Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Between feasts

Snowstorm in Quebec City.

We arrived in Quebec City mid-morning, the 20th and last day of my first juice feast. During the first week we stayed at a temporarily rented kitchenette, which had all sorts of appliances except for a blender (much less a juicer, of course)! By the time we were able to go to a supermarket that first evening, I was tired of having to drink pasteurized bottled juices and going through a full blown PMS-crisis (I had had almost no PMS symptoms during my JF up to that point). To top it we were short on money and the organic produce was SO expensive (and of course I didn’t have a place to make the juice anyway).

I started feeling very very frustrated. It was not time to stop. I did NOT want to stop. I felt no desire for eating solid food. But I did not have much choice and started to give in. I was cold and miserable. There was nowhere near the apartment where I could buy a blender. My paycheck would still take a while and I needed to save money for food and other stuff for my family. Memories of past hard times when I was in cold places far from Brazil started to go through my head. I decided to try eating some fruit for some days until I got organized and could get a blender.

Unfortunately it did not work that way. I did start eating some soaked prunes (which I had brought on the plane just in case I had to break my feast while travelling). I bought some apples that tasted like plastic and made me feel sick – I could not even swallow the peel, it was so plasticky (and that wasn’t only me, my husband and son too!). Even the tap water made me feel sick and I felt bad spending money on spring water when we were so tight. My husband started complaining I was giving too much priority to my food and too little attention to the family.

So I finally gave way and binged… It was a Friday evening, the day after we arrived and the same day I officially broke my fast. I was the only one awake. I felt overwhelmed and it was finally “my time”. We had bought my son some Valentine’s cookies just for the sake of it, but they were still closed because he had also gotten a sick tummy. I was somewhat afraid because I knew I would probably be very sick. I had two or three of the cookies. They were gross (we ended up throwing them out later) – greasy and so sweet it burned my tongue. Then I went and took some of my husband’s coke to “wash it away”. I don’t remember if I had anything else, but that was enough to do it.

This “my time” thing is recurrent since my adolescence. It’s not always a binging episode, but usually I want to be alone, with a book and food, for a special sort of “high”. Fortunately it has become less frequent after I became high raw.

Needless to say, I was very sick the next few days after that episode with the cookies. But I was such an emotional wreck that I went from feeling very sick (diarrhea, throwing up, etc.) and promising never to put junk into my mouth again, to feeling a bit better and eating whatever junk. Those days are all muddled up in my head and I don’t remember many details, but I felt very angry with myself for doing what I was doing to my body and for ruining the 20 cleansing days. I was also mad that the old comfort foods didn’t give me the same “high” as in the past and made me so sick (but also secretly glad deep inside!).

After a few days I decided I should just relax, accept that the moment was difficult, and allow myself some comfort food and then set another date for another JF. When I took that decision things slowly started to get better. I was finally able to buy a blender and began to eat healthier foods – salads and smoothies, mainly – and the variety of comfort foods I wanted decreased. In the end it was basically some crunchy chocolate and salad sandwiches (both for texture), as well as cheese, which is my main addiction. The amount of these foods I “needed” also diminished as the days passed by.

The whole in-between feasts period lasted 15 days – basically one really bad week and a nearly okay week. Then I started my second feast with everyone else on the Global Juice Feast, March the 1st. Today is my 11th day (I postponed writing this for a long time).

The decision to start a second juice feast wasn’t easy either. Firstly, I didn’t know whether I should/could (to this day I don’t know if or how much one has to wait between feasts). Secondly, there were (are) several disadvantages for me as to going on a JF in Quebec, especially during winter. In Brazil I am used to picking loads of fruit and leaves right off the tree or aloe and other herbs out of my yard; I can also order affordable organic produce from a co-op that delivers to my door. Plus, we live in a semi-rural area with water that comes directly from a spring in the forest, no chemicals added. There, when I was late, I could give myself the luxury of leaving home without juicing and just drinking fresh coconut water or juice from a corner stand or restaurant.

Conversely, during my stay in Canada I have to live off a very tight budget. Produce is overall expensive and organics even more so. I live with my family in a tiny, kitchen-bedroom apartment which of course has no yard and the variety of fruit and leaves readily available is null. I have been here almost a month now and have only found one juice bar. Besides, I can’t afford spring water all the time and have to drink the chlorinated, chemical-loaded tap water. The list goes on… The greatest barrier is surely my budget, as thing would be much easier with more money, but despite this and all of the other issues, I decided to give it a try and will soon be posting here about how it is going.

[A note to Quebecois readers. Don’t take me wrong, I love Quebec! It’s a wonderful province with very hospitable people! It’s just somewhat harder to do a JF here than in Brazil :) On the other hand, there are loads of raw products here that I can’t get back home – raw almond butter, for instance – and that I will surely appreciate when my JF ends!]

1 comment:

Via811 said...

Are you still in Qu├ębec? If so contact me. Ciao.