Monthly Archives: December 2018

Juice Craziness

DAY 15

“Oh that this too, too solid flesh would melt…” Hamlet, Act 1, Scene 2. If only the moody prince had done a reboot. The history of world drama would have been completely different.

A few slight modifications to the full monty. I.E.: two cups of coffee per day for the first 5 days, then one cup per day ever since and no withdrawal headaches = big result. Started to transition back to solids two days early so as not to shock my system with Christmas revels. Had a sautéed zucchini, (in coconut oil), three days ago. Two days ago vegetable soup (the best in the world, see recipe below), and yesterday a macaroni cheese from Pret a Manger (can only give it 2 stars). I will have a meal this evening…

I’ve tried juicing independently before, but never got past the first hurdle. Doing the guided reboot, made all the difference. First off, a big thank you to Stacy Kennedy, nutritionist – we had three webinars with her and she was available to answer questions throughout – very helpful with information and techniques.

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Click the picture left to get an image with higher resolution of the crazy Aussie who started it all!

They send you an info pack which includes a daily schedule and detailed recipes and a shopping list – extremely useful. Armed with this I was able to order in advance from FreshDirect – if by any chance, anybody reading this would like to use Fresh Direct and you haven’t already done so, email me directly and I can recommend you – we’ll both get $25!

The best feature was the first 5 day transition. Going slowly and keeping some solids in the diet made all the difference.

You need two things to do this successfully:

  1. Organization: Have all the produce to hand before you start. Have a good quality juicer, arm yourself with glass bottles (some plastics can leech toxins).
  2. Time to prepare it: To begin with it took fully two hours from start to finish to prepare a day’s juice, but now, 15 days later I can do it in half the time and I make two days worth at a time.
  3. You don’t need willpower: well, I suppose it helps, but two things are on your side. First, the juices taste fantastic – ok, I made two mistakes, one juicing the skin of citrus fruits, two combining a banana with a beetroot (I know, it makes no sense), but if you follow the recipes you won’t go wrong. Secondly, once you get through the first 3/4 days you don’t feel hungry. Rather, if you feel a pang, just drink some juice, hunger subsides quickly. It gets easier all the time.

Special tip: clean the juicer before you drink the juice (thanks Ferol!).

No before and after pics at this point. This is only phase one. Saving that dramatic poster child image for later. Stats so far:

Skin clearer. Sleep improved. The inner man significantly closer to the outer man. 12 to 13 lbs gone on the juice reboot itself, but 25 lbs since Thanksgiving. Taking a sensible hiatus over the coming revels, but in 2019 looking for more becoming quite a bit less.

If you’re interested check out http://www.rebootwithjoe.com and his very entertaining and compelling film at http://www.fatsickandnearlydead.com

The Best Vegetable Soup Ever Made (Recipe)

Juicing produces a lot of pulp. To make stock, load a large pot with pulp, cover with water, roughly chop an onion and some garlic, bring to the boil, then simmer on a low heat for half an hour.

Strain the pulp twice for maximum yield, bottle the liquid, freeze the remaining pulp for future veggie burger base.

Repeat with three varieties of veggie juice, store in fridge.

When ready, sauté, an onion, garlic, mushrooms, tomatoes 5 – 6 minutes in coconut or other oil, season with salt and pepper. Put into a large pot with: any veggies to hand, I used broccoli, carrots, sweet potato, and leafy greens including fresh parsley. Add the stock. Bring to boil. Mix up some miso, soy sauce, and worcestershire sauce, (or flavoring to your taste) add to the soup, taste, add salt and pepper as needed.

Simmer for 30 to 45 minutes. Blend in a blender being very careful not to splatter yourself with hot soup, add an optional avocado for thicker texture if desired.

The beginning of the end (Phase One, O.L.M.)

Day 13 !?!

(Who knew if we’d ever get this far?)

I call this composition, “Still Life With Vegetables and Some Fruit”. Day 13 (of 15) and I am beginning the transition back to some solid food a little in advance so as to be able to eat a bit of traditional Christmas dinner without spontaneously combusting.

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Drawing inspiration from Van Gogh and the Impressionists, I have assembled the image above. You’ll notice in the background a tough new juicer upper left in the frame, my new best friend. Upper right we see a cafetiere, in which I make my single daily cup of coffee. Yes! Down to one cup (in a way the biggest change and benefit of this whole juice adventure). I plan to stabilize at one cup and later, start a slow treck to half decaf – not going to rush it, having had experience of caffeine withdrawal before and it’s fierce.

Note also the three glass jars down stage centre behind and below the peppers, underneath the lemon. These glass jars contain what is, in my opinion, the finest vegetable soup ever made. It’s the sort of soup that might have been mentioned in scripture (and I don’t mean a mere “mess of pottage”).

Hey! If the acting thing doesn’t work out, the world needs vegetable soup.

