Updated: May 18
Do you fast? If so, why do you fast? If not, why not?
Pre-baby days, my fasts used to go for between 7 and 14 days. It helped me cast off my old chronically unwell self, gave me energy and charged up my lagging vital organs better than any medicine could do. These days, I often only fast on the occasions that I find myself succumbing to sickness, or when I have a dreaded migraine.
Most would say I live on a fast most days because I don't eat regular food and live mostly on raw juice/smoothies and superfoods. But I like the feeling of being hungry, of knowing my body is having a break.
Personally, I just struggle with the knowledge that 25000 people die around the world every day of starvation, while in the west and other wealthy nations are killing themselves with gluttony. I don't want to be part of that. Or take part in the little game that is killing our environment - 70% of our crops are fed to the billions of meat-animals that only feed 30% of the worlds' people.
How does that even make sense?
How many members of this site actively fast? It was the first thing I learned when moving from orthodox medicine to alternatives over 30 years ago, when Dad and I became attuned to the fact that our bodies felt that something was not right. It is just about the best thing you can do for your health, especially if you are chronically unwell or overweight.
Many churches do it for spiritual reasons - and it increases our spiritual strength in ways that you could not know until you try it. And then my brain screams - why undo all the good your body, spirit and soul has gone though, by feasting on rubbish to break the fast? If you are honest with yourself, once you have overcome the greed of gluttony, ask your body how it feels? Are you now filled up with fear and suffering hormones? Do your hands and feet hurt? Your joints? Your stomach? Headaches? Do you still carry a few tyres around your belly and head off to the doctor to get something to mask your woes? Get in touch with your body as you get in touch with your spirit and you will begin to understand.
So, what is the best way to fast? Dry fasting should be avoided at all cost - you are starving not only your blood, but your organs, (including brain) and cells. If you feel thirsty, your body is already dehydrated because a survival mechanism ensures our brains can survive long after the rest of the body is screaming out for life-giving water.
No matter what your medical doctors or nutritionists say, you will most likely be able to not only survive, but thrive on a water or juice fast. The only issue will be your hunger and how addicted you are to that hunger. Believe it or not, there are supplements that can naturally get rid of that appetite - really good tonics and supplements which remove your appetite, making you feel as if you are full 24/7. Tonics that keep you alkaline will provide necessary nutrients (often more than the average diet provides anyway), so you will not be starving.
* If you need medication to stay alive, or analgesics, please continue to take them as needed.
Even diabetics can fast - slowly and with awareness - it just means that they no longer become slaves to insulin and the yoyo effect of carbohydrate snacking - by using colloidal minerals - order here - your body is doing things it usually does not, and your insulin needs will lessen with time. Diabetics are taught medically to eat gluten-laden, high carb snacks to 'balance' their blood sugar when in reality it is tricking the body to keep depending on that synthetic lifeline - you have carb peaks and lows just because you think you need to have that carb snack to keep your BSL UP! At the very least, nightly fasts are seriously beneficial - no food from 7pm to 7am, removing all acidic food, and drinking alkaline water rather than carbohydrate-controlled diets which, along with pancreatic-destroying 'diet' drinks, will free you from your fate. That's right - 'diet' drinks and foods - those with nutrasweet/aspartame - are killing your pancreas.
If you are a diabetic considering bariatric surgery which can be as life destroying as it is life saving, please head here
For guidelines on the how to of fasting with diabetes head here
How to eat once you break your fast head here
Fasting is a bonus method of ridding the body of parasites - which not only rob us of life, but are linked to many, if not most, chronic illnesses - and more than a few acute ones. You should also be sure to take a clove/walnut/wormwood/coconut oil based anti-parasitic (or make it yourself) to not just flush them but destroy them, and never just think they will disappear because they are unwelcome. Some of the parasitic infestations I have seen in humans make movies like Alien look like Playschool - and age, intellect, affluence, cleanliness and even diet often make no difference. Flushing with increased water consumption and enemas will help speed the process up - the benefits to your health will astound you.
I will not gross up this post any more than need be, but I urge you to google parasites, worms and other alienistic and bio-engineered pathogens that can affect humans. Some have mutated DNA, others are the end result of botched up science. Sometimes removing parasites can remove abnormal appetites. Other times it can end chronic or even terminal ill health. And most definitely help in stubborn weight loss. And yes, parasites are mentioned numerous times in the Bible, plus anti-parasitic herbs are mentioned often.
Anyway, who wants to join me in a fast? I recommend praying beforehand - for me, I can pray for freedom from hunger and addiction and snap! My appetite is gone until I actively make it return. I am not joking. But on the times I have tried to fast without preparation, I failed within 24 hours. Okay, so I have been at it for a long time, but I was only in my teens when I began fasting - just before I was 16. Preparation is important, so you don't fall back. If you live alone or with ppl who want to support you, it is easier. For parents or people who are around food all day, it is a little harder but can be done. Some of my best fasts were done working in a fast food joint during college years.
