Things My Dad Was Right About: A List

In honor of Father's Day, I'm going to acknowledge things my dad was right about and post them here. I won't tell him to his face because that would just be too much to bear. The grin, the knowing look, the focused gaze when he gives a future piece of advice, remembering that once upon a time I admitted weakness. But my dad is freaking awesome, as anyone who knows him will say. This apparently includes the man at the convenience store in the town where we grew up, who tracked me down on Facebook just to ask me how Dad is and to say hello for him. This man has passed much knowledge to his kids (and anyone in earshot) over the past years, and I figured I'd capture some of it and share it.  

Things My Dad Was Right About 

1. Buy your car in silver or gold colors. It shows dirt much less and you won't have to get as many car washes.

2. Always be organized and clean. People will respect you more.

3. Never bet "max" on the slot machine when all the lines are empty. Nothing good will come up on the next spin.

4. Save money. It doesn't grow on trees. Don't waste it. You'll be sorry.

5. If you buy an article of clothing you love and it's a reasonable deal, purchase it in multiples and save them. When you wear the one you love so much out, you'll have a backup and by then it may be out of production.

6. Pay your credit card bill balance completely, every single time.

7. If you couldn't buy it with cash, you probably shouldn't be buying it.

8. Always carry cash.

9. The main food groups are soup, salad, coffee and ice cream. Everything else is just because you people made me eat it. Ok, that last sentence is paraphrased, but I'm 100% confident he would gladly claim it as his own.

10. Carry mints.

11. The power of the nap.

12. Get educated.

13. Don't say bad things about people.

14. There is no shortcut. The only way you can successfully trade on the stock market long term is by fully understanding and studying the companies you invest in.

15. When you buy something, ask yourself "Do I NEED this?" Ideally ask it to yourself as if your dad is standing in the aisle of Target with you, questioning you before allowing you to make the purchase.

16. McDonald's coffee is excellent.

17. Don't subscribe to more than 2 magazines. Be honest with yourself, you don't read them.

18. Weigh yourself constantly and if you see something you don't like, act immediately. (He's been the same weight or less my entire life)

19. You throw too much stuff out. Think carefully about how you can repurpose every scrap of cardboard, every container.

20. Cell phones are bad for you. You don't really need one as much as you think you do.

21. Make sure you have chemistry with the person you're with. It's important.

There's a lot more, but I guess the edge on having him as my pops means I don't have to share it all in one swoop.  Grateful for him, and grateful to mom for choosing him! I'm sure I'll write a similar post on her one of these days too. For now, signing off with Happy Father's Day wishes to any of you out there who are celebrating with your families. Thanks to all the dads raising the future generation- they give us hope!

Confessions of a Juice Detox Quitter

Before I start, and as an advisory note to my blog's drive-by haters, let me define "quitting" - it happened 2.5 days into my 3 day detox, in my defense. And, as you'll read below, it's not because I'm a wuss.

Last year, a friend of mine highly recommended the Ritual Reset cleanse by Ritual Wellness in Orange County. I filed it in the back of my mind. Juice cleanse? That was some heavy stuff, not my style. Give up food? I think not.

Fast forward a few months, and my bff asked me if I'd do a juice cleanse with her. Given that we run races together every month and have done numerous insane physical endeavors together, I figured if I was ever going to take it on, the time was here. So we signed up for Ritual's Seasonal Cleanse and got ready for - well, we didn't know what. 

