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21 Day Water Fast: 16-21+: Can I Get a WOOOT!?

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No matter how it has gone it has been worth it. The thing about a fast is that no two are alike and it is not a linear journey. This is definitely no different. As I shared, I have had rashes before, but this time it came earlier than usual. And, just as I thought it was leaving, another round came to the same area (my chest and left shoulder) and then to my back. That was NEW! To add to it, I had lower back pains that I read often is due to toxins settling, and the location of the colon, lower intestines, and kidneys. I increased my water intake and rested. Speaking of resting, I think I have slept more during this fast than I have in the past 3 years of fasting experiences. It should be said that I was in graduate school 75% of that time and could rest most of the day. This time I have been working a regular schedule, so the weekends are full of sleep. Next, the weather and the fast have conspired to bring on what seem to be cold symptoms. Howeveeeeeeer! That too can come from fasting because the body is ridding itself of mucous. Well, my body is doing a wonderful job of that. My investment in tissue has increased. There are many different physical reactions to fasting.

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All of this is a part of the process. And, with the last days looming I am thinking about the hiccups too. For a few days, I felt like I had failed because I was forced to drink coconut water because I just could not drink the distilled water or even the Glacier water I already had at home. And, yes, I had some dark chocolate (shameful, sorta). During the day, I was feeling way too light-headed at work and felt it was necessary to add something to help my blood sugar levels. It would have been terribly ugly to be sprawled out. Although the feeling of being light-headed has not completely left, it is manageable going into the home stretch. I’ve learned that there are times to have a “stick-to-it” spirit and times to be smart, that was one of the times.

For the rest of this journey, that ends on Thursday, January 21st, there is a focus on patience as well as action. TheyScreen Shot 2016-01-17 at 6.58.36 PM seem counterintuitive or opposites, right? Not actually so. While learning something new you have to have patience with yourself, but also be taking the actions to properly acquire the skill. That is where I am. I am looking for a permanent position, new vehicle, new home, and preparing for the national counselor examination, increasing my dating life (that should be interesting, pushing Popliciousness, and being Mom (24/7, you know how that is!), but it all takes patience as well as action. You don’t get hired by sitting around, a new vehicle doesn’t drive itself to your home (unless there is something I don’t know), dates don’t happen if you are Screen Shot 2016-01-17 at 7.06.12 PMnot engaging with people, popcorn does not get sold if you don’t work it, and young men (I have a 16 year old) don’t simply do everything without guidance. It all takes action, but patience for things to come together. The next 4 days will be a focus on where I am not patient or in action, taking those things on, and going after what I want. A few years ago, I endeavored on a Patience Journey, and I revisit that off and on because I am reminded how impatient I can be when things do not come as quickly as I believe they should. It brings the mirror to my face and forces me to look at what I am or am not doing to transform things in the areas of my life that matter the most.

Going off the fast is the right way is the most important thing I can do for myself. THAT takes patience! On Tuesday, I will publish the blog detailing how to safely go off a water fast and the website I have used for information pertaining to fasting.

Day 15

                                  Day 15

 

Day 1

                          Day 1

 

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       Day 13: Second Outbreak, Red bumps

Stage 4 (Day 16 to 30)
The body is completely adapted to the fasting process. There is more energy and clarity of mind. Cleansing periods can be short with many days of feeling good in between. There are days when the tongue is pink and the breath is fresh. The healing work of the organs is being completed. After the detoxification mechanisms have removed the causative agent or renders it harmless; the body works at maximum capacity in tissue proliferation to replace damaged tissue. While a short fast will reduce the symptoms, a longer fast can completely heal. Homeostatic balance is at optimum levels. The lymphatic system is clean except for a rare discharge of mucus through the nose or throat. After day 20, the mind is affected with heightened clarity and emotional balance. Memory and concentration improve.

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“Patience is, in and of itself, a great challenge and it often holds the key to breaking through a seeming impasse.” – Daisaku Ikeda

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21 Day Water Fast: Day 8 to 15: Healing Scars

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Alright, so it is day 9 and the healing has begun – for the most part. Evey time I have done a fast there has been a reaction. The rash comes out and I itch. This time was no different, it just happened earlier than usual. The rash usually shows up after day 7, this time it was apparent on day 3. Now, I am wondering what is next! Below is the progression of the rash. It is the way that my body reacts and how to toxins exit my body. When it begins to heal, as you see on the last picture, it turns dark like a healing scab. So, I call it my tiger strips since it takes a BEAST to get through a fast. Here are the pictures of day 3-8.

Day 3

Day 3

Day 4

Day 4

Day 5

Day 5

Day 6

Day 6

Day 7

Day 7

 

Day 8: Healing Beginning

Day 8: Healing Beginning


The wish for healing has always been half of health.
– Lucius Annaeus Seneca

This time of the fast seems to bring out all of the stuff of life, not just physically. What I think about are the times I have been in a process and allowed myself to thwart a process because of whatever excuse I allow. Then, I end up regretting having somewhat sabotaged what could have been. What I do know is that I have always gotten back on track after seeing myself as a cheater. That sounds terrible, but there are places in my life where I have cheated myself out of great results because of my own excuses. Haven’t you? So, from today forward I am going to be aware of my excuses and choose wisely. Let the rest of the fast BEGIN!

