Saturday, September 26, 2009

Juice Feast - Day 5

As I mentioned earlier, one of my employees just had a babe. My delivery people are also taking a break. That means that for the time being, I'm doing all the Raw Melissa orders by myself. Usually two to four of us work on Friday orders, so doing it all alone made for a long day. In the morning, I made sure to make a lot of juice so I was fully fueled for the day. I started off with a young coconut (perfect!) and followed it up with some apple, lime, and strawberry juice (delicioso!).

In the middle of the day, while working on orders, I faltered a bit for a couple reasons. Firstly, I had to make tons of spring rolls with Thai nut sauce, spinach berry salad with cinnamon walnuts, and big fat sandwiches piled with layers of veggies and glorious avocados. It was tempting. Secondly, I rece
ived a bit of a blow when one of my biggest vendors, The Real Foods Market, contacted my assistant and told her they aren't going to carry my spring rolls anymore and that they were considering not carrying my desserts anymore either because, even though they are considered a local product and I use as much organic and locally produced ingredients as I can, they aren't 100% organic. They've been one of my biggest clients for almost four years. Their customers love my products. I was devastated and ended up crying to a friend about it while making veggie sushi (no tears got in the sushi - don't worry). By the afternoon, I was emotionally drained. I was frustrated and wanted to eat some of the food I was making. In my head I vascilated between, "How about making this a five day juice fast instead of a seven day one?" and "You can do this. You are doing it. Two more days. Don't give up."

While making spring rolls, my great boyfriend called and encouraged me and listened while I let it all out. Later I told him this must have been my "break-down" day. I had one last year, too. My brother and I did the feast together last year and I remember talking to him on the phone and absolutely and utterly breaking down and sobbing. I wonder if all juice feasters/faste
rs have a break-down every now and again.

After the orders were done, I still had to deliver them, so I ran home and made some green juice with cucumbers, spinach, cilantro, green pepper and celery and then I poured the juice of a young coconut into it. It was so refreshing! I got into the car with all the meals piled up all over my back seat and made sure to tuck my green juice and some more salsa juice in amongst my invoices and some of the veggie sandwiches and I was on my way.

Delivering took about three hours and when I got home I was very tired. I rested and then my boyfriend's brother came over and I made all three of us the best limeade ever by juicing three Granny Smith apples and a quarter of a lime per glass. The boys had theirs over ice and I must say it was an absolute delight. We watched Planes, Trains and Automobiles and I drank the rest of my green juice.

Laughing and being with friends was the perfect end to a crazy day and I was so happy and grateful to have made it through yet another day of juice feasting thanks to some great support.

Juice Feast - Day 4

I went to bed starving last night. When I'm hungry, I don't like saying " I'm starving" because I'm not really starving, I'm just really hungry. By last night, though, I'm pretty sure I was starving. I went to bed feeling a little empty, but exhaustion won out and I climbed into bed. Soon though, my stomach started growling. I ignored it and it started roaring. I ignored it some more and pretty soon it felt like my hunger was eating my insides. Still, I was too sleepy to go and drink some more juice (and I even had some made!). Finally I drifted off and slept like a rock!

This morning I woke up feeling terrible. I thought it might be a sign of how my day was going to go, but once I got some juice in my belly, I felt great! I started off with a quart of crenshaw melon juice and a couple hours later drank another quart the famous salsa juice I drank yesterday.
In keeping with the blended fruits and veggies theme, I decided to make myself a hydrating face mask. I threw some spinach, olive oil, coconut oil, and a bit of apple in my blender and blended it until it was smooth and creamy. I let it harden in the freezer for a bit and then slathered it all over my face (notice the greenish tone to my skin in the picture to the left?). It was fun to nourish my face with the same things Ive been drinking all week.

While my gorgeous green mask was on, I busied myself with laundry and cleaning and some Raw Melissa administrative work. Later I did a bunch of shopping for tomorrow's orders and since I had to get spring roll paper and nori seaweed sheets at the Asian Market, I decided to grab a case of young coconuts. I usually drink the water of a young coconut or two everyday when I'm juice fasting, but I hadn't had time to get any until today! I also bought two bottles of kombucha as a treat.

Back at the Raw Melissa kitchen I commenced to make the famous and seasonal pumpkin pies. Wanna know the secret ingredient? Carrot juice. Sooooo, since I had to make so much carrot juice, of course I made some for myself. But here's the best part: I put cinnamon and ground ginger in it. Talk about a delightful drink. It really hit the spot!

I had to attend two football games in the evening, so I whipped up some juice to take with me. I blended a zucchini (a fairly large one) with two nectarines and a couple pluots. I'm sure people at the game found my drinking of the green goop pretty funny, but I quite enjoyed it. The fruit totally overpowered any zucchini flavor, and the zucchini gave it a nice creamy texture.

Before bed, I drank a bit of raspberry kombucha and settled in for an absolutely amazing night of sleep. This was a great juice feasting day.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Juice Feast Day 2 AND 3

You'll never guess what happened.

I got home from the birth at four in the morning!! I was there for a total of 20 hours. Luckily it was a homebirth at my best friend's house and because she eats like me, there was plenty of produce for me to make more juice as I needed it.

So on day one, in addition to the quart of Crenshaw melon juice, tomato blend and cantaloupe juice, I drank a half a quart of apple, strawberry, ginger juice, and one more quart of the veggie blend juice mentioned on Monday.