Confessions of a bad pre-cleanser
The Week and Night Before
Things not to eat before you cleanse? Jack in the Box. I was on the run, and tried to get a healthy food item (a chicken pita). Ok, and fries. But after a few fries, I threw them away! In any case, that's probably not the drive thru you should be hitting 24 hours before going into juice-only mode. Learn from my mistakes. Did I mention that I met up with a visiting Jon Yang at Extraordinary Desserts? Had berries with lemon curd and decaf coffee. I'd been warned that ditching caffeine is the hardest part of detox, so I figured I'd work ahead - I started tapering down a few weeks before and thought I'd be close to ready to go.  Jon actually took a picture of me eating that night, but I'm not posting it here because I look stoned. Which is apparently how I look if I'm not powered by coffee

Detox Juice Cleanse Day #1
Our Ritual Cleanse arrives!
Ritual offers to have your juices couriered to you between 12-6am the morning of your cleanse. In my idiotic decaffeinated stupor, I had messed up the address (uh oh, it was already happening...), but Byron called J and made the delivery. When J & I returned from spin class that morning (oh yeah, we were ambitious that first day) our cooler bags of juices were there. All 18 of them plus 2 juices in case we decided to work out during the cleanse (we wouldn't).

We broke open juice 1 of the Reset Cleanse, an organic mix of kale and other green loveliness.  And I went off to work!  I was feeling good and clean and knew I was doing something great for my body.  Ready to do it!

By lunch I was feeling a little foggy/slow, which surprised me since I don't usually eat a big breakfast.  Lunch included a meeting with some 
Lunch with the guys. Guess which one's me.
business colleagues. Two men whom I had warned ahead of time I wouldn't be joining in eating.  A photo of our lunch table. Not photographed: Mikel making fun of me all through lunch and offering me bites of his veggie burger. A frequent faster, he assured me it's par for the course.

I went back home and kept back at work. I was feeling slow and the headaches were setting in, but I kept reminding myself that that's how detox works. The worst part about day 1 was the headaches and fogginess. I just felt like a space cadet, and probably would have felt crazy if I didn't have a friend to compare symptoms to. By 7pm I was completely exhausted and started feeling rough. I figured sleeping early (yes, 9pm) was the way to go. I was ready to break into the last juice of the day, #6, which is a nut milk and rather filling. I sipped it in bed while my eyes drifted to sleep. Day one, done!

Day 2
It felt great to wake up and see the line of bottles on the counter. One day done, no biggie! I had this.  I was feeling lightheaded and I definitely had a headache, but I'd be ok. Exercise was definitely not happening, so I shelved the "Shred" supplement juices I had ordered when I was my old, optimistic self.  I began sipping juice one and got on with my day. At my first meeting, I realized that I was barely coherent and found it difficult to have conversations through the veil of my headache. I explained to the lady I was meeting with what was going on (girl to girl, you can do this stuff).  I hung in there as long as I could, but couldn't wait to go home and take a nap! (Yes, working from home has its benefits!)

one day down!
After a nap and some Advil, I felt MUCH better. In fact, I started to feel splashes of that euphoria people always say they have on a cleanse. I hadn't felt it once, but I started to feel very clear. I took advantage of it and sat at the computer, cranking out my first really good work in 2 days. I even started to admit to some other friends what I was doing. I had this in the bag. If this is what detoxing is, sign me up! I can get behind this!

By 10pm I started to wind down and the headache was coming back, but I was feeling capable and at least I'd had a glimpse of what people always rave about with cleanses. Only one day to go...

Two days, down!
Day 3: The Beginning of the End

I woke up with a raging headache and realized I'd had one most of the night. Had I even really slept? I moved myself to the couch with juice #1. I was almost done! I could do this. Bad toxins, begone!  I tried to drink some water. And next thing I knew, I was... throwing up. Violently.

Photo from a deathbed
I had heard different things about detoxes - that you'd spend quality time in the bathroom (maybe with some cleanses, but this one is based in food, so no), that you pee a lot (obviously), and that you'd have headaches.  But nowhere had I read that you'd throw up so violently that you'd consider going to urgent care.  I probably wouldn't have been surprised if I'd experienced it early on, but I'd felt pretty ok, so I got worried. But I wanted to be a trooper, so I went back to the fridge for Juice 2, a tasty pineapple juice, and next thing I knew, I was vomiting again. I scared the HELL out of the housekeeper, that's for sure. I moved myself to the couch (my place of refuge) and slept. After a few hours, the headache was only getting worse. I knew that my body needed electrolytes and something it could keep down. 

