Liquid Feasting - Days 21 and 22

Out and about in Cambridge - joyful feasting days!


Liquid Feasting - (diversion)

I decant my organic unguents into older containers (this is just one of many reasons why I am not the most frequent blogger in the world). I have been going through a Tweed phase the last couple of years. I hasten to add, not for the 70s smell, but for the wooden topped containers, so I gasped when earlier this month I saw the hair range DaynĂ  featured on Ensuite, one of my favourite interiors blogs, with its own wooden topped bottles.

I loved what the blogger Clarisse wrote about the owner of the range and his partner’s Parisian flat: ‘The spirit of their work is just what I feel when I’m at their place: an atmosphere made of nature, wellbeing, apothecary scents, sunny touches of India and such serenity!’

This is absolutely my ideal ... in interiors, in food, and life too!


Liquid Feasting - Days 13-18 and 20

I know that this is back to front! As I said yesterday, I had a nibble on wild garlic (Day 19) and I also nibbled on Friday (Day 17). I think the other days were pretty much straightforward, although Day 13 was noteworthy according to my journal...

Day 13 proved anything but unlucky. If anything, it felt like my real ‘breakthrough‘ day. I was in Cambridge (again), so I was flasked up for only the second time of the feast with orange juice rather than my faithful hemp/nettle/celery/apple combination. I neither saw nor smelt anything to trigger cravings but they arose all the same. I don’t live near ‘fast food’ or any other kind of ‘foodie outlet’ come to think of it, so perhaps the knowledge that I was in a city with edibles galore was playing subconsciously in my head. Whatever the reason, all I could think of was fries: hot, crispy, salty fries. I just sat in the park, cranked open a book crammed full of raw experiences (Life in the 21st Century, compiled by Viktoras Kulvinskas) and the craving passed. Generally, I’m awful with cravings so to find myself on the other side, having not succumbed, was pretty joyful, ecstatic really!

I’ve barely mentioned the addendums since starting the juice feast. For me, they don’t exist to ramp the cleanse up to another level, they exist instead to support the main cleanse. From my no-sugar exercise before Easter I found that by concentrating on the addendums, the focus of the main exercise (the no-sugar routine) was lessened and became very straightforward, almost effortless. However, every experiment is different and so far I have barely thought of, let alone implemented, my chosen addendums:

1) I am so-so with the skin brushing, probably 50/50. On the days when I do remember, invariably I’ve just turned on the shower and have literally placed one leg in when I remember, so I have to turn the shower off and get to it. It’s not in my head yet, but hopefully my % will improve.

2) The getting to bed earlier by following the TCM guidance on daily, bodily rhythms is best not mentioned yet as I’ve been hopeless at this. That said, I always find that the things where I flail are the processes that potentially have the most to offer...

3) The detox via the eyes started today (better late than never). As I said on Day 1, my choice of addendum activities was pretty much random and instinctive, not much thought went into it, but of course, even supposedly random choices hold deeper meanings. I haven’t suffered much in the way of the dreaded ‘detox’ but one thing I did notice, on perhaps Day 6 or 7 was a tiny cyst on the inside of one of my eyes. It was nothing major and had disappeared by the evening of the day when it appeared, but I have to admit I did let out a little whoop at how our bodily instincts have much to tell us if we let them, knowing that I’d chosen a cleansing ‘eye’ addendum!

Whilst I found the wheatgrass (or to be specific, kamut) seeds early on, I only got around to soaking and sowing them more recently, but how I wished I’d started this earlier. What a revelation! Finally, a way of experiencing the ‘energy shot’ wheatgrass provides without drinking the stuff (my tastebuds do NOT like wheatgrass) but my eyes LOVED the stuff!

In last century’s ‘raw movement’ there was lots of talk about the Bates method and the improvement of eyesight. I will talk about that another day, but on a more basic level, as I’m sure you all know, the eyes are a barometer of the body’s health. Cloudy patches, dark spots and lines all reveal areas of ill health within the body which can be specifically pinpointed by iridologists (or self-study). In contrast, ‘The perfect iris is flawless – no distortion of fibres, no spots, no cloudiness. Its natural colour is blue, green or brown ... With healing, the natural colour will return. The whole iris may become lighter in colour’. (Survival into the 21st century by Viktoras Kulvinskas).

