This week's My Way feature comes to us from the dynamic Gina Laverde. Gina is a green juice makin’ mama. She coaches families on undoing autism and healing through raw foods. She loves life and writes to inspire at Heal Artfully and Certified Organic Woman. Gina lives in Chicago with her husband Doug and her son Dougie.
My Way: Gina Laverde
What a week to share “My Way!” I’ll be 30 in just over a month, and it seems that so many things are clicking right now. Thank you, Dhrumil for giving me this opportunity. Blessings to you all.
Wednesday the 21st
Three days beyond laundry day. I roll out of bed before dawn to blend some greens for my hubby. He’s the lucky recipient of last week’s farm-share leftovers. Doug’s Wednesday Mood Juice is bursting with cucumbers, lemon, cilantro, mint, ginger, cranberries, grapefruit, oranges, a banana, some e3 live and marine phytoplankton. I pour it in a quart jar. He stuffs that in his lunch bag along with a sprouted hummus wrap, celery, and Rice Krispie treats. I love this man. I sneak in bed with the little monster called Dougie. He knees me in the chest. I breathe and he’s pinching my ankles. I am still. Stillness is contagious, and I think maybe this’ll be the one bug my baby catches. No dice. He insists that his Curious George doll needs a bath. The monkey gets a bath. Time to salute the sun. Grab my yoga pants from the top of the laundry heap. I’ll only wear them once more. We stretch in front of the window. Dougie points to the moon. He wonders why we are thanking the sun when he cannot see it from our westward view. I’m crying inside. I ask for Reiki -- something I rarely do for myself. Andrea gives me Reiki. I make Dougie’s green juice, wash his face and walk him to school in the snow. I write “the Caregiver’s Guide to the Raw Vegan Child” while he’s at speech therapy. Bite some raw cacao. Cousin Dana gives me a giant hug. I am better. I listen to Sinatra, do laundry, make a collard salad, burn sage and enjoy my son.
Thursday the 22nd
Up at 3. Re-blend the cashew cheese that fermented overnight. Flip the rye crackers in the dehydrator. Wash dishes. Cut veggies for Dougie. Get to work on my newest site. Then, have an hour workout before the tiny man wakes. Dougie and I dance and drink cucumber, spinach, zucchini, celery, ginger and lemons. Yum! Curious George drinks some too! I frantically clean the house. A news channel may want to interview us. I call my mom like a kid who has just won the science fair. She calls my dad and the rest of our Italian, proud, food lovin’ crazy family. I write some. Dougie deletes as I type. Hubby gets a house call from a chiropractor who fixes his back so that we can go out tonight. Dougie leaves for his nana’s house. Her house is raw for him. She’s the best! I go to a meeting titled “What the Bible says about Healthy Eating.” They really dig my raw munchies. I leave, un-convinced to eat meat. Then, I meet Doug at home just in time to be an hour late for the Chicagonista launch party. Hope my polka dot dress and yoga pants are chic enough. Photo booth pics and vegan carrot cake top off our adult night out.
Friday the 23rd
The sun stings my eyes. I wake into yoga, then enjoy green juice and a hummus wrap. Finish the last of the 85 cucumbers we bought last week. Yeah, I’m serious. Ride the bus and walk passed hungry people with cardboard signs. I send them Reiki. Is that all I can do? Work more on my site at a café. Get stood up. Begin promoting the Green Activation tour. Leave for a 2 hour hike to pick up my buddy Dougie from the south side. Mom has a million veggies for me when I arrive. Whfew! We visit my nana and aunt who want to know more about what I am doing “with this news station.” Dad drives us home late, and the little one and I catch Doug in the driveway. We crash together in one big fluffy bed.
Saturday the 24th
Waking my men on Saturdays is impossible. I rise at 3, do yoga, work on my site, and blend a community smoothie. It is Dougie’s first day of class at Waldorf. Hubby begs for five extra minutes and we race out drinking through green straws in the car. Waldorf is like home. Dougie washes dishes, paints and shares an organic raw snack with his new friends. I hug the teacher in gratitude. Our fam celebrates with vegan cupcakes at Bleeding Heart Bakery. Yum! Dougie licks his plate. We video it. His first non mommy-made cupcake! Stop for a case of coconuts. Proclaim my satisfaction with the universe and then get stuck in our elevator for 45 minutes. Brave firemen rescue us. I get to work on some stories, and search for green housing with safe elevators. Next Stop: McKenna’s 2nd birthday party. Dougie eats broccoli, peppers and cauliflower, and everyone asks me why.
Sunday the 25th
Sunday Sunday. Hubby remarks that I’ve worked too much this weekend. We head to the diner where we empty our pockets on a fruit cup for our son, and I have a laugh with my love and our little spunkmuffin. Back at the home front -- I pour our smoothies and reattach myself to the computer. Certified Organic Woman is live. My new Facebook group is live. The Green Activation tour is making progress. My mission to save the world one bite at a time is in motion. The Dougs and I have an impromptu dance party. Snoop Dogg is involved.
Monday the 26th
I cuddle longer with my boy. We are ecstatic. We Sing. The phone’s buzzing out of my pocket. I’ve got mail every three seconds. I kiss the boy about 7000 times. Then, we walk through snow piles and ice patches to buy parsley and dill. And, of course, to smell the frozen fresh air and jump a little. Shannon joins us for a raw dinner. Her son tries sprouted quinoa salad. I crack coconuts for them, and absorb some girl talk with my old friend. Just what my soul needs.
Tuesday the 27th
Five hour trek to work. But, my buddy and I drink coconuts and cuddle first. Then we layer ourselves for the arctic winter, and head out. I drop him off at his nana’s and turn back around to write at a tea shop in Lakeview. Its 3:18 when I put the pen to the paper. I write. I type. I indulge in a passion fruit elixir and decide that I’m exhausted at 5. And, who do I see walking toward me as I’m dragging my feet back to my apartment? Doug! The man who’s never home before 7. Total serendipity. We’re like Kevin and Winnie from the Wonder Years running toward each other – minus the sunshine and gorgeous field of green.
Wednesday the 28th
Up with the fog and the twinkling city lights that peek through my blinds. New snow on the balcony. Five minute stretch. Two minute mediation. 12 minute rant about the weather. I drink a jar of green love in the elevator. Part ways with Doug and take the red line limo service south to grab Dougie before daylight. Dad, the saint, will drive me home later if I want to work here. And I do. I comb through stories like an editor and kill phrases that I love. Tricia offers me her avocado ranch home while she’s on tour, and I just know the angels are looking out for me. I’m off to California.