Thursday, May 27, 2010

True North... A Peaceful, Restful Oasis

WOW!!!! Now this is more like it!!! Today is the day I have been waiting for!!! I feel like a million bucks!! No pain, nausea, vomiting... nothing! Great nights sleep and ready to enjoy the day of reading and working on some new fitness training programs! Yesterday, I started my 2nd week of water-only fasting.

As you can see by these pictures..... northern California is beautifully green & luscious. This is the True North Center in Penngrove before they moved a little north, to the city of Santa Rosa. I love the new place....but I so miss this little residential oasis hidden in the hills just east of Penngrove.

And just check out that cactus garden! Those cacti where were as tall as me!

When staying at True North Health and Wellness Center....the first thing we water fasters do when we awake is..... RUN..... to the bathroom! Drinking a gallon or more daily.... really keeps us busy!! Then back to bed. The doctors come in daily...around 8am to check your blood pressure, temp, pulse and urine. Ya can't be up moving around before they visit as this will skew the readings. Once a week, it is blood work time. Blood is drawn to check the electrolytes and several other factors to ensure everything is cool.

After you get the "OK" from the docs, you can enjoy some time alone or dress and head down to one of many great lectures given by any one of the most brilliant minds in the natural health and wellness industry. These usually last a couple of hours or so. After the lecture, I usually sit out around the beautiful courtyard in the warm California sun... with the cool fresh breeze to get a little sun... about 20 minutes worth. Then back to my room for a nice long nap.

The afternoon offers another lecture series or an educational DVD to enjoy. When refeeding you have the opportunity to attend cooking classes given by the chef and others to learn how to prepare some of those dishes below that make you drool. By now, it is time for some chit-chat with the other fasters and then back to the room for the evening doctor's visit. After that some movies, TV, reading, knitting...whatever. I am pooped after the busy day & bedtime, for me, is usually early as I awake early... around 5:30a.m. (Gotta love that west coast time zone... the sun is already up and shining by then!)

The length of fasts varies from person to person. Some only need a week, some 10, 12, 14, or 18+ days. It just depends on why you are there and what the doctors determine what is best for you. For every day you fast... you need 1/2 day of refeeding time. 10 day fast.... means 5 days of refeeding... totaling a 15 day stay.

Oh!! speaking of refeeding!! OMG!! The food is heavenly!! EVERYTHING you consume is fresh, California, whole ORGANIC foods.... free of oils, fats, sugar, sodium, and animal protein. CHOLESTEROL FREE, baby! The chefs use a lot of wonderful spices and herbs for flavoring.

It's tough to describe just how delicious the juices and food taste. So flavorful and what I love is the unbelievable "smell" of the food........ The cukes, romaine lettuce, cados, carrots, celery...... all smell so amazing!! Try that with regular grocery store produce! True North offers a yummy buffet serving raw veggies, fruits, steamed veggies, potatoes, beans, greens, quinoa, rice, oatmeal, millet, stews and soups. Everything is prepared fresh, daily, by their fantastic and very talented new Chef Bravo and his team. They even offer delivery and take out service from the True North Kitchen! You can call in and have a whole weeks worth of meals ready for you to pick up!! All organic and fresh. What I would give to have something like that here!!

There is a meticulous plan of refeeding. Depending on how long you fast, you have days dedicated to specific foods in a specific order. Remember, the digestive track has been completely shut down for a lengthy period of time, so refeeding should be very carefully implemented. The first phase of refeeding consists of drinking juices. These juices are very tasty and after not having anything but water for days and days or weeks.... there ain't nothing like a tall glass of freshly juiced watermelon!! Fruits and veggies are juiced, fresh, everyday all from O.J to watermelon to veggie/fruit combos.

The second phase is raw veggies and fruits. As you cruise the buffet, you have so many choices...not only just "ordinary" fruits and veggies; but also, some choices like jicama, Japanese mushrooms, golden yellow beets, chayote, lime-soaked radishes, mangos, & papayas.

The third phase is steamed veggies like spaghetti squash w/ shitake 'shrooms, corn on the cob, sweet carrots and cabbage, brasied red cabbage w/dried cherries, broccoli, honey sweet acorn squash, artichokes, kale, chard, oven roasted tomatoes w/ arugula..... gheeze.. I could go on and on!!

The 4th phase is when it gets really great because you start consuming more high caloric dense foods..... like basil-curry garbanzo beans, hummus, baked Irish and sweet potatoes, black-eyes peas, & split pea and yam stew.

The last phase are grains like oatmeal, red quinoa salad, wild rice pilaf, millet, oatmeal French toast, brown rice, black bean tamale pie and stuffed bells with rice and beans, spicy carrot-ginger soup, and butternut spaghetti squash.

Nuts and seeds are the VERY last to add in because they are the most difficult to digest.

The sauces, gravies and salad dressings are all homemade. Mouthwatering choices include porccini mushroom gravy, tomatillo salsa, peach sauce, red bell pepper coulis, mango-ginger dressing, roasted red pepper dressing, & pineapple tarragon

And you know what? THERE IS NO CALORIE COUNTING!! You eat as much as you want. Once you have completed the phases and can eat everything, you start with raw and eat as much of that as you can, then go to steamed.... eating all you can, then progress to beans and potatoes, and if you have room.... go for the grains. This makes such a huge difference in cutting down your calorie consumption. Fill your gut up with raw and then you don't eat as much of the other.

Dang! This is REALLY starting to make me hungry!! I hope this gives you an idea of what occurs when I go to the center for fasting. The environment provides a very peaceful and stress-free place to heal, relax, and concentrate on you. Plus, you get to eat all this great food!

Until Next Time.......

GOOD HEALTH TO ALL... and here's to another awesome day!!