Friday, 21 August 2015

69 Day Juice Fast

"Travelling across the country on a juice fast is not as hard as you may think"

Did you say 69 days without eating food? 

No shreddies or cheerios in the morning, no scrambled eggs or pancakes, waffles with whip cream and strawberries, no peanut butter oozing over warm fresh baked bread? No aged cheddar cheese sliced thick sitting beside a plate full of grapes or melted parmesan over linguini noodles for lunch. No Lasagna, no fried potatoes, no grilled salmon, or home made pizza? No nacho chips, or candy bars, no soda pop or chocolate, ice cream or yogurt? And to think…I could have eaten all of that on any given day. 

(Me at 235 lbs drinking my 3rd can of pop that day)
I did not enter my fast lightly. In fact...The day I began, I was tipping the scales at 235 lbs on a 5 foot 9 inch frame. Standing there in the morning mirror clutching the flabalanche that had gathered in my mid section I cracked some final jokes to myself as I smooshed my left side together with my right pretending to talk out of my belly button. (I'm not alone here...admit it)

I thought of the heavy steps I took up the stairs everyday, the out of breath moment after running ten feet to a ringing phone. I thought of the sore back from sitting, the wheezing while I tried to fall asleep. The constant runny nose that was often followed by a barrage of sneezes that left my children in laughter as I often reached 8 or 9 in a row. My sense of smell had been on strike for 2 years running and every muscle and joint in my body was on stand by alert when I did something that required more activity then getting off the couch and walking over to the refrigerator. 

So there I pondered with a sad little smirk on my face. I had reached a moment that many others before me have experienced. A second in time where the daily routine wakes up from its comatose state and says no more! I had reached "The turning point!" 

I spent the next several hours consuming something other than food….information. I researched everything I could about paths I could take to regain control of my health and stop this out of control locomotive from having a major derailment. 

Earlier this year, two of my friends had suffered minor heart attacks...and one of them was younger than me. Finding myself in the middle of a “jammer" (as my dad would always call it) at my age, scared the hell out of me and I do not want to be laying in a bed somewhere down the line saying I should of done this..or why didn't I do that. 

I had juice fasted before. My longest fast was for 30 days...but that was more than 5 years ago. I had done a few shorter ones over the years, but this was going to be something different. A catalyst to a new lifestyle. A change in my habits and a reprogramming of my system to not only regain control, but reboot my cravings and channel my energies into something that would positively impact my life and of those I love around me. 

So I began…On May 25th…I started the path and commitment to detoxify my system and the routine I had been following for far too long. I took some time to create this little chart and post it on my wall. Using a countdown for continued inspiration to complete my quest to fast for 30 days was a good idea for me, as I could not only see my progress, but I physically got to cross out these days helping establish my efforts of doing something to change my life. 

For those of you who are instantly thinking that a juice fast is an unhealthy choice to jump starting a better lifestyle, simply do the research from both sides. There is a ton of information for and against fasting, but for me, doing something extreme to counteract the abuse I had put on my body was exactly what I needed to do. And the path I was previously on, was digging a future hole in the ground much earlier than I wanted. 

 We govern ourselves daily by our values, principles and the laws of the world. We stop at red lights, we wait in lineups to pay for our groceries and gadgets, we don't steal, or fist fight on the streets, we teach our children honesty, integrity, respect, and inspire them to be inspired by the world around them. Love what you do and do what you love. But when it comes to food, we find ourselves turning away from what we know is right. We have all seen the effects of Coca-Cola on the rusty bumper of a car or what happens when you mix it with milk. We know that caffeine leaches nutrients from our system, and the cream and white sugar that invades our coffee has us lining up for 20 minutes outside of Timmies just to get a fix.

 We are fully aware that fast food (for the most part) utilizes a bulk buying and production mentality that provides us with a low quality nutrition with little benefits to our system. Our palates seem to be the ones in control. MMMM sweet Chocolate ice cream, or salty french fries with gravy and cheese poured all over them. But I ask you this…when you have ran, or exercised for a long time…spent the day outside at a beach with your kids and a kite or chasing down a frisbee…when it comes time to quenching your thirst…how many of you have guzzled down a cold bottle of water and thought… “That is exactly what my body needed.” We aren’t stupid…we know when we make bad decisions and we justify those to ourselves a million different ways. “It’s just a small piece of cake…one more cookie isn't going to hurt me…its thanksgiving, another helping ain’t a big deal. I’m joining the gym tomorrow anyhow…” But for me…enough was enough. 

