Thursday, 27 March 2014

Yoga Teacher Training Writing Competition Scholarship

Calling all want-to-be yoga teachers - here is a great competition to enter:

Wednesday, 28 August 2013

The Compass Within

When I begin to feel lost, that magnetic compass that lives deep in my bones always guides me to the home of water--to open expanses that somehow allow me perspective and distance, as well as memory, and yet, always connects me to the flowing energy of everything in the only thing there is, which is the here and now. That compass within is irrepressibly magnetized toward the northern shores of Lake Michigan. The three short years I lived two-hundred feet from those shores as a child, and heard the Great Lake's waves or the subtle movements and cracks of the ice outside my window, are an internalized rhythm sure as heartbeat. They are steadfast and root my spirituality--my faith in the Earth and all that is. 

Today, I awoke to aches in my neck and shoulders--the result of internalizing stress, heartache about life, and the guilt that I could possibly have heartache about life when all around me life shines and breathes grace. My plan for the day was dull: to clean, to tidy, to prepare for a guest coming on Friday, to grocery-shop (I've hardly eaten since Kwok left for Thailand two days ago). I thought I'd play the guitar, build more of my callouses. Maybe sing at the piano. Try to convince the new chickens that I am not the enemy. While there is goodness in all these things--even vacuuming (the blessing of having pets that create a carpet of fur)--I felt malaise. 

And then in a moment of grace, I was reminded that I am of the smallest fraction in this world--that I am a woman with means to move freely. I contemplated surfing Llangennith, calling the dogwalker to see to the dogs. I sent a text to my surf instructor in Wales--no luck, his surf van is in the shop for its MOT. No problem: the next thought--and why didn't I think of it sooner?--take the dogs for a day at the sea. With new zeal, I clean the cat litter boxes; I clean the chicken coop (and avoid being bitten by the new hens while shooing them out into the sun). I feed the cats, make the bed, change my clothes, feel nice in my new dress, recognize how much I wear red, wonder what, if anything, that means. I pack the dog food, bowls and water... and then I am off to the Gower--the closest thing to home I have in this country and mainly because it is Kwok's home, where his heart seems to beat steady and convinced.

It is a three-hour drive to the Gower and I left at noon. My guess is that most British would scoff. Three hours is so long... when you're not from Michigan. I felt renewed as Janie sat shotgun, occasionally smiling and panting, but mostly snoring. Elu tolerated the ride, though he never loves the car... and Benji remained that most insufferable kind of travel companion--the equivalent to the child that bounces around and repeatedly asks, "Are we there yet?". Not only did he refuse to lay down for the first two hours, he refused to sit down. He remained on all-fours, strapped to the seat belt for two hours... at nearly eighteen years of age. Every five minutes of those two hours, he let out a high-pitched whine, sometimes so high that the sound was inaudible, only a hiss from his tense vocal chords. 

My iphone played a random shuffle of all songs I have on it.... "Life's a big game so you gotta play it with a big heart." Thank you, Coolio. I needed to hear that today.

When I arrive at Rhossili, I park at the small stone church (free parking, one of the only times I find myself gladly donating to a church--still embittered by the harsh and so often judgmental Christianity with which I was raised). I manage to back into a space via an awkward L-shaped path and I am proud of the ways I have learned to be British--to manoeuvre into small spaces. I love my little Prius and feel grateful that a dream I've had since I was a teenager is being fulfilled this day--driving to a shoreline with a Boston Terrier in the passenger seat. (I'm reminded to visualize all those other things I desire in this life.)

The dogs and I take the coastal path toward the house I have always admired--the one that sits overlooking Rhossili Bay, and has a small barn and space for horses, other farm animals. (Note to self: visualize living there.) The dogs and I trek down deep slopes and I recall the burning of my knees after running downhill in San Francisco seven years ago. We take a trail that leads us to, not a cliff face, but a cliff face's younger cousin. We trek back up the hill until we find a trail that takes us to the proper coastal path (I hadn't realized I wasn't on it). My heart pounds and the dogs pant. 

