Thursday, August 27, 2015

Juicing a la Snoop Dog

Day 3 of this awful experiment known as #juiceapalooza.

After only managing to consumer 2 1/3 bottles of the wretched stuff (Foul green, Too-gingery orange and Aloe Vera Surprise), I returned home to find what can only be described as a total dinner fail. The pork in the crock pot, ostensibly barbecue, had a smell and a texture that absolutely no one in their right mind would consume.

I chalk this up to making dinner early yesterday morning while foaming at the mouth in a juice famine frenzy. (Slow cooker meals + juice fast = really terrible food).

Fortunately, I had actually eaten a few lettuce leaves yesterday, and I credit the salad dressing with giving me enough fat to fuel my brain cells. Sometimes, you just gotta admit defeat and call papajohns.

It was the best of times, it was the worst of times. It was pizza time. Call me bastardizing a classic, but I bet Charles Dickens never tried slow cooker pork bbq while juicing (A Tale of Two Collards?)

Lucky for me, the pizza arrived before the kids realized how close they came to eating pork mush. Unlucky for me, pizza didn't stop them from trying to drown each other in the pool. And because I am THE WORST MOM EVER, I made them come inside. I know, I'm such a witch - it's just this thing I have? Where I don't like my kids to kill each other?

Towels were flung, there was a lot of smacking and a last-minute showdown with Nerf guns (there is a special place in Hell for you, Nerf). I barely made it through the drama unscathed, and honestly, I had to eat the rest of my son's pizza before I totally lost my s*** and went all Mommy Dearest on the little scamps.

Eventually, people went to bed. Only to get up about 5 times. Because there is a ghost that lives in my son's closet. I mean, duh. Everyone knows that.

What seemed like days later, I found myself wandering into the kitchen and reaching for an open bottle of Chardonnay. And before you judge, let me point out that wine comes from grapes.

Which are fruit.
Fruit liquefied = juice.
And there you go.

This is my last day. I have 2 juices at work. I am ignoring them. I hope a magic fairy sneaks into my cube and devours them. (Also? If that magic fairy could turn my office into a cute balcony in the French Quarter, I'd be down with that, too)

So here, in summary, are the top ten things I've learned from this nutritional fiasco:

1. I said it before, I will say it again. Collards + bacon = yes. Collards in a glass = no. It's that simple.

2. Satan, thy name is beets. In fact I'm pretty sure in Hell, every meal is beets. Except on Tuesdays when they serve meatloaf.

3. Never trust a green drink unless you're on a balcony with Pierce Brosnan. In which case, don't hate being a foregone conclusion. Hate that your breakfast is compost instead of a croissant.

4. If God intended us to drink aloe vera, He would not have made it so effective as a sunburn treatment.

5. Things that go on the outside of your body don't belong inside. I don't care what you think 9 1/2 weeks taught you, or what chichi restaurant is serving lavender ice cream. Just say no to #lotionfood.

6. Did I mention that beets are evil? I can't emphasize this enough. Really, really bad.

7. I am not a very nice person when I'm hungry.

8. I am slightly more pleasant after a slice of pizza.

9. I am WAY nicer after a glass of wine.

10. As God is my witness, I will never juice again. Unless, of course, the juice in question comes with a side of gin, or in a glass bottle.

With a cork.

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Beets are the devil

Day 2 of Juiceapalooza, AKA, another ridiculous idea I vow not to repeat

After one day of juicing (which I hope NEVER to use as a verb again), I can report the following:

1. Collards belong in bacon, not my glass

2. Beets are the devil. They are evil, and should only be permitted to exist in pickled form, nestled next to a bratwurst and potato salad or nowhere on this planet.

3. Drinking raw fruits and vegetables is not making me crave more "real" foods. It is, in fact, having the opposite effect. I came home last night never wanting to face another green thing again. I wanted bread, pasta, cheese and Cheez-its. (Now here's an idea: a Cheez-its and Chardonnay fast. Who's with me?)

4. I did not feel energized, I felt hungry. Also? Making meatballs for my family while contemplating another bottle of green sludge did not make me appreciate my newfound health. It made me mad.

5. I grabbed an apple late last night, and I noticed something. It tasted pretty good, except I kept thinking it would be so much better if it didn't taste like apple juice. Which made me realize: I don't actually like juice. I never drink it. I sort of like grapefruit juice. And I like OJ in a Mimosa. But unless I'm mistaken, and there is actually a juice fast in which everything gets mixed with Champagne, I may have picked the wrong diet.

But -- once again quoting Scarlett O'Hara, tomorrow is another day. And it's today. I woke up ... well, hungry, but I did manage to walk the dog and swim. And then, when I was getting dressed, I noticed one ear piercing is lower than the other, causing one earring to look longer than the other. Is this the "new mental clarity" the juicing gurus spoke of?

To make this morning's green monster more palatable, I dumped it in the blender with a few strawberries and half a banana. It was better. Not good. But more like strawberry-banana grass, instead of apple grass, which is an improvement in my book.

But three hours later, I was still extremely hungry. I could have totally gone medieval on some waffles. But I ate 2 boiled eggs instead. Because that's a party. And because I was so annoyed by the raw food philosophy of the juice company, I had to eat something cooked just out of spite.

What lunatic decided cooking was bad, anyway? No, please, don't tell me. I don't care. I just know it's wrong. Some things are just better with a little heat. Collards, for one. That's right, juicing people, you have now made me hate collard greens. I'm from Kentucky, for God's sake, why don't you just take away every piece of my culinary cultura heritage, piece by piece?

