How To Cleanse Your Body Through Fasting
HOW TO CLEANSE YOUR BODY THROUGH FASTING
Most people take baths and showers to keep the outside of their bodies clean, but they do very little to keep the inside of their bodies clean (which is even more important) and even if you are eating a really healthy diet and you don't drink or smoke you will still be getting toxins in your body due to the fact that there is so much pollution in the world today.
Fortunately there is a way to remove some of the 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 one that I feel is the most natural and the most effective is to simply go on a fast, so in this chapter I will be sharing some "food for thought" on the subject of fasting...
When you go on a fast you are giving your body a break from eating, and since so much of our daily energy goes to digesting the foods that we eat, when you are fasting you will have a lot more energy than normal. (And your body will use this extra energy to work on things that it normally doesn't have enough time or energy for, such as healing old injuries and removing built-up toxins that have been in your body for years.)
Our bodies have the potential to heal themselves of virtually anything, but if the inside of your body has become a highly toxic environment where disease can easily manifest and thrive due to years of unhealthy living, fasting may be the best way to give your body a chance to really work 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.
That might sound crazy because without customers the store would go out of business, but if there were no customers for a whole week a lot of things could get done that there normally isn't time for. (Every inch of the store could be cleaned, all of the walls could be re-painted, all of the old electrical wiring could be taken out and replaced with faster and more energy efficient wiring that would end up saving the store a lot of money each year, and by the time the week was over it would look like a brand new store on the inside and they could have a big "Grand Re-Opening".)
The same thing happens on the inside of your body when you go on a fast. (If there is no food to digest your body won't simply take it easy and do nothing, but rather, in it's infinite wisdom it will work on the things that it just hasn't been able to do since new food is constantly entering the body that needs to be digested, assimilated, and eliminated.)
6 DIFFERENT TYPES OF FASTING
1. WATER FASTING
A "Water Fast" is when you only consume water for an extended period of time.
I personally do a week long water fast every year just as an annual cleanse. However, I recommend that before you do a fast for that long you first do a fast for 1 day, then if you can successfully do that wait a few weeks and then do a fast for 2 days, and then if you are able to do that wait a few more weeks and then do a fast for 3 days to prepare yourself for it.
2. DRY FASTING
A "Dry Fast" is when you do not consume food or water for an extended period of time.
Animals in nature and even the plants will sometimes have to go a while without water, and we humans also have this ability. However, for most people going on a "dry fast" would not be safe due to the fact that most people are dehydrated due to eating lots of dry foods like bread and drinking lots of diuretic drinks like coffee.
So unless you have been on a raw food diet like the one that I recommend on this website that is full of water rich fruits and vegetables for a long period of time please do not attempt a "Dry Fast", and even when you feel hydrated and ready for it I wouldn't recommend doing it for more than 24 hours your first time.
I personally find that this fast can be very helpful during certain short term situations.
Traveling on airplanes used to be really challenging for me because they wouldn't let me bring water or fruit on the plane and I didn't want to eat or drink the foods that they served on a plane either.
Traveling on long bus rides that lasts for several hours also used to be really difficult for me becaues they would let me bring fruit and water on the bus, but there was no bathroom on the bus.
So if I'm going to be spending the day traveling I will usually just "dry fast" until I reach my final destination.
3. INTERMITTENT FASTING
An "Intermittent Fast" is when you only eat within a short window of time during the day.
An example of this would be if you only eat between 9:00 AM and 5:00 PM and for the other 16 hours of the day you don't eat anything and are technically "fasting".
"Intermittent Fasting" has been researched a lot in recent years and studies definitely show that it can be helpful in reducing body fat and increasing muscle mass.
I personally eat this way simply because it doesn't feel good to me to go to sleep shortly after eating and it also doesn't feel good to me to eat shortly after waking up. I like to "earn" my meals through vigorous exercise that increases my appetite and also increases my body's ability to digest what I am eating. (And I also find that I appreciate food a lot more if I have to wait for it a little ;)
4. MONO FASTING
A "Mono Fast" is when you only consume one type of food for an extended period of time.
Although you are still eating when you are on a "Mono Fast" you aren't doing any "food combining" and mono eating is usually done with fruits and vegetables (such as a week of eating nothing but watermelon or a week of eating nothing but potatoes) so it will be a lot easier for your body to digest the foods that you are eating and you will have a good amount of left over energy that can be spent on other things.
