Tag Archives: fasting

Diary of a fasting hypocrite

11 Jul

Oh yum. Bentonite clay, pysillium, lemon juice and water - 6 times a day...

I’m typing this up on day nine of my fast. It’s my last day so please excuse the potential lack of lucidity. I knew it was time to break when a woman eating her fermented cabbage salad changed tables to avoid my obsessive stares.

Day 1
Mood: excited
healing crises (physical symptoms of detoxing) – none
sleep: 8 hours
weight: am – 67kgs, pm – 67kgs
food cravings: none

Day 2
Mood: low to ok
healing crises: 5 hours of intense nausea
sleep: none – went to the toilet every 20mins
weight: am – 66kgs, pm – 68kgs
cravings: none

Day 3
Mood: variable –irritable, paranoid yet somehow sociable
healing crises: rash on neck and upper arm (lasted 24 hrs)
sleep: 4 hours – went to the toilet every hour
weight: am – 66kgs, pm – 68kgs
cravings: raw beetroot and walnut salad with tahini dressing (recipe to follow)

Day 4
Mood: up in the morning, down in the evening, productive
healing crises: sty in left eye (for 2 hours only), nausea
sleep: 3 hours – went to the toilet every hour
weight: am – 65kgs, pm – 67kgs
cravings: none

Day 5
Mood: good but tired
healing crises: twinges in gall bladder
sleep: 6 hours
weight: am – 65kgs, pm – 67kgs
cravings: raw beetroot and walnut salad with tahini dressing – AGAIN

yoga once a day until the last few days when I felt too weak. It really helps release the toxins from the muscles.

Day 6
Mood: weak but able to do yoga which helped enormously
healing crises: twinges in gall bladder
sleep: 6 hours
weight: am – 64kgs, pm – 66kgs
cravings: chunky piece of mature cheddar cheese on a proper warm French fresh baguette, black rice and squid from El Piratas

Day 7
Mood: totally and utterly spaced out/blissful – unbelievable 1.5hr massage exacerbated it
healing crises: vagueness in the extreme
sleep: 8 hours
weight: am – 64kgs, pm – 66kgs
cravings: none

Day 8
Mood: weak but content
healing crises: stomach cramps
sleep: 6 hours
weight: am – 63kgs, pm – 65kgs
cravings: fermented cabbage salad

Day 9
Today I feel happy and healthy but really weak, which is to be expected. My final weight is 63kgs and I’m not at all hungry however I do crave anything with texture. My first meal will be something The Spa calls rejuvalax salad – a raw cabbage salad fermented using acidophilus. It sounds horrendous but I guarantee you it is DELICIOUS and my body can do with all the probiotics it can get.

The detox doesn’t end here though. The next few days are crucial to ease my body back into eating and digesting normally. Usually I fly home the same day or morning after I break the fast but this time I am staying a luxurious 3 days extra. I’ll be eating 99% raw – perhaps having some wild red thai rice at some point.
I also have to say that the people you meet here also make the fasting process a special experience. You meet people here from all walks of life; Russian Vogue editors, lawyers, teachers, tea traders, bankers, models, diplomats, soldiers, to New York cabbies.  Thank you to Damian, Marianne, Andrew, Andrew, Howie, Nikky, Ally, and Sarah – you’re all fabulous. And as always – San Bao and Gila make it a magical time of rich spiritual learnings.

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Fasting for the fast lane

8 Jul

I look forward to my coconut water every morning as if it was chocolate...And then it rewards me by keeping me hydrated all day long.

I’m back in Thailand at Spa Samui detox ‘spa’ and 7 days into my fifth annual fast.  Spa Samui is by no means glamorous but it is by far, for me anyway, the most effective and most relaxing (thanks to Thai culture), reasonably priced detox spa I can find.  It also has, as they describe, a world famous raw food restaurant, which is probably not world famous but it is certainly sensational.  

I tried detoxing in an ayurvedic ‘clinic’ in India last year and while it was interesting, I didn’t feel remotely as ‘clean’ as I do when I leave here and the effect didn’t last half as long.  Fasting is a controversial idea in allopathic medicine but as I’ve written previously it is not only practiced by the major religions (Hindu, Jewish, Muslim) as a route to higher spiritual awareness, it as an opportunity for the body to stop digesting for a moment and give our overworked organs a chance to process the backlog of toxins and heal for the next 50 weeks of food.

