“Fasting is a multidimensional experience, affecting people physically, mentally, emotionally, and spiritually.”
So Spring is officially here, and a new season brings new opportunities to attune our bodies and minds to the changes taking place in the world around us. I am about to embark on my first ever juice fast. As a student of holistic nutrition I feel that it is necessary to experience any and all therapies that I may be recommending to patients in the future.
There are some major benefits to juice fasting – and some would argue that it is what is missing from our western “culture.” If everyone took to some sort of cleansing and detox program a few times a year I think the overall health benefits would be remarkably noticeable.
So when is the best time to fast? According to TCM the transition into spring is the perfect time. In fact some sort of detox before the start of every season is highly recommended. What’s important is making sure to choose the right foods to accompany the energetics of the new season. Lighter more refreshing foods/juices for the spring and summer, and heavier more warming foods/juices for fall and winter. ‘Spring Cleaning’ doesn’t just apply to the exterior components of your life, it is incredibly relevant to our inner being as well. The long winter creates a stagnation in our bodies. Excess mucus, fat, and chemicals from our hibernation months where activity tends to decrease due to weather conditions. This stagnation tends to build up in our minds as well. By giving our bodies a break from digesting complex foods (and chemical additives) we are allowing all of our cells and organs to breathe and restore themselves. Pure rejuvenation – body and mind.
With a juice fast nutrients are being provided while still allowing for the elimination of toxins. Through fasting we can turn our energies inward where they can be used for healing, clarity, and change. Fasting often becomes a catalyst for shifting bad habits to good habits.
Fasting is recommended more-so for excess nutrition rather than undernourishment. With the general populations Standard American Diet (SAD – how fitting) far too many calories are being consumed – most of which are not even remotely nourishing.
Those who tend to develop congestive symptoms do well with fasting. Some of these conditions include colds, flus, bronchitis, mucus congestion, and constipation. People suffering from back pain usually find it alleviated with a juice fast. Though it is still controversial, many believe that it could be used to help certain mental illnesses. Lets face it – do we really know how all of these chemicals in our foods affect us cognitively? Ridding our body of these additives may help to bring some clarity to the minds of these folks as well.
Just as there are people who fasts are better for, there are also people who should not fast. These include: malnourished/underweight, overweight/undernourished, fatigue resulting from nutrient deficiencies, pregnant/lactating women, and anyone with a weak heart or weak immunity.
I have been told that hunger is usually present for 2 or 3 days and then departs – I guess I shall see. I will be sure to write a post juice fast article on my experience. I am hoping that this will be an excellent time to work on my psychological connection to consumption and enable me to have a much better sense of self and body after all is said and done. Bring it on.