Thursday, January 29, 2009

Moved to Patong, Zhang Yi comes to town!

After the fast I did raw foods for a bit and then broths and cooked vegetables. Day 17 I finished something like 20+ pounds lighter and feeling very good! I moved to a hotel in Patong, another area on Phuket Island and went Wednesday night to pick up Zhang Yi (Jenny) at the airport. We'll be in Thailand together for one last week before we head back to Beijing.

After she arrived, we had coconuts on the first lunch! How typical, right? This lunch was the first time in my life that I've ever eaten raw oysters,...and I must say that they were fabulous! The Thai served them with a little lime and chili sauce and it was perfect! (Yes, I'm eating seafood, fruit and vegetables now! Nothing else though. It's not hard to keep to that at all in Thailand!)

After lunch we went elephant riding with a third friend from the fasting center. Also a first for me! Our elephant was 32 years old, and the guide was 22.

Saying goodbye was hard! He was such a cute creature...but a bit of a beggar when it came to bananas :)

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Thai Fast: Day 13, 14: Food Tomorrow!!!

That's right, day 14 is the last day of the full fast. Tomorrow morning I get to slowly begin "breaking" the fast. For three days I will be allowed 2 green salads, 1 plate of fruit and 2 fruit drinks for the day. This raw food should be spread out over 6 small meals. Your body has trained itself to be in "starvation" mode as it has not had food for two weeks. Small, frequent, raw meals get your body accustomed to the fact that it will have food coming on a regular basis and does not need to store everything. It coaxes the metabolism up to a normal level. Only after a few days of raw can you slowly start adding other things and seeing how you feel. One shrimp here, a few nuts there. Anyway, the thought of starting to eat a little tomorrow is exciting. Lord knows that is all that we sit around and talk about all day!

Saturday, Day 13, we went for a morning walk on the beach. It was a beautiful morning. Lots of folks were exercising and there was a big group of folks training in Thai Boxing.

The evening of Day 14, Sunday, we went on a sunset trip. Wasn't much of a sunset with the clouds, but it draws quite a crowd nonetheless. And it is never painful to look at all of these beautiful islands.

Saturday, January 24, 2009

Thai Fast: Days 11 & 12: Big Buddha and Patong Trip

Day 11 we went to see the "Big Buddha" project that is on one of the highest spots of Phuket. The Buddha is enormous and can be seen from almost anywhere on the island.
A man gazing at the Big Buddha:

There are monks that live on the premises. This one had the public rotation where he sits and blesses the visitors that come in:

A Coconut Juice break...again. Can you tell this is the ONLY treat we are allowed? :-)

Evening of Day 12 we went out to Patong. A crowded area full of shopping, lights and night activity. Incedentally, it is also the better place in Phuket for seeing Thailand's infamous "Ladyboys."

Nicole and Myself with two of the Ladyboys. Yes, transgenders. They were born men and then made the transformation later in life:

Check out the size of this seafood! The restaurants all put it out on ice to show you what you are getting before you agree to come in:

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Thai Fast: Days 8-10

Days 8 and 9 were relatively uneventful. Evening activity on Day 8 was a bit of Tai Chi and Day 9 was a nutrition talk and coaching on how to break our fasts. We also got to look at lots of lovely pictures of stuff that should be and is coming out of us! You wouldn't believe the stomach plaque and parasites that everyone is seeing leave their bodies. It's downright scary.

During evening activities, around 7pm all the creatures start to come out. Frogs, crickets, geckos, and mosquitos, (Mossies as the Australians here call them), and probably some more unpleasant things. I love the lizards that hang out near the light. I took a picture of one on Tai Chi night. Thanks to Geico I always imagine them speaking in Australian accents!

Day 10 we went on a "moutain walk" which was really just an uphill walk on a road. We went up to a peak that overlooks a little section of the island. On the way we ran into Dha doing her morning exercise. Dha is my favorite masseuse...she really takes care of us! (And yes, hide your disbelief, Stephanie is getting a tan!)

A view of Nai Harn beach half-way up the hill. This is the only beach I've actually been to on Phuket, and there are lots!

On of the views from the top, check out that water and coral underneath!

A few from the group resting at the lookout over a nearby island:

And for all of you that don't believe I'm actually there:

Monday, January 19, 2009

Thai Fast: Day 7, Trip to the Night Market

Around 6pm we taxied to the night market in the middle of Phuket Town. There were people everywhere, and surprisingly a lot of locals. The outer ring of stalls were all food items and fresh local snacks, and the inner rings were shopping, gifts, etc. Just a few pics and a quick video for you:

I had to watch as she arrange the kabobs and dribbled the amazing tangy/spicy sauce all over them! I'll have to come back for the tofu kabobs after the fast! No meat allowed that soon!

Selling flowers and knick-knacks.

Finally, a quick video of a small section of the food market:

The shopping was pretty uninteresting at the market. Pretty cheap with a lot of knock-offs. Not much of anything I couldn't find in China. However, we all agreed that we would want to come back after the Fast for the variety of local snacks and treats!

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Thai Fast: Days 4-6

Days 4 and 5 were relatively uneventful. I spent the time letting my foot recover and didn't leave the wellness center as I was weaning off of crutches. Day 4 was definitely the low point of the fast. I was nauseous all day and slept most of the day and night. Day 5 and 6 I was back and feeling good. Always a little hungry, but had plenty of energy and stayed awake during the day.

