Have you ever felt overloaded? I mean your mind, body and spirit are overwhelmed and tired. Your can't seem to get your thoughts together, you are always tired and your feeling drained overall. Well your symptoms may be nothing more than your body telling you that it's time for a reset. The best way to reset yourself and get all the junk out is to fast. Oh boy! don't run away yet. I know when you hear the word "fasting" you immediately start thinking about all the things you have to give up, but let's not focus on that.
Let's focus on all the benefits of fasting. Before I mention them, let me remind you that fasting comes in different forms. Of course, not eating for a period of time is the highest level of fasting because our bodies crave food, but there are also types of fasting, such as system cleanses that I will discuss. The ultimate goal is to get ourselves detoxed and closer to the Lord. If you choose to just do the physical detox that's fine but you will not get the full benefit. I encourage you to do the cleanse in it's entirety. Now let's get into the benefits.
BENEFITS OF FASTING
- Insulin levels: Blood levels of insulin drop significantly, which facilitates fat burning.
- Cellular repair: The body induces important cellular repair processes, such as removing waste material from cells.
- Conditions that improve: acne, allergies, chronic joint and muscle pain, heart disease, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, migraines, PMS, arthritis, skin disorders, insomnia, digestive disorders, weight loss and the list goes on.
- Rest for the organs & detox: It takes a lot for your system to process your food intake properly. Literally every part of your body is involved with this process. Fasting allows your body to get rid of the toxins that you've ingested over time and gives your organs a much needed break.
- Increased energy: There's not much to say here but that you will definitely start to feel like your lighter on your feet. You sleeping patterns will improve and you may not even need that alarm clock after a few days.
- Promote greater mental clarity: All of those thoughts that are running around in your head will begin to slow down. You will definitely have more control of your thought patterns.
- Emotional stability: If you are the type that can fly off the handle or cry at the drop of a dime with very little prodding, fasting will be beneficial to you. You will definitely notice your ability to control your emotions in stressful situations. You will feel calmer, clearer and happier.
- Increased positive thought patterns: Fasters often report that depression lifts, goals begin to feel more obtainable as obstacles are put into proper focus. The scripture "I can do all things through Christ" will definitely become more real to you as begin to believe what the word of God says. I personally find that my level of anxiety decreases significantly because my thoughts are generally hopeful and more focused on what can be done as opposed to what can't be done.
Drawing Near to God: James 4:8 says, “Draw near to God and He will draw near to you.” Fasting is definitely one of the ways we can become closer to God. During your time in fasting, you are shutting out all the distractions and fully focusing on God. All the time spent eating and/or doing other things are not re-purposed to getting know God. Now you are having conversations with him, reading his words, his promises and building a genuine relationship.
Fasting will also make you more attuned spiritually. You'll become more aware of spiritual realities and begin to "walk in the Spirit" as the word says. The experience is similar to working out. The more you work out, the more your body gets used to the activity and craves it. If you miss a day of exercise, your body will let you know that something is off. So it is with fasting regularly. You will begin to hear the voice of God clearly and your spiritual consciousness will crave his presence. The connection made between your spirit and his will become necessary for survival. Your spirit will let you know if the connection is broken. Something will just feel "off".
Overcoming the Flesh: For to be carnally minded is death, but to be spiritually minded is life and peace” -Romans 8:6
Fasting is a great way to prioritize the spirit over the flesh. When you fast, you are saying that you are not ruled by your body or by the carnal nature. It is a great exercise in self-control. When you can abstain from food, you can also overcome lust, greed, and other fleshly instincts. Fasting is one of the ways that you can “train yourself to be godly” (1 Timothy 4:7).
Humbling Yourself: 1 Peter 5:6 says, “Therefore humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God, that He may exalt you in due time.”
It is our job to humble ourselves before God. If we don’t do it, God will do it for us. Fasting is a way of depending on the Lord and increasing our faith in His promises. You purposefully place yourself in a weakened state, humbling yourself before the Lord, and depending on His grace and power.
