Juice Fasting to Develop Consciousness Awareness
I’ve been cleansing and fasting for 25 years. In the early days I began to fast after reading a book called The Tao of Health, Sex and Longevity by Daniel Reid, which radically influenced my thinking. I read every page in fine detail in the health section of the book. I became somewhat obsessed by this book and it’s new ideas. At the time in our country we were just coming out of the apartheid era and there had been sanctions in South Africa. So we really did feel like a backwater village forgotten by the world. This book fed my soul. It brought with it into my consciousness fresh ideas but ideas that were as ancient as life itself. The idea of food as medicine began to sink deeply into my awareness. I tried all the practices with fervour.
I had become a vegetarian which was as easy as breathing for me but very quickly I began to notice that my health was suffering. I had put on some weight and my skin wasn’t looking as healthy as it could have. Bearing in mind, I wasn’t much older than 21 and was eating a lot of pasta and vegetarian burgers. I was looking for a way to become healthy. So I tried this new idea (well it was new to me at the time): Fasting.
Fasting is a practice that is as old as time itself. Mainly people would fast for spiritual reasons. Fasting cleanses the body while it purifies the mind. It stands to reason then that to be aligned with one’s spiritual nature which is clean and clear, one’s body also needs to be clean and clear in order to be a kind of channel for the spirit to manifest.
In those days I would fast with only water and psyllium husks for 7 days twice a year. At first it was because I had read about the numerous health benefits including lowering the risk of chronic disease, improving the body’s metabolism and promoting autophagy. Autophagy is a process where old cells in the body are broken down and recycled. This alone may help protect against cancer, Alzheimers and heart disease. The psyllium husks were used to clean out the colon as they enter the colon, they absorb the toxins and putrified matter glued to the colon walls and because it is a soluble fiber, absorbs water in the stomach and intestines and forms a gel that slows digestion. Psyllium causes you to feel full and may help with weight loss. Soluble fiber also slows the absorption of glucose, which affects blood sugar levels and sensitivity to insulin which is also a reason it can assist with weight loss. Finally, by interfering with the absorption of dietary cholesterol, soluble fiber decreases LDL (bad) cholesterol in the blood, which helps lower the risk of heart disease.
It was a huge challenge. I had to take time away from the world in order to rest and just go through the process. I would meditate deeply and sleep. Not being able to do much else albeit alternating between having major bouts of energy and having a complete lack of energy. If anyone popped by for a visit, they would become concerned about my wellbeing. I guess the greater community did not really understand what I was doing, but it didn’t matter to me. I understood. I knew the effects would bring me to wellness and very quickly I began to realise that the process was bringing me towards gaining in consciousness awareness.. After just a few days I would begin to feel an amazing heightened sense of wellbeing as well as deep mental clarity. I loved it even though it was not an easy process to go through. Knowing that at the end of the fast, I would be clean and clear on every level would give me the strength needed for the process.
I was juicing a lot in those days. At first I only juiced carrots. I remember finding a second hand juicer on my college noticeboard. (No Facebook Marketplace in those days!) Carrots were purported to be the elixir of life. I still believe that this is the case, I’ve come across a few great believers in carrot juice. People who have healed themselves of chronic diseases. Slowly slowly we began adding ingredients. A little ginger here, a little apple there. And then beets were all the rage to juice. See my beetroot juice recipe on my sister Healthy Living Blog at Cape Town Retreats. Before we knew it, green juice was the thing. Actually, I believe in drinking the whole spectrum of colours because then we are getting a variety of nutrients.
Juice fasting has revolutionised the way that I fast now. A few years ago, I did a 28 day juice fast whist working at the same time. If my body did not receive the nutrient dense juice, I would not have been able to function normally during that month. Juicing still gives one the mental and emotional clarity, but it also allows one to move their body. I’m a big believer in exercise as one of the tools to wellbeing, both physically and emotionally.
Juice fasting or juice cleansing allows the body to heal from all sorts of ailments as the body detoxes. Essentially the blood is cleansed by removing impurities in the liver where toxins would normally be processed for elimination. The body also eliminates toxins through the kidneys, intestines, lungs, lymphatic system, and skin. When these systems are compromised through environment, food , drugs, alcohol and being unaware of or suppressing our emotions, the body is greatly affected. We lose energy, our digestion is impaired, we become ill and have brain fog. So a juice cleanse is necessary now and again in order to preserve our health. A juice fast then refills the body with healthful nutrients, supporting us to heal and, giving us youth and vitality.
As our bodies become clean and clear from the fasting process our emotions rise to the surface to be acknowledged and released. Our mind becomes extremely clear and we are able to tune into our own inner being. An alignment with our body and our inner being happens. With a clean body and a clear mind, we become a channel for consciousness to be expressed through us making this a powerful process of Self actualisation. Every single fast brings us deeper and deeper into this consciousness awareness.