Friday, May 31, 2013

Day 31 Juice Feast -- If not Sleep, then What?

I got to sleep just fine last night but I woke up early. I suppose there maybe some sort of adjustment or balancing act going on. Even though I wanted to go back to sleep (I've been such a sleep glutton lately) I felt well rested and decided to wait out the alarm clock snuggled under the covers.  This has been a strange experience for me to have time when I'm not tired or busy. I am taking it slow and I'm more mindful to not create busyness and to enjoy these moments of awareness.

I had lunch today with a group of friends from work. It is so much easier to have lunch with my friends on this JF than when I am eating solids. I really enjoyed lunch today even though I dined on a glass of water. The wait staff's eyes bulged when I said nothing for me please and everyone at the table had to repeat that I wasn't ordering before she left. I don't know if it was a communication barrier or if not ordering is such an unusual event--but I had to tuck my usual joke (they think I'm fat) away for the wait staff but told it to my friends afterwards. Yes, they did laugh. 

Not eating and not being hungry but simply sitting in the company of my friends is such a boon for noticing eating patterns. I've never noticed how each eats (because I am always chowing down my own food). Some were slow and small portion eaters and some were fast and big portion eaters. I think it's possible to learn a lot about a person by how they eat. But my chief discovery is how much you can learn about your own eating patterns--when you aren't eating.

Thursday, May 30, 2013

Day 30 Juice Feast -- Similar Issues Different Resolutions

Last night I had trouble getting to sleep.  On my first JF I also experienced this and I would lay in bed worrying if I would get enough sleep. Sadly, I also used that time to have junk food craving fantasies about food from my childhood. Only once (dang your homemade garlic bread Mom!) have I started down that wrong road and had to work at stopping and turning my speed walker self back to more healthy thoughts. This time around I've just relaxed into my thoughts not worrying if I will get enough sleep or not. Except for one workday morning when I woke up an hour late I usually wake up feeling well enough to get started. In both situations my focus turns to quickly start making juices.

There are very few things I do every day--primarily because I dislike routines, schedules and such. In fact this mindset is how I initially gave up a deeply entrenched coffee habit. After I gave it up in my daily life occasionally, maybe annually when I would travel to visit family I would indulge in a morning cup around a chat but pretty soon it made me sick and I haven't had any since. During the first JF making juices felt like I was racing against the clock. I am working in different organizations but my commute time is very similar as is my start time. Yet I don't feel rushed this time around. What am I doing differently?

Not only do I focus intently on sending love to my juices but I listen to compelling (so far) books and lectures. I mean the stuff that is so good I'm careful to turn the faucet on only partially while scrubbing and rinsing so I can hear every word.  What am I listening to now? The powerful archetypal teachings of Caroline Myss. Here's one gem from this morning about all things in the universe have a purpose: "From a soul point of view, if you cannot see the purpose, your soul is not stretching enough." I've learned focusing on love is much better than fear as is being engaged in learning rather than already thinking I'm late for work.

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Day 29 Juice Feast -- My Life is Like a Roller Coaster

Last night I felt the worst I have felt not only on this JF or the previous one, but the worst I can remember feeling without a significant injury. I am always seeking patterns yet I can't find one between last night and the one a few nights back where I was hit with a pounding headache. Headaches for me usually come from annoying people (either their energy or smell) and as I try to avoid them, headaches are rare. I laid down and I felt a strange surge of heat, but I was not physically hot. It was like nothing I have ever experienced. I thought for sure I would have to break my JF.

Somehow I woke up this morning feeling great and I have had a ton of energy all day. I even have energy to do some household chores--so I'd best get to them before my early bed time creeps any closer.

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Day 28 Juice Feast -- Another Massage

As I finish off the last day of a long weekend I've noticed life is starting to pick up speed.  One thing I remember during the first JF was the first month felt like I was running the entire time. I do get so much done on a JF but I still feel myself pulling back on the reins and trying to enjoy every moment. Today I scheduled in a nice treat--a full body massage and skin scrub. Maybe it's all the sleep and glorious naps (seriously Grandpa I totally get why you took regular naps after you retired--and thanks for not making me take them when I was old enough to not know better) I've taken this weekend but I had no tension today on the massage table.

During my first JF I was completely renewed by massage and now I feel good but not much different. Perhaps my body is catching up to feeling great all the time. I am feeling better with each day--I even felt like running today. I didn't run but found it interesting my desire to had returned.

 Juicing and peeing--that's still about the rest of it.

Monday, May 27, 2013

Day 27 Juice Feast -- The Day After Silence

Practicing silence was much more difficult that I imagined. I started at midnight and broke it within a few hours (who knows what the actual pitch dark time was!) as I grumbled about having to get up to go to the bathroom. I immediately caught myself and stopped mid-complaint. I unintentionally broke my silence several times--maybe a dozen throughout the day and night. Well, it wasn't as if my life was at stake and I had to be silent but it taught me a lot about being fully present in silence. I may need some sort of lip clip or some such reminder to keep my commitment to silence as this is not my natural tendency.

Courtesy of C Nilsen

Silence is beautiful; each moment I listened intently and held a space of silence it made me feel pure. I recognize a need to practice more--maybe or maybe not during this JF, but certainly throughout my life I intend to study silence in greater depth.

In other news most of the excess weight I was carrying is gone. I can no longer pass as plump. This is like most things in life, good and bad. Now I have to be much more mindful of keeping weight on. 

