Friday, August 17, 2012

Day 12 of the Garden Diet: Food As A Sacrament

The second week of the Garden Diet is lighter, more cleansing.  It leads up to a one-day water fast, and gently eases back into solid food.  It can be a profound experience.

On the day before the water fast, I struggled to adjust. The food was much lighter than it had been in the previous week.  I kept reminding myself that the empty feeling is good and stayed busy to avoid thinking about food.

Yesterday, day 11, the day of the water fast, was a cause for celebration.  My husband cut one of his meds in half!  We talked about his upcoming birthday, and decided that instead of celebrating with food, we would find other ways to celebrate.  The food will be whole and fresh and delicious, because that's what raw food is.  It just won't be fattening.

The water fast experience was not as difficult as I thought it would be.  It took some will power, and I did need to plan ahead.  But I would definitely do it again.  It's actually a restful experience.

So today is day 12 of 28 days.  We are easing back into solid food.  My husband and I joked last night about how we would race each other down the stairs this morning, knocking each other down to be the first in the kitchen, inhaling the watermelon before we could get it into the blender.

Of course that's not how it happened.  He made the watermelon smoothies and opened the coconut while I juiced the carrots and beet so he could take it to work.
I know a few people who don't fast or juice feast because they wish to avoid uncomfortable hunger pangs.  If they asked me about it, I would say, "Don't worry.  You'll live, and you'll actually appreciate food more."

One of the things that made the water fast easier was the knowledge that I would eat again the next day.  Some people don't know when their next meal is coming or from where.  There are so many truly hungry people in the world.  The next time I feel tempted to eat too much or when not hungry, I hope I will remember that.  Moms will tell kids to clean their plates and think of all the starving children in Africa, but maybe it's also true that I could teach my children to avoid overeating for the same reason.

This morning I stepped on the scale and found that my weight is lower today than it has been for ten years.  It's well worth a bit of discomfort.

Everyone needs to take their own path to get where they need to be.  I'm really glad that when we decided to go raw in May, we took baby steps.  We started with one raw meal a day.  SAD (standard American diet) food was okay as long as we didn't bring it in the house.  The recipes we made at first were heavier, richer raw food recipes, like layered lasagne with three different kinds of nuts.  It had everything that was attractive about SAD food, yet as we continued to be raw, eventually SAD food lost its attraction.  Weight loss was minimal, only 10 lbs (with fluctuations) in three months, but effortless.  Had we just stayed in that space, it would have taken at least a year to lose the weight.  But it wasn't about the weight then, probably because I had resigned myself to the way things were.  This is definitely taking things up a notch.  If we stay on this track, it will all melt off in two months.  I'm not sure I could have done this without spending that time preparing.  But this is definitely good and right.

As I sipped the watermelon juice after a day of water fasting, I realized how truly heavenly it tasted.  It reminded me of the  harvest celebration feast we sometimes like to have around the fall equinox.  We like to create a meal of the bounty of the local harvest.  Before we eat we give thanks for the earth that provides the food and the people who grow it.  We try to eat the meal mindfully, as a meditation, focusing on our interconnectedness, experiencing the food as a sacrament.  I felt that deep connected feeling while sipping the watermelon this morning.

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So what do you think? Have you tried raw vegan food?