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People in the "west" gorge their mouths constantly on anything that looks or smells good to them, without any thought whatsover of all the chemicals, pesticides and hormones that are injected into those foods. People buy a car, spend extra for better gasoline, shine their car, give it quality oil, take it to regular maintenance and love their automobiles like some god, but treat their own bodies like expendable garbage, like it is somehow some amazing instrument capable of processing and removing all the garbage we put into it. Add to it the air we breath, which goes deep into our lungs and through that into our bloodstream. Did you know that our bodies are capable of processing the basic elements of air – carbon, nitrogen, hydrogen and oxygen – and converting that into food? So our bodies actually consume air, contributing to about <%> of our overall food intake. But if you live in the city, this includes all the crap cars spit out, which contribute to half a city's air pollution. Gasoline and with all its additives has about 600 < chemicals in it, many of which contribute to neurological diseases. < Now if we add up all the chemicals in processed food, pesticides in our fruits and vegetables (which certainly do not all wash away by simply running them under tap water but our absorbed deep into their cells as they consume water while they grow), car exhaust, cigarette smoke (there are about 600 chemicals in your average cigarette, including ammonia to help it burn and help you get more addicted < ), whether inhaled directly or secondary smoke, and alcohol, which is a toxic poison (think of inTOXicated), you can see how we daily pound our system with hundreds of chemicals. And you can imagine how these foreign and unnatural substances accumulate in our cells over a lifetime. We are born fresh little babies, assuming our mothers maintained a healthy diet and lived in the clean air country. We grow up and our young bodies are better able at processing any bad stuff we put in it. We feel invincible in our youth, but over time and once we hit around 20, the scales are tipped, our bodies are no longer able to process everything so fully, and we start to see the effects.

But if you live in the city, this includes all the pollution emitted by cars, which contribute to half a city's air pollution. Gasoline and with all its additives has about 600 chemicals in it, many of which contribute to neurological diseases. Now if we add up all the chemicals in processed food, pesticides in our fruits and vegetables (which certainly do not all wash away by simply running them under tap water but are absorbed deep into their cells as they consume water while they grow), car exhaust, cigarette smoke (there are about 600 chemicals in your average cigarette, including ammonia to help it burn and help you get more addicted), whether inhaled directly or secondary smoke, and alcohol, which is a toxic poison (think of inTOXicated), you can see how we daily pound our system with hundreds of chemicals.

And you can imagine how these foreign and unnatural substances accumulate in our cells over a lifetime. We are born fresh little babies, assuming our mothers maintained a healthy diet and lived in the clean air country. We grow up and our young bodies are better able at processing any bad stuff we put in it. We feel invincible in our youth, but over time and once we hit around 20, the scales are tipped, our bodies are no longer able to process everything so fully, and we start to see the effects.

This is when it is a good idea to start thinking of a spring cleaning. In fact, it would be better to think of good and wholesome eating all year round, but even if you managed to accomplish that to the best of your abilities, there still remains all the other substances found in our surrounding environment. Cancer was apparently non-existence more than 50 years ago, but with all the chemicals that have been added to help things grow faster, in our air, and the environment around us, it is no wonder that this disease has exploded.

Imagine going to the store and buying a fresh, white rag to clean your house with. You go around your house with your pale of water, wiping this and that, until both the water in the pail and the rag start to look increasingly dirty. And you find that you are no longer able to make things look cleaner, but are rather just moving and smearing dirt around. Well you can look at your body in the same way. Initially able to process junk, but as the junk accumulates in your system and your body get older, not as capable of cleaning itself that effectively, this junk starts to remain and reside in various cells and corners of your body, sitting there rotting, reducing your body's overall performance, and leading to all sorts of diseases.

