Day 2 of the Apple Detox

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So today is actually Day 3, but I couldn’t post this yesterday for technical reasons. Anyway, stay tuned for Day 3 later!

If you’re unfamilar with the apple detox, it’s basically a thing where you eat nothing but apples for three days. Apples of the jenneting variety are recommended, like red delicious, but I myself am using the Arkansas Black as pictured above . It is supposed to detoxify your body, and hopefully your soul a little as well, leaving you refreshed and rejuvenated when it’s all over. On the night of the third day, you’re supposed to drink a couple table spoons to half  a cup (Edgar Cayce, who originally discovered the apple diet through divine intervention apparently, recommends half a cup). And this is suppose to flush out your colon, if you catch the drift.

On day one, I had a grand total of 6 apples. I felt okay in general, just a little weak and tired, but able to function. There where times when it was difficult to be cheerful. Only one bowel movement occurred, in case you are curious about the effect of the detox. This morning I have a darker yellow urine to report, which was a little alarming. “Why isn’t my body happy? I haven’t been giving it any junk!” is what crossed my mind. But I am trying to remain optimistic.

But I feel that I need to focus on reaping the spiritual benefits of the detox. Along with literally cleansing your body, I believe it can also cleanse your heart of a lot of the unnecessary junk that has built up over the years. It can be seen as a conquering of the flesh, that is, the desires of the body. The flesh can drive us to do crazy things, and if it is not tamed, it will control us for our whole lives. That is why Jesus died- to free us from this

to free us from this unfortunate reality.

When Jesus was wandering in wilderness for forty days, he had a familiar visitor, the Devil. Here’s a little snippet of their conversation:

The tempter came to him and said, “If you are the son of God, tell these stones to become bread.”

Jesus answered, “It is written: “ ‘Man shall not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of God.’ ”

-Matthew 4:3-4

Man shall not live on bread alone, I’ve always thought those were such powerful words. It is somewhat intuitive, but at the same time, it is a little contrary to our base desires. So what does this mean? It means that we must make every effort to tame our desires (I am definitely talking about MUCH more than food) and to “Die to ourselves.” I would not advise trying to fast for forty days. You’ll probably just die. If you read the rest of Matthew 4, there’s also a sentence about not “testing” God.

I’m not trying to make out that I’m all righteous because I’ve decided not to eat normal food for three days. I just think that there’s a lot to be learned from fasts and detoxes, as well as health benefits gained.

So probably the first lesson is to trust God. If you read the rest of Matthew, there are so many great illustrations of this principle. Matthew in general is just dense with information, not to say other books aren’t, but I think Matthew is one that is easier to decipher and appreciate for those of us who may not have the longest attention span (thanks to the media and pop culture).

Does this mean that I should stop stressing about the color of my urine? Probably. That I should stop worrying that the detox won’t work for me because I have some kind of disease? Yes. Because what is disease, but an abnormality of the flesh? And who healed diseases, um, Jesus! And what can separate me from the love of God (as it is written)? Nothing….

Well, I’ll tell you what happens tomorrow, God willing. Happy apple munching to all!

 

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One of the Good Days

Last night, in one of those blissful in-between states between being awake and sleeping, the times that I feel most close to God (and now my atheist friends will use this as evidence that belief in God is irrational because I feel closer to Him in a half-conscious state), but I felt that I made a very important connection, or rather God showed me an important connection, and I thought it was so important that I absolutely had to blog about it. It was a spiritual click, something that seemed quite brilliant. And now, I can’t remember it. Well, I hope I remember it if it was important, but if not I’ll leave it at this and talk a bit about my experiences today instead.

So, if you read my blog, you’d probably get the impression that I’m someone who is naturally kind of down, but doesn’t want to be. You would be right. It is part of my nature, but I try to fight against it, even though very often it seems like a loosing battle. But I know that God can defeat my absurd emotions, and I look forward to the victory.

But today was one of the good days, truly. I feel generally happy and fulfilled, like I have a good life and I am grateful for it.

Today just got off to a good start. I woke up early by my biological clock, even though I forgot to set my alarm. I thank God for that now. I had time to make myself look presentable, which is unusual. By the way, I need to go into a thing someday about whether or not makeup and fancy dress is a sin. But I’ll leave that to another day.

