I’m writing this on Day 5 . . . I don’t know if I’m gonna make it.
Let’s go to the beginning.
The year was 2018.
I’d found that I’d gained a few pounds and despite that, I just wanted to nyam everything in sight.
You see, my pockets had gotten a lot deeper and for the first time in a looooooooong time, I had extra spending money (without sacrificing my ba$ics) and I could buy all that my tastebuds desire. Y’all know I’m a foodie at heart. I’ve been this way since I was born. It’s what helps bring all the delicious food to you through my cooking show The Mindful Plate and the recipes on this blog.
In addition to that, I was also experiencing digestive upset. I figured maybe I had taxed my system with toooooo much outside food. So I decided to go see a specialist.
This specialist worked with a quantum consciousness machine that could detect what was happening at the energetic and cellular level. Had I gone to a western doctor, they would basically wait until I had ulcers and degenerative dis-eases before diagnosing me. No thanks. So in going to this specialist, I was able to learn what would happen IF I continued to go down my gluttonous path.
I wasn’t expecting her to tell me what she told me.
She told me to stop eating and start drinking. Water. Herbal teas. Healing broths.
I was disgusted at her prescription.
In that moment I’d rather take a pill to make things go away than stop nyaming everything I loved. Not to mention I had trips planned to London, Marrakesh and Accra and I had every intention on eating what I wanted. Besides, I figured that I’m plant-based with minimal animal intake, what’s the problem? I eat healthy, right?
It turns out everything was the problem. From cinnamon to coconut oil to legumes to rice to corn to obvious stuff like gluten and white sugar and dairy.
I wasn’t ready to give any of that up. Not for a little bit.
So I kept chugging along. I started taking digestive enzymes to help me stomach all that my taste buds desired. (From Sprinkles cupcakes, to pizzeria garlic knots, to plant-based nachos, to fried mushroom “chicken” sandwiches, to french fries with every dipping sauce imaginable to beans and rice (pick any country’s version, I enjoy them all) to peanut butter chocolate cookies, to rich spicy African stews with pounded yam, to thick pancakes with loads of toppings and maple syrup . . . you get the picture.
And then 2020 came and I dived deeper down that rabbit hole of eating whatever I craved because emotions were at an all time high and Uber Eats was on speed order.
And then 2021 came and my body said
- “Please no more”
- “Please, give me a break”
- “Plants only – like fresh ones, preferably juiced”
- “Stop the madness”
- “Shelley, please listen”
- “okay, well if you won’t listen then I’ll just stop digesting any of this….how bout that?”
And then came constipation which led to hemorrhoids. There was also bloating…..loads of it. There were sore and stiff joints at times. There was also foggy brain. There were headaches. There was lethargy. There was dull and dry skin. And then the thing that got me was . . . . achy organs. Have your organs ever ached? I’m taking kidneys, liver and sometimes chest pains. WHOAH! That ish is scary!
That’s when I decided to listen. In 2018, she just gave me indigestion, but in 2021 she added all these other body experiences . . . .and I felt like if I continue, life just may not continue literally.
So here we are on Day 5 of water and broth.
At the beginning of the fast, I received a message from God that I need to work on releasing harbored feelings and old emotions during this D.E.T.O.X. I was also told it would help dissolve any tissue or cells that are old or damaged inside of me. So I agreed to embark on it, if I could rid my self of stuff that could hold me back.
Here’s how it went.
Day 1 – Monday July 26th, 2021
Weight – 152.6
Waist – 34″ — grew to 36″ at end of day (bloating)
Hips – 40″
Feels – I ate a last supper the day before on cookies and vegan chili cheese fries. I also over consumed cake and cookies the weekend before in preparation for fast. (side not , don’t follow me, this is NOT how you prepare for a fast) I wanted to exhaust myself and rid desire of food before fast, so I pretty much ate all my cravings. And then I decided that I wasn’t ready, I had more cravings in me. So let me just eat one more thing and then I can start tomorrow. So I ordered Uber Eats and enjoyed a Yemeni Breakfast of eggs, ful, soft cheese and yemeni flat bread and avocado toast. And then I ordered cookies, a magic bar slice and gluten free chocolate cake slice. I was definitely full and in my mind, ready to start the fast, because after eating that, I felt over all of it. My right knee was sore (this happens when I eat too much sugar, it’s called inflammation of joints) and my belly was gassy and bloated and my face was puffy. Let’s see if Day 2 was better.