This is when you want to take your rag and run it under clean water, and your body through an annual spring cleansing. When I go through my annual cleanse, I am amazed at all the junk I see being removed from my body. Now before I embark on an explanation of how to clean your body, I'd like to point out that I have been doing this for years, starting slow, and each time improving on it, such that I have brought it up to a rather thorough level, which could seem quite extreme to anyone who has not cleansed their body before. I will first explain to what measure I do it, and then provide various alternatives for those who are just starting out. After all, when you rid your body of toxins, it is said that you could actually die from over toxification if you have never done this before (in fact, die of this sooner than lack of water or sleep). Releasing the floodgates of toxins stored and built up in your bodies over the years can cause such a poisonous shock to your body that it would actually kill you! So I'd actually suggest you start slow and improve on it every year. When I started, my first year I was whining and groaning like a baby from one mere day of fasting. But by the third year I felt no pain at all (I guess because I had removed most of the toxins), and now I can go for eight days on water only and not feel the slightest bit of discomfort. Amazing eh?

I combine my fast with various other techniques I have learned over the years, but first to explain the principle of a fast. When the body does not have enough of its regular intake of food, it starts to look around for other things it can consume. Usually when you feed it enough, it has plenty of fuel to burn in the stomach, intestines and bloodstream. This is the easiest source of energy, so it burns that first. But when it runs out of that, it starts to search the body for other possible sources of energy, and this is where it burns away other things which don't really belong there (like fat, for example). And after that, toxins, and yes, even cancer. They say you can cure yourself of cancer by not eating for forty days, but I can guarantee you that it would take years of training to achieve a forty day fast.

So your body can actually devour viruses, weak and cancerous cells, and everything else which does not belong there. After about five days of water only, I feel like a Duracell battery, running on particular energy. In fact, when animals suffer a major injury, they automatically go into a fast to heal themselves. The body uses about 60% of its energy to consume the food we eat. When you free yourself of this burden, especially if you are a big meat eater, you would be surprised how much extra energy your body has to fight a sickness or to heal an injury. When I fast, I find I sleep less (sometimes only four to five hours a day), that I'm more perky, and I feel light and bouncy, like I'm walking on the moon. This contrary to the sluggishness and sleepiness I feel after a big steak meal.

In fact, whenever I get a strong cold (which is almost never because I eat rather healthily, with lots of garlic - check out my website how to kill a cold), I fast a little bit by eating less and eating only light foods like whole grain rice. This clears up extra energy which my body can use to fight the virus, and I often kill it within a single day.

So the principle of fasting cleans the body. Getting right down to the cell level and burning off junk that doesn't belong there. Junk which will stay there, festering and rotting over the years, and which cannot be removed in any other way.

Of course, during this period, you want to drink lots of clean, purchased spring water. Not mineral water, where minerals can generally deposit in your joints and cause problems later, but good clean water, and you can imagine your body like that dirty rag which you hold under running tap water and flush out all the junk clogged between the pores of the fabric. In this same way you are flushing and cleaning out your body.

One of the reasons why I started fasting is because I saw the affects on a friend of mine. Over forty years old, and his face looked noticeably shiny after a few days. I also notice my improved complexion, and my next fast I'd like to take before and after pictures to prove it. He explained how, with all the water you are drinking and your body burning and flushing away junk, your skin is sucked of all the junk clogged in it. Your skin is a very important and your largest bodily organ. It breaths, and has many important functions. So it is soaking in the junk from the air around you, and depositing in it the junk circulating within your bloodstream. So yes, one of my great motivations of fasting is to look young and beautiful. I admit it. And people constantly guess I'm at least ten years younger than I am. So you can forget about all that mascara and more chemicals you plaster on your skin to make yourself more beautiful, and simply embark on a good spring cleaning, ridding your body of all this junk, and you will be amazed what a simple and beauty trick you accomplished. After rinsing your rag under running water for a good five minutes, it won't look shiny and new like when you bought it, and you won't look shiny and new like when you first came out of your mommy, but you will certainly notice a healthy difference!

After hopefully convincing you of the sound logic behind a good spring cleaning, we can start to talk about how to go about it.

