After being enthralled with this gorgeous book at a bookstore, I knew I wanted to give it a try. “I could use some chakra realignment," I thought to myself.

Kimberly Parsons outlines a seven day lifestyle plan in her book. Each day, for a week, one focuses on a certain chakra -- an energy center of the body ranging from the base of the spine to the crown of the head. It outlines for each chakra which yoga poses, breathing exercises and recipes one should use for that specific chakra. She also includes some snacks in the back of the book, but I thought three meals would mostly be sufficient.

Lucy Bedewi

Every morning, this is the basic routine she outlines:

1) Wake up with the sunrise (yes, that's 5:49 am, thank goodness for jet lag or that would have been impossible for this night owl!) 

2) A body scan, in which one should notice certain aspects of the body depending on the day

3) Yoga practice

4) Pranayama (a breathing exercise) 

5) Meditation

6) Questions that one should ponder/journal about

7) Hydrate with warm water, lemon and apple cider vinegar 

8) Get ready for the day and set an intention

9) Drink the day's specific "elixir"

10) Make and enjoy breakfast

On each day, she also suggests a task and an afternoon pranayama that one should also incorporate.

For the diet aspect, she suggests a vegetarian diet of all sattvic (pure) foods. This means for the week I will be giving up caffeine, refined sugars, garlic, onions, eggs and of course meat.

In this article I will focus mostly on what I eat for each chakra as opposed to the yogic and meditative aspects, despite the fact that I followed the entire lifestyle plan this past week.

Day 1- The Root Chakra

Lucy Bedewi

The root chakra is located at the base of the spine. When balanced, it is responsible for us feeling grounded, safe and secure. We can work to balance this chakra through visualization and the consumption of root vegetables.

First sunrise wake up was this morning at 5:55. I decided to open my blinds last night to allow the rays of the sun to wake me up and maybe eliminate the need for me to be jolted up by an alarm. But just to be safe, I also set an alarm for 6 a.m. as a backup.

I really enjoyed the morning routine of yoga, breathing work and meditation in that order. By the time I got to daily journaling, I was feeling pretty awake. By 7:30 a.m., I felt so accomplished.

Then came the part where I had to wake up my digestive system. I made my first warm water, lemon and a tablespoon of apple cider vinegar drink. I’ve heard apple cider vinegar get praised by health nuts all over, so I was very excited to try this out. It tasted like what I expected it to taste like, slightly sweetened vinegar. The beverage wasn’t horrible and I will definitely be able to stomach it each morning, but I miss my morning coffee.

Today’s elixir was a beetroot and ginger combination. The book suggests potentially mixing it with a bit of water or cranberry juice to soften it. Me, being the macho woman I am, decided that I can handle it with just water. I don’t need any juice...I’m strong. Two words for you...Use. Juice. It may have be one of the worst things I have ever tasted, so I drank it like a shot of cheap tequila.

Breakfast was infinitely better. It was my first time making bircher, basically a form of overnight oats. The bircher was mixed with raspberries to give it a gorgeous pink tint and garnished with yogurt and pistachios, allowing it to be really filling. I went to a vinyasa flow yoga class after this at the gym and I was fueled.

For lunch, I made fresh pesto quinoa, then put it with a salad of spinach, beets, and edamame, and garnished it with goat cheese, almonds, and sauerkraut on top. I even made my own dressing with maple syrup, olive oil and balsamic vinegar. It was excellent. The flavors in this “thrive bowl” were delicious. And like breakfast, it kept me very full.

Dinner unfortunately was beyond depressing. I’ve always loved root vegetables so I was excited to finally get my fix x200 at dinner. I was working in the kitchen for about two hours making the glazes and cutting the “hasselback” veggies in perfect slivers. Despite two hours of work, it was just lackluster roasted veggies. I felt so disheartened and also disappointed that my entire dinner was just vegetables and a dollop of greek yogurt disguising itself as a “dip”. What made this even worse was my dad was eating an entire rack of ribs in front of me and I could just smell the BBQ glaze.

