(NaturalNews) Continuing our 15-part article series called Heal Yourself in 15 Days, today we focus on not doing something. In particular, I'm talking about not eating for 24 hours.
It sounds simple in theory, of course: Refrain from eating anything (or drinking any beverages other than water) for 24 hours. Your body has plenty of calories stored to carry you through those 24 hours, and the pause from digestion will give your body a chance to focus its healing energies on other parts of your body.
Note: Be sure to check with your naturopathic physician about the safety of fasting. While fasting is safe for most people, it's not for everyone. People in a weak state of health or those suffering from diabetes should take special precautions to make sure fasting is safe for them.
Fasting has been used from Biblical times through the modern world to help purify and heal the body. It can help detox your liver, kidneys and digestive tract. It also encourages you to rethink your eating habits. When you fast for just 24 hours, and you're really committed to it, you'll be shocked to discover how many times you habitually reach for food.
People habitually reach for food in all sorts of circumstances that have nothing to do with actual hunger:
• When they're bored... • When they feel emotionally stressed... • When they watch television or movies... • When they're traveling in their car... • When other people are eating around them... • At social events, parties or gatherings...
Try fasting for 24 hours and you'll see for yourself just how many times you habitually reach for food.
This will teach you many important things about your own eating habits, and that's the point of this exercise. Just pick a day -- preferably a weekend when nothing big is going on -- and fast for 24 hours, drinking nothing but water.
In accomplishing this, you will realize three very important things:
1) You didn't die from starvation in 24 hours. In fact, most people have enough spare calories to go 30 days or more without eating.
2) You found the self-discipline to achieve 24 hours without eating. This is a milestone accomplishment in self control.
3) You learned to observe yourself and recognize the numerous situations in which you habitually reach for food. This can be extremely educational in helping you reform your eating habits in the future.
On top of all that, of course, you gave your digestive system a break and encouraged more rapid healing throughout your body. You may notice some detox effects (like bad breath) or a difference in your energy levels. This is all a normal part of the fasting process, and it indicates your fasting is working!
My own fasting experience
I recently fasted for 90 hours, then I had food for 24 hours followed by another 48-hour fast. The experience was quite enlightening. I had virtually no negative side effects, most likely due to the fact that I consume a very cleansing, healthy diet on a day-to-day basis. Typically, the worse your diet, the more detox side effects you may experience when fasting.
If you want to make your fasting more tolerable and more cleansing, you also have the option of drinking an 8-oz. glass of fresh vegetable juice in the middle of your fast. I did this during my fast, and it not only gave me more energy to make it through the fast; it also greatly enhanced the cleansing effects of my fast. I further enhance my own fasts with products from Ed Group's company, Global Healing Center (www.GHChealth.com). I especially like the Oxy Powder and Paratrex products. I take them with every fast.
Naturally, the choice is yours on how to approach this. You also have complete freedom to decide WHEN you want to do this. It doesn't have to happen on Superbowl Weekend. Pick a nice, easy Saturday or Sunday when you don't have anything big going on, and make that day your 24-hour fast. You'll feel better for it, and you will have achieved an important new milestone in your journey toward improved health.
Once you fast for just 24 hours, you'll then know that you can choose to avoid food at any particular time you want. You will discover new flexibility in your food consumption. You'll realize that you can say no to food any time you choose, and you won't die from lack of calories. You'll eliminate that fear and gain a new level of maturity in your relationship to food.
What to do if your fast fails
If you can't make it 24 hours without feeling like you're going to pass out and die, you probably have some rather serious blood sugar imbalances. These can be caused by poor food choice on a day-to-day basis, or even by prescription drugs such as antipsychotics or SSRIs (which imbalance blood sugar metabolism).
So if your fast fails, don't fret. Simply take the next 30 days to improve your eating habits, making them healthier and supported with more fresh food rather than processed food. Work to get safely off all prescription drugs (with the help of your naturopathic physician, of course). Drink more superfoods and fresh juices. Then 30 days later, try the 24-hour fast again and see if you can make it through the entire thing.
If you ever feel extremely weak, ill or you think you might pass out, that's a sign to stop the fast and get some calories. This isn't some sort of "no pain no gain" situation. Fasting should be tolerable and not dangerous. Again, the healthier your diet to start with, the easier your fast will typically be.
I have a friend who fasts for 24 hours each week, every week. He's extremely healthy and looks fit and trim well into his 50's. Other people I know (like David Rainoshek) go on 90-day juice fasts / feasts where they drink nothing but fresh living vegetable juice for 90 days.
Personally, I feel really good on a 72-hour fast, and a 48-hour fast is relatively straightforward because I can do it over the weekend. A 24-hour fast is now a no-brainer.
A few years ago, I never could have even entertained the idea of not eating for 24 hours. The thought would have terrified me. If you're in that camp right now, stop to consider what this means: You are a slave to food, just as I was!
Fasting helps free your mind from the enslavement of thinking you have to eat every few hours. It gives you new options, new freedoms and new self discipline. It's about much more than simply not eating food for 24 hours; it's also about self observation and spiritual mindfulness. Why do you think nearly all the great spiritual figures throughout world history fasted as part of their spiritual practice? They did that because too much food messes with your head while fasting clears your head.
Fasting gives you the opportunity to clear the food-induced cobwebs and see things with improved clarity. Now, just as a disclaimer here, please know that you're not going to see God after just a 24-hour fast. When spiritual leaders fast, they often fast for weeks at a time. Some go as far as 40 days. Some "breatharians" claim not to eat food at all, ever! But those are more advanced topics for another day.
For today, just focus on picking a day where you fast for 24 hours and observe the changes in your own mind and body. You'll be a wiser, healthier and more enlightened person for doing so.
Previous articles in this 15-day "Heal Yourself" series
In addition to his lab work, Adams is also the (non-paid) executive director of the non-profit Consumer Wellness Center (CWC), an organization that redirects 100% of its donations receipts to grant programs that teach children and women how to grow their own food or vastly improve their nutrition. Click here to see some of the CWC success stories.
With a background in science and software technology, Adams is the original founder of the email newsletter technology company known as Arial Software. Using his technical experience combined with his love for natural health, Adams developed and deployed the content management system currently driving NaturalNews.com. He also engineered the high-level statistical algorithms that power SCIENCE.naturalnews.com, a massive research resource now featuring over 10 million scientific studies.