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WATER FASTING: My 2 Week Experience & The Re-Feeding Process

05.30.18

Healing

HELLLLO, my fabulous loves! Oh man, oh man — I can’t believe I am finally just now writing this… considering the extended water fast I embarked on this month was THE AWAKENING OF MY LIFETIME and I really do want to shout about it from the rooftops. But before I wrote this, I needed to give the experience some time to soak in, as well as see how the re-feeding process went to see if I could still attest to feeling amazing after some time.

It has now been almost *two weeks* (where does the time go?) since I started the slow & guided re-feeding process, and one week since I have been home back on “regular foods” and not just on a re-feeding protocol. I put “regular foods” in parentheses because I am still following the SOS-free (salt-oil-sugar-free) plant-based diet that is encouraged & taught at True North, the healing center where I did my fast.

If you want to read more about the SOS-free life & why I’m doing it, head here. If you want to learn even more, I would highly recommend watching the documentary Forks Over Knives, and looking into the works of Dr. Colin T. Campbell, Dr. Joel Fuhrman, Dr. Alan Goldhamer (of True North!), & Dr. Michael Klaper to name a few. They are leading the SOS-free plant-based charge and have provided tons of incredible information about the subject for us all to dive into + learn!

So now… let’s talk fasting. I broke down the scientific details of water fasting here for anyone who is coming to my blog for the first time and may be thinking, “WHY THE HECK WOULD THIS CHICK DRINK ONLY WATER FOR TWO WEEKS?” Your question is very valid. And the detail I go into in that post should clear up some of your questions. Or maybe you still think I am crazy. I wouldn’t entirely blame you either way!

This is what life at True North looked like for me… except usually I was in bed! Occasionally I walked around my room or the property to stretch out my legs & get some movement in. 🙂

My 2 Week Water Fast… Let’s Get Into It!

My “WHY” //

I embarked on this extended water fast for a few reasons. First, when I was diagnosed with a uterine fibroid in November the size of a BASEBALL (not totally uncommon, yet not at all normal or remotely okay for a 27-year-old who definitely wants to have kids in the near-ish future) I started looking into holistic healing modalities for shrinking fibroids. Water fasting came up in my search time and again.

Then, in January when I became covered in full body hives and eczema, water fasting was again recommended to me by many of my amazing readers and podcast listeners (you guys!). At the end of that month I did an Ayurvedic Panchakarma, and even Marta — the Ayurvedic doctor who I trust more than nearly anyone else I know with my health — recommended a water fast for my rapidly multiplying & intensifying skin disorder that was by then getting totally out of hand.

The modality was presenting itself to me loud and clear. I am a firm believer that exactly what we need shows up to us at the exact right time in our lives. All we have to do is be present and remain open, and surrender to what the universe is telling us. If we are scared or turned off by something, we have to work even harder to surrender our judgement and fear around it.

Of course when I first heard about extended water fasting I was both intrigued AND fearful! It sounded incredibly hard, and I wasn’t necessarily interested in being bed-ridden for weeks (just the image that I had) without being able to exercise or maintain my strength. But it didn’t take long for water fasting to become extremely appealing to me.

Why? Because as my health continued to deteriorate at a rapid pace… I started to DREAM of being able to rest for weeks on end (or longer), with no responsibility or obligations or anywhere to be. I wanted to be somewhere where I could rest my exhausted body and be taken care of by doctors and be UNDERSTOOD. The chronic fatigue I was facing plus the insomnia from my rashes and the rashes themselves were only getting worse, and by March I was in for a massive wakeup call that if I didn’t slow down I was headed for a major nervous breakdown — both mentally and physically.

I was plagued with questions on the daily: What is wrong with me? Do I have an autoimmune disease? Am I allergic to something I am surrounding myself with every day? Am I allergic to ALL FOODS? Am I ever going to get better? Is this chronic stress manifesting itself all over my body?

Yet on a very deep spiritual level, I knew this was life asking me to STEP UP. I am in my Saturn Return, I have discovered an intensely spiritual side of myself over the last few years, and have even opened up psychically all at a very quick pace. My body was starting to be like, “Ahhh! I can barely keep up! We need to slow down…!”

