get clean = get peaceful

by rebecca on January 10, 2012

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The simplest days are often my favorites. Sometimes I forget this. That’s why almond butter and rice cakes are my altared space today.

I’m using January to clean out and let go. My friends Demi, Sarah and Debra are leading a community cleanse. Cleansing my body is about a whole lot more than food. As a rule, I’ve resisted cleanses: fad eating.

But part of me was yearning to belong to that something beyond the food…the club of shared lifestyle. Belonging, however, begins inside my own skin.

Years ago, when my husband was in graduate school, I lived one of the most peaceful and happy years of my life. We were living on student funds which meant we had next to nothing. Removing choice from my life was oddly freeing.

I am a saver, my husband a spender and the bulk of our fights revolved around money. Removing all choices about money removed a great deal of conflict. Life became simple and I reveled in that peaceful place.

I packed picnics everywhere we went. I always have a gorgeous cooler – green at the moment – and I pack cloth napkins and sweet plates. I toss in a box of crackers, cream cheese, sundried tomato and some veggies and we go round the circle making little artful creations to pop in our mouths.

I never ever felt poor.

But graduate school ended and then came the job and with it money and choices. With choices came responsibilities and the arguments returned. Arguments leave me drained.

Perhaps it was the combination of the drained feeling and some lingering haunt of lack that had me popping by Chipolte or The Great Harvest to get a sandwich instead of packing my cooler now that there was money and choices.

My cleanse required me to get mindful about food. I had very specific things I could eat and I was aware that a long day in town would leave me hungry if I didn’t plan. So I got out my green cooler.

I was in a hurry and didn’t get fancy. I tossed in a bag of rice cakes, a jar of almond butter and some apples. But when we parked the car in the middle of errands and I opened that cooler to share goodies with my hungry car of two teenagers and a husband I love something tasty happened.

A simple nourishment descended on me. As I spread almond butter onto rice cakes and passed out apples everyone told stories. We laughed at the goofy snacks and the way the almond butter dripped. Our windows were down because the sun was heating the car, and people looked at us. “Yep, we’re just here having our granola snack in the paved parking lot. Peace out,” joked my husband. And we all crack up.

But we belonged together.

I don’t always get that cozy feeling grabbing Chipotle.

I think this is why I’m cleansing. So I can remember what nourishes me. Yes, I want to know if I have a sensitivity to glutten or dairy. But more than that I want to be sensitive to what truly feeds me. A return to the basics from time to time reminds me.

Does the food you eat affect your mood? Are you a good picnic packer? Has anyone ever laughed as you ate lunch in your car?

It would make my tummy full if you would subscribe to my blog today.

Full disclosure: this day happened to me last August. My friends really are offering their community post holiday cleanse right now, but because I just had mouth surgery and milk shakes are a big part of my life, I decided to participate with mindfulness rather than chewing. When I tried telling you that upfront everything felt clunky.

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{ 6 comments… read them below or add one }

Sarah Hutchinson January 10, 2012 at 4:55 pm

This photo makes me drool! And as always, your sweet expressions bring a smile. I love the picnic basket! That is what sustains me, preparing and packing food to nourish me along the path. Try a thermos filled with hot water, toss in a cinnamon stick (for a cold day) or some fresh ginger (for a cold day a runny nose), take your thermos everywhere you go and sip away all day, cleansing, nourishing, warming and portable…and by all means, ride your bike to Whole Foods!


rebecca January 11, 2012 at 1:00 pm

I am a total convert to spice water, Sarah. That is one of the best tricks you guys taught me. Even if I don’t travel, I still make up that thermos and sip, sip, sip. Better than tea 🙂 I like opening my spice drawer and becoming my own apothecary for my soul by following the desires of my nose.


SuziCate January 10, 2012 at 5:21 pm

There is much beauty in simplicity. Some of our best memories are quite simplistic; it’s the being together that has made them meaningful.
I’ve considered doing a cleanse but not sure how I’ll do with it since I get really sick if I don’t eat small frequent meals.


rebecca January 11, 2012 at 1:07 pm

SuziCate, one of the best things about this cleanse is that I was never ever hungry and ate and ate and ate. 6 meals a day at least. It was much more about the types of foods I said YES to rather than saying NO to foods. I will never let myself be hungry (bad history there) and this cleanse allows for that.


Privilege of Parenting January 13, 2012 at 6:29 am

Healing wishes for your mouth, first off. Then I think about the way couple tend to hold the two sides of the coin, as if together we have a balance of health and indulgence, saving and spending, etc. Sometimes I think it’s more about moving the chi than cleansing the toxins, sort of like discerning dirt from earth. All Good Wishes whatever we keep and whatever we relinquish.


rebecca February 10, 2012 at 12:42 pm

I am with you on the balance inside of couples. And I like the idea that it is about moving chi or discerning dirt from earth. Love that, Bruce.


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