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Fasting: The Key to Optimal Health
by David Wolfe JD

Fasting enables the body to start healing itself. The amazing thing about fasting is that it is Nature's supreme medicine. When one begins to fast, the elimination process is set in motion and the entire body commences a cleansing program. During a fast, the body can focus its enzyme power to autolyze (dissolve) tumorous formations and toxic residues.

While fasting, the blood thins. This allows the thick mucus trapped in the lymph to diffuse out into the blood for elimination. This is the process of diffusion; elements move from areas of greater concentration to areas of lesser concentration.

Orange, grapefruit, lime and lemon juices dissolve toxicity, mucus and excess calcite deposits so they may be washed out and eliminated. I recommend including the pith (the white inside of the rind) with your citrus juices, especially when fasting. The pith contains bioflavonoids, fibre and calcium.

Case studies conducted by fasting doctors over this last century prove that the longer you fast, the more centred you become, the better you heal, the higher your intellectual activity and the younger you appear. The pancreas secretes enzyme-rich digestive juices when the stomach and duodenum are empty. These fluids travel into the intestinal tract, are absorbed by the intestinal villi and then enter into the blood and lymph to digest undigested fats, carbohydrates and proteins.

When your body is cleaned and tuned through fasting, you will experience a continuous flow of vibrant health, electric energy and mental strength. This will enable you to perform at levels you never thought possible. Time will slow down, but your brain will speed up. You will feel amazingly calm. Your consciousness will glow as ideas flow through you exactly when you need them.

Fasting is an art. One masters fasting by developing the ability to raise the functions of the body while the blood sugar is low. If we are living with passion and with a purpose, then fasting is exciting, never boring.

How To Fast

One must be careful with fasting. There are health conditions that do not react well to fasting. For instance, a fast is not recommended for diabetics who have taken insulin for more than two years. Those taking certain medications or recreational drugs should also not fast, until they have detoxified their body, eaten a mineral-rich, organic diet and stopped the intake of all chemicals. Otherwise, fasting may cause too much poison to flow out of the lymph fluid into the blood too quickly. Of course, fasting is not recommended for those suffering from anorexia or bulimia. One should build up stores of natural amino acids (superfoods), chlorophyll (greens), sugars (fruit), and raw plant fats in the system for at least 6 months before undertaking a fast of two days or longer.

It is best to arrange to fast when the seasons change or on the full moon; these times are when the body cleanses the strongest. During each change of seasons, Nature does its house-cleaning by expelling poisons. That is why flu seasons (detoxification) often coincide with seasonal changes. When the moon is full, the tidal energies are pulled, levity (light) energies are higher, and the body is triggered to detoxify.

I recommend fasting on fresh spring water mixed with Celtic grey mineral sea salt and fresh lemon juice. The lemon juice acts as an internal soap by dissolving mucus and cooked-food residues. The fasting I recommend for accelerated healing is designed to keep the blood sugar low. As a low-sugar fruit, lemon works perfectly.

The fasting I recommend for time management can include coconut water, fruit juice, and/or green-vegetable juice, but may also consist solely of water with lemon juice. When you are fasting for time management, small fasts of two or three days may serve your purpose. I typically will fast on water all day, while working at my business, then accomplish an incredible amount of work in the evening and at night (reading or writing), wake up at 5:00 AM after five hours of sleep, and work three or four hours before breaking the fast and eating something the following morning.

If you are new to raw and living foods, fasts should be undertaken with care. Ease into them. To begin fasting, try the no-breakfast plan initially - no break-fasting. For those who are inexperienced, fast for small intervals (one or two days), and then continue further. Go on an adventure with a trustworthy friend or family member. Spend a day fasting out in Nature in a forest, at a pond, or near a waterfall, consuming only pure water.

As you begin to undertake longer fasts, you will recognize that the body first uses up sugar in your system for fuel, then, after three days, clicks over to glycogen stored in the cells and liver. The body will eventually tap into the body fat and begin converting that to fuel until it is depleted. Protein breakdown is the last thing the body turns to for fuel.

During a fast, you should be concerned about bowel movements. The bowels may not move when they need to. If you feel that a bowel movement is necessary while you are fasting, administer an enema to yourself or visit a colon hydrotherapist. Colon hydrotherapy while fasting is very cleansing and tremendously healing.

The amount of water you drink during a fast should be dictated by thirst. Four quarts (four liters or one gallon) of water or juice each day should be adequate. The less fluids you take in, the more aggressive (and hazardous) the fast will be. Do not push yourself beyond the bounds of reason. If you feel dizzy, weary, extremely thirsty, and/or experience pain in the kidneys (lower back pain), drink more water, add fresh juice, or even return to eating very light raw food (a cucumber, berries, cherries, or an apple).

As you are fasting, read books on the subject to keep you focused and motivated. During a fast, my motivation is always renewed whenever I read Arnold Ehret's book, "Rational Fasting." Ehret brings up a crucial point in his writings: how you break a fast determines to a large extent the value of the fast and the degree of rejuvenation. Remember the rule that however many days you fast, it takes the same number of additional days to recover fully. If you fast for 10 days, then it will take 10 additional days after the fast to return to normal eating and lifestyle patterns.

Preferentially, break a fast with a juicy alkaline fruit, such as a papaya or cucumber; fresh figs, grapes, or cherries also work quite well. Breaking a water fast with wild coconut water is also quite magical. The introduction of alkaline fruit will cause a peristaltic wave and flush all of the dislodged toxins throughout the body.

Keep in mind the stomach will shrink from the days of fasting. Wait at least two hours before eating something else to allow the full cleansing peristaltic wave to sweep through the body. (Peristalsis is a muscular contraction which flows wave-like through the colon, helping expel waste.) The next meal may consist of heavier foods, preferably blended, such as fruits and avocados mixed together. After one or more days, whole green leaves may be reintroduced. Cooked food should be avoided following a fast. On the other hand, superfoods (blue-green algae, spirulina, marine phytoplankton) can be helpful to add not only during the fast, but afterwards as well.

Generally, the more toxic a person is, the more weight he or she will lose during a fast. Excessive weight and size lost during a fast can be regained with no detrimental effects if desired; the body retains a memory as to its healthy and natural proportions.

David Wolfe is the author of the bestselling books "Eating for Beauty", "The Sunfood Diet Success System", "Naked Chocolate", and his newest release "Amazing Grace". He is supported in his nutrition mission by Sunfood Nutrition (www.sunfood.com) the world's largest distributor of books, juicers, audio/DVDs, organic beauty products, bulk organic foods, and exotic raw foods to assist people in adopting, maintaining, and enjoying plant-food-based lifestyles.

David conducts nearly 100 health lectures, seminars, and hosts at least 6 raw adventure retreats each year in the United States, Canada, Europe, the South Pacific, as well as in Central and South America. You may view his current schedule at www.sunfood.com.

This article is provided for informational purposes only. The author and publisher of this article will not be held liable for the use or misuse of any of the information contained in the article. What you do must be the product of your own conclusions. Do not fast until you have been advised by a competent health professional. This article is not meant to cure, treat, or diagnose any disease.

Copyright (c) 2008 by Timeless Spirit Magazine. All articles are the copyright of the particular writers and cannot be reprinted without their expressed permission. All rights reserved. International copyright laws prohibit reproduction of or distribution of this page by any means whatsoever, electronic or otherwise, without first obtaining the written permission of the copyright holder. We retain legal counsel to protect our copyrights.

Any advice given is for informational purposes only.

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