PhD Smoothie

I woke up yesterday morning feeling reluctant to tackle the day. The class I TA had a final exam at 11:30, which meant that my office would likely be overflowing all morning with panicked students wanting to cram at the last minute. Then, I’d get to stare at them take a test for 3 hours, followed by a few more hours of fighting with copiers and grading software so I could turn the grades in. At some point during the day, I’d start analyzing a recent experiment that my gut tells me is a heap of noise, and turn in a seminar paper, thinking “if only I had one more day to polish this up…”

Right away, I knew that this day was going to call for a PhD smoothie. Here’s the recipe:


Start with a base of mystery fruit. Pick something that you have no idea what its name is or what it’ll taste like. The important part is that you’re curious about its taste, and you’re going to find out.

Next, add in a generous cup of grits. There are going to be lots of setbacks, and grit is the best predictor of success.

Then add in two handfuls of kale – because it’s good for you!

If the color is brownish, you’re doing it right. This is the time to add a couple tablespoons of Trader Joe’s Soyaki sauce because it’s anything but conventional and keeps things interesting.

Continuing with the ethnic theme, add in some wasabi. You’ll have to titrate the amount to your own threshold. The goal is to have just enough to make you cry a little, but not on every sip – just on a few. After opening your tear ducts, the wasabi will help you feel fresh and ready for the next taste.

Then, add a scoop of protein powder. The importance of physical strength is not to be underestimated, and your gym time will likely be limited.

And for the final touch, three spoonfuls of sugar, because sugar is satisfying. You should know that it’ll make you addicted, though, and may even contribute to high blood pressure (more research is needed).

Put all this in a blender and mix it at high speed – like, as fast as your blender will go. Keep at it for anywhere between 4 and 8 years – you can’t put a timer on masterpieces like this one. When your gut tells you it’s done (there will be no other indicator) or whenever you get too impatient – whichever comes first – gulp it down and head to the lab before you have any second thoughts. Bon appétit!