Eventually, we make it to the sea and Elu runs from me; his spirit bounds toward the water. This is one of the greatest gifts I have ever given to the dogs and myself. We spend three hours walking from Rhossili to the end of Llangennith and then back again. All three dogs have freedom--go off-lead (though Benji occasionally has to be put back on). Elu interacts with children and I, having lived in southern England too long, feel nervous, apologetic. Fortunately, Elu seems to distinguish Welsh children from non-Welsh children and the kids smile, pet him, encourage him to join in their fun.... He is so convinced that this world is all for him that he begins destroying a giant sandcastle built by two boys and their father. I am mortified. The father laughs--calls him a vandal--as Elu destroys one of four towers of their giant fortress. He then digs through the mote and into the castle walls. The boys laugh. The father laughs. I breathe sighs of relief... until Elu bounds over to two other boys near an inflatable raft. He jumps inside of it and begins digging. I make a mental note that I have indulged my dog child too much.

Eventually we sit and take photographs--let Benji have a break. 

I sit with thoughts about my life and let them drift in and out with the tide. 

Slowly, we begin to move back toward Rhossili again. I am painfully aware that I may have pushed Benji too far today. The walk back is slow, but likely not slow enough. My father never stopped or slowed for me as a child--I was always running to keep up, once losing a toy in the middle of a busy road (Dizzly, the magenta and pink raccoon). When I managed to escape his hand, I ran back, into traffic to retrieve my beloved friend. My parents nearly died at the sight of my four-year-old body, my bouncing curls, leaving their side to move to the yellow lines in the middle of the road. But he still never slowed down. When my legs grew enough (though still too short to keep up naturally), I learned to glide quickly--something noted by a tall boyfriend I once had--that I was the only girl who ever kept up with him (and looking back, it was only in stride). I struggle now to walk slowly.

I carry Benji the last tenth of the steps back to the top of Rhossili. I should have carried him more, though I ached so much myself I couldn't consider it. We cut through the stone church's graveyard--there is a headstone for all the lost sailors. I wonder how many from the Gower have been entombed in the sea. At the car, the dogs drink--fresh water (both boys having been stung by the taste of salt on their tongues today). I feed them their dinner on the grass behind the car. 

I haven't eaten yet--not a single thing--and I'm not hungry, but I want a drink at the Worm's Head Hotel pub, a place I have been many times before; the views are staggering from the terrace. I take the dogs on tight leashes into the pub (where they are not allowed inside, but one must order at the bar, so I remain mystified as to how I can successfully do this without breaking the rules) and I have to order £10 worth so that I can pay by card. I order 1/2 a pint of their driest cider, a portion of olives and ciabatta and two orders of chips (I started with one, but my total remained £7.50). I've exhausted the vegan options. As I walk to the terrace with the dogs on their short leads, an old man says something about  "the poor dogs." I'm astounded someone would ever have the audacity to think of my dogs as "poor." 

I sit alone on a picnic table overlooking the bay. I take out my phone to take pictures and it has died. There is an odd relief in its temporary death. 

When my food is brought to the table, I am given ketchup, malt vinegar and salt. I recall the ways in which my father always asked for malt vinegar with his fries and how at one time I despised him for this oddity--thought it was just another attempt by his ego to be unique, troublesome. I didn't know then that it was a throwback to his grandmother, my great-grandmother, the Geordie born in 1898, who died three days before my Truman interview in 2005 (a few months shy of her 107th birthday). 

When I was alone, walking the dogs on a path in the local wood yesterday, a pang of loneliness and isolation struck deep into my core, and I surprisingly thought of my great-grandmother, a woman I loved and admired. Today, I imagined sitting with her--wondered what she would say about it all, me, womanhood, drinking a 1/2 a pint in Wales with three spoiled dogs. It is unlikely she ever made it to Rhossili Bay in her life... but the malt vinegar and chips would have been familiar. I think she would love me despite my faults and just marvel at life and all its mysteries, aches and complications. 

The dogs eat the majority of the second portion of chips. This is the first fried food Janie and Elu have ever tasted and not one of the three dogs seems overly impressed with the chips. They much prefer pancakes, strawberries, carrots and steamed broccoli. (They are so clearly my dogs.)