I signed up for this water fast in March and started counting down the days. I went to Bali for a month to prepare myself on a deep emotional level for what was to come. Then… at the very beginning of May, I flew into Sactown & the next morning my parents drove me up to True North.

(Right before I left I did a TON of testing for autoimmune diseases, toxic mold poisoning, and more. Think… 30 viles of blood and a week’s worth of urine and stool samples. I get my results back in a few days and I am just so unbelievably ready to know what the CAUSE of all of this is. Of course I will keep you all so posted.)

The Beginning //

Checking into True North felt a little like a cross between checking into a hospital / a rehab center / an apartment building / a motel in Nor Cal. Not that it’s not nice, because it is… but it’s a little ominous to check in for something so intense to deal with such scary and chronic health issues.

The MAJOR UPSIDE was that my room was 201! As many of you know, 201 is my craaaazy lucky number that follows me everywhere. The appearance of my number was such an affirmation to me that I was in the right place. I had my own room & bathroom, and shared a suite with two other women while I was there — and I was in 201-1… even MORE of my numbers showing up!

Upon arriving I learned that for my particular body/size/health concerns I would be fasting for two weeks with a one week re-feeding protocol. Doctors would come in to check my vitals at 6:30am every morning, another doctor would check in at 8:00am, and another in the afternoon. It really makes it hard to feel like you’re not checking into a hospital. I knew my parents felt a little nervous leaving me there, and my dad’s exact words were, “If anything happens that you’re not okay with we will immediately come pick you up, just call us.”

But I knew I was in it. I had no desire or intention to leave. I was fully surrendering to the process that lay before me… and in all honesty, beyond the nerves & the fear I was EXCITED. I had a deep internal knowing that this was going to work for me in a way that nothing else had up until this point.

When I checked in, my rashes were full-on NASTY. This is a photo from a few days before I left for True North, and I know it’s hard to tell because filters are awesome & the iPhone doesn’t get too HD, but my skin was 100% rashed out:

DAYS ONE – THREE //

I knew I would be happy if my rashes started to go down at True North even a LITTLE. They were so bad at that point I was incredibly intrigued to see what fasting, ketosis, and all the hydration plus all the avoidance of foods that might be causing me issues would do. Miraculously, it only took a few days for the rashes to start going down.

Day One was easy enough. I had a little headache, felt a little hungry, but coasted through the day. I still had enough energy to go on a short walk & do some light yoga, and had the brain power to write, chat on the phone with everyone I could (Katie, Brandin, Clare, Rachel, mom, Jonathan, Hudson… thanks for keeping me such great company 😂 ), send some emails, and generally function as normal. Day Two was a little harder, but pretty much the same as Day One.

Each day you’re encouraged to drink 4-6 glasses of water. At first I assumed it would be more so I CHUGGED the H2O on my first day but then I learned that during a fast, you don’t want to drink TOO much water because you don’t want to deplete your body of electrolytes. How MUCH you should drink varies on your size and your body, but for me it was recommended to have 4-6… more if I was extra thirsty which was always.

When I woke up on Day Three, I knew it was going to be a much tougher day. My legs were cramped to the BONE… I mean, they were hurting so bad I was whimpering to myself in my bed for hours. I figured it was the lack of potassium & magnesium in my system, and I started asking my suite mates who were also water fasting whether that had also happened to them.

Their answer was no, but of course everyone’s bodies are so different and that’s how mine was reacting. It’s interesting to note that one of my suite mates, Michelle, was already salt-oil-sugar-free for two years before coming to True North, and she had NONE of the cramping or headachey symptoms that I had. We both deduced it was likely because she wasn’t detoxing as much as I was, even though other than oil/salt my diet was so clean before the fast!

By the end of Day Three my legs were in such excruciating pain that I told my nighttime doctor that the cramps were so bad I felt I needed to do something about it… i.e. have some food or broth or something! He was well-versed in this type of potassium-magnesium deficiency cramp I was having, so he suggested that I do two days of juice to see if it would help.

