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The Important Part of Fasting and How to Break It

Breaking an extended fast can be difficult. You will quickly discover that breaking the fast is harder than fasting. A slumbering digestive system is sensitive, and although you might want to try every food on the planet, you cannot because your system needs time to get back to speed. The longer the fast the more time is needed for breaking the fast. Water fasting demands the longest time to break. The longer the fast the more difficult it is to break correctly. Here is an email to show just how bad it can be.


"When it came down to actually breaking my fast, I had no idea how difficult it would be. The moment I put anything inside my body, I lost that natural euphoric high I'd had during the fast, and that feeling of losing control caused me to overeat until I was sick. I ate like a pig and even smoked! I was sure I would never have the desire to smoke again. I'm also feeling a bit ill. I felt the same as I did before fasting: tired, frustrated, bloated and achy. Everything looks messy and out of control right now. I feel like I want to cry all the time. I don't understand it! I had such discipline during the fast! What happened? Do you have any insights for me? Thank you for being there!! Love, Mia"

Are you a compulsive eater?

If you are a compulsive eater, breaking a fast can be exceedingly difficult. During the fast, you are free from the bondage of food, but as soon as you eat, the battle engulfs you at full intensity. There is a nervous anxiety about eating. Part of you wants to enjoy the food and part of you is fearful of losing control. Reading the book, Eating In Freedom, during your fast will have prepared you for victory.
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There are erroneous beliefs that will destroy your discipline and healthy breaking of the fast. One is that I have deprived myself; now, I get to enjoy food. The other trap is the newness of the experience. Flavors and textures of food will be enhanced by super-clean nasal passages. Eating will be a brand new experience. There is a desire to try every food just to see how it tastes. A bite of this and that leads to a belly full of an indigestible mixture.

If you have dreamed of eating pizza after a fast, the first thing you will eat after breaking the fast will be pizza, because you have programmed your mind for the event. Be careful not to lust after food during a fast.

Breaking a juice fast

When you break a fast and start to eat, do not expect that the food will give you energy. Often, it is just the opposite; after fasting, the digestion of food can stir up more toxins. The first few meals move through the intestine like a broom that pushes ahead of it loosening waste from 30 feet of intestine. You can actually go from feeling great to feeling toxic after eating one small salad. Losing that exhilarating feeling and clear-mindedness, experienced on the fast, can be depressing. Don't worry if this happens, it will pass in a few hours. A healthy diet high in raw food, can maintain the benefits of fasting.

Eating small amounts of raw fruits and vegetables for the first five or six days will allow the body to gently wake up the digestive system. Once you have eaten, wait till you feel hungry. Do not eat according to the clock or because you feel you should be eating more. When breaking a fast, overloading the digestive system causes feelings of apathy, depression or sluggishness. However, if you do overeat, the effect can be remedied by fasting until hunger returns, and then continue to break the fast. One of the tricks I have learned on breaking a fast is to pretend I am still fasting but eat the occasional fruit.

Important guidelines for breaking the fast

For six days, gradually increase the amount of raw fruits and vegetables in your diet. To break a fast and gorge on meat, bread or junk food will be a disaster. Jarring the system this intensely, when the digestive system is re-awakening, can cause stomach cramps, nausea and weakness, negating some of the benefits of a fast.

First day after the fast:

Eat a piece of fruit in the morning and a small bowl of raw vegetable salad for lunch; vegetable broth also is good. Drink freshly made juice for the rest of the day.

Second day after the fast:

Soaked prunes or figs for breakfast. Small bowl of fresh vegetable salad for lunch. Vegetable soup made without salt at dinner. Two apples or a fruit salad eaten between meals. All this in addition to freshly made juices and broths.

Third day after the fast:

Same as the second day, but add a handful of dates or raisins.

Fourth day after the fast:

You may return to the diet you have chosen, but it is important to listen to your stomach, eat smaller meals, chew your food and eat according to hunger.

NOTE: When breaking a fast over ten days, a good rule of thumb is that the break-in period should be extended one day for every 4 days of fasting. When breaking from water fasting, go to a juice fast for two days or eat sweet fruits like oranges, mangos or pears.

Healthy Eating Habits

  1. Do not overeat! Listen to your body. Discover the amount of food that your body needs to live a vibrant, healthy life.
  2. Eat slowly and chew your food well. Saliva has enzymes that assist in digestion. The enzymes in saliva can digest up to 80 percent starch, 30 percent protein and 10 percent fat.
  3. Be relaxed. Try to unwind when eating.
  4. Decide ahead of time what you want to eat and the amount rather than eating from an urge.
  5. Make juices during the breaking period. Juice is gentle nourishment to the body. Most fasters continue to include juice in their daily routine for the rest of their lives.
  6. Stay focused on eating rather than on unsettling thoughts. Pay attention to the texture, smell and the sensation of eating. Be aware of how it feels in the stomach.
  7. Enjoy eating to the max. People are starving and you have the privilege to eat.
  8. Work at making healthy food appealing. A banana and pear taste great without preparation but having them sliced into a fancy bowl, sprinkled with chopped dates and chilled in the refrigerator will maintain your enthusiasm for eating healthy.
  9. Discern the difference between cravings and hunger. Never feed your emotions by eating from stress, depression or boredom.
  10. You will feel satisfied with smaller amounts of food and sluggish and tired when overeating. Rich foods full of fat, salt and processed sugars will cause nausea, headaches and weakness. A handful of fruit will be thoroughly satisfying. Because the digestive system has to work less, there will be boundless energy to spare.
  11. Have an exit activity for after eating. Make it something you want to do. It will be easier to move away from the table.
  12. Educate yourself on how to begin a lifestyle of healthy eating. Fasting is a wonderful new beginning, a foundation for a lifelong, healthy diet.

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