So, if I was to pick one reason I hate being a nurse, you might think I would choose “exposure to blood-borne pathogens” or “seeing dirty genitals” or simply “smells.” You would be wrong. The main thing I hate about nursing is that it is a field that is dominated by women. Catty, fat, angry, underpaid women.
I cannot sit down to lunch without entering a conversation about calories or gluten. Usually it is a fat nurse eating fried food from the cafeteria lamenting about how she cannot seem to loose the weight. Sometimes it is a fat nurse eating a salad covered in a cup of ranch dressing ranting about how she is so hungry. Occasionally there is a fat nurse eating a huge portion of only meat or swearing off all cheese or refusing to eat anything white. It is exhausting eating lunch.
I usually take out my phone, and even though I do not get a signal, I pretend to search the internets or read email or old texts. If there are coupons on the table, I read them. Old medical journals. Sweetener packets. You get the idea?
Well, I was without material this time, as I sat down to a new and strange scenario. I started to unpack my lunch and the nurse next to me did the same. Out of her abnormally large lunch duffel, she removed 3 container jugs of bright colored liquids. Deep greens, dirty orange, a dirty deep orange-green. She was juicing. And she told me all about it.
Apparently, she was told that the best way to lose weight was to avoid processed foods and eat only fresh vegetables and fruit. Note I said ‘lose weight’ and not ‘be healthier’. The sheer fiber load of eating these foods would strangle her colon so she was told to juice. Add some protein powder, maybe some wheat germ. Juice it. I nodded politely, while quickly fumbling for my phone. I ate my food with gusto and then fled, to make a quick call to my mom.
I was shocked by what that phone call contained. My dear mother, who has been doing some great things to be healthier in her advancing years, has also decided that her food needs to be fresh and not in solid form. She bought, what sounded like, an industrial juicer, and has since been making kale and carrot smoothies. Oh. My mom is also a nurse. So there is that.
Horrified at how so many women who have spent their careers performing liquid food tube feedings to patients who can no longer swallow, I hung up the phone and shuddered to myself. Kale smoothies? No thanks.
After work, I called my friend H to seek some sanity. We recently started a blog together as a way to provide support for each other as we struggled to stop eating crap food and get off the couch. I, being the awesome human you know and love, set up the website and then almost instantly abandoned it. So I called her to get some insight into this new diet fad. Before I could even broach the subject, H mentioned that she watched a movie called “Fat Sick and Tired” or something to that effect- a documentary about a men who decided to stop being a lazy fatty and get his act together. Before I could ask “why did you watch this movie” she told me it was streaming on Netflix. Oh Netflix, providing bored people a random streaming movie outlet since 2009.
H had watched this movie and saw that, like the others in my life, she needed to eat fresh fruit and vegetables. But again, like the others, the idea of chewing all that produce really put her off, so she bought a juicer. And she feels great.
I could not help myself. I went to Amazon and searched for juicers. I did not buy the juicer, but I pondered the thought of simply drinking my way to a thinner life. I then thought about what a kale smoothie would taste like with vodka in it. I closed the web browser and walked over to my fridge. I opened my produce drawer and saw a plethora of choices. I grabbed a handful of mini heirloom tomatoes and ate them in their solid form. They were delicious and crunchy and juicy and I consoled myself with the fact that my chewing was actually burning more calories than if I just drank them.