Average Reading Time: 4 minutes and 15 seconds
What type of fasting protocol should you do? Whichever way you choose will give your health a big boost, increase your longevity and energy, improve your memory, and help you access more joy.
After doing self-guided cleanses, long fasts, and liver flushes during the past 20 years, I can confidently say that cleanses are a key to accessing Pure Joy in your life. My first introduction to cleansing was in 1997 when I did a month-long intestinal cleanse, eliminating one more meal a day every week; by the 4th week, I fasted on only psyllium shakes, green juice and supplements.
It was intense, to say the least, but after that last week of fasting, I noticed my digestion was amazing, my period returned, my confidence boosted, my mind sharpened, and my body shrank. I felt so good fasting that I started fasting on just green juice one day a week for many years following. It was because of that first fast that my business was named “Pure Joy”.
Here are some ways to improve your life through fasting and cleansing:
- 24-36 hour fast on only water, one or two days a week (Sun and Wed)
- 12-18 hour daily intermittent fast on only water
- 3-day green juice fast on only green juice, water and herbal tea
- 7-day liquid fast on juices, smoothies, and broths, while taking liver supporting supplements.
Over time, I’ve experimented with dry fasting for 18 hours and longer, water fasting for seven days, juice fasting for 90 days, and I’ve completed over 40 liver flushes to date. I am telling you this because I want you to know that I am not just quoting something from the internet. I have a first-hand experience of the power of fasting and cleansing.
When I am on a cleanse or fast or coming off of one, it’s the best I feel in my life. No joke! Of course, it’s not always comfortable, but the euphoria, clarity, and joy that surge through my newly cleansed cells makes it all worth it. My favorite way to fast at the moment is either a 7-day liver cleanse or 2 days a week (Sunday and Wednesday) of fasting on green juice.
Numerous scientific studies are now showing that people who fast on a regular basis (at least 24 hours 1-2 days a week while consuming only liquids equaling less than 500 calories in a day) experience lowering of the Insulin-like growth hormone (IGH1).
A decrease in IGH1 in adults has been directly tied to longer life, lower insulin levels, regular blood pressure, lowered heart disease, decreased cancer risk, and less disease in general. Also mentioned in many studies is that the cleansers had an increased sense of well-being and happiness, better social interactions, better memory, more self-confidence and increased motivation.
If you are ready and motivated to embark on a fast or cleanse, that’s great news! You will love how good you feel once you get the hang of it. Especially once you get through the tough parts which usually involve some hunger pains and detox side effects like headaches, lethargy, and grumpiness.
Those symptoms only come up when your body is overtaxed with the toxins releasing from the body, and they tend to pass as quickly as they came. Just take a moment to drink some water with ¼ tsp. of Himalayan salt (flush the toxins out), take a 5-minute lie down, drink a green juice, take a sauna, hot bath or sweat somehow and lastly get a colonic or do an enema. These will all help your fast or cleanse go much smoother.
Just like most things in life, the more you fast and cleanse the easier and more habitual it becomes. Take a moment to look at your calendar and plan a day for your first 24 hour fast. Some people like to stay busy while fasting, but it can also be good to have a down day where you can meditate and write in your journal while reflecting on what you are grateful for.
The first liver flush I ever did was not my best one. I had no one to check in with for support and didn’t know what I was doing. I followed the written instructions but felt unsure, and I didn’t know if I was doing it right. All the cleanses I’ve done went fine, meaning nothing bad happened, and I felt so good after each cleanse that I continued to do them.
But I was determined to find a more comfortable and graceful way. I slowly tweaked the protocols each time to add my supplements such as colon flushers and enzymes. These made the cleanse much more effective and painless because my body was more supported. After a couple of years of cleansing my colon and liver, I started helping others cleanse, and access the Pure Joy that I had found.
It has been a gratifying experience to see so many people cleanse their bodies and gain their health back while losing weight and feeling better than they have in years. I like to start people off with a liver flush (and this is still my cleanse of choice for myself) because the liver plays an integral part in our health and well-being, and is our first line of defense against toxins.
