I’m currently on day 2 of what I expect will be a 7-day therapeutic water fast, where I’ll be ingesting nothing but large quantities of water for 7 days.
Several of my friends have expressed curiosity (to put it mildly) about my decision. “Isn’t that unhealthy?!?”
As it happens, water fasts can be a very healthy and natural way to cleanse the body and eliminate toxins from one’s fat cells and the other places where the body stores toxins. Doctors (the ones educated in something other than pharmaceuticals and surgery) have been using fasts for thousands of years to promote health, and it works.
If you decide to try a fast, you first should do some research, and talk with someone who has experience in the area, to learn how to do it safely. My own introduction to the subject was Joel Fuhrman’s excellent book Fasting and Eating for Health (although it’s short on specifics for how to undertake the fast itself).
I discussed my fast beforehand with a doctor of oriental medicine here in town, who has experience with fasting and was very supportive of my plans.
I’ve fasted twice in the past, once in late 1998 when I first moved to New Mexico, and once in mid-2000. Both times I was pleased with the effects on my body. And the fast itself tends to be a time of resting and relaxation.
It completely changes one’s relationship to food, as well. After the first two days, your body switches to a ketone metabolism and you no longer feel hungry. Spending a week in that space — of not having to find, prepare, eat, or clean up after food — is very liberating, in some ways. You develop a new appreciation for choosing your food wisely, and after the fast, it’s very important to eat a healthy diet so you can maintain the benefits.
When I decided to write this posting, initially I had a hard time finding good information about fasting on the internet; but I finally found a nice summary of what Joel Fuhrman teaches, and also this amazingly good presentation of the topic from Caremark.
If you are interested in the topic and have questions about fasting, feel free to contact me. UPDATE: Actually, if you’re planning on starting a fast, please don’t contact me until after you’ve made the effort to find a suitable doctor to help plan and supervise your fast.