Saturday, May 25, 2013

Day 25 Juice Feast -- A Beautiful Day

Today has been absolutely gorgeous. I drove out for more spring water and picked up some more farm-fresh produce. I have never been one to drive for the sake of driving because I find driving to be well, boring.  Today there was enough traffic that I tried listening to music and found it unsatisfying. Lately when I'm driving out of the city I'll listen to classical music because I find it soothing to my mind and it increases the quality of my thoughts--but today is opera day and while I like the opera I don't particularly care for listening to the music without watching the accompanying story.

So, I listened again to my karmic reading from Judy Hall (what a beautiful gift there is in this reading). I picked it up from the post office on the 13th and I've listened to it multiple times already. The drive time, once traffic minimized, was key for deep, life purpose reflection.

I've decided I will explore my first day of silent reflection tomorrow. My graduate school research topic was silence yet I have not practiced it. My intent is to refrain from: speaking, music (other than for meditation or shamanic journeying--but no words) and the computer. I intend to spend the day in silent reflection, meditation, reading and perhaps writing in a journal.  Of course I will keep up with my juices but otherwise try to skirt excessive noise. 

Friday, May 24, 2013

Day 24 Juice Feast -- The Pause

As I learn more about acceptance I find myself enjoying the process--and the results. In Radical Acceptance a precursor is to pause.  Brach says: "When we pause, we don't know what will happen next. But by disrupting our habitual behaviors, we open to the possibility of new and creative ways of responding to our wants and fears." Is this why a pause feels so wonderful--the exploration of possibilities? "A pause is, by nature, time limited. We resume our activities, but we so do with increased presence and more ability to make choices."

I'm delighted to have a four day weekend ahead of me without excessive responsibilities. With a smile I begin my weekend by embracing the pause. 

Thursday, May 23, 2013

Day 23 Juice Feast -- The Fasting Switch

I was invited to join a couple of friends today for breakfast. One new friend I've made is from Turkey and she loves to bake and brought in some home made bread. As we all gathered in the kitchen she apologized to me because she felt bad I couldn't eat her bread.  She is familiar with Ramadan but is not able to partake in it because her body has no tolerance for fasting--it must seem like what I am doing is a tad crazy. I explained for me fasting has an on and off switch. When I decide to fast or Feast in this case there is no struggle, no suffering, no deprivation. I simply do not have any desire for food. However when that hunger urge returns I usually break my fast. It made a lot more sense to her after that.

Fasting has an On and Off Switch (Source)

At the table she toasted the bread, spread it with cheese wedges and drank her strong black tea touched with a sprinkling of raw sugar. I talked, listened and all the while watched her and my friend eat the heavy wheat bread lined with cheese. A fun thing to do when fasting is watch other people eat. I was so focused on enjoying my time with my friends and listening deeply to all they had to share. I heard great stories oozing with love and happy memories of the farmer's markets in Turkey, the fruits that grow there and the lavish weekend Turkish family breakfast platters. She says Turks love to eat. My other friend is from Puerto Rico and he shared with me his weekend getaway plans with his wife, what it's like to learn a second language and jewelry customs for men.  My friend is small and we've lunched together several times and like this morning, he eats very little. What a trio we made!

As I'm drinking my juice all I thought was I'm getting tired of the taste of cantaloupe.  I managed 4 quarts of juice today and as it's nearly my bed time I am feeling ready for more healing sleep--otherwise my fasting switch is still comfortably in the on position.

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Day 22 Juice Feast -- Bump in the Road

I can't even be surprised but last night, instead of enjoying my movie--I fell asleep. I feel fortunate my body usually tells me what my priorities are. Last night I was the party-pooper. Unfortunately when I woke up (just as the movie was ending) I had my first real detox headache on this JF. Yikes! I am not a person who regularly gets headaches and it literally felt like poison was coursing up and down my body and was pounding in my temple. I ended up warming some water for an enema and out came (sorry, sorry, sorry) something that looked like broken up asphalt.

In the face of hospitality I try to accept anything offered that is vegan--but still I can't recall anyone ever offering up asphalt. I have no idea where this stuff comes from!  I decided to leave the castor oil pack on the rest of the night and I immediately went back to sleep. I knew if I felt any detox in the morning I was taking the day off. I woke up feeling well enough to go to work.

Walking Meditation in the Park (Source)

I decided a nice walking meditation in the park would suit me so I drove to the park and walked barefoot in the sun for 45 minutes.  I didn't burn but I did stay too long so I won't be able to take in much sun tomorrow. I thought some sun and clearing my thoughts might help draw anything else out. I was happily surprised when I returned to work and discovered I had an appetite for juice. For the briefest of moments I thought maybe this wasn't a good day to see how cantaloupe spinach tastes together (tasted like cantaloupe to me).  I only had 3 quarts today and I'm debating if I'll make a 4th now.

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Day 21 Juice Feast -- Guilty Pleasures

Even though I woke up this morning feeling great I raced home with the intent to get in bed as soon as I could. I love sleeping, I always have. As each day on the JF (after grad school) progresses I feel my energy levels filling back up. Still, I'm in the recovery phase and I know this pattern well. I often feel bursts of vitality and I choose to gather these moments to myself to allow for healing. I know the JF allows for the continuation of life at high speed and I certainly don't knock that--but I have a different approach right now. I try and conserve that energy to let my body and (fried) brain heal.