At first I was slightly resistant because I had already come so far (3 days feels like a LIFETIME when you’re on a water fast) and I hate to break a commitment, but I knew he was right and I needed to listen to him to make the rest of my fast much more doable and comfortable… and not to mention, safe for MY body. So important to note how different we all are.

DAYS FOUR – EIGHT //

When I woke up on Day Four and had a WATERMELON CELERY JUICE delivered to my room I just about died from happiness to have some fructose + calories in my system. I had four juices that day, and four the next day. After my second juice… the cramps started going away and I even had some energy. My mom visited me and we went on a little walk around the neighborhood.

The juices were DEFINITELY a good call. After I wrapped up my last juice on Day Five, it was back to water for the remainder of the two week period. The juices gave me an incredible boost and were exactly what I needed. Day Five was my easiest day yet… I was still a little energized & sustained from the juices and the cramps were totally gone.

Day Six was harder, because now my body was starting to get that total exhaustion fatigue that happens on a fast. Moving from my bed to the yoga mat on my floor was a challenge. Walking up and down the stairs to my room from the courtyard of True North TRULY felt like running a marathon. My heart would pound wildly out of my chest on that staircase.

So from Day Six onward I really just stayed in bed. I was OVERJOYED to receive the kindest gifts from amazing humans in my life. The things I had to look forward to each day were: HEALING (of course), my mom coming to visit every few days (she is an actual saint), my dad and mom coming together on the weekends, the surprise gifts that kept arriving, FaceTiming with Jonathan & Huddy, and watching Bates Motel on Netflix. LOL.

HUGE thank you to the people who thought of me while I was fasting and sent sweet gifts, cards, flowers, life changing books, BLANKETS (ASHLEY!), thoughtful texts and messages, all of it. Really, I will never be able to fully express my gratitude. I was in a dark place by Day Seven or so… just mentally and physically so exhausted and starting to feel the slightly depressing effects of barely being able to move. Those gestures, big and small, lifted my spirits in the hugest, hugest of ways.

My body was also HURTING by this point from being sedentary. Luckily True North has amazing massage therapists, reflexologists, and chiropractors… so I took advantage of that a few times a week and also greatly looked forward to those appointments breaking up my day. 😉

By Mother’s Day (one week into my fast) when my parents came to visit me, the rash on my body was basically gone, and the one on the neck (it’s always been the worst part) was ALMOST gone. It was insane and such a positive effect of being there.

Day Eight was rough. I was now on Day Three of all water after those two days on juice… and the exhaustion was real. My kind suite mate Karla came in my room that day to ask if I needed anything since she noticed I literally wasn’t leaving my bed. I was down for the count, but I was soaking in the rest and felt fully certain that deep changes were happening in my body that were going to help me heal.

DAYS NINE – TWELVE + THE TOPIC OF *WEIGHT LOSS* //

I am sure by now many of you reading are wondering… how much weight was I losing?! The general norm is to lose 1 pound per day on a water fast. I happened to lose 3 pounds after the first day, and 3 pounds after the second day. My body was basically saying, “Get rid of this, it’s not yours.” Which is how I had felt for a long time anyway… like I was holding onto extra weight that didn’t belong to me but was there to remind me that things were off hormonally and with my digestion and even my immune system.

After that, I evened out to losing about a pound per day. While having juices I maintained my weight. So by Day 9, I had lost about 10 pounds. For me, going into the fast I knew my ideal weight was about 10 pounds less than where I had started. This is a very personal subject and not something I share about on the blog very often – because everyone is at a different stage in their journey with weight as it relates to their health.

For me personally… weight has always been an indicator of things being OFF or things being ON in my body. Losing 10 pounds in the first week and a half of my fast felt amazing. This obviously isn’t what I would recommend as a goal to anyone going into a fast. Some people fast because they are obese and desperately need to lose weight rapidly. Others fast and hope that they don’t lose much weight because they’re at their ideal weight going into it. Others fast and need to gain weight back afterward. Others cannot and should not fast because their weight is too low to begin with, and/or they do not have a healthy relationship with food so shouldn’t be fasting for mental reasons.

I was happy with where I was with weight loss on my fast because I knew I would continue to lose a bit toward the end of the fast but I would also have room to gain some pounds back with solid food (DUH!!) and still be at my ideal weight. Again, this is a personal preference & I am simply sharing because I know many of you will be interested in this facet of the journey.

