Most people take baths or 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 eat really healthy and you don't drink or smoke you will still be getting some 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 though there is a way to remove the excess 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 giving you some "food for thought" on the subject of fasting, along with 6 personal tips to make your fasting experience a lot better...
When you go on a fast you are giving your body a complete break from food, and since so much of our daily energy goes to digesting the foods that we eat, your body will have a lot more freed up energy when you are fasting, and it will use this extra 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.)
Our bodies have the ability to heal themselves of virtually anything, but if the inside of your body is a highly toxic environment where disease can easily manifest and thrive, 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 to deal with 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 deep 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".) This is exactly what will happen to the inside of your body if you go on a fast for a week. (If there is no food to digest your body won't simply take it easy and do nothing for a week, but rather, in it's infinite wisdom it will spend that week working on things that it just hasn't had the time or energy for due to the fact that new food is constantly entering the body that needs to be digested, assimilated, and eliminated.)
DIFFERENT TYPES OF FASTING _____________________________________________________________________
1. WATER FASTING
A "Water Fast" is when you only consume water for an extended period of time.
"Water Fasting" is the most powerful form of fasting and the one that I recommend most, but if you are looking for an easier and more mild form of fasting I recommend that you try one of the other types of fasting listed below...
2. COCONUT WATER FASTING
A "Coconut Water Fast" is when you only consume the water from young green coconuts for an extended period of time.
"Coconut Water Fasting" is a lot easier than regular "Water Fasting" because coconut water will provide you with some calories, as well as an enormous amount of vitamins and minerals. (Maybe even more than you are currently getting from eating solid foods.) Plus coconut water tastes amazing!
This is a wonderful (and often life-changing) fast for people, however, I recommend that you only do a "Coconut Water Fast" if you are in the tropics. (That way you will be able to get all of your coconuts fresh, in abundance, and chemical free.)
* Coconuts that are imported from other countries aren't fresh and are usually sprayed with toxic chemicals to prevent them from molding as they sit on store shelves for long periods of time.
3. 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.
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 additives. (Which kind of defeats the purpose of doing a "de-tox".) And I also recommend that you plan to do your juice fast during a time of the year when there will be a lot of good fruits and vegetables in season.
4. MONO FASTING
A "Mono Fast" is when you only consume 1 type of fruit for an extended period of time.
"Mono Fasting" is the easiest way to fast, and many would argue that it isn't really a "fast" since you are still eating solid food, but believe me when I say that by eating this way you will be giving your digestive system a huge break by eating so simply and by eliminating any complicated food combining.
In chapter one I talk extensively about the benefits of eating mono meals and you can read about it by clicking HERE
SIGNS THAT YOU ARE TOXIC _____________________________________________________________________
Our bodies are in a constant state of "de-toxing" and "re-toxing", and your body is strong enough that it can actually handle a fair amount of toxins in a day, but if you are smoking a pack of cigarettes a day or eating 3 unhealthy meals a day you are likely taking in toxins a lot faster than they can be eliminated and if this pattern continues it will only be a matter of time until a major health crisis starts to develop, so below are some signs to look for to figure out if you are in a state of toxic overload...
1. YOUR URINE
If you are healthy your urine will be fairly clear, but if you are unhealthy your urine will likely be dark yellow, which is a sign that you either have too many toxins in your body or that you are too dehydrated to dilute the toxins that are in your body, and either way, going on a "Water Fast" will help to flush the toxins out your system.
The Ultimate Goal - Have urine that is almost as clear as the water you drink..
2. YOUR STOOL
What do new born babies, healthy adults, and animals in the wild all have in common? Pretty much every time they eat a meal they have a bowel movement (1 meal in = 1 meal out) and having a bowel movement is easy and effortless for them.
The average person will consume about 100,000 pounds of food in their lifetime, so it is very important that we have good elimination, and believe it or not there are people out there who are so constipated that they only have 1 bowel movement a week, which means that they are literally walking around with 21 meals in their stomach! (And people like this will even keep books in their bathroom because of how long it takes them to have a bowel movement.)
If you eat a clean diet and your digestion is working efficiently the foods that you eat will be in and out of your body before they have a chance to rot, but if you eat an unhealthy diet and your digestion is slow and sluggish the foods that you eat will be sitting in your stomach for a really long time, and they will start to rot inside of you. (Which means that it is going to smell really bad when you finally do eliminate them...)
"Don't nobody go in the bathroom for about 35 - 45 minutes." - Mr. Jones, in the movie "Friday"
The Ultimate Goal - Have effortless and odorless bowl movements after breakfast, lunch, and dinner.
3. YOUR BODY ODOR
As of writing this it has been almost 10 years since I have used any soap, shampoo, or deodorant and I can tell you first hand that the best deodorant that you could ever have is clean living.
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, and although fasting is a detox for the body it is ultimately a detox for the mind as well. (Once you have done enough internal cleansing you will find that you can think a lot more clearly, that you smile and laugh a lot more, and that you simply don't get stressed out as easily as you did in the past.)
The Ultimate Goal - Have a friendly aura.
5. YOUR SKIN
The health of your skin is often a reflection of the health of your diet, so if you are prone to acne or other skin issues your skin will likely improve once your diet improves.
