What’s up everybody? Happy President’s Day! Sadly enough, I actually had to look up what holiday it was! Everyone kept talking about a 3-day weekend and I had no clue what we were celebrating. In my defense, I don’t get many days off with my line of work. Plus I hadn’t noticed an influx of cheesy local car commercials with people dressed up like Abe Lincoln or George Washington lately. Besides, there are SO many unofficial holidays and observances now! Seriously, who comes up with these? There’s National Friends Day, National Popcorn Day, National Dogs Day. Then of course you have to have National Cats Day so the dogs aren’t offended. Is there a day for dogs who identify as cats yet? Cuz if not, it’s coming lol how about National Dryer Lint Day, has that become a thing yet too? I even found a National Sleep Day? I like that one lol can we do that one twice?
I do like that many of these days celebrate food though! Like National Ice Cream Day and National Pancake Day (let’s get National Fat Darrell Sandwich Day to happen someday folks! Haha) but some of the lesser ones just confuse the calendar. It’s like any subject or cause has a day now. Who comes up with these? It’s almost feels like Oprah giving away cars or something. “YOU get a national day and YOU get a national day!”
Don’t get me wrong though. Although some of these observances are hard to keep up with, I’m all for appreciating life and celebrating the small things. For example, that’s why I’m currently wearing this shirt… small victories eh?
So yeah, how are you celebrating President’s Day? With an extreme spray tan and a comb-over before hanging out with a European supermodel perhaps? Oh man this would have been the perfect weekend to have finally gone to Jimmy Carter’s church! He’s been teaching Sunday School at Maranatha Baptist Church in South Georgia for years! It’s about 4-hours away from me so it’s a bit of a hike but how often do you get to see a living president in person? I almost got to meet Obama at Rutgers University (for context, I posted about it here) but unfortunately it never happened. My friend met George W. Bush though and said that he was genuinely fun to be around! He seems like he would be though lol he always seemed more like a fun drinking buddy than the leader of the free world. Oh and I also went to go see Rent on Broadway back in the day and Bill (speaking of fun drinking buddies lol), Hillary and Chelsea Clinton were all there! Granted, they were down in the good seats and I was way up in the nosebleed section but it was still cool…well, aside from the part where my camera set off the security check thing twice! Luckily I wasn’t deported and shipped off to Guantanamo Bay so um yeah, thanks Secret Service guys! “Y’all are the real MVP’s…”
While some of these National Observances are a bit silly, there’s one on Thursday that’s surely no laughing matter. Since I post every Monday and Thursday, we’ll definitely talk about this again in more detail in a few days, but I also want to make people aware of it today so that you can participate.
Thursday February 23, 2017 is the End It Movement’s Shine a Light on Slavery Day. You may have noticed various people last year, including myself, walking around with Red X’s on the back of their hands. This is to bring awareness to the millions of people worldwide who have been trafficked and forced into sex trade and human slavery.
Here’s a direct quote from the founders of the End it Movement themselves:
“Slavery has many forms and names, but it’s still slavery. And it’s still wrong. Can you imagine being forced to work without pay, trapped, unable to walk away, subject to violence or the threat of violence, by another person as they control you? Own you? Isolated, yet hidden in plain sight. This is reality for those trapped in slavery today. Slavery is illegal in every single country in the world. Yet it still exists.”
A few stats:
- 55% of victims are women and girls
- Nearly 1 out of every 5 victims is a child
- Slavery is happening in 167 countries including The United States. That’s 87% of all nations!
This isn’t something that most people think about on a daily basis which is the exact point of this movement. It’s easy to ignore a problem when it doesn’t affect you or your loved ones directly but this really can happen to anyone. I personally know several women who still deal with the emotional scars and trauma from their horrific experiences so you really never know what someone else has been or is currently going through.
Anyway, like I said, we’ll talk about this a little more on Thursday as well, but if you’d like to participate on the 23rd, simply draw a RED X on your hand, take a selfie and post it using #ENDITMOVEMENT. Also feel free to check out https://enditmovement.com/ to learn how you can get involved to help End It.
So after my last post, I really wanted to try that cactus recipe but I still had no idea where to go to find it. I thought that a (bad and Boujee) grocery store like Whole Foods would have it but when I called the answer was no. However the salesperson was extremely helpful in suggesting that I try either a Farmers or Asian Market. Hmm, good idea lady! I live less than 10 minutes from a huge Asian Market and when I called they said that they had it!
When I got there, I asked an older gentleman where to find cactus but unfortunately, he didn’t speak any English. I’m still not sure what he thought I had asked for but he started to lead me down some suspicious looking hallway. Clearly seeing that this wasn’t the right direction I excused myself and went back into the produce section but in hindsight I’m sure wherever he was going would have made for one hell of a story! Well, unless I ended up on a rotisserie covered in wasabi or something…
Anyway, after some digging, I finally found it! Cactus! …or so I thought. What I found was just the fruit that grows on the cactus (prickly pear or cactus pear) but my friend Nancy who provided the recipe said that it calls for the leaf. I’ll still have to do some more research on where to find that but since they have similar healthy properties (Vitamin C, magnesium, fiber, antioxidants and helps lower bad cholesterol!), I still grabbed a few cactus pears anyway. Hmm, but what do you do with this thing? I’m sure not going to eat it like an apple lol. That’s when I remembered that it was also supposed to be great in shakes so let’s go ahead and whip one of those bad boys up shall we?