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Stage 3 (Day 8 to 15)
On the latter part of an extended fast, you can experience enhanced energy, clear-mindedness and feel better than you have felt since childhood, On the downside, old injuries may become irritated and painful. This is a result of the body’s increased ability to heal during fasting. If you had broken your arm 10 yrs before, there is scar tissue around the break. At the time of the break, the body’s ability to heal was directly related to lifestyle. If you lived on a junk food diet, the body’s natural ability to heal was diminished.

During fasting, the body’s healing process is at optimum efficiency. As the body scours for dead or damaged tissue, the lymphocytes enter the older-damaged tissue secreting substances to dissolve the damaged cells. These substances irritate the nerves in the surrounding region and cause a reoccurrence of aches from previously injured areas that may have disappeared years earlier. The pain lasts as the body is completing the healing process. The muscles may become tight and sore due to toxin irritation. The legs can be the worst affected as toxins accumulate in the legs. Cankers are common in this stage due to the excessive bacteria in the mouth.

RESULTS:

I did take my measurements before starting and weighed myself. As of this morning I am down 13lbs.

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NO MUD. NO LOTUS.

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21 Day Water Fast: Day 3 to 7: Everything Looks Yummy Edition!

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Here we are at day 3. The following is a breakdown of what to expect for the next 4 days. But, before that let me share – or vent – depends on your perspective. Don’t get me wrong with the whole fasting thing, I love food. I’m a lover of bread, homemade butter (yes, I make that), pizza, cheeses (glorious CHEESE), cakes, cookies, beef, and love to explore new foods. Fasting is not an easy thing to do….Oh, and I love popcorn! I HAD to get that out so I could concentrate! Yesterday, I walked to the kitchen and was offered red velvet cake and Red Lobster Cheddar Bay biscuits! May the Force be with ME. What I have learned with fasting is that all the things that would stop me from completing the fast become magnified.

 

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This morning I washed my hair in the shower and as I stood there I could feel my hands quiver a bit. Immediately I thought about the things that will happen during the fast, how THAT popcorn was just around the corner, and then I thought about the end game as well as those who are participating with me. I get to see where I tend to make excuses for my lack of commitment. The following quote was shared with me by a coach in a meeting at Landmark Education – the time I was a head coach in the Self-Expression and Leadership Program (my favorite of them all). It reminds me that all too often I am in my head with all the fearful questions, doubts, excuses, reasons, and ways out that seemingly rationalize the choice I am about to make. But, the choice is usually getting out of something instead of staying in it. It is that “fear that likes to dress itself up and parade around like rational hesitation,” that always comes in.

 

“The irony of commitment is that it’s deeply liberating — in work, in play, in love. The act frees you from the tyranny of your internal critic, from the fear that likes to dress itself up and parade around like rational hesitation. To commit is to remove your head as the barrier to your life.” – Anne Morris


As I sat speaking with a friend about the need to get another car, he was giving me plenty of options, but my mind took on that little “rational hesitation” for many good reasons. Of Screen Shot 2016-01-01 at 3.25.43 PMcourse they are all rational, but not real – at least yet. But, it is my commitment to a vehicle that matters. Just like it is my commitment to health, holistic living, a loving relationship (yes, I’m single!), caring for and supporting my son, and my other goals/values that matters. They may not always look like I want them to, but remaining committed is important.

With all that said, the third day presents a milestone. It will represent the reduction in hunger, and usually a time when headaches disappear. I haven’t had a headache and my hunger has subsided. Besides thirst for water, and the annoyance of seeing red velvet cake and cheddar bay biscuits, I’m good!

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DAYS 3 THROUGH 7

Stage 2 (Day 3 to 7)
Fats, composed of transformed fatty acids, are broken down to release glycerol from the gliceride molecules and are converted to glucose. The skin may become oily as rancid oils are purged from the body. People with problem-free skin may have a few days of pimples or even a boil. A pallid complexion is also a sign of waste in the blood. Ketones are formed by the incomplete oxidation of fates. It is suspected that the ketones in the blood suppress the appetite by affecting the food-satiety center in the hypothalamus called the appestat. You may feel hungry for the first few days of the fast. This effect is temporary. The desire to eat will disappear. Lack of hunger may last 40-60 days.

 

The body embraces the fast and the digestive system is able to take a much-needed rest, focusing all of its energies on cleansing organs and the lungs are in the process of being repaired. Periodically, the lymphatic system expels mucoid matter through the nose or throat. The volume excreted of this yellow-colored mucus can be shocking. The sinuses go through periods of being clogged, then will totally clear. The breath is still foul and the tongue coated. Within the intestine, the colon is being repaired and impacted feces on the intestinal wall start to loosen and are autolyzed.

From the third day onward the rate of the breakdown of fatty acids from adipose or fat tissue continues to increase, hitting its peak on the tenth day. This seven day period, after the body has shifted completely over to ketosis, is where the maximum breakdown of fat tissue occurs. As part of protein conservation, the body also begins seeking out all non-body-protein sources of fuel: nonessential cellular masses such as fibroid tumors and degenerative tissues, bacteria, viruses, or any other compounds in the body that can be used for fuel. This is part of the reason that fasting produces the kind of health effects it does. Also, during this period of heightened ketosis the body is in a similar state as the one that occurs during sleep – a rest and detoxification cycle. It begins to focus on the removal of toxins from the body and the healing and regeneration of damaged tissues and organs.

