For those choosing to Water Fast, many have questions. The complete guide to all the steps involved in a Water Fast is included in the Course material.
If you are considering Water Fasting Contact Mark Colafranceschi for a brief consultation. First review common questions below.
Is Fasting Safe? A Chart Review of Adverse Events During Medically Supervised Water-Only Fasting
Submitted on October 20, 2018 - 3:18pm
Evidence suggests that fasting, during which only water is consumed, results in potentially health promoting physiological effects. However, peer-reviewed research assessing the safety of water-only fasting is lacking. To address this, we conducted a chart review to describe adverse events (AEs) that occurred during medically supervised, water-only fasting.
To read the full 7 page study, assessing patients fasting at the TrueNorth Health Center - please click on the file link below. To our knowledge this is the first peer-reviewed assessment of adverse events experienced during medically supervised, water-only fasting.
"Overall, our data indicate that the majority of AEs experienced during medically supervised, water-only fasting are mild to moderate in nature and are known reactions to fasting. This suggests that the TNHC protocol can be safely implemented in a medical setting with minimal risk of a severe or SAE. This study also provides a basis by which further research into the safety and efficacy of this intervention can be conducted."
This study was published in the BMC Complementary and Alternative Medicine Journal.
· Skin Disorders
· Blood Pressure
· Addiction, tobacco, alcohol, caffeine, food and prescription and recreational drugs
· Certain Cancers, Lymphoma
· Bowel Disordered, Irritable Bowel
· Immune System issues.
Note: Often, fasting at home can be a blessing or obstacle. The stresses and triggers are often magnified during a fast. It is one reason retreating to a fasting center is beneficial.
A: A clean whole food diet is a must. The closer you can get to eating the following foods, the more likely your water fast will be without symptoms. It's best to eat “vegan” for at least two days before the water fast:
· Steamed or sautéed vegetables
· Raw fruit
· Fresh vegetable juices
· Sweet potato, yams
· Whole grains: brown rice, Kamut
· Sprouted nuts and seeds
A: As a general rule, taking vitamins, herbs, and enzymes are not recommended for more than 6 months (see The Course for details)
It is sometimes recommended that minerals be taken ahead of the fast (not while fasting). If you have any muscle cramping, use the appropriate minerals before the fast. The Symptom Survey worksheet on this website is a quick and easy way to determine mineral-needs both pre- and post-water fast. Addressing this before the fast will certainly make your water fast more enjoyable.
A: Our tongue is covered with taste buds. The purpose of taste buds is for both pleasure and protection.* Pleasure: for the sweetness of foods and needs no explanation.* Protection: to warn against noxious, dangerous substances. The warning with distaste rejects the food from being consumed, and we will spit it out. The other protective act covers the taste buds in times of illness to avoid all food and thus water fast. The complicated mechanism that instinctively tells a wild animal to fast during illness exists in humans; it is just overrun with emotions and blocks. An aspect of this is the coating on your tongue that is connected to your digestive flora. An extreme example is thrush with an extensive thick white coating. When our digestive symptom is toxic, it will cover the tongue to cover the taste buds to make foods distasteful and encourage the water fast. Often the signal is ignored. Instead of listening to the body, some eat foods that break through the barrier by adding more spices.
During the fast, the tongue will become more coated to enhance support and protection. Experienced water fasting doctors use the tongue coating as a guide to breaking the fast. In the past, the tongue's coating was a primary indicator of the body's readiness to take on foods and break the fast. With the persuasiveness of prescription, recreational drugs, and processed chemical exposure, experienced water fasting doctors now will rely more on other objective tests like blood and urine laboratory tests to determine when to break the fast. None the less, the tongue is a valuable marker for the progression of the water fast. A sign of health is a clear (uncracked) tongue. I recommend taking pictures of your tongue before, during, and after a fast as a reference.
