A HEALTHY GUIDE TO FASTING by Health Researcher: SUE VISSER
First please note: Consult your health practitioner for confirmation that you are fit to fast, especially if you are taking prescription drugs, are diabetic, have heart & circulatory problems, epilepsy or you are breastfeeding or pregnant. The information provided is not intended as medical advice and I am not responsible for the decisions you make and the steps you take. It is my dearest wish that your fasting may be very special and profound in that you emerge feeling healthy, fit and renewed in mind and spirit. Fasting with a body that is disease-ridden or overloaded with toxins and the accumulated residues of dangerous medications and poorly digested food can result in a lot of discomfort and misery. I would like to introduce you to the health benefits of well disciplined fasting!
WHY DO SOME OF US DREAD FASTING: THE IDEA THAT NOT EATING IS GOING TO BE TERRIBLE?
We are conditioned from birth to eat on demand. We become associated with the sensation of comfort that is derived from having a full tummy and the security that our energy levels will be maintained if we eat a good load of “energy” foods and carbohydrates along with sufficient fat and protein. The moment we receive a hunger signal, we eat. Most people are used to three meals a day and the general idea is to eat a good breakfast to keep us going. The moment this eating pattern is threatened, we begin to panic and try to compensate by rearranging the intake of foods at other times so we are not short of fuel.
The misguided trust in being able to process this onslaught of sugars, fats, carbohydrates and proteins at inappropriate times is what causes chaos in our constitutions. To add to the mayhem, is the total neglect of vital micronutrients so essential to the release of energy from bodily stores. Once depleted of trace elements such as zinc, chrome, manganese, vanadium, boron and amino acids we are unable to produce insulin. When deprived of digestive enzymes, the digestive system is thrown out of balance. When the constitution becomes too acidic it invites the onslaught of many infectious as well as degenerative diseases. Not a pretty picture and not a very nice way to begin a fast, for whatever reason! No wonder there are so many complaints during a fast.
The body has a metabolic cycle and each elimnation phase has to be completed before the next load of food is consumed. We ignore this fact, because we feel hungry but only because of a stimulus to the brain. The paradox is that we are hungry, yet full of food. Some of these food residues have been lodged in our bowels for many years. This mucus laden, putrefying mass of muck silts up the digestive system causing sluggishness, constipation, weight gain, colon cancer and the like . It becomes a breeding ground for parasites and pathogens that make one vulnerable to many of the conditions we now call diseases.
We take drugs to treat candida, colds and flu, arthritis, diatetes and kidney complaints. Believe me, 99% of them are caused by little and not so little organisms that drift around your body. When you fast, they don’t! There’s plenty of food for them and they begin to release more and more toxic and acidic waste. They thrive on low oxygen levels an love to wallow in pockets of waste material you have provided for them over the years. Is it not time to root them out for good by having a head to toe detox before you begin a religious fast? Or do you want them to join you for your Holy Festival?
Now we complain because we have to skip a few meals during the day and we dread the headaches, fatigue, nausea, aches and pains and general discomfort that looms on the horizon. These are symptoms of the body finally being able to clean out some of the muck. It’s usually so busy having to process your three daily meals – especially the large breakfast as well as all the snacks you thrust down your gullet that it does not have a chance to convert the constant churning mass of poorly chewed slurry into something beneficial.
Yes, a fast is a terrible experience, and yes, you will feel lousy as fasting is both healing and detoxifying. All the unwanted residues have to be flushed out of the system and as the body becomes exposed to pockets of muck, parasites and mucus that are dislodged and tossed into the bloodstream, you have severe reactions. During a health fast one is encouraged to have a little fruit and a lot of water. Some people undertake parasite or colon cleansing therapy as well, depending on how serious they are in having a goood purge. A kidney, liver and gall bladder flush can also be done, to get rid of those crystal & cholesterol deposits and other muck.
See details at: www.naturefresh.co.za After all the effort you take, one feels light and energetic and most people report that they have more energy than ever before, although they no longer need to eat so much. Most of them are able to do without their medications as well.These processes can be undertaken by yourself at home or you can go to special clinics. Fasting is the ultimate healing process. Maintaining this clean state then only requires a bit of discipline. Everybody needs discipline supplements!
WHAT IS THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN FASTING FOR HEALTH OR FOR FOR A RELIGIOUS OCCASION?
A health fast may not always be a religious fast: it’s up to you. A religious fast can benefit your health but this is not always the case. Health fasts are usually voluntarily undertaken by people who are seriously ill, as a last resort or by those who desire to be free of medications. Some people fast on a regular basis and are very disciplined in their way of life. Others fast daily in that they allow the body time to excrete before they eat and only eat what the body requires. Such people have plenty of spare energy because digesting food requires a lot of energy. When you fast regularly and eat fruits that suit your constitution this will become very familiar to you.
