Thursday, February 14, 2013

Lent and Fasting

Yesterday was Ash Wednesday, the first day of Lent. I have always had an issue with the whole fasting part of Ash Wednesday, and the fasting recommendations for Lent, and probably have never really "properly" fasted. I tend to lean toward hypoglycemia, so perhaps I don't even really qualify for the typical Lenten fast. I didn't do too badly today, just said no to food when I really wanted to eat something, but did give into a snack when I started feeling myself get shaky (not supposed to have any snacks yesterday!) or like yesterday evening, I could feel the drop in my blood sugar, so I ate half of a banana.

But it got me thinking: There are other kinds of fasts I could try during Lent. They may not be calorie-restrictive, but they are having me fast from all kinds of other foods! Juice fasts and raw food fasts are the first two to come to mind. Even if I just pick a single day here and there or something. Challenge myself a bit. The priest at Mass yesterday was great and said that fasting--be it from food or TV time or computer games--does pinch a bit, does cause discomfort. "But that's the point!" he said on more than one occasion. That pinch, that discomfort, it's all about our comfort zones. We attain real freedom when we just deal with the discomfort and push through the walls that would keep us from leaving. We grow from it.

In the spirit of encouraging myself to try a raw food or other fast, I've done some research and found the following that I thought I would share!

Fasting and Eating for Health: A Medical Doctor's Program for Conquering Disease
I actually saw this book at the library once and didn't pay any attention to it. Now, this would be more for people looking to fast for health issues, but I do have (minor) health issues (allergies, water retention...), so it could be a good book for me and others.

Laura London's 7-Day Goddess Juice Feast
A day-7 program she says you can do once a month. While she does talk about the weight loss benefits, there is also information about various health benefits people have experienced.

Juice Fasting and Detoxification: Use the Healing Power of Fresh Juice to Feel Young and Look Great
This looks to be a serious fasting book! Gives the why and the how-to and recipes you can use.

Juicing, Fasting, and Detoxing for Life: Unleash the Healing Power of Fresh Juices and Cleansing Diets
This one's not actually just juicing: there are recipes for smoothies and vegetable soups, as well. This is really focused on using fruits and vegetables in those ways for optimal health. (Oh dear, one of the books shown on the page was  The Wrinkle Cleanse which looks very interesting, especially since I'm getting closer and closer to 40! Not specifically on fasting, but on the use of raw foods and juicing.)

Fasting for Weight Loss and Detoxification - This isn't a book. It's actually a membership program where they send you things each week for 9 months to guide you. They encourage just one day a week of fasting. He does have books you can buy, too.

Of course, a raw food fast wouldn't need a book. Just grab any  raw food book and spend a day or week or whatever the time is. (Yes, I'm telling myself this, yet have I actually done it yet? Hm... I will, at least one day during Lent, I will do a full raw food day!)

I found so much more I could post, but it might be silly to post it all! I'll stop here. :)

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