Archives For Fasting

What does it mean to detoxify?

Detoxification is the body’s natural process of eliminating toxins. The body begins detoxifying itself when we change our diet to a healthier one, thereby eliminating unhealthy foods that contain processed sugar, alcohol, caffeine, harmful chemicals, animal and dairy products, and when we exercise or discontinue a current habit. The body naturally wants to thrive at optimum health, so when all or part of the above list is eliminated from our lifestyle and replaced with whole vegan or raw vegan foods, the body is able to begin its “toxic clean-up.”

Why is it important to detoxify the body?

It is vital to detoxify the body. Most of the food that the average person eats these days is contaminated with GMOs (genetically modified organisms); excessive chemicals, high sugar, fat, and sodium, and is processed to the point where it is devoid of nutrients. We are also bombarded with harmful chemicals in the air we breathe and use harmful soaps, cleaners and household products, etc. A cleanse, fast, or detox four times per year gives the body a chance to rid itself of harmful substances that contribute to degenerative disease. Eating or drinking (via juicing or via smoothies) a whole foods vegan diet, with the emphasis on high raw foods, will give the body the conditions it needs for optimal detoxing and restoring.

What are some detoxification symptoms?

Since the body is releasing stored toxins into the blood stream and then expelling them through the elimination areas, some symptoms you might experience are the following:

  • Headaches
  • Stomach ache
  • Diarrhea
  • Constipation
  • Skin eruptions or skin rash
  • Fatigue
  • Cough
  • Clogged sinuses
  • Sore throat
  • Sore muscles
  • Bad breath
  • Fever
  • Irritability or moodiness
  • Gas
  • Cravings

Some people will only experience some of the above symptoms and others will experience all of them. The duration and extent of your symptoms depends on the level of your detox, fast or cleanse, your lifestyle prior to embarking on a cleanse, your emotional and mental health, and the extent of toxicity currently in your body. Keep in mind that these symptoms may come and go at various times throughout your cleanse. You might feel fantastic one day and run down and sleepy and have a headache on another. It is important to remember that you will most likely feel worse during part of your cleanse; this is normal and temporary.  The body is releasing years’ or maybe decades’ worth of stored toxins into the bloodstream; it then works extra hard to remove these toxins, and in the process, requires more energy. The body eliminates these toxins through the skin, liver, kidneys, bowels, lungs and mouth, so you WILL feel worse at times. Rest assured, however, that this is good because it means the body is doing its work to cleanse and heal! Stay calm and know that your body is doing what is designed to do. This is the most difficult part of any fast or detox. Stay the course, and you will be fine!

What can I do to feel better?

The important thing to remember is to allow your body to rest as much as possible. With rest, your body will be able to do what it does to detoxify. If you have to work during your detox, rest and limit social engagements after work. Be sure and drink lots of clean water as well! The more you relax mentally and emotionally, the easier it will be for your body to clean itself and the better you will feel.

Quick Tips for your Fast, Cleanse or Detox:

  • Drink 48 oz. of water throughout the day or more.
  • If you feel hungry, drink at least an 8 oz. full glass of water before eating. Many times we think we are hungry when the body is truly thirsty.
  • Think happy, inspiring and encouraging thoughts. When your mind is at ease and content, your body and emotions follow suit. Make it easier for your body to do what it needs to do!
  • If you feel tired and if you can, lie down and rest. It is okay to take a nap. The more rest you give your body when you feel tired, the better results you will have.
  • Get at least 8 hours of sleep per night.
  • Reduce stress as much as possible during this time.
  • Meditating or allowing “quiet time” at least once a day for even just 10 minutes is highly recommended.
  • Exercising by walking, light running or yoga for 30 minutes for 3-5 days per week will help eliminate those toxins and allow you to feel better.
  • If you are working with a health coach or mentor, ask for help when you feel you need encouragement. They are there to help you through the rough times and want you to succeed as much as you do!
  • If you are working with a health coach, ask them for healthy recipes to help you with your cleanse.
  • Believe in yourself and in your body’s ability to detox, heal and transition to the new you!  

Vilma Reynoso, www.VEGoutwithVilms.com, VEG out: go Vegan, save Earth. be Good to animals.

Copyright, 2014, Vilma Reynoso

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Water.

It is essential for life and for cleansing. It is fabulous!

