This week I turned 30. Yes, 30.
Depending on your age, 30 might sound like I have the rest of my life ahead of me; like I am still very young. Or, 30 might sound mature and experienced, like I am now firmly on the side of adulthood and no longer in the fun-loving years of my 20s.
Either way, 30 is a major milestone. I am no longer in a decade of life where I finish multiple major life milestones like graduating college, getting my first full-time job, gaining the ability to rent a car by myself, and achieving a lifetime that has lasted a quarter of a century. The next decade of my life is full of goals and milestones that I set for myself and in collaboration with my family.
Sure, there are plenty of expectations placed on people like me for the 30s. The American Dream would tell me to buy a house, have children, and settle into a productive life. By this same token I should achieve promotions at work, and feel satisfied or fulfilled in my career.
But I am trying to view this birthday, this undeniable milestone, in another way. Rather than seeing it as the death of my youthful 20s, or the beginning of my adult life, I am seeing it as a chance to reflect on a larger chunk of life. Many people reflect at the end of a calendar year or birth year anyway. This year, I reflect on the past decade.
Don’t worry, I won’t put all of that reflection in a blog post. If I did, you would practically have a book to read! Instead, I will give you my take-aways:
This decade of life has been one of adventure. I traveled often and far (if not very extravagantly), and with great enjoyment. On my adventures, I learned about people and places. I tasted unique and (to my palate) strange foods.
In my 20s, I connected deeply, forming friendships in college, graduate school, and beyond. We laughed, cried, struggled, studied, and learned together about how to embrace our humanity in a challenging and expanding world. Without some of these people, I would not be writing what you are reading today (thanks Elizabeth!). With these people, I hope to continue living life into my 30s (and even my 40s, 50s, and beyond!).
For the last 10 years, my view of food has grown and changed. I am eating and drinking differently than my 20-year old self: I am slowly embracing bitter foods, mastering new techniques, striving to make my own base ingredients, and relishing in basing my meals on fresh vegetables and fruit. I feel comfortable experimenting with flavors and textures, and turn to cookbooks for inspiration rather than out of necessity. By no means am I an expert in everything, but I am comfortable in my own kitchen and eating a variety of foods.
One of the things I wouldn’t have attempted in my early 20s was making my own juice. Juice was made from oranges or apples, occasionally with tropical fruit thrown in. (Obviously this was before the juice cleanse craze) But, after easing into juicing my own citrus over the past several years, at 29 I finally felt ready to make a fruit and veggie juice.
Lately, my CSA (community supported agriculture) box has overflowed with abundance, making it the perfect time to do some experimenting. For sweetness, I started with a base of apples and oranges. Both are about to be out of season, but make delicious juice. From there, I added beets for color. Everywhere I look, ginger and turmeric are lauded as great for health, so I added a generous amount of each, along with some additional yummy ingredients, and voila! I absolutely adore the eye-catching bright ruby hue of this juice, and it tastes great!
- 3 beets, chopped
- 3 oranges, peeled
- 5 stalks of celery
- 4 carrots + carrot greens
- 1 inch of ginger
- 2 inches of turmeric
- 4 apples
- Assemble your juicer.
- Wash and chop all of the ingredients into pieces that will fit into the chute of the juicer.
- I like to alternate the crunchy pieces with the juicy pieces to keep the juicer flowing.
- Once you have finished juicing, give it a good stir, pour into a pitcher or glasses, and serve!