 

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21 Day Water Fast: Day 1 & 2: Headachin’ and Hangry Evening Edition!

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WELCOME TO THE FIRST DAY OF THE REST OF YOUR LIFE!

I’ve seen plenty of social media posts about new attitudes, working out, and those who shame others who are doing detoxes, cleanses, etc. Here is what I believe, people live in their own truth, how they need to at the moment, and if it doesn’t directly impact me I pray the best for them. And, still if is does I have the choice to release myself from the relationship or connection, and in the case of social media just don’t read it. It really is simple.

With that off my proverbial chest, there are things to expect from your fast today Screen Shot 2016-01-01 at 6.21.14 PMand tomorrow. It is easy if you choose to see it as a part of the process. We eat all the time! We are driven by our desires for the most part. I love popcorn, Mexican and Mediterranean foods, ice cream (which I should not have), and Boston Cream donuts. When the feeling hits I might get two Boston Cream donuts and be elated with my choice. The fact is that they are d@mn good – yes, I said it. Such cream-filled, chocolate glaze topped pillows of lovely fried goodness. Why must they be so good?  Good to me, not necessarily good for me. And then, there is Mexican food! I Screen Shot 2016-01-01 at 6.24.34 PMneed help with this one. ¡Aye dios mio! I love it all. My favorite restaurant, right now, is Mercado Juarez and it is way too close to my home. However, the beef, sour cream, guacamole, flour tortillas, chips, refried bean, flan, and probably their whole menu are not the healthiest. Is there a way to eat at Mercado Juarez that is healthy? Probably. But, honestly, I don’t go there to be uber healthy. I go there to enjoy every bite. And, the consequences are seen in the toxicity in the body.

What does all that have to do with day 1 and 2? I’ll tell you. With all of the foods we love come impacts to our health. They can be good and bad. With all of the foods we love come impacts to our mental health. They can be good and bad. The first two days are where many people are ready to quit because they are not used to being uncomfortable, eating to soothe themselves, having that soda or coffee to drink, or having dessert. Automatically we go into a survival mode that psychologically says “I MUST EAT RIGHT NOW!” and you have to be prepared to win over the mind.

Knowing what is going on through the process will help you tremendously. Here is Stage 1 breakdown:

Stage 1 (Day 1-2)
On the first day of fasting, the blood Sugar level drops below 70mg/dl. To restore the blood to the normal glucose level, liver glycogen is converted to glucose and released into the blood. This reserve is enough for a half day. The body then reduces the basal metabolic rate (BMR). The rate of internal chemical activity in resting tissue is lowered to conserve energy. The heart slows and blood pressure is reduced. Glycogen is pulled from the muscle causing some weakness. The first wave of cleansing is usually the worst.

Effects: Headaches, dizziness, nausea, bad breath, glazed eyes and a heavily coated tongue are signs of the first stage of cleansing. Hunger can be the most intense in this period.

Many of the most dramatic changes that occur in the body during fasting take place on the first three days of the fast. These occur as the body switches from one fuel source to another. Normally, the primary form of energy the body uses for energy is glucose, a type of sugar. Most of this is extracted or converted from the food we eat. Throughout the day, the liver stores excess sugar in a special form called glycogen that it can call on as energy levels fall between meals. There is enough of this sugar source for 8-12 hours of energy and usually, it is completely exhausted within the first 24 hours of fasting. (However, once the body shifts over to ketosis or fat as fuel, this new fuel is used to also restore the body’s glycogen reserves.)

Once the liver’s stores of glycogen are gone, the body begins to shift over to what is called ketosis or ketone production – the use of fatty acids as fuel instead of glucose. This shift generally begins on the second day of fasting and completed by the third. In this interim period there is no glucose available and energy from fat conversion is insufficient but the body still needs fuel. So it accesses glucose from two sources. It first converts glycerol, available in the body’s fat stores, to glucose but this is still insufficient. So it makes the rest that it needs from catabolizing, or breaking down, the amino acids in muscle tissue, using them in the liver for gluconeogenesis, or the making of glucose. Between 60 and 84 grams of protein are used on this second day, 2-3 ounces of muscle tissue. By the third day ketone production is sufficient to provide nearly all the energy the body needs and the body’s protein begins to be strongly conserved. The body still needs a tiny amount of glucose for some functions, however, so a very small amount of protein, 18-24 grams, is still catabolized to supply it – from 1/2 to 1 ounce of muscle tissue per day. Over a 30 day water fast a person generally loses a maximum of 1-2 pounds of muscle mass. This conservation of the body’s protein is an evolutionary development that exists to protect muscle tissue and vital organs from damage during periods of insufficient food availability.

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I recommend that you go to a few sites to read as well. They helped me to check in on my own symptoms and see what others experienced.

Additional tip: Considering you are attempting to remove toxins, I recommend only natural lotions, soaps, and oils for your skin. I don’t wear much make-up as it is, but endeavor to use less when fasting. A combination of shea butter and coconut oil can be sufficient as a lotion – I will share the recipe later. Eventually, you will probably not have a need for deodorant or find that you need very little.

Remember if you have any questions or comments please level them below. Most notably, I am not a physician and would never present myself as being one. If you have health issues a fast can be beneficial, but I do recommend doing your research as you go through the process.