A: To clarify: these are diets, not fasts. A juice-only diet, or kombucha, or bone broth is sometimes beneficial--especially for those with immune problems, advanced illnesses, and other conditions. Many of these are helpful in the regulation of blood sugar. These diets are often helpful for those doing extended water fast--to step in and out of the fast for optimal benefit.
Q: When can/should I reintroduce meats, nuts, etc.?
A: There is no short answer. A full explanation of food reintroduction is essential. The best approach to understanding the why and how of food reintroduction after a water fast is to understand a breastfeeding infant's weaning process. While a breastfeeding baby is receiving ideal nutrients in breast milk (if mom is not stressed and eating well), there is very little to digest and break down. The milk essentially absorbs with little to no effort. The bacteria in the milk help from the digestive tract of the newborn. Understanding embryology is helpful in appreciating the importance of breastmilk. During the nine months, a baby is developing inside mom. The steps are the same: the brain, the heart, etc., all form in sequence. One of the last things to develop is the lungs between 7 and 8 months (with the baby's obvious expectation and requirement needing to breathe after delivery). *Most parents are not aware that the intestines are not fully formed in utero. The infant’s digestive tract continues to develop after the baby is born. The expectation is that mom will breastfeed and support this final embryological step over the next year. With the baby’s digestion system not being formed, it requires predigested food in the form of breast milk. And equally important is the bacteria that the milk provides to form strong barriers for the intestines. This has everything to do with the water fast and bacteria in your own gut and reintroducing foods. You can imagine breast milk as freshly made vegetable juice. The juicing process breaks down the food to make it very easy to absorb, with little to no effort. The next step is looking at the process of introducing foods to a newborn after breastfeeding for a year or so. Never would a mother introduce raw nuts, or meat, or cheese to that baby as the first food. If mom did make, this mistake baby would reject the food by spitting it up, vomiting, devolving a rash, colic, or other allergies.
The adage of crawling before walking and walking before running applies. Crawling is vegetarian, sprinting is meats. Another side note is that the child’s digestion is continually forming into their teens. Why a child does not develop into puberty until early teens have to do with their ability to pick up nutrients like iodine and zinc: the heavy metals required to make sex hormones. Go back and look at your periodic table from high school. Some suggest that children avoid or eat very little meat and complex foods until about 10 years of age. Often hormone problems start with weak digestion and the inability to absorb and assimilate heavy metals like zinc and iodine.
When we heal the digestion and strengthen it in the water fast, we can absorb minerals better with time. If you reintroduce foods too quickly, it often will set you back a little. When introducing any food after the water fast, notice the feeling it gives you, especially on your tongue. Does it coat your tongue and make you feel heavy? Or do you feel light and vibrant? The same symptoms a baby may have during weaning you may experience in reintroducing foods. Look for bloating, gas, reflux, constipation, diarrhea, foul odors, sinus or nasal congestion, and itchy skin. The fast and the weaning process helps support ideal metabolism and digestion. If you are looking for ideal energy and vitality after the water fast, nutrient-dense foods like nuts, cheese, and meats will be consumed in moderation, sparingly, or not at all. See the course for full details.
A: One of the great side effects of the fast is becoming sensitized to processed foods and toxic substances. Think about the first time you smoked a cigarette or drank alcohol. Your body was sensitive to the toxin. It rejected the cigarette with coughing, headache, or nausea. The alcohol probably burned and tasted awful. These examples are the same as the infant rejecting complex foods or being super sensitive to the wrong foods, and like a teenager who is sensitive to cigarette and alcohol. The water fast brings us back to this amazing communication that has been turned off.