Resting Tiger (Courtesy of Aaron Hockley)

I'm personally not one to find lounging by the pool (as an invited guest or not) as a guilty pleasure, nor do I think resting in bed is a crime especially when healing. But I decided yesterday evening I was going to indulge in a past time that is hard to say is anything other than a guilty pleasure. I made myself work for it; I accomplished a lot today at work and I took a nice long walk at lunch. Over the course of the day I was trying to process any guilty feelings over my desire to be lazy and I wondered if I could lessen the impact at all by including some other detox tool while I lay inert in bed engrossed in the guilty pleasure. Since my liver is still having a spasm here and there I thought a castor oil pack would suffice.

My vow of acceptance helps me every day and today was no different. Practicing acceptance has helped me clear away any "guilt" associated with what I am about to do. Even if I make choices like these I deserve to experience the pleasure of it--and I choose to do so. I've made a Warrior Juice with ginseng tea and after I wrap on a castor oil pack...I'm dismissing everything else and watching the Arnold Schwarzenegger that came out on DVD today, guilt free!

Monday, May 20, 2013

Day 20 Juice Feast -- Sending Love to my Liver

I left the house this morning and felt nauseous by the time I made it to my car.  Later in the morning I felt my liver having a few spasms.  It wasn't painful but rather like muscle spasms when an injured muscle of long ago is healing or shaking something out.  I don't know if the nausea had anything to do with my liver dancing about though,  this morning was very humid and strong humidity can sometimes make me feel queasy.  So, I'm sending loving thoughts to my liver.

Body Mud Pack (Source)
Yesterday evening I gave myself a full body mud pack and scrubbed it off vigorously in the shower.  I have been consistently dry skin brushing but that is about it and my skin really appreciated the extra love yesterday.  I think tonight I'll hit the sauna and get to bed. The life of this Juice Feaster is pretty slow these days--but I am still loving my Feast.

Sunday, May 19, 2013

Day 19 Juice Feast -- More on Melatonin and Cinnamon

I took another melatonin nugget last night and I feel great today. Melatonin has been my "secret weapon" since I first learned of it when I was traveling internationally. It is one thing which gives me dramatic visual confirmation of its benefit to my body. Visually, it is highly anti-aging for me. I also often took it during the week break between graduate school classes and semesters for a quicker return of my energy and appearance. I don't take it every night but for me it is something I take as needed. Of course melatonin must be taken with great care; it should only be taken when you can sleep in a pitch dark environment.

Ophelia (Waterhouse)
I seem to have gotten over the hump of having a hard time getting the juices down. It really doesn't feel like eating to me so sometimes when I am not mindful of how my body feels I go too long without a juice. I don't feel hungry but my energy wanes and once I juice up I feel stable.

The rest of my day is some juice-powered (but boring) housework and errands. I do have a French press steeping some of my favorite cinnamon tea.  It takes all day (or night) to get a good flavor out of the cinnamon so I fill the quart press with cinnamon chips in the bottom then add boiling water so it is half full and when I'm ready to drink the tea I heat up some more water and add it so the tea is warm enough. It can be drank cold--but I like my tea warm on rainy days like these.

Saturday, May 18, 2013

Day 18 Juice Feast -- Rest, Leisure and a Nap

Three things I haven't allotted enough time to lately. Luckily they are today's theme. I slept really well last night. I took a melatonin nugget put on my magnetic eye sleeping mask and woke up too early. Usually the melatonin lets me sleep longer than I normally would. I lived in a state of sleep deprivation for so long it's taking my body time to adjust to more sleep. Upon waking I already knew I needed to nap today.  In fact I woke up from my nap a little while ago. I honestly think one of the greatest healing tools is sleep.

Maxfield Parrish
Earlier this week I found myself second guessing whether now was a good time to JF; I can't help but wonder if it wasn't like the ridiculous potato chip craving I had in the beginning or, if in my tired state there wasn't some validity to waiting to start a JF until I was more rested. I decided what better time to heal than on juices? So much less of my time is devoted to digestion that surely my body is able to heal more quickly and deeply. So these thoughts left and new ones came. I decided I am already this far, I'm going to keep going. Besides I am already starting to feel much better--I just look forward to the day those dark circles under my eyes go away.

One good thing about making juices on the weekend is it is more enjoyable because it's only one at a time.  Still, I am working on ways to make juicing more fun. It is a lot of work to juice even if the result is more than worth the effort. It's hard to believe this day is almost over! I'm off to make that one final juice.

Friday, May 17, 2013

Day 17 Juice Feast -- Friday, Sweet Friday

Something shifted today and I feel great. Yeah, I'm sure it has a little bit to do with the fact that it is a sunny Friday.  I had to pick up a few things at lunch today so although I didn't get in my lunch walk I sunned a little when I came home.

Homegrown Celery Update

I was reflecting on my JF experience today and I was a bit surprised I didn't even know exactly what day I was on--and not because I am so tired, stressed or anything else. The JF just clicked for me and it now feels like a natural part of my life. It's quite different from my first JF where I focused on making it to each day like I was climbing some Himalayan mountain.

Perhaps that will come but my issues are mild this go around. Lately I've noticed I need to brush my teeth more and I'm even considering oil swishing at night too. During the first JF somewhere along the way I felt absolutely nothing on my teeth so I hope this will go away as my body cleans more. Otherwise I'm losing the weight and I feel much better in my body.

It's a great day with a quiet, reflective weekend ahead.