When I close my eyes and see myself at 45 or 50…or dying before 60 like so many people before me…it certainly should have enough weight to wake me up. Both my mother and father passed before their time. Both of them on the vices they couldn’t seem to live without. My father drank, and even tho he stopped 7 years before he passed away, the damage had been done to his liver, his stomach, and the habits he had built up were much harder to reverse or undo and eventually, they took his life. My mother, a smoker from 12 years of age. I would hide those cigarette packs, beg her to stop, send her information about quitting, even get mad at her for letting something take such a hold on her, so when the call came in that she had lung cancer at 58 years old…none of us were all that surprised. She passed away the next year with so many dreams and goals left to be accomplished. Sad…so very sad. I don’t smoke…I don’t drink…but I sure like to eat. Was the path I was on leading to a similar fate? I want to be able to run and play with my kids. I want to be able to run and play with my kids, kids. 

So day by day I drank brocolli. I drank carrots, sweet potatoes, kale, spinach, apples, oranges, pineapples, grapes, cucumbers, lemons, grapefruits. I drank around 6- 8 cups a day. 1-2 litres, spread throughout the day. And I’m not going to lie to you…the first 3 days were the hardest of them all. By day three my body was mad at me. My mind and my body stepped in the ring duked it out for the title belt. Engraved on that belt was a little word called habit. And I clutched on to a close friend of mine Mr. Will Powers who has a strange way of getting me through difficult moments in my life. It was Will that pushed me up over the edge of day 3 and another 66 past that. But North, there were only 30 numbers on your chart…why on earth go for 69 days? Ive never been one to do something thats driving me…half assed. I went all out because I set some serious goals. 

By day 20 of my fast, my beautiful wife started a fast of her own. This made things much more fun and exciting as we started creating new concoctions, and having someone to go through a fast with is even more inspiring.

 (Here we are with our friend Natasha Kyssa at Simply Raw Express picking up juices the night of my daughters graduation ceremony...we paid $70 a plate, and we brought some cold pressed juices instead...this was an awesome commitment. ) 

Rach had set out on a possible 30 day fast herself…the only challenge for us at this point was our summer vacation was just around the corner. We were scheduled to leave on day 41 for me, and day 21 for her. This vacation was taking us across this beautiful country with 5 of our children in the back of a big blue van. 

So...on the day we left, we made enough juice to get us to Thunderbay. We had a stop along the way…and of course, for those of you wondering…we did not have our children on this fast. A juice fast is an independent adult decision that takes more than interest and excitement…it takes responsibility and research and we never considered for one second putting our children onto it…that being said…giving our children tastes of our juices was fun for us as well. Some of the juices are amazing…others…well…without the right mix of fruit and vegetables, you get some pretty interesting tastes that could stop a juice fast dead in its tracks. This is where knowledge and a heck of an open mind come into play. 

We found a juice bar in Thunder bay called Kelly’s Nutrition Centre.  The staff were incredibly helpful and gave us a pretty kick ass deal on the juices we bought. This got us to Winnipeg. The Green Carrot was the next stop on the path. A combination of Apple, Mint and Pineapple (aptly named AMP) was a personal favourite…This got us to Edmonton…where we stopped at Glow Juicery, and luckily, in this journey, my Aunt Candice, who we were going to visit in Northern B.C. in a little town called Burns Lake (3 hours past Prince George), was quite intrigued by this journey of juicing we were on. She was so intrigued after we shared with her our adventures so far, that we offered to pick her up a juicer in Edmonton...and she happily said You Betcha!.

