So my man and I embarked on a weekend detox, and we lived to tell the tale.
“Why?” you may ask. I asked myself that same question!
It’s not like I’m funneling tons of toxins in my body. As faithful blog readers know, I’ve been abstaining from sugar during Lent in a pseudo-Christian attempt at being contrite. That’s been going pretty well, actually. I found that I actually don’t have much of a sweet tooth, so it hasn’t been much of a struggle to say no to those dark-chocolate covered almonds that are sitting in my pantry. It’s been a matter of evaluating my habits (and luxuriating in a single medjool date on occasion). I stopped putting sugar in my coffee a while ago.
Whoa! Coffee! I can see your index finger wagging in the air, righteously. OK, so there’s a toxin, I guess. Although some studies suggest that coffee is actually good for you. I drink a cup or two of
organic, freshly ground French press-made coffee a day. But I’m not like some, cough cough, ex-boyfriends I know who are completely miserable when they don’t have a cup. When I get enough sleep and am not expected to be super-perky in the morning, I don’t need it. But I enjoy it.
And, hey, if you know me, you know I also drink alcohol, but not a crazy amount. I’m petite. There’s not too much I can really drink without it being a problem anyway. Plus it’s stupidly caloric and you wake up feeling like crap. So while I may enjoy a glass of wine with dinner or a high-quality craft beer in the evenings, I don’t really feel like that’s much of a problem either.
I eat mostly vegan, whole, organic foods, so it’s not like I’m shoving fast food down my gullet. Ugh, I remember when I was living in New York City and was waiting for my train at Penn Station (this song
pops in my head). There was a guy next to me unwrapping a Wendy’s burger, and it was the complete opposite of what you see in the commercials. It was a little like this, but way worse. Flat, sloppy, smelly, smooshed … it was, simply, revolting. I knew I’d never order one ever again.
So, what the heck, right? How malfunctioning can my internal organs be? And yours? I mean, how do you know when your liver isn’t operating as smoothly as it should? How does it feel to have your colon not optimal? I really don’t know. Every once in a while, I find myself at GMC or some place, staring at those boxes that promise cleansing, and sometimes I even buy it and use it. And I never really feel that much better at the end – sometimes I feel worse! I tried Advocare, and that made my stomach sour. But chill out, Advocult – I’m happy it works for you.
When my boyfriend announced his interest in a detox, I suggested this one. It’s a weekend, no-fast detox from … wait for it, Vegetarian Times! Golly, what pile of magazines did I find that in? There was actually a benefit to keeping those 14 years of publications, I swear.
The detox involved a lot of bitter greens and lemon water, as well as relaxing, dry brushing and
sweating. We were in. We purchased all organic vegetables and embarked. Saturday morning, I had a Yoga class to teach, so I left him to make the salad and steam vegetables for breakfast. (Man making salad = sexy!) When I returned, we ate, walked on the beach, read, watched a movie and slept early. On Sunday, I taught a SUP Yoga class, so we did that, then ate, napped and went sailing. By then, we were kind of over the bitter greens. I even smelled peanuts on my boyfriend’s breath. Busted!
The first day, he suffered from a caffeine withdraw headache, but that passed. I must say I didn’t feel any different, besides being a little hungry and low energy from the limited caloric intake. We decided for Sunday dinner to relax and eat some chickpea eggplant stew we had for leftovers.
I know, not much of a detox. But I did lose a half pound. That’s good, right?
So, what is the point? I think it’s good to work toward efficient, ideal use of our bodies. It’s good to
have a break from substances that we rely on, if only to remember that happiness doesn’t originate from a cup of coffee or a glass of wine, even though it may seem like it is our salvation when we desperately want it. It’s good to remember that we need way fewer calories than we normally consume in America. We get hung up on intake.
Last weekend was a great opportunity to slow down and stop feeling the need to fuel up so I can accomplish more more more. Sometimes it’s easy to forget that our value is in our being, not our doing. Happiness comes from within, not from anything on our plate or our cup.
That’s a tough lesson for me, an Italian from a “there’s more in the kitchen” family. In our heads and our hearts, we often connect foods with love. It feels simpler than accepting that all the love we need is right inside our hearts all along.
Besides, there’s a much bigger toxin than poor food and drink choices: stress. Stress is the biggest toxin around. When we realize that the world can provide everything we need – that abundance is all around us – then there’s really nothing to stress about. And that’s better than wine, coffee or burgers could ever make me feel.