Start by drinking a lot of water, and if you want, raw vegetable juice. Avoid acidic fruits - apart from citrus and berries because the effects of these are alkalising, and have many benefits otherwise. Coffee enemas are magic - truly. Many pharmacies no longer sell enema kits since our medical authorities decided they have no place in health care - I guess too many medications were being shown up. Tissue-stripping laxatives line the shelves of pharmacies, which have no balancing, detoxing or otherwise beneficial effects; funny that!
You can buy enemas online, and some pharmacies still sell small saline enema bottles which can be washed and reused. Coffee's benefits are often touted as an excuse for people to drink up. But the truth is, the benefits are usually only courtesy of topical or rectal application. It shocks the liver and forces the blood, kidneys, liver and bowel to release toxic build up that just can't be reached any other way. Google Fleet Enema - washable and reusable. And if you are in Australia and order anything from my store, if you ask for a freebie I will send it!
Bicarb is another magical aid. I take it daily regardless, but for those who have constipation problems (from what ppl tell me, it seems to be a normal thing today), taking a flat teaspoon in warm water has countless health benefits - tastes gross but you actually get used to it as you alkalise. First thing in the morning and last thing at night. Get ready for a mighty clean out! Sip lemon juice, warm or cold, all day, don't let yourself get thirsty because with that, comes hunger. That's right - dehydration actually causes hunger and bingeing so all those cravings are often ignored thirst or consumption of the wrong 'drinks'.
If you really struggle there are little known beneficial herbal combinations - a little guar gum mixed with slippery elm in a cup of warm water - this puffs up and lines your stomach and intestines, making you feel full and removing irritations, especially of IBS. Herbal teas such as fennel and parsley, not only remove extra fluid but also make you feel full.
Taking a clay drink every day - order here - will not only help detox but stave your appetite. Increasing the benefits like removing parasites (don't be shy, we all have parasites and no, they are not necessarily beneficial - remember, many are linked to weight issues, cancers and many other health issues we are told to take as part of life. A strong anti-parasitic is recommended as we ALL are affected negatively by unwanted parasites - order here ....
Expect a few things on your fast -
Firstly, psychological (as opposed to physical) hunger. That goes without saying because from birth, we have food shoved in our mouths as soon as we make a peep. And as we grow, we never give our bodies so much as a break of a few hours.
Secondly, you most likely will get a detox headache - especially if you drink a lot of coffee or coke. It is only temporary but I am not a sadist - if you need to take pain relief, take it - but try everything else first - a shower or bath, feverfew or white willowbark, peppermint oil on the temples, Microvita or Brauer pain cream - there are many non-drug options.
Thirdly, by day 3, if you have not weakened and hit hump day, it will be your worst. I find I reach it by day 2 these days, but that's only because I only eat when hungry out of habit - I don't stick to regular meal times anyway.
By day 4, you really wont care for food - it becomes easier. Of course, there are exceptions - especially if you are so acidic that you are bed ridden with a chronic disorder. That is when you take herbs, homoeopathy, supplements, acupuncture, massage - anything to hurry up the healing.
It must be said, this post is NOT for people who suffer from anorexia. I do not recommend fasting purely for body image or emotional issues. Please see someone if you fall into this category. And if you have a chronic health issue that has resulted in dramatic weightloss, please also do not attempt it.
If you stay at it, you will notice that you will be sorely tested - any current or previous medical issues will raise their ugly heads - often quite severely. Don't panic. All that is happening is that your body is removing the acidic buildup that caused them in the first place. I have seen terminal and chronic health issues ERADICATED just by a good fast done well. If you don't give in, chances are that health issue will be long gone. True story.
I personally like 21 day fasts but these are difficult unless under the watchful eye or constant updates of experts at a health retreat with expert supervision. Or join forces with other likeminded friends and encourage each other through it. This is where it gets tricky because after this time you actually go into starvation mode and do not want food - ever again. 14 day fasts are very beneficial and often can kick start a major health change. 7 day fasts are also brilliant and if you end them by simply staying on a juice fast (raw juice, not bottled), you will only enhance the benefits. Most people will only fast for 2 or 3 days. These are nothing to be sneezed at - in fact, they are the best way to start a health kick by cleaning out the bowel which has long ago become encrusted and baked with toxic plaque.
People who fast during the day and break it at night are doing very little for their health. And breaking a fast with junk only injects massive amounts of rubbish into your blood, in increased concentrations.
Science has proven lower intake diets (no, not diet food - fresh and raw food) give you the best chance at health and longevity. After all, who wants to be old and frail, what is the point in that - which is all medicine is aiming for, the number stats. I'd rather die young than live to be old and chronically unwell. Google old people who live on rawfood diets - it's astounding.
And fasting is the best way to kick start it - or give your body a charge up.
SO, WHAT DOES A SAFE, HEALTHY FAST LOOK LIKE?
My fasts were based upon many years of experience plus natural health studies, while researching established health spas which specialise in fasting clinics.
