I wanted to share a little bit about fasting to remind people of the amazing power of lightening the load on the body. I was reminded recently through a list of healthy commandments found in one of Dr. Paul C. Bragg's books, The Shocking Truth about Water. Here is the list.
Thou~ shall respect thy body as the highest manifestation of Life.
Thou~ shall abstain from all unnatural, devitalized food and stimulating beverages.
Thou~ shall nourish the body with only Natural, unprocessed, 'live' food, ~that
Thou~ shall extend thy years in health for loving, charitable service
Thou~ shall regenerate thy body by the right balance of activity and rest.
Thou~ shall purify they cells, tissue and blood with pure fresh air and sunshine.
Thou~shall abstain from ALL food when out of sorts in mind or body.
Thou~ shall keep thy thoughts, words and emotions, pure, calm and uplifting.
Thou~shall increase thy knowledge of Nature's laws, abide therewith, and enjoy the fruits of thy life's labor
Thou~shall lift up thyself and thy brother man with thine own obedience to All Nature's laws.
It was the seventh one that struck me this past week while reading the book. 'Thou shall abstain from ALL food when out of sorts in mind or body" I have been shaking off the emotional affects of my recent divorce and when I read this I was, "wow", I need to do a fast. Fasting is something I started to do when I was about sixteen years old.
When in high school I was influenced to eat differently. At the same time I started to work at a Health Food deli. While working at the deli I was exposed to a whole new world of health. I started to get sick with mono or strep throat every year. This was probably due to the increase of sugar and refined foods I allowed into my diet at the time. This change in my diet wasn't too different but enough to put me over the edge on my usual energy output. I was starting to see that there really are two roads to go by. One is life and the other is death. My older sisters were also moving into a more healthier more vegetarian diet. When my sister would bring my nephew over to our house she would bring his food in a brown paper bag and he would exclaim, 'Mommy doesn't want me to eat that 'yuckie' food at Grandma's house". Now, I thought we ate pretty healthy. My father was an avid gardener. We composted. We hunted. We picked and canned fruit. We fished. However we still had a lot of refined flour, refined sugar, and bad fats, and other processed foods around.
My boss at the deli started to suggest to me that I drink carrot juice with fresh ginger & garlic when I started to get low on energy.
While at my oldest sisters house I was checking out her book shelf and came across a book by Dr. Paul C. Bragg. This was my first introductory to Dr. Bragg and his health regime. He has been a powerful influence in my life. He is the guy that had the first health food products on the market. He went around doing health crusades and lectures about living a healthy lifestyle. He would say to the crowd, 'Any of you have a grocery story? Well, let's clear a shelf and put in some of these healthy products on it'. In fact that is the way that Jack LaLanne got 'delivered' from his evil ways. Jack used to eat a gallon of ice cream A DAY ! I read somewhere that he tried to kill his brother on a number of occasions. He was a sugar addict. A neighbor or relative heard that Paul was going to be giving a lecture on health and brought Jack along. There was no place to sit so Jack got to sit right next to Paul on the stage as he lectured. He was up front and personal and well he had a revolutionary change occur in his life. He was enlightened in an area of his life that he needed serious help in. I'm so glad that Jack got saved. Today I have a Jack LaLanne juicer that I'm using. It's a great product. You might be familiar with Dr. Bragg's products like Organic Apple Cider, or his Virgin Olive Oil. That oil is like butter. So, I started to read that book and live by the principles on health that he presented. I started doing distilled water fast once a week and every month a five day water fast working myself up to doing two forty day juice fast in my twenties. I thank God for sharing this knowledge with me it really helped me over come so many emotional & spiritual issues in my life, and the story continues.
It is always challenging to continue to live by what you believe. There are challenges every day within us and without us trying to draw us one way or another. We have to remember what we believe, what we have experienced and what we have done in the past to over come and stay on top of life's challenges and potential set backs and injuries. Living in abundant health is a discipline, a way of life. Choosing who you hang out with , spend time with , look up to, listen to , can all influence what we believe , what we know and where we are going in life. Not everyone is an over comer, nor will everyone enter into all that life can give us. We each have to make decisions in our own lives to over come hurdles and finish the race. New challenges are just around the corner so we have to continue to do the things we know that keep us strong and moving on.
For me one of those things is Fasting. I heard it said in a recovery program inner city fellowship that I attended years ago that 'you aren't lasting if your not fasting' & 'your not succeeding if your not reading'. Great slogans to live by. I have had my greatest breakthroughs in life through fasting and I'm expecting more.
Fasting has helped me to over come cravings for foods that are not good for me and encourage cravings for foods that are good for me. I remember while working at the deli. We served all things healthy. We grew our own sprouts and put them on everything. I did not like to eat tomatoes or sprouts. I could eat tomatoes in salads or on sandwiches but not alone. Sprouts, I hated. . . ewwww yuck! They were like eating 'bleach'. That was all the good stuff in them that cleans out and detoxes all the grossness in your body from bad health. Well after the first seven day water fast I did I could eat tomatoes like apples and eat handfuls of sprouts. After I went away to college and ever since I have had a perpetual garden of fresh sprouts growing under my counter top.
I have found that fasting is a 'health regulator'. When you give the body plenty of good hydration and nutrition it sets it on a course that leads to abundant health. Your body becomes more sensitive to things that are not good for it and you can feel its energy drop when you falter in making the best choices for optimum health. Your body is like a car it needs energy to run it. You need vital energy stored in your all your body systems and organs to function in abundance. Fasting gives your body time and energy to keep itself cleaned out and store up energy to stay alive. Fasting along with meditation helps you to become more consciously aware of your life, your thoughts and your feelings. Things don't get swept under the carpet for too long.
We want to live a conscious life don't we? I've read that our lives are run by our sub-conscious minds. The goal is to get the sub-conscious to come up to the surface so we can live in the present moment in God's light and truth, consciously without effort. Most of our beliefs were created as far back as in the womb and we really are for the most part double minded. We think one way and feel another way and walk around in confusion.
Fasting helps you to become clear minded. It gives you peace in your body and a freshness in your spirit. The clouds disappear and you can see clearly , feel yourself and take care of your body mind and spirit. Fasting helps to take off the self deception that we hide in.
It is amazing how much time and thought we give to feeding our appetites in our culture. When you fast you may think what on earth am I going to do with all this time on my hands. I don't need to go to the grocery store, I don't need to fix food, or think about what I'm going to eat. The best way to go into a fast is to determine your intentions before you do it. Set the fast, like what are you going to eat or not eat, am I going to juice or do only water? Give yourself some guidelines and go for it. Don't be hard on yourself if you fall out of your fast. Continuing on or not you can always decide to do another. I encourage you to continue to fast. Keep up the discipline and experiment with different kinds of fasting and cleansing. It's good to journal, meditate, relax, or exercise. You have to feel your energy and trust that you are going to do what you need to on each day. You may need to rest all day. You might feel like you can do a bit of exercise. Dr.Bragg's book, 'The Miracle of Fasting', goes into detail of how to go into and come out of a fast. Just don't be afraid to step out and try it. Start small and work your way up to longer fast. And remember you are not lasting if you are not fasting.