For those of you who are new to fasting, here is some general information.
This first link is a well repsected site by most of us that have completed juice or water fasting. There are many subtopics you can click on to view more.
Next, this is a general outline of detoxification stages while fasting
A single cell within the human body is more complex than the most modern supercomputer. The process of removing a hundred thousand antigens, each with unique molecular properties, from trillions of functioning cells is indeed a complex process. Imagine three trillion cells being repaired during the function of countless biochemical processes needed for life. Even the best mechanics have to turn off the engine. Yet, the body has millions of micro mechanics that do this with ease.
One of the body¬ís automatic maintenance processes is the destruction of foreign microorganisms. When looking through a dark-field microscope, countless parasites are clearly visible. I observed parasites living inside blood cells. Several could be seen eating cholesterol, and I was amazed to see one swim. Watching lymphocytes moving in the blood was like a science-fiction movie. These complex, lymphocyte organisms attached themselves and engulfed toxins. As they did, their colorations flowed into fascinating patterns leaving me with a sense of wonder and respect for the miraculous ability and infinite complexity of the human body.
Here is an overview of the detoxification stages during a juice fast. The time periods are a general estimation.
Stage 1 (Day 1 To Day 2)
On the first day of fasting, the blood sugar level drops below 70 mg/dl. To restore the blood to the normal glucose level, liver glycogen is converted to glucose and released into the blood. This reserve is enough for half a day. The body then reduces the basal metabolic rate (BMR). The rate of internal chemical activity in resting tissue is lowered to conserve energy. The heart slows and blood pressure is reduced. Glycogen is pulled from the muscle causing some weakness. The first wave of cleansing is usually the worst.
Headaches, dizziness, nausea, bad breath, glazed eyes and a heavily coated tongue are signs of the first stage of cleansing. Hunger can be the most intense in this period unless the enema is used which quickly assists the body into the fasting state by ending digestion in the colon.
Stage 2 (Day 3 To Day 7)
Fats, composed of transformed fatty acids, are broken down to release glycerol from the gliceride molecules and are converted to glucose. The skin may become oily as rancid oils are purged from the body. People with problem-free skin may have a few days of pimples or even a boil. A pallid complexion is also a sign of waste in the blood. Ketones are formed by the incomplete oxidation of fats. It is suspected that the ketones in the blood suppress the appetite by affecting the food-satiety center in the hypothalamus. You may feel hungry for the first few days of the fast. This effect is temporary. The desire to eat will disappear. Lack of hunger may last 40 to 60 days, depending on whether you are on water or juice.
The body embraces the fast and the digestive system is able to take a much-needed rest, focusing all of its energies on cleansing and healing. White blood cell and immune system activity increases. You may feel pain in your lungs. The cleansing organs and the lungs are in the process of being repaired. Periodically, the lymphatic system expels mucoid matter through the nose or throat. The volume excreted of this yellow-colored mucus can be shocking. The sinuses go through periods of being clogged, then will totally clear. The breath is still foul and the tongue coated. Within the intestine, the colon is being repaired and impacted feces on the intestinal wall start to loosen.
Stage 3 (Day 8 to Day 15)
On the latter part of an extended fast, you can experience enhanced energy, clear-mindedness and feel better than you have felt since childhood. On the downside, old injuries may become irritated and painful. This is a result of the body's increased ability to heal during fasting. If you had broken your arm 10 years before, there is scar tissue around the break. At the time of the break, the body's ability to heal was directly related to lifestyle. If you lived on a junk-food diet, the body's natural healing ability was compromised.
During fasting, the body's healing process is at optimum efficiency. As the body scours for dead or damaged tissue, the lymphocytes enter the older, damaged tissue secreting substances to dissolve the damaged cells. These substances irritate the nerves in the surrounding region and cause a reoccurrence of aches from previously injured areas that may have disappeared years earlier. The pain is good as the body is completing the healing process. The muscles may become tight and sore due to toxin irritation. The legs can be the worst affected, as toxins accumulate in the legs. Cankers are common in this stage due to the excessive bacteria in the mouth. Daily gargling with salt and water will prevent or heal cankers.
