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Friday, November 24, 2023

Mamma Mia! at the Pantages

Mamma Mia! at the Hollywood Pantages is excellent. But before I get to that, I just want to say that I’m so behind updating this blog. First, I don’t like this time of year because the days are shorter. I do a few things, and the day is over. Second, I was planning to blog two weeks ago, but my laptop stopped working on Saturday, and I was up until 1:30 a.m. at my brother’s house as he tried to get the keyboard and mouse to work. I have to say, he is a lifesaver because he finally solved the issue; otherwise, I would have lost a lot of data. And this past weekend, I hanged out with my family and my niece who was on a college holiday, and a friend I hadn’t seen in a longtime. So, this post will be short, but I’m working on a few things coming soon…

My friend and I got to the theater right before the lights were dimmed. This year, she and I have been to a bunch of plays. If I don’t like a play, I don’t blog about it. And although Frozen is still my favorite musical in Los Angeles to date, I must say, this jukebox musical was pretty good and put us in a happy mood. Of course, no one is allowed to record any of the scenes until the end.

There were a lot of funny scenes. The outfits in the above video when the trio first came on the stage were so outrages that we couldn’t stop laughing. One of my favorite scenes is when Rosie chases Stavros in the Take a chance on me scene. In the movie, it is funny, but in this play, it is absolutely hilarious.

Another fantastic thing about this play was that the actors loved performing and were enjoying themselves. So, when the story ended, they continued to sing and dance, and it felt like we were watching yet another performance.

The acting, singing, dancing, and Choreography, were flawless. If you get a chance, go see it. You will not be disappointed. And you don’t need front row seats to enjoy this play. The balcony or upper balcony works just fine.

Sunday, November 5, 2023

My 3 Day Water Fast

Before you read this, please note that I’m not a doctor. I’m just sharing my experience. Here is an informative video by Dr. Sten Ekberg. I went on a fast to get rid of impurities in my digestive tract and to give my digestion a break. I learned about autophagy—the body naturally removes the buildup of damaged cells. This process may also be induced through fasting. Here is a video by Dr. Jason Fung.
I have some experience with fasting as I had done intermittent fasting and one meal a day fast in the past. I also did a short water fast long ago because one morning I got up and could not move my left hand. My hand was red and swollen, and I had read that water fasting can help heal most diseases. So, I did a 32-hour water fast, and my hand went back to normal.
And about two years ago, I did a juice fast for 16 days which was super difficult, because it was around Thanksgiving, I was busy doing too many things, and I was invited to various gatherings. Let’s just say, it was a miserable experience.

This year, I found myself contemplating about fasting again because I got sick too many times which is not the norm for me. However, after my juice fasting experience, I was not mentally ready until last Friday night. I had had an early dinner, and I had no plans to hang out with anyone for the rest of the week. I wasn’t sure for how long I was going to last. I just knew that I wanted to do a water fast for at least 3 days, and more if possible.

Here is what happened after my first, second, and third day of water fasting, how I dealt with it, and the aftermath.

Day one: The first 24 hours wasn’t that bad. I drank water each time I was hungry or thirsty. I kept busy working on my computer, doing light housework, calling my friends, going for a stroll somewhere green, and taking naps.

Here is what I also should have done: Putting 1-2 tablespoon of apple cider vinegar in the water helps smooth over the hunger pangs. A pinch of Himalayan salt on the tongue is also helpful.

Day two: After the first 24 hours, things got much worse. I felt a strong nausea, had terrible headaches, and couldn’t sleep. I did go for an hour slow walk in sunshine to distract myself. This was helpful to get me through day two.

Here is what I also should have done: I didn’t have minerals. It’s important to take minerals during fasting. I didn’t take Himalayan salt until it was too late and I couldn’t sleep. A pinch of Himalayan salt helpes with the headache. I didn’t drink carbonated water. A high-quality carbonated water, such as Pellegrino, helps with the nausea. I didn’t chew on ginger. Chewing on ginger helps with nausea as well. Just don’t eat the ginger. After you’re done chewing it, spit it out.

Day three: After 48 hours, I was starting to experience a mild brain fog. I was hungry and wanted to eat, and was not feeling all that great. I knew that it was time to stop, but I didn’t want to give up until my 72 hours were over. So, I kept busy, did my walk, worked, and took naps until I accomplished my goal.
The aftermath: I feel lighter and more agile. My energy is higher. The skin on my face looks much better. I saw some improvements in my psoriasis.My mood has lifted and I feel happier. I am more disciplined and procrastinate less. I am more aware of what I eat and am gradually cutting out junk foods from my diet. I feel an incredible self-confidence, because I started on a difficult path, and finished it.
Would I do it again? Absolutely. The next time, I want to do it for at least four days. They say that to see real benefits, you should water fast for at least a week. But I have learned to let go of my all or nothing attitude. For me, this is a health journey, and I will get better at it with repetition. After my water fast, I am working on doing intermittent fasting because it is better for my health. I’m also planning to include at least one vegetable juice a day in my diet. And when I’m ready, I will include a once a week 24-hour fast in my routine. This journey is a process, and making changes slowly, makes it more likely to stick to them.

My motivation:  I like to be healthy so that I can live an active life. I am working toward living a life of minimalism. I want to stop consuming so much, be it clothing, gadgets or food.

To recap what is needed for water fasting:

  • Minerals. Minerals should have zero sugar.
  • Apple Cider vinegar
  • Himalayan salt
  • Quality carbonated water
  • Ginger
  • Roobios herbal tea, no sugar (when I would get tired of drinking water, I switched to this tea.)
  • Lemons, sliced (you put the lemon in your water, just don’t eat the lemon.)

A few tips: 

  • Before jumping in, I learned as much as possible about water fasting. Here is a video by Dr. Eric Berg: 72 Hour Fasting Benefits on the Immune System
  • I allowed my body to learn to fast slowly. Such as starting with an 8 hour fast for the first time, and increasing it as I got better at it.
  • Starting a water fast is a mindset. I waited until I was mentally ready.
  • I decided to fast during the least stressful time in my life. 
  • I stayed away from places where people were eating.
  • I rested, took naps, meditated, read, sat outside, and went for a light walk in sunshine.
  • I broke the fast with a plain miso soup, black beans and brown rice.
  • I didn’t overeat when the fast was over, because I didn’t want to lose the benefits of the fast. I ate normal. 

I’m a foodie, and if I can do a water fast, anyone can. For me, the benefits of a water fast outweigh the effort. Best of all, the day after the fast and the days that followed, I felt great.