Fasting for Health and Detoxification

Here's one easy rule about fasting: Fruit juices speed cleansing reactions. Vegetable juices slow them. So if you decide to fast and you're feeling more headachy, jittery and spacey from the effect of the toxins, drink vegetable juices rather than fruit juices. We recommend adding "green" supplements, that is, powders containing chlorophyll, such as barley grass, chlorella and spirulina, which will nourish your body with high quality protein that won't interfere with the fast and will help you maintain energy.

Fasting Basics

There are gentle ways to begin fasting for those who have never tried it before or who have problems of weight and congestion. One suggestion is to do a "mono-fruit" fast, where you eat only one fruit, such as watermelon or grapes for no more than four days. The great news about a "mono-fruit" fast is that you can eat as much as you want. In summer, during watermelon season, this can be rather fun. We recommend tapering off caffeine, meat, dairy, alcohol and recreational drugs before beginning any of these, otherwise your "withdrawal" symptoms will be extremely unpleasant.

How often and how long should you fast? Here are options for fasting:

  • 1 x week for 24 hours
  • 1 x month for 3 days
  • 4 x year for 7 - 10 days (experienced fasters only)

When You Do Fast, Remember This

If you're pregnant or lactating, fasting is not recommended. Other conditions for which fasting is not recommended are if you're underweight, generally fatigued, have low immunity, a weak heart, low blood pressure, cardiac arrythmias, are in a pre- or postsurgery period, have cancer, peptic ulcers or if you have nutritional deficiencies.

You're going to absolutely need two things:

  1. Time to rest while you're fasting. Don't plan a lot of activities for the time when you're fasting. You're missing the point. The idea is to give your ENTIRE body time to catch up on its housecleaning activities. If you're running around, or under pressure to perform in any way, you're creating extra stress on your self. You're better off choosing or staying with a transitional diet, such as the one-meal-a-day diet mentioned above, the gentle detox or the transitional diet of grains (not wheat) and vegetables.
  2. The other thing you're going to need for fasting, and detox in general, is fresh juices made daily. Bottled or canned juices aren't going to work. They don't provide the nutrients you need. Also, when you've made the decision to so something so great and powerful for your health, you deserve the treat that great fresh juices are to your palate as well as your system. We also recommend organic fruits and vegetables, all the time if you have access and can possibly afford them, but definitely while fasting. The idea is to get the toxins out of your body, not add more.

Fasting is a subject on which a lot has been written, but after reading all the words, if you don't try it yourself, you've again missed the point. It's experiential. It's also different for everyone, so there's no way to really know how it will be for you without trying. It does, however, have the potential to change your life. It is a spiritual as well as a physical experience.

Given what's been said above, if you're not quite ready to fast, you can begin the detoxification process by a GRADUAL improvement in your diet.

Lymph nodes are normally about the size of a small almond. However they will swell when the body is fighting an infection, due to a neat little disease-fighting trick wherein the lymphocytes store invading disease microorganisms in the node where they cause less harm. Think of that as putting the bug in jail. When your doctor checks your lymph nodes, he's looking for swollen nodes, which indicate that the body has been fighting disease or infection.

Fruit Juice Fasting

Remember: Fruit juices speed up cleansing reactions.

  • Apple Juice- Good for constipation, cleansing the gall bladder and kidneys, reduces inflammation in the body, lowers cholesterol and protects the body from radiation from X-rays

  • Cranberry Juice- Excellent for bladder infections, cleansing to the kidneys, controls diabetes by lowering blood sugar, some report that it is helpful for some cancers

  • Grape Juice- Good for edema (swelling), detoxifying toxins from the body and blood, an overall blood cleanser, also helpful for cancer.

  • Papaya Juice- Great for digestive disorders, ulcers and heartburn; treats inflammation and may reduce back pain.

  • Lemon Juice- Fantastic overall body cleanser, purifies the blood, cleanses the digestive track of mucus, stimulates production of liver enzymes, supports the liver in its detoxifying functions, restores pH in th ecolon. Learn about the lemon detox cleanse.

  • Watermelon- A natural diuretic and great blood cleanser; reduces inflammation and good for canker sores. Juice watermelon flesh with the seeds. Many nutritionists like to juice the rind as well. 

Vegetable Juice Fasting

Remember: Vegetable juices slow down cleansing reactions. It is ideal to drink your vegetable juices freshly juiced. We understand that this is not always possible with our busy lives. We suggest juicing (or buying from a juice bar) large quantities of fresh juice, say several day's supply. Pour single servings of juice in small plastic or glass containers and freeze immediately. Remove from the freezer all the juice you will need for the day and place in the refrigerator to thaw. Be sure you have thawed any morning juice overnight. If you use glass containers, don't fill them more than 2/3 full with juice. Always thaw in the refrigerator, not on your counter.

The Short List. See the long list here.

  • Carrots- Carrots are, perhaps, the most valuable vegetable for juicing because of their healing properties. It is the usual base to which other juices are added. Although it has a high sugar content, the blend of ingredients in carrot juice cannot be excelled for balanced nutrition.

  • Celery- Celery is high in minerals and is a significant source for magnesium. It does not stand alone as a palatable juice for drinking, but it is an excellent flavor enhancer for other juices. Chopping the celery stalks into short pieces will help to prevent the long celery strings from clogging the juicer. Be sure to juice the leaves as well.

  • Cucumber- Cucumbers are an excellent addition to a mix of vegetables for juicing. They are high in potassium and contain other minerals as well.

  • Parsley- Parsley helps to reduce the strong odor and flavor of garlic and is an excellent source of chlorophyl. Juice it with other vegetables in order to prevent clogging the juicer with the dense pulp that forms when it is juiced alone.

  • Spinach- Spinach juice is very mellowing to a strong flavored mix of vegetable juices. It is rich in minerals and vitamins.