When I do my annual fasts, one friend of mine protested that I was not fasting at all, if she had found me nibbling on some food. But this is not true. What is breakfast after all than breaking an eight hour fast while sleeping? As soon as you reduce your regular intake of food, your body goes into fast mode, searching around for what doesn't belong there, to supplement its required energy intake. Many people "fast" by eating only fruits for thirty days. There are many ways you can go about it. Not necessarily the extreme I like to.

There is also a famous juice fasting concoction composed of squeezed lemon, maple syrup, clean water and a sprinkle of chilli. Lemon is a good cleansing food, maple syrup is the healthiest glucose you can find (where glucose supplies your body with raw energy), and the chilli for vitamin B and to neutralize the pallet. The latter is good because you will definitely taste the toxins coming out in your saliva. This juice fast is not as strong as a water fast, but works too, and you can apparently survive on that alone for forty days without any pain or effort.

But I must admit there is some pain and effort, for which reason I prefer to make my fasts more powerful, so that I can make them sweet and short. And the pain and effort for me has always been all those parties I had to forgo. For you certainly should not consider introducing your bodies with such poison as alcohol while you are trying to rid your body of those very toxins! Another pain was the torture of all the foods I smelled. When deep in fast mode, my sense of smell became very acute. I could smell someone cooking a block away. I would acutely know exactly which spices they were using, and my mind would be flooded with thoughts of sinking my teeth into a juicy steak, or licking on an icecream, or crunching into a handful of potato chips...

It was a never ending bombardment of temptation on my poor little mind, and my tongue dazzled my imagination with all sorts of succulent foods oozing over my hungry taste buds with a bountiful rich assortment of flavours squishing and squashing between my teeth, the delicious juices then oozing wonderfully down my throat. This was a constant torture indeed and I found the greatest exercise of my willpower. Absolutely no pain in my stomach (after the second year of fasting), my body felt perky and light, I felt awake and full of energy, but BOY was my tongue feeding my mind with the wildest fantasies of juicy red strawberries embedded in a healthy mound of vanilla icecream. Constant bombardment of my mind, and no wonder I would sneak off and nibble on the occasional potato chip, savoring every sweet little crunch, until I was caught red handed and accused of, "That's not a fast!"

Another torture was the boredom. You'd be surprised what a nice break in your long day a meal makes. And the entire ritual of cutting the garlic, washing the vegetables, stirring the pot, nibbling away contentedly. Heck, you even miss the ritual of washing the dishes! Instead, you spend your entire day working and being productive. It is horribly boring. Sipping on boring water, not dazzling your senses with the most varied foods, which you can usually choose at your whim, but only dreaming of when this blasted fast will be over so that you can sink your teeth into every pleasure you can find.

So over the years I found myself preferring a shorter but more powerful fast. Although I admit that my last fast was not such a torture session, and I am thinking it is because I prepared my body better in advance.

But if you will be doing the juice fast, I can at least confide in you some assurance that the pint of juice did have some rewards. Lemon, maple syrup, water and chilli may seem like a strange combination, but I tell you it was darn delicious, and at least SOMEthing. And I even appreciated the preparation of it, with the welcome ritual break during my long, awake and productive day.

And yes, on my longer fasts, I'd even indulge in some chicken broth soup, laced amply with crushed garlic, freshly ground pepper and tasty spices. The water would fill up my stomach so I'd feel full and sort of contented, while the spices satisfied my pallet. And my daily intake of energy was still plenty low so as to benefit from the nature of the fast. My friend may have pointed her finger accusingly at me while I sipped with utter delight each precious spoonful of my brothy and tasty concoction, but I am sure I was still benefiting from the power of the fast.

