Preparing for a Fast
Updated: Aug 19, 2019
As promised, here's some written guidance about things to consider before commencing a fast of any kind and plus a video at the bottom of this page.
Choosing What's Appropriate
Choose an appropriate time of year. The turn of the season (Spring or Autumn) is an ideal moment. Mid-winter is very harsh and not recommended.
Get clear about your responsibilities (children, work) and your health needs. Check with your doctor if you have any health issues. Some medicines need to be taken with food for example. Similarly, if you have to operate any machinery (including a car) a few days of lighter meals is more appropriate that a liquid only diet. Only fast as much as is appropriate for your life right now and know you can eat again at any time. It’s not a competition.
Preparing in Advance
If you are going to have a liquid only intake for a few days, reduce your intake of food for a few days before and stop all meat and milk.
Make yourself a hearty vegetable stock or buy some miso soup in advance.
Get some probiotics (not milk based), sauerkraut liquid, either homemade or not pasteurised if bought. Micro Max from the Really Healthy Company is another probiotic I’ve used while fasting and that I recommend. Blue Green alge is another great supplement while on a liquid diet for highly absorbable nutrients, it’s a proper superfood.
My house is full of teenagers so junk food gets hoovered up in a blink of an eye. If you have any tempting sugar/fat laden foods that you want out of your sight line I suggest taking them to a foodbank.
Make yourself a nest, be close to a bath or sauna if you have the opportunity. You will feel cold and these will be soothing. A hot water bottle against the belly at night will help you sleep. You will be more tired but have more difficulty falling asleep.
Get some good books, not too academic as you will be less clear in your head and films are great but not too violent. You will feel surprisingly vulnerable.
What Eat and What Not to Eat
Plan what you will eat at the end of your fast. THIS IS NOT A PUNISHMENT this is an opportunity for your digestive tract to rest and it will let you know when to start eating again. I will put up some recipes for foods to have if you are just eating lightly, any of those will be suitable first foods. I go for soup, lightly steamed or sautéed rather than raw as a gentle return to eating. Start with small amounts.
For both the liquid and lighter food fast drink:
Lots and lots of water Broth will sustain you better than water Ginger tea is really warming, it’s the emperor spice in Chinese medicine and clears the pathway for other herbs and spices to work more effectively.
During both the liquid and lighter food fast, avoid the following:
Nightshades (potato, tomato, aubergine and peppers), mushrooms, onions, pulses, beans, grains, citrus fruits, sugar, refined foods.
Coffee, tea, alcohol and cigarettes. Beware that some herbal teas are diuretic, like camomile and not appropriate. I will expand on coffee withdrawal in another post.
During the 5 days of lighter meals, eat:
Fruits except citrus, raw or unpasteurised sauerkraut, leafy greens, fennel, squash, root vegetables except potato, avocado, sprouted seeds, nuts and seeds.
Raw food is fine but might make your belly sore, soups, lightly steamed and sautéed vegetables are also good and the warmth might make them easier to digest.
It's Not a Competition
Keep in mind that this an opportunity for your digestive tract to rest. You can connect with your inner wisdom of your body so take really good care of yourself and let any ideas of dieting, weight loss or anything that might make you feel negative or low. This is a self nurturing, loving practice to do for as long as feels right.