One of the poems I wrote while I was fasting… and felt so deeply connected to Source Energy in a beautiful, electric way.

Days Nine & Ten were definitely the hardest for me. I felt similar emotions to the dark feelings of the chronic fatigue I had been experiencing for months, just on a whole different level. I had moments of extreme clarity where I knew this was all helping so much and that I was through the worst of it. I had DEEPLY spiritual experiences of channeling, connecting to deceased loved ones in meditation, and a few super channeled poems came through me.

But mostly… I didn’t have the energy to do much of anything! So I watched more Bates Motel. And for anyone who loves creepy / disturbing / mysterious criminal mind types of shows… I WOULD SO HIGHLY RECOMMEND IT. Let’s just say I have a deep bond with Norman & Norma Bates after the time I spent binge watching all 5 seasons in a two week period 😂 … it really got me through. Escapism through good TV is REAL when you’re in bed for weeks on end, especially for medical reasons. I am sure many of you reading can feel me on that.

TIME TO EAT…!

After Day Ten I had a massive realization. It hit me like a ton of bricks. That’s generally how things go with me… I made up my mind, and there is NO going back. That day, what I made up my mind about was that I was going to have juice the next day. My body just told me loud & clear, “I’m done. It’s time to start this re-feeding process.”

I had a feeling that might happen before the two weeks were up, given that I didn’t have a ton of weight to lose and I knew it was possible that my body might not hold up for the full 14 days on just water — which had been an estimate from the beginning. In true Jordan fashion, once I made up my mind I called my doctor and told him to send me juice the next morning.

My INCREDIBLE doctor, Dr. Soler (who WILL be on the podcast soon!), trusted my judgment and recommended that I do two days of juice to basically keep on fasting/detoxing but also give myself some nutrients. I am SO GLAD I did the full two days of juice per his recommendation even though I was dying for solid food on Day Twelve… because easing my body back in for two days vs. one was what my sensitive body really needed.

It’s also important to note that around this time I was starting to feel absolutely starving. I mean FAMISHED, starving. And it is very atypical to be that hungry (or hungry at all) on Day Ten of a water fast. It is much more normal to lose your hunger because of the nutrient-reserve state your body goes into after several days of fasting. The fact that I was getting so hungry was a sure sign to me that I needed to eat… so I am glad I did! Always gotta listen to our bodies.

DAYS THIRTEEN – FOURTEEN //

Having that *holy deliciousness* WATERMELON CELERY JUICE on Day Eleven was LIFE, so you can imagine that having FRUIT FOR BREAKFAST (!!!!) on Day Thirteen was the ULTIMATE THRILL. I dreamed for days on end of drowning my fruit in cinnamon, so that’s exactly what I did. In this bowl was papaya (which I now love all of the sudden… how crazy is that?!), berries, grapes, and a mango. It took me about an hour to eat and I savored EVERY LAST BITE.

As far as the re-feeding process, I was on raw foods for my first day back on solid food. The next day, I had raw foods plus some steamed veggies and squash. The next day, I had all of those plus some cooked potato and cooked grains (rice, oats). The NEXT day… all of that plus legumes!

It was a wild ride getting to eat all of those nutritious foods again! My body was so, so happy. And it was pretty amazing to see that I digested all of it extremely well, gained back only a couple of healthy pounds of water-weight from having nutrients in my bod, and my palette was overall refreshed in the best way. After a fast, it’s like introducing a baby to foods for the first time. You don’t crave sugar or salt or the things you would pre-fast. Everything is in a healthy and good place.

Sadly, once I started back on the juice my neck rash came back. Then a body rash, and a bad one. It got me thinking… are the rashes food-related or just inflammation-related? I strongly feel they are inflammation-related, and I really look forward to getting some answers from the autoimmune specialist I saw before I left, come my appointment on June 5th! The cool thing is that they went down so much while I was fasting, which was great while I was there.

I will be getting my fibroid checked in the next few weeks, and I am DYING to see whether it has shrunk. If it HAS, I will certainly be going back to True North for another 10-ish day fast later this summer to continue to shrinking it. I am very dedicated.

