Your Framework For using THERAPEUTIC FASTING To Heal ALL Of Your Health Challenges
Fasting vs Starvation
Fasting is, by definition, the process of consuming water only thereby making the body rely on stored fatty tissue for an energy source. It is a therapeutic overhaul of your metabolism.
Starvation occurs when you reach a point during a fast when all of your fat stores are depleted, and you start purely breaking down muscle tissue for energy – you never ever want to enter that state.
Humans and animals have fasted since the beginning of human and animal life. If an animal feels unwell they will curl up in a corner/safe place somewhere and fast until it recovers.
Hippocrates found that his arthritis suffering patients responded well to fasting over 2400 years ago.
What Makes Fasting So powerful as a Healing Tool?
- 80% of all the energy expended over a day goes into digesting your food
- The intestinal tract is over 9 metres of muscular tubing continuously pushing food along
- Chemical Synthesis – manufacture of stomach acid, bile, digestive enzymes, antibodies and mucous all require energy
- The digestive tract is lined with immune cells – lymphocytes etc. These interrogate proteins, identify pathogens etc.
When you fast all this energy is freed-up to heal and revitalize cells and destroy diseased and cancerous cells.
During fasting the organs get a chance to REST! This then allows for HEALING to occur! For most people this 21st century world we live in means there is a constant stream of food getting shoveled into your body. The body craves the rest that a fast will give it!
On a true fast you are just drinking pure water so there is a river of cleansing fluid washing through and around your cells. This facilitates the release of thousands of molecules of man-made chemicals that a typical western diet of polluted food supplies you with!
Hormones such as insulin, cortisol, glucagon and leptin are continually stimulated by the chemicalized and artificial diet we eat – a fast effectively re-balances these hormones having a dramatic metabolic effect!
It has be clinically shown that on a fast your immune system gets stronger. Cells such as macrophages and lymphocytes devour and destroy pathogens more effectively and antibodies are regulated and normally targeted.
Benefits of Fasting
- Inflammatory processes/reactions subside – immune system is strengthened
- Insulin receptors clear – blood sugar levels predictably normalize
- Blood pressure normalizes
- Blood flow increases – arteries dilate/widen due to natural increases in nitric oxide production, blood becomes less viscous etc. This leads to a cessation in angina and intermittent claudication (pain in the calves on walking)
- Bowel, skin, bladder (and all other) inflammations subside.
- Headaches (migraine, tension) go away on a fast
- Taste buds re-calibrate – cravings and addictions subside measurably
“Imagine If There Was a Pill That Did All the Above…”
But NO there isn’t – but in fact, this simple process of fasting WILL do all of this for you!!
Who Can Benefit from Fasting?
- People with chronic diseases:
- Type 2 Diabetes, Hypertension
- High blood pressure – taking a person off there high blood pressure medication is routinely necessary as their blood pressure with drop too low!
- Autoimmune diseases like lupus and rheumatoid arthritis etc.
- Intestinal inflammation – crohns disease, ulcerative colitis and IBS etc.
- Allergies – hay fever, coughs and runny nose
- Inflammatory Flare-ups of any kind
- Regular healthy people who just want to clean-out and detox! The 21st century exposes us to a myriad of toxins and chemicals in our food, water and the air we breathe so a water fast throws any tissue build-up of these chemicals out of the body.
Who Should Not Fast?
- People with wasting diseases with severe weight loss – advanced cancers etc.
- People with Type 1 diabetes
- People who want to lose weight – they are better off do a regime of Intermittent Fasting! Depending on what they eat after resuming their ‘normal’ diet, they most often gain ¾ of what they lost back within 4 weeks.
- People that are on medications that they cannot stop – prednisone, anti-depressants etc. They Should do a JUICE FAST Instead!!
Who Should Consider Being Supervised During a Fast?
- Concerns can arise if fasting for greater than 3 days (5 days if healthy)
- Fainting on standing is a real concern when fasting for more than 5 days and this poses a risk to anyone – especially older or weak people.
- Vomiting poses a ‘dehydration’ complication in prolonged fasting – this is and ER concern
- Possible disease complications also pose a problem as some fasts progress. Diseases such as diabetes and hypertension require the dropping of prescribed medications. This is most often NOT a problem, but awareness needs to be paramount!