Removing temptation is vital. You may start with good intentions but temptation is all around; sight and smell have a lot to account for and usually the real reason we eat. Don't watch cooking shows throughout the entire period. Stay away from shops and restaurants. Avoid TV ads which spruik junk food. Go to a swimming centre that has a sauna and get a natural detox going. Increase your filtered water consumption. If you are not exercising, start walking and moving in general. Focus on deep breathing - this is vital. If your bowels are sluggish, start on the bicarb drink and psyllium husk drink a few days before you start fasting. If you believe you will need help, be sure to order all the suggestions. If a parent or if you are share housing and share the cooking responsibilities, ask someone else to take over until you are either finished or comfortable smelling food without eating it. Spend a few days on the countdown, drinking fresh raw vegetable juice, soup and smoothies - your stomach really does start believing it does not need a lot. If you have the money, get a colonic irrigation to get the internal process going.
As a homeopath, I take remedies for everything at any time - some of the ones I suggest here are:
Nux Vomica for purification purposes
Calcarea Carb to reduce appetite
Carbo Veg for detoxing
Lycopodium for sugar cravings
Ignatia and Nat Mur for emotional eating and acidic cravings
Start having regular Epsom salts baths to start the lymphatic detox.
Pray - to me, this is VITAL.
DAILY PROGRAM SUGGESTIONS
You do not need to do ALL the suggestions I have made but they help speed things up amazingly. Try to get up early. This is where I spend time praying for endurance, inspiration, strength and courage. Don't laugh. Fasting is a struggle until you get it! First thing, brush your teeth, wash your face and get ready to meet the day. Drink a glass of water. Start doing this every waking hour. Mix a teaspoon of slippery elm in a glass of warm water and drink it. This lines the digestive tract and stops cramping or IBS type pain. You also feel like you have something in your stomach. Take 30ml of the colloidal minerals highlighted above as this is elemental and the basis of cellular health which is what fasting is about. Remember, we can literally regrow ALL of our cells within a matter of months - we need to make sure the new cells are healthier than the old ones.
Now, start the detox process. Put a teaspoon of psyllium husks in a glass of warm water with a 1/2 teaspoon of powdered activated charcoal and stir to dissolve, wait until it gels, and drink it. It is like a daily intestinal broom and toxin magnet. Seriously. If you have suitable homeopathics, take them throughout the day.
Keep drinking filtered water.
Now for the coffee enema. No one wants to talk about it. Yet people are dying from impacted and exploded bowels. In health spas, coffee enemas release things you would not believe from even the most petite and supposedly healthy bodies. It is actually scary. Ignoring it does not make it go away. When I was a nurse, enemas were a regular thing and until relatively recently, seen as vital. Simply use a clean Fleet enema bottle (order online) and fill with brewed coffee (not instant).
Alternatively you can use olive oil, salt water, herbal teas, very dilute Epsom salts (as in a few grains). If you have never seen or taken an enema, instructions can be found here. Relax, lay on your left side first to allow the enema to trickle into the descending colon. Then lay on your back to allow it to trickle into the transverse colon, then on your right side to hopefully reach the ascending colon. For most people it will take days of repetition to get this far. Fight the urge to run straight to the bathroom as the longer it stays in, the better the effects.
Once this stage is over and you have released the coffee, go and take another drink of filtered water. If you feel hungry, mix 1/2 a teaspoon of guar gum in a little cold water and dissolve the rest in hot water. This will puff up in your stomach to make you feel like you have eaten.
When others around you are eating, go into another room or go for a walk. Drink lymphatic cleansing tea by boiling up a few slices of lemon, lime or orange with a slice of ginger. Drink filtered water throughout the day. You can repeat the homeopathics, guar gum and lymphatic tea as often as you need. Fennel seed tea is excellent for reducing appetite. Bicarb at night will ensure your body does not suffer acidosis.
Oil pulling once a day not only detoxes but strengthens oral health like nothing else. Take 1 teaspoon coconut oil and 1/4 teaspoon activated powdered charcoal and swish around the mouth for as long as you can. DO NOT SWALLOW THIS. It becomes quite toxic as it leeches poisons from the body. Try to keep at it for 15 minutes, then spit and brush your teeth.
Herbal teas are excellent during this phase. By the end of day 1, you may feel there is nothing to it but by day 2 and 3 you will be regretting your decision. By day 4 you most likely will not have an appetite at all and you can continue with the process as above. The coffee enemas can be done every day but once the bowel is cleansed, the only reason to continue is to shock outlying organs to release toxins.
After day 4 it is usually smooth sailing unless your emotions get the better of you. You may see evidence of symptoms reversing, which is the gold standard of true healing. These symptoms may flare for a while and if you need to take medications or alternative treatments, please do. But you will slowly start to see positive changes.
If you are really struggling, take a drink of fresh juiced vegetables and lots of water. Nothing solid. There are many other processes and suggestions in the world of fasting and health, but this is my basic program. To break the fast PLEASE do not just go and shove food into your body! Start with fresh vegetable and fruit juices, raw smoothies (without milk!) and again, lots of filtered water. Do this for a few days and depending on how you feel, you can graduate to healthy vegetable soups. Avoid processed foods at all costs. And please don't fast just to try and undo what you intend going back to! Refrain from putting poisons onto and into your body. Maintain good eating habits.
And enjoy the rest of your life.