But before I embark on a detailed explanation of my powerful fast, I'd like to give you a bit of warning concerning the corners you might consider cutting above. First of all, I LOVE hot and spicey foods. And one year I'd say I over indulged in my spicy brothy soups, each time throwing in about five dried hot peppers, and two or three freshly bought red hot peppers (with curry spice etc.). It was a wonderfully satisfying dazzlement of my pallet, and because I was producing no stool, I imagined that my body was consuming this scanty amount of "food", meaning a few cloves of garlic, a seemingly innocent amount of red hot peppers, laced with my tasty lemon juice drink concoction richly supplemented with an ample serving of chilli pepper for greater satisfaction. Well, my friends, I'd like to assure you that my body was not magically consuming all these hot peppers as I naively imagined, but upon recommencement of eating some weeks later, I produced what I like to call the choochoo train of extreme pain. Yes, the first produced stool essentially bulldozed out this massive pile up of sweltering pain, the agonizing level reaching heaven itself and must have inspired Johnny Cash to write his Ring of Fire on the other side of the planet. I have never felt so much pain in my life, have slept so little and in so many desperate positions, that I would truly like to spare you anything like this. If you do happen to fall into such a trap, I would suggest a quick intestinal flush with sea salt water, explained below.

Well, hopefully I have not horrified you out of dabbling in this venture. But over the years, the fast has truly become painless for me, and almost a pleasurable experience, for example when I flushed out all my liver stones, felt the toxins flushing out of my system, and could look with joy at my shiny young looking face. It truly does feel like a rag under a running tap. You feel lighter, fresher, and it is a pleasure to feel your body ridding itself of all that junk. And you can look forward to a week of feasting afterwards, gorging on all those exotic foods you fantasized about during the fast.

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Published - July 2009

How to Perform a Healthy Fast

By Karel Kosman,
Freelance Translator,
Prague, Czech Republic

travel [at] kenax . cz

One of the most important points of a fast is to go into and out of it slowly, and properly. During a fast your body truly does enter a different regime. Your stomach and intestines don't work like they usually do, and the last thing you want to do is to come in and/or out of such a different mode with any sort of shock.

So I like to prepare my body well in advance. Since I improve on my fast every year, I will explain my last fast in spring of 2007, which was the most effortless, and probably powerful, fast yet.

It so happened one year that I accidentally ended my fast on Easter. Since I believe in God, this seemed fitting, and perhaps a sign from God, so I made it a custom after that - to always end my fasting period on Easter.

Also, once I tried a fast session in fall, but my body really did not like it. It felt like it was getting ready for another cold winter, when it was stocking up on energy supplies, and really seemed averse to the idea of entering a fasting period. So I would recommend you do your fast during the spring. When nature generally goes through its renewing period. It is always better to follow nature, and God (who is and made nature), and to listen to one's body.

To prepare my body for the fast, I decided to earmark the biblical 40 days for this purpose. So I subtracted 40 days from Easter, and since this turned out to be around my birthday, I indulged in one last shoondig, partied it up, and from my birthday, vowed not to pollute my body until the fast was over. This meant no meat, no alcohol, do drugs, no cigarettes. I guess sex is okay, but I found my desire for that practically disappears during every fast. I imagine my body was telling me, "Hey pal, if you can't even find food for yourself, how do you expect to start a family?" Amazing how the body works, eh? So expect zero sex drive.

The first part of my fasting period was spent cleaning and preparing my body. Not polluting it, and letting itself clean itself in the way that it naturally does. When I started with the parasite cleanse, the instructions stated I should not have any breads or food with yeast in it. Really? Well then, might as well take the biblical example, and during these forty days, do not eat anything with yeast in it.

Over the preparation period, I would very slowly also focus on eating less. Do not gorge and pig out. In fact, the only scientific way they have managed to extend a rat's life is by denying it of food. Excess calories kill you. So exercise this restraint even more now. Do not overeat, but perhaps have your unleavened/Lebanese bread by your side and nibble on that over the entire day. I focus on the fact that I am entering a fasting period, and actually find that my body expects it this time of year, and gradually, every day, I find I am eating less and less, without any effort. Make sure to drink lots of clean water. This will fill you up, and start the cleansing process.

