Sustainable Halo

A bird does not sing because it has an answer. It sings because it has a song. – Chinese Proverb

Thanksgiving Day Reflections November 26, 2009

Filed under: Inspirations — Simple Jess @ 4:21 pm

Hello, lovelies!

I completed my fast and have spent the last couple of days working food back into my system so I would be able to eat a meal of gratitude today with my two beautiful boys and my great friend Lauren.  As she continues her journey from Calistoga to San Diego, I am filled with excitement and joy.  The boys have been playing and sparring and crying and all the stuff little toddlers do.  I am grateful.

I decided to take a drive with them to pick up a few last minute menu requirements and chose to veer off my path a bit to get a gauge on the island on Thanksgiving.  We blasted inspirational Christmas music and gloried in the beautiful and joyful day.  There were a lot of sporty couples strolling, running and lounging on benches as they soaked up the warm sunny day.  A lot of teenagers were out and about on their beach cruisers, surely plotting how they would get away from their parents to hang with their buddies.  Maybe I was a bit like them, trying to explore my boundaries.  One man stood out.

I have seen him occasionally the past week walking around with a small piece of luggage that he pulls behind him.  He has a bright light but I could see it in his heavy shoulders and settled way that he was hurting.  Finally, today, I stopped the car.  I pulled over.  Graham said, “Church!”  I thought of how appropriate his intuition was.  I said, “Yes, honey, I need to do little something for God.”  I walked over to him and asked him if he was okay and if he had something warm for the holiday.  He said, “No.  My heart is heavy.”  My eyes welled up because he was so demure and composed.  I hugged him tight and told him that if he needed a place to celebrate the holiday he was welcome.  His pride stepped in and he explained that he was hoping to see his son.  I hugged him again and wished the best for the holiday.  He apologized as tears came and said he was worried he would wet me with his tears.  I said, “Those are blessed tears and I welcome them, sir.”  He stepped  back and asked my name, which I then shared.  He said, “I am going through a divorce and I am at the bottom.”  I said, “Then there is nowhere to go from here than up my brother.  Think about anything you might need and if I see you around, let me know.  You are welcome to have Thanksgiving with us.  God bless you.”  He thanked me and humbly walked away.

I got back in the car and wept.  I wept with sadness and joy all the same time.  I wept the whole way home and felt the gratitude that was in  me this day.  I have so many things to be grateful for today.  This man was but a reflection of me.  I saw the beauty in both of us and hopefully shared a spark of that with him.  I share with all of you, my friends, my family…thank you, thank you, thank you for listening.  Life is beautiful even when it is sad.  Life is beautiful.

Love and light,

Jess

 

Land of Oz Liquid Fast for Thanksgiving November 18, 2009

Filed under: Alternative Health,Food, Food, Food!,Mind, Body and Spirit — Simple Jess @ 5:34 pm

So, I created my own fast for Thanksgiving preparation and since so many of you have expressed interest in this topic I decided to share this fasting experience with my beloved readers.  Finding a relationship with food is so difficult for so many.  It can seem like we are Dorothy in the Wizard of Oz as we traverse the scores of recommendations and reports constantly surfacing, as we seek out the wizard.

I believe that with clean cells and a body set up to channel lots of energy we can handle anything.  Maybe if Dorothy had sipped a nice fresh pressed fruit drink that day in Kansas, she would have found herself much stronger and not so afraid of the wicked witch.  Bare with me and the hokey Land of Oz stuff  as I have been fasting and the creative juices are flowing…trust me, I am holding back.

Don’t be the Scare Crow and shy away from my corny approach here…keep reading!  Okay, I’ll stop.  Let’s get to the fasting.

I began with a 7 day juice fast, followed with 7 days of light eating and am now on a 10 day fast that is broken down into segments.  Here is my outline:

7 days of fresh pressed fruit and veggie juice, water, kombucha and peppermint tea fasting

7 days of light eating, mix of raw and cooked vegetables and lots of raw fruit…still juicing and tea drinking of course:)

10 days – First 7 days just like the previous 7 days and the final 3 days will be distilled water and hot peppermint tea

For the fruits and vegetables, I suggest playing around with these:

-kale, romaine, spinach, carrots, red bell peppers, cabbage, parsnips, sprouts, avocados, watermelon, apples, grapefruit, oranges, grapes (which are heavenly this time of year by the way…really sweet)

You can juice and cook all of the vegetables in unique ways.  Make sure you eat fruit by itself as it should never combined with other foods.  They slow down the digestion and it begins to rot in your tummy…giving you horrible digestion problems and eliminating the cleansing properties of the fruit all together.  My current understanding is that when you juice, you can combine fruits and veggies as it is assimilated so quickly in that form.  If you have any digestive or bowel problems it is best to separate you fruit juice from your veggie juice.  If you need your veggie juice sweet you can add a bit of stevia or even better beets or carrots…they sweeten quite well.  I am neglecting some minutia here but as far getting started goes this is good practice.  Then you can listen to your body and soul.  Pay good attention, they have a lot to say.

