My fasting regimen.
With the recent uptick in interest in water fasts, i thought i would share an alternative method that detoxifies the body and flushes the system while keeping the body from going into starvation mode, which can really mess up one's metabolism, among other things. Often, if you are fasting for the first time, or eat a western diet between fasts, a plain water fast can be quite a shock to your body, the sudden change can make your body react negatively, often counteracting the beneficial effects of your body. If you are doing a fast to clean your body, not lose weight, you may wish to consider using this method as opposed to going from eating processed food and refined sugars and who knows what else to...nothing. i post my personal detoxifying fasting practice in hopes that a few may find inspiration for their own gentler, efficient body cleanse practice.
If this is your first fast, or your regular intake includes refined sugars, added sodium, preservatives, or loads of red meat, you may find a bit of preparation useful. Cut out any caffeine, alcohol, or drug consumption you may indulge in, first. These have a more immediate effect on your body, and are harder to quit. Do that first, then move on to eliminating the other unfriendly input listed above (refined sugars, etc.) This should be accomplished in the two weeks leading up to the start of your fast.
To ease the transition to a fasting state, you may wish during this time to stop eating proper meals. Instead, 'graze' throughout the day on very small portions of fruits, nuts, and veggies (raw is best, but a half cup of brown rice and steamed veggies makes a very satisfying 'meal'.)
Depending on the intended length of your fast, you will need varying amounts of supplies. i usually recommend a 3 day fast for those new to fasting, but most importantly you should listen to your body. Some can go a week or more as if it were nothing, it really does depend on the person. For a week long fast you will need:
- A good quality skin brush, or any soft natural bristle brush. (c'mon, yer not using them on your hair)
- A tongue scraper, or a packet of popsicle sticks.
- Dandelion root (1 oz.)
- Fresh cilantro (4 cups)
- ~ 1 bulb garlic
- Dried cranberries.
- Hemp seed oil (3.5 oz.)
- Green tea (4 oz.)
- 7 lemons
- Filtered water
Dandelion: This well-known detox herb helps cleanse the liver by stimulating the production of bile and its flow to the gallbladder, one avenue through which the body naturally removes toxins. Dandelion leaves are also a diuretic. Steep the roots to make dandelion tea, or add the leaves to salads. Learn more about gathering wild dandelions in A Dandelion Celebration.
Green tea: Astudy reported in a journal of the American Association for Cancer Research found that the catechins found in green tea increased production of a group of important detoxification enzymes that have been shown to protect the body from toxins and cancer-causing chemicals.
Garlic contains sulfur compounds such as allicin that oxidize heavy metals, making them more water-soluble and easier to remove from the body. Garlic has numerous other benefits that can help strengthen your detox system, like strengthening the immune system and controlling free radicals. If eating garlic raw, be sure to cut, crush or bruise the clove to activate its healing properties.
Cilantro binds to heavy metals such as mercury, cadmium, lead and aluminum, making it easier to transport them out of the body.
Steep about .5 oz (1 tbs) of green tea in hot (208*) water for ten minutes. Eat one garlic clove, and drink your tea.
Toss a small handful of dried cranberries with the hemp seed oil. (The oil binds toxins to it, making them easier to pass through the system) That's lunch. Nom. Read more about hemp seed oil here: http://www.regenerativenutrition.com/content.asp?id=64
Steep 1/4 cup cilantro and 1 tsp dandelion root. Add the juice of one lemon. The hot drink will trick your body into feeling a little more full, making falling asleep MUCH easier.
Throughout the day, be sure to drink plenty of filtered water. (SIP, don't chug!) This will help flush your system and keep hunger pangs at bay.
A day or three into your fast, you'll notice this icky yellowish white goop on your tongue. It's gross, but it also means your fast is working. Scraping your tongue thrice daily will get the nasty out of your mouth and keep your breath from smelling too badly.
Exercise, but don't overdo it. The motion will bring the toxins to the surface, but remember that you're in a low-fuel state. Be gentle with yourself.
Dry skin brushing before bathing will help bring the toxins out through your skin, slough off dead tissue, and exfoliate. Use small circular motions or long sweeping strokes, moving away from your heart, toward the end of your limbs, starting at the top and moving downward. Brush firmly on areas such as the top of your chest and bottoms of your feet, and more softly in places like your face and thighs.
Bathe daily, if your skin won't revolt. The toxins leaving can make quite the odor, so frequent washing will not only keep you smelling nice, but will also help the impurities leech through your skin.
Since your body has not become slightly accustomed to low intake, it's best to break your fast slowly. Choose raw or lightly steamed vegetables with low acidity, and eat a very small amount, to start. Slowly add a clean carbohydrate, like brown rice, once your body can handle food again. NEVER end a fast with a bacon egg and cheese sammich. You won't be dying, but you'll wish you had.
If you've done well with a partial fast like the one outlined above, and your energy levels haven't plummeted, you may consider tacking on a couple days of water only fasting. This will help complete the flushing of your system, and will eliminate any lingering remnants, leaving you all tabula rasa, and whatnot.
DON'T put those icky things like refined sugars, preservatives, etc. back into your body after you've spent this time clearing their remnants out. Keep a clean diet and your body will thank you.
Remember, this is the only body you get this time around, so be kind to it!!!!
i hope reading this has been an informative experience. Whatever fasting method you use, i wish you luck, health, and happiness in your efforts toward a cleaner body.