Water

I just ended a 3-day water fast for the purpose of healing myself from a very unexpected bout with asthma. Prior to becoming vegan a few years ago, I was asthmatic and occasionally had attacks, but they stopped after I had changed my diet. So, it was a surprise to not be able to breathe again last week! I believe I became sick for a few reasons: physically, I had been eating some grains that did not settle well with me (the body does not do well with grains, but this is another blog), mentally, I am in the midst of drastically changing my life, and emotionally, I am healing from some old wounds.  I also was visiting family in a place with lots of hay and discovered that the hay had triggered my allergic reaction. I truly believe that if I had been in better shape physically, mentally and emotionally, the hay would not have triggered such a difficult reaction. Once back home, I decided a water fast was in store for me!

Fasting, especially with only water, gives the body a chance to focus on healing, which is what is it designed to do and does every moment of our lives. When we only feed the body water, it has the chance to use all the body’s energy to expel the toxins stored in its tissues, which contribute to disease. This, in turn, strengthens the body’s immune system. And once the immune system is reinforced, the human body is able to heal and thrive like it is designed to do. In addition to detoxification of the body, other benefits of water fasting include feeling rejuvenated, a healthier cardiovascular system, an improved skeletal and muscular system, increased will power and self-control, increased body sensitivity, more energy, weight loss (although, I do not recommend trying to lose weight by fasting), and a deeper spiritual connection.

My Water Fasting Journal: 

Day One:

October 21, 2013.

I had a tough time breathing today and rested by reading and sleeping on and off throughout the day. I could not believe how much I slept! I awakened throughout the morning just to drink my water and go to the bathroom and slept from 8 a.m. until 1:00 p.m., I think, without thinking twice about it! I felt exhausted. I think this was not due to the fasting, but just due to rest and healing that my body needed.  I was not hungry at all. I just kept drinking water and using the bathroom. My entire body ached all day long.

In the afternoon when I finally awakened, I read a fantastic book that I could not put down – Hand Wash Cold: care instructions for an ordinary life, by Karen Maezen Miller! It is rich in metaphor and brilliantly written. I had to blog about it on my other website, if you want to take a peek: www.vilmareynoso.com. This beautiful book reminded me to see my life, and all aspects of it, as the beautiful gift that it is, moment by moment. What is interesting is that I found this book on a discount table at a book store while on vacation last week at a point when I was away from the hay and breathing okay. I listened to my intuition and bought the book. I love it when life works this way!

I slept well through the night and had vivid dreams about my mother, who died many years ago. I cannot remember exactly what I dreamed about, but I remember being shocked when I awakened to know that they were only dreams. Many people experience vivid dreams while water fasting. Interesting.

Day Two: 

October 22, 2013.

Today, I had unexpected energy! I did not feel hungry all day and decided to put my energy to use. I wrote, read a new book, took a short walk, and ran one errand until I felt it was time to slow down and rest. I felt pretty good and kept my mind focused on water only. The thought of food did not enter my mind because I was determined to get through this. I drank about 8 oz. of water every hour during the day and less through the night while I slept like I did on day one. I felt light, calm and content, and noticed that my breathing was easier. My body did not ache like it did the previous day.  Day two down!

Day Three:

October 23, 2013.

As I awakened today, I felt weak, but I could take a deep breath for the first time in a week! Bravo! I felt calm and knew that my body was healing and felt it healing (hard to explain unless you experience a fast). I did not remember my dreams of the night prior. I knew I felt weak because of the detoxification occurring in my body, and this is normal. Some people have nausea or headaches, but I did not this time. I did, however, have aches and pains on several body parts, which is where the toxins are concentrated and need to be eliminated. I became more sensitive and aware of my organs. By the end of the day, it was time to break my fast, so I drank apple and pear juice that I juiced myself. When you do not eat solid food and only drink water for three days, fruit (whether juiced or in solid form) tastes FANTASTIC! I gained a greater appreciation for raw, organic and wholesome apples and pears!

I will continue to eat fruit (maybe a few leafy greens) for two days to get my body accustomed to eating again. Slow integration is better.

Although this was a very short fast (some fasts last seven to thirty, even sixty, days), it was a calming spiritual experience for me. It was important to not work and take it as easy as possible during these three days, and I feel that I accomplished that. I learned some things about myself and about the beauty of life via the two books I read during this “downtime.” For that, I am grateful. Oh, fabulous water!

Feel free to email or contact me if you should have any questions or comments on water fasting.