Dear Friends, Your Cleanses Are Ruining January

Photographed by Janelle Jones.
It’s January. And, you know what that means. It means that it’s soon to be sub-arctic outside, and I’d like to board my couch with a bottle of red, that new episode of The Affair, and an entire pizza. That wasn’t what you thought I was going to say, right? Because it’s January: a.k.a. the month that starts the New Year, the month of resolutions, the month of cleansing.

So, what you’re saying is: you’ll be passing on the pizza and wine? Okay. And, what about brunch this Saturday? Oh, you’re going to Soul Cycle and grabbing a green juice after instead… Drinks tonight then? Dry Jan. Got it. I’ll call you back in February. Click.

If the above “conversation” feels familiar, it’s probably because it is. Maybe you’ve had it a hundred times over the past couple of years. Friends canceling usual plans, dodging your calls, trying to wheedle you into that “Fierce & Fabulous” class again. (Does no one else feel fierce and fabulous while eating spaghetti Bolognese at that corner Italian spot on a Monday night?) January is here, so commence the consumption of kale and baked chicken breasts. Brunches will be canceled, evening plans cut tragically short (before that late-night diner food can be had!), and scream-filled fitness sessions stuffed down your throat. (Admit it: you’d really rather be stuffing down some tacos.)

Listen, I get it. I’ve even been there myself. The holidays can push people to the brink of indulgence, and come January they need a clean-cut, cold-turkey break — a month to regain control of their food lives. But what is this “break” accomplishing, really? Aren’t we all just putting off the inevitable — the inevitable being pizza? Let’s face it together: Eating like Gwyneth Paltrow for four weeks isn’t productive, especially for those who haven’t fully sworn allegiance to The Moon Juice Cookbook mantra. Spending my winter munching on carrot sticks while pretending spaghetti squash tastes just as good as pasta is bleak. (Spoiler alert: it doesn't.)

This season is supposed to be the season of slow cookers and casseroles, pasta bakes and chicken potpies. What the hell happens if we get snowed in?! Are we supposed to forgo the golden, glorious box of Annie’s Mac & Cheese in our cupboards for some cold celery sticks and slimy tofu?

Not me. This year, this frigid winter, I won’t be going there. To Struggle Town, where toasty everything bagel sandwiches and hot doughnuts are outlawed. Where rice is made from cauliflower and spirulina smoothies constitute as breakfast. The laws in this town are severe laws: Do NOT mention chips, cookies, or candy. And, you can forget about uttering the word “burger” — people have been exiled to isolation for much less. But not me. I will remain living in Cozy Grilled Cheese Land — where when I feel like having a chocolate chip cookie, I’m going to have a damn chocolate chip cookie (with double fudge chunks, too).

The mainstreaming of January as the month of cleanses — which can actually be bad for you, by the way — when all you truly want is warm comfort food can be straight-up miserable. It's not that I am anti-resolution; I’m just pro-food. Instead of all this replacement and abolition bullshit, why not just make modification resolutions? For example: “I will eat out less and cook more at home.” Or, “I will save my wine-o-clocks for Humpdays and weekends.” While everyone else is canceling plans for wheatgrass shots, I’ll just be over here enjoying my plate of homemade nachos and a [few] beer[s], waiting with open arms for their inevitable return to Cozy Grilled Cheese Land.

Hey, it’s me again. Just calling back because I forgot to say: Fuck your cleanse, I’m ordering that pizza. See you in February
! Click.
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