True North is a 100% vegan, mostly residential, facility that offers health programs of all kinds, including both juice and water fasting.
The facility itself occupies a 1980s era apartment complex about a mile and a half from Downtown Santa Rosa. Each of the apartments surrounds a courtyard, which immediately reminds me of Amanda, Sydney’s, Jake’s and Kimberly’s home in the 1990s Monday night tv drama, Melrose Place. I’m lounging a chaise on my first evening and I swear Heather Locklear, in her power miniskirt, just passed by on the way to her 2nd floor apartment.
Hunger hallucinations begin upon check in, apparently.
We are all housed in separate units – I’m assigned to Apartment 110, a three bedroom, which I share with an endlessly chatty New Jersey couple in their 60s and Amire, a 72 year old whip of a woman who grew up on the South Side of Chicago but has since moved to Tuscon, as retired Midwesterners are apt to do. She’s ridiculously sick and miserable– wheezing and 80 pounds overweight, she walks stooped over and is on at least two different meds to control blood pressure, and an additional three prescriptions to combat the side effects of the blood pressure meds. But my God her dry sense of humor is intact!
I love her instantly.
You’ll learn more about the center in upcoming posts, but in general the patients are from all walks of life. I’ve met folks who are receiving alternative treatment for life-threatening diseases, who have checked themselves in to cleanse by eating a week’s worth of super clean food. Some stay for a week; some months or even years.
And then there are the water fasters…… You can tell is in this camp by their tentative walk and the way they cling to the stair rails.
In my first 24 hours as a resident, I come to the conclusion, that, no matter what the reason for checking in to True North, all patients seem to have something in common in that “they” are a little looney. It takes a certain someone to drop out of life for weeks or months and come to a place like this.
They. The irony is not lost on me here that I am one of them. In defensive of my pathetic judgment, I should clarify that everyone else here is a little Looney; I am only here for my health.
Case in point: On my first morning at the center, I sat next to a beautiful, soft spoken June Cleaver look-a-like during breakfast, AKA My.Final.Meal. Within 10 minutes I’d learned all about how she and her husband had broken away from Jehovah’s Witnessing after 40 years; and how, after 30 years of wedded bliss, she and her husband are now in an open marriage. Her lover, John, is meeting her here tomorrow for a week long rendezvous.
I am floored by this news.
Not because I’m now know her private life (I mean, come ON, I’m the queen of over sharing) or because I judge the act of an open marriage – hey, whatever works, as long as everyone is on board – but because this woman couldn’t look further from how I picture a swinger.
With shoulder length blond hair pulled away from her face, this pretty-in-an-unthreatening woman looked like she belonged on the cover of Good Housekeeping in the 1950s. You know, where the well-heeled lady of the house presents a pie to her clean, perfectly behaved children and a Jon Hamm-esque husband…..
…..Only it turns out that Jon is her lover!
June! What has come over you? Can I get you a Valium??
Later, I think to myself that True North Health Center is an odd place to choose for something like that. I mean, I’ve never actually had an affair, but if I did, I would think someplace with thicker walls, a discreet staff, or at least an ounce of romance would be prudent. Why not the Bellagio or somewhere equally sinful.
But that’s just me.
Anyway, I’m taking notes. This place is great for material.
Disclaimer: Do not attempt to do a fast of any sort without the support of a medical doctor. Before starting any new diet and exercise program please check with your doctor and clear any exercise and/or diet changes with them before beginning. I am not a doctor or registered dietitian. I do not claim to cure any cause, condition or disease. I do not provide medical aid or nutrition for the purpose of health or disease and claim to be a doctor or dietitian.
This is merely an opinion blog. The information held on this blog is merely the opinion of a laymen individual. The information covered in this blog is open to public domain for discussion and in no way breaches or breaks the boundaries of the law in any state of the the United States of America where I live. I am not a doctor nor do I claim to have any formal medical background. I am not liable, either expressly or in an implied manner, nor claim any responsibility for any emotional or physical problems that may occur directly or indirectly from reading this blog.