Dry fasting is simply getting up in the morning and seeing how long you can go without putting anything in your mouth. You already have at least 8 hours into it, why not go at least 16 hours so your body can benefit from the rest from having to constantly process food and rewarding you with a boost of growth factors. The first time I dry fasted was in my early 30’s and a tooth infection hit me, so I did what I saw animals do, I stopped everything, I know that’s extreme but it works, after 3 days of not eating or drinking anything including water the infection went away, and my tooth was good as ever. At that point I wasn’t hungry and had plenty of energy, and so did another nine days just on water with no change in lifestyle. At the end of the 12 day fast I had only lost five pounds and proved to myself that really humans can exist on a lot less than we think. I went back to food out of boredom, and not only appreciated more, but my digestion became even better. Maybe it was easier for me than others because I had practiced sun gazing for a number of years.
The modern resurgence of medical dry fasting was popularized by Ukrainian doctors. They figured out that of chernobyl radiation poisoning victims of the ones that dry fasted, they were able to purge the radioactive particles from their bodies and live, versus those that did nothing and succumbed to radiation poisoning. I was born in the Ukraine, so I understand that drive to get creative and do what you have to do and what it takes to survive and thrive.
Why dry fasting is so profound is because when you cut off food and water, after a while, your body, seeing as nothing is coming in, gets really efficient with what it has. The hunter instinct takes over and your level of alertness and sensory awareness is activated. Cells compete for water and only the healthiest cells win out, all others dehydrate and self destruct, there’s no more effective way to cleanse than to let the body do all the work. Bacteria and viruses get out competed for water and nutrients by healthy cells. Furthermore, growth hormone is produced by the body when it is not insulin dependent, so your blood is flooded with powerful nerve and tissue growth factors. Unnecessary fat is burned very efficiently, and research and experience shows that the more you do it, the longer the long-term benefit.
I forgot about that first dry fasting experience for a decade until a friend showed me some videos on YouTube of a few dry fasting enthusiasts talking about their experience going the clinically recommended 5 days. The science behind it made solid sense to me. I was re-inspired, if they can do it, so can I.
I’m unconventional, every year, I try to fast on thanksgiving. I figure what better way is there to feel grateful, to give the body a rest, and the feeling of emptiness to acknowledge those that go hungry for no logical reason rather than give thanks by gorging oneself into a food coma. Thanksgiving came and went, and I kept the dry fast going for 121 hours, five full days of existing on sunlight, air, the grace of God and nothing else. Allow me to share some of the deeper insights from that experience.
Leading up to the fast is important, make sure you are well hydrated and well nourished a week leading up to the fast. I was in our studio kitchen filming delicious Life Food vegan recipes all week so I was buzzing with wellness.
I feel like dry fasting is the best pattern interrupt one can do on themselves. All it takes is a little willpower and you can retrain your habits. Many people who can’t live without a late night snack or a morning coffee can take this as an opportunity to re-pattern their consumption habits by giving all cravings and substance addictions a rest.
By day two my hunger disappeared and by day three I really started to appreciate the simple things in life like the warm sun shining on my face, feeding me, the feel of moisture in the every deep breath, the ability to fall into stillness and meditation without effort and experience the present moment, observing my thoughts, my inhale and my exhale. Awareness is incredibly heightened during a dry fast as the senses come alive unencumbered by digestive processes.
The important thing to remember is the fast should be discontinued if your mouth dries out and you have no saliva. If you can’t draw any saliva up, its time to discontinue the fast, you are too dehydrated. Your mouth may get dry but as long as you can create saliva that is thin and wet, you can go many days on a dry fast. An important practice while dry fasting as well as every day life is always breathe through your nose, 99% of the time. Many people who are mouth breathers can’t breathe through their nose because of a lingering nasal infection. The sinus cavity surface area is much more massive than you think, and infection can linger and hide out for decades, an most people learn to live with it.
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Another consideration, because you don’t have the luxury of taking long hot showers, as your contact with water should be minimal, one can tend to get cold easily. So, my advice on a fast is to guard your precious body heat, maintain 98.6 degrees or higher. And actually, when toxins are burning up you can develop a slight and temporary fever. This happened to me. There is so much happening at the intercellular level that it is difficult to sleep. Weird aches, and memories of past trauma are quickly experienced and cleared, pathogens hiding deep in the interstitial fluid are incinerated. When the body is put on this fast, the body’s primary objective becomes to attack all dysbiosis radically and clean house. The electrical potential of the cells is increased and if you want to have some fun, sleep with a down comforter, in a low humidity room, you are so charged that the static electricity creates a phenomenon of blue sparks coming off your fingers when you touch the down. It took me by surprise at first, but then as I lay awake, unable to sleep I would make my blanket crackle with blue sparks, little bolts of voltage from my fingers, maybe this is how Yoda got started.
It would be wise on a dry fast to keep talking and mental tasks to a minimum, and not to overstimulate the most wondrous of devices in the known universe, the human brain. The brain that is engaged in constant mental activity burns 500 calories a day or more, compared to a body conserving energy that can exist on 30 calories or less per day. Can you see just how much more fuel is needed by the brain? So when fasting, be kind to yourself and give it a rest. Let those higher universal frequencies come and and bathe you in resonant stillness instead of entertaining all the ceaseless chatter in the head. The ability to relax and release becomes very natural, as resistance is overcome, chaotic alpha and beta brain waves are harmonized and subsonic delta and theta frequencies envelop. Cells communicate via structured light. These microtubulin pathways are cleared; trash that has been on the street for years is finally picked up, recycled and upcycled for energy. You can make energy with solar or burning wood, but one of these is going to leave carbon and phosphoric ash.
By day five my most intimate friend became my breath, and I felt less like I was the one breathing and more like the one being breathed. Through my nose, deep to the back of my spine I inhaled my sole source of nourishment. I literally could feel oxygen working its way into the blood, cleaving hydrogen off lipid molecules to create cellular water. That’s right, when needed your body makes its own water from fat stores. Even five days with no food or water and I still had to pee two to three times a day. This is the old cellular waste being eliminated.
I broke my fast at the 121st hour on warm water with fulvic acid. Fulvic acid, even at a low amount of less than 1000 PPM in water has incredible benefit. It is one of the only substances in nature that can transport toxins out of the cell while at the same time bringing nutrients in. It is a great way to come off a fast as any toxins not dealt with during the cleanse are transported with the needed boost from the fulvic. You can read about Fulvic Acid in my recent article here.
After I broke the fast, It took another three days before I could have solid food again; a big part of successful fast is how one comes out of it. The stomach has shrunk down quite a bit and by five days in the body has gotten used to not having very much, so it is important to start slowly, reintroducing back vegetable broths, and juices not overly sweet, and then for food easing back into the eater’s world with berries and avocados, sprout salads with coconut and hemp oils, and other lite fare.
For six weeks after the fast I felt incredible, thanks to the growth hormone that had flooded my bloodstream, I entertained a renewed vigor for strength training. In less than five weeks I gained over ten pounds of muscle. I went from being able to do three pull-ups in a row to sixteen, back to my peak form. Intense workouts did not produce any lactate buildup the day before. I attribute the lack of soreness from weight training to be directly caused by dry fasting.
Convinced yet you should do a dry fast? I am convinced this is the best self healing mechanism that we have. We are genetically predisposed to living on light and air, it’s in our nuclear DNA.
When it comes to youthing, there is nothing better than dry fasting.