Ode to a Juice Cleanse

Ode to a Juice Cleanse

Kale and parsley first thing in the morning

Say no to coffee to get your day going.

Carrots and cabbage and a little bell pepper

They’re no match to soup in this stormy weather.

However, it’s good for you—or so they say…

You’ll sleep 10 hours to keep the fridge at bay.

Your body will thank you—so many veggies in a day!

Who needs food when you’re drinking enough fluid

to fill a small pond?

Oh wait, I do! Thank goodness this stunt isn’t too long.

You’ll pee a lot….but come on, that’s expected.

It’s finally done. I feel detoxified…REJUVENATED!

Almond Milk, Sweet Potato, Cinnamon (daily treat juice)

Almond Milk, Sweet Potato, Cinnamon (daily treat juice)

I’m not one to jump on bandwagons (or at least, I try not to), but if juicing is a wagon, I jumped a long time ago. When I went to Austin, it was a must to stop by the same hip, little juice bar every time. I heard about Joe Cross and his Fat, Sick, & Nearly Dead documentary, and this only peaked my interest. I went back and forth on investing in my own juicer for forever….When it comes to spending money on others, I can do it in a pinch. When it comes to myself, it can literally take me a year to make up my mind. It’s not this selfless, never-spend-money-on-myself business. I just want to make sure I’m making the absolute perfect, never-regret-what-I-purchase decision. I’ve been this way since I started receiving a $2 a week allowance. But alas, I finally got a juicer. It’s currently mostly used to make Collins’ apple juice, but that’s beside the point. I decided to finally make the leap and do a one day cleanse nearly two years ago. I had been having a lot of stomach pains, and while I was sure it was stress from work, I thought a juice cleanse couldn’t hurt. The day after I placed the order, I found out that juice cleanse could take a hike because those stomach pains were actually a good thing. My body was growing a baby.

This was the day before Blake I found out we were having a baby. I remember turning to him that night, telling him my stomach hurt. I'm pretty sure I blamed the salmon.

This was the day before Blake & I found out we were having a baby. It was my dad’s birthday, and we were also celebrating my cousin’s graduation from Texas Tech. I remember turning to Blake that night at the table, telling him my stomach hurt. I’m pretty sure I blamed the salmon.

Fast forward 21 months, and my body was back to being all mine again. I would try for a juice cleanse again, but this time would be slightly different. I wanted to try for a 3-day cleanse, and more importantly, God worked a massive miracle in Blake’s heart who agreed to do the first day with me. We picked up all twenty-four juices (6 16oz juices per day) on our way home from our adoption interview, and I savored my last bite of food that night as much as I possibly could.

I won’t give a play by play on our juicing experience (this is not my diary, for the love), but these are a few pros and one (major) con I am leaving with after this experience:

Pro #1:

Juicing has a lot of benefits. I’m not going to get all scientific here (because I would probably end up writing something highly inaccurate), but I can jump behind a few facts. Raw juice lacks the fiber of whole foods or even smoothies, so our bodies are able to quickly and more effectively absorb a truckload of vitamins and minerals. While our bodies are taking in so much goodness, our digestive system gets some chill time instead of constantly being on the clock, like normal. Juicing is also a safe and easy way to get rid of toxins from consuming not such great things. There are also other potential benefits such as boosting your immune system, aiding in digestive issues, weight loss, and regulating blood sugar levels. There’s my spiel on juicing. May the force be with you.

Pro #2:

Most days are filled with creating a rounded diet of healthy foods for all the bodies in my house. I still had to think about Collins, but my day was all laid out for me. I knew my day ahead would be filled with top notch nutrition, and I didn’t have to cook or prepare one single thing. I love to cook, but if we’re being honest, I love to cook most when I don’t have to cook. It’s the same rule for reading. I didn’t have to consider if I had consumed too many grains and not enough vegetables or if I had taken in enough water in between. I didn’t go back over my day and think about the things I probably shouldn’t have eaten. Someone had taken care of my “eating” needs, and that was nice.

