Prep Day: Sunday
- I keep thinking of my last detox and anticipating what this one might be like. I realize I need to let go of any expectations.
- I make a different version of kitchari--this time based on Dr. Douillard's recipe, and am interested in seeing which one I like better. This kitchari seems easier to make for some reason; I decide to make it each night rather than quadrupling the batch and having it taste stale.
- I decide to do the non-capsule form of all the herbs, and I can't find red root tincture after running to three different stores. I binge on a chocolate chip pumpkin muffin from Whole Foods because I'm frustrated. But I call Cambridge Naturals and they finally save me.
- I say something to my husband about it being nice to have permission to take a bath each night, to which he responds, "why do you need permission any night?" Hmmm....
Day 1: Monday
- I can't believe I drank two teaspoons of ghee, although I didn't bother trying without mixing it with nonfat soy milk. I also added cardamom since I figured it would remind me of my warm spiced cardamom milk, but without the cashews. It actually isn't bad, but I can't imagine day four when I have to consume eight teaspoons first thing in the morning!
- It's nice to get back to alternate nostril breathing, but my mind is a ping pong ball during morning meditation.
- I think I overdosed on the red root tincture! The instructions in Dr. Douillard's pamphlet say "one dropper-full" but I have a big bottle, and the bottle says 20-30 drops (which is nowhere near a dropper-full). I dump out some and dilute it with more water. It smells OK in the bottle but is gross in the water, maybe because I did WAY too much to start. I get a little paranoid about potential side effects, but after getting to work, I seem to still be alive. The red root tincture is gross, even with just 20 drops.
- I'm very hungry by 11am but I'd done a pretty brisk walk on the treadmill at the gym this morning--why is it so hard for me to back off!? I convince myself that warm water will hold me until 12:15pm, which it does. I'm hungry again between 3-4pm and slightly dizzy. Hopefully it's just a "first day" thing.
Day 2: Tuesday
- I continue to have a hard time slowing down my exercise. I do a little yoga and limit myself to Tracy Anderson arms and abs. It's not easy especially given how much ghee (i.e. fat) I know I'm ingesting each morning. I hope to get a walk in today though--the weather is so gorgeous!
- My husband had me awake a lot last night with the various noises he makes in his sleep. I decide not to mention it today, in contrast to what I usually do. It seems like telling him after the fact, when he can do nothing to change things, isn't "non-harming".
- I feel slower and more relaxed somehow (or it it weak?). I'm more easily aware of my belly breathing, and when I tighten my facial muscles (which I do a lot).
- My hair is not right, even though I used limited massage oil on my head last night.
- I'm not hungry for breakfast, and I'm wondering whether I should eat kitchari until I'm full or the full serving, given its a long way to lunch. I need to follow the two-palm rule more often (mine are small)! I end up eating 3/4, but once at work I panic slightly as I'm hungry again. I drink more warm water and it helps. (I'm getting better at the warm water!) By 11am I'm only slightly hungry.
- I eat my lunch too fast, and my stomach doesn't feel well before even drinking the red root tincture water. I decide to save my whey protein shake for later, and wonder if that counts as a (forbidden) snack? Probably. In general the red root stuff is less offensive. I accidentally refrigerate it in my lunch sack, and hope that isn't a problem.
- After work I again eat 3/4 of my kitchari out on the deck, and call my mom and some old friends I've lost touch with. I decide that although my husband is fantastic, I still need a wider support system. Relationships have been difficult to maintain, especially with everyone not dancing as much and going their separate ways. I double the spices in my next batch of kitchari.
- During my evening bath I decide to face some difficult emotions I've been avoiding, which were stirred up by two different situations today. For the 20 minutes I don't read, but try to get in touch with my feelings. I manage to cry just a little. Not a total release or anything, but it's something, since I'm not a crier. I theorize this as a root cause of an issue I've been struggling with for a little while now (which is a possible topic for a future blog post). I feel amazed that I'm alive, given what my mother and grandmother went through in their lives. I consider that I'm out of balance again: I used to dance too much, but maybe now I'm too far into the yoga, meditation, and nutrition and not having enough dancing fun. Though I'd been wondering why the heck I signed up for Boston Tea Party, part of me starts to look forward to it.
