I'm happy to say that I've successfully finished my short fast & cleanse - all on my own this time :)
I really appreciate all the comments with your thoughts, feelings, and fasting stories. I enjoyed reading the range of experiences, from people who are inspired to give it a try... to those who have dabbled... to those who are fasting veterans (one woman just finished a 21 day water fast - now THAT is inspiring!).
The past 8 days have been really amazing, and quite effortless. For me this is a testament to the importance of readiness...
I learned about raw food 10 years ago (went to a raw restaurant) when I was a vegetarian (I became veg overnight at the age of 14 after reading the book Fit For Life but still couldn't resist baked goodies that contained dairy). I looked into raw a bit - read Shazzie's blog, thought it sounded cool, and tried some recipes. When I was 17 I got really into it and then went to Belgium for an exchange program. I continued to eat raw, however my host family thought it was totally strange. I ended up on a fruit diet with a simple salad for dinner that summer. They knew I loved cherries, so brought home a cherry tart and were offended that I didn't want eat it. They really didn't get it.
I took a year off in between high school and college, and during that time went to a raw retreat for 1 month in Ojai California, put on by The Garden Diet folks. It was totally eye opening and incredible in every way - all the top raw speakers at the time came to lecture throughout the month: David Wolfe, Fred Bisci, Doug Graham/Rozi, Paul Nison, Victoria Boutenko, Elaina Love, and Nomi Shannon. I learned, lived it, and decided I would go 100% raw. After being home for one week in -30C (-20 F) winter temperatures and lack of support, I well off the wagon - and it wasn't always healthy cooked food either. I held a lot of guilt for not being able to live the raw lifestyle - the guilt always caused more havoc which ended up in overdosing on sugar - fruit sugar, white sugar products, you name it. *Sigh*
I still desired to move toward a raw diet so would experiment here and there. With a passion for healthy cooking, I looked into various holistic cooking programs but settled on a conventional culinary school - I got my classmates to taste my meat/dairy dishes, but I enjoyed some of the goodies bake lab had to offer. The program provided me with invaluable tools though. I worked in the restaurant industry for a while but never liked the fast-paced, artery clogging, "slap food on a plate" environment. Fortunately I got out of that and have worked at various other things that are in alignment with my desires. I teach as a certified yoga instructor, teach raw food classes, work as a personal chef, and have cooked for the past 5 years at a summer camp for teen girls (fortunately I run the kitchen the way I want to).
All throughout those years I've gone back and forth from %100 raw, high raw, low raw, to everything in between. I've been through cycles of eating what my definition of "perfect" was, and then would swing out of control on sweets as a result of the control, deprivation, and emotional issues.
I never noticed it in the moment, but over time I've progressed. "Baby steps" I like to tell people at my classes who think they can't do it. Some people can go 100% overnight, and for others it takes years. Well, it's taken me years to get where I am - and I'm still working on it. I'm not 100% raw - I let go of that idea a while ago. I eat raw vegan most of the time, but for me I feel it's best not to put a label or restriction on myself. Funny how the psychology works - tell yourself you can't have something and suddenly it's all you can think about. I am learning to trust my inner guidance. My body craves things like baked squash and yams when the cold weather hits, and I like to eat cooked dark chocolate when I don't have any raw choccie on hand, and I like to drink real margaritas or martinis occasionally. The difference now is that I've come to accept things these as ok for me. This new belief releases the emotional pressure that comes from unrealistic expectations. As I continue to work on self love and acceptance I naturally want to take better care for myself - no force, only ease - I think that's the main reason I was able to take on the fast alone and succeed. I realized I can do this, and anything else really, on my own. It's liberating considering I've thought for years that I have to look outside of myself for the things I desire.
That being said, here are some of the things I noticed throughout the experience:
-I felt so much more at peace - with myself, with others, with life. Of course I still had my down moments, but over all, I felt grounded and peaceful.
-I had zero cravings - not even for chocolate!
-My only noticeable detox symptom was fatigue - it would come and go. Fortunately I was in the position to rest when I needed to... although I was a little draggy to go and teach yoga, lol.
-I wasn't hung up on my physical imperfections the way I normally am. I felt better about my body when I look in the mirror.
-I thought about food, and looked forward to eating my usual goodies again, but I felt totally satisfied on the liquids.
-I required less sleep
-I felt strong most of the time and worked out daily on my rebounder and did yoga.
-I did experience some hunger, but it was like I didn't care too much, and would drink and be fine again.
Another little victory was doing 2 dehydrator marathons during the cleanse(it needed to be done, but not the most ideal time to do this). Savory goodies a few days ago, and sweet stuff today - I didn't feel the need to snack as I went along, as I normally would, which was pretty cool. I had a second of temptation when making granola, but reminded myself I can have it in a few days when my body is ready.
In my last post I concluded with my plan to break the fast with a grapefruit on day 4. I did that and enjoyed every juice bite! I proceeded to eat 2 more grapefruits that day. I felt completely satisfied.
-Juice: celery, cucumber, apple, spinach, parsley
-Juice: grapefruit, orange, lemon, lime (this was so delish and refreshing!)
-Pot of super tea - probably 40 oz.
This is a highly nourishing tea blend of: reishi mushroom, pau d'arco, cat's claw, oatstraw, milk thistle. To that I added some vanilla water, schisandra berry powder, ashwaganda powder, cinnamon, aloe powder, stevia, and lecithin.
-Celery, apple, parsley, cucumber, ginger
- 1 grapefruit
- Colosan w water/lemon juice (bowel cleanser)
-Green smoothie: 1 apple, 1 large handful spinach, chilled super tea, 1 teaspoon lecithin (for my liver)
-Green smoothie: 1 large handful spinach, 1/2 apple, 1 large chard leaf, 1 handful frozen strawberries, 1/4 banana, chilled super tea, lecithin
-Green smoothie: 1/2 apple, spinach, frozen strawberries, young coconut water
- 2 grapefruits
- Peppermint tea
- Miso broth - with ginger/apple cider vinegar
- Colosan in water/lemon
-Juice: celery, cucumber, kale, parsley, beet
-Smoothie: water, few pieces soaked jack fruit & 1 tbs goji berries, 1/2 banana, handful spinach, 1 small orange, big chunk of young coconut (firm) (pictured at the top before I added the spinach :)
- Sarsaparilla tea
-Salad! Yay! So excited to eat it again... greens, sauerkraut, spirulina, red pepper, tomato dressing.
Sorry there was only one pic - I ended up not feeling inspired to take pics of green juices and smoothies, but I wanted at least one pic so thought today's smoothie was perfect - before adding the spinach. I'm excited to make and eat choccie again within the next few days!
If you're thinking about embarking on your first fast, three cheers to you! I've found that even one day is beneficial. I loved hearing your stories, so please keep sharing... I feel like we can all inspire each other!