What does a crashed computer, a puzzle, and a mango smoothie have in common? Well, nothing really, until this weekend when I decided they all help me gain perspective.
There was a meltdown at home this weekend, but not the kind you might imagine. It was a mechanical/electronic meltdown. The vacuum cleaner stopped working, then my computer decided to follow suit. We don't wear shoes in the house so going without a vacuum for a little while is manageable (some people with dogs may justifiably argue against this). But the computer is my lifeline, and as there is not a support center less than an hour's drive, it clearly had to be fixed at home. So my amazingly competent and proactive husband worked on it all day (I won't say just how many hours that was!), updating, installing, and re-installing software. Twenty-four hours later it was better than new and I am gratefully connected to the world again. During the crisis though I lamented that this had to happen and required such a complicated fix that took up much of his weekend. He objectively said, "things like this happen and we just need to fix it." It's a simple statement but it was clear that he was focused on correcting the problem rather than dwelling on the fact that it happened.
I left the computer in good hands and went about my computer-less day. Knowing we would have to reschedule our ski trip for the following weekend I decided it would be as good a time as any to start a puzzle of St. Gallen we were recently given. I haven't worked on a puzzle in years, but as I methodically sorted the pieces and started to form the border, I remembered how this simple activity brings to light many of life's most effective coping strategies: focus on one section at a time so the whole project isn't overwhelming; don't dwell on one single piece for too long as you'll miss opportunities to make progress in other areas; and have patience and trust that the picture will start to come together.
While working on the puzzle I sipped this mango lassi. Mangos are still front and center at my market, so if there is ever a time to buy them here, this is it. The simplicity and brightness of the creamy, fruity smoothie reminded me why I love food in it's pure, whole state. In season, it is packed full of nutrition and flavor which means prep does not have to be complicated nor time-consuming to enjoy something delicious and good for me. The universe offers us this food for a good reason, and we can give back by enjoying it in it's unprocessed, unadulterated state whenever possible.
Traditional lassi is a savory yogurt drink from India flavored with salt and spices. There are also sweet varieties made with fruit pulp and/or sugar, and either yogurt, ice cream, or cream. I have made the sweet variety a little more palatable for breakfast with mango, avocado, and natural sweeteners blended together and subtly flavored with lime and cardamom.
I hope you enjoy it as much as I do!
And if you're wondering what else you can do with cardamom, check out the puffed quinoa granola and apple glogg here on the blog, or a few of my favorites from other sites.
Persian Rice-StuffedZucchini with Pistachios and Dill (sub 1/4 tsp. ground for pods)
Breakfast Mango Lassi
Notes: You may use frozen mango instead of fresh but omit the ice cubes.
1 cup diced mango (~1/2 large mango or 1 small mango)
1/2 ripe avocado
1/8 tsp. cardamom
Heaping 1/4 cup plain, natural yogurt
Juice from 1/4 lime
4 Ice cubes
Squeeze of agave nectar or honey
Add all ingredients to a blender and blend on high for 1 minute, or until smooth. Taste and adjust sweetness and spice to your liking.
Additional add-ins: banana, chia seeds, raw cashews (soaked for at least 6 hours)