Is There An Easy Fasting Option?

If you've never done any fasting and are scared to try...

Here’s a very simple fasting alternative…eat real food.

Modern Supermarket View

Limit yourself for a short period of time to consuming only organic, real food – the kind that has no barcodes, labels, or ingredients lists.

That’s it.  Easy.  Healthy.

This is the simplest and gentlest way to cleanse the body – and even then, there can be mild detoxification responses depending on just how poor the previous dietary practices were.  You’ll eliminate toxin exposure by going organic, and you’ll eliminate all preservatives and additives.  Anything that’s artificial is disqualified.  No ingredients unless they are food…no MSG, no sugar, no salt, no FD&C#, and no natural colorings or flavorings.  You are looking for foods you can identify without a label.

Why Are Bad Habits So Hard to Break

For the most part, we know what we need to clean up to improve our health.

Drinking habits. Girl is heavy drinkers.

For most of us, there’s little mystery concerning what our bad habits are.  Unfortunately  they often prove extremely difficult to change.  Smokers often continue when they’re hospitalized and using supplemental oxygen just to survive.  Over-eaters have famously done reality shows about how they know they are killing themselves, but still feel compelled to eat badly.  More insidious addictions like opioids frequently enslave unsuspecting patients who start off needing time to heal an injury, but then begin to depend on them for emotional stability.  Only recently have we learned that (surprise!), opioids numb physical and emotional pain.

Q: Why are habits hard to break?

A: We crave death.  Our bodies “love” death and everything bad for us feeds that hunger to die.  If we are to live and improve we must resist until the tides of desire change and we begin to hunger for life.

Knowing is not enough.  Action is required to improve, so we must do something to start that long uphill march toward improved health and God-willing…wellness.  Perhaps a short period of fasting might help to develop more willpower.  Even if you start small, and work toward a longer and more restrictive fasting regimen it makes sense to try.

Having the fortitude to live without something you hunger for, even for three to seven days could be the first step towards healthier living.  One sentiment from Eastern Christianity is that we should remember when we are fasting that it is not really food we are hungry for.  We are really hungry for more of God.  In the same way, a fast to break a bad habit will include cravings for the bad thing you stopped, but try to funnel that desire toward the nutrients you’ve allowed yourself to consume in its’ place.

Practical tip: When you start fasting, don’t be surprised if your cravings and hunger increase tenfold.  This tends to pass after three days so a seven day fasting strategy may be no more difficult that the three days of high level detox required to begin.

Is Juicing Natural?

Thinking through a couple of the criticisms...

Juicing doesn’t occur in nature, or does it?

Slow juicer with organic fruits and vegetables isolated on white

There are several voices in the natural health community that are “juicing averse,” and they do make some good points.  Personally, I’ve seen good and bad results from different aspects of juice fasting, so I’ll share just a few thoughts about those experiences.

Fiber and Sugars:

Juicing eliminates the fibers that slow down nutrient absorption, but it’s those insoluble fibers that nature uses to modulate the speed of sugar absorption.  It’s important to consider the carbohydrate effect on your body, if you are thinking about a juice fast.  Some folks juice fast on bottled juices, but I think the denaturing of sugars with heat makes them hit the bloodstream faster and I am not a fan of fasting on pasteurized juice.  (I do think HPP provides a great alternative for convenient access to storable juices, but even then there is some nutrient loss compared to freshly extracted juices.)  Heat treatments (pasteurization and flash-pasteurization) damages enzymes and some of the antioxidants will be destroyed, either by processing or simply due to the time between packaging and consumption.

Key Learning: raw juices are best!

Autointoxication Concerns:

Juice fasting for an extended period will shut down much of the solid waste processing of the body, so the intake of some fibers (whether in supplements or selected foods) can help the body excrete the byproducts that are burned up in this detoxification regimen.  Other options include enemas or colonics for internal cleansing.  While there is much less risk of autointoxication while juicing (compared to water fasting) I think it’s worth taking some steps to keep things moving.  Bananas or rice can provide just enough fiber to keep the system awake enough to maintain continuous balance of inputs/outputs. Some juicers may leave just enough fiber to strike a happy middle ground and that makes the most sense from a nature centric model.

Simple Alternative: If you’re concerned about getting more nutrients, but don’t want to shut down your digestion…consider green smoothies instead of juice fasting.

Juicing is Energy Intense:

The objection that’s most straightforward is that the amount of energy required to accomplish the juice fast is “un-natural.”.  If you simply wash and eat your fruits and vegetables the body supplies the energy required to masticate and digest them.  With juicing, you’ll be using a lot of power to drive that juicer, regardless of which one you bought but hopefully it’ll be worth it in terms of nutrient density.  A juice fast takes a lot of commitment, from a financial investment in high quality foods and from a food preparation effort too.  You’ll have to decide for yourself if it’s really worth it, but personally I credit a juice fast as the intervention that saved my life, and jump started my return to health.

Conscience Freedom: If you’ve decided to abandon meat eating, then your carbon footprint is decidedly tiny, so you have nothing to worry about compared to your omnivore friends so you can juice all you want and still save the planet.

Bonus tip: Never discard wet pulp…strain it with a nut milk bag and increase your juice yield!

Another Perspective on Detoxification

Dilution is the Solution to Pollution

Nature moves to continuously detoxify through extensive filtration and dilution.

 

Vector schema of the water cycle in nature

Water comes from the sky as rain and snow.  Streams and rivers combine to move the water to the seas, while it is ever-sorted and cleaned across silt and sand until it is finally diluted in the oceans.  Layers of sediment and even solid rocks form a purification medium to restore water to its’ basic form, where it’s stored in aquifers across the entire planet.  The ocean is not merely a final deposit account.  It’s also a dilution pond where water begins to up-cycle into the atmosphere where it moves back to the beginning as rain or snow.