The morning commute was manageable, and I made it out alive, so I considered that a success. So I go to my classes, and I am able to focus a little better because I came more prepared. And they seemed like generally productive classes. But here is where the real game changer came in. And I think God put this in my life on purpose.

In my playwriting class, we were asked to write scenarios for possible one-scene plays and share them in class. A scenario is basically an outline of a play. Anyway, one of my classmates scenarios involved a Christian boy and a diva-ish, preppy popular girl who was very ungrateful. She would complain about not having a car and little things like that. Meanwhile, a friend of hers had real problems, like a father who got a heart attack among other tragic incidences. Anyway, after the scenario was read, we talked about it. People in the class expressed how they knew people like the first girl, and how they hated those kinds of people. And that’s when it hit me, that I can be like that sometimes. Not the popular and preppy part, but the ungrateful part. I realized, as I was sitting there “I don’t want to be like that at all.” It’s so counterproductive, not conducive at all to the things that I want to do in life. And how does that reflect on God if I can’t be grateful?

So, things went well after that. I mentioned the campus EV I was going to in my last post. Well, I showed up at the designated area on campus, and there was no one there. So it seemed, but then I saw a boy sitting on a bench. I sensed that he might have been there for the same purpose as me, so I started talking to him and turns out he was leading the EV. He didn’t actually think it would be good to evangelize with me, but he talked to me to get a feel for what I’m about, which is understandable. And then I met someone else from the group. They seemed very nice, maybe a little judgmental about me not going to church, and maybe they emphasize the formal church experience just a little too much, but I understand them, and I think they’re sincere. No one can be perfect, after all, you just pray that we’ll all get a little closer.

So then after that, I had dinner with an old friend and went to see her dorm, which was fun. We went to this thai restaurant on campus. I got curry noodles and thai iced tea, which really helped me power through my last class of the day! It’s also funny how caffeine helps me so much with my self expression skills. It just makes me feel like my brain and my mouth have a much better connection, as opposed to a lot of the time when they don’t seem to communicate that much. I hope one day the Holy Spirit Himself will give me that kind of energy!

Well, I’m very sorry if this seems a lot like a journal, and that I didn’t get to do any actual evangelizing today. Hopefully surrounding people who walked by picked up some snippets. It’s just that I’m happy! No, things are not completely resolved, and no, my life is not perfect, but hey, it’s close enough for me. I can work with this! Yes, God has blessed me and I can more than work with it, I  feel like I can live, like I can go on, and keep on going and thrive forever. I feel self-confidence, can you believe it! I not only know, but at the moment I feel that God created me for a reason. I’m not a worthless, awkward alien, but I’m a human being, a child of God, and so are you.

Donut (Doughnut) Coma

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A couple days ago, my family visited one of the very few Krispy Kremes in our general area. I was pretty excited about it because I heart donuts, even if they don’t heart my heart back. Plus I’d only been maybe once before in my whole natural life.

We devoured the free samples and got a dozen, along with a little cup of donut holes, as you can see in the picture. Mind you, there are only three people in our family. And only two of us actually had the perseverance to continue eating them after the thrill was gone.

The thrill is now gone for me. After finishing the last two, I was convinced that I didn’t want donuts ever again. So_much_sugar. But then, I started calming down. Never. Maybe just not for another year… six months…

At this point I wanted nothing more than a pot of black coffee and a big wholesome slice of kale. And maybe from then on I would go on a steady diet of fruits, vegetables, and quinoa. Yes, quinoa. Move to a yurt where the influences of decadent America would cease to affect me. Perhaps raise some llamas and make a modest income that way, enough to buy toothpaste and the occasional dozen of eggs.

Okay, so I’m exaggerating a little. But I was DONE, okay.

Then I went to the supermarket to get some bananas, carrots, and lunch meat for another day. And I started seeing the cakes and pastries, and what have you, and… I’m not saying I was ready to eat them, I mean I have a little self control… I’m just saying that they started looking a little appetizing again. I didn’t want to buy them, but I think I was ready to let bygones be bygones and allow them back into my life.

