A conversation with one of my students sparked an old obsession with healthful lifestyles and most of all juicing. She has similar health problems to mine and is on a constant quest for relief without health insurance. We talk about all kinds of out of the box alternative therapies and supplements but it’s just not in my nature to travel across the country to go to this sort of practitioner that I am not sure I believe in for a disorder I’m not sure I even believe in. I mostly live vicariously through her adventures. Since her own journey and initial multi-hundred dollar investment in supplements, I’m pretty sure she’s debunked it as a useful solution as well. Recently she got me interested in Swedish Bitters which I’ve yet to sample but she swears by them. The best thing she has found that works for making her feel better is the nutrients from fresh juice.
I’m kind of sick of drugs. My rheumatologist will allow me the grace of their presence and continue to bill me but let me know there’s nothing they could provide me for relief unless I wanted nerve pain pills. I don’t know exactly what those are but it sounds a little drastic and like the opposite of living. I’m already on three daily medications that I can’t tell if I need or will ever be done with or not. That’s plenty.
I have had several flings with juice in the past. I was fed in such a way when I was growing up that I love the texture, flavor, and sensations of fruit. Even now some of my favorite beers are stouts with a hint of dark fruit or nuts, though beer is kind of the opposite of healthy juice. When I was six, my mom got on one of her obsessive health kicks and bought a juice-man. She would make my brother and I drink green apple carrot juice which was actually pretty damn good (i thought…. my brother– who cares what he thought). I don’t know why she started this, I think it was one of those things she wanted to try and then figured we needed to do it too because misery loves company. She later got into tonics and wheat germ and other stuff she soon after abandoned but I did not have to partake. When I was even younger (3-6) there was a ritual where my father would make my brother and I drink a can of prune juice every night (my brother was born with a fucked up stomach and I was along for the ride) and we weren’t permitted to go to bed until it produced the desired effect. I recall even having to drink cans of it in a motel en route to a Florida vacation. That’s probably where I got such a high juice tolerance actually as well as at least one of my freudian fixations.
Much like my on again off again childhood vegetarianism, juicing was bound to come back. When I was 21, my father was diagnosed with a fatal brain tumor. I quit school to come home and keep him company for the 18 months until he passed away. Watching him every day and through our often senseless interactions, I decided whatever was happening to him would never happen to me. I didn’t much cut out my tendencies to swill beer and liquor, but borrowed my grandma’s $400 vitamix and began juicing one or two of my meals throughout the day. The only thing I remember vividly making is tomato juice with a fuckload of pepper sauce. Other meals frequently involved grilled vegetables/veggie “meat”, lamb, tacos and taco accessories, grilled cheese, or homemade pizza. I got down to about 110# (a loss of maybe 30-40 lbs) unintentionally. This all came to an abrupt end when my father decided he wanted the blender OUT OF THE HOUSE (I can only assume this was a message directly from God or similar) and I eventually went back to being an average size/dieted person.
Since then my journey of health has caused my weight to balloon up and down as a result of diet, a longterm dosing of steroids, apathy and laziness. I don’t really care about weight I’d just like to feel good and have more energy and less pain.
Now I find myself at a crossroads. My boyfriend and I are trying to eat healthier. My garden is full of directionless tomatoes and peppers. I am thirsty and probably a little malnourished. I did some googling around for juicing options last night and will probably resort to just getting a regular blender from walmart and running it until it blows the motor out, returning and repeating.