- Fasting very often evokes a range of symptoms (due to detoxification) that can be vexing for the client – but so long as a practitioner is available to answer questions - no real problem.
Water Fast vs “Juice Fast”
Technically a “juice fast’ is not a FAST, it is a 600-calorie liquid diet! A juice fast certainly has its uses – it’s a nice process to use leading up to and breaking a water fast. It’s a healthy way to detox for the average person eating a stodgy, cheesy and acidic 21st century diet. Importantly if you are on medications that you can NOT stop, then you should just do a juice fast!
- By day 3 on a water fast, hunger almost completely disappears – this gods gift to fasters!
- Water release from tissues is more pronounced on a water fast
- Weight loss is from fat on a water fast as opposed to weight loss being more from protein (muscle tissue) on a juice fast
- All the physiologic effects (anti-inflammatory, immune enhancing) are more pronounced on a water fast
What Happens During a Fast?
First 24 Hours – Burn glucose in your blood = Hunger
24 – 48 Hours – Burn glycogen in the liver and muscles – this stored carbohydrate-based energy.
3 Days Onward – Burn fat stores (detox phase) – KETOSIS BEGINS
Hunger Goes – Well-Being (most often) Arrives!
How Long Should You Water Fast For?
For Clean-Out and Detox – 1 to 5 days
To Arrest or Reverse Chronic Disease – 10-30 days
Remember – However many days you fast for allow half that time to Re-Feed after completing the water fast!
There is most often a Marked Diuresis (water loss) early in a water fast
How Do You Prepare for The Fast?
- ORGANIC Vegetables and Fruits ONLY, for 3 days prior to beginning fast!
- You must stop ALL medications the first day of the fast. Why, because the effects of the medication are potentiated on the fast and you can get all sorts of side effects because of this! The only exception to this is Thyroids Medication which we reduce by half!
- Stop most herbal and nutritional supplements during a fast – excepting the ones that Mark advises.
- Stop ALL cosmetics during the fast – skin care products, mouthwash, toothpaste etc.
Fasting is a Time for Things to Move OUT of the Body – NOT IN!
Is Lab Testing Necessary Before Fasting?
If fasting for 1-3 day – No, lab tests are not necessary.
But if you are planning on fasting longer than 5 days then the following tests are advised:
- B.C – Complete Blood Count
- M.P – Comprehensive Metabolic Profile – Chemistry for liver, kidney function etc.
- Urinalysis – to make sure there is no blood or protein in the urine…
Testing during a fast is mostly superfluous as what you see is a rise in cholesterol, triglycerides, uric acid and liver enzymes due to the detoxification, tissue and fat cell breakdown!
These are NORMAL and expected metabolic effects from the changes during the fast!
If possible avoid having your labs done within 60 days of completing your fast!
How much Water do You Need on a Water Fast?
Surprisingly, not as much as you may think!
You actually need LESS water on a fast!
Why… normally a large portion of your water intake is used to dilute and excrete acidic protein wastes.
On a fast, because you’re not eating, there is much less of these acidic and toxic food by-products. Plus, there is ’metabolic water’ produced from fat!
Recommended – 4 x 500ml glasses/day
Do You Need Enemas During a Fast?
The simple answer is – NO! When you have loaded up on vegetables and fruit pre-fast, drinking pure, clean water during the fast and using an oxygenated magnesium supplement during the fast it is not necessary.
Here are Some Early Fasting Signs of ‘Detox’.
Nausea – caused by a reflux of some bile back into the stomach. Even though there is no food intake on a fast, the liver will continue to produce bile and the gallbladder will continue secrete bile and sometimes when you lie on the side some of that bile can move back into the stomach creating some nausea.
Vomiting – also stimulated by a little bile refluxing back into the stomach.
Diarrhoea – generally passes within 48 hours.
Skin Rashes – Part of the detox process.
Cough – As mucous membranes become active people can start to cough.
Runny Nose – Detoxification once again.
Muscle Aches – Also caused through detoxification.
Body Odour – Detox molecules will exude from your skin.
