Monday, October 20, 2008

Fasting for Weight Loss

It's not the quick shrink that you might think.

Although you will undoubtedly lose weight when fasting for any extended period of time, here is an important fact that you should consider:

While fasting, the metabolism slows to a crawl and in some cases stops. If when you resume eating, you consume the same poor quality and excess quantities of food that you consumed before the fast, your body will be slower in metabolizing the energy for maximum use and processing out waste. This will result in rapid gains, often in excess of what you weighed before.

There is however an aspect of regular mindful fasting that can almost guarantee that once the weight is off you will be able to keep it off.

Because regular mindful fasting is the practice of being present with what is happening in the moment, FastGirls are able to recognize the difference between feelings of hunger and feelings of loneliness, excitement or anxiety, which in the emotional body often feel very much the same. With time and effort we become in tune with how to spot these subtle differences, so that we no longer have to respond to our pain by snacking or to our joy with unhealthy feasting. 

When we practice mindful fasting we are tilling the soil of our lives so that we can make fully aware choices to eat when we are hungry and stop the moment we are not. This is the real impact of fasting on our weight and waist.

Monday, October 13, 2008

On Seeking

Seek the wisdom
that will untie your knot.
Seek the path
that demands your whole being.
Leave that which is not,
but appears to be.
Seek that which is, 
but is not apparent.


Tuesday, September 23, 2008

What has uncontrolled hunger forced you to do?

“When a person has nothing to eat, fasting is the smartest thing he could do. When, for example, Siddhartha hadn't learned to fast, he would have to accept any kind of service before this day is up, whether it may be with you or wherever, because hunger would force him to do so. But like this, Siddhartha can wait calmly, he knows no impatience, he knows no emergency, for a long time he can allow hunger to besiege him and can laugh about it. This, sir, is what fasting is good for."

-excerpt from Siddhartha by Herman Hesse

Saturday, September 20, 2008

A Case For AND Against Organic?

Because FastGirls know that information is power, I have attached a link to an article that will give you a close up look at the Organic Food Complex. The article is extensive in length and scope but I guarantee you won't be sorry you took the time to read it. This ain't your mama's organic; a fact that can spell huge trouble for those depending on the term to insure healthy eating.

 Here is a glimpse:

The chief reason the health seeker will buy organic is for the perceived health benefits. This poses a certain marketing challenge, however, since it has always been easier to make the environmental case for organic food than the health case. Although General Mills has put its new organic division under the umbrella of its "health initiatives" group, "organic" is not, at least officially, a health, nutrition or food-safety claim, a point that Dan Glickman, then secretary of agriculture, took pains to emphasize when he unveiled the U.S.D.A.'s new label in December: organic, he stressed, is simply "a production standard."

"At first, I thought the inability to make hard-hitting health claims" -- for organic -- was a hurdle," Gekler said when I asked him about this glitch. "But the reality is, all you have to say is 'organic' -- you don't need to provide any more information." These particular consumers -- who pay attention to the media, to food scares and to articles like this one -- take their own health claims to the word.

-R. Brooks Gekler, marketing star at General Mills, parent company of Small Planet Foods and the Cascadian Farms brand

Check out the complete article here:

Monday, September 15, 2008

The Power of Collective Energy

I recently received an email from one of the FastGirls congratulating me on the growth of the group. Although I did reply with happy thanks, I want to recognize before the collective, that what we see happening is the power of each of these women coming together in diligent practice. We are creating energy through our regular commitment to fast, which is bursting outward like wild, colorful sparks.

Every time we meet the day with the intention to fast, we are saying to the universe, to ourselves, and to those near and dear to us that we intend to live mindfully. We intend to walk in a space that is always full of presence and care. When we fast we are showing God how grateful we are for an opportunity to express gratitude and welcome towards whatever shows up, knowing that we will remain luminous and secure.

I feel blessed to be able to benefit from the positive collective will of so many women. We are seeing all around us that the work of women is of great importance in our society. While others are breaking barriers in politics and science, education and business, we are setting a precedent for women all over the country and indeed around the world, that says, knowing yourself from the inside out, being able to access and act upon that which is in our highest interest, is a direct route to knowing God and collecting our bounty. 

So congratulations FastGirls, for planting seeds and cultivating a space that has already yielded fields of plenty; for us, the women we share this planet with and even those yet to be born.

"Where two or three are gathered together in my name, there I am in the midst of them." 
Matt. 18:20

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Fasting, Old School Style (Really Old School!)

The Essenes, authors of the Dead Sea Scrolls, advocated fasting to purify themselves and commune with God. This was one of their primary healing methods. The Essene Gospel of Peace, transcribed by Edmond Bordeaux Szekely from the third-century Aramaic manuscript, suggests that Satan, his evil spirits, and his plagues will be cast out of our being by fasting and prayer. The Essenes believed that disease came from Satan (they claimed that it took three days without food to starve Satan) and from sins upon our body—the temple, which must be purified for God to reside there. To bring God into our life more completely, we would fast on water and "go to the waters (stream, lake) and find a hollow reed, insert it in our rear ends and flush the evils from our bowels."

Now that's time-tested, natural healing you can believe in.

Saturday, September 6, 2008

Looking for an Honest Mirror? Try Fasting.

Read one person's account of wading through the unpredictable emotional terrain of a fasted mind and body. The writer talks with great candor about the unrelenting light that was shed on the darkest parts of his self during a 40 day fast. 

One of the things I have come to find I dislike about fasting is how predictable it is. There is nothing surprising in it. Those who fast a lot talk about how it causes your emotions to all come to the surface, so the thoughts you would normally suppress come full blown. The thoughts that would normally just think, come out as words and the thoughts and words that would normally just end there, come out as actions. I would like to think I was different, but really, no. Everything seems to come to the surface and yes, it is only day 8, over the next days I have no idea what is going to happen, what mess is going to come out. Because the truth is there is a lot of anger buried in me, a lot of condescending thoughts, a lot of filth, a whole lot of real honest human mess....