When we head back to the car, I see each dog instinctively take a piss on the way. I realize I haven't peed since morning and that I am likely dehydrated. I also realize that I should probably pee before setting off too. After settling the dogs into the car, I take a look around and decide my best option is to go behind a SUV in the car park. I won't be seen by the windows of the nearby houses and I can crouch between it and the stonewall of the graveyard. Mid-stream, I hear a car moving across the clay and rock car park, moving toward my spot--they are about to use the small space next to the SUV to back into another space. I quickly pull up my underwear, feel frustrated that I couldn't finish and casually stroll to the car. As I'm about to leave, the older female of the couple from the intrusive car knocks on my driver's side window (the window that is cavalierly troublesome and refuses to shut after being opened). She asks me how to get towards Worm's Head and can she cut across the way I just came from the corner of the car park. I quickly tell her that it isn't the ideal way (in fact, there is no way, unless one wants to scale nettles and a stone wall, but I do not tell her this). I also tell her that she can go out of the car park, turn left and cut through the graveyard. She remains English and unimpressed.

On the phone with Kwok while I was at the sea--his sea, his bay--I tell him that I'm worried I won't want to return at the end of the day. He reassures me that it will be fine. He knows internally too the power of those expanses, their ability to recharge. 

Kwok again is right. It is okay returning--crawling back over the hills of the Gower. Somehow, I always miss the return over the Severn--even when I've been driving--but tonight I notice. Driving the Severn to Wales is like driving the Mackinac into the Upper Peninsula--Wales and the shores of Lake Superior both feel so rooted in the essence of my being, but not yet quite my own. My bones still belong to Lake Michigan, birch groves and apple orchards on its shores. 

I leave the Welsh radio station on in the car until finally, when we hit Swindon, the static becomes intolerable. For forty-five minutes, there was no music, just two men speaking to each other in Welsh. I am reminded of John Ottenhoff and the English language documentary we watched in Brit Lit--a class I was taking at the time I was diagnosed with the thyroid cancer. I recall how he told us Welsh is very similar to Old English: "It almost feels familiar, doesn't it?" And it does... and it is soothing, despite the occasional hacking sounds which remind of Arabic. 

When I see the "Welcome to England," sign past the Severn, the corner of my mouth and my nose automatically scrunch like an unintentional tick. It is unlikely England will ever feel like home, despite the English line running so heavily through my blood--mixed with the Native and Irish. 

Once home, I say hello to the cats--feed them some fish. I go with a flashlight to the back and collect Myfanwy (our only Welsh-named hen) from behind the compost bin. Every night, she nestles her sweet body behind the bin, under some rose vines. I gently scoop her and she allows me to hold her, to put her in the run despite her desire to sleep under the stars, not in the coop. I crave to let her do this, though I would never forgive myself if something happened to her. I refuse to take the risk. 

And now I'm here... writing and writing at nearly three in the morning. The sea sustains me unlike anything else in this life. It forgives and moves; releases and brings back. I am so grateful for the tide. 

Monday, 5 August 2013

Ten years on from 19

On my 19th birthday, the 4th of August 2003, I was on a series of flights that would take me from Arusha, Tanzania back to Detroit and back to my Midwestern life. The flights stopped in Dar es Salaam and Amsterdam and I have vague recollections of wandering aimlessly from gate to gate in Schipohl during the layover, completely lost in a fog of my own making. It was hot in Amsterdam that afternoon, but cool in the airport. The heat from the tarmac, visible, was rising into the clear blue sky outside the large windows of the terminal. I was transfixed, the way I would, hours later, be transfixed by the emergency exit over the wing of the Boeing 767, next to which I sat on the flight back to Detroit.

I had gone to Tanzania in part as a cultivator for prestigious scholarships--knowing well that going to volunteer in an AIDS clinic at 18, fresh from my freshman year of university would look good on said scholarship applications; but more so, I went in an effort to find something I felt was missing from deep within me. I remember googling photos of the Kalahari desert (located in Botswana) that winter, as I was holed up in the deep trenches of Michigan snow, and I dreamed of seeing an "African sunrise." This dream lived in my bones as sure as marrow, though I have never known why; perhaps it is buried deep in that mitochondrial DNA, pointing me and every ancestor back to our roots in "deepest, darkest Africa."

