Understand this, I am the mirror opposite of my wife, Eileen Z. Fuentes aka “The SPEACH gal”.
In fact, in my humble estimation, my wife is what I lovingly like to call a nutrition Nazi, my very own health Hitler. My wife has, at various times, experimented with vegetarianism, veganism, even a raw foods diet. She is into ayurvedic medicine, acupuncture, qigong and Reiki. If you don’t even know what any of these things are, don’t worry that means that you are a normal person. The reason I know this is because I married a crazy woman, who prefers room temperature water (cold water shocks the body – wtf?) and eschews Q-Tips saying mineral oil drops is a more holistic approach to ear canal upkeep.
I first heard of pink slime, the unctuous meat stuff that is found in spades in beef patties, during one of my wife’s early morning food sermons during breakfast. Great – thanks honey, I didn’t really want to finish my breakfast anyway.
My wife likes brown rice, spelt bread (yuck) and quinoa (yuck squared) and various other foods that are decidedly alternative and uncannily un-tasty. Me? I am a different animal. I am a meat and potatoes, beans and rice, kind of guy. I love food. I also enjoy a nice glass of wine with a good meal. Not to mention beer. I LOVE beer! In a Homer Simpson, Cliff from Cheers, kind of way.
I grew up in an old school Dominican household in Washington Heights, NYC where meat is the cornerstone of every meal and where vegetarianism is almost a bad word. I love salchichon, longaniza, cachapas, patacones and fritura. If you don’t know what those things are either, that’s fine too, just know that they are fried and they are delicious.
I say all that to emphasize that doing a 3-day juice cleanse is just not something I would have ever done. For my wife and her ilk, on the other hand, something like this is a mere rite of passage. The reason I made the jump to the other side is, first, Eileen agreed to pay for my cleanse juices, which was a considerable amount of money. Let me get this straight, I have to pay someone to starve myself. Really?
Secondly, I had an extended cold that really kicked my butt and I thought a juice cleanse would be just the thing to clean out what political funnyman, Bill Maher, refers to as “aggregate toxicity” in the body. Let me clarify this as well, these things I consumed instead of food weren’t really juices. The word juice denotes sweet, light liquids that are ultimately refreshing. These things were nutrient-rich, quasi-liquids.
The first day totally sucked. Not only was I still reeling from my cold but to add insult to injury, I couldn’t eat. Since we live in close proximity to my mother-in-law, I could smell every ingredient in her food wafting from her apartment downstairs directly into my nostrils. In the morning she made my favorite morning meal, mangu y los tres golpes (Boiled mashed plantains with fried salami, eggs and fried cheese). And instead of that, I had to consume, get this, a “juice” that consisted of romaine lettuce, cucumber, celery, kale, and parsley. Yum-O! I also, for some reason, wanted to only watch the Food Network and spent the entire day fixated and salivating over all those delicious creations.
The second day sucked as well. I was still sick and on top of that, I was super-hungry and lethargic. My mother-in-law was still cooking up a storm downstairs and I had to consume the ungodly concoction of cucumber, spinach, celery and jalapeno. That isn’t even right.
The third day, more of the same, but at least I could see the light at the end of the tunnel. I was already planning for my big beef extravaganza that was going to be my first meal. I already had my sights on a top-notch burger inspired by one of the many shows I saw during my Food Network marathon.
Then it was over. Those cravings I had, never materialized. In fact, I wasn’t really hungry all day and I ate only sparingly. I also experienced an acute clarity that was absolutely mind-blowing. I have to say, but please don’t tell my wife, I am actually glad that I went through with it and may do it again some day. While I still don’t like spelt bread or quinoa and I’m not joining my wife’s weird food cult, I do feel that this cleanse was a personal breakthrough.
“You can’t keep doing the same thing everyday and expect different results.” ~ Albert Einstein