From the Hip: The Hip Mom’s Diary of a Detox
Well, friends, I blame Gwyneth. Specifically her darn email newsletter, goop. You’ve probably read it. It’s a rather self-promoting vehicle in which Gwyneth shares all her latest finds and favorites with you, her bestest friend. In the past, she’s frequently highlighted her favorite juice detox or fast du jour. I would read these articles with interest, but since I was always pregnant and/or nursing, I gratefully did not give them a second thought. Fast forward to now: Gwyneth posts a relatively simple Winter Detox plan. I am neither pregnant nor nursing (sigh, sniff, sob) and find myself emerging from winter with an embarrassing addiction to Diet Mountain Dew, Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups, and margaritas. Plus I can’t seem to shake these last five pounds (well, not that I’m trying very hard, but you know). So, I decide to bite the kale chip. Is a detox plan something a real woman like me can do – a woman who cannot outsource the bulk of her child rearing or cleaning or soccer schlepping – without passing out in the middle of making peanut butter sandwiches? Will I faint mid-diaper change?
Well. For the sake of vanity (oh and health, too, I suppose), I decide to give it a try. But I can’t do Gwyneth’s; it calls for stuff like “spirulina powder” or “Pink Himalayan Sea Salt” (what the…?), and I just don’t have the inclination to scour the Tulsa metro area for such oddities.
Fortunately, some lovely midtown mommies have ESP and just opened up a new drink/ juice/smoothie spot called “Nourish Drink Cafe.” It’s right behind St. John’s Hospital off 17th and Utica, and is the brainchild of two fit and healthy moms who happen to be sisters. One sister, Piper, is married to a cardiologist, Dr. Rich Kacere, and he has provided the owners with a lot of professional advice and input on the recipes.
Nourish offers a menu of delectable smoothies and blends – not juiced beverages (juicing just squeezes the fruit, whereas blending uses the whole fruit or vegetable, thus retaining all of the fiber without the smoothie drinker suffering a spike in blood sugar). Nourish does all the “prepping, chopping and blending that most people find too time consuming and overwhelming to do.” Plus they have light and healthy fare like kale salad (strangely fabulous), fruit and “falafel Fridays!” The pièce de resistance, though? The Nourish “Three Day Kick Start Cleanse.” Nourish supplies you with six hand-crafted smoothies and a pack of “emergency almonds” each day for three days. These smoothies, plus lots of water and green tea if you like, are all you eat. Gulp! After three days, hopefully you will be less attached to awfulness like caffeine and tequila. It sounds like just the thing I should do, but I am petrified. I decide I will try it for one day; my braver friend, Pamela A., goes for all three. When I ask Piper and Amy if I’m going to die, they don’t laugh at me. They reassure me that I will be pumped full of nutrients, and I’ll still be getting about 1,000 calories – less than I usually eat, but surely I won’t expire by 10 a.m.
So, on Wednesday, I decide to do it. (Cue inspirational battle type music here.)
6:30 a.m.: Alarm. It’s so, so dark. No Chocolate Today! Lie in bed for a few more minutes, contemplating the Herculean task before me.
6:41 a.m.: Making kids’ breakfast. I’m ravenous, wanting to lick the jelly knife like I usually do. I am allowed to drink green tea, though, so that helps give me something to do – and warms me up!
6:48 a.m.: Seriously, this is ridiculous. I bet a Real Housewife just lies in bed while she’s doing a cleanse, but being within four centimeters of butter and Cinnamon Toast Crunch is torturous.
7:40 a.m.: Now that I’ve survived the proximity to all that butter and jam, I feel pretty good. Actually, I feel awesome! I don’t need food; that’s for mere mortals! All I need is green tea and smoothies!
8:00 a.m.: Here it is, Smoothie #1, the “I Believe Blend,” consisting of kale, apple, cucumber, celery, lemon, ginger, chia seeds and coconut water. It’s…well…it’s OK, but it’s not my favorite. I’m not sure I want to finish it, but if I don’t I figure I might die. Gulp, gulp, gulp! Now I have to go get all these kids off to school.
10:45 a.m.: Smoothie #2, “I Love Lemonade” is a delightful surprise. It’s sort of a bracing, bitter lemonade with a pinch of cayenne pepper – I love it! Wow, wouldn’t this be a great Bloody Mary mixer…
12:00 p.m.: Lunchtime. I’m not as hungry as I thought I would be. Yet Smoothie # 3 is sheer heaven. It has almond butter, almond milk, cacao and hemp seeds. I am wondering if I could drive ALL the way to Nourish a couple of times per week to get a steady supply of this ambrosia.
1:05 p.m.: Have a bit of a headache – probably from the caffeine withdrawal – and am a bit lightheaded. Nothing I can’t handle, though…
3:45 p.m.: Kids coming home from school. The hardest part of the day: many requests for this or that, many stories coming from many mouths all at once, snacks…but I feel good! Woohee!
4:00 p.m.: Well, darn it. The fourth drink, “I Am Transformed,” is something I wish I could drink. But it has beets, and ever since I was very, very little, I have detested beets. I still have vivid memories of dinners with beets that make me shudder. I manage a few gulps, but have to give up. And then I consider substituting a bit of red wine instead…ahem.
4:45 p.m.: More chaos! All the kids running this way and that, trying to cook dinner, fielding requests… I’m not so much hungry, but I can’t shake this little headache, so I succumb to the emergency almonds…they are awesome.
5:00 p.m.: For some reason, I am making a complicated and delicious dinner (I plan out meals the week before): panko-seared flounder, black bean, tomato and avocado salad (oh, it looks heavenly) and rice. It is so hard to remember not to nibble as I cook!
6:00 p.m.: My husband PVT comes home. I serve up this impressive (to me) meal and then sit down with my very green, very healthy looking smoothie. Unfortunately, this one – #5, the “I Am Transformed Blend” – with kale, spinach, romaine, celery, parsley, and cucumber, is very vegetable-y and doesn’t quite compare to the dinner I’ve made. I sit down, feeling a bit sorry for myself, and mention to PVT about my headache. He is totally,100 percent unsympathetic.
7:30 p.m.: Crazy time: baths, piano practice, general insanity – but, oh, wow, is #6 delicious! Strawberries, coconut water, blueberries, pineapple – even the kids love it. It is a wonderful way to end the cleanse. So….I survived!
My friend Pamela, a certified superwoman, shares about the full three day cleanse: “I feel great! I lost 3 pounds. It has made me think about food in a different way. I want to eat small meals and make good choices (really!) I will be buying smoothies from Nourish often. I do recommend the cleanse; it motivated me!”
I also ask my dear GP Dr. Teresa Cooper for her thoughts. She says, “As long as you don’t have any health problems, I think it’s fine to take a day or two break and have a juice-type fast. It can clean out your digestive system. Make sure it’s on a day you can rest a bit and don’t have a lot going on. But don’t get me started on colonics – those are too rough on your body!”
So, there you go friends: Nourish Drink Cafe or any type of “juice cleanse” can jumpstart your health. But, as my good friend Marci notes (she’s a real live nutritionist), “Small changes over time is best; eat less, exercise more; consume more fruit, vegetables, and water; eat less sugar, alcohol and junk food. Blah, Blah, Blah.” Check!