Habits are easy to start, good and bad. The bad ones are just a little easier to maintain. But I’m here to say that good habits can be formed and kept alive, even if we’ve failed in the past. As long as you’re alive, it’s never too late to start eating well, exercising, reading the Bible, taking up a hobby. And by the same token, bad habits can also be broken. Very carefully, of course, but nonetheless possible. Of course, I’m not an expert on this. I’ve been fortunate enough to have not gotten sucked into drugs or alcohol. Actually, I never really drank before. But am I am still convinced that with God, anything is possible, as it says, even loosing yourself from the heaviest of the heavy balls and chains.

Well, now that I’ve talked a lot about good habits, better peel my eyes off this screen and get to doing a bit of weight lifting. Yay.

A Day at the Getty

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I can look at paintings all day long… and I pretty much did. I love to just get transported by them, entering a new realm, forgetting where I am and who I am. The one up above is of the Sermon on the Mount. Sorry, I didn’t have time to jot down all the titles and names of the artists. I especially liked the religious ones, even if they tended to put an unhealthy emphasis on the Virgin Mary. But at least it seemed that people were trying to glorify God with their art. More than can be said for the movies and television we see today. Image

 

I really liked a lot of the more medieval panel paintings. One so seldom hears about European art from before the Renaissance (and there is a reason), but I don’t think they should be completely overlooked. They’re so ornate and often quite whimsical. You always think of older things being conservative, but not always. 

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I believe that this one was done by Titian (I was really excited to see one by a very famous artist) but correct me if I am mistaken . Yes, now we are into the mannerism movement (right?)

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And look, a wood cutting, a style made famous by Albrecht Dürer (but this one was not done by Albrecht). I believe the title is, “A Hare in the Woods.”

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The food at the restaurant was quite fancy, all French style or something. My salad was quite satisfying. I wish I had pictures of all the dishes there, they were so pretty to look at! Never seen anything like it.

Well, I hope this has been cultural. It’s really cool looking at art, because you see things that are both vastly different and strikingly familiar. You see emotions that you know all to well yourself, and you see that people really haven’t changed as much as you might think. You can even argue that they haven’t changed at all.

You should visit this place too! Thanks J. Paul Getty.

 

Best Combo Ever… Hypocrisy, Self Loathing, and Fine Art

Today was a bit of a roller coaster. I will probably be doing another post about it tomorrow, when I upload my pics from the Getty Museum (which was great, by the way). But for just now I would like to talk about something a bit more personal, like I always end up doing.

I was kind of in a bad mood this morning, no particular reason, and it only got worse because one of my party was complaining about things, and it annoyed me. As far as I was concerned, the food was alright and the architecture was nice and the garden was pretty… SO SHUT UP AND HAVE A GOOD TIME! Yes, I realize the irony.

But then I was in a better mood when we started looking at the paintings. And then it went south again. I’ll skip some of the trifling details and set the scene for the more interesting part. O is trying to get a picture of me by this really fancy bed on display. Mind you, I don’t like having my picture taken when a lot of people around, so I was feeling more awkward than usual. But it was a nice bed. No kidding, it’s blue and frilly, and it goes up like 15 feet or something. Two girls are getting out of the way, and they say “sorry.” And what do I say? I say, “it’s good.” And I said it all quiet and mousy because I decided on what to say as I was saying it. And then I’m pretty sure I heard one of the girls repeat what I said as they were walking out. As if I couldn’t hear. So they’re in the next room, laughing and stuff about whatever, and I feel like crap. Because I guess I hate being mocked. And now I’m more insecure than ever because apparently I’m so bizarre that strangers have to make fun of me.

Here are the three take aways from this experience, because I feel obligated to make logical conclusions in the form of a numbered list from one of my many days spent indulging in my own nonsense:

1. I have self esteem issues… But that’s a given.
2. Who am I to get all mad at other people who complain when I am so petty myself? I mean really, why am I letting other people determine my self worth?
3. Words can hurt, and I’d better be careful with them. I need to stop scoffing. Otherwise I’ll hurt someone just like I was hurt today

The Miracle of Morning

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Last night was a little odd. Before you start twisting around my words in your dirty little mind, I’d better explain myself.

I was doubting the existence of God and wondering if I should even follow Him- much more than usual. I thought about abandoning Him and the seemingly contradictory ideals of Christianity to pursue my own life. After all, a life dedicated to money, power, and indulgence sounded pretty fun. Why waste my life on something that I’ve never even seen before? The worst part was that I considered this route even under the assumption that God does exist. I thought about rejecting what I knew to be the truth. Seems depraved and ridiculous, doesn’t it, to choose shiny objects over the truth?

