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  • Writer's pictureNoah Castellanos

Healthy Smoothie Workshop

So, this new job of mine as a writer for Penumbra requires me to be a lot more involved in the goings-on on campus than I have been for the last three/four years now. While I have been trying to be a bit more outgoing in the years since high school (because “the world is my oyster” and “seize the day” and all that), I’ve never been much of a social butterfly, so actually going out and doing something has always been something of a challenge for me, to put it lightly.

Long story short, it was going to take a little extra something to get me involved in some on-campus activities, and much to my surprise, when browsing the “University Events” page on the school website, an event with that little extra something came across my eye: “Healthy Smoothie Workshop”, a title that simply intrigued me to no end. What does it entail? Will we just be drinking smoothies for an hour? Will we have to bring our own ingredients? How educational can making smoothies be? Almost immediately, I enrolled in the workshop and, on the 28th of last month, I got to see just what it was that had struck my curiosity weeks before.

I show up to the meeting and am promptly asked to put my name in for a raffle before sitting down; said raffle was for a TastLi brand portable blender that I actually ended up winning when everything was said and done, but I will try my best to not let that influence my writings on the experience. A few minutes later, the team behind the workshop introduces themselves as members of the Undocumented Student Services here on campus, who introduce me and the dozen other people in the room to the idea of bettering our own lives via determination and a healthy lifestyle, the latter of which can be aided by making health-conscious smoothies. After we introduce ourselves and anonymously write down three things we’re grateful for on an in-room message board, we’re given a few helpful tips on how to make a healthy smoothie: add veggies, replace sugar with honey, all the good stuff... Before we actually could make anything though, we were given two options of smoothie we’d like to have blended right there in the room: mixed berry or “green”. I went with the green one to vary things up a bit (and it was around 12:30 P.M., so I figured I’d got with the “lunchier option” if that makes sense) and struck up conversation with a couple other students who were also at the workshop before being sent on my merry way with a laminated pamphlet detailing a few of the health tips that we’d gotten during the presentation.

So, with a color-changing cup and portable blender in tow, I left the Healthy Smoothie Workshop feeling this odd sense of fulfillment from an activity that I really had zero expectations for. Not only was I gifted with some very helpful information to use in my day-to-day life but was also given a very interesting perspective in regard to the people who guided me through the workshop. Their unabashed dedication to the cause of spreading the word about undocumented immigrants via talking about smoothies may seem like strange delivery, but I feel as though their efforts to weave themes of bettering your life and perseverance into the actual workshop was a [possibly unintentional] stroke of genius on their part; like a clothesline tackle for the betterment of society, so to say.

Am I looking too deeply into a student workshop that was mainly about making breakfast smoothies? Possibly. Nevertheless, I write about the Healthy Smoothie Workshop now with a newly invigorated sense of self, and with an UndocuBook Club meeting scheduled for both March 20th and April 10th, perhaps all of you might be doing the same!

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