Everything’s Bigger In…

Texas? Nope. Everything is more gigantic, more delectable in my diet-restricted eyes.

Today — on the final stretch of my 10-day cleanse, with the edible finish line in sight — I wanted to gorge on everything. Burgers looked juicier, sizzling with fatty goodness; pancakes looked so fluffy it was all I could not to slyly nibble them on the way from the kitchen window to the table; the vat of bubbling soup waiting for lunch clients wrote my name in the steam; it said, “SYLVA, EAT ME,” in humid bursts of red lentil, sausage and celery. I may have been losing it, or I may have been craving each digestible item that passed my hungry eyes — and that was a lot, considering 630 a.m. found me opening for breakfast at Arapahoe Cafe, and 230 p.m. found me walking out the back door.

All this gastronomical pining got me thinking — what is a craving anyway? Obviously, it’s an intense desire for food, often for a specific food (although not in my case: all food was craved equally, all day). The word “crave” originates from, among other lingual roots, the Old English word “craven.” Merriam-Webster states craven to mean, “lacking the least bit of courage; contemptibly fainthearted.” Geez, Merriam! Give me a break will you? I’ve been at this mostly raw fruits and veggies thing for 10 whole days! That is 240 hours — or 14,400 minutes — of thinking/dreaming  about cream pies/two-headed cream pies with arms and eating organic spinach, organic bananas and organic radishes. To crave, as defined by Dictionary.com is “to long for; want greatly; desire eagerly.” The examples given are “to crave sweets” (very apt) and “to crave affection.” In my case —  to affectionately crave sweets.

I literally felt like a giant philly cheese steak loped down each hallway before me, and I followed it very eagerly, with eyes as big as large Supreme pizzas (which I also craved today). I actually slapped my own wrist more than once as my arm reached — with super human speed and agility — for the all too available plastic bag containing at least three boxes of already opened Girl Scout Cookies. The bin of granola on the shelf leered at me above a giant, pleasantly heated container of maple syrup (which reminded me of pancakes) that cackled with Satan-like glee. With a wilting scowl, I turned my back to the delightful menagerie and chewed on an organic carrot with jaw-dropping determination.

But, here I am. I avoided the bin of flaky, buttery biscuits that screeched my name like demons from the tar pits of Hades. I turned my righteous back on a piece of crackling bacon that fell from a plate, looking up at me beseechingly with puppy dog eyes. I made it to the last inches of the final hike. As I now mix my last fiber-packed “fart shake” as I have fondly named it (a cocktail of organic flax seed, organic alfalfa whole leaf, organic barley whole leaf, chia seed and organic pea hull fiber — just do  me a favor and say “pea hull” outloud), I smile. And then grimace, as I mix the murky, turtle-puke colored beverage. I swear, you couldn’t dissolve this stuff in a vat of hydrochloric acid, much less Brita filtered water.

Do I feel cleaner? Yes. I won’t tell you the exact physical evidence that leads me to this conclusion. My energy level is up, my ability to control unhealthy cravings is stronger as my will power has been greatly exercised this last week and a half. And my appreciation for good fruits and vegetables has increased — who knew an entirely fruit and ice smoothie or a veggie and salsa filled red pepper could be so dang satisfying? The entire process was difficult, but wonderful. Kind of like walking around a maze made of rose bushes with forks in your eyes. Just kidding. I would recommend this experience to anyone who doesn’t have a fear of forks in their eyes.

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