Sunday, May 27, 2012

Daily Update

Day 1: I have been psyching myself up for this water fast and juice diet for about a month, and it made this first day easy. I drank a little over a gallon of water. I drank about 16 oz every couple hours that I was awake. I spent about 30 minutes in the sun, 15 minutes on each side. Dr. Azar warned me not to stay in the sun much because it drains energy, leaving less available for healing.

I thought about food only a couple of times, and was able to block it out of my mind very easily with some positive self talk. Some side effects that Dr. Azar warned me could happen were a head ache and an upset gut, possibly even vomiting. I didn’t get a headache but had a very mild upset gut.  It was so mild that often with Crohn’s, the gut feels much worse than what I experienced.

The biggest issue is that I’m very tired. She indicated that these days I must have complete rest. Well there’s a reason for it and that’s because I have no energy to do anything else. Ultimately, the first day was as good as expected. I meditated much more than a typical day, and wrote a lot. Read a little bit, but not much.

I recently started dating a Baptist Pastor, believe it or not. He’s not what I stereotyped him to be, but I think he’s influenced me to listen to more Christian music. This first day, instead of my Christian music randomly playing on my iPod, I filtered the music and listened to Christian music exclusively for several hours. I don’t recall the last time I’ve done that. From what I have read about fasting, it that it can very well be a spiritual experience as well. Maybe that was the seed that prompted me in this direction.

All in all, it was a good day.

Day 2:  Last night, I went to sleep around 9:30 p.m. and woke up at 7:30 a.m. Ten hours sleep. Not bad. But even with ten hours sleep, I’m drained. Not tired enough to sleep all day, but drained enough to do nothing other than write, listen to music, and meditate in silence. I also went to church and spent some time with my mother and a friend on the phone.

I hope I didn't mess things up though. I was tired last night and didn’t make it to church. I typically go to 5:00 p.m. mass on Saturday nights. But because I missed it, I went to church this morning. It’s Pentecostal Sunday. The day the Holy Spirit came down upon the apostles. Any ways, I took communion, which of course is a small wafer and the body of Jesus Christ. I hope because of what it is, it won’t mess things up for. I’m thinking it’s okay;-)

Overall, I feel okay today, very drained again. However, I felt as if I had a little more energy in the afternoon. In talking with Dr. Azar today, she said feeling tired is fine and expected, as it only tells me how much my body needs to rest during this process. The fact that I didn’t get a headache, and still don’t have one, indicates the cleanse-ness of my body. Yay. The healing diet I’ve been following has clearly done my body good.

Dr. Azar also said that it’s the time of day I start of my water fast in which the clock starts for the length of time I continue on the fast. The actual time of day I started was about lunch time on Friday. However, I did have a decaffeinated iced tea after that time. The maximum time she recommends being on the water fast without being in the care of a doctor is 72 hours, which means if I don’t count the iced tea, I am done with the water fast by 2:00 p.m. tomorrow. After three days without food, organs start to panic since they are not getting the nutrients they need and there could be complications, which is why a water fast for more than three days really needs to be done in a doctor’s care. Therefore, I will likely only fast until about lunch time tomorrow in which I’ll start the watermelon juice as noted in my prior post for day three.

That’s the recap for today.

Day Three:  Today, I took off about noon to go to Folly beach and will be there until Friday. My juicer of course is coming with me. This is the day, I introduced juice to my diet. Only watermelon juice of four ounces every two hours and as much water as I like, so that the total amount of liquid I consume is at least a gallon.

The view is awesome!

When I spoke with Dr. Azar last night, as I do every evening so far during this fast, she indicated that the light headedness I’m experiencing is to be expected. Additionally, she was not concerned at all about me taking communion yesterday, as suspected.

Some interesting advice from Dr. Azar has to do with how the hotel cleans my room, towels and sheets. From advice she has given me months ago, I have changed my laundry detergent, body lotion, hair products, even most of my make up (although I don’t wear much) to natural products without preservatives. The skin is our largest organ, and whatever is on our skin is absorbed into our blood steam, just as if we ingested it.

