16 Jul 2012
Work keeps me on the road a good bit of the year and while it is my intention to eat well when traveling, that intent does not always get met (cue me trying New Hampshire’s best burger on a recent journey). I saw a chunk of stationary time creep up in May and encouraged my husband to join me on a three week cleanse for the simple reason of believing food is medicine and can either be nourishing or harmful. We set out to amplify the volume for listening to our bodies.
It’s so easy to get into a rut and to either order take-out from our favorite Thai restaurant down the street for a weeknight dinner or indulge a bit too frequently. The cleanse kept us cognizant on a daily basis of why we put ourselves into the set window of abstaining from certain foods.
Breakfast became even more essential. Not being one to shy away from breakfast generally speaking, I did find myself looking forward to breaking the fast and being creative about how to cook and eat within the window of accepted foods. It became a bit of a challenge and a game to fill my stomach and my flavor coffer.
Vegetables are truly the mealtime hero. During this period of eating and becoming even more infatuated with veggies, we found vegetables to possess the panoply of textures to deepen our food experiences. Raw radishes thinly sliced provided a bit of zing and crunch. Roasted vegetables, always a favorite chez nous, lent their deep flavors and drew out the natural sweetness of tomatoes and cauliflower. A quick saute of veggies with the addition of some eggs made a fast and easy meal. Don’t get me started on how herbs and squeezed lemon contributed their fair share of excitement to our cooking.
Cleansing in one area leads to evaluating others. Instead of a time of deprivation, the evaluations happening in the kitchen led to the closet and then onto time management. I found myself making different choices about where and when to say no as well as setting out to spring *ahem, summer* clean. While a food cleanse is a bit extreme, and not for everyone, for us, it ushered in a mindfulness that ratcheted up the volume to listen to our bodies and respond accordingly.
Real living to me includes a constant adjustment to what works now by looking on what has worked in the past as well as considering the future. While it started out a bit daunting to eat out during this window of basically eating vegan and gluten free, it required more of me when thinking about dining choices and finding the right words to describe what we could eat and reminders of why we were doing this. It also gave me snapshot insights into what friends with eating restrictions go through and the amount of planning involved.
Preventative care through food intrigues me. Yet this cleanse from my naturopath ended up being about so much more than just food. From it, I found opportunities to reset the fulcrum and let my thoughts be cleansed, seeing blind spots and the need to be more conscious in dwelling on good things and letting the frivolous fall away.
Have you ever done a cleanse? What insights did you glean from it?
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