The Influenza Cleanse

A few years ago I was really into juice cleanses.  It has been a while since I have felt motivated to do one, although I do still enjoy drinking vegetable juice (but not the buying, transporting, and prepping of all that produce, not to mention cleaning the juicer) . . .

Today is the first day I am upright and taking nourishment after two days spent completely horizontal.  I got the flu!  This almost never happens, and it caught me by surprise.  I was so, so sick.  I could barely move.  I couldn’t think about food, beyond a few sips of homemade chicken broth.  My aching bones sent me into the detox bath (Epsom salts and baking soda) at least every few hours–my only departure from bed.  Actually, a lot of my symptoms were familiar from some of the cleanses I have done . . .

Now that I am back in the land of the living, I feel quite renewed.  My skin is clearer, my eyes brighter, even my vision is better.  All of the sludge of the holiday season (damn you, pimiento cheese!) has been burned away by fever and washed clean by herbal teas and an involuntary fast.  It was even a sort of emotional cleanse:  I had been a little down in the dumps the last couple of months . . . Well.  There is nothing like a few episodes of struggling for breath to give you an appreciation for life.

And you know what is interesting about this one?  There was no feeling of deprivation.  It was completely organic.  And, coming out of this flu, I find I am craving simple foods and gentle drinks (buh-bye espresso; hello green tea), whereas when I would finish the forced juice cleanses I would always be dying for a cheeseburger and a chocolate chip cookie and an espresso shake at the end . . .

There is so much talk these days of “detox”.  Even lil’ old Savannah has a juice bar  now!  Lord, if we were to believe the hype we might all despair at being hopelessly riddled with “toxins”—in perpetual need of desperate measures like juice fasts and colonics and heaven knows what else.

I think I was pretty toxic come January 1st.  And guess what:  my body knew exactly what to do.  When it was the furthest thing from my conscious mind, she demanded a “cleanse”—deep rest, fasting, fever, expelling mucous (hello goopy cough!).  I heeded her imperative completely.  Not because I thought it was a good idea, but because she did.

Hmm . . . maybe, just maybe, this miraculous physical being of mine is a self-correcting organism.  Maybe I don’t need to beat her into submission, cleanse her of her uncleanliness, or any of that.  Just take good care, and know that when I haven’t been, she will let me know.  She will tell me exactly what is needed.  And I will listen.

Cheers to good health in the new year,

And Namaste,