And it is not just the harsh emotions that come out, it is not just the sort of human relation mess that surfaces, it is all my emotions. Fasting shows no partiality. So now I find myself a mess of tears and realizing that I am not really good at this, I am not particularly ready for any of this. I think when it comes right down to it this whole fasting thing just digs up all my fears, my inadequacies, the fast that I might not love God enough, or be trendy enough, or smart enough, or passionate enough or spiritual enough, or motivated enough or whatever enough to actually fit in here. Maybe I love the world too much, maybe I want to have a wife too much or kids too much or to matter too much. Maybe I am not cut out for hiddenness or tenderness or the fasted lifestyle.

Read the entire entry here:

Sunday, August 31, 2008

Something to contemplate this Labor Day weekend

Excerpt from Dr. Herbert M. Shelton's "Natural Hygiene: Man's Pristine Way of Life"

Chapter 21 "Does Fasting Cure Disease?"

If "disease" is a process of cure, does fasting cure "disease?" If there are no cures for "disease," if "disease" does not need to be cured, is fasting a cure?

To us there are not twenty thousand "diseases," but many local states growing out of a common systemic derangement. We do not seek to cure "disease," but to remove the causes of impairment and to afford the sick organism every natural or hygienic advantage that will facilitate its own spontaneous return to biological and physiological normality.

Does nature cure vomiting, or does she use vomiting as a means of ejecting unwanted materials from the stomach? Does the body cure coughing, or is coughing a vital act by which irritants and obstructions are expelled from the respiratory tract? Does diarrhea need to be cured, or is diarrhea a process by which obnoxious materials are rushed out of the digestive tract? Does nature cure inflammation, or is inflammation a repairative and defensive process by which broken bones are knit, lacerated flesh is healed and foreign bodies are removed from the flesh? Is there a need to cure fever, or is fever part of the body's own healing activities? Does not coughing automatically and spontaneously cease when there is no longer any need for it? Does not diarrhea cease when it has freed the digestive tract of all offensive materials? Does not inflammation subside when the bone has knit or the wound healed? What is there to cure about the various processes of the body that are collectively labeled disease?

Is it not obvious that if fasting suppressed vomiting, diarrhea, coughing, inflammation, fever, and the other symptoms that make up disease, it would be as evil as drugging? To call fasting "the fasting cure," the "hunger cure" or the "abstinence cure," as many have done, is to place it in a false light, unless, of course, we understand by cure what it originally meant--care. Fasting is part of the rational care of the sick body, it does not cure disease, as the word cure is now commonly used.

What say you?

Monday, August 25, 2008

Fast Facts: Duration of the Fast

The duration of the fast plays a role in what the body accomplishes. A three-day fast helps the body rid itself of toxins and cleanses the blood. A five-day fast begins the process of healing and rebuilding the immune system. A ten-day fast can take care of many problems before they arise and help to fight off illness, including the degenerative diseases that have become all too common in our chemically polluted environment.

Saturday, August 16, 2008

Will fasting make me more beautiful?

(Photo: Liya Kebede and her daughter Raee)

According to women who practice the art of fasting, it can:

make your hair healthier
your skin clearer
your body tighter
your teeth stronger
your belly flatter
your waist trimmer
your butt firmer
your nails stronger 
your eyes brighter
your breath sweeter
your 'sissy' fresher
your mind sharper
your gifts clearer
your senses keener

But despite these claims, fasting's greatest gift is that it allows you to recognize your present and inherent beauty. inside and out.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Fasting doesn't actually CURE anything

(Fasting facilitates a clean up effort, kinda like this)

Fasting does not cure disease. Yet what it allows for is nothing short of miraculous. In a nutshell, fasting enables the body the rest and energy it requires in order to heal itself; the only way true healing can take place. When the body ceases to exert the enormous amounts of energy required to masticate, digest, metabolize and eliminate wastes from the food we put into our systems, that reserved energy is immediately redirected, accelerating the healing process.

The body's newly freed up digestive energy is reassigned to take up internal housecleaning; giving a performance that is not possible when the body has spent all of its energy processing the "foods" that are typically consumed in the Standard American Diet. 

As a first order of business, this redirected energy allows the organs of elimination an opportunity to catch up with their work. The body begins the task of emptying the digestive tract, getting rid of bacteria and waste born from partially digested or completely indigestible food. As a next order of business, imbalances in the body’s chemistry, which can cause serious issues such as diabetes, thyroid disease osteoporosis and depression, are addressed. Continuous fasting helps to re-establish these important balances by facilitating immunity booting cell, tissue and organ repair. Abnormal growths, tumors, damaged tissue and fat is mercifully re-absorbed as fuel to keep all of this hard work going. 

Does this not qualify fasting as the best, most efficient "medicine" on the market? We think so.

Happy Healing.

Monday, August 11, 2008

Postcards From the Edge

Monday. 8 11 08. Fast Day.

Today I'm finding that I have to go real slow. Just one thing at a time. literally. Picking up my purse. Unzipping my purse. Pulling out my wallet. That kind of thing. Not really able to even think of the next thing that has to be done else it feels like the tide will roll in and wash me away. The breath is helping but I have to call after it constantly, like I would a small child. I had a traffic court date this morning. It might be the reason for so much teetering. Even though it went as well as a thing like that can go, the emotional energy of "what might happen" "what I could have done differently" all of those head trips that we sometimes forget take so much energy, are more pronounced when there is hardly any energy available to access.

I feel like I want to rest but I still have the day to do. A long day. So I will just breathe. Inhale. Exhale. Repeat. But I guess that's how it's always done. We just spend less time thinking about it; more time eating the day and strain, away.

Saturday, August 9, 2008

FastGirls LOVE Bryant Terry

He is brilliant, gorgeous and makes a sexy Cacao-Cafe No Lait Pudding. (see recipe below)

Bryant Terry is a nationally recognized eco chef, food justice activist and author of "grub," all about sustainable cooking and eating in the urban kitchen. He is currently a Food and Society Policy Fellow, a national program of the WK Kellogg Foundation and lives in Oakland, California, where he is working on his next book which will be published by Da Capo/Perseus in 2009.

