Most people take baths and showers and try to keep the outside of their bodies clean, but do very little to keep the inside of their bodies clean, which is even more important. Unfortunately, even if you are going out of your way to avoid putting toxic foods, drinks, and drugs in your body, you will still be getting toxins in your body due to the fact that the environment is so polluted. (Scientists recently found traces of rocket fuel inside the livers of polar bears living in the middle of Alaska, so that should tell you that pollution is everywhere and that none of us are completely safe from it.) Fortunately there is a way to remove toxins that have built up in your body over the years and it's called "cleansing". There are many different ways to cleanse the body, but the way that I feel is the most natural and effective is to simply go on a fast, so in this chapter I will give you some "food for thought" on the subject of fasting along with 6 personal tips about it...
When you go on a fast you are giving your body a complete break from food, and since the majority of our energy goes to digesting the food that we eat, your body will suddenly have a lot more free energy than usual when you fast, and it will use this energy to work on things that it normally doesn't have enough time for, such as healing old wounds and removing built-up toxins that have been in your body for years. Many health problems that people have been living with for years were finally able to heal when through fasting... (Old people who have lost their vision over the years have actually regained their eye sight while fasting, and people with life threatening health problems such as cancer have miraculously been healed through fasting.) Our bodies have the ability to heal themselves of virtually anything, but if the inside of your body is a highly toxic environment diseases can easily manifest and thrive, and fasting is the best way to give your body a chance to do it's magic.
The best analogy that I can use to describe fasting is to imaging that a grocery store closed for a week but all of the employees still showed up to work as usual that week. This may seem insane because without customers the store would go out of business, but if there were no customers to deal with and clean up after for a whole week a lot of things could get done that there normally isn't time to do. Every inch of the floor could be cleaned and polished, all of the walls could be re-painted, all of the old electrical wiring could be stripped out and replaced with faster and more energy efficient wiring that would eventually save the store a lot of money in the long run, and when the week was over it would look like a brand new store on the inside and they could have a "grand re-opening". This is exactly what will happen to the inside of your body if you go on a fast after having eaten a poor diet for several years. At a grocery store the customers come first and in the human body digesting food comes first, so if there is no food to digest for a week your body won't simply take a week off and do nothing, but will instead in it's infinite wisdom spend that time working on things that it normally doesn't have time to deal with because there is constantly new food entering the body that needs to be digested, assimilated, and eliminated.
DIFFERENT TYPES OF FASTING _____________________________________________________________________
1. WATER FASTING
A "Water Fast" is where you consume only water for an extended period of time.
This is the fast that I recommend the most, because it is the most powerful, however, if you are new to fasting and you aren't ready to do a "Water Fast" yet the other 2 types of fasts listed below are more mild and can still provide great benefits and should be considered...
2. JUICE FASTING
A "Juice Fast" is where you consume only fruit and vegetable juices for an extended period of time.
I like to refer to fruit and vegetable juices as "Liquid Plumber For The Body" because they are powerful internal cleansers. "Juice Fasting" is a lot easier than "Water Fasting" because drinking juice will provide you with some calories, as well as an enormous amount of vitamins and minerals. (Maybe even more than you are currently consuming in a regular day.) If you are going to do a "Juice Fast" I recommend that you make all of the juice yourself at home with a juice machine and that you stay away from bottled juices from grocery stores because they typically contain artificial flavorings, preservatives, pesticides, and other toxic things which kind of defeats the whole purpose of doing a "de-tox". 3. MONO FASTING
A "Mono Fast" is where you consume only 1 type of fruit or vegetable for an extended period of time.
Although you still eat food while doing a "Mono Fast" you are still giving your digestive system a huge break simply by not eating anything that involves complicated food combining. In chapter one I devoted a page to the benefits of eating mono meals which you can read by clicking HERE
SIGNS THAT YOU ARE TOXIC _____________________________________________________________________
We are in a constant state of "de-toxing" and "re-toxing" and our bodies are can handle a fair amount of toxins in a day, but if you are smoking a pack of cigarettes a day or eating 3 toxic meals a day you are taking in toxins faster than they can be eliminated and if you continue to do it you will ultimately end up with a serious illness, because I have news for you, if your body can't eliminate waste fast enough it is only a matter of time until virtually every health problem that you can think of will start to show up. (Consuming toxins faster than your body can eliminate them is ultimately the cause of almost all disease.) and below are some signs that you can look for to see how toxic you are...