THE BENEFITS //

Oh my, the benefits have been just above and beyond. You guys… I don’t even know where to begin. If you follow me on Instagram, and especially if you have for a while, then I am sure you’ve noticed a drastic change. I am SO MUCH HAPPIER… so much LIGHTER (literally and figuratively), and my entire approach to life has shifted.

It’s so interesting… so spiritual… to lay in a bed for two weeks, entirely removed from your life, and consider the important topics of perspective, friendships, relationships, family, work, physical activity, inspiration, creativity… literally just life in general. With every passing day at True North, especially when I was totally bed-ridden, a deeper and deeper appreciation for getting to LIVE THIS LIFE to the fullest washed over me.

Feeling so strong & so ME in the best of ways post-fast… Ah!!! I even feel it looking at photos. 🙂

Suddenly, in that frame of mine, my own health issues didn’t seem so bad. Yes, I still have bad days and you guys should see the rash on my back and arms right now. Yes, it still keeps me up at night. But my perspective has shifted to what feels like a whole new dimension. The energy I have now is LEAPS & BOUNDS from when I was bed-ridden at True North, and it makes me appreciate this healthy and thriving body of mine no matter what health issues I am working through.

I have dedicated myself to this newfound perspective and it’s changed my life. The happiness, joy, and love radiating through me for the last week and a half of being home is the happiest I can remember being in years. I am FILLED with inspiration to stay on track with my new routine, create a new amazing routine with the love of my life when I get back to LA (we are moving in together and there is so much fun to come), bring so many projects and ideas to life, get back into my podcast recording routine, and just… LIVE.

It might be hard to understand because I can hardly find the words, but my perspective has shifted in every area of my life. The people I love mean more to me than ever before. My body and feels so, so good post-fast despite the fact that I still have a long road ahead of me. The salt-oil-sugar-free plant-based lifestyle that is taught and shared and believed in at True North is inspiring me with such fervor that I feel like part of my purpose on this planet right now (as a REFLECTOR no less… for all my fellow Human Design junkies!) is to share the benefits of the SOS-free lifestyle.

I am excited. Happy. Eager. Overjoyed. HEALTHY. AWAKE. And it feels just so, so amazing.

I know this has been an incredibly long post and to be completely honest I BARELY EVEN SCRATCHED THE SURFACE of this whole experience. I could write a novel about each and every day of this journey. Hopefully for now this gets much of my experience across, and if you feel inspired to do a water fast… I would HIGHLY recommend True North Healing Center, in Santa Rosa, CA.

DO YOUR RESEARCH //

Water fasting is also not for everyone. Although it has been practiced since the very beginning of medicine (Hippocrates, Plato, & Socrates have all written extensively of how it is the most healing practice known to man), it is very alternative in our day & age. I can guarantee you that many doctors & nutritionists will tell you it’s not a good idea… because they simply don’t have experience with it. It’s all about doing what works for you, and if you feel it in your bones that water fasting could be a solution for you, I would encourage you to listen to yourself above all else.

There are great resources out there on fasting, all of which I detail in my original water fasting post that you can find here.

I have a YouTube video & a podcast episode coming out about my water fasting experience, and there I will go into more detail about things I simply didn’t have the space to mention here! I will discuss how I handled the fast with my eating disorder background — which I feel more comfortable doing in the spoken word because there is a LOT to say about it. <3

Overall, I can safely & confidently say the water fast is the best thing I have ever done for my health. I cannot wait to see where this all takes me, but I know that mentally, physically and spiritually this fast was a turning point and catalyst for me. BIG, GOOD things are coming… and I cannot wait to take you all along for the ride.

I have also gotten my inspiration for COOKING & BEING IN THE KITCHEN back tenfold (or a million fold) & I feel that this newfound inspiration is an absolute blessing from Source Energy itself… I have been having so much fun creating in the kitchen & enjoying all my new SOS-free recipes. Lots more to come!

Would absolutely love to hear your thoughts, and feel free to leave questions below!! Let me know. I will be checkin’ the comments & responding to all! X