“Fast and your light will break forth like morning…[and your] healing shall spring forth speedily.” – Isaiah 58: 6-11
One of the coolest things I’ve ever learned about fasting I read in Gabriel Cousen’s book Spiritual Nutrition. He mentions that when you fast, your body turns on a “youthing gene,” and that it has been scientifically proven that our genes revert to an earlier expression of themselves when in fasting mode. In other words you begin to get younger, rather than older! Which is why long-term, adding the habit of regular fasting into your lifestyle literally adds years onto your life. Besides living longer, fasting, especially on fresh vegetable juices can speed your healing process, cleanse your body, boost your energy, revive your skin, and enhance your general joie de vivre.
You may be sold on the idea but have no idea where to start? No fear, it’s not as daunting as it seems. Most people like to have a program to follow and a schedule so they can stick to something and not fall off after one day of fasting. The first day and sometimes even the second can be the hardest. Preparation is definitely key when fasting, as well as motivation. You want to be clear on your motivation and fuel it, so that when the going gets rough you can stick with it to the finish line.
I fast for a number of reasons. Sometimes I feel like my skin is looking dull and I’ve had too much cooked food, so I’ll juice fast for a while to cleanse and get my vegan glow back, and other times it’s more of a spiritual thing. I’m sure that other avid fasters can attest to the fact that fasting can also put you in a heightened state of receptivity, and/or force you to listen and be more aware if you are seeking guidance on a major decision or waiting for something awesome to manifest in your life. There’s a reason so many spiritual leaders and sages have engaged in fasting. In the Bible alone there are several stories that are awesome commercials for fasting, from David to Jesus himself, which illustrate how fasting can unleash supernatural power.
There are plenty of fasts you can follow in books or even online, but I highly recommend creating something yourself that works for your personal goals. If you’ve never embarked on a fast I would recommend no more than three days. Also, be sure to consult with a doctor or holistic practitioner if you have any preexisting medical conditions. Below are five simple steps you can take to create your own fast. Hope this post is helpful, if you have more questions feel free to post or message me via Facebook. -XoXo Raw Girl
- Find & fuel your motivation. Whether it be for cleansing/detox, clarity, spiritual insight etc. figure out your reason to begin. If you are doing longer fasts up to 10 days, you should be prepared with daily reading, quotes, or whatever works for you to keep you focused on your intention. If it’s a spiritual fast, or even if it is not, you may want to make time daily for prayer, meditation, or just reflection.
- Set the parameters. Decide whether or not this is a 3 day fast or longer. Choose your method: are you fasting on green juices, veggie juices, water, raw foods? Fasting just means that you are committing to abstain from something. You could do a vegan fast or a raw fast. You could even be a meat eater who decides to abstain from meat for awhile. But for cleansing purposes if you want results, juice fasting with mostly if not all green vegetables is definitely the way to go. If you are incorporating other sweet veggies like carrots and beets make sure you balance it by getting in some green juices daily as well. If you have a specific ailment you are nursing, you can actually look up recipes online or in holistic health books that will cater to that dis-ease. I don’t recommend you do a water fast unless it’s supervised. Make sure whatever method you use that you also consume large amounts of water during your fasting period. There is no set rule to how many juices you consume a day. Make sure you have enough on hand to get your fill. Some days you may need more juice than others. Go with the flow.
- Relax your schedule & plan ahead. Make sure you’ve got enough groceries and recipes for juices or whatever method of fast you choose. Even with die-hard commitment when the veggie hits the fan if you are juice fasting and can’t get your fix you may leave yourself vulnerable to eating other foods that happen to be around and breaking your fast the wrong way. Your fridge should be stocked with more than enough veggie ammo to survive your cravings. During this time respect your cleansing process and try to relax your schedule as much as possible. It’s possible to exercise while fasting, but for beginners and even veteran fasters, you may opt for much gentler workouts during your cleansing period. My favorite exercise while fasting (not exactly gentle) is hot yoga, because I get to sweat more toxins out.
- Commit to some sort of colon cleansing for the duration of the fast. This is a HUGE must. I recommend you also read my past post Tips For a Stress Free Fast which elaborates on this point even more. Fasting accelerates the bodies process of eliminating toxins, and if you do not support this process you could end up feeling sick during your fast. To avoid this you are going to need to incorporate enemas or colonics in your process. You will feel incredible if you do this. Some people say daily enemas, I say feel out your body and do what works for you, but do not skip this step.
- Have a plan for breaking the fast. Alright you made it to Day 3, and you are salivating because you want to bite something! Slow down. Make sure that you spend at least half of the time you fasted coming down off the fast. So for a three day, at least a day and a half coming down off the fast. Introduce solids very slowly. Veggie broths, fruit juices, and raw fruit can be great and not jarring. Eating things like nuts would throw your system into shock and may cause constipation so start with lighter foods.