This here bringer of the pooper to the fun party

To juice or not to juice

Last week a ton of my friends and colleagues came to town for the annual Alt Summit held downtown at the Grand America. This year I didn’t have anyone staying at my house so I thought it would be a little less busy than years before, but my schedule has a tendency to spiral quickly into meetings and more meetings and even more meetings and suddenly there is no time left in the day to sit down and come up with a fart joke.

I had finished my juice cleanse (juice “fast,” whichever one is going to prevent you from leaving another very concerned comment about me and the welfare of my children) the week before knowing that things might get a little chaotic with so many of my friends in town, and I’m glad I have waited until now to write down some of my impressions of that experience. I’ve had some time to reflect and analyze what I was feeling and thinking during those five days, and if I had said anything when I had my first bite of solid food it would have read like my website normally does, totally dramatic and exaggerated and most definitely in all caps: WORST THING EVER.

Life is black and white and there is nothing in between. In the name of Jesus Christ, amen.

I had heard some version of the following sentence about 1400 times before I decided to do this: “Oh, you know, by day three you’ll start to feel great and then by the end you’ll want to eat like that forever!”

I’d like to go back in time, find every single person who said that to me, and jab them in the thigh with a fork.

I was ravenous by day five. I was counting down the hours and minutes until I could chew a piece of food with my teeth. I was GLEEFUL that it was almost over. Every other thought in my head was, “I get to eat soon. I get to eat soon. I get to eat soon.” However, every thought in between those was, “My thoughts have never been clearer, my thoughts have never been clearer, my thoughts—wait, I GET TO EAT SOON!”

So, would I ever do this again? I’ll get to that in a minute, but I think I should explain some other things first.

tojuice

JUICE RECIPES:

Some of you asked if I would share the recipes I used for the juices. If you do a google search for “juice cleanse recipes” you’ll get pages and pages of ideas and the “IT’S A FAD DON’T DO IT YOU IDIOT” articles thrown in for good measure. There are some fantastic recipes out there. However, several of my friends who tried it mentioned just how time consuming it is and suggested that I find a juice bar in my area. Since I don’t own a juicer, the juice bar idea sounded like the way to go. Yes, it was expensive to have five days worth of fresh juice delivered to my house (once on Sunday evening, once on Wednesday evening), but the expense was also a very good motivator. I really, truly, most definitely wanted to give up that first night but I took a look at all that fresh juice in my refrigerator, thought about what I had paid for it, and determined that I would be seeing this to its very end YOUNG LADY.

Every morning I had a green juice filled with carrots, spinach, parsley and apples. Mid-morning I drank a 16-ounce water filled with lemon and cayenne pepper. For lunch I had a juice made from spinach, cucumber, parsley, celery, apple, pear, lemon, and ginger. The afternoon drink was coconut water, and then dinner was the juice from carrots, apples, beets, lemon and ginger. And it was all totally disgusting.

Oh my god, so gross. Just awful. No, no, no, no, no. If the pain of divorce had a flavor, that would be it. “Divorce Water.” I’m going to start a juice bar specifically for people who are about to get divorced so that they can come in and find out what the next few years of their lives are going to taste like.

That first day I had to hold my nose to get any of it down. I loathe coconut water and when it made me puke a little bit on the first day I stopped drinking that altogether. By lunch of day two I decided to try a little trick that probably invalidates the whole cleanse to people who take this all very, very seriously: I bought some stevia and I added a single packet to every juice. Cheating? Probably. Yeah, most definitely. Totally cheating. But I was able to get the juices down. Juice hack!

WORKING OUT:

I tried my normal workout the first day of the cleanse and it was embarrassing. I thought I would have enough energy from the meal I had eaten the night before, but I was thoroughly mistaken. And from there I got progressively more exhausted. I did not feel at any point during this cleanse that I had enough energy for a normal workout, so instead I took the dogs on long walks. I even ordered almond water because the juice company claimed it would give me an energy boost. They lied.