You see, my wife and me were thinking, if we can just make it to Burns Lake…we can enjoy Candy’s homemade Scones or Blueberry Pancakes. Surely my uncle will make some salmon on the bbq on one of the days we were there…but with her interest of getting the juicer…this opened a whole new perspective…What if we stayed on the juice fast for our entire vacation? The mere fact that we were considering going to Scones or pancakes or salmon certainly meant that the re-programming was not complete. So we stayed on…dug in…and committed ourselves to our entire holiday. Our friend Natasha Kyssa (pictured above) owns a restaurant called Simply Raw Express. She has written books and followed a particular lifestyle for the last 25 years. She lives clean, raw and not only looks amazing, but has a youthful edge about her that both me and Rach (my wife) desire. Before we left on our trip, we had a little epiphany while visiting Natasha’s establishment. When talking about our excitement about what we were going to eat in B.C., Natasha simply stated… “As great as that food sounds…its always going to be there” (Lightbulb) 

The two of us have lived looking at the plate on the table as if we were going to be left out if we didn’t get the last piece of pie…or baked potato that sat staring up at us from the serving dish. 

So what if we didn't eat it? What are we really missing out on? This would be a first time in the history of our vacations where we came back home weighing less than when we left. Feeling better, younger and more inspired than when we drove out of the driveway to start this epic quest. 

So hells ya we were gonna stay on this fast until we drove back into the driveway on august 1st. And we did. 69 days drinking juice...feeling young...looking great and energized beyond all words. 

My story is merely a drop in the bucket floating on the sea of the world. Thousands of people bigger than me have beaten their demons and not only lost a tremendous amount of weight, but have increased their lifespan and quality of life by making decisions that just make sense. 

To date I have lost 53 lbs. Rach and me have entered the Ottawa half marathon coming up in October. We are climbing weekly with our children, swimming as much as we can, working out and pushing ourselves to where we want to be. Young and living life as hard as we can. We have both now started eating only raw foods, and have to say...we are really enjoying the options and the tastes that are available to us. Thank you to all of you along the way who gave us support, took the time to listen to our stories, got inspired and made some changes yourself which re-inspired us to push harder. Great new things are ahead and I for one am excited to run towards the horizon.

- North Easton

Tuesday, 24 March 2015

After the Dusk settles

They leaned together in a quiet embrace. Watching the trees swing in the wind. Sharing a silence that truly is magical once you earn the complexity of a simple moment. Time in their faces, in the lines on their hands, the marks on their skin. Lovers, friends, life long companions who speak without words, a look...a smile...even the way one breathes in and releases. Their is a peace that can be found in the truth of those precious seconds before the blur of the busy takes back over. And in those ticking hands that walk through countless thoughts a phrase emerges that encapsulates their history, the moment they are in and the future that stands before them.

Baby, I was made for you.

The line was delivered by my co-writers, Rosanne Baker Thornley and Scott Dennis MacKay. I had rarely used the word "baby" in any song I had been a writer on.  But the simplicity of it not only intrigued me, it sparked an idea for music and a special thing happened that all songwriters have experienced in their lives from time to time...A waterfall of lyric came out and painted a picture that was so easy to accept. It felt good. It made sense. It spoke volumes in the essence. A couple hours after playing and writing the song had reached close to 90%. Because of the crunch on having to get another song done the same week, and a myriad of obstacles that stood in the way...we not only found the time, but came in early beating the clock by more than minutes this time.

I have truly enjoyed this experience and will smile everytime I walk through a new door that I have opened because of it.

Below are the lyrics and link to this weeks final challenge for Matt Dusk.

Thanks for listening and reading the rambles.

Just like the day standing under the sun
Like a smile always dancin with fun
Just like the tide swimming under the moon
Baby its true...i was made for you

I wanna show you
That I  gotta know you
Girl you make my body move 
I wanna tell you
Just how much I love ya
Baby I was made for you.

Verse 2:

Just like the tracks sleeping under the train
or like a book holding on to the page
Just like the silver touching the spoon
Baby its true...I was made for you

I wanna show you
That I gotta know you
Girl you make my body move 
I wanna tell you
Just how much I love ya
Baby I was made for you.


Your the flame that sets me on fire
you Take me to the top 
But just a little bit higher 

Monday, 23 March 2015

Watchful Eye

The watchful eye as once again time closes in. I love seeing all these notifications of anxious songwriters posting their wares as if we are all opening up for business in some strange market place.

