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Saturday, July 24, 2010

Fasting Science - Part II

Benefits of Fasting
  • Mental 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.
One Day Fast
One way to start is to fast one day, working towards fasting regularly, one day per week or for longer periods of time. You can fast from all food, or only from solid food. You can choose a one day fast with only:
  • water
  • fresh fruit juice
  • fresh vegetable juice
  • raw fruit
  • raw vegetables
  • Avoiding during the fast:
Avoiding during the fast:
cooked vegetables, cooked whole grains, whole grain flour products, bread, pasta, etc. vegetable protein, soy products, etc. dairy: milk, cheese, yogurt, ice cream, butter, eggs, meats, fast food, junk food, prepared foods, etc., chemicals: sugar, caffeine, artificial flavoring, sweeteners, etc. Not to consume any drugs, nicotine and alcohol during fast should be clear.

Water Fast
You can fast from 1 to 40 days. Try to drink 2 liters of water or more per day.The ten day water fast has become a recommended number of days. Ten days on water will cause the same weight loss as 30 days on juice. But water fasting is far more difficult, especially if you have a fast metabolism. Water fasting cleanses the body aggressively removing toxins rapidly. Water fasting can be more beneficial than juice fasting in combating more persistent forms of cancer, cleansing the tissues more aggressively. Water fasting demands mental preparation, the less pressure and responsibility you have during a water fast the better. Think of it a holiday away form the normal patterns of living. Some recommend that the week before your fast, you drink fresh juices and eat mostly raw fruits and vegetables to cleanse the body so that the detoxification during water fasting will be less aggressive. Water fasting should always include two of three days of juice fasting before and after the water fast. This alternating between juice and water fasting is the most effective method of achieving a full cleansing through fasting.

Water Fasting Tips
Avoid water straight from the faucet. Distilled water is the best for cleansing because of its inherent, magnetic properties and ability to absorb and suspend large quantities of toxins, flushing them from the body. The perceived value of mineral water is misleading because the inorganic minerals are like huge boulders to the cellular membranes, making them impossible to assimilate. Plants are able to break down the minerals from the soils, allowing them to be completely absorbable to the cells of the body. The best water is distilled, secondly, spring or filtered.

There are no calories or nutritional value in water. On a water fast you have given your body no options but to turn to itself for fuel. This can create a problem when you have spent years depositing counterfeit fuel. Living exclusively on dirty fuel during a fast takes tremendous courage & strength. To ease into water fasting some recommend juice fasting with periods of water fasting. For example 3 days on juice, 2 days on water, 5 days on juice, then 3 days on water. You can juice when you have to work and water fast on the weekend when you can rest.

Water Fasting Concerns
It is not advisable to water fast under the conditions of hyperglycemia, hypoglycemia, schizophrenia or a chronic heart condition. If you have existing conditions it is best if you consult with a fasting expert and/or be monitored throughout your fast.

Be careful of dizziness and black outs. The heart is resting as much as it can during water fasting. Before you stand up, take one or two deep breaths to get the heart pumping. If you start to black out, sit down or crouch down on one knee. This will immediately stop the dizziness.

Master Cleanse Fast
The Master Cleanse or Lemon Cleanse is between a water fast and a juice fast. Basically it consists of drinking a mixture of freshly squeezed lemons, water and maple syrup for a period of 8 to 40 days. It is easier to do than a water fast because you are still getting nutrients and energy from the lemons and the maple syrup. This fast can be done while still maintaining your normal work, yet is less calories than what you would get from a juice fast. It is normal to lose weight on this fast and it is excellent for cleansing the colon.

Juice Fast
Juice fasting is safe and can allow the body to clean itself of toxins while greatly improving conditions for health. A benefit is that your energy level is high because you are receiving sufficient nutrients from the juices, so you can carry out normal activities. A juice fast takes some burden off the digestive system and frees up some energy for accelerated healing though a water fast does much better in that regard. Also, juices can make available extra quantities of nutrients that a person might lack. Juices are easy to assimilate and take hardly any digestive energy from the body, allowing the body to put more energy into healing and rejuvenation. Packed with vitamins, minerals, living enzymes, antioxidants, phytochemicals, yet low enough in calories to force the body to cannibalize on its filthy waste, propelling you to vigorous physical health and clarity of mind.

For your first fast and for the purpose of healing disease most experts recommend a juice fast over a water fast. Fasting on water has become a near impossible exercise for a body that has been nurtured on poisons. The juice of fruits and vegetables are filled with healing and cleansing properties that allow the body to gently and safely detoxify. Juice fasting has become an effective stepping-stone to water fasting. Through juice fasting, thousands of individuals have been freed from serious diseases such as cancer, leukemia, arthritis, high blood pressure, kidney disorders, skin infections, liver disorders, alcoholism and smoking.

The thirty-day juice fast is a standard. This length of fast feels about right because after 30 days it seems like you have been fasting forever. Less then 30 days and you can miss the best experiences of the fast. If you are juice fasting, a few days on water occasionally will intensify the fast and assist with weight-loss if you have a slow metabolism.

Most people can juice fast safely for up to 30 days. The exceptions are those with hypoglycemia, diabetes, hypo thyroid, and Wilson's Syndrome. For these conditions, eat slices of avocado and banana every few hours, add high quality vegetable source protein powder to your juices, and add psyllium or another good bulking agent to your juices twice a day to regulate blood sugar levels. Do not juice fast if you have impaired kidney function.

