Day nine of my fifteen day fruit/veg fast and I have some observations to share. The past four days of all juicing have been significantly more difficult than I had even imagined. I had no idea how much of my daily joy is wrapped up with talking about, thinking about, planning, preparing and enjoying meals. I work in a food demo kitchen and I write a vegan lifestyles blog, so practically all I talk about is food, but I have recognized that it goes well beyond that.
Pushing ourselves to try new things like a fast or meditation, or yoga or many other avenues is a means of getting to know ourselves better. But putting ourselves into these exploration circumstances can be scary. So far, I’m delighted that I have found it to be profoundly rewarding as opposed to damning. I am proud of who I am becoming on this adventure, peeling back and observing new layers that I had not previously seen or recognized. Maybe you have had a similar experience or noticed something else on our journey that I hope you will share.
Here are a few things that have been revealed over the past week of the juice fast.
1. I have been surprised by how often I turn to food without being hungry.
These times have been easy to spot because I had to stop myself with the reminder that I was not consuming, but drinking. Taking a big gulp of green juice does nothing for a sudden onslaught of…I’m lonely, sad, excited, afraid or intimidated like a handful of anything to stuff down the feelings. Evidently, food has taken the place of feelings or in the very least, facing the feelings. So often feelings can hurt, feel awkward or are scary and pita chips are never scary. It has been very difficult the past several days to go inward and to just allow but it has happened.
2. Headaches and body pain will go away without over the counter medication
I strive to live a healthy lifestyle but I have also always been on board with better living with pharmaceuticals. If you have a headache, feed it pills, if you have cramps…take more pills. I don’t know why there was this fissure between my desire to consume only good things and my lackadaisical attitude about OTC pain medication but there it is. On the fifteen day Reboot you are not to take any OTC medication so I have found this to be a great challenge. Last week I had a day with the kind of cramps that could bring down a U.S. Marine. I was at work and could barely think past curling up in the fetal position with a fist full of Motrin and a bottle of vodka. Instead, I drank more juice, water and herbal tea. Clearly not as satisfying as the first, until they went away. All of the pain cycled through and went away. I would have taken four Motrin every four hours for the entire day. Amazing.
3. Responding to my actual hunger makes me less hungry throughout the day.
Because we still have an inadequate (read broken) juicer, juicing has required significant time, prep work and clean up. There fore, I don’t juice unless I really mean it. I drink when I am hungry and don’t drink when I am not. The first day I thought I was always hungry, but that panicky feeling eventually went away. I now realize that I do have very loud and trustworthy hunger signals. If I listen and nourish myself properly then the signals to consume go away and are satisfied much more easily and for longer. I am grateful to hear them again.
Six more days to go including today.These lessons from fasting so far are just the start. Can’t wait to see what else I uncover.
Have a delicious day.