 

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21 Day Water Fast: What to Expect

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The following is from Ralph Cinque about fasting. For those who are taking on their first fast, please read this with the intention of gather further information about what to expect. Enjoy. -Sidney

What to expect on your first fast.
Answers to the most commonly-asked questions!
By Ralph Cinque D.C.

INTRODUCTION: Fasting has been an integral part of Natural Hygiene care for more than 100 years. Many thousands of people have restored their health through fasting. Some, ill and distraught from years of discomfort and discouragement, try fasting as a last resort.

Some of the conditions that respond well to fasting and aggressive dietary changes after the fast are headache, rheumatoid arthritis, asthma, heart disease, high blood pressure, diabetes, colitis, psoriasis, lupus, and uterine fibroids. Fasting to heal oneself can mean the difference between living life pain-ridden and dependent on drugs, going from one doctor to another for relief and living a normal, pain-free existence into old age.

Health Science (1996) asked longtime Hygienic physician Ralph Cinque, D.C., to describe some of the experiences a person might encounter while considering and, ultimately, undertaking their first fast.

If you have never fasted before, you undoubtedly have many questions about it. Perhaps you have read a book about fasting, and you are hopeful that fasting will help you overcome a particular problem and improve your general health.
But since fasting is not yet a regular part of medical practice, it may be difficult for you to seriously consider it. This is unfortunate because fasting can have a powerful effect in reversing pathology and establishing a foundation for health. Fasting is not an all-encompassing solution to every health problem, but it has great promise to bolster the recovery process for many ailing people.
In order to make an intelligent decision about fasting, you need reliable information that is accurate, Screen Shot 2016-01-01 at 8.40.01 AMfactual, and scientific. It is good to talk to people who have fasted and to doctors who are experienced in the use of fasting. Dr. Herbert Shelton (1895-1985), who was one of the founders of the American Natural Hygiene Society, probably had more experience with fasting than anyone else who ever lived. It is estimated that he supervised more than 40,000 fasts. Dr. Shelton used to say that “the most vehement objections to fasting are made by those who have never missed a meal in their lives.
Think twice before accepting condemnations of fasting from those who know nothing about it and have no experience with it, whether they a physicians or lay persons. if you objectively look at the evidence about fasting, you will see that it has improved health and life for countless people under a broad range of circumstances.

Benefits of fasting
The first question you might ask “Why should I fast?” A thorough answer to that question could comprise an entire book. The short answer is that fasting helps the body to normalize itself
Think about what happens when you go to sleep at night. Your body immediately goes about the tasks of repair and recovery (as much as possible) from the wear and tear of the day’s activities. A renovation takes place in your brain and throughout your entire body that enables you to arise refreshed and raring to go the next day.
The restorative power of a night’s sleep involves many factors, and the process is not completely understood. But one factor that definitely helps facilitate this process of rejuvenation is your nightly fast. While you are sleeping each night, you are not eating—you are not adding to your body’s digestive work. This period of digestive rest allows your body to devote more of its energy to its nightly restoration.
You probably know from experience that eating a heavy meal late at night interferes with the quality of your sleep and leaves you feeling groggy the next day. Heavy eating late at night, much like heavy drinking late at night, can leave you with a hangover.
Abstinence from food at night facilitates the process of biological renewal, allowing your body to proceed with its repairs and restorations. Of course, one does not remain asleep throughout a fast, but when fasting is combined with rest, your body treats it as an extended period of renovation and renewal.
During fasting, your senses become more acute, including taste, smell, and hearing. Even sight has been known to improve during a fast, although that does not always happen.

 

Balance and stability
Most people are familiar with the term homeostasis, which refers to the body’s balancing, centering, and stabilizing mechanisms. Homeostatic mechanisms are what enable your body to adjust to the relentless changes in your external and internal environments.
It is easier for your body to maintain homeostasis when you are resting and fasting than when you are eating and engaging in activity. The conservation of energy during such a profound period of rest creates a favorable condition for the biological process of healing. The human body is programmed to always seek normality, and a properly conducted fast supports and encourages that process.

 

Absence of hunger
Your next question might very well be, “Won’t I be hungry all the time when I am fasting?” The surprising fact is that after one or a few days of fasting, most people experience little or no desire for food.
The desire to eat is dictated by a combination of physiological and psychological factors. It is thought that hunger is triggered by the activity of certain brain cells within the “appetite center” of the hypothalamus which respond to the blood glucose level.
During fasting, the body begins to burn fat as a fuel, and the appetite center becomes temporarily desensitized to blood glucose. This makes it possible to fast without a gnawing hunger.
Most people report little desire for food while fasting. They do not have a powerful, overwhelming urge to eat. This helps make it possible for most people to fast comfortably for several weeks or longer.

 

Psychological factors
It is important to recognize that psychological factors c an affect people differently during fasting. Some people have a habit of thinking and talking about food much of the time — whether they are hungry or not. Some people even dream about food while fasting. But most people experience little or no psychological discomfort about not eating for a period of time. Some even enjoy the feeling of lightness and freedom they get while fasting. Do not assume that you will feel like you are “starving” because you won’t be starving. You will be fasting.

