March 2023

Abstaining for 21 Days: Detox Diet Food Diary Day 9

Detox Diets & Pigs: It’s a Wild, Wild Life
Did I mention I have pigs? OK, fine, not Wilbur in Charlotte’s Web pigs. Peruvian guinea pigs, if you must know. It just takes too long to say guinea pigs. Lazy, right?! They have very long hair—think Cousin It long—and yes, I give them haircuts. An oh-so-knowledgeable, minimum-wage-earning teenager helped my daughter pick the piggies out. I had foolishly hoped to stem her nonstop wheedling for a puppy. I know, delusional is tattooed on my forehead in invisible ink. Anyway, teenager told us red was a girl, gray a boy. I pushed for Rita (as in Hayworth) and Elvis (don’t know, can’t be bothered). Well, you can imagine how that went over with my kids. Who???!!! and NOOOOOO!!! were heard in New Jersey. So, Pebbles and Bam Bam it was. Except Pebbles is also a boy. Can you believe the minimum-wage teenager was wrong? Shocking! We kept Pebbles, and his name. He doesn’t seem traumatized thus far, but things may change once he hits that recess yard in kindergarten. I’ll be sure to keep in touch with the teachers.

Changing Eating Habits in a Hectic NY Life
So, why the pig-story detour? Dropped kids at school this morning and came right back home for a few work calls before heading to midtown for a meeting. Good sign—my watch says 8:37 a.m. I’ll be right on time for that 9:00 juice. Sadie’s ecstatic to see me—I know, I know, pigs ≠ puppies. Give her breakfast, then head for the playroom to check on the pigs—it’s the city girl’s version of down on the farm (the Zsa Zsa Gabor/Green Acres version). Water. How can they be almost out of water—again??? Replenish hay (see, told ya!), and as I turn back for veggies, Bammy stands up in the cage and starts yelling at me. Pay attention to me, pay attention to me. Why should he be any different than the other wildlife I’m raising?! Kids, dog, pigs—all want, need, beg, plead, whine, moan, complain, yell, scream, threaten help-me, feed-me, love-me, stay-with-me, wait-on-me, protect-me, support-me, entertain-me, clean-up-after-me, care-for-me. No wonder I only occasionally make a meal ontime!

At my meeting now, Tara, Michael (a/k/a Mr. Melissa☺), and Melissa, who started the company. OK, seriously, could she have an ugly day? PLEASE??? And when I take my first sip of my 9:00 a.m. juice at 12:a lot late, it hits me. My needs don’t come last. They don’t even make the list. Single mother, 2 children, exponentially full-time job, petting zoo, housework, bills, and all the rest, and only 2 senior-citizen volunteers for help—my parents (and, after my dad called from his meeting to say he was leaving to get grandchild at school and take her to ice skating to practice, I just said—I’m so lucky). I don’t know a working person on the island of Manhattan who isn’t ridiculously busy. Then add children to the mix, and forget it.

Delivered Detox Diet Meals . . . Need We Say it? Fabulous!
Exactly why the Joulebody delivered diet meals works for me, whether to lose weight or just healthy eating. In a million years I wouldn’t have time to prepare such a wide variety of foods and at this level of deliciousness. OK, bets on whether by the end of this daily food diary “delicious” and its other variations isn’t the most used word. Ordinarily I would say put your money on fabulous. I use that one a lot, something I didn’t realize until I got the invitation to my 40th birthday party and “fabulous” was on the front. I told Susanne and Andrea, who along with Joan, Jamie, Jodee, and Johanna (apparently, I also collect J friends!) how sweet that was. Susanne laughed—you don’t get it? Get what? It’s every third word out of your mouth. Who knew? Well, I’m nothing if not emphatic!!!!!

Ok, let’s hope Yvette doesn’t notice this next bit—I had lunch at 4:15. First, let me say the squash-fennel soup was delish (how many is that today?) and that it was quite easy to drink while I was on the phone with—you guessed it—VERIZON! Seems Mr. Sullivan forwarded my email to another nice-as-can-be tech guru who wanted to follow up on my internet issues. It’s 1 issue—NO INTERNET! OK, well, no WiFi, which might as well be no internet, since I’m all over the house with the laptop. I just had a funny thought. Paul Sullivan. Is he a real customer service VP or did someone just play 1 on the phone? Tawk amongst yourselves . . .

