Fast and Cleanse – Waters that Run Clean
The human body, our sack of salt water, encounters toxins on a fairly regular basis. Many of us aren’t taught to attend to the cleansing of the body. Many cultures since ancient times have cleansed in one way or another. Benefits for actively choosing to clean your body out are many. From the removal of toxic buildup in your cleansing organs, the intestines, liver, and kidneys, to the psychological benefits of discipline and self control, cleansing has a potent, positive effect on your wellness goals.
There are a variety of ways to go about cleansing, and I’ll discuss them in order, from easy to difficult.
The cleansing diet is a modified diet where the primary food stuffs are whole, organic food that are eaten at least 60% raw or lightly cooked. Animal products of all kinds are avoided for a period of time. This gives your body several advantages, which it leverages almost immediately.
- Increased fiber favors elimination of toxins and steady digestion.
- The body has access to superior nutrition.
- The work of cleansing from animal products is lessened, allowing the body to work on cleaning itself out.
Personally, I eat a cleansing diet almost all of the time, as it’s how I feel the best. The earlier parts of my life were filled with food that no doubt took a toll on my body, so I focus on the freshest food in as close to its natural state as possible.
Liquid Cleansing Diet
These diets are a little more difficult because we ask the body to stop digesting food. One example that I just finished is the Master Cleanse. Basically, this diet is a modified lemonade diet that includes maple syrup to stabilize blood sugar, and cayenne pepper, because it’s a heart super food. Cayenne pepper is well known to aid in reducing inflammation and blood clots, and is packed with nutrients, including vitamin A. Lemons are highly alkalizing and aid in the body’s detoxification process, assisting digestion.
For the full benefits, 10 days are needed. I made it the best of three days, after which I felt amazing.
Juice fasting would fall into the liquid cleansing category. Here the body will receive all the micronutrients it can handle and cleansing can get quite intense. I’ve never done this type, but my wife has, lasting over twenty days. Results were amazing, leaving no doubts that these types of diets can aid in removing toxins and chemical buildup from the body.
These cleanses are more serious, though not true fasts. They aid the body in cleansing, but one still eats or drinks something. There’s a lot of bad press on these cleanses because they don’t provide the body with all of the required nutrients. I can’t disagree with this, but isn’t that the point of a fast? Trust me, as long as you’re substantially healthy, your body is designed to miss a few meals. Many times the negative symptoms felt during cleansing are in fact detoxification.
These aren’t popular in Western medicine. It’s hard to find doctors that support this type of cleansing approach. I have successfully fasted three days with only water, and can attest to its efficacy. Water fasts, compared to the above, are much more intense and subsequently more dangerous. The body enters into states that can cause damage if taken too far, namely ketosis.
During a water fast, the body depletes the liver’s glycogen stores (stored up energy) and begins to break down fat. I’ve read that the body digests itself if the fast goes long enough and that it will start with diseased tissue. I buy that, but haven’t found any Western studies to back that claim up.
Water fasts (and liquid fasts) rapidly cleanse and aid the body by first fully digesting all of the available food in your digestive system. Undigested food is a problem because it can cause a build up of phlegm in the body. That, and undigested food can provide an abundance of surface area for the wrong things to grow – like fungus. Giving your body ample time to break all of the food down hits the reset button. Furthermore, it shrinks the stomach to its original size. This is especially useful, because you will feel the sensation of fullness sooner.
For me though, most of the benefits I reap on the water fast are spiritual. There’s much to be said concerning the raw willpower and deep connections to be had on the other side of denying yourself food for a specific amount of time. This extreme discipline often seeps into other areas of your life. I’ve noticed that after a fast, my finances improve, as well as my professional life. Fasting is an ancient act, and no amount of modernism will simply sweep it away as totally worthless. If personal feelings are a guide, I feel incredible after fasting – light, joyful, connected, and full of gratitude for the blessings in my life.
How can that be a bad thing?
Schedule your next cleanse or fast. Your body will thank you for it!