Holistic Fasting for a Superior Cleanse
⬥Optimists are healthier than pessimists
⬥Optimism can prevent chronic diseases
⬥Hostility is a risk factor for heart disease
⬥Loneliness is attributable to several diseases(2)
Mental and Emotional Health Issues on the RiseWe live in unprecedented times of great advancement. Technology has never been more superior and continues to grow and astound us in new ways. We live in an age where convenience is just a click away. Access to food has never been simpler. Those of us with enough funds in a bank account can go to the store and buy a meal without having to spend hours in the kitchen as our ancestors did. However, looking at today statistics, one in six Americans are on an antidepressant or some kind of psychiatric drug.(1) This tell-tale disconnect spotlights that something is fundamentally amiss.
With so many of us on antidepressants, there seems to be an ongoing war for a peaceful consciousness. Having a peaceful consciousness is the antithesis of depression. It is a vital coping strategy.
“The separation of psychology from the premises of biology is purely artificial because the human psyche lives in indissoluble union with the body.” - Carl Jung
Stress and Environmental ToxicityIt is becoming clearer to us as a society, that the convenience of modern tech is a contributor to the number of stressors that make up our increasingly digital environment. And it is true. We are all products of our environment. Speaking of environments, no one questions the rising pollution we experience on a daily, monthly, yearly basis. Nine out of ten of the world’s population live in an area where air pollution exceeds safe limits, which amounts to 92%. It is the fourth largest threat to our health, right behind high blood pressure, dietary risks and smoking.(3)
The Lancet Commission on Pollution and health states that...
“...pollution (air, water and soil) is the largest environmental cause of disease and death in the world today, responsible for an estimated 9 million premature deaths.”
Two Types of ExposuresThere are two degrees of toxic exposures. One is an immediate exposure to a single large dose of toxin. The second is a slow build of low-level toxins on a chronological basis.(2) The true relationship between health and pollution, both acute and chronic, may be hidden in healthcare costs.(5)
“Acute short-term effects of air pollution tend to strike people who are elderly or already struggling with heart disease, said Dr. Luepker, who is also an epidemiologist. For instance, someone with atherosclerosis, or build-up of fatty deposits on the inner lining of the arteries, experiences immediate trouble when pollutants play a role in causing plaque in a blood vessel to rupture, triggering a heart attack. “This kind of pushes them over the cliff,” Dr. Luepker said.” (4) - American Heart Association
Chemicals and Our Mental, Emotional StateWe are whole beings. We are not a collaboration of compartmentalized systems. The mental state is intricately tied to the physical and the physical condition can adversely impact our mental wellness.This basic concept is gets lost in the shuffle of conventional medical concepts. For wellness to occur the physical, mental and spiritual conditions must be considered.
It shouldn’t be a shock that our daily polluted environment has a direct and indirect impact on emotional, mental wellness as well. For example, studies have shown that blood lead concentrations of 20 to 40μg/dL are associated with cognitive decline that may include changes in memory and mental processing speed.(6) Fluoride, commonly added to water sources in the U.S., has been linked to hyperactivity, cognitive deficits, and lower I.Q. scores.(7) Aluminum often found in foods we eat as well as common cosmetic products, has a well-known association with Alzheimer’s disease. Aluminum can create “toxic, oxidative stress in the brain”. It is the most widely used and distributed metals.(8) BPA, otherwise known as Bisphenol A is synthetic compound widely used in plastic that coats the interiors of canned foods. It’s found in many plastic products. Studies link BPA to endocrine disruption. Specifically, it’s been found to mimic estrogen. Hormones are chemical messages that play a crucial role in managing moods, appetite, weight, and so much more, therefore serious considerations need to be given to the use of hormone-altering chemicals.
“Health is not an end point. It is a dynamic process involving the entire body; it enables us to fulfill our life purpose, to live fully and abundantly. It is a process that involves our bodies, our minds and our spirits.” - Dr. Elaine Ferguson, MD, Author - Superhealing: Engaging Your Mind, Body and Spirit...
