from Original Fast Foods by James & Colleen Simmons

Let’s talk for a moment about the benefits of withholding nutritional inputs from time to time in our lives, or in other words, the practice of fasting.  Fasting is an essential component to good health.  It is a vacation from digesting food, the most energy-demanding activity of the body, and can be a beneficial part of the healing and energizing process.  One third of the body’s energy supply is used during digestion.  While fasting, energy used for digestion is redirected to restorative processes.

Unsupervised fasting once a week or once a month for 24 hours is a wonderful and safe lifetime habit for most people.  Fasting regularly enhances one’s health more than any other single activity.  Even after a person reaches ideal body weight, unwanted substances that are hard for the body to eliminate enter the body through the foods we eat, the water we drink, the air we breathe, and the hectic lives we live.  Fasting helps to release unwanted substances, toxins, and other wastes from the fat and tissues and helps to restore and maintain vitality and strength.

Great insights and accomplishments may occur while fasting regularly – as well as great advances toward developing a healthier body.

Ending a fast properly is as important as the fast itself.  For one-day fasts come off the fast by consuming whole ripe fruits or a green smoothie.  A few hours later consume a large pulse salad (see recipes below for green smoothie and pulse salad).  Be careful not to overeat in your first post-fast meal; however, do consume enough fruit to be able to easily experience a bowel movement.

Some individuals should not fast because of unusual biological conditions they have inherited from birth.  Additionally, fasting is unadvisable for anorexic or bulimic individuals, or for any person whose body is emaciated or in a state of starvation.  Neither nursing nor pregnant women who are diabetic should fast, nor should anyone with anemia (clinical or congenital) or those who have an intense fear of fasting.  Except for these few conditions, fasting is considered extremely safe.

Those who should never fast without supervision include infants and young children, pregnant women (non-diabetic), those with serious disease conditions, type 1 or type 2 diabetics who are using insulin or those with histories of recreational drug abuse.

Over time, most people include a higher intake of sugar, salt, fat, and animal-based foods in their diet.  The most practical way to reset the body’s appetite toward more healthful food choices is by fasting 24 hours.  A periodic 24 hour fast is an extremely beneficial habit that will help you enjoy more healthful foods.