Monday, May 28, 2012

Breaking My Fasting Abstinence

My first Juice Feast was in full swing this time two years ago. I have not fasted since.  Because of my work schedule and lifestyle choices I usually fast to some degree over holidays. Yet with graduate school added into my schedule I have felt too tired and simply unready to fast.  One of the reasons this blog is so important to me pre-Juice Feasting, is because I have needed to stay as close to healthy choices as I can.  So I continue to challenge and prepare myself for a Juice Feast that will likely occur one year from now.  In the meantime I am learning about and making better choices in small increments.

I recently traveled home. This trip transitioned into a soul searching journey. Through healing conversations with family members, beautiful bare foot walks on the lake shore and internal spiritual discoveries I felt several releases of energy. When I came back I had to reconcile these differences. So for the first time in two years, I engaged in a three day modified fast.

For most people water fasts can be a little too severe. As I am easing my way back into fasting I opted for crystal-charged water, Vitamineral green-spiked grapefruit juice, herbal tea (both dried and fresh from the garden) and even a helping of organic miso broth. I have found that long, deep sleeps are required to succeed on this fast. Although the fast has not been troublesome, I have needed to be mindful  and rest regularly.

Fasting again puts me in touch with the areas that I need to work on. I think my greatest challenge is how I can sensibly come off the fast.  Today is my final day and I plan to break it carefully with green smoothies tomorrow.  I am considering several one day fasts in the future to train for breaking fasts.

Friday, May 25, 2012

My 15 Minute Exercise Plan

I am not an advocate of There's Something About Mary's '7 Minute Abs' or even minimalistic exercise--but it is incredibly difficult for me to exercise enough. More often than not it's difficult for me to exercise at all. On my first Juice Feast I was so unsure of myself that my only exercise was in 20 minute walks at lunch. There was always a concern the blood (not dog-piling in my stomach to digest solid foods) would head-rush me and I might want to pass out if I crossed the unknown line and overexerted myself. The last thing I wanted anyone to think was I was a weakling, Juice-Feasting-vegan. Most of those who are aware when I am Juice Feasting support me, but because this approach can seem so extreme to the mainstream there is a tendency to overreact and blast me with negatives to cease immediately if something seems to go wrong.

I have been working on living up to this commitment for two months. It's my 15 minute exercise plan. I have a rebounder which I LOVE. When I am bouncing on it--I truly enjoy it and typically want to continue on. One problem I have developed from lack of exercise is I no longer know my limits. So I might be having so much fun exercising or hiking that I go beyond what I can expend in energy. The next thing I know I am too tired to do what I must accomplish. I recognize there is a point this feeling must be lived with to overcome my current exercise endurance limitations but as much as I love organizing and planning I have not successfully climbed this hurdle.

My workout typically starts after I get home from work (when I usually don't want to do anything; in fact I am thinking about rearranging this time for meditation and transition with a clear mind into school work). I come home, (sometimes I do a coffee enema), wash my face and change into some workout clothing. I then take my rebounder outside into my postage stamp sized back yard. As it has been a sunny spring I usually face the sun, turn on my MP3 player (pick out 5 songs), watch my happy cat snack on some grass--and bounce. After 15 minutes I gingerly step off the rebounder and make my way over to my garden and ground my bare feet. It is magnificent.

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

More Precise Hair Care

Although I have been treating my hair with love and weekly pampering treatments for much of my life I was stunned what this treatment may be doing to me. I am not an expert nor have I researched this claim thoroughly, however I am enough of a health nut that even if sodium lauryl sulfate (SLS) is an urban legend I am now further committed to avoid chemicals as much as I can.

So when describes SLS, one common carcinogen which was in my health store shampoo as a 
"skin irritant. It is rapidly absorbed and retained in the eyes, brain, heart, and liver, which may result in harmful long-term effects. SLS could retard healing, cause cataracts in adults, and keep children's eyes from developing properly. In fact, studies have shown that washing your hair one time with a shampoo containing Sodium Lauryl Sulfate could put as many nitrates into your bloodstream as eating a whole pound of bacon. And that is just ONE application."
I decided to finally take the plunge and find a better hair care treatment. And my hair has only gotten better. I have wavy-to-curly hair which I like to wear naturally. I have tried many different natural products which left my hair flat and limp. I finally found one that meets my high standards. The sea buckthorn shampoo and shine on hair conditioner leaves my hair full and bouncy. I will say although it is moisturizing my hair does dry out a bit quickly, so I supplement by massaging small amounts of oil in the ends and body throughout the week. I am ecstatic with these entirely plant based bottles of joy.

For the last two years I have been growing my hair out to donate it to Locks of Love and I am cutting and sending it next week. I will be washing my hair with my own shampoo and conditioner and asking the stylist to wet it down rather than a salon wash and rinse. Like I am with all releases--I am looking forward to what new elements this may bring into my life.