Monday, March 23, 2009

New Year, New You –Fasting

Spring is upon us now. This is a wonderful time to transition from winter by cleansing not just your home but also your body through fasting. Fasting will help you get rid of the old (that includes pounds), increase your energy level, and balance the body’s systems.

Everything needs a rest, and that includes your digestive system. When you fast you allow the body to focus energy that is used for digestion (15-30 percent for moderate eaters 90-95 for heavy eaters) on refreshing other areas of the body. There are several types of fasts that include water only, water and juice, fresh juices, and fruit. However, before you choose to fast review these tips on how to start and finish so the body can have a smooth transition.

Preparing to Fast

It is good to fast one day a week. Try to pick a day and stick with it. Choose a day when you can nurture yourself and rest. Don’t schedule anything that you don’t like. Read, watch a movie, go for a relaxing walk, or listen to some music.

Take a bath. Use a rough towel or soft brush to get rid of dead skin cells, clean the pores and encourage the release of toxins. Don’t clog the pores with heavy oils and creams.

Prepare yourself mentally and physically for the fast. Mark the date in your diary and give yourself time to get used to the idea.

Don’t binge the day before. This puts tremendous strain on the system and will interfere with the positive effects of the fast. You won’t be fasting, you’ll simply be purging from the day before. Make your last meal something light (soup, fruit).

If you have to cook for your family, prepare their meals the day before so you won’t have to spend too much time around food. There is no point in fasting if all you are going to think about is food.

Drinks lots of water. This will help you eliminate toxins and prevent light-headedness. A tablespoon of honey can also help if you start to feel spaced out.

Try some gentle yoga postures, deep relaxation, and breathing practices to help increase your energy and assist with the elimination process.

Wear natural fibers to absorb sweat and toxins. Artificial fabrics won’t let the skin breath and will cause the toxins to reabsorb into the skin.

Breaking the Fast
This is just as important as the fast itself. It will be a waste if you finish by stuffing yourself with high fat high sugar foods.

Prepare in advance. Plan and have ready what you are going to eat and drink to break fast when you start.

If you fast one day, take a whole day to get back to normal eating. If you fast for two days, then take two days to break fast and so on.

Break the fast with something very light that will readily digest. If you were on a water fast drink some fruit juice first. Drink it slowly don’t gulp it down. If you had fruit juice try some vegetable broth to break your fast. Gradually increase your food intake and combinations.

You might break a water fast with herb tea for breakfast, fruit juice mid morning, an apple for lunch, a banana mid afternoon and vegetable soup for dinner.

There is no point in fasting if you are going to be miserable. Fasting for a half day will give the digestive system a good rest and ensure effective assimilation and elimination. However, do still ease back into eating with the tips above.

Types of Fast

Water is the most effective way and the simplest way to cleanse the body of toxins. However, this may be too drastic if you are not used to it.

Fruit juice gives the body something more substantial. Make sure to use fresh juice preferably organic. You don’t want to add anything artificial to the body when you are cleaning it out.

Fruit is a good way to fast if you find it hard to go without food and have to keep working. Try to stick to one fruit at a time to make it easier for the body to digest and get the benefits from the cleansing properties of fruit. Melons and grapes are great to use as well as pineapples, which have great enzymes for cleansing the digestive system.

Arden’s Garden Two-Day Detox
This is a wonderful product that I have used. I love it because I am not hungry and feel wonderful while drinking it. You can purchase the Two-Day Detox already premixed at Arden’s Garden or make it yourself. The info is below. Visit them online at

The Two-Day Detox
For two days enjoy fresh citrus juices which provide the body with over 100% of the U.S. RDI essential vitamins and minerals. Specially formulated, this tested two-day juice program cleanses, detoxifies and rejuvenates the body while allowing you to perhaps also lose a few pounds.

Perfect for slimming down before or after the holidays or just prior to a special event.

What You Will Need For The Two Days:

48 oz. fresh grapefruit juice
32 oz. fresh orange juice
16 oz. fresh lemon juice
160 oz. quality steam-distilled water
Empty 1 gal. jug for mixing
Funnel (optional)

What To Do:

Mix together for each gallon:

24 oz. fresh grapefruit juice,
16 oz. fresh orange juice,
8 oz. fresh lemon juice and
80 oz. distilled water
- the detox mixture -
Drink 8 oz. every hour -til the total 128 oz. have been consumed- and that's it! No food.

Finney, Sumukhi (2003). The Yoga Handbook, A Guide to Enhancing Physical, Mental & Spiritual Well-Being, Barnes & Nobles Books

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