What I've been chewing on lately...

June 29, 2011
The danger of green juices

Slippin Southern’s Collards in Green Southern Wood Kitchen Sign

Juicing or blending vegetables, particularly leafy greens, is a bit of rage these days. Martha Stewart drinks her veggies. Dr. Oz drinks his. Crazy Sexy Kris Carr drinks them every day. Danielle LaPorte drinks them. Life coach extraordinaire Susan Hyatt, is a self-described “evangelist” about drinking her greens. And pretty much every supermodel and lithe pseudo-celebrity can be seen tossing back some concoction of juiced greens.

Are you on the green juice train?

If not, have you thought you should be?

It’s true, there’s lots to be said for the benefits of drinking your greens…and eating greens in general. They are jam-packed with anti-oxidants, fiber, protein (yep), phytonutrients, and enzymes that do make a body happy. More greens=less inflammation=less disease. No doubt. And by juicing or blending them up into a drink, you can take in mega-doses of the good stuff super fast and super easy. No cooking required.

Ok, so now that we know I’m not on a rampage against greens…let’s get to the danger part.

It’s about judging.

Judging oneself and judging of others.

And this judgement stuff is WAY more dangerous than starting your day with a donut or bowl of sweetened cereal.

What I see happening is that on the days when drinkers don’t power start their day with green juice – whether because their body is asking for something different, they haven’t had time to hit up the supermarket, or a friend invites them out for coffee and toast – very often they judge themselves. They pile on the ‘shoulds.’ They “make up” for being “bad” later in the day. They restrict. They get uptight. They repent for their donut sins. It can be subtle, but self-judgment is powerfully destructive.

The green juice plan, like all prescriptive ways of eating, is a cognitive decision…and while that’s okay at times, there is a lot to be said for being attuned to one’s body. And one’s body, doesn’t always want (or need) liquid kale.

I have also seen green juice junkies look at other people’s food choices with disgust, superiority, and smugness. “Doesn’t she know that is causing her body to become acidic?” or “Ugh, how can he possibly survive a day when we eats that in the morning?”

Judging ourselves or others is a sign we are disconnected. When we view ourselves as better than (or worse than) another person, we further separate ourselves from our basic unity (Yes, I actually do believe we’re all one). While no one can deny the nutrient density, I don’t think there is anything better or worse about a spinach smoothie (or a person who drinks one.)

A few thoughts to remember:

1. You are always operating from a place of choice; you can eat anything you want (including green juice).
2. You aren’t and don’t have to be perfect. And, food choices don’t make you more lovable, more pure, a better person, or closer to god-like.
3. Being compassionate is more important than kale. Being flexible is more important than folic acid.
4. If you really want to feel great, start by being kind to yourself and others.
5. What’s right for you isn’t right for everyone.
6. We are fed by so much more than nutrients. We are fed by pleasure, by friendship, by shared meals, by tradition, by meaning, by celebration…just to name a few.

If you’re going to drink a verdant breakfast, drink responsibly.