The mistake I made with my first day of reintroducing "solid" foods was: eating too much (quantity and diversity) too soon!
Once again, if I had taken the time to read the rebooter's expert advice section I would have known that you need to ease back in to real foods. Duh. But, I was so anxious to have my Alaskan Wild Salmon, salad and veggies (plus a slice of my homemade organic whole wheat bread) that I ate it all at my first meal off the fast....and then I spent the whole rest of the night, and a large part of the next day, feeling like I had just eaten an entire bucket of food!! In actuality, it wasn't much by normal standard...and it was all clean, good choices, but my body was not used to having to digest in the normal way. So, I assume that all of the natural (good) fiber, and substance, etc. was too much too soon.
I really was uncomfortable: not nauseous or anything, but you know how you feel after eating too much at Thanksgiving Dinner? That's about how I felt... for about 24 hours afterwards!
So, the second, third and 4th days after the fast I stuck with juice-only for two meals, and then one light -mostly plant based meal. I STILL felt like I was eating too much...crazy how quickly your body shifts to a set point that is WAY less than typical on the fast. I'm trying to listen to that message and realize that, seriously, I don't have to eat quantities -even of stellar food- that I have in the past to be healthy and vibrant. Also...and here's a shocker for me: I'm feeling like I don't "need" animal protein every single day! I can't believe I even wrote that, but it's true. My cravings are more for a wide variety of fruits and veggies, whole grains, nuts and seeds now!! I've discovered amazing versions of hummus, tahini, edamame, nut butters, cashew cheese, pestos, veggie pates, etc., and I'm never turning back :D
One other phenomenon that I wonder if others experience is a slight feeling of "loss" now that I'm done with the fast. I know that sounds totally weird, and I can't explain it any other way than as a sense of loss. It's like I miss the fast and the ease of it all...the guess work about how much/what exactly your body needs is totally taken out of the equation when you are on the fast, so you always KNOW you are doing everything just right automatically. I find myself wishing I were back on the fast so that I have no decisions to make about food...crazy maybe, but it makes sense. I felt so darn great on the fast that I don't want to have to deal with choices right now. I'm sure that will fade with time; but I'm GLAD I feel this way because it is ingrained in me now how easy it is to do the fast and be succesful. I'm sure I will incorporate a regular 5-day fast at least once a month now just to reboot regularly.
In Portland, Day 2 after the fast, I had juice for breakfast and wanted real food for lunch. But, I wanted only organic beautiful food (actually, my body was strongly telling me that nothing other than that would be suitable), and so did Jake. As we meandered around downtown, we came upon a Yoga studio. We saw people walking out with what looked like green juice in to-go cups, and I got excited! "Let's go in there...maybe they have a juice bar and other good things we can try".
It was more than we could have ever hoped for, actually. The cafe part of the studio was called "Prasad", and the menu was incredible. They featured all organic, with many raw food selections including a full lunch menu...and of course, juice :) I felt like a kid in a candy store: I wanted to try everything! But Jake and I settled on 3 items that we shared..plus I got some agave-ginger juice.:
PHOENIX WRAP: (raw) yam rice, cilantro garlic pate, walnut taco crumbles, cucumber,
spinach, avocado and pickled beets rolled in collard greens with garlic tahini sauce on the side
QUINOA STEW: (cooked) Quinoa, tomato, sweet potato, zucchini, onion, cilantro, black beans....with gluten free bread
BLISS SALAD: Dried currants, calimyrna figs, walnuts, quinoa, beets, carrots and mixed greens with lemon ginger dressing.
The best part? Jake felt the same way exactly. So, it wasn't just my "deprived" taste buds that were overreacting to the plethora of flavors they were now being allowed...it just literally tasted wonderful. At our stop at Trader Joes the next day on the way home we did our best to purchase ingredients that were close to ( or exactly like) the ingredients in our lunch at Prasad. I looked up some recipes online for carrot ginger dressings and hummus's, and made a version of the BLISS salad last night for my whole family. Both of my sons LOVED it. Wow, now that makes me happy, and just goes to show that good healthy food will make it's way into the hearts of the ones you love as long as you offer it :)
About the taste bud thingy: I am still amazed at how everything I eat tastes like it's the first time I ever ate it. The buds were definitely cleansed and rebooted too! I'm savoring, and enjoying each bite, and loving that. I know that this has a lot to offer in my new lifestyle and way of eating, and I'm thankful for it.
Today, so far (day 6 after my fast ended), I've had green juice for breakfast....for lunch: an open faced avocado, cuke, tomato, hummus sandwich on my Bavarian bread, iced cinnamon tea, and a cup of the cloned Bliss salad from last night. I feel totally satisfied and happy. It's 3pm, and I am not obsessing on what to have at the next meal, feeling deprived, or craving crap at all. That alone is worth all of the effort it took to do the juice fast.
Other things Jake and I have done in the past week:
- cleaned out our pantry and donated foods that we will not ever buy again
- ordered (sharing with my brother in law's family) a 1/2 of a grass feed, natural, hormone free Beef
- joined a CSA and will receive our first box of organic produce from them tomorrow!
- talked endlessly about opening a juice bar locally! We've decided that we would seriously consider it and jump in if all of the "cards" lined up according to the main stipulations we need to make it happen (proximity to my dance studio, low cost start up, etc.). We are open...if it is meant to be, it will happen and be a joy to create :)
- sleeping through the night and waking up with the sun!
- feeling energy like I haven't since my 20's
- proselytizing whenever I get the opportunity ;)
- feeling that joyous, everything is all right with life, attitude