When I first heard my best friend Lakapati's profound reason for going on a 30-day juice fasting one Sunday noon, I was impressed with her determination and immense preparation for this mission. I even found it clever that she re-branded this seemingly food deprivation journey as "juice feast" because, after all, it's enjoyment of bottomless and energy-giving juices all month long. This idea made me curious about my own inner strength and, at that time, I felt I was far from ready to jump into such experiment. Little did I know that I will undergo the same challenge this Holy Week.
Along with my small group friends, I will spend this year's Maundy Thursday until Black Saturday in prayer and (water) fasting in Touch of Glory Prayer Mountain in Antipolo. In preparation for this commune with the Lord, I deemed it necessary to slowly re-introduce higher percentage of raw food in my diet during the weekend and begin this week with juice feast. I know the first 3 days would be the hardest and it's wise to hold the onset of such diet on my rest days, but I really have no choice but to just do it on a manic Monday. Unlike Lakapati's, this all-liquid diet wasn't carefully thought out and I had no guidelines to follow for my consumption all week. I'll drink whatever's healthy and available.
My plan to go completely food-free yesterday backfired; I started the day with brewed coffee and nilagang saba, had fruit platter comprised of grapes, oranges, ripe mangoes, strawberries and dragonfruit for lunch (hey, you've got to laud me for turning down the birthday girl's offer to feast on pizza, pasta, ice cream, chocolate ice cream and soda), fell prey to emotional blackmail and had meatless tomato-based pasta for merienda and vegetable soup for dinner. With this amount of food intake, how else will I prepare for the big challenge that awaits me today? I started with a tearful prayer.
DAY 1, TUESDAY
For the first time since I went on day shift, I deviated from my usual wake-up drink. I went past the usual breakfast spot to look for smoothies. No sugar, no milk. My breakfast buddies were astounded to see my cold drink. Tatat even ordered French-pressed coffee, assuming that we'll share it just like yesterday.
How did my body welcome this switch? I don't think it protested, considering my inclination to cold drinks and special thanks to the humidity these days. Besides, my theoretical breakfast when I was still in graveyard shift involves green smoothies. Not daily, but still the anacondas can remember how we enjoyed smoothies after waking up.
Unfortunately, I forgot my mug (a recycled Amazon blueberry white tea glass) back in the apartment. I am yet to have my own locker so I tend to lug it around with the rest of my gold bars everyday. Anyway, I had to settle on my batchmate's long-abandoned mug and had to constantly remind my clumsy self to be mindful of it. No spill, no problem!
Like I mentioned in the prior entry, I was recently diagnosed to have bacterial sinusitis and advised to undergo medications for 2 weeks. This poses a problem as we can't take antibiotics, antihistamine and congestant in an empty stomach. Should I bring fruits for my stay in the Prayer Mountain?
If there's anything I'm grateful for about this illness, I noticed that my body doesn't like being bloated anymore. It just wants to be satiated frequently in moderate amounts. Plus, the drug intake made me crave to sweat and pee more often. Out you go! It really paved the way for this juice feast to be easier. Also, it made exposure to secondhand smoke a sensory overload experience. Hence, I didn't stay long in Starbucks earlier. Besides, I had an urgent deal to work on.
Even before lunchtime rolls around, Ian had been asking who else wants to indulge on ice cream. He's been fixating on FIC. I reminded him about my juice feast and offered to join him go down and hunt for his desired flavor. I was up for some sunshine and leg workout. FIC, to my shock, happens to be inside the Eastwood Mall. Ian sounded so sure it was just in Eastwood Citywalk, not too far from our building. Could you just imagine the long aisle of restaurants that seduced my taste buds every step I made?
But the real test happened when I stood in front of the wide array of ice creams. It's no secret I'm a sucker for such and the bipolar weather made it so easy for us mortals to forget the calories. To my surprise, I didn't feel my mouth water at all. In fact, I silently wished Ian would make up his mind which variant he'll purchase so we can head back to the pantry and have lunch. Pronto!
But Lady didn't prepare her lunch today and she had conditioned herself to have chicken inasal. When I saw the long queue, I can't help but feel impatient for the further delay. I started feeling dizzy out of hunger and out of intolerable heat. Before heading back, Ian wanted to make a last-minute visit in Pan de Manila but changed his mind upon hearing my bratinella spiels. THAT I don't like to happen in Prayer Mountain!
As expected, my lunch dates took turns to quiz me on this decision. Ian was far from being supportive, motioning how delectable his steamed chicken was. When Cel and her baon arrived, the memory of the forbidden pasta yesterday resurfaced. I found myself stare at her plateful of red pasta then turn away. Noooo!!!
After shift, I dashed to Ortigas to seek for second opinion about my periodontitis. The Intellicare-accredited dentist who performed my oral prophylaxis 2 weeks ago recommended a surgical procedure to re-countour my gums that amounted to P10,000. No way! Anyway, the sun was punishing us commuters as if it were still high noon. By the time I made it to Robinson's Galleria and supposedly looking for the dental clinic, my throat was looking for a thirst-quencher. First things first!
The deep scaling procedure (without anesthesia, mind you) lasted for approximately 2 hours. To my relief, my blood clots on time and I survived the pain. After applying the last solution to my teeth, she advised me not to eat anything for the next 30 minutes. It could be the pain coupled by how sticky the solution felt inside my mouth that trigged this emotional eater to look for a reward. After mentioning my juice fast, the dentist responded I should use a straw for my drinks so it would be directed to the passage without bothering the teeth and gums. She also advised me to replace Gumtect with Lacalut Aktive and start using PerioGard. I think I'll go oil pulling before I switch to those. What do you think?
On my way home, my feet led me back to the mall and I was once again exposed to various aroma that tickled my olfactory nerves. Sinigang na hipon to the left, pasta to the right. It was maddening! Thankfully, there's a smoothie bar at the end of this long jungle. I asked for pineapple-banana-blueberry smoothie. Again, no sugar and no milk.
When I made it to Cubao, I felt unease consume me again. The sun is already out of the question. I felt compelled to hurry up; today's breakfast and lunch must make a graceful exit! As soon as I arrived in the apartment, I made my second discharge for the day. And it was a rarity for a constipated fellow like me. I felt so ecstatic I was THIS close to post a photographic evidence!
My boyfriend Waldo had earlier asked if we can meet for dinner (that's midnight snack for us normal people). We've had conflicting schedules recently and we haven't seen each other for the past 7 days. Much to my chagrin. He wanted to see how I'm doing after this difficult day and I intended to exaggerate my stomach's demands and dizziness to earn a big hug. While waiting for him, I was writing this entry in longhand. When he finally called, my body thinks the hug can wait. Morpheus wins tonight.