I really started having a hard time with energy at about 2 in the morning (now officially DAY TWO). I had been awake all day and had been helping my laboring mom. I was out of energy so I went to the kitchen and found some Yerba Mate tea and made a cup. It helped so much! It seemed to pull me through so that I was able to continue on until that beautiful baby girl was born in the wee hours of the morning.

I finally got home and into bed at 4:30, and here's where the, "you'll-never-guess-what-happened" line comes in. Two hours later, I received a text from another client, saying that her water had broken and she thought I should know! Luckily her labor was very slow and easy at that point, so she and her partner didn't need me yet.

I was able to get a couple more hours of sleep, but had to go down to my commercial kitchen to do Raw Melissa's Tuesday orders. [A side note: my Tuesday Order employee had HER baby three weeks early, 6 days ago so I HAD to do the orders no matter what. I was also her doula so that makes three births in six days! A record for me]. Before I left, I made LOTS of juice so that I was prepared when my clients needed me.

Day Two Juices: One quart Crenshaw melon juice; two quarts carrot, tomato, cucumber, zucchini, cayenne, GARLIC and dill juice; half a quart of apple, blueberry, ginger.

It took me about three hours to finish the orders. My delivery people came, packed everything into their car, and as soon as I got them out the door, I rushed home to get some much needed sleep. I lay down and had just started to fall asleep when I got a text: "Contractions are three minutes apart and 45 seconds long. She can no longer talk through them." I dragged myself out of bed and texted back that I was on my way. I loaded up my juices including a quart of strong, unsweetened Yerba Mate and Spearmint tea to get me through what I thought might be another all-night labor vigil.

After an intense and long night of serious contractions and sheer courage, my sweet mama had her baby; the papa welcoming his baby into his arms as the midwife guided him in catching her. Time: 7:36am. 25 hours after her first text.

I dragged my bottom home and climbed into bed at 9:30am this morning. I finished the other half-quart of apple, blueberry, ginger juice on my way home and ended up sleeping and just sitting in the sun most of the day. So far today I've drunk a half-quart of carrot juice, a glass of tomato, garlic, cucumber, dill, zucchini, celery, red pepper, cilantro, lime, cumin and cayenne juice (so amazingly tasty - salsa in a glass) a quart of blended nectarines and pluots (a cross between a plum and an apricot), and a bit of blended mango and blueberries.

I am sheerly and utterly tuckered out and ALMOST quit for good last night at 2:30am when I had been going, for two days, on about four hours of sleep accompanied with lots of physical work, but I chose instead to eat about a quarter cup of veggies to supplement my juices, and it was just the boost I needed to get through the night and keep helping my mama.

So far I haven't watched the sunset once, but I figured welcoming two human beings into the world and being witness to the struggle, bravery, and ultimately, the ecstasy of their mothers, far surpassed watching the sunset.

This is hard, but I'm doing it. This is hard but I'm doing it. And I can positively say that it's all down hill from here.

Monday, September 21, 2009

Seven-Day Juice Feast - Day 1

Every fall I do a seven day juice feast. It's called a juice feast because you drink as much juice as you need to to not be hungry. That's my kind of juice fast. People often ask me why I do it. Well, I do it not only for a physical cleaning out and resting of my body, but also for the spiritual reasons fasting affords. This is the third year I've done a juice feast. During my first year I mediated three hours a day with a Kundalini Yoga instructor. We started at 4am in her backyard and went til 7am. I can't even begin to describe how beautiful it was to start meditating under the starts and to continue through the sunrise. Last year I wished that I had incorporated more spiritual events into the feast. Business was tough and I was very tired emotionally. I did meditate a little, but mostly went about my day. The interesting thing is that I still had several deeply connective experiences and felt like I learned so many lessons. I journaled about it for my own personal use, but this year I thought I'd blog about it.

This year, these are my goals:

Watch the sunset everyday this week
Meditate every day this week
Drink only fresh juice and water for seven days

That's it. I'm a big fan of simple. Simple is often more and I like that I'll have so much time to just let life happen.

So with that explanation, here is a bit about my last meal and about how my first day of juice feasting is going:

Last night I had a simple meal of vegetables and fruit from the farmer's market. Roasted red potatoes with herbs and olive oil, sauteed zucchini and tomatoes with olive oil and salt and pepper, and yellow wax and green beans tossed with a bit of tamari and olive oil. For dessert I ate some grapes and some coconut (from the farmer's market, not locally grown, obviously). Afterward my boyfriend and I went on a nice long walk. It was the perfect way to welcome a spiritual week.

This morning I woke, ready to get some work done and then make some juice, but I got a call from my friend saying that we had a client in labor. Some of you know that in addition to owning Raw Melissa, I'm also a doula. I was thrilled. Welcoming a baby into the world is the perfect way to start a week like this. So I showered and made a bunch of juice and now I'm sitting here with our pregnant mama resting on a great big comfy bed, snuggled next to her hubby. Things are sure to get harder before that sweet babe is born so I'll be a lot more involved in helping our mama soon. How thankful I am to be a part of this.
So far today I've drunk a quart of blended crenshaw melon, one quart of tomato, carrot, cucumber and dill juice, and a glass of cantaloupe juice made from cantaloupe that my friend picked out of the garden, blended, and presented to me with a squeeze of lime. I'm feeling ok except for some low energy and an afternoon slump where I thought I was going to fall asleep where I stood. I just keep telling myself, "This is hard, but I'm doing it." The same phrase I'll suggest my laboring mama use in a couple hours.
Til tomorrow.
Always love,