Jewish Journal

Day Five of the Cleanse: Fail. The End

by Tamara Shayne Kagel

November 11, 2011 | 7:31 pm

I’m about to leave for my yogi pow-wow about this past week’s cleanse.  I’m dreading having to admit that I’m a cleanse-failure.  The thing is, I know I didn’t do it properly so I shouldn’t really comment on it but I really did try.  If you’ve ever had ultimate meal, you know what I mean – that stuff tastes worse than almost anything I can think of. 

My roommate who did a much better job of staying on the program for the past week went with me to lunch to break the fast.  We both skipped this morning’s aloe vera juice shot (again so disgusting) and breakfast so we didn’t have to deal with what to eat.  Our first solid food was going to be raw organic vegan food at lunch.  We went to Planet Raw to toast our natural bodies.  We both started with smoothies.  I had had two yesterday so having one again for lunch felt good.  She was starving and couldn’t wait to eat.  Our entrees came and as soon as she ate hers she said she felt drunk – she was feeling so happy and loopy it was like she was high off of the foods.  I imagine the taste of good food was releasing endorphins or serotonin and giving her that sense of bliss.  I felt but was unable to eat my meal.  The smoothie was all the calories my body could handle, so I took mine to go and am eating it now for dinner. 

We both came back exhausted though.  Maybe digesting the food was taking so much energy our bodies needed to rest.  Either way, we kept talking about the Starbucks we were going to have tomorrow.  I’ve agreed to stay off of coffee and diet soda and even what I normally eat till tomorrow but for all intensive purposes I’m done. 

I can honestly say though, I am never going to do a cleanse again in my life.  I guess it’s good to try everything once but my body is just not made for this type of thing.  Technically, my roommate and I both lost a few pounds but I doubt this is the kind of weight loss that we will sustain when we go back to our normal eating and exercising routine next week. 

I’d like to tell you, that after a week of being off coffee, and aspartame and all the chemically diet drinks I love, and all the protein bars and Amy’s frozen meals and wine and soy I normally have, that my body feels amazing.  But I don’t.  I feel tired, really tired.  Still a little weak and annoyed that I wasted so much time and energy on this.  And otherwise, no different.  I guess I do eat somewhat healthy to begin with so perhaps if my diet was mostly fast food, I’d feel differently.  But I’m in my eleventh year of being a vegetarian and I try to limit my caffeine intake to a cup a day and just eat sensibly all the time.  Treats in moderation, preparing vegetables in a way I like them so that I eat them, trying to buy organic when there’s an option. 

In a health conscious world, maybe there is a limit to being too healthy for some of us.  I think I got sucked into this idea that there’s this pure healthy ideal out there that we all are reaching for.  This person who never puts a single bad thing in her body and always gets a good night’s sleep and grows her own organic vegetable garden and is so purely healthy her hair and nails and skin are an oasis of wholesome sterile perfection.  I guess I have “health guilt” sometimes.  I feel bad when I order a diet coke because I think all those chemicals must be bad for me.  I worry about the sodium in the organic frozen food I heat up when I’m in a rush.  I worry about ingesting too much soy when I have fake meat products.  So because of this guilt, I guess I believe people when they tell me that there must be toxins in my body.  But I feel great, my doctor thinks I’m in excellent health, and my health allows me to have a happy life.  How did I let myself get brainwashed into thinking I needed to drastically change my life to get healthy?  I think I’ve decided that even though my body may not be the epitome of perfect purity, I’m healthy enough.

Tamara Shayne Kagel is a writer living in Santa Monica, CA. To find out more about her, visit www.tamarashaynekagel.com and follow her on twitter @tamaraskagel. © Copyright 2011.

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Tamara Shayne Kagel is a twenty-something fixture on the Los Angeles scene currently living in Santa Monica.  Currently, Tamara is a successful freelance writer (just ask her...

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