||Introduction To Fasting
What is fasting
Fasting is the act of abstaining from food (all food). It is not as simple as it sounds for some nor impossible for others but for its proven therapeutical effects it will become worthwhile the efforts.
Fasting is not something new, it is mentioned throughout the book of Exodus. Moses, Elijah, Gandhi, Jesus and others fasted for up to 40 days. Christians also use a variation of fast, where they fast half a day and stop taking meat for a 40 days period. Also Muslim fast during Ramadan.
I may here note that starvation, the denial of food supply by accident or intent from a system that is in need of that food, is not fasting at all!
"We may talk about sex being the strongest fleshly drive, but it is not. We may think ego is the strongest of the fleshly impulses, but it is not. From the day we are born, the desire for food reigns dominant." [B]
How fasting works
It has been well documented that the less you eat the more healthy you become.
It is not the quantity that matters but the quality. By understanding our body’s needs, how it works and how much it really wants food supply, we can learn to become healthier with less efforts.
Our body is being constantly poisoned by the food we take (artificial colors, flavors, preservatives, pesticides, insecticides and other indigestible chemical substances). At some points our body will not be able to cope with all this stress and it will be overtaken at sudden, that is when one of our organs starts malfunctioning or at least a manifested disease will show its symptoms.
Man is never meant to be sick, GOD did not intend us so. Man has been expelled from Eden because he ate the wrong thing! We have been eating the wrong things ever since!
Our stomach (digestion system) is compared to a worker that knows no rest! It works constantly to sort out the food we take periodically and everyday, that’s why if we want our system to do its natural healing job we have to lessen our food intake so that the body directs its energy and efforts elsewhere.
"Fasting is a natural instinct among the animal kingdom when something is wrong with their bodies. They know to stop eating. We may not feel hungry when we are sick but we have been conditioned to eat for strength and to get well." [A]
A short list of what fasting can cure
||High/low blood pressure
Types of Fasts
During a fast you may only take Water (and much better pure/distilled water). Water fasting is so much perfect that it requires dedication and extra care and cannot be practiced nowadays by everyone due to one’s busy life schedule.
Therefore a variation of fast types where put into practice by alternative health professionals and by individual health seekers.
||As mentioning earlier, this consists of taking only water (and at some extent squeeze of lemon is added).
During this type of fast you should avoid extensive physical, sexual and mental work and have plenty of rest!
You should also have a plenty of fresh air, sun light, avoiding stress.
You may do some Yoga exercises as it makes you feel vitalized and helps your body get rid of the toxins faster.
This sort of fasting is experienced fasters, because healing and symptoms might appear so quickly and a new comer might not be able to deal with them. In addition, you must check with your doctor before proceeding with such fasts.
||Juice fasting is not really a fast, but an elimination diet. But the word "Fast" is just a terminology in that context. This sort of fasting yields the results of loosing weight, detoxifying and abstaining from solid foods.
This sort of fast is ideal for busy people that must work during their fast and cannot have complete rest. This sort of fast is so practical in a big polluted town where one needs to rejuvenate but has no means to do so.
During this fast, you may take only fresh juice (not pasteurized or canned juice).
Juices has been known to help the body detoxify, by stimulating different healing/eliminating organs in ones body (Liver, Kidneys, Colon), and clean the blood stream.
Why fresh juice?
Fresh juice are concentrated in vitamins, live enzymes and minerals. They are easily absorbed by the body.
This sort of fast can be extended to 30 days or more without real danger as opposite to water fasting.
Carrot juice combos are the best when it comes to Juice Fasting.
Fasters has derived a list of fruits and vegetables that can be of benefit during your fast:
- Carrots: It has a variety of vitamins and minerals like: A-Carotene, Vit-B1, Riboflavin-B2, Iron, Phosphorus, Zinc, Sodium, Vit-B12, Vit-C, Vit-E, Dietary Fiber, … !
- Apples: they are known as intestinal brooms! As they are also rich in fiber.
- Green Juices: Greens drinks are best known for their energizing and healing effect. For example if you are feeling tired, one cup of wheatgrass will lit you up again.
They are also excellent blood cleansers.
The secret behind the power of the Green is the Chlorophyll. "Without the Chlorophyll all animal life on earth would become extinct". [C]
Green plants take their energy directly from the sun into their cells and store it there.
