This time of year, it seems like everyone’s totally revamping their diets. And, I mean, you know how we roll — moderation is the key, etc., etc., — but, you know what? Sometimes it takes a week or so of really laying the hammer down to get back to the healthy habits we pushed to the wayside over the holidays. Sometimes, you need some strict rules to reset your “normal.”
(And I know a lot of the cool kids seem to be anti-New Year’s resolutions this year, and that’s totally fine, but personally, I like seeing the beginning of a new year as a time to reflect on how I want to improve, not just right-now-this-year, but in general. Especially when the end of the previous year has me way off track from where I want to be.)
That was absolutely the case this year in a lot of ways. Things have been busy. Not in a bad way, but in a way that made me feel like I was constantly in “hurry up” mode. I was having a hard time relaxing and unplugging. I was reaching for more and more processed, junky food because, well, it was there, it sounded good, and I didn’t feel like I had time to stop and prepare something that took more effort. I was over-caffeinated, over-committed and tired. My blood pressure was up and my patience was down.
Oh, and also? I weighed myself on January 2 and saw a number on the scale that was 5 pounds higher than the previous highest number I had ever seen. If everything else wasn’t enough of a sign to tell me that I needed to slow down and take better care of myself (and it was), this would’ve sealed the deal.
We don’t often get into cleanses in this little corner of the internet, but when I got the pitch for The Yoga-Body Cleanse: A 7-Day Ayurvedic Detox to Rejuvenate Your Body and Calm Your Mind, I was definitely intrigued. I have zero interest in doing something that requires me to subsist on nothing but, like, lemon juice and and dreams for days at a time, but something that focuses on incorporating real, whole foods into a strong mind-body practice? That sounded like just what I needed.
The Yoga-Body Cleanse is pretty strict in a few ways. For one, while it does have multiple options for you for most meals (all vegan and I think gluten-free), many are the same options for most days, and because it’s designed to give your digestive system a bit of a break, raw foods are not to be consumed in the morning or evening. And, there are a couple of days that are all or mostly juice/smoothies — I didn’t have much trouble with this, hunger-wise (possibly because doing the all-liquids thing isn’t exactly new to me), but it’s something to be aware of.
One of the main foods you eat is Kitchari, a combination of basmati rice, split mung beans, spices and veggies, and personally, I liked it a lot. However, my friend Sarah joined me in my cleanse (company helps with accountability!), and she … was not such a fan. And that’s tough, because you end up eating a lot of it over the course of the week.
But, one of the most challenging parts was the fact that this is far from being just a dietary change. You’re meant to spend a lot of time journaling, practicing yoga and meditation, resting and pampering yourself. Hard workouts are discouraged — in fact, the book encourages you to take a week of vacation to fully immerse yourself, if possible.