Day 2 – Tuesday July 27th, 2021
Weight – 152.6
Waist – 34.5″
Hip – 40.5″
Feels – I started my day by watching fasting videos on YouTube. Trying to psyche myself up for the 21 day experience. Convince myself that the benefits for my body far outweighed the mental challenges ahead. After gaining all that knowledge, I still succumbed to more cravings. I ordered UberEats again and this time I ordered from my favorite Haitian and Mexican restaurants. Lakou Cafe came through with their beans and rice and sautéed kale and tomatoes and Haitian style spicy peanut butter cookie. Jajaja Las Plantas Mexicanas came through with their buffalo cauliflower tacos. And I ate and hoped to begin again tomorrow.
Day 3 – Wednesday July 28th, 2021
Weight – 152.8
Waist – 35″
Feels – The mind is a tricky place. I keep telling myself to stay in my body and not visit my thoughts too much during this fast. But then my mind sent me a message from a memory about Sprinkles. This was the week when they released their Cookie Cupcake. It’s one of my favorites and I have to wait a whole year for it to come out. It’s a limited edition version and I didn’t wanna miss it. I mean what’s another day? So I put on some clothes and took myself on a trip to Sprinkles. And then once I ate it, I was like, well now I need something savory. So I went to a cafe and ordered a delicious Salmon Sandwich with avocado, chipotle mayo on sourdough and french fries. And then I went back to Sprinkles for one more…..but they didn’t have any. Awww the despair. The lady felt sorry for me and offered me a vanilla with chocolate …..I took it, I ate it….but it wasn’t what I wanted. The Want was still there. So I went home and ordered Milk Bar and enjoyed their Strawberry Cream Slice and Crack Pie. And this was my literal last supper. At this point, I was DONE with myself.
DAY 1 -Day 4 – Thursday July 29th, 2021
Weight – 155.4
Waist – 36″
Hips – 40″
Feels – I woke up Bloated and Full. I also FINALLY felt ready for change. It took me to overextend my gut and feel the sickness deep down to be like, ENOUGH. My water fast has begun. I have a sour stomach. I feel that I’m mentally weak around food. Not all food, just the stuff I crave. I haven’t said no enough to foods that harm me short and long term. This 21-Day Water fast is me saying NO. Giving my body an opportunity to rest, restore, enhance, cure, repair, regenerate, enjoy itself and honor it’s natural processes of gene expression for thriving and surviving. I also had a colonic scheduled for today. It wasn’t supposed to be Day 1 of my fast but it just so happens that it was and boy was I relieved! I felt like a pin could just pop my stomach when I woke up this morning and I was happy to have all that gas and poo out of me!
DAY 2 -Day 5 – Friday July 30th, 2021
Weight – 150.4
Waist – 33.5″
Hips – 40.5″
Feels- I’ve never been one to obsessively nor regularly weigh or measure myself. But I noticed the 3 pound increase from Wed to Thurs and the 5 pound decrease from yesterday to today! Damn, gas and air weigh lot. I’m really proud of myself for making it through Day 1. I truly did it! I’m excited about keeping and honoring my word for Day 2. That colonic yesterday relieved soooooooooooo much gas and waste. Thank God. The gas was what contributed to all that bloating. I have no doubt that the 5 lbs was due to that colonic. I experienced a headache towards the end of the night and it stayed with me and forced me to bed.
DAY 3 –Day 6 – Saturday July 31st, 2021
Weight – 149.4
Waist – 33.5″
Hips – 40.5″
Feels – Lost weight this morning, found that the headache went away with rest. I woke up and it was gone. However this morning I felt weak-ish. I realized that this feeling will only worsen because there are no electrolytes, minerals nor vitamins coming in. So I decided that I would make a seaweed veggie mineral rich broth to sip along with the water. I definitely felt tired, too tired to walk to the store (about 15 minutes) so I took an Uber and bought organic veggies (celery, carrots, kale, green onion, yellow onion, box choy, maitake mushrooms and kobu). I made the broth simply by adding the cut veggies to a pot and crock pot with water and let it simmer until the veggies looked dead and the broth looked rich. About 2 hours on stove and about 8 hours in crock pot. I feel so proud that I made it to Day 3! And that broth tasted sooooo good! I noticed my tastebuds had reset and I could taste the goodness and essence of what was there. I also scraped my tongue which really helped.
