Mean Green

So, Saturday morning I was all:  Clean eating and juicing and healthy living!  I bought a juicer on Friday and a garden's worth of vegetables.  I also purchased some organic staples like milk and buter and almonds, ya know, the clean stuff.  On Saturday morning, I turned on Fat, Sick, and Nearly Dead and let the inspiration wash over me, celebrating my decision to take the juice plunge. 

This is what I started with:

It took a few kale leaves to figure out how my juicer worked, but once I cleaned up the liquid green mess, and learned the difference between the spout and the pulp basket, I was feelin' like a rock star.  Friend and Charles came in to watch...and maybe to laugh a little. 

The end result:

That's right, a nice tall glass of Mean Green

I don't think I could have been more proud of myself.  The first sip...not bad. 

And then it hit my tongue. 

Sorry juice lovers, but all the lies you're telling about Mean Green not tasting like lawn clippings are criminal. 

Seriously, it tastes like the stuff you drink before a colonoscopy. 

Not my fondest memories.

And now I'm not so sure about all this clean-eating, fruits and vegetables, natural health remedies stuff.  I had to think about it over a delicious cookie dough concrete mixer at Culvers. 

The jury's still out. 

What I do know is that I'm unsatisfied with my current weight and that eating unhealthy food doesn't seem to alleviate my disatitisfaction.  Though I have been losing weight lately, I want something more than just a smaller dress size.  I want better health.

I think that means scaling back instead of overhauling.  Let's face it, throwing out everything in my cupboards is not really an option.  And never having another Starbucks Frappucino, uh...yeah right! 

So, my new goal is to cut out fried foods, soda pop, and *gasp* sweet tea....

......Okay maybe not entirely.

See how hard this is.

Eating and Such

Dear Mary,

I think it's time for me to stop eating fried foods.  Yikes.  It's scarier in writing than just mulling it over in my head.  I've been fascinated lately with this idea of "clean eating."  After watching a couple of informative documentaries (Hungry for Change and Fat, Sick and Nearly Dead), I'm pondering this idea for health reasons, not just weight-loss.  

Last night Evan (my little brother) and I ran five miles in the cold.  We're training for a marathon in June.  I've been training since October and am amazed at how my body still refuses to run the first mile.  I've found that it takes a mile to really warm up while I limp and gimp like an awkward, lame dog trying to get down the street.  I wonder if part of it's a lack of proper nutrition.  I usually can start running in normal fashion by the second mile and keep a pretty steady pace (though slow) throughout the run.  But I'm usually pretty sore afterward, and I can never run two days in a row.

So, I'm wondering  if adding in more fruits and vegetables, cutting out the sugar and wheat products, and rethinking the way I feed my body would make a better runner out of me...among other things.

And the funny thing is, it's all a very terrifying prospect.  If I were fearless, I'd just do it.  Just go out and buy a juicer, all the fresh vegetables, all the fresh fruits, pitch all the processed garbage in my cabinets, and eat clean from this day forward.  But eating is a funny thing.  It's not so much about food as it is about custom, social habit, and even personal beliefs.  If it were all a matter of putting the right nutrition in one's body, we'd all be eating healthier, living longer, and looking and feeling better.  But it's not.

More on this later as I sort it out.  As for the other things you mentioned in your last letter, I agree with you whole-heartedly.  Funny thing that we should be reading the same authors and coming to the same conclusions so many miles apart.  And like you, I prefer to remain an observant student at this time as I find myself unable to argue my position for lack of knowledge on the subject.  But that's part of the learning process, keeping silent until I know what to say.  Oh that I would always have the wisdom and self-control to do so!

A picture of Charles to make you smile.

Finding My Voice

Dear Mary,

Whenever I try to sit down and write a post for this blog, I feel like I don't know who I am, what I think, or how to express myself.  But that's not really true.  The truth is, I don't know who my audience is, what they might think of me, or how to express my message in a way they can appreciate.  So I started thinking about the Dear Sister Diaries and how much I loved that blog.  No, this is not an attempt to get you to write again, just an attempt to capture that which was beautiful about your blog and apply it to my own.  Of course, the most beautiful thing about your blog was you, my dear friend.  But, all I have to share is me.  And life is not so terribly exciting, but it's all mine and that's something.

So, the solution:  "Dear Mary"

Not so original and charming as "Dear Sister," but it suites my purposes.  You are my audience.  Mostly because you have loved my writing for years and have made me feel a writer when all I had was sappy love stories I couldn't finish and flowery language that didn't always make a point but sure looked beautiful on paper.  And because you're a lover of ideas, thoughts, and dreams.  And because you've had the courage to be honest and raw in the face of that which scared you most.  

Today I was driving down a road I've been down a thousand times, but my mind was wandering to places I'll never go, things I'll never do, experiences I'll never have, people I'll never meet.  And it doesn't scare me.  But maybe it should.  I've never been a thrill-seeker, just a seeker of truth, and something tangible that I don't have to feel ashamed of when I'm trying to defend it with straw-man arguments and cliche stereotypes.   Maybe that's enough for a homebody like me.  Maybe all that is around me is enough and never knowing what I'm missing is a blessing.  Maybe.  And yet, my mind wanders on days like today.  Seek and ye shall find, right?

My dog snuggling my foot...cause it's cold in Indiana!