I’m a big fan of fasting--I did it as a teenager and then got talked out of it for 30 years. People said it screwed up your metabolism, was dangerous, whatever. I believed all that drivel about eating small meals throughout the day--grazing. In addition to making you into a complete pain in the ass, it never gives your digestive system a chance to rest. Maybe it’s good for those in training for competitions, but it’s not a smart choice for living, at least not for me. Plus, I always ate the dinner too, it’s my social meal--I love having dinner with my friends.
Water fasting is right up my alley. I do them about once a year now and a smaller one a few months later. But I will likely increase this. This fast was extremely difficult emotionally for 4-5 days but other than that it was completely fine. I didn’t even get dizzy. I will put some fasting links at the bottom of the page.
The emotional stuff, old patterns, all the psychological garbage, is difficult to get rid of, even fasting; the body clings to it for some reason. But the body, given a chance to rest from constant digestion, can expel all kinds of crap, which is disgusting, but better than having it inside.
My skin is so soft! My eyes are clear, the bloat is gone, nerve pain gone. It’s astounding, But I’m not writing to crow about it. I want to share what I’ve been doing during the fast to care for my skin and all that.
In addition to drinking plenty of water I’ve been using all my natural skincare that I make here. Since I live in Salalah, I have ample opportunity to make everything for myself; we don’t have any good quality skin care to speak of less than two plane rides away. Khallas, I don’t mind.
I made two cleansers--one for the face with just chamomile and oatmeal and the one for the body with just sage and oatmeal. Totally simple. The chamomile is a spectacularly aromatic one from Lebanon and the sage is from here. Just grind them to powder and mix. Seriously, my skin feels like I’m twelve. And I look fabulous. Just use good herbs and when you find one that’s great, fresh and powerful, get it and use it.
For face moisturizing, I make a nighttime oil. I’m not doing lotions here. Just, in jojoba, some of my favorite essential oils, and always my own frankincense and myrrh (I do have a tiny private stash of Enfleurage distilled myrrh oil.) The other oils this time were a tad of rose absolute, helichrysum, german chamomile, neroli, and lavender. So simple. I know essential oils are my best friends (along with dogs of course.) It changes every time I make it. But it’s so beautiful and even helps me relax and get to sleep.
I did no hydrosols except rose this fast--last time I drank frankincense hydrosol. I can’t really tell if there was a difference between the two. Both fasts were different. But something I noticed was that the day I broke this one I had an unpleasant exchange with my friend and it made me really mad and sick. It’s something to notice just how anger and frustration and sadness manifest themselves physically. I was really ill from it. No wonder bad stress causes so many health problems. Harmony is important, and very difficult to find sometimes.
I also had so much time for once--no need to shop, prepare, eat, clean or eliminate. So I super cleaned my house, the closets, the kitchen, the office, etc, and used essential oils the whole time. I find I tend to use the same ones regularly for cleaning.
So what are my top ten essential oils in general these days? It changes of course, but this is now:
1. Frankincense and Myrrh. I know I’m already cheating by having two. But I don’t use Myrrh on its own, just with frankincense in my facial blend, and I only use my own myrrh, so it’s going to piggyback here. Frankincense of course, is my blood these days. Sometimes I use it even after I’ve distilled which is seriously addictive behavior since anyone entering the distillery gets whacked with the fumes, and whenever I distill I reek for hours. I use frankincense in my own skin care and the stuff I make for visitors. I carry around a couple of bottles, of course, and if I’m somewhere like the bank, I might take it out and pour it into someones hands and they can enjoy it and get wiggly with me. This is Salalah after all.
2. Rose. Obviously.
3. German Chamomile. I’m loyal to this sweet hay like blue oil that everyone says doesn’t smell as good as Roman. I say the hell it doesn’t! I love that deep chamazulene blue. It’s the blue of the sky in the Cȏte D’Azur. Azure blue. It’s a great skin care oil. I love it. I always want it.
4. Eucalyptus. Yup. I use an insane one. It’s the Corsican one we have at Enfleurage. Distilled from young leaves only. Organic. The works. You can’t get away from the a/c here in Oman. Don’t even try. And I fly a lot. Sometimes I just put a few drops on the sheets to help me navigate through sleep while still breathing.