Bryant's work and recipes have been featured in Gourmet, Food and Wine, The San Francisco Chronicle, Vibe, Domino, and many other publications. He has received numerous awards, which include an Award for Excellence in Health-Supportive Food Education (Natural Gourmet Institute), an Open Society Institute Community Fellowship (Soros Foundation), a Wave of the Future Award (Glynwood Center), and a Sea Change Residency (Gaea Foundation).

Bryant has made dozens of national radio and television appearances including being an expert commentator on the Sundance Channel's original series "Big Ideas for a Small Planet." He is also a host on "The Endless Feast," a 13-episode PBS series that explores the connection between the earth and the food on our plates. 

He makes eating good, taste good, and what could make you love a man more than that?

Try it for yourself:

1 cup organic coconut milk

1 tablespoon of your favorite ground coffee

1/4 cup raw agave nectar

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder

1/8 teaspoon fine sea salt

1 box (3/4 pound) Mori Nu firm silken tofu (this dessert only works with this brand)

2 tablespoons fair trade raw cacao nibs

· In a small saucepan over high heat, combine the coconut milk and coffee. Bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to medium-high and boil for 7 minutes, whisking often. Remove from heat and strain through a fine-mesh sieve into a small bowl.

· In a medium saucepan, combine 3 tablespoons of the coffee coconut milk mixture, the agave nectar, vanilla, cocoa powder, and salt and whisk to incorporate the coca powder. Bring to a boil over high heat, and then reduce the heat to low and simmer for 1 minute, whisking constantly. Remove from the heat.

· Pour the mixture into in a blender, add the tofu, and blend until smooth. Transfer to a medium bowl, add the cacao nibs, and stir well.

· Cover with plastic and refrigerate to set for at least 2 hours before serving.

· Serve chilled.

visit his site.

buy his book. grub

show him some love.

Friday, August 8, 2008

The Way God Intended: Looking at Fasting in Nature

In Persia, there exists a variety of sheep called fat-tailed sheep, that has an enormous tail made up of fat and other stored food elements. During seasons of plenty the sheep stores up large quantities of food in its tail--prize specimens often developing such heavy tails that their owners provide them with small carts which are placed under the tails and fastened to prevent the tails from dragging the ground. When pasturage becomes scarce the sheep draw upon the food reserves stored in their tails for nutriment. This is a literal example of "cutting off the tail of a hungry dog and feeding it to him."

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

In Gratitude

We owe it to the creator to be present for this life, awake for this journey, alive for this ride. When a gift like this is given; a life for a while, we must make something bloom, fashion wings to fly somehow.

Monday, August 4, 2008

Testimonies: Fasting for infertility

This is a common experience of a couple. Five years have lapsed after their marriage, but they do not have the joy of a child. Both were keen about it and very cautiously avoided the use of contraceptives. They had hoped for a child but it was in vain.

The young woman had consulted a doctor but was told that her infertility was permanent. Her father-in-law was informed by someone about the usefulness of fasting and that it may help to an extent. Therefore, he contacted a physician knowledgeable about fasting.

The woman asked him, "Can fasting help me getting a child?" The physician explained to her that there are many reasons for infertility which is of various types. Some types of infertility can be remedied by fasting while in some others, fasting does not bring any benefit. After knowing her problem, she was told, "Yes you will be able to conceive after the fasting."

Her fasting started. It lasted for some weeks and were completed without any trouble. Luckily, she became pregnant after sometime and later she gave birth to a handsome healthy son.

Over the years, thousands of childless women who suffered an agonizing life on that account have given birth to a son or a daughter. Some of them had menstrual problems. They suffered from excessive bleeding and had to remain in bed due to severe pain. The vascular balance of the uterus was disturbed due to clots in the blood, cuts in the breasts and such other symptoms. This resulted in the burning sensation and swelling in the uterus. The blood vessels became weak.

In the second type of infertility, a woman suffers from metritis. This causes swelling in the walls of uterus and oozing of the fluids is affected by it. It is either more or less. Thus, due to the ejection of the acid, the ova perish.

The patient can be very easily freed from the disease in the above condition. Much improvement can be seen after a long physical and mental rest. Though some types of infertility cannot be cured at all, those cases where the infertility is not natural but is because of some special condition, can be fully cured. All hindrances to the conception can be removed by fasting. Therefore, fasting is a boon for such women.

Some women become pregnant but cannot hold the fetus till the time of her delivery. They have miscarriages because of some debility. But fasting offers them good health so that they can give birth to fully grown healthy babies. After cleansing the body and excreting the toxins and nourishing themselves with healthy food, these women can avoid the miscarriages.

I know of a surprising incident about a woman who had 6 miscarriages. With only ten days of fasting and restricted diet she was helped in her conception. She had a normal delivery and she gave birth to a healthy baby.

The period of fasting for infertile women can sometimes be long, depending on their specific problems. Sometimes, it can be a short one also. Another woman had no child after a married life of ten years. She had not used any contraceptive. She had a severe pain at the time of her menstrual cycle. She took traditional medicines as sedatives at that time.

Fasting for about ten days was enough to cure menstrual irregularity and other related problems. She became pregnant sometime after her fasts were over. She gave birth to a son in due course. Another woman had conceived after a few short term fasts. She was also barren for ten years.

Natural infertility among people-men and women-is rare, and fasting offers no hope in such cases. If infertility is due to some disease or other physical drawback, fasting can be very helpful.


Friday, July 25, 2008


"Man is either the master of himself, or his appetite and sensual pleasures master him."

Did you know food could do this?

Whether it's too much, the wrong kind or not enough of the right kind, apparently food can make you crazy. (With all the ADD and depression it's becoming more clear.)

And if the cause is nutritional doesn't it stand to reason that a large part of the cure should be nutritional?

You tell me.

Although there are cases where people go crazy for purely psychological reasons, there is now overwhelming evidence that in most people so diagnosed, something isn’t right in the brain. Researchers from the London Institute of Psychiatry have confirmed that the frontal cortex of the brain is involved in schizophrenia. Using functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI), they have also been able to show that the deterioration in brain function in schizophrenia is not irreversible.