What is amazing is that the color of the food/juice have different healing properties:
- Red food: speeds up blood circulation, yang energy. Mostly found in: Tomatoes, hot peppers, watermelon, red cabbage, …
- Orange food: Known as an anti-spasmodic and an excellent pain and cramps killer. It can effect you emotionally by increasing your joy and mental clarity. Mostly found in: Oranges, carrots, pumpkins, …
- Yellow food: It strengthens the nerves, digestions and helps constipation. The yellow color is also associated with mental power and clarity. Mostly found in: Lemon, apple, peach, banana, mango, corn …
- Green food: As discussed earlier, it is a blood cleanser, blood alkanizer and a nutrifier. Mostly found in: all green leafy vegetables and sprouts, …
- Blue food: The color blue is associated with spirituality and mental work. Therefore it is good for headaches and for its tranquilizing effect too. Mostly found in: Grape, potato, celery, blueberry.
||Not that you don’t only take Solids or juices, but also Water!!
You may only take fresh air and the lovely sunshine. This type of fasting most be surely practiced in an unpolluted environment.
"Would that you could live on the fragrance of the earth and like an air plant be sustained by the light" — Khalil Gibran, The Prophet. [C]
||You have more choices of juices to consume other than juices or waters, actually anything that is strained (contains no solids). A good example of that: Herbal Teas, Vegetable Broth, Nut milks, …
Most of these drinks are better taken when coming out of a fast and not during the fast.
As noted above, all these types have one thing in common: No Solid food is taken!
One can never predict the real duration or length of a fast.
There is no hunger while the disease is there. "Because disease and hunger can never coexist." [D]
When real hunger returns, which can never be mistaken, then you might consider to return from your fast.
Generally, People sometimes follow systematic fast programs with a predefined length and type:
||It consists of fasting for one to three days at most and usually at the weekends, typically if you decided to have rest and restrain from work.
This sort of fast is suitable for all, because it can be done without a professional’s supervision and it can yield no side effects at all!
Another variation of this is the One day per week where one fasts any day during the week.
This might look not enough, but if you practice it, you will have fasted almost 52 days per year!
Your body will pay you later by extending your life span, avoiding you facing common diseases that most old people live with.
Also one might use the Every other day fasting method for weight loss purpose. This is practiced every other day and is also effective and not harmful!
Although the fasts types discussed above are beneficial, one might mis-practice them.
For example: Anorexia: A prolonged disorder of eating due to loss of appetite or even because of over-weight problems.
While the in Bulimia, people eat all over again what they missed during their fasting period and screw all the healing effect in just one day!
With this duration, one can Water fast and Juice fast.
||Anything shorter than two weeks is considered a short fast.
This sort of fast is so practical for most people that work and cannot have time for fasting alone.
It can be done from home and work, mostly, juices are taken this period to help detoxify fast within the range of this fast.
||This sort of fasts require medical consultation before and after the fasting period.
It is essential to have a clear purpose before proceeding.
This can be used for healing purposes, diet, spiritual goals, etc…
You have to be in vacation and without worries during this period so that all your energy start flowing inwards.
Entering a fast
Before beginning to fast, you might want to decide why you want to fast.
Commonly, people might have goals such as:
- Diet and weight loosing
- Breaking bad eating habits
- For the sake of experiencing it
- Spiritual goals
- Changing diet: Normal diet to Vegetarian diet
- Healing from diseases
- Because you cannot eat due to surgery in the mouth
Whatever your purpose is, you have to keep in mind that fasting is something personal.
Some people would fast only to show off in front of their friends saying that they could fast a certain number of days.
So keep it personal, and do not consider fasting as a tool to cultivate your ego! Instead consider it as a tool to expand your mind and body.
The length of the fast depends on your purpose for fasting, for example to recover from a grave disease you may want to take a long fast; for weight loosing you can take short fasts (up to 2 weeks).
Something positive will happen during or after the fast, so keep yourself up to your expectations, if changes doesn’t happen during the fast or right after it, they will take place sooner or later.
Sometimes results appear later and after the fast because the body was working slowly and cleaning itself but it had not enough means and energy to expel the toxics. But once you resume your normal healthy diet, the body will be strong enough to throw every un-useful thing out.
Your doctor can decide whether your current health conditions allows you to fast or not.