 

Fasting, not starving
There is an important difference between fasting and starving. Fasting is a period of abstinence from food during which the body’s nutrient reserves are adequate to meet the body’s nutritional needs. Starvation can occur only if you abstain from food beyond the point where you have sufficient nutrient reserves.
The differences between fasting and starving are unmistakable to the trained eye, and that is why it is important that you fast under the supervision of a member of the International Association of Hygienic Physicians (IAHP) who is certified for fasting supervision.

 

 

Will I experience discomfort?
While fasting, everyone tends to experience some “locomotor Screen Shot 2016-01-01 at 8.37.14 AMweakness,” which refers to the withdrawal of energy from the muscular system as the body tries to conserve energy. Sometimes it is surprisingly mild. Some people fast for two weeks without becoming discernibly weak. They move about as easily as they did before they began their fasts.
In general, those who are large and heavy tend to remain more energetic than those who are small and light. The body enforces an earlier slowdown of caloric expenditure in those who have the least reserves. Thin people can become weak rather early in a fast. Interestingly, women tend to hold up better energy-wise while fasting than do men. I presume it is because women tend to have greater fat reserves, on average, but hormonal factors also may be involved.
Symptoms may arise during fasting, such as headaches, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, and skin eruptions.These all are related to the increase in your body’s eliminative activities during the fast, and they are considered to be constructive. Dr. Shelton used the term “orthopatbic,” which means “right suffering,” to describe these events. Nevertheless, they can be uncomfortable and distressing.
The vast majority of people are able to fast for a sufficient period of time without major discomfort.The most frequent complaint I hear from people who are fasting is that they are bored. However, there are instances when a situation arises that may necessitate terminating the fast.That is why it is important that you fast under the supervision of a physician trained in fasting supervision.

 

Low blood pressure
Blood pressure tends to drop during a fast, which is a good thing if your pressure is too high. But if you have normal or low blood pressure, this further drop in blood pressure during fasting can occasion orthostatic hypotension—a sudden feeling of weakness and lightheadedness that occurs when you try to stand up too quickly. While fasting, you must be careful to move around slowly in order to give your body time to adjust to different postures.
There are special receptors in the neck called baroreceptors which regulate the blood pressure to the brain. These baroreceptors tend to respond more slowly during fasting; they take longer to read conditions and elicit a response. People have been known to faint while fasting, but the only danger in fainting is that you may hit your head on something hard or sharp as you fall down. The way to prevent such a mishap is to be slow and careful each and every time you shift positions during fasting. Pause between postures to give your body time to adjust to the effects of gravity.
Sometimes it is necessary to end a fast because of low blood pressure. How low you can allow your blood pressure to drop during fasting before terminating a fast depends upon what your blood pressure was originally, and your size, age, sex, and other factors.An experienced physician can make that evaluation.

 

A good and safe experience
To maximize the benefits from fasting and ensure your safety, obtain professional supervision from a certified IAHP physician. Fasting beyond several days requires professional supervision in order to be safe.
Moreover, there are some fragile and delicate individuals for whom even one day of fasting would be ill-advised without an IAHP doctor’s approval and supervision. Stability is achieved during fasting because of adaptations the body makes, and individuals vary at how well they make those adaptations.
As I mentioned, the biggest complaint I hear from people who are fasting is that they are bored. Here is where mental discipline can be a major factor. No one will deny that it can be mentally challenging to lie around fasting day after day. But, if you take it just one day at a time (and don’t decide ahead of time how many days you will fast), you can get through your first fast without too much difficulty.

ANHS’ Health Science, 1996. Ralph Cinque, D.C., is director of Dr. Cinque’s Health Retreat in Buda,Texas, and has been certified for fasting supervision by the International Association of Hygienic Physicians. Website www.drcinque.com

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21 Day Water Fast: Benefits: That is Crazy! Why Would I Fast Anyway?

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The benefits of fasting are many, and there are dangers. Here are somethings to consider in preparation for the 21 days. This information is from the two reference sources listed at the end.

THE OTHER SIDE: LET’S GET TO THE DANGERS FIRST.
Even fasts of a few weeks or less can have dangerous consequences. Fasting puts two different types of stress on your heart. First, it cannibalizes cardiac muscle for fuel. The human body does everything it can to conserve muscle during a fast, but inevitably some muscle will be sacrificed at the beginning of the fast. After a few days, the body switches over to using fat, but researchers have discovered that protein (muscle) utilization actually increases again later on, even though fat stores are still available. This protein includes the muscle in your heart: weaken this too much, and heart failure will result.

Strict water fasting is also a risk for heart failure because during a fast, the body’s intracellular stores of minerals vital for cardiac function, like magnesium and potassium, are depleted, even though serum levels remain normal. The results of this cardiac muscle loss and mineral deprivation can be tragic.

Another potential downside of long-term fasting is the rate of detox. Fat is your body’s storage organ for everything, including any toxins that may have accumulated over the years. When you lose weight, all these toxins have to be removed through your bloodstream, which can be extremely uncomfortable. During fasting, these symptoms are even more pronounced, since the rate of fat burning is so rapid – many people feel nauseous, sick, or otherwise unwell.

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BENEFITS: THE GOOD STUFF TOO.

Water fasting offers the quickest detox and strongest therapeutic effect. It is also the most challenging fast to perform in the first few days. Careful preparation in the days before a water fast can make all the difference in your level of comfort, but the emotional challenge will still be great.