SIDE EFFECTS:

First, the bad ones…

1. Exhaustion, more exhaustion, even more exhaustion
2. Terrible headaches
3. Mid-day slumps that felt like I had been drugged and beaten
4. I could not ever get warm. I was constantly, irritatingly cold.
5. My stomach routinely interrupted conversations with odd noises.

The good ones…

1. I haven’t sleep that well in months.
2. I’d wake up before my alarm and not be angry about it.
3. Every morning I felt so happy and positive and almost beaming.
4. Cravings for unhealthy indulgences quickly disappeared.
5. By the morning of day five my head was so clear that I was certain (and still feel this way) that this cleanse would be life-changing.

Let me expound on that last one for a second, because it is the reason why I will do this again. It’s the reason why I could recommend this to anyone looking to make some changes to their life. I feel like this was life-changing not in the sense that winning the lottery is life-changing. It’s not like I discovered a new religion or have somehow communed with an angel.

When you get that exhausted and when you have restricted your life so that you cannot seek comfort from stress in food, a lot of the noise in your life comes into stark relief. And you realize, what a minute. That’s just a lot of noise. Why am I putting up with that noise? I don’t need that noise in my life.

All that noise became so suddenly clear and so immediately unnecessary. And because I didn’t have the energy to deal with it, I didn’t. I just let it all go. I said, enough. I’m done.

I have been perpetuating cycles of unhealthy noise for a very long time thinking that all I had to do was attend to the noise and it would eventually resolve itself, thinking that if I didn’t attend to it, the noise would get worse. Turns out the exact opposite was true. I had to abandon it. I had to close it off. And my god, the clarity that shot right into my life the moment I did.

I didn’t read any of that in a book. No one told me this would happen. It was a very unexpected and joyous side effect that hasn’t dissipated since I returned to my normal way of eating. If all of this sounds very hippy, I’m fine with that. I’d happily grow dreadlocks and hang wind chimes over my toilet if it meant I could reach the same peace of mind.

MY TWO CENTS:

If you are going to attempt something like this you should probably slowly eliminate certain things from your diet first. Gradually stop eating gluten. Reduce your caffeine intake. Get rid of all the processed food in your pantry. Go a few meals without any dairy. See how your body reacts each time you eliminate something. My normal diet doesn’t contain any gluten or dairy or processed sugar, and even for someone who eats like me the exhaustion and headaches were unreal.

If you can afford to do so, go somewhere quiet and peaceful where you can nap and recover and read and then nap some more. I only sort of recommend this because I’m not sure I would have discovered all the noise in my life had I done so. I probably wouldn’t have experienced that realization. I had my kids and their school routines and homework and piano practice and work and projects and meetings and deadlines. I had to take it hour by hour. I would have loved to crawl up in a ball underneath some covers, but I didn’t have that option.

Ultimately for me this endeavor was a huge success, although it was most definitely grueling work. I tried three new Paleo recipes the first week off of the cleanse, recipes that I cooked in my kitchen with kitchen things. This past weekend I tried two more. I AM COOKING AND I AM ENJOYING IT OMG WTF. I happily got rid of some things in my pantry that I had too easily let slip back into my normal routine. Most importantly, I check myself every day for the noise in my life and whether or not I’m fostering it or letting it go.

Off to order some wind chimes.

  • Ellen

    Good for you!

  • Amy

    Ughhhh I cannot fathom. Plus spinach makes my mouth itch and then send fiery streams through my bowels. I’ve had good luck with the fat flush 10 day cleanse fast whatever you call it. Headaches and muscle cramps be damned. But keep me away from the juice…unless it comes in colored bottle with a cork.