But just when my doubts were being pushed away, I got upset for a different reason. I realized that I would once again be unable to travel. I haven’t travelled since the extravagant days of my childhood (besides going to Vegas a few years ago) and I was sure that this summer would be different, and that I would be going to Germany. I used reason to calm myself down, of course. I reminded myself that I have many good things going in my life already, so really I’m far from being deprived even if I never set foot outside the state again. I told myself that it’s not that important, it’s not the end of the world, God is with me and that’s enough. Sheesh, why am I being such a baby, I thought. What about other Christians like Paul who had spent their time being imprisoned? And besides, maybe I’ll get to go later, and it’ll be all the better after years of waiting and dreaming. But still the tears came out. Reason was enough to keep me silent, but my emotions still insisted on letting the waterworks flow.

Mentally perturbed, I thought I would be up all night. I didn’t feel tired at all, just restless and heavy headed from weeping. But then I prayed once again and closed my eyes, trusting God to get me through the night.

I woke up feeling much better. Not perfect, maybe with some lingering bitterness, but much better. And I’d had many nice, whimsical dreams to mull over. I forced myself out of bed and made a strawberry banana smoothie, which was really quite good. All while I drank it I was mentally sneering an article I read on Yahoo the night before about how smoothies weren’t healthier than soda because they have basically the same amount of sugar. I guess they were talking about restaurant smoothies, but whatever’s in those things, it’s still my opinion that some good ole fashioned fructose is better than genetically and chemically modified high fructose corn syrup. Whatever, no one is ever going to convince me that a banana, strawberries, and ice in a blender is going to kill me just as fast as some dangerously delicious carbonated fluid from a can. See, I’m feeling so much better that I can rant again about silly things again!

Sorry for the narrative, and the uncalled for health rant. But I’m not that sorry because do you see me deleting them? Well, anyway, that was a little nugget of strangeness from my life, hope you enjoyed it

Carbs, Cardio, and Me- A Dramatic Love Triangle

I exercised moderately regularly and at a very mild intensity for a little while. I also tried to eat healthy. But habits that beneficial were bound to dissolve into oblivion. 

 
Now it’s so hot, and I don’t want to do anything but sit in front if the computer or TV. It even takes a lot of willpower to do 100 bicep curls… With a 5 lb weight. I know pretty pathetic. I tell myself that I’ll get into it after I move, when I would have access to gyms and swimming pools. After all, who can get anything done with nothing but a weight set, a clock radio, and willpower? No, too primitive. I need the treadmill, even though I’m probably so out if shape that I’ll only succeed in embarrassing myself in public. 
 
I really need to start treating my body like God’s temple. But it’s so hard and against my nature! I’m an American! 
 
Eat only when you’re hungry, they say. But… I don’t feel hungry that often. Does that mean I can’t eat? How absurd.
 
Cut down on sugar, they say. 
 
So does that mean I can’t have my muffin for breakfast, ketchup drenched fries and a coke for lunch, then ribs slathered in high fructose corn syrup, and a wholesome scoop of ice cream to wrap it all up? Are you kidding? Is there even a reason to live if I have to make those kinds of sacrifices?
 
But in reality, I think it’s worth it to cut down on sugar. The other day, I saw one of those ads online that said “worst food for weight loss” or something like that. You know the type. I had to click on it, or the curiosity would have killed me before me million calorie diet. The video was about how most people have a higher ratio of “bad” bacteria to “good” bacteria in their gut. And sugar is one of the reasons. I’m talking sucrose yo. My homie, and at times, my only friend. 
 
Intellectually, I know the video is right, even if it may have exaggerated to promote its probiotic product. But my heart asks: could sugar really be so bad? Sweet, innocent sugar, the kind that comes in the form of pink heart shaped cookies and whimsical edible teddy bears? How can it possibly be conducive to weight gain? ‘It doesn’t even have fat’ I think as I’m foaming at the mouth, about to stuff a handful of marshmallows into my face. That harmless carbohydrate that we love to love… Is hurting people? And I must cut down? 
 

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