The best results we’ve seen in helping those with so-called schizophrenia are achieved by investigating a number of possible avenues. These include:

• Blood sugar problems made worse by excess stimulant and drug use
• Essential fat imbalances
• Too many oxidants and not enough antioxidants
• Niacin (Vitamin B3) therapy
• Methylation problems helped by B12 and folic acid
• Pyroluria and the need for zinc
• Food allergies

Thursday, July 24, 2008

If we had as much trust in ourselves, how much healthier would we be?

This article stunned and saddened me, not for it’s assertion that people were relieved of their symptoms more rapidly when the only variable was that they received more “quality time” from their physician but the fact that so much of our time, money and quality of life is wasted because we do not have this same level of trust in ourselves. It left me wondering how much better off we would be if we knew that inherent in us was the capacity to provide an even greater level of healing when we turn our trust inward. 

What do you make of these findings?

A surprisingly potent placebo: face time with me

From Tuesday's Globe and Mail
July 1, 2008 at 9:27 AM EDT

The word placebo has many connotations. Many think of it simply as a fake pill containing sugar.

Some see the term as derogatory since its effect could imply that a problem is not "real."

Some see it as proof of the incredible power of the mind.

But my question is not about the research value of placebos or how effective they are.

My question is: Am I a placebo?

A recent study in the British Medical Journal led by Ted Kaptchuk found patients who received better communication and more attention from their doctors saw a dramatic improvement in their medical condition than those who had a "colder" relationship and little face time with their physician.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Cause and Cure: Chicken Pox

It is the perspective of the Natural Hygienist physician that there is really only one cause of disease and not the myriad causes that the typical Western doctor proffers. This single cause of disease is toxemia. It is understood by Natural Hygienist physicians that healthy, disease free bodies can be a lifelong reality if individuals begin by clearing the body of toxic poisons, housed at the deepest cellular level. These toxins are introduced into our systems through the foods we eat (both poor quality and excess quantity), the environmental poisons we are exposed to and the resultant immune deficiencies created by our body’s inability to metabolize and eliminate the waste from these stressors in a timely and efficient manner.

When we cease eating, we begin the process that allows nature, in her unmatched wisdom, to construct the necessary cure. 

With a new school year just around the corner, I thought Dr. J.H. Tilden’s review of the cause, symptoms and treatment for chicken pox, a timely subject.

CHICKEN POX (Varicella)

DEFINITION.--This is a slightly contagious disease of children, characterized by an eruption of vesicles on the surface of the body. Children may get off with a dozen pox, and sometimes the disease is so severe that they have one hundred and fifty to two hundred on the entire body As a rule, it is a very insignificant disease. By that I mean that it is not of sufficient importance to worry about.

CAUSE.--The disease occurs in epidemic, endemic, and sporadic forms; that is to say, it may spread all over the country, it may be confined to just one locality, and then again a case may occur in a community without any other cases developing. This is true of all so-called contagious diseases, showing that contagion requires a proper physical state of the one taking the disease before it will manifest itself. No one will take any of the so-called epidemic or contagious diseases who is not in a favorable condition to be stricken down.

SYMPTOMS--It is said that after exposure it requires from ten to fifteen days for the disease to develop. In some cases it starts with a slight chill. Most children are a little irritable and cross--just as they might be with indigestion; and, indeed, they have indigestion, or they would not take the disease. The question, therefore, is: Is it the indigestion that causes the disease, or causes the chicken-pox, or does the chicken-pox cause the indigestion? The epidemic influence exists for certain diseases, but it must find the constitutional derangement exactly fitted before chicken-pox, or any other specific disease, can manifest. All such diseases represent a peculiar chemical state of the fluids of the body. Then, when the proper domestic or civic influence is created, the combination ends in a certain type of disease. This is true of all so-called contagious diseases. This definition may be used for diphtheria, scarlet fever, smallpox, etc. Nothing will come of chicken-pox per se. Children who are abused very greatly and have deranged digestions, and who possibly are predisposed to tuberculosis, may break down from an attack of chicken-pox; but it is a mistake to recognize chicken-pox as the cause. It only marks the beginning of the breaking-down, because the constitutional derangement was in existence before the chicken-pox developed.

TREATMENT--Children should be put to bed and the bowels washed out daily. No food at all, but all the hot water desired may be given. As soon as there is freedom from discomfort and no increase in temperature, feeding may begin with fresh pressed fruit juices and water, half and half, the first day; fruit two meals and salad one meal the next few days. Then return to regular eating*.

Excerpt from “Impaired Health, Its Causes and Cure” by Dr. J.H. Tilden, M.D.

*In all cases “regular eating” is reference to a diet of mostly fresh fruits and vegetables, no processed foods or refined sugar and little or no animal products.

Can fasting stop the "aging cascade"?

Imagine if you will.......

There are no age related diseases. 

Never have been. Never will be.

Aging and age-related degeneration is simply progressive, diminishing organ functioning. 

Over time and exposed to overfeeding and the Standard American Diet, organs that make digestive enzymes secrete less enzymes causing the immune system to degenerate. The degenerated immune system loses the ability to mobilize as effectively when the body is attacked. Liver and kidney efficiency declines. The adrenals tire, becoming incapable of dumping massive amounts of stress-handling hormones or of repeating that effort time after time without considerable rest in between. The consequences of these interdependent deteriorations is a cascade of deterioration that contributes to even more rapid deteriorations. The name for this cascading process is aging. 

Long fasts (between 7 and 21 days) repair and rebuild poorly functioning organs following the initial period of concentrated detoxification. These repaired organs then function more optimally, extending the life span of the organism, which in this case would be the human.

Imagine that.

