Intermittent fasting. Water fasting. Caloric Restriction. Juice Fasting. Mental Fasting. What is all the rage about fasting?
Fasting is an ancient technique that humans have used for rejuvenation. Rejuvenation on many levels. This would include the body, mind, and spirit. How does it work? It works by giving our systems a chance to balance out. It works by taking a break from all the processing work that we ask of it every day. Most of us ask a LOT from our systems. Our digestive system. Our elimination system. Our detox system. When do they get a break? I would wager most people in America never get a break. With all the fried foods, gluten, pasteurized dairy, pizzas, sugar, etc our systems are constantly taxed. What is the end result? Enervation. Toxicity. Toxemia. We end up gunked up. Our bodies, our brains, everything. Add to this a lack of exercise, a lot of stress, and a poor living environment and you have a big problem. The result? A society that is bringing on catastrophic numbers of people with obesity, diabetes, cancers, autoimmune conditions, and more. BAD NEWS RIGHT? So what are we supposed to do about this? Fasting isn’t exactly the most natural thing to do. Everything in our culture asks us to pummel down larger and more unhealthy portions of food. Snacks. Burgers. Pizza and wing night. Sugar, gluten, and dairy are addicting. Honestly, starting a serious fasting program after years of unhealthy eating choices may not even be the best idea as it will shock the body so much. So what can we practically do about the problem?
1. SWITCH: Switch to healthy, easily digestible foods. Think of your body as a factory. By switching to nutrition-based foods you are pumping up and strengthening your workforce. You are also making their process a lot easier and less time-consuming. Simple choices add up. Some of the worst offenders are processed grains, sugar, and fried fats of any kind. Our bodies are not made to process these foods in the first place. Fresh fruits, vegetables, juiced vegetables, raw fats, and easily digestible proteins are among some of the best foods here.
2. IF: Enter intermittent fasting. Think of this as an introduction to fasting. It is the new hype in health world. What is intermittent fasting? It basically just means a short window of time where you abstain from food. This period can be set up around your schedule making it easy to follow. The window should be at least 16 hours and could go up to 24 or so. After you hit 24 hours you are really entering other territory.
3. MODIFIED FASTING: Modified fasting is another way to ease into things. Most of us are not able to go days without food as some people might recommend. We do not have the strength, stamina, or nutritional preparedness to do this type of thing. What is a modified fast? This could include just drinking vegetable juice all day. It could also mean just fasting on apples or watermelon for an entire day. It can also be cooked vegetable broth. Henry Bieler often recommended a fast using zucchini, celery, green beans, and parsley. This type of fasting takes an enormous strain off of the digestion without putting so much strain on the person.
4. WATER FASTING: This is where it gets interesting. Any type of water fast should really be undertaken with supervision. I would try a few intermittent fasts and modified fasts before attempting to go into these. It is exactly what it sounds like. Fasting on water. This can last anywhere from 24 hours to a period of weeks. It depends on what the person can handle and what their goals are. This is dramatic for clearing toxins out of the body.
Those are the options guys. Fasting is a delicate subject that needs to be approached with caution. It definitely has its uses in health programs. A common thing to do is add a modified fast or a water fast into your schedule one day a week or so. The benefits are cumulative. Once a week translates into 52 days in a year! Happy fasting guys.