So during my stay, I will not be using their towels, nor will I allow them to clean my room with chemicals. During this cleansing time, she doesn’t want my system to have to process cleaning ingredients. When in good health our body knows how to rid germs and chemicals that are not good for us. But during this fast, the focus is to allow the body to do nothing but heal. When they service my room they are only allowed to make my bed and empty my garbage. I would have never thought of how damaging to this process chemicals in cleaning supplies could be.

Last night I went to sleep about 11:00 p.m. and awoke at 7:00 a.m. Only eight hours sleep. That surprised me, but I made up for it by napping for a couple hours once I arrived at the beach. I’m still drained, and also have a mild headache which Dr. Azar warned me would occur. The body has to get used to digesting things again, even if it is just watermelon juice. I will be discussing with her if I should change the plan for tomorrow because of it.

I went to Earth Fare yesterday to shop for everything I need to take with me, and they only had one seedless watermelon and no mangos. I thought that would be enough to get me started and had plans to stop at another Earth Fare to pick up those items for the balance of my juice fast. There was one in Charleston, which was on my way to Folly Beach. However, I had so much juice that came out of one small personal seedless watermelon, that there was no need to pick up any more. I only used three of the eight sections and got 14 ounces. The other half I used when I got to the hotel. This is enough to not only get me through the day, but I’ll still have enough for twelve ounces tomorrow. Who would have thought that that much juice would come out of such a small watermelon?

My recent normal weight is right around 125 pounds, give or take a pound. The two weeks prior to starting this fast, I knew it was possible that I would lose weight during this time, which candidly, for the first time in my life is not what I desire. So I added extra calories and got up to 128 pounds, which is what I weighed in at Saturday morning when I started the water fast. This morning I was 123.8. This is not bad. I basically don’t want to get under 120, which likely won’t occur, because as of tomorrow I will be able to drink as much juice as I like. I shouldn’t lose any more weight from tomorrow on as long as Dr. Azar doesn’t change my diet due to my headache. Can you believe just a year ago when I went to Europe I was 160 pounds. Now that’s one major benefit from my Crohn’s disease :)

My symptoms have basically disappeared since I’ve started this fast, and that also had occurred without any supplements or medication. The medication I was taking included budesonide, a corticosteroid and immune suppressant, in which I was taking three capsules daily. I had weaned myself down to only one prior to starting this fast. The second medication is Asacol, an anti-inflammatory and immune suppressant. I was prescribed six tablets daily. I was down to only two.

On Friday afternoon, I stopped taking both medications. I also have been taking iron supplements for my anemia, B-12 since a plant based diet lacks in this regard, and a probiotic. According to Dr. Azar, all of these items will just interfere with the body’s healing. They stimulate the body because they need to be processed, which will detract from the body healing.

Just to clarify my objective, it is to heal Crohn’s not just to get in remission. Healing is my goal. This fast is just part of the process. The entire process could take a year to two years or longer. I suspect I will do this water/juice fast at least once a year until the Crohn’s is healed. 

Day 4:  Yesterday, I had a mild headache and thought Dr. Azar might suggest changing my diet today. She did not. So I was able to drink as much fruit juice as I wanted. Honey dew melon and mango is absolutely delicious, but so sweet I had to water it down. I have realized that I brought entirely too much fruit and vegetables. I could have gotten away with half of what I brought. Since my entire diet has never been juice, I really didn’t know how much to bring. It’s amazing how much juice comes out of fruit, especially melons.

My lightheadedness is gone most of the time. Only when I go from laying down to standing up quickly do I experience it. My headache is gone and I’m not as tired as other days, although I did sleep eleven hours. Now for the Crohn’s symptoms that is nasty to discuss, bowel movements. I had my first movement in three days. All I have to say is it is clear that I am cleansing. Haha. You can ask me details off line if you’re interested. This also was something I expected.

