One of the saving graces while on this cleanse is the cafe at Body of Santa Fe. Besides being only a few blocks from my house, they serve up the only raw, vegan fancy food in town. They have a decent raw section of the restaurant menu, and now that I'm on day 15 of this Ejuva cleanse, I've tried almost everything there. It's been such a gift to have a raw cafe nearby where I can enjoy someone else's raw food culinary skills.
Today I got adventurous and veered away from my original intention to have the Raw Thai Curry. The server so enthusiastically recommended an item that was not on the menu that I had to order it. She stressed that she and the chef were graduates of a raw culinary institute in California, and that this raw enchilada with spicy chile sauce was incredible. (I'm told the Raw Enchilada will be on the new menus.) I, in turn, enthusiastically ordered it, while my girlfriend ordered the raw Thai Curry and said I could have some. The server also informed me that the Raw Enchilada was quite large, so given that lunch is to be my only meal today, the decision to change course was easy.
I was very pleasantly surprised when our food came to see that the raw form of tortilla, wrapping the veggies in my enchilada, was a beautiful, rich color of red from the puree of veggies dehydrated into a tortilla. The red chile sauce was amazingly spicy, especially compared to the blander foods I've been eating. It was truly more flavorable than anything I've eaten in 15 days. The chef had swirled raw pine nut cheese into the red chile adorning the whole wonderful mass. I slowly devoured the two enchiladas, barely letting my girlfriend touch them. I found myself too stuffed after those to want to eat the accompanying salad as well, plus the leafy green texture just couldn't compare with the sensory delight I was experiencing from the chile.
Packed the salad up to go feeling so well fed and nourished. One of the beauties, I realize, of the Ejuva cleanse, is the return to enjoying simpler flavors. Having simpler needs, and simpler desires. Enjoying the honest flavor of an organic carrot or a soaked almond is an awesome experience. Now, I am a huge lover of Indian food, as well as all Asian food, except for insects. I love heavily spiced sauces and soups. I love chai. However, all habits need breaking from time to time, so for four weeks, I'm breaking my habit of eating cooked food. Hopefully in each and every moment I'm trying to break some habit, some reaction I'm used to, and instead trying to be fully present and open-hearted. That's the goal, anyway.
My new "habit" I've forced on myself is this cleansing approach to eating. I'm actually getting habituated to eating less and less, and not feeling overly hungry or deprived either. I'm getting used to having a slightly lower but calmer level of energy. I'm more aware of feeling an increase in the elements of air and space in my body due to the strictly raw food intake. Raw foods are the highest in prana, the vital life force of Vata, so they are mostly air + space. Some might call it spacey, and light-headed isn't exactly right either. It's just an ethereal feeling, which is why it's particularly challenging to do any type of fast or cleanse while having young kids running around at full speed.
I won't say it's easy to do a cleanse while also working and parenting and living. But there's also always a reason to put it off, whether it's been a while, or whether you've never done any type of cleanse. Even people with clean diets will have a tongue coating that reveals, according to Ayurvedic tongue diagnosis, that there are toxins in their digestive tract. Summer is definitely the ideal time, because the warm Pitta nature of the season and the abundance at the farmers' markets balance out the Vata increasing qualities of a raw diet. I strongly urge against doing cleanses in the wintertime, unless you have a serious illness that you are treating with a trusted health care professional. Otherwise doing digestive cleanses during the winter is firstly eating out of sync with the season, but secondly also admits too much cold into the body. Vata is cold and dry, so Ayurveda teaches to eat warm root vegetable soups in winter to keep warm, not salads, unless you live in Hawaii.
Thank Santa Fe for the Body cafe so I don't have to cook, I mean chop, all my own meals for four weeks. I will absolutely order the Raw-Enchilada-in-Red-Chile-that's-not-on-the-menu next time.