For many, acai – a Brazilian blueberry that makes a wonderful smoothie-like substance – is just another healthy treat. But for one California Baptist University student, it is a way of life.
During the fall semester of 2019, CBU opened two new dining locations: Shake Smart and Delect-a-Bowls. Shake Smart became an instant hit as students flocked to purchase healthy sandwiches, protein shakes and of course, acai bowls.
Yet, it was not until the last day of the semester that Greyson Derzansky, freshman music major, first stepped foot into Shake Smart. It turned out to be a fateful moment.
“I had three acai bowls (that day),” Derzansky said. “Shake Smart is a completely different animal. I was hooked.”
The acai berry, a Brazilian berry similar in appearance to the more common blueberry, is known for its high volume of antioxidants and is widely regarded as a superfood – a food that is especially nutritious. Derzansky said he quickly became obsessed.
“I thought that eating an acai bowl every day would be an interesting gag,” Derzansky said. “(But also) I had the Habit a lot last semester. I felt like I needed a purge from fast food.”
True to his word, Derzansky ate an acai bowl every day except for two days this semester up until the recent closure of CBU. Darcel Mugisha, freshman mechanical engineering major and longtime friend of Derzansky, said Derzansky’s joke about the life-altering acai consumption reflects his character.
“I love his humor,” Mugisha said. “Without a doubt. He is serious but he’s joking at the same time.”
Landon Dacus, freshman film major and Derzansky’s roommate, echoed Mugisha’s analysis.
“He’s just about the funniest guy I know,” Dacus said.
Aside from the entertainment value, it seems like Derzansky’s personality was always destined for this peculiar operation.
“I’m a Four on the Enneagram,” Derzansky said. “I have more of an emphasis toward being a unique individual.”
The Enneagram is a personality test, and Derzansky identifies as a Type Four, known as “The Individualist.” The Individualist is characterized by a desire to “express themselves and their individuality,” according to the Enneagram Institute.
Yet, Derzansky said he never got tired of acai. Shake Smart offers various toppings to keep consumers interested. These toppings include bananas, granola, strawberry, chia seeds, coconut flakes and more. In fact, Derzansky said he believes that an acai bowl a day was a refreshing change.
“It improved my mental outlook toward eating on campus,” Derzansky said. “I was having withdrawals when we moved out of campus.”
Derzanksy said he looks forward to the fall semester when he can once again have a bowl of healthy goodness every day.