What's next, RAW CHICKEN?

Day 2, juice 3: I'm skipping juice #2, because it was that orange-gingery thing that's OK. But juice #3 I couldn't deal with yesterday, so this is my first taste.

BLECH. First, never trust anything with a label that reads, "Vitamin C, Folate, Potassium + Love."

I'm pretty sure if love has a taste, it's not cucumber juice.

Second, aloe vera? I'm not into drinking lotion. That's just me.

Third, pineapple juice. Why couldn't we just lead with that? It's listed first as an ingredient, which gave me hope. But it's not the dominant flavor. Cucumber and aloe vera are stealing the show here, so basically this juice tastes like something I should be plastering on my face, not ingesting. So maybe I should go home and dump this in the tub, turn on some Enya and call this a spa bath.

Or ... maybe I'll just dump it in the trash.

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

It's not easy being green.

School has started this week! And I am kicking off the year with yet another good idea gone bad. Kaboomtown was a warmup. Great Wolf Lodge? Please, that was one night. This week, I'm taking on 3 days of well-intentioned torture.

I'm doing a juice fast.

A. My house and the people in it were sick all summer long. And this is the first week of school, aka, germs'r'us. I need an immunity boost.

B. I don't take vitamins. Not for any particular reason, I just don't remember to take them. Like ever. I cannot tell you how many bottles of vitamins have come into my medicine cabinet only to die a slow death by expiration. Surely 3 days of juice made from fresh veggies and fruits will be like a year of vitamins, right?

C. After the summer of sickness and lethargy, my motivation to get up at 4:45 am to work out is, shall we say, lacking. Maybe this will get my groove back. (Sadly, not the kind Stella had, which I doubt comes from blended kale).

I ordered premade, frozen juices so I wouldn't have to make them myself. Because if I'm buying a case of produce, I'm cooking it, probably with olive oil, parmesan and pasta - I'm not throwing it into the blender. Having spent the money, I'm committed, for three days at least. Finally, if all else fails --I'm counting on this blog to keep me on track. If I write it down, I have to do it.

Day 1, Drink 1: I pull out of the carpool lane and pop open the first juice. It's green. I've never drank anything green in my entire life, unless you count an overzealously sour-mixed frozen margarita. This juice is not a margarita.

First sip: tastes like apple-flavored grass, with a lot of sugar. Like someone took lawn mower clippings and whipped them up with Mott's. The look? Remember that evil green concoction Rene Russo drinks in The Thomas Crown Affair? When she's sitting on a balcony with Pierce Brosnan the morning after, and as his servant delivers her drink, she says, "I hate being a forgone conclusion."

You know what I hate? This juice. Also, I'd be in a much better mood if I were sipping this on a balcony with Pierce Brosnan. Forcing myself to gulp it down while driving to work? Not the same.

I read the label: apple juice, lemon juice, kale juice, carrot juice, collard juice. Collard juice? Why is that a thing? I like collards, but I eat them with bacon, onions and hot pepper vinegar. The way God intended. Not in a juice. Just. No. Also, how does this juice have 26 grams of sugar? I start calculating all the different foods I could have eaten for that much sugar. Not a good idea, as it just makes me simultaneously hungry and nauseated.

I finish as much of the sludge as I can, leaving an inch of weirdly grainy, chunky stuff in the bottom and head into the office. An hour later, my head hurts and I could kill someone for a cracker.

Day 1, Drink 2: this one's orange, which at least is an actual color of something drinkable. I set it on my desk. I try to make myself open it. No can do. I start bargaining with myself. I'll drink this one after I write an article. And open job numbers for new fact sheets, which is a task I avoid like the plague (which came to Yosemite this year, you know. But I won't get it because I'll be all healthy from this horrible juice. Maybe the plague would be better).

Finally, I've procrastinated as much as I can (juice-crastinate? I think I just invented a word) and I unscrew the lid. Smells like orange. Tastes like orange. With a LOT of ginger. Why? Never mind, I'm sure there's some health reason for ruining what could be a decent glass of OJ, but still. It's WAY better than the green one. It's slightly frozen in the center, but apart from that and the excessive ginger, it's pretty palatable.

One can only hope that juice #3 will be similarly not-awful. I peek at the bottle. Oh dear. Beets. Stay tuned...

UPDATE Day 1, Juice 3. I could not face it at lunch. I bought a teeny container of carrots and hummus. Which is basically juice, unliquified, right? (Juice. Unliquified. Sounds like a movie starring Angelina Jolie and Winona Ryder. In the 90s. Sorry, hunger is making me stupid).

So this one is beets. I take a sip. SWEET JESUS that is awful! I mean. Really bad. It's the color purple. Think of Oprah, I tell myself, holding my nose. She faced discrimination and prison time in that movie. Surely I can drink one bottle of beet juice.

4 sips later ... and no. I just can't do it. It is literally the worst thing I have ever put in my mouth. Even if I hold my nose, as soon as I swallow, I taste ... dark, damp dirt. And not like the kind you brush off a fresh peach, but like the dirt from an ummarked grave. I taste evil. That's it; beets are evil. How did I not know this?

I think beet juice just knocked liver out of the top spot on my Most Hated Foods list, and those are not words I use lightly. I'm thinking of Scarlett O'Hara in Gone with the Wind, and yes, I realize that was a turnip, but you know what scene I'm talking about.

"As God is my witness, I'll never drink beet juice again."

Glass half full: this is my only beet juice for the day.
Glass half empty: there are 3 juices left.
And they're all green.