So near, I can taste it

I am kinda shocked at how much I’ve enjoyed this cleanse. The food has been tasty and, up until recently, nicely varied. The juicing portion is getting a little monotonous but I can say I’m really hungry; maybe just a tiny bit full up on juice–or can you really call it juice when it contains Kale, nuts, and dates…anyway, call it what you will, I can see myself, a week from now, craving a smoothie much as I might once have craved, oh, french fries.

Food is a big part of life, obviously. And everybody has to forge his or her own relationship with it. I never envy those busy people, often tech nerds, who look at food as fuel. 

Nor do I envy those for whom food becomes that constant companion, the friend that always comforts and never disappoints, the answer to every question and the solution to every problem.  I’m closer to that end of the spectrum, of course. My dad was pretty far out on that end of the spectrum–battled with a weight problem his entire life.  Just loved to eat. You could see it in his eyes when he ate, they rolled back in his head and he just lived right at his lips.  Ok they didn’t really roll back in his head. But they got a very faraway look.

Here’s an example: he smoked for 30 years.  From about 18 on.  Then one day he went to a hypnotist.  Smoked on the way up. But the cigarettes in the glove box.  That box was in there when he sold the car years later. Never really felt hypnotized but never smoked again. 

So he went back to the hypnotist for food but, as he said, “You can’t quit food.” 

I always thought it might be something–insecurity, fear, something thwarted–that lay behind the eating. Not just a love for food. I didn’t understand–am only just beginning to understand–how very difficult life, even a really good life, can be.  Anyway, he was a good man and he loved Robert Frost, so here’s a Robert Frost poem that never used to make me think of my dad and now always does:


To Earthward

Love at the lips was touch 
As sweet as I could bear; 
And once that seemed too much; 
I lived on air 

That crossed me from sweet things, 
The flow of – was it musk 
From hidden grapevine springs 
Down hill at dusk? 

I had the swirl and ache 
From sprays of honeysuckle 
That when they’re gathered shake 
Dew on the knuckle. 

I craved strong sweets, but those 
Seemed strong when I was young; 
The petal of the rose 
It was that stung. 

Now no joy but lacks salt 
That is not dashed with pain 
And weariness and fault; 
I crave the stain 

Of tears, the aftermark 
Of almost too much love, 
The sweet of bitter bark 
And burning clove. 

When stiff and sore and scarred 
I take away my hand 
From leaning on it hard 
In grass and sand, 

The hurt is not enough: 
I long for weight and strength 
To feel the earth as rough 
To all my length. 

Robert Frost



Eight Smoothies to Freedom

The cleanse experience has not been one of deprivation but rather of abundance.  Good food, tasty and filling. Good feelings emanating from the very core of my being. A couple of really good fights of almost inexplicable intensity. But when the missus, in the course of preparing someone else’s breakfast, began to great each foodstuff like a long-lost buddy–“Hello bread, old friend…. Hello butter…” even going so far as to speak warmly, as it were, to the stove– “Hello heat, my old kitchen companion”–it brings to the front of the brain a feeling that seems now to have been sounding at a cellular level throughout my body. Even as I type this I feel every corpuscle in me saying, essentially, “Ou sont les neiges d’antan.”

Soon enough, my corpuscles, soon enough, I say, you will look back with the same longing on these days of fine living and ask the same thing. 

Or maybe, just maybe, me and the missus can take what we’ve learned from these two weeks (not yet over, by the way, I must keep reminding myself as, surely, the juice segment promises to be challenging) and bring into our “real” life some of what we’ve learned during this fantasy of health.  The joy of a giant salad at lunch.  The happy warmth of a green breakfast. The reduced expectations of a light dinner. The reminder that so much of a day’s snacking is driven by boredom, anxiety or that powerful combination of the two that I like to call “work.”  

But, as the fella said, “Moderation in all things, especially moderation.” So with that in mind, me and missus have planned something of a graduation celebration for Monday, what we’re calling the First Annual Retox Party, from 4:30 to whenever the wheat grass runs out at the homestead–75 NE Saratoga St.  And in the spirit of cleansing and of fellowship, we cordially invite anyone on the whole wide Internet who happens to read this post.  And bring the kids.

Before we get there though, we have things to juice and smoothies to drink.

Outlook is king

This raw diet is excellent. The smoothies we’ve been making are quite good. The salad my wife has made the past two days is awesome. I don’t feel hungry–I do feel exhausted and could really like a beer right now, but yeah, it’s good.

I have no pictures, so I thought I would just share some things I’ve learned:

Chia pudding is the perfect food. Three cups of it will last the rest of your life.

