Another great day! Spin class with my friend Scottie early this morning and then met up with a new friend at the Union Square Farmers Market. She showed me all of her favorite stands to buy certain foods. We got fermented foods, kale, sweet radishes, grass fed chicken and beef, heirloom eggs, amazing fresh sprouts. We spent a couple of hours walking thru the market and I have to say I haven’t done that for years. It was exciting to stock up for some good cooking after so many days of not having hot foods.

I’ve been researching the Paleo Diet. After almost 30 years of being a vegetarian, I am now, after this cleanse, strongly feeling that I will begin eating some meat again. This is huge for me. I have identified myself as a vegetarian for nearly three decades. During both my pregnancies I never once craved meat, but I did eat some small amounts of it for extra insurance that my babies’ brains would have the proteins they required to develop fully and healthfully, even though I’m sure they would have been just fine without it. It was a chance I chose not to risk as they each would only have one opportunity for a healthy brain. And I remember I saw it as a sacrifice that I made for them. It wasn’t easy making that decision. And somehow now, making this decision to go back to eating some meat seems easier and more appropriate.

It makes sense to me too. Since taking the iron pills regularly, the bruising I get on my legs from my active lifestyle (bumping into things, falling off my bike and banging against the pole in dance class) have been healing much faster. My sleep is getting better, but still not nearly where I would like to see it at. I work out so much and so hard. I feel my period is coming on now and I can’t help but wonder how things would be different if I had some very grounding animal protein in my diet, and specifically some red meat during my menstruation.

If I go this route, I will only ingest high-quality, grass-fed and humanely treated animals. During my pregnancies, I did eat some meat and something interesting occurred. I was fine when I ate organic meats. But since I was trying things that I hadn’t had in about 20 years, I decided to try a little bit of everything. I remember eating spare ribs again from a Chinese restaurant and the flood of memories that came back…that safe feeling of being with my family on a Sunday night at Hunan, the local Chinese hub. Eating spare ribs and lo mien and feeling safe and comforted before the week would open up and take me in, starting in just another twelve hours as Monday morning approached. And these were early memories, from before I was thirteen years old, the age that I became a vegetarian. And when I tried those spare ribs again at 35, that night when I went to sleep, I had terrible nightmares. Bloody dreams of death and maimings. And that would happen most nights when I would eat meat. Meat that was not organic and where the animals were most likely treated in a way that we could not begin to want to imagine.

So this is where this cleanse has brought me. I never would have guessed it and I never would have known. It was not within my list of expectations, but there it is. And I am here, going with the flow, staying open to listening to the messages that the universe or god has for me…just as I did when I was thirteen. Perhaps I’ve changed? Perhaps my needs have changed? Funny how hard we try to hang on to who we were or thought we were supposed to be and how hard it can be to just let go and be who we are. I am open…I am free.

Arul Goldman is the Founder and Director of SanaVita.