"The most wasted of all days is one without laughter." ~e e cummings

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Juice Cleansing for Beginners

A few months ago, my brother officially launched his new juice company, The Juice Laundry. We've been drinking raw, organic, cold-pressed juices ever since and LOVING them. Max is a big fan of the red pepper/pineapple juice while Molly is a fiend for the beet/carrot/cucumber blend. (Evan prefers his juices "one at a time," as in "apple," which surprises no one.)

I'm not a big drinker; I mean I am in terms of cracking that beer open just about every time 5pm comes around, but I'm not in that it never occurs to me to pour myself a cup of anything other than coffee. I rarely drink a cup of water....I know, I know....but I honestly rarely feel thirsty. It's genetic.

ANYway. Despite the fact that I'm not a drinker, I have found myself reaching for these juices not only because they're so good for me (two pounds of organic produce in every bottle!!) but also because they're so amazingly delicious. Who knew?

Well, apparently, a lot of people. "Juicing" has become something of a big deal among the health-conscious types, and my brother's company has really taken off in his town in just the few months his juice has been on the market. A lot of people enjoy the juices by the bottle, as we've been doing, but most of my brother's customers purchase the Juice Cleanse...where for 1-3 days, they only consume a carefully designed menu of six juices and one cashew milk each day. It's to purify and detoxify your body. To clean your machine. Get it? The Juice Laundry?!

I have been toying with the idea of doing my own beginner's cleanse for awhile now, but didn't want to do it while nursing for some reason. Yesterday was my day...and Sam's, too. We opted for the "Gentle Wash," because the juices in this category are a bit more palatable for those of us unaccustomed to drinking straight vegetable juices. For example, the green juice in the gentle wash consists of kale, spinach, cucumber, grapefruit, and apple, whereas the heavy green is kale, spinach, cucumber, celery, parsley, apple, ginger, and lemon. You can't go wrong with either....the gentle green is just a touch sweeter, a good place to start.

I started the day with a total cheat. While cleansing, you're not supposed to drink coffee. While cleansing, you're also not supposed to be up at 4am with a sleep-striking toddler. So I cheated. Instead of my usual cream and pinch of sugar, though, I used a few tablespoons of the cashew milk. Oh, mama. This is good. I hated to waste a bit of my cashew milk dessert on breakfast (it's so decadent and delicious I knew it would be a welcome sweet treat at the end of my cleanse) but it was worth it.

Juice #1 was the Gentle Green, which I sipped at 9:30 while unpacking groceries as Molly slept in her crib. (Hooray for my first baby who can be transferred, asleep, from car to crib!! No more sitting in a running car in my driveway playing Candy Crush! Who am I kidding, I still do that first.)

Juice #2 was one of my all-time favorites, the cucumber/grapefruit/pineapple blend. Super refreshing and light. Molly loves it, too. She demanded a sip. And then 'moh' sips. I, obviously, couldn't resist this face.

I drank the red-pepper/pineapple juice while the kiddos ate lunch...and then....I cheated. Again. Only this time, it was a total accident. Several times already that morning, I had caught myself before tossing a random...whatever was left over on a plate or tray...into my mouth for absolutely no reason other than the fact that the last waffle bite, strawberry slice, or cheese spaceship cracker, was headed either there or into the trash. Reduce!

So I drained the bottle of juice and started to clear the lunch plates. I picked up Max's last turkey sandwich triangle, as I often do, as my lunches, like most mamas', are made up of odds and ends of other peoples' lunches....and I ate it. I felt guilty. I also realized how much mindless eating I do during the day...especially when I caught myself, immediately after the lunch blunder, reaching into my secret chocolate stash at the top of the pantry. (Don't tell Sam about it....he's worse than I am.) I stopped myself in time.

During Quiet Time, I typically fire up the Keurig for a little mid-afternoon boost to get me through the rest of the day. But, coincidentally?, I didn't need it yesterday. Was the cleanse already giving me extra energy and clarity? Perhaps. After we rested, the littlest two and I went to the bus stop with MY Gentle Green juice in hand. Only, as is always the case when there's one of something and you're telling the littles that it's for YOU, not THEM, Max and Molly wanted to share. And, because that juice is LOADED with goodness, I was happy to oblige. They both loved it. I did, too, what of it they allowed me to have, that is.

I was planning on bringing my spicy lemonade to Evan's gymnastics class after school, but forgot it. Because of that, I ended up drinking it over dinner, while Sam enjoyed the next juice...the beet blend. It's one of my other favorites, but after guzzling the spicy lemonade, I couldn't drink more juice. And because I ended my day at 9pm (see: sleep-striking toddler, 4am wake-up), I ended up skipping it in favor of my protein-dense decadent cashew milk. It really is dessert in a bottle, but one that does your body good. 

I had done it. My first Juice Cleanse. And with only one cheat and one slip-up....which I'm SURE would have been avoided if I hadn't been the one making meals and snacks for people five different times during it... 

Lesson Learned:
Do it! Do your body good! Clean your machine! Next time I'm going for two days. No slip-ups. 
(But I still might do my coffee cheat....)

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