By: Sue Visser
WHAT IS THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN FASTING FOR HEALTH OR FOR FOR A RELIGIOUS OCCASION?
A health fast may not always be a religious fast: it’s up to you. A religious fast can benefit your health but this is not always the case. Health fasts are usually voluntarily undertaken by people who are seriously ill, as a last resort or by those who desire to be free of medications. Some people fast on a regular basis and are very disciplined in their way of life. Others fast daily in that they allow the body time to excrete before they eat and only eat what the body requires. Such people have plenty of spare energy because digesting food requires a lot of energy. When you fast regularly and eat fruits that suit your constitution this will become very familiar to you.
People with clean healthy bodies and disciplined eating habits have no problems with a Day of Atonement or a month of Ramadan and they would not be exposed to any negative side effects as fewer toxins would accumulate in their bodies. They would be able to overcome the danger of not consuming fluids by starting the fast every morning with the correct foods, the ones that balance water levels as opposed to substances that deplete it. In the evening, eating the correct nutritious foods would place no burden on the metabolism the following day.
Ideally, health fasting and a thorough detox should be undertaken prior to a religious fast so that there is no conflict between bodily functions and soul searching. By training yourself into healthy eating habits that really suit your particular constitution throughout the year, taking supplements and keeping the body free of parasites and diseases, a month’s fasting every year becomes a joyous and fulfilling event. In such a way one can become weaned off of pharmaceutical drugs and medications way before a fast and never need them again. As I said, most of your medicines are being taken to help you cope with your eating habits. Supplements are another story and even if the diet is a nutritious and healthy one, many of us need to top up our levels of certain nutrients in order to maintain optimal health. Even hormones can be balanced in this way. Nobody needs hormones because the body is quite capable of making them. When we mess up this process we become dependent on hormone supplements like insulin, thyroxin, cortisone, estrogen, progesterone. How many do you require?
WHY DO SO MANY PEOPLE SUFFER DURING THE FASTING MONTH OF RAMADAAN?
With respect, I have been approached by many individuals during these times, asking for help as they really experience a lot of difficulties. They take up my valuable time complaining about the discomforts they experience, their fears for their health and want to know why this is and what they can do about it. I hope the information I have researched and supplied on the website in addition to this paper can help you to see that it is not Ramadaan or the Hajj, but you that are the walking health hazard! The way you set up for a fast or pilgrimage is what determines the outcome. I deal only with the fundamentals of health and nutrition. Most people are harbouring potential diseases or already have full blown health problems and are dependent on bottles of medications. Their diets are shocking and their understanding of natural health has been badly neglected. I am sure this was not the case in the beginning and I really wish we could restore everybody back to radiant health and happiness. We will keep on working at it! Every one of my radio broadcasts you hear and every article you read on this subject is a step in the right direction. Once you begin to experience the benefits of changing over to a healthier lifestyle you too, will change your life forever. This year many people will once again be fasting for the first time, thanks to applying the information and encouragement we gave to them.
WHAT CAN WE DO TO MAKE OURSELVES MORE COMFORTABLE DURING A LONG FAST?
It helps to know why discomforts arise. Here is a list of the major problems we seem to be having:
1. A lack of preparation: fasting with a body that is full of toxins, parasites, drug residues and accumulated waste.
2. Bad timing: eating instead of sleeping, forcing down food, then going without water during the hottest time. You feel tired, irritable, weak, fatigued and even nauseous by sunset. Try to rearrange your day and allow a period to rest and reflect. You do not have to wake too early to have one or two grapefruit to begin your fast. Many people prefer to sleep until the last minute, then they attack the porridge and swig down a coffee. Others load up on gorgeous goodies from the night before then wonder where the hunger, thirst, headaches and sugar cravings are coming from.
3. Bad food: eating a lot of sugary, starchy and greasy food – I know you do!
4. Not eating enough healthy food: where are all the green vegetables, the fresh salads and the fruit?
5. Drinking sugar & caffeine in tea and coffee – even Green tea & Coke, as this dehydrates the body.
6. Eating too many starches early in the morning: they require 3x more water to digest as opposed to fruit.
7. Taking medications before sunrise in anticipation of an adverse effect: e.g. Migraine pills in case you get one, diabetic medications to lower blood sugar when you are not eating? Your doctor should read this!
8. Neglecting supplementation. A lack of antioxidants, essential fatty acids, minerals and trace elements. You may not be drinking, but you lose minerals via sweat, urine and exhaled air continuously. Your vitamin C requirements during the day have to come from somewhere, and they don’t come from breakfast cereals and toast. A major cause of heart problems is due to a lack of vitamin C. When the correct ratio of potassium to calcium & magnesium is not maintained, the heartbeat becomes irregular. Why are you on heart medication?
9. Abusing carbohydrates in order to fill up before sunrise. Carbohydrates elevate your cholesterol levels, demand a lot of insulin and this in turn sets up a craving for more sugar. Try a grapefruit as this controls sugar cravings, gives you sufficient energy and does not dehydrate you.
10. Gout remedies are perhaps a good idea because the concentration of uric acid crystals intensifies when the body becomes dehydrated. If you have helped yourself to health before the fast, you would not have gout, acidity or arthritic pains! Take plenty of the tissue salts: NAT PHOS & NAT SULPH during the time you are not fasting and 100mg of Calcium D pantethonate (vitamin B5) with 3 of your meals or snacks.
11. Fatigue is one of the major complaints. Your body is well stocked up on food in the fatty tissues and the liver has a moderate supply of glycogen to compensate for fasting in case it is needed for the functioning of the brain. Unfortunately, it will not be released into the bloodstream if there is a deficiency of potassium in the blood. This is why I recommend you drink Blackstrap molasses in hot water with a pinch of Cream of Tartar: to get more potassium
12. Constipation. Endless complaints and most of them are constipated even before the fast. Do you have to rely on laxatives and expensive fibre supplements? A clear indication that you will truly benefit from my Fruit and Veg Healing Diet. You can buy new clothes with the money you save once you no longer take remedies to open the bowels. The dehydration during the day does make some individuals constipated but my guess is health foods generally give way to cakes, sweetmeats and starchy foods that not only cause constipation – they make you feel lousy the next day. Half a bunch of spinach every night will do a lot of good, and don’t neglect the parsley.
Copyright © 2010 Naturefresh. This is part of a larger article that may be read in full at the Nature Fresh website. Republished with permission.