Monday, July 21, 2008

FastGirls Feature Food: Watermelon

A summertime favorite, watermelon is cold sweet and alkalizing. It only has half as much sugar as an apple yet tastes sweeter because it’s mostly (92%) water. Watermelon is a good source of beta-carotene, vitamin C, potassium and silicon. It also contains the pigment lycopene, which is being investigated as a cancer preventative, and glutathione, which guards against cataract formation. The inner pale green rind of watermelon contains chlorophyll and can be eaten along with the pink meat. The fruits black seeds contain curcurbocitrin, which dilates the capillaries and are a traditional remedy for strengthening the kidneys.

Watermelon has anti-bacterial, antioxidant, anticoagulant, diuretic and laxative properties. It lubricates the intestines, has an affinity for the bladder, kidney, stomach and heart and is considered a rejuvenating tonic for the blood. Watermelon can help lift the spirits from depression and has been used in treatments for halitosis, hangover, mouth sores, sore throat and urethral pain. It is a digestive aid and makes an ideal food for a cleanse.

When on the vine, the melon develops a white spot where it touches the ground; when this white spot turns yellow or cream colored, it indicates ripeness. A ripe melon will also be heavy for it’s size, have a sweet fragrance and have skin that can be scraped off easily with a fingernail. It will also make a dull, hollow sound when thumped. Watermelon is best enjoyed on its own but it can be added to fruit salad, juiced or you can freeze the puree for cool watermelon sorbet. For an invigorating watermelon tonic that will help build the blood and strengthen the glands try juicing the seeds, rind and pink meat all together.

And for the men we love...

Watermelon may be a natural Viagra, says a researcher. That’s because the popular summer fruit is richer than experts believed in an amino acid called citrulline, which relaxes and dilates blood vessels much like Viagra and other drugs meant to treat erectile dysfunction (ED).

“We have known that watermelon has citrulline,” says Bhimu Patil, PHD, director of the Fruit and Vegetable Improvement Center at Texas A&M University, College Station. Until recently, he tells WebMD, scientists thought most of the citrulline was in the watermelon rind. “Watermelon has more citrulline in the edible part than previously believed,” he says.

How could watermelon be a natural Viagra? The amino acid citrulline is converted into the amino acid arginine, Patil says. “This is a precursor for nitric oxide, and the nitric oxide will help in blood vessel dilation.”

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

One woman's story of a three day gift

There’s Nothing Wrong with Fast Girls March 2, 2008
Posted by Michele in Living In This Body.

Today I did something I’ve never done before. And I gotta tell ya, I like the way it feels. Today I’m finishing up the last day of a three-day fast.

Those of you who know me are probably asking, “What ever possessed her to fast for three freakin’ days straight?” I thought the same thing when I started toying with the idea a few days ago. Then, last Thursday I went to lunch with a friend and ordered chili topped with cheese. It was the first time I’d eaten beef or dairy in a couple of weeks – the direct result of a cow vs. forklift video I was unfortunate enough to catch on the evening news.

By Thursday night my left eye was swelled up like a balloon. When I woke up Friday morning the eye had gone down some, but the sinus was still inflamed. Allergies? Maybe. But one thing was for sure, I needed to cleanse my system, and this crazy bodily reaction was confirmation that I should go forward with the fast. I needed a fresh start without all the toxins in my body driving cravings and weighing me down.

Now, usually after six or eight hours without food I’m a danger to others. But this weekend I’ve learned that the hunger you experience after a carb and sugar orgy is much more sever than the hunger you have after three days of fasting. Now, if you’d told me this last week, I’d have probably thought you were lying – like when we tell pregnant women that childbirth really isn’t that bad because we don’t want to scare the crap outta them. But I have to admit, I feel pretty damn good.

Now that’s not to say that I didn’t have a few mild headaches back on day one. And, on day two I took a four-hour nap (because of the lack of food, my son and husband were afraid to wake me). And, okay, this morning I did have one minor meltdown – but in my defense my husband was making fried potatoes and they just smelled so good. Anyway, overall I think I did alright.

Besides, what I learned from this fast far outweighs any of the side effects my family might have endured. This weekend I learned what it feels like to fully reside within this body. I felt the simple pleasure of a cup of herbal tea with lemon. I felt the warmth of a hot bath and the softness of baby oil on my skin. I felt the joy of a long nap. I felt the sense of accomplishment in reaching my goal. And I felt the deep satisfaction of caring for and loving my body in ways I’ve never done before.

Monday, July 14, 2008

On heredity, disease and the family table

"Eating is a very habitual and unconscious activity; frequently we continue to eat as adults whatever our mother fed us as a child. I consider it unsurprising when people develop the very same disease conditions as their parents. They wrongly assume [and doctors wrongly assert] the cause is genetic inheritance, when actually it was just because they were putting their feet under the same table as their parents.

-Dr. Isabelle A. Moser

Saturday, July 12, 2008

Eden Kitchen: Kale and Avocado Salad

1 head kale, shredded
1 cup tomato, chopped
1 avocado
2 tablespoons grapeseed or olive oil
1 tablespoon lemon juice
celtic sea salt, to taste
½ teaspoon cayenne

In mixing bowl, toss all ingredients together. Mush everything together (with hands) to created marinated/wilted effect on kale. This makes it much tastier and easier to digest.

Friday, July 11, 2008

Introduction to "FastGirls: An Ancient Practice for the Modern Girl"

This is my testimony.

A weekly practice of fasting has made my hair and resolve stronger, skin clearer and the act of peeling back the emotional layers of my life, less painful. It has made my waist slimmer, my periods lighter and turned my temperament from a searing blaze to a warm ember. Fasting allows me creative courage and more complete sleep. Its regular practice has helped me clear the cobwebs from my head and heart and given me discipline to finally finish a book after thirteen years. It has coached me on a better way to speak to my children so that I don’t bruise them with the sharp whip of my loose tongue. It has made me more compassionate towards those who have nothing and less judgmental of those who have, but give nothing. Spending long days dependant on spiritual fuel instead of food has made me sure of my Eternal Self, of the continuous availability of my inner strength. It makes me walk taller – literally and figuratively – and ushers me into more mindful ways of speaking and being. Fasting has helped me shed the weight of my past failings and celebrate the truth that they took place solely to teach. Going without food for twenty-four to thirty-six hours every week allows me to see my self; the parts of me that withhold and those that lash out, and teaches me how to adjust towards right action. Every week when I meet the day with the intention to fast I am saying to myself and to the Infinite, teach me what I need to learn, show me what I need to see, give me the death I need so that I may truly live.