Thursday, May 16, 2013

Day 16 Juice Feast -- Grouchy but Doing What is Right for Me

Coffee Enema Spy
I felt cranky yesterday evening so I hauled out the big guns: the coffee enema.  It's funny how much controversy people feel about what goes up the keister. I do allow some information should be kept to oneself.  Then again how can many of us know the healing powers of alternative medicine if someone doesn't share?  It didn't relieve my grouchiness completely. I've been grouchy in spurts some of the day. I had to take a long walk at lunch today. Fortunately the sun was shining and I felt great by the time I got back to the office.

Last night I also smudged myself with a palo santo stick. It made me feel better but something still feels a little stuck. There are certain times in life when there are no easy answers. This is one reason why I am often exploring alternatives and stocking my arsenal with tools. I'm glad I have them even if they don't work all the time.

One interesting thing about a JF is how it speeds things up--this may be why I'm having trouble processing this quickly. It may be coming at me too quickly. It apparently isn't physical but perhaps emotional. The best thing I can do in these cases is accept and relax into the feeling. By going into the feeling I can free the snag quicker rather than by trying to fight my way out.

I'm still managing 4 quarts of juice each day. I even managed 4.5 yesterday. I'm still not feeling any hunger. I try to make each juice as nutritious as I can yet I think I need to explore some recipe books as I tend to make similar juices over and again. One new leap I'm loving is pineapple parsley.

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Day 15 Juice Feast -- Supplements so Far

 Here are the supplements I've been taking so far:

Vitamineral Earth (this, blended into a tea makes a delicious broth)
Klamath Blue Green Algae
Fermented Spirulina
Chamae Rose (squirted into warm water this makes for a healing tea)
Dandelion Detox Tea
Tulsi Tea
Kelp Powder
A favorite (Source)
Nascent Iodine
Liquid Vitamin D (on skin)
Essential Oils (on skin)
Chlorella Manna
Bee Pollen
Royal Jelly
Manuka Honey
Intestinal Drawing Formula
Intestinal Movement Formula
ACG Glutathione Spray
Hemp Oil
Coconut Oil
Marine Phytoplankton
QuintEssential 3.3 (post sauna)
Magnesium Oil (on skin)
B12 Patch
Amazing Grass Raw Reserve Superfood Green Powder

I will likely do more experimenting as time goes on, of course in conjunction with how I feel. There are a few basic supplements I try to stick with daily but doing a JF is a large task so I do what I can and I am gentle with myself.

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Day 14 Juice Feast -- Produce so Far

Here's a list of the produce I've used to make juice so far:

Swiss chard
Mixed Greens
Sweet potatoe
Bok Choy
Romaine Lettuce
Butter Lettuce
Red Leaf Lettuce
Galia Melon
Bell Pepper
English Cucumber

It's most likely I would not have gotten in this much variety of produce if I were on solids--so I am grateful for that!

Monday, May 13, 2013

Day 13 Juice Feast -- Spa Time

I headed in to the spa today for my second JF colonic, a body massage and even a short time on a machine that shakes you up. Two hours before going to the colonic I took a helping of Intestinal Drawing Formula with a warmed quart of spring water. I rubbed magnesium lotion on my abdomen again--I felt so relaxed after the last time I did it, plus it helps soften up what I'm trying to clean out.  Whenever I do enemas or a colonic I reserve for myself some light but entertaining reading.  I've burned through both Tenzing Nordbu books already and I, with my enema bag at the ready, am ready for the third. Other than Dashiell Hammett I simply don't read mysteries. However I'm such a fan of Gay Hendricks spiritual fiction books when I cancelled my Netflix on Friday (I no longer need it for grad school) I subscribed to Spiritual Cinema which came with a free subscription to Gaiam TV.  I love the online documentary selection available through Gaiam TV and in my periods of rest I've see two films already--I am further delighted and can't wait to explore more (the exercise videos are something I must absolutely look further into--and use!) .

What can colonics do for you? Maybe this. (Source)

Today's colonic was highly productive. It's always amazing to me just what is inside my body. Colonics are not really about weight for me either. I did weigh myself on Day 6 and despite concentrated efforts I gained weight in graduate school. I have two weights (I promise not to give my moon weight!), one on raw food and one on cooked food. They are pretty consistently 10 pounds apart. Overall I gained 15-25 pounds. It's all coming off--but that is only a fraction of why I am on the JF.  I may weigh myself and the end of the JF and I may not. I'm not really interested--and it always depends on if I can find one of those precise scales with the sliding measures.

The important part to me of the JF is changing lifestyle habits, recuperating from past "misdeeds" and growing spiritually.  Today has been perfect for that. I came home gave myself a scalp massage with mustard oil tonic and brushed coconut oil through the rest of my hair. I needed a good deep conditioning treatment. Later on I'll wrap my hair in a towel, get in the sauna enjoy a talk on Gaiam TV and get to sleep early. It's not a very exciting day but I'm feeling more rested each day.

Sunday, May 12, 2013

Day 12 Juice Feast -- Farmer's Market, Spring Water and Rest

This morning I was completely out of greens and spring water, so I headed out to the country to change that.  It was a beautiful drive. The farmer's market was bursting with business so there were a few things I would've loved to stock up on (cucumbers, green onions) but there were only a few left. They are so kind, they said call ahead and we'll set aside what you're looking for. I also found out they don't pick on Sunday so I'll try to limit my visits out there on other days to reap the bounty. I would love to be able to grow more things. In the last enewsletter from Hippocrates Health Institute they blazed the trail for me and shook me out of a rut:

"You know how lots of folks cut off and throw away the base of the celery bunch? Instead, you can put it in the ground and it will grow back! Start by soaking the base in a saucer with about a half inch of water for a few days and then plant it outside. Celery likes fertile well-drained soil, partial shade and frequent watering. You may never have to buy celery again!"

