Fasting and The Juice Fast
The Quickest Ways to Detoxify Your Body
Fasting is the most effective method known to draw out poisons and toxins from your cells throughout your entire body. People have recovered from a remarkable number of maladies by using this method of detoxification.
Why does your body cleanse itself better when fasting?
Without nourishment, shouldn’t your body get weaker, not stronger? Your body expends a tremendous amount of energy digesting and processing food. The food must be broken down to extract its vital nutrients and then be disposed of. When food is not provided to the body over some period of time, your body gets on with its job of housekeeping – cleansing and detoxification of its vital organs. Well, then why the juice fast? Stay tuned….
When your body is infected with a virus, if focuses its energy toward removing the invader. If your body cannot stop its growth, the organism would quickly multiply and overpower your body and kill you. This is why immune deficiency diseases are so serious. When we get sick, our bodies instinctively tell us not to eat and we lose our appetite. When you are sick, your stomach may grumble because it is empty, but you do not actually feel hungry. Your body is effectively telling you that fasting is what it wants.
When you eat a meal, the blood circulation to the digestive organs increases. The body does this to fight off harmful substances in the food, to absorb nutrients and to fuel the muscles along your entire gastrointestinal tract to keep the food and waste moving along in your body. When the body is not burdened by the tasks associated with digesting and eliminating food, it focuses all the energy it would normally have given to these tasks, to pulling out and flushing toxins from the body. Therefore, fasting helps to flush out toxins.
Outside the US – particularly in non-western cultures, fasting is part of what people do on a regular basis to stay healthy. In India, people routinely fast once a week to purify both the body and mind for religious reasons. A friend was visiting me from his home in Brazil. He was telling me that he fasts for a few days at least once per year, to allow his digestive system some rest. Such practices have found their way into the culture in other countries because over decades or even centuries, healers realized that people become and remain healthier if they fast on a regular basis.
When should you fast?
You can fast at anytime of the year. Chinese medicine suggests that fasts should be done ten days before and after the vernal equinox – March 11 to April 1. This makes sense because it would be the most likely time that animals (or early man for that matter) would have been low on food reserves after the winter, but before spring starts to provide renewed sources of food. At that time, early man would have had to eat what little was available – thus creating a natural fast.
I am actually more practical. Fasting decreases your body temperature. Therefore, it is most comfortable when you are in a warm place. If your house is normally cold in winter and warm in summer, then wait until summer for your fast.
Should you drink water while fasting?
Absolutely, yes! The body can go for many days without food, but in comparison, a much shorter time without water. Also, drinking plenty of water will fill your stomach, thus making fasting more comfortable. Lastly, the toxins that are extracted from your body will be flushed out, rather than re-circulated, if you are drinking plenty of water. For a gauge on how much water to drink, see the information under the section on
the benefit of drinking water.
What type of fast should you use?
There are three types of fasts: pure, monofood and the juice fasts. Remember to always continue drinking water, regardless of which type you choose to undertake. The pure fast is the simplest form, where you refraining from eating anything. If you are planning an extended pure fast (more than two days), then drink a fasting mixture instead of plain water. This will give you minimal sustenance to keep your body functioning properly, and is sometimes referred to as a Master Cleanse.
8 ounces of pure water
a pinch of salt
1 tablespoon of honey or maple syrup
2 tablespoons of lemon or lime juice
I am a wimp when it comes to fasting. I am borderline hypoglycemic and become cranky and develop severe headaches when my blood sugar drops. Therefore, I am a big fan of the monofood fast and the
Mentally, it is easier to adjust to the idea of eating only one food or drinking juice for a few days, rather than absolutely no food. In a monofood fast, you consume only one type of fruit or vegetable, in any form (dried, whole or juiced) for the duration of the fast. Fruits, such as grapes, apples, or watermelon, are generally preferred because of the cleansing and healing properties that they contain. From the vegetable family, carrots are preferred. By limiting yourself to one food, your total intake is greatly reduced, so your body can still redirect energy to pulling out toxins. A juice fast is a monofood fast taken to the next level. Since your intake is limited to liquid form, your body expends even less energy to digest and process the juice. Always, always, consume only
natural and organic foods
when on either the monofood or juice fasts.Fasting is The Natural Path to good health.
During your fast, medications should be discontinued. Also, do not plan on much strenuous activity during your fast. Remember, your body will be conserving its energy during your fast - so you will feel like you have less energy to expend on physical activity. Additionally, your body temperature will drop and you may feel cold. I found that the first half-day of the fast is the hardest. Once my body realizes that I am not getting food, it settles down. The second day is much easier than the first – especially on a monofood fast or a juice fast.
When you first start eating, I suggest you eat fruits and vegetables for the first couple of meals – no meats and no fried foods. I found that I felt a burst of energy and my face felt flushed when I first consumed food after a fast. By easing into eating, it will allow your internal system to get used to solid food again before giving it hard to digest substances. If you do not, you will likely be in for a rude awakening during your first bowel movement after the fast. In order to help in the transition, you can also take a teaspoon of psyllium husk with water at the end of your fast.
How long should you fast?
The books say that fasts can last from one to 30 days. Although people have fasted longer, I personally would not recommend fasting for more than a 5 days. Also, do not be afraid to work your way up – first start with a one-day fast. After this, you will be much more comfortable with fasting and your second fast can be 3-4 days. As your body cleanses itself, you will find that you will be able to hold a fast longer.
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