The key to this process is the fact that water is ever-moving, and when it stops – it stagnates.

Applying this metaphor to the human body, fat cells are the ocean where toxins are stored. The lymphatic system is a mostly passive network of tributaries that’s most susceptible to becoming stagnant.  Physical movement is essential to keep the lymph actively filtering toxins.  This is more important in times of less dilution such as a time of fasting because there is less excretion of wastes when there is a reduction in solid materials to transfer them to.

If movement increases during a time of fasting, the body should easily be able to detoxify at an accelerated rate, as long as there is enough movement.  This is why many natural health experts no longer recommend water fasting, because of the increased chance of auto-intoxication from limited excretion.  The thinking these days is that juices provide better pathways for toxin elimination by adding nutrients and some limited fibers that will help to keep the toxins moving.

 

 

What About Fluoride?

It’s already hotly debated, so I’ll stick to a citizens’ perspective from someone who prefers to abstain.

Depositphotos_31649823_original

I could completely understand the basis for mandatory fluoridation of public water sources, if there were limited ways to introduce this (controversially beneficial / detrimental) agent into our bodies. Since it’s nearly impossible for me to find a non-fluoridated toothpaste, I’m 100% certain that we do not require our water to have this chemistry added for the greater good.

The greatest concern (from my perspective) is the other end of the spectrum, where those who are concerned about being over-exposed, cannot avoid this industrial by-product. With most water systems in the USA, the taxpayers pay to treat the water, and the health conscious pay twice to avoid it – drinking bottled water, installing systems to our houses, and paying extra for hygiene products that exclude this toxin. That seems one-sided and tends to favor wasteful spending in every possible way.  Science shows that a little fluoride can be helpful, but too much is worse.

Yes, overexposure to fluoride is a thing – a really bad thing!

The most visible physical defect is enamel fluorosis; the condition is visible through the discernible brown stains and markings on teeth occurs when enamel covering of teeth fail to crystallize properly. A study by the National Research Council, 2006, concluded that severe enamel fluorosis occurs in 10% of children exposed to fluoride concentrations of 4 mg/l. Additional health effects have been reported in various studies and include neurodevelopmental delays in children, dental fluorosis, clinical stage II skeletal fluorosis, and skeletal factures in both children and adults. Prolonged exposure to high levels of fluoride can create severe bone abnormalities which present in crippling deformities.  ~Tara Rava Zolnikov, PhD Candidate NDSU, from her disturbing Johns Hopkins Water Institute opinion report, A nationwide problem in Kenya: Overexposure to fluoride in drinking water.

Since I don’t smoke and smoking is deemed unhealthy, I have a right to eat in a restaurant where I’m not forcefully exposed. That seems logical. Oddly the reverse is true here, where consumption is deemed healthy. Controlling the amount of fluoride that our populace gets should be our focus, rather than making sure that every tap is flowing with the stuff. Too much of anything is always harmful.  {Even if we are talking about water.}

If you don’t want to consume any fluoride, you’re going to have to find another place to eat because we don’t serve your kind here.  {You won’t actually hear that from a server, because it’s bad for business but it is true.}

Fluoridated water is everywhere:

Crops are watered from the city tap, complimentary water in restaurants is treated, and probably all processed foods include traces of fluoride – just in case it might be good for you. Even the carrot in the picture above probably contains fluoride, and it isn’t helping the horse at all!

Taking responsibility to limit or prevent consumption probably means you’re looking for a reverse osmosis filtration system to filter your drinking water, and that means you’re paying twice – needlessly.  If you’re planning a detox program, it makes sense (even if it’s overly cautious) to limit the number of chemicals you expose yourself to, and this one won’t be easy.

Can I Detox Herpes?

If I test positive for herpes and then do some extensive detoxification programs that lead to a negative test, will the virus return if I went back to SAD (standard American diet)?

This is a very interesting question, since detoxification and healing do different things.

I think (philosophically) that it’s entirely possible for two possibilities under these circumstances:

1.) Unconditional Healing: The body “could” completely heal itself, destroy the virus and result in a negative test. If this occurred then it would require a re-exposure to return to a positive test. Diet here might support healing, but would not be relevant to maintaining the healing state.

2.) Conditional Quarantining: The body has the ability to sequester toxins (holding things suspended in fatty tissues for example) to prevent further damage by holding them in check.  Diet in this case “might” possibly create a negative test result that was conditional on maintaining the fuel required to continue to fight-off the expansion of the virus. {The testing would probably still reveal the presence of the virus, even if the body killed of the growth to a completely neutral level.}

In either case, I recommend improving your personal nutrition because it’s the right thing to do – not because you are trying to accomplish one specific goal.  In fact, you can’t force the body to heal any specific thing, because the autonomic nervous system controls the hierarchy of healing in its’ ultimate wisdom.

Eat well, because it’s the best way to provide your body with everything it needs, not because you want to pass a particular test.

Tips as Tricks or Tools?

Healthy living tips can seem like tricks to enable you to get what you want faster, cheaper, or without sacrificing something that you know you need to give-up.

Try to think of these tips as “tools,” rather than tricks, because tools require care and skillful use, in order to build something of value.

Certain supplements, like clinoptilolite zeolite powders can help the body excrete cadmium, lithium, and methyl-mercury – but that doesn’t mean you can use this “gift” to keep eating foods that you know are contaminating your body with those toxins.  Similarly, nopal cactus can modulate the body’s blood sugar by extending digestion times for sugars – but that doesn’t mean you should use it to eat whatever you’re craving.  Nature’s gifts are to help us sustain and improve our bodies, not to make it possible to further feed our lust for things that do not nourish the body.