I once went 500 days in a row eating only "mono meals" that had no more than one ingredient in them, and to learn more about my thoughts on "Mono Meals" read my article about it by clicking HERE
5. COCONUT WATER FASTING
A "Coconut Water Fast" is when you only consume the water from young green coconuts for an extended period of time.
It is a lot easier to fast with coconut Water than regular water because coconut water has calories and tastes really sweet, and it is not uncommon for people to do this fast for a whole month!
I love and highly recommend this fast, however, I don't recommend doing it unless you are in the tropics where you can get get an abundance of young green coconuts that are fresh, inexpensive, and actually "raw". (Coconut water that is sold at grocery stores in bottles is pasteurized and will not taste as good or be as good for you.)
6. JUICE FASTING
A "Juice Fast" is when you only consume the juices from fruits and vegetables 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 one of the easiest forms of fasting because even though you aren't eating you are consuming an enormous amount of vitamins and minerals (Maybe even 10 times as much as you are currently consuming in a regular day of eating!)
If you are going to do a "Juice Fast" I recommend that you make all of the juices yourself at home with a juice machine and that you avoid using bottled juices from grocery stores since they typically contain a lot of unhealthy and even toxic additives. (Which kind of defeats the purpose of doing a "de-tox".)
If you need some extra motivation to do a juice fast I would invite you to click the link below to watch a fun documentary on YouTube called, "Fat, Sick, & Nearly Dead"...
6 SIGNS THAT YOU ARE TOXIC AND SHOULD FAST
Our bodies are in a constant state of "de-toxing" and "re-toxing", and your body can actually handle a fair amount of toxins in a day, but if you are smoking a pack of cigarettes a day, drinking a case of beer every day, or you are eating unhealthy foods every day for breakfast, lunch, and dinner you are likely taking in toxins a lot faster than they can be eliminated, and if this continues it will only be a matter of time until the toxic build-up results in a serious health problem.
Below are 6 signs that your body is in a state of toxic overload...
1. YOUR URINE
If the inside of your body is clean your urine should look fairly clear, and if the inside of your body is toxic your urine will be toxic and have a dark yellow color and a strong and unpleasant odor to it.
Whether you are consuming too many toxins or you simply aren't consuming enough water to dilute them, going on fast from food and drinking plenty of water will help to re-hydrate your body and flush out toxins.
The Ultimate Goal - Have urine that is almost as clear as the water you drink.
2. YOUR STOOL
What do new born babies and animals in the wild have in common? Pretty much any time they eat a meal they have a bowel movement (1 meal in = 1 meal out) and having a bowel movement is as easy and effortless for them as blinking an eye.
If you live to be 100 years old you will have consumed almost 100,000 pounds of food in your lifetime, so it is very important that to have good elimination.
Believe it or not there are people out there who are so constipated that they only have a bowel movement once a week. (Which means that they are literally walking around with 21 meals in their stomach!)
It is also not uncommon for people to keep books in their bathroom because of how long it takes them just to have a bowel movement, and when they finally have one it will smell horrible!
If you eat a clean diet and your digestion is working properly the foods that you eat will be in and out of your body long before they have a chance to rot and start smelling bad, and if you eat an unhealthy diet and your digestion is slow and sluggish the foods that you eat will start to rot when they are still inside of you.
The Ultimate Goal - Have effortless and odorless bowl movements after breakfast, lunch, and dinner.
3. YOUR BODY ODOR
If the inside of your body is toxic you will have strong body odor, and as you improve your health and your body becomes less and less toxic your body odor will become less and less noticeable.
The Ultimate Goal - Have no need for deodorant.
4. YOUR MOOD
If the inside of your body is toxic it will show in your mood.
The more stress that your body is undergoing interally the more easily you will get stressed out over your external surroundings, and once you have done enough internal cleansing you will find that you simply don't get as stressed out over things as easily as you did when you were toxic.
The Ultimate Goal - Have a friendly aura that uplifts the people around you.
5. YOUR SKIN
Your skin is a reflection of the health of your inner body, and if you are prone to acne or similar skin issues it usually means that you have been eating something that is toxic, and that your body is trying to get rid of it by pushing it out through your pores.
