When I was in DC last weekend, I went to the supermarket with my friend L. so we could buy some stuff to make homemade falafel and dairy-free (vegan) tzaziki sauce (L. has a milk allergy). While we were at the store, I saw that some of the super-expensive bottles of Naked Chai Spiced Apple Juice were on sale. I don't know whether I was just super-thirsty, slightly delusional, or just feeling extravagant and wanted to sink $2.50 on a bottle of juice, but I bought it. I stuck it in L.'s fridge for later that night...which turned into the next day at breakfast...which turned into the next evening...which turned into it's time to leave. More than a little chagrined at purchasing an expensive bottle of juice that I didn't drink, I stuck it in my suitcase for the trip home.

That juice? It's still in the fridge. And I keep intending to drink it, and I keep "forgetting" or putting it off. The juice has an expiration date, and in the old days, I probably would have just let it sit until it got a little fuzzy, and then shrug my shoulders and throw it out. Actually, in the old days, I never would have bought juice, let alone expensive juice. But the let's-just-wait-till-it-expires-so-I-have-a-great-excuse-not-to-eat-it was Vintage Anorexia for me.

And, in a sense, the quasi-outrageous price has been working in my favor. If I dropped fifty cents, or even just a dollar, on some juice, I probably would have chucked it and forgotten about my little delusion that Carrie Drinks Juice. Except it cost quite a bit more than a dollar, and I'd really rather not waste both the money and the juice.

I'm feeling guilty for both buying the juice and turning the simple act of drinking into this long, drawn-out drama of Good vs. Evil. It's just juice. It's not a make-or-break anything, yet somehow it seems that way. I am determined to drink it before the expiration date. I know my mom could sit it down in front of me as part of a snack or meal and insist I drink it, yet that half defeats the purpose. I've had juice during refeeding because it was an easy way to get calories in without much volume. But I drank it because I had to drink it, not because I personally chose to drink it.

Like most people with eating disorders, I have a "thing" about drinking my calories. I see milk as almost a liquid food rather than an actual beverage, perhaps in part because I usually have it with cereal rather than out of a cup. But the prospect of juice still flummoxes me. Besides the liquid calories aspect, I feel guilty for not eating the apple, which would leave more of the fiber and vitamins intact. And then there's the whole "sugar is killing us" theme that is so pervasive in the media. You know, we're all going to die of TEH FATZ because we drink so many sugary juices and sodas. I haven't really bought into the madness, but it does do a good job of making me paranoid.

I guess the ultimate reason behind this post is to try and hold myself accountable to actually have the juice. Healthy Carrie thinks it sounds good and it's an occasional treat and, dammit, it cost $2.50!

When will juice just be juice?

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Alexandra Rising said...

It's funny you post about this specific juice. I was in MA this weekend visiting my mother and I purchased this juice. My two weaknesses are apples and chai.

Let me just, my dear, if you have not tried this juice...you are MISSING OUT. Perhaps I am biased because I LOVE apples and LOVE chai...but I enjoyed it so much I purchased another the next day. Now, I havent yet had it...but I enjoy the fact that should I desire it, I can simply go to the refrigerator and sip it.

Try the juice! Spiced Chai Cider [or whatever the proper name is] is delightful and comforting :)

Kim said...

Before I entered the blogging world, I had no idea that others had a "juice thing." It's comforting (and a little amusing) to see I'm not alone in this aversion. I've felt like juice is "a waste." Like you said, I could eat the fruit and get more vitamins and fiber. Plus, I'm really conscious of the "sugar is bad" thing. I've started to get the small juices, like the one you bought. They're a couple bucks at Trader Joe's. It's a challenge for me to drink those (usually broken down into 2 servings per week). I DO enjoy it though. I've also been into chocolate milk, which I have less and less problem drinking. I think all those years of cherishing every calorie made me value "lasting" calories more. Juice is there and gone in seconds! I go back to pre-anorexia and I know I liked juice, so that's one thing I've been working on ;)

RCK said...

People always look at me funny when I say I don't "like" juice. It's true I don't really enjoy the light-headed sugar spike I associate with juice, but what I'm actually avoiding is that 'liquid-calorie' fear. It's a food-challenge I haven't really confronted, and part of me suspects it will always remain with me as a personal "tic" that is weirdly symbolic of all of the other restrictions I have successfully overcome. If I really, really liked it (the way I really, really like brownies) I would probably try to work on it; but as it stands, juice is just not my first choice of beverage. But I don't know if that's because I genuinely don't like it, or because I've deluded myself into thinking I don't like it.

I do really, really like apples, though--no other fruit has their crunch and crispness! On that note, hooray for fall and apples in all forms, solid or liquid. Good luck with your juice-dilemma, Carrie, and don't stress too much about the price-tag. $2.50 for an inspired moment of bravery and a bit of introspection is a good deal. :)

Carrie Arnold said...


This has got me thinking: I wonder what it's like *heated*. Chai tea was ironically one of my fear foods, too. That wasn't so much a calorie issue (I drink mochas quite frequently), but a fear of enjoying it a lot. I had a couple of frozen chai teas this summer, and I really like the green tea frappuccinos.


I'm a bit like you, in that I'm not a big juice drinker and I wasn't before the eating disorder. My RD and I have discussed food challenges that fall in this same category, and the goal is to get me comfortable eating them if I have to, and able to get to the "do I want it or not?" point.

One of my first ED symptoms was watering down the orange juice I was drinking when I had a cold. I felt oddly guilty about drinking so much sugar, so I started adding hot water to the concentrate in each cup (I was in Scotland and they like to drink hot OJ during colds, but I didn't have a fridge so I kind of improvised).

Sarah at Journeying With Him said...

Carrie, I relate. Like you and Kim, I have a "juice thing." I used to drink the Naked and Bolthouse Farm beverages to gain weight, so they have a negative association for me (plus I'm scared of the "useless" calories.) I have started small, with adding juice and fruit to my wine to make sangria and having "shots" of pomegranate juice. I have also found that blending juice with frozen berries and ice and eating it with a spoon, shaved-ice style, is DELISH and I forget that I'm having juice (but I am!) I know that's not really the point, but it might help you work up to it? If it makes you feel better, that juice sounds AWESOME and if I can find it, I'll drink it along with you! :) I'll let you know if I can find it!

Samantha C. said...

oh wow...I love the Naked juices when I have the funds for them, and chai cider sounds incredible. Don't miss your chance, Carrie! Enjoy good tastes!

Amanda said...

This is a great blog Carrie! One eating disordered behavior I have not given up is "the juice thing"...you have inspired me to go out and buy some! Thank you...

now.is.now said...

A Naked juice sat in my fridge for an entire year once. and a luna bar in my backpack for an entire school year....

yes, I relate to this fear you have with the juice.

I really hope you find yourself wanting it and allow yourself to admit to yourself that you do, in fact, want it. And, after you realize/admit you want it, I hope you're able to enjoy it. You don't have to chug the whole bottle; maybe just pour a tiny glass and sip it as if it's fancy juice :)

Micco said...

Think of it this way: you can't get a chai-flavored apple!

Micco said...

Also - you could use it as liquid in something that's a little easier to handle/more nutritionally appealing.

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I'm a science writer, a jewelry design artist, a bookworm, a complete geek, and mom to a wonderful kitty. I am also recovering from a decade-plus battle with anorexia nervosa. I believe that complete recovery is possible, and that the first step along that path is full nutrition.

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