Ray's Water Fasts
I have been practicing the occasional water fast for most of my adult life. I began at age 23 with a three-day fast. I learned the importance of this from reading books about Mahatma Gandhi. No matter that I was a devout Christian back then, I found that the same general principles apply - for a person seeking spiritual enlightenment. So even when I worked at Outward Bound for seven years, I fasted three days during every course.
In my later years, I try to fast at least once a year. Not for spiritual enlightenment, so much, as the whole-body cleansing and healing. I have found that an extended water-fast works like a roto-rooter in cleaning the organs, arteries, and the internal body workings of toxins, sludge and fat resulting from normal, every-day eating.
I once juice fasted for three months straight on orange juice and some cantaloupe juice; but that is a different ball game because you are taking in nutrients and calories. During those three months my energy level was quite high. But on a water fast you're taking in nothing but pure water.
A water fast is a pretty drastic measure. The body will tolerate it for a few days without problems, but if longer than that, medical supervision is highly recommended. There are several fasting clinics around the country, with doctors in residence. For a good idea of what's involved, watch the DVD video "Fasting Can Save Your Life (DVD)
. This is my go to program during each fast.
- 2011-10: 33-Day-Fast
- 2014-10: 40-Day-Fast
- 2015-06: 30-day fast
- 2015-11: 14-day fast
- 2016-10 14-day fast: I started with a week of raw foods, eating nothing but raw fruits and vegetables, with some seeds and nuts thrown into the mix. Then came the 14-day fast, eating nothing and drinking nothing but distilled water for 14 days.
A water fast is not too fun, but its super effective at regaining health. It cleans the body, gut and arteries like a roto-rooter.
This time I experienced a new and unexpected benefit. Over the last decade I have been unable to hear high-pitched sounds, and this is a normal aspect of aging. For example, I can't hear my wristwatch alarm, because it's too high-pitched. But yesterday I was startled by someones alarm. This was first time in 10 years I have heard that sound.
- 2017-04: 40-day fast
I have completed another water fast. 40 days this time, without any problems.
These things seem to get easier with experience, and it is no longer very difficult. What is tough this time is have missed my prime training season, for the first time in a couple of decades, it seems. So this fast threatened my summer's NFT. And this was a huge bummer. But I have learned to listen to my body, and my body said the time is NOW. So, OK, a major fast right in the middle of my training season! Gads.
I have logged 40 days without taking a bite, and have lost over 30 pounds. During a long fast, the energy level hits rock bottom, and this affects not only the body but the brain also. During the fast I had to stop studying because the brain lacks enough fuel to run at max power, and the subjects I was studying are pretty technical.
And then there is the problem of building lost energy reserves. in the past, the body has taken a few months to recover. You start eating again but still don't have much energy. It's like putting wood on a smoldering fire that refuses to burn.
That being said, a long fast is one of the best ways to improve health, because it gives the body a chance to rest and recover from the daily grind. The immune system kicks into gear, and goes to work cleaning the arteries and organs, the lymphatic vessels, and sinuses, and all the rest. There are no guarantees, but I do know when I'm pushing my limits, and the fast is the best way of throttling back.
During each fast, I watch the DVD video "Fasting Can Save Your Life (DVD). I find this video hugely motivating. I can relate to the people doing similar fasts at the clinic, and I always learn more from the doctors in residence. There used to be several fasting clinics around the country, but not any more. And this one has moved from it's very beautiful setting, and changed enormously. So that's why I recommend the video so much. It gives all the key info, so I think that most people could follow the info given in the video and do very well on individual programs.
"Hi Ray, I hope your fast is going well, and that you are staying healthy. It's getting pretty long. Please be careful... I know you will, but just wanted to send you good wishes... Cheers" -Kerry R.