A true water fast maintains a zero caloric intake. This means water only, nothing added to it. Some call water fasting the only “true” fast and believe that any food allowed into the bodily system prevents the complete resting state desired, compromising the level of cleansing and detox attained.

Water fasting isn’t for everyone, nor is it appropriate at all times. The more toxic your body is, the more intense your discomfort will be in those early days if you have not prepared. Yet, even proper preparation cannot predict the intensity of the detoxification process. Having support is important if this is your first water fast because it can be difficult to continue on your own when the symptoms have become frightening. I remember the toxins being released through my skin, particularly on my chest and shoulders in the form of puss filled pimpled that itched. Initially I thought I was allergic to a medication I had to take for the first week of the fast, but when it did not subside I figured out that it was toxins. The itching was so great that I had to make an oatmeal salve to help because I would wake up in the middle of the night scratching uncontrollably.

The speed at which old conditions can right themselves during a water fast is incredible. It’s amazing the little health “issues” that just go away–the mole that just drops off, the shoulder that’s been achy for years suddenly feels well again, that little patch of “weird” skin you’ve grown accustomed to vanishes without a trace…and those are just the little things.

Water fasters are advised to consume one to two quarts per day of the purest water available or to use distilled water. (While distilled water is not good for everyday consumption, it is good during a fast for its increased ability to bind to toxins.) The first few days of a fast are the most difficult. Besides the emotional challenge of going without food, these first days may have the most intense and uncomfortable symptoms of detoxification. After that, the body adjusts to the new fasting state, and most individuals feel little further discomfort, even hunger disappears.

After 2-3 days, the body goes into a state called ketosis, where it begins to fuel itself internally by burning fat cells. Ketosis occurs around 48 hours for women and 72 hours for men according to Dr. Joel Fuhrman, author of Fasting and Eating for Health. The length of time one can safely operate in ketosis varies from person to person.

Fasting also promotes autophagy, which is like a “spring cleaning” for your cells. Since your body is essentially eating itself, it has a chance to get rid of any junk or waste material that may have built up, and repair the damage of oxidative stress. This is one of the biggest benefits of fasting even for people who are already at a healthy weight, since it has powerful anti-aging and muscle-building properties.

 

One study also found that an extended fast (10 days on average) was beneficial to patients with hypertension, also noting that even though the patients didn’t embark on the fast to lose weight, all of them did – average weight loss was around 15 pounds. Longer term fasting (up to 5 days) may also have some benefits for chemotherapy patients.

Another benefit of extended fasting is purely mental: for many fasters, it’s a way to “re-set” their relationship with food, break free from patterns of emotional eating, or start fresh at the end of the fast. Fasting is part of many religious and spiritual practices because of its value for meditation and mindfulness. Bear in mind that this doesn’t happen automatically: it requires a high level of self-awareness and effort on the part of the faster. It’s a very useful tool, but it’s not a miracle cure.

Many people also fast safely, but it’s worth noting that fasting isn’t a risk-free experiment. Less serious drawbacks also include intense mood swings, low energy, and irritability. Fasting lowers blood pressure, so you may feel weak, dizzy, or nauseous during the fast. It raises levels of the stress hormones norepinephrine and cortisol, probably an adaptation to give you more energy for finding food, but not beneficial for optimum health.

One reporter from Harper’s Magazine lost 30 pounds on a 17-day fast, and suggested that fasting is so denigrated as a cure for chronic disease because it’s just not profitable for drug companies. His article also detailed the case of a suicidal doctor after the Civil War who tried to starve himself to death, only to find that the longer he fasted, the better he felt.

An extremely obese man in Scotland lost 276 pounds on a 382-day fast, while taking supplemental vitamins and minerals. A rarity among extreme weight loss patients, he actually kept the weight off once the fast was over.

One follower of the Perfect Health Diet fasted for 30 days, and reported that his migraines were cured at the end of the fast. However, he later discovered that just eating a ketogenic diet would have the same effect.

Perhaps most usefully to anyone considering a long fast, a blogger named Celestine Chua fasted for 21 days and kept an astonishingly detailed record of her physical and emotional reactions. Although she experienced severe mental and physical “detox,” she reported being glad that she’d fasted, and having a better relationship with food afterwards.

All these reports are biased, of course, because people who try a fast and fail are much less likely to write publicly about it. But they are interesting resources, and we’re not likely to get a randomized, controlled clinical study any time soon, so they’re the best we have for now.

While you’re in the midst of a fast, don’t try to work out at all – this will just cause your body to lose more muscle than necessary. The closer you can get to bed rest, the better. Read, journal, meditate, sleep, listen to music, or talk to people you love. Many people take time off work to concentrate on their fast. Keeping a slow-paced and thoughtful environment will help you really get the most of the psychological and spiritual benefits of fasting.
Resources:
All About Fasting
PaleoLeap: Long Fasts

 

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21 Day Water Fast: Why, Quick Prep, and More

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Here we go! In 2013, I embarked on a 40 day water fast for a myriad of reasons and have continued to do so each year since. Beginning January 1, I will be participating in a 21 day fast with others who have asked for further information. Due to the holiday I was not able to present everything as I wanted to properly prepare everyone, but it is possible to start NOW. With that said, the following is the necessary information to begin and each day I will share information abut my fast as well as what can be expected for the next day(s). Please leave comments and questions so we can discuss as well as support each other.

