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Different Methods of Fasting for Health; Pick What's Within Your Ability and Tolerance
by Paul Fassa
(The Best Years in Life) Going without food for a designated period is considered a way to boost one's health and more. According to New Testament scriptures, Jesus Christ fasted for 40 days in the desert at a crucial time in his life, thus garnering the spiritual strength to continue with his destiny on this physical plane.
During the 1960s, some of us took to fasting to gain insight and clarity of one's spiritual existence without psychedelics. I had a similar experience after undergoing a hunger strike to further a cause. Instead of victimizing myself to become a nuisance as planned, I was surprisingly bestowed with a centered sense of power and purpose after going through a brief healing crisis.
Mahatma Ghandi was known to go on similar fasts, publicized primarily as defiant hunger strikes for the cause of India's independence. His longest public hunger strike was 21 days according to available reports. My theory is that he was aware of fasting's ability to renew his vigor physically, mentally, and spiritually while serving simultaneously to create a public stir for the cause.
Don't confuse fasting with pathological eating disorder strategies to become or stay skinny, such as anorexia or bulimia. Those are unhealthy efforts indulged strictly for appearance. And bulimics often binge tasty toxic foods and purge with induced vomiting. Both approaches are very unhealthy.
Here is information on both serious fasting and light and easy fasting.
Serious Fasting for Improved Digestion, Health, and Mental Clarity
Fasting can exclude solid foods and focus on liquid nutrients, such as juicing veggies and fruits for an extended period. Then there's fasting on lemon juice with honey and cayenne that some swear by.
Both of those fasting approaches ramp up detoxing, so you can expect a short period or two of mild to serious discomfort from a “healing crisis” or Herxheimer reaction along the way. Healing crisis may involve temporary brain fog, lethargy, weakness, headaches, and flu-like symptoms. Don't worry, these pass as you step into a higher level of operation in all those categories.
Not everyone is able to handle fasting on these levels. Busy schedules and other circumstances like enjoying food too much make extended fasting unthinkable for most. But if you need to do something drastic for serious chronic disease or other bad health conditions, realize that the Gerson Therapy, which works well for even late stage cancer patients, involves lots of juicing, coffee enema detoxing, and small light organic green veggie meals.
Dr. Max Gerson also discovered that high speed centrifugal juicers destroy enough enzymes to make it less effective for cancer patients. So he switched to low speed masticating juicers.
Easy Light Fasting Over Time
One of the easiest approaches for those who indulge in the Standard American Diet (SAD) of processed foods is to get off that wagon completely. Increasing organic veggies and fruits while avoiding processed grains, added sugars, bad trans fat oils, and factory farmed meat will go a long will toward better health, mental clarity, and some fat loss as well.
But for those of us who kicked the SAD routine, there is another easy way to go about fasting. It's called intermittent fasting (IF). Fasting that doesn't involve juicing or lemon water should be accompanied by drinking more water than usual. That water should be real spring water from glass containers.
If you need to use water purified from reverse osmosis, add trace mineral solutions or real sea salt to re-mineralize the water's mineral loss. Distilled water is good for making tinctures, but it can leech your body's stored minerals.
Even those of us who love food a little too much and are too busy to cope with the downsides of fasting can benefit from intermittent fasting. Those benefits, which come quickly or slowly depending on your levels of fasting and your current health conditions are:
Ayurveda practitioners often recommend fasting one day out of each week. That seems reasonable until you get a Sunday brunch invitation. That day starts after dinner one day and can be broken by dinner the next day. Whatever timing you choose, it amounts to 24 hours without food. Coffee or tea without cream or sugar is okay with all IF.
A more intuitive fasting method, if you trust your body's intuitive signals of hunger, is to eat only when you're really hungry and only as much as is necessary to satiate real hunger. Most of us are too used to the three meals a day routine for that method.
One needs to have or develop the discrimination to know when enough is enough. Processed foods with flavor enhancers such as MSG and others seriously blur that discrimination. So does old fashioned pigging out!
But think about this if you're truly Paleo, did hunter-gatherers stick to a rigid three meal a day routine? They couldn't. The three meals per day routine is arbitrary no matter what anyone claims. When animals are sick, they tend to not eat and allow their bodies' energy to focus on healing rather than digesting food.
Now there's the 16/8 fast. That's my current fasting protocol because it's easy. Time your eating schedule where you don't eat for 16 hours then eat two instead of three times during the 8 hour period. For example, because I stay up very late working from my apartment, I make sure I don't eat anything after 10 PM. Then getting around 10 or 11AM I skip breakfast and do brunch at 2 PM. That's 16 hours that my digestive system gets a break. Yes, sleep time counts.
Bottom Line: Make sure you rest well, drink pure mineral water, and eat only healthy foods with IF.
Sources for this article
Paul Fassa started looking into natural health to overcome his unhealthy lifestyle. Then he developed more interest as he researched his articles for Natural News and Align Life.