This week was certainly the most interesting of them all. Working two songs at the same time during March Break where my little minions were tugging me from all angles. I skied, I snowball fought, I shovelled, I travelled to Quebec City and spent time with great friends...oh ya...and wrote some music with some amazing people.

The Radio Song.

Got the whole song completed...and we didn't like Me and Rosanne Baker Thornley are getting to know each other as writers pretty well. We have done a number of co-writes and show no signs of slowing down. So when we both had a solid listen to what we had already created in Studio...we were both ready to go back to drawing board and start again.

With massive help from the super talented, dedicated Ted Onyszczak, we came in under the wire once again.

Invisible Stains (everybody's got a secret)

Keeping it to 3:30 was no problem. We did have a longer edit and went through the exercise of severing parts of our song. But as they landed on the floor, I was happy to see them go.

Starting with a chorus was an easier way to keep the song short. I love that structure. We decided to make an anthemic song. Something that the masses would sing or at least we hope they would.

Everyone of us holds something inside. A locked closet, a story under the rug, a memory that will never be shared.

Writing this song was

Had a blast.

Hope you all enjoyed your week as well.

Till next time,
North Easton

Monday, 16 March 2015

Roadside Cross

On March 15th, 1944, a man was born of steel and calloused fingers. He grew up in a small town on a little island in the west coast. He grew up strong, worked hard, died young.

Gary Easton was my father. A welder by trade who later took to entrepreneurship. He built a very large vending business in Sonora California. Rode a Harley, loved his beer, his t.v. and his little dog. But that was all before I really knew him. That was before we became best friends. I wrote and recorded this weeks challenge on his birthday.

As the weeks roll on in this challenge, and we all dig deeper into our vaults of musical and lyrical ideas, we walk over bones that have settled in our closets. We kick up dust that is hard to see through and can very often take us to new places we didn't picture ourselves going.

Roadside Cross is an idea that has been brewing in my head for a number of years. I travel from Ontario to British Columbia by van every year in the summer. It takes 4-6 days depending on what we stop to explore. I have seen so many untold stories on the side of the road in the form of a wooden cross. Some with worn out flowers attached, or a teddy bear, or words like "Remember" "Forever Missed" "Tragic". There is a journey in my future regarding these crosses, but that is for another page.

Week 5 - Having a deadline to write a song adds a pressure that some may find as stressful. For others impossible. I would imagine that for some writers it may make them even angry if things aren't going the way they planned. For me...the deadline is fantastic. It brings an energy that truly fires me up. I can see that same light in many other writers still locked in and raring to go. I tip my hat again to you all.

The story of this particular song stems from an accident that happened when I was only a child. A man and his wife were driving down a steep hill in the pouring rain. The man lost control of his car and did everything he could to keep it straight, but he smashed through the guard rail, over the embankment and down into the ravine 50 feet below. The car was upside down on the edge of the river. The rain continued to pour as night had only begun. It was not until the wee hours of the morning that anyone was aware of this accident. By then it was too late. The couple had either been killed on impact, or drowned as the rain brought with it more water than usual for the little river.

I think of this when I drive. Around corners, near guard rails, near rivers and lakes. I visualize them surviving the fall. Stuck in the cold, trapped in the car, holding hands, holding hope, until the inevitable flood finds its way in. I picture them looking into each others eyes. Although their is fear, their is also love. Their is a look of gratitude for what they have given each other, the lives they have lived, the path that has brought them here. And then...the water comes.

After the wreckage and broken glass is removed, the guard rail fixed, the trees they broke on the way down have regrown, their is only one thing left as a reminder they were even there that day...

written by north easton

Burning rain, Cold heart
lights from the black and whites paint the dark
And the cracks in the concrete and the muddy water that they cry
Shadows wake up before the night

And the lines on the pavement couldnt keep him in
blood soaked lies left inside of the guilt covered skin
And the tracks on the street, where he tried to keep it straight
The big sleep, its gonna keep me off your train

You said, you said, you said you wont
Leave this life before me...nohhh
Leave this life before me...nohhh

You said, you said, you said you wont
Leave this life before me...nohhh
Leave this life before me...nohhh

The sound of steel when the guard rail breaks
ANd the weightless feel when you FLY through your last mistake