Obtaining Spiritual Breakthrough: "The weapons of our warfare are not carnal...." We don’t always see it like this, but fasting is a weapon of warfare against the devil. Sometimes we will not obtain the spiritual breakthrough that we need without focused prayer and fasting. The bible says that Christ won the victoryand we are overcomers but guess what? We are still living in this flesh. We still have to tackle some things that are going on around us that we cannot see.
If you are not a believer in the spiritual world then this may not make sense to you, but Paul says there are principalities aka spiritual rulers and authorities that are not on our side. We cannot see them, therefore we cannot fight them physically. We must fast in order to open our spiritual eyes to what is going on so that we can know what battle we are fighting. No one goes to war blindly or else you will be defeated. See Daniel 10:1-14 & Mark 9:29 for examples of what we are battling.
Now that we have the benefits of fasting let's get into this 3 day cleanse/fast. I will add scriptures for you to read to help you along. Remember, the ultimate goal is to get ourselves detoxed and closer to the Lord.
IT'S PREP TIME!
In order to get the full benefit of your fasting time, it's really important to prepare. For this fasting, I chose juicing because I am a working woman and a full fast is not always a good choice for me. Juicing is really great for those who are always on the go because if done correctly, it's easy to just grab your juice and go. For a 3 day fast, you should start preparing 3 to 4 days prior. It should look something like this.
Prep Day One: Begin to eliminate heavy foods from your diet; foods like red meats, heavy starches ie potatoes, rice, breads and pastas. I know it sounds LUDICROUS, but we gotta do what we gotta do. No pain, no gain! Right? Right! Also, if you are a coffee drinker like me, you'll want to start cutting back from today. Your caffeine withdrawals will be easier to handle if you begin the cut back slowly. Try to eliminate a cup a day until your down to zero.
Prep Day Two: Eliminate junk and sugary foods like candy, chips, and cakes. You must also eliminate artificial drinks and sodas. Up your water intake by drinking an 8 oz glass or bottle every two hours. It would be best to drink water every hour in order to flush your system but if your like me, you're not a water drinker so you may have to ease yourself into this. Just know that water is going to be a BIG help during your fast so it's best to get used to drinking a lot of it early on in the process. Also, today you will not be eating any meat or fish at all. It's all about the veggies baby!
Prep Day Three: You should now be drinking water every hour or two and eating no junk, starches or heavy meat.
Breakfast will consist of green tea, Matcha is pretty good so you can try that, a bowl of fruit and maybe a veggie omelet with just egg white. No cheese. Yes, dairy is out the door too folks. It hurts! I know. Just stick with me, it will be worth it.
Lunch will be a salad, very light dressing, preferably just oil and vinegar. No meat, but you can add all the other yummy stuff like avocado, corn, chick peas, cranberries etc. You can also just have a fruit smoothie, veggie juice or soup.
Dinner will be another salad, or steamed veggies and a smoothie. If you've noticed, I didn't say to eliminate sea food, but you have to be careful and eat with moderation. If you must have fish, then it should be steamed not fried.
By prep day 3, you should start to feel a little lighter and ready to go into the juicing stage. You may need an extra day to prep because the headaches and such are still hanging on. Oh yes, you may have a headache or two, but that's just your body reacting to the lack of junk and caffeine. That's why its very important to drink a lot of water during this time to expedite the flushing process.
Some other symptoms you may not like are:
Stomach aches, Bad breath, Fatigue, Diarrhea or Nausea. Like I said, the beginning of the process is not all pretty but the benefits are amazing. These symptoms do not last long and if they do, make sure you stop the fast immediately and go see your physician.
In Friday's post I'm going to get into the juicing recipes. I don't want to reveal them yet because I believe the prep process is so important and I don't want you to skip over this. So until next time.
Live in gratitude. Live in love.
Disclaimer: The opinions expressed by Stacey McKenzie are from personal experience and for educational and informational purposes only. They are not intended as a diagnosis, treatment or as a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis and treatment. Please consult a physician or other health care professional for your specific health care and/or medical needs or concerns.