Acid Reflux – use carbonated water.
Sign of Medical Concern!
Irregular heartbeat (rare)
Lightheadedness on standing – possibly leading to fainting. Remember, you will NOT faint while you are walking/moving – only if you are standing in the one place – Orthostatic Hypotension. Need to keep moving even while fasting – at the very least, Lie Down and Bend Your Knees Up!
- Worse when standing in the shower and definitely provoked by standing up after a warm/hot bath!
- Drink enough water
- Don’t be around food – use the time for other things
- Rest as needed – avoid daytime sleeps
- It’s a good time to ‘Fast from the world’ – life generally
- No colonics and massages during your fast…
- Allow the inevitable healing to just happen
- Be prepared for the ‘Up and Down’ times during your fast
When to Stop the Fast?
- When the objective has been achieved! (e.g. when blood pressure or blood sugar are normal etc.)
- When your BODY tells you - “I’m Done…!”
- When you BODY tells the DOCTOR – “You’re Done…Enough! This is the worst reason because the decision will be based on unwanted sometimes quite serious symptoms!
- Severe headaches
- Extreme weakness – inability to get out of bed!
The Truth is in The Person and Their Pulse (if the pulse is faster, flatter and more tappy – time to stop)
How Do You Break Your Fast? (Each stage should be from 1-2 days)
Stage 1 – Fresh Juice – Watermelon is the classic juice to use. ALWAYS drink very slowly, mixing each mouthful with saliva thoroughly – take up to an hour drink that first glass. Or if you prefer less sweet use Steamed Organic Zucchini Chunks.
Stage 2 – Fruit – Organic Melon Chunks or Organic Blueberries or Grapes are the Classics.
Stage 3 – Organic Vegetables (Raw and Steamed – but chewed very well)
Stage 4 – Soups with Organic Vegetables and Pulses.
Colon MUST empty within 48 hours – if there’s no movement in the first 24 hours use mostly Organic Vegetables (not so much fruit) and use some Oxygenated Magnesium.
The longer the fast the longer the recovery time will be. For example if you have done a 21 day water fast it could take 3 months for your energy levels to get back to normal! However if you have completed a 3 day well-being water fast then it should only take 5-7 days for you to be back to full normal strength levels,
How Long do You Leave Between Fasts?
If you have completed a 3-5-day water fast, then 2-3 months between fasting is sufficient. However, if you have completed a water fast longer than 10 days allow 6 months between fasts.
More Important Than the Fast Itself is… The Quality/type of Food You Eat Day-After-Day, Week-After-Week and Month-After-Month, Long After You Have Finished Your Fast!!
Best Results Long-Term Are Always Going to be Achieved by Using an Organic Whole-Food Plant-Based Eating Plan! FOOD AS GROWN!
This type of eating plan will embed, enhance and maintain the huge health gains you achieved with your fast!
If symptoms recur at some stage after your fast, ask yourself the question – “What Did I Eat Over the Last 3 Days That Will Have Triggered the Symptoms”
- Go back to water only for a day then introduce food back into your eating plan ONE AT A TIME!
- When you find a food that triggers a symptom response, make a note, take it out of the plan and continue re-introducing foods one at a time.
To Reiterate – After the Fast…
- Keep your diet lean, clean and plant-based – ‘Food as Grown’
- Do something physical (to work up a sweat) at least every other day.
- Find some meaningful service to help make this a kinder and gentler world.
- Laugh as much as you can
Intermittent Fasting - Cyclic Plant-Based Fasting
Intermittent Fasting (IF) is a brilliant way to prolong the positive effects of a Water Fast or to ease into the benefits of ‘Fasting’ per say!
The generally accepted method of IF is where the ‘feeding window’ over a 24-hour period is condensed into a 6-8-hour time frame. For example, your first meal of the day will be at 12 midday and you would be finished your last meal by 7pm (8pm at the latest – the further away from bedtime the better). To reiterate, the earlier you can stop eating (i.e. the further away from bedtime) in the evening, the better your end results and the greater the benefits to your health. A great alternative is to eat breakfast and lunch with a Plant-Based snack no later than 3pm - if required!