People with clean healthy bodies and disciplined eating habits have no problems with a Day of Atonement or a month of Ramedan and they would not be exposed to any negative side effects as fewer toxins would accumulate in their bodies. They would be able to overcome the danger of not consuming fluids by starting the fast every morning with the correct foods, the ones that balance water levels as opposed to substances that deplete it. In the evening, eating the correct nutritious foods would place no burden on the metabolism the following day.
Ideally, health fasting and a thorough detox should be undertaken prior to a religious fast so that there is no conflict between bodily functions and soul searching. By training yourself into healthy eating habits that really suit your particular constitution throughout the year, taking supplements and keeping the body free of parasites and diseases, a month’s fasting every year becomes a joyous and fulfilling event. In such a way one can become weaned off of pharmaceutical drugs and medications way before a fast and never need them again.
As I said, most of your medicines are being taken to help you cope with your eating habits. Supplements are another story and even if the diet is a nutritious and healthy one, many of us need to top up our levels of certain nutrients in order to maintain optimal health. Even hormones can be balanced in this way. Nobody needs hormones because the body is quite capable of making them. When we mess up this process we become dependent on hormone supplements like insulin, thyroxin, cortisone, estrogen, progesterone. How many do you require?
WHY DO SO MANY PEOPLE SUFFER DURING THE FASTING MONTH OF RAMADAN?
With respect, I have been approached by many individuals during these times, asking for help as they really experience a lot of difficulties. They take up my valuable time complaining about the discomforts they experience, their fears for their health and want to know why this is and what they can do about it. I hope the information I have researched and supplied on the website in addition to this paper can help you to see that it is not Ramadaan or the Hajj, but you that are the walking health hazard! The way you set up for a fast or pilgrimage is what determines the outcome. I deal only with the fundamentals of health and nutrition.
Most people are harbouring potential diseases or already have full blown health problems and are dependent on bottles of medications. Their diets are shocking and their understanding of natural health has been badly neglected. I am sure this was not the case in the beginning and I really wish we could restore everybody back to radiant health and happiness. We will keep on working at it! Every one of my radio broadcasts you hear and every article you read on this subject is a step in the right direction. Once you begin to experience the benefits of changing over to a healthier lifestyle you too, will change your life forever. This year many people will once again be fasting for the first time, thanks to applying the information and encouragement we gave to them.
WHAT CAN WE DO TO MAKE OURSELVES MORE COMFORTABLE DURING A LONG FAST?
It helps to know why discomforts arise. Here is a list of the major problems we seem to be having:
- A lack of preparation: fasting with a body that is full of toxins, parasites, drug residues and accumulated wase.
- Bad timing: eating instead of sleeping, forcing down food, then going without water during the hottest time. You feel tired, irritable, weak, fatigued and even nauseous by sunset. Try to rearrange your day and allow a period to rest and reflect. You do not have to wake too early to have one or two grapefruti to begin your fast. Many people prefer to sleep until the last minute, then they attack the porridge and swig down a coffee. Others load up on gorgeous goodies from the night before then wonder where the hunger, thirst, headaches and sugar cravings are coming from.
- Bad food: eating a lot of sugary, starchy and greasy food – I know you do!
- Not eating enough healthy food: where are all the green vegetables, the fresh salads and the fruit?
- Drinking sugar & caffeine in tea and coffee – even Green tea & Coke, as this dehydrates the body.
- Eating too many starches early in the morning: they require 3 times more water to digest as opposed to fruit.
- Taking medications before sunrise in anticipation of an adverse effect: eg. Migraine pills in case you get one, diabetic medications to lower blood sugar when you are not eating? Your doctor should read this!
- Neglecting supplementation. A lack of antioxidants, essential fatty acids, minerals and trace elements. You may not be drinking, but you lose minerals via sweat, urine and exhaled air continuously. Your vitamin C requirements during the day have to come from somewhere, and they don’t come from breakfast cereals and toast. A major cause of heart problems is due to a lack of vitamin C. When the correct ratio of potassium to calcium & magnesium is not maintained, the heartbeat becomes irregular. Why are you on heart medication?
- Abusing carbohydrates in order to fill up before sunrise. Carbohydrates elevate your cholesterol levels, demand a lot of insulin and this in turn sets up a craving for more sugar. Try a grapefruit as this controls sugar cravings, gives you sufficient energy and does not dehydrate you.
