Water Fasting5, Mar, 2013, by Seema Bhatnagar
Why water fasting?
Many of you must be wondering why this craziness of water fasting when the same can be done by controlling diet in a proper way. True, until I knew the benefits, I was of the same thought but sometime two years back I was following some blog (few others) which gave me knowledge about water fasting and I got convinced to do it for myself. With an idea to spread awareness about fasting, taking this opportunity to share knowledge and benefits of water fasting.
Water Fasting - Brief Introduction
Historical records tell us that fasting has been used for health recovery for thousands of years. Hippocrates, Socrates,
and Plato all recommended fasting for health recovery. The Bible tells us that Moses and Jesus fasted for 40 days for
spiritual renewal. Mahatma Gandhi fasted for 21 days to promote respect and compassion between people with different
For much of human history, fasting has been guided by intuition and spiritual purpose. Today, our understanding of
human physiology confirms the powerful healing effects of fasting.
Fasting is a powerful therapeutic process that can help people recover from mild to severe health conditions.
Some of the most common ones are high blood pressure, asthma, allergies, chronic headaches, inflammatory bowel disease
(ulcerative colitis and Crohn's disease), irritable bowel syndrome, adult onset diabetes, heart disease,
degenerative arthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, psoriasis, eczema, acne, uterine fibroids, benign tumours, and
systemic lupus erythematosus.
Fasting provides a period of concentrated physiological rest during which time the body can devote its self-healing mechanisms to repairing and strengthening damaged organs. The process of fasting also allows the body to cleanse cells of accumulated toxins and waste products.
Fasting gives the digestive tract time to completely rest and strengthen its mucosal lining. A healthy intestinal mucosal lining is necessary for preventing the leakage of incompletely digested proteins into the bloodstream, thereby offering protection against autoimmune conditions. A healthy digestive tract also helps to protect the blood and inner organs against a variety of environmental and metabolic toxins.
Check out some more resources on water fasting
The first day went all smooth and when I started second day, I started feeling drop in energy level and started feeling feverish. By the evening I was in high fever with dizziness, headache and weakness. Even a small activity like turning in bed was making my heart beat fast. I puked once. Throughout the night I was in fever and headache and it did not improve by next morning. I was completely bed ridden and did not feel like sitting or doing any other activity not even reading. It felt as if I am sick since last many days. It was going beyond my tolerance and was literally looking for something which can give me energy to get up and move on my feet. Did not feel like speaking at all, as I did not have enough energy. Thoughts about spicy food or anything (clothes, food, music, jewelry etc.) which has too much of loudness was putting me off. All these are signals that body is in a self cleansing and healing mode and the waste is ready to go out. But this process was becoming too uncomfortable and unbearable. Though it was not dangerous to continue further but the feeling of sickness and just confining to bed was making me really bad. I am a person who likes to be in action, would go to bed only when I am too exhausted.
By the morning of 3rd day (Sun, 3rd March), I decided to discontinue water fast as my fever was not coming down and weakness was increasing and overall it was becoming unbearable. So ended my fast by having a glass of 50% diluted orange juice. One must break any fast with a glass of orange juice and especially in water fasting since body is completely off on digestion process, so juice must be diluted. Within 20 mins, I could feel a change in my condition and mood as if some nectar has reached inside.
After 2 hours, I had a light clear tomato soup which further stabilized my body. In the afternoon, had cooked wheat porridge. Felt these simple dishes as sumptuous. Had cooked food after almost 14 days, so I was finding everything full of taste and a rejuvenated sense of taste and smell.
So, with this, I could not meet my 4 days challenge which I decided earlier and had to stop on 3rd day itself. Last year I could complete it for 3 whole days but this year it seems my body did not agree to go further. It's alright. Since I do not eat much of junk food and mainly consume vegetarian diet so I do not expect much of toxin levels in my body and the signals which my body indicated, I assume, that all the accumulated toxins have been flushed out, if not 100%, at least 70% is done. Since, before water fasting I followed raw vegan diet for 11 days so that also had done some level of body cleansing.
On the weight scale, in the last two days of water fasting, I lost another 2 kgs. So overall I have achieved lesser than my ideal weight i.e. 50 Kg, started from 55 Kg, 14 days back. My skin is glowing as if I have taken a special skin treatment at salon. Overall, a thin and lean look but internally, felt some weakness until yesterday but today I am perfectly normal.
Since water fasting takes a toll on body so I earnestly urge you not to get tempted and start it for losing weight. First, you must consult your physician/dietitian and must conduct it under medical supervision. Especially, if you have any health problems like diabetes or blood pressure, or if you are pregnant women or under 18 years of age you must not attempt this. In my case, I had no health problems and had complete knowledge and awareness about the process so I attempted it to take the benefits and also I kept everybody informed in the family, just in case any eventuality arise, I can get some medical help. So, please ensure you take all the required precautions and have complete knowledge about the process before you even think of attempting it.