Smoke is dangerous to the body, and nicotine in high doses can be fatal. Your body rejects chemicals with the pain signals described: coughing, etc. It works simply: Our bodies' primary goal is to warn off dangers by giving you symptoms of distress. When our body realizes that the warning signs are being ignored, our built-in mechanism to protect ourselves or avoid the pain goes into survival mode. The emotional blocks override the bodies’ warning signals our bodies send. Our bodies have resiliency and the ability to adapt to these dangerous chemicals; otherwise said: if a teenager wants to impress their friends, fit in, or get a high from tobacco, they will ignore the bodies’ warning signals. What happens now is the body says to itself, “This person is not going to stop the insult to the body--or cannot stop the insult,” so the body’s intelligent design protects itself with the attempt to minimize damage. In this case, the smoke kills the cilia cells in the lungs; therefore, the lungs protect themselves and go into defense mode. The downside to ignoring the symptoms at an early stage is a high likelihood of illness. The blessing that our bodies have the resiliency to adapt is often not considered with illness. Becoming desensitized is a huge gift.
Somewhat similar to someone eating too much toxic food, the body stores these toxins and calories in fat cells. The side effect is obesity for overeating and at the same time preserving life. If the body didn’t have the ability to store fat and toxins, we would be overwhelmed with dead and dying cells and be sick all the time. Just like cigarette smoke and the body’s ability to adapt, it is a blessing that can turn to a curse if ignored. Often I jokingly offer meth or heroin to a patient asking if they would like some. Always they respond, “No, thank you.” The reason being is they are clear in their minds the great pain that consuming the drug would cause. I then ask the same person to consider the person addicted to meth being offered the same: they would jump at my offer! Simply put, they associate pleasure with and are sensitized to the drug. Now consider that when I offer processed food to the average person, they will jump at my offer. (Would you like some potato chips, a donut, french fries, candy, etc.?) Then take the same person and put them on a water-only fast for 5 to 10 days, and they develop a distaste for the processed foods. When I guide people through the fast and ask them on day 4 or 6 how the addicting, processed foods sound to them, they respond the same as the patient being offered meth or heroin. Everything is relative, and the desensitization process is an amazing concept to learn.
In this process of writing The Grand Purpose and getting recognition, I have been in contact with other physicians and professionals in my field. The offers to help change and grow their practices are many. I ask these professionals why they do what they do? What is their goal for their client or patient? Some are clear that they want to improve the quality of their patient's lives. Then when long-term results are considered and discussed, the conversation turns. Most, if not all, professionals are getting dismal long-term successes. When I offer for them to consider that their model's external/religious/blame may be considered a part of the dismal success, the professional blames the patient for lack of compliance. That is where it must stop. If compliance is the cause of the failure, the professional is not aware that the lack of compliance is caused by the external focus and making the treatment a religion. When I ask myself the same question regarding long-term success, I have uncovered the secret to success. Those who heal and change are not seeking treatment, and I need to encourage people to choose that path.
Q: What about the “Master Cleanse”?
Q: Do you suggest “detox” instead of fasting?
Q: Do I need to go vegetarian, vegan, or SOS after fasting?
Q: How long should I fast for?
Q: Is there a recommended time to have my last meal before fasting?
Q: Suggestions for weaning from coffee/soda/tea (caffeine) before a water fasting?
Q: Should I get colonics or enemas during fasting?
Q: BMI and fasting?
Q: What if I am unable to fast for more than one day?
Q: Should I drink saltwater during the fast?
Available at bookstores, Amazon, or Order Here.
The fasting guide and/or A Course In Health are two options for completing your water fast. Water fasting is a safe and proven path to healing. The importance of preparing, conducting, and most importantly, breaking the water fast is addressed in this guide. Even more important is the focus of the individual's journey through the fast. This guide helps formulate meaningful questions and exercises to make lasting results of the fast.
"The fast is about becoming whole, not losing weight or curing a condition. The simultaneous healing of the body and mind are absolute in the water fast if it is conducted from the internal" --The Grand Purpose
Dr. Alan Goldhamer - https://www.truenorthhealthfoundation.org/fasting-literature-database
Dr. Valter Longo - valterlongo.com.
Fasting: Molecular Mechanisms and Clinical Applications
Stem Cell Growth -