You know me by now. I get so many of my “ah ha” moments from what happens to me and who comes into my life. It’s all about the lessons we learn every day. Not just on the day we want or the time we want. Being open to what presents itself to you on a daily basis is truly living in the present moment. Last week I heard a story about a woman who had gained some weight, but only in her stomach. She thought it was age and started a diet, but when her stomach didn’t shrink at all, she thought about another symptom she had (I didn’t find that out) and decided to get a colonoscopy. Jump to the end of this very sad story, that doesn’t happen too often in this small town I live in, she had a massive tumor in her colon that was causing her stomach to protrude. Her surgery was yesterday. I heard that and I immediately said to myself, “I need to do a liquid fast.”
I’ve fasted many days in the last 5 years or so. Usually I do a one day fast. That’s no food, no chewing, just liquid. The liquid varied depending on whatever I felt like that day. The day after the fast, was usually light or all raw food. Wikipedia defines fasting as this “the act of willingly abstaining from some or all food, drink, or both, for a period of time. A fast may be total or partial concerning that from which one fasts, and may be prolonged or intermittent as to the period of fasting. Fasting practices may preclude sexual activity as well as food, in addition to refraining from eating certain types or groups of foods…..A complete fast in its traditional definition is abstinence of all food and liquids except for water.” If you are healthy, a one or two day liquid fast could be something to try.
Here’s what I did the other day: The first day I juiced one cucumber and one long stalk of celery and then drank nothing but water or water with fresh squeezed lemon for the rest of the day. Was it difficult? To be honest, it usually is. I typically will fight it the whole day and think about food all day. But this time, it wasn’t. I kept saying to myself, “I’m not going to die if I don’t eat. I’ll be fine. The food will still be there tomorrow.” The “feeling” of not having enough is pretty common. And to top it off? They had a going away party for me that night at the yoga studio where I teach, complete with many treats, even raw treats. I felt fine not eating and I wasn’t guilty about the food that was brought and I didn’t partake in. I knew if I started chewing anything, even raw food, my mind would want more. I was determined to go the whole day and then see what tomorrow would bring. I had some emotional stuff to go through that night and it was all very clear. Without my body having to digest food, my mind was totally supported in processing the “stuff” of the day. The next day I had another cucumber/celery juice and drank water. I ate some nuts and a peach in the afternoon and then I had a tuna sandwich that evening. The next day (that’s today) I have had only lemon water. And that is my plan for the rest of the day.
You see? Whatever you can do, whatever it is, your body will be very happy with it. The body could sure use a rest from digestion. Parts of the nervous and circulatory systems play major roles in the digestive process. Here’s a great site for reading about the digestive process: http://digestive.niddk.nih.gov/ddiseases/pubs/yrdd/ Just reading what food and drink have to do to get through the body made me tired. And our goal is to eat the right food, so that the correct nutrients can be absorbed and used by the body. Fasting is a perfect way to give the body a rest in order for the mind and body to be able to do what it is inherently supposed to do, and that is to HEAL ITSELF.
There are many different kinds of fasting and cleansing. I just heard about a book that talks about taking out 5 things from your diet for a 21 day cleanse. They were dairy, alcohol, coffee, sugar, and gluten. Whatever you can do for however long you can do it. There isn’t a right or wrong when it comes to fasting. Don’t put that judgement on yourself. It’s ok. Think about more raw food, less processed food. How about just a one day fast? I’m right there with you. Today’s the day for you…or maybe tomorrow.
What can you do when the end of the day comes and you really want to eat something? I do these things: Go upstairs and read a book, get as far away from the kitchen as possible. Take a walk. Drink a very large glass of water. Brush your teeth. Talk to a friend. Play with your cat.
Sending you feelings of health and well being.
Please consult your primary health care physician for fasting lasting more than two days or if you are suffering from any medical problems for which you are under the care of a doctor.