- I love that I happened to do this cleanse so that it fell on the vernal equinox / first day of spring! I think I should do this yearly.
Day 3: Wednesday
- I meditate outside on the front porch this morning. It's lovely. The gym is also good, but I am running late and feeling a bit of the fear I always associate with that. I hope my morning kitchari holds me until lunch, given the good walk I had.
- I end up having a walking one-on-one this morning right before lunch, and am surprisingly, minimally hungry! I eat my kitchari mindfully and then have my shake.
- Two colleagues give me unexpected gifts, which makes me smile! Also, during a meeting I end up being funny with my notes and people notice (in a positive way).
- Work gets a little crazy in the afternoon but I somehow multitask without the stress I normally feel. Even driving home, stuck in traffic, hungry and knowing I should have eaten by 6pm, it isn't at the same level at all. Listening to Wayne Dyer's Making the Shift doesn't hurt either!
- I wonder how I'm going to do eight teaspoons of ghee tomorrow morning. Tomorrow is already day four--making my kitchari for the last time I feel sad; I was just getting into the routine. It has been so easy to do each night -- I have it down to a science and had to plan so much less. And it does taste much better fresh each day!
Day 4: Thursday
- I've been sleeping so well, both last night and the night before. I wonder why I ever got out of the "no-technology/water after 9pm and evening meditation" routine.
- I am amazed that today's my last day. I take my ghee and meditation on the front porch again, since it's another beautiful day! The 8 tsp. of ghee is OK going down, but after light yoga and the Bar Method I feel slightly nauseous.
- I got way too much oil in my hair last night, and haven't been able to get it all out.
- I have a really great afternoon -- overall I feel very productive and at ease at work, even though I'm very busy. At 4:30pm though, I'm starving and I feel shaky. I decide to have tea. I will NOT break this cleanse in the final hours!
- What is it about a cleanse/detox that makes everything just seem easier? Is it the food (i.e. because kitchari and ghee is grounding for my vata-pitta constitution)? Is it feeling like I have that "permission" to take time for: self care activities like baths and massages; a mental "vacation" from stress; less strenuous workouts? Is it because I'm focused on the cleansing process? Why can't every day be like this--just easy! That would be awesome! I think it can be, if I allow it.
- I mess up the order of the day 4 final steps: I eat, then drink some red root tincture water, then prune juice, then dandelion tea while taking a bath and waiting for the "may or may not happen" laxative effect. Several hours later, there are no observable issues (or laxative effect)!
The Day and Night After: Friday / Saturday
- I can't get over how nice my skin is. "Radiant" I think, catching myself staring at my face in the mirror while getting ready for work. :-) I'm looking forward to a breakfast that isn't kitchari, although I'm taking leftovers for lunch. I feel so grounded and balanced between both feet. I do a light jog at the gym. I am very mindful during my shower, and makeup application. I lost 2 lbs, but I don't care, given all the other benefits!
- I have another busy yet productive day at work. A few times I feel like I've helped people, and that makes me feel good.
- My husband and I have a nice dinner out. I immediately divide my plate into the two portions it is, take half home, and have chocolate yogurt at home for dessert (proper portions). I pack a Sensible Medley snack and get ready to head out to Boston Tea Party for some dancing.
- I feel good listening to a friend while driving to the dance, and enjoy seeing people. I dance with a very sweet old man who tries to teach me how to Mambo on the West Coast Swing dance floor. I don't turn a single leader down, and I'm having a nice time.
- Around midnight, my ego comes out in full force, though I only recognize it after the fact. Disappointed but comforting myself with some compassion, I decide to head out. I manage to meditate and do alternate nostril breathing before finally getting to sleep around 1am.
- I wake up naturally at 5:20am, try to go back to sleep, and am up again at 5:45. I do my regular morning routine, but I have a headache and feel cranky, short of breath, dehydrated (even after drinking tons of water last night) and antsy. I feel like this just re-affirms the choices I've made over the last few months, and predict that my dance career may remain on hold for awhile.