I got off with Verizon (Guess what? It’s “fixed”—again! Not ordinarily a cynical New Yorker. Look what you have reduced me too, Verizon!), and on the dot of look-what-a-good-girl-I-am, lemonade time! I let the wind out of my own sails a bit when I realize that I might be on schedule for the 5:00 lemonade, but 3:00 p.m. green had been completely forgotten. Big oops! But moving on. No time to regroup on that.

Make dinner for child the younger. Older, much-taller-than-me offspring at ex’s. Marinated skinless chicken breast (and, so as not to appear quite so virtuous—Soy Vey! It’s so delish I could bathe in it.), with sliced red pepper and sugar snap peas. Detox tea for me. Followed by Are You Smarter than a 5th Grader—live from my apartment. I swear textbook writers try to make the information seem more important by making things unnecessarily complicated. Child the older (8th grade) once had questions from his science textbook so complicated that I called Jamie, whose older son was in the same class. So, what’s the deal? Jamie: I had to read it about 5 times, and I think they’re asking them to calculate a weighted average. I learned in college, and I haven’t done it since. Super. I never learned. To 8th grader: I’ll write you a note.

Tonight, only momentarily stumped by seemingly unnecessary math vocabulary—they’re numbers, right? They need names, too??? Mom, 5 is a prime number, right? Fast mental calculation, process of elimination, see the little R2D2 lights inside my head blinking furiously . . . and ding, ding, ding, ding, ding—yes, sweetheart, 5 is a prime number. It’s a number that can’t be evenly divided by another number, right? The implication being that I want her to confirm she understands the concept, when in fact, I want her to tell me if I’m wrong. I received a resounding, Duh! and wonder why I was asked in the first place.

Homework over, she’s off and reading, flying through James Patterson’s Maximum Ride series. One more chapter, one more chapter. She’s fallen in love, just like I did—reading. Meanwhile, I’ve got writing to do—not just this food diary, but emails—Katrina, how are you feeling? Daniela, file tomorrow, perfect. Dania, here’s an idea for the image. Lindsay, let’s go over the interview. Distracted by a loud cheer—apparently, we’ve finished Max and are on to Fang. Charming. No Fang. Bedtime. Not yyyyeeeetttt! Huh? Do they all come out of the womb wearing a “Born to Negotiate” T-shirt??? It’s exhausting.

Dinner is on the tip of my tongue, but for the life of me, I don’t remember it! Child tucked in, back to work, emails, Sadie—tonight barking at my closet, whatever—then, my stomach growls. Yay—dinner. Again—YUM! Asian stuffed cabbage roll with crunchy nutty flavorful brown rice. Spoke to Yvette earlier and told her how much I loved the food. She read my mind—yeah, we would just love more of it. That, in a nutshell, is why most of the country should be doing this detox food cleanse—Melissa, of course, being the virtuous-eater minority (at one office party, she was excited about the broccoli. Me? Do I even need to say it?). And, my snarky quip when someone compliments my accessories? More Is More. I always want MORE—more time, more sleep, more togetherness, more books, more chocolate, more hugs. Less is not more, it’s less. Even a 5th grader knows that!—Nancy Rotenier

Related Links
Did You Miss the Beginning? Detox Diet Food Diary Day 0
How Did the First Day on the Diet Cleanse Go? Day 1
Does Day 2 of My Detox Diet Live Up to Yvette’s Dire Prediction?
Disaster Strikes—But It’s Not What You Think: Detox Diet Diary Day 3
Crying, Coffee & Customer Service: Detox Diet Food Diary Day 4
One Week Down: Detox Diet Food Diary Days 5, 6 & 7
Anger Management & Rapper D: Detox Diet Food Diary Day 8

Abstaining for 21 Days: A Detox Diet Food Diary Day 4


Crying, Coffee & Customer Service: Day 4 of My Healthy Diet Food Diary Begins
8:37 a.m. and it’s pre-juice cleanse time. Nothing until 9:00 a.m. I need coffee, as in NEED coffee. Gotta love my pink espresso maker. Actually, everyone loves my pink espresso maker. I should sell them, but Illy might get a little ticked. So, do you think my sobfest over my Fios debacle yesterday has anything to do with the cleanse? I was thinking about that this morning while on hold for a Verizon manager. I’d already spent a solid half hour on the phone with someone at Verizon to try to get them to commit to a more precise time than ANYTIME between 8:00 a.m. and 8:00 p.m. I’m sorry. Does anyone at these companies realize that their customers work at other companies that require them to SHOW UP??? Honestly! Not to mention, I’d already lost a day—and night—of my life to them and the installation that wasn’t. (If you missed my Detox Diary Diet Day 3, I know, you’re lost. Go read day 3; this will be here when you get back.) So, as I was saying, I’m now on hold for a manager because Verizon staffer number 1 said the best Dispatch could do was “sometime” this afternoon. Dispatch and I were not going to be friends. That much was clear. What was also clear? Time to ask for the manager.

