Arul’s 33-Day Cleanse: The cleanse of a lifetime…

So, I embarked on a 33-day food and body cleanse, but what I ended up with was something totally different.

Although I was determined to do the cleanse for 33 days, I kept running into difficulty.  My mind wanted to cleanse my body. The universe needed me to go deeper than that and presented me with a new opportunity to do so.

A few nights after my last entry, I came home to a notice shoved under my door. It was from my management company: a mid-lease rental increase of $1400 a month. I had 30 days to decide to stay or surrender the apartment.  Now this was a situation I had never been in before.  Find a way to handle a 50% increase or uproot our home within 30 days.  It’s enough to stress a person out when it’s just herself, but now with two small children and friends and school, etc. It was a LOT!

For two days I didn’t even think about it as I had too much on my plate; I had to focus on my daughter’s school concert and my son’s field trip and things at SanaVita. But then, on the third night when I tried to go to bed, the reality of the situation hit and I was worried. And sleepless.  I spent the entire night awake and did not sleep for one second as I tossed around my options.  The next afternoon I went to the leasing department of my apartment complex to see what other apartments were available.

We live in Peter Cooper Village / Stuyvesant Town and there was a large lawsuit that ended with many tenants being forced out of their homes.  It was unusual and unfortunate, but it was happening.  It forced the three of us to downsize from a 2 bedroom/ 2 bathroom apartment to a 1 bedroom / 1 bathroom.  Now in the scope of things, that’s really not so bad. Things could be much worse. I want to provide comfort and security for my kids and I didn’t want them to go through the stress of an abrupt move to a smaller apartment. Even though it wasn’t my fault, it was still a blow to my ego to have to explain to my babies why we had to move and how we have to make lemonade out of these lemons we had just been served.

So the clock was ticking and I was trying to secure this 1 bedroom apartment down the street from us in the same complex.  I haven’t had to “qualify” for an apartment in NYC in years and now they were asking me to re-qualify even though I have been a paying tenant for the last 4 years!  So I was running around trying to get all the paperwork in order to convince my management company to let me stay in their complex and keep paying the same amount of money for an even smaller apartment. Plus moving costs. And while I was going thru this process,  I lost my wallet!

“What is the universe trying to tell me!?!?”  What came to me was “LET GO… go deeper… cleanse further.”

Practically speaking, I was not able to keep a lot of the furniture that we had, as it wouldn’t all fit.  Same goes for toys and games and clothes. An experience like this really makes you refocus your priorities and figure out what’s important. What’s worth holding onto and what do I need to let go of?

I’ve discovered so much unnecessary baggage in my life.  By clearing out the apartment that I had moved into three years earlier as a family of four, I went through a very deep and cathartic cleanse.   I literally had bags filled with bags in all my closets!  Clothes overflowing (I’ve cut back drastically but still working on that one!). Nick-nacks and keepsakes all over the place, burned out used up candles. And PAPERS!!! Sooooo many papers!

One of the items of furniture that couldn’t make it into the new pad was my all mighty filing cabinet.  I’m an old school gal and liked getting my bills in the mail, writing the checks, stuffing the envelopes and mailing ‘em back in old school style.  But what I wouldn’t realize was that I would often be stressed leaving my mail for the last minute and JUST getting the bills mailed in barely in the nick of time!  And all the mail that would come in would just get filed.  And I’ve been holding on to all those pieces of papers for ten years!  Can you imagine?  Ten year old Verizon bills hanging around, paying moving men to move them from one apartment to the other over the course of a decade!?!??  And for what???

So this move inspired me to go paperless!  In four days I went through every paper and made piles. The shred pile. The scan then shred pile. The scan and keep a hard copy pile. I went from a large 2 drawer packed filing cabinet to 1 small box about 8”wide!  Now THAT was amazing!

Moving into a new space with a fresh start was totally liberating.  Releasing all the old cobwebs, letting go of the past. I didn’t realize the impact of living in the home that I had built with my ex husband.  Even though I had rearranged and bought new furniture, it had still been our place together. Now we have a new place.  Me and my two babies. And we are happy.  It was incredibly stressful to go through, but now that it is over, I see it as a blessing.  We may have less floor space, but our hearts are wide and open.  We are safe. We are still in our community. We are less cluttered. And we are home.

Arul’s 33-Day Cleanse: Days 9-14

I’ve had an unusual amount of commitments this week. After Day 6 at Barclays, I still had Game 7 to attend, a Rihanna concert, a benefit to raise money for underprivileged children (NY Youth at Risk) and a benefit for my kids’ school. It’s been a busy week to say the least. I’ve done the best I could. Although my diet hasn’t been perfect, it’s been better than it would have been if I wasn’t trying to cleanse.

It’s tricky when there are so many events on the calendar. And because Game 7 coincided with the Riahanna concert on Saturday night (Really??? They can’t plan that stuff better?), it’s been rescheduled for tomorrow night.