Converts in early raw testimonials noted that through examination of the irises they could follow the progress of their body healing:

‘... my companions became transformed into the most beautiful people I’ve ever seen: beautiful brown bodies ... shiny hair and diamond piercing eyes’.

‘My irises were dark brown with black holes all over. Now my irises are turning blue and light yellowish brown’.

‘... eyes are changing colour from brown to blue. They are green with more blue coming through’.

‘My nine year old son’s irises are green and turning blue (from olive brown). Pretty good huh? My irises are bluer every day!’

(All testimonials from Life in the 21st Century compiled by Viktoras Kulvinskas).

I am planning to have an iridology consultation later this year, but for now I’m following Elaine Bruce’s instructions (Living Foods for Radiant Health: The Authentic Guide to Using Fresh and Raw Foods, p. 151): ‘A daily eye bath with cold water in which there is a small amount of wheatgrass juice will, over a period of weeks, clear and tone up your eyes’ with Bruce noting that the procedure ‘may smart a little, as the tissues in your eyes ... will not be used to exposure to cold water, but as the mucus membranes become toned and clean this will no longer be noticeable’. Bruce adds that, ‘if you choose to use wheatgrass in the water ... it should be passed through a fine strainer first’. As the picture shows I used a pipette rather than an eye bath ... and I will be doing so tomorrow and the day after and the day after ... It really is the most amazing ‘zing’ for the eyes!


Liquid Feasting - Day 19

Today I nibbled on wild garlic - out of this world!!!


Liquid Feasting - Days 9-12

I’ve been hopeless at writing this feast up. I write snippets of posts and then fail to bring them to a logical conclusion. Here are some ...

Written on Friday (Day 10)
I have been working every day so far of the feast (including the w/end). I would far rather work a little a day and create a balanced week, than work all the hours under the sun and then ... collapse every w/end! I’m sure these wild ‘lost w/ends’ of binging (whether drink, food, drugs or sex) the media constantly report upon are at least in part because people systematically ignore their bodies throughout the puritan working week and then bodies, being what they are, scream out, nay demand pleasure after such long periods of neglect and look what results ... A little bit of balance is what’s needed. We don’t need to save our meal of the week for ‘Sunday lunch’, and we don’t need to slog our way through a ten mile run because we keep missing our exercise ‘slots’ during the week. We simply need to listen to our bodies and introduce the pleasure principle every day of the week. It’s not about having lots of money or time either. How difficult is it to schedule in a half-an-hour slot to wander around your locality, to prepare a seasonal, fresh local meal? Perhaps it’s just me, but I like having things as pleasurable and simple as these to look forward to every single day.

Written on Saturday (Day 11)
I am still juicing purely with the ‘Twin Gear’ for optimal nutrition and am spending almost as much time washing-up as I am juicing! I picked up an ‘Old Hall’ pint jug in Cambridge at the beginning of the week for mere pennies. A vintage 70s French Connection denim jumpsuit arrived via ebay during the week too. I’m going for the industrial look. I’m now fully equipped on the juicing production line...

It’s not much of a leap from production to economics. How cheap is this feast? Cheap! Nettles are picked for free and a kilo of organic hemp seeds costs £7.50 per kg. This is day 11 and I’ve only got through 1kg of hemp so far. The only thing I’m buying are the apples and the celery...

Written today (Day 12)
Not quite there yet but this is surely the destination?

From Dick Gregory’s Natural Diet for Folks Who Eat: Cookin’ With Mother Nature (NY, 1973), p. 97:

‘The long fast puts the entire body through a cleansing. That also includes toxic accumulations in the brain. And as the brain is cleansed the mind is released. During a long fast you will notice a heightening of ethical and spiritual awareness.
One of the things that happens during a long, cleansing fast is that you lose the six basic fears which plague humankind:

Fear of poverty
Fear of death
Fear of sickness
Fear of getting old
Fear of being criticized
Fear of losing your love

All six, or some combination of these fears, haunt everyone who is captive to the usual nervous imbalances accompanying toxic diet. But when those fears disappear you are really at home with Mother Nature and happily at peace with life in Mother Nature’s world’.


Liquid Feasting - Days 7-8

Apart from the orange deviation on day 2, I have been green juicing for over a week now.

