For Your Consideration: This Stupid F*cking Juice

for your consideration

Welcome to For Your Consideration, a series about things we love and love to do — and we’d like to give you permission to embrace your authentic self and love them too.

Like any good under-employed, over-online millennial, I treat my physical and psychological wounds with face masks and plants and seltzer water and, yes, stupid fucking juices. One, two, three ginger shots to the face and I’m invincible, baby! Brunch isn’t brunch without a minimum of three nonalcoholic beverages in addition to the booze. The Juice Press in Soho? Oh yes, I’ve had many a meltdown in or around it while melting in New York summer heat. Hell, meet me at the bottled juice section of the grocery store and let’s get weird!!!

Yes, this $12 juice was a great choice — an excellent choice! At least it’s not another iced latte! I’m supposed to be cutting back on caffeine! Something I keep telling anyone who will listen as I continue to not cut back on caffeine! I will also continue to recklessly spend money on juice and also have juice delivered to me like I’m some kind of all-natural, fresh-pressed goddess.

This stupid fucking juice tells me it will revive, energize, replenish my body and mind. This stupid fucking juice tells me it will give me superpowers, allow me to see through time and space or some shit. It’s acidic (lemons and bitter greens) to the point of slightly burning. There’s sediment. It tastes and feels like I’m drinking vegetables mixed with the soil they grew in. I don’t hate it.

This cold-pressed, organic, lacto-fermented, natural, biodynamic, raw juice is the answer to all my problems, surely. It promises to cure my breakout, breakdown, breakup. I fall for it every time, and sometimes I even feel it. It’s temporary, sure, but I’ll take any escape I can get at this point, and at least it’s not tequila, the other post-breakup juice, although there’s been plenty of that, too.

Does anyone else get an immediate head-high after pounding fresh ginger juice? Is there a medical explanation for the way juice sometimes makes me feel like I can write an entire novel in one sitting?

illustration of ginger nub

I signed up for the loyalty program at Moon Juice, the Gwyneth Paltrow-approved self-parody of a Los Angeles juice shop that sells products like “sex dust.” I think you have to spend $200 to get one (1) free drink. But I was visiting Los Angeles and depressed and thinking I might move to Los Angeles soon/eventually, and the girl working was cute and poured me an extra ginger oregano immunity tonic shot (“you look like you need this”), so when she asked me to sign up for their cosmic rewards or whatever the fuck they call their points system, I said “sure!”

As far as stupid fucking juices go, Moon Juice is the motherland and probably the reason we hit Peak Juice a few years ago. You’re gonna just have to trust me and drink a Cosmic Matcha Latte and a Gingered Lemon juice and then transcend to a different plane of existence for approximately 27 minutes. They literally refer to their Cilantro Celery Punch as “newage Gatorade.” It is profoundly dumb, and I’m a sucker. I love this stupid fucking juice.

illustration of citrus wedge

The perfect juice breakdown? A citrus, a green, copious ginger.

illustration of kale

In December of 2016, I was at my parents’ home in Virginia, cut off from my stupid Brooklyn juice shops. The closest thing I could get to juice was Tropical Smoothie, so I decided to make my own juice with the absurd amount of kale that has taken over my mother’s vegetable garden. I made more kale-ginger-lemon juice than I knew what to do with, and I drank it on the back porch while journaling about my family’s upcoming trip to India.

I’d be away from my stupid Brooklyn juice shops and from my girlfriend for the longest time since I’d moved to New York. What I should have written in my journal: Being apart feels like the hardest thing we’ve ever done, but it won’t even come close. Only I couldn’t have known that.

Not long before I left for India, she had spilled beet juice on my favorite white blouse. Then she meticulously scrubbed it out with club soda right there in the middle of the almost-closed restaurant. I thought it was so hot. Isn’t it funny how we find the most mundane things hot when we’re in love? Still, I exercised caution with beet juice around her from then on.

There is a smoothie (yes, I know that’s technically different from a juice, but I do make the rules here!) that I wake up craving all the time. It was made with dates, almonds, cacao, banana, hemp, and almond milk, and since I remember those ingredients, I could easily recreate it. But that isn’t the point. The point is that we used to drink it together, in the first home we shared, the apartment she lived in when we first met, when she was just supposed to be that girl I made out with against a cab that one time, before we built something together and then blew it all up.

We were drinking that smoothie from the stupid juice shop in Williamsburg when we piled on her bed with two friends to watch my webseries from start to finish on the morning it debuted. Smoothies and mimosas and breakfast sandwiches. That room was always so bright during the day but especially that morning, and maybe that sounds corny, but it’s true. The room was bright-white with sun, and I was so happy, and that smoothie and that room are things I’ll never experience again, not really.

She keeps telling me she left a juicer at that apartment, but I don’t remember ever seeing one.

