Successful Fasting

Fasting is nature's way of restoring the body back to its optimal health. Nothing else beats it. Animals naturally fast when sick or injured but humans seem to have forgotten to do this. More accuratetly, our modern health system has forgotten about fasting, relying on medicine and surgery instead. There are cases when surgery or medicine IS required, such as with a serious accident or mental/emotional crisis, but for most ills fasting is the answer.

Fasting, or the cessation of food intake, liberates and marshalls the body's full energy into dealing with the problem at hand. When we eat, some 80 percent or so of the body's energies are utilized for digestion, making us drowsy or sleepy. When the work is done, the energy returns and we feel awake and aware again.

Food of any kind(including drink) must be digested and processed properly otherwise it will clog and even poison the body. The body takes what it needs or can use and discards the rest. Most of what we eat is not necessary or even beneficial to our health. The body is basically a self-sufficient factory producing whatever it needs and when it needs it. So why do we eat? For pleasure mostly.

Everytime we eat we are playing chemistry with the body or throwing a monkey wrench into its perfectly designed system. The body must then do everything it can to fix or balance the situation. It can deal with just about any food, but certain foods are more difficult for it to process. Fruits, which are the only natural food of humans, cause the least problems to the body. Fruits are mostly flavoured pure water with some vitamins and minerals and are easily digested and processed. Just about every other "food" we eat is much more difficult for the body to process, especially if cooked, radiated, hybridized, or chemicalized. Natural food is the kind you can eat raw and untreated. All unnatural or processed foods cause illness and disease.

Most of us eat what we eat because it tastes good and we become addicted to it. Adding sugar and salt and other chemicals to most foods makes them even more addicive and the food companies know and take advantage of this. Cooking or heating foods and drying out the water content is another way to increase the flavour and make foods highly addictive. This is how drugs are made. The modern Western diet is basicaly a drug diet. It is much harder to fast from such a diet than from a natural one. The withdrawal symptoms will be much more severe.

That is why it is recommended to do a gradual transition to a more natural diet before fasting. It is much easier for a fruitarian or raw vegan to fast than a vegetarian or omnivore. Processed sugar and salt are perhaps the two biggest obstacles to a successful fast. They are literally hard drugs and found in nearly everything we eat or drink and do severe damage to the body(and mind). Read the ingredients and try to select foods that have little or no sugar, salt, and other chemicals(good luck!). Going to a health food store is a good step but even here you must be careful. The obvious answer is of course to prepare your food yourself, but not everyone has the time or desire to do this.

It took me three to four weeks to get over sugar and/or salt many years ago with several relapses. That's how difficult it is -you are literally getting off of drugs! I started preparing my own food and learned to make my own salt-free bread. This greatly reduced my arthritic pain which was the main motivation for my diet change. I gave up meat and dairy(also difficult) and basically became a vegan, then raw vegan, and am now basically a fruitarian, although I do occasionally indulge in some cooked or steamed vegetables. Bread or wheat or grain is also a highly potent and addictive drug, and after sugar and salt, was one of the hardest things for me to give up. Raw nuts are ok in moderation. Leafy greens such as lettuce are ok too, as are tomatoes and cucumbers which are acceptable as fruits because of their seeds and high water content.

The more natural you eat, the easier it will be for you to fast. Short fasts of 24 to 36 hours are recommended for the novice, with supervision if you are infirmed or on medication. Nor is it recommended to fast if you are pregnant. Older children or teens should only fast if they are fully aware of what they are doing. Once experienced, you can go on to the longer more powerful fasts. Prepare yourself by educating yourself on fasting and convincing yourself of the benefits. Your mental attitude will play a major role in the success of your fast. You must overcome any doubt or fear of fasting otherwise you will fail. Even when you do understand fasting, persistence(and resistance to temptation) will be required.

It is best to fast alone in a peaceful and natural environment, especially with the longer fasts, but some will be able to do so without changing their schedules and activities much -it`s different for everyone. It was much easier and safer to fast before 1950 when there wasn't so much pollution or chemicals or radiation. Its different now, especially in the northern hemisphere, but it still can be done. The cities and cold zones are the worst places to fast. Lucky you if you live outside the city and/or in a warmer latitude. Clean air and sun or warmth are important when rebuilding or regenerating your body.

To obtain the greatest benefits of your fast, break out of it gradually, drinking only liquids or soft fruits at first. A sudden or abrupt break into your regular diet can be harmful, especially if the fast is longer than one or two days, and in some cases can even result in death. If you are on a long fast(a week or more), the first three days will be the hardest. If you experience dizziness, it is your blood thinning from expelling wastes, but it will rebuild and normalize. Get up or lie down more slowly. You may feel cold or weak and need more rest and this is normal. You will also start to sweat by the end of the 2nd day(toxins being expelled). Also, by the 2nd day, you will start to hear a second "heart" beating behind your stomach. This is your solar plexus coming to life after no longer being muffled by an oversized stomach. The stomach is actually an abnormal inflation holding back excessive food until your digestive system can deal with it. It shrinks back(gurgling sound) to its normal tubular self during the fast.

The third day is the make or break day. If you successfuly resist temptation(to eat) by the end of the 3rd day, the cravings will begin to dissipate or die down(food cells dying) and it will be much easier from there into the succeeding days. Drinking clean water during the fast helps you get through, but it also slows down the process. Fasting from both food and water is called dry fasting and should only be done by the experienced faster. Do not drink fruit juices during your fast as the flavour will restimulate your hunger and ruin the fast. Only clean water, which is tasteless and neutral, will not interfere with the fast to any great extent, although it will slow it down.

Many will complain about the drastic weight loss or even emaciation during the fasting process. Basically, the more toxic or diseased you are the more you will lose weight. Your body is automatically cleaning out all the garbage so it can rebuild(it always does its best to save you) and sometimes this means going down to the bone. It may not be pleasant or pretty but necessary. Once all the crap is out, the rebuilding phase begins(automatically) and you start to look better. The hollow cheeks(a withdrawal symptom) go away and you start to fill out again eventually achieving your ideal weight and staying there. The rebuilding process could take weeks or months or even years depending on your condition. The same can happen during a drastic diet change.

There are many other kinds of fasting, such as intermittant fasting which is eating only once(or more) a day during a 4 to 8 hour window, usually between noon and 6 PM. There is also alternate day fasting where you eat one day and not the next. There is "sabbath fasting" which is fasting one day a week on your holy day. There is also the Islamic Ramadan fasting from dawn to dusk for one lunar month. There is also juice fasting or fruit fasting although this is not as powerful as true fasting(total abstention of food). Hibernation is a form of fasting which most animals(and some humans) practice in the cold winter climates. Everytime we sleep or rest we are basically fasting.

The benefits of fasting are better overall health and energy, clear skin, diminuition or negation of pain, improved hearing and vision, greater mental clarity, bouyant optimism, and the list goes on. You are basically turning back the clock to a younger and healthier you. Yes, fasting CAN reverse aging, but only if you do it regularly and for extended periods. Aging is after all the accumulated debris of our indulgences and the damages of our stresses. Fasting cleans house, repairs, and rebuilds -if you give it the time or opportunity. The body is naturally regenerating, but there comes a point(usually around age 30) where the body has had enough of our wrongful ways and starts to break down.

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