Research shows to give your body a break, to revitalize it, and to do a deep cleaning going on a water fast could be what you’re looking for. I myself have done fasting through the Master Cleanse Diet. Created by Stanley Burroughs the diet consisted of consuming 8 to 12 servings of 2 tablespoons of organic lemon juice, 2 tablespoons of grade B maple syrup, eighth of a teaspoon of cayenne pepper, all mixed in an eight-ounce glass of water. Drinking plain water between servings he recommended to go