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October 22nd, 2013

Finding Balance And Self-Care During A Detox

By Manduka Ambassador,

In the past I always went through this journey of dieting like I was losing my best friend. It often began with the “taking away” of something, in my case delicious treats. I love food, I love to cook and I love to eat…but I also love being healthy. I started to find that every time I would diet or detox I went into this militant mode of “I WILL NOT EAT ANYTHING Bad” as my mantra. I would approach it almost as a punishment for “eating bad”. I thought that self-care would come naturally with dieting since it was in the best interest of your body. Right? Well, It took me a long while to figure out that was not entirely accurate. The energy we give to our food and to ourselves was a bigger culprit to your overall healthy then just eating salad.

I recently led a detox workshop, which I do four times a year seasonally. We all join together to clean and renew and find balance internally and externally. It is so much fun to do this as a group, to that the support of our sangha. I can’t stress enough how important it is during this time to be gentle and caring with our bodies and our thoughts.

A few days ago one of my students who is currently doing the detox came to my morning class, she was clearly very anxious and approached me right before we started. She was feeling terrible because she had a little sugar “slip up” during the detox. She proceeded telling me how she wanted to have a hard and sweaty class because she felt guilty. I stopped at that moment and thought, this sounds oddly familiar. So it’s not enough that she already feels guilty because of the minor slip up, but now she wants to make her body pay for it? Instantly being able to relate, we spoke about this briefly and instead decided to do some restorative asana postures instead of going into a vigorous practice. She realized how much more this benefited her body and her state of mind and she left feeling totally elated.

I’m not sure exactly what happens to us when we get into this mode of self-punishment when things go astray, especially when it comes to eating and food. I feel that with all the time that has gone by, and all the studying I have done… this is still a difficult habit break free from even for me. I have to constantly remind myself that IT IS OK to enjoy the things life has to offer, like chocolate and nut butter…in moderation of course. It isn’t the end of the world if there is a minor speed bump along the way. Self-punishment is clearly not the answer and it negates all the other work we do to make us pretty incredible human beings. Then there’s that!

Using our energy to feel good when you’re doing something great for your health like a detox. Taking care of yourself is a practice, being compassionate to yourself is a practice. Finding balance when your making a change in your life can be challenging but it does make it easier when you have the support of your community to help you. That being said, here is a truly delicious recipe for us to without feeling guilty.

Vegan Chocolate Ginger Orange Cupcakes (YUMMMM!)

Serves 12 Large Cupcakes

3 cups all purpose flour (organic unbleached if you have it)

2/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder

2 teaspoons baking soda

1 teaspoon salt

2 cups natural cane sugar 

1 2/3 cups water (or cold freshly brewed coffee) 

1 cup canola oil

2 teaspoons vanilla extract

2 tablespoons freshly grated ginger

4 tablespoons zested orange peel

1 tablespoon orange juice

4 tablespoons cider vinegar

Directions:
Preheat oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit. Mix all dry ingredients and whisk to combine. Add water, oil, vanilla, orange juice, ginger and orange peel. Stir to combine. Add vinegar and stir quickly together. Once the mix turns slightly dark then you know you've incorporated all the vinegar and you're set to pour it into muffin tins or even two cake pans. Bake for 15 minutes for a medium sized cupcake. Allow sitting in pan for 5 minutes, removing and placing on wire rack until completely cool.

Ingredients (for frosting):
6 oz. vegan cream cheese
1/4 cup vegan butter
2-3 tbsp shortening
3 tbsp limoncello
1/2 tsp lemon extract
1 tsp lemon zest
3 cups powdered sugar
crystallized ginger, to taste, minced, to top
Recipe (for frosting):
Combine all ingredients but ginger and mix well. It shouldn't have a soupy consistency. If it does, add more sugar. I like to place it in the refrigerator to firm it up before I frost.

Enjoy!

Xo Rosie

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