After years of intense pain and useless medications, I remember the moment when I stepped out of the shower and, as I dried myself, realized my body no longer hurt. On a 30-day juice fast, my organs had healed.
There is no greater detoxification program for the healing and recovery of your body than juice fasting because of the antioxidant, cleansing power of freshly made juices. Due to the highly toxic nature of the chemical compounds found in our present day diet, the detoxification organs need to have every nutritional resource available to assist the body in removal of toxic substances and for healing. Juice fasting is efficient in healing because the body is cleansed and the immune system is supported with nutrients. From cancer to heart disease, fasting needs to be the first defense against disease. If I break a bone, count me in for a trip to the hospital; however, when the problem is disease, ignoring detoxification and the nutritional needs of the immune system is to ignore the body natural healing process.
Detoxification should be integral to the healing process of modern medicine. Instead fasting has been given a bad reputation. Mention to your friends that you€™re about to start a fast and the reaction will be one of horror. Expect emotionally charged statements that you€™re going to die, become an anorexic or damage your organs. It will be rare to receive a positive response. From doctors to dietitians, the opinion is that fasting is harmful to the body. It is more acceptable to get drunk and smoke cigarettes. Yet, fasting is as old as man and has been used for thousands of years for healing and spiritual awakening.
Prescriptions are more profitable than telling someone they need to eat more fruit, less junk and drink fresh juice for a few days. Also, most people want the lazy way to heal. They would rather take a pill than change their diet, yet medications cannot heal they can only alter the symptoms. Fasting is a more effective tool.
A clean cell with all its nutritional needs fulfilled is a healthy cell. For recovery from disease and for optimum health, your trillions of cells need to be detoxified and saturated with nutrients. Excess fat, mucus coatings on the intestine, industrial chemicals, cholesterol, environmental toxins, medication residues, and the sludge from all the junk food from years of toxic living, need to be removed from the cells of your body. You may feel a couple of aches and pains, headaches and see some strangely-colored slimy things pass through the stool but do not be alarmed because this is just part of the cleansing process. In this book, you will learn how the detoxification process works so you will not have any little surprises. The chapter, Battling Cancer with Fasting, goes into greater detail on the healing process of disease.
When God breathed life into Adam, the work was complete. No extra ears or missing brain cells. A perfect body in a perfect world; disease and sickness did not exist. But God heart was saddened. He saw the future, witnessed the Temple of God being degraded through pleasure-centered living and so the human body was created with a self-regulated, healing mechanism. Sickness, disease, injury or shock became the triggers for the body to enter the fasting state. When given the opportunity, the healing mechanism of fasting touches more than just the cells of the body but reaches the depth of the soul causing the intense, spiritual changes for which fasting is so famous.
Fasting For Spiritual Strengthening
When John baptized Christ, the Spirit led Him into the desert not for a vacation, but a preparation through fasting. Each day was another day closer to the suffering of the Cross. Any man would want to run from such a fate, but Christ used fasting to strengthen His resolve.
One of Satan main tactics is to encourage any addiction or lifestyle that makes the body the master, where man is moved by every little whim of the flesh. Fasting is a powerful discipline for bringing the body under submission. You take total control. It suffers and you say no. A soldier without needs cannot be tempted and will not turn from duty.
Each great servant of God has had his/her time of fasting. It is an essential spiritual discipline and without it we are weak. It fortifies spiritual foundations, builds intimacy with God and strengthens resolve. We can hide behind a lack of confidence, feelings of inadequacy, fear of rejection, and fear of failure, yet we will never be fulfilled until we become courageous. Fasting, prayer and faith give us the courage to move past our fears into the realm of the unknown.
If you are spiritually dry, fasting and prayer will restore that fiery passion you had when you first came to Christ. If you are seeking direction, truth will be revealed. If you are in a spiritual battle, fasting gives the edge for victory. If you have a request before God, there is no position more powerful than fasting in humility and praise. The chapter on intercession was written for you.