Our Miraculous BodiesWe are made and geared for survival. We have natural systems that automatically work towards healing. One system is primarily geared towards clearing the body of pollutants. Our liver, kidneys, intestines, and skin are organs that actively engage in the detoxification process. And despite the fact our kidneys contain approximately one million individual filters,(2) Our bodies simply cannot keep up with the over chemicalized state of our current environment.
A Natural, Superior Cleansing SystemThe beauty of our intelligent bodies is this - we have a natural, superior and innate cleansing system that is triggered by food temperance (fasting). Fasting is centuries old. It is practiced universally, crossing time, cultures and religions. Fasting or food temperance is the intentional abstinence from food and drink for health or spiritual reasons.
As a tool for health, food temperance stimulates autophagy. Autophagy is induced by cellular stress by the way of nutrient deprivation. It disposes of unwanted molecules, protein aggregates, damaged mitochondria, ribosomes, and invading pathogens as a way to conserve energy.(9) Autophagy is a quality control function that selectively removes damaged and dysfunctional organelles.
BiogenesisThe induction of autophagy provides the energy and building blocks for biosynthesis or biogenesis.(9) Biogenesis is the production of new living organisms or organelles from the biosynthesis process kicked off by the autophagy process. Exciting studies show that prolonged fasting of three or four days can regenerate an entire immune system!(10)
Benefits of Food TemperanceThe benefits of fasting are numerous, but there are two major benefits gained. When food temperance is applied, the digestive system is allowed to rest. When the digestive system isn't working to digest, more energy is available to you. It takes anywhere from 24 to 72 hours for your body to digest your food, depending on the amount, type, your gender and if there are digestive conditions present.(11) Because 65% of our body's energy is directed towards the digestive system after a large meal, fasting frees up a lot of energy!(12)
I have implemented fasting into my current health regimen. I have done supported three- day fasts several times and practice intermittent fasting daily. My 3-day fasts have been more of a spiritual than a physical experience. My energy is stable and my focus is sharp at this time. My sleep is deeply satisfying and I find myself dreaming vividly! What I’ve learned is that hunger is a symptom. The body doesn't care about the taste, texture or look of food, those are just incentives to get you to eat. The body desires real, true nutrients provided freely from the earth. When it needs are met, hunger the symptom, goes away. Many are motivated to fast in order to lose weight. Undoubtedly weight loss - for me is something I desire, but the most important thing I’ve gained from fasting was not a ten-pound weight loss (which is temporary by the way) but a re-connection to myself and being. It was a sacred time to spend time with ME and Creator of this intelligent, living art called the body.
Fasting for Brain HealthFasting can stimulate the production of new nerve cells and stem cells in the Hippocampus. It also increases the number of mitochondria in nerve cells. Because of the increase of mitochondria, it boosts the formation of neurons and increases the connections they maintain with each other. This ties directly into improvement in learning and memory ability. (13)
Brain Drain - The Glymphatic SystemDid you know the brain has it very own unique cleansing system? And get this, it only operates when we sleep. The Glymphatic system is newly discovered! In 2012, a study was published revealing this new brain detox system previously unknown. The glymphatic system can be compared to hydraulics. It has a network of “plumbing” that piggybacks on blood vessels. It functions much like the lymphatic system does in the rest of the body - using the cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) to carry waste away and nutrients to brain cells. I cannot emphasize enough that this organized, amazing system is specific only the brain!(14) It is activated during the slow wave sleep phase.
However, the key is mitochondria and good quality night’s sleep. The glymphatic system uses the cell’s mitochondria to remove waste. Combined with the mitochondria and cerebrospinal fluid, the glymphatic system carries the waste to the kidneys and liver. And because fasting can boost the number mitochondria in nerve cells, it's a holistic way to support brain/mental health and function.(15)
Holistic FastingThere are several ways to fast. Not every option will be a fit for you. Implementing fasting into your lifestyle can be challenging when food habits, behaviors, hunger and detox symptoms are faced. Once you have fasted a few days in a row, (3 or more days) a couple of times, it becomes much easier. Transitioning into this new routine can be a bit smoother with a nutritionally-supported, low-calorie fast. With a good understanding of how fasting impacts cellular cleansing and renewal, a nutrient-dense, low-calorie fast with clean, organic ingredients can turbo-boost the innate cellular clean-up.
