After years of stress I was vulnerable. Worrying about collective bargaining, and the fate of my workplace, and the problems of those I represented as the Union VP, – well, it was hard work. I stopped exercising. I started eating, and I made wine (and drank it) like it was going out of style. I have never been good at dealing with conflict and it seems that for the past 2 or 3 years, that’s ALL I’ve been doing.
The nights that I came home from work I ate supper, put the barn animals to bed, and then crashed with a nice glass of wine in front of NetFlix. I was too friggin’ tired to do anything else. In the mix of brain dead comedies and British TV series, Troy and I also went through a spate of documentaries – Food Inc., Farmageddon, Food Fight, to name a few. Then, because I was feeling “Fat, Sick, and Nearly Dead” , I decided we should give it a watch.
Now don’t get me wrong – I’m as skeptical as the next person when it comes to diet fads and trends, but Joe the Juicer is a convincing bastard, and he caught me at my worst. I was heavier than I’d been in 20+ years, I was exhausted, I was depressed, I was utterly out of shape, and I was looking for the quickest way back to where I used to be. I didn’t have 2 hours a day to spend in the gym anymore, and I was so slow and clumsy on my mountain bike I was embarrassed to ride it. I needed to drop 20 pounds as a start, and Joe made juicing seem like the obvious answer. I put down my glass of rhubarb wine, picked up my laptop, and ordered a Breville Juicer from eBay. Just like that.
I maintained my enthusiasm for the 5 days it took the juicer to arrive. Oh, I pigged out lots in that 5 days, knowing that the juice fast was going to suck. But when the box arrived in the mail I made my list, took it to Pete’s Frootique, and loaded up on as many organic fresh fruits and vegetables as I could foresee using over the next 2 or 3 days. Almost $200 later (the first shock), I was stoked to start.
The second shock came the next morning when I fired up the juicer and ripped a mountain of produce into liquid. A scant 2 cups of juice filled the collecting container and the pulp, which I estimated as 80% of the ingredients, went to the chickens. I tried to rationalize that it wasn’t being wasted. The chickens were producing eggs (nevermind that on this fast I couldn’t eat them). The Mean Green juice was not as bad as I anticipated, but I couldn’t help feeling guilty that all that healthy fibre and pulp was going to the birds – it just didn’t seem right.
The third shock came the next day, when driving home in a juice-imposed fog, I nearly caused a bad accident. Twice. After the second close call I decided that unless I was going to lie on the couch for the entirety of the fast, I should probably stop it immediately. Even if death IS a good way to lose weight. I called Troy at work, and he concurred that he was also a walking hazard. Apparently juice is not good fuel.
And so we quit. I went back to my “bacon for breakfast and wine for bed” evil ways. A couple of weeks passed and I heard Jian Gomeshi interview Harley Pasternak on the radio. Harley’s new book sounded like a smarter version of the juice diet. Smoothies! Don’t waste the fibre, in fact, add more, and load up on protein as well. Now that sounded like a plan.
I did the smoothie diet for 15 days according to Harley’s outline. As the weight started dropping and I persevered without even feeling tempted, Troy saw the results and jumped on board. That was a couple of months ago and we’re still replacing one meal a day with a smoothie, and we’re both feeling much better for it.
As for the juicer, I packed it away not long after our fasting failure. I was toying with the idea of listing it on Kijiji and selling it to the next sucker, but the juicer has found a new life. Joe would be proud of me! Today I dug it out again -with 30 litres of rhubarb piled high on my counter, I reckoned that the juicer would be the ultimate tool to start this year’s batch of wine, and boy, was I right!
So thanks Harley Pasternak for helping me take off some of that stress weight. Your diet is a good one. As for you, Joe the Juicer, I’ll thank you for helping me take off some of that stress; this year’s rhubarb wine is going to be far superior to previous years thanks to that juicer! Between Harley’s smoothies and Joe’s wine, I think things are looking up. There’s a solution to every problem when you find the right tool to address it.