I have been thinking about doing a detox fast for a while now as part of my MS diet. Fasting is a miracle worker because it allows the body to rest completely and redirect energy towards healing any problem areas. There are many types of fasting, some more extreme than others. I did a 5-day 'water only' fast once that was exceptionally difficult! Here are some reasons why you should also consider adding fasting to your MS diet.
Using Fasting For Good
It was after an three month trip around Europe about two years before I was diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis and had any early signs of MS. As my body rid itself of the toxins, resulting from delicious but unhealthy European food, I felt a variety of horrible symptoms. Nausea, weakness and feeling faint were the three main side effects. I suppose, it never feels great to dredge up years of toxin build up and send the foul smelling garbage into the blood stream and out of the body. I did feel fantastic afterwards though and experienced most of the benefits listed below. It was worth the pain!
The Benefits Of Fasting:
General improvement in health
Glowing skin and eyes
Improvement in MS symptoms
Slowing of disease progress if done regularly
Helps you return to a strict MS diet if you have been undisciplined
My First Raw Juice Fast
At this time in my life, I felt that I needed to do something less extreme but still very cleansing. After doing a bit of research, I decided that a raw juice fast was the way to go. There testimonies of people with MS who have seen incredible improvements after a juice fast. I only did the fast for five days, however, it still required a tremendous amount of determination and discipline. I have kept a diary to let you in on how each day went and how I felt.
I'm super motivated about this juice fast. The research seems to suggest that it does miracles for MS symptoms and can really kick start a healing process in the body. I started my day with something familiar: carrot, apple and ginger juice. I often actually have this juice in place of something more substantial for dinner if I'm feeling like I need a cleanse or a recharge. The juice went down well and kept me going for around two hours but after that my stomach started growling a bit and I began to feel that a distinct longing for food. Time for another juice!
This time I was a bit more adventurous and decided to break out the green veggies. I juiced spinach, kale, cucumber, apples, carrots and a little ginger. I expected a bitter tasting, difficult to swallow concoction. But, to my surprise, it was refreshingly delicious! What's more, I felt fantastic for a few hours afterwards. My head was clearer, I had more energy and I even felt a bit happier. I was amazed at how quickly it was working!
In the evening, my juice consisted of mango, apples, carrots and nectarines. Positively decadent! I loved every sweet, aromatic sip of that juice. It filled me up for a while and then those unhappy moans from my tummy started getting louder again. It was almost time for bed so I drank some water and ignored them and they did stop.
I woke up the next morning feeling pretty good. I wasn't starving at all. However, the morning was busy and demanding and by the time I had taken my supplements and was ready to make my first juice of the day it was well over 9:30am. This really was too late and I was beginning to feel quite frantic with hunger and that horrible low blood sugar feeling. I juiced some apples and carrots quickly and got some raw juice into my system. It worked quickly to to give me the energy and focus I needed to carry on with my day.
Lunch was another green juice which had the same effect as yesterday. I was enjoying the clean, energetic feeling it left me with. Throughout the afternoon, I began to wane and really needed a quick pick me up. I quickly diluted some boxed 100% grape juice (not from concentrate) and hoped it would get me through to a less busy time where I could make my next Juice. This was not the ideal juice to drink as it definitely wasn't raw or as fresh as newly extracted juice but I think it was ok under the circumstances. Dinner was another beautiful mango, nectarine, apple and carrot juice. I just LOVE these!
Definitely my toughest day yet! Well, it started off badly but got progressively better throughout the day. I felt a bit weak and really hungry in the morning. It's also difficult to think of juicing when you have a really busy day. You only get down to making your 'meal' when you are already faint with hunger and your blood sugar levels are plummeting.
I did get through it and as I said, it did get a lot easier in the second half of the day. This was especially after I had downed my spinach and kale juice. I began to feel the energy creeping back. My head was clear and I felt 'oh so' healthy!
It was also very motivating to know that I was over halfway to the finish line and that I had actually remained disciplined and committed to this plan for three whole days! Only after 3 days, does your body really start to benefit from the fast - this is when the magic really starts to kick in.
Another successful day. I was getting into the swing of things. I felt so good that the thought of eating like this permanently even crossed my mind. A tad too ambitious but I liked my motivated attitude. I did have a few desperate moments when I was so hungry I couldn't even think. However, as soon as that life giving, cell nourishing liquid hit my stomach, I was back on my juice high!
As the last day of the juice fast dawned, I awoke feeling well rested and ready for the day. I juiced my carrot, apple and ginger and let it nourish my body. To be honest, I was getting quite hungry and my cravings for solid food were returning with a vengeance. I decided, after my lunch time juice, that I would break the fast that night with some steamed vegetables. Those veggies did taste great but, to tell you the truth, I actually missed that beautiful mango and nectarine juice.
The Following Week
We went away this week to a beautiful and tranquil part of the UK called, The New Forest. It turned out to be the perfect place to test out the results of the fast. Although I was now back on my solid food MS diet, I could still feel the effects of the juice fast.
There was no trace of fatigue. I felt so alive. As a mother of two young children, I often feel drained and overworked but I felt as if I had enough energy to play with the kids, feed us all, clean up afterwards and not feel grouchy about it. I am 100% certain that the juice fast is the reason for this new found energy.
[blockquote width="270" align="left"]I'm overjoyed with the results![/blockquote]
I have also noticed an improvement in my MS symptoms. My left hand and leg feel a little less stiff and I think the numbness from a recent relapse is receding. I do feel as if my cells have received a deep clean and are now sparkling. In addition, it renewed my commitment to my MS Diet. After going through so much effort to cleanse my body, I certainly did not want to be making it dirty and toxic again. I'm overjoyed with the results from this fast and I'm keen to do it again soon as part of my MS diet. I have read that the body won't get rid of all the toxins during only one fast. It takes at least two years of on and off fasting for the body to cleanse itself of the build up of toxins, so sticking to your MS diet is vital over the medium to long term.
I highly recommend that you give this a try and plan it into your MS diet every couple months at least. Get yourself a juicer and a variety of fresh fruit and vegetables to juice. Pick a week that you think will work well for committing to a juicing plan and then go for it! Take a look at the raw juice ideas and recipes to get motivated!