Rather than write what I planned to write today, I think I'd like to respond to what my little sister Maggie said yesterday. In the last few days, I've had all these thoughts spinning around in my head with regard to our mom's illness. About how I've vacillated for years between an extremely healthy diet and a laissez faire attitude as a result of my feelings towards the fact that she battled - and lost! - brain cancer.
I think about how I bought this Champion juicer right after Mom's diagnosis, a couple weeks after my own wedding, determined to change our diets, convinced we could save her life. I think about how I tried so hard to get Mom to do a 14-Day juice fast/cleanse with me and how mad I was when she didn't. (I understand now that she just couldn't. It was too foreign. She was too scared. It was too much, too fast and she didn't have the time to PAUSE. Read, think, explore, decide. She just had to act. Fast. To try to save her life in the best way she knew how, by listening to the "experts" and not second-guessing.)
In the meantime, I went on my own 10-month-long vegan journey until...and this is the sort of horrifying part...I got pregnant. HORMONES and severe nausea had me craving "comfort food" and my first foray back into meat and cheese was (and I'm not kidding...) McDonald's. That #2 combo meal. Oh, those little cheeseburgers from my youth were just what the doctor ordered. I felt good. For about 5 minutes. Then I wanted to barf. And cry. But I kept going back for more.
And so began the tick-tock of the pendulum. Uber-healthy nothin' but organic because I WILL NOT GET CANCER. Then, I don't give a shit, this is ridiculous, bring on the hotdogs and Miller Lite. I KNOW HOW UNFAIR LIFE IS: I'LL SACRIFICE, EAT NOTHING BUT PERFECT NOURISHING FOODS AND EXERCISE...THEN GET HIT BY A BUS. Back and forth. Back and forth.
So...what have I learned from this? One, that what we eat really, truly does affect almost every part of our health. From the goofy (eek, my orange skin from carrot overdose) to the eyebrow raising (that eczema that not doctor could cure is miraculously GONE) to the amazing (my freight train husband no longer needs "help" sleeping, sleeps snore-free all night long without waking), IT DOES MATTER.
What else have I learned? I CANNOT go over the top. I CANNOT insist on perfect. I CANNOT hold myself to an unreachable standard (aka, diving into the "deep end of the Raw Pool," as Natalia Rose would say) because if I do, I'll fail. And I might just console myself with an entire box of Thin Mints. Or Oreos. I'm working on GOOD ENOUGH over here (you have no idea how hard that is for me). And right now, with the exception of a rare night out, we are 100% unprocessed, unrefined, whole vegetarians. It's not raw. I'm certainly not perfect. (Some days (um, last Monday), I have a I Miss Baked Goods Crisis and consume more homemade wholegrain muffins than I care to admit.) But it's pretty darn good. GOOD ENOUGH?
Darn it, now I can't stop thinking about Thin Mints...maybe I better make that healthy "Shamrock Shake" sooner rather than later to ward off the cravings so I don't find myself weeping in the drive-thru lane. I'll try it (with mint leaves instead of extract). And if my palms turn green, you'll know I drank two!