Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Day 1: Cleanse me with hyssop, and I will be clean.

I love this season of Lent. Really, because I love Easter. Commercialism has shat all over Christmas, but what are they going to do about Lent? A season of repentance and remembering the life of Jesus doesn't really sell flat screen TVs. Albeit, there is one fast food place that has already started airing their Lenten fish special. I'm not marketing expert, but I'm pretty sure people aren't trampling over each other for that hot mess.

The day started off nicely. It was nice to head back to work after the Mardi Gras and my own personal flu season. Because I was ill last week, I already cut out caffeine, which made the transition without my usual coffee not too shabby.  I deeply and passionately LOVE coffee, so my heart is aching a bit, but my brain is happy to learn how to activate on its own.

My Grandma is not only cute, but pays attention. So this morning she made rice porridge (aka jook or congee). This version was simply rice, water, carrots, onions and garlic. I also managed to have already purchased some food that fit perfectly within the parameters of this cleanse that I ate in two small meals. Red beans, brown rice, potatoes, green beans and carrots, oh my!

Tonight, I hit up the Whole Foods (often known as Whole Paycheck). I didn't really have a game plan, just made sure I had some of each food group - vegetables, fruits, carbs, legumes and herbal tea. I even went for the vegan butter and crackers. I couldn't find a gluten-free bread that didn't contain eggs, so I splurged for the gluten and vegan free... frozen waffles? I'm not gonna lie, I'm kind of looking forward to trying them. Of course, you can't leave out the agave nectar, otherwise there would be no sweetness to my very plain rice cakes. After this, I'm going to put together what I'll bring to work tomorrow (and maybe have one of those waffles for dessert). I'll let you know how things go, but for Day 1, I give it an A-. The minus because I tried one of my gluten-free tortillas and it tastes like crap. The rubbery, almost plastic-y texture and flavor did not pair well with my spinach and lentil soup.

Anyway, to the deep stuff. I just got back from Ash Wednesday service, nice and short but so full of substance. You might say it was nutrient dense ;) This cleanse is not just a physical cleanse for me. The past year and a half has been incredibly challenging in all aspects of my life. I moved back home to live with my parents (Hello, therapy?). I started a new job with some of the craziest people you'll ever meet (more therapy, please). And I'm still checking the "single" box (e-harmony?).

My prayer is that this wellness cleanse will manifest itself in the cleansing of my soul. A time to forgive myself and to give my body and mind a break from the physical and emotional demands I put upon myself. Each day, as I am aware of what I eat, I am aware that it is through God's grace that I have my daily (gluten-free) bread and the cleansing of my soul.

Surely you desire truth in the inner parts; 
you teach me wisdom in the inmost place.

Cleanse me with hyssop, and I will be clean; 
wash me, and I will be whiter than snow.

Let me hear joy and gladness; 
let the bones you have crushed rejoice.

Hide your face from my sins 
and blot out all my iniquity.

Create in me a pure heart, O God, 
and renew a steadfast spirit within me. 

Psalm 51:6-10

Can I get an "Amen"?

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