Prior to beginning the fast I did a pre-fast. This is essential and more than 2 weeks is ideal but 2 days is ok.  The ultimate aim of the pre-fast is to alkalise before fasting to prepare your body for the onslaught of toxins released.  We’re given a litmus paper to test ourselves before starting.

I gave up a few things such as coffee over a month ago and cut back dramatically on everything else (although I do confess to having scrambled eggs on toast the morning before flying…last meal…hypocrite…).  I drank lots of green smoothies (chlorella, baby spinach leaves, alfalfa sprouts, coconut water, a fruit) for 2 weeks, ordered the raw menu on my thai airways flight and arrived relatively healthy and actually felt really perky, clear headed and energetic.

Our fasting schedule is hectic.

7am first detox drink (pysillium husk, lemon juice, bentonite clay, water)
7.30 am meditation
8.30  supplements – 3 chompers (12 herbs combined to stimulate release of ‘mucoid plaque’ and 3 generic herbal supplements for basic vitamins)
9-10am self administered colema
10am detox drink
11.30 supplements
1pm detox drink
2.30pm supplements
4pm detox drink
4.30-5.30 colema
7pm final detox drink
8.30pm final supplements
9pm probiotics

We are allowed tonnes of water of course and other additional drinks.  These include:

A clear broth of boiled vegetables.
I add cayenne pepper for some flavour.  The broth gently gives our organs much needed minerals and vitamins to help the detox process.

Coconut water is also allowed
As I’ve also written previously, nature’s Gatorade is essential for adding the electrolytes that will carry the water molecules throughout our bodies and keep us hydrated.  They literally fall from the trees around us so are particularly delicious and fresh.

Liver flush/Green shake
The liver flush recipe will follow in a separate post but the green shake is made of garlic, coconut oil, olive oil, lemon juice and anything green juiced juiced for the chlorophyll.

Add in a massage, a steam bath, body scrub, tongue scraping, a walk along the beach, a swim and yoga and it can be a very full day!  Interestingly I attempting partaking in all at fast pace in my first days on arrival, but it didn’t take long for London pace to detox from my system. Now I try one or two activities a day.  I’ve been writing a diary of my fasting experience and will post it soon.

Fasting for hypocrites

15 Jun

I figured that if I’m going to go without food for over a week, then I want it to be in paradise. However it would have to be a budget kind of paradise. Hence I found myself at Spa Samui, a detox spa on Koh Samui, the sadly slightly overdeveloped island in the bay of Thailand. Not exactly paradise, but with lovely beaches, hot sunny days and a raw food restaurant they claim as the world’s best, I can’t complain.

Many religions, from Buddhism, Islam, Judaism and Hinduism include fasting periods in their religious calendars and all for different reasons. Muslims believe that fasting from food also prevents false speech and lustful thoughts and promotes brotherhood as everyone, rich or poor, experiences the same feelings of hunger and need. Jewish people fast as a form of atonement for wrongdoing, for commemorative mourning or commemorative show of gratitude and importantly, also to highlight ‘our’ dependence on God to provide for ‘us’.

I fast to give my poor body a break from the sheer quantity of food it has to process throughout the year never mind the quality I put in. Even though my diet is pretty healthy, I do, as you know, ‘slip up’ all the time and all that bread, meat, wine and cheese are still fighting their way through my liver and digestive system a year later. Fasting also forces me to stop doing anything other than reading, sun tanning, sleeping, turning up for massages and drinking copious amounts of water. It gives every organ in my body the chance to detoxify and heal. It also sets a healthy stage for a raw food diet.

So what was my last meal before fasting?

raw pizza to give pizza hut a run for its money

raw pizza to give pizza hut a run for its money

After scrutinising the menu for a desperate length of time, I was forced to make a decision just to avoid the wrath of my Buddhist waiter.  I chose the raw pizza; a delicious pesto spread covered with chopped courgette, diced red peppers and the most delicious, creamy, mayo-like cashew nut sauce on a dehydrated nut pizza base.  Phew it was the right choice. For dessert, I ordered fresh frozen mango creamed into an icecreamy sorbet-like texture and topped with a super sweet honey and cinnamon sauce.  Yum.

