There’s so much information on fasting nowadays, so if you’re fasting-curious I hope my 10 steps for a successful fast will set you up for triumph 🙂
Please note, I’ve written this based on my own personal fasting journey, which has been a large part of my life for the last eleven years.
I don’t see myself as an expert in this field.
If you need additional information, support and guidance, I encourage you to reach out to someone; such as Don Tolman – The man, who taught me much of what I know about this topic 🙂
Firstly – What is Fasting?
Fasting is a simple, but fairly challenging process – physically, mentally and emotionally.
By removing food, the body redirects energy (usually used for breaking down and digestion) to heal and repair.
The more that you do it (and the cleaner you keep your diet afterwards), the easier it gets.
Step One – Your Why
The first step to doing anything effectively is to understand why you’re doing it.
For me the initial process of fasting helped me eliminate a pretty chronic case of Psoriasis that affected my hands and legs. More on that here.
After experiencing what my body was capable of through fasting, I was sold.
I now use it to lift mood, increase energy, to detox my body – aiming for once a quarter and to gain clarity; both emotionally and mentally.
I also fast to prevent disease.
Step Two- Which Type
There are many types of fasting.
Personally I only fast using nature, as that’s what I believe best for my body, so the suggestions given here are applicable to that –
Easiest way to fast, a great introduction and a good way to detox on a regular basis without too much disturbance to your daily life.
The aim is to eat your first meal at 12pm when the sun is highest in the sky. That way you’ve allowed your body extra time to detox after a night’s sleep.
Drink only water in the morning or if you need to take it slower you could try a litre of water in the morning and a freshly squeezed juice around 10am.
The rule of thumb is 12pm – 8pm = Eating time (although I reduce this to 6pm, as I go to bed early), 8pm – 4am = Break Down and Digestion time, 4am-12pm = Detox (Fasting) time.
I find that my body responds well to intermittent fasting.
One-Day per Week Fast
Apparently this is what our ancestors did; specifically choosing to fast on the same day of the week as the day they were born on.
The type of fast that you engage with could be any of the ones mentioned in this post.
Choose one fruit or vegetable.
Eat only that – i.e. Watermelon.
Mix it up – eat whole, juiced, blended, as a slushy, frozen into an ice block or in whatever way you like.
Drink your recommended intake of daily water*.
Some people combine juices with their daily intake of water.
Others drink only juice.
If you’re unsure which route to take, do some research.
Juices are usually comprised of one or more of the following:
- Coconut Water
- Spices; such as Ginger and Turmeric (great for healing inflammation)
Juice fasting is a way to ensure your body is still topping up with nutrients during the fasting process.
Drink only water for the period of the fast – the recommended intake of water* for your body.
This is the deepest form of fasting.
Remember to add a pinch of salt to your water to keep you well hydrated.
For the hardened, ‘serious-about-detoxing’ fasters, there’s clay.
This was the first fast I ever did and I’ve done a fair few of them since.
Depending on how toxic you are, however, please note this one can be challenging. Especially if you struggle to swallow (and keep down) clay solutions.
Don has a ready-made clay detox kit on the market that I highly recommend. Using this kit, you can clear the build up in your intestines; leading to more efficient nutrient absorption and transit time – Mass Exodus by Don Tolman.
The clay solution helps to absorb and remove built-up toxins from the body and colon and helps clears the build up around your mucosal lining.
-> Clays can rid the body of bad bacteria and parasites, but they can also reduce the good bacteria, so if you’re going this way – include some probiotics in the evening.
-> You need to ingest fibre with clays – such as psyllium husk to push the clay through your system. The two formulations given above contain this in the mix already.
Step Three – Preparation
There are three steps to successful preparation
- Ensure you have everything you need for the type of fast you’re preparing to do.
- Ensure you have down-time scheduled. This is not the time to plan a busy launch party or arrange to have your friend’s kids over for a sleepover weekend. It’s best to be at home or away on a fasting retreat with as much peace and quiet as is possible.
- Ensure that you have support from family or your partner; especially important if you have children.
Step Four – Move into it Slowly
Its a great idea to cut out or cut down on as many toxins as you can the week leading up to your fast.
This will limit the toxic overload that you might experience; especially if this is your first fast.
- Sugar; including sugary drinks
Opt for these instead:
- Nuts & Seeds
- As much raw, fresh food as possible.