With this exercise, I have achieved my objective of body cleansing and losing weight so overall I am high on my happiness
index and feeling more refreshed and rejuvenated with renewed sense of food and taste. Since I already decided to skip
lunch and as such I do not binge or eat junk food so I expect I would be able to maintain ideal weight and other vital
health parameters perfectly.
Since I also practice Yogic kriyas everyday, which I have recently started, that also helps in controlling weight and removing toxins from body so I would see if I would need raw vegan and water fasting next year. By the way, I could not practice my kriyas since last 3 days because of the weakness. Now, I am feeling normal energy levels, so will start it from tomorrow.
Especially, after practicing water fasting, I have deeply realized how food creates energy in our body and keep us running. The same energy reaches to our mind and helps in generating thoughts. No wonder, in Hinduism, food is considered as God and one is supposed to say prayer before eating it and one should never leave anything in plate, because it is considered as God, so it should not be thrown in a bin rather it should go in somebody's body.
Remember, the same food if taken in access can also makes us sick. So body is a perfect machinery of generating and consuming energy in the most intelligent ways. When I ended my fast I was looking for a simple food which can give me energy and had a strong dislike for anything heavy, greasy or spicy. That tells me that we have a natural tendency for simple homemade food. I found, home cooked food as life giving. With a renewed sense of smell and taste, fasting has made me to appreciate food and health more. Though I am already a health conscious person, but my fasting experience has made me to appreciate the value of great health and simple food more now.
Interestingly, those who practice Hinduism, for them fast is a part and parcel of everyday life and according to Indian lunar calendar every month there are at least four fasts (for full moon, for new moon, shiv ratri, ekadashi (eleventh day of a month) and pradosh), there could be more according to lunar cycle. Hinduism has a built in concept of health and well being.
During fasting, everything which is low and subtle is liked by our body, which shows how we all are naturally inclined towards spirituality. It is simply that in everyday life things are so fast that we tend to ignore the subtle feelings which actually are the cause of our happiness and sorrow. That is a reason why keeping fast on regular basis makes one to dive deep inside for reflection and spiritual health. That tells me, fasting and spirituality has some connection, because so far what I have learnt is, spirituality is actually reaching to inner purity, a purity of thoughts mainly which gets reflected in everything we do. So having simple food is actually makes a person one step closer to purity and one notch up in spirituality.
On the very extreme note, have realized what it feels like living empty stomach and reaching to a stage when body disagrees to support further. Was thinking about, how painful it would have been for millions of children and people who live in hunger due to compulsions of life. For me, it was a conscious decision to cut off food supply, but for them, it is helplessness and vulnerability and death becomes the only natural consequence. We are indeed fortunate to have a food served in our plate three meals a day. But there are some fools who do not realize the importance of getting food and waste it. Probably, fasting is another way to make your realize the importance and value of food.
Let's take a pledge
I earnestly urge you to think about skipping your one meal (not a water fast) a weak and offer a prayer for it to reach the person who really need it more than you. There is no religion, health or spirituality involved here, it is simply that you are so fortunate that you can give life to somebody. Think, if millions starts skipping meal, another millions will start getting food.
If you are a parent, teach your children about the importance of food and show them that it is a God in itself as it only gives us life. Do not waste food in your plate, serve less portion as you can always fill it later on, at the worst, if you do not get it, you will not die next day, so serve yourself least possible portion, get the left over portion packed in restaurant on request and give it to somebody who is hungry on the street or use it for the next meal whichever works for you. There are several other ways in which you can avoid wastage of food, it is only your willingness which is required.
I know, I am talking nonsense, but even if one person understands what I am proposing, my job is done. Hoping, somebody will understand.
Ending my food talks by sharing a quick breakfast raw vagan recipie which is super healthy, quick and energetic and just my super favorite.
Morning PunchChop 2 bananas in a breakfast bowl, top it up with 3 crushed walnuts, 5 soaked almonds, 5 raisins, ½ tea-spoonful cucumber and melon seeds/lotus seeds (chironjee in Hindi) and some leaves of holy basil (Tulsi in Hindi) (optional). Spread half teaspoon of honey and sprinkle some grated coconut. Viola your yummy healthy and quick breakfast is ready, without anybody's help.
Last but not the least, thanks so much for staying connected and reading updates on my fasting, I wish you and your family the very best of health.cheers
Boost to health - Raw Vegan - Part 1
Boost to health - Raw Vegan - Part 2
My experience of Raw Vegan Diet and Water Fasting
Health is wealth.