There are literally millions of pores on our skin, so we were obviously designed to sweat, and my recommendation would be to sweat out toxins through regular exercise or by taking saunas and to then replace the toxic sweat that you lose with clean water.
The Ultimate Goal - Have clear and glowing skin that people compliment you about.
6. YOUR HEALTH
Any time that you get really sick it would be wise to consider fasting for a while because it is our natural and instintual way of healing. (If a farmer owns 100 cows he will know right away if one of them is sick because it will be the only cow not eating.)
We naturally lose our appetites when we get sick, and the reason for this is that our bodies are being attacked by a virus and it is trying to fight off and get rid of the virus before it can spread and take over the rest of the body, so the last thing that your body needs at a time like that is to have to take energy away from that in order to digest a big meal.
So if you ever get sick in the future and you find that your appetite goes away and you don't feel like eating anything I would encourage you to listen to your instincts, because doing so will likely speed up your recovery time.
Unfortunately a lot of people have been taught that they should eat when they are sick because if they don't eat their bodies will be too weak to fight off the sickness. If you are too afraid to stop eating when you are sick I would just ask you to please eat clean and to not over-eat, because if you eat a bunch of unhealthy food while you are sick you will be feeding the sickness more than you will be feeding your health!
The Ultimate Goal - Never get sick again.
If you are really toxic and you go on a fast there is a good chance that you will experience something known as a "Healing Crisis", which is when there are so many toxins being released through your body that you develop "Sickness-Like Symptoms".
Your body has 7 organs that are designed to eliminate toxins, (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 symptoms can occur...
- You 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, acne, and itching.
- You go through intense mood swings and feel a lot more irritable.
- You feel old injuries start to flare up and start hurting again.
- You start thinking about bad memories that you have been suppressing for 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, diarrhea, and vomiting.
- You develop a temporary white coating on your tongue.
- You feel dizzy upon standing up.
- You see mental images of unhealthy foods and can't stop thinking about them.
These symptoms may give you the impression that something is wrong, but in most cases they are actually a sign that the fast is working. (Your body is "cleaning house" and these symptoms will pass once the detox is over.)
Because we all come from different backgrounds everyone's detox will be different (some will be mild, while others will be more intense) and as great as fasting is there are some people out there who shouldn't fast...
People who shouldn't fast include babies, women who are pregnant, people who are on medications that need to be taken with food, people who are suffering from nutritional deficiencies, and people who simply don't have a reason to do a fast at this point in their life.
6 TIPS FOR FASTING
1. FAST FROM MORE THAN JUST FOOD
Not only will you not get as much out of a fast if you spend it watching television, surfing the internet, reading newspapers, and listening to the radio, but you will also probably be getting exposed to a lot of advertisements for unhealthy foods. (Which will make being on a fast feel a lot more difficult.)
So avoid the media and other external distractions when you fast so you can stay focused on how you feel on the inside.
I also encourage you to take it easy during your fast and to spend as much time in bed as possible. (Definitely don't go to work or work-out at the gym if you are "Water Fasting" or "Dry Fasting".)
It may feel like you are doing "nothing" when you fast, but believe me, an enormous amount of work is being done internally, and it is best that you don't spend your energy on things that aren't necessary so that all of your available energy can go to healing.
2. FIND THE RIGHT PLACE TO FAST
Location, Location, Location...
Although you can technically fast anywhere in the world, I want to warn you that if you try to fast at home and you live with people who will be cooking food that you can smell or who don't understand fasting and will be trying to tempt you to eat with them it will be similar to a recovering alcoholic going into a bar with the intentions of only drinking water.
I have done many fasts over the years and without a doubt my best fasting experience was when I fasted in Costa Rica, because while I was there I had warm weather, clean air, and beautiful scenery, plus I was with like-minded people who understood fasting, and because Costa Rica is so close to the equator a day there has 12 hours of daylight followed by 12 hours of darkness, so a lot of nights I would end up sleeping for 12 hours.
Please go out of your way to find a location to fast where you can truly relax and you won't be around food.