Now this year I combined my fast with a parasite cleanse, because the liver cleanse suggested it. So for two weeks before I started the actual fast, I would go on a parasite cleansing program. Your body is a living organism, and within it are teaming millions of different kinds of parasites. For a proper liver cleanse, you want to clean your body as much as you can of parasites beforehand. For this I found ParaGone 1 and 2. It was amazing what horrible things my body was getting rid of at the end of the two weeks. But make sure to follow carefully the instructions of what to eat. I was nibbling almost only on unleavened bread, and produced a horrible and painful diarrhoea on day 15. So I suggest nibbling also on white yoghurt and brans as well, to produce some reasonable stool.

But by the time the parasite cleanse was coming to an end, I had already been eating very little, drinking lots of water, and my body wonderfully prepared to enter the fast.

I like to do a full eight days of water only. This seems a short enough time for me, and this time it was rather painless. But I imagine that, if this is your first or one of your first few times fasting, this may be too extreme for you. I do not believe that slowly eating less should be too painful. Your body adjusts, your stomach shrinks, and this should not be a painful process, especially if you are allowed to nibble on food all day.

But how you go about the actual fast is up to your own experimentation. Perhaps you could try one or two days of the lemon juice fast. The parasite cleanse says you should not have any fructose, or even maple syrup, so it is a hard call to make. If possible, try at least one day of water only. This will prepare your kidneys for the kidney cleanse. Try to go as many days of water only as you can. I like to go three.

Once you have survived that, you can look forward to the kidney cleanse, because it calls for a massive diet of watermelon. So pull out your handkerchief, knife and spoon, and be prepared to feast like a king on your first hearty meal. The instructions for the kidney fast says you should nibble on as much as two large watermelons all day long, while lying in a warm bath and casually urinating out your stones over the entire day. I find this rather inconvenient and difficult to accomplish, but try if you can anyway. You may have extreme diarrhea, but mostly in the form of water and some pulp gushing out through your intestines. This is okay, because it is good to flush out your intestines at least once a year. You are cleansing your body, so might as well cleanse and scrub every corner of it. Did you know that pork lines your intestinal walls, and beef tends to clog it? I've heard a story of an autopsy where they found the intestines so clogged that there was only a pinhole in the centre allowing anything to get through. All this caked-on junk stays on your intestinal walls, seeping toxins back into your bloodstream, and harming your body further. It is good to eat leafy vegetables and bran throughout the year, to occasionally clean out your intestines. But if you don't do that, at least this forty days should take care of that for you. Eat lots of leafy salads and get this process moving during your preparation period. If you would like to help it along, you can try the pure intestinal flush, which is to drink about one and a half litres of sea salt water. You can make your own, if you are not by the sea or ocean, but you need to buy sea salt and not use regular iodized table salt. Bring the water to the flavour of the ocean and drink it all down in about five minutes. Then wait by the toilet, because in about ten minutes you won't have much warning and you'll experience Niagara Falls. Before or in between jet sessions, you can lie on your back, raise your legs, and move them around a bit. This seems to loosen up the intestines and speed up the process a bit. Be prepared to hang around the toilet for about 30 minutes or more. By the end of it you will probably only see clear liquid gushing out like through the end of a regular garden hose. This will wonderfully clean out your intestines and something you are supposed to do several times a year. (More details on the sea salt water intestinal flush on the juice fasting pages.)

Otherwise, eating lots of salad and/or bran, together with the parasite cleanse and the diarrhoea that it produces, and then the kidney and liver cleanse, seems to do a good job of cleaning out the intestines. If you are not doing the full forty days, or spent a lifetime or year of gorging out on meat, you might try this salt water intestinal cleanse in combination with the leafy salads and bran during your preparation period.

Once you are done with the kidney cleanse and your watermelon feast, the next day you are ready for your liver cleanse. And this is the piece de resistance. This for me is always the greatest pleasure of the fast, albeit rather disgusting, because I can actually see what unwanted things I've gotten rid out of my system.

