NUTRITION: MY 24 HOUR WATER FAST
gerund or present participle: fasting abstain from all or some kinds of food or drink, especially as a religious observance. synonyms: eat nothing, abstain from food, refrain from eating, go without food, go hungry, starve oneself; go on a hunger strike; crash-diet
I've heard about it for years upon years, when I studied, through my own curious george mind, and through the books I read, especially David Wolfe's + Markus Rothkranz ( LOVE his books + Products. Might appear cheesy...but honestly so good. I read them when I was healing). Essentially fasting is going without food for a prolonged period of time. There are MANY different kinds: 8 hour, 24 hour, just veggie juices, mono-meals with fruits for 24-48 hours, dry fasts (No liquids!), 40 day water fasts. . . etc. The longer you do, and the cleaner it is, the more benefits I believe you receive, but at the end of the day it's what works best for YOU and your body.
After picking up Markus's books again (I actually adore them!), going through a week long cold, and my love doing a 36 hour fast the week prior (he is amazing!!!!! seriously.) we embarked on a 24 hour water fast. This entails strictly drinking warm water with lemon, lemon water and water for 24 hours.
WHY? I wanted to reset my body, give my body a break from ALL digestion, which is the bodily system that requires the MOST energy. Digesting food is VERY taxing for humans, as our stomach acid is weak due to internal and external toxins and pollution. We don't think of this when we eat, we just assume our bodies will do its job, as we scarf down food and masticate our intake a couple of times. I know this has been drilled into us, but our stomachs don't have teeth!!! Digestion begins in our mouths where we actually absorb many of the enzymes and minerals from our food. We normally just eat for pleasure, boredom, stress, 'hunger pangs', stimulation, accessibility, the reasons are endless really. A fast brings you out of ALL of this. Our bodies are very, very, very intelligent. WE are constantly eating for 12 hours a day, and never giving our bodies a break. The only time our body receives some relief is when it sleeps. Yet in our society people are only sleeping 5-6 hours on average, which is NOT enough time for the body to heal, regenerate and replenish.
Simply put here’s how the one day per week fast works WITH your body: not eating allows your body’s organs to use their limited vitality (energy) to focus on eliminating stored toxins from your body, where normally they have just enough vitality (energy) to process the food that is eaten and the toxins that come with it.
HOW: For us we decided to do it from Noon - Noon, you don't have to do it like this, but it was nice to be able to wake up and put a little food in the system before the fast begins. I had a large green smoothie and an avocado before my fast began at 11am yesterday. Throughout the day I simply drank lots of water, at least 3L, and a few mason jars full of warm water with lemon. That's it!!! It seems like CRAZINESS to many people . . . " You're NOT eating for 24 hours???" "Aren't you hungry" "Won't you faint" "You will wither away" "I CAN'T do that, I HAVE to eat every 3-4 hours" . . . these are normal responses from people when you tell them what you're doing. My answer - first of all - YES YOU CAN! You can do anything you put your mind to. Secondly, fasting for a short period of time (Longer is you have a serious illness), is one of the healthiest things you can do for your body. You don't lose ANY protein or fats, as your body runs on stored glucose which we have A LOT OF!!! I'm also not doing it completely for any physical benefits, although these come with the deal. I want to do a once a week fast for my mental + spiritual practice. It's SOOOOO easy to become mindless about what and HOW we eat. We live in a society where food is available 24 HOURS. We're hungry, we find food and eat, it seems simple, because it is. We are extremely lucky to have such nutritious food available at our disposal. What about the people who don't??? There are billions of people on this planet that live off of $1 a day, and there are starving children and adults not only in Africa, but right here in Canada / North America. We have a choice, and for that we are VERY blessed. This is brought into consciousness in a even greater spotlight in a fasted state. All of this to say, your body won't lose ANY vital nutrients and vitamins from one day of fasting, you will be doing your body nothing but good. I promise.
