Living in a place where food is easy to obtain, thanks to the plethora of grocery stores, local small vendors with carts or tables, and corner stores… it is easy to take food for granted. I am not currently the most well-off person monetarily, however, in knowledge I feel extremely wealthy. Thanks to my good fortune to have access to food, in addition to the kindness of friends who share… I find it important to fast for 3 reasons.
1. I choose to fast to remind myself not to take food or my life for granted…
When I have the ability to choose what I want to eat (within reason), sometimes it may become easy to get comfortable, and assume that food will always be accessible, plentiful and inexpensive. Regarding the state of the economy, the affects of weather on various crops, and various market influences on the cost of food… it is important to be mindful about access to food, production of food, responsible sourcing, and cost.
When I fast, I remind myself that I am not too far removed from moments in my life when I have found it difficult to get a meal to eat, or did not know where my next meal was coming from. I remind myself of the times I have bypassed a plate, so that another could eat, or to make sure there was enough food to stretch for the week until more money came in…
It is disheartening to me that we still live in a world where it seems more than not, that food is a privilege rather than a right, and various socio-economic controls affect the lives of billions of people on the planet. When I have the ability to eat and feed my family, I am grateful. That I have the ability to take a day to not eat, by choice, I am grateful for the opportunity to do so. I seek to be mindful of my choices and contributions to food waste…
2. I fast to give my body a break from using most of my energy to the digestive process
Believe it or not, a lot of energy is used to break down food into energy via the digestive system. By choosing to abstain from eating for at least a day, I give my body’s system a break, and the energy can be divested to other parts of my body. If I am capable of undergoing a fast that lasts 7 to 10 days minimum, I believe that my body is able to utilize its energy to cell repair, and assessing damaged areas of my body.
During the time of my fast, I can take the time to be more mindful of my diet, how my body feels, and other areas that may not receive my full attention when focused on eating, making meals for the day, and my wants vs. needs over food.
3. I fast to get closer to discovering my inner nature and what makes me tick
I suffer from a lot of existential angst. I question why I am here, too often catch myself mulling over a past I cannot correct or return to, and eat my feelings. Fasting allows me to pull the plug on trying to fill those occasional frustrating moments or emotional voids, which prompt me to fill my stomach to soothe the discomfort. Fasting forces me to consider the origin point of my believed problems, focus more on creative solutions, and seek to listen to my heart and feed my mind.
It is a fascinating phenomenon, what takes place after 3 days of fasting. I do not engage in dry fasting, as I will drink plant juice, tea, and lemon water. After 3 days, hunger subsides, energy levels seem to boost, and I do not need as much sleep as usual. I like to take these opportunities to read more, be more around nature, or try to keep myself around positive energy, rather than dwell on negativity or things I have no control on.
I also find that when fasting, it is beneficial to take relaxing baths, focus on your breath, and do natural skin scrubs to help promote blood circulation and remove dead skin cells to allow the skin to breath better.
Whatever your reason, consider a fast to reconnect to your focuses and goals for your life. Fast to break your dietary habits which may not be contributing to your best health, mindset, or feeding problems you are not addressing. You don’t have to be some strict spiritual follower of a specific path or protesting to fast.
Just try it and see if it works for you.
*Disclaimer: I am not a physician. I can only write about my experiences coupled with research. Please, especially if you are on any medication or have any significant health issues or a health status which may cause you to develop ill effects if you engage in fasting… please consult a physician and/or nutritionist. Do your research before engaging in something such as a fast. *
To Your Health!