3. PREPARING MENTALLY FOR THE FAST
Back when I was 20 years old and living paycheck-to-paycheck, if I ran out of money and had to go a day without eating I would suffer and believe that I was starving, but today if I were to find 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 to eat when we're happy, eat when we're sad, eat when we're board, eat when we're entertained, eat when we're lonely, eat when we're with people, etc, and being conditioned to eat as an emotional reflex to everything that happens to us makes the idea of fasting seem crazy.
If you want to do a "water fast" one very important thing that you should know ahead of time is that if you only consume plane water and you do not consume any food or any other drinks for 3 days your body will start to rely on stored body fat that it has been saving in case of an emergency as nourishment, and once this happens you will no longer feel hungry because your body will be getting plenty of nourishment from the stored body fat.
So once you get past those first 3 days of a "water fast" it will suddenly become a lot easier. (I personally find it very liberating once I get to the point in a fast where I no longer feel any need or desire to eat.)
But keep in mind that to reach this point in a fast where you are no longer hungry and don't crave food you must refrain from eating or drinking ANYTHING other than plane water for a few days, because if you decide to eat a small snack or even drink some water that has an added sweetner in it you will break the fast and will have to start over again.
Although everyone one has a limited supply of body fat, even people who would be considered "thin" usually have enough body fat on them that they could go on a fast for almost a month before they actually started to starve, and a person who is "overweight" could of course fast for a lot longer. (In 1965 a really overweight man named "Angus Barbieri" stopped eating for over a year and during that time he only consumed water and some nutritional supplements, and not only did he survive but he lost 275 pounds / 125 kilos / 17 stones!)
A lot of us have been conditioned to think that we are "starving" if we miss one meal, and back when I was in school it was actually taught in health books that if a person goes 3 days without consuming water they will die! But thanks to brave individuals who were willing to fast despite all of these scary myths we can do a short fast without worrying that we are going to starve to death.
And finally, please understand that your mind and body can have totally different agendas.
Mentally, if you go on a fast you may just be wanting external results that you can see when you look in the mirror. (Like looking thinner, looking younger, or getting rid of your acne.)
Physically, if you go on a fast your body will be more concerned with fixing internal problems that may not seem as important to you because fixing these problems won't necessarily make you look more attractive.
So during your fast I encourage you to "let go" and trust that your body will focus on working on the things that are the most important for your long-term health and well-being, and that long term health and well-being will eventually lead to improvements that are noticeable in the mirror.
4. SEEK SUPERVISION
To be on the safe side I recommend that you see a doctor before doing a fast just to make sure that there is no medical reason that you shouldn't fast, and if you are wanting to do a "Water Fast" or a "Dry Fast" it would be wise to do it under the supervision of someone who can watch over you, keep track of your vitals, and offer any support if needed.
Fasting is natural and countless people do it every year, however, as I mentioned earlier everyone's detox is going to be different and for some people it can be intense and even scary, so if you are able to fast with someone who has successfully helped a lot of other people fast it will help you to relax.
5. NO CONTEST!
When fasting becomes a contest it is no longer about health.
I recommend that you listen to your body and fast for however long it feels right to, and to never push yourself to keep fasting just so you can tell people that you fasted for ____ days, or that you lost ____ pounds.
6. END THE FAST CAREFULLY
- Make Sure That Your First Meal After A Fast Is Small And Simple
The reason that the first meal of the day is called, "Breakfast" is because while you are sleeping you are technically fasting, and therefore the first meal that you eat each morning will "Break The Fast".
But for fasts that last a lot longer than overnight you need to be careful about what you eat when you break the fast.
During a fast your stomach will shrink and your metabolism will slow down, so it is important that you reintroduce food to your body slowly. (The first meal that you eat after a long fast should be small and should be fresh fruit of some kind, and each meal after that should get a little bit bigger until you can comfortably eat a normal size meal.)
- Make Sure That You Chew Your Food Well
Keep in mind that digestion begins in the mouth when the food that you eat gets broken down with your teeth and coated with saliva that contains digestive enzymes, so make it a point to chew your food very thoroughly.
- Make Sure That You Eat Healthier Than You Used To
The benefits of fasting will be very short lived if once your fast is over you go back to the same way of eating that made your body sick or overweight in the first place. (Fasting can give you the gift of a new and improved body, but it is ultimately up to you to keep it that way.)