Thursday, February 19, 2009

Bug Juice

When Lyndsay was very young, maybe between the ages of 5 and 7, she was plagued with continual sore throats. Her tonsils were always swollen, and it seemed she'd only have short breaks between these ailments. It was puzzling. I am not the kind of mother that runs her kids to the doctor. While I believe that doctors have their place, I also believe that there is much healing available through other channels. I knew that if I took her to the doctor, she would be given round after round of antibiotics, and then, in desperation, her tonsils would be removed. This was not what I felt was best for her, nor did I think it would solve her problems.

I did what I could for her herbally, and then one day, while in a small natural foods store owned by a little old woman with great wisdom and, I believe, a gift for healing, I asked her about Lyndsay. I explained that besides these chronic sore throats, Lyndsay was a vibrant and healthy girl, but I just didn't know what to do. She set her up on a stool and looked into her eyes.

"Her blood is very poor," she said.

"Her blood?" I asked.

She explained that her blood was low in iron and weak and so it was hard for her to fight off infections. The tonsils are the first line of defense against invading germs, and that's why they seemed continually enlarged. They were working overtime. But, she confirmed, if you take her to a doctor, they'll just remove her tonsils and the infections will move to her adenoids. Soon, they'll want to remove those. But the problem of her weak blood, will still be there, and the infection will just move further and further down into her system.

"We must strengthen her blood."

She took me into her yard and gathered bunches of fresh comfrey and parsley from her garden. She told me to put them into my blender with some orange juice and blend it up into a green drink. Have her drink it every day, she promised, and the sore throats will go away.

And they did. And they have never returned. Of course, from time to time, sickness flows through the family (like right now we're fighting colds, but we fight them fast!), but her constant suffering was alleviated.

I have been a fan of green drink, and the power of plants and the body to work together for healing ever since. This is why, besides being quite conscious of what my children eat, I also make sure we all have a green drink in the morning. Bug juice, the kids call it.

After dropping Lyndsay off at Seminary, I come home to pack lunches. At 6:30am, Dylan comes down and we make the Bug juice. It's the perfect job for a boy. Boys love to pulverize things! Dylan is The Pulverizer in our house, and he does a great job.

Each week I buy a huge bag of spinach leaves (3lbs, I think, for $3.99), several bunches of kale ($.79/bunch), lots of parsley (7 bunches for $1), 5lbs. of carrots ($1.69), and several 5lb. bags of apples ($.99 each bag). We each eat one apple a day, plus about 5 go into the green drink a day. But overall, green drink for our entire family is not that expensive of a venture, and it's sure more affordable than missed work and school, and doctor's visits.

I have a Juiceman Jr. juicer, which is not the best out there, but it is certainly adequate, and I've been using it almost daily for about ten years. But a blender can also be used for a pulpier green drink, or the juice can be strained after blending.

I do the cutting up, and Dylan does the juicing.

The kids drink it up happily. The apples and carrots give it a delicious sweetness that is very palatable. Even Adam, who will barely eat salad, drinks it eagerly.

Conor loves it too.

And I feel satisfied that I am doing what I can to keep little growing bodies strong and vital and free from unnecessary medicines. The kids go off to school supercharged on Bug Juice! It must work, because they're all getting straight A's :) and I haven't taken a sick kid to the doctor in. . .I don't even remember. Ever?

Here's to going green!


Abby said...

Oh, good! I've been meaning to ask you what exactly goes into a green drink because I've been wanting to give it a whirl. Thanks so much for adding it!

I had never heard about Lyns having weak blood! My goodness..can you imagine if you actually gave in and took her to the doctor? I'm also a firm believer in you meet certain people for a reason and I'm so glad you met that woman and she knew what she was talking about!

Give the babies hugs for me. Love you!

Annette Lyon said...

I'm going to have to bookmark this. (My mom would so love you about now. She was going to healthfood stores before it was cool--we were the neighborhood freaks.)

Anonymous said...

I have a question with the pulp that is over can you make muffins or anything with it? Or is it just to yucky?

Kimberly Vanderhorst said...

You? Are brilliant.

Jennifer said...

looks like my house but we call it freak juice :)

Scribbit said...

I was thinking about you and hoping you were doing well after your trip--

That Bug Juice? I'm not sure yet, maybe if I added some Coke to it :)

Rachel Sue said...

I admire you for having the energy to cut up apples and peel carrots every morning at 6:00. I have been curious about the whole natural healing thing lately (read: I am SOO sick of taking my children to the Dr.) How did you get started?

Annette Lyon said...

I don't know how much you know about my 6-year battle with chronic headaches, but today I was talking with my newest massage therapist, and she mentioned that my diet might be too acidic and inflammatory and that might be contributing to my headaches.

The evidence for that was how my brother (also a migraine sufferer) lost all his headaches when he was 100% faithful with the South Beach diet (which is very low on things that lead to inflammation, including acid), but the minute he went off it, the headaches came back.

For certain reasons I can't really go into, South Beach and other specific diets would be extremely difficult for me to do and maintain, but my massage therapist suggested at least trying a green drink for breakfast.

I immediately remembered this post.

So thanks, Jenna, for yet one more thing you've given me. This is something I might be able to do for myself to get some pain relief.

Love ya.

(I swear, one of these days we'll meet in person, and I just have to hug you and cry and cry.)