I’m back home in Toronto after a 3-week artist residency at the Dorland Mountain Arts Colony in southern California. It ...
I spent a 7-day transition from 2018 to 2019 executing an intense fast/cleanse. The one and only time I had fasted was 20 years ago but I did not last a full week. This time I did, living off of water and soup broth. To say that this was an incredibly demanding physical and mental experience is an understatement! During my regular state of health and nourishment, I pride myself on maintaining a high level of energy. I feed off that adrenaline-wise. So to have a week where my body basically said, “no you’re not doing that now!” was quite a blow to my routine-oriented life, personal pride, and psyche.
So why would I put myself through that?? Simple…improve my health! It seems contradictory to deny yourself food in order to get healthy but numerous studies have shown that fasting is a great way to clear out bacteria and viruses from your body, and repair your intestines. For someone like me with Crohn’s, that feels particularly important. Despite my various health issues, I pride myself on leading a very healthy lifestyle and continuing unimpeded with my passions. But it was still nice to take advantage of the downtime during the Holiday Season to “press the reset button” on my body for a new year.
There’s a bunch of things that will stick in my memory about going through this experience:
1. It’s amazing how tired and weak you get when you don’t eat. Just standing up seemed like an extreme chore.
2. I’ve never felt such strange and intense headache the first 2 days.
3. Maybe practicing 3-4 hours per day the 1st 4 days wasn’t such a good idea (I have a recording session coming up so it was a necessity.) I didn’t practice days 5-7 but I also couldn’t lift my arms by that point.
4. On days 5-7, I watched an immense amount of TV. I definitely learned I am not the “couch-potato” type.
5. When you’re hungry, you constantly dream of eating food. And for some reason, mostly “junk food”, which I usually don’t eat.
6. I have always had an immense sympathy for those out there who go hungry because of their impoverished state. But to do what I have done this past 7 days, that level of compassion has gone up 1000%! One cannot work if hungry. One cannot concentrate when hungry. Other than shelter, nourishment is the starting point for making a go at this thing called life. We need to do more to solve world hunger. It’s simple to say but it’s the truth.
I am presently working my way back to solids…very very gradually. Today for lunch, I had a 1/2 cup of lightly steamed zucchini with salt…it was magnificent and surprisingly filling. I’m looking forward to the coming days/weeks as I bring back my regular food items into my daily diet and the energy returns.
This is especially important symbolically since it’s a new year! There’s so much I want to do, experience and accomplish in 2019. Doing this fast/cleanse has reminded me of my passion for making music. Often when you’re not in a condition to do something you love, you realize how much more special it is. After this experience, I don’t think I will ever take making music for granted. It’s something I cherish and value. It’s something to be coveted each and every day I have the physical and mental ability to do it. I’m so looking forward to getting back at it!