The Benefits I Enjoy After a 72-Hour Water Fast

I have just completed a 72-hour Water Fast.  I have water-fasted before, usually for short periods of time, but once I fasted for 16 days.  I have also done short smoothie, juice and banana fasts.  I always come out of the fast feeling weak, but cleansed, and definitely feel that my lifestyle habits have been re-set.  Feels like that again.

There is lots of conflicting information about fasting on the Net. I believe that the clearest recent 7-Day fasting diary I have read is by low-fat vegan Frederick Patenaude who I consider a reliable source for much health-related information.  You can check out some of his blogs and free reports related to the low vegan and raw vegan lifestyle.  Another classic proponent of fasting with a background in fasting supervision is Dr. Ben Kim.  I've pulled up several articles that he has written related to fasting HERE 

I  include these two bloggers in here right at the top because they are both credible, trained, and experienced health purveyers, and not guys who are pushing all sorts of supplements and superfoods and enemas/colonics as part of the fasting experience, like you will find with some other writers.  They each have read and followed the classic writers on fasting health such as Herbert Shelton.  Another writer that I admire is Dr. Joel Fuhrman whose book Eating and Fasting for Health I consumed before my first venture into "conscious" fasting (meaning I had just done it previously as a sort of penance for being overweight).  Dr Fuhrman is a  fascinating guy and the book is inspiring, to say the least.  He has written a ton of other like-books since this 1995 book.  I plan to make my way through them this year.

This recent fast grew out of (A) having just read Frederic's 7-Day Diary and, more to the point, (B)a shockingly painful bout with indigestion last Saturday morning.  I figured the discomfort, even though I came through it okay, was a 'wake up call' to pay attention to my old traps of emotional eating, general overeating, snacking from daybreak-to-dark, and beyond.  I have to say that I do generally eat good organic wholefoods and am doing okay pursuing a low-fat vegan diet.  However, the night before the bout in the bathroom I had actually made up a lovely vegan burger that contained a little more coconut oil than I seem to be able to digest, and I had also chawed down a little too enthusiastically on this delightful whole-grain rye-wheat baker's loaf.  The combination after a few weeks of true low-fat fare was enough to throw me into gastric distress.

So, I started the fast then and there.  The pain was sharp in my mind.  I had no desire for breakfast, lunch or supper that day.  I sipped plenty of filtered water.  I wrapped up in a blankie in the livingroom and had some lovely naps... the same the next day.  On Sunday I spent a little more time perusing the literature online, you know, diagnosing myself (bad girl!!) and finding out all the alternative ways to prevent another outburst of that gastritis or whatever it was....(my husband thinks maybe "trapped wind").  I also found some great pages that describe how to prevent and relieve "trapped wind" using essential oils and self-administered reflexology on the hands.  And a yoga massage on the spots between the naval and bottom of the ribs... I recalled that from my days as a yoga student.  And, of course now I am all revved to re-start yoga.  I rather suspect that I have adhesions in my gut (who doesn't? it seems) and found a page that offers a free course in yoga self-care for people who want to break their adhesions down without surgery.  That would be me.  And if I don't have adhesions, the exercises are still good for other things. (If you want to know more, just ask for the links in the Comments section below).

I rested and read and sipped water for the first couple of days.  I felt no real hunger, which disturbed me somewhat, but then I think it may have been because I had been overeating and still remembered the excruciating cramps of Saturday morning.   I felt my brain become clear.  A few little aches and pains surfaced, but they always do during a fast-- their Last Hurrah, one hopes!  I passed a lot of water.  I had one small bowel movement.  I actually felt a little nauseous, but the massage and hand-reflexology seemed to resolve that, and yesterday evening I broke my fast with a cup of Fennel tea (that is supposed to be what to drink for "trapped wind").  The absolute greatest blessing of this three-day fast has been that my usual high anxiety has plunged immensely.  For the past while I have been waking up as tense as a bow string and with a little orchestra of naggy depressing jittlers playing from my head to my gut.  They appear to have gone byebye and for me, that in itself is a reason to do a short fast all in itself.

Today I have eaten small quantities of whole foods-- gruelly-porridge, broth, raw fruit sauce-- every couple of hours, chewing well, focusing on being relaxed and attending to the eating.  I will go to bed shortly (early).  I feel re-focused and clear-headed. 

Notes taken by Frederic Patenaude at Dr. McDougall's recent Advanced Health Seminar #CuttingEdgeHealthNews

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Turn off the news. Throw away the newspaper. Get outside and go for a walk. Dr. Christiane Northrup said going for a walk is a perfectly acceptable form of treatment for certain types of depression!