Tulsi is a superior morning beverage to coffee.  In the morning if I take my cup of coffee out with me and water the garden, I inevitably put the cup down somewhere and then when I remember it, it’s all cold and disappointing.  If I put my cup of Tulsi down somewhere, I never think of it again.  

Zucchini pasta has totally vindicated my impulse buy of a cheep veggie cutter thing at Anzen market last christmas. It busts out zuchini pasta like nobody’s business.

I married two lovely women today.

Not technically cleanse related, I supposed, except in that, as Rosie had made clear, there are all sorts of nourishment in this world and this morning I had a big helping of love and honor and humility and general good feeling toward my fellow humans. With the striking down of Oregon’s constitutional ban against same-sex marriage yesterday, the doors were opened wide for our friends Stacy and Angela to legalize their arrangement which was already solemnized this past summer in one of the sweetest weddings I’ve ever been to.

Did you know there’s an eco garden on the fifth floor of the Multnomah County Blds on Hawthorne and MLK?. It’s super sweet.  There was a happy couple mid-ceremony when we arrived, but there’s room, there’s room.  And I’m proud to say they were still vowing and swearing when we were totally wrapped up.  As a minister in the Church of Universal Life, I pride myself on efficiency.

The good will flowing in that municipal building was awesome.  A woman on the elevator says, coyly, “What are the flowers for?” and then breaks into a beaming grin when she finds out. Everyone likes a marriage:)Image

Oh, and I ate at Prasad today. Tasty despite being totally raw:)

Lucky Ducks

Well, you may have noticed I have been conspicuously silent on the subject of the new blender. 

It’s awesome. Does it’s thing. But I am a newbie and therefore a dunce about such things. The juicer was, in my mind, not doing a great job with the kale. It was kind of grabbing it and shooting it through. So, thinks I, we will blend it up instead. And it worked but needless to say it was super thick, like a gazpacho. In fact, warmed up with some salt and truffle oil, it would’ve been pretty good. As a breakfast drink, it was challenging. You can see that I used Chia Seeds to make the map of Australia. Came out ok, I think.


But I made way too much…. So I shared it with the ducks and chickens.


They were skeptical but ultimately pretty into it. Kinda like me 🙂

Raging into Raw

Tomorrow is the big day–the move from modified vegan to a raw diet.  Had been feeling some trepidation but when I looked at the recipes Rosie sent over I thought, well, this seems doable.  But first, I decided to commemorate the transition by really killing the crap out of some enzymes– I fried up onions and corn, cut from the cob, in a teaspoon of coconut oil  until the onion was browned at the edges and the corn had that awesome texture it gets, then I tossed in some, yes, quinoa and some pepper and cayenne and a lil’ more salt than I’ve been allowing myself of late and suddenly it was a party:



But that’s not all!  Previously, I had destemmed a shitload of kale (technically, two bunches) and tossed them around with three tbs. olive olive and a tsp salt, and then tossed them into the dehydrator–ok, obsessively arranged the leaves on the trays and carefully slid the trays into the machine for a four hour sauna.  Here’s before and after–different trays, to be clear. It’s not like the dehydrating process makes them all change how they’re lined up.



Those came out at 9:00.  Well past my fasting period but, the hell with it, I tried a bite. Very, very good. For a kale chip.  

Lastly, I dove into the chia pudding recipe and had real doubts about how this was going to “thicken” as Rosie’s recipe promised.

Well, I have learned to never doubt Rosie. That stuff thickened up like nobody’s business.  I had a taste.  It was very tapioca like. Favorite dessert? Not yet.  But easy.



I put it into 3 little serving bowls and refrigerated it. Looks a lot more appetizing that way, just so you know.  It has a subtle taste.  Could use whipped cream 🙂




Look What I Ate!

There’s an aspect of cleansing that is, you know, a little self-centered, in the nicest way possible. And then there’s an element of blogging that is super self-centered. So a blog about a cleanse? Holy shit. Late last night I wrote a blog entry about how I’d only been able to get to Yoga once this week and why that was and how it was making me feel and by the time I was done I thought, “Oh my god, this is boring me…”  But I hit publish anyway.  And… that’s when the magic happened.  The post never showed up. The Internet said, “Enough” and erased all record of my post.  I took it as a sign to try to write more interesting entries.  Or at least shorter ones.

That said, here’s what I had for lunch.


The ever-present quinoa and then carrots and an onion sautéed in coconut oil (that felt like cheating, but yum) topped with some fresh salsa (which also is too tasty to be legit).  I’m living on the edge; no rules for me.

More later. I promise.