March 21, 2013. The first day of Spring is here! Although it feels like the drudges of winter still—the imminent change of seasons, of wardrobes, of moods, of transportation… It’s almost time to get back on that horse! Although my dear, sweet 13 year-old Thumbalina (my beloved bicycle) was killed in the wake of storm Sandy, I’ve got my eye on a new one. Change is hovering above us. Surely something spring-like is to come in a matter of just weeks now.
And so I ponder, in what way do I want to renew myself this spring? How do I want to feel? To look? To open my heart and raise my face to the sun? The winter here in NYC is tough, there’s no doubt about it. Between the flu (knocked me off my feet for 10 days, but I kicked its butt in the end without antibiotics!), vitamin D deficiency, increased stagnant lifestyle, extra eating, extra drinking, trying to pass the dreary days away with indoor activities for ourselves and our cooped up children. It’s no wonder I’m feeling in dire need of a tune up. A recalibrating. Set my dial back to zero.
So I’ve been gearing up, mentally, for a change. And, quite frankly — as you know, I like to be honest and share my truth with you — I ate and drank myself right up till midnight last night, knowing full well that today was a new start. An ice cream Sunday for lunch, a nice dinner with my family followed by some drinks with friends. And when the clock struck midnight I went home, took a shower and got into bed to get ready for the next season.
I woke up this morning and felt a little extra tired but otherwise surprisingly well and enthused for a new start. And it became very clear that what I need right now is not a quick 7-, 10- or 14- day juice cleanse. Nor do I need a repeat of last summer’s 37-day cleanse. This time around I want to go slower, longer and with greater retention power.
After my last cleanse what came to me is that I needed some animal protein in my diet. So I started reading more about the Paleo Diet, but the truth was I just couldn’t sustain being a meat eater. So I took some time off meat again and then was reading more about my blood type, “O” the universal donor. The meat eater of all meat eaters. But still, it just felt too overwhelming.
So I’m going to go slower. I am in the middle of reading The Body Ecology Diet now. Its focus is on regaining the correct balance of bacteria in the internal environment. It is big on kefer (coconut kefer specifically, which I have finally mastered making myself), kombucha, fermented enzyme-rich foods, sea veggies, some fish and animal protein if eaten correctly along with enzyme-rich veggies. The consumption of dairy, sugar, gluten, and alcohol is not permitted. I am dedicating myself to cleansing myself in this manner for the next 77 days, while learning more and experimenting along the way.
At some point in the middle, I imagine I will do at least a week of just keifer, smoothies, juices and kombucha (which I am also learning to make now!)
I look forward to journaling each day, with intent and presence and honesty. I hope you will join me. It’s easy (for me) to sign up for a juice cleanse for a week or so… but to commit to something for 77 days I realize is a big undertaking. It will take dedication, focus and discipline. Last night, at a talk he gave, a friend and colleague (yes, you Gabe) asked the question, “Why?” What is your “why” for change? For happiness? For a healthier life? WHY? Is it because you are sick? Is it because you are depressed? Is it because you are in an unhappy, unsatisfying or possibly even an abusive relationship and can’t find your way out? Is it because you are fighting for your life?? The hope, the goal, the objective is to figure out your “why” BEFORE you are at death’s door, BEFORE you realize you can’t remember the last time you smiled, you had a decent night’s sleep or you loved yourself when you looked in the mirror. I have some good night sleeps, but not enough. I love the way I look when I look in the mirror a lot of the time, but it could be more. I laugh a lot, but I still cry too. And after all this time…truth? Yes, my heart still hurts. Not as much, but the ache haunts me still.
I’m not going to wait until it’s already beautiful outside, bright and sunny, racing around on my new bicycle (still debating its gender and name with my kids) nor do I want to wait until I feel a little bit better or a little bit worse. My “why” starts today. Because I deserve it.
Arul Goldman is the Founder and Director of SanaVita.