Overall root day was just okay. Despite breakfast and lunch being very good, having a solid meal before bed is very important to me. I’m hoping for something a little more balanced tomorrow that leaves me fulfilled.

Day 2- The Sacral Chakra

Lucy Bedewi

The sacral chakra is located in the lower abdomen and encompasses both the digestive and the reproductive system. It is responsible for providing us with pleasure and ease in our lives when balanced.

This morning after having to utilize my 6 a.m. alarm, I was a little slow going through my morning routine. I have to say though, the lemon, apple cider vinegar and warm water really helps with feeling clean and light. I thought it would be a health hoax, but truly my digestive system feels smoother.

This morning’s elixir was lemon, grapefruit and ginger. It was pretty sour, but after the beetroot and ginger combination of yesterday, I feel like I can conquer anything.

For breakfast, I had a lovely bowl of yogurt, fresh berries, granola and a drizzle of maple syrup. I really enjoyed having homemade granola. I made it the night before, because it takes an hour to make. Granola unfortunately is one of those foods that can be filled with all sort of sugar, so making your own lets you control what’s inside. The breakfast recipe called for the yogurt to be mixed with spirulina. I opened my spirulina that I bought and exclaimed to my mom “it smells like the butt of a fish!"  Needless to say, I just could not put something that fishy into my lovely breakfast.

Lunch was a butternut squash korma. It was a fragrant curry and coconut milk sauce that I doctored up with some vegetable broth to make it a bit more soup like. I garnished the soup with slivered almonds and fresh mint and it was delicious. A very light, warming meal.

For dinner, my family was grilling steaks. Very tempting. Luckily, my meal was grilled tofu with a peanut satay sauce and a veggie slaw with an excellent vinaigrette. It was no steak, but I’m glad I was able to feel somewhat part of the family grill dinner.

Overall, today was a very good food day. I had enough energy to power through some lifting at the gym, but felt myself getting sporadic headaches, a bit chilly despite it being 80 degrees and sleepy. I even needed to take a nap in the late afternoon. I’m hoping my body continues to get used to the very clean vegetarian diet in the upcoming days so I can feel 100% as I go through my days.

Day 3: The Solar Plexus Chakra

Lucy Bedewi

Located in the area between your breastbone and navel, the solar plexus chakra is responsible for your inner fire, allowing you to feel motivated and self confident as you go about your day.

As this jet lag wears off, waking up with the sunrise continues to get harder and harder. Today I had to peel myself out of bed at 6 a.m. I don’t know how people have the ability to work out pre 5 a.m.

This morning’s elixir was rough going down. It was pineapple, turmeric and black pepper. I kept repeating to myself “it’s only pineapple” as the turmeric was taking over every painful sip. I love turmeric in my rice and on my chicken, but it does not belong in my pineapple smoothie.

Breakfast was, you guessed it, more turmeric. This time in my oatmeal garnished with a mango. I was able to add a bunch of cinnamon and some maple syrup to cover up the turmeric with some light sweetness. The mango on the oatmeal was a great touch as well, considering the mango was very ripe.

Lunch was also quite delicious. It was quinoa, squash, sugar snap peas and snow peas all in a kimchi vinaigrette. I felt very light, yet fulfilled as I went through my day. I want to start incorporating kimchi into my salads as it has the ability to add immense flavor. I store bought mine, but word on the street is it is pretty easy to make yourself.

Today was the first day I opted for a snack, as I knew dinner would be made late. I had some pineapple and mixed nuts. It’s great that on the first page of each day she makes a list of foods to focus on. From this list I am able to figure out the most optimal snacks if I need one for each chakra day.

Finally, after an hour and a half of cooking, I had my polenta pizza topped with padron peppers, goat cheese, butternut squash, arugula and olives. I learned that I really don’t like padron peppers, as they are very bitter. Other than that, the complex flavors were delicious. I’m really glad I took the photo before serving a slice though, because the polenta crust completely fell apart upon serving.

Overall, today was another pretty good food day. I enjoyed my meals and was able to feel fulfilled, especially after a very filling dinner. My headaches have completely subsided, which makes me think I am finally over my deep seeded caffeine addiction.