A quick explanation first though. Most people, and doctors, think kidney stones and not liver stones. Actually, speaking of doctors, I'd rather not embark here on a long thesis of how western medicine is not preventive, but rather serves to further enrich the wealthy pharmaceutical companies, with doctors as their ambassadors, willingly prescribing you every chemical and drug, for which I'm sure they get some kickback, and almost never giving you sound preventive medical advice. I believe western medicine can be useful for performing diagnostic tests, or actual surgeries when absolutely necessary, but I generally try to stay away from them, and generally never have to visit them, because I exercise preventive medicine, and hence have no reason to. So if you consider me a quack (which I would understand) and go to your local doctor asking him for his advice on all this, do not expect to get an endorsement. Even my Chinese doctor looked at me in horror, wondering why on earth I would not want to eat. But if you look on the internet for "fasting", you will find ample material to read on the subject. People have been doing it for thousands of years. The record is apparently 86 days, and I even saw on CNN some guy in Tibet who was sitting under a tree for two years, meditating and surviving on air only.

Anyway, I do not need these extremes, and a few days of water only cannot harm you. But you can adjust the level yourself, and experiment every year, researching it further as I do.

But for the liver stones, when they get really bad, only then do they calcify, harden, and once large enough, only then do they show up on x-ray. So don't expect your doctor to endorse this cleanse, but if you do do it, and capture it in a caldron somehow so that you can look at it, trust me, this is all the evidence you will need.

Apparently what happens is that a piece of dead parasite or something gets lodged in your liver. Or based on the number of "stones" I release every year, plenty of dead pieces of parasites throughout your liver. Now when this piece of parasite is stuck somewhere in your liver, which itself is an important organ filtering and cleaning your body, around this piece of parasite starts to form a layer of cholesterol or something. Layer upon layer keeps adding to this, until you develop these "stones". You are supposed to perform a liver cleanse at least twice a year. I only do it once, but during one year I can fill up a full coffee cup of these cholesterol rocks after a good cleanse. For my last cleanse, one of the rocks I produced was larger than my thumbnail. It was probably lodged in one of my bile ducts exiting from the liver, with all the rocks combined (most were about the size of a pea towards an oat grain) clogging up the efficiency of this very important filtering organ. When you cut one of these rocks in half, it is pure cholesterol, has the consistency of denser cheese, sort of rubbery, olive green on the outside, and dark green on the inside. Horrible little things I'm quite glad to get rid of, and imagine my liver will run so much smoother at cleaning out and filtering my body, and keeping healthy cholesterol levels.

But before this liver cleanse, the instructions also recommend getting your teeth cleaned properly. The human mouth is a bastion of bacteria and a good bite into your flesh can potentially lead to death. Or at least brush your teeth and tongue well, several time a day, during and after the liver cleanse. The bacterial haven in your mouth apparently goes down into your stomach and can be a harmful shock on your freshly cleaned liver.

With the liver cleanse, and the epson salts and grapefruit juice, expect the regular streaming "diarrhoea" (basically just sweet smelling grapefruit juice) and a further healthy cleaning of your intestines. [For the daring few who would like to view a repulsive picture of the product of my liver cleanse, check out my super diarrhea and hemorrhoids page. But this was an extreme situation which I will not repeat again.]

So, if you are doing the extreme like me, this would be day five of your fast. Can't imagine much energy in watermelons and grapefruits.

During my fast, I also like to eat the occasional lemon. Lemon is supposed to be a good cleanser, and offers you a nice snacky break during your day. I just eat the whole thing, imagining that the pulp will only help flush out the intestines. But the acidity of it tends to weaken the teeth and make brushing them more painful.

So now we are on day six of the fast, and you can try one last cleanse which I have not tried yet, but which I'd like to next time. And that is the crazy Russian doctor's bay leaf joint cleansing. I couldn't find information to support it on the internet, but that does not mean it does not work. Might as well try, eh? Can't imagine it hurting you. But apparently you get a whole bag, perhaps looking like a fist, of bay leaves and make some super duper strong tea, sipping on that the entire day. You will apparently feel a bit of pain throughout all your flesh, but apparently it dislodges salt crystals which accumulate in your joints. Which can eventually lead to joint problems when you get older. So I definitely plan to try this one year as well, since I've also had general joint problems throughout my life.