1. YOUR URINE
If you are truly healthy your urine will be clear. If your urine is dark yellow it's a good sign that you are either consuming too many toxins or that you are simply not drinking enough water to dilute the toxins in your body, and either way going on a water fast will help to flush you out your system.
The Ultimate Goal - Have urine that is clear like the water you drink..
2. YOUR STOOL
What do new born babies, really healthy adults, and animals in the wild all have in common? What they all have in common is that pretty much every time they eat a meal they have a bowel movement. (1 meal in = 1 meal out) The average person will consume about 100,000 pounds of food in their lifetime that will need to be digested, so it is very important that you have a good working digestive system. Believe it or not there are people out there who are so constipated that they only have 1 bowel movement a week. (Stop and think about that for a moment, that means that they are walking around with 21 meals in their stomach!!!)
The Ultimate Goal - Have odorless bowl movements after breakfast, lunch, and dinner.
3. YOUR BODY ODOR
Body odor is guaranteed to happen if you are toxic and can go away with a really clean diet and regular showers. My need for soap and deodorant disappeared shortly after I started living on a diet of raw fruits and vegetables. (I haven't used any soap or deodorant in years and have never gotten any complaints about it.)
The Ultimate Goal - Have no need for soap and deodorant.
4. YOUR BREATH
If you wake up in the morning and your breath smells like the food that you ate for dinner the night before it's because the food that you ate is still undigested, and if this is common for you, fasting would be the best way to allow your digestive system to finally catch up and rejuvenate.
The Ultimate Goal - Have odorless breath without the aid of "Mouthwash" , "Tooth Paste", "Breath Mints", etc...
5. YOUR SKIN
The health of your skin is a reflection of the health of the inside of your body. If you are prone to acne, rashes, and other skin conditions it is likely due to poor diet. Your skin is your largest organ and it performs many functions. (Including keeping your insides safe from the outside.) Your skin is completely replaced about once a month and the average person will go through about 1,000 completely different sets of skin in their lifetime. We shed about 1,000,000 dead skin cells every hour and almost all of the dust in people's homes is actually their own dead skin cells, and when their homes get too dusty they get out the vacuum cleaner and vacuum themselves up! Our skin has about 100,000,000 pours on it, so obviously we were designed to be sweating on a regular basis, and my recommendation would be to sweat out toxins through exercise and to replace the toxic sweat that you lose with clean water.
The Ultimate Goal - Have clear and glowing skin that people compliment you for having.
6. YOUR HEALTH
Any time that you get sick it would be wise to consider fasting until the sickness is over. It's 100% natural to stop eating when you are sick. (If a farmer owns 1,000 cows he will know right away if one of them is sick because it will be the only cow not eating at feed time.) We naturally lose our appetites when we get sick and the reason for this is that your body is being attacked by a virus that it is trying to fight off and get rid of before it spreads and takes over the body, so the last thing that it needs at that moment is to have to take energy away from something that serious just so it can work on digesting another meal.
If you have spent the past several years consuming a lot of unhealthy foods, drinks, and drugs, and breathing polluted air, you are most likely full of toxins and there is a very good chance that if you go on a fast you will experience something known as a "Healing Crisis" which is when there are so many toxins being removed from your body that you develop "Sickness-Like Symptoms". Your body has 7 organs that are designed to eliminate toxins, (The Colon, Liver, Kidneys, Lungs, Blood, Lymphatic System, and Skin.) and when massive amounts of toxins are being eliminated from the body these 7 organs are going to be working a lot harder than normal, and when this happens the following things can occur...
- You suddenly have to use the bathroom a lot more than normal. - You get really bad breath and body odor. - You develop skin eruptions such as rashes, pimples, and itching. - You go through intense mood swings and act like a very different person. - You feel old injuries that you had suffered a long time ago suddenly flare up and start hurting again. - You start thinking about memories that you have been suppressing for many years. - You feel weak and tired and want to stay in bed. - You start losing weight. - You feel cold in your hands and feet. - You develop flu-like symptoms such as a runny nose, cough, fever, nausea, diarrhea, gas, cold sweats, and vomiting. - You develop a temporary white coloring on your tongue. - You feel dizzy upon standing up. - You feel pain around your joints. - You see images of unhealthy foods and can't stop thinking about them.