DAY 4 -Day 7 – Sunday August 1st, 2021
Weight – 146.8
Waist – 33.75″
Hips – 39.5″
Feels – Yesterday I woke up drained and determined to make that mineral broth (note to self, make this on Day 1 of fast when I have more energy). Today I woke up feeling a bit better but still slow and weak-ish. I also decided to take my liquid Vitamin B12 because a sistah has stuff to do. I also felt my body switch into Ketosis by mid-afternoon. It was just an increase in energy and I could tell that my body was taping into my fat stores. I also ate a peanut. One damn peanut. Here’s what happened. I was a on zoom call with about 20 people and one guy was munching on something. My brain honed in and tried to guess what it was. Whatever it was, I could tell that it was individual and small. I decided that it was a peanut. And then my brain reminded me that there were peanuts in the fridge. I immediately craved the saltiness. The fat. The crunch. I convinced myself that it would give me energy and not throw me out of ketosis…..so I ate a peanut. Just one. Lawd. I actually got a surge of energy (from the broth and B12) and was able to do some video planning, shooting and editing and then retired to bed around 11pm.
DAY 5 -Day 8 – Monday August 2nd, 2021
Weight – 145.8
Waist – 33″
Feels- Weak! I woke up soooooooooo weak. I started my period yesterday and today is the first full day. (Didn’t account for this, actually didn’t even think about this, note to self, do not fast when on menstrual cycle, it’s no bueno). I know that this has something to do with me feeling this weak today. I wanna eat. Not from hunger but just to feel grounded. I feel like I’m working against my design with this whole fasting thing. I had a dream about being on set for a cooking video and eating bread and a croissant magic bar bread pudding (is there such a thing?), in my dream it was tasty. I also got diarrhea today. It’s what I call Period Poo. Every period, I get a massive poo ( I actually look forward to it, it’s like my body does a clean sweep) But this time since there was no fiber to push out, I got watery poo and it was glorious. I felt so good after it’s release, so much so that I laid down and took a 4 hour nap. I also was WANTY today. So what did I do? What you shouldn’t do. I went on GTFO it’s Vegan and looked at everything they offer…..then I added things to my cart…and then I checked out. Why oh why do I have food coming to my house in the next few days? It’s all frozen (for after the fast) but still?!?!?!? And then I went on Instagram and learned how to make gluten-free garlic knots because I realized that I miss Italian food. I rarely eat it because it’s cheese heavy. But today I realized I can eat it…..just gotta make a lot of alterations. Y’all I also ate a spoonful of nut butter in addition to my water and broth because the way I felt like I was dizzy every time I stood up. I thought about getting molasses for iron but I read it would take me out of ketosis, so I ate nut butter. Somebody come collect me. I’m not together with the laws of this fast. I’m clearly doing all the NOT TO DOs. I even started thinking, 21 days is ambitious. Maybe we’ll do 10. Yeah, let’s do 10 and then decide from there. But at this present moment, while I don’t want food, I do want to not have to be on this and just be well…..speaking of being WELL. I am realizing that my pendulum swing of eating everything I crave to eating nothing at all….isn’t well. It’s grounds for dis-ease. So instead of forcing myself to drink water, I’ll do what I always teach and tell others to do….I’ll listen in. Right now, I can tell my body is enjoying the break and resetting itself. If it reaches that mark before 21 days, I’ll adjust and move into juices and raw and cooked….but for now….I’m being obedient, event though my internet scroll has me dreaming of all the things I’m gonna make when this is over. And by all the things, I don’t mean Sprinkles, I mean my own gluten-free, refined sugar free version of the Cookie Cupcake 🙂
DAY 6 -Day 9 – Tuesday August 3rd, 2021
Feels – I woke up NOT feeling as drained. Thank GOD! I really think my period starting affected the last 2 days. I still gotta move slowly to prevent dizziness but overall I’m feeling well. No period pains! No bloating! I’m actually loving how my body is looking and I’m proud to evolve into a person who will maintain and strengthen it. I feel like I’m gonna make it for the duration of my fast, yay! The HUNGER has subsided and every now and then my stomach will growl….from emptiness I guess. But it’s not a hunger sensation, just a sensation of emptiness. I don’t think I’ll need to eat peanut butter today lol. Lawd help me. I’m gonna make my Food for the Blood tea by Upful Blends today. I was supposed to be making that all along, but I was too weak to stand over the pot and watch it simmer. I’m feeling blessed and regenerated and my breath is the freshest it’s been in years. Like baby’s breath. The research says that’s the breath of pure ketone energy. I love it. I wish I had someone to wake up and kiss, because lord knows I love morning sessions….but the morning breath is always a huge pause for me. My skin is also clearer and looking great on it’s own.
