Yesterday I had the opportunity to experience the random, mid-winter breakdown of both my hot water heater AND my furnace in less than 6 hours. Both are under 2 years old and each is serviced every fall. How it's happened that multiple versions of these appliances have managed to break multiple times, over multiple Januaries is beyond me. I don't play fast and loose with the things that keep you alive in negative temperatures. To make it all the more fun, a Chinese-made motor - that's worth about 80 bucks - cost me $1000. Not to mention another 500 bucks on service and the venting for the heater. Did I mention the part where I pay $200 every fall to have the fucking things maintained?
Needless to say, I wasn't having any fun, especially when they told us we'd have to wait for the part till Monday. It was at that point that I went so supernova, righteously indignant that they promptly found the part and installed it before 6pm - that's after they'd indicated an absurd intention to charge me extra to come in on Saturday?! I can be pretty scary if you fuck with my ability to live in my home, esp. when I've determined the likely issue and given you ample time to find a work around. On a Friday in January in CANADA, you don't tell a homeowner that you can't help till Monday.
But wait. This post is about rainbows and calmness and mental health (and my final descent into the deepest state of urban hipsterness, Lord, but 1 thing at a time)...
I've been observing, as I don't drink wine on weekdays, that by the time I've gone through a bottle over the weekend (as opposed to the @2.5 bottles I used to drink throughout the week, without issue), I wake up Monday morning feeling wretched. Actually, I wake up Sunday morning feeling pretty bad but I push through. How, exactly, do I feel bad? Well, my body hurts - like my muscles (and what I used to call my muscles which, now I understand, is fascia. It's amazing how distinct these are even as they intertwine.)
I sense the issue's been there for a while but I'm noticing it more now that I've been on a hydration kick the likes of which you've rarely seen (within the realm of safety, natch) and since I've begun MELTing and Tuning Up on a daily basis. You see, I don't have the crippling headaches I used to, at this point (mercifully), but the rest of me feels everything much more keenly. I suspect this is the impact of correcting (rather than masking) an underlying issue.
Anyway, somehow over the last few weeks I've been sucked into the vortex of cold-pressed juice. You know, that stuff that costs 10 bucks for 8 oz because it isn't heat processed (yes it's raw and subject to the inclusion of potentially harmful bacteria if improperly made or stored), it's organic and it's packaged in glass. Admittedly, every jar is made up of 6-salads worth of ingredients, but man, I go big or I go home and this is big. Have you ever spent more than 100 bucks on juice in a week?
Why have I gone on this money-eating trajectory? Well, while the jury's out about whether connective tissue pain is about tissue inflammation, in addition to dehydration, I've been dealing with an autoimmune condition for a few years now that causes an ugly (though painless) skin response. It is about inflammation and the skin rash, when it flares in any given spot, can take years to go away. I'm dealing with 2 spots that have been there for more than 2 years, and other spots that arrived more recently. At any rate, I don't like to dwell on this unsightly issue, but it's become markedly more pronounced since I turned 40. You know, since perimenopause decided to kick me in the gut.
Here's the thing. I can't bear to be without my beautiful wine glass full of ruby liquid, without the ritual that I prize. But I can replace that dehydrating and inflammation-causing liquid with a beet/carrot/fennel/goji berry combo and, really, it's awesomely delicious.
I'm not just saying this. I have not been brainwashed by urban hipsters or chronic pain. I will not eat or drink gross things. I will not buy a beet and cook it. But somehow, when it's pressed into an anti-inflammatory elixir, man - it's fine.
But of course, I didn't stop there. I feel so excellent after drinking my two glasses of beet-booze (as I lovingly refer to it), that I've gone looking for all the good stuff. Sure, I swore I'd never drink green things - and I really won't drink lettuce cuz that creeps me out - but kale and spirulina are rather delightful when mixed with blueberries.
And then there are the nut-milks. Oh, these are the milk-shakes of the cold-pressed world. My fave is an almond, cocoa, mesquite blend with dates and coconut oil. It's actually oily in the most awesome way.
I've been buying the goods all over the place cuz TO is a mecca for this shit. I mean, we're like the California of the North, other than Vancouver of course. But seriously, population-wise, we're drinking much more of the stuff than those clear-skinned yogis in Van. You can't throw a stone in the central 'hoods without hitting a juice place. There's even a stupid uptown version that charges a premium on the premium because it's catering to the wealthy ladies who leave their hybrids running as they hop inside for a quick hit.
I've got some tricks up my sleeve, namely Sunshine (which looks crappy but they make great juice at the best price you'll find - partly cuz you have to bring in your own glass container and they're not charging you for the brand). They've teamed up with a place in Yorkville that nicely branded the juice from Sunshine, but if you get it there (in pretty glass, of course) you'll pay twice as much for the same stuff.
My fave place, though, for the full experience is my old vegetarian staple, Fresh. They just soft-launched a line of 12 pressed juices. They're not up on the website yet, but here's a menu I half-assedly photographed:
And here's my haul for the weekend:
I cannot begin to tell you how beautiful these juices are. My faves are 04 (an antioxidant blend of beet, parsley, lemon, kale and green apple), 05 (a nutrient-dense blend of beet, fennel, carrot, lemon, goji berries and salt) 09 (a salty/malty blend raw cacao, maca, mesquite, date, goji berries, almonds, hemp hearts) 10 (an anti-inflammatory blend of blueberry, spirulina, green apple, protein, date, raw almond), 12 (a neutral, calming blend of almond, vanilla, himalayan salt, alkaline water and 1 date - works well for breakfast).
And I can repurpose the bottles when making my potions (or getting refills of the less pricey stuff from Sunshine - that tastes just as good, even if the blends aren't as culinary as those sold by Fresh).
I never thought I'd begin to understand people who go on juice fasts, but having indulged in these delicious, filling and energizing juices and milks, I'm half-inclined to give it a try. For a day, I mean, I'm not crazy.
The question is about how I will continue to indulge this habit, even as I've cut down on the booze bill substantively. It can easily cost 150 bucks a week to drink 2, 8 oz juices per day. Right now I'm going with: It's healthy and I need to restore my health so fuck the cost. Who knows how long that'll last. Quite a while, I suspect, knowing me.
Today's questions: Do you know these places and do you buy their juices? Can you get with spending the amount of a pricey glass of wine on vegetables? Are cold-pressed, organic, raw juices your dirty little habit? Do you think I'm insane? Let's talk!