Every religion has a fasting holiday. While the purpose of these fasts is spiritual observance and partaking in ancient traditions, usually to reflect and meditate on personal conduct, occasional fasting, even just once a year, can offer some health benefits.
Fasting provides an opportunity for us to start anew. Not only spiritually, by reflecting upon how we can be more kind, compassionate and involved with our community, but also from a health perspective as fasting can provide a metabolic reboot of your system.
This comes with one major caveat that most people don’t adhere to: you’ll only benefit from fasting if you eat healthy food immediately after the fast.
Refueling after a fast with high-starch foods defeats the purpose of fasting
Some people binge on traditional comfort, sugary foods like bagels, muffins or pizza to break religious fasts like Yom Kippur, Lent or Ramadan.
And most people wash down their food with sugar-loaded fruit juice or soda.
Perhaps it’s worth having a philosophical discussion concerning fast days with the following question: Should we really be re-fueling our bodies with substances that are poisonous to the body? Whether or not you’re religious, it doesn’t seem very spiritual to eat junk food after abstaining from impurities.
Most of us, instead of supplying the body with clean-burning fuel post-fast, are ingesting too much poison (read: sugar) for their first post-fast meal, thereby negating the benefits of the fast!
Fasting is for also reflecting on your food addictions
As you learned in an earlier chapter, even though you might be exercising regularly, perhaps you’re having a hard time losing those last stubborn 10 pounds. This is because you might have a clogged liver, which results in a sluggish metabolism.
Eating processed foods for years and decades places a burden on the liver, which is the main detoxification organ of the body.
Periodic fasting provides the liver, as well as the insulin-secreting pancreas (regulates blood sugar) and bile-releasing gallbladder (salts from the gall bladder help digests fats) a much-needed rest.
In addition to reflecting on how you can be a better person on religious fasting days (and hopefully more often than that), take note if you have difficulty fasting.
If so, it could be because your body is suffering from drastic fluctuations in blood sugar levels, spurred by frequent consumption of sugar, wheat- and white flour.
Someone who has rock-steady blood-sugar levels, achieved by a low-glycemic diet with many vegetables, may be able to better focus on work or school. And perhaps not have as many mood swings as someone who eats lots of sugary foods.
Beyond the observant worldwide religious communities, the intermittent fasting movement is gaining in popularity. This trend could be a healthy fad, as long as people break the fast with pure, whole foods.
Try to eat plenty of vegetables at lunch and dinner every day. You can even throw in a couple veggies with your omelette in the morning. Eat as few calories as possible to satisfy you.
Remember: Miracle Noodle is 97% water, but because this zero-calorie natural noodle substitute also contains fiber, it will actually keep you full longer—without the guilt. Miracle Noodle is the perfect surrogate for traditional high-starch break-the-fast noodle soups.
Occasional low-calorie diets and fasting can be both spiritually and physically beneficial but check with your doctor if you have liver or kidney problems, are on medications, or have any chronic disease or compromised immune system.
Just like you need to reboot your computer every once in a while and take your car into the mechanic shop for maintenance, occasional fasting can be the perfect reset for your metabolism.
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