And the next few days I spend slowly coming out of my fast. I might continue to nibble on the lemon, or maybe just start eating whole grapefruits, but when you actually want to get out of the fast, the instructions state that you should start with orange juice. I'm lazy about getting juice squirted all over my hands, so I go right ahead and just eat the whole oranges. It apparently prepares your stomach with necessary acids in preparation of real food. Already I am in heaven eating the oranges. And because my stomach has shrunk so much, I find that about 5 or 8 a day fills me up plenty. I feel satisfied, and that I am already in eating heaven. You are supposed to have squeezed orange juice for two days, but that assumes a lemon juice fast diet of 30 or more days. So if you are doing a shorter water only fast like me, I would assume that one single day of that would be plenty. The next day I then have a leafy salad. Make sure to always use olive oil for dressing, as it is also cleansing, is healthy, unclogs your arteries, and is a good anti-oxidant. I like to mix that with vinegar, mustard and spices, so I make a tasty dressing and absolutely relish the flavours of my first juicy meal. Trust me, the oranges can get really old really quickly, and after a day of that I'm looking forward to a real meal and some real flavours.

After the following day of salad only, then I indulge myself in almost whatever I want, but it would be better to stay away from the heavy steaks. Generally I climb out of my fast slowly, and this time it was a full week before Easter came around. So I still stayed away from the beer, cigarettes, big meat, and waited for the feast until Easter.

The important point I learned is to climb in and out of your fast slowly. There are stories of Holocaust victims saved at the end of war whose stomachs exploded and they died after gorging out on food fed to them following many years of a very meagre diet. I was not very aware of this when I first started fasting, and if you are one of the daring few and would like to know how NOT to fast, or how not to come out of a fast, you can read my ultimate burning ring of fire page.

Of course, during this time, it would be good to combine it with some spiritual cleansing as well. Meditation, not working the last seven days, but if you are not religious like me, I think you will have at least done yourself a lot of good with this healthy body cleanse. Then you can embark on the rest of the year and gorge out like you usually do, satisfied with a more productive liver and lower cholesterol levels. Or just try to eat more leafy greens and keep your body reasonably clean. Or go visit your doctor after a week for a cholesterol check. I haven't done a before and after diagnostic test yet, but I'd be curious to see the results. Maybe you can wait a week after the liver cleanse to give it a chance to work at full efficiency before reading the levels. I've also seen two week liver cleansing programs in the herbal pharmacy, so you might want to launch that after your liver stone flush. Apparently the liver cleans your blood, and will improve your vision with cleaner blood flowing through your eyes, and a more efficient liver will help remove and prevent all sorts of diseases, so take your cleansing opportunity to give your body and the important cleansing liver a good thorough job.

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Why I Fast

By Eric Kim,

memento mori eric kim

Dear friend,

I want to share why I fast (or why I don't eat breakfast or lunch).

1. Entitlement

eric kim street photography my america -86240008

The first reason I fast is that it takes away my sense of entitlement.

When I fast, and I feel pangs of hunger— I remember when I was 12 years old — when I would pretend to not be hungry, in order to save money (to buy clothes and stuff I didn't need, but thought would make me ‘cool').

eric kim photographer hanoi portrait by cindy a nguyen

When I fast, and I feel hunger— I feel connected to the poor and hungry all around the world.

When I fast, I realize that even though I am now financially rich, I should never forget where I came from — and all the sacrifices that my umma (mom) made in getting me where I am.

When I fast, I think of all those refugees suffering around the world. When I fast, I think of all the immigrants, who are grinding just to make a living. When I fast, I remind myself not to become an entitled asshole.

2. Health reasons

eric kim photographer hanoi portrait by cindy a nguyen

I also fast for selfish reasons. The theory is that the only scientifically rigorous to extend life is ‘via negativa' (hat tip to Nassim Taleb ). The concept is that by fasting, our bodies starve pre-cancerous cells. The process is called ‘autophagy' in science.

