Fasting has existed since the beginning of life on earth.
In fact, as a principle, it is deeply engrained into the evolution and psyche of human beings.
The problem today is that we have no real "need" to fast and so it has become a lost practice in the modern world. For centuries, it was common for humans to go for prolonged periods without food, simply because it was not always readily available. But also throughout history, fasting has been embraced as a method of achieving enlightenment, supporting healing and extending longevity.
Similarly, an injured animal's first instinct is to abstain from solid food until it is healthy again. Interestingly, they know that healing will be much faster when they stop eating.
So why has the wisdom of fasting been largely overlooked as a health protocol in the modern world?
Primarily for three main reasons:
- The influence of the food industry
- The "training" provided in medical schools
- Changes to our general changing way of life.
Despite all of this, the principles of fasting and the reasons to do it as part of a robust, healthy lifestyle remain the same.
The History & Wisdom Of Fasting
It's interesting to look into history and study some of the ancient cultures who innately understood the power of fasting.
Fasting was a commonly practiced, not only as a cleansing protocol, but for its life-extending properties.
Fasting has been practiced as a ritual and protocol for preventing and healing diseases for thousands of years. Fasting purifies the body of accumulated toxins and a wide variety of pollutants that lead to chaos in the body, thereby optimising both short and long term health.
Many advocates of this wisdom today, fast several times a year. Fasting also helps to rewire the body's immune system, taste buds and paves the way for greater capacity of the body to absorb nutrients from food that is eaten.
The wisdom of fasting, essentially comes down to this simple understanding...
If the body never gets a break from the constant rigours of processing food, the digestive system eventually breaks down, leading to a host of ailments and common diseases.
Over time, due to this constant bombardment, a "traffic jam" occurs within the body, blocking it's ability to efficiently release stored waste, body acids, excess proteins and fat deposits. This is what usually eventually leads to cancer and many other chronic diseases.
Remember, Hippocrates famously first taught that, 'all disease begins in the gut'. And this is why periodic intervals of fasting are so important for giving your digestive system a chance to heal and reset, making fasting one of the most powerful longevity protocols you can practice.
What happens when you fast?
During a fast, many biochemical processes take place in the body, resulting in reactions outside the body as well.
However, the most important thing to realise, is that during a fast, your body goes into a process known as Autolysis, whereby the body feeds itself on the most impure and inferior materials that are causing chaos in the body. These materials include, stubborn fat deposits, damaged tissue and excess proteins, abscesses and even tumours.
At a cellular level, this "destruction" of the surplus damaged material, dissipates large pockets of clustered proteins and toxic waste into the bloodstream that are causing you harm.
That's why during a fast, it's also important to ensure that your excretory organs are doing their job. That means, supporting the eliminatory process with additional practices such as:
- Gentle Movement e.g. walking and yoga
- Colon Cleansing e.g. Cleanse Me
- Colonic Hydrotherapy
- Hot Salt Baths
- Skin Exfoliation
- Infra Red Saunas
- Deep Breathing
These practices can all help to open up the body's natural channels of elimination - Perspiration, Respiration, Defecation and Urination - which is important for releasing stored toxic waste that is causing you harm and weighing you down.
When is the best time to Fast?
Whilst short periods of fasting, such as intermittent fasting, are beneficial year round, the ancient healers believed that the best time to do any kind of extended multi-day fast, was immediately following the colder months at the beginning of Spring (hence the term, "spring cleaning").
There was also a widely practised wisdom of fasting for 7 days with every change of season. Learn more in Tips For Summer Fasting
Today, the obvious signs that you should consider doing a fast include:
- Constant Fatigue
- Digestive Problems
- Skin Ailments
- Anxiety, stress and irritability
- Chronic Disease or Medical Dependancy (will require professional supervision)
The 3 paths of Fasting - Fast, Faster or Fastest:
Fasting comes in several different forms and the ancients taught that there were three paths - fast, faster or fastest.
