In my ever curious state around both mind and body health I am into day 4 of a 5 day fast. I've done green smoothie and green juice fasts before, but never a full on no-food at all - just water and bone broth fast.
Crazy? A little, but here are the 5 reasons why I am doing it:
1. It’s coming up to the Spring Equinox;
We are coming up to the Spring Equinox on March 22nd. This is a time of new beginnings, clearing out the old to make way for the new. I see this fast as exactly that, like a spring clean for my body. The body naturally goes into detox this time of year and so anything we can do to give it a helping hand in that direction is hugely beneficial. This is such a great time to take advantage of this increased time of energy and prepare to shift old patterns, be they from the winter months or going back longer. There is a renewed feel to the air and a great time for new beginnings in all areas of your life.
2. My liver needs lots of support and rebalancing right now;
I work using Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) in my diagnosis of a client’s health. TCM looks at the body and the time of year in relation to the 5 elements; wood, fire, earth, metal and water. As we move into spring, we also move into the time of the wood element and the organs associated with it are the liver and the gallbladder. The shift in season is more difficult for those with a very strong wood element imbalance. I had a brace fitted last month, which has caused mild inflammation to my body, that without question has affected my liver, so I knew my usual detox routine wasn’t going to be enough. Fasting really gives the liver a good rest and a chance to regenerate with 5 days of not having to digest food.
3. It’s a long-term investment in my health;
There is no better way to reset the body's health. Forget any faddy diets or pills to treat or prevent health problems. There is more and more evidence showing that if we all fasted more regularly, then metabolic diseases like diabetes, Alzheimer’s and cancer could become totally preventable. The fasting totally resets your insulin levels. I had blood sugar level problems for years when I had chronic fatigue syndrome and have looked at all manner of ways to try and get it back in check, because I absolutely know that blood sugar level problems are at the route of all disease.
4. I want to age as well as I can but only using natural methods;
There is something pretty impressive that our body produces that gives you a youthful glow and that is the human growth hormone. When we’re young it is produced naturally in the body, but as we age it stops. Fasting kicks this hormone back into production, which is why fasting gives you that youthful glow. The body starts repairing old cells rather than continually being in production of new cells. Eating - especially over eating is very ageing (and of course the choice of foods makes a difference too). Fasting is a great anti-ageing tool.
5. I wanted to recalibrate my thinking around hunger and food;
I have come such a long way in the last 10 years since my diagnosis of Chronic Fatigue Syndrome. CFS is now but a distant memory of a time when life was really tough. My blood sugar levels were so poor and my body really struggled to take in nourishment from any food I consumed so I was constantly hungry. I would eat but was never satiated. In fact my hunger and blood sugar levels were so bad, I had a stash of snacks in my bedside table to eat 2 or 3 times throughout the night. Long after getting well I associated hunger with anxiety as a result and my whole relationship with food was not a healthy one. So to have my body at the point where I can go 5 days without eating anything is nothing short of a miracle (trust me, a lot of work has gone into healing before I could feel able to do this).
Learning about my relationship with thought, food and hunger again has been fascinating during this fast. Quieting down the body with no digestion going on has had me feeling really peaceful, present and very creative.
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NB - Fasting is not a wise choice if you are under 18, pregnant or breastfeeding or have ever had an eating disorder. If you have a medical condition or are on medication this approach should always be done under the supervision of a medical practitioner.
My trusty fasting buddy over the last week has been: The Complete Fasting Guide by Jason Fung & Jimmy Moore.