This is Hailey Eber’s final installment of her three-part cleanse diary. Read part two here.
I discovered something while on my cleanse that I am loathe to admit. No, it wasn’t that green bile will ooze from my pores when I stop pumping all that wheat into my body, nor was it the fact that rice pasta in a substantial shape – say, a sturdy penne, not a fussy spaghetti – when cooked correctly, isn’t so bad. No, it was even worse than that. I discovered that when I don’t consume booze, dairy, coffee, and bread, I feel better. A lot better. Turns out a life outside the upper-downer shame spiral of espresso in the morning and red wine in the evening, is an easier life – on the body at least.
I’d done this exact cleanse a few times before, but the healthy benefits hit me a bit harder this time, perhaps because I’ve been running lately, or maybe (let’s be honest, people) because I’m getting old. But, of course, despite my newfound digestive peace, I still awoke on my first post-cleanse morning and whipped up a breakfast involving that beloved ball of mozzarella cheese. It was Easter after all, and it just didn’t seem fitting to celebrate the Resurrection with yet another gluten-free toaster waffle. With both dairy products and dudes, we often don’t love what’s good for us.
Later that night, there was a dinner consisting mostly of wine and cheese. (And a bit of organic arugula salad, lightly dressed, fear not, people!) Such a “meal” was standard fare for me pre-cleanse, but the ol’ body was not having any of it now. I got about two hours of sleep between the wine insomnia and my upset tummy. Fuck you!, my whole body seemed to be screaming. Fuck you and your gossipy wine and cheese Easter fest with your gay BFFs!
(At this point, the author wishes to make clear that she knows very well that wine and cheese are the wrong way to break a cleanse, even a gentle one. She cautions you not to try this at home.)
Lesson learned, I was intent on making my second post-cleanse day a better one. I whipped up a huge bowl of quinoa and fresh beets (despite the fact that I get creeped out by their magical color-changing abilities in the toilet department). It was a creation so healthy, so bursting with seasonal farmers’ market goodness, that it was almost smug. This is the first day of the rest of your life, my creation preached, laying out a new patchouli-scented life for me, a life untainted by animal products or alcohol, a life with a passion for carob. Everything is different now, promised the glistening, jewel-toned beets, from their pillowy quinoa nest. I wanted to believe them, and in a way I did. You are so right, I murmured to my ruby-hued friends. Let’s live like this forever, just you and me, and quinoa, and maybe some almonds. We could be so happy. For a moment, I meant it. But then, I couldn’t help but think how much happier the beets and I might be with a little goat cheese thrown in.