IMG_4355

Breaking a Five Day Waterfast: Best Glass of Juice I Ever Had

 

…couldn’t wipe the smile off my face

IMG_4355

After five days, I was just totally sick of being tired, floppy, and grumpy. I had considered trying to push through to a week, but feeling both terrible and ineffectual was wearing me thin. On the other hand, I was sleeping amazing, having interesting dreams, (and remembering quite a lot about them), and my asthma, constant throat clearing, and sinus weirdness had all disappeared almost as soon as I stopped eating.

I spent the last morning of fasting making dehydrated flax crackers and zucchini chips so I would have something to eat with the guacamole I so desired when I was ready. I had read that coming off the fast with grapefruit juice was best, that it awakened the digestive system from a state of dormancy, and prepared the system to accept some food. I made the juice by slicing the skin from grapefruit given to to me by a friend from her farm, blended it with water, and strained it through a mesh sieve. I admit to adding a dash of honey and some stevia. It seemed to me that adding my new friend water to my juice could only be good, make it less intense, and also blender friendly. Needless to say, it was the best glass of juice I have ever had in my life. The flavour was incredible. I sipped it slowly, letting the juice stay in my mouth as long as possible to keep the wonderful taste of it on my tongue as long as possible no matter how I wanted to chug it back and just keep on having more. I supplemented the “urge to chug” with a glass of water side-by-side with my juice of God. After drawing this out as long as possible, my juice was finished, and I decided to just let that settle in for an hour or more before trying anything else. It was amazing how quickly my acuity returned. The feeling of cramping in my gut instantly evaporated. It was amazing how quickly I felt better, like, within minutes! Almost with the first sip, the external world became brighter and more solid. Quite suddenly I could see outside myself again. The world around me was looking beautiful.

My special friend and companion since childhood, Inner Glutton, wanted to eat everything in site. Luckily, my other friend who I had been dating on and off for about thirty-five years, Conscious Mind, was in control. A few hours later, and keeping up with my water regime, I ate a few bites of dehydrated coconut-plantain treats I invented, and again, was blown away by the total deliciousness of the flavour, then some zucchini chips with about a half cup of guacamole. I let that settle for a few hours with no discomfort or ill effects. Now I could stand up without a head-rush, and go up and down stairs without having to get psyched up first. My body picked up on the nutrients so fast. It was like I had blood again. That night, bowels moved a bit.

I’m not recounting this experience as a promoter, but simply an explorer, so I’m willing to tell the whole truth. That night, I was coughing up mucous, and when I went to bed, the asthma kicked in. At that moment after getting some reflex points from Evan and doing a few myself, I thought, fuck it, and took some inhaler. I was pretty disappointed. I was thinking, wow, am I supposed to be some weakling breathairian or what? Subsequently, I had a great sleep, and woke up with joy in my heart. That hadn’t been happening for a few years since I had been dealing with these nagging health issues.

I got up, drank a cup of hot water, cleaned up the ashram with Evan, taught a fabulous vinyassa class for two hours in wild humidity, sweat my tail off with my class, and made an outstanding lunch for a couple from Texas who had come to the ashram for yoga and massage that morning.

Truly, I felt really great. I virtually couldn’t wipe the smile off my face as I guided the class. I utterly enjoyed making lunch. We started with a cucumber salad dressed in yogurt with cumin, black pepper and garlic on a bed of shredded leaf lettuce. I served a plate of black bean and guacamole garnaches, (crispy corn tortillas), and then moved to the main course, a roasted vegetable medley with sweet potatoes, white potatoes, onions, broken garlic cloves, and red and green peppers tossed in olive oil, seasoned with Italian spices and a dash of soy sauce, and baked crispy golden. Served this with a bit more guacamole on the side, and a simple beet and grapefruit salad. I ate a small portion of this, heavy on the salad, which was wonderful and refreshing in the crazy humidity, but skipped the garnaches. Continued to feel really great.

