Saturday, July 7, 2012

A Cuke-less Juice

It's not the prettiest thing you've ever seen, but that's what a carrot will do to juice. Remember the color wheel: green+orange=brown. The flavor and physical effects were lovely, though. Regular AMLV+ readers know by now that for the last few months I've over-shared ad nauseum the grief process after my dear Mom's unexpected passing. It is what it is, and I will either continue to share it or cease writing altogether. You've probably noticed I've resorted to a bit of both. Feel free to either bear with me or tune out. You won't hurt my feelings. The only benefit to having one's heart torn out -- nothing else could ever hurt as much.

The first couple of months I deluded myself into thinking I was supergirl, since I was still upright and seemingly fully functioning, actually working professionally for the first time in 20 years. I had let my enthusiasm for a more macrobiotic approach to food slide, however, sometimes indulging in sugar, alcohol, pastas, breads and processed "vegan junk food". My habit of at least two leafy-greens servings per day, as well as my daily juicing, fell by the wayside.

A couple of weeks ago I began what I'll call "phase two" of the grief -- I've seen a shamanic energy healer, had a psychic angel reading, I've prayed. I've napped, I've cooked whole grains, I've remembered my leafy greens. I've eschewed as much conflict and turbulent energy as I could, whether it be in the media, or in my living environment. I've purposely released the tight hold I've had on my emotions, allowing myself to "break open". Through this process, I have "felt" my mother, and have even smelled her breath -- the gold Listerine she used to gargle. She was the only one I knew who opted for the gold kind over the mint, presumably because it seemed more medicinal. Smelling this unmistakable scent was comforting -- I've missed her so.

After I saw the energy healer, the back pain began in earnest. I have debilitating muscle spasms right at the heart and throat chakras. The primary care doctor has prescribed muscle relaxers, steroids and codeine, each of which provide temporary relief, but add to the overall taxation of my system."Trigger point" injections of traumeel have helped a little, but I understand this pain to be part of the process of tending to what I've been trying to avoid. I'll go back to the energy healer on Tuesday, and hopefully she will be able to help me to begin putting myself back together again.

But, back to the juice -- It's too darn hot to go grocery shopping by the time I'm home from work each day, so the other morning I made juice from what I already had in the fridge. I usually have piles of cucumbers, but I guess I used them in salads, so I made do with a fennel bulb, a head of romaine, a couple of stalks of celery, a carrot (tending those neglected lower chakras!) a knob of ginger and half a lemon. The result -- delicious, calmer digestion, "a peaceful easy feeling" and a rooting to the earth, at least for a little while.

In other news, my garden is finally flourishing after months of neglect. My winter crop of romaine and collards went mostly uneaten by humans as it bolted early in this Georgia heat, and was inedible. I pulled it out late and added it to the composter.

This is the left side of the garden, which I planted before the demise of the winter greens. There are chinese long beans from the dried pods of a few beans from last year, cucumbers, tomatoes and okra. I've not seen Buster yet -- the darling, marauding chipmunk from last season.

On the right side of the garden, where the winter greens were, I've planted the root end of some organic celery I bought at the grocery store (I saw this technique on Pinterest -- eat the top, plant the bottom --  it really works!) some french breakfast radishes and several zucchini seeds. Only two of the zucchini seeds germinated, but that's fine, since these plants require a lot of real estate.

My husband surprised me a couple of years ago by building my little garden while I was away at my girls' weekend. He named it after Grandma Eula's magical creation, featured in "My Vegan Story" -- it was one of the sweetest things he's done for me.

Finally, I will close with this pretty view from my garden to the front yard. As with all beautiful things, sunlight through the trees reminds me of Mom, and I am grateful.


  1. I'm glad I decided to check in on you today. You have been quiet.....I lost my brother on March 31st after a very short battle with cancer and I understand the pain. Blog when you feel like it, indulge when you feel like it and take good care of yourself. Your carrot juice looks delicious.....I do carrot, apple and Ginger. delish!!! I'm no longer vegan.....I gained too much weight and actually had high glucose numbers. I have switched to a low carb diet and while my arthritis acts up more now, overall I'm feeling better.....just goes to show how we are all so different.

  2. Joy -- Thank you so much for this lovely comment, I am so sorry about your brother. You give good advice for grief. Please remember to follow it yourself. You are right, we are all so very different in our dietary and lifestyle needs. It is best for each of us to maintain a healthy connection to our bodies' signals and follow them. Thanks so much for reading AMLV+. I'll be blogging more regularly, I hope. Changes are happening exponentially, and I've got so much to share.