Monday, January 16, 2012
Excuse Me, But I Think You Have Some Kale In Your Teeth. (DAY 1)
Would you believe that it’s 7:00 a.m. and I’ve already consumed a head of romaine lettuce, 2 apples, a half-bunch of kale and a cucumber? I know, right? That’s more green than I usually consume in a week. Not that I don’t try to be healthy but I have been walking around this notion of what “healthy” means, and I’m starting to question it. You know me, I’ve been eating that big bowl of fat-free Greek yogurt topped with berries and a handful of flax cereal every morning for 2 years. That breakfast, Clif bars by the boxful, apples galore and lunchmeat, cheese and whole wheat wraps have been the mainstay of my diet. And it’s worked for me. Sort of. Depending how you describe “worked.” I finally fit into those size 2 skinny jeans and that felt pretty darn good about that part, that’s for sure.
The thing is, something has been nagging at me lately. I’ve been a little “off.” Remember two weeks ago when I roasted that whole pumpkin, scooped out the pulp and baked it into fresh-baked bread? Wasn’t that crazy? Seriously, who was that person? And you know how I just finished reading that Julia Child book, My Life in Paris, for my book club? And it’s sort of stuck with me? Gnawed at me ever since. I haven’t really been able to put my finger on it. While I appreciated Julia Child’s passion for food and French cooking, I certainly had no interest in eating, much less laboring to prepare the elaborate meals she described. Yet...there was something there. Something about food and enjoying food that I realize I am missing from my life.
See, ever since I adopted my Food Is Fuel Not Fun philosophy, and gotten really into running, I’ve gotten into pretty darn good shape. The best of my life. So, if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it, right? But...but...I don’t know. If I’m being honest, I realize I’m trying to get satisfaction out of my fuel in less than healthy ways. Drinking way too much coffee most days, because it’s enjoyable and calorie-free. And some weeks, way too many nights in a row, grabbing that glass of red wine after dinner. Even more so, it’s my kids. Their eating habits have gone from bad to deplorable. They themselves live on fruit leather, granola bars, string cheese by day. And by night, I’ve been so desperate to get them to eat, I’ve been serving frozen pizza and mushroom soup-based casseroles for dinner. Dinners I certainly don’t want to be feeding them - or myself.
So I either eat something different - load up on yet another mini Clif bar before dinner so I’ll just nibble and not overindulge - or feed them and eat later. It’s not pleasant and certainly not the way I’d envisioned family dinners . Nor is this the idea I had for instilling nutritional values in my children. So how do I reconcile my desire to be like my foodie friends, reconcile my aspirations to be more like my wonderful earth momma girlfriends who garden and bake and can their own salsas, with my vision of Food Is Fuel Not Fun? How do I get my children to enjoy healthy food by modeling either sucking down tasteless “health food” or caving into their desires for processed garbage?
I may have just found the answer. From my inspirational little sister. The yogi. The nutritionist. The fashionista. She visited from Maui last week and was just bursting with excitement about this book she’d recently read and how it changed her (already ridiculously healthy, in my book) life. The Raw Food Detox Diet (by Natalia Rose) it’s called. So, my little sister, within hours of arrival, dusted off my neglected juicer and got it back into action. She also made us yummy meals like carrot-sweet-potato-ginger soup and breakfast quinoa with toasted pecans and berries. And I felt so...would it sound silly to say fulfilled? Nourished inside and out. In the morning, literally buzzing from my early morning Green Lemonade (no coffee necessary!) and warm and fuzzy from homemade, wholesome food by night (I admit, I didn’t skip the wine with my sis in town though).
Even the kids tried a little bit of green food. Seriously, they did. I mean, if they’re going to grimace and choke down three bites of food anyway, isn’t it better that it’s three bites of spinach salad than three bites of meatloaf?
So...Is this new philosophy going to stick? I don’t know. But we’re about to find out. I am on Day One of the Raw Food Detox Diet and giddy with excitement. I don’t know if I’ll keep this vegan/mostly raw lifestyle permanently. Or if I’ll even make it the thirty days I’ve committed to trying it. But I do know this: if my six-month old, who does a full body shudder every time I try to give her a bite of jarred baby food with bananas in it, just slurped a huge gulp of green juice out of my glass and then went back for more, I certainly have hope.