Barfing and feeling like This was starting to feel like a terrible hangover without the awesome stories or debauchery.  The following conversation ensued:

Me: "Lilly, why are you pushing yourself to continue this?"
Me: "I want to do this! I want to be healthy and learn better eating habits, and rid my body of toxins!"
Me: "Do you feel healthy right now?"
Me: "Um, no."
Me: "Did you learn what you wanted to learn?"
Me: "Yes."
Me: "Do you want to land in the urgent care explaining to a doctor that you overdid it on a juice cleanse? Do you want to be THAT girl?"
Me: (hangs head in shame) "No"

It was time to break up with my cleanse.

I knew my electrolytes were suffering, so I ate a few saltines and drank Pedialyte, and I passed out. I felt better, but not great. I had more saltines, so I could down a much-needed Advil. When I awoke, I was 90% old me. I could think straight, I felt optimistic about life!

Now, I'll admit, I'm drinking #4, a cayenne lemon water, as I type this. I learned a LOT in 2.5 days of doing detox, but it wasn't worth pushing myself through another 8 hours just to say I did.  I regret that my first "real" food had to be saltines, but I wasn't about to add the price of a doctor's visit to the price of my fancypants juice.

I emailed with Ritual this evening and they responded very quickly-and compassionately. Because I felt better after having saltines, we were pretty sure it was a severe detox symptom and not anything to do with their juices. I've already recommended this particular juice fast to other friends. If you're going to do it, you should do a quality pressed juice like Ritual's. They send encouraging emails throughout the days of your cleanse plus their customer service is excellent. And, like I mentioned before, I was miraculously NEVER hungry throughout the time I did their detox. Now that I'm feeling a bit better, I may even drink the nut juice before bed. Done and done!

What Juice Detox Fasting Taught Me:
*Coffee is awesome. In moderation. When detoxing from it makes you feel hungover, cranky, and shaky, that's a hold you don't want any beverage to have over you, no matter how tasty it is. This detox really opened my eyes to how much I relied on coffee for energy, and, sadly, how much coffee is responsible for my energetic personality :(

*How much junk we pass as "food".  Compared to many people I'm a pretty darn healthy eater. But yesterday (day 2) I walked by a burger place, a place I would have normally loved, on the way to my car-and got nauseous. I was floored that it's one of my favorite foods. Remember, I was the person at Jack in the Box just two days before. I'm sure I'll eat one again, I mean I'm a realist, but it made me realize how desensitized we get to what we eat and how food like that definitely doesn't need to be part of a regular weekly rotation. 

*How sweet natural foods taste. By Day 2, J & I were talking about how sweet the pineapple juice tasted- too sweet! The amount of sugar in our daily meals (many times snuck into your food by restaurants, making it tasty) had desensitized us to real sweetness. 

*How much I eat when I probably don't need to.  Of all the symptoms I felt during the cleanse, surprisingly hunger wasn't one of them. It kills me to admit that every women's magazine ever is right, but I guess I eat when I'm thirsty... or pissed. Trust me, people annoyed me while I was on my cleanse (probably heightened by my decaf-ing), but I couldn't reach into the pantry and hush them with a snack.  It made me realize how often I do that, and how easy it is to let things slide off your shoulders when you are so foggy that you couldn't give them attention even if you wanted to.

*Take on your crazy health endeavors with a buddy. Having someone else texting you back that they really DO understand your misery makes a difference.

*Try everything once. I never thought I'd pull something like this off, definitely not for 2.5 days, and while I probably wouldn't do it again, I'm glad I did it once. As with detoxing on crappy food, same with taking caffeine out of the rotation. It just gives you a glimpse of the other side and what is/not working for you.

As a parting gift, enjoy this hilarious clip about juicing.

RIP my cleansing days