  • Dee

    So happy to see this. I tried juicing for one day and couldn’t deal with it. The taste was HORRIBLE. Nobody talks about that. Also, the gastro issues were…. well, I couldn’t have gone into an office and worked AT ALL, put it that way. However, I think you can just eat healthy without mixing it all up and drinking it. Eat salads. Eat roasted veggies. Eat fruit salads. Eat organic meat. Gradually eliminate stuff that’s unhealthy. But don’t be nutso about it. I used to work for a dedicated vegan who ate a steak about twice a month. He was still trim and healthy. MODERATION in all things is the key…

  • Anna B.

    I have been eating gluten, dairy, and unprocessed sugar free for a year now and feel much better overall. I get terrible migranes and have hormonal/anxiety issues. (However I decided i couldn’t live without my coffee.) I’ve been cooking a lot of Paleo recipe’s as well, and purchased a couple of the books you recommend on this topic. They are great! I never thought about the comments you made about ‘the noise’ though. I’m always trying to attend to it in hopes that will bring peace. Thank you for reminding me that I just need to let it all go.

  • Ashley

    This is just my two cents from recent anecdotal experience as well. I think one reason you were so exhausted and so hungry was because it wasn’t enough volume and calories. Apparently like everyone else I got into juicing after watching Fat, Sick, and Nearly Dead so I used their juicing plans when I did mine (and when I continue juicing for breakfast or random meal replacement). Their plans are 5 pint-sized juices a day plus all the water and tea you want (have you tried waking up to fresh ginger/lemon tea? It’s amazeballs if you like those flavors), but it’s still between 1200-1500 calories if the goal is weightloss. I’m just wondering if just 3 juices was way too few calories and far too spread out in the day to feel satisfying. Also, regarding taste the vast majority of recipes from them taste pretty darn amazing, and one thing I learned to do is spread those flavors out in the day. Breakfast and dessert juices are usually ultra-sweet juices from fruits and sweet veggies like carrots and beets, while mid-day and dinner juices was the somewhat icky green stuff. I’d just swap a few ingredients around to include some apples or grapes or whatever was on the menu that day in the mid-day juices and put some of the green stuff in the breakfast to make everything taste decent-to-delicious. I know you ended up buying your juices, but if you have a choice of the ratio and ingredients that goes into each one, I would try a different plan that maximizes nutrients AND flavor. It makes a big difference.

  • Christina McKitrick Martin

    I could never do a cleanse but I do juice almost daily. Typically before dinner. Not only am I making sure that I get all the fruit and veggies needed daily but I eat less at dinner because of it.

  • Kate H

    I did a juice “cleanse” over Labor Day weekend when I knew I could lay low at home. Because I have a tiny kitchen and no fab juicer, I opted to have one of the big New York based brands deliver all 3 days to my door. It was insanely expensive, so if I did one again, I’d probably opt for something local now that there are more choices. I ate vegan for a couple days before and eased off the coffee and wine, and had mostly salads when I started eating again, so the change wasn’t too abrupt. For exercise I only went for a short run and did some gentle yoga, and yes, I napped A LOT. The big bags under my eyes disappeared for, like, a whole week so it was worth it just for that.

  • RzDrms

    Long (LONG) time reader. I’ve noticed a difference in your writing since this juice fast, and I *love* it. I’m wondering if it’s because of the noise elimination. Basically, I’m loving how you’re sharing, effin’ haters be damned. I enjoy hearing what you’re really thinking about things like this, your diet, etc. Thanks for sharing! 🙂

  • Wordfiend

    I’ve been debating juicing for a while. It does sound wretched, but also like a good idea. However, I have so much gluten and dairy in my life right now that I’ll have to work up to the juice thing.

  • This sounds a bit like how I felt during wrestling season in 1992, but you probably didn’t pass out in the hallway from dehydration and get sent home from school, only to have your coach call the house and demand that you attend a grueling practice that afternoon.

  • Me

    Can you possibly not talk about having juice delivered to your door at a time when people aren’t even able to afford food? Or how about, you don’t take advantage of a new healthcare system (Obamacare) when you can clearly afford to pay for insurance, and save it for someone who really needs it. Would that be okay?