AHA MOMENT – Day 6 – Day 9 – Tuesday August 3rd, 2021
You know what’s hard for me? Being disciplined. Being my word. I created a word with this 21 day fast and I am suffering. This suffering isn’t necessary. I created a state of dis-ease in my body by not being my word. I said I was going to exercise and eat well. I was supposed to eat my own cooking and baking and not be in these streets. I was supposed to eat when I’m hungry and stop when I’m full. For the past 3 years I have not done that. Thus the weight gain, lethargy, brain fog and all the other symptoms I mentioned.
Today I woke up at 6, ready to start the day. My mind was awake, my plans were awaiting . . . .but I didn’t have a body that could carry out those plans. Because she hasn’t been fed any food in 6 days and she hasn’t been fed consistently nourishingly well in 3 years. Her stores feel depleted today. I mean, I’ve been in bed or on the couch laying down for 6 hours because I can’t even hold myself up in seated position. I don’t have the brain work to edit videos. I haven’t uploaded my weekly video nor submitted my contracted work which was due August 1. (Thank God for the 5 day grace period….but still).
So here’s what I’m noticing.
I’m immensely enjoying the fat loss. I can see my belly shrinking and I’m grateful. I’m also thinking about discipline.
If I can be disciplined not to eat (because of the immediate rewards of fat loss) then can I be disciplined enough to eat nourishingly well with a thought out meal plan and exercise daily? I’m talking bike riding, Kukuwa fitness dance classes and/or walking.
What I feel like I can’t afford to do anymore is be weak and not complete my plans. This water fast is draining me. I’m transforming physically but the way I feel is no bueno.
It’s got me thinking, where else can I use this level of discipline in my life?
I’ve wanted to write a cookbook, a how to book on moving from emotional eating to mindful eating, produce content for The Mindful Plate, teach The D.E.T.O.X. monthly, bike ride daily, make delicious meals for myself to eat and to share on IG, go dancing, rest, travel, spend time with my family and I’ve done it …..to a degree.
But there are days where I just lounge because I don’t feel like it. And then a day like today comes and I actually wanna….but can’t. My body cannot carry out the assignment.
That’s scary. I don’t want that to be my norm. I feel like that happens to people who don’t take care of their bodies.
So the message is, I don’t lack discipline, I’ve just been disciplined to the wrong things (like eating out, indulging in my taste buds cravings, sitting around instead of exercising, lounging instead of doing my work).
And the message is take your discipline and apply it to your purpose. Don’t put off tomorrow what’s here to do today. Tomorrow is not a day of the week. Tuesday is. Saturday is. But not tomorrow.
So do I continue on this fast or do I begin my refeed and instead of fasting from food, I fast from not being my word. I fast from not being disciplined.
Perhaps this was never about taking away (food) and more about adding in discipline and value.
Either way, progress will be made. I’m either going to “progress” by losing weight and giving my body a chance to reset through the water fast (but at what costs?) OR I’m going to progress by waking up when I’m woken and living out my day as I’ve planned it (sticking to my delicious meal plans, giving my body the movement it desires and deserves and working in my Purpose. The weight will come off regardless.
So what’s it gonna be?
DAY 7 -Day 10 – Wednesday August 4th, 2021
Weight – 141.8
Waist – 31.5″
Hips – 40″
Feels – I woke up not feeling as drained. Had a dream about being in a fasting center and learning how to properly refeed. Dreaming of all the juice I wanna make. Don’t feel as lethargic. Definitely feel slow though. Went to a tailor yesterday to fit my bridesmaids dress and he said I was a 28 waist. Maybe I’ve been measuring wrong, but for the sake of consistency I’m gonna keep with mine. Also I’m experiencing a painless period and it’s the lightest its been in years! Also decided to try on clothes that I haven’t been able to wear since 2018 and 2019 and they FIT!!!!!! Oh my goodness, what a feeling. I also woke up with the message that if you give your body an opportunity to rest through fasting it will re-member itself. Literally put it self (it’s member) back together again. The body has memory and it knows who it is and what it once was, it just needs you to get out the way to re-create itself back into wholeness and wellness. That’s what today feels like. I actually had energy to paint my toes, rebraid my edges Fulani style with beads, put on makeup, get dressed in an outfit I hadn’t worn before, listen to music and sloooooowly jam to it lol, come to my computer and do some work. It feels good, y’all, it feels good. I also realized that every day ain’t the same day, and Day 7 brought this level of energy while Day 6 had me ready to quit. So keep going…..
