What’s all that not eating nonsense about?
Funny you should ask as i”m currently 7 days in to a water fast.
A water fast is just what it says on the tin, a period of time that you spend drinking water only, and it’s probably the most challenging but rewarding kind of fast to undertake.
Fasting is one of the oldest forms of medicine known to man and is also very apparent if you take a look at the kingdom of wild animals.
Fasting should not be considered in the same vein as deliberate starving, irregular eating patters, or dietary disorders. Always do your own comprehensive research, and seek professional advice where necessary.
Although it has been used to treat multiple types of illness, it also has an amazing effect of clearing your mind and giving your digestive system a complete rest. Eating and digestion are one of our biggest energy draws, and by refraining for a period of time, this energy gets redirected to repairing and rejuvenating areas of our system that otherwise do not get a look in.
By not eating, the body switches quickly into a state of ketosis, whereby fuel comes from burning the body’s fat stores. Your body composition will therefore dictate how long you can comfortably fast. You can also get into ketosis without fasting and we’ll look at that soon.
The thought of not eating terrifies most people, yet a symptom of modern day life is that we eat far too much, and because of bad dietary advice (mostly sponsored by multi-nation corporations with a vested interest in making pots of money at any cost) most of what we do consume is nutritionally very poor.
Here are my top tips if you ever feel like fasting yourself.
1) Start small with fresh vegetable juice or vegetable broth, just try a day every now and again, and if that seems bearable to you then try two.
2) Take a break and fast when you don’t have to work or engage in any physical activity. This is very important for longer fasts as you want to use all of that energy for self rejuvenation.
3) Get away from your normal routine, preferably somewhere warm and quiet.
4) Plan to do very little except read and rest and watch the mountains or ocean.
5) Make friends or partners aware that you might get a little cranky.
6) Drink plenty of water.
7) Get some support - make sure those around you, wherever you are, are positive and know what you are doing.
8) For longer fasts (more than 2 days) do some proper preparation.
9) Break your fast with small quantities of easily digestible fruit.
So to fulfil many of the points above, I’ve taken time off and come to beautiful Costa Rica. It’s warm, even in the frequent tropical downpours, and I have an almost deserted beach on which to watch and listen to the waves roll in. I drink 4 litres of filtered water a day and it’s as stress free as I can imagine.
I prepared by tapering my eating patterns for two months before flying out, cutting out coffee, sugars and grains, and finally cutting down to one solid meal per day in the evening (intermittent fasting). I also took a supplement regime to kickstart the detoxification process and I’ll talk about that in the next post as a month of that proved to be incredible on it’s own.
And how long will the fast last - that’s a good question? I’ve done a few slightly different 7 day fasts in the past, (with a little juice and supplementation) but never a pure water fast, so tomorrow I venture into new territory. I’m trusting that my body and subconscious will tell me when the time is right to break.
For more info here’s a good pro-fasting article to kickstart your research - http://www.falconblanco.com/health/fasting.htm