Sunday, February 19, 2023

Fantastic Water Fasting



My mother used to say, "Starve a cold, feed a fever."  But I like to say, "Starve Everything!"  Whenever I am feeling punky or out of sorts, I find that the quickest way for me to turn a situation around is water fasting.  I've had friends ask, "Wait a minute, Josephine, do you mean that you don't drink any water?!," because fasting usually means abstaining from something.  But, no, on the contrary, it means drinking a ton of water and abstaining from all foods, ideally, not one single calorie.  Instead, I try to get at least one gallon of water down a day.  

When it comes to healing and detoxifying my body, whenever I do cleanses, I prefer to use distilled water, as it can really pull the junk out.  Unfortunately, my first distiller turned out to be all aluminum on the inside.  Not wanting to risk alzheimer's in my later years, I quickly ditched that one and blessedly found an H2O Labs distiller instead, which is very well made.  The water only touches either stainless steel or glass and it will give me a full gallon, or 128 ounces, in one night, drop by drop.  I am always amazed by the stench and the scum that I find in the bottom of my water distiller when I go to clean it, with a little white vinegar, which I do in the mornings, after I have run it.  

Water quality is important.  For our drinking water, years ago I found out that the 5 gallon plastic water bottles, that I had been putting on top of my ceramic water cooler in the kitchen, were made from a poor grade of plastic.  The days are now long gone since those bottles used to be made of glass, and all plastic water bottles hold the potential for releasing toxins into our drinking water.  Not wanting to risk potentially toxic exposures, we now have a charcoal based water filter to use for our drinking water, which we originally get from the kitchen sink.

As Mary Oliver, the beautiful poet has said, one of the greatest crimes of her lifetime was losing the ability to drink water freely from the wild springs, streams and ponds she encountered while venturing forth into the natural world.  And this is truly a crime, sadly world wide.  But, at least, and thank goodness, in most of the western world, our water from the tap is potable, and safe enough to drink.  Many people around the world do not have that blessing these days.  And though I prefer distilled for my water fasts and cleanses, due to it's lovely clear flavorless taste and it's ability to pull toxins from my body, any pure or filtered water will do for a water fast.

When we give our bodies a break from all of the hard work of digestion, they can put that energy into the task of healing.  Water fasting also engages an activity know as autophagy or self-eating.  That may sound a little scary, but actually it is a tremendous benefit because it is like an internal house cleaning.  Children naturally have a high level of autophagy going on in their bodies because of the constant creation of new cells associated with growth.  Our bodies have a deep wells of incredible wisdom and are always trying to find or maintain the balance of health and this includes getting rid of old cells and toxins.  And when we do a water fast, that is exactly what can happen.  

The thing about water fasting is that it is extremely important how you break the fast.  Of course, we already do a little fasting during the night, while we sleep, and in the morning we usually break-the-fast with breakfast, often the lightest meal of the day, typically something like toast and tea.  But for a real water fast, say one or two or three days long, it is especially vital to be mindful about how you break the fast.  It is also best to prepare for the fast in a similar way.  So, if I am planning on doing a one day fast, I plan on three days: the pre-fast day, the fasting day and the post-fast day.  If I am going for a three day fast, I try to plan on nine days: three pre-fast days, three fasting days and three post-fast days.

In the days before a fast, I gradually move from solid and more dense foods toward liquids.  I'll stop eating heavier foods like concentrated proteins, beans, nuts or eggs, and move to foods like soft cooked vegetables or fruits and then to liquids like blended soups, juices or smoothies.  After the fast, I do the same, only in reverse.  I start with a liquid diet, move to well cooked veggies or fruits and then later onto the proteins.  The reason for this is that your digestive tract shuts down during fasting and it is best to awaken it slowly and gently.  Otherwise, you can do more harm than good.  No one wants to do their heaviest lifting without first warming up.  Cars like to be idled for a little while before driving off.

During my fasting days, as I mentioned, I drink a lot of water, at least 128 ounces a day to really help my body flush and clean itself out.  Water is good for cleaning everything, and this is where distilled water is especially helpful as it is so empty and free of dissolved substances.  This lets the fasting water pick up and carry out more toxic materials than regular water can.  And, if ever I find myself feeling a little hungry or head-achy, I just drink more water and those feelings will quickly pass.

Here is my typical routine.  I have 16 ounces by my bedside that I may drink if I wake during the night and I have an additional 16 ounces that I get down before I start my day.  That's 32.  Then I might have a cup of herbal tea.  I like Throat Coat by Traditional Medicinals.  Another 8 ounces.  Mid morning I do another 16 and may take a multi-vitamin or mineral supplement with that water, just so long as the supplement doesn't have any added calories.  That's now 56 ounces.  Around mid-day, I might enjoy a quart of water with two tablespoons of nice Bragg's Raw Apple Cider Vinegar and perhaps a drop or two of stevia extract or a little splash of vanilla or orange essence.  That brings me up to 88 ounces, and I'm well on the way to 128.  In the afternoon another cup or two of herbal tea, brings me now up to 104 ounces.  And a nice 16 more ounces in the evening gets me up to 120, and that leaves just one more glass before bed to reach 128 ounces in the day's total. 