Growing celery from the unused base
Many of my lunches before the JF were celery so I saved 5 of the bottoms and started them at work. I don't have anywhere to actually plant them outside but I have them in pots. I just brought them home from work and both inside and outside they have shown a remarkable ability to grow rapidly. I haven't harvested any yet, but that day is coming.  I recommended this to my mom (Happy Mother's Day Mom--I love you!) and she had tremendous luck getting hers to grow even outside in the cool grey area of the Pacific Northwest (in the spring no less! She is also succeeding with head lettuce).

I would also like to grow sprouts and juice those. Perhaps once I get a little more rested I can tackle a few more projects like these. In the meantime, my favorite produce shops are: the farmer's markets, MOMs, Trader Joe's, International Markets for young Thai coconuts and rare nonorganic thick skinned fruits, and Whole Foods when I need it.

I promised myself rest after the trip out for greens and spring water and now is the time to honor that promise.

Saturday, May 11, 2013

Day 11 Juice Feast -- Genius Workshop

I just got home; I spent all day in a wonderful workshop. It will take me awhile to think through and assimilate all the wisdom I was exposed to today. The last point Michael Meade, the storyteller scholar made before lunch was--don't eat too much so that when you come back you'll have room for the information. Of course today I was 100% on board but I love this notion to consider before all solid meals!

I've been doing very well on this JF--I'm up to 4 juices a day. Right from the start I have been drinking 3 green juices a day with only a couple of exceptions. One day I ran out of celery (the one mandatory daily vegetable) and that evening I had to take a small helping of Celtic sea salt.  In the grand scheme of things so far, so good.

Friday, May 10, 2013

Day 10 Juice Feast -- Adjuncts that Alleviate Detox Symptoms

Sauna Cat
Last night I crawled into the sauna and finished my final green juice--I don't remember the last time I slept so well. I felt absolutely amazing all day. The weather perked up beautifully yesterday and today so in lieu of produce shopping I went out for long walks at lunch in the sunshine.

I don't remember the last time I slept so well and it got me thinking about those extras I do to support myself. Although the ionic footbath and FAR infrared sauna are not mandatory elements of a JF, they are tools to me that feel like when I squeeze that sponge one final time. Of course I'm never alone in the sauna. When I prepare the sauna by gathering my towels, water and entertainment my cat is in before I am. She crawls down to the bottom and takes a bath. In a few minutes as the sauna heats up she wedges her way out and naps on her kitty post nearby. Even though she has been a sauna cat for over a year I've noticed lately with the spring water, she is drinking a lot more water--she really likes it.

I did an ionic footbath Wednesday night and like the sauna, it took the edge off the detox and stress I was beginning to feel. My detox symptoms have been noticeable but minor: temporary blocked nasal passage, swollen upper roof of my mouth and some tongue coating. Today is my official last day of graduate school and when I left work today and walked out into the warm sunshine I literally did not know what to do with myself. I've been attentive to my JF but I will now be able to be more mindful of the process. I have no idea what I am going to do tonight--for the first time in a very long time.

Thursday, May 9, 2013

Day 9 Juice Feast -- The (Week One) Enema Protocol

Several years ago I had no idea if I could fast. I decided to sign up for a three day supported fast. Friday night after work I drove to the guide's house. She was water fasting for the week but prepared "the last meal" for me and 3 other participants. It was cooked vegan fare and full of fiber. We were all nervous about the days ahead. Saturday morning we met again and began our fast on water, freshly made juice and vegetable broth. During a health chat, our guide introduced the topic of enemas and colonics. I think everyone froze. Wasn't this taboo? Certainly no one had ever used one before. Now I finally knew what that "red bag" was in childhood friend's bathrooms!

I was convinced from her speech to buy an enema bag. Naturally I became the source for a lot of ribbing! In the end I didn't use it--I had too great a psychological barrier. That fast ended and the enema bag sat unused in a box under my bathroom sink. As I continued on with health pursuits I became too aggressive (dang green smoothie challenge-hah! hah!) and detox symptoms ruled my life. However my morning trips to the restroom quickly clued me in on the need for more frequent movements. Somewhere around there I realized I had to just try it.  

It was well worth the attempt and I quickly overcame the psychological barrier. So when the JF protocol recommends one a day for the first week--I'm on board.  Heck I even throw in a colonic when I can too. I can honestly say I look forward to them--no the actual experience isn't what I mean. Afterwards it's impossible not to realize the benefits, and it seems too painful to try and JF without.

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Day 8 Juice Feast -- Juice Feasting at Work

Juice Feast to go

As I did on my first Juice Feast, with this second Juice Feast my tote is a lined cooler that I think is meant for pop cans (yep, I use the word pop).  I use Violiv 1 liter bottles to store my juice to the top and I place four or five ice packs strategically around the 4 liters of juice. In the outside flap I store Andreas Hemp Oil and a bottle of marine phytoplankton (best taken diluted with a mouthful of juice). I use this to take my juices on the go, as needed. I am not one to hide the fact that I am Juice Feasting but I don't necessarily advertise it at work either. This to go kit supports me either way.