- Gout remedies are perhaps a good idea because the concentration of uric acid crystals intensifies when the body becmes dehydrated. If you have helped yourself to health before the fast, you would not have gout, acidity or arthritic pains! Take plenty of the tissue salts: NAT PHOS & NAT SULPH during the time you are not fasting and 100mg of Calcium D pantethonate (vitamin B5) with 3 of your meals or snacks.
- Fatigue is one of the major complaints. Your body is well stocked up on food in the fatty tissues and the liver has a moderate supply of glycogen to compensate for fasting in case it is needed for the functioning of the brain. Unfortunately, it will not be released into the bloodsteream if there is a deficiency of potassium in the blood. This is why I recommend you drink Blackstrap molasses in hot water with a pinch of Cream of Tartar: to get more potassium
- Constipation. Endless complaints and most of them are constipated even before the fast. Do you have to rely on laxatives and expensive fibre supplements? A clear indication that you will truly benefit from my Fruit and Veg Healing Diet. You can buy new clothes with the money you save once you no longer take remedies to open the bowels. The dehydration during the day does make some individuals constipated but my guess is health foods generally give way to cakes, sweetmeats and starchy foods that not only cause constipation – they make you feel lousy the next day. Half a bunch of spinach every night will do a lot of good, and don’t neglect the parsley.
HOW IS DIABETES 2 CAUSED AND HOW CAN FASTING BENEFIT DIABETICS & PRE-DIABETICS?
Most people over 30 have already been exhibiting pre-diabetic tendencies for many years and a sugar craving is just the tip of the iceberg. I am going to explain what happens when you crave sugar and exactly why sugar is not going to help you. Will this make fasting easier for you? How nice to look at all those sweet gooey sticky yummy cakes and sweetmeats and know that they make you fat, sick, ugly and diabetic. But so much nicer to never, ever put them into your body again.
People with high cholesterol are now going to be told the truth about sweet things: they push up cholesterol levels far quicker than eggs, meat or butter! The way to lower cholesterol is not with statin drugs and the way to control diabetes is not by taking insulin. You guessed it, fasting is the only way to go, the only way to kick the drug habit. The logic being that if you are taking drugs to control the effect that certain foods are having on your body then rather stop eating those foods and you will not have to take the drugs. Makes sense to me! People with high blood pressure, arthritis, gout, asthma, heartburn and heart or circulation problems also take a lot of senseless medications to try and control the effect that food is having on them. Many of these conditions arise as complications of diabetes, so let us examine the role of insulin and find out why taking more inulin is not the best solution.
The main reason people feel hungry is because their food is not being converted into what the body needs. Why? Too much of the wrong type of food, at the wrong time and a digestive system that is not functioning correctly. The loss of insulin sensitivity prevents the loading of glucose into all the millions of live cells in the tissues, so a hunger signal is released to demand more of the very thing you have become flooded with: sugar! When primary insulin sensitivity is lost, we experience a lack of energy because the fuelling system of the cells is disrupted.
The brain needs a steady supply of both glucose and oxygen or the brain cells die off at an alarming rate. We keep pumping in the sugar, but now the insulin is not helping the glucose to enter the cells! We have a problem and more insulin isn’t going to improve the situation. Insulin performs two main functions: firstly, to load sugar into the cells and secondly: to bind up the excess sugar into triglyceride molecules for storage. Insulin thus controls high sugar levels in the bloodstream as well as the cells. When both these functions break down, sugar (known as glucose) remains in the blood. This high concentration of sugar has to be diluted, to restore the equilibrium. A thirst signal is triggered and more water enters the bloodstream.
If the kidneys are unable to expel the resultant sugar laden urine fast enough, the blood pressure rises. The ankles begin to swell, headaches and you know the rest. Now we are really in trouble, especially if the kidneys are full of kidney stones and silted up with muck because their owners are not in the habit of drinking enough water or they have been eating too many disagreeable foods. This is a scary scenario during a long fast like Ramadan, because often a lot of sugar is consumed at night and during the daily excretory phase of digestion, no water is taken. If there is a secondary loss of insulin sensitivity, blood sugar levels will rise and the lack of water will make matters far worse.
Fortunately, most people in the early pre-diabetic stages only lose the primary function of insulin, so the sugar then forms triglycerides that are stored in fatty tissue or they elevate the cholesterol levels in the blood. This may help to explain why a lot of people gain weight during the month’s fast and cannot understand their cholesterol count, regardless of staying off eggs, meats & fats.
If blood sugar levels get too low, the hormone glucagon is released and this stimulates the liver into releasing its stores of glycogen into the bloodstream. If there is a potassium deficiency, this system does not function. This is why potassium can make you feel so good: it helps to pull out that emergency supply of glycogen.