These symptoms may give you the impression that something is seriously wrong, but in most cases they are actually a sign that the fast is working. (Your body is "cleaning house" and these symptoms will go away once the detox is over.) Because we all come from different backgrounds and lifestyles, everyone's detox will be different (Some will be mild and almost unnoticeable while others will be a lot stronger.) which is why I recommend that you seek out professional supervision if you are going to do a fast.
As great as fasting is, there are people out there who shouldn't fast at this point in time. People who shouldn't fast right now include babies, women who are pregnant, people on medications that need to be taken with food, people who are anorexic, people who are suffering from nutritional deficiencies, and people who simply don't have a good and urgent reason to do a fast at this point in their life.
FASTING FROM MORE THAN JUST FOOD _____________________________________________________________________
People use a lot more than just food to physically and mentally numb themselves these days, and it can't be stressed enough just how important it is to focus on how you feel during a fast and to avoid stimulating things that keep you "distracted" and less aware of what is happening. Not only will you not get as much out of a fast if you spend it watching TV, surfing the Internet, listening to the radio, and reading newspapers, but you will also most likely be exposed to a lot of advertisements for unhealthy foods which can seriously interfere with your fast and make it seem more difficult, so please stay in bed and get as much sleep and rest as you can during your fast.
FINDING THE RIGHT PLACE TO FAST _____________________________________________________________________
If you try to fast at home and you live with people who are going to be cooking food that you can smell and who don't understand fasting and will try to pressure you to eat with them it will be similar to a recovering alcoholic going into a bar with the intentions of only drinking water. A warm, quiet, and supportive environment is best which is why I recommend going to a fasting retreat or at least seeking out professional supervision during a fast. (Fasting is a fairly safe thing to do, but it's nice to know that you will be in good hands if the detox is intense and unpredictable.) If you choose to fast at home just take steps to ensure that your house will be warm, quiet, and friendly. _____________________________________________________________________
GETTING MENTALLY PREPARED FOR THE FAST _____________________________________________________________________
When I was 20 years old if I didn't have enough money for food and I had to go a week without eating I probably would have suffered and felt like I was starving to death, but today if I found myself in a situation where I couldn't eat for a week I would simply look at it as a fast and enjoy it! We have all been conditioned by society to eat when we're happy, eat when we're sad, eat when we're bored, eat when we're socializing, etc, and being conditioned to eat as a reflex to whatever is going on in your life will make fasting seem a lot harder for you. Yes, fasting requires discipline, but after 3 days of not eating your body will start to use stored body fat as it's source of fuel and will stop producing hunger pains.
ENDING THE FAST _____________________________________________________________________
1. MAKE SURE THAT YOU EAT LIGHT
The reason the first meal of the day is called, "Breakfast" is because while you are sleeping you are fasting and the first meal that you eat when you wake up will "Break The Fast". So technically almost all of us fast for 8 - 12 hours in a row every night, but for fasts that last a lot longer than overnight you need to be very careful about what you choose to eat when you break your fast, because during a fast your stomach shrinks and your metabolism slows way down, so when you end the fast it is important that you reintroduce food to your body very slowly. The first meal that you eat after a long fast should be very small, and each meal after that should get a little bigger until you can comfortably eat a regular size meal again. Below are some basic recommendations for your fist meal if you choose to fast for a week or longer...
- If you fast for 1 weeks, break your fast with a small piece of fruit, like 1 apple. - If you fast for 2 weeks, break your fast with a small portion of blended fruit, like applesauce. - If you fast for 3 weeks, break your fast with a glass of juice like orange juice. - If you fast for 4 weeks, break your fast with a glass of diluted juice, such as half orange juice / half water
2. MAKE SURE THAT YOU CHEW YOUR FOOD WELL
Keep in mind that digestion begins in the mouth when the food that you eat is broken down with your teeth and coated with saliva that contains digestive enzymes. Make it a point to chew your food very throughly right after a fast, and ideally continue to chew your food better for now on.
3. MAKE SURE THAT YOU EAT HEALTHIER THAN YOU DID IN THE PAST
The benefits of fasting will be very short lived if as soon as the fast is over you go back to the diet that made your body toxic or overweight in the first place. Now that you have fasted and your body is cleaner and healthier why not keep it that way?