Because it is the ember, unafraid of itself or its power that dances freely…
And twirls on the rooftop that brings the conflagrative inferno to the old world…consumes it whole…making way for the green, golden bud that pokes through the ashen soil, heralding the new…
Yesterday we gave out about 350 smoothies to people, neighbors and citizens of Oakland, waiting in line for produce boxes and hot meals.
Every cup we put in hands is packed with enough nutrients and minerals to keep folks going for an entire day.
When I started the project of Green Smoothie Education six…seven years ago, I could not have imagined that a pandemic threatening people’s ability to feed themselves would hit not just my neighborhood or my city…but the World.
So The Electric Smoothie Lab Apothecary, a project that was sparked by my desire to offer a simple solution to a community issue – nutrition insecurity in largely Black and Brown communities…food deserts – has grown to meeting the challenge of providing dense and whole nutrition to communities as a whole…in a cup…during the pandemic.
Many natural healers will tell you that the root of illness in the human body is inflammation.
When we look at our communities, regardless of race or age or gender we are suffering from a nationwide health epidemic.
From what I can tell it’s not just about what we’re putting in our mouths.
Stress and fear trigger the fight or flight hormone in the body which in turn creates inflammation. Inflammation creates conditions like heart disease; digestion problems (leaky gut); Cancer…I could go on and on but it’s clear that the American diet of constant stress, anxiety and worry are causing a lot of the issues that we usually attribute to diet.
Couple that with the stress and constant fear of contracting an often deadly virus and you have a body that is ALWAYS in fight or flight mode.
Always organizing the recipe for disaster in a body.
Years ago when my smoothie project was in its nascence and lived inside a scrappy, creative and local not-for-profit, my colleagues thought I was pretty nuts, running around setting my blender up at block parties and skate parks at family reunions on weekends and coming to work on Monday beaming with excitement about how many smoothies we’d given out and all the kids and families who lined up and how much fun it was…because it could cure their diabetes, their chronic fatigue, help them lose weight…etc.
I did not pay much mind when folks thought I was doing too much or heed their sense that I was taking things too far…since back then the idea that you could cure illness with plant medicine…a smoothie of all things…seemed ridiculous to most folks.
I was on my own little cloud of happiness.
I’m glad that I was, especially these days when I look out and see lines wrapped around the block with people smiling and delighted, because in the midst of the horrific-don’t-know-what‘s-gon’- happen-next world we’re in these days… someone is actually in their face, blending a healthy green smoothie that has everything they need just to boost their mood…not to mention their immune system and help heal their gut and lose some weight…for free.
Right now, as we prepare to move thousands of smoothies a week, and organize deep healing in the bodies of folks who are lining up week after week, the time has come for the revolution in a cup to support health and healing in a broad and sweeping way and to calm folks down and remind them that they are loved.
At the onset of the pandemic, I had the opportunity to begin training a group of food production folks for an organization by the name of Planting Justice here in Oakland, Ca.
They call themselves the HYBEAMS- Heal Your Body Energy Attitude Mind and Spirit.
During the trainings, when the pandemic hit, we decided to go out onto the frontlines and provide necessary herbs and other plant medicines that support lung health, reduce inflammation and ease digestion.
The more I learn about lung health and the immune system overall, the more I know that bounty we are putting in the blends; ginger; moringa sourced from Ghana where the soil is pristine and not overly chemicalized and mono-cropped; coconut oil which is antiviral and antifungal; irish sea moss; good ol’ fashioned collard greens and kale…antioxidants liker blueberries…strawberries and mango that boosts mood and overall joy in people…I know that we are supporting the health and longevity of folks who are terrified of becoming statistics…while we spread Love and the abundance the Earth wants us to enjoy.
Six…seven years ago I had no idea that all the work around smoothies was going to provide jobs; move the nutrition through communities and help ease folks’ troubled minds around a pandemic that we have yet to understand; and just do what smoothies do…keep us smiling.