And sometimes it feels like that. Like I am surely going to die. But I don’t. I live. More fully during and after the fast, than ever before.

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Food for Thought

Guard your thoughts. Your thoughts are the gatekeeper, controlling what comes out of and what goes into, your mouth.

Monday, July 7, 2008

The Buchinger Clinic on NPR

The Buchinger clinic in Germany provides a safe and luxurious space where people come and pay thousands of dollars!

All Things Considered, November 21, 2007 · At a clinic high in the hills above Lake Constance in southern Germany, people pay thousands of dollars a week to not eat. The Buchinger Clinic is famous for promoting fasting as a cure-all.

The clinic's chief doctor, Christian Kuhn, says fasting naturally leads people to focus inward and opens them to what he calls "spiritual nutrition" — what people really need, he says, to heal or change their lives.

Check it out. See what you think.

Buchinger Clinic
Buchinger Clinic On NPR

Sunday, July 6, 2008

Critical Mission: Getting the Mucous Out

Of all the benefits of fasting, clearing the body of disease promoting mucous (in excess of protective levels) is one of the most significant. For many of us who regularly eat the Standard American Diet, we are living in a constant state of disease as mucous clogs up the entire piping system of the body. Whether the illness is actively manifesting itself in the form of a virus, reproductive, respiratory or autoimmune disease, or simply perched on a dangerous precipice, waiting only for the clock to strike the appropriate hour before showing its face, the levels of mucus in our bodies and the amounts of mucous promoting food that we consume, leave us in an extremely vulnerable position when it comes to the preservation of our health.

A simple test of the amount of mucous in our systems can be had as we pay attention to the number of times we reach for a tissue to blow or wipe our noses or clear our throats. Or maybe you have a slow postnasal drip which moves down the back of your throat into your sinus cavity. This storage of toxic mucous begins to accumulate in the body from birth. It is the product of undigested and uneliminated unnatural food substances. Mucous is found not only in the nose, throat and lungs but throughout the entire 30 feet of our gastrointestinal tract which begins at the mouth and extends to the rectum. It's overpopulation in the system is the cause of many diseases, the most deadly of which is pneumonia.

One thing we can do fast day (and every other day as well) to further aid the body in reducing the amount of mucous in the system is to add fresh lemon juice to our distilled, purified or filtered water. This can be done by squeezing juice directly from the lemon into a glass of water or preparing a pitcher of water with lemons slices soaked in it. If this prepared method works best for you, the pitcher can be refilled with water as long as the lemons continue to float. The pitcher should preferably be glass and not plastic. Chemicals used to create plastics leach into the water, contributing to the levels of toxicity in our system.

As you drink the water, especially on fast day, you will find that it is literally pulling the mucous from the body. This can be seen most obviously by the increased need to spit it out but mucous is also being removed through the more typical eliminative functions as well.

Mucous producing foods:

All Dairy Products
All Meat
Processed Foods
Saturated Fats

Friday, July 4, 2008

Food for the Soul: Controlling Our Tongues

"If we cannot control our appetites and hold to a simple fast, how can we eventually overcome the temptation to judge and condemn others and succeed at the formidable task of controlling our tongues"

-Bishop Chrysostomos

Original photograph of a Sioux Indian Fasting. The photo is by Curtis, and was taken in 1907. The image is captioned, "Fasting".

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Gaining Perspective Through Fasting

In Carole Garibaldi Rogers' book "Fasting: Exploring a Great Spiritual Practice," writer Mary Aktay talks about the revelation that came to her while fasting during the holy month of Ramadan.

"The rationale in Ramadan is that it's not about giving up food. It's about not doing anything else during the day that would take your mind off God. At first I wondered how that could be since when you're hungry all you can think of is food. Then, as I got older and wiser, I started thinking , well, where does the food come from? The food comes from the grace of God. And then that brought me into justice issues and solidarity with the poor. The food comes from the grace of God, but it also comes from the sweat and labor of people like the migrant farm workers."

Neglectful Medicine?

I was reading the site below on Fibroids and what medical professionals have to say about the condition and treatment. If I had not been convinced, I am now sure that the medical professionals are either completely neglectful of woefully and willfully ignorant about how to really heal us.

If we do not do our own research and understand the critical importance of a healthy diet cutting back on ALL estrogen producing foods, ie. meats and dairy products), cleansing, and maintaining balance physically, emotionally and socially , we will suffer from maladies as easily preventable and curable as fibroids - or worse - forever.

Let me know what you think of the information and treatment recommendations made in the article.

I am amazed that they would rather give women a drug that prevents our bodies from making estrogen (introducing new toxins into the system as well as halting natural processes) rather than tell a patient to alter eating habits that are causing estrogen levels to skyrocket. 

They are killing me. Literally.

Fasting in Hinduism

We find that so many faiths have a common connection when it comes to the practice of fasting.

The Sanskrit word for fasting is Upavasa. Upa means "near" and vasa means "to stay." Implicit in the word is that fasting means "to stay near (the Lord)," to keep the Lord close in your heart and mind. In the Hindu faith, The very word for fasting has in inbuilt orientation to the Divine.

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Fasting Linked to Mormon's Healthy Hearts

Mormons Have Less Heart Disease Due to Monthly Fasting Says Study
Report to American Heart Association says people who skip meals better off

Nov. 6, 2007 - Members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints (LDS or Mormons) have lower rates of heart disease than other Americans and a new study of older people indicates it may be linked to their religious practice of skipping food for one day a month. The Mormon religion also prohibits smoking and it was previously assumed this was the reason they enjoyed healthier hearts.

“People who fast seem to receive a heart-protective benefit, and this appeared to also hold true in non-LDS people who fast as part of a health-conscious lifestyle,” said Benjamin D. Horne, Ph.D., M.P.H., study author and director of cardiovascular and genetic epidemiology at Intermountain Medical Center and adjunct assistant professor of biomedical informatics at the University of Utah in Salt Lake City.