The amount of juice you drink will determine the intensity of cleansing. Drinking small amounts of juice supplies fewer calories, thereby increasing detoxification. The more intense the cleansing, the greater the discomfort. Juice fasting allows you to have control over the process of elimination. However, when the body enters a cleansing crisis due to toxins in the blood, no amount of juice will eliminate the discomfort. You must wait it out.

Drink all-vegetable or all-fruit juices, never combine fruits & vegetables to create juice. Make your juice from fresh vegetables or fruits. You can also include herbal teas with honey, vegetable broth, Barley Green, wheat grass juice and supplements helpful for your specific condition. Drink juice whenever hunger develops until pleasantly full as opposed to stuffed full. It is best if you filter or strain the juices, removing any excess fiber or pulp so that you continue to give the digestive system a rest. Also if it looks like you are not losing weight on your fast, you can dilute the juices with water.

You may consider modifying the fast by including quarter slices of avocado or banana to slow the cleansing process. Modified juice fasting is good for those with health restrictions such as diabetes or hypoglycemia. Bananas and avocados are slow to digest and maintain a stable blood sugar level. Their high calorie content slows the intensity of the fast and, because they are easy to digest, the body still devotes energy to cleansing.

Preparation for Your Fast
Inform yourself about fasting: by doing your own investigation, reading all you can about the fasting process, the various kinds of fasts and what you can expect as side affects. If you have a pre-existing health condition then you should find out if there are contrary indications with fasting and your condition.

Determine your cleanse duration and time period: Try to arrange that your fast is in a time period where you have low activity or lobsters. Avoid heavy kinds of work if at all possible. When it comes to long fasts and inability of somebody to handle a long fast, you just do the best you can. When detoxification increases as it does during fasting, the liver, kidneys, lungs and immune system work extra hard to handle the load. If these systems were already compromised before the fast, one must proceed carefully. You go as long as you can tolerate it, whether physiologically or emotionally, and then come back to eating again. Once you have some energy and are a few steps further toward health, you can consider doing another fast. Several short fasts can definitely do wonders if one long fast cannot be undertaken. Long fasts are preferable to short ones because once the body is in the fasting state it cleanses systematically into the harder to get at body tissues. For this reason, most of the recoveries from illness have taken place in the latter parts of long juice or water fasts. Long fasts give the body the uninterrupted time to do the work of healing. The first few days of fasting gets rid of the gross waste products of digestion, but only after this can the body pull out its tools to get to work on healing.

Frequency of Fasting
Of course, the best is that people stay on a good daily health regime and then when the need comes to fast to go ahead and do it for a week to 10 days or longer if indicated. At least long enough to move completely into the fasting physiology and accelerated detoxification. Ideally people should fast once or twice a year just as a tune-up to deal with the environmental toxins and junk in our foods as well as the emotional build up. Traditionally people have fasted in the spring and fall, when the weather is mild.

Activity Level
It is good to at least have mild exercise and movements with short walks to keep the lymphatic fluid moving and to the keep the vascular system working. The amount of exercise you can do is very much dependent on your existing condition and how you are feeling that day and what kind of fast you are doing. Basically one needs to be alert and listen to one’s body and not to overdo. Fasting is resting, not a marathon! You may feel weak during a water fast and may need to rest more often. While juice fasting, you may experience an abundance of energy that makes exercise easy. If you experience energy loss, limit yourself to stretching exercises, light walking or deep breathing.

Proteins & Fasting
It was theorized that protein loss during fasting was harmful and that a fast should be supplemented with protein. Fasting with protein became known as the Opti-fast. Fasters took nothing but water and a protein drink. Sadly, several people died. Protein digestion during the fasting state created an overload of urea and the blood become acidic. In this condition, the organs become more damaged instead of healing. To the body, fasting is a natural process. During water or juice fasting, the protein levels of the blood remain constant. Although protein is being utilized, a person fasting 40 days on water will not suffer a deficiency of either protein, vitamins, minerals or fatty acids. In the breakdown of dying and diseased cells, all essential substances are available while fasting for reuse within the body. These dead cells are utilized in a systematic manner.

Protein deficiency is non existent in North America. You never hear of anyone being diagnosed with protein deficiency. Fruit and vegetable juices have water-soluble highly absorbable proteins. The body has a store of protein, and it uses it selectively. Dying cells are the first to be used and healthy and vital tissues are the very last and will only be used as a last resort. Only during starvation is protein being stripped from healthy tissue to be used to survive. This may take 30 to 80 days of fasting on water to reach this point.

The systematic searching of cells to be metabolized is crucial in the healing of cancer. A cancer cell represents protein and calories. Some cancers are so persistent that you have to force the body to choose between healthy cells and cancer cells. This requires a long fast on small portions of juice combined with days of water fasting.

Aiding Elimination of Toxins
Enemas: If you are not having natural bowel movements then an enema is advised to move out the toxic material that is being scoured by your body. You will feel much better after taking an enema. An enema can be taken daily in the beginning days of a fast, then bi-daily for the remainder using just plain water.

Mucus: . It is common, during fasting, for the nose and throat to pass sticky mucus, clogging the sinuses. White strands of mucus may be found in the stool. You may find that you are more comfortable if you use a Neti Pot to clear the sinus cavities, to prevent getting a cold with the clogged sinuses. You can also drink lemon juice with water to help clear the mucus.

Showers/Bathing: Plan to shower or bath daily to aid in cleaning the pores and assist the removal of toxins. The skin is a large organ and many toxins are removed through the pores causing a gummy deposit on the surface of the skin. It may help to brush the skin removing the sludge that is deposited there.