Day 4: The Heart Chakra

Lucy Bedewi

Encompassing the entire heart area of the torso, this central chakra is responsible for allowing one to give and receive love, compassion and acceptance.

The elixir this morning was apple and wheatgrass. If you have ever had a rodent before as a pet, the best analogy I can give for wheatgrass is timothy hay. Yes, that hay you always saw your guinea pig chomping on.

Luckily, breakfast was much better. It was rye toast with cashew/coconut butter and pesto avocado with a touch of lemon. It was a lot of work to create both spreads, but the end result was delicious, especially garnished with the crunchy carrots.

Lunch was more toast, but this time with sliced squash, cannellini beans and more fresh pesto. I personally did not find this recipe to be very satisfying, and found myself reaching for a small slice of last night’s polenta pizza to carry me through to dinner.

Dinner was a beautiful --  a vibrant Buddha bowl. She says to use black rice in the recipe, but little did I know black rice takes 500 years to cook. I was very thankful to have opted for a small snack in the afternoon.

Overall today was pretty good. Having a weak lunch combined with an hour of intense yoga in the morning made me feel a bit nauseous and dizzy in the midday. Other than that, it was another day of colorful veggies.

Day 5: The Throat Chakra

Lucy Bedewi

Located in the throat but also encompassing the mouth area, this chakra rules your ability to communicate. A balanced throat chakra allows you to communicate with authenticity and confidence.

The elixir this morning was strawberry and spirulina. I just couldn’t handle the crushed up spirulina. What I did was made a strawberry smoothie, then just swallowed a spirulina tablet with it.

Breakfast was a blackberry oatmeal. It was pretty tasty and the blackberries gave the oatmeal a pretty light purple color. I dressed it up with some yogurt, maple syrup and more blackberries on top.

For lunch, I made chickpea “tofu."  It’s basically chickpea flour that hardens to form a tofu-like substance, then coated in crushed almonds. It was paired with a fresh tomato sauce. This resembled mozzarella sticks, but far less tasty. I found these to be incredibly dense in my stomach.

As a snack, I opted for a delicious bowl of yogurt with blueberries, maple syrup and the fresh granola I made on day two.

I ended my night with a quinoa and a green bean salad paired with another tomato based sauce. I veered off of her recipe a bit for the sauce, but still only used items allowed in her pantry to keep the authenticity of the week. I found the recipe to be pretty bland, but then again it was not her exact recipe so I do not know how much I can truly comment on that aspect.

I’m starting to get very tired. I enjoy cooking, but many of these recipes are very complex and take so much time to create. My mom is a seasoned cook so I’ve had to ask her one million questions and even employ her help at some point in each meal just because I do not know how to work with a complicated ingredient. Sometimes I feel like a prisoner to my own kitchen during this meal plan, as 30 minutes after breakfast I have to start cooking lunch, especially if I want to go out for a couple of hours during the day.

Day 6: The Third Eye Chakra

Lucy Bedewi

Located metaphorically in the space between your eyebrows, your third eye is responsible for governing your intuition and trust that you hold in yourself.

The elixir this morning was super strong, but that’s partly my fault. It was aloe vera gel, blackberries and ginger. I ran out of blackberries from yesterday morning’s oatmeal so I subbed out red grapes which also benefit this chakra. The ginger hit me in the face because my ratio was so off.

Then it was onto breakfast of cacao oatmeal with hazelnuts and almond butter. Even though it’s nothing compared to a cup of coffee, the slight caffeine I got from the cacao nibs was enough to make me just a little bit happier in my morning.

Unfortunately, that high did not last very long because lunch was a salad with arugula, chickpeas and blanched turmeric cauliflower. She said that she enjoys her salad undressed, but I improvised a raw honey and lime vinaigrette to moisten everything.

Dinner was exponentially better as I enjoyed a warm bowl of dahl with roasted tomatoes and spinach. The fragrant spices and creamy coconut milk made dinner into almost a comfort soup.

