I first want to apologize for not being more prompt in posting my seasonal recipes that I have created, I have them but just haven't managed to get them up! Life has gotten away from me and that is one of the reasons I decided to go on a fast.
This is the fourth fast that I have done in almost three years. I tend to do one fast a year.
I am unsure of how long I will go this time. My first fast was 9 days, the second was my longest at 21, my third was 15. I am thinking that I will probably go 10 days. But that is going to be decided based on when my mom comes to visit. I want to be able to do things with her that I would normally be able to.
Most people when they hear that you are fasting go into a bit of a panic, thinking that it is extremely unhealthy not to eat, which is the exact opposite of the truth. Many people have fasted throughout history, and there are many Biblical examples to prove this point. The Isrealites fasted when they needed spiritual guidance, when grieving, and to get one's life in line with what God would have them do.
Is Fasting Healthy?
I do want to caution people though, if you are on medications, or have severe health issues, please consult a doctor, or natural wellness practitioner before commencing a fast.
That said, fasting (I need to be specific- I am doing a water fast) is a great way to detoxify the body and burn fat. It also helps to clarify oneself spiritually. Before I started this fast I felt that I was being attacked mentally as I was extremely depressed, which for me means overeating, sleeping a lot, crying a lot, and in general not wanting to get out of bed. I needed to restart my system, reboot, which is what fasting does. It helps one appreciate life and remind you of what is truly important.
Many people will say that fasting makes them sick- which is understandable and normal, if you know what the body is doing. Your body will transition to burning the fat stored in your body into fuel and depending on what you eat, your fat can be full of toxins! Artificial sweeteners, built up aluminium, mercury, etc, from overly processed food, and chemicals in our body products, house hold products, and the environment, all get stored in our bodies! YUK! So when your body is breaking down the stored fat, it is also working on detoxing all of those chemicals, which makes you feel pretty lousy. Your face will probably break out initially, you may have headaches for a few days, you may even experience symptoms of past infections.
One really cool thing about fasting, is that all of the energy that your body has can go to rebuilding damaged areas. When we eat, our body has to process the food etc, and all of that takes energy. When we don't bombard our system with tasks to do, it focuses on getting rid of that last bit of cold virus that was suppressed to the point where we think we are totally healed. Old bone fractures may ache as the body "reinforces them". I have felt like I had a cold for days, had my lungs hurt as they were being cleaned out, had my gut hurt and feel like I have a fever. All this is part of the healing process.
Since I have been doing fasts fairly regularly, this one has been very easy. I broke out a bit from the Halloween candy I ate but other than that I have been good to go!
What does one experience when fasting- a day by day look
Day 1: Going without food is easy, you stay busy and don't think about it until the evening when your tummy starts to rumble. You sleep fine. All systems are normal.
Day 2: You are still okay, but more hungry. Your body is now transitioning to consuming fat. I like to tell my body to eat the stored fat, it sounds silly but I think it actually speeds up the transitioning process. You will have your last bowl movement today or tomorrow. Your breath turns sour from the detox, brush your tongue regularly! You still sleep okay.
*Note: Your bowels will shut down after a couple days of not eating. To eliminate feces to prevent excess toxic buildup from the decaying matter, it is a good idea to give yourself an enema. Once for a fast of 6-10 days, and a second for a fast going to days 12-18.
Day 3: Your tummy is really rumbling today! But you stay busy and make it through. Overall you feel okay.
Day 4: You feel weaker today, you move slower and you have to take your time standing up and bending over otherwise you get dizzy. Watch the shower temperature, make sure it's not too hot. Excess heat will start to make it harder for you to breathe- you feel weaker when too hot. Sleep will come slower as your body craves food.
*Note: Day 3-5 may be your hardest before your body stops constantly pestering you for food. I find visual eating- looking up recipes, helpful. Playing facebook games also is a great distraction.
Day 5: You feel weak, and don't want to do any excess movements. Try not to carry anything very heavy.
Between day 5 and day 9 you will essentially stop feeling hungry as your body finally realizes it is not getting any food.
Around day 15 or so, your energy levels return. If you have stairs, you will no longer feel winded climbing up them.
Fortunately I don't have a high impact/activity job. I have done a fast and been a waitress before, but the restaurant was rather small, but it was still difficult. Thankfully I was able to sit between serving tables. If you have to work a higher impact job but still want to do a water fast, add a tablespoon of unsweetened juice (like cranberry or cherry) to 1 liter of water. 1 tsp to a 12 oz bottle.
After completing a fast, of whatever length, one feels more energized, more in control of one's body and emotions, thinking is clearer and more focused, the bowels function better/more effeciently, and your skin glows with health.
What would I normally be able to do that is hard when fasting?
-Carrying a gallon of milk more than 15 ft. I barely managed to get 2 gallons of milk into the house yesterday with out dropping the one under my arm that was holding a bag of groceries!
-Standing up quickly(this only applies after 3-4 days)
You should have seen me on my 21 day fast- half of it was spend bundled up in my pjs, a robe, a blanket, 2 pairs of socks and my slippers!!
Benefits of FastingMental clarity is improved and brain fog is lifted.
Rapid, safe weight loss is achieved without flabbiness
The nervous system is balanced
Energy level and sensory perception is increased. The longer the fast, the bigger increase in energy and vitality. You normally need less sleep.
Organs are revitalized
Cellular biochemistry is harmonized
The skin becomes silky, soft, and sensitive
There is greater ease of movement
Breathing becomes fuller, freer and deeper
The digestive system is rejuvenated and becomes more effective; the peristaltic action of the intestines (the cause of a natural bowel movement) is stronger after fasting.
Fasting retrains your tasting sense back to more healthy food as acute sensitivity is restored.
Fasting can increase confidence in our ability to have control over our lives and our appetite, and that our body is self-regulating and a self-healing organism capable or establishing balance when given the possibility to do so.
Normal metabolic and cell oxygenation are restored.
Detoxification - as soon as the body realizes that it's fasting it will begin to eliminate those things that cause disease, such as fat cells, arterial cholesterol plaques, mucus, tumors, stored up worries and emotions.
This list was so good I copied it from http://www.falconblanco.com/health/fasting.htm.
I have found that all of these things are true, especially with long fasts. I read over falconblanco's page on fasting and it is fantastic!!! I highly suggest reading is as I can't copy the majority of his work here!
I hope this article and the information from FalconBlanco.com encourages you to take control of your eating, and clarify your spirit through a good fast!