  • Blu

    Gawd, I hope you’re a troll. If you don’t like what she has to say, why did you bother to read this whole article, let along comment on it?

  • Heather Armstrong

    It would be okay, sure, but I didn’t qualify for private insurance without Obamacare. I had to pay for catastrophic insurance. And I *did* pay for it. A shit ton a month for over eight years, in fact. I’m saving money just like every other person with a pre-existing condition who couldn’t qualify for it and paid through the nose. I’m “taking advantage” of it exactly like it was designed to be taken advantage of.

    As for people who can’t afford food, how about a challenge? You show me what you contributed to organizations that helped those who are hungry in the last year and I will match it. In fact, I will double it.

  • Thank you for sharing your experience. I’m intrigued by a juice fast but scared to try it. I have been using “busy” and “mom” as an excuse. You have made it clear that busy (single!) moms can do this cleanse successfully. Now, I need to work on eliminating some of those other items you mentioned to prepare myself…

  • RzDrms

    I’d like to join in on (contribute to) whatever comes from your offers in your second paragraph. Please inbox me specifics if you get any confirmed details. Thanks, and great ideas! 🙂

  • Laura

    Healthy, working, young(ish) people need to sign up for, and pay into, Obamacare if the system is going to work. If it’s only impoverished, old, and sickly people who sign up, then the system will not have enough money coming in to support itself. It’s NOT a charity. We should be thanking Heather for signing up.

  • Jason R

    I’m curious about the comment below re calorie count for juicing. I had no idea one could get that many calories via juices. I’d definitely have to do without the coconut water as well (gag). I can’t decide if I’d be better off working through the juicing (taking my mind off my hunger; I come from a long family of grazers) or if a 3 day nap would be better. Thanks for this post.

  • chuck

    so so so unhealthy.

  • Bee Butler.

    Can you possibly not be an enormous cunt and/or possibly read anything she’s ever written concerning the work she and those in this community have done to help other people, specifically those in places where food and healthcare is scarce? Or how about you just shut the fuck up and troll somewhere else. Would that be okay?

  • Tracie

    so so so unhelpful.

  • Tracie

    There’s always one.

  • pocketcathy

    I can’t help but laugh that one of the “Around the Web” articles that appeared for me at the end of this post was “50 Best Pizzas in America: One from Every State.”

  • Susan

    well, now that sounds like a good idea…..smart, i am definitely going to start trying this. thanks, christina.

  • americanrecluse

    Concern troll is so concerned.

  • Mary

    I periodically do BluePrint Cleanse and it is totally worth the expense. The juices are really quite tasty, I have all the positive results you reported (yes, the noise reduction, ma gawd) and, luckily for me, none of the negative side effects. It can be challenging but also so rewarding, physically and mentally. I think the mental benefits outweigh the physical ones, at least for me they do, in terms of their significance. Yes, my body always feels better, I drop a few pounds, etc. But it’s what happens in my head that matters more. I become ridiculously energetic and positive, and I see things with so much more clarity and peace. People can be skeptical (and mean) about it, but haters should try it before knocking it. I think it’s life changing, and I’m not usually given to hyperbole.

  • J E Double S

    If by “juice” you mean “wine”, I am totally in. But I didn’t see a damn thing about wine in your post. I couldn’t do it…just too strict for me and I am so miserable when I am hungry. Just taking one day off fasting for a medical procedure about kills me! As a matter of fact, I want a soft taco right now.

  • Solaana

    So, I randomly did a three day juice cleanse earlier this
    month, and I went into it coming off a Downton Abbey dinner at my parents that
    included a lot of alcohol, and a lot of fat, dairy, gluten, etc. I was looking
    at it as a jumpstart to eating better (beginning of the year
    resolution-type-shenanigans). I second the exhaustion part of this wholeheartedly
    – I did it over three weekdays, and I was a total waste of skin. I did manage
    to work out one of those days, but it was a halfhearted effort at best.

