by Lynn Hinderliter CN, LDN

cleanse-fastWe all know that the engine that runs well for years is the one that has undergone regular maintenance, and this is why I recommend a gentle cleansing fast, repeated once or twice a year. I suggest combining the fast with the use of herbal detoxifiers, and following it by a week of supportive digestive enzymes while gently reintroducing your regular diet, using that period to emphasize raw foods and eliminate animal products.

I believe that fasting and detoxification go together hand in hand.

The right time to rejuvenate the digestive and cleansing systems –
the kidneys, the liver, the stomach and the colon –
is when you have cut back on your intake of food.

During the Muslim fast of Ramadan, nothing is eaten or drunk between sunrise and sunset, to honor a religious commitment. Until modern times, fasting was part of all religious life. In fact, many religious precepts were actually based on maintaining the health of the believer – contrast the current fare at a Church social!They will all be glad of an opportunity to cleanse and rest, and nearly always (particularly if this is a process you repeat at regular intervals) benefit considerably from the break, and function at increased efficiency thereafter.

The Old Testament frequently mentions fasting, and  in the New Testament we have the 40 day  fast in the Wilderness. The Lenten Fast followed Fat Tuesday in Christian history: I often wonder caustically as I watch Mardi Gras excesses, how many of those who take part honor the SECOND part of the ritual.

Prior to this age of easy access to rich, but not necessarily nutritious, food it was common to go through cycles of plain fare interspersed with feasts: nowadays, we feast every day, in the sense that whatever we want is easily available to us . Imagine then, how overloaded the systems of the body become, when the organs involved in processing our nourishment are expected to operate at peak capacity all the time. It is no wonder that they become so overworked that at times they can no longer function properly. They need a rest! Modern Americans NEED to fast occasionally.

There are going to be some people whose health is compromised in one way or another, for whom fasting is definitely not advisable.

 The morning of the first day, I eat a light breakfast, and for the rest of the day, I drink only water. I have some herbal compounds I use to stimulate cleansing, and some bulking agents to keep things moving through. See the “Recommended products”, below at right,  for suggestions.For many others, however, who wish to return their digestive and eliminative system to proper order, I recommend a three day cleansing fast. Personally, I try to schedule a one day fast once a month, and a 3 day fast every 3 months or so.

  •  The second day, I use single juices, spring water, and if I’m desperate, vegetable bouillon.

  •  The third day, I break my fast in the evening with some nourishing soup, and then gradually return to my normal diet over the next two or three days. What I gain from this is energy, relief from minor digestive problems, and a feeling of satisfaction from the discipline I have imposed on myself: what I lose is usually between 5 and 7 pounds of weight, some of it water weight, some accumulated debris .

Most holistic health practitioners who are dealing with clients suffering from chronic health problems, will recommend at least a short fast at the beginning of treatment: I had one Naturopathic doctor whom I greatly admire tell me that you cannot expect to erect a new home on the same site as the old, without tearing the old structure down first!

These are some general guidelines for fasting:

* 3 days before beginning a fast it’s a good idea to cut back on heavier foods, such as proteins and carbohydrates.

* During your fast, make sure you are relaxed and comfortable: do not stress yourself with extreme exercise.

* Do not come off your fast and immediately return to heavy foods – return to your normal diet gradually.

* If you are making your own juices, use organically grown fruits and vegetables if possible. drink them immediately, and drink them at room temperature.

This fast is designed to address highly acid pH body conditions. It can be followed for as few as 3 days, and as many as 14.

** If you exceed 3 days, be VERY careful to monitor your body reactions, and be guided by a Health Professional.

During your Fast

Breakfast: 1 cup apple juice. If you have access to the less sweet varieties, so much the better.

Mid-morning: 1 cup carrot juice

Lunch: vegetable soup made from a blend of carrots, zucchini, pumpkin, celery, parsley & garlic.

Mid-afternoon: 1 cup of 1/2 and 1/2 mix of carrot and apple juice .

Dinner: 1 cup apple juice.

Keep some bouillon and almonds handy for moments of desperation. As much pure water as you like may be taken. It helps control hunger pangs, too!

Come off the fast gradually and carefully for the first 4 days:

Day 1

Breakfast: 2 apples, grated

Mid-morning: 1 cup carrot juice

Lunch: vegetable soup as during your fast

Mid-afternoon: either 1 cup mixed carrot/apple juice, or 2 grated raw apples

Dinner: Vegetable soup as above.

Day 2

Breakfast: 2 grated raw apples and one cup beef bouillon

Mid-morning: 1 cup carrot juice or 2 sliced fruits: apples, pears, peaches or apricots.

Lunch: 1 cup soup and 1 or 2 steamed vegetables

Mid-afternoon: 2 sliced fruits

Dinner: vegetable soup and steamed vegetables, or salad – lettuce, cucumber, celery, parsley.

Day 3

Breakfast: fruit with a little granola – preferably home-made!

Mid-morning: fruits or carrot juice

Lunch: vegetable soup, steamed vegetables and a baked or steamed potato.

Mid-afternoon: fruit and a small amount of yoghurt (make sure it has live cultures)

Dinner: vegetable soup, steamed vegetables, salad with a little olive oil, potato.

Day 4

This is the same as Day 3, except you may add fish or poultry.




I usually add a cleansing program to my fast, consisting of a gentle herbal cleanse, and a fiber combination.  I recommend RenewLife’s CleanseSmart.

A short fast can clear the body of much of the inflammation, mucous, debris and toxins that stand in the way of healing.

It is also a natural method of healing, originally prescribed by Doctor Nature: our friends the animals are still familiar with this treatment, and will naturally fast when they are out of sorts. When your body begins to slow down, fast! It is a simple first step towards restoration of radiant health.

A note of caution, however: as I said earlier, some people cannot safely fast. If you have any doubts about the advisability of a short cleansing fast, ask your Doctor. Do not discontinue medications during a fast!  If you have blood sugar problems, be very careful to be under the care of a health professional should you decide to fast.

Find the recommended supplements here

Guest article by Dr. Lindsey Duncan on Constipation

Directory of products for Cleansing and Detoxification

3 times FASTER than FASTING itself…The Negative Calorie Diet ™ —Download the most popular weight loss e-book on the web!

The Scientific Basis for Fasting – http://www.medical-library.net/sites/framer.html?/sites/_history_of_fasting.html

Best & Closest Organic Food – http://www.localharvest.org

The Empty Bowl project,  fights Hunger – http://www.emptybowls.net/

How about what you serve your food in and on? http://www.emagazine.com/view/?2194

Candles – an unexpected source of toxins – http://altmedicine.about.com/od/consumerreviewsalerts/a/candles.htm

The Complete Cleansing Breath – http://www.holistic-online.com/Yoga/hol_yoga_breathing_traditional.htm

Fasting – http://peace.mennolink.org/articles/fasting.html

The History of Lent – http://www.freedomyou.com/mil/Lent.htm

Fasting for the Soul – http://www.religion-online.org/showarticle.htm?title=3162

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