I know I’m supposed to be feeling more balanced and connected on this seven day plan, but I’m at the point where I just want it to be over. The food preparation is too much and I want something other than a vegetable. I eat healthy in my daily life, but this is a new level. I surprisingly and luckily have had no sugar cravings like I originally thought I would, but I have intense egg on toast craving. I keep telling myself one more day as I eat another lettuce leaf and take a sip of a very harsh elixir.

Day 7: The Crown Chakra

Lucy Bedewi

Final day! The crown chakra is the highest chakra located at the crown of the head (surprise.) This chakra connects us to our higher self and fosters a connection to every being on the planet and our divine energy.

The elixir today was aloe vera, lime juice and coconut water. That thing was so sour. As I drank it, the only thing that got it down was the knowledge that this was the last one.

Breakfast was a pineapple and avocado smoothie. This one was pretty good, but after having lemon vinegar water and a fruity elixir, more liquid fruit was the last thing that I felt for. I also must note that this morning’s breakfast options were two smoothies, so there was no alternative I could select.

Lunch was a yogi caesar salad with chickpea croutons. I was happy to have a meal that takes less than 30 minutes to prepare, but I didn’t really feel for a salad, considering I also had a raw breakfast.

Finally, dinner was an absolute trainwreck. I made zucchini noodles and put a sauce of raw ginger, avocado and mango on top of them. My mom was so horrified by the taste she kept telling me to eat something else. She was even more horrified when she saw what was in it. I’d like to note again that my mom is a very seasoned cook and a Lebanese woman. I trust her opinion on food. Anyways, she couldn’t be right so I ate it, almost all of it. It was rough.

I ended my night with 4x the normal serving size of blueberries and felt happy again.


First a PSA: After doing a restricted detox, it will be in your best interest to ease out of it for a few days. I celebrated with some cookies and a big cup of coffee for breakfast the day after, which caused me to bounce off of the walls like a 5-year-old. I also made some scrambled eggs for breakfast and had a huge piece of chicken for dinner. Your body will thank you if you don’t do that.

But anyways, my final thoughts on these past 7 days are both positive and negative. Being a morning person showed me a whole new side of the world. One where you are able to relish in some silence before starting your day. I liked the feeling of easing into my day and not just waking up and scrambling to get dressed and get out of the house. I also liked the way I felt during these seven days. Despite a few headaches here and there, I was able to power through yoga classes, my digestive system felt light and my skin was clear and vibrant. These past seven days also taught me that I could say no. Just because cake was in front of me, did not mean I had to eat it. Don’t get me wrong, I will definitely still be eating cake, but it was empowering to know that I do not have to eat the cake just because it is staring at me. I felt full, despite giving up meat, and my sugar cravings were almost non-existent due to the regulation of three solid meals a day (and sometimes a snack.)

Now for the not so positive aspects. Preparing for these seven days was expensive. Some of the “superfoods” she uses (I’m looking at you, spirulina) are inaccessible mostly due to the high price tag. Some of the ingredients I found to be a superfluous cost, but I wanted to make each recipe to the tee for the integrity of this article (obviously some substitutions had to be made, but I at least tried to mention them.)

Another downfall was the amount of time these recipes took. I know I am not a five star chef, but I do have some basic cooking knowledge. I had to employ my mom's help and even so, the recipes would sometimes take us an hour and half to create together. For one meal, okay, but when you are cooking three new meals a day, it quickly gets exhausting.

Lastly, I didn’t find the recipes to be all that tasty. For all the time spent cooking, I wanted to be rewarded with something delicious. Healthy food can be incredibly delicious, but I feel like the tastiness of many of these recipes fell short. It sometimes felt like Parsons was just playing around in her kitchen and putting random things together without knowing which flavors are naturally complementary.

All in all, the experience taught me a lot. It taught me how to cook with some more eccentric ingredients and what happens to my body when I cut out the “junk."  I learned I can live without both meat and caffeine (and should probably cut down a bit on both.) Most importantly though, it taught me to eat vibrant plates of food, making vegetables the main dish and not the side dish. I am thankful for this past week, but also grateful that now I can enjoy warm cups of coffee and bowls of ice cream.