PREPARE:

Today is crucial. Although you may not have started tapering off your food intake until right now, it is alright. As of this moment:

  • Increase your water intake
  • Drink all the fresh fruit and vegetable juices you like especially the dark greens.
  • Eliminate dairy products, eggs refined flour products and sweets.
  • Do not use any caffeine, alcohol, stimulants or recreational drugs.
  • Do not eat any fried foods.
  • Use mild herbal teas. One or two cups of the right herbal tea may support the purification and best possible function of your body.
  • Clean out your kitchen of all the addictive foods in the cabinets and refrigerator, if possible.

What else do you need to do?

Before you run out to buy water, clean out the kitchen, or anything else sit down with a glass of water. Yes, grab a glass of water with a piece of paper and a pen. When you sit down write down what you want to get from a water fast. Water fasting isn’t for everyone, nor is it appropriate at all times. The more toxic your body is, the more intense your discomfort will be in those early days if you haven’t properly prepared. Additionally, write down your daily schedule for bedtime, rest during the day (even if it is 10 minutes of sitting still), and other things that will allow you to be in a resting state. Writing down your purpose for fasting, what you want to see, and keeping it in mind will help you when he fast begins and you start doubting your will to continue. Remind yourself why you are doing the fast and remember that it is important.

Over the next 3 weeks I will share with you some things you might want to purchase or things that will help during this process. The first things I know you will need is a purpose statement for yourself. What is your “why?” Then, run out to get:

  • A tongue scraper: This will be an amazing life saver for you. Why? During a water fast your body Screen Shot 2015-12-31 at 12.14.46 PM Screen Shot 2015-12-31 at 12.15.10 PM Screen Shot 2015-12-31 at 12.15.18 PMis eliminating toxins and the mouth is an orifice through which those toxins will be released. And it is not pleasant. A tongue scraper is more effective at removing toxins and bacteria from the tongue than a toothbrush. Although brushing and flossing will loosen and move debris around, they do not actually remove the bacteria. DO NOT purchase a scraper that is flavored, if you can help it. *NOTE:* I do not recommend brushing teeth with toothpaste during a fast because the taste may be unbearable. Additionally, you are detoxing and adding toothpaste is presenting toxins back into the body.
  • Gallons of Distilled Water: Water fasters are advised to consume one to two quarts per day of the purest water available or to use distilled water. (While distilled water is not good for everyday consumption, it is good during a fast for its increased ability to bind to toxins.)
  • Water Bottles: Have personal water bottles available so you can fill them. You may want to write in permanent marker on them to encourage yourself, speak to the water the words you write, and write how many ounces the bottles are so you know how much you are consuming.
  • Notebook: Why? Well, I use a notebook to write about my experiences, thoughts, and things I see about myself. Fasting is a time of slowing down that brings the opportunity to reconnect with self, passions, and realize automatic actions that you may not pay attention to at another time. Write them down. If you are adding in spiritual components write prayers, verses, gosho quotes, or whatever else encourages you in the notebook.
  • Measurements & Weight: Many of us are also going to see changes on the scale and in the fit of clothing regularly. Be sure to take your measurements today or tomorrow morning and write it in your notebook. Women and men you can go here to get measurement instructions.

You may want to watch this video from January of last year giving instruction for water fasting along with other tidbits:

I will be publishing a new post later today about the benefits of water fasting and more information. Please feel free to leave questions!

 

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If Black Women weren’t so MOUTHY & LISTENed they wouldn’t attract DEADLY drama.

Take time to read. “This is why they are told how to speak, dress, style their hair, raise their children. If the woman is controlled, discouraged to show strength, she’ll never remember she was created as a queen to rule. #EbrahimAseem”

Real News

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People say, “if black women just dropped their sassy ass mouth, cut their “mad-at-the-world” sista girl attitude, & were more obedient to men in authority, their lives would be different. Smartmouthedness leads to singleness. Sassy-as-hell will leave you dead in a jail cell.

Look at Sandra Bland. If she would’ve just said “yes sir” & did like she was told, she’d be alive right now.” If you agree with this train of thought, you are a narcissistic idiot. By: Ebrahim AseemFollow @fuel4thebody

Intelligent women who speak their mind make insecure males flaccid. #EbrahimAseem This is why Sandra Bland was arrested.

When a woman resists submitting to a narcissistic male, his inadequacies provoke him to physically assert his non-existent dominance onto her. #EbrahimAseem

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LIFE LAB 180º: Sore feet, Sweat, and Music

Screen Shot 2015-05-29 at 6.22.20 PM“You’ve gotta dance like there’s nobody watching,
Love like you’ll never be hurt,
Sing like there’s nobody listening,
And live like it’s heaven on earth.”
William W. Purkey

LIFE CHART #18: Friday was my night. This one is going to be brief for sure. What I have to say is that there comes a time when you have to truly enjoy the things you enjoy. I have always enjoyeScreen Shot 2015-06-22 at 8.49.56 AMd dancing. When I was little I went to dance classes with my Mom. And, I remember dancing with friends in our neighborhood. In fact, there was a day when an adult in the neighborhood was going to have a dance contest at her house. I was usually at her house, but at that moment I was not. A friend came to find me and said that I was wanted for the dance contest. Of course! Dance? I’m there! I was all of about 5- years old.

