Library of Mind, Body, and Soul
Healing Foods >>> Fasting

What is Fasting

Fasting is the first instinct when anyone is ill or injured, but we ignore it. Even animals’ 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 they refrain from solid food that burdens their digestive tract. This instinct has always existed within the animal kingdom. Fasting is more than just the absence of food. It is a potent tool for healing and strengthening the body. Fasting is beneficial not only to the physical body but also to the mental and spiritual aspects of your being. More than diet, fasting can be a very spiritual experience that raises your consciousness. Any fast going beyond 24 hours should be done under expert supervision.

What is Not Fasting

Fasting for health reasons does not mean you cannot eat or drink anything. However, some people equate fasting with a total absence of food and water for extended periods, which is not a good idea. Yet some people suggest only a raw diet of vegetables and fruits for extended periods, which is again not recommended. Furthermore, extended periods of fasting are not recommended.

Should we Fast or not

Very seldom, it is recommended to fast on water only. It is good to fast on the water once a week, but it is rarely wise to do an extended water fast. Most of the time, it is better to go on a mono diet of whole foods that possess the healing properties the body needs. It is safer and often more effective. Juice (vegetable and/or fruit but not both at the same time) 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 adequately eliminated, causing severe problems.

Why Fasting is good

Fasting facilitates the elimination of stored toxins. Usually, the body’s elimination and digestive organs accumulate and eliminate. This is because 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 a 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.

Effective Fasting

  • Water Fast once a week for 24 hours. The best time to start is after lunch on Thursday and to finish on lunch Friday. So here we're, skipping three meals (lunch, dinner on Thursday, and breakfast on Friday). At the end of 24 hours fast (i.e., on Friday lunch), either have lemon water and honey or seasonal fruit. 
  • Water Fast can be three days (72 hours) at maximum.
  • Any fast going beyond three days should include vegetables (cooked and raw) and 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.
  • Springtime is the best time to fast if someone wants to fast for extended periods.

Juice Fast

Do the juice fast with extreme caution and wisdom. Juice fasting is good but 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 adequately eliminated, causing severe problems. On the positive side, fasting on juices increases the cleansing capacity of the lungs, liver, kidneys, bowels, and skin. In addition, it rejuvenates the mental, glandular, hormonal, and nervous systems. Fruit juices generally have cleansing effects, while raw vegetable juices have rebuilding effects.

Do NOT do the juice fast beyond three 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 potent 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 minutes. Still, to be adequately digested, they must be "chewed," thoroughly mixed with saliva, before swallowing.

Rejuvenating Diet

For 30 days, eat only fruits, nuts, and vegetables (cooked and raw). Make sure that you eat vegetables and fruits at different times. 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.

Mucusless Diet

This fast eliminates toxins and reduces the level of mucus in the body. For one week, eat fruits, nuts, or steamed vegetables. Allow four hours between meals. Drink fresh juices with the pulp left in. Add a little black pepper to the juice to aid in the elimination of intestinal gas.

Green Diet Fast

This is the rebuilding diet used to alkalize the body, lose weight, clear the skin and cleanse the liver. It is also helpful in relieving a toxic mucus condition. For 40 days, eat only green foods. That means salads, steamed greens, avocados, sprouts, green olives, and mung beans. During this fast, one can have only a handful of nuts and a portion of cooked grains ONCE a week. Yogi tea (recipe under Herbs and Spices) can be taken throughout this fast.

Fruit Fast

This is the cleansing diet that 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 this fast. They are a concentrated food. Only eat whole fruits.

Mung Beans and Rice Fast

This good cleansing diet still gives you plenty of nourishment if you have to work hard. Mung Beans and Rice are suitable 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 the Herbs and Spices article.

Melon Diet Fast

This fast can only be done when the weather is Hot. This fast will clean the liver, kidneys, and intestines, renew body fluids, and help you lose weight. You will need ample papayas, cantaloupes, watermelons, and lemons. Here's how it works:
Days 1 to 3. Eat only cantaloupes. They are warming and laxative.
Days 4 to 6. Eat only watermelons. They are cooling to the body, and they will work on the liver and kidneys.
Days 7 to 9. Eat only papayas. They will work on the intestines and digestion.
Days 10 to 12. Drink lemon and honey dissolved in water. It rids the system of excess mucus. Do not eat any solid food.
Days 13 to 15. Drink only plain water. Please don't drink it ice cold.
Days 16 to 18. Reverse the process! Drink lemon-honey water and nothing else.
Days 19 to 21. Eat only papayas.
Days 22 to 24. Eat only watermelons.
Days 25 to 27. Eat only cantaloupes.
To break this fast, eat only fruit at first. Then add yogurt if desired, then vegetables. Break this fast, very slowly, and cautiously. Do not eat nuts and grains right away, or you will suffer. It is advisable, during this fast, to massage the whole body frequently with almond oil. This is a reasonably strenuous fast. It can be modified by reducing the three central stages — days 10-12, 13-15, and 16-18 — to one day each, making the diet last twenty-one days. This makes the fast a little easier, but it still should not be attempted by someone with little experience with fasting. This diet has beautiful effects, but your body must be prepared.

Banana Fast

This is another fast that is best not attempted by people with little experience in fasting. However, it has some stunning and unique effects. For those who have a history of drug abuse, it removes drug deposits from the medulla. It also rebuilds worn tissues and adjusts the body's iron, sodium and calcium factors by replacing sodium with calcium.
  • Breakfast: Drink 1 cup of fresh-squeezed orange juice with the pulp left in it, sweetened with honey. After one hour, eat three medium-sized ripe bananas. Chew thoroughly, as this is very important, and eat the white strings that cling to the peels. Immediately after ingesting the bananas, eat the seeds from one whole cardamon pod. The cardamon liquefies the banana and makes it easier to digest.
  • Lunch: Eat three bananas, followed by the seeds of 1 cardamon pod.
  • Dinner: Eat three 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 the 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, please discontinue it according to the following procedure.

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' (see Herbs and Spices for recipe) for twenty-eight days. You can also eat fruit and yogi tea, but no dairy.

Further Reading:
  • Some Esoteric Views On Food Cooking By Master Beinsa Douno
  • Foods For Healing and Health By Yogi Harbhajan Singh