Ice Cream Detox

This summer Erica Rodefer Winters has had a difficult time keeping her love of ice cream in moderation. Her yoga practice is helping her to clean up her act.
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I love summer. I love the hot, sticky weather. I love breezy sundresses, sandals, and floppy hats. I love evening strolls and lazily sitting on my porch on warm summer nights. But perhaps what I love most about summer are those sweet, cool treats: Watermelon, ice-cold sweet tea, and ice cream. Boy, do I love ice cream …

Usually I try to be reasonable and moderate about my indulgences all year round, but this summer it has been a struggle. Maybe it's because life as a new mom doesn’t lend itself to bikini-appropriate outings. Maybe sleep deprivation is fueling my sweet tooth. Maybe it's just because I took a break from my asana practice which would normally help me make mindful food decisions. Whatever the reason (OK, fine, excuse), eating a little ice cream nearly every day has turned into a very bad habit for me. I need to reel it in and get back to seeing ice cream as a treat to be eaten for special occasions instead of a daily sugar fix.

It's time for an ice cream detox.

The first few days of a detox are always the hardest. Coming off sugary foods isn't much different than coming off caffeine—I get headaches and become incredibly grouchy. This is how I know it's an addiction. To help me cope, I replaced my evening bowl of ice cream with healthier things that help me enjoy the season--a bowl of watermelon and a walk. I've also amped up my asana and meditation practice, focusing on health and healing. It has really helped.

It's also caused me to think about all that yoga is and can be in my life. Like a detox, yoga helps us to replace the negative in our lives—stress, bad posture, negative thoughts—with more positive, healthy habits—health, positive thoughts, compassion, calmness. We're getting rid of that which does not serve us and replacing it with something that does. Even if we aren't consciously working toward detoxing from our vices, yoga helps us to naturally cleanse ourselves every time we practice. That's pretty amazing.

What has yoga helped you to detox?