5. Lavender. Why didn’t lavender go higher on the list? Cause lavender always tops people’s essential oil lists. No need to always be the popular one. But I do use it constantly. I love our French one. All my oils are Enfleurage oils, needless to say, or soon to be.
6. Mandarin. And Bergamot. Yeah, I put them together. We are about to get both Green and Yellow Sicilian Mandarin oils and you will see why if you get a chance to come in and try them. The Bergamot we already have--it’s a small Calabrian producer. These citruses are just addictive as anything, but without the downsides! I even use them in one of our ice cream blends. And in my personal perfume (along with the first two of course.)
7. Jasmine (both sambac and grandiflorum). I know I am being a total cheater putting two together again, but they are different. I use the grandiflorum for some of our ice cream. And in the skincare I make here for other people. I also use it in one of my perfumes that I wear a lot. And Sambac? You need to ask?
8. Sandalwood. Private stash. Pure thrill.
9. Cinnamon Bark. I love cinnamon and I am cheating here too because I do use the oil--whether Seychelles or Vietnam. I think we have them both at the store. But I also use pieces of that royal Lao bark and also have some already powdered. I use a ton of it. For cleaning too. And before you dismiss an oil because it’s used in cleaning, just remember that when you make a spray for your countertops, not only are you making a great disinfectant, but you are scenting the kitchen magnificently. Likewise when you use it in any other room. I don’t use it on my face, of course. But I do cook with it. It goes in ice cream, naturally, and in many of them. And also in this African style stew I make with coconut and vanilla.
10. Lemon Myrtle. This oil belongs here solely for its cleaning use! I use it constantly, in the bathroom, the kitchen, the distillery even. I love the smell so much and its a powerhouse of microbe killing.
11. Tea tree. How can I leave it out?
Living in Salalah has made me more self reliant for certain things; skin care, food, and remedies are better made in my kitchen than bought somewhere. Just like I make my own pizza, enchilada and marinara sauces and keep them frozen, I find that I can make nearly anything just from what’s in my pantry. I never did like pre-made foods anyway, and here also I grow my own greens and tomatoes. It’s satisfying to make everything from scratch. And it's nothing I would do in New York. I make my own goat cheese too. And coconut cream. And pizza dough, pies, cookies, and of course, ice cream. I even make my own hummus (using dried chickpeas) although not all the time. There is a big bottle of chamomile extract in the kitchen, almost ready. And I regularly use vodka for infusions, extracts, and as a perfume base. You don’t realize what you can do until you have no choice. There is no Whole Foods down the street, no exotic vegan salads in a cool restaurant waiting for customers, not even any place that makes french fries out of fresh potatoes.
So here in Salalah, food and skin wise: you want it? Make it yourself.
And while pharmaceuticals are cheap and easily prescribed, if you choose something different, you’ll do better to have your own tea tree and eucalyptus on hand.
All this is to my huge benefit, of course. I would never had this opportunity if I wasn’t here. And fasting is also easy here--someone offers tea and you just say no you’re fasting and they apologize and stop offering it. There are no lectures about how you shouldn’t do it, or any other blather. And plenty of fresh air to breathe. And an ocean to enjoy too.
I know this post is a little rambling; to me it’s all related! Food for your inside and food for your outside. It’s very interesting to me to break the addictions too. I didn’t have that many, but I had more than I thought. After these two or three days on juice I’m going to eat solid food and what am I craving? Wild rice, a few beans and some green vegetables. I have no craving for butter, milk, sugar, caffeine, nicotine, none of it. It doesn’t even sound like food at the moment. That will change soon enough, but it’s a wild and glorious feeling while it lasts. My energy level is very high, and I look absolutely fabulous.
I like water fasting better than juice fasting cause I think water fasting does way more. I’m doing juice now and there is a big difference. I think the psychological, emotional and spiritual effects are different and that bigger changes probably come with water only. It was transformation for me, just like it was last year.
Natural Hygiene Society