Pro #3:

I get a lot of feasting in my life. There is always a reason to celebrate, to be filled with joy, and be thankful. I feast with food, and I feast with experience. The thing with feasting is that so often, I take more than I really need because I can. So I told Blake that just over the next three, short days, I wanted to think of this cleanse as a season of fasting. Just because I want something doesn’t mean I get it. I need much less than I want, and I rarely have to prove this fact to myself. Of course, this concept is much more lovely in theory than in reality. On day two, I texted Blake I wanted food, and he mockingly replied that this is a season of fasting. I wanted to tell him he could shove it, and I regretted ever telling him anything about my life. Juicing makes one rather dramatic.

Con:

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We are a people of food.

We gather around food to get together, and many of our experiences involve food of some kind at some point. I love to eat. I love to cook (again, mostly when I don’t have to), and I love to eat out, too. I’m reading Shauna Niequist’s Bread & Wine right now, and it is nothing short of being my love language. It’s beautiful words describing beautiful food and the beautiful people it brings together…and it’s all just beautiful. It didn’t take me long on this little juice-venture to realize I wasn’t only limiting what I could consume physically, but I was limiting what I could consume (and hopefully contribute) socially. Blake and I didn’t stop to eat dinner together at night. Since we did this cleanse during the week, we really didn’t miss out on gatherings of any kind, but it still made me feel a bit isolated. Food brings us together, but I had chosen to step out for a short bit, and it affected me more than just at meal times. I think I have food, in some way, on my mind often because it holds such a positive connotation in my heart. Food comforts and satisfies. It encourages us to slow down and hopefully find some common ground with the person sitting beside or across from us. Food is a form of history as we see all the ways we have learned to prepare and pair it with other foods. I just love food, you guys…so it goes without saying that any day without chewing is not going to be my favorite day. And I love knowing that every day has the potential to be a favorite day.

“Food and cooking are among the richest subjects in the world. Every day of our lives, they preoccupy, delight, and refresh us. Food is not just some fuel we need to get us going toward higher things. Cooking is not a drudgery we put up with in order to get the fuel delivered. Rather, each is a heart’s astonishment. Both stop us dead in our tracks with wonder. Even more, they sit us down evening after evening, and in the company that forms around our dinner tables, they actually create our humanity.”

-Robert Farrar Capon, The Supper of the Lamb

Look at the joy on this girl's face. Already a lover of food, I tell you.

Look at the joy on this girl’s face. Already a lover of food, I tell you.

So…did we make it? Well, Blake did wonderfully with his one-day cleanse. Seriously…so impressed. He kept reminding me that this should be a huge sign of how much he loves me. On my second day, he took Collins on a date to Chick-Fil-A so I wouldn’t have to see them both eating without me. Plus, I think he likes hanging out with the kid.

I was a rockstar….until 4:38 in the afternoon on day three. Collins and I were on our way to the grocery store because we were out of diapers. We got stuck in a bit of small town traffic due to the train (blast you, train), and I realized I was so hungry. I still had two more juices at home, but they were there, and I was far, far away. Thinking about getting Collins out of the car and into a grocery cart sounded like an exercise similar to a marathon (remember how juicing can make you dramatic?), and I knew I was done. I could hold on to the challenge for the next few hours for the sake of saying I did it, knowing I would be miserable and probably not the nicest person to hang out with. Or…I could be proud of the challenge I had completed thus far and eat my first bite of real food in almost 72 hours in the wonderment that is the grocery store. So that’s what I did. I picked up a bag of chocolate bark (probably not my first choice, but it was there, and HELLO).

You're awesome, chocolate bark. Thanks.

You’re awesome, chocolate bark. Thanks.

I ripped the bag but couldn’t get it open, so I threw it in the cart and ripped open a second bag. I have no regrets. I picked out a little snack for Collins, and our time at the grocery store became a lovely time. It was only when we were back out in the parking lot that I realized we had forgotten to buy diapers. I laughed quite loudly, and we drove home. That’s what those emergency diapers in the diaper bag are for, people.

The End.

PS. Juls Cafe in Tyler is where we purchased our juices. I highly recommend them! (Their food is delightful, too.) Thanks, Juls!

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