The juices give an abundance of energy and joy during the fast and are a really great introduction to fasting as they provide nutrients and minerals and protein and so on and so on.  I enjoy my juice so much now that it is often more appealing to me than cooked foods and salads.  However, I am at a point in my life where I still have cravings and seasonal preferences so I am not above baking an apple, roasting a big platter of root veggies and I really love blended salads…I’ll write more about those another day!  Let me share a sample day of juice fasting, today in fact:

I started my morning with nothing, just prayer and contemplation, followed by skin brushing and tooth/tongue brushing. (Fasting tends to bring out the toxins and they need to be brushed away.  I cannot stress how useful skin brushing is in my life.)  Then I showered and tinkered around the house.  Then the boys are up and we tickled for a bit. Around 9AM I juiced:

Around 15 large carrots – 3 gala apples – 2 inch chunk of ginger.  Now, this drink is highly addictive and has been known to cause an abundance of squealing from my little munchkins.  They love to help me stir before I serve it and there is never any left over.  Its always good to make enough for sharing:)  Even though it is best to drink it right away while it has the most enzymes, I am a mother and pragmatic so I understand that we all do not have time for juicing constantly.  So, you can juice in the morning and put it in stainless steel to go containers for the day…just drink it that day for sure.  I do this for my boys so I have quick sips for them on hand when they are in the mood.

After getting some exercise and doing some yoga stretching, which ended around lunch time, I juiced:

8 or 9 stalks of kale – 1 really large red bell pepper – 5 stalks of celery – 2 apples.  This juice is just heavenly.  It gives me so much energy and it would completely kick the pants off of coffee if it weren’t so peaceful and kind:)  It sweeps through your body, cleaning out your cells and letting them know that its time to dust out the cobwebs and caked up dirt that arise in our bodies due to over-indulging ourselves.  I like to think of it as “The Good Witch.”

Then I spent the day playing with and taking care of my children.  During nap and down time, I caught up on studying and reading and stuff.

Since I am taking night classes, I need a really good juice to keep my mind sharp and spirits up.  So around 4PM I juiced:

1 Whole Pineapple – 1 Grapefruit – 1 Pomegranate.  This is seriously yummy.  Its like a nice dessert treat to end my day. This is sure to take you somewhere over the rainbow!   Hopefully I will get some sleep tonight with all of these cells dancing with joy in my body.  Really though, I sleep just fine because my body is really receptive to the break it is getting from solid food and soaks up the energy of the juice but when the day is over it completely lets me knock off.  After class, I meditated and prayed, did some light stretching, took a bath and here I am about to hit the hay.

Please note that in a recent conversation with my yoga instructor he shared with me some Auyervedic wisdom.  He recommended not combining fruits and veggies during a fast because it causes “wind,” gas, and keeps us a bit too expanded.  If you feel too esoteric, as I do at times, it is good to separate the juices from the veggies.  I am not used to doing this and will experiment and share soon.  I can say that I have been feeling a little fairy like and do not prefer this so I intend to follow his advice and see what comes.  Until then, here is what my days have been looking like, minus one or two juices depending on my hunger level.

I would like to end this post with a bit of inspiration.  Whatever our approach to food is it can only bring good when we eat consciously with good intentions.  Being grateful for what we eat is so important.  Let yourself slow down and give thanks for the food on your plate.  Find the strength and kindness of your heart, even if you feel a bit like the Lion who knew he needed one but did not know how to get it.  It is there and a more compassionate and respectful approach to your food is a great place to start.  Take a little time to get to know your food and let it nourish you in ways that you might be ignoring due to the rush of life.  I am not suggesting that we make it all about food.  There are other ways we should be nurturing ourselves too.  Seek out nourishing relationships and activities.  Take care of your whole self.  Food is just a tangible thing that we can get our hands on and even though it is rich with complexity it is something we see, taste, smell, feel and hear (if we listen really closely.)  If we start with cleansing and healing our bodies, clean cells jump for joy and neurological pathways open up and the guidance we need in other areas of life unfolds.  The wisdom of our design begins to parade and lead us in directions that we never knew we were capable of.

Sure, life happens and we inevitably face hard times but it is so much easier to do when we are scrubbed clean.  Venture down the yellow brick road and see what you find.  Have some fun.  I look forward to a humble Thanksgiving and spirited experience.  Check back to see what I prepare for the feast!

Love and dancing light,

Jess

Please note that I am not a medical professional and am not dispensing medical advice. I am merely sharing lifestyle tips. If you find anything in my material that inspires you to change your daily habits I encourage you to discuss it with your doctor.  Fasting is not something to take lightly and one should be a very serious study done carefully or professionally guided if looking for success.  Make sure you know how to break your fast, which is about the most important part of the process.  Step back in to food carefully with easy watermelon, canteloupe, broths, soups, cooked vegetables, etc.