Tuesday, March 13, 2007

Spring Cleaning - Day 4

I'm happy to say that the fast is going quite well so far. Yesterday, I experienced a bit of hunger but nothing that threw me off. I was stressed out about things over which I had no control, which translated to hunger. Fasting is a good way to learn what type of role food plays in one's life. I'm not the sort to eat a pint of ice cream because I'm sad or upset, but I do like to eat when I'm stressed, and I'll eat anything, preferably junk. In fact, I almost always only eat junk food when I'm stressed out. Note to self.

Knowing that I was stressed I decided to de-stress by taking a sauna. I spent about an hour at Osento. As it was a gorgeously warm, sunny day, the steam heat was particularly potent. I mean it was HOT inside that barrel, but it felt really good. I used my custom de-tox blend—dead sea salts, epsom salts, clay, baking soda, juniper, rosemary and some other good stuff—to exfoliate, and I also threw some Olbas on the rocks a couple of times. I brought my bug juice with me but also drank Osento's filtered water with quarters of fresh lime in it. I'm usually in the sauna for 2 hrs, but I felt tapped at half that and knew to listen to my body.

I went home and relaxed for a couple hours before going back and giving my first energy massage to a woman I'd met at Osento a few weeks ago. That went relatively well—she exclaimed, "You have amazing energy!" Then she talked me back into the sauna for another half hour or so, claiming, "There's no such thing as too much sauna." Obviously that's not true, but again I listened to my body, and it was nice to do it a second time in the same day.

Later in the evening, I did notice that my stomach was gurgling an awful lot. It was loud and rather non-stop. I wasn't in pain and didn't feel weak or anything else untoward but it was something different than I've experienced in the past. I gave more thought to the salt water wash.

While doing this fast it's imperative to remove the released toxins from the body either by drinking laxative tea twice a day or by doing a salt water flush. Otherwise, as Burroughs states, "It would be just the same as sweeping the floor around and around and never removing the dirt from the house." I have always been afraid of doing the salt water flush; it sounds like it would lead to barfing. You haven't eaten for hours or days, and you're drinking salt water? Sounds like a recipe for disaster. However, Burroughs prefers this method to the laxative tea alone, explaining that the salt water cleanses your entire digestive system from top to bottom. The idea is to use uniodized sea salt. That's very important; regular table salt will not work properly. According to Burroughs, "the salt and water will not separate but will stay intact and quickly and throughly wash the entire tract in about one hour." He adds, "The salt water has the same gravity as the blood, hence the kidneys cannot pick up the water and the blood cannot pick up the salt." All I know is that saline can be used to clean a lot of things from pennies to contacts to sinuses, so the concept makes sense to me.

But I awoke this A.M. knowing that I would give it a shot. I drank 32 oz. of luke warm water mixed with 2 tsp. of the right kind of salt. To be honest, it tasted good after three days of maple lemon taste. I was under the impression that I would immediately expell this concoction but it takes several minutes to move through the digestive tract. I didn't feel nauseous and didn't experience any cramping, the latter of which I do sometimes get from the tea. Instead, after about half an hour of laying on my side, I decided to get up and do jumping jacks. I don't know why. I guess I was remembering watching someone clean a bong—you shake it. After that I still didn't feel very different. I went to the bathroom simply because I didn't know what else to do with myself. There was no physical sense of urgency. However, once I sat down a mass of "stuff" was released—mucousy stuff. I won't get any more graphic than that. I was rather pleased; the trick had worked.

The subsquent eliminations—of which there were many during the next three or four hours—were less pleasant. It was basically like peeing water out of my ass, and I didn't like it all, especially considering that the bug juice recipe also includes cayenne. I'll just say that a certain part of my body felt singed and chaffed. But the salt water flush works. I will probably do it again in a couple more days, but I will make sure that I ease up on the cayenne content during the preceeding day.

By mid-afternoon, the water faucet had turned off, and it was back to the regular business of fasting. I decided to give limes a try instead of lemons and found that it makes for a nice change of pace. I can't say that I like one better than the other; they're both pretty tasty. Tomorrow, I'll try combining them.

My energy has remained as high as it's been the past few days, though I can't say I tested it much today. The most strenuous moment other than squeezing the limes was walking to Dolores Park to read and nap in the park. It's been so nice here the past several days. V. said the weather has been reminding her of summer in Greece. Vitamin D sunshine was just what Doctor M. ordered, and I made the most of it. But now I'm curious, as I head into Day Five, of whether my energy will wane at any point.

In the third edition of their book Prescription for Nutritional Healing, Phyllis and James Balch inform us that "a three-day fast helps the body rid itself of toxins and cleanses the blood. A five-day fast begins the process of healing and rebuilding the immune system. A ten-day fast can take care of many problems before they arise and help to fight off illness, including the degenerative diseases that have become so common in our chemically polluted environment." I'm excited about that. I've never gone past five days.

I've also never had a fast go as smoothly and easily as this one has so far. To be sure, I've never usually found them overly difficult, but I have felt more "wired." I'm not sure if that's the right word. Regardless, I don't feel any different than if I weren't fasting, and that's a real surprise. I feel clean and healthy, but I don't feel like anything is intensified or heightened, and that's part of why I do this—the spiritual aspect. Cleanliness is next to godliness, right? I write that tongue in cheek. I've also read that every two or three days, the body goes into a deeper phase of cleaning and that it's possible to experience fluctuations in energy because of that. We'll see.

I do miss food because I love food and much of my normal days revolve around food. Frankly it's a little boring not to be eating. I continue to amass a list of things I want to eat or places I want to go to eat or things I want to make to eat. I grilled V. about the pastrami sandwich she ate next to me in the park. She laughed, thinking it was too much temptation but I was just curious. I've never had pastrami as far as I can remember.

But all in all, I am happy I am doing this. I don't have a scale so I don't know if I've lost any weight. I do look leaner though. Today I flexed my biceps for V., and she was shocked. She said I look like a bodybuilder. A puny bodybuilder of course, but there's definitely more definition becoming evident. My little belly chub doesn't look like it's going anywhere, though. Weight loss isn't one of my goals so it doesn't matter, but I suspect the chub will drop because the other interesting thing I've noticed is that I'm "eating" less and less ever day.

On the first day I drank 64 oz. of the concotion. The second day I probably drank about 55 oz. or thereabouts. Yesterday I had roughly the same amount, give or take 5 oz. Today I had 40 oz. This is not by plan; I simply don't feel like taking in more than that. I had the 40oz. and a couple of 16 oz. bottles of spring water while V. sipped vodka tonics at the bar, and that's been fine. I'm about to have a cup of laxative tea, and that's it for the day, and it's all good.


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