FastGirls Feature Food: Jicama

The root vegetable Jicama (pronounced “HEE-ka-ma”) has a flavor similar to that of water chestnut. Jicama is rich n beta-carotene, B-complex vitamins, vitamin C, calcium, iron and potassium.

Select jicama that is firm and heavy for its size. Overly large or shriveled jicama is likely to be woody and tough. Jicama can be stored whole and unwrapped in the refrigerator for several weeks but storing it in plastic accelerates mold growth. Once it is cut it is best to use within a day or two. It can be used in salads or peeled, sliced and served with dips. In Latin America it is common to serve jicama with a squeeze of lemon or lime and a dash of salt. Jicama can be juiced, grated into salador grated to the size of rice grains and used as a rice replacement.

To peel jicama, cut in half and use the edge of a regular spoon to ply under the skin which will peel right off (figure I). Jicama has a papery-thin skin, and using a spoon will prevent you from tearing it. When the jicama is peeled, place it in a little lemon juice and water to maintain the color, texture and taste. It will keep in the refrigerator for a couple of days until you're ready to use it. (You can apply the same technique to gingerroot.)

Monday, June 30, 2008

The Gift of Goodbye

Often when one even thinks about the idea of fasting, apprehension descends like autumn nightfall. Many of us have spent so much time cultivating an intimate or oppositional relationship with food, that the idea of letting go, even for a day, is too terrifying to contemplate.

Below is a poem that I first heard while on a seven-day silent meditation retreat. It spoke to those contracted places inside of myself where I hold on, often for dear life, to things, attitudes and positions that I know are no longer serving me. Hearing this poem gave me courage and wings.


It is a good word, rolling off the tongue
no matter what language you were born with,
Use it. Learn where it begins,
the small alphabet of departure,
how long it takes to think of it,
then say, then be heard.

Marry it. More than any golden ring,
it shines, it shines.
Wear it on every finger
till your hands dance,
touching everything easily,
letting everything, easily, go.

Strap it to your back like wings.
Or a kite-tail. The stream of air behind a jet.
If you are known for anything,
let it be the way you rise out of sight
when your work is finished.

Think of things that linger: leaves,
cartons and napkins, the damp smell of mold.

Think of things that disappear.

Think of what you love best,
what brings tears into your eyes.

Something that said adios to you
before you knew what it meant
or how long it was for.

Explain little, the word explains itself.
Later perhaps. Lessons following lessons,
like silence following sound.

~Naomi Shihab Nye
from Words Under the Words

Fasting with Heart Disease

Thomas Ryan, answers the question, "Can I fast with heart disease?"

"The United States holds the record: we lead the world in heart and artery problems. Every second of the day someone is dying of a heart attack. Heart trouble is one of the scourges of western civilization. Yet diseases of the heart do not build up rapidly. It takes a long time to harden and block and artery. There are many contributing causes: cholesterol, fats and fibrous tissues are responsible for the blocking and obstructing of the arteries; lack of exercise and stress also contribute to arterial degeneration. As the inner passage of the arteries becomes so narrow that not enough blood can flow thorough to properly nourish the heart muscle, coronary occlusion occurs. We are all as old as our arteries. Inasmuch as fasting cleanses internal impurities, it is preventative and restorative healthcare."

Saturday, June 28, 2008

Fasting in the Christian faith

"Fasting is not an end in itself; it is a means by which we can worship the Lord and submit ourselves in humility to him. We don't make God love us any more than He already does if we fast, or if we fast longer. Fasting invites God into the problem. Then in the strength of God, victory is possible."
-Elmer L. Towns

Being fed by more than food

"Fasting reminds us that we are sustained 'by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God' (Matthew 4:4) Food does not sustain us; God sustains us."  -Richard J. Foster

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Fasting and Exercise

While kickboxing and spinning classes might go over well just before a breakfast of steelcut oatmeal and berries, a fasting body needs as much physical rest as it can get. The physiological work and repair that happens during the fasting detox, requires an enormous amount of energy that we want to reserve entirely for that purpose. It is however recommended that while fasting we do exercises that facilitate this process. These include walking, yoga, light swimming and breath work. As a yogini, I can attest to the very powerful detox benefits of yoga and breath work, not only physical but also spiritual and mental. 

The breath is the vehicle upon which our life force enters the body, so that when the breath is shallow, our thoughts and actions are shallow. When the breath is labored our thoughts and life are labored. More than anything, while fasting (and even on non-fasting days), I encourage you to notice the breath and breathe with intention. At every moment you can remember, drop in on the breath to see how it’s doing. Follow the inhale to a completely ballooned belly, brining in strength, health, energy, faith and peace. Exhale until the navel meets the spine, letting go of disease, fear, weakness, fatigue and tension. 

Attending to the breath will still agitating thoughts. When left unattended, these thoughts create agitation in the body, which often causes us to feel empty or “hungry” and so we attempt to fill that emptiness with food. Typically the types of food we choose when we are in this mindset are high in salt or sugar because these nutrients, when refined or in excess, act in the same way as drugs, changing the chemistry of the body, creating a diversion from feelings. Catch yourself breathing and you will be able to see more clearly the trajectory of your thinking. When we can see where our thoughts are headed it is easier to get in front of them and change their direction.

Yoga, on the other hand, twists and bends the body in order to allow for better circulation and flow of oxygen. It also wrings the organs and helps jumpstart sluggish glandular systems. The practice of yoga also incorporates breath, which stimulates the body’s ability to relax. A relaxed body is one that is more prepared to take on the task of cleansing and healing.

Be good to your body. Be Good to yourself. Breathe.

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

The Connection Between Fasting and Slowed Aging

(MORE Model Joyce Larkin - 42 and Emanuelle 16 mo.)