What food did I think about during the fast?

Weirdly, I fantasised constantly about a rare chunk of steak and chips dripping in bearnaise sauce.  I haven’t eaten steak and chips like that for over ten years so it was disturbing to my raw core and didn’t make sense. 

And what was my first meal after the fast? 

raw pesto pasta - my post fast first meal of choice

raw pesto pasta - my post fast first meal of choice

At lunchtime on day ten, I broke the fast and sprinted (weakly) to the restaurant. After ten days pawing, licking and ogling the menu, I had memorised it and knew exactly what I wanted without even looking.

I chose the raw courgette pesto pasta.  Fine spirulised strips of courgette, topped with a rich pesto sauce and served on a bed of lovely lettuce.  It doesn’t sound filling but it was. It was so filling, my poor shrunken stomach ached for hours.  I did also practically inhale it. 

The main thing is I am now free to eat whatever I want.  And right now I can’t stop thinking about avocado.

Revolution in Thailand: the green smoothy kind

9 Jun
Jennifer Thompson green smoothy guru

Jennifer Thompson green smoothy guru

On the night before I began my fast here on Koh Samui, Thailand, I was lucky enough to bump into ‘my’ iridologist, and raw foodist, crystal healer and friend Jennifer Thompson. And as luck would have it she invited me to a free green smoothy talk she was giving that evening. Of course I accepted her very kind invitation and me and my fuchsia sunburn trundled along to her lovely beach hut to have my raw life revolutionised.

The first thing you notice about Jennifer is that she glows.  A problem if you come from Chernobyl but in this case it’s a very good thing.  She is gorgeous, vibrant and energetic and lives a raw food life in a way that I don’t think would ever fit with my hectic London schedule and weak willpower.

Six of us sit around a low table groaning with a giant pile of green leaves, exotic fruit and bananas and of course, a blender.  Nothing fancy, it’s just a slightly battered well loved, plastic blender I’ve seen in Sainsbury’s for a tenner.

First off we define what a green smoothy is.  Jennifer tells us; ‘it is not a naughty treat, it’s a healthy meal in itself.  Green as in green leaves are the only thing in nature that the sun turns into edible energy and blending them helps break them down and open up the nutrients to our bodies. ’ She also told us that ‘green leaves are not a carbohydrate like vegetables or fruit and they provide lots of essential minerals and proteins normally associated with meats.   They are a category of their own.’ 

Jennifer continued and rapidly fired off the benefits of green smoothies. Here are the top seven I managed to remember:

1. it’s an EASY way to get your nutrients (iron, calcium, magnesium, Vits K, C, E, B) for the day;
‘A smoothy is a perfect way to eat greens because we need such a big volume of them that we couldn’t get in a salad. You just add the green leaves to a fruit base such as apples, pears, bananas, berries, whatever and blend.’

2. it’s a QUICK way to get all your nutrients for the day;
‘We’re all too busy to chew.’

3.  You’ll have LOTS OF ENERGY;
‘When you start drinking green smoothies you’ll notice you’ll have a lot more energy because it is energy coming directly from the sun.’

4. It’s CHEAP;
‘Instead of coming all the to Thailand you can a three day or two week  (or whatever) green smoothy diet and fast every month.’

5. GREAT FOR BABIES;
‘Green smoothies are a great transitional food for babies because they’re delicious and easy to swallow.’

6. it’s a HEALING food; and
‘Your body can’t heal itself without the tools.  The tools are the nutrients.’

7. STOP CRAVINGS.
‘Underneath every addiction, is your body craving for nutrients.’

The one major yet superficial benefit of green smoothies that Jennifer didn’t really go into, is that you’ll lose weight.  Once you stop succumbing to the cravings, your body has the nutrients it needs to heal itself and because it will feel the love from you, you’ll shift the pounds! She also mentioned that because of the high level of fibre in the smoothy they can last up to three days so you can make them at night and eat them the next day. Oh – and they’re packed with anti-oxidants.  I’m 99% sold at this point and already visualise my new life as a green smoothy disciple.  And so we begin to blend…

For more information about the nutritional value of green leaves I found this easy to understand article on About.com.