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Diary Of A Fast

I was feeling like I needed to seriously freshen, and not freshen like go to the powder room to powder my nose, I mean like I needed to erase last week's 4'clock chocolate break.
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I try to do my yoga. I try to get runs in on the weekends. I try to be healthier and more active than I'm naturally inclined to be, which is about as active as a bear mid-February. If I could hibernate, I would.

It doesn't help to work at an online company. Sitting in a chair for the majority of the day, above a Dean and Deluca, below fluorescent lights, it can make you feel like a you're a one-woman re-enactment of The Blob -- and just in time for Halloween! I was feeling like I needed to seriously freshen, and not freshen like go to the powder room to powder my nose, I mean like I needed to erase last week's 4 o'clock chocolate break. So someone suggested either a colonic, or a fast.

The former was out on principle, so the latter it was. However, I'm not batshit insane, so the lemonade-lime-flavored-air fast was out. This fast was simply cutting out the gunk that clogs up your digestive system: no meat, no dairy, and no wheat. No sugar, no salt, No sauces. I figured that I wasn't going to be that bad off, since I don't eat meat anyway minus some fish here and there. No salt? No problem. Seven days with no caffeine? That might be another story, but with two co-workers as wingmen, I could totally handle it. Here's a peek into my week of fasting.

Sunday Night (Pre-Fast)

5 PM I make my cranberry scones to bring into the office for some unknown, vaguely masochistic reason. I promptly eat two of them, stocking up. My kitchen looks like I stockpiled for Y2K thinking breakfast pastries would be the new currency.

Monday (Day One)

8 AM This "pound of juice" in a bottle just cost me five bucks, so it had better be a pound of the best juice I have ever tasted. I get watermelon too. A co-worker who's done the fast softly reminds us that we're supposed to avoid fruit for the first couple of days because of high levels of sugar. I politely think about eating watermelon under my desk.

9:45 AM Hot water with nothing in it is sort of like hot water with caffeinated tea in it, right? 10 AM No.

12 PM Mid afternoon snack of some unsalted almonds. I think the Off The Bus kids have been passing this bag around, and one of them has a cold. I don't care, as long as there's food under the bacteria.

2:30 PM The three editors on the fast order Chinese: steamed veggies, steamed brown rice, steamed bean curd. If you put it all in a bowl together, it sort of has taste. We talk about how it isn't so bad.

3:45 PM I mime getting a cup of tea.

4 PM This sucks. It's the time of day when my body still thinks that it just got off the bus home, and I deserve a peanut butter and jelly sandwich and some Nilla wafers just for getting through AP Spanish. I have some e-coli Almonds instead.

5 PM Another two cups of hot water. Is that what being Catholic feels like?

7:30 PM Work function in the evening presents cocktail bar and hors d'oeuvres. I'm good and pass on the booze and cheesy options. I cave on small crab cake and teeny tart. Creep out the man carrying the avocado rolls by following him around all night. Have epic number one in my boss's downstairs bathroom, thanks to guzzling water like... a person who drinks a lot of water. Tuesday (Day Two)

9 AM Fruit drink thing, watermelon, and hot water. Co-faster admits she caved and had pizza last night. I feel more morally superior, seeming to have forgotten about the raspberry tarts I had.

10:30 AM The crown of my skull is started to ache, so I try to focus on my Fund Race story to drown out what is starting to look like caffeine withdrawals.

11:30 AM I'm starting to hate the world.

1 PM Soba noodles from across the street. Tasty and a good reason to start a conversation on how underrated buckwheat is.

2:30 PM Everyone is stressing over their Fund Race stories, and I get really annoyed at how all the listed Poets have donated to a Republican. My head is pounding, but I can keep strong.

3:45 PM A Diet Coke. It's like instant relief and I couldn't care less whether or not it's simply placebo effect. When our "Fast Master" walks by en route to the fax machine, I push the can more toward Sklar's desk. Her addiction to the Deece is well known. My ruse works. I've escaped judgment. For now.

5 PM Almonds. Allllmonds. Ahhhlmonds.

My brain is starting to feel like it's getting the short end of this stick in all this fasting business. 7:30 Unsalted pinto beans, little avocado and hot water. I watch a movie that shows people eating food. I'm convinced its CGI food. How else is that actress more a pipe cleaner with a bad perm than an actual human being? Wednesday (Day Three)

2:30 AM Nothing about what my stomach is doing post-pinto beans feels either clean, or refreshed.

8:30 AM Bananas and hot water. I feel pretty good, and bizarrely awake.

10:30 AM A cup of chamomile suits me fine. No headache. The only thing bothering me is talking about this fast with my co-editors. We sound like idiots: "I'm really missing the dairy!" "I was ok until that caffeine headache..." "Don't you feel so much better after drinking so much water?"

Ok. I said all those things. Just me.

2:30 PM Brown rice avocado rolls, and miso. I had to fend off five euro-trashers clogging up the Dean and Deluca aisles for this lunch, so it tastes even sweeter.

4:30 PM I think of grabbing some almonds, but sneeze and change my mind; I'm not that hungry. 7 PM Dinner out means steamed veg and some steamed brown rice. My brother's girlfriend says I look good. I attribute this to the fast, rather than the fact that last time I saw her I hadn't slept in ages, was stressed out, and was not wearing any mascara, which always makes me look more like an albino newt than a girl. 10:30 PM Cup of chamomile before I go to bed. When I go to bed around 11:15, I fall asleep fairly quickly, and stay asleep until morning, which is unusual.

Thursday (Day Four)

8:30 AM Watermelon, hot water. There's comfort in consistency.

2:30 PM The big cave. I have a work lunch at a sushi and seafood place and while we're allowed to have fish now, the thought of more sushi makes my very clean stomach turn. I really screw the pooch and order a mahi-mahi club on wheat with no bacon, no mayo, mustard on the side. Twenty minutes later, I'm pretty sure an alien is going to shoot out of my abdomen, and do a jig on the table in a top hat and spats.

5:30 PM Hot water. Stomach still hates me.

10:45 PM Stomach has officially broken up with me. Even my digestive system rejects me now. Friday (Day Five)

8:15 AM Hot water, assorted fruit. System feeling better.

2 PM I take that nice, back to normal feeling and spit on it by caving and ordering cheese/bread bonanza in ritual Friday office greasefest.

5:30 PM UUUuuuugggggghhhhhh.

8 PM Miso, edamame, steamed veg, hot water. Penance.

Saturday And Sunday (Days 6 And 7) My last two days I was good. Holy even. I ended my fast with more steamed vegetables, brown rice, and a piece of organic salmon.

In the end, I have to say that I did feel a bit lighter, my skin was clearer, and I was sleeping better. On the other hand, I was convinced that not only was it mandatory that I get at least one cup of tea a day, but that it was better for my co-workers if I did.

When I look back at the week, I see that I was eating larger portions of what I had always eaten, but had kept as food accessories (hereby known as faccessories) -- a whole serving of vegetables rather than a side. I was also constantly nibbling on something: almonds, sliced apple, edamame.

I could see maybe taking a weekend to lay off the dairy and wheat every down and then to "cleanse" my system. Then again, I always say I'm going to use Sunday to cleanse my apartment, but I always end up in bed with the Week In Review and... a cup of tea.