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Kayla Kumari Upadhyaya

Kayla Kumari Upadhyaya is the managing editor of Autostraddle and a lesbian writer of essays, short stories, and pop culture criticism living in Orlando. She is the assistant managing editor of TriQuarterly, and her short stories appear or are forthcoming in McSweeney's Quarterly Concern, Joyland, Catapult, The Offing, and more. Some of her pop culture writing can be found at The A.V. Club, Vulture, The Cut, and others. You can follow her on Twitter or Instagram and learn more about her work on her website.

Kayla has written 842 articles for us.


  1. Damn! I loved this! Juice as a metaphor for betrayed promises! Was I supposed to laugh? Because I did. Just spit balling here, but can you get fresh squeezed lotus fruit juice at one of those stores? IF so, could you let me know where?

    • thank u!!! I may have hit the metaphor a little TOO HARD but alas I am a v not subtle person/writer. I’ve never had lotus juice?!! Sounds divine

      • No, that’s what makes it funny…

        Look what Al L.T. had to say about my idea:

        “But, propt on beds of amaranth and moly,
        How sweet (while warm airs lull us, blowing lowly)
        With half-dropt eyelid still,
        Beneath a heaven dark and holy,
        To watch the long bright river drawing slowly
        His waters from the purple hill—
        To hear the dewy echoes calling
        From cave to cave thro’ the thick-twined vine—
        To watch the emerald-colour’d water falling
        Thro’ many a wov’n acanthus-wreath divine!
        Only to hear and see the far-off sparkling brine,
        Only to hear were sweet, stretch’d out beneath the pine.”

        -The Lotos-eaters

        Sounds better than the wine-coolers I used to drown my sorrows in back in the day…

    • Coral, I am so relieved and happy to see that you are still here. I am kind of worried because this whole website seems kind of…off…today. My mouse pointer is just a mouse pointer and not a Carol! The logo is just a circle with a triangle and an S in it, not an outline of Carol’s head with “C S”! None of the articles appear to be about Carol! And most creepy and sinister and off-putting of all, apparently this place is calling itself “Autostraddle” now – that’s like straight-up Carol erasure!!! Do you know what’s wrong? Is Carol ok? Where is Carol?

  2. I had finally, finally quit my abusive job a few years back and in its wake I bought a juicer.
    It wasn’t just any juicer, but one borne from a meticulous internet search. One that matched the juicer at the fancy gym I had signed up at.
    I went to the farmer’s market one day and bought oranges from open stalls, still warm from the sun, ginger plucked from cool shadows, carrots and apples and grapefruits for way too much money.
    I went home and cleaned and peeled and cut and deseeded everything and with some force and research (so many settings) inaugurated said machine into life.
    I must say, that until that moment I never realized that fresh juice could taste that good or make me that happy.
    So happy, for one, perfect, moment.

    • !!!! my best friend has been pushing me to get a juicer for many months now should i just freakin DO IT

      • Look, I had friends come over for brunch, like a dozen of them, one day soon after I got the appliance.
        They traveled from different cities and brought their own apples and berries and we juiced fresh fruit and had so many vitamins with waffles and pancakes and laughed and cried and told each other the stories of our lives, so yeah, do it.
        Also, you get to be the master of your own juices, there’s always that.

  3. god same. the self loathing i feel as i sip my ~charcoal lemonade~ knows no bounds. BUT IT’S GOOD AND IT MAKES ME FEEL HEALTHY AND THERE’S NOTHING I CAN DO ABOUT THAT

    • see i am not an activated charcoal fan but it’s probably only a matter of time

      • only got it bc they ran out of the blue spirulina lemonade but it’s pretty harmless, would recommend for maximum pretentious looking beverage with minimum flavor cost

  4. I recently escaped New York for Los Angeles, and there is a marijuana dispensary next door to the Moon Juice in Silver Lake, and my very favorite thing to do is to get stoned and ask the cute Moon Juice employees to explain all of the ingredients to me. Let me tell you, earnest California nonsense is the perfect cure for heartbreak and despair.

  5. When I’m starting to catch a cold and I go to the local health food store and have one of their Immune Booster juices, I swear I can feel the nutrients blasting away all the viruses with their super boosted vitamin power, pew pew pew pew!

    Have you ever done a juice fast though? I lasted three days. My hippie roommates lasted 38 freaking days. You’re supposed to do it for 90.

    • Wait what? Juice fast as in only drinking juice for 90 days? Wouldn’t that make you resent anything liquid after the – well, third day?

  6. Was literally JUST this morning contemplating where in my small apartment kitchen I could fit my Breville JE98XL High Speed Juice Fountain… kicking myself a bit for having spent the money on it 2+ yrs ago… regretting that I only used it a handful of times that one bright summer when I made pitchers of ginger carrot lemonade.

    Now the “juice fountain” sits in its box in the hall closet, bc there’s not enough counter space. There’s lot of hope/optimism and guilt wrapped up in juice! Thanks for nailing these emotional depths, once again Kayla. 💛

  7. Just want to say that this title image is the most perfect match I’ve ever seen.

  8. Kayla, different scenarios but I am struggling with my own heartbreak right now and my behavior mirrors your columns almost exactly and basically For Your Consideration is saving my life so thank you!

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