Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Fasting heals

Have you ever tried fasting? Not because of religious obligations but because you want to? The very thought of not eating makes me feel hungry but my TWDB is thinking of giving it a go and wants me to join him.

It has to be said that I am of normal body weight, don't smoke, eat hardly any processed food and drink alcohol reasonably. I can't really see why I would want to fast, but it's supposed to do wonders for getting rid of dodgy cells, makes you think clearly and gives a lovely soft skin.

According to this website, it's practically a panacea for all non-allopathic situations.
"Treats viral infections; cures most chronic degenerative diseases; effectively manages most kinds of mental illness; cures most forms of allergy or autoimmune disease; effectively manages psychosomatic illnesses, cures most forms of cancer."
I find the cancer bit a bit difficult to believe but apparently fasting rids the body of tumours including cancerous ones. I'm not sure I'd rely on fasting over chemotherapy and I hope I never have to make that choice.

I have had periods of quasi-fasting in the past. My reaction to extreme stress is to stop eating so I suppose I associate not eating with bad situations. Not a good start for a possible fast. I also love eating. I don't eat to live but live to eat (in reasonable amounts...). Creating tasty meals and going out for dinner are two great pleasures.

Why would I want to put myself through a period of starvation for the hell of it? The website is a source of some thought-provoking information and quotes. Take this one:
"Very few people know what real health is, because most are occupied with killing themselves slowly." - Albert Szent-Gyorgyi, Ph.D., Hungarian-born American biochemist; Nobel Prize in physiology and medical science
Apparently, "the 3 Fathers of Western Medicine fasted and prescribed fasting (Hippocrates, Galen and Paracelsus), and declared fasting 'the greatest remedy, the physician within'". Interesting then that modern doctors know practically nothing about it.
There are two main types of fasting: the starvation water fast where you take nothing but water; and the vegetable juice fast where you can drink fresh raw (organic) veggie and fruit juices. Starvation is not recommended for most people. It's very hard and the only advantage over juice is that the effects are quicker. For most people who have to carry on a normal life, being able to drink veggie juice enables them to benefit from the regime with less hardship.
Feeling great usually starts from day 3 and fasting can be done for up to 90 days but real benefits can be felt from 5-10days.
I'm still not convinced. To start with, I have to provide meals for my boys. There's no way I could do that and not eat, and if I'm on holiday without them, I don't see restricting my intake of food and drink as being an enjoyable way of spending my valuable time off. Especially as I get very grumpy when hungry.
So the jury's still out, but the odds are somewhat unfavourable right now. I'd be interested to hear of any of your experiences of fasting and whether it changed your life.


  1. Are you sure it wasn't the violet vodka which put the idea into TWDB's head?

  2. LOL!

    Actually it's the clear thinking that appeals. If you're going through a period of transition, it's tempting to think that answers can be found by doing certain things.

  3. Don't do it. It's on the slippery slope to all sorts of woo.


  4. Hi Nick, the slippery slope to what? I'm intrigued!

  5. Her's the definition of woo: http://www.skepdic.com/woowoo.html


  6. HAHA!! Great site. But no, I am not at the top of the slippery slope teetering on the brink. I'm a hard and fast fan of Bad Science (http://www.badscience.net/). Must ask Ben Goldacre what he thinks of fasting.

  7. I was 84 kg then 76 and now 71. I'm quite tall man and i always been ok but now i'm agile lol. But you must combine fasting with raw food. You will eat less, you wil get more minerals and vitamins, etc, your body will process far less food. Before [...], i was going to bath 2 or 2.5 times a day sometimes and now i go once every 24 or 36 hours, i spend less time washing the dishes, etc. The internal benefits i imagine are huge, it's a very long story and even the skeptics know it, fluids travel faster between organs and with this i just said it all... Sorry, i'm romanian, not an english speaker.

  8. Very interesting, anon.

    I couldn't bring myself to fast though. I'm just not that into not eating. :)

    Glad it works for you though.


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