Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Juicy Juice

I'm one of those people who may not have the healthiest relationship with food. I tend to eat my feelings. And boy, lately I've had a lot of feelings. It's part of the reason this blog has been neglected, because it's not been for lack of subject matter. So, I decided that I needed to renegotiate my relationship with food before I had to buy a new wardrobe, and not for the better - if you know what I mean.

Since putting my girls on a raw diet five months ago, they have been thriving. Pick something and it's better ten-fold: coat, breath, teeth, energy, etc. So, I started doing research on raw diets for people and came across a juicing program that both detoxes your body and helps you ease your way into a vegetarian lifestyle, something that I've always wanted to do, but have never been able to successfully do for any length of time.

So I purchased a juicer to make my own organic, raw fruit and vegetable juices. And after a bit of research on recipes that I thought might taste good, I went to the grocery and cleaned out the tiny organic section of our produce department.

Now, I honestly have never bought that many vegetables in my entire life. Ever. I even bought beets people! All I could think of while I was piling my basket full of all these healthy fruits and veggies was, "I bet my poop will be colorful."

I wasn't scared of the fruit juice. I knew it wouldn't taste like Tropicana, but it was fruit juice - so it couldn't be bad. I do have to admit that I was a bit afraid of the veggie juice. But I found that I really liked carrot juice - and so did my Siamese cat. I couldn't keep her out of it. She'd stick her face so far down in the glass that she would stain her cheeks orange. I learned the secret was to juice an apple with any veggie juice and it makes it better.

When you use a juicer, what's left in the machine is the fiber/pulp of the vegetable. After the first day I felt like it was a waste to just throw that stuff away. I don't have a compost pile, which seemed like an ideal place for this stuff to go. But wait - I do have a compost pile, two compost piles actually: Seka and Roxy. This seemed like a great way to add in veggies and fruits to their diets without me having to get out the darn food processor and mix it up special for them. So I scraped out the pulp and put it in ice cube trays and poured some low sodium chicken broth over the top. Now every day they get a little chicken pop treat, which they love.

So for five days all I consumed was fresh, organic juice. Usually it was fruit in the morning, veggie at lunch and fruit at night. I also had green tea. After getting over the hurdle of the first day and thinking about food constantly, it surprisingly wasn't hard. I had a lot of energy, despite the lack of chewable food. I didn't crave anything. After coming off of my fast, I've eaten a small vegetarian (I eat fish, eggs, cheese and milk) meal mid-day and still juice morning and night. I feel good and I don't have crazy cravings at all hours of the day. I also reach for the water bottle when I'm feeling stressed, which is still happening regularly. But all in all, my switch to a raw-er way of life has been good. I guess I should have paid more attention to my girls all along!

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Kiss Us, We're Half Irish

St. Patrick's Day is an odd celebration to me. I totally understand that it is just an excuse to drink green beer and act foolish. We quietly celebrate this day with a bowl of Lucky Charms and maybe wearing some green socks to work. Maybe if I were Catholic and went to CCD I'd get it.

Kev is half Irish, but he doesn't drink beer or whiskey. I'm sure it's just a stereotype, although my girlfriend's brother was working in Ireland last week and was in a town that had a population of 140, with 7 pubs. Maybe it's not.

Seka likes to drink beer, though. I've heard rumors that they give winners beer right after races to encourage them to "go" so they can perform the mandatory illegal substance tests. Certainly, Seka never acquired a taste for a celebratory toast, but she does find her way to a beer bottle if one is in the house so she can sneak a swig. Roxy on the other hand isn't all that interested. So maybe our pack is half Irish as well.

Maybe the half that Kevin got was the part that eats black pudding or can sheer a sheep. That doesn't apply either. If it looks strange, he's not going to eat it and I'm afraid he can't tell the difference in a goat and a sheep. However, the girls pick up the slack here as well. After switching to raw they eat sweet breads, livers, tripe and all other types of organs. I'm sure that all goes into black pudding in some shape form or fashion.

I'm all English on my side of the family. My ancestors came over on a boat and settled the mountains of North Carolina. There are books written about how they were some of the first families in the Valley of the Globe. But I must have had some Irish influence in our family, as my sister and I are both buck and wing cloggers - which is the mountain version of Irish step dancing. Think River Dance without the annoying flute music and replace it with Ricky Skaggs. So I bring a little flavor to the table.

So, happy St. Patrick's Day. Celebrate it in whatever way you see fit. I think my girls hope that I never see fit to dress them like this ever again.