It’s Monday. I’m getting myself back into rhythm and after tomorrow night’s show I’m gonna try to keep my calendar as clear as possible until Memorial Day! ☺

I’m also looking forward to treating myself to some cleansing treatments this weekend for Mama’s Day. It always helps me stay on track. It’s not about being perfect. It’s about doing our best while still being in the game.

Arul's 33-Day Cleanse: Days 9-14

One last thought. Although we’re very sad to see such an amazing season come to an end for our beloved Nets, we still love you (especially you, Lopez!) and we’re looking forward to cheering you on again next fall. with LOVE, Arul, Naturale and Seven Pie

Arul Goldman is the Founder and Director of SanaVita.

Arul’s 33-Day Cleanse: Day 8

Yesterday was a typical day back to the program. I wasn’t feel well all day. The Chinese food from the day before left me feeling incredibly bloated. Bloated to the point of cramping and not being able to work out. AND constipated! A lovely combination.

In addition, I was absolutely so exhausted that I literally had to lie down and take a 30-minute cat nap in the middle of the day. Something I not only never do, but also usually can’t do no matter how tired I am! But at one point keeping my eyes open wasn’t even an option. Ironically, I had slept 9 hours the night before after having eaten this evil poison… without any sleep aids. Makes me wonder what they are really putting in those sauces.

I stuck to avocados and fermented veggies most of the day. Worked and took it easy. I had front row tickets to see Game 5 at the Barclays Center last night and was definitely struggling to muster the energy to go out in the evening. But the Nets and specifically my main man Lopez gave me the motivation that I needed.

When we arrived, my girlfriend wanted to buy me a drink to thank me for suggesting that we all go. I went with my BFF and another dear close friend of mine, Gabe.

I accepted the drink all the while listening to the little voice inside me whimpering if I was making the right call. Although I did get another drink later on, I didn’t really drink much of it and the drink did help wake me up and I was able to feel more present.

Nets Game 5

The game was fantastic! I’ve never sat that close before and had a perfect view of my new crush in action! Not to mention we won 110-91 pushing us into game 6.

One game at a time is what we need to focus on. And for me, one day at a time.

Arul Goldman is the Founder and Director of SanaVita.

Arul’s 33-Day Cleanse: Days 6 & 7

The weekend got a little tricky! Amazing how easily one can get knocked off their game! Saturday was Game 4 Nets vs Bulls. It was a nerve-racking game that went into triple overtime. I was glued to the TV for 4 hours and in the 2nd overtime went down to the corner to watch the remainder of the game with friends. We lost. Someone bought me a drink and my evening began.

It wasn’t terrible and I wasn’t hungover the next day, but I didn’t sleep well and felt really guilty about having drunk. That snowballed into skipping my spin class and in the afternoon, when my girlfriends came over, watching re-runs of Sex in the City and ordering in Chinese food. The quick downward spiral that can happen in a snap.

I woke up this morning feeling bloated and sluggish. But I am recommitted and back on track. I’m assuming I’m still feeling really bad in my belly from the Chinese food. I was thinking it might be psychosomatic as my guilt may be literally making me sick to my stomach, but then I got the text from my girlfriend at 3:30 in the morning saying she fainted and woke up on the bathroom floor!! She spent the rest of the night and morning in the ER with food poisoning.

Darned Chinese Food!! Ironic how it’s supposed to be comfort food…but really it can be poison.

Arul Goldman is the Founder and Director of SanaVita.

Arul’s 33-Day Cleanse: Day 4

Yesterday was the best day I’ve had in a long time. I was generally happy and silly for big chunks of it, which felt reassuring.

Spin was awesome! Afterwards I had my kale, berry, kefir smoothie and went to SV and then to pole. I was pretty anxious about dancing but was ready to give it my best. Turned out it was “pole week” which means no dancing. Just trick training for a straight hour after the hour warm up. I was pleased that I did not re-injure my shoulder. We finished up early and our teacher allowed us to dance in groups. I was able to kind of hide out in the dark back corner, which felt safe. For anyone who knows me, I’m not really much of a hide-in-the-dark-corner kinda girl, but today I was! I think it was a good gentle re-entry into the class after 3 weeks out.

After class, I booked it on my new bike LavaRose to pick my kids up from school, stopping for an avocado, fermented veggies and celery stalks along the way. We went to soccer and then to the corner for dinner and a hang with the neighborhood crew. They were all drinking but I refrained, ate a small side salad with mushrooms and made it home to finish up with a small bowl of coconut pudding, strawberries and pecans. I definitely ate more than I was planning on today but it was one of those non-stop days where I didn’t have juices handy. I had exercised SO much today and I was starving by the end of the day. Often a glass or two of wine would help to curb that hunger, but I was much happier with salad and pudding rather than alcohol.

I was anxious about getting to sleep but at 9:30 I turned the TV off and fell asleep quickly, not opening my eyes again till 4am! 6½ straight hours. Remarkable! After an hour I fell back asleep for a solid hour, making a grand total of 7½ hours of real rest. I am ecstatic with that this morning!

