Sunday was a day filled with making new friends (and new experiences) in Santa Cruz, CA.
Breakfast: Jeremy and I both started the day with some Scrambled Eggs (recipe here) (I also had a cup of Ultimate Paleo Coffee (recipe here)). We left just before noon to head to Santa Cruz, so I took a cup of Bone Broth (recipe here) with me on the go.
Brunch: We met Arsy for brunch at Gabriella Cafe in Santa Cruz. Arsy runs Rubies and Radishes, a wonderful Paleo recipes blog, and is the author of The Paleo Slow Cooker and the forthcoming The Paleo Foodie Cookbook.
It was our first time meeting Arsy, and we swapped stories about our travels, our childhood, and our journeys through Paleo and blogging. All the while, we drank mint tea and each polished off a Chicken Apple Sausage Omelette with roasted rosemary potatoes and salsa.
Afternoon Relaxation: After a long brunch with Arsy, we headed a few miles inland to Be and Be Well Wellness Activation Center for an experience in their Sensory Deprivation (Floatation) Tank and Sensory Exaltation (Light) Tank.
We met the owners, Jai and Shanti, who explained both tanks to us as well as The Game that Jai had devised (it’s a bit hard to explain what it is, but they call it “life mapping”). They were the nicest couple and made us feel completely at ease throughout the whole day (in fact, meeting them was probably an even more amazing experience than either of the tanks!).
Here’s the sensory exaltation tank (where you lie in semi-darkness inside the painted tank and wear glasses that flash light synchronized with sound playing through the headphones). I found the flashing lights a bit jarring at first (in fact, the first thought that went through my head was: “thank god I don’t have epilepsy”), but I soon fell asleep, which is apparently quite normal. There are quite detailed explanations as to how the light and sound helps stimulate certain brainwaves, but this isn’t something I’ve ever researched. All I can say was that the exaltation tank is quite relaxing!
The sensory deprivation tank is a light-proof, sound-proof, water-proof tank filled with very very salty water so that you float in the water. You can choose to not close the door to the tank, in which case it won’t be a complete sensory deprivation.
When I first went inside, it was quite exciting. I was really floating. In fact, it was hard to pull the door closed because I couldn’t get my feet to touch anything for a few seconds in order to provide me with leverage. Then I felt rather disorientated in the pitch black, silent tank, and the air felt really stifling.
I sat up a few times, switching on the inside light to orientate myself again. On one occasion, the salt water dripped from top of my head as I was sitting up and rolled into my eyes. It stung a lot! Luckily, Shanti had warned me about this and told me my 3 options: 1) Just bear it and “it too shall pass,” 2) Open the door and use the towel that’s hanging nearby, or 3) Press the buzzer to call Shanti.
I went with option 2.
Once I finally got comfortable (after leaving the door open a small crack), I felt my mind surge. It was as if all my thoughts came at once and I couldn’t stop it. My mind races most times, but in the tank with nothing else to distract me, it felt like it went even faster. And time seemed to tick faster too – I was doing a 90 minute session, and as soon as I got comfortable, it seemed the time was up! I’m determined to go again to see what the experience is now that I’m used to the sensory deprivation surroundings.
Dinner: Dinner seemed less interesting in comparison to the rest of the day, but I was really hungry after the two tanks. We had braised boneless beef shortribs with a lamb and Japanese radish soup and a eggs and garlic chives stirfry.