I never wanted to be one of those health food nuts. Still don’t. But Naturopathic medicine was something I just had to try before jumping into 18 months of the serious drugs they told me I’d need to fight Mycobacterium Avium Complex (MAC Lung disease). It was either that or spend the rest of my life wondering what might have happened if I had. So, with my lung specialist’s blessing, I began treatments with Dr. Lisa.
The first couple of weeks were a day at the spa. This remarkable young woman is so brilliant and so joy-filled, you’d walk out of there feeling better even if they did nothing. Her prayers, hugs, and wealth of knowledge earned my trust before the hard work began.
The hard work I refer to was, for me, three days of fasting. Nothing but water. I naively suggested I should do this during the workweek so I’d be more distracted from my hunger. She laughed. Apparently, while there are a few fortunates who breeze through this type of fast, most do not.
I was one of the do nots. The first day, Friday, I was merely hungry all day. Saturday I was hungry and weak all day. By Sunday, I wondered if I’d somehow coincidentally contracted the flu. Dr. Lisa assured me I had not. This was supposed to be as much a spiritual journey as a physical one, so I read most of the Psalms even while fantasies of pizza floated through my head. My prayers diminished into pathetic repetitions of “God help me.”
Guess I’m just a rebel. After all, the Bible tells us to “fast in secret” and here I am blabbing about it to the world. But how could I allow such scrumptious blog material to slip by?
I suppose it’s possible I’ve had worse weekends in my life. Actual flu. Labour and delivery. A houseful of in-laws. However, with God’s help I hung in there and when I could finally eat on Monday, the things I was allowed (ie, salad) held no appeal. Thankfully, we changed the game plan and for the rest of the week, here is what I ate:
|Breakfast: Butternut squash sprinkled with walnuts, raisins, and cinnamon.|
|Mid-morning snack. OK, who could eat all this? You run it through the juicer and drink it.|
|Here's the juice. Yum, right?|
|Lunch: Spinach, Banana, and 2 dates|
|The finished smoothie. Surprisingly filling.|
|Afternoon snack: papaya and ginger root tea.|
|Supper: Steamed carrots, zucchini, asparagus, peas, onion & garlic|
The idea, if I understand it, is that after a fast one’s body becomes super absorbent to nutrients. So you pack in as many of the power-charged kind you can, leaving no room for meat, dairy, or bread. Of course sugar and caffeine are out, too. All to build up the immune system and teach your body to fight its own battles. And guess what? Already I am coughing much less, which gives me determination to keep going.
The fast gave me a new way of looking at food. I thought a lot about the many on this planet for whom hunger is normal. I appreciated anew the fragility of my own body, my utter dependence on my daily bread and the One who provides it.
But with all this greenery, I also have to say this: if you see me chewing my cud, just shoot me.