The first JF I completed while working in a conservative government organization and I got a few funny looks when I rinsed the bottles out at the sink, but nobody said a word. I can't help but wonder if they thought I was a brazen boozer downing 4 bottles of wine to make it through the work day! Of course my work friends and neighbors were aware I was doing it. They asked a few questions and just watched me as the days went by. After many casual conversations my closest neighbor adopted a one day a week water fast.

My second JF is a bit different. I work in a broken government organization and so far no one has seen me clean my bottles after use or asked why I'm going to the bathroom so many times! I've told a couple of people who invited me to lunch.  Usually they put some effort to finding a restaurant with vegan fare--which now wasn't necessary. And it doesn't bother me at all to be around people eating either at the office or out to lunch. These people just watch me too. One friend I told about my JF is now talking about being open to her youngest, overweight daughter (the father was just diagnosed with diabetes) becoming a vegetarian even though until recently she has denied her oldest daughter that same expressed choice.

It is not easy working for the government. One of the things that keeps me going amidst the trials is my ability to model other ways of being. The part I enjoy the most in this is the dialogue changing from status quo to an openness to explore different pathways. To see others empower themselves with better health choices is a rare but wonderful reward..

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Day 7 Juice Feast -- How Quickly the Day Passes

Yesterday I thought a little deeper about what it means to age and today a free Coursera course comes to my attention on global aging--I love it! I've signed up although I may only audit the course (I'm forever a student at heart and sometimes I over extend my schedule trying to saturate myself in wisdom). If you're interested see here and check out the brief introduction to the course.

Today went smoothly enough, if busy. There are only so many hours in the day of a juice feaster! I spent my lunch produce shopping and I'm almost out the door to run a few errands and stop by the library to pick up a couple of books. I've been using the library fairly regularly lately. One reason I love the library is I already have so many books it's slightly embarrassing. Also I like to check out books from the library on health topics like Norm Shealy (cute! cute! cute!), and Sara Gottfried's new book on hormone health because libraries operate on popularity. If books like these are checked out and the demand goes up, the library allocates more resources to stock the library with useful, health sustaining information. I was stunned but delighted last week when I saw a copy of Gabriel Cousen's Conscious Eating in my local library. I wish better information like this was around when I was cruising the stacks when I started out.

I've drunk 3 quarts of juice today and the 4th is sitting there staring me in the eye (ok not really, but it is sitting there). I am a slow metabolizer so it's been a focused effort to get all 4 quarts in me. I am simply not hungry. The juice is particularly important to me in the morning although it's more to stabilize me rather than satiate any hunger. As I thought about it, in part, it's likely because I'm not exercising enough. I like to take long walks at lunch but the rainy weather is difficult to walk in when I have to go back to work. I'm hoping when I wiggle in some exercise my appetite for the 4th or even 5th quart will be more appealing. Right now I'm aware of the issue and letting it go.

My favorite new juice to date? Leaf lettuce, (hard) pear, lemon and ginger. Unbelievable!

Monday, May 6, 2013

Day 6 Juice Feast -- Back in the Real World

What my mind kept telling me all day (Source)
Monday, Monday. I usually have every other Monday off. Today was not that Monday. I woke up and enjoyed the process of getting my juices made and getting ready for work. With graduate school for the last year or so I often wake up late and just as often rush around with barely enough time to get myself ready and out the door. I've been arriving at work and leaving work on a sliding scale of 15 minutes (I arrive 15 minutes late, I leave 15 minutes late) so much that it felt almost odd to show up precisely on time today. That probably has something to do with daylight starting so much earlier. Nevertheless I felt great this morning when I walked out the door laden with 4 quarts of juice, a half gallon of water and a half gallon of fermented lemon cabbage water (didn't get to this one today) and 1 quart of Schizandra Warrior Juice (sipped a little here and there).  By the time I arrived at work I didn't feel so great and not from carrying all those liquids. I am hoping it's just the lethargy I feel from where my energy is right now. One thing this last week off taught me is just how tired I am.

I wasn't hungry today but once I took my JF into the real world I started to feel the old habits to snack popping into my head.  I had funny thoughts like oh...that bag of potato chips won't throw me off a JF. Yeah, "bad" me was in my head--telling lies! I tossed these thoughts aside over a dozen times today. The JF does permit some solids in small amounts. These are blue green algae, 1/4 tsp kelp powder and 1 TBL bee pollen. I am taking these daily, the first two mix well in drinks.  It helps to chew these things. Of course I chew the juice too--but there is little give and take in the process.

Reading about the abundance of the JF linked me back to a book I started this weekend. At a health conference last month Norm Shealy (I am seriously crushing on this cutie!) presented topics from his book Life Beyond 100. In his book he talks about what longevity really is. It was such a good definition I honestly had to stop and ask myself if I want a long, long life. I don't have an answer but I immediately thought about how I would have to reformulate my retirement plan if their was any possibility I live to 140 or 160.  Even the National Geographic is on to this longer life deal. Shealy goes on to to catch me in this common mistake and talks about this as an issue of abundance: "For many decades, the perennial fear of the elderly has been the poverty that seems to be associated with advanced age--another paradox. Overall, those over age sixty-five are, at this time in America, the wealthiest segment of our society. However, those over sixty-five who have not accumulated significant wealth live in states of constant stress, fearing they will outlive their resources." I have more reading and reflection to do but the real world has jarred me into realizing right now with this JF and my potentially long (strike out really long--I smoked) future I do not have an abundance mindset.