HOW DID I FEEL?: Honestly, AMAZING. The first few hours were great as I felt so energized by the decision to embark on this. The 5th and 6th hour were probably my hardest, but nothing a good few big cups of water couldn't fix. I was busy for most of the day so I didn't have lots of time to truly think about food. I actually didn't think about it that much at all! I had the perfect balance of busyness + restfulness, and brought myself back to the thoughts of - thankfulness for nourishing food that I make the choice to put in it everyday, mindfulness, peace + enlightenment. I had HEAPS of energy all day, and never felt tired or fatigued. We actually had a lot of energy before bed, and felt wonderful, even finding it hard to fall asleep because we were SO full of life. We woke up at 7am and started our days off straight away! I had so much energy and did 90 minutes of ballet beautiful, made pumpkin seed mylk, cleaned and went out to run some errands. When 11am struck I didn't even feel the need to eat, as I felt so wonderful, so I broke the fast 45 minutes later with some watermelon and fresh coconut meat.
VERDICT: I (we) have decided to do this once a week!!! It was so energizing + grounding. It allows you to turn inwards and REALLY give thanks, be mindful, rest, rejuvenate, replenish, meditate and LOVE your body. We can become very disconnected from our bodies true needs, 'FEEDING' it constantly with not only food, but information, toxins + negative thoughts. I believe fasting helps HEAL on all levels.
Need more reasons WHY // Hopefully this will help + inspire + educate you into the WHY's of fasting . . .
Fasting Awakens the Mind and Soul
As you fast each time, you will feel any fog being lifted from your mind and have a great sense of mental clarity! HELLO CLEAR MIND! One day a week is enough to allow your body to focus on the removing the toxins without having to worry about food. “As you purify your body and mind, you seem to come closer to a power higher than yourself!. You will truly find “peace of mind” by fasting, be able to mentally distance yourself from chaos and know the correct decisions that need to be made without a doubt.
Stay Youthful By Eating Healthfully
I mentioned it's not completely about the physical, but fasting is BEAUTIFYING!!! You can reverse your biological age by removing toxins from your life. During a fast, the body will be flushing out toxins through your urine and bowel movements, such as: built up chemicals, mucous, pesticides and pharmaceuticals (if you take them for ailments) to name a few. These toxins are what hinder your mental and physical performance as you get older and cause harm to your body ( AKA aging). Fasting will make you GLOW! Your skin will look better, you will lose fat (minimal), think more clearly and live longer!
Train Yourself To Eat Only When You Have Genuine Hunger
We gain a true appreciation for food when we abstain from it. This is VERY powerful. When the 24 hour fast is complete and one chooses to eat, it is in great and humble appreciation for food. The stomach as well as our minds, are programmed from an early age to eat three meals a day, regardless if we have burned enough calories to justify true hunger or not. Fasting allows us to build an “in-tune” relationship with the stomach to distinguish true “earned” hunger versus programmed eating or eating out of boredom (grazing), which is the norm these days! How many times a day do you eat out of boredom or programming? As we fast more often, the stomach shrinks to its natural size and can fire more accurate messages or “synapses” of hunger to your brain. REMEMBER: Your stomach is the size of your fist!!! It expands GREATLY when you eat in large amounts. A fast allows the nerves to return to normal.
Relieve the Body from Solid Obstructions
“The average chronic sick, especially the well-fed one, is in fact a “living-cesspool”.
ALL diets you can think of are mostly wrong because they tend to focus on food intake values entirely, instead of focusing on the healing, cleaning and eliminating values and their efficiency, before the body even begins healing itself. You can't keep on packing things in, without eliminating first! Don't get my wrong I believe 100% in whole, organic foods + eating plenty of greens, healthy fats + low GI healthy carbs. But when you fast you can see the meaning in “less is more”.
FINAL CONCLUSION: At the end of the day fasting is a VERY personal decision, and one that some people will never have the desire to do. But I urge you to try it. Even for one day! If you feel awful and never want to do it again, than that is 10000% ok, but you won't know if you don't try. Usually when you do feel that awful, it means you are just releasing a lot of toxins + gunk.
We've committed to doing this fast one day a week!!! I will report back on doing this once a week for a few months. I'm curious to see what elevated health gains we will achieve :)
I hope this post doesn't scare you off, and in NO WAY am I saying you have to do it, and if you don't you won't be healthy! I want to bring forth my experiences + knowledge I've learnt along the way. When we become educated about things around us, we can only GROW + AWAKEN different parts of us. If we aren't growing and evolving every day we become stagnant. Break free from any thoughts or fears you've created around certain things . . . you never know what can happen when you choose to try something new.
HAPPY MONDAY BEAUTIES! Sending you all the love + light in the world.