Kickstart Upends My Eating Habits & My Emotions
While I was on hold, it seemed like a perfectly reasonable time to have a mini breakdown. Tears streaming down my face, poor Sadie looking at me going, “Just play with me, ok?” And the whole time I’m crying while waiting for the manager, I’m also thinking about how totally ridiculous I’m being. Yes, I was aggravated (well, OK, infuriated), but no one was sick, or hurt, or worse. It was just 1 giant pain in the ass and a complete—and unnecessary—waste of time, something I have even less of than money! It hit me. Maybe this is what Yvette meant when she warned me about the Kickstart cleanse bringing out negative feelings. I’m not usually touchy feely that way, and I am most definitely a crier—very cathartic! But maybe . . .

Meanwhile, My Verizon Savior & Grabbing My First Diet Meal of the Day
My new favorite person—Michelle the Manager at Verizon—picked up, said she would talk to Dispatch to try to get them to commit to an early time, and would call me back. She did. They’ll be here in half an hour. She can’t do anything about the 2 of my 3 new cable boxes that now don’t have clocks on them—a huge problem!—but she sympathized, saying customers are really complaining about it. Note to Verizon—if all of your customers are unhappy about something, it’s usually a good idea to fix it! Well, it’s 9:04, I’ve had half of my Americano, and I can go grab that first juice of the detox diet day feeling a bit calmer than before. Maybe today will be better all around . . .

9:41 a.m. Random observation: Is this morning’s juice more sweet and delicious because it’s from a different batch? Or are my taste buds sharpening with the absence of all things animal and artificial? Tawk amongst yourselves!

10:37 a.m. Verizon repair guy is still not here. Maybe I don’t speak Fios? In their language, seems like a half hour means wait 2 hours and then force your already VERY dissatisfied customer to call for the 5th time in 12 hours. Nice.

Keeping a Food Journal & Keeping a Diet Meal Schedule—Guess Which Is Easier?
3:52 p.m. You can’t begin to believe this day. I can’t. I’m about to have my noon meal. Obviously, the keeping-to-the-schedule momentum has taken a down-Everest turn! Verizon showed up at 11:30 or so. Same 2 very nice men from yesterday. At least I didn’t lose time giving them the house tour. They went straight to work while I dealt with delayed copy, writing teasers, multiple phone calls with Tara, Melissa, Dania, et al.—and emails. Why is my inbox hit with an email tsunami every time I turn my back? At some point, my phone rings. The land line. Halleluiah! I HATE talking on my Blackberry—so uncomfortable! Anyway, phone fixed, then the remotes for the TVs. I don’t bother to ask what was wrong with any of it. If it works, I’m good.

Oh Where, Oh Where Has My Diet Meal Gone?
It’s 1:50 at this point, and I know they’re going to tackle the internet next. But I’m supposed to leave by 2:15 or so to be at a meeting downtown by 3:00. Not looking likely. How does Verizon get to kill 2 days I didn’t have to spare?! Somewhere in the back of my mind, I process my stomach is growling. Oh, right, hunger. I know what to do for that. Head to the fridge looking for Day 4 lunch concoction. Nada. Hmmm. Then, I remembered that Yvette said to freeze the meals that were later in the week. Great. 2:30 p.m. and lunch is giant green block of ice. With a small shiver of guilt, I stick the jar of frozen green soup in the microwave—Kickstart’s guidelines recommend stovetop reheating. Great work if you can get it. Meanwhile, I’m lucky to find 5 seconds to scarf something down—it’s microwave or nothing. Gingerly, I nuke the soup in 20-second intervals on medium, convinced that if I blast it per my usual microwave overkill, the jar will explode. Not as concerned about potential implosion as I am at the thought of being left without lunch.

Yvette’s Kickstart Plan Has a Schedule—Verizon? Not So Much
Verizon Math—My new best friends leave by 2:45. Everything works . . . for now. In the 29-plus hours since this whole ordeal started, this is the breakdown: 11 hours with Verizon workersin my house, 5 hours on my Blackberry (remember, no house phone) with Verizon customer service and/or tech support, 2½ hours waiting for them this morning. And in the ultimate irony, my now-working phone rings for the first time with a prerecorded call from Paul Sullivan (he helpfully spells it for you), Vice-President of Customer Service for Verizon, offering his email address for feedback about my Fios installation experience. Just wait ’til he gets my email. I do want to say, in all fairness, that every single Verizon employee I dealt with went out of their way to be nice and helpful—despite my often weepy, panicky, angry, frustrated tones of voice. Maybe they will be NICE enough to reimburse my plan for the 29 hours of nonstop Blackberry minutes this debacle ate up.

