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Sunday, November 5, 2023

My 3 Day Water Fast

Before you read this, please note that I’m not a doctor. I’m just sharing my experience. Here is an informative video by Dr. Sten Ekberg. I went on a fast to get rid of impurities in my digestive tract and to give my digestion a break. I learned about autophagy—the body naturally removes the buildup of damaged cells. This process may also be induced through fasting. Here is a video by Dr. Jason Fung.
I have some experience with fasting as I had done intermittent fasting and one meal a day fast in the past. I also did a short water fast long ago because one morning I got up and could not move my left hand. My hand was red and swollen, and I had read that water fasting can help heal most diseases. So, I did a 32-hour water fast, and my hand went back to normal.
And about two years ago, I did a juice fast for 16 days which was super difficult, because it was around Thanksgiving, I was busy doing too many things, and I was invited to various gatherings. Let’s just say, it was a miserable experience.

This year, I found myself contemplating about fasting again because I got sick too many times which is not the norm for me. However, after my juice fasting experience, I was not mentally ready until last Friday night. I had had an early dinner, and I had no plans to hang out with anyone for the rest of the week. I wasn’t sure for how long I was going to last. I just knew that I wanted to do a water fast for at least 3 days, and more if possible.

Here is what happened after my first, second, and third day of water fasting, how I dealt with it, and the aftermath.

Day one: The first 24 hours wasn’t that bad. I drank water each time I was hungry or thirsty. I kept busy working on my computer, doing light housework, calling my friends, going for a stroll somewhere green, and taking naps.

Here is what I also should have done: Putting 1-2 tablespoon of apple cider vinegar in the water helps smooth over the hunger pangs. A pinch of Himalayan salt on the tongue is also helpful.

Day two: After the first 24 hours, things got much worse. I felt a strong nausea, had terrible headaches, and couldn’t sleep. I did go for an hour slow walk in sunshine to distract myself. This was helpful to get me through day two.

Here is what I also should have done: I didn’t have minerals. It’s important to take minerals during fasting. I didn’t take Himalayan salt until it was too late and I couldn’t sleep. A pinch of Himalayan salt helpes with the headache. I didn’t drink carbonated water. A high-quality carbonated water, such as Pellegrino, helps with the nausea. I didn’t chew on ginger. Chewing on ginger helps with nausea as well. Just don’t eat the ginger. After you’re done chewing it, spit it out.

Day three: After 48 hours, I was starting to experience a mild brain fog. I was hungry and wanted to eat, and was not feeling all that great. I knew that it was time to stop, but I didn’t want to give up until my 72 hours were over. So, I kept busy, did my walk, worked, and took naps until I accomplished my goal.
The aftermath: I feel lighter and more agile. My energy is higher. The skin on my face looks much better. I saw some improvements in my psoriasis.My mood has lifted and I feel happier. I am more disciplined and procrastinate less. I am more aware of what I eat and am gradually cutting out junk foods from my diet. I feel an incredible self-confidence, because I started on a difficult path, and finished it.
Would I do it again? Absolutely. The next time, I want to do it for at least four days. They say that to see real benefits, you should water fast for at least a week. But I have learned to let go of my all or nothing attitude. For me, this is a health journey, and I will get better at it with repetition. After my water fast, I am working on doing intermittent fasting because it is better for my health. I’m also planning to include at least one vegetable juice a day in my diet. And when I’m ready, I will include a once a week 24-hour fast in my routine. This journey is a process, and making changes slowly, makes it more likely to stick to them.

My motivation:  I like to be healthy so that I can live an active life. I am working toward living a life of minimalism. I want to stop consuming so much, be it clothing, gadgets or food.

To recap what is needed for water fasting:

  • Minerals. Minerals should have zero sugar.
  • Apple Cider vinegar
  • Himalayan salt
  • Quality carbonated water
  • Ginger
  • Roobios herbal tea, no sugar (when I would get tired of drinking water, I switched to this tea.)
  • Lemons, sliced (you put the lemon in your water, just don’t eat the lemon.)

A few tips: 

  • Before jumping in, I learned as much as possible about water fasting. Here is a video by Dr. Eric Berg: 72 Hour Fasting Benefits on the Immune System
  • I allowed my body to learn to fast slowly. Such as starting with an 8 hour fast for the first time, and increasing it as I got better at it.
  • Starting a water fast is a mindset. I waited until I was mentally ready.
  • I decided to fast during the least stressful time in my life. 
  • I stayed away from places where people were eating.
  • I rested, took naps, meditated, read, sat outside, and went for a light walk in sunshine.
  • I broke the fast with a plain miso soup, black beans and brown rice.
  • I didn’t overeat when the fast was over, because I didn’t want to lose the benefits of the fast. I ate normal. 

I’m a foodie, and if I can do a water fast, anyone can. For me, the benefits of a water fast outweigh the effort. Best of all, the day after the fast and the days that followed, I felt great.  

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