When I was fourteen, I began dreaming in my sleep of cancer in my neck and I told my friend, rather romantically (the way you do at fourteen) that I would have cancer by the time I was 20. I also said I would die from it. I was right on one count.

When I told a nurse--one of the many who rotated in and out of my hospital room at the Mayo Clinic six months after I left Tanzania, one of the many who came to take bloods at three in the morning, or drain fluids collecting from plastic bulbs grotesquely hanging from my neck--that I had dreamt this would happen, that this cancer would find my neck, she accused me (me in my morphine-induced state) of desiring disease. She moved from me like I was infectious, like I was deadly contagious. Her eyes narrowed as she backed away and I still wonder if she put her hands up to me as if I had pointed a gun at her--or if this vision was just an apparition of morphine or one of false memory. I tried to explain to her that these dreams were in sleep, but she asked again, "So did you want this to happen?" I sharply replied, "No," and turned away from her, never to see her again. I cannot remember if she ever took the bloods or drained the fluids.

The truth, though, is that when the diagnosis came and I called my college scholarship advisor to tell him the reality of that lump visible on the upper right quadrant of my neck, five minutes into the conversation, we both laughed and said that it would look good on the Truman application. In 2005, I won the Truman Scholarship for the state of Michigan.

19 for me was always a favorite number. It was the number I chose for my soccer jersey--the one that I wore proudly through high school. It was the number I attached to various passwords and it was a number I used the first time I played the lottery. 19 was the age I believed was in my heart for a very long time--and an age I believed to be good.

I turned 19 somewhere over the Atlantic.

In my mind on this flight, I was lost to guilt and a desperate desire to crawl back--to move my body across oceans and deserts and find my way back to that darkest Africa where I left my sins and my spirit. I remember so clearly the exit door--my thoughts of opening it, pulling the red handle and letting the ease and the force pull me from the plane--that plane that was hauling me back to a continent to which I did not want to return. In Africa, in a small, dirty room outside of Arusha, I left kisses and part of my heart, only to return feeling tainted and marked by sin.

On my final day in this place, after Kwok--the dear Chinese-British friend I had made, who at seven years my senior still sat with me nights drinking African chai and playing card games (that I always won)--had returned to London and I was left friendless and alone, I arranged with a local man I had met (a man I knew to have a crush on me) to go to a place few, if any, white mzungu had been before.  I rose early on the 3rd and took yet another dangerous dala dala ride down the Arusha-Nairobi Road--famed for its traffic accidents (surely in part made up of dala dala incidents with thirty people packed like sardines in a can hurtling 85 miles per hour down a road occasionally peppered with ailing cattle). I found my way into Arusha, where I met Saimon, and he looked at me in my white trousers and laughed.

Only after hours of trekking through backwater villages and having more children shout ''mzungu! mzungu!' at me, did I understand why he laughed. I don't remember what shoes I was wearing, but somehow I doubt that they were sensible. We moved across decaying trees and streams and descended into a canyon, where I occasionally grabbed rock and branch to keep myself from sliding further into the water. When we finally reached the waterfall, I remember the skinniness of the fall and feeling seemingly apathetic toward it; I looked to the sun instead--it peering through the hole made by the top of the waterfall, where it spilled over the cliff face. There it was, white, perfectly placed, like a peg in a hole.

We stood there no more than fifteen minutes until we eventually began the hours back through the gorge and back into the mountain villages. At the waterfall, I was dirty, but I cleaned my face, hands and arms in the cool water; by the time, we made it through the last villages, my wet trousers had soaked mud like ink. Jokes were made in Kiswahili about the white girl with white trousers now blacker than the skin of the villagers. It was jovial banter, but I was embarrassed and sheepish as I, tired now, moved with the sunset.

By sundown, I found myself in a room lit by a single bulb with this man who had just spent an entire day guiding me through lost parts of his home, down into ancient rock and river. On his bed, next to his magazine clippings of Western and African pop stars, he kissed me. It was a messy, but powerful kiss, and then I returned it; many times I returned it, and I felt the guilt rising in me like the river would surely rise in that canyon again. My boyfriend of just over a year was home, less than two days from seeing me--my boyfriend whom I painfully missed for the weeks I spent in Tanzania--that boyfriend of whom I chattered about constantly.