I wrote about colour healing back in the autumn and everything that is said about the colour green I am feeling:

‘Green is a vibration of harmony and balance, hence it is of fundamental importance to the nervous system. Soothing and sympathetic, it does not excite, inflame or irritate. Restorer of tired nerves and giver of new energy, it is nature’s master tonic. Green stimulates the master (pituitary) gland for better control of other glands and organs throughout the body, dissolves blood clots, and builds muscles. Green represents the chlorophyll or cleansing principle. Start all schedules of colour healing with one or more green exposures’. Viktoras Kulvinskas, Survival Into the 21st Century (CT, 1975), p. 210.

I made a liquid version of the infamous raw lemon pudding (avocado, fresh dates and lemon) by using a lot more lemon than usual than usual last night. I had major cravings for an hour after slurping this down. I didn’t even trust myself to walk past a jar of goji berries!

However, all was back to normal by this morning and I’m back on the 3 pints a day of green juice (hemp, nettles, apple and celery juice) and no cravings whatsoever. No teas, no coconut butter, no bee pollen, all often described as the ‘comfort food’ of feasters! This is testament (to me, at least) of the 'power of green’ juice. I am picking fresh, wild nettles for each juice and this is clearly providing me with everything my body needs. Ditto the hemp. I have been meaning to write, since the feast began, about the nutritional value of hemp, as much for myself, as for anyone else reading, as my desire for a hemp based feast was literally plucked out of the air, driven by bodily instinct. As luck would have it, I stumbled across this last night. I, obviously, make my own hemp milk (and advocate whole rather than shelled hemp, because of the greater nutritional value and also the use of less ‘processing’) but nonetheless the article clearly outlines hemp’s magisterial qualities and the products are a fab idea for busy people. The other place, and where I was primarily inspired to advance on my merry hemp way was via Funky Raw’s issue number 5, from back in Winter 05/06 (!) and an article called ‘Super Hemp Me’. The writer was inspired by the documentary Super Size Me to Super Hemp Me describing hemp as ‘the best, most nutritionally perfect food’.

It would seem so because ...detox? What detox?! The only real difference I’ve noticed is that I am sleeping a little longer – 9 rather than 8 hours a night – and very deeply.

Oh, and if the illustration from the last post is too radical for certain friends, then a subtle way to emphasise the vitality of living foods is to suggest the said friends watch Super Size Me. I’m not kidding. I was probably the last person in the world to see this film. ‘Why would I want to watch a guy eat out at Maccy D’s?’ was my reasoning. However, the subtle message is that there are only two people who look good in this film (in my eyes): the director’s girlfriend (now wife) and John Robbins, both vegan health promoters. Enough said.


Liquid Feasting - Days 3-6

I can’t believe it’s day 6 already! There is so little to share (believe me, there really isn’t). I am still drinking just 3 pints a day of hemp, nettle, apple and celery juice. That’s it. I feel totally satisfied with both the drink and the intake. No cravings, no disturbances, no need for change. Tomorrow evening (as predicted for every 6 days or so) I will be having a classic raw combo (avocado, fresh dates and lemon) and then, I’m sure, I will happily jump back on the familiar nettle/hemp juice wagon.

Neeta and I have been bouncing emails back and forth about various topics. Her forthcoming e-book is about ‘making the switch’ from processed eating to a healthier diet, and she has asked me for any ideas and suggestions.

The image above, for me, is total inspiration. I have no idea where it originated, as it seems pretty rampant over the web, but it’s a wake-up call in the most graphic of ways, re. showing what an unhealthy body is like ... I was going to then type ‘on the inside’ but that’s where I think the problem starts. We (I use the term loosely) are so fixated on the external, aesthetic body (from skinnies in Vogue to the ‘big is beautiful’ brigade) that it’s almost forgotten that the external body is a mere covering to the inside. The inside and the outside are not divisible. This illustration drives that point home. The skeletons are not hugely different in bone size, but look at the distortions – the knees, the shoulders, the organs – on the larger scan. Images like this and the brilliant programme Jamie Oliver made a little while back on how nutrition impacts upon our vital organs (still available to view for those in the UK) are things that to me, should be far more widely promoted as a ‘wake-up’ call in helping to make the switch to healthy living.


Liquid Feasting - Day 2

I said to Neeta that the hardest part of the liquid feast would be writing it up. It’s proving to be true. It’s day 4, but here I am writing up day 2.

