Day 5: This morning I woke up feeling rejuvenated and my headache finally was gone. I did feel pretty constipated though…. I noticed that the white coating on my tongue (in Ayurveda they call it agni) was a lot thinner and seemed to be diminishing. Usually after a 2-3 day fast my tongue would get a thick, icky coating but this time it was thinner. I was still extremely light-headed this morning, and standing up was quite difficult without my vision blurring. I decided that it was time to start the process of transitioning back to thicker liquids and solids. I started in the morning with a cup of raspberry tea in bed, which warmed up my stomach a bit. Then a little bit after that I went downstairs and made a very simple smoothie with a banana, some blueberries, and water. By the time I was getting ready to eat and making my smoothie, I don’t know why, but my body felt its weakest. Maybe because it knew that the fast would be broken soon, or it was preparing for food, I don’t know why, but that always happens. After every fast, I always get hungriest when I’m about to eat. So I drank the smoothie (tried to go slowly) but the moment I tasted it, it was so delicious I drank it really fast. I sat for a little while in the sun after that and got really tired because I felt my digestive system waking up again. My stomach was gurgling and moving around, but I found I gained my strength back slowly but surely. A few hours later, I felt my stomach was ready for more, and I wanted to make a bigger smoothie with more protein. I used hemp seeds, chia seeds, maca powder, a banana, some more blueberries, and strawberries as well. After that, I finally had more energy to be able to do things. I did feel my body working hard to start processing the food again. My boyfriend and I drove to a spot by a river, put up a hammock, and swam with a tube.
We stopped at a gas station on the way, and I was looking at all the chips and candies and snacks and it all just looked so strange and surreal, and I thought that almost nothing in here is actually food. It’s all just different chemicals and sugars designed to keep us addicted and eventually kill us. I still enjoyed reminiscing about all the snacks and candies I used to like as a kid and seemed to rule my world. Getting candy was a reward, a symbol of love, a piece of joy. And I think that food can be joyful in a sense. I certainly felt joyful drinking those smoothies after 2 days of just water. I felt so rejuvenated by the smoothies and felt my energy coming back. I felt reborn again in a sense. After swimming, my cravings for solid food started growing much stronger. It was still difficult to stand up and sit down, and I felt depleted and HUNGRY. Probably because the smoothies had jumpstarted my digestion again. I originally intended to keep the fast going with just smoothies until August 8th, but I felt that I wanted my strength back and more energy. I went home and ate some oatmeal with dates and cinnamon (one of my favorite foods tbh), I ate slowly and tried to chew as much as I could, and it felt good to feel the warmth in my stomach. I felt a lot more solid and clear, I was getting kind of tired of drifting away.
Later on, I ate some potatoes and spinach cooked with sauce and rice. I was very hungry by then and ate a lot, and now am kind of digesting it (which is exhausting). From this experience, I did have the opportunity to truly appreciate and fully taste my food. I got to smell it and experience it in beautiful clarity. I can’t hold it against myself that I decided to eat, because I’m going to always respect what my body wants and needs. Even though I didn’t experience “true hunger”, which is an altogether different sensation, I don’t need to push myself too much. I’m immensely proud of myself for undertaking this unusual and challenging endeavor, and I’m not quite sure what I’m going to do next. Maybe this is a pit stop and refuel to continue cleansing tomorrow. I have to work this weekend, but I’m definitely going to consider drinking mostly smoothies until the “end” of my cleanse (it never ends, really). I'll see how I feel and what my body needs in the moment, because the most important aspect of this is to feel into your body and what it's telling you. More significant than a weeklong cleanse are the long-term life changes that come after. Who knows, maybe I’ll decide to live off of liquids one day, or maybe I’m just not ready for that and still feel a strong attachment to food. It’s all okay. It’s a journey I get to explore every day, where and how to grow, transform, and just see what happens.