12lbs and falling.

We Interrupt This Juice Fast…

With news of an unusual theatrical footnote.

On Saturday we received a phone call from Ciaran O’Reilly co-founder of The Irish Rep and excellent director. On Sunday Patricia Conolly, highly experienced actress of Broadway fame (who happens to be my wife), took over at very short notice in The Irish Repertory Theatre’s production of The Dead 1904. Patricia saw the show once and after a single brief rehearsal, joined the cast on Sunday in performance complete with period costume. I rushed from the end of my show catching a subway uptown and then a cab across Central Park and I made it just in time for curtain.

Patricia looked as though she was born to play the part, she excelled in the role, bringing all her own charm and quality to the event. The lady whom she replaced was temporarily indisposed and is expected to return to the show tomorrow.

The Dead 1904 is an adaptation of the short story by James Joyce. It is set in a house belonging to two sisters in Dublin who are holding a dinner party, there is, in truth, not much plot, not much story. The evening is a slice-of-life event, beautifully acted by a superb ensemble, and a fascinating insight into the time and place. What there is, is dancing and singing, and food.

Food. And Drink. Sherry before, wine during, port afterwards. And did I mention.. food?

The patrons mingle with the actorsimages and are seated amongst them, while dinner is served. It is a splendid repast. Once again for emphasis: dinner with alcoholic beverages. Had this occurred merely 10 days ago, I would have joined the reveling theatre goers and done justice to the hospitality, but none of the above is any use to you if you happen to be in the middle of a juice fast. Oops!

But I enjoyed the show.

It’s Getting Green Around Here

IMG_1728Day 5

I always wondered if Shakespeare had ever undertaken a juice fast. Now I realize he must have done several…

Green grows the holly, this life is most jolly” – As You Like It

“For, being green, there is great hope of help.” – Henry VI pt. II

“How green you are and fresh in this old world.” – King John

“Poor Tom… that drinks the green mantle of the standing pond.” – King Lear

Green indeed is the color of lovers” – Love’s Labors Lost

“… everything I look upon seemeth green” = The Taming of the Shrew

“And with a green and yellow melancholy she sat like patience on a monument.” Twelfth Night

But for my favorite vivid, evocative use of the word…

“Time held me green and dying, though I sang in my chains like the sea.” – Dylan Thomas, Fern Hill

 

Mood Swing

DAY 3

Sometimes you hear of dramatic mood swings when doing a juice fast or detox or any kind of woo-woo-adjacent adjustment… Well I’m here to report on one.

When I commute to work from Pleasantville to New York City, I usually choose the quiet car. This is the carriage at the end of the train where the rule is, no electronic devices with sound, and conversations in hushed tones only. There are signs fixed to the carriage roof that confirm this. If you need to make a phone call, you are cordially asked to walk into the next carriage where people are talking as normal.

The day before yesterday was Santacon. This is a charity event where people dress in Santa Klaus costumes or allied festive, brightly colored garb, and raise lots of money for good causes. It may also include heroic feats of alcoholic consumption (I have no firm information on this last – just a guess).

So, there I was in the quiet car, preparing to read a peaceful book and transition calmly into the day’s labors.

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All of a sudden and noisily, about 250 people, all of them right around the age where it is legal to drink in the USA, (some under some over), got into the quiet car (alright there were probably only 20 of them, but it seemed like a lot more).

They swarmed up and down the carriage uttering mottos of seasonal celebration. “Hey Britany – there are seats up HERE!!!” for example, or, “Matt, uncork me another one, wuddya?”

I caught the eye of a passing reveler, “Er excuse me,” I said in my best Downton Abbey accent, “this is the quiet car.”

“HEY YOU GUYS” bellowed the reveler, ” THIS IS THE QUIET CAR!!!”

A compote of deafening expletives erupted from the group. To their credit, they agreed to move to the next car (or carriage as we Brits call it). The motion was a noisy phalanx as each member of the group insisted that the others “KEEP IT DOWN, DUDE!” About half the group passed into the other car, before the collective changed its mind (the train being very full), the ensuing melee put one in mind of the outnumbered Spartans against the hordes of Persia.

Having regained the quiet car, the group then had a brief post-debacle analysis of the situation before moving on to other topics which were then discussed for the remainder of the journey at ever increasing volume.

And me?

One of the finer British magazine publications, which I commend to my readers, is The Oldie. The pages are filled with splenetic and amusing articles from grumpy retirees on the decline of standards generally. At one time I would have written a letter to the editor across the pond and signed it “Disgruntled of Pleasantville (ex-pat).”

But on this occasion… on this occasion, my inner curmudgeon had subsided. I simply sat there, mellow on my green juice, with a friendly smile “Ah, let the young people have their fun.” I mused.

And if that isn’t a mood swing, tell me what is.