What is Fasting
Fasting is the first natural instinct when anyone is ill or injured but we ignore it. Even animal’s first instinct is to abstain from solid food until they are healthy. They instinctively know that the healing process will be much faster and more effective when it abstains from solid food that burdens its digestive tract. This instinct has always existed within the animal kingdom. Fasting is more than just the absence of food. It is a very powerful tool for healing and strengthening the body. Fasting is not only beneficial to the physical body, but to the mental and spiritual aspects of your being also. More than diet, fasting can be a very spiritual experience that raises your consciousness.
What is Not Fasting
Fasting for health reason does not mean that you cannot eat or drink anything. Some people equate fasting with total absence of food and water for extended periods of time; which is not a good idea. Yet some people suggest only raw diet of vegetables and fruits for extended periods of time; which is again not recommended. Extended periods of fasting is not recommended.
Should we Fast or not
Very seldom it is recommended to fast on water only. It is a good thing to fast on water once a week, but rarely is wise to do an extended water fast. Most of the time, it is better to go on a mono diet of those whole foods which possess the healing properties which the body needs. It is safer, and often more effective. Juice (vegetable and/or fruit) fasting is good, but it does not take care of the intestinal tract. Toxins are released very rapidly, but there is nothing in the juice to form a stool, so the toxins may not be properly eliminated, causing severe problems.
Why Fasting is good
Fasting facilitates the elimination of stored up toxins. Normally, the body’s elimination and digestive organs accumulate and eliminate. They are busy breaking down the food we eat, providing the body with nutrition, storing fat, eliminating food by-products and toxins, etc. But when we start a fast, the body’s elimination and digestive organs do not have new food to work with, so they turn to all the stored toxins, diseased cells, tumors, etc., and begin to break up and expel them.
- Water Fast once a week for 24 hours. The best time to start is after lunch on Thursday and to finish on lunch Friday. Here we're skipping 3 meals (lunch, dinner on Thursday and breakfast on Friday). At the end of 24 hour fast (i.e on Friday lunch) either have lemon water and honey, or seasonal fruit.
- Water Fast can be maximum of 3 days (72 hours).
- Any fast going beyond 3 days should include vegetables (cooked and raw), fruits but never on liquids (juices/water/herbs/teas) alone. Vegetables and Fruits should not be combined at the same time.
- Extended fast (more than 24 hours) should be broken slowly. Begin with lemon water and honey, or with fruit. Then gradually add light dairy products or vegetables.
- Spring time is best time to fast if someone wants to fast for extended periods of time.
Do the juice fast with extreme caution and wisdom. Juice fasting is good, but it does not take care of the intestinal tract. Toxins are released very rapidly, but there is nothing in the juice to form a stool, so the toxins may not be properly eliminated, causing severe problems. On the positive side, fasting on juices increases the cleansing capacity of the lungs, liver, kidneys, bowels and skin. It rejuvenates the mental, glandular, hormonal and nervous systems. Fruit juices in general have cleanse effect while raw vegetable juices have rebuilding effect.
Do NOT do the juice fast beyond 3 days. The best juices for fasting are alkaline juices. Those often recommended include carrot, beet and carrot, celery or a combination of the three. Beet juice is very powerful and should not be taken alone. Cabbage, parsley and cucumber juices are also used therapeutically. The nutrients in fresh vegetable/fruit juices are assimilated in a matter of minutes, but in order to be properly digested they must be "chewed," thoroughly mixed with saliva, before swallowing.
For 30 days, eat only fruits, nuts, and vegetables (cooked and raw). Make sure that you don't eat vegetables and fruits at the same time. Also, eat one type of vegetable or fruit at one-time. During the first few days, you may feel weak, but gradually your strength will increase and you will start to feel light and happy.
Green Diet Fast
This is the cleansing diet which is used to clean the toxins from the body. For 30 days, eat only one kind of fruit at a time. Also, don't drink fruit juices on this fast. They are a concentrated food. Only eat whole fruits.
Mung Beans and Rice Fast
This is a good cleansing diet which still gives you plenty of nourishment if you have to work hard. Mung Beans and Rice is good for the kidneys, colon and digestive organs. For 30 days, eat only mung beans and rice at mealtimes, with lots of fresh vegetables cooked into the same dish. Fruit may be eaten between meals as a snack, and you can drink yogi tea. Recipes are under Herbs and Spices article.
Melon Diet Fast
- Breakfast: Drink 1 cup of fresh-squeezed orange juice with the pulp left in it, sweetened with honey. After one hour, eat 3 medium-size ripe bananas. Chew thoroughly as this is very important and be sure to eat the white strings which cling to the peels. Immediately after eating the bananas, eat the seeds from one whole cardamon pod. The cardamon liquefies the banana and makes it easier to digest.
- Lunch: Eat 3 bananas followed by the seeds of 1 cardamon pod.
- Dinner: Eat 3 bananas followed by the seeds of 1 cardamon pod.
Begin on the new moon and continue for fourteen days until the full moon. Yogi tea (see Herbs and Spices for recipe) may be taken along with this fast. This fast may have its side effects, so be prepared! You may feel weak from the lack of customary nervous stimulants. In that case, drink more orange juice with honey during the day. If you become constipated, increase your intake of cardamon to a maximum of three pods at a time. Also, drink large amounts of hot water regularly. People often report that this diet makes them feel more emotional and hot-tempered. If you can stay with it, it will help to balance your emotions. If you experience a severe reaction to the fast, discontinue it according to the procedure below.
Breaking the fast: On the fifteenth day of the moon, drink only lemon juice in warm water with honey and eat no solid food. Follow-up diet: To rebuild the body after this fast, eat 'Mung Beans & Rice 2' (see Herbs and Spices for recipe) for twenty-eight days. You can also eat fruit and yogi tea, but no dairy.
- Some Esoteric Views On Food Cooking By Master Beinsa Douno
- Foods For Healing and Health By Yogi Harbhajan Singh