Month: February 2015

2.5 day dry fast: dehydration as detox

This article describes my first experience of a 2.5-day dry fast.  For more information about dry fasts in general click here, and for my experience with shorter 36-hour dry fasts click here. Dehydration as detox: the phrase came to mind soon after finishing my fast earlier this week.  More than just an intellectual construct, dehydration as detox was something I experienced, felt and understood for the first time on a very bodily level.  My first two 36-hour dry fasts provided a taster of this, but it’s only with the second full day of fasting that the process begins to work on a deeper level. In his book Dry Medical Fasting: myths and reality, Dr. Sergei Filonov describes how the body contains areas in which bodily fluid in the intercellular space is never fully washed out under normal circumstances.  Like swamps in the external world, these internal ‘marshes’ provide an ideal breeding ground for bacteria, viruses and microbes – just as stagnant water invites mosquitos.  In addition, toxins which find their way into these internal reservoirs …

36-hour dry fast

Originally written several years ago, this article describes my first experiences with 36-hour dry fasts. Over the weekend I did another 36-hour dry fast: my second in just over a month.  In this article I’ll lay out my experiences and impressions of both.  For general information about dry fasting, please click here. I first discovered dry fasting a couple of months ago.  Before that, of course I’d heard of the concept of not eating or drinking, but – like most modern Westerners – had written the idea off as something for just religious nutters.  Surely, without water, there could be no cleansing and no possible physical benefits…  Then I started reading the work of Dr. Sergei Filonov, and realised how fear and ignorance have distorted our perception of this ancient practice. I became intrigued by the idea of dry fasting.  First, as someone who has years of experience with water fasting, I was interested by the idea of an even more powerful method to detoxify and cleanse the body.  Second, there was a kind of …

5-day water fast (day 6)

It worked!  I’m talking less about finishing the five-day fast itself (this isn’t such a big challenge for me any more), than about my experiment with no transition back to normal eating afterwards.  I ate lots last night, not only the mung beans and rice, but also about 100 grams of nuts too, as well as a huge salad :-).  Digestion is already working fine.  The first food I had was at lunchtime: just 200ml of carrot juice and a couple of teaspoons of tahini and hempseed butter.  I hoped this would send a physical message to my digestive system to prepare for a proper meal in the evening.  After that I ate nothing until dinner.  Along with trying to consciously tell my digestive system to wake up through yesterday afternoon, it seems to have worked. I don’t recommend this to anyone without a lot of fasting experience and self-knowledge of their body.  Otherwise, it’s always best to start eating again with little portions of easily digestible food, like fruit or cooked vegetables.  And before …

5-day water fast (day 5)

Let’s talk about food! The transition out of a fast is at least as important as the transition into a fast.  Once your stomach and digestive system have been asleep for a few days, you can’t just immediately pack it full with a deluxe pizza – no matter how attractive the thought of a good meal!  I made the mistake of doing exactly this after my first 7-day water fast.  I suffered with that pizza in my stomach for the next two or three days… You need time to wake your digestive system up again, otherwise you’ll just overload it.  This means being careful in both what you eat and how much you eat.  The best thing is to follow your appetite.  It could easily take a week for things to return to normal. So what’s my plan for transitioning back at the end of this fast, this evening?  I’m going to try no transition at all.  Sounds stupid, I know, but if my system can switch off so easily (as it’s done the last …

5-day water fast (day 4)

This is the last full day of my fast, since the fifth full day actually ends tomorrow at dinner time.  I find myself looking forward to cooking dinner tomorrow and getting back to normal again.  It’s like the opposite of what happened before the fast, in saying goodbye to food before the actual fast.  Now it’s a funny combination of the clarity of consciousness while on a fast, and yet with the frequent pull away from being here and now by thinking about the menu… 2.00pm: The day started a little slower than yesterday.  In the end, I think yesterday’s activity did tire me out a little.  But I can’t complain.  In earlier fasts, I always paid the price for too much exertion: tiredness through the whole next day, probably with muscle aches too.  Last night, I did have trouble controlling my body temperature, and felt cold – something which I’ve often experienced in the past during fasts.  I also woke up with low blood pressure and a feeling of weakness in the legs.  My …

5-day water fast (day 3)

I can’t believe how smoothly things are going. On my first couple of water fasts, the 2nd and 3rd days were by far the toughest. I just wanted to crawl up in a corner and collapse. In contrast, today it’s been a full day, and I still feel good, full of energy. It’s amazing the way the body can adapt with a little practice in fasting. It totally changes the experience. Here’s what happened today: 8.30am: Got up. That’s right: nice and late :-). I slept well, just as if I weren’t on a fast. In the past, the lack of regular meals confused my biorhythm, and I’d wake up every two hours or so the whole way through the night. Now I just feel my kidneys a little, like they’re working. Nothing uncomfortable, though. After not drinking anything for about 9 hours, I’d better have at least half a litre now to rehydrate and flush out the kidneys. I do feel a little slow, though – but nothing like on my first few fasts …

5-day water fast (day 2)

8.00am: I’m running on ketosis already, burning energy released directly from fat cells.  I could feel the process beginning late afternoon yesterday, because there’s a special state of consciousness which goes along with this.  You feel a little light-headed, but everything you look at feels alive and special.  It’s a clearer, deeper state of being.  I took our dog out for a walk last night, and all the lights were alive.  Traffic lights, Christmas lights, traffic lights, the clouds in the sky, illuminated by all the light from the city… The interesting thing is how quickly the change towards ketosis began to occur: while there was still glycogen (see yesterday’s post) left in the liver.  I think that the moment I missed lunch yesterday, my body knew what was going on and it responded.  Not like my first couple of water fasts!  Then my body was completely clueless.  It took at least 3 days to get ketosis running decently, and in the meantime my body had to devour muscle for energy.  I felt pretty lousy …

5-day water fast (day 1)

(Originally posted Dec. 2014) Yesterday I bid farewell to food… It wasn’t anything ceremonious or even anything planned, but at lunch I noticed myself saying goodbye to the food I was eating: “this is the last lunch for the next five days…” And then again at dinner, a final feeling of farewell to food: my last meal of any kind for the next five days. I’ve been water-fasting for the last five years or so, usually once or (more recently) twice a year. A water fast means not taking any calories into your body for the duration of the fast: drinking only water or, at most, an occasional herbal tea. It’s a wonderful way to detoxify the body and appreciate food for what it really is, starting on a “clean slate” at the end of it: freer from the usual addictions to food we all suffer from, as well as from the addiction to eating itself. The day before a water fast I’m always filled with feelings of both excitement and trepidation. It’s like standing …