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Yesterday we went back to the Botanical Garden to hunt for some cherry blossoms. It was cold, windy and rainy, a perfect day for having the garden to yourself. It was a day off from running, but we wound up walking almost 4 miles anyway. Rest days used to be more … restful.

up close blossoms

I’m in the final week of my 3-week cleanse. While the first two weeks often felt like the slow crawl up a rickety wooden roller coaster, I knew the best part drew closer with each day. Now I’m at the top of the biggest hill, arms up and enjoying the rest of the ride thanks to momentum and hard work during the first two weeks. At least that’s what I keep telling myself. This is work, but I’m feeling really good so it’s worth it. My physical energy is less sporadic, too. I’m really appreciating the boost runs give me. People who don’t run seem to have a hard time believing that running improves energy since it takes so much exertion. It’s one of those things you have to feel for yourself.

magnolia blossoms

magnolia blossoms

Three weeks feels like a long time at first, but for me this is the right amount of time. It’s challenging, but manageable. The first moody week is for dealing with coffee headaches and junky cravings. The second week is when I dig into a few trusty nutrition books. There’s so much information, you have to choose sources wisely. Right now Jo Robinson’s Eating on the Wild Side is never far from reach – I’ll review it eventually, but it’s the kind of book you should take your time reading.

Eating on the Wild Side by Jo Robinson

Eating on the Wild Side by Jo Robinson

Before reading this book, I didn’t realize how incredibly good for you aliums are, garlic, shallots and onions in particular. One of the most curious findings Robinson reports is that to gain the nutritional benefits of garlic, you have to let it sit for 10 minutes between mincing and heating. The EatingWild site shares this and few other surprising tips. I never knew that some canned veggies are healthier than their raw counterparts. Tomato paste, for instance, has more lycopene and flavor than fresh tomatoes.

I’m trying to take this information and apply it in small doses.

early cherry blossoms at Brooklyn Botanical Garden

early cherry blossoms at Brooklyn Botanical Garden

This is all a work-in-progress and a solo effort. I have to stop myself from offering the Kool-Aid when I see my boyfriend choose to snack on pepperoni instead of joining me in a post-run green drink. He has permission to dump said green drink on me if I get too annoying. Luckily I’m still dry.

april16 013

If you ever find yourself in Brooklyn in April, head to the Botanical Garden.

magnolia blossom

magnolia blossom

What I love most about these magnolia trees is how imperfect each blossom is up close. The petals are browned at the tips, bent by the wind and limp from rain. If you manage to get a few feet away without slipping (wet petals almost took me down) the view as a whole is striking.

botanical garden

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magnolia trees spring

The tulip garden is small but mighty, and taking its time.

tulip garden

Come soon, tulips

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