Friday, April 2, 2010
Greetings from Ogunquit! I’ve taken myself to Maine for a cleansing, healing mini-retreat. It’s my first time here and, I have a feeling... not my last! ☺
I’m staying at the beautifully-maintained Beachmere Inn, a medium-sized, ideally situated hotel overlooking the cove-scalloped Maine Atlantic coast across a grassy lawn. At this writing, from my window I see high tide rolling in. A young surfer in a black wet-suit just caught a slow wave all the way into shore. Sweet.
I arrived last night in the dark, moon not yet risen, so I could only hear the ocean but not see it... until morning, when the golden sun finally came up over the water, shining a wide pillar of yellow light straight at me, from horizon to shoreline. That glorious sun is still beaming down, drying out the sodden earth flooded across New England by a long March deluge. Beneath the sun, a healthy wind has blown all day; it buffeted me cheerily along Ogunquit Beach earlier, where I enjoyed a two-hour walk yielding many tumble-rounded fragments of colorful Maine granite and a giant quahog shell I intend to use for burning sage. (Been needing one of those...and so it came to me.) Lovely.
The Maine Detox plan is simple: liquids, liquids, liquids all day long, and at night, the added option of heartier liquids (i.e. miso soup), avocado, low-starch veggies (raw or cooked) or lightly cooked seafood. (I don't plan on having seafood, but I am in Maine, after all, so it feels right to keep my options open.)
Daily detox liquids will consist primarily of water, tea and freshly pressed juices. Smoothies and blended soups would work, too. But I'm mostly focusing on juice, which is why I arrived with my trusty Omega 8005 juicer in tow, and a cooler full of organic vegetables and fruits to feed it. Basically, I’m doing a modified juice fast. Love the flexibility there, since I’m all about “tools not rules.” Rules have their place but ultimately, I choose freedom.
My cooler stash of juiceable organics includes 3 heads of celery, 2 bunches of collard greens, 3 cucumbers, 5 pounds of carrots, several beets, 3 Granny Smith apples, 2 grapefruits, a ginger root and some limes. If that’s not enough, there’s a very nice market in town where I can fill in items as needed (their produce is not organic, but it is conveniently located! Again, "tools not rules.")
Room 113 at the Beachmere looks out at the oldest building on the property, The Victorian, which you can see in the above photo taken first thing today from my patio. My room, situated in the newer Beachmere South wing, also boasts the cutest little kitchenette ever, perfect for setting up juice shop. So this morning, after writing in my dream journal, doing my Artist's Way morning pages (while happily surveying low tide, see above) and meditating for an hour, I got right to work preparing two delicious, jewel toned, living elixirs.
Making both juices together, one after the other, offered the advantage of only having to clean the juicer once. To me, this was a trade off well worth the slight loss of nutrients that occurs when fresh juice is stored in the fridge for a few hours in a tightly sealed container. A couple of glass Mason jars, brought along for this express purpose, do the trick at keeping oxidation to a minimum.
JUICE ONE: Imperial Emerald
1 head celery
1 bunch collard greens
1 Granny Smith Apple
½ lime (peel and all)
JUICE TWO: Ruby Burst Surprise
2 ribs fennel (the surprise)
1 or 2 small beets
1 Granny Smith apple
½ lime (peel and all)
large chunk ginger root (the burst)
(This was incredible!)
I feel blessed to have the opportunity to take this time to myself, to cleanse, heal and explore the tranquil space of creative contemplation. And how about you? I’d love to hear about the last time you took yourself on a vacation. Where did you go and what did you do? Or where would you most like to go for a mini-retreat? Leave your comments below. Dream big or small – everything is possible, once you imagine…