Major Model Meltdown. Is It Bedtime Yet?
Back at the ranch, we’re rushing, deadlines, deadlines, deadlines. I’ve already told Tara and Melissa I’m out of commission for the meeting. Read the tests of today’s stories—still haven’t eaten lunch—when children arrive from school. My mother in tow, they storm in, talking over each other about hungry, homework, new teacher, Happy Anniversary Grandma and Poppy . . . and then, the hysteria. One apoplectic because the remote still won’t control the volume, the other in tears because an entire season of America’s Next Top Model on the old DVR has been sacrificed in the name of Verizon. Plus, Disney on Demand is “gone” and all the channels are different numbers. Apparently, this qualifies me as world’s worst mother, ruiner of lives who never does anything nice for anyone. I’m at peace with that. I offer snacks and TV help, while reading the final test. Why does it feel like 10:00 p.m. already?! Oh yeah, wishful thinking!

It’s Not Easy Drinking Green: Delivered Diet Detox Meals Go Monochrome!
By 3:45, I’m happily sipping my soup—this sipping thing is working for me. A purée of green vegetables with some chickpeas in the mix for texture. Chewing is a good thing. Only problem: I can’t face another green drink, 3:00 p.m. is always green, so I have some of the detox tea I made, but never got to finish. I need a different color for a bit.

Without Delivered Detox Diet Meals, Will I Stick to a Healthy Eating Plan?
It’s been a long bit. Spoke with Lindsay H—not to be confused with Lindsay L (apparently, I collect Lindsays; it’s a good thing)—about broadcast segments, then Daniela. The misery over Verizon has temporarily subsided with the distraction of a good book. And, I cracked open the green juice at 6 o’hell-I-can’t-believe-how-late-I-am. Again, the taste bud thing. Is this 3:00—6:00 in Nancy time—juice actually sweeter or does it just seem that way? Not complaining. I live for sweets—my mother could eat half an Oreo and be full. Me? Don’t ask. But I have to tell you, I’m not having any cravings. Not sitting here counting the minutes until this is over, fantasizing about the Chinese takeout and ice cream and M&Ms I will “treat” myself to then. I’m actually curious about what I’ll do—and for how long—once mydetox cleanse is at an end. For now, I’m anxious about the weekend. Tomorrow is detox diet day 5. After that? I’m flying without a net all weekend. Yvette wants people on the Kickstart program to learn from the get-go how to “cope” in the real world—as in—she’s not going to be preparing my every meal. Maybe I can get some sort of lifetime subscription?

Busy Busy Busy with a Diet Meal Here & There
Ok, I have to pause here—9:55 p.m.—and tell you how insanely delicious dinner is. Seriously, I want the recipe! Adzuki & Spinach Stew. Pretend you don’t notice I’m eating it 3 hours late. Since the green juice, I made each child dinner—of course, not the same thing! What were you thinking?! Then, harass about homework, begin to plow through 300 emails, answer a call from parents—who’d gone out to dinner—asking if we needed anything from the outside world, edit articles, insiston showers, talk to Tara, make pasta for hungry child, consult on tomorrow’s “themed” outfit for a school activity, tuck in, sing 2 songs, hugs and kisses. Phew. And I’m full. I’ve been writing and editing and emailing while I cleanse/eat dinner and I just realized that even with some leftover, I’m totally satisfied. That happens on diets about as often as me working out. NEVER.

Can’t Deprive Myself of My Healthy Chocolate Brownie
When it’s 1:35 a.m. and you’re still working, you know it’s been a long day. But I have much more energy and feel my usual awake-at-a-ridiculous-hour self. So, the sleepiness of the first few days of the detox cleanse seems to have passed, for now. Given the delay of every single juice and meal, save 9:00 a.m. today, is it any surprise I had the 8:00 p.m. brownie at 1:00 a.m.? Hope I don’t have to count it against day 5!—Nancy Rotenier

Related Links
Did You Miss the Beginning? Detox Diet Food Diary Day 0
How Did the First Day on the Diet Cleanse Go? Day 1
Does Day 2 of My Detox Diet Live Up to Yvette’s Dire Prediction?
Disaster Strikes—But It’s Not What You Think: Detox Diet Diary Day 3