It makes perfect sense when I think about it. The thing we make note of most often when someone looses even a small amount of weight is how much younger they look. The basic theory and math is, the more calories you take in (especially empty calories that don't contribute their fair share of helpful nutrients) the more work the cells have to do in processing the waste associated with these calories. When it becomes too much work for the cell, wastes begin to accumulate inside the cell, breaking it down and causing cell damage.

This excessive and often toxic overload of substances causes the cell to age and as we learned in basic biology, the body is made of – at its most basic level - nothing but cells. When the cells age, the body ages. This accumulation of waste in the cells is a progressive process which is why it seems that collectively, most people begin looking older at a certain age. We eat the same foods as a nation and so we age at approximately the same rate.

When we fast, not only do we ease the burden the cells bear in the accumulation of so much waste, but with the newly available energy transferred from the digestion process, the body can begin to repair and rejuvenate worn cells; extending cellular life. Extending our life.

Eden Kitchen: Jicama Sticks (raw recipe)

After this, you'll never miss french fries again!

Jicama Sticks

Yield: 2 servings

1 jicama, peeled and cut into thin strips

2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

1 tablespoon nutritional yeast (optional: not a raw product)

1 teaspoon chili powder (*see quick recipe below) or a chili powder of your chioce

1/2 teaspoon Celtic sea salt

Combine all ingredients, toss well, serve.

*Chili Powder Recipe

2 tablespoons cumin seeds

1 teaspoon coriander seeds

1 teaspoon tumeric

1 tablespoon dried oregano

Combine all ingredients and mix well. Use as needed. Store in a cool dry place.

Sunday, June 22, 2008

The critical need for study and intuition

Many American’s believe that products advertising themselves as “low-fat,” are healthier food selections than ones that do not. But despite the proliferation of low-fat offerings in grocery stores across the nation, Americans are increasingly fatter, sicker and experiencing significant decreases in Whole Life health.

Here is the problem in nutshell; America’s rich diet, heavily loaded with animal products, pre-packaged, over-processed and hyper sweetened foods, is so exorbitantly high in fat and empty calories that bringing the fat content down by ten, twenty or even thirty percent, still leaves us in the range of too much fat in the diet to achieve optimum health.

This misguided track also has the added psychological effect of allowing people to feel better about eating “low-fat” food, which inclines them to have a just a little more, a little more often. The result is a sum total of zero benefit to the millions who make the low-fat choice. This leaves us in the position we find ourselves in today, wondering how we could be abiding by all of the rules and still be sick and overweight.

A great example would be the doctor who tells a three-pack-a-day smoker, “I can help you live a longer, healthier life. Instead of smoking three packs a day, simply smoke one.” At this point in our history, with all that we know about smoking, we know that this advice is nothing more than a delay of game. In accepting this misguided prescription, the smoker is still in danger of developing serious and even life threatening diseases. She will continue experience declining energy and the ill effects of so much damage to her circulatory, lymphatic and nervous systems. The advice the doctor has given will pretty much ensure that her health never improves but in fact continues to decline until her habit finally kills her. Despite her doctor’s recommendation.

Rational Recommendations Vs. National Recommendations

If the lists below were food pyramids, the bottom levels being foods we should consume in greatest quantity, we can see the vast difference between what the Federal Government recommends compared to what is recommended by doctors and scientists who have studied the disastrous effects, including chronic disease and premature aging, of over feeding and rich, high fat diets.

Rational (Healthy) Recommendations:

No more than 4 times per month

No more than 4 times per week
Low-Fat Dairy

1-2 servings daily or 5%-20% of daily calories
Beans, other legumes, nuts and seeds

2-4 Servings daily or 15%-30% of daily calories
Whole grains, Brown rice, Bulgar, Quinoa

6-10 servings daily or 30%-60% of daily calories
Vegetables – ½ raw and ½ cooked including:
Lettuce, tomatoes, broccoli, string beans, sweet potatoes, carrots, squash and many more

National USDA Recommendations

Use sparingly
Fats, oils, sweets

2-3 Servings daily
Milk, Yogurt, Cheese
Meat, poultry, fish, dry beans, eggs, nuts

2-4 servings daily
Vegetables, fruits

6-11 servings daily
Breads, cereals, rice, pasta

Even if everything we see and hear about food choices confuses us, we can trust what we know to be true; more Americans need healthcare than have it, more drugs are being created now than ever in the history of the United States, more women are dying of heart disease and cancer than of any other causes and more children have diabetes, autoimmune diseases and nervous system maladies than is conceivable for a nation of our wealth and resources. If food is our fuel, then it stands to reason that our current approach to energy and wellness is woefully insufficient and even counter-productive.

It is critical that we study more closely the effects of what we take into our bodies and the impact it is having on every aspect of our lives; physical, mental and spiritual.

Pamela Serure writes in her book “The Three Day Energy Fast,” “The whole key to personal transformation starts on a cellular level. It’s about rejuvenation of your cells. When we clean out and rebuild our cells they give us new messages. New cells have new meaning. New cells have new stories to tell. New cells don’t follow the same old programming.”

If we are to refashion ourselves from the inside out, we must first begin with the cells. By fasting and minding what eat, we can allow for healing of old ills and a rebuilding which rests on a foundation that can create and sustain optimum health.

Rumi on Fasting

There’s hidden sweetness in the stomh’s emptiness.
We are lutes, no more, no less.
If the soundbox is stuffed full of anything, no music.
If the brain and the belly are burning clean with fasting,
every moment a new song comes out of the fire.
The fog clears, and new energy
makes you run up the steps in front of you.
Be emptier and cry like reed instruments cry.
Emptier, write secrets with the reed pen.
When you’re full of food and drink
an ugly metal statue sits where your spirit should.
When you fast, good habits gather
like friends who want to help.
Fasting is Solomon’s ring. Don’t give it
to some illusion and lose your power.
But even if you have, if you’ve lost all will and control,
they come back when you fast,
like soldiers appearing our of the ground,
pennants flying above them.
A table descends to your tents,
Jesus’ table.
Expect to see it when you fast, this table
spread with food, better than the broth of cabbages.

-Rumi, Enlightened Sufi Scholar and Teacher

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