Step Five: Make it Easier
Tips to make it less challenging:
- Enema Kit or Regular Colonics – having these will help to shift the toxins from your system much quicker and help you to feel better.
- A compilation of your Favourite Music. Aim for music that will encourage you to stay on the fast and the kind that will soothe.
- Essential Oils – pick the ones that most match what you’re likely to need emotionally, mentally and physically. During my first 3 fasts I found that I had to smell Basil.
- Natural Self-Care Products. Be mindful of what you’re putting onto your skin whilst detoxing, as it is an Eliminatory Organ. This is a good every day tip – not just for when you’re fasting. For some great options, click here
- Warm Baths with Epsom Salt and Essential Oils can really help of an evening to soothe, warm and relax.
- Body Brush – Brush your whole body every morning in the shower to help your skin rid what it needs to
- A Tongue Scraper – those toxins have to come out somewhere and this can result in a white coating on the tongue. Your mouth will feel much better with a tongue-scrape twice a day.
- Herbal Tea makes a nice treat during the afternoon. Ginger is especially good on colder days. Simply add grated ginger root and some cloves or clove powder to a teapot and infuse in boiling water for 5 minutes.
Step Six: Fast for where you’re at
If this is your first fast you’ll probably need to learn to walk before you can run.
The path to great health is a journey (and sometimes quite a long one).
You may want to attempt the 40-day water fast on a future date 😉
Step Seven: Be Aware of the Effects
Fasting enables your body to detoxify, heal and repair.
It cannot do that without some level of discomfort.
Some signs that your body is detoxifying:
- Headaches – headaches are one of the signs that your body is detoxing. Golden ReLeaf is my number one go-to for headaches. Peppermint oil is also a great option and remember those enemas if you’re getting lots of symptoms of toxin release.
- Weakness – Feeling generally tired/fatigued and weak in body. This will usually lift after the first 3 days along with other detox symptoms, which will likely greatly improve or disappear after the magic 3.
- Vomiting/Diarrhea – More indication that your body is releasing.
- Experiencing Flu-like symptoms can also be common. The Cold & Flu Nurture pack can help.
- Feeling Yukky
- Bad Breath or a nasty taste in the mouth – Use the tongue scraper. Gargle with salt water & a drop of Peppermint Oil
- Healing Crisis – for those that fast to heal a certain condition it often happens that that condition initially worsens before it gets better. This is what happened with my former Psoriasis.
- Body aches and pains – i.e joint pain – this one generally occurs where there has been a condition previously and the issue is being repaired. I’m not talking about severe, unbearable pain here. You may want to get that checked 😉
- Tears – There’s usually a teary day. This is because fasting also releases stuck emotion from the body. If you’d like to understand more about embracing and working with your emotions, my Sunshine on a Rainy Day E-Book is a great resource as is my Sunshine on a Rainy Day Nurture Pack (if you’re looking for something a little more comforting).
Fasting can take you to a very deep, quiet, highly sensitive and emotional place, so it’s probably not the best time for Punk or Heavy Metal.
Step Eight: Pick your Exercise
Even if it’s just a walk around your neighbourhood block, including exercise is important to help with toxic elimination.
Aim to do this for 30 minutes a day unless you’re feeling particularly bad. If that’s the case then rest until you can.
Because I’ve been fasting for a few years I can happily ride my bike and carry on with my usual routine on most (certainly not all) of the days that I fast.
Step Nine: Acknowledge your Emotions
Fasting can help to release and heal our emotions.
It’s also good to journal about your thoughts and feelings.
Step Ten: Know when to Stop & When not to Fast
I personally do not fast under the following conditions:
- Pregnancy and Breastfeeding – due to the potential issue/risk of eliminated toxins reaching my unborn child.
- When I’m Feeling Stressed – If the conditions aren’t right then I stop and set up another time. This means that I’m more likely to get the full benefit. Stress has a negative impact on health, so unless I can fast in a relatively calm state I would choose not to continue.
… And Finally
If you’re considering a fast, but are not in good health I recommend consulting a trusted health practitioner for further advice and support and contacting Don (as suggested above), to talk about your condition and a possible way forward.
If you suspect that you may be nutritionally depleted it may be wise to increase your intake of healthful and nutritionally dense foods through a change in diet before partaking in a fast.
Much Love, Toria xo
* Wondering about that ‘Recommended Intake of Water‘?
– I always go by Don Tolman’s suggestion of 1 litre of water per 22kgs of body weight and that seems to work well for me).