    I’d bought a groupon, so the juices were shipped to me too, and other than the
    first one each day, they were actually delicious. My 5th juice (there were 6 16
    oz juices a day – mostly fruits and veg, but the 5th was included protein) was
    always the best – I still make the banana and almond butter/milk shake for
    breakfast. And while I didn’t realize I’d need to come down off the
    fast/cleanse slowly (yeah I jumped right into a Taco Tuesday with fish tacos
    and margaritas – UNWISE) it most definitely changed the way I eat, and approach
    food in general. I actually jumped on Bon Appetit’s food cleanse about a week
    after I finished this – it’s not juice, just a meal plan that minimizes sugar,
    dairy, and gluten, and increasing vegetables and healthy fats. I can’t
    recommend that enough, either (and their recipe for sesame-miso dressing is
    freaking crack).

    In any case, I had the lowest possible expectations for
    my juice cleanse, but it really did change me. I don’t even drink coffee anymore,
    which is a HUGE thing. I would definitely do this again, and be smarter about
    going in and coming off it, next time around. I used to judge the hell out of
    folks who did this, but having had the experience, I’m thankful I gave it a
    chance, because my habits, such as they were, were just downright destructive.

  • Heather Piper

    Do you understand how Obamacare works? Those who “take advantage” of it STILL have to pay monthly premiums. It ain’t free, honey. How about educating yourself before you start slamming your fingers on the keyboard in disgust.

    Would that be okay?

  • Jo D

    When I juiced, I never put anything into a blender that I wouldn’t eat raw by itself. I made the mistake of throwing tons of “super greens” that I usually don’t care for unless covered in Annie’s Goddess dressing, and was totally grossed out by the lawn-clipping flavor.

    I juiced in a blender and then strained the goo through a nut-milk bag, which was messy and time consuming compared to buying the juice pre-made, but less work than cooking a real meal. I’ve heard tips to save the pulp ball and make “cookies” out of it to get your fiber… but at that point why don’t you just eat the fruits and veggies??

  • Me

    Nice choice of words there Bee. You’re clearly a real class act. I’m not a troll, I knew my post would stir up controversy so I chose not to post my name or email. I’ve commented many times before and have read Heather’s blog for years. I’ve always supported her writing and have driven many people to he site. It just irked me, and I don’t know why, that she posted that she had juice delivered in a time when so many people are struggling. If you think about it, it wasn’t necessary for her to do so to make her point in this post. I found it offensive. I’m not a reader who agrees with everything she says or does. I don’t have to be to be a reader. Get over yourself. I’m well aware of the work she’s done. You have no idea how much time and money I’ve spent giving back so please, keep the language to a fairly mature level and don’t stoop to name calling. It’s a very unattractive look on you and on Heather’s audience. PS-I’m well aware that Heather knows where the post came from and that I’m not really anonymous.

  • Joanna Sequeira

    Would you like me to send you some coconut water since you’re obviously in a pinch and cannot afford juice?
    Furthermore, when in God’s name did a juice cleanse become about health care?

  • Beth Rich

    “I knew my post would stir up controversy”
    From Urban Dictionary: Troll – One who posts a deliberately provocative message to a newsgroup or message board with the intention of causing maximum disruption and argument
    Yes she was out of line, but you’re still a troll. As this southern girl would say, “Bless your heart, if you can say something nice, don’t say anything at all.”

  • Heather Armstrong

    Thank you so much for sharing this. I think it’s a great perspective, that you had your doubts but gave it a shot and it surprised you. I, too, have cut my coffee intake way back and not necessarily on purpose. It just isn’t as important as it was before.

  • Jessica

    This doesn’t make any sense. There isn’t a limit to the number of people that are allowed to sign up for Obamacare. And you do still pay for insurance under Obamacare–a lot for families, in fact, especially if you want anything better than the bronze plan.

