It is 2:26 PM on Tuesday and I am drinking my last cup of coffee for 15 days. In my continuing life as an unemployed writer, I have been watching documentary after documentary via Netflix. My most recent choice has inspired me to hit the restart button on my life. The film, Fat, Sick and Nearly Dead has inspired me to embark on a 15 day fast.

The film follows an Australian man (Joe) who lives half time in the U.S. and Australia. Being the two "fattest" cities in the world, according to Joe the narrator, he has found himself overweight and suffering from chronic hives. He consults a nutritionist and his doctor and then he embarks on a 60 day juicing fast. While a large part of the film chronicles his weight loss, I was far more interested in the fact that he was able to rid himself of the need for his medication and his hives were no longer appearing. His general skin tone and energy improved markedly during the course of the film. The film also follows two others who, inspired by Joe, go on their own nutritional healing journey.

I became fascinated with the concept of the fast and healing through food as I thought my deteriorated over the last 2 years as I over-worked in a high stress company where a standard day found me sitting and staring at a computer screen for 12 plus hours in a day. I developed new allergies, mysterious hives, and my energy level dropped considerably. It was fascinating to see my food decline as the job itself became more and more stressful and I was spending more and more time in the office. My exercise schedule dropped from about 3-4 days a week to 0. I went from drinking a soda a few time a year to a daily diet Coke.

Although I have already begun making changes: I quit my job, returned to yoga and running, started cooking at home again and no more diet soda everyday the effects of stress, diet and a sedentary lifestyle for the last 2 years still linger, seemingly permanently. Thus I have decided to try this out of hope, curiosity and to break up the boredom of applying for jobs and looking for work.

The 15 day fast will consist of flooding my body with micro-nutrient juice (made of fruits veggies, fresh herbs, etc.) that I will make at home or get from a juice bar. All alcohol, caffeine and macro-nutrient foods (animal meat, processed foods, breads, etc.) will be cut out completely. I am a girl who loves a good restaurant, a stiff cocktail and great cup of coffee, so this should be interesting. My friends believe I will last anywhere from 3 to seven days, but no one, including myself thinks I will go the full 15. My boyfriend is doing it as well to see if it can help with his sensitive stomach issues and energy level.

I am skeptical, excited because I love an experiment and ready to begin. I start tomorrow morning so wish me luck! I am off to finish enjoying my last cup of caffeine for fifteen days.

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Ruth Newell Oct. 11, 2011 @ 6:37 p.m.

You can do it! 2-3 coffee headache then you'll be good to go.


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