Sunday, May 5, 2013

Day 5 Juice Feast -- What I'm Doing the Same (pt. 1)

Of course I poured over the Rainoshek's site and watched several of their videos.  I also watched these talks and tips on Juice Feasting here and here. These people glow! I have never met them or seen them in person but I have admired how their glow comes through on camera and photos. It gives me a good sense of how the juice feast works. With other health promoters, often times you have to see them in person or experience their presence before seeing their level of development.
From their website they give a fundamental meaning to Juice Feasting:

Juice Feasting is, at its heart, about self-empowerment and abundance. 

Besides getting reacquainted with the protocol my similarities to my first JF are:

  • Peeing, peeing and more peeing. The first JF frustrated me with the number of times I had to go to the bathroom. Especially at work, worrying about traffic (seriously you have to plan your liquids and fiber into your commute around here) and even while sleeping. I almost never get up during the night to go to the bathroom--not so true now though.
  • Detox footpatches. I've found the concept fascinating--a simple way to pull out toxins from the feet. These were one of the things I started using around 6 years ago when I started out (slowly) on regaining my health. I have found success with them although nowadays I typically only use them (when I remember) on fasts or deep cleanses. Right now I'm using this one. This is another tool I use to tell how much I am cleaning. They are usually very dark in the beginning and like the ionic footbath they fade as the JF goes on. The picture here is what they look like after they've been on all night. A good foot scrubbing with soap is needed to get this gunk off the bottom of your feet. My feet are one of the places I still regularly clean with soap.
  • Not worrying about cleaning the house. Ok, this isn't such a positive one but I figure with time I will work this one in too.  There is a rhythm that comes with juice feasting and I'll get it. In the meantime I dabble here and there, but I would love a sparkling clean house!
  • 3 to 4 quarts of freshly made organic fruit and vegetable juices.  I've changed the types of juices I'm drinking to a degree--because over time I've learned to like green juices more than fruit juices. 
  • Drinking herbal tea. I am big on herbal tea. In undergrad while studying late into the night I trained myself off coffee and onto decaffeinated green tea with honey. Over time I weaned myself off the honey. Now I do herbal teas all day at work and while I am studying or reading.

It's not nearly as gorgeous out today as it was yesterday, but I still need to get out there and enjoy the sunshine and fresh air.  Today I'm going to take a nice walk. I keep my door cracked (with screen door shut--the flies are already out) most of the day and if the weather permits, into the night to let in fresh air. Along with my ionic air purifiers and houseplants it helps keep the air nice in here. This morning my face was looking a little worse for the wear, sometimes detoxing will do that, so I put on a face mask and it's time to remove it--this one dries awfully quick.

Saturday, May 4, 2013

Day 4 Juice Feast -- What I'm Doing Differently (pt. 1)

The first Juice Feast was a challenging experience and despite the ups and downs I knew I wanted to repeat the experience.  Juicing often goes in and out of vogue, however popularity is not one of those things I concern myself with.  I wanted to do a second JF because I want to master the process (the discipline of a long term liquid diet), to gain further awareness and to stretch my limits.  I have come to look at my life as one big day of school. If I'm not learning or experimenting, my life feels blah. What I am doing may seem extreme to others but that's not the whole picture of my life. To name a few unsuccessful experiments: I have pages and pages of immunizations that have gone in my body, I smoked for many years and I had an unbelievable Dr. Pepper habit. My body has paid the price for these choices. Now, I'm seeking to experiment in new ways--what happens if I put my health and well being first?

Life for me is often about successive improvements. So after my first JF it stands to reason I'm trying to do it better this time around. What am I doing differently on the second JF?

  • Using probiotics with most juices. Okay, here is going to be one of those gross and embarrassing things I mentioned would be forthcoming. When I did a 3 Day Green Juice Feast On one day I regularly took powdered probiotics and enzymes with each juice.  I also did a coffee enema that morning. I released some brown sludge (think spent motor oil, but brown) and then this 9 inch or so piece of slime came out with 3 little cocoons spaced out a few inches apart. It was painless physically to release it but to see that it had come out of my body grossed me out. I get a little squeamish thinking about those things in my body.
  • More green juices. Either I really didn't know how to make green juices that I liked or my body was not cooperating with me. I drank entirely too many fruit juices throughout the first JF. I've learned to use more lemons and add ginger (this seems to make any juice taste good) to each juice. On this JF I am adding liquid probiotics to each green juice as well.
  • Relax. I am a lot more relaxed about this JF. I am gentle and loving with myself and my juices. Before it felt like I had taken a giant leap and I was unsure if a safety net was secured below me. I prepared for months in advance for the first JF but preparation does not substitute for experience. I think one of the best things I did to prepare for this JF was to set weekly challenges for myself so new health practices were already familiar to me. Also the mini fasts and feasts were very helpful as well as learning to break a fast more gently. I am more confident in my abilities to manage this process.

There's more I'm doing but hey it's a beautiful day outside here so it's time to go and get some sunshine!

