The past three days have been quite interesting. Monday morning, the watermelon monodiet commenced, eating nothing but watermelon through Wednesday. Monday also held my very first enema. (For those that haven’t read the post detailing the impetus for this cleanse, as well as the benefits, click here: Restoring the Original Temple: The Body)
So here’s my breakdown of how it went/is going….
I am 100% sick of watermelon. It didn’t really happen until around 5pm last night when I was sitting on the couch with a spoon in one hand and a half of a watermelon in my other hand, with it looking all beautiful like a perfect natural bowl of food, and I could barely bring myself to eat it. I think it took me about 45 minutes to get it down.
Yesterday was the toughest day. It wasn’t really even about food, either. Throughout the whole three days, very interesting awareness arose about my attachments to food, which is totally expected. I was never hungry because I could eat as much watermelon as I wanted, so it wasn’t an issue of physical hunger. But my mind was hungry. So many cravings and longings for so many different types of food really showed me how much I love to eat, how much excitement I get from it, and how much time I spend thinking about it, preparing for it, and doing it. But that was all stuff I was expecting and prepared for, and have at least looked at quite a bit in these past years. What made yesterday more difficult was the emotions that started to flare up which food usually keeps pretty subdued. All these reflections on my relationship with work and money and action came up. All these feelings of overwhelm and procrastination and self-sabotage. Fear of success and patterns of getting in my own way. Invitations to explore all of this and ask myself some tough questions, and sit in the resulting discomfort without being able to go and soothe myself with food.
And although I was pretty slow and grumpy yesterday, I did know, underneath all that, that this was all part of why we do cleanses in the first place, in conjunction with vitality of the physical organism. To see more clearly what is under the surface energetically (which is directly related to physical vitality). To get a better understanding of what we are working with, physically, as well as mentally and emotionally, so that we can go forward with more clarity and understanding in order to support our evolution and wellness. It is an invitation for us to deepen our patience and compassion for ourselves, and allow ourselves to process things however we happen to do so.
So there’s the skinny on the food aspect of the cleanse, and as promised for those of you interested, I will now offer some brief and somewhat undetailed reflection on the whole enema thing, which has been met with a surprising amount of both intrigue as well as mock outrage from many in our tribe 🙂 First let me say that it is amazing how disgusted/afraid/embarassed we are culturally to all things anus and poop considering we all have anuses and we all poop, and do so pretty often. The response from many people in even a vague mention of enemas was total “grossed out”-ness and “i don’t wanna know”-ness. Which I really do understand, because when it was suggested to me for this cleanse, I had the same response. But I
have to say, not only was it way easier, not to mention cleaner, than I anticipated, I actually am now sold on their usefulness as a tool for our wellness. Opponents of enemas often cite the body’s ability to cleanse itself, including the colon and digestive tract. If we were living 3,000 years ago, or even 300 years ago, I would be more prone to agree with that. But the way we eat these days, the way we ate as children, and the food available to us is very different than in our collective past, as evidenced to how sick we are in general as a people. Our bodies’ ability to absorb the proper amount of nutrients and release that which we do not need has been greatly compromised, and enemas, both with salt water, which I used the first day, and coffee, which I used the next two days, are affordable, easy, and accessible ways to assist this process. Our colon absorbs a lot of the fluid and nutrients from what the rest of our digestive system has passed through, and if the walls are stuck with old matter, the entire immune system is affected. I won’t go into any more detail about my own experience, but I will say that I felt and feel great after this enema experience, and I will undoubtedly be including this in future wellness plans I practice.
For those interested in this tool, here is some links with helpful instructions and more information on the benefits:
This morning upon waking, I was so very excited to be eating something other than watermelon, although it is important to remember that Day 4 and 5 of the cleanse, even after ending the monodiet, are still quite limited in what is encouraged to eat. It is not good for the body to do a cleanse or detox and then just resume old diet patterns immediately. The body requests gentleness and patience and a slow re-introduction of different kinds of food to allow the system to slowly begin again. I had been craving rice or some kind of grain for three days, and so while excited to have something else on my palate, I still was wishing a bit for something more substantial when I sat down to eat this beautiful fruit plate of bananas, figs and strawberries. But prayer before meal really does change the vibration, not only of the food, but of the body about to receive it. It calms the mind and opens the body and heart to receive with present gratitude. And as I ate, I felt just that: a deeper presence and appreciation than I have felt with my eating recently. The different textures and the depth of the taste of the fresh, organic fruit was surprising and inspiring, and I was a happy man after the meal.
I have still been feeling pretty deep in the midst of my emotional processing today, although less grumpy than yesterday, as well as a bit slow and weak in my body, a natural result of such a cleanse and a good reminder of how important it is to only do something like this when one has the time to be still and the safe space to experience all that can come up. To be trying to go to work or exercise a great deal or be very social while detoxing is a bit energetically dangerous and sets us up for emotional breaks and failure to adhere to the parameters of the cleanse. So between breakfast and lunch, I didn’t do much. Got some good floor-laying in, wrote a bit, played a bit of music, but nothing very active. And then lunch was even more glorious than breakfast. Greens! Greens! I ate a great big salad of arugula, lettuce, heirloom tomato, and fresh pepper
tossed with a homemade dressing of olive oil, salt, garlic and cilantro, as well as some steamed broccoli drizzled with sautéed garlic and ginger in coconut oil. It was amazing, never have I ever loved a salad more than this afternoon! Again, the flavors and textures on my palate were so vibrant and to feel my body responding and acting differently to a different type of food was also very interesting, and uncommon with the great breadth and diversity of foods we are usually combining and putting in our bodies at the same time.
For dinner tonight, more raw veggies, and I may make myself a little bowl of rice to go along with it (white because although not a nutrient or protein dense, it easier for the stomach to digest than brown).
Tomorrow is Day 5 and the last day of this cleanse. This means raw fruits again for breakfast, maybe in smoothie form to mix it up, and raw and/or steamed veggies for lunch. Dinner time is a good time to again start integrating gluten-free grains, like rice or millet. Last day also means one more coffee enema, always recommended early in the morning before any food is eaten. And after Day 5, it really is the time to reflect on what shifted and what didn’t and what came into more illumination from the experience. As more foods and variety are integrated back into the digestive system, it is time to renew a commitment to mindful eating, which again, is always very supported by a blessing or prayer before every meal, even just a snack. It is time to eat only as much as the body needs, and to choose foods that really support vibrant wellness and vitality.
I am leaving you all with a little video I filmed yesterday about one of my very favorite wellness tips: OIL PULLING! It is an aryuvedic technique 1000s of years old that involves swishing coconut oil or sesame oil around your mouth for 20 minutes each morning (not just when cleansing), which not only raises vitality in the body, but also whitens your smile while it does so!
Peace, love, and wellness, tribe!