DAY 8 -Day 11 – Thursday August 5th, 2021
Weight – 140.8
Waist – 31″
Hips – 38.5″
Feels – Woke up with a pain in my heart, right under my left breast because I was dreaming about buying cupcake (2 of them to be exact). I could tell they were made of shortening instead of butter. My heart wasn’t having it. As soon as I woke up and shifted positions, my heart pain went away. Also felt dehydrated with a slight headache and a little slow this morning.
DAY 9 -Day 12 – Friday August 6th, 2021
Weight – 140.4
Waist – 31.”
Hips – 39.5″
Feels – Woke up later in day around 8:45 but got out of bed at 9:45…..I feel weak and draaaaaaaaaaaaained! Yesterday was a marathon of running around. I had my 3rd colonic, went to my bridesmaid fitting, went to buy a bike and went to see a friend at Hudson River Park. I basically spent a lot of energy today and I feel depleted at the time of writing this. But I must say, I looooooooved how my body looked. I wore a fitted top and skirt and was feeling myself! And at the same time I’m wondering why I only lost .4 lbs? Anyhoo, I’m ready to make Day 10, so I can begin juicing for the next 5 days because I want to taste again! And then I’ll eat raw for the following 6 days to complete the 21 Day Fast. I’m so grateful. Very.
DAY 10 -Day 13 – Saturday August 7th, 2021
Weight – 138.6
Waist – 30.5″
Hips – 39″
Feels – I am happy to make it to Day 10! Today starts my refeeding day. It is time. 3 Days of juicing ahead of me 🙂 Yesterday I was weak beyond words. I spent the entire day horizontal on couch in an out of nap for 6 hours. That marathon of running around on Thursday had me SPENT! My poor body was done. It’s the unsustainability for me. I’m ready to start moving and eating well, cycling, strength training to bring power and energy back to my beautiful body. I’m happy to be caring for her at this level again continuously, consistently. She is craving vitamins, minerals, electrolytes, power…..and I’m going to juice bar today!
DAY 11 -Day 14 – Sunday August 8th, 2021
Weight – 139.2
Waist – 30.5″
Hips – 39″
Feels – Woke up feeling waaaay more normal. No weakness or light headedness. It’s because I started juicing. Thank God, I made it to Day 9 on water and successfully transitioned. It feels like night and day. Juicing is everything. I had a cucumber celery lemon juice to start. Then later I had a Natural Blends Green Drink which also has apple and kale and my energy boooooooosted! I was no longer out of breath and actually could go back to the juice store for a second time. I also noticed when I woke up that I had no mucus to cough up and very little cold in my eye I also pick up my bike today and got my matching white basket 🙂
DAY 12 -Day 15 – Monday August 9th, 2021
Weight – 139
Waist – 30″
Hips – 39″
Feels – So excited! I feel good. I woke up feeling peace in my stomach and body. That’s such a God feeling. I got my bike yesterday and I’m overjoyed. I’m riding her this weekend! On Day 3 of juicing and tomorrow I start mono solid whole food meals. Definitely nyaming green granny smith in the morning and steamed cabbage for lunch and dinner with sauerkraut for probiotics/prebiotics for my gut. My face is no longer puffy when I wake up and I have minimal cold in my eyes. My energy is at 85% (almost back to 100 and a far shot from the 35% it was on Friday. I feel so proud of my progress and transition. I feel empowered to help others on their journey. Gonna be guiding future D.E.T.O.X. participants in theirs 🙂
DAY 13 -Day 16 – Tuesday August 10th, 2021
Weight – 139.4
Waist – 30.5″
Hips – 39″
Feels – Today is my first day of whole mono foods. These past several days of liquids have taught me how important healthy carbs are. I was eating loads of carbs before this fast – cakes, cookies, sandwiches, fries, etc. but they left me drained. Carbs = energy. Do I want french fry energy or plantain energy? Something I’m looking forward to having loads of! Breadfruit, yam, and plantains are gonna be my best friends. I’m excited to welcome them into my home (body + kitchen). Today, I’ll start with apple, banana and cabbage for dinner. Mono meals. By Thursday, I’ll start combining food healthily like starch and greens or protein and greens. I also wanna get waist to 28″ through diet and exercise and weight between 130-135. So I have a little way to go. I’m gonna work with my personal trainer for the rest of the results.
DAY 14 – and beyond
What did I learn?
If I take care of cells (through proper nutrition, water intake, rest and movement), my cells will take care of my SELF.
Once I achieve homeostasis, everything I want will come.
Weight loss, weight maintenance, energy, awareness, open portal, intuition heightened, trust of self and body.