In the evening after a day of fasting people are thirsty and drink a lot of water. At last the kidneys can flush out all the accumulated waste. What a relief, you might say but we have a problem: water on it’s own not only flushes out toxins, but most of our valuable minerals as well. This results in a deficiency of potassium, calcium and magnesium and a higher incidence of cramps, irregualr heartbeats and a feeling of lassitude and fatigue during this time. Further mineral imbalances are caused by an excessive sodium intake as this also reduces potassium levels.
During a long hot fast, when no water is taken it is important to top up on electrolytes during the evening and using a bit more salt will help to prevent daily dehydration on condition that sufficient potassium is also taken. During previous fasts, the advice I gave about the blackstrap molasses in waterwith a pinch of cream of tartar was much appreciated and helped many listeners. These are in fact, electrolytes. A teaspoon of calcium and magnesium at bedtime will replace the additional alkaline mineral losses.
Additional hunger alarms are received throughout the day between meals containing high carbohydrate and sugar levels and we all know the feeiling of low blood sugar and the rush of comfort a quick sugar laden snack brings. This is also a pre-diabetic symptom and an indication that insulin is not translating the glucose into cells for energy. The association of low blood sugar to the need for a sugar fix is incorrect, due to the action of insulin. Insulin strips sugar out of the blood and eating sugar merely makes one produce more insulin and the sugar craving is once again triggered.
When told to fast, all one remembers is that sugar craving, the feeling of hunger and weakness, the confused brain and the instinctive need to have a snack attack. Commercial junk food advertising stimulates this faulty perception and exploits it to the full. Fasting is actually the cure for this sugar-junkie syndrome. You can be cured of your sugar cravings for good, during a long term fast once you understand more about how your energy system works.
The human body is not like a motor car that needs a full tank of petrol to perform an estimated mileage. When our tanks are loaded, the fuel is not directly converted to energy. Over 300 metabolic processes rely on the food we eat, but it only stays in the stomach for a few hours. When the food is poorly digested, it is no longer fuel, but just a load of material that has to be processed and transported to various departments and then excreted. All the sugars and carbohydrates are broken down into glucose molecules. A very small percentage of this is stored in the liver as glycogen and this is your emergency fuel tank.
Your glycogen store in the liver is minute and can only sustain you for about an hour. The remainder of the glucose molecules you have just eaten are bonded into groups of three and we call them triglyceride molecules or: LDL (low density lipids) Lipids are fats, and now you have all that sugar being converted into low density cholesterol.
Are you one of these people? Your waist begins to thicken, you crave sugar, you get tired, confused and irritable two hours after eating, your cholesterol levels are increasing, you really enjoy drinking lots of water, juice, & Coke, you are bloated and suffer from water retention and have increasing blood pressure. If you have some of the symptoms mentioned here, you are well on the way to diabetes because you are already pre-diabetic. Time to get real and take yourself in hand.
During this fast it is quite possible to avoid al insulin problems by merely staying away from: anything made out of refined wheat flour, sugar and too much fat. Replace with lots of green leafy vegetables and salads and fruit that is low in sugar or beneficial for digestion such as grapefruit, lemon juice, apples, etc. A lot of people may wish to embark on the blood type diets during the fast as they are very beneficial to all of us.
HOW COULD WE PREPARE WELL IN ADVANCE FOR EFFECTIVE FASTING?
1 Think carefully about your state of health, right now. Are you satisfied with the way you feel, the way you look, your energy levels and your general vitality? If not, make a note of what you really would like to change. Make a list of all the medications you take. Think about why you take them: Do you suffer from a degernerative type of disease like diabetes 2 or arthritis? Are there natural alternatives to take or perhaps dietary measures that would help? Of course there are! Most people just need an opportunity to confront their diseases and restore themselves back to vibrant health and fasting is one of the best ways to do this.
2 What type of fast are you preparing for? Short : half days, full days or for a few weeks at a time? Are you undertaking a longer Religious fast like Ramadan? These fasts can all improve your health but certain precautions have to be considered during a Religious fast when no water is taken. This means you will experience the effects of detoxification in a concentrated form as the resultant waste material is not being excreted efficiently. These acidic toxins can cause headaches, nausea, fatigue, constipation and increase the pain of arthritis and gout considerably as the body tends to dehydrate and the kidneys are unable to function normally.