Your skin performs many functions, (including keeping your insides safe from the outside) and your skin is completely replaced about once a month. (Which means that the average person will go through about 1,000 different sets of skin in their lifetime!)
Our skin also has millions of pores, so we were obviously designed to sweat, and my recommendation would be to sweat out toxins through exercise 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 for having.
6. YOUR HEALTH
Any time that you get really sick it would be wise to consider fasting of some kind. It is 100% natural to fast when we are sick. (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.) Yet we are often encouraged to eat when we are sick under the belief that eating will help our bodies stay strong and better able to defend themselves.
We naturally lose our appetites when we get sick, and the reason for this is that our bodies are being attacked by a virus that it is trying to fight off and get rid of before it can spread and take over the body, so the last thing that it needs at a time like that is to have to take energy away from that in order to digest a big meal.
Despite the controversy over whether or not you should eat when you are sick, one thing is undeniable, and that is that if you eat when you are sick and the foods that you are eating are unhealthy junk foods you are actually helping the illness!
If you have a lot of toxicity in you and you go on a fast there is a very good chance that 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, (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, acne, and itching. - You go through intense mood swings and feel more irritable. - You feel old injuries that you had suffered a long time ago suddenly flare up and start hurting again. - You start thinking about bad 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 coating on your tongue. - You feel dizzy upon standing up. - You feel pain around your joints. - You see mental 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, while others will be more intense.)
As great as fasting is, there are people out there who shouldn't fast at this point in their life. 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.
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 be getting exposed to a lot of advertisements for unhealthy foods, (which will make sticking to a fast feel a lot more difficult) so please avoid these kinds of external distractions when you fast and just stay focused on how you feel on the inside.
I 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 when you are 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 really necessary at the time.
And if possible I also recommend that you go into "mauna" (silence) during your fast, and try not talk to anyone unless it is absolutely necessary. (If you can control what goes into your mouth and what comes out of it you already have more self control than 99% of the population!)
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, beautiful scenery, and the therapeutic sounds of nature. (Plus the days in Costa Rica consist of 12 hours of daylight followed by 12 hours of darkness since it is near the equator, so it was easy for me to sleep-in and get a few extra hours of sleep every night.)
Although you can technically fast anywhere, I want to warn you that if you try to fast at home and you live with people who are going to be cooking foods that you can smell, or people who don't understand fasting and will try to get you to eat something with them it will be similar to a recovering alcoholic going into a bar with the intentions of only drinking water.
So unless you are blessed to be living in a tropical and supportive environment I would highly recommend that you plan to do your fast when you are on "vacation", and that you travel to a beautiful tropical place where rest and relaxation are a lot more promising to do it.
Your stomach is very flexible, so if you start eating smaller meals in the days leading up to your fast your stomach will shrink. (Which will cause you to feel less hungry during the fast.) But if you eat a really big meal right before you start your fast your stomach will expand. (Which will cause you to feel hungrier during the fast.)
Also know that what feels like "hunger" to you may actually just be "thirst", and therefore if you make sure that you are staying well hydrated during the fast you may not feel as hungry.
Preparing Mentally For The Fast
You know, 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 feel like 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, and eat when we're excited, and being conditioned to eat as a reflex to whatever is going on in our lives makes the idea of fasting seem "extreme", or even "dangerous".
One very important thing that you should know ahead of time is that after doing a water fast for 3 days your body will go into "ketosis". (Which is when the body hasn't had food in a few days so it stops relying on food and instead starts to use stored body fat as it's fuel source.) And once you are in "ketosis" your body will be getting what it needs from the fat reserves and all hunger pangs will stop. So once you get past the first 3 days of a water fast it will become a lot easier. (In fact, I personally find it very liberating and even "enlightening" once I get to the point in a fast where I no longer feel the need or desire to eat anything.)
Although everyone one has a limited supply of body fat, just know that even a person who would be labeled as "thin" will still have enough body fat on them to keep their body alive and well for at least a month, and a person who would be labeled as "overweight" could last a lot longer than that, so unless you are "underweight" to begin with, fasting for a week will not cause your body to go into starvation.
And finally, you need to realize that your mind and body are separate, and they will both have very different agendas during a fast. For example, mentally you may mostly want external results that you can actually see when you look in the mirror. (Like looking younger, being thinner, healing acne, etc.) But your body is going to be far more concerned with fixing internal problems that aren't as noticeable in the mirror. (Like removing toxins from the liver, replacing dead kidney cells, or perhaps even healing a very serious health problem that you don't even know you have yet.)
So even though you will definitely lose body fat if you fast I don't recommend that you fast specifically for weight loss or that you fast for "vanity" reasons, and instead I encourage you to simply "let go" and trust in your body's wisdom, and know that during a fast it will focus on doing the things that are the most important for your overall long-term health and well-being.
To be on the safe side it is recommended 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 only 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 support if needed.
Fasting is natural and safe, however, as I mentioned earlier everyone's detox is going to be different and it would be good to know that if any problems were to come up you would be in good hands.
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 choose to eat when you break your 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 again.)
- 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 right after a fast. (And ideally chew better for now on.)
- 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.)