I thought, maybe this fast was more about emotional detox than anything else. The joy was ongoing. But my body was feeling amazing too. Bowels were moving. Less output, more often. I felt that I had really knocked a lot of candida out of my system as the usual puffiness of my belly had gone away. I really noticed this in my yoga practice, and my reflection in the glass doors of my kitchen cabinets. Perhaps it is logical to say, or even maybe a well-known fact (?) that yeast and grumpiness are linked?

I continued to eat sparingly, focusing on raw foods. My flax crackers came out tasty and crunchy. I had a great sleep last night, and really deep, breathing easily all night, no mucous. I slept through Evan getting up to put out buckets and mop the upstairs palapa during a rainstorm, (our roof leaks pretty bad) which is almost a miracle as I have always been an extremely light sleeper, waking for hours over the slightest disturbance.

So, let’s see…felt weak, grumpy and basically awful for five days, with a weird looseness in the joints that made me feel like a floppy marionette. Now I feel consistently joyful, loving towards my husband,(as opposed to angry and irritated over usually not much), unswollen, clear-headed, uncongested, breathing easily, no urge to cough, body feels fluid, strong and fantastic, and I’m sleeping like never before. Was the waterfast worth it? Probably. Let’s see how it holds. (Most likely to do with what, how and when I choose to eat from here on, and keeping up with lots of water.)

Will I do it again? I guess if I slip back into the previous state of ill health, I will. But it was definitely not fun, and I absolutely needed Evan’s total support the whole time because I was basically feeble. What I have found is this: reach for water before anything else, eat only at meals, and don’t eat late at night, (nothing after about 7pm). It is usual for me to fast in the morning before my yoga practice, so I’ll keep that up, and we’ll see how it goes. For now I feel high and happy, and I’m gonna go with that.

 

waterfast journey; some thoughts from day three and four

watersplash

Deeper into the journey. Going through some bumps and revelations. Just now it somewhat reminded me of the psychological purge of the second week of raw food, similar vibration, similar emotion. The exact same realization about the simple comfort of food.
glassesofwater

this showed up in images for waterfast, so I thought I'd include it

this showed up in images for waterfast, so I thought I’d include it

 

 

 

Going to eat as a comfort zone, loving the feel of the comfort, the smell…but body is in charge. Body will not process this comfort. Comfort turns to stone in the bowel and cannot be moved. Comfort becomes discomfort, acidity and acid emotions of anger. The abdomen swelling with gas and candida. A terrible situation.

Yesterday was pretty challenging. Woke up tired and woozy after a great sleep. Almost went for a nap immediately. Pretty grumpy, angry with my body for not digesting anything I previously put in it. Fast prompted by intense years of constipation. Knowing that I was best as a raw foody, just too undisciplined to go there with any strength, which is also ridiculous as that was a goal for me upon relocating to Central America, Belize, home of fruit. Living in Canada, that was all I desired, but when I got here, I was taking it for granted after 18 months. Now body brings me back, throws it in my face. Demands a change. Can’t feel terrible any more.

Eat less, eat raw. Was doing great with the less last December and January, but somehow blew it. I just love food. Cooked food, so soft, fragrant, comforting…

Hoping fasting will disengage this emotional addiction, let the raw fwater-glassood begin.

I am a hedonist. I love to eat more, I love to eat chocolate covered ice cream, I love curry, dahl, rice, roasted garlic…this is all so crazy, I kept thinking there must be a way to carry on with all this enjoyment, but body says no. Yogi Bhajan says the body is a truth machine. Face the truth of the body. Seek comfort in yoga, in love, in nature, in myself. This is not what I want. It is what I have. This body is life. I must live it.

So, back to yesterday. We get invited to sell some food at a party, so I begin to get my energy together and prep and organize. Food is all around me, fresh shredded lettuce, brined turmeric cabbage to which I added sweet peppers, fragrant refried black beans, garlic and lime rising from the guacamole that Evan is making. I want a shred of lettuce, I want to lick my finger, I want to lick the spoon. But I don’t.

