I realize that this post is not for everyone. Especially for those that exercise or train at high levels of cardiorespiratory endurance or lift heavy amounts of weight. But these days there seems to be a craze about fasting, intermittent fasting and juicing to cleanse the body. You can find all types of fad fasting plans on line. I’m not here to tell you that this lifestyle is better than the next, and I’m not telling you that you need to try this. My post is to inform you of the concept and my knowledge and why I choose practice with it. If you happen to be curious, make sure that it’s truly a right decision for you and that it supports your health rather than hurt you. I can only speak for myself as to why I eat like this regularly. My belief is that I no longer need snack or graze, and eat 3 meals a day to keep my energy up. Eating this much actually resulted in belly bloat, abdominal pain and other gastrointestinal issues. My perspective is to strive for an empty stomach rather than feel hungry and miserable. The reason I fast is not why you think. I DON’T do it for weight loss, I fast for my spiritual wellbeing. As a result, that includes staying focused and experiencing mental clarity, obtaining a higher level of self-discipline, feeling energized and having a plan to live a full, rich, youthful, happy and healthy life as an older adult. I do it for self-love, self-respect and for physical performance.
People fast for religious purposes, rituals, self control, to cleanse the body or healing, and for some it is mandatory prior to surgery or a procedure. It’s considered the oldest therapy for medicine and has been practiced for thousands of years around the world. Your body naturally fasts when you are ill. Of course you can find articles on how bad it is to fast, so when people abuse fasting, like anything else, there will be negative consequences. People must use common sense, so if you feel weak, EAT! and don’t over indulge in between fasts.
A few years back I had the amazing opportunity to live at a yoga Ashram for a month. For 30 days, food was served at 10AM and 6PM. That’s it! There were limited sugary treats to buy at the giftshop, no meat and no caffeine. You say this sounds like torture, I say it was glorious! Of course I kicked my caffeine habit a few weeks prior and so thankful that I did that so my withdrawal symptoms would not interfere with my new 30 day lifestyle experience. The first few days, I had a little discomfort feeling my hunger pains but I survived. The energy and the mental clarity that I experienced was a whole other level. It was a spiritual cleansing! A “clean and pure” kind of energy. I look differently at the way I consume food. I’ve became so appreciative of it and I especially prefer fruit as my treat of choice over candy.
I intermittent fast daily, and it is my decision to eat at 10am and 6pm. Why at these times of 10 and 6? It is said that the ideal fast should last eight hours in between the times you eat, to make sure that your stomach is truly empty. Five hours minimum if you have very strong hunger pains. I practice common sense. I stick to healthful whole foods, I choose to eat seafood rather than chicken, pork or beef. My plate servings tend to be smaller, but can also be bigger without feeling guilt and I fill up quickly. Yes, as you’ve seen in past posts, I occasionally go off track and when I do, my body know that I’ve beat it up. My body knows as if it has a new set point of a higher frequency and when I allow myself to treat it badly, I pay for it.
My belief is that eating certain foods takes a huge toll on your body as well as eating in general. The more nutrient dense and lighter foods that you eat the less taxing it is on your digestive track. If you ever follow or get a chance to hear Sadhguru speak, he is one wise, badass Indian Yogi, drives a motor cycle and the founder of the Isha Foundation. He says fasting is excellent for health reasons. It’s important to give your body a break from digestion to realign itself. If you give your body 8 hours worth of time of no eating, a minimum of 50% of your health problems go away in 6 weeks time. Allowing your body to break from digestion, heals you on a cellular level. Do not let your body become lethargic with food. Feeling dis ease causes disease. Sadhguru also affirms that this will keep your body vibrant or your body will be the dominate force in your life. This means your body will hold a power over you unless you keep it in a certain level of ease, it will rule you.
Remember to be smart and be well! You do not have to juice or starve your body for days to detox it. Giving your digestion system a rest for a few hours aides in the process. The body knows how to restore itself naturally.