So, the solstice has come and gone and now it’s hot as balls. The closest I’ve gotten to any sort of cleanse has been taking a few days during the week to avoid alcohol before enjoying weekend merriment once again. The right time just hasn’t struck yet – I had 4 of my closest girlfriends in town over the solstice for a reunion/birthday/bachelorette celebration – detoxing prior to such an engagement would’ve been futile.
This particular group of lady-friends formed 7 years ago when we were all in our early 20’s studying abroad in Granada, Spain. We bonded over the same things most folks who study abroad bond over: wanderlust, self-discovery, home-sickness, and alcohol. We’ve managed to get together once or twice a year since we studied abroad together. The first reunion was only a few months after we all got back to the states – it was my 21st birthday and we decided to throw a party at my folks’ house. We constructed a giant slip-and-slide in the back yard which turned mildly dangerous when, after the contraption was deemed not slippery enough, we added dish-soap to the mix creating a foamy, eye-burning mess. My parents must have been so proud watching me get hammered in their back yard and slide around on plastic sheets repeatedly getting soap in my eyes three years into my college career.
We’ve gotten together many times since then in various places and we typically wind up sitting around, enjoying adult beverages, and reminiscing about the time Christine pulled a ham leg out of the trash outside the Cathedral and used it as a mic to interview randos on the street about their views on abortion rights, or the time most of us decided it’d be a good idea to go to the beach for the weekend with dudes we’d just met and were all perfectly ok getting in the back of a white, windowless van with no seats – the exact kind you imagine sexual predators drive around in – to get there. In the e-mails planning this reunion, we all claimed we didn’t do much drinking anymore and that we’d like to get a run or two in over the weekend and maybe spend a day at the climbing gym. All bullshit. We didn’t get into to same kind of shenanigans we usually do – getting drunk and playfully harassing strangers – after all, one of the ladies is newly preggers. But we did spend the bulk of the weekend sitting in various establishments, drinking, and talking about everything from why (almost) all of us refuse to read Fifty Shades of Grey to what really happens to your nipples during pregnancy and, as always, what the hell we are all going to do with our lives next.
I certainly polluted my person with rich food and plenty of alcohol, but there is something cleansing about spending time with your true friends – with whom you can just let go. At least that’s what I’m telling myself for now to make me feel better about my failed (nonexistent) attempt at a cleanse. I’ll detox with Bikram yoga and plenty of wheatgrass juice one of these days, but today is not that day.
Every year since somewhere mid-college career, one of my many resolutions has been to complete some sort of cleanse seasonally. I have yet to complete any sort of cleanse. Ever. Unless, of course, you count those two times I got mono and survived off Jell-o and Sprite for a few weeks. I usually start strong, spending a lot of time Googling “detox” and whatnot but, then I remember I get awfully cranky when I’ve not been fed in a few hours and decide it’s in the best interest of everyone around me if I just continue eating whatever I want, whenever I want. Really, it wouldn’t be fair to my friends and family – I’m doing the right thing.
With the solstice approaching, I’ve decided it’s time to start the process of thinking about maybe doing a cleanse all over again. After doing some research, I’ve determined I need to just make up my own plan. My B.A. in Spanish and National Certification in Massage Therapy obviously qualify me to do such a thing. I have a few stipulations – most importantly: I must be able to eat for most of the cleanse. I must! So, the Master Cleanse and any juice fasts are out. My goal here is not weight-loss; it is giving my liver a well-deserved break from all the hard work it does for me so it can perform even better post-cleanse. Because, let’s be real here, my liver gets a pretty damn good work-out most of the time. The cleanse will be Ayurveda-based, (I found a great, 13-day plan in The Modern Ayurvedic Cookbook by Amrita Sondhi) focusing on gradually eliminating the more “toxic” foods from my diet and then slowly reintroducing them after a two-day siesta from solid food during which I will only drink water, which I can spice up with ginger and lemon to aid in detoxification if I’m feeling fancy.
BUT, I’m not ready for that shit yet. I’ve gotta get my mind right first. TWO WHOLE DAYS WITHOUT FOOD?! Besides, the solstice isn’t for another few weeks. So, today I decided to dip a toe in the detoxification pool and start my day with a little yoga. I’ve been practicing yoga on and off for about 10 years now, which is pretty sad given the current state of my practice. I know yoga is supposed to be all about accepting where you are in your practice and in your life and moving forward at your own pace and namaste and OM and BLAH, BLAH, BLAH, but, the perfectionist inside me is having a difficult time accepting the fact that I usedtocould hold a headstand for as long as I wanted and now I can’t quite get my toes off the ground. It did feel good to start my day with yoga again, though – even if I didn’t stop sweating till I got to work because, well, I’m a beast, and we still haven’t gotten around to breaking out the ole AC unit. Who am I kidding? The AC unit had nothing to do with it. Hopefully, over the course of the next few weeks, keeping up with the yoga and maybe even doing some meditating will prepare me for my first big-girl cleanse. One baby (crunchy hippie) step at a time.