A Slow Deep Kiss: The Pleasure of the Spring Cleanse

While it seems counter-intuitive to write about the happiness of eating less in a blog devoted to the pleasures of food, today I’m all about the ecstasy of the spring cleanse.  It’s true I don’t exactly look forward to my annual digestive ablution, but now 4 days into this year’s ritual, I must admit to feeling suddenly as if the sparkle has returned to the sky—and it makes me a little giddy.

Blueberry Pomegranate Smoothie w/Flax Seed
The answer lies, I think, in lightening up.  The cleanse I do is simple and ultimately quite gentle:  I cut out meat, sugar, and anything out of a box, can or bag, and take Flor*Essence tea. Why punish myself for over-indulgence in braised lamb shanks and garlic mashed potatoes that warmed a cold February night or the cream-laden shrimp and grits I made just three weeks ago or French bread gilded with butter anytime, when I honestly enjoyed every bite as it entered my mouth? Instead, I think of cleansing as sweeping out the cobwebs, doing a little internal dusting, and resetting my taste buds for the coming season of tangy garden tomatoes, peppery arugula, and sweet, milky corn.

Eating the basics

My  cleanse focuses on eating less and paring down ingredients to eat simply: Breakfast might be an organic soft-boiled egg with a slice of whole grain toast brushed with good olive oil and eaten with steamed spinach. Dinner might be a sprouted corn tortilla with organic beans, chopped red onion, tomato, and lettuce topped with a squeeze of lime. When I eat these foods, I remember the vibrancy, the utter life force of food. 

Home-made Trail Mix
Without a breakfast menu bogged down by fried eggs, toast with butter and jam, fried bacon and juice, my palate is free to relish the simple taste and texture of a buttery yolk on good crusty bread. I enjoy eating without the urgency or anticipation of gluttony, without the need to eat this thing to get to that:   Less is more.

If a good meal is like great sex, a  spring cleanse
cleanse is like a slow deep kiss:
If a good meal is like great sex, a cleanse is like a slow deep kiss: you savor the pleasure of the moment without thinking what will come next. So for a few weeks each spring, I indulge myself and allow a little light and air back into the kitchen. Food is eaten raw, fresh, or juiced. And I drink plenty of water and let myself linger over what the plate provides.

Since pleasure is my manifesto, it seems natural to take a few weeks enjoy food in its freshest form. It’s not punishment, but a way to rejuvenation my body and my palate for the coming year!
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