Thursday, February 24, 2011

Of salad and setbacks

I’m a detox skeptic. Years ago, I read that some doctors say that our bodies naturally flush out “toxins” on their own, so a self-imposed detoxification process is unnecessary. When I read that, I thought, well, that’s good enough for me. Who wants to starve anyway?

But because I was so skeptical, I thought that perhaps I would be a good person to throw into the mix of our staff experiment. The “Crazy, Sexy Detox” doesn’t require that you starve, and I figured that since I’m mostly vegan and don’t drink alcohol, it might not be that difficult for me. And I could certainly stand to eat more vegetables.

Then…I read about the coffee thing.

Giving up my morning coffee and delicious flavored chemical soy creamer seemed like a cruel torture to me. When I read about the process in Carr’s book, I got kind of cranky. How would giving up my coffee provide me with a “spiritual awakening,” exactly? I also wasn’t too excited to read that I would feel sluggish, tired and have headaches on this detox. I don’t have time for that, I thought.

Despite these reservations, I attacked the produce department of Whole Foods with determined vigor, and filled my canvas grocery bag with fresh fruit, kale, organic red peppers, cucumber and ears of corn. I made the tahini kale salad dressing, even though I was alarmed that it called for a fat-tastic entire cup of tahini (There are 22 grams of fat in two tablespoons of that stuff.). It made a ton of it though, and for days I’ve been mixing the ginger-lemony tahini with raw kale and other veggies. I made my stand-by roasted kobacha squash soup, too, which is delicious, easy and fits into the detox plan.

You might think I’m building up to the epiphany part of my story, where I tell you that I finally meditated and juiced my way into a virtuously cleansed body and soul, but I can’t. I am a crazy, sexy detox failure. I don’t own one of those brushes you’re supposed to brush your skin with every day. Nor do I have a juicer, and life has turned my vegetable patch into a minefield of exploding setbacks.

But I have eaten way more raw vegetables than I normally do, and that’s a good thing. Many people think that vegans graze on vegetation like rabbits, but it’s very easy for me to go a day (or days) without eating any vegetables. Cereal and coffee for breakfast, a veggie burger or sandwich for lunch, bean burrito for dinner and boom, no vegetables.

So I can use all the kale and quinoa encouragement I can get, and want to offer some to you, too. It isn’t easy eating as though you have a raw vegan chef at your disposal, but any effort you make will improve your health. I was thinking this morning that I might take another shot at detoxing, but have to quote Lee Hazelwood: That time would come, but it wasn’t that day.

1 comment:

  1. I'm with you as a skeptic and a vegan who could eat more raw veggies. I'm perfectly happy with my loofah and don't see myself brushing my skin with anything else. I haven't done a detox. I just keep cutting out the bad foods one more item at a time.

    I understand that breaking down the vegetables helps take a load off the digestive system. I read the juiceman's book where he basically said, "Eat the fruit and juice the veggies." However, I really hate wasting the pulp, and I don't compost. I think we need more recipes of soups and stews that use the pulp.

    I actually like chopping vegetables into small sections for a salad or stir-fry. Tensions can ease with each pass of the knife. Yet, I enjoy it more when someone else is helping me or the meal is made for a special guest. Why is it that we don't get very excited about fixing food for ourselves?

    I read a lot. I love (physician's commitee for responsible medicine) and the philosophy of natural hygienists (see and that of Max Gerson who advocate(d) eating only organic, raw food. The more I read, the more I change.

    I'm happy with where I am and where I'm going. It's good to be both a skeptic and a vegan on a quest for more raw fruit and vegetables. You aren't alone and this path is great place to be.