Friday, May 3, 2013

Day 3 Juice Feast -- Types of Juices and Specialty Liquids

Last night I made up two different types of fermented juices.  I've found fermented beets to be just about the only way I can drink beet juice. I used to juice them but found them too strong on my body. It was like my liver became a punching bag and beet juice was a world champion boxer. So, one of the fermented juices is a combination of beet, celery, cabbage with a bit of Celtic sea salt and one stick of kombu seaweed. I shred or chop finely the beets, celery, and cabbage and add all items to a gallon jar.  Then I fill it with spring water and set it in the closet. Here it sits and ferments for about  3 days (my house is fairly warm) and I then harvest it through a strainer and drink and store the excess in the refrigerator.  This mixture can then be filled again with water for a second harvest, although I usually let it sit a little longer (maybe 5 days) this time.  The second fermented juice I made was taken from the Jubbs book Lifefood Recipe Book: Living on Life Force. It's made with shredded cabbage, lemons with the rind cut off and I throw in a pinch of sea salt.  This one need only sit for a day or day and a half before the single harvest. I will drink these in addition to the 4 quarts daily.

The other types of juices I'm making are green juices with either spinach, swiss chard, kale, lettuce I picked up from the farmer's market, 1 head of celery, 1 cucumber, 1 inch of peeled ginger, and two lemons with the rind cut off. I have two of these each day.  I fill the Vitamix up with these items, add in a minimal amount of spring water, blend and strain through the nutmilk bag.  After I did the 3 Day Green Juice Feast I've found I have a greater taste for green juices. This was not the case during the first Juice Feast. I have also had Spirulina Blue Eyed Goddess juice, one quart of pineapple with liquid probiotics added (my favorite!) and small amounts of grapefruit juice mixed with Chlorella Manna or Warrior Greens and fermented spirulina. While making my juices I like to think of the most loving, positive thoughts I can. I usually say my mantra over the juice but when I'm spending extended time with food and making juices I listen to monks chanting Om Mani Padme Hum with a forest (a favorite place of mine to be) background.  The mantra is complex but in simple terms it is said to alleviate the suffering of all sentient beings. I like to listen to it on some nights too as Eknath Easwaran  has taught those who use mantras should try to embed the mantra deeper and deeper into their being.


I had my first colonic this afternoon. Afterwards I felt so relaxed I could take a nap. Too bad I had to deal with Friday afternoon traffic. During the first Juice Feast I regularly woke up early Sunday morning and drove for my weekly colonic. I don't remember exactly how many weeks (maybe 6 or 7) I went but I stopped once I felt nothing was coming of it. I usually do a castor oil pack the night before I do a colonic but I didn't last night. So today about an hour and a half before the appointment I rubbed magnesium lotion into my abdomen. I haven't done that before so I don't know what will come of it.  My plans for the evening are a trip to the sauna and more sleep.

Thursday, May 2, 2013

Day 2 Juice Feast -- Does that Smell Funny to You?

Day 2 included a trip into the District for another job interview.  More than anything I would like to upgrade my current work choice. I did not lug my juices downtown as I have been making them as I go at home in the Vitamix and straining through a nut milk bag. When I start packing my juices for work or other all day activities I will use my juicer--it's just too much work right now to set it up and clean it several times daily.

So, I took a jug of water.  I took the metro, which is usually not the most fun--however it gave me the opportunity to practice acceptance.  For whatever reason the metro runs in a series of jerking stops and false starts that usually makes me a little sick while riding. Today, on the way home some guy sat down next to me (yes, there were plenty of open seats where he could've sat alone). He smelled like cigarette smoke, bad breath and he tore into his fingers like a starved man.  When I drove home I could still smell him so I started breathing deeply and releasing more than I was taking in.  Still, I think I may need to use the neti pot tonight!

Nevertheless I did not get upset with my fate, as it were.  I have become sensitive to smells over the last few years but it's more prominent when I am fasting or cleansing.  I will manage 4 quarts of juice today, 2 quarts spring water and 1 quart of liver detox tea. Other than this smell issue I haven't felt very different from normal. As I walked L'Enfant plaza today through the food court I thought it smelled nice and noticed the throngs of people, but I felt no desire for the food. It's been a smooth beginning and I am grateful for it.

Not exactly the new career I'm looking for (Source)

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Day 1 Juice Feast "Here I Go Again"

It's hard to believe but my second Juice Feast has begun!


Disclosure: I will probably post some rather personal information as the JF progresses. Let me start this out by breaking, gently into what may be be some pretty frank and embarrassing topics that pop up while doing deep cleanses. For one I used to have big hair so this video still rocks for me. Okay that's about it for today.

Today was a day spent mostly thinking about sleeping, sleeping or resting.  I slept in (of course I stayed up late the night before), took a nap and generally rested much of the day I just woke up and I am ready for more sleep.  I drank 3 quarts of juice, 3 quarts of spring water and 1 quart of Dandelion Detox tea. I sunbathed for 20 minutes, soaked my feet in an ionic footbath and spent some time in the sauna.

I spent sometime reading and reflecting on acceptance. I am reading Radical Acceptance: Embracing Your Life with the Heart of a Buddha. I was surprised to find a blatant look at how so many of us feel unworthy.  To preoccupy ourselves and avoid accepting these feelings (created from duality) we blame others, "we embark on one self-improvement project after another," "we hold back and play it safe rather than risking failure," "we withdraw from our experience of the present moment," "we keep busy," and "we become our own worst critics." Quite honestly before I read these things I never considered my predominant view of myself as living in a state of unworthiness.  I am still processing this information, but I found it a fascinating approach to acceptance--first remove the blocks in myself.

So far so good.