When Saimon walked me to the dala dala stop, me still in my damp and filthy trousers, he kissed me in front of the dala dala on which I was to board. The African women tutted and the men shamelessly stared. When I boarded the mini bus, I stared down at my feet, where my gaze remained the duration of the ride back to my village. I still don't remember what shoes I was wearing.

I can tell you everything about that emergency exit though--the scuff marks on the upper left side of the door or the fraying carpet near the base. I can recall the ways in which I tried to sleep, but couldn't--reliving the kisses, while simultaneously rehearsing the words I would use to break-up with my boyfriend--a man whose virginity I had not yet taken and who had not yet said he loved me. I was too weak and afraid to tell him I had kissed another man. I had kissed another man so much so that my jaw was tired, my skin covered in his scent and my head achy--the way it was always pleasantly achy and accomplished after long sessions of making-out as a teenager. I was still a teenager then, but never even recognized it.

I rehearsed the words, knowing that without disclosing the information about the kisses, the break-up would be confusing, shocking--after weeks of sending love letters, telling him how much I loved him, it would be contrary, but I would do it anyway--lose the friendship and the year spent trying to cultivate something. I felt a strange sense of gratitude for his lack of love toward me. I wondered when I would do this--when I would conduct this break-up--as I kept looking at his backpack that was sitting at my feet--lent to me as a carry-on bag to replace my impractical messenger bag. I thought of handing it back to him, handing his heart back inside of it.

And then, at the terminal in Detroit, feeling my first real sense of culture shock as a member of airport personnel barked at me and physically shoved me aside in effort to get some giant, Kenneth Cole suitcase for a clearly important person--I somehow found my beat-up suitcase, with the small tears to the fibers like a cat had clawed at it (and probably had). In this same haze lingering from Amsterdam, I took a deep breath and emerged into the arrivals section of the airport to find... no one. My sigh of relief was visible like the heat off the tarmac in Schipohl. Instead of my hyperactive mother and my irritable (and that is a generous adjective) father, I was met with blessed space. I sat on a smooth, plastic chair in the terminal, rolled the suitcase toward my legs and placed my boyfriend's backpack over the handles. I leaned back and cranked the music on my portable walkman.

With every song I breathed deep and heavy relief until they came. When they arrived, my breath quickly became short and stunted, as it was not just my parents who came, but that boyfriend--the one who said he wasn't coming to the airport. He had just driven four hours with those hyperactive and irritable parents of mine to see me in all my travel-weary glory. My heart fell beyond my ribs, sank so low that only a vein, dangling over the edge of a rib kept it from disconnecting entirely. I feigned ecstasy at seeing him and spent the hours in the car traveling back into the north talking of Tanzania, never mentioning the"friend" I made; though I repeatedly mentioned that real friend--the one who drank tea with me and lost every card game we played. That night, as I fell asleep, jet-lagged, heartbroken and conflicted, my boyfriend of over a year told me he loved me.

My mother spent weeks trying to get my white Gap trousers clean again--using bottles of stain remover and hours of scrubbing power; she worked into those trousers like they were her own sin, never knowing they were mine. She eventually did wash them clean, but by that time, I had swallowed my guilt so deeply that it sank into my hips, deep into the marrow of African sunrises. Sunsets.

I told someone once about this transgression--a girl I knew in college. I confessed to her on the stairs of our dorm, over a year after the fact. She told me never to tell him. She seemed confused as to why I still even cared that it had happened.

By then, my relationship with this man was already in shambles and what I didn't know at 18, 19, 20 or 21 was that this was going to be a lesson that tumbled through the years of my life like tides of breath--and that the lesson wasn't one that affirmed I was, or am, bad, but one that confirmed I am human. It took me six years of marriage to divulge this story to Kwok--that man I met in that same place, my friend of three years--never anything more, never one for whom I had an impure thought. He was my friend who woke with me at Ngorongoro Crater to see the sun rise over the red Earth; he was the one who helped lead me through cancer with humorous cards and epic emails that sent laughter like lightning through my body. He was the one who cheered me on when I found new love after depression left, and the one who ached disappointment with me when that love left.

