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Wednesday, 4 February 2015

Watermelon/Coconut Island Results

The jungle is an amazing place to heal.
Immersed in nature, surrounded by trees, breathing in fresh air, drinking and playing in fresh spring water, bathing in the sun, eating fruits from the trees and greens from the earth and really getting back to the basics. I came to Costa Rica with the intent to heal and do a water-fast, but the universe had a different plan. When Chris and I got to Fuente Verde, the land of green springs and our home for two months, I quickly discovered that my body did not like the water here. I haven't drank more that 1 cup per day in almost a month! Don’t get me wrong, they have clean and great tasting spring water here that comes directly from a spring, I'm just having difficulty drinking ½ cup without felling a strong sensation to stop. I normally drink good quality, filtered mineral water at home so I wasn’t sure why this was happening…I decided it was the universe telling me not to do a water fast at this time and to try something different. I decided to do Watermelon Island for 2 weeks instead. Watermelons are very hydrating being mostly water, and containing little fiber, my body would get a digestive rest freeing up energy to heal. I have only ever done Watermelon Island for one week, so this would be a bit of a challenge for me. I like a challenge! I also decided to try my first attempt at dry fasting. It seemed like a good substitute for my original plan with similar deep healing effects. In the end, I did 10 days on Watermelon, one dry fast day and three days coconut water fasting. I was inspired by my friend Katy to do a try a coconut water fast at the end of the cleanse to boost the detox experience. My intent was to take advantage of the healing energy and magic of the jungle to delve deeper into healing all aspects of myself, body, mind and spirit.

What is a Watermelon Island?
Mono-meals are meals that consist of one ingredient! Mono fruit cleanses like Watermelon Island are when we choose one fruit to eat mono-meals of for a set period of time. You can do 3-14 days eating only fruit to experience an amazing cleanse. Watermelon/or Mono Fruit Island can also be done on other fruit like bananas, peaches, mango, grapes, persimmons, etc.

Why didn’t I just drink coconut water instead of water?
Quite simply, I don’t like Costa Rican coconuts very much when compared to the sweeter thai coconuts that I’m used to. I didn’t think I’d last two weeks on them! I picked watermelon because I love them and knew I could stick with it. I was also sufficiently hydrated on watermelon, having mostly clear pees by mid-day. I did however grow tired of eating watermelon by day 10 and decided to try the coconuts water to finish it off. The great thing is, I gained a new appreciation and taste for the Costa Rica coconuts! By the third day the coconuts tasted sweet and I enjoyed them much more. It’s amazing how quickly our taste buds can change!

Am I drinking water now?
I am drinking coconut water, eating hydrating fruits and experimenting with sun-charging the water in a glass container for 5-8 hours a day. I will see if this method works…it was Chris’s idea! I also would like to note that since the August I have been experimenting with lowering my water intake from 3L a day to 1.5L per day, with no negative side effects thus far, but that’s a whole other blog post topic I plan to write about in the future!

How much did I eat/drink on the cleanse?
On Watermelon Island: I ate 2-3 watermelons per day depending on the size. Mostly I ate 3 small ones per day at about 1800-2400 calories approximately. I always felt full and had almost full energy on the watermelon
Coconut Island: I bought 50 coconuts and drank about 15 per day. It’s hard to say how many calories I consumed as each coconut had varying amounts of water and sugar content but I think I under ate a bit on the calories for those three days. I was grateful for the coconuts in regards to getting sleep. I peed so much in the night on watermelon as it is a diuretic and only got up once on coconuts.

Dry Fasting Day:
I was curious about dry fasting and decided to try 24 hours my first time. I did it on Day 6 of my watermelon cleanse and after that, the headaches started, they lasted the rest of my cleanse and are now only starting to go away. Other than that I had a wonderful time dry fasting. I spent the day reconnecting with myself and spirit doing sound therapy, guided meditations, breath work, chakra clearing, Kendalini yoga, a sacred geometry reading, lots of journaling, dancing and some crying to let it all out. It was magical and I felt so alive! As for cravings, I was way more thirsty than hungry and only had two cravings, one for watermelon and the other for Caesar salad. At the end of the day I felt restless and jittery. The worst detox symptoms I had were headaches and knee pain. About two years ago I suffered a concussion in a snowboarding accident, falling 10-15 feet and landing on the hard snow on my head. I have had headaches since then when I do certain exercises. Dry fasting can detox your body very fast and maybe I wasn’t able to keep up with it. Maybe the headaches were also from being slightly dehydrated too *I don’t recommend dry fasting to those not on a clean diet (raw/vegan), that haven’t had experience with water fasting and without talking to someone experienced and educated on the subject. Dry fasting can be dangerous and no one should do more than 24 hours their first time attempting to do it.

Detox Symptoms:
  • Headaches in the second week
  • Bad Breath in the second week
  • Smelly sweat (like onions!)
  • Very sore knees
  • Tired and weak in the second week
  • Emotional. When we detox, we detox physically and emotionally!
  • No bowel movements on coconut water (regular bowel movements on watermelon)

  • Feeling lighter in my body
  • Enhanced super taste buds! 
  • Enhanced sense of smell
  • Lost a pound or two
  • Greater connection to spirit/higher self 
  • Strengthened intuition
  • Physical and emotional deto
  • Amazing digestion on Watermelon Island
  • Flatter tummy
  • Appreciation for simpler foods
  • More in tune with my body
  • Love for myself

All in all it was a wonderful experience. I feel so in tune with my body and intuition. Every time I do a mono-island I feel stronger. I am grateful for the headaches and knee pain, slowing me down and bringing me into the present moment. I also hope it meant that I was healing those parts of my body. Sometimes I found it hard to sit with myself and my thoughts, and I found that limiting distractions like electronics/t.v./movies was helpful. Now it's time for the re-introduction of foods, which I actually find to be the hardest part! When I start eating again, I want to eat everything! With my enhanced super taste buds, everything tastes soo good! This is the true challenge and true opportunity with cleansing. You have a clean slate to start new healthy habits, like proper food combining, eating only when hungry until full, and mindfully eating and chewing. All things I could improve on :) If you ever feel inspired to do a mono-fruit cleanse, I highly recommend it! You don’t have to be in the tropics to try a mono-fruit cleanse either, Chris and I do them in Canada! Check out our Rainbow Island Cleanse Program to learn more! Lastly I am grateful for my sweetie Chris and all his support on my journey, and to all my fruity peeps here at Fuente Verde right now. I love you all.

Lots of love and pink watermelon hugs, 
Ashley Clark
Holistic Health Coach
Naturally Ashley Nutrition

Ashley Clark is a Holistic Health Coach, Artist, Photographer and the owner/operator of Naturally Ashley Nutrition. This prairie girl from Moose Jaw, Saskatchewan loves to nourish her body with positive thoughts and ripe seasonal fruits. She is happiest being creative and loves to share healthy recipes, taking lots of photos of her colorful, fruity creations. Ashley wants to share everything she knows about holistic living to inspire and support others on their journey to create happy, healthy lifestyles, naturally.

Ashley received holistic health coach training from the Institute for Integrative Nutrition. She began her health journey after being diagnosed with Celiac Disease in 2007, trying many different diets to find out what works best for her. Ashley has been following a low-fat, raw vegan diet since May 2012, inspired by Dr. Doug Graham’s book The 80-10-10 Diet. She has overcome several health issues including Candida, gall bladder inflammation, chronic UTI’s, chronic hives, allergies and sinus problems, and now has more energy, a clearer mind and feels more vibrant than ever!

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