Wednesday, January 1, 2014


Last year about this time I wrote about detoxification. In fact, you may find most health-minded blogs, magazines, and news articles will bring up the big "D" word come January 1 and the week leading up to it.

I have to admit, I too have been consumed with it all, over the last week mapping out a herb and food-based detox of my own.

As I put together the plan, I got to wondering why we many have the insatiable desire to detox in January when much of the fresh foods needed for such cleanses come around in August. Any good locavore would say, pass on [wheat]grass unless it's in summer. Of course there are local greenhouses and ways to grow sprouts, wheatgrass, even greens while a frozen tundra encases the outdoors, but for the most part the stuff in our detox juices, smoothies, salads, and stir-fries are all but extinct on January 1st. Unless, of course, you traverse the ice to the local grocery. California, Mexico, and Brazil have us well supplied.

And thus the uncomfortable rub for me - if I'm going to do a fast, wouldn't I want to have the best, most nutrient dense, freshest [I mean with dirt still on it] produce? Why am I so drawn to detoxing when there is nothing like said fruit and veggies around?

I've come to a couple conclusions:

First, the over abundance of heavy foods and sweets during holidays automatically causes our bodies to crave simple, fresh, whole foods easy to digest and packed with the vitamins and minerals we've missed out on in the weeks preceding the new year.

Second, there is something undeniably powerful about each new year. It's a fresh start, a clean slate, a time to build habits we've wanted but just haven't had the motivation or time set aside to put in place. It's an annual new beginning - a beautiful picture of grace.

And so we diet. We detox. We work out. We list our goals. We forgive. We restore. We dream.

For about a day.

And then we realize just how hard all of it is. How it takes intention and patience and diligence and discipline.

And we give up.

We succumb to guilt and self-depreciation and poor habits and a life we know is not the best life we could be living all the while knowing we are made for more.

And we live in this until next January when determination consumes us for another brief moment.

But maybe this year can be different. Maybe we start small and enjoy fully each step we take. Instead of grandiose plans doomed to fail, perhaps we take one thing we can realistically achieve and actually do it. We follow through to completion and relish the success.

So, and this new year unfolds, choose one thing and do it with intention. Take on this new beginning in a less ambitious way knowing more will be achieved. Set time aside to rest and reflect and take in the past year, grieving what needs to be grieved and celebrating what needs to be celebrated. Then bask in the freedom to live in the present.

Happy 2014 - may you be so blessed this year.