When Fasting Can Reap Unhealthy Results

Many break a fast ...
Many break a fast only to experience worse indigestion and discomfort than before they started. (Getty Images )

You just cleansed and feel great. This good feeling ends the day you return to your SAD (standard American diet). Unfortunately, too many fasts do more damage than good. How can this be?

Sometimes good intentions reap unhealthy rewards. For starters, fasting is no quick-fix diet plan. Drinking empty calories pumped with caffeinated stimulants, refined sweeteners and chemical additives on an empty system is harmful and resembles more of an eating disorder than the life-giving benefits of fasting.

In addition, many break a fast only to experience indigestion and worse discomfort than before they started. This happens because once the organs and digestive tract are clean, now accustomed to pure water, fresh juices or raw foods, they often encounter surprise attacks by processed foods or UFOs—unidentified Frankenfood objects—due to their enlightened sensitivity to chemicals, antibiotics and preservatives in foods.

One may even discover an existing food allergy to a particular type of food just because the system is now clean enough to feel the difference.

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Feel free to start a water or juice fast anytime you feel like it. However, I find that one to three days of blended smoothies and soups before I begin a juice fast helps me ease into drinking only juices. Likewise, to help me come out of a juice or water fast, I've found that either raw fruits or blended smoothies and soups are a gentle way of introducing whole foods back into the system. If someone is eating the normal SAD diet of processed foods and conventional dairy and meats (non-organic, not grass-fed) and wants to do a juice or water fast, it may be helpful to ease in and ease out of the fast by eating raw foods for one, two or three days before and after the fast. After the fast, go from blended smoothies and soups to whole and raw foods. By now your body should be clean enough to tell you when you eat something it does like or tolerate. For some this could be wheat products; for others it could be dairy or soy.

A good way to end, or even begin, a water or juice fast is to drink blended fruits and vegetables like the smoothies and soups in this book. Gradually work up to eating solid foods, keeping them as natural and organic as possible. This can help curb the side effects of a higher sensitivity to chemicals, antibiotics and preservatives.

Many succeed on detox programs and juice and smoothie fasts, experiencing results of weight loss, more energy, clearer thinking and a better mood (not to mention clothes starting to fit again).

Nevertheless, this experience is short-lived because people have no idea what to do when it's all over. This is why I provided a raw food menu of international cuisines at the end of this book. 

Getting plenty of clean fruits and veggies into your daily routine will help you maintain a detoxed lifestyle. Remember, it's not an all-or-nothing approach, but if you go back to your same old habits, you will get the same old results.

Excerpted from Detox Delish by Jennifer Mac. Published by Siloam Charisma Media/Charisma House Book Group. Copyright 2016 by Jennifer Mac. All rights reserved.

Jennifer Mac is the author of The Right Blend: Blender-only Raw Food Recipes and shares her delicious recipes, health-promoting lifestyle and natural beauty tips. Jennifer Mac's passion is to share with others how to be deliciously healthy® using real foods and real ingredients from her home to yours. Growing up on a farm in Idaho, Jennifer Mac got her start pioneering the raw food movement in China after becoming a chef from Living Light Culinary Institute in Northern California. Visit her website, TheJenniferMac.com.

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