A good raw antioxidant and chlorophyll-rich shake that supports the digestive system, three times a day, or when hunger strikes, (no pun intended) can make fasting a bit manageable. Here are some nutrient-dense ingredients that can turbo-boost a fast.
⬥Spirulina - chlorophyll-rich, nutrient-dense
⬥Matcha Green Tea - chlorophyll-rich, metabolism-booster
⬥Grass Juice (no cellulose) Powder - Blood-builder, chlorophyll-rich
⬥Olive Juice - High in antioxidants
I have tried water fasting (fasting with just water) and it isn’t for me and my busy lifestyle with a large family. Implementing a nutritionally-supported fast has been much easier and I use the Miessence FAST product to do this. Each shake is approximately 100 calories which keeps the calorie count to 300 a day while feeding your cells nutrient-rich ingredients. It is very ideal to those just starting out. Miessence FAST contains bitters such as dandelion root and orange peel. Bitters on the tongue stimulate bile, saliva, gastric juices production and helps prime digestion. You’ll find the full organic ingredient list here.
Fasting SupportIf the practice of fasting is something you want to transition into, try a three-day, nutritionally-supported fast. Miessence has a support group on Facebook with Fasting Coach Sharif Jacobsen leading a monthly fast. If you’re interested, purchase your Miessence FAST here and contact me or leave a comment.
Stay tuned for more articles on how to prepare for a fast, how to deal with detox symptoms and what to do after you fast. Subscribe to this blog (sidebar) for new article notifications and subscribe to my newsletter for holistic tips, recipes, and organic product promotions.
Special ConditionsFasting is not recommended for those who are nursing, pregnant or have an eating disorder. If you have any health conditions, please seek medical advice from your doctor before beginning this or any new changes to your health plan.
Suggested Holistic Resources While Fasting:
⬥Book - The Obesity Code by Dr. Jason Fung
⬥DVD - Superhealing Secrets by Dr. Elaine Ferguson
1 - https://www.nbcnews.com/health/health-news/one-6-americans-take-antidepressants-other-psychiatric-drugs-n695141
2 - Superhealing - Engaging Your Mind, Body and Spirit to Create Optimal Health and Wellbeing; Ferguson, Elaine R., MD; HCI, Deerfield, FL; 2013
3 - https://www.weforum.org/agenda/2016/10/air-pollution-the-true-cost-in-numbers/
4 - American Heart Association - http://www.heart.org/HEARTORG/Conditions/More/MyHeartandStrokeNews/Air-Pollution-and-Heart-Disease-Stroke_UCM_442923_Article.jsp#.WmDgi6hKuyJ
5 - National Public Radio - https://www.npr.org/sections/goatsandsoda/2017/10/19/558821792/report-pollution-kills-3-times-more-than-aids-tb-and-malaria-combined
6 - Pub Med (Lead) - https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1797860/
7 - Dr. Axe (Fluoride) - https://draxe.com/is-fluoride-bad-for-you/
8 - Global Healing Center - https://www.globalhealingcenter.com/natural-health/concerned-about-aluminum-dangers/
9 - Autophagy - https://www.nature.com/articles/cr2013159
10 -Immune System Regeneration -https://news.usc.edu/63669/fasting-triggers-stem-cell-regeneration-of-damaged-old-immune-system/
11 - Digestion - https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/319583.php
12- Energy -12 - http://www.allaboutfasting.com/benefits-of-fasting.html
13 - Neuroscientist - http://www.collective-evolution.com/2015/12/11/neuroscientist-shows-what-fasting-does-to-your-brain-why-big-pharma-wont-study-it/
14 - 2012 Discovery of Glymphatic Systemhttps://www.urmc.rochester.edu/news/story/3584/scientists-discover-previously-unknown-cleansing-system-in-brain.aspx
15 - Glymphatic System and Sleep - http://www.familyhealthchiropractic.com/how-to-clean-detox-brain-glymphatic-system/
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