Generally, if I decide to do a longer fast, say longer than 5-7 days, I add some calories to the additional days.  Perhaps I'll include a clear vegetable potassium broth, (to see the recipe I use scroll to the bottom,) or lemon/lime water, (after drinking, always rinsing my mouth with clear water so as to preserve the enamel on my teeth,) and perhaps a half of an avocado, capping my daily caloric intake at around 200 calories total.  Though autophagy best happens with zero calories, once activated, I personally feel that it continues with minimal calories.  

In addition, I also stop the distilled water and switch to filtered water, for my longer water fasts, as distilled water can lower one's pH, thus inhibiting nutritional uptake, if used on a regular daily basis.  And while fasting, distilled water can also result in a rapid loss of electrolytes, like sodium or potassium, and it can deplete our trace minerals as well.  But it is great for a shorter termed fast or for any short term detoxification program because it so actively absorbs toxic substances from our bodies, helping to eliminate them.  And I do always use distilled water when I make my potassium broth, as it really pulls the minerals from those vegetables, making them available for me to absorb when I drink my broth.

As Peace Pilgrim, who was a big water faster, once said, "Water fasting makes one feel preternaturally clear."  I couldn't agree more.  When we fast, little cells in our brains, called appropriately "janitor cells," get active and gobble up all of the old, dead, or toxic materials that are lying around.  They only do this when digestion is not taking place, typically at night.  But while we water fast, they really get an opportunity to dust away all of the cobwebs and we wind up thinking much more clearly.  After a water fast, I also notice that all of my joints move more easily, I have tons of energy and I feel much lighter, because I am lighter.   

We now know that almost all diseases, including cancers, are caused by or worsened by high levels of inflammation.  Water fasting drops inflammation down quick as a flash.  A water fast lasting just two to four days in length, also reactivates a tired immune system, generating new white blood cells by reactivating our stem cells.  And the good news is, if I do a fine water fast for just three days, I may loose 3-5 pounds.  And, if I do my post-fasting exactly according to plan, it says off, especially if I take care to not go crazy with the calories in the weeks that follow.  This is just one more benefit to the beauty of water fasting, permanent weight loss.

But, don't take my word for it.  I recently discovered a gem of a little book, and a really quick read, titled, Water Fasting, by Kate McCarthy.  Her subtitle is, How to Lose Weight Fast, Increase Mental Clarity, Heal Your Body and Activate Autophagy with Water Fasting.  Her book is packed full of beautiful instruction and truly convincing studies showing just how effective water fasting can be for preventing, reversing or stopping potential disease conditions like: high blood pressure, high cholesterol, hormonal imbalances, obesity, blood sugar problems, cognitive decline and many other health concerns.  And she answers all of the questions one might have.  So, read Kate's book.  It's great.  

I have periodically enjoyed water fasting, my whole life long.  It has certainly helped me to get out of some tricky situations.  And is often one of the first things I turn to when I find myself in trouble or have a little problem developing with my health.  It is surprising to discover how easy water fasting can be, once you make your mind up to give it a try.  It always really helps me to increase my level of health, and I'm sure it will be able to help you do so too.  Enjoy.



Potassium Broth

In one or two large stainless steel or glass cooking pots add:
the peelings of 5 potatoes,
the peelings of 5 carrots,
one whole head of celery, chopped into small chunks,
three whole beets, chopped into small chunks,
half a head of dino kale, loosely chopped,
half a bunch of parsley, loosely chopped,
two onions, peeled and chopped into small chunks,
five cloves of garlic, minced and aired for 5 minutes before adding,
all of the nice beet greens that came with the beets, loosely chopped,
one tablespoon of Celtic Sea Salt, which contains over 84 different minerals.

Cover the ingredients with distilled water and cook for four hours.
Take the lids off of the pots for the last hour and turn the heat down to sim, to reduce the liquid a little.  This concentrates the flavors and makes a lovely broth.
Strain and store in glass jars.  This broth can be frozen, to use after your water fast.

I put my cooked vegetables in a nut milk bag and first hang them to drain and then squeeze the veggies into a separate bowl, to get more broth before placing them in my compost.  The squeezed veggies have more chance of bacterial involvement from my hands, so I keep that broth separate and consume it first. 

As a Clairvoyant Healer, Spiritual Counselor and Intuition Instructor, I share many tips for leading a healthy and fulfilling life.  Please be advised that I am not a doctor. Nor am I licensed in any healing modality. However, I have had years of experience in alternative and complementary health and healing. All healing programs, including standard western medical protocols in addition to natural therapies, can cause harm rather than the benefit that you may be searching for. After all some people can have a strong reaction to something as seemingly innocent as peanuts or strawberries. Therefore, anything that I may recommend in these blogs and videos could be dangerous for you to try. So, it is important that you Ask Your Doctor First before trying any natural healing protocol. However, most medical doctors have little experience regarding natural healing programs and herbal medicine. So please understand if your doctor is unfamiliar with these ideas.