Why do people cleanse? For health reasons, I guess. And sometimes, for beauty. Or even, it would seem, for fashion—like the time the New York Times Style section reported on the (alleged) rise of the hand-held coconut, stating that it was suddenly akin to “banh mi sandwiches and sriracha chili sauce” as the “latest formerly humble food to be discovered by New York City’s style set, and elevated — if not quite to the level of a status symbol — at least to that of a prized accessory.”
As for me, I gave up my 5-year fling with vegetarianism halfway through college almost only because I stopped being able to tolerate wheat and didn’t know how to be a vegetarian without it. Or, really, I should say, I didn’t even want to try. I’m 24, and sometimes (a little) immature.
So why is this the first day of my 7-day cleanse? Because I moved to the Himalayan Institute as a fresh-faced editorial intern in 2010 to learn to take care of myself.
I’d later realize I hate relaxing. It’s boring. A little aggravating. And I don’t like the sounds of “gentle voices” or waves, crickets, even the sound of whales slowly moving through the Gulf of Mexico.* At first blush, I come across as an almost textbook manic pixie dream girl. With glasses. Zoey Deschanel-like bangs. And, in my case, a yoga mat.
But, just like the humble coconut has benefits beyond looking-really-awesome-in-the palm-of-your-hand, I really get how beneficial a food-based cleanse can be—in my case, for my own chronic pain and fatigue. For the titanic-like shockwave of congestion I’ve been feeling since the holidays. And to get better in touch with my body, and what it actually needs.
Take that delicious salty popcorn, sriacha sauce, caramels with sea salt, and artisanal coffee.
Though I might be a little afraid to be around other human beings the next several days. (Do people get gassy while cleansing? What happens if someone asks me if I’m tearing that napkin cuz I’m frustrated?) I’m still choosing kitchari over all of you.
[*That one’s actually not true. I love the sound of whales.]
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