Tropical depression Beryl came through. Yesterday and this morning were rainy. The afternoon became overcast and windy. Tomorrow and Thursday are supposed to be beautiful days. I wanted to get some sun while I was here. I’m hopeful the weather man is right about the next two days.

Because the weather wasn’t so desirable today, I went to the Tanger Outlet Mall in North Charleston. I definitely must be feeling better to have enough energy to shop:) My Coach handbag faded from the sun tremendously. I assume because I drive a convertible, it gets more sun than it should. Can you believe they swapped out my bag for another? You’ve got to love Coach. I was surprised to see they had iPad covers for $59. This is about the same price you can get one from Apple that has a similar quality. Any ways….moving on.

Ultimately, today was an awesome day. I feel great considering. I’m still getting lots of rest, writing and reading, as well as listening to music. This absolutely has been a no stress get-away. It is quite nice so far.

Day 5 and 6:  The only issue that I’ve experienced is a little too much gas. Lol. Dr. Azar said it was too much of the green juice, so I’ve back off of that to only 1 serving, and the gas has subsided.

Otherwise, I’m feeling great. No fasting or Crohn’s symptoms at all. I have more energy than I expected considering that I'm not eating solid foods. I also no longer have the bloated gut that I've had for months now, and up to the day I started this fast. I’m certain my colon inflammation is way down. Yay.

My bowel movements are only once a day, which is normal. It would be more if I had a significantly inflamed colon. I’m struggling getting the amount of sleep and rest that I should because I don’t feel like I need it. But I am being very good and not pushing myself at all to do anything physical. I did take a break to get a pedicure and manicure today. Other than that, it’s the same daily routine: read, write, meditate, and get some sun. I have also found myself singing a lot :-)

There’s not much more to say. The weather has been gorgeous these two days. Tomorrow is the last day of the juice fast. Then I have three days transitioning back to my normal healing diet. I’ll be traveling back to Charlotte tomorrow. This has been great for my health, I am certain!

Day 7 and 8:  Hmmm….what to do. I was supposed to head up to Tazewell, VA for a Bikefest, but my friend with the motorcycle has been sick, so those plans have been cancelled. Therefore, I now am home in Charlotte for the weekend without plans.

I have technically finished my juice fast yesterday, and today I’m supposed to begin transitioning back to solid foods by eating melons. I feel so good that I’m not sure I want to go back to eating solid foods. That’s crazy, isn’t it? But since my active plans for this weekend have been cancelled, I can be restful for a couple more days, and therefore, I believe I am going to stay on this juice diet for one or two more days. If I continue the juice through tomorrow, then  I can transition back Monday through Wednesday, instead.

The only foods I am not eating in juice form, that I would eat on my healing diet is bananas, squash and sweet potatoes. All the other foods I’m getting in juice form, and I’m getting enough calories that my weight stabilized during this process at 123 pounds.

One major symptom that is gone is the bloating I have had in my gut. I have had this since June of last year to some degree. To those that are observant, you could always tell how much discomfort I'd have in my gut based upon the looseness of my clothes in my midsection. I'm thrilled to say I have a flat stomach at the moment and can even wear my skinny jeans without any discomfort.  Wow! I'm so happy and grateful that this water/juice fast has delivered some fabulous results. I’d recommend it to anyone with Crohn’s or colitis. Make sure to work with a doctor before doing this on your own, though. For those interested, Dr. Zarin Azar is wonderful: – 760.751.0638.

Days 9 and 10: Saturday and Sunday I stayed on the juice diet. I’ll begin transitioning to solid foods on Monday. I still feel great!!

Transition Day 1:  Ultimately, I had a total of three water fast days and six juice fast days. I absolutely feel the best I have in probably a year. I added solid food today. Watermelon only. All went well. I’ll eat all other fruits tomorrow, and by Wednesday will be back to my healing diet. 

No comments:

Post a Comment