  • Solaana

    I think what helped me was going in with the lowest expectations
    possible. And I had to remind myself HOURLY that I wasn’t in it to lose weight,
    because as soon as I started eating normally again, it would jump right back up
    to where it was before. Which it totally did. I still drink too much wine, and
    I will never give up Wegmans Russian Rye bread, but I think the most important
    thing that I learned about myself during the cleanse is the awareness of just
    how much I turn to food in lieu of dealing with whatever stress, boredom, or
    other emotion I’m avoiding at the moment. And I mean, I basically knew that
    already, but since I didn’t have the food at hand, I had to find other ways to
    deal. So just gaining that perspective made the whole thing worth it.

    And again, that banana almond milk/butter shake was AMAZING. I would
    never have tried such a monstrous sounding thing, but the cleanse/fast brought
    that magic into my life, so I will be forever grateful.

  • Becki K.

    My method was to get the flu for a week, go on a water and saltine cracker “fast”, sweat all the toxins out of my system thanks to the fever and blankets I was chattering under. I lost weight, got plenty of sleep and cleansed myself of sugar and junk food. Of course I’m being facetious, but I try to look on the bright side of things 🙂

  • Lauren

    I suppose I am factored into the “hater” camp because of my two comments on the post where Heather originally mentioned the juice diet. Heather also made this clear by writing in the beginning of this post about preventing people from leaving comments of concern or worrying about “the welfare of my children.” The latter, I have to admit, does sting. I’m embarrassed to admit that, because I know it’s silly– I don’t “know” Heather or her kids — it just feels a bit that way because I’ve been following her blog for so many years. This is the only personal-type blog I read.

    I’ve left many comments on this blog and have even emailed with Heather before. I expressed in my post that I in no way wanted to make it seem like I was doubting her parenting skills– my (unsolicited) opinion is that Heather is a fantastic parent. But I still had some things I wanted to politely offer up about that post here in the comments section, based on things I’ve read here in the past and my own experiences, and I earnestly requested for her (and anyone else) to talk more about the diet.

    I did struggle with whether or not to say what I did, and I can see I made the wrong decision.

  • I’m dealing with a lot of shit right now – cross country move a few months ago, settling the kids here, dealing with everyday life of a working mother, and found out beloved family member is alcoholic (although thankfully just completed 30 day program). I have a LOT of fear right now over my future and beloved family member’s future – fear I cannot push away even though I am actively working the steps in my Al-Anon Family Group. I am an optimistic, cheery person and that damn fear is invading my space. There’s something about your quote on “noise” that is speaking to me – I’m not clear on how it affects me, but it’s tapping at my brain asking to be let in.

  • Lauren

    PS — FWIW, this post IS that response I was hoping for, and it does clear a lot of things up, and I appreciated Heather writing it.

  • Hey

    Wegmans Russian Rye??? That right there sounds good enough to keep my from doing a cleanse…ha! How have I not seen it before?!

    Also, could you share the recipe for that banana almond shake (as in quantities for each)? I recently got a nutribullet and am curious how that might taste, because if it’s good it might be tasty with some, say, kale or spinach too.

  • Bee Butler.

    My point exactly.

  • Bee Butler.

    You are, in fact, a troll. Hiding behind anonymity because you couldn’t handle what you were about to post and the backlash it might bring is a sad thing. If you know Heather and she knows it’s you, then why don’t you just use your name? On top of that, it’s clear you don’t know how the heatlhcare system works, so I’m going to ignore that part and get straight to what matters. I do not have any idea how much you spend or give back, so, as Heather kindly asked, why don’t you do the world you are so desperately concerned about a favor and let her know exactly what you’re contributing (as well as the person below her comment) so they can match and or double it? If you’re looking to do some good, stop hiding behind a pseudonym, make your point, deal with the backlash like a “mature class act”, and then pony up the information asked for in response.