Fasting For Weight Loss
Excess fat is nothing more than extra calories stored in the fat cells. The purpose of fat cells is to be fuel for times of famine. For North America, famine does not exist; instead, the North American diet is a continual indulgence of high-calorie foods, eaten in an attempt to fulfill emotional needs. The fat cells get bigger and the body gets pudgier. Fasting demands the fat cells be used as fuel. As soon as the body needs calories the process or catabolism (tearing down) starts. Each pound of fat has approximately 3,500 calories, which becomes fuel for the body. As each day passes, you get thinner and thinner. I have seen people lose over 50 pounds in 30 days without flabby skin. Natural elasticity and skin tone had been restored. Their friends were in shock as the difference was so amazing. And the weight never came back. Exercise and a diet high in raw foods became a lifetime way of eating that kept them thin. The chapter, Fasting for Weight Loss, will give you all the details.
Fasting a Natural Body Function
With great patience, the body waits until we fall asleep to begin its nightly work of cleansing. Breakfast is appropriately named as it is breaking a nightly fast with a morning meal. Upon awakening from this short fast, the tongue is coated, breath foul, skin puffy, and the mind foggy. These are all early symptoms of the body in a state of detoxification. Bacon, eggs, a side order of pancakes, and a cup of coffee is a sure way of halting detoxification. Of course, you feel instantly better, attributing it to a greasy breakfast.
These nightly fasts slow the erosion process and much repair work is done, but the time is too short for serious healing. For that, you need to get serious with detoxification through extended fasting.
Fasting is not Starvation
There is a vast difference between fasting and starving. During the absence of food, the body will systematically cleanse itself of everything except vital tissue. It continually readjusts to make minimum demands on reserves. Starvation will occur only when the body is forced to use vital tissue to survive.
Humans adapt amazingly well to lack of food. A. J. Carlson, Professor of Physiology, at the University of Chicago, states that a healthy, well-nourished man can live from 50 to 75 days without food, provided he is not exposed to harsh elements or emotional stress. There are numerous examples of water fasts over the 75-day mark. Granted, 75-day water fasts are unusual, but it shows that God has wonderfully created the body to be able to live for extended periods without food.
Each extra pound of fat will supply enough calories for one day of hard, physical labor. Ten pounds of fat are equal to 35,000 calories! This is equivalent to 35 pounds of fish or 192 pounds of carrots. We carry around a supermarket of reserves capable of sustaining us for many weeks.
All living things have been given the ability to survive harsh circumstances. Organisms are able to store nutrients in the fat, blood, bone marrow and other tissues. Camels are capable of storing fat and water in their humps. Tadpoles abstain from eating when their legs are developing, subsisting on their tails, which are no longer needed. The Mexican Gila Monster stores up reserves in its tail when food is plentiful and can survive for six weeks when food is scarce. The marine iguana of the Galapagos Islands is named the Vegetarian Dragon because it lives on seaweed. It can abstain from food for over one hundred days. In the Western World, food is plentiful and rich in calories. Unless involved in strenuous exercise or famine, we do not have the opportunity to use up the excessive fat deposited around the waistline.
It will take several weeks of catabolism before the body is stripped of fat, dead and dying cells and is forced to dissolve healthy cells for calories. This is the point of starvation. If you are fasting and still have fat on your body, you have a long way to go.
Fasting and Protein Deficiency
A person fasting 40 days on water will not suffer a deficiency of protein, vitamins, minerals or essential fatty acids. In the breakdown of unhealthy cells, all essential substances, which are mostly protein, are reused and conserved in a most extraordinary manner. Protein needs are also greatly diminished during a fast.
There is an unwarranted fear of fasting that strength diminishes from the catabolism of proteins from muscle fibers. Fasting will strip only muscle cells that are dead, dying or diseased. Even during long fasts, the number of muscle fibers remains the same. Although the healthy cells may be reduced in size and strength for a time, they remain perfectly sound.
