I just finished a 6-day juice fast and 2 (nearly 3) day water fast. I have never done an extended fast before. I wanted to try it out to see if it helped my skin. I am in no way promoting or recommending fasting for others. Like all of my posts, this is my personal experience. I am simply sharing what I am seeing. This is not to be interpreted as a prescription for healing or a sharing of “Truth.” It is me looking in the direction of my own wisdom hoping it will point you to look in the direction of yours.
The actual juice part of the fast was not hard to do. I did find myself feeling a little grumpy and tired during the water portion. But I definitely noticed my eyes looking clearer and brighter and my skin getting a glow. The fasting part was also easy because there was not much to think about in terms of what to eat. I actually found myself thinking I could do this for a long time because I felt so good. But the tricky part came when I started to think about what to eat when I was done with the fast.
I watched the Forks over Knives documentary and saw the logic of the health information they were sharing, and I have also been reading Dr. Kelly Brogan’s resources that point in a very different direction for achieving balance and wellbeing. I also remembered my Naturopathic doctor begging me to eat meat after I had been on a vegan diet for a few years and was chronically sick and exhausted. After thousands of dollars of treatments, it didn’t matter how many supplements, b12 injections and acupuncture needles I received, I still felt terrible. After significant reluctance, when I eventually followed his advice, my health immediately bounced back. I felt like a sponge that had been rehydrated with water.
As I started to do the nutritional research, I realized there are ways of eating that people swear by for curing their cancer or other illnesses that are completely contrary to each other. As I delved deeper into the source materials from Dr. Kelly Brogan’s work and read her mentor Dr. Nick Gonzalez’s book, “Nutrition and the Autonomic Nervous System,” I learned there is no one diet that fits all metabolisms. As a former anthropologist, I loved reading the research about the different indigenous diets from around the world.
Even though there was no one diet for everyone, there did still seem to be a formula. If you fit a certain metabolic type then you should eat a certain way. I started to try to figure out what metabolic type I am. The trouble was I didn’t fit into any specific category. This isn’t unusual for me as a mixed race individual. I am used to not fitting into boxes. I watched myself trying to figure out my metabolic type and was looking at various meal plans. Intellectually trying to figure out what my diet should be when I come off the fast. It felt confusing and hard.
Then I had one of those “Duh!” moments when I realized, instead of looking for the answers out there, I had the perfect feedback mechanism of my body to guide me in this process. Why would I listen to what worked for someone else when I have my own real-time guidance system of my wisdom and the feedback from my body to help me navigate this.
I realized I had been hijacked by perfectionistic thoughts. Because I was finishing a fast, it looked to me like the stakes were really high regarding what I ate. From that mindset, there was a right way for me to eat and a wrong way for me to eat, and I wanted to get it right! I was looking for THE answer even with my history of paying the price for getting rigid with my diet and not listening to my body’s cues.
When I SAW this I felt the relief of letting go. I realized there was nothing to figure out. Just like with my business, my marriage, my parenting, and all other areas of my life, what I eat can be determined by me following my nose. There is no formula or strategy that is a magic bullet.
I absolutely believe in Hippocrates’ quote, “Let food be thy medicine and medicine be thy food.” And I see this as an opportunity for me to look inward for my answers and get acquainted with what feels good. Layers of thinking fell away as I saw I can follow my moment-to-moment inclinations with food and learn from the feedback that I receive. I had not realized how much I thought I needed to figure it out in this area in order to get it right and be healthy. Of course, all of that figuring it out is tiring and not health promoting in the least.
I find insights funny, because as I write this, it is so obvious, and I think everybody else has already seen this but me, but we all have our areas where the obvious is obscured by our misguided beliefs. And we all have the capacity to have fresh thinking that allows us to see beyond those misunderstandings to what is a more clear and accurate perspective.
For me this week it was with food. I have taken the intellectual rules off the table and given myself permission to look in the direction of my own knowing. What I have seen so far has given me a much deeper respect for my body’s wisdom and its resilience. I also see the multidimensional aspect of food that goes beyond nourishment to pleasure and community.
Hope this encourages you to look in the direction of your own wisdom in all areas so you see life fresh with eyes of wonder and curiosity. Who knows what you will see?
Rohini Ross is excited to present The Soul-Centered Series: Psychology, Spirituality, and the Teachings of Sydney Banks with the original students of Sydney Banks in Santa Monica, CA starting October 2018. She is passionate about helping people wake up to their true nature. She is a transformative coach and trainer, and author of Marriage (The Soul-Centered Series Book 1). She has an international coaching practice helping individuals, couples, and professionals embrace all of who they are so they can experience greater levels of well-being, resiliency, and success. You can follow Rohini on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram, watch her Vlogs with her husband, Angus Ross, and subscribe to her weekly blog on her website, rohiniross.com.