would be snatched away for about a year. Because of our other boy, we couldn’t just feed at certain times (he’s a self regulating grazer. But after about a year, something clicked for Buddy and he realized that the food was never going to go away. He’s slimmed down considerably and the vet says he’s regulating just fine now. Not that he’s not the biggest beggar in the world,but that’s just for people food, which he rarely gets and even more rarely actually is willing to eat.

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