Day 6 was an excursion to Coral Island!! First we bundled up in a two row taxi truck sitting shoulder to shoulder:

The group making their way into the boats:

In the boat on our way:

Coral Island from the beach:

Snorkeling around the coral:

The fish went crazy around people because they were so used to being fed bread!

Enjoying fresh coconut juice. This was actually the first time I'd "cheated" in 6 days. Some folks are on fast + juice programs, but I'm on a pure fast program. The coconut juice was soooo sweet after all those nasty clay/fiber drinks!

A lovely day! I can't wait until the night market excursion tomorrow!

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Thai Fast: Days 2 and 3.....The Good and the Ugly

Day 2 I got out and went on the beach trip in the afternoon. It was very pretty, cold water and white sand. This beach had a lot of people on it, but that also brought a lot of shopping and food/drink...which I was of course not allowed to partake in. I was still pretty hungry day 2, but Day 3 proved to be easier to handle.

As you can see, there are a lot of islands right off of the coast of Phuket:

After coming back from the beach and heading out the door to a massage, I mis-stepped and sprained my ankle. That put quite the damper on the afternoon of day 2 and morning of day 3. For 24 hours I couldn't put any weight on it and was hopping around my room to get things or go to the bathroom. Day 3 morning I went to the international hospital and it was X-rayed. No small fractures, just partially torn ligaments. So I got a compression wrap and crutches! Yay! Back on my feet again. By afternoon of day 3 I was already walking better with the crutches and able to put a little weight on it. It seems as if I cannot visit a country without going to its hospitals! This was my doctor:

And sorry if you don't want to see this, but I think it's cool!! This is the swollen and black/blue foot:

I'm just thankful that I'm planning on staying in this one place for another 10-12 days. If I was traveling around it would be most difficult!

Monday, January 12, 2009

A Thai Fast!

As many of you know, I took off from Beijing a week after landing there. I suddenly decided in November that I should go south in January because it was so cold. Then i decided it should be Thailand because I've never been there. THEN I decided, wouldn't it be fun to go to one of those wellness centers there and do a fast too? So...I'm here! I'm doing a 14 day full fast followed by 3 days of raw foods to re-acclimate. I'm staying in a wellness center on Phuket Island in Thailand. As many of you know, this is the most famous tourist island with beautiful beaches, coral reefs and smaller islands off the coast for exploring.

I am 10 minutes inland and living at the center, but they give rides to the beach every afternoon for anyone that wants to go. In case you're curious, I thought I should share some details with you about what's in this program I'm doing. this is my room, a home for almost 3 weeks:

What I "eat"...which isn't much!
7:00 am: Herbs
9:30 am: Fiber and Clay Drink
11:00 am: Herbs
1:00 pm: Fiber and Clay Drink
3:00 pm: Herbs
5:00 pm: Fiber and Clay Drink
6:00 pm: Broth Soup
7:00 pm: Herbs
9:00 pm: Fiber and Clay Drink
10:00 pm: Pro-biotic Tablet to replace your healthy bacteria.

I know this sounds like a lot…but it is just a few pills and scoops of nutritional supplements. In the picture below, this is the bag we received in the morning of day 1 and the consultant said, “Here is all your food for the next 2 weeks!” Yikes.

Now for what I do! Activities:
7:30 am: Morning Ritual: This can include a combination of Yoga, stretching, Tai Chi, or Reflexology. Nothing too challenging. It’s more to get your blood moving and get you relaxed for the day.

A meeting lining up massage and therapy times for the rest of the day:

11:45 am: Morning Colema: A therapy that runs water all the way through your colon for 30-40 minutes, flushing it out. Sounds gross, and is a little weird in implementation, but you’d be amazed what’s in there and how long it has been stuck in the linings of your colon.

12-3 pm: Beach time: The center’s driver will make 10 minute trips to the beach during these hours if you want to go.

2:45 pm: 1 Hour Massage (YAY! My favorite part of the day. You can choose between Oil, Thai, Shiatsu, Foot Reflexology or Face and shoulder Massages.)

5:00 pm: Evening Colema: A repeat of what you did in the morning. But you can choose what types of colemas you want for various effects. Coffee, vitamin C, garlic and pure water are some of the choices. All have their advantages, and you can’t feel a difference.

5-6:30 pm: Herbal Steam Sauna: Wood-burning sauna that will run during these hours for those that are interested.

7:00 pm: “Something at 7”: This can include anything from yoga, dancing, kickboxing, nutritional classes, etc. You can chose to participate.

As you can see, there is really only free time in the mid-afternoon and after 8:30 at night. I’m thankful for all of it, because you need stuff to take up your time when you are thinking about food. I was very hungry the first day, starting around 11am, when your body is missing breakfast. I stayed hungry throughout the day, feeling only a little satisfied when we had hot tea or the fiber drinks. At night I dreamed that I had broken my fast and was eating my Dad’s cookies. Haha…of all things to appear in the dream! I was exhausted by 7pm and went to bed, missing the evening activity. They say days 1-5 are the hardest, 6-14 should be much easier. Following day 14 I will have 3 days of raw foods to bring me back to the world of solid foods gracefully. No binge-eating. It is 3 salads + fruit juice during the day because your body has to get used to digesting and bring the metabolism back up from the fasting rate.
Day 1 down, 13 to go!