Day Two went something like this:

Slept terribly on Wednesday night. Disrupted sleep is the major side effect I experience with my periods. Crawled out of bed at an unearthly hour.

I knew that I’d be far away from the juicer today in Cambridge. I also knew that I’d be stomping the Cambridge streets for some considerable miles. As I didn’t fancy turning the juicer on at the crack of dawn (or returning to an unwashed juicer), I just hand-squeezed some organic oranges and pomegranates to flask up for the day ahead.

‘Oranges and pomegranates?’ squeal those of you who know me well (in actual fact, this blog is unknown to all who know me well!). Yup, my seasonal zeal went out of the window today. I’d actually bought the fruit for day 1 of the feast. After a sugar-free few weeks (including fruit), a few days of sugar over Easter had sent me crashing and I’d wondered whether a couple of natural high sugar juices might have eased me into the feast more readily, but day 1 I felt up for the green juices, so green juices it was.

As I knew I’d be much more active today, fruit juices suited me well. That said, I only had a pint or so on me, and an amazing sounding juice bar in Cambridge, The Tree Hugging Hippy Juice Bar, whose name made me laugh out loud, no longer appeared to exist, so I was on short rations. In truth though, I think it was the lack of sleep that made me feel groggy today.

Arrived home to discover that whilst in my early morning bed head state I’d put the hemp seeds into a bowl for soaking, I’d failed to cover them with water. I ended up having liquorice tea. This completely hit the spot, which was surprising as I’m not a tea or coffee drinker generally.

So, no skin brushing, no (formal) exercise (although I walked a considerable number of miles) and no eye soaking. However, I was so exhausted that I was in bed and literally asleep as soon as my head touched the pillow by 9pm, so at least one tick of my addendum list could be made.

The advice from today is simply to make sure you have enough juice if out and about ...


Liquid Feasting - Day 1

It’s time for a liquid feast. I have been chiefly inspired by the wild greens – particularly nettles and dandelions – that are everywhere at the moment. Nature's lights are very much 'on'.

I am following no programme, apart from my own intuition. However, I have been re-reading old issues of Funky Raw and feeling particularly inspired by articles which I probably only glossed over on initial reading. Ditto Elaine Bruce’s Living Foods for Radiant Health.

My intuition is guiding me towards a hemp milk feast. I have also been very struck by comments made by Norman Walker (in Become Younger) who recommends for longer fasts (admittedly fasts not feasts) a programme of liquids for 6 days and then light raw foods for 3 days ad infinitum (or for as long as you choose).

I have just emerged from a month-and-a-half of a ‘no sweetener or fruit’ campaign. It went surprisingly smoothly with few cravings, but my biggest insights were with the ‘supplementary’ or addendum measures I added:
1) To retrain myself to sleep on my side rather than my stomach.
2) To write down my dreams and try and make some sense of them each morning as soon as I wake up.
3) To stop drinking fluids with food.

My addendums this time (inspired by Elaine Bruce) are:
1) Body brush daily.
2) Try and get to bed earlier by following the TCM daily rhythm of bodily processes.
3) Conduct a daily eye bath using diluted wheatgrass juice.

I will write more about hemp, my insights from both my previous and current supplementary measures, and of course the feasting itself over the coming days.

A very important point is that I am not feasting without support. The very lovely Neeta is juicing with me, following her own intuitive pattern of juicing.

Day One went something like this:

Not the greatest start in the world. Woke up late. Period started. No time to juice. Ran out of the house on a spoonful of organic cold-pressed evening primrose oil. This tiny does of liquid sunshine seemed to work its magic and my mood improved.

Back home by 1.30pm. Lucky enough to live where nudging the back gate open reveals fields and trees: nettles and dandelions galore. Five minutes of picking and I’m ready to turn on the juicer: soaked organic hemp seeds, nettles and dandelions, organic English apples and celery.

Meant to dry brush – didn’t.
Meant to exercise – didn’t.
Meant to use a diluted wheatgrass eyewash. Got as far as locating some wheatgrass in the back of a cupboard.
Meant to go to bed earlier – this is do-able!

Whilst I’m trying to be intuitive with this feast, I am going to try to follow the dictum to imbibe approximately six pints of plant liquids daily. I am not looking to fast, I want to keep my metabolism strong and healthy, I am looking to feast! Managed only three pints today though ...