Hey everyone! Happy Wednesday! I hope you’re all doing well and enjoying the week. Today I have a special shake/smoothie recipe for you that is unbelievably good and also two books that I’m reading this week.
The smoothie I have to share with you today came as a complete surprise to me. I learned about it from Mimi Kirk (one of my favorite raw foodists) and I’ve made it at least twenty times since! I’ve never been a fan of avocados and I have to admit, I was leery about making this. The results were amazing.
Chocolate Avocado Shake
- Almond Milk (about 1 cup)
- 2 avocados
- Dash of cinnamon
- Dash of salt
- Dash of vanilla
- Cocoa to taste. I used 3 heaping tablespoons
- Agave Syrup to taste
- Ice (about 1 cup)
Add all the ingredients to the blender in the order above, but not the ice. Blend well. Add in the ice after blending and blend again until smooth. Adjust sweetener as needed.
Avocados are ready when they are a very dark green or almost black. You can see below which ones are ready to be used.
You can use whatever sweetener you like. I used raw honey. Also, you can use regular cocoa powder if you need to, but a dark cocoa is best.
After adding in the ice and blending, the consistency is like a nice chocolate pudding. It tastes just like it too!
Thick enough to eat with a spoon–smooth enough to drink through a straw.
If you’d like to watch Mimi make this, you can watch the video below.
This Week’s Books
I’ve started two new books this week…
Suzanne’s Diary for Nicholas
Beautifully captures the joys of a new family as it builds to an overwhelmingly moving climax. This is an unforgettable love story, at once heartbreaking and full of hope.
James Patterson has written a love story!–a powerfully moving and suspenseful novel about families, loss, new love, and hope.
Katie Wilkinson has found her perfect man at last. He’s a writer, a house painter, an original thinker–everything she’s imagined she wanted in a partner. But one day, without explanation, he disappears from her life, leaving behind only a diary for her to read.
This diary is a love letter written by a new mother named Suzanne for her baby son, Nicholas. In it she pours out her heart about how she and the boy’s father met, about her hopes for marriage and family, and about the unparalleled joy that having a baby has brought into her life. As Katie reads this touching document, it becomes clear that the lover who has just left her is the husband and father in this young family. She reads on, filled with terror and hope, as she struggles to understand what has happened–and whether her new love has a prayer of surviving.
Written with James Patterson’s perfect pitch for emotion and suspense, Suzanne’s Diary for Nicholas captures beautifully the joys of a new family as it builds to an overwhelmingly moving climax. This is an unforgettable love story, at once heartbreaking and full of hope. – Goodreads
This one is a reread for my February pick on the Ultimate Reading Challenge. I needed a tear jerker and this was the book that came to mind. I originally read this in 2006 and I remember crying so bad and reading parts of it out-loud to my husband.
Chaser: Unlocking the Genius of the Dog Who Knows a Thousand Words
A New York Times Bestseller
The amazing story of a very smart Border collie who is redefining animal intelligence.
Chaser has a way with words. She knows over a thousand of them—more than any other animal of any species except humans. In addition to common nouns like house, ball, and tree, she has memorized the names of more than one thousand toys and can retrieve any of them on command. Based on that learning, she and her owner and trainer, retired psychologist John Pilley, have moved on to further impressive feats, demonstrating her ability to understand sentences with multiple elements of grammar and to learn new behaviors by imitation.
John’s ingenuity and tenacity as a researcher are as impressive as Chaser’s accomplishments. His groundbreaking approach has opened the door to a new understanding of animal intelligence, one that requires us to reconsider what actually goes on in a dog’s mind. Chaser’s achievements reveal her use of deductive reasoning and complex problem-solving skills to address novel challenges.
Yet astonishingly, Chaser isn’t unique. John’s training methods can be adopted by any dog lover. Through the poignant story of how he trained Chaser, raised her as a member of the Pilley family, and proved her abilities to the scientific community, he reveals the positive impact of incorporating learning into play and more effectively channeling a dog’s natural drives.
John’s work with Chaser offers a fresh perspective on what’s possible in the relationship between a dog and a human. His story points us toward a new way of relating to our canine companions that takes into account our evolving understanding of the way animals and humans learn.
As soon as I saw this story about Chaser the Border Collie, I had to read this book. As an owner of Border Collies, I’ve experienced first hand just how smart these dogs are. I’m enjoying the book so far and please check back because I will be interviewing the author, John W. Pilley.