I have another non-stop, jam-packed day today, but no exercise. I’m giving myself the day off. I’ve gone hard for the last 3 days and my body feels generally fatigued.

I am looking forward to this weekend for a little down time as my kids will be going to their father’s for the weekend. It also creates anxiety as I am still not used to being without them, without the distractions of a boyfriend, dating, going out for drinks, etc. But I am figuring out new strategies that are healthy and fulfilling. Plus I am signed up for a bunch of classes (spin, yoga & possibly dance) and have lots of B-ball to watch!

Arul Goldman is the Founder and Director of SanaVita.

Arul’s 33-Day Cleanse: Day 3

Well my date went well. I got there first and ordered a virgin dirty martini. I asked the bartender for cold water (mostly water) with a little olive juice and a small splash of lemonade and asked him to serve it to me in a Martini glass. It was perfect. Low on sugar, tasty and gave me the effect of having a cocktail which is really more than half the allure.

We watched the game and ordered some food. We were at a BBQ place so a side of veggies was easy. He got nachos and chicken fingers (such a dude!) and I ordered string beans, they seemed safest. I picked at a few plain corn chips in salsa and a few string beans. It was easy.

During the day I ate basically just as I had set out to and accomplished both spin and yoga.

I also had a very deep therapeutic sports massage by our new massage therapist, Cynthia. She gave me a massage 2 weeks ago as I’ve been having chronic pain in my upper right rhomboid. It’s been debilitating at times and has been being triggered by pole class. She worked on me really hard and deep and I have to say it was rather unpleasant while it was happening and difficult to get through, but I felt considerably better afterwards. I realize the benefits of such a massage and although I was not particularly looking forward to doing it again, I knew it was necessary. Yesterday’s massage was easier to get through. Cynthia promised they would get easier. I feel quite good today.

I got a solid 6 hours of sleep last night on just melatonin & valerian root drops. Best night I’ve had in ages.

Today I have spin and later pole class. I haven’t been to pole in almost 3 weeks and I’m kinda of dreading it, as I’m emotionally not in that space at all these days. My dance class has become a really hard thing for me to face, which has been bumming me out because just a few months ago, I loved it so much and found it to be such a great release. My teacher continues to encourage me to keep coming. We all fall down. It’s part of life, but getting back up is living. I appreciate her sentiments. Gotta get up and try and try and try…

In general, on the morning of day 3, I am feeling even slightly more optimistic. The sun and promise of upper 60-degree weather doesn’t hurt either.

Arul Goldman is the Founder and Director of SanaVita.

Arul’s 33-Day Cleanse: Day 2

Well, I am very tired and had a terrible headache last night, but I’m on my way!

Yesterday morning for breakfast I had coconut Kiefer pudding with blackberries and pecans.

I took spin and had a spicy BPC lemonade.

For dinner I ate an avocado with fermented carrots and flax seed crackers.

Then in the evening my mommy friends came over with their kids. I made the kiddies dinner and the three mommies drank BPC spicy lemonades and gabbed. It was really nice and supportive to have them there with me on the same page of not drinking. It’s hard because it’s so easy to fall into a rut or a pattern. We get together, the kids play, we feed them dinner and we drink to unwind and share in the experience of single motherhood and full-time work. It was really nice to be able to get together and do the same without the booze.

Today I am recovering from last night’s detox headache borderline migraine. But I am going to spin and yoga and will take a nice steam as well. I’ve made a smoothie for breakfast that I’ll dive into after spin. Coconut Keifer, strawberries and blackberries, kale, protein powder and my supplements. Later in the day I’ll have another dish of avocado, fermented veggies and flax seed crackers and probably lemonade in between.

I have a date tonight to watch the Knicks, game 2. My kids and I are Nets fans but the Knicks are playing the Celtics for the best of 4 out of 7 and the Celtics are our biggest rivals! So I will be confronted with being on a date, at a bar for drinks and dinner…not drinking and eating as clean as I can. This is often troublesome so we’ll see how I do.

Emotionally, I’m still feeling pretty banged up. But slightly, slightly more optimistic.

Arul Goldman is the Founder and Director of SanaVita.

Arul’s 33-Day Cleanse: Day 1, take 3

Sometimes we need to change. Other times we need to go back to what works. A friend of mine asked me this morning how the cleanse was going. I told her not well. Although there have been positive changes, I simply have not been able to achieve my goals. So I’m going to pare it down, start over and go back to what I know works for me: juice, smoothies, keifer, raw food soups, avocados, some fermented veggies and limited nuts and seeds.

From today until Memorial Day weekend. 33 days. Not 77. This feels more manageable.

I feel like I am waking up from a drug-induced coma. I’ve been depressed. My ex-boyfriend’s birthday was on Saturday. The date has been looming over me for more than a week in a dreadful way. I’ve been sad and unable to sleep. I feel relieved that this one-year marker since our breakup is over and hoping that in this second year I will be able to learn how to let go and really heal my heart. I am hoping sooner rather than later.

And so I start yet again. What else is there to do?

Arul Goldman is the Founder and Director of SanaVita.