Budwig's approach is order and structure and our day is structured perfectly. I soon get used to my new routine. It is really nice to only have to think about yourself, to get your meals cooked and prepared for you and it's also oddly comforting to have a strict structure to your day.
In my new life, my day starts at 7am, when we all make our way into the dining room, where bottles of sunflower oil and sauerkraut juice are waiting. The sunflower oil is for oil pulling. One tablespoon of oil gets held in the mouth for about 15 minutes, swished around like you would do with a mouth wash. It takes a little getting used to and I gag the first few days. A whole tablespoon of oil in my mouth is not a sensation I'm used to.
By day three, however, walking in the garden among the lavender bushes, watching the bees while I'm swishing, I've become a pro. They warned us on day one that spitting the oil down the sink afterwards would block the drains. So after 15 minutes, when the oil has absorbed all toxins and nasty bacteria from my mouth and become white, I spit it into a little paper cup with kitchen roll. Apparently spitting it into the garden will kill the plants underneath after a while, so we are also warned not to do that.
Talking about blocked drains: another one of Budwig's remedies to increase the energy in the cells is to rub electron differentiating oils (ELDI oils) all over your body. They can be bought on the internet for eye watering amounts, or you can make your own by mixing wheat germ oil and linseed oil in equal amounts.
Oil pulling is followed by sauerkraut juice. If you're German you will have grown up with Sauerkraut. It is naturally fermented white cabbage. I remember my grandmother always had a large, knee high clay pot in the cellar of homemade kraut. For Sunday roast, we would simply go down and get some. While some people find the taste utterly disgusting, I love it. So drinking 100ml of organic sauerkraut juice on an empty stomach every morning is not a problem for me.
After the first morning, nobody bothers getting dressed for our start to the day and we all just turn up in our pajamas and dressing gowns. After this, I go back to my room to do some yoga stretches, shower and get dressed in time for breakfast at 8.
The food is amazing! There are two chefs, turning organic vegetables into the most delicious, nutritious Budwig Diet meals. One of them is Kai and when he speaks my heart warms instantly. He is East German from the Brandenburg region. I'm from Saxony-Anhalt, a neighbour so to speak. Listening to him and observing my emotional reaction to his regional accent makes me realise how much I miss home. Not just the country, the culture, but the people. Kai and I get on like a house on fire. There is a warmth, authenticity, openness and directness in East Germans that I cherish and that's very rare in Western cultures. We have the same sense of humour, the same sharp, brutally honest wit with which we laugh about ourselves.
Kai used to work as a chef in a big upmarket hotel chain before deciding that killing himself working all hours was not what he wanted and was not in alignment with his values. Here, he can use his passion for food and for creating the most magical dishes in an environment of peace and calm to help people heal. Teaching people how to cook healthily and showing them that eating a vegetarian diet can be fun, creative, diverse, interesting and above all mouth-wateringly tasty is a much better way of shining his light. And let me tell you: the food is divine! And presented like a piece of art.
Breakfast is Budwig's quark creme (a mixture of naturally fat free quark, raw milk and linseed oil), nuts, seeds, milled linseeds, a variety of fresh fruit, and a little buckwheat porridge if the quark isn't enough. To drink, there is a selection of herbal teas.
Coffee is not allowed, at least not absorbed orally. There is, however, a table with six thermos flasks of black coffee. These are for our daily coffee enemas. Instead of letting it flow into our mouths, we let in flow into our anuses. On day one we were all given an enema kit (kind of a bucket with a pipe and nozzle) and some Vaseline. The resident healing practitioner Elsa shows us what to do. Well, she explains, she doesn't actually show us - that might have been too much. Each bathroom has a little bench covered in an absorbent mat and a hook above it to hang the enema bucket. The things you learn...
I soon learn that when doing an enema you want to be close to the toilet and you need to have the bucket slightly above wherever your bum is, so gravity can help the coffee go where you want it. We all also learn that enemas are a skill and that there will be accidents when you first start. Trying to hold coffee inside your backside for 15 minutes, resisting the urge to "go" takes a little practice. Imagine trying to hold diarrhea. If you are not careful, the whole coffee poo mixture shoots out of you with the force of a rocket. Unstoppable. I promise you: you want to be as close to the toilet as you can be.
Coffee enemas stimulate the liver. In people with cancer or chronic illnesses the liver tends to have become sluggish and doesn't work as well as it should. This means toxins stay in the body rather than getting removed. An overload of toxins means the liver is overworked and tired. Just like coffee has a energising effect on us, waking us up in the morning or in that lunchtime energy dip, taken as an enema it stimulates the liver to do its job better again. Together with the skin and bowel, the liver is one of our body's main detoxification organs, keeping the system clean and tidy.
At 9.15 there are seminars or lectures every morning, usually for a couple of hours. There is then an individual schedule of doctors, life coach appointments, Papimi machine appointments etc. At 12.30 lunch gets served, a three course meal consisting of a salad buffet, a vegetarian main course and a Budwig creme dessert.
We have to go for a 15 minute walk after each meal, to help the digestive process. Either just before or after lunch, I do my daily coffee enema. I realise fairly quickly I have to do it before 2pm. Any later and I cannot sleep at night. It effects me like drinking a cup of coffee would. At 6pm it's dinner, usually a light meal, such as vegetable soup or vegetarian rice. Most meals contain Buckwheat. It's high in protein and it helps to bind and eliminate toxins from the digestive tract.
At 10am and at 3pm we all get a fresh juice. Carrot, apple, beetroot, ginger. The afternoon juice is papaya, which apparently contains some powerful enzymes.
However filled the day may seem, there is plenty of time for "me". Too much time. The first week, I feel like a drug addict in rehab. I'm restless and don't know what to do with myself. I am so used to rushing around from the minute I get up in the morning to the minute my head hits the pillow at night, all this peace and quiet feels too much. Experiencing what my body feels like when it is not stressed makes me realise for the first time ever, how stressful my average day at home actually is. How little I stop to breathe and relax. How I almost never just sit and do nothing. Here, there are many minutes of nothing in my day.
There is no internet, no TV. My mobile only works on top of the mountain, about a ten minute walk through a field. Slowly, day after day, I get more used to this new pace of life. I read, I draw, I sit and watch ants in the forest, I walk, I watch the sunset. There are hunting stands all around the forest. I often go at dusk and dawn and climb up on them, watching nature around me. There are deer, kites, rabbits. I'm taken back to my childhood hunting days and I feel a level of happiness and joy deep inside me that I haven't felt for a long time.
It takes about a week, but then my body has adjusted to this new pace of life, the stillness around me slowly becomes a stillness within. It feels peaceful inside me. I could definitely get used to this...