Stage 4 (Day 16 to Day 30)
The body is completely adapted to the fasting process. There is more energy and clarity of mind. Cleansing periods can be short with many days of feeling good in between. There are days when the tongue is pink and the breath is fresh. The healing work of the organs is being completed. After the detoxification mechanisms have removed the causative agent or render it harmless, the body works at maximum capacity in tissue proliferation to replace damaged tissue. While a short fast will reduce the symptoms, a longer fast can completely heal. Homeostatic balance is at optimum levels. The lymphatic system is clean except for a rare discharge of mucus through the nose or throat. After day 20, the mind is affected. Heightened clarity and emotional balance are felt at this time. Memory and concentration improve.
Stage 5 (Breaking the Fast)
The sticky, toxic, mucoid coating on the intestinal wall is loose, and the first meal frees it from the intestinal wall. Toxins enter the blood through the colon. The gallbladder dumps its waste in a heavy discharge of bile. This can cause an instant bowel movement upon eating followed by intense diarrhea. If the symptoms are too uncomfortable, an enema will help
Breaking the Fast
Breaking an extended fast can be difficult. You will quickly discover that breaking the fast is harder than fasting. A slumbering digestive system is sensitive, and although you might want to try every food on the planet, you cannot because your system needs time to get back to speed. The longer the fast the more time is needed for breaking the fast. Water fasting demands the longest time to break. The longer the fast the more difficult it is to break correctly. Here is an email to show just how bad it can be.
When it came down to actually breaking my fast, I had no idea how difficult it would be. The moment I put anything inside my body, I lost that natural euphoric high I'd had during the fast, and that feeling of losing control caused me to overeat until I was sick. I ate like a pig and even smoked! I was sure I would never have the desire to smoke again. I'm also feeling a bit ill. I feel like I felt before fasting: tired, frustrated, bloated and achy. Everything looks messy and out of control right now. I feel like I want to cry all the time. I don't understand it! I had such discipline during the fast! What happened? Do you have any insights for me? Thank you for being there!! Love, Mia
If you are a compulsive eater, breaking a fast can be exceedingly difficult. During the fast, you are free from the bondage of food, but as soon as you eat, the battle engulfs you at full intensity. There is a nervous anxiety about eating. Part of you wants to enjoy the food and part of you is fearful of losing control. Reading the book, Eating In Freedom, during your fast will have prepared you for victory.
There are erroneous beliefs that will destroy your discipline and healthy breaking of the fast. One is that I have deprived myself; now, I get to enjoy food. The other trap is the newness of the experience. Flavors and textures of food will be enhanced by super-clean nasal passages. Eating will be a brand new experience. There is a desire to try every food just to see how it tastes. A bite of this and that leads to a belly full of an indigestible mixture.
If you have dreamed of eating pizza after a fast, the first thing you will eat after breaking the fast will be pizza, because you have programmed your mind for the event. Be careful not to lust after food during a fast.
When you break a fast and start to eat, do not expect that the food will give you energy. Often, it is just the opposite; after fasting, the digestion of food can stir up more toxins. The first few meals move through the intestine like a broom that pushes ahead of it loosening waste from 30 feet of intestine. You can actually go from feeling great to feeling toxic after eating one small salad. Losing that exhilarating feeling and clear-mindedness, experienced on the fast, can be depressing. Don't worry if this happens, it will pass in a few hours. A healthy diet high in raw food, can maintain the benefits of fasting.
Eating small amounts of raw fruits and vegetables for the first five or six days will allow the body to gently wake up the digestive system. Once you have eaten, wait till you feel hungry. Do not eat according to the clock or because you feel you should be eating more. When breaking a fast, overloading the digestive system causes feelings of apathy, depression or sluggishness. However, if you do overeat, the effect can be remedied by fasting until hunger returns, and then continue to break the fast. One of the tricks I have learned on breaking a fast is to pretend I am still fasting but eat the occasional fruit.
Fasting at your discretion,