The Smoothie

Smoothie

Hoo boy, have I got a story for you

You might recall from a previous post that I have some jaw issues.  If you want to know all the medical details about what’s wrong with my jaw and the history of how it got that way, I’ll share all of that in another post this week.

But the short story is that the joint on my right side is screwed up and shaped wrong, so it doesn’t move correctly, and I have lots and lots of pain.  There is arthritis in the bones, and my jaw hurts and pops and clicks when I chew, sing, yawn, and speak.  Sometimes it gets stuck closed.  Or worse, sometimes it gets stuck open and then I just stand around looking really surprised for a few minutes until I can finagle it back in place.

A note: it is never a good sign when you have to finagle with one of your joints.

I’ve been really attacking the issue this year, and after several trips to different dentists, an MRI, loads of x-rays, an orthodontist who said braces “might or might not help” {for $6700??  uh, no thanks}, a month in a cheap bite-split, and an investment in chiropractic work {which I’m still doing}, I decided to give my jaw a rest and try a no-chewing diet for awhile.  Pretty much just liquids and pureed foods.

{And in case you’re wondering, yes, Oreo cookies soaked in milk do count as pureed foods.}

MilkandOreos

Delicious and fancy.

Many of my close friends regularly participate in food fasts for spiritual reasons and for health reasons, but I’ve never been very good at it.  I usually end up with splitting headaches or fatigue or irritability and I always give up earlier than I think I will.

However, I wanted to try this no-chew diet as a way of combining the physical benefits of giving my jaw a break with the spiritual benefits of trusting Jesus to sustain me and choosing to focus my attention on Him in moments when all I want is an ear of roasted sweet corn and a piece of fried chicken.  I decided to start last weekend.

We had some friends that would be visiting from out of town, and I knew they both had participated in juice-heavy diets, like the one featured in the documentary “Fat, Sick, and Nearly Dead.”  They have a really fancy juicer, and knowing that most good-for-me-foods require chewing, I asked if I could borrow their juicer to do the chewing for me.  {How’s that for an appetizing way to say it.}

Saturday was Day One of the diet, so we went to the Farmer’s Market in the morning to buy a whole bunch of yummy things to juice.  Tomatoes, carrots, berries, kale, melon, cucumbers, green beans, apples, potatoes. 

Bounty

This beautiful bounty cost just over $30.

Although this food is so beautiful and although I had two expert-juicers right there with me, I just felt a little nervous.  I didn’t know which veggies tasted good with which fruits.  I didn’t know how I would feel after a few days of just drinking my meals.  I didn’t know if I would or could follow through with the diet.  I didn’t know if it would even help, and I really wanted my jaw to feel better.

We decided to stay at the Market for lunch, to enjoy the sunshine and the crowd and the live music and to eat from the Mexican food truck parked in the shade.  I had planned on making some juice for lunch when I got home, but I was already pretty hungry, so I thought I’d see if they had refried beans or something else soft.  They didn’t.  As I walked back to our seat by the music, I caught sight of a different food truck that I hadn’t notice before…

SmoothieTruck

Sweet providence from the heavens!

My first thought was “Yes!”  But my second thought was “High Fructose Corn Syrup.”  I have rarely seen fast-food smoothie joints that use good ingredients.  Usually they’ll throw together a few squirts of red syrup with a scoop of ice and some milk or yogurt and maybe half a banana if they want to advertise that their smoothies contain “Real Fruit”.  However, as I got closer to the truck, I saw their sign said, “100% Organic ingredients”, and then it listed which farm in Michigan each ingredient had come from.  Jackpot!

The Popeye Punch had spinach and pineapple in it, and the Banana Nut had peanut butter and bananas in it.  I decided to go with the Chocolate Mint – yogurt, bananas, cacao, and mint leaves.  Delicious.

While the girl was making my smoothie, I started thinking about what a strange coincidence this was and how glad I was about it, and that maybe Smoothie Girl would like to know about what perfect timing this was for me, it being the first day of my liquid diet and all.  I thought she might think it was cool too.  So when she finished it and handed it to me, I said, “Can I tell you something kind of random?”

“Sure!”  She and her co-worker Smoothie Dude leaned their elbows on the counter between us.

“Well, I’ve had a lot of jaw problems lately, and so I decided to try a liquid diet to give my jaw a rest, starting today.  I came here this morning to buy a bunch of stuff to juice, but I don’t completely know what I’m doing, so I just wanted to tell you that I’m really happy you guys are here to give me lunch.”

And then….

I burst. into. tears.

Now, I realize people use the term “burst into tears” a lot, and they don’t actually mean it.  But I really did!  I did not feel choked up or extraordinarily sensitive.  My eyes were not stinging and tears were not welling up.  But one sentence I was not crying and then the next sentence I was.  Hard, mind you.  This was not cute, gentle tears rolling down my face type of crying.  This was red nose, face contorting, voice quaking, can’t see straight crying.

I was completely shocked and quite embarrassed.  Generally speaking, I’m okay to cry in front of people.  But I didn’t even know these peoples’ names and I was crying over a smoothie, for pete’s sake.  My only saving grace was that I was the only person standing in line.

Smoothie Girl literally ran out of her truck and over to give me a big, long hug.  She said, “We’re here for you!” and I blubbered on about how I was just so surprised and thankful they were at the Market and how I was really scared about my jaw and how they probably didn’t know that a smoothie could mean so much to someone.  Smoothie Dude said, “Wow, this is, like, the most epic smoothie moment ever.”

I eventually stopped rambling and did that awful nervous-laughing-but-still-crying-thing, and Smoothie Girl told me to find them on Facebook where they post every day where their truck is going to be parked.  I sheepishly told them I would probably see them again and then walked away, wiping my eyes, smoothie in hand, ego dragging behind me like a suitcase with a broken wheel.

Despite my embarrassment, the smoothie really was delicious, and I really do plan to track that truck down again.  And the good news is that when someone asks what my most embarrassing moment is, I think I have an answer now.

Smoothie

{Endnote: Later that day a friend of mine texted me, “Are you okay?”  I assumed it was because she had been trying to get a hold of me for a couple of days, and I had been MIA, as usual.  I said, “Sorry!  Yes, I would love to hang with you this week…are you free Wednesday?”  She said, “Yup that works!  And I was asking if you were alright because Bonnie said she thought she saw you crying at the farmers market.  So I was just checking.”  Face palm.}


Smoothie Truck photo from Smoothie Operator’s Facebook Page.

 

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