The implementation of an IF Protocol should be applied 2-3 consecutive days each week. The other 4-5 days should follow an eating regimen where your feeding window is a 12 hour period (for example, start feeding at 7am and be finished dinner by 7pm) - as opposed to the 6-8 hour window during an IF Protocol. The same rules apply with regard the Organic, Whole and Plant-Based nature of the food consumed during 12 hour feeding cycles!
Research shows fasting is a powerful lifestyle tool for combatting obesity, insulin resistance and related health problems, including cancer. The reason for this is because when autophagy increases, your body starts breaking down and recycling old protein, including beta amyloid protein in your brain believed to contribute to Alzheimer’s. Then, during the refeeding phase, growth hormone increases, boosting the rebuilding of new proteins and cells. In other words, it reactivates and speeds up your body’s natural renewal cycle.
While water-only fasting can be extremely beneficial for those struggling with excess weight and/or Type 2 Diabetes, compliance can be difficult. Fortunately, research has confirmed that similar results (albeit not as profound) can be achieved through intermittent fasting i.e., following a meal-timing schedule where you’re fasting for at least 16 hours every day and eating all your meals within six-eight consecutive hours.
Having 2 meals and a mid afternoon snack would be the preferred regime (the snack is mostly not required)
To add another health and vitality enhancing layer to an IF program, is to only include Organic Whole Food Plant-Based Foods in your IF plan. This means food – ‘Only as Grown’ (no processed foods or animal foods – including no added oils, salt or sugars).
So, the Rules Would be as Follows:
- All food intake should be confined within the 12 midday to 7 pm feeding window.
- Food should be Organic, Whole, Plant-based and locally grown.
- There should be no processed foods in the plan – including no animal products, added oils, salt (except for a little Celtic or Himalayan salt) and sugar.
- There should be no grains (or gluten) included in the program – way too inflammatory for most people.
- Everyday the following foods should be included in the eating regimen – Greens, Berries, Onions, Mushrooms, Beans (legumes) Seeds and Nuts (especially Flaxseeds, Chia Seeds, Walnuts and Macadamias) and Avocado!
- Drink only clean, purified and alkaline water outside the feeding window. Herbal tea would be permitted with Pau d’arco being the best because of its active constituents – it is peculiar tasting though!
Benefits from Using and IF Regimen:
- Upregulating autophagy and mitophagy – natural processes which eradicate dysfunctional cell parts and destroys cells that are diseased.
- Increasing growth hormone by as much as 1,300 percent in women and 2,000 percent in men, thereby promoting muscle development and vitality
- Shifting stem cells from a dormant state to a state of self-renewal
- Preventing, slowing the progression of, and reversing Type 2 diabetes
- Boosting mitochondrial energy efficiency and biosynthesis
- Reproducing some of the cardiovascular benefits associated with exercise
- Lowering inflammation
- Improving pancreatic function
- Improving circulating glucose and lipid levels
- Protecting against cardiovascular disease
- Reducing blood pressure
- Modulating levels of dangerous visceral fat
- Improving metabolic efficiency and body composition
- Reducing low-density lipoprotein and total cholesterol
- Significantly reducing body weight in obese individuals
- Improving immune function
- Boosting production of brain-derived neurotrophic factor, which stimulates creation of new brain cells and triggers brain chemicals that protect against brain changes associated with Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease
Below are some recipes to get you started on your IF experience:
Spicy Black-Eyed Peas and Collard Greens
2 cups dry black-eyed peas picked over and rinsed
6 cups water or no-salt added or low sodium vegetable broth
1 large onion sliced
1 bunch collards stemmed and chopped
1 cup fresh chopped pineapple
1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika
1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes, or to taste
Place beans and water in a large soup pot, bring to a boil, cover and reduce heat to simmer for 45 minutes to 1 hour or until beans are tender. Drain.
Preheat a large skillet on medium/high heat. Add onion slices, cover and stirring frequently, cook until the onions soften, adding small amounts of water or vegetable broth as needed to prevent sticking. Add collards and pineapple, cover, reduce heat to medium and cook until greens begin to soften, about 5 minutes, again adding water or vegetable broth if needed. Stir in black-eyed peas, smoked paprika and red pepper flakes and heat through.
