Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Green Getaway, Day Two

And the story continues... Day Two should be prefaced with a little side note. While standing in line the night before to schedule a couple massages for the week, I met a few people. Though I had some preconceived vow to be solitary, we all waited in line for 90 minutes together. You just have to make friends in that amount of time, and so we did. You're all there for this common reason: to get healthier. And it becomes a powerful common thread. I met Adrianna, from Chicago, who grew into this nurturing angel as the week progressed. When I hit my wall on Friday, she was there, along with other OHI angels to get me through (and to find that avocado that tasted like gold). And I met Anita. And there was Terry, one of the only men there - he was there on his own as most people were. OHI is sort of a solo sport. (Side story: Terry's uncle told him that it was a healing spa-like retreat, and you get all you can eat and drink! Terry ended up being the MC at the talent show - yes, talent show. He was hilarious, and his "guy's perspective" to the whole experience was side-splitting!)

OK, more on Monday. I did not make it to the 7:30 exercise class, but I did make the 8:30 "Circle" followed by breakfast. During circle each morning and evening, we are given a word to sort of ponder during the day. I don't remember every day's word, but I think this first one was LOVE. The leader dude reads a sweet little passage about love, we all hold hands, and then we bless our food that we are about to eat in hopes that it nourishes our bodies in whatever ways it needs nourishing. You see, there are folks there with cancer and other issues - though you really wouldn't immediately know by looking at them. Some things just aren't visible, ya know? Another cool thing, at OHI disease is not referred to as the thing it is, but rather as a "health opportunity." You know, like when you read that illness changes someone for the better? It's that. The whole vibe is on a very high, positive note. If you're going to heal, this place makes you feel you can. There's no dwelling in impossibility - only on the possible, doable, attainable. As we sat in classes learning about nutrition and digestion and food combining, the instructors would mention that after you deal with your health opportunity (because you will!), you can go back to a maintenance version of the diet. What we were on is called the Detox Diet.

Oh, and following Circle, we all exchange many, many hugs. They say it takes 39 hugs a day to stay well. It was pretty neat. All this warmth, and all these smiles, every day, that you could totally count on. It was a tad addictive.

At 11 a.m. we got juicing instructions. As in wheatgrass juicing! There's a room with about 15 juicers on tables, and you go in there, put on these thin, clear plastic gloves, cut some "grass" and slowly feed it into the juicer. If you've never had wheatgrass, it tastes like freshly cut grass smells. Definitely an acquired taste. I was never able to throw down the stuff in the morning before drinking anything else, but many folks did. Whoa, props to them! It's not for wussies!

Dinner day one, and then breakfast day two!

I finally summoned the brain cells to bring my camera and get a snap of BREAKFAST. Yep, this was breakfast (pardon the sideways pic, can't get it to right itself!). No poached eggs, certainly no breakfast meats (even mock!), and forget toast. Forget warm food! Coffee? Nope. Not even tea. Tepid reverse-osmosis water concocted to be the ideal pH, and Rejuvelac - made from fermented grains and designed to increase digestion. That's what you drink. I actually didn't mind this stuff, at least at first! My system kind of rebelled later on.

I was still feeling pretty good, but the detox symptoms were just starting to kick in. I had a slight headache, but all was still basically peachy. I spent my days attending classes, going to the dining room to eat and to the water station to get more water. By the second day my sense of thirst was starting to return. I learned that you sense thirst in your mouth. I was just starting to feel that for the first time in years! Before going, I was like a camel. Thirst? Nah. I can go days without drinking plain water. Just give me other stuff. Of course, my system reflected that - I was an arid little desert. More of the story to come!

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