Usually, the following are not advised to fast:
- Pregnant women
- Very old people
During the fast you might experience some healing or other disturbing symptoms:
||It is usual that you feel cold during a fast.
The food we usually eat creates heat in our body, when the food is absent you won’t feel this usual heat any longer.
It is advised that you cover yourself well even though it is summer time and you might look silly in your society.
||Feeling weak during a fast is also a natural thing since there is no more extra energy supplied, instead the body is using all the energy stored inside it.
Whenever possible try to rest if you feel weak.
||Most fasters complain about their bad breath.
You can resolve this by having a squeeze of lemon on your tongue or by brushing your teeth frequently.
Do not consider taking a mint! That will break your fast.
Toxics sting twice: on their way in and on their way out.
This might be a good symptom as your body already picked the toxics and they are already circulating in your blood waiting their turn to be expelled out of your system by your elimination organs.
||Constipation is natural because there is not enough wastes bulk so that your organs can easily expel.
Diarrhea can occur too and that is a good sign of elimination
During the fast, you might want to consider strengthening and taking extra care of your elimination organs:
||The skin can eliminate dead cells and ever toxins that have been stuffed under your skin for ages.
Brush your skin very well regularly, take a sun bath; that is to have a douche under the sun.
||To avoid constipation it is advised to use a water enema every morning or night during your fasting period.
Water enema is not harmful at all if used correctly and not abused.
||Its role is to eliminate fluid waste from the body.
Therefore, taking cleansing herbs will help the kidney do its job: Cucumber juice, herb teas, asparagus, celery, strawberry, etc…
||By breathing correctly and fully with your lungs you help strengthen and cleanse this organ.
Yoga books heavily describe this subject.
Overall, keep yourself busy during the fast with:
- Rest: Naps, Meditation, Sleeping, …
- Exercising: Light walking, Yoga, Deep breathing
- Cleansing: Rest
Coming out from the fast
You started feeling really hungry? your fast schedule is over? you gave up?
For whatever reason you ended your fasting period, you must pay close attention on how behave in the post fasting period.
It is natural that your eating desire has grown immense, as if a sleeping giant has just awakened and wants to eat!
The first part of this later statement is true, that your giant is sleeping (your stomach/digestive system), but the second part isn’t true at all, that is it wants to eat!
What actually happened during the fast, is that you put your digestive system into a rest state, and you cannot just wake it up just by re-introducing food into your system!
Fatal cases have been reported when people break their 6 days+ fast by eating a pizza! What happens is, in this case, the pizza is so strong for the system to handle it just after it was idle for a long period.
Your stomach capacity shrinks down, your glands, normal digestion procedure would take some time now to start working normally.
So please, Follow these steps carefully when coming out from the fast, *WILL POWER* is mandatory:
||This phase is the first 2 days (short fast) or 1 week (long fast) and even 2 weeks (in case of 40 days fasts).
During phase 1, you may only take liquid that have no solids at all.
You may have protein drinks like soya milk, or nut-milks.
By the end of this phase, you can introduce small bodies in your liquid, for example the pulp of the orange, …
Taking soup is also highly encouraged. (Still no solids at all)
Similar to Phase 1, Phase 2 get defined by another period of light eating where now more small and less complex solids can be taken.
You might take a heavier soup now, with potato and other vegetable.
The key in this phase is to chew very well and to eat like a little baby and to nibble.
"You must chew your juice and drink your food"
What happens is that most of the digestion begins from the mouth. Because the saliva produces digestive enzymes that will simplify the work in your stomach.
||During this phase, you remember your purpose and expectations.
That is you might want to start by your healthy diet (Vegetarian for example) or you might want to overcome a certain eating disorder by eating properly now.
In phase 3 you will start feeling a change! you will feel full directly after eating a little, unlike old days when you eat a big quantity and you barely feel full.
That is a good sign that your body now knows how much it needs and what it needs.
I have introduced to you what fasting is and I have outlined important points and guidelines you should follow.
Should you decide to fast, please use this guide as a starting point then expand your knowledge by conducting your own research or by buying a lengthier book on this topic.
After all, Fasting should be the interest of all health seekers. That’s why I personally advise that you consider very well the "Once per week" fasting scheme.
Remember that we are not living to eat, but we eat to live. Food is only the fuel of our bodies.
Last updated 07/15/2004 | Articles home