If there's something worse than Jewish guilt, it's yoga guilt.
I have started eating meat again. Red meat, even. Given some of the looks I've gotten from people when I say this, you would think I'm a leper in the yoga world. But let me tell you, it's delicious. And I feel a lot better.
How did this happen, you ask? I'll just go ahead and start from the top.
I've pretty vocal that I'm not a fan of sugar. Even if you say "oh, but it's honey" (or coconut nectar or agave or fructose) the truth is that your body doesn't know the difference and still processes it all as sugar - one of the most addictive substances on earth. So when my friend Vanessa asked me and Mike to join a group of friends for a two-week anti-inflammatory cleanse, we were all in. No sugar, no gluten, no starch, no alcohol. The vibe was all whole foods - veggies, little fruit, and lots of protein. Think chicken in lettuce cups or fish with broccoli. Or burgers with no bun. Pretty much the paleo diet meets the Tim Ferriss' The 4-hour Body... detox central.
Ok, easy enough.
On day one, I was nauseous and by day two, I was vomiting. My sugar and grain addiction was so strong that I might as well have been quitting heroin. My body craved quinoa. I daydreamed about Ezekiel Bread. Warm chocolate chip cookies danced in my subsconscious brain. Before we started this cleanse, I thought I was good, that my sugar addiction wasn't so bad. Man, was I wrong.
Day three got better and by days four and five, better still. I eventually got into a rhythm and developed a very sincere appreciation for a good grass-fed burger (no bun, of course). And after the requisite two weeks, I felt great. My brain was super clear, my blood sugar was stable and there was no 4pm coffee craving. It felt so good that we kept on going with the cleanse rules after the two weeks were up.
And then I was offered some fresh challah bread. Damn, was it good. Warm and deliciously carby. But I woke up the next morning feeling like I had been hit by a truck and developed an overnight brain fog. It was clear - no more gluten. It hijacked my mental clarity. Sugar, on the other hand, is a little more insidious. My body loves it and doesn't want to rest at one sugary thing. It just wants more. And that's a slippery slope that I don't want to be sliding down.
So, a month after starting this thing, we're jamming on lots of veggies and protein. Breakfast is eggs or chia pudding made from homemade no-sugar cashew milk (just cashews and water). Lunch is a salad or soup with veggies. Dinner is either a veggie medley or a meat + veggie situation. There is red meat. There is chicken. There are lots of greens. There is experimentation and refinement. Ultimately, it's all to get to peak performance, peak mental clarity and no inflammation.
So that feeling great and being your best possible self isn't something that you have to think about or strive for, it's something that you already are every day.