Five days down, five (including this one) to go.
Cynical thoughts. Dark thoughts.
If you're wondering whether I've considered that Fat, Sick and Nearly Dead--the film that started me juicing--is a marketing ploy, wonder no longer. Of course I've considered it. I mean, what a great way to sell juicers! Breville, the manufacturer of the juicer I eventually bought, is partnered with the film on film's website. For all I know, they may have helped fund the making of the movie.
It's almost impossible not to be interested in the phenomenon of juicing after you see the film and the incredible progress toward health on the part of Phil, a truck driver Joe stumbles upon at a truck stop. I really didn't know until a few days ago that cleansing and juicing are rather trendy. Well, I had heard from friends about "cleansing," but I was skeptical about it, and still am. Apparently, unbeknownst to me, juicing has also been big. I hadn't really thought much about it until I saw the documentary. I knew the raw-food people were into it, and alternative health gurus like Dr. Mercola and Mike Adams, but I didn't know it had gone beyond fringe status. If juicing hadn't found a larger foothold before Fat, Sick and Nearly Dead, that film surely does the trick.
And Joe Cross, the filmmaker--what about him? He was a day trader, and he's now an investor. He makes a lot of money. Did he make a trustworthy film, or is it some kind of scam?
That's how I usually think when a wealthy individual is at the center of something. But it's kind of hard to maintain the attitude when you read Joe's own words, for example here and here. I urge you to follow those links to understand what the film is about and, perhaps, to understand a little about Joe himself.
So, yeah, there's probably a marketing angle. I'd still recommend the film.
My other dark thoughts have to do with self-indulgence. It seems self-indulgent, buying a juicer, buying produce to juice. In the United States we have whole food deserts--residential areas where people have no access to fresh food--and here I am throwing good food into a juicer and, instead of eating the whole food, drinking the juice. Realistically speaking, this is a luxury that many Americans simply cannot afford. They can't afford the juicer itself, and they can't afford the fresh food that I cavalierly throw into the juicer. And if they do buy these foods, they would certainly use the whole vegetable or fruit. It would be wasteful not to.
And yet. We know that people who can afford good food often don't choose to purchase it. The constant marketing of processed food, the advertising by fast-food chains, and the very ubiquity of that marketing and those chains have led Americans to some very poor food choices. Not only that, our palates have been trained to prefer junk food over real food.
I think that's why Joe Cross's drastic method works for people like Phil. Sometimes we're just not able to free ourselves of bad habits by doing what the medical establishment invariably recommends: eat a sensible diet, lose weight slowly, cut down on calories, eliminate junk food. Sometimes it's easier to do something so extreme that you don't even have to make the choices. I find that to be true, anyway. I'm on a juice fast, so solid food isn't even tempting because I've made that commitment. (Wine, on the other hand ...) Not only that, but this way, if you're not a vegetable eater, you're going to get your veggies regardless of how you feel about them. Most people know they should eat more plants, but what they want is a Big Mac and fries. Well, if you commit to a juice fast, the Big Mac isn't an option, and you are going to get your veggies in concentrated form. I wonder if doing the "reboot" helps to re-orient the palate toward the natural and away from the processed. Interesting question.
And then, variety. In my case, boredom alone with the few recipes that come from the film has made me experiment. I don't know if I've ever eaten fennel, but I juiced some yesterday, and it was good. Getting people to try vegetables and fruits they've never eaten can only be a good thing.
So, although I do feel uncomfortable with being part of something that feels so faddish, and I do feel uncomfortable with what smacks of self-indulgence, I'm going to finish out my fast and keep juicing afterward. It's such a great way to eat more vegetables, with their abundance of vitamins, antioxidants, and micronutrients whose significance we don't even yet know.
Dark thoughts, begone!
- orange, beet, carrot
- tomato, carrot, red bell pepper, parsley
- spinach, fennel, cucumber, celery
Over the hump. It's downhill from here!
[cross posted at You Are What You Eat]