Starting October 1st I decided to fast for 10 days. That’s right, fast, as in not eat any food or drink anything besides water and this “master cleanse” concoction of water, lemons, cayenne pepper and cane sugar that I got from my friend Lindsay at the Manhattan Beach Farmers Market. I bought a 10 day supply from her. She said it would be enough to sustain me for the 10 days of not eating any solid food. Not even any juice. Just water and the drink.
This was my last meal. It contained my 3 favorite B’s: Broccoli, BBQ sauce and Beer. Also, my other favorites, Salmon, Corn on the Cobb and Grilled eggplant. I wouldn’t say eggplant is necessarily my favorite vegetable, or even that salmon is my favorite protein, but when I add my BBQ sauce to it and cook it on the grill, then they jump to the top of the list.
I did the 10 day fast to honor the life and memory of my good friend Clint Clausen, whose 45th birthday would have been October 4th. Clint died of a heart attack suddenly back in August. Leaving behind an amazing family including his beautiful wife Kori and their four beautiful daughters all under 13. He also left behind friends and a community of people of loved him and whom he loved like family. His restaurant, Four Daughters Kitchen, is a local gathering place where we have all of our “yoga meetings” since it is across the street and opened up the same time as our local studio, The Green Yogi, 5 years ago. Clint gave me a job at the restaurant a few years ago when I needed some extra money while trying to make ends meet as a yoga teacher. He was unlike anyone I had ever worked for. He had a positive impact on anyone that came across his path.
From the paddle out to celebrate his life.Clint’s paddle out
Clint used to do the Master Cleanse every year for at least 10 days. Sometimes he would go 20 or 30 days without ingesting any food into his body! I would always be amazed at how he was still the same person, albeit thinner. Usually when I don’t eat for a few hours I get cranky or hangry. Clint was always a positive person, whenever you saw him he would be laughing and light hearted. He had a way of making you feel like you were someone special… Even when he hadn’t eaten for weeks! To me, that said a lot about his character. Making people feel special and having a positive attitude are two traits that I want to always emulate in my life.
Having done the Master Cleanse twice before in the past, I knew it would be a mental challenge as well as a physical one. Having previous experience with it also helped because I knew I could do it. However, the previous times I had done it were solely for myself. Dedicating it to my friend made for an altogether different experience.
Several friends have asked about my experience, so I thought I would share on my blog. Obviously I LOVE food. Hence the name of my blog, yoga love food. I not only love food, but all things food related. I love shopping for food at local farmers markets, Whole Foods and Trader Joes. I love growing my own food, writing and talking about food. Watching food related t.v. shows like Chopped and Diners Drive Ins and Dives. I love preparing and cooking food. Finally, I love eating food. Pretty much anything that has to do with food, I love. I loved serving food to customers when I was working at Clint’s restaurant. I even enjoy doing the dishes and cleaning up after eating. That’s right even the clean up. My first job when I was 16 years old was doing the dishes at Papa’s Pizza in Hickory, North Carolina. So taking 10 days off from all things food related was a big deal for me.
I was excited for the Spiritual experience that I was about to embark upon. Having done several fasts in the past, I knew that one of the great benefits of not eating for a while takes one’s mind to a different place. It also helps to show you what your habits and tendencies are. It’s a great way to hit the reset button on your life and get a fresh start and a new perspective on many things. Not only food, but life. I’ve noticed in the past, when I’ve done a “cleanse” I not only clean out my physical body, digestive system, etc., but also different areas of my life would get a clean up.
I’ve done a pretty good job over the last few years of cleaning out my “closets”, but I have pack rat tendencies and so invariably there is a drawer or drawers that house papers and reminders of things that I’m not yet ready to part with. Relationships and other things tend to get “cleansed” as well and this time was no exception.
I also feel like I have some great insights when I’m fasting. So I made a point to journal much of my experience. I will share one of those entries. Here is from Day 2 I wrote the following…
For more Joy…face your fears. Confront them. Once you move past them, you will usually find more joy on the other side. Exhilaration is a great word for it. Clint and I used to talk about this. It happened to me with surfing. It happened to me with love. You won’t know the amazing feeling of being in love if you are afraid of being hurt. Tomorrow I’m putting this theory to the test by going skydiving.
After I wrote the above entry in my journal, (I was down at the Ocean), I decided to go swimming. The water was glassy and the waves were big, with the occasional head high sets coming in. There have been multiple shark sightings in Manhattan Beach this year, but I was not going to allow any fear stop me from going swimming in the beautiful ocean, especially after what I had just written about overcoming fear. Here was my first test…
I started to swim out and think, you know, I haven’t seen any dolphins in a while. Wouldn’t it be great to see some? Then, as if orchestrated by God and Clint’s Spirit, I looked up and a pod of dolphins was swimming by and if I continued swimming out past the break, would cross my path. So I did. As I swam out, they continued to swim by, at least 20 of them. One was about to cross right under me, I felt the water temperature change…took a deep breath… and swam under water. I opened my eyes under water and saw this large dolphin swim right underneath me. I reached out and touched his tail as he swam by. It was amazing! One of the most exciting experiences of my life so far. Exhilaration!
The next day I went skydiving. Yep, no food for 3 days and I was about to jump out of a plane. No I wasn’t trying to kill myself. I was looking for that feeling you get from overcoming fear…Exhilaration. Well, I got it! I was trying to act cool the whole time we were in the plane rising up to 12,000 feet. I’m not sure if I pulled it off. I wasn’t really that scared until the moment I was standing in the open door to the plane with a guy that called himself “Dark Side” strapped to my back. There was no time to panic, we jumped and the first 3 seconds were pure exhilaration! Then my body and mind regulated to the speed and I screamed out “Woo Hoo”. So my theory about overcoming fear was proving to be true.
The next 7 days of my fast and dedication to my friend were pure joy. Dedicating this experience to my dear friend proved to be extremely meaningful. This post is proving to be long enough, so if you would like more details, feel free to reach out to me and I will be happy to share more. Needless to say, it was an amazing experience. I was truly able to connect to my friends spirit and gain much needed insight into my life. Thank you Clint. I love you brother. Your light will continue to shine bright. I will always remember you and the amazing impact you had and continue to have on my life and the lives of so many others. Thank you for being such a great example of how to be a Man. Face your fears. You will be overcome with Joy.