Down the banks to the rocks at the bottom
Tumble inside of the car covered coffin
Close your eyes for the last time and picture a face
the big sleep, its gonna keep me off your train

You said, you said, you said you wont
Leave this life before me...nohhh
Leave this life before me...nohhh

You said, you said, you said you wont
Leave this life before me...nohhh
Leave this life before me...nohhh

Come on...stay awake
Come on...stay awake

upside down, a wreck in the river
Lie there cold and quiet with her
hand i hold, watch her shiver
feel her soul, fade and flicker

And the rain comes in at the hardest cost
Both of them their fight is lost
and the years they hide the broken glass 

And all thats a roadside cross

Thanks for taking the time to read my blog and walk this little journey with me.

Till next time
North Easton

Monday, 9 March 2015

Step Up


I found myself standing in a room with 7000 people this week. All of them had come looking for something special within themselves. A search into the mind, body and soul. A new journey to not only break down the limiting beliefs of their worlds, but build new stronger connections to the most important things in our lives. Countless quotes from unbelievable speakers who not only charged the lives of the people standing before them, but recharged themselves as they stood there on the stage.

It would be impossible to share with you in intricate detail the experience that unfolded in New Jersey (just outside of New York City) without you being there...but I tell you this.

In all of my years, in all of my performances, in the thousands of people I have met along the way...I have never met someone as powerful, intelligent, passionate, and inspirational as the man I saw on stage at Unleash the Power Within. 

Some would say...cultish. Don't drink the koolaid.

Cynics to a better way of life. This journey was not to follow the man speaking on stage, but to find the best of ourselves as we delve back in to the everyday.

I'm all fired up, and with a very small window to write this song for this weeks challenge, how could I not honour the experience and write a song with one of the most important messages of the entire event.

Step Up. Step Up. Step Up.

North Easton is an award winning Canadian Singer Songwriter.

Monday, 2 March 2015

Fine with Wasting Time


In a busy world of worn out faces, shattered dreams and forgotten places I stand in flowing fields knowing that if I yield to the rain that crashes into my brain something deep inside will change and take me further from the youth I seek. The truth this week is mine, small and short on time and once again I am guilty of the crime of waiting till the last line is drawn in the sand with my outstretched hand hating that the clock drives the boat that I am in. But "everything you do is a win", the words echo in my ears, through the bottleneck fears that stop the flow of original thought...i'm caught up in the moment...and not only do I own it...I love it and what if i could slow it down...forget about the crowds waiting to push their way through...something those precious seconds and turn them into something that is not beckoning me back to the busy day that I left behind. Im Fine with Wasting Time.

In a sea of songs and the child inside us all, this weeks song was a fun journey. A moment where not only the writing pulled me in and kept me locked in a room for hours on end, but the production demon that I swear would never take over...kinda did a little here. Hard to stop when you get started.

With 6 children of my own, finding time to write this little tune was no simple undertaking. Couple that with a metaphorical car crash of other things stuck on the roads of my brain waiting for a tow...I am happy with the final product...and have thoroughly enjoyed listening to everyones take on this weeks challenge.

Heading away to New York for this upcoming week and not sure where the next song will fit...maybe in the air...on the something new I learn and experience along the way.

Thanks for stopping by.

North Easton

Monday, 23 February 2015

I'm the words in your head

I have to say, right from the get go of this challenge, I was drawn in and excited. Writing from a whole other perspective and out of the comfort zone of writing what you feel yourself...well...that is songwriting growth right there.

I dove into this challenge with my co-writer Rosanne Baker Thornley. We did not have as much time as we would have liked to spend on this song, as we are both writing many other tunes during the week...with each other and with other writers...and still I am in my seven day song challenge and down to the wire...but that is another page...

I have had a chance to listen to other writers in the group share the songs they wrote...some incredible stuff...and I can empathize with the challenge it has been for others.

The mere fact that as many songs have been turned out over a week is a success story worth blogging about.

Bravo all.

There are many more words I would love to share...but the clock wont stop staring at me, and the night is running short.

All the best.

Here is this weeks challenge song from myself and Rosanne.

Look forward to next weeks challenge.