Abhi hit it out of the park last week. I hope you enjoyed hearing a different voice and getting some new perspectives. The High Five community is an interesting bunch and when I started writing this thing back in December the goal was to have some fun, bring people together, learn, and provide an antidote to some of the negative noise I feel like I get bombarded with online.
This week, I asked a few High Five readers to send me their list of 5 “Summer Essentials”. I was purposely vague because I was curious to see what this wild and wacky group would come up with. You did not disappoint. There’s whimsy, practicality, and wisdom in these links and you’ll need a weekend to sift through the goodness.
Now, I’ll turn it over to the experts …
Diane Beck, California
4. Medicine ball workout. I make my own stuff up. No link. However, my favorite is raising the rubber medicine ball over my head and smashing it onto the rubber floor.
5. My personal (trial and error) homemade protein bar recipe (the measurements are loose, use your intuition)
1 banana (start with ¾’s of a banana first, if it’s big)
1 scoop of vanilla flavored protein powder
¼ cup of peanut butter (the real kind, NO sugar added!!)
lot of dry oatmeal
1 tablespoon or so of agave nectar
2 or 3 tablespoons of unsweetened, shredded coconut
1 tablespoon or more of almond flour
1 tablespoon or more of coconut flour
a handful of cocoa nib (they don’t taste like anything, but I appreciate the crunch)
Seeds ‘n Such:
a tablespoon or so each of hemp seeds, flaxseeds, psyllium husk powder, chia seeds
Diced up almonds
Mash the above in a bowl. It should become a dough consistency. If it’s too dry, add some coconut oil (the liquid kind, not the crisco consistency kind). If it’s too moist, add… oh, whatever. More oats usually does not harm.
Preheat the oven at 375 degrees-ish or 350. I haven’t figured this out yet. Still testing things out.
I use mini muffin tins (no paper cupcake liners). I fill the muffin tins halfway to the top. Then, and this is the important part, I add a layer of shmered dates. Then I add the rest of the dough to the muffin tin. I’ve done this recipe without the dates and to me, they come out to dry and bland. The dates add moisture, a little gooey-ness and natural sweetness.
Bake for… 10 minutes? I don’t know. It’s different every time. Until they start getting brownish on the edges.
One of my guilty pleasures, and this fact and recipe is one of my secrets, but I’ll let the cat out of the bag for G.W. is….
Diet Coke and grapefruit juice
Ratio: roughly 2/3 to ¾ Diet Coke to 1/3 to ¼ grapefruit juice
Pour the Diet Coke first, add just enough grapefruit juice for the punch. It’s the best. If anyone bottles this, trademarks it and makes a fortune, you heard it here first. That’s Diane (with 1 N) Beck.
Erica Goldsmith, California
I’m honored to be a part of The High Five. When Gary asked me to pick my five summer essentials, I took some inspiration from Abhi’s book recommendation (life isn’t about grandeur and opulence) and chose five simple things that I enjoy and hope can add value and happiness to your summer.
1. Backpack-Backpacks may not be seen as the most stylish bags, but think of all the fun things you can use them for: hiking, traveling, biking (I don’t see too many people with tote bags on bikes), or spending a day at the beach with a good book. I highly recommend a classic Jansport
; they’re durable and start out at only $36! What I love about Jansport is the lifetime warranty
. A backpack is only as good as the zippers on it and I’ve never had a problem with Jansport, but if I do, I know they’ll fix it.
2. Book-Now that you have your backpack, you need a good book to put into it. I’d recommend The Devil In The White City
by Erik Larson. This book details the planning and construction of the Chicago World’s Fair of 1893, while also following serial killer H.H. Holmes as he constructs a real life horror house and preys on victims coming to Chicago for the fair. This is historical nonfiction, try to wrap your mind around that as you read this. Oh, and it’s going to be made into a movie starring Leo DiCaprio
and directed by Martin Scorsese.
3. Sunscreen- Last year, I became an advanced scuba diver and dove near many coral reefs. Did you know that one of the major causes of coral reef death is sunscreen?
Neither did I, until that course. Even if you aren’t diving near coral, consider this: the chemicals in sunscreen are killing coral and you’re rubbing those same chemicals all of your body, multiple times a day. Scary, I know. One sunscreen recommended by my diving association, PADI, is Badger
. It won’t kill the coral! All of their products are organic, they don’t test on animals, and they’re a small family company.
- Since the travel bug bit me last year, I’ve been on a mission to travel the world and really immerse myself in different cultures, but it would be helpful to be able to talk to people in their native language, first. That’s where Duolingo comes in. This free app is easy to use and three weeks after practicing Spanish with it, I was further along than I was after two semesters in college.
5. Steak- Last summer, I was living in Nashville, TN. The weather was beautiful and the fireflies were always out as the sun was setting. There was no better place to be than outside by the grill. I came across this recipe
and it was a huge hit. I was told my steaks were better than any restaurant. I wish I could take credit for that and say it was due to my grill master skills, but it was most certainly the marinade because I have no grilling skills.
I sincerely enjoyed working on this week’s newsletter and I hope you’ve enjoyed reading it! Have a fun and adventurous summer.
Anastasia Boulais, New Zealand
1. Summer getaways - escape the 21st century digital prison into the few remaining pockets of pure nature and pure bliss.
2. Ice cream - because life is too short not to enjoy an ice cream on a hot day.
3. Sand - between your toes and everywhere else.
4. Bicycling in a skirt - for the pure freedom. Gents, don’t knock it till you try it.
5. Warm summer nights - a meal outside with friends, a few drinks, laughter and mosquitoes. You don’t want these times to end.
Emma Wimsett, Florida
(I’m not buying any of Emma’s things so it may be a rough summer for her.)
If you are keeping score, you’ll see you have summertime recommendations from California, Florida, and New Zealand. People in these spots know what they’re doing when it comes to enjoying sunny days. I hope you find some things/experiences/recipes/ideas etc you’ll fold into your summer plans - even if you live somewhere weird like Ohio.
The Fearsome Five - Gary, Diane, Anastasia, Erica, and Emma