Also, there are a lot of studies that show that by intermittent fasting (going 14-18 hours without food) your body releases growth hormones. Funny enough, ever since I have stopped eating breakfast and lunch (I only eat big meals in the evening) — I have actually gained muscle mass, and lost tremendous amounts of body fat (I can finally see my abdominal muscles, not covered by stomach fat).

3. Mental productivity

eric kim melbourne benjamin thompson

I also find that when I fast, I am mentally sharper. I no longer get ‘food coma' after eating a big meal. I am able to be more intellectually productive throughout the day.

I used to struggle to write a blog post every day or every other day. Now it is pretty easy for me to blog and publish 3-4 pieces a day. The secret is when I get hungry, I just drink more water, do some pushups (or physical exercise), or drink more espresso or black coffee.

eric kim cross red black

For me, mental focus is everything. I love feeling creative and productive. I hate the feeling of feeling ‘tired.' I feel hungry throughout the day, but I no longer feel ‘tired.'

When I am more intellectually productive throughout the day — I have a lot of selfish gains. I can blog more, market myself more, and produce more information which brings me joy — and can indirectly lead me to earning more money (selling more products or workshops ). Also by blogging more, and getting more articles , books , Instagram / Facebook followers, YouTube videos out there, it often leads to commercial deals.

4. The purpose of my life

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The purpose of my life is to sacrifice myself for the sake of the collective. I follow in the footsteps of Gandhi , Jesus , Seneca , and all of my other masters.

I have enough to survive. I have my all-black clothes. I have my laptop, coffee, and internet connection. I can survive on water and eggs. I don't need any more stuff.

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I just need more time and focus— to continue to help and uplift others. To empower others.

And once again, I'm a very selfish person. I like to help other people because it makes me feel like I have a purpose in life. I like to help other people, because it puts a huge smile to see people reaching their potential (or even going beyond it).

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To me, I would have no reason to wake up if I didn't have anybody in the world to help. I would have no reason to make photos, if I didn't have the opportunity to share/teach others how to make better photos. If I were the only person on earth, I would see no reason to live.

He who lives for himself is truly dead to others.

I do believe that the purpose of being human is to empower other humans. To reduce suffering in our fellow brothers and sisters. And we cannot live a meaningful life without sacrifice, challenges, and hustle .

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To sum up, fasting is something that gives me small momentary pain — that helps me stay connected to earth, and the ‘common' man and woman. I never want to forget where I came from. And I never want to stop helping others.

5. How to start intermittent fasting

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The common misconception is that fasting is starving yourself. You're not.

I'm just shifting my eatings schedule. I don't eat breakfast or lunch, but I eat a lot in the evening. I usually have an early dinner (around 5-6pm), and then I might have another ‘midnight snack' of eggs (4-6 eggs) around 8pm-11pm. So be honest, I don't even fast for that long.

During the day, I drink a lot of coffee, and water. Whenever I feel hungry, I just go on a walk, or listen to music (Kendrick Lamar's ‘DAMN.' Album, write (like now), or do some physical exercise (chin-ups, pushups, dips, 1-legged squats, or deadlifts).

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There are a lot of different ways to fast. And you won't die. Look at all the Muslims who fast during Ramadan — they are much tougher— they even go without drinking water until sunset (in the sweltering desert).

Also have pride in your fasting. You don't need to brag about it like me — just keep it to yourself. You will end up feeling an inner-pride of fasting, to know that you're stronger than you think. And also that you're not a slave to food. Rather, food is your slave.

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And lastly, just experiment. Figure out what works for you.

And consider: the best way to domesticate a lion is to feed it 3 square meals a day. A wild lion (although hungry) is more brave, fierce, and alive.

Be strong,




Article Source:

* * *

See Karel Kosman's Articles at
Fasting: Not Just Good for Your Soul - Your Body will Benefit Too
How to Perform a Healthy Fast
How to Be Healthy
How to Naturally Cure and Prevent a Cold
What Christians can learn from Muslims

Published - July 2009

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