Fasting for the New Year

I'm sure many of you have been battling the endless battle of Holiday Crap. Aunt Sally's Death by Chocolate... Granny P's devastating peanut brittle... the list goes on and on. The candy jar at work. The endless thank you presents from clients- cookies, chocolates, you name it. Ugh. You gain weight, crash and get cranky just by looking at the stuff.

It's a tough battle to say no all the time, especially to well-meaning family members who get such joy out of feeding others. Or with co-workers who secretly get pleasure out of sabotaging your diet... you know who I mean. It's cruel! Just cruel!

Anyway take a deep breath, the new year is here and there isn't another stuff your face holiday for a while.

I am fasting to celebrate the new year, as a way to re-start my body and mind back into the health I adore so much. Cleansing is good practice, and not a bad idea to do a few times a year, or more if you stress a lot. Giving your body a break from all the things you put into it makes good sense.

The fast I am doing does not involve complete food deprivation. I cannot do that, I've tried. It makes me crazy. Instead, I am doing a fruit fast for two days (today is day two) and then an Ayurvedic type fast for another two days. (I got it from the "Eat, Taste and Heal" book, look it up, it's rad). Basically, I figured out what would work best for my body- deprivation not being the answer- and I'm sticking to it.

Two days of raw fruits (and some dried), pretty much whatever is appealing and fresh. I have been enjoying pineapple, pears, apples, mangoes, kiwi, pomegranates, bananas, dates and figs. Even dried papaya. It's been wonderful. I feel calm and clean right now, brighter. Out of respect for my body I am not doing the strenuous workouts I normally do, but am taking it easy with yoga only.

The next two days will be eating only rice and mung beans, called Kitchari. I am not cooking the beans as it is called for however; I sprouted them to get the most nutrition out of the beans. Sprouted beans are incredible. So much energy and enzymes! I mean, when a bean is sprouting you are getting all that vigorous "life! life!" energy out of them, fantastic. I was mostly raw all summer and lived on sprouted beans and grains. (This practice is tougher in winter when I want desperately to be warm, and eat warm, all the time.)

The purpose of the cleansing and the fast is to abstain completely from caffeine, additives, preservatives, toxins, white sugar, flour, etc. Just simple foods that are easy for the body to digest and process. Yes, fruit is high in sugar, and not ideal for long term fasts. I seem to be doing ok on this front though, luckily.

On day 5 when regular food is to be introduced, it is done slowly; adding simple soups, steamed veggies, and whole grains, a little at a time with each meal. I may even do some raw fish on day 6 I think.

I encourage everyone to cleanse every now and then. You have to pick the one that is right for you, and if you have physical issues make sure your doctor knows. There is nothing worse than causing damage when you only mean good!

Good luck in the sugar battle, and happy new year!