There is something about dancing and singing that I love. I can’t explain it, but it just simply makes me happy. So, Friday, with two friends we met up at Sambuca to relax. When looking it up there was a band called Moving Colors, the videos were alright, and so we went with it. When we got there they proved to be way better than the videos reveal. They are amazing. So much so I will be seeing them this coming Saturday at Market Street Allen USA, along with my musical husband Michael McDonald (girl scream).

With all that said, I danced all night, sweat my hair out, and my dress what wet, but my spirit was filled. Enjoy what you enjoy. Seek it. Partake in that. Bring friends along. And, you never know what will open up for you in your life! LIVE OUT LOUD! ENJOY THE DANCE OF IT ALL.

My Little Scrapbook:

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BE WATER.

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LIFE LAB 180º: The Friend Zone is Strong in Me and Here’s Why

Screen Shot 2015-05-29 at 6.22.20 PM“Sure, we were friends who exchanged soulful glances, friends who slept in a bed filled with sexual tension, friends who found any excuse to touch, but I worried that we’d never take that perilous leap of faith toward becoming a real couple, a permanent team.”
Emily Giffin, Something Blue

LIFE CHART #15: For the past few weeks there has been this conversation about relationships between my friends and me. We have varying perspectives on relationships from being friends to those involving intimate ties. My perspective on each comes from experience, watching, growing, choosing, and discussions. I have come to be comfortable with how I am in relationships not so much the level of comfort of the other person.

Last year, I was accused of being what I can only equate to cold-hearted because I don’t fall in love. I know. I know. For me, falling is an accident and I do my best to avoid accidents. When I leave the house it is my intention to give my focus to being safe so I can return without incident. Love is very much intentional for me. Why? It is a gift that I don’t give lightly to anyone. When it comes to relationships there are benefits to my love. That sounds arrogant when it is actually confident and self-assured.

 

When I say, “I love you” that comes with benefits not every person gets. It’s love having the gate code to a secure community, the access code to an ATM, or authorization to use a Black Card (not that one!). Like American Screen Shot 2015-06-14 at 11.13.18 PMExpress says, “Membership has its privileges”. When I am in a relationship it is not just me, but we and so I approach things like with that in mind. “The Former”, as I shall refer to him, had high blood pressure. When he would have a physical for work and it indicated that the pressure was too high, I knew that meant a morning of sitting at a doctor’s office. He would call to let me know when the appointment was and we would be in the waiting room. I cannot say how many times that was the case, but it happened. He drove trucks so I often received a call 2 hours before he needed to be picked up (usually after 12am) and I was there with my son in tow. Once I am in and say, “I love you,” that is it – you get access. Membership has its privileges.

 

The big deal? It occurred to me that not every person operates this way. Some people just like to know that someone likes them, wants someone to grovel for their attention, enjoy games, or simply don’t take relationships or interactions with someone else seriously. And that is fine unless it’s not. For me, at the point I begin to sense some squirreliness and inconsideration with respect to my need for clarity or interaction my response is to reduce my interaction, think about what I want, and, then, act in that vain. That might be to reengage and it might be to disengage completely. But in some cases, where there was never a clear distinction of what is or is not going on, I am happy to place you in the Friend Zone. Yes, there.

I do Friend Zone so well I have been told to never say, “Let’s be friends” because it is known I can make that transition like flipping a light switch. See, the thing is that for me Friend Zone is not an announcement that I make it is most likely a place you find yourself. For men reading this, it is like going to the buffet with the intention of ordering the steak and potato dinner with a dessert buffet and, then, finding yourself getting the whole thing. It just happened, weren’t cognizant of it going down, you ate and ate but you are sitting looking at the multiple plates you used to manhandle that buffet. Let it be known that I rarely toss someone with whom I have great interest into The Friend Zone quickly. I make my interest known verbally, physically, and through allowing myself to be vulnerable. When that squirreliness and inconsideration rears its head and it has been addressed with no solution that is a win-win, you my friend, are zoned and you will not get a notice. And, know it will not be easy to get out once you realize you are there.

See, this conversation about being place in The Zone unfairly has to be considered from another view. You might be a good guy, good job, have a career, and all of that, but if you have shown interest in a female, become wishy-washy, do not want to discuss it, and think that it is perfectly fine let me help you out. You, my friend, have placed yourself in The Friend Zone inadvertently. You are in there legitimately so sit, watch the above .gif, and think about how you got there because that is you attempting to get out. Grab some bandages for your knees and elbows or maybe just accept it.

Just today I shared with a friend my desire to have an amazing relationship, period. No games. Fun. Interacting with all the stuff of life. Enjoying the dance and foolishness of it all. I’m pretty simple about it all. I’m pretty open. And, I’m pretty clear that life is dynamic and know how to flow with that through communication. Relationships don’t have to be hard, but they do take wisdom that overrides any sense of desperation. Desperation has people do things that are devised to bolster their self-esteem. For me to be able to have a healthy relationship we both have to have a health sense of contentment with who were are and a desire to continue to grow.

So, here it is. I am no guru, but I am learning to be content with me, what I have, what I do not have, where I have been, where I am, and where I am heading. The Friend Zone, to me, is not a holding area, but a place for people with whom I want to be friends. And, that is perfectly fine. Last, I am thankful for the wisdom that decreases any sense of desperation, but increases my sense of contentment and self-confidence.

I’m thankful f0r the 180º.

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BE WATER.

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