Ev hands me a glowing glass of watermelon juice. I grab it and down it goes. About forty minutes later, the crazy side cramp of doom. Incapacitated. Evan helps me by massaging it out. The ghost of it still gives me a little pinch throughout the night, vending and dancing, even a bit today.

Almost through day four, and no purge. By this I mean, haven’t taken a shit in four days. I’m waiting.

Last time, about six weeks ago, fasted 3 days, the gates broke on the third evening after a day of detox headache and really low energy. This time, nothing so far. Although starting this fast, I wasn’t in as bad trouble as then. Went into it the first time with five days of absolute constipation already lodged inside me. Really horrendous.

This time bowels very sluggish, but not fatal.

I’m going to do up some dehydrated flax flat bread so I have something to eat when I’m ready for food, perhaps day after tomorrow. My goal is to hold the fast until tomorrow afternoon, beginning with grapefruit. Just that for eve of day five. Maybe something more solid the day after, more fruit, maybe get into the flax crackers a bit. Really lusting after gucamole, avocados from our own tree. God I love garlic. I don’t seem to be detaching, do I? Geez, I just love food. Dreaming of raw chocolate confections in my sleep. Next time, my goal is to waterfast for a week. My ultimate aim is for a ten day fast. Meantime, bring on the raw food!

 

Perception

“Everything is perception.”
Mitch Podolak, Executive Producer of Home Routes, is the founder of the Winnipeg and Vancouver Folk Festivals and Winnipeg’s West End Cultural Centre.
“Everything you have is your mind…How can man develop his mental faculty to perceive everything correctly?”
Yogi Bhajan, founder of the Kundalini Research Institute


“Perception is within the senses, responded to by the glands, and interpreted by the mind. Without the body, there is no perception. Each of us is given the
vehicle, yoga is the key to unlock it.”
Laine Hoogstraten, yogi, founder and Director of Chaya Garden Ashram

Laine Hoogstraten is seen giving a vinyassa flow class at Mystic River on their new and beautiful yoga deck. The yoga deck looks out on t the Macal River, where you can see no shortage of birds flying by! Mystic River is also home to some amazing trails and waterfalls.

What’s On Deck?

Laine Hoogstraten is seen giving a vinyassa flow class at Mystic River on their new and beautiful yoga deck. The yoga deck looks out on t the Macal River, where you can see no shortage of birds flying by! Mystic River is also home to some amazing trails and waterfalls.

Laine Hoogstraten is seen giving a vinyassa flow class at Mystic River on their new and beautiful yoga deck. The yoga deck looks out over the Macal River, where you can see a wide assortment of birds flying by! Mystic River is also home to some amazing trails and waterfalls, and wonderful landscaping.

 

Beautiful rainy season is upon us in Belize, and along with the arrival of citrus fruits, we are expecting some cooler temperatures, heavier rain falls, and lots of busyness as more visitors flow through San Ignacio and the surrounding area.

We jump at the opportunity to teach a yoga class at Mystic River Resort!  On their yoga deck, surrounded by some pretty old-growth canopy, there is little to distract you from experiencing the raw power of a vinyassa flow yoga class.

Intense focus and concentration, deep, regular breathing, a flexible body, and a positive mental attitude will be the fruits of your efforts.

This week, one of our students was no less than 86 years of age!  It was an intense experience for Laine, as a teacher, and for some of the other students as well, but this student “Jackie” took it all in stride.  I asked her the secret to her longevity, and she replied, that if there was a secret, it was moderation.  Remember that in your yoga class, as well as your adventures.  Moderation may be putting it mildly.  Jackie did some amazing things this week, including being the oldest person to navigate Actun Tunich Miknal, ATM, the famous cave, and to complete a 15 platform zip line!

It was an exciting day for Laine, she taught five hours of yoga that day; Ka’ana, Chaya Garden Ashram, Xunantunich, and Mystic River.  Congratulations!  It was fun for me too, I did a lot of driving, saw some amazing places, enjoyed great weather and practiced two yoga classes of my own!

Anyways, have fun out there!!