A healthy liver performs over 500+ functions. Here are just a few:
- Secretes bile and bile salts needed for fat digestion (along with the gallbladder)
- Metabolizes toxins so they can be excreted by the body
- Keeps blood sugar in balance
- Liver cells break down fatty acids which then generates ATP (energy)
- Converts ammonia (left over from too many amino acids) into urea, which can then be excreted in the urine. (Ammonia is much more toxic than urea)
- Ability to change and process hormones (thyroid converts T4 into active T3, estrogen, and aldosterone)
- Detoxes drugs, medications, pesticides, glyphosate (from eating non-organic food), dangerous vaccine components, and environmental toxins
- Stores and releases (when needed) glycogen, vitamin A, D, E, K (fat soluble), vitamin B12, copper, and iron.
- Detoxes and filters everything that comes into the intestines and blood (the only organ that can do this)
Here are some benefits you can receive from cleansing your liver:
- Weight Loss
The liver produces as much as a quart of bile per day, with about a quarter of this passing directly into the intestinal tract and the remainder being stored in the gallbladder. When the liver is clogged with stones and unprocessed bile salts, some people are only able to produce 1 cup of bile. Lower amounts of accessible bile dramatically reduce the digestion of fat. Once you cleanse your liver and gallbladder of stones and bile salts, the bile can flow freely and digest fats. When your digestion works well, you can lose weight more easily.
- Immune System Support
Since the liver reduces toxins, it makes sense that a healthy liver is crucial to a robust immunity. Cleansing your liver can give your immune system a massive boost by clearing out unwanted debris and releasing undigested proteins from the basal membranes and cells.
- Discourages Future Liver Stones
Liver stones, a product of an unhealthy diet, form because of too much cholesterol. The extra cholesterol makes bile harden into tiny stones that can block the liver and gallbladder; you could have hundreds of these affecting your liver’s ability to detox. When you cleanse, though, somewhere between 100 to 300 stones could be purged from your body through your colon.
- Supports Whole Body Detox
Since the liver removes toxins, turning them into harmless byproducts, there are usually toxins in your liver. This is not a problem, but issues can start when too many toxins build up. That’s when you need to do a liver/gallbladder flush to get your liver working as efficiently as it should.
- Boosts Energy
Some of the harmless byproducts the liver makes are nutrients the body will use.
When there is too much toxic build up, some of those nutrients just won’t make it back into the bloodstream. When that happens, your energy levels will likely drop, so liver cleansing will make you feel better because not only will you have all of your nutrients—but also all of your energy.
- Increases Vitality
By cleansing your very own beautiful liver, you’re restoring it to peak efficiency. Reducing all that toxic buildup will make your skin look clearer, brighter and healthier. And since increasing bile production helps with fat breakdown, you’ll also tone your body easier and could even look and feel at least five years younger!
Here are some ways you can get started on a fast or cleanse:
- Pick 1-2 day a week that you want to fast. I like Sundays and Wednesdays. For a 24-hour fast, eat dinner the night before (say Saturday night) and stop eating by 7 pm. Then on Sunday night, you can have dinner again, so you are only skipping two meals.
- Do a 3-day green juice fast. The best way to lose weight and renew your vitality quickly is to embark on three days of only water, herbal tea, and green juice. Ideally, you would have days 2 and 3 fall on a weekend or on days you are not working.
- Do a week-long liver flush with guidance like this one.
- Try intermittent fasting daily. Create a shorter eating window by stopping all food and drink consumption except for water by 7 pm. Then don’t consume anything again except water until 9 or 10 am the next day. This will be a 14 or 15 hour fast daily and your liver will have more time for repair and you will wake up feeling lighter and clearer.
Go on, give one a try. Any time of year is a great time to cleanse but doing it during fall and winter can help prevent cold and flu as phagocytosis increases with fasting which is the gobbling up of pathogens (aka bad guys) in the body.
Here’s to your renewed health and well-being, jump-starting weight loss, mental acuity and happiness year-round!
Article By Elaina Love, Faculty Member here at the BodyMind Institute
Elaina Love's Raw Chef Certification
Elaina's Website: https://elainalove.com/