When I told him last year of the cheating kiss-fest perpetrated by my 18-year-old self, I sighed deep and heavy, as I did in Detroit that day. My eyes filled with guilt as they looked to the floor and I gently held my right knee as the words spilled into the room. I laughed nervously and he laughed genuinely with a questioning in his eyes, and then in his voice, "Is that all?" Seven years my senior and he has always been the adult first. He, like I now, recognized that the relationship I had with my college boyfriend was destined to fail and that my kissing of another so many years ago was only symptomatic of that.

Ten years ago, I left Tanzania never knowing then that the Chinese Welshman who left before I could even turn 19--my tea-drinking, card-playing friend--would be my husband. I left Tanzania and left kisses and pieces of myself strewn across the dirty floor of that one-bulb room, and I brought back guilt... and I brought back a friendship that spanned continents and cancer. My college boyfriend has no knowledge of this event and there is part of me so reluctant to post this online as never, ever, would I want to hurt him now over something that happened too many years ago, when we were too young to even begin to know how to survive love--no matter how hard we tried. Nonetheless, as I said in my previous post about transparency (and in a bid to start my nonfiction conquest), this will all come out some day. In the wash. After all, as the poet, Ruth Moose, says, "There is joy in clean laundry. All is forgiven in water, sun and air."

Thursday, 6 June 2013

Cleanse: Day 10

I'm at the point now where I feel very silly just blogging my food intake. My guess is most of you don't want to read it (if anyone is reading it). So... I'm not really sure what to do.

Anyway, I've transitioned now into raw foods and will stick with it as long as I can and then try to maintain high-raw throughout the summer. Please note, I'm not a raw foodist. I tried living a 100% raw food diet in the past, and it personally made me neurotic, dogmatic, and generally unhappy. I'm much better living a clean vegan lifestyle and honoring the changes in the seasons. This means eating warm foods in the winter and much crisper, cooler raw foods in the summer. This, of course, naturally flows with the seasons as well... and my spirit, let alone my body, is inextricably linked to the Earth.

So... I guess I'll blog a bit more on the foody food front? Maybe? Just don't read if you don't care? :)

Smoothie made from:
-1 mango
-juice of 1 lime
-juice of 3 oranges
-handful of raspberries

Notes: There is way too much produce in the house... I'm not sure I can get through it all by myself (Kwok is currently in Ethiopia - lucky bastard). A lot of it is fruit, which I don't necessarily want to consume in massive quantities. At the same time, I'm trying my best to finish off what I can and then maybe I'll take the rest into work or give it to one of the neighbors.... Hmmm.

Wednesday, 5 June 2013

Cleanse: Day 9

I'm still going strong on the raw food and juices. The weather has been amazing and continues to be sunny and warm, which is perfect for a cleanse.

The menu of the day:

Morning Juice:
-2 heads of gem lettuce
-4 small apples
-5 kiwis

-Mixed salad including rocket, watercress, & purple lettuce with nutritional yeast and pine nuts
-Orange juice from 5.5 oranges

-Another mixed salad with nutritional yeast and pine nuts
-Lemon water
-25 cherries or so

Tuesday, 4 June 2013

Cleanse: Day 8

I did end up breaking the fast last night and having a spinach salad with nutritional yeast and half a banana. This has been one of the stranger fasts so far, in that I haven't experienced the usual highs and there haven't really been lows either. There has, however, been an inordinate amount of hunger and I'm baffled as to why. I'd like to believe that my body is soooo clean that I just didn't need the fast, but that would be bogus. In recent months, I started trying bread again and then realized what a bad idea that was: I put on seven pounds, got a couple of disastrous colds and occasionally had mild eczema on my face. The good news is: no more bread now. I know fully that it is the culprit and the enemy of my immune system.

Unfortunately, if I had had more time, I probably would've just pushed through and kept going with the fast--maybe even for thirty days, so I could get real down and dirty into the cells and into the experience of fasting. However, as my bff is getting married in Berlin  (now with a civil ceremony a week from Thursday and the big ceremony still on the Saturday), I'm not going to entrench myself in the fast. If I feel a need, I could come back to it all in August (as June and July are stacked up with teaching insanity--not as in teaching Insanity--the fitness program--as in busy teaching creative writing in Cambridge and Oxford).

