The other day, I was coaching a postpartum mom who is currently weaning her one-year-old off of breastmilk and is considering doing a juice & raw food cleanse to get back to her pre-pregnancy diet.
Her challenge: With a demanding job as a corporate attorney, how to juice during the day?
Ironically, this was the same question she had asked after returning to work as a breastfeeding mama ("how do I breastfeed and work full time?"). Her question created an AHA moment for both of us!
Me: How did you solve the problem of nursing your baby during work hours?
Her: I pumped and bottled my milk so it could go with her to daycare.
........................................... Silence ..........................................
Her: Ooh, maybe I could do the same thing ... juice in the morning, bottle it and take it with me?
Me: That sounds like an idea!
Her: But I've heard that fruits and veggies lose vitamins and minerals once juiced and so you should drink them right away rather than refrigerate for later use. Is that true?
Me: Hmm, does that happen with pumped and bottled breastmilk? What do you think?
Her: Well, pumped and bottled milk probably loses some value nutritionally, but the real value lost in not nursing directly from the breast is the soul connection ... lovingly holding your baby, looking her in the eye, that close skin-to-skin bonding time. It just can't be replaced.
Me: Does that mean that pumped and bottled breastmilk is not valuable? Or that you don't get to make that connection with your baby at other times?
Her: NO! It's still considered the next best thing to actually feeding AT the breast. I mean, even doctors will verify that it's still better than formula in most cases. And I still nurse her on the breast at night time plus as she gets older we are creating new ways of connecting.
Me: Indeed. And when you pump your milk, is it with the same love and caring for your baby that you have when feeding at the breast directly?
Her: Oh yes!
Me: So, how does this all translate to produce and juicing?
Her: I guess once you cut into veggies they do begin to lose some of their nutritional value. That happens when we cook too, but we still eat cooked foods, right?
Me: Yes. How can you put that same caring and love into juicing?
Her: Hmm, maybe by choosing, washing, handling, storing, and preparing my fruits and veggies with a mindfulness for its connection to wellness and healing my body?
Me: Sounds like you are saying that your mindset and the interaction with your food is important to the energy of your food, and what value it has for your body.
Her: Yes! Exactly!
Me: So what can you conclude from this discussion?
Her: Well, I have to work. And I want to be healthy. So just like I pump my milk and send it with my baby, I can juice my fruits and veggies and carry them to work with me. It's not ideal, but it is the best in our given situation. Plus I get to choose the quality and determine the care that goes into the preparation ... something I have no control of outside my kitchen.
Me: Wow. Sounds like you've made a decision and feel good about it!
Her: YES! I have. Now all I have to do is find a fabulous portable container to store and carry my juices in. Thank you for helping work through this!
Me: You are an amazing advocate for your own health.