Choosing the right path ultimately depends on the individual's current state of physical and emotional health.
There is truth to the wisdom that you should you should take things in baby steps, rather than running too fast, because you'll likely trip over and fall.
In other words, if you're just starting out with fasting, it's usually best to begin with an easier form of fasting e.g. Intermittent Fasting, or mono or raw food diet, before progressing to a more intense level e.g. a raw juice or water only fast.
The Fast Path
A great way to experiment with fasting is to do what anciently they referred to as "Walking the Rainbow Bridge".
This is where you go for 7 days on fruits and vegetables, following one colour of the rainbow each day, to reach the 'pot of gold' at the end.
This means, on Day 1 you go with only Red foods, Day 2 only Orange, Day 3 only Yellow, Day 4 only Green, and then on Day's 5, 6 and 7, you embrace a variety of foods from the Blue, Indigo and Violet spectrum.
During the 'fast', you can create fresh juices, eat raw salads and even cook some of the foods if you so choose. Drink water each day, walk and you'll discover some wonderful health-giving benefits.
Alternatively, another way you can follow the fast path, is to simply go on a raw plant food and fresh juice diet for 7 days or to do a mono-diet where you eat just one fruit for 7 days e.g. water melon (best done when the fruit is in-season i.e. summer)
Experiment and try either or all of these protocols for yourself and you'll notice a big shift in the way you look and feel even after just 7 days.
The Faster Path
If you have something specific you'd like to heal, it's a great idea to commence with detoxification of the alimentary canal first. By doing a colon cleanse for 2-4 days before commencing your fast, you'll rapidly extract stored waste that's backed up in your digestive system, enabling your body to get the most benefit from your fast.
Our colon cleanse is a 100% nature-made, two-part protocol combining Australian Food Grade Bentonite Clay, Psyllium Husk, Flax Seed, Dried Apple and Cinnamon.
Once you've completed the colon cleanse, you can either choose to follow the 7-day rainbow protocol or mono diet above, or go with the delightful taste, convenience and nourishment of our Pulse Sacred Meal - snack on one bag each day and drink water for 7 days.
The Fastest Path
Nothing beats fasting on fresh raw juices or water (which is the ultimate) for rapid healing and repair.
This path allows you to not only experience powerful physical healing benefits, but an incredible level of mental and emotional enlightenment as well.
There are certain cases where we recommend an extended number of days on the fastest path (i.e. on fresh fruit and vegetable juices or water), generally in a supervised environment, as a protocol to help people who have serious health problems.
That said, you can also experience a significant health breakthrough by going for 7, 14, 21 or 28 days on fresh juices of C.A.B.A.L.A. (Carrot, Apple, Beets & Lemon).
Learn more in The Healing Powers of CABALA Juice.
You can also add a variety of Greens (Spinach, Cos Lettuce, Kale, Cucumber, Lime, Apple, Ginger etc).
Learn more in Fruit & Vegetable Juicing: What You Should Know
The Main Takeaway
As a health and longevity protocol, fasting has been practices for thousands of years.
The most common way to fast involves abstaining from solid food for a period of time, which allows your body and digestive system the space to reset and heal.
Short fasts can be practiced at home without supervision using common sense and by listening to your body, however prolonged fasting - particularly for purposes of healing chronic health conditions - should be accompanied by professional supervision.
The first 2-3 days of a fast are always the most challenging, because this is when your body is detoxifying and doing it's best to gather up and dump metabolic waste. After that, most people experience an energy boost and significant improvements to how they feel for the remainder of the fast.
Finally, preparing your body to fast is a good idea, which means avoiding heavily processed and concentrated foods for 2-3 days leading into a fast. Focus on consuming lighter foods such as fresh fruit, vegetables, soups, salads and smoothies, to place less stress on your digestive system which will help you get the most from your fast.
Tolman Self Care.