Raffa Yoga is home to a juice bar, a spa and Urban Sweat, a series of saunas. In the interest of good journalism and self-flagellation, I undertook their three-day juice cleanse, designed to purify the body, give the digestive system a chance to rest and boost overall wellness.
I wanted to cleanse for months, but kept finding reasons to push it off. Really, I couldn’t face the idea of not having the social and emotional crutch of food (and, let’s face it, wine). I realize I’m panicking a little when I have some bizarre Pavlovian response to the smell of fast food on my way to work. I never want fast food, but since I know I’m not allowed to have it, there’s nothing I want more.
When I get to work, I survey my options: All Green (kale, spinach, celery, cucumber); C Blast (orange, pineapple, ginger); Wellbeing (beet, apple, ginger); Digest (carrot, pineapple, ginger); and Relax and Restore (kale, celery, apple, cinnamon). I start with the C Blast because it feels the most like breakfast. It’s delicious. But now, because I’m detoxing from sugar, my head is pounding and I’m not able to focus. I don’t think I can do this for three days. When she gave me the juices, Christine Raffa told me that if I really felt like I needed to eat, I could have white rice and steamed greens. That night, I have miso soup and rice. I immediately feel dizzy from the sodium rush. Is this what I’ve been doing to myself all along? It’s a huge wake-up call to feel my body immediately respond to something unhealthy.
The morning is cold and rainy, and all I want is something sweet to soothe the blues. As I grab a bottle of water from the pantry, I realize how much of this packaged food I’d just grab on the way out the door. It’s all food that I tell myself I don’t eat.
Because I can’t use food to get through stressful moments, I’m thinking about eating less and less; my energy levels are steady, and I’m better able to focus on my work. I get hungry a few times, but I’m pretty much fine. That night, at Christine’s recommendation, I do Urban Sweat to really push all the toxins out of my system. The headache hasn’t returned, and I think I’m starting to feel some of the sense of peace I’ve been promised is part of this.
Normally my first waking thoughts are a groggy inventory of all the ways I feel bad. This morning, I feel great. By the time 11am rolls around, I’m wishing I had another two days of the cleanse, because I’m finally starting to feel the benefits, especially the mental clarity and focus. I make plans to do the cleanse again with a friend.
Because I’ve noticed how foods make me feel as I’m reintroducing them, I’ve been inspired to eat more vegetables and less crap. I really like where this is going.
Unexpected side effect: I’m now making sweeping claims about my friends’ ill health being due to acid imbalances, and backing up those claims by saying, “Listen to me. I juice cleanse now.”
19 Sharpe Drive, Cranston