Friday, January 21, 2011

Clean Slate



There is no detox program quite as effective as the flu, and, after the holiday season (during which I ate everything, drank everything), it was high time for a cleanse. I stopped eating cookies and breads as of New Year's but hadn't really gotten around to foregoing rich foods and too much wine until the beat down from Herr Virus on Wednesday. So in that way I guess I could be grateful, if I were a generous person, that is.

Once upon a time I used to fast one day a month, usually at the dark moon. Fasting is actually a great thing, unless you take it too far, something many Americans routinely do because we're just so extreme. Fasting for a day or two or three? That's great. Gives the digestive system a rest, re-sets the appetite, clears the mind and heart. Those mega fasts of seven to ten days are terribly hard on the heart, liver and kidneys, though people like them because after a few days without food, we humans get so high, so stoned - seriously. And, as I said, because we are Americans we like super-sized everything, even super-sized fasts. It's embarrassing to be an American sometimes.

I'm against the big macho fasts, but a short break from everything but juice and water every now and then? Yes.

I'm thinking a better time, for me at least, would be the day of the full moon. That ole Devil Moon, as Tess of the blog Willow Manor would say, frequently trips me up. To dance in shamanic alignment with the energy, by fasting - just for one day, might improve my relationship with Sister Luna, ya think?

At the very least it would provide me with the clarity I have today in the wake of a couple of days of drastically reduced intake.

I am so lucky to be able to make choices like this: when to eat, what to eat - or not eat. This choice is a luxury that most of humankind, throughout history, everywhere on the planet, has not had. I'm going to try to remember this as I move slowly back into the world of food and drink. Going to try to keep it simple. I really am.

Happy Friday. Shalom.


Can you tell this is a teapot? Kind of hard to read the pic. It's on the sign at Sidamo Coffee and Tea at 4th and H Streets NE. Great place.

20 comments:

jeanette from everton terrace said...

I have only fasted for surgeries or medical tests so it has a negative feeling to it for me. Perhaps fasting to heal and rest my body would be a good thing for me to try.
Teapot is super fun :)

glnroz said...

i always thought "fasting" was the speed with which you chewed your food,,, i learn something almost every day,,:),,i do hope you kick that bug...

Pauline said...

I admire your resolve but three weeks after that flu I am finally able to eat again and EVERYTHING looks good! Uh oh. Maybe I'll give the one day a month fast a go...

Reya Mellicker said...

Glenn - ha!

Pauline, yeah, I am still under the specter of the flu, definitely, so fasting is not hard to imagine. Maybe when I'm well, I'll forget all about my resolve. We'll see!

The Pollinatrix said...

You make a very good point about the choices available to us as Americans. I think about this often, in relation to a lot of things. I'm reading a book right now that's about the author's spiritual journey, and while it's inspiring, I do sometimes consider that she had to be in a privileged position in order to be able to pursue it as she did. Not that that makes it less valid; it just makes me think about how different life is for most of the world.

Reya Mellicker said...

Polly? Oh yeah.

Jen said...

I really like the idea of fasting on the full moon. I think periodic fasts are great- and that old moon always gives me trouble! ; )

Nancy said...

I've been having the same thoughts lately.

rosaria said...

I love the comment that we have not had a choice of what and how and how often to eat; usually, if we had food, it was never enough.

A great post, Reya.

mouse (aka kimy) said...

get better!!

what a healthy practice a monthly fast is, i really should try that.....

love the snap of the teapot!!!

Reya Mellicker said...

Thanks Rosaria! Throughout most of history, people didn't even get a choice of WHEN to eat. If there was food available, you ate, whether you felt like it or not.

Kim, honey you do NOT need to fast, not EVER.

Meri said...

The teapot and its splash came into brain focus only when I read the caption. Isn't it funny how minds work?

Whitney Lee said...

So I've never fasted but recently came across the book Clean by Alejandro Junger. It's not a fast, exactly. Have you heard of it? He does state in there that a lot of the fasts that Americans do are unhealthy because they're too extreme.

Reya Mellicker said...

Sounds like a good book, Whitney. When I used to do the monthly fast, I drank water and juice, whatever I felt like. It's amazing how much extra time there is in a day when I don't eat - no planning, cooking, sitting down to feast. Amazing.

Meri - I'm so glad I posted the caption!

Barbara Martin said...

Less food is always better. I tend to go with butter on everything.

Jo said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Life 101 said...

Your post reminds me of a line from the movie "The Devil wears Prada".
One of the girls said "I'm one stomach flu away from my ideal weight."
.....now where was I? Oh yes fasts. I'd gotten about 25 pounds over weight last year when my wife suggested we fast for a day.
I struggled, but that one day was a turning point for me. I dropped a little weight which started the scales in the right direction. I lost twenty pounds last year.
Good post.

Reya Mellicker said...

Congratulations! Yes, it resets the appetite, such a good thing. Bravo!

Teri said...

I have been on a really strict diet for the past 2 weeks due to some tests I have to have and I have one more week to go. Sometimes, during this, I think that I will never eat another vegetable. I cannot have anything packaged, frozen, canned or bottled. Only veggies and fresh fruit and a small amount of meat. No soy products. No herbs unless fresh. Only olive oil. I tell you, I am dreaming about food. If I were to get the flu at this point I think I would be a goner. You make a good point at how privileged we, as Americans, are. (Well, probably not all Americans but most). It's good to take the back seat sometimes and think about what we have and what others don't. Great post!

Reya Mellicker said...

Thanks, Teri! Thinking good thoughts about you while you head into your tests.