Taryn Toomey has made a name for herself in the wellness world with "the class," which is one of the first workouts of its kind to bring the mind body connection to a spiritual level. Using body weight exercise with high repetitions to fatigue the physical body, Toomey is less of an "instructor" and more of a "guide" during what feels like an intense moving meditation. She hones into those moments when the going gets tough, encouraging a closer look at self-talk that inevitably comes up when we're feeling challenged.
With roots in yoga and Ayurvedic studies, Toomey offers a seasonal program that uniquely blends seasonal, anti-inflammatory, and Ayurvedic practices that, unlike the class, is accessible to everyone, everywhere. I've had my eye on this cleanse for three consecutive years for a few reasons. For one, it's refreshingly not a juice cleanse and doesn't even come close. The end goal isn't about weight loss or fitting into a pair of skinny jeans. No ma'am. This one is for the seeker who wants to feel his or her best, be radiant, and learn about the self.
Aptly named "The Layer," the cleanse really was an internal excavation of habits and patterns. With each "layer" I peeled back, I learned something new about myself. I never felt deprived or hungry, it was purely an energy shift. When you put different things into your body, you're sowing new seeds and bound to manifest different thoughts and feelings. Ultimately, the goal is to change and deepen the internal dialogue you have with yourself.
After going through this experience, I have a few points of advice for anyone embarking on a food-based cleanse.
1. Clear your social calendar. I know it sounds so lame, but I'm serious. Take it from someone who didn't, and got sick towards the end of the cleanse. You'll need the extra time to sleep, reflect, and honestly just to make your food. You'll have to prepare quite a bit on any plant-heavy diet. Give yourself permission these 10 days to pause and reflect, especially if you're working normal or crazy hours.
2. Start meal prep a few days before your cleanse begins. You don't have to stick to a regimented meal plan, but make sure you know which recipes you like, buy the ingredients and if needed, prep them (soak beans, wash greens, roast your yams, etc.). Make any recipes you can ahead of time so you're not overly taxed during the cleanse itself.
3. Commit to a daily practice. While it's a perfect time to try out new cleansing rituals, I'd recommend keeping up a practice you normally do, whether it's journaling, yoga, or running. It's cool and insightful to observe how it changes over the course of the cleanse.
Here are seven things I learned about myself on The Layer, my first Ayurvedic detox.