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It’s almost 24 hours since I had anything to eat; so far, I don’t exactly feel so good, the chronic morning hayfever is horrendous without medication. However, I realize that if I find something to be engrossed in, I don’t think about the hunger and the sneezing goes away. My parents aren’t supportive (what else is new?); actually they are clueless as to why I am fasting and cannot imagine doing it themselves. It might do them some good, more than me–my body doesn’t need detoxifying and cleansing!!
My biggest concern is slowing my rate of metabolism–I usually eat close to 5-6 small meals per day so my stomach expects food every 3 hours (not to mention the 2 hours at the gym). So yesterday, I sat through and browsed archives of the Times of India to see what the ‘experts’ say on fasting do’s and don’ts. After all, if I have to learn more about fasting, who could provide better advice on fasting than people from a culture that fast regularly during major festivals and who popularized fasting as a political too?
I found contrary claims that left me confused.
One came from an article called “Feast Not, Fast Not” (quite apt for those who fast as a way to diet-DON’T) in which a doctor clearly states that he would never recommend fasting as a way to cleanse the body. The article has some good advice on what to do if fasting IS an absolute must, say for religious reasons or political protest. This includes slowly reducing your food intake the day before the fast. Going from eating a lot to eating nothing can shock your body. The same goes to breaking the fast–introduce food back into your system slowly. But it was mostly geared towards breaking some myths of fasting:
THE MYTH, THE FACT
Fasting is good for health
Fasting is not good for health at all since it breaks down the body’s immunity level
Fasting detoxifies the body
Fasting does not detoxify the body. A healthy diet rich is fibres, fluids, antioxidants and minerals is the best way to detoxify the body
Fruit juices are good when fasting
Doctors recommend whole fruits since they are full of fibres. In juices the fibres are lost
Fasting helps to improve the digestive system
The digestive system is designed to process food, doesn’t need a break
Fruit juices/fluids are enough to sustain
Depends on the duration of the fast. Fruit juices are not enough for long periods
I am only on water. I don’t think I am allowed vitamin supplements or medication? It’s only been a Day. I have heard some people say that fasting makes them concentrate/focus better since eating makes them sleepy? I would have to put that to test.
I don’t think I will gain any sort of ‘spiritual enlightenment’ from this or make a show of ‘strength of character’ – Don’t need to do that. It’s simply a show of solidarity–maybe my feelings will undergo a metamorphosis with more days.
Anyway, the hunger pangs are supposed to stop on Day 3. Today I’m going to the gym for some light weight-training because I can’t sit at the computer screen — Have a headache.
Photos from the fast at Encampment at La Placita Olvera. are here.
Everyone better sign the pledge at least !
Here are ways you can TAKE ACTION:
- Sign the Pledge today!
- Join the Fast for as many days as you are able.
- Recruit everyone you know to join the Fast.
- Forward the Pledge to your networks.
- Please also visit and network with us elsewhere on the Web:
- Embed our YouTube videos on your profile.
- Donate money to the “Fast For Our Future” campaign.
- Visit the fasters at the Encampment at La Placita Olvera.
- Supply the fasters with in-kind donations like tents, sleeping bags, blankets, bottled water, nurse visits, trained doctors, etc. If you have another idea, send that to firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Spread the Word! Get creative with guerrilla marketing. (check out our logos!)
- Send a message of support to the fasters via:
- Email or Text – published later on website
- Phone – audio messages will be uploaded to our streaming radio broadcast and played at the Encampament.
- Voice mail (213) 316-2287 – leave a voice mail message and it will be uploaded on the website and to our streaming radio broadcast.
- Images via email or cell phone – email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org – images will be uploaded to our Flickr gallery, printed and posted on our collage of support at the Encampment.