 Anyway, I'm still doing a partial fast now. My plans (which can always change) are to juice in the morning and evening and then have a small meal of raw veggies and fruit to start and eventually move into meals of steamed veggies and possibly brown rice. (I think rice - brown and wild - is about the only grain my system responds well too. As much as I love corn tortillas, I think corn really dries out my body and also fattens me up. Ha!)

So... time for the meal plan.

Morning Juice:
-3 sweet potatoes
-5 handfuls of black cherries
-1 handful of blueberries

So I already changed my mind slightly and I went with what my body was telling me and I had a head of gem lettuce with about 10 pine nuts and some nutritional yeast. It was delicious... and took me over 30 minutes to eat. I'm looking forward to more juice later and feel that by doing this I am fully addressing the needs in my body. :)

Snack Juice:
-1 coconut water

Dinner Juice:
-1 pineapple

Monday, 3 June 2013

Spring Juice Cleanse: Day 7

Morning Juice:
-5 large handfuls of spinach
-5 small apples
-1 large apple

Afternoon Juice:
-1 coconut water

Evening Juice:
-6 oranges

I have really struggled with hunger for most of this fast... which is very unusual. I usually sail through fasts, having probably done over eight fasts in the last five years. I'm tempted to move into a partial fast, drinking juices in the morning and afternoon and eating raw fruits veggies and eventually steamed veggies and light meals in the evening. This also seems wise given that plans for the wedding we are attending in Germany have changed slightly and it seems like I should be ready to eat a "normal, vegan" meal slightly sooner than anticipated. I'm disappointed, but at the same time, I know I need to honor my body. More news to come....

Sunday, 2 June 2013

Spring Juice Cleanse: Day 6

Morning Juice:
-2 beets (raw, of course)
-5 small/medium carrots
-2-inch hunk of ginger
-3 small apples
-1 handful of spinach
(In the past, I have been very resistant to beetroot juice. In fact, I'll eat any vegetable put in front of me, but you'll rarely find beets in our own kitchen, as I find them too earthy. Nonetheless, beetroot juice is a powerful liver tonic and blood cleanser, so it is important to include it in a juice fast. I have to say the concoction above makes it tolerable for me.)

Afternoon Juice:
-1 pineapple

Dinner Juice:
-1 coconut water

Yoga at 11am. More to update throughout the day. Hopefully I have time to actually include a post today, but we've been taking advantage of the recent spell of beautiful days (so rare now in England it seems). 

Sunny days in the garden. 

Saturday, 1 June 2013

Spring Juice Cleanse - Day 5

Morning Juice:
-1 large sweet potato
-4 large handfuls of black cherries
-100g blueberries
(This was so filling.)

-Afternoon Juice:
-5 apples
-1 large cucumber
-10 sprigs fresh mint

Snack Juice:
-1 coconut water

Evening Juice:
-125g raspberries
-1 lemon
-4 oranges
(I didn't end up finishing this one as I filled up about half way through and it was quite sour. Kwok had the rest.)

Friday, 31 May 2013

Spring Juice Cleanse - Day 4

I'm in the process of writing my monthly newsletter at the moment, so cannot yet update the blog. Check back tonight or tomorrow for details on today, but below: juice du jour. 

Morning Juice:
-1 pineapple
(I usually try to start the day with a green juice, but I couldn't resist the amazing pure pineapple this morning.)

Afternoon Juice:
-1 pineapple
(It was so delicious the first time around that I couldn't resist a second time around either.)

Snack Juice:
-1 coconut water

Evening Juice:
-1 cucumber
-1 coconut water

Evening Snack Juice:
-7 oranges
-2 peaches
-1 cup of cranberries

Notes: I did an aerial yoga one-to-one today and prepped for it beforehand as well, I expended a lot of energy. I think this has actually caused me to be hungry. Come 9pm, I was feeling hunger pangs, which is very unusual for me by the fourth day of the fast, hence why today I drank much more juice than usual.