    I also find it amusing that it irks you so that she had juice delivered that you would stoop to the level of anonymous troll just to throw a fit about it on the internet when you’re one of her regular readers. Put your money where your mouth is or kindly close it.

  • Heather

    I find your ignorance offensive, and I’m pretty sure anyone who benefits from the not-free, also-not-a-handout Obamacare would you find your ignorance offensive, too.

    By all means, get your knickers in a twist about weekly juice deliveries. If that’s the most heinous thing you can find to complain about, you’re a lucky woman. Count your blessings.

  • I only did a THREE day cleanse and went through all that hoo haw. I can’t imagine five. Big props. Completely agree with the noise and the clear mind and the unsettling side effects and the energy to exclaim I’d do it again and again. I haven’t done it yet this year, but it’ll come. Glad you gave up trying to work out. My nutritionist said that would have to stop….only light workouts, i.e. walks. I’m just wondering why you’re the first blogger who’s ever written about juicing with a healthy perspective…(i.e. not to lose weight or some other silly nonsense) Thanks for sharing the good, the bad and the poopy 🙂

  • Jules

    I enjoy about 95% of your writing.. The 5% of snarkiness you include to poke fun at the naysayers and trolls is so 2011. I get that people really really hate you with a visceral passion and it’s fun to rile them all up. I just don’t get why you constantly want to shine a light on it in almost every single post.

    Other than that, good job on the juice cleanse. Juice delivery is awesome for those that can afford it and the owner of the juice delivery business is a genius..One question though, what about juice degradation? In my experience, the juice loses it’s potency and nutrients very soon after it’s juiced. Does the juice delivery address this?

  • Ask Angie

    I am in too if you need me to donate to help the hungry! Just message me on twitter. (Thanks for the honest post on the juice fast. I have been looking for real information like this as I consider it for myself!)

  • Heather

    Me wrote, “It just irked me, and I don’t know why, that she posted that she had juice delivered in a time when so many people are struggling. If you think about it, it wasn’t necessary for her to do so to make her point in this post. I found it offensive. ”

    Me: You don’t get to bitch about juice delivery while you bask in the soft, warm glow of your personal computer and enjoy the luxury of Internet connection. When you’re ready to give up all your Worldly possessions and donate your excess income to assist those who are struggling, THEN you will have earned the right to bitch about juice delivery.

    Until then, you’re a hypocrite. And a cowardly one at that.

  • RzDrms

    I *definitely* wasn’t referring to you nor other folks who just ask questions and offer up their experiences in a hopefully productive way. I was actually impressed by some of the mature back-and-forth in the last comment thread. Really. 🙂

    I was referring to the REAL haters who hide behind (what they perceive to be) online anonymity and are cruel just to be demeaning. THOSE folks are the ones I love when Heather ignores and just writes however she’s really feeling. Because I *want* to know her real opinion on things like the above. Please don’t worry! 🙂

  • Vicki A

    It seems very wrong that while I read this, I’m eating micro mac-n-cheese, drinking Sunkist and snacking on Starburst jellybeans. 🙂

  • Heather Armstrong

    Lauren, I have gone back and read your comment on the previous post again through the lens of what you have written here. I am sorry that what I said caused you to sting. When I originally read it I interpreted through a fatigue I’m experiencing where there is a constant, needless hand-wringing over the welfare of my kids and dogs and whether my motivation to take on anything is healthy or not.

    There are so many channels now, not just the comments on my website, where people can deliberately misinterpret me or assign intentions to my behavior that have no basis in reality. Channels where people try to make me out to be some horrible thing that I am not. It’s on twitter and Facebook and Instagram, not to mention all the email.

    Having re-read your comment I realize you are not one of these people, and I’m sorry I did not take the time to separate you out from the those who spend their free time attacking me in the name of “constructive criticism.” I’m glad this post cleared some things up and I hope you will accept my apology. Thank you for commenting and being genuinely concerned. I really do appreciate that.