Hello my lovelies!
I’m writing to your from the commuter rail this morning; we’re clattering our way north towards Boston, where I’ll take another writing workshop at Grub St, a center for all things awesome related to writing. All day I’ll sit in the Steinway Building, which being a musician, I just love. We’ll hear the occasional sounds of a soprano warming up her voice up and down scales and glissandos, piano chords helpfully thumping in the background as our fantastic teacher guides us through the sticky issue of how to handle time in our literary memoir.
It’s cold today, only about 11˚ F. The woods occasionally open up to vistas of frosted fields, the dawn is just beginning to warm the distant and snow tipped trees, they glow pink in appreciation of the day. I’m glowing, too! I just finished a five day juice cleanse, in an effort to clear up the Christmas cookie junk and the nagging hellion I call “Anxiety”. I’m a creative person, my mind runs fast and far to the possibilities of music, yoga and writing in a constant dizzying dance. At it’s best my personality is positive, expressive and productive. But the other side of the knife edge of creative possibility is my Achilles heel, when the best of my personality turns to anxiety. I snap at my husband, toss and turn in bed at night and begin to compare myself to every writer, yogini and seeker I see. It’s exhausting. Over the years I’ve found that a clean diet of whole foods really helps soothe the anxiety beastie, so a week ago I embarked on a juice cleanse, 5 days of juice during the day with a little cooked food at night to keep me warm during these Polar Vortex days.
How I feel after 5 days of a juice cleanse
I feel 100% better than I did a week ago. My anxiety hellion is taking a nap, my mind is clear and I woke up before the alarm today, ready to enjoy life. During the week I taught something like eleven yoga classes, fourteen clarinet lessons, did a bunch of writing and had a packet of meetings; all done on freshly extracted fruit and vegetable juices, with some quinoa and steamed broccoli thrown in for good measure. Oh, and there was a hot toddy and some crackers. If you missed that post, click here to read why I ate those crispy salty crackers after night two, it’s a hoot!
I noticed, around day 3 that during teaching and doing yoga that my body felt very light and clear, like I could flow between poses with less groaning and need to warm up before a fuller expression of the pose. I had been experiencing hip pain, and a flare up of pain in my neck and jaw from an injury a few years back, one week later all of these aches and pains are g-o-n-e. Totally worth it! I’m sure drinking and enjoying all the smoothies helped infuse my cells with immflamuation busting compounds in the ginger, cinnamon, avocados, cucumbers, etc.. And that cutting out the abundant Christmas cookies every day helped, too!
But I whined a lot this week…
I was a big whiney pants during this cleanse. Usually they are uplifting and fun, but this one just felt like a slog. Perhaps it was the early morning darkness, return back to school after vacation and subzero temperatures that made the experience more difficult. Perhaps it was getting up at 4:30 in the morning to prep the juices and smoothies for the day. Hubby leaves for school wicked early, and as he was cleansing along with me I opted to get up early and give him the health hook-up he deserves. I did my fair share of grumbling about it, and looked so bizarre one morning juicing with a hoodie, pj’s and fuzzy bathrobe that he claimed there was a Russian peasant in his kitchen, but I did it. My friends asked why I couldn’t prep the juice the night before, which is a great question. I have a centrifugal juicer, click here to see what I’ve got. This machine is quick, easy to clean, juices whole veggies, and it’s fast. But the price you pay for a centrifugal juicer is that you need to drink the juice asap, if you wait any more than 4-6 hours it turns brown as it oxidizes. Maybe I’ll get a masticating juicer someday, or a twin gear juicer, They extract the juice slowly and with less friction, so the juices from these types of machines last for days. But they are harder to clean, you have to cut the veggies smaller, they are slow and super expensive. If I got a masticating juicer I’d juice for the week on a Sunday and be done with it.
I’m still making different choices based off last week’s experience. After the long and synapse-firing extravaganza of the writing workshop in Boston I mentioned above, I found myself at South Station with five minutes to spare before boarding the train home. And lo and behold, no line at Starbucks! I could get a coffee! But I found I just didn’t want one, didn’t want a sweet treat, either, which is even more surprising as my sweet tooth runs generations deep. I scooped up a bottle of Evolution Fresh cold pressed green juice from their case, and deposited it on the counter along with a small packet of mixed nuts. My detox worked; it reset my body and mind to the program of ease and health. Here I am, feeling fit and fine, with a fresh juice of beet, carrot, pineapple, cucumber and ginger for my ride to teaching today. Cheers!
Om Shanthi Om,
Peace to you,