Fresh Tomato Avocado Soup
This refreshing soup is blended and served at room temperature. It’s perfect for a hot summer day!
6 large fresh tomatoes quartered
1 avocado peeled
1 tablespoon Dr. Fuhrman’s MatoZest (or other no-salt seasoning blend, adjusted to taste)
1/2 teaspoon Bragg’s Liquid Aminos
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1 clove garlic coarsely chopped
1 cup carrot juice
1/2 bunch fresh basil
Blend all ingredients in blender until smooth. Serve topped with additional chopped fresh basil.
Chickpea "Crab" Cakes
Here's a fun idea for a casual and easy dinner. These delicious patties are made with chickpeas and a special blend of crab cake-inspired seasonings.
2 green, red or orange peppers
3 cups cooked or 2 x 450-gram cans no-salt-added or low sodium chickpeas, drained
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1 teaspoon Braggs Liquid Aminos
2 tablespoons low sodium whole grain mustard
1 shallot finely diced
1 tablespoon wakame (see note)
2 tablespoons dried parsley
1 teaspoon ancho chili powder, or to taste
1 teaspoon paprika
1 teaspoon dried thyme
1 teaspoon ground celery seed
1 tablespoon Dr. Fuhrman's Mato Zest or other no-salt seasoning blend such as garlic-flavoured Mrs. Dash
1 cup almond meal
Preheat oven to 175 degrees C. Roast peppers on a foil-lined baking pan, turning occasionally, until tender and lightly browned on all sides, about 40 minutes. Cool, remove seeds, peel off skin and dice. (Peppers may also be diced and then water-sautéed instead of roasted)
Add chickpeas to a large bowl. Mix in diced, roasted or water-sautéed peppers, and remaining ingredients except almond meal. Mash with a potato masher until well-mixed, leaving some chunks of beans intact.
Add almond meal and mix well. Add additional almond meal if needed to achieve a consistency which can be formed into a burger. Use a small ice cream scoop to portion out each cake. Portion them onto a parchment paper-lined baking dish. With moist hands, press each portion together to form flat burgers.
Bake 20-30 minutes until heated through and slightly golden brown, turning once after 10-15 minutes.
If desired, serve with one of Dr. Fuhrman's dressing recipes such as Tofu Cashew Remoulade, Ten Thousand Island or Easy Avocado Dressing.
Note: Wakame is a dried sea vegetable available in many supermarkets and health food stores. Kelp, nori powder or dulse may also be used (reduce amount to 1/2 tablespoon).
Stuffed Portobello Mushrooms with Arugula
Stuffed Portobello mushrooms served on a bed of fresh, peppery arugula. All you need for a simple and elegant dinner.
4 Portobello mushrooms
3 large garlic cloves, skins on
1 cup raw cashews, soaked in enough water to cover for 4 hours, then drained
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
2 teaspoons Bragg Liquid Aminos, divided
250 grams tempeh crumbled
2 medjool or 4 regular dates, pitted, chopped
2 teaspoons apple cider vinegar
1 cup fresh spinach
1/4 cup ground almonds
1/4 cup parsley or chives
2 cups arugula
Preheat oven to 175 degrees C. Bake mushrooms and garlic cloves on a lightly-oiled or parchment-lined baking pan for 20 minutes or until tender.
Blend soaked and drained cashews, lemon juice, 1 teaspoon of the Braggs Liquid Aminos and roasted garlic cloves in a high-powered blender until smooth. Add water, a tablespoon at a time, as needed to achieve a smooth and creamy consistency.
Heat 1/4 cup water in a sauté pan and sauté tempeh, remaining teaspoon of the Bragg Liquid Aminos, dates and vinegar for 10-12 minutes. Add spinach and cook until slightly wilted. Stir in 1/2 cup of the blended cashew mixture and heat through. Remove from heat and stir in ground almonds and parsley. (Remaining cashew "cheese" can be refrigerated and used as a salad dressing or topping for cooked vegetables)
Fill mushrooms with tempeh mixture. Place on a baking sheet and bake for 20 minutes. Serve on a bed of arugula.