In December 1903, under the supervision of Mr. Macfadden, eight athletes entered an athletic contest in Madison Square Gardens. Amazingly, all were on the seventh day of water fasting. Joseph H. Waltering, one of the eight, won both the 50-yard dash and the 220-yard run. Another member of the eight, Gilman Low, won first prize in the strength contests. The following day, on the eighth day of his fast, in front of 16,000 well-fed spectators munching on popcorn and peanuts, he established nine world records for strength and endurance that would stand for years. Even more astonishing are the inspirational stories in the Fasting Testimonies chapter provided at the conclusion of this book. Accounts of parents spending the whole day, cleaning house, doing laundry and feeding hungry children while fasting!
Dr. Ehret, an avid faster, walked for ten days through the mountains fasting on water. Bragg, another fasting enthusiast, walked 30 miles across Death Valley, in July, during a fast. It was an invigorating walk for Bragg, but for the ten athletic college students who went with him through the blistering heat, it was an experience they never forget. Enjoying his first stroll so much, Bragg decided to hike another 30 miles the next day. Not bad for a great-grandfather!
Your first fast will cause weakness in the early stages. Regretfully, when this symptom appears, many stop fasting due to a lack of knowledge or understanding that this weakness is not detrimental. They are unsuccessful in breaking through to the other side and encountering the abundant energy of juice fasting. It takes about 10 days for a weightlifter or athlete to get back to full muscular strength after a long fast. After that, performance will improve
Balanced Approach to Fasting
After my first 30-day juice fast, I was hooked and did two more 30-day fasts consecutively, eating for 10 days in between. From drug addiction to being a health zealot was a definite improvement, but my approach remained the same. Fasting and eating healthy became my new obsession. Eating a cookie brought days of guilt and shame. My thoughts dwelled on the horror of all the deadly toxins I had just injected into my bloodstream. I had to be in the gym 5 days a week. I was totally focused on my body and food. It was all I talked about and it irritated people. Now, fasting is just part of my life and eating healthy is normal. I don't talk about the subject unless I have to. When I came to be at peace, I became balanced.
Obsession or being fanatical comes from fear of being out of control. It is a security blanket that we hang onto; something that we can control, but obsession stops us from enjoying life. Obsession with health takes all the fun out of it. It is like going on a vacation and worrying about every detail. The trip becomes a nightmare. It is all the little worries and fear that take the joy out of the fasting journey. Am I drinking too much juice? Will adding mashed banana slow detoxification? How quickly will I lose weight? Can I exercise while fasting? Will loss of weight cause flabby skin? Does fasting hurt the liver? Why do I feel dizzy?
Many questions are answered in the Commonly Asked Questions chapter. Questions are important and understanding brings comfort, but fasting is a personal journey and each fast is a different journey. There will always be the unexpected, for fasting is as mysterious as the human soul. It may be hard to let go and just enjoy the journey but that is the best way to fast.
Your Fasting Journey
Some find fasting easy and fast for 30 days on juice for their first fast. Others have a hard time getting past two days. Just do your best. The chapters, Persevering In Fasting and Principles of Fasting, will help greatly, but your fasting journey will not be without failures. It is only through failures that you can learn. With each victory, you will discover the joys of fasting. For those who press on, fasting has rewards. Clear sinuses that can smell a delicate fragrance; sensitive skin that shivers with the caress of a warm breeze; emotions that become a symphony to the soul; and a mind that can capture the profound depths of God and glimpse the joy of Adam and Eve. Instead of becoming old and sick with the coming years, you will age gracefully and be amazed at how young you feel. Hitting forty and fifty years old, life has just begun. A few more wrinkles but feeling like twenty.
To change your life in a powerful way you need to master the art of fasting. In this fast-paced money centered culture, fasting is the reset button that takes you back to who you really are. It gives you time to be at peace and find yourself. It opens doors in the spiritual realm that can free a soul or change a nation. From Christ battling Satan in the desert to the divorced cashier battling breast cancer, fasting has a power to transform the outcome.