Okay so first of all, you’re going to need to prep these cactus pears. I was lucky enough that they at least took off the prickly outside (speaking of pricks, did you see the post about my personality test results? Lol no Bueno…) so I don’t stab myself but these still need to be peeled. Since I’ll be slicing and dicing up fruit it’s time to change into my Bruce Lee shirt so I can karate chop these fools Fists of Fury style!
“To hell with circumstances; I create opportunities.” – Bruce Lee
Man, these things look rough but wow, once you peel them they’re really sweet! Ugly on the outside but sweet on the inside – reminds me of my college math professor…
Hmm I was going to call this a Tropical Storm shake but cacti grow in deserts. Desert Storm? Nah…okay, let’s call this the::
Bang! Bang! Cactus Jack Shake (lol you’ll get that if you’re an old school WWE fan)
serves 2… but only 1 if you’re greedy
8oz of cold water
1 cup of Almond Milk (if you want it creamier, ad more. Oh yeah and you can also use regular milk but not around my friend Abby’s vegan dog 89 or you may get barked at…)
Cactus Pear (duh, that was the whole point of this experiment remember? lol)
Strawberries, mango and pineapple (I’m not big on measuring but since this is a recipe I suppose I should here. Hmm, put like 5-7 strawberries, 1 slice of pineapple and one mango…or if you’re using frozen fruits just grab a handful and toss it in)
Oh yeah, and just so the cactus pear wouldn’t feel alone (When is National Cactus Pear Day?) I was planning to buy a regular pear too but in a lapse of judgement since I was tired and hungry (NEVER grocery shop hungry kids, I now own half of the store…) I bought peaches instead. So yeah, let’s slice one of those up and throw that in the blender as well.
Last but not least, I added a scoop of vanilla protein powder. Strawberry might work well here too but just make sure that you like the brand you’re using since it will be a large contributor to the final taste. If you prefer for the protein not to drive the taste however, they do make flavorless protein blends as well. Either way, I’d definitely include an extra source of lean protein. While you’ll still get great antioxidants and nutrients from the other ingredients, the protein is what provides fuel for your muscles and keeps you full so although cactus pear is the star here, protein is definitely the key supporting actor (sorry, I had a brief flashback to the Georgia Entertainment Gala that I posted about last time lol).
“A shake without protein is about as useless as the P in the word raspberry…” – Fat Darrell
You can also ad flax seeds or fiber as well. I’m just giving you a starting point, you can take this in any direction that you want from here. I personally will leave the extra fiber out because…well, remember my shirt from earlier? I’m good in the regularity department today lol.
Anyway, throw the liquids into the blender first. Then ad the protein powder, ice and fruit. Then put the top on the blender. Yes, I know it may seem unnecessary to list that step but hey, it’s just a reminder. My brother and his best friend Will learned how important that step was back in the day during an incident that involved leftover spaghetti and the kitchen ceiling (and walls…and everywhere actually lol) of my childhood home.
Okay so yeah, blend blend blend, chop chop chop – I don’t think that I need to further explain how to use a blender. You’ll know when it’s done. Hey, this looks pretty good! Since I had to take a picture of it for you, I put it in a fancy pants glass instead of my usual shaker bottle. I also added a peach slice for extra-bougie affect and….well, I killed the mood with the E.T. Phone home straw lol I couldn’t find a regular one and as you’ve probably figured out by now, I’m not normal…
Anyway, let’s taste this thing… Hey, it’s pretty good!
If you’re going to go with a cactus pear, I’d definitely take the seeds out before placing it in the blender. While they’re harmless, they are somewhat annoying. But yeah, cactus pears are pretty good so when I feel like “being extra” I may go pick up a few more! As for the original target, cactus leaf – the search continues. Nancy suggested a store that sells Mexican ingredients so that’s where I’ll try next. In the meantime, I have an entire bag of peaches to get through so for now I’m good lol.
Have another food item or restaurant location that you think I should try? Have a great recipe you’d like to share? Tell us about it in the comments below!
Shake – Ying Yang Twins ft. Pitbull (ha I forgot about this song until now – I just played it 4 times in a row)
Harlem Shake – Baauer (hahaha I forgot about this one too! Before there was the Mannequin Challenge there was this one kiddos. This may have been the first of those viral dance videos actually…)
Shake it Up – The Cars (lol this song is so 80’s haha)
Milkshake – Kelis (If you don’t want to bring any boys to the yard I suggest you drink yours inside… )
Milkshake – Goodnight Nurse (if you like the original, you HAVE to hear this lol it’s a rock cover that’s pretty hilarious…)
Shake it Off – Taylor Swift (T. Swizzle, Swifty, T. Swizz lol)
Shake it Off – Mariah Carey (hmm, she doesn’t have as many cool nicknames but Sup Mimi?)
Have a song that fits today’s themes? Tell us about it in the comments below!
“Knowing is not enough, we must apply. Willing is not enough, we must do.” – Bruce Lee
Okay, as mentioned we’re going to talk a little more about the End it Movement again on Thursday but if you’d like to get involved, you know what to do. You also know what to do with those likes, comments and shares on this page…or at least you should, I say it every post! Haha, seriously though, I’m extremely happy to see how much everyone’s liking this page and I love all the private messages but again people, don’t be shy – comment below as well! And of course, follow me on social media! The follow buttons are on the side panel. Again, thanks for dropping by but now it’s time for me to go…literally. I think that protein powder I used had more fiber in it… Until next time, May the fork be with you!