Water is being continually lost via evaporation from the skin and sweat glands and from air expelled by the lungs. Blood sugar and uric acid levels will be higher than usual during the daytime and may cause anxiety and discomfort. Often medications are taken in advance to prevent these unpleasant side effects. They are no cure for dehydration and toxic accumulation. We have to learn to rearrange our eating habits in order to have a healthy fast that will benefit us in every way.
3 Consider the dangers associated with breaking the fast incorrectly. After a day of no food and no water, the body has not been able to flush out the accumulated waste. This is not a problem if the correct food was eaten the night before as the elimination will not accumulate as badly. If the fast is broken with pure water and a light meal of fresh fruit, the body does not have to process sugars, fats and carbohydrates and thus place a burden on the liver and digestive system prior to sleeping. Unfortunately, as we know, food becomes the central focus of any festival and the temptaion to devour rich foods and plenty of cakes and sweetmeats during the night is constant. During the evening, a lot of liquid is consumed but how many of us stay away from the sugar bowl? This helps to explain the daily complaints about headaches and migraines we hear about.
Some people take headache pills before sunrise to prevent this, but the major cause of fatigue and headaches is from blood sugar imbalances, especially from eating sweet foods and those containing a lot of white flour and refined carbohydrates. Many popular foods are not suitable for all blood types and hidden food allergies also manifest as headaches, aches & pains, mucous in the nose, throat and chest, skin rashes and moodiness or irritability. All because unsuitable foods are used to break the fast! The solution? Free blood type diets at: www.naturefresh.co.za Also learn to bake cakes & cookies that are healthy for diabetics and more nutritious: see the lovely recipes on my website. They will be more satisfying and do not produce side effects.
4 To make matters worse, comes the philosophy that one has to load up on food before sunrise to give one “energy” to sustain one for the approaching day. By now you should realise that the body goes into a state of elimination and detoxification every day till midday, so no food is needed until then. That is truly when you will begin to benefit by giving your body a rest and really enjoying your fast.
WHERE CAN PEOPLE GET MORE INFORMATION IF THEY WISH TO TAKE THEIR HEALTH SERIOUSLY?
A very helpful book on the subject of parasites and toxins is:
The Cure For All diseases by Hulda Regher Clark. (Promotion Publishing)
It contains all you need to come clean and to stay clean. Her health stategy is a simple do it yourself approach and her techniques are quite easy to undertake by yourself to purge out gallstones, kidney stones and just about everything that should not be there in terms of creepy crawlies and pollutants. She shows you exactly what common household chemicals can do to your health in terms of cancer, weakened immunity, fatigue and aches & pains. For women, her explanation of the origins of cysts, tumours and endometriosis is an eye opener.
She uses household remedies that you can make yourself as far as possible as well as vitamins, minerals and herbs. If you are not into gadgets, rather go to a therapist with a Rife machine, Frequency Generator or QX device for the electronic zapping of parasites. Please try to get this book and work through the sections as you need them. Anybody who has used her techniques will know what it’s like to be free of disease and thus able to fast effectively. The book is available from bookstores if you request it or it can be ordered off the internet.
Access to Sue Visser’s Health Research Data Base.
There is no shortage of information about natural health both in bookshops and on the internet. There are plenty of therapists waiting to help you along the way. The trouble is, where to go from here? I have plenty still in store for you at no additional cost. Everybody gets an equal share of my time: more than twenty years of research work on the website, free of charge. If you do not have a computer, there are plenty of Internet café’s where the information can be downloaded and printed out for you. If you cannot walk or get there by yourself, it’s up to your friends and family to help you. If you have no money to do this, all you do is ask somebody if you can share the pages with them. Please reach out and help the elderly folk who are not familiar with 20th century technology, let alone 21st century technology! Give them the pages and recipes you print out and perhaps they will learn to cook better food.
A last word:
So…… please stop complaining and making all those excuses. I could write a book about them. I seem to take more effort for you than some of you are prepared to make for yourself. I cannot be expected to make all the decisions for you, shop for you, do your exercises, cook for you and sift through all the medications you do or don’t need. It’s up to you in the end. The way to wellness is not a lazy man’s job and it requires discipline. I really need to formulate some discipline pills for some people! I do not accept queries about health problems by telephone and am not qualified to give consultations. I am a freelance health researcher and product developer for NATURE FRESH HEALTH PRODUCTS.
I am not a qualified practitioner and hence I cannot carry the responsibility of diagnosing or treating a disease. I can only give information and enlighten people as to the causes of their misery and suggest lifestyle changes in my notes and talks. Please use all the information I have provided for you on the website. We have an excellent search facility and all you need to do is type in the topic you want, eg: thyroid or hormones, etc.
Have a good journey to health and now you can really enjoy your fasting!
regards, SUE VISSER