Fasting Your Way to Health

fastAn age old therapy for cleansing the body is fasting. This article will deal with the many aspects of fasting and how it benefits the total body. I began fasting a number of years ago when I first began studying natural healing. I started off slow with a one-day-a-week fast and over time worked up to a ten-day fast once a year. The first day or two, I found it amazing how much time I spent thinking about food. I also was amazed at how much my energy level changed as my body released toxins that had built up over time.

What is fasting? How does one begin to fast and what are the guidelines and potential benefits? Fasting is the abstinence of sold food for a period of time. There are many types of fasts – water, fresh juice or mono food, either fruit or vegetable. The length of time (one-day, three-day, one-week, ten-day) of a fast has different effects on the body. It is very interesting how the body deals with food. The moment we stop putting food into our body, the elimination process begins. During a fast, the elimination process continues without solid food being eaten thus giving the body the opportunity to do deep tissue cleansing since fluids are the best way to release toxins.

Let’s look at some of the benefits of fasting:

  • Saves time: Hours a day are spent in working to pay for food, shopping, preparing, eating and cleaning up.
  • Rest: Gives your digestive system a break from processing food.
  • Increases Energy: The energy spent in digesting food is directed to other functions of healing, mainly immune functions, cellular growth and detoxing.
  • Spiritual Uplifting: Help us to center more on other matters. Many spiritual teachers use fasting as a form of detaching from the physical world.
  • Cleansing: Reduction in toxins that the liver has to process due to low input of toxins.
  • Weight Loss: Helps the body to burn fat calories for needed energy.
  • Healing: Can speed up healing by helping to balance the body.
  • Breaks Addictions: Increases will power; works well for smokers and coffee drinkers.

Before you decide to fast, it is important that you understand what may occur during your fast. A one-day fast is pretty easy and most people do not experience any negative symptoms. However, for longer fasts, be aware that you may feel the following: dizziness, mild heart palpitations, weakness, light headedness, tiredness, forgetfulness, mild nausea, a bad taste in your mouth and a gnawing or empty feeling in your stomach. These are signs of too many toxins being released and that the cleansing process needs to be slowed down. Fasting is not recommended during pregnancy, for infants or young children unless under supervision, during deficiency conditions or after one has been exposed to toxic pesticides, herbicides or fat soluble toxins. People suffering from diabetes, hypoglycemia, heart conditions or other major degenerative disease should use caution when fasting for more than three days. Be sure to consult with your health care practitioner.

The following guidelines are meant to guide you through a fast, but adjustments can be made depending on what you experience while fasting. A one-day-a-week fast is a good way to start the cleansing process in preparation for longer fasts. A three-day fast helps rid the body of toxins and cleanses the blood. A five-day fast begins the healing process and rebuilds the immune system. A ten-day fast can help fight off illness and slow degenerative disease processes.

To prepare for a fast, eat more raw vegetables and fruits, eliminate animal and dairy foods, and reduce flour products for at least two days before beginning. While fasting, drink at least eight glasses (8-ounce) of distilled water a day. Fresh juices can be used, but do not mix vegetable or fruit in the same day. At least two glasses of fresh juice a day should be consumed. If using canned or frozen juice, dilute it in half with water and avoid juices with additives or sweeteners. Herbal teas are acceptable during a fast. I recommend mild detoxing teas like red clover, alfalfa, peppermint and red raspberry. Using the juice of fresh lemons in water is also good for releasing of toxins from the liver. If using a mono fruit during a fast, apples, grapes and/or watermelon are very cleansing and will keep your energy level up.

Breaking a fast is as equally important as starting a fast. Do not begin by eating heavily processed foods. It is important to eat lightly steamed vegetables and raw salads for the first day or two. Slowly add back whole grains, flour products, animal foods and dairy. Avoid starchy vegetables, like potatoes. Since the stomach shrinks and digestive juices may be reduced during a fast, small portions and eating more frequently are recommended.

A fast is a time for you to reflect, rest and allow your body to restore balance. Your experience with fasting will let you know the state of health of your body. In our modern day society, we are subjected to numerous poisons from our external environment. The amount of accumulation is based on what you have been subjected to over your lifetime. Fasting is a good way to eliminate these toxins, but don’t be in a hurry. What has taken years to accumulate will take some time to be eliminated. Be patient.

There are numerous books on fasting. The following are some of my favorites:

  • Rational Fasting by Arnold Ehret
  • The Miracle Of Fasting by Paul Bragg
  • How To Stay Slim, Healthy And Young With Juice Fasting by Paavo Airola
  • Juice Fasting And Detoxification by Steve Meyerowitz
  • Tissue Cleansing Through Bowel Management by Bernard Jensen
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