It’s a bit harder to get a treadmill at the gym these days. And I bet the salad line at the company cafeteria is snaking around the corner. Are they giving out Justin Timberlake concert tickets instead of selling bowls of romaine lettuce at ridiculously high profit margins? Oh, right. It’s January.
I love the renewed commitment to health and eager spirit of self-betterment in the new year. A fresh start gets me all fired up. It makes me want new, sharp pencils and clean notebooks to scribble down my intentions. I ate and drank my way from Thanksgiving all the way through Dick Clark’s Rockin’ Eve. I slept through most of my morning workouts in December. The time had come to begin again. I needed a reboot. The mind called it out and claimed it. But this body? It was a few steps behind. It needed a gentle nudge. Hello, body. Yes, you! Time to get back on task.
I was contacted by the founders of Jrink, a new DC-based juicery. It was as if they had a wire tap on the
argument discussion going on between my body and the well-intentioned mind that goes with it. Me and juice? We go way back. I shared my juicing secrets with you when I discovered how to make vibrant juices that tasted great and didn’t resemble swamp water in the least. And though I still make my own juices at home occasionally, I sat up a little taller to hear what they had to say.
Did I want to sample their cold-pressed juices and offer some to a lucky reader (yes, this is the giveaway part! Sorry it’s not Justin Timberlake tickets, but you may even like this better. Details at the bottom!)? Um, yes please. I could have stopped listening right then. But I’m glad I didn’t because the story gets better. The company was started by two young women who left their fast-paced, high-stress banking careers to pursue the idea. Hmm… sounds familiar. I like it already. Bye bye, balance sheets. Hello, balanced life.
Jrink offered to send me six of their fresh pressed juices and a “superfood bar” as a first step to reset this bod back to factory specs. I’ve juice cleansed before. I’ve done as many as three days in a row. It’s a great exercise both mentally and physically. But it can be tricky for me to plan life around three days of juice when there are meetings, work events,
donut muffins, kids and all else. Experienced juicer that I am, I wondered if I could get that same sense of renewal in just one day? I picked a quiet Monday for this one-day exercise and told them where to drop it off.
I’ve tried the commercially prepared juices of New York-based companies that overnight 18 bottles jammed between blocks of ice. I’ve also bought juices from the same NY companies that are sold at my local Whole Foods for more than you’d pay to have your car washed by hand. Okay, not really but it’s a hefty price tag for something I could make at home if I weren’t so lazy. All of this is to say, it’s refreshing to see a locally-grown competitor offering juices pressed right here in the nation’s capital. If I’m going to shell it out, I may as well support the local economy (full disclosure: I did not pay for the juices Jrink sent me to sample. All commentary is my own opinion).
The package arrived Sunday evening for my Monday reboot. It came in an adorable bag, each juice labeled with a number. There was an order to follow. The next morning, I started with an electric green cocktail made of primarily pear, greens and lemon. It was sweeter than I expected and very easily drinkable – ideal for a first time juicer. I make my own juice a bit less sweet, but when I first started experimenting with juicing I used more apples, pears and lemons to counter the bitterness of the greens.
I drank a bottle of juice roughly every three hours. Flavors ranged from the pear-forward green to a citrusy carrot cocktail to a bright red beet number. Each flavor was balanced and smooth, with gentle notes of lemon, apple or ginger. The subtlety exception was “Clean Me Up,” a spicy lemonade with a pervasive undercurrent of cayenne. I loved it. And it would be great with tequila…I digress. I concluded the day with “Build Me Up,” a creamy vanilla almond milk that tasted like dessert. It was like the prize at the bottom of the (extremely healthy) cereal box. I don’t think healthy cereals have toys in them, come to think of it. But you know what I mean.
The bag also contained a “superfood bar” made of mixed greens pulp, oats and some healthy fats from almond butter, flax and sunflower seeds and coconut. It wasn’t clear when I should eat it, so I ate it at lunchtime. It felt good to chew a bit, if for no other reason than to reduce that fuzzy teeth feeling that comes with a day of consuming nothing but juice. I wouldn’t say it filled me up, but it was pleasurably coconutty. I’d eat it again if given the chance.
You may be wondering why I didn’t just make the juice myself since I own both a juicer and a VitaMix. Valid question. Have you ever seen how much produce goes into a glass of juice? It’s a truckload. Jrink’s website states that five pounds of produce go into every bottle. That’s a big pile of greens, friends. It’s possible, but not practical, to produce that volume of juice at home. It’s more economical to do it at home in pure dollar terms, but it also takes a lot of time to juice, store or dispose of the pulp, store the juice and clean the machine. I’m not going to act even for a second like this is a real problem.
So I’m sure you’d like to know how I felt at the end of this day. Was I rejuvenated? Did I feel renewed? Or just hungry? Andy will tell you that I was cranky. That is true. However, my sour mood was related to feeling like I was coming down with a cold. I had chills that started in the morning (before bottle #1 was even cracked), I couldn’t get warm and I was really tired. My muscles ached and I wasn’t at all hungry. He didn’t help himself by poking the beast. Calling a cranky person “cranky” doesn’t usually help the situation, in case you were wondering. This achy, chills thing went on for a couple days, I slept a little more and then you know what? No cold. It went away. Hard to say if I knocked it out with some extra Z’s and laying low, or if that big hit of extra vitamins A and C played a role? Maybe all of the above. Or maybe none. I’ll never know for certain. But I’m happy to feel better and decidedly less irritable.
What I do know for sure is that the benefit of a reboot is as much mental as it is physical. There is something powerful in leading the body with the mind’s will. Remember the Little Engine That Could? I think I can. I think I can. I feel recommitted to my lifestyle of wellness and ready for this new year. There are big ideas and lofty goals floating about my head. I’m going to need this body to cooperate if I’m going to get them done. Now that body and mind are aligned, I’m ready to get out there and make it happen. That feels great.
How about you? What are your aspirations for the new year? Would you like try a one-day reboot with Jrink’s lovely juices? If you are located inside the Capital beltway (sorry, non-DC readers, Jrink is only able to deliver within the Capital beltway at this time), you can enter to win six bottles of Jrink’s fresh juices and a “superfood bar” by telling me in the comments section below how you reset after a period of indulgence. As I’ve done in the past, I will use a random number generator to determine the winner. Go!
P.S. I should mention that I’m enjoying yet another scenario of colliding worlds. After I agreed to try Jrink’s juices, I learned they would be sold at barre3 Georgetown, where I teach classes two days a week! So fun when this happens. I smile every time I see the glass bottles in the refrigerated case at my favorite place to work and play.