Yes, you read right, I am doing a Chinese detox and going for two weeks with no food – none.
It’s all in the interest of Chinese Medicine, and I am cleansing my organs and (apparently) adding 20 years to my life.
At least that’s what my Chinese Doctor from Traditional Chinese Medicine Australia told me.
Day One: For my first appointment with Dr Shu Quan Liu, I had to lie on a table whilst he analysed every part of my body. He then did cupping (a first for me) where glass bottles were suctioned onto my back, followed by acupuncture. I felt attacked!
This process took about an hour, and about half way through he told me things were not good. My oxygen in my blood is super low, and my stomach is “a complete mess”, “all blocked up”.
Oh dear. I thought I was doing ok?
“You might, might live to 80” he said, “if you are very lucky” but that’s it. But he then explained he would take care of everything from here and in 2 weeks I would lose 8 kilograms, have more energy than ever before, and I could live until 100 if I follow his program. Sounded so easy.
Really? Honestly I don’t think I need to lose 8 kilograms, Maybe 1kg or 2kg if I want to wear a really skimpy bikini.And living to 100? I’m not sure about that either.
But what the heck, I signed up. This could change my life – you just never know. The program runs for 101 days, but I signed up for the first 2 week detox to road test it.
Dr Liu is a renowned Chinese Doctor who believes we are all eating too much and need to detoxify not just our bodies, but our minds as well. He does it with a 101 day program that kicks off with a 2 week extreme detox, of literally no food for 2 weeks. The only thing you can consume are Asian herbs 3 times a day and boiled water. Yep, its that extreme.
I had my last supper before the detox – and went mad. A huge eye fillet steak, avacado, as much amazing red wine as I could consume with a friend, cheese, and chocolate, a lot of chocolate, then more cheese. I loved every minute of it. I have a renewed understanding of the Biblical Last Supper.
Day Two: I arrived for my first session, and everyone seemed shocked I was in fitness gear and sweating after a work out. When I laid down, two people came and fanned me with sheets. Must be a Chinese Medicine thing? Of course I am going to work out during my detox?
I had an hour long massage which had nothing to do with gentleness, and a lot to do with banging and squeezing – it was painful. Followed by serious acupuncture – I am guessing there were more than 20 needles in my stomach, a few in my head and on my feet and legs. That hurt too.
It was nice to stop for an hour though, I must admit. And you are not allowed to use your phone when you are in the treatment rooms (I reckon I’ll change that by the time the two weeks are up).
When I got home, I had the first of the many herbal mixtures I am now to take 3 times a day instead of food for breakfast, lunch and dinner. I can’t lie. These are the worst things I have ever tasted. If you got a whole lot of dirty, wet leaves and put them in a blender and added cow wee, it would taste better.
I may need botox after two weeks of scrunching up my face trying to drink this stuff. It is hideous. And the catch is, I have to have THE SAME MIX at every meal. Nothing to look forward to.
But all in the name of good health…I keep telling myself.
Meantime all I can think about is pizza. But I haven’t eaten pizza since I was like 12 years old, and I think about cakes, cakes with raspberry toppings and custard oozing out of the centre, with sweet French pastry underneath. But I don’t eat cake usually either.
I texted my doctor about this issue I am confronting, who is on call for me 24/7 and he said “It’s all in the mind.”
Tell me something I don’t know.
Day 3: Honey ice-cream. It’s in every thought today. My dreams are wild; ex boyfriends from childhood, restaurant dishes, fast food, open fields, white horses, it’s crazy. I am reminded of when I was pregnant and had food cravings. This is the same thing but much, much worse.
I had my acupuncture and massage session this morning and I am using my phone throughout. I am desperate for distraction from this whole ordeal.
The journey inside myself has begun though. When you are not cooking or eating, you have a whole lot more time (and money) to contemplate. I am forced to chill out, stay home, not socialise and sit with myself.
It is very calming and peaceful, not withstanding the hunger pains which seem to come in waves, as do the food images.
This detox is a passion killer. I could have lost a great date – as I met a lovely man who asked me out for a wine. “I don’t drink wine at the moment”, I said. He launched into “ah, what about lunch then, some calamari and salad” he asked? I shook my head “Dinner overlooking the sea?” when I nodded my head to say no a third time, he looked up and said “why don’t you women just say no the first time we ask you out instead of pretending you’re interested and making us look like idiots?” Sigh.
Day 4: I woke up at 3am and cleaned my kitchen cupboards out – like, every single one. The energy burst was incredible, and my desire to have everything in order was overwhelming. Never done anything like it in my life.
At my morning acupuncture, Dr Liu said this was a great sign, and that I am “getting things out.” Clearly literally and figuratively.
At the session, I met a spritely man who looked 60, maybe 65. Dr Liu told me he is 90, 90? Maybe this program is the real deal I pondered. The man looked amazing.
I am cooking (for my twins) better than ever before. I am loving buying, cooking and serving food to them. It’s bizarre, I am obsessed with food. And only occasionally do I feel desperate to sample their meals – but I have so far resisted.
The mental strength within me is rising like a tidal wave. It is so empowering it is astonishing. I can’t believe how much of our lives are driven by food. From TV advertisements to meetings, even the movies are full of alcohol and grand meals. The car park boards even have food images on them now – when dd that happen? How do overweight people lose weight with all of this imaging? In Sydney, it’s all about food and I never ever noticed before.
Day 5: White bread rolls with the hugest chunk of butter, and warm, so the butter is oozing out. This is the image I woke up to today – after only sleeping until 3am. After that my mind was racing. And I haven’t eaten white bread for over a decade. It’s so bizarre.
Today it is tough. Today I want to give up. I want to fly to Paris and eat a three course meal at my favourite bistro with wine and go for a long walk afterwards. Or just a simple Sydney bread roll would do. Or just any type of food at all – ANYTHING.
My body is hungry, but my mind is burning alive. Concentration is difficult, driving is difficult, so I called Dr Liu and said “Code Red”. He said I can have a spoon of honey. OMG, this is a revelation. But how can I make it last? In hot water? in dots licked off a plate…. I told you my mind is in over-drive.
I totally relate to those grossly obese people I have seen on US television rushing to plates of food they put in front of them and gorging themselves without any cutlery. This is primal. I have never had an appetite like this.
New lows. The mind goes crazy without food, and I am fighting with it every minute of every day. It’s worse than a bad relationship, the internal fighting never ends, it wakes me up at night. It is with me 24/7 like a horrible ghost haunting me. I don’t dare open the fridge.
My daughter had a birthday party today, only we arrived to discover it is next weekend not today. As I said, the mind is on fire.
I decide to have a hot water with honey in it and I can’t help but skull it. The taste is extra ordinary after the bitter herbs, and to be honest it is too sweet. Too much too soon.
*Please excuse any grammatical errors in this copy, I have not eaten for four days 🙂
… to be continued.