I spontaneously decided to ride my bike around our lake today and it was just what I needed. It took me about 2 hours to ride the 25-ish miles–I’m definitely not in cycling shape–but I returned home completely bursting with gratitude. I had lots of time to myself to just bask in the stunning scenery, sing out loud to Taylor Swift (yes, this really did happen) and think about all the wonderful things God has given me. So today I thought I’d write a list of some of the things I’m grateful for.
I’m thankful that I get to live in China. The culture, the people, the food…I just love it all and wouldn’t want to live anywhere else right now.
I’m thankful for my husband who cleaned the house today and brought home a beautiful bouquet of lilies. Yes, he’s amazing.
I’m thankful for the hundreds of different flowers that I got to see while riding around our lake. Yellow, red, pink, purple…wow, such amazing variety!
I’m thankful for all the fresh fruit I have access to here in China. Wow, so cheap too!
I’m thankful for my health, that I can walk on average 9 miles a day and then spontaneously ride 25 miles on my bike.
I’m thankful to have such amazing friends here in China, both local and foreign.
I’m thankful for weekends. It’s so nice to have a couple days off from language class to bake, read, get outside…all that good stuff.
I’m thankful for my family who, even though I’m thousands of miles away, still takes the time to talk to me over skype and see how I’m doing.
I’m thankful for all the traveling I’ve been able to do since graduating college and that Brett and I still get to travel so often.
I’m thankful for chocolate and oatmeal and sweet potatoes and nut butter.
I’m thankful for our projector and movies that allow Brett and I to rest after a long, draining day.
I’m thankful for an apartment that is big enough to host people and for an oven that fits a 9 x 13 inch pan!
I’m thankful for fans that keep us cool in the summer and space heaters that keep us from freezing in the winter.
Lastly (I gotta stop somewhere don’t I?) I’m thankful for my Vitamix blender that allows me to whip up delicious and healthy dips, soups and smoothies…like this Chocolate Black Bean Smoothie!
This smoothie couldn’t be easier to make and is full of plant-based protein from the black beans, soy milk, and nut butter. It’s thick and creamy and full of rich, chocolatey goodness. Don’t let the black beans scare you away! You can’t taste them and they add so much creaminess to this delicious Chocolate Black Bean Smoothie. Definitely give this one a try! If you do, let me know if you liked it by leaving a comment below or take a picture and tag #theconscientiouseater on Instagram so I can see your creation!
- 2 frozen bananas, chopped
- ½ cup drained and rinsed black beans
- 4 pitted medjool dates
- 1 tablespoons cashew butter
- 2 tablespoons cocoa/cacao powder
- 1½ cups soy milk*
- Place all of the ingredients into a blender and blend until smooth.
- Serve immediately and enjoy!