Locked up at home with a raging virus at the door? Let’s do a juice fast! What could possibly go wrong?

Okay first let’s examine why we went on a juice fast. And I say we because guess who does the majority of the cooking? Right you are. And if mama ain’t cookin’, papa ain’t eatin’. So we went on a juice fast last week for all kinds of reasons including both of us having various niggling maladies that are supposedly best addressed by letting our livers take a nap.

We started our journey by watching Fat, Sick and Nearly Dead — parts one and two. We’d seen part one a few years back and it made us feel so good about ourselves — we weren’t nearly dead — that we did just about nothing to change what we were doing which was to eat a healthy diet and exercise. Now there’s a difference of opinion in our household about whose exercise routine is better (mine) but no disagreement about exercise being a good thing so at least there’s that.

But our virus — and you know what? I’m going to call her Patty from now on. It’s just friendlier. Okay with Patty on the loose, I’d stopped going to the gym — I’m a daily swimmer — and with temps in the no way in hell I wasn’t about to jump into the Sound. So Mama wasn’t too happy with what was happening in her mid-Atlantic region. And Papa? Ditto. So it was time for an intervention.

My favorite tweet about eating during the pandemic?

From @HonestToddler:

Quarantine Meal Schedule

7 am Breakfast

7:15 Dessert Breakfast

8:30 Panic Snack w/ news

9:45 Chocolate

11:30 Snack while standing up staring

12:30 Lunch with small dessert

2:00 Post nap luncheon

4:30 Trail mix

6:00 Dinner with weird vibes

10:00 Ice Cream

Hence what’s being called “the Covid 15” — a pandemic all its own.

So off we went to the grocery store to stock up on fruits and veggies. I love to cook so going to the grocery store has always been a highlight. In fact before Patty joined us, I’d go to the grocery store almost every day. It was a pleasure to wander through the aisles of produce and see what looked good. My imagination would start cooking - ooh those peppers are gorgeous. And I’ve got leftover quinoa at home. I could scramble up some sausage meat and onions and add the quinoa and maybe some pignoli nuts and some thyme from the garden for a stuffing…

So it was fun. But not since Patty arrived. Now it’s mask and gloves and one-way traffic and a list that’ll last us a week. I need a Tension Tamer Tea just to calm down. But the virtue of juicing is you never have to leave the produce aisles so that was a blessing.

Have you noticed what people are buying these days? Flour. If it’s available. Because rumor is the mills are maxed out and there’s still not enough to quench the sudden urge sweeping the nation to bake bread. And muffins and cookies and brownies and blondies and pies and cakes and banana bread and you get the idea.

I blame it on home schooling. I mean seriously, what’s a poor mother to do with three children all day? Throw ‘em in the kitchen with a sack of flour and have a little lie down until the smoke alarm starts to howl. A couple of months of that and everyone’ll need a juice fast. Because Patty or no Patty, summer is coming, folks. Just sayin’.

Folks are also buying chocolate — see above. And nonpareils. Side note – I never much enjoyed eating nonpareils but don’t you just love the name? “Unparelleled.” “Without Equal.” I mean that’s a lot of responsibility for a teeny tiny candy. Anyway they’re sold out. As is anything that gives you joy these days because hello, we’re a bit short on joy.

Confession – and don’t tell Papa — when Stop & Shop ran out of my favorite dark chocolate for THREE WHOLE WEEKS – I even bought the 10 pack from Amazon. I’ve hidden it — I can’t tell you where — but it’s yet another reason why juice fast.

Anyway, home we went with a car full of greenery and it wasn’t going in the garden.

Juicing is a lot of work for those of you who haven’t done it. I juiced on the regular a couple of decades ago but we hadn’t invented kale yet so it was a lot easier. Just toss a couple carrots and a hunk of ginger down the chute and you’re done. Now it’s 10 different greens or you’re not even trying. Which means washing and spinning and drying — or let’s be honest, washing and shaking. And peeling – that would be the carrots and beets and anything gnarly. But then you get to grind the you know what out of the mountain of wet food on your counter and that’s really satisfying. Take that, Patty!

Moment of truth. I hold out a glass of $19 worth of produce to my skeptical husband. Wait as he sips… Remember that face 3-year-olds make the first time they lick a lemon? Yeah. That face.

However there was still the factor of Mama Ain’t Cookin’ so off we went, scowls and all, on our juicing adventure. There was much moaning. A temper tantrum or two. Hiding under the covers. And I’m just talking about me.

On the plus side we had a new activity. Scale watching — as the endangered fat melted away and our overtaxed organs stretched out on the couch. I actually enjoyed it. I get a real energy buzz on day three. And it felt like I was accomplishing something. Productivity has been in short supply so a new project — any new project — felt good.

And Papa? Was watching Ina Garten reruns and phoning an attorney. Have I mentioned Covid Divorces are a thing? And that was before juicing.

He’ll get over it. We’re not crazy — or OK, we’re crazy, we all are at this point. But we weren’t about to go hog wild. This was a five day juice fast not a six month ordeal. A reboot. There’s an end to it. Unlike Patty who plans to stay until she runs out of things to eat…

(Thank you so much for all your emails. Reach me at WelcomeToThePandemic@gmail.com. And find me on Twitter at @epagenyc or on Facebook at ElizabethPage.)

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