It is a minor miracle that I did not die beneath a rickety bridge in central Costa Rica.
You know when you hear stories about people dying because they took a risk on a crazy adventure? When I hear those stories, I shake my head and tsk tsk at human beings and the fact that Darwin’s theories regarding survival of the fittest live on. (See Darwin Awards.) I muster up my wise, intelligent, I’ve-never-done-anything-that-crazy face and nod sympathetically for the pour souls that lack my solid common sense.
Yup. SOLID common sense.
I studied abroad in Costa Rica to practice my espanol skillz when I was a student. The little school was beautiful, the little town was beautiful, and the locals were special souls who were exceedingly patient with my turtle talking ways. As part of the program, students were given free time in the afternoons to explore. A couple of girls and I had seen a brochure for bungee jumping off a bridge in the rainforest. What a capital idea!
We took a taxi from the school to the bridge, where our driver left us standing next to a broken down, wooden shanty that, as it turned out, was the headquarters of our very official bungee jumping vendor. I’m fairly certain Tarzan’s outhouse would have inspired more confidence. But did we turn back??? Oh no! (See… SOLID common sense.)
As the three of us tentatively stepped out onto the bridge, three men waved us over to . . . um . . . the bungee jumping contraption??? All I know is that when one young man helped me onto the railing of the bridge and I stepped out onto the platform hanging off of it… it MOVED. And not a hey, you’re on a bridge, so of course it’s going to swing a bit. It was more of a hey, that feels like it’s not screwed in all the way, why aren’t you coming out here with me, and OH HEY THAT’S A LONG WAY DOWN TO THOSE SHARP POINTY ROCKS. They tried to reassure us in Spanish – I don’t care what language you speak. I am 100% certain those men understood the looks on our faces–everyone speaks “oh-my-god, I’m gonna die today.” But did we turn back??? Never! (Again, see solid common sense.)
They counted down for the jump . . . uno! dos! tres!!! … … … tres!!! … … … um, tres??? My muscles had more common sense than I did at that moment. I was not, under any circumstances, leaving that platform. Or was I? The guys behind me started chuckling, and in a moment of mixed emotions, I flung myself off the platform. (When your mother asks you if you’d jump off a bridge just because all your friends were doing it??? I guess my answer is a clear, unequivocal yes.) Again, solid common sense.
It was fantastic. Incredible. Freedom in a belly flop. They pulled me to the top, and I was spouting Spanish like I knew what I was saying. They handed me a cup with some kind of icy slush and fruits and berries, and it just made the freedom BETTER. I’m not 100% positive if this is the source of my all-consuming joy in smoothie bowls? But every time I dig into one, I just get this feeling. I don’t know if it’s a happiness in being healthy with all the fruits and berries? Or an enjoyment in the refreshing cold with crunchy granola? Or if it’s just that feeling of freedom and a sense of satisfaction that my common sense did me a solid and took a hike that day.
And that I didn’t die at the bottom of a bridge in Costa Rica.
Make Your Own Acai Bowl
While I would like to say that I love all smoothie bowls equally . . . an acai bowl is definitely the favorite child. For some reason, an acai bowl is thicker, colder, and pairs so very well with my favorite toppings–peanut butter and granola. And acai has so many incredible health benefits that you just FEEL better eating one. But the beauty of this easy recipe for making your own acai bowl is that you can customize it with whatever your favorite fruit is. My personal favorite is mixing the acai with blueberries and protein powder, then topping with dollops of peanut butter, strawberry, and granola. Sometimes I also just mix the peanut butter right in to make an acai peanut butter bowl. I could eat this EVERY day.
And don’t forget to set out toppings for everyone’s acai bowl!
- sliced fresh fruit
- dried fruit (raisins, cranberries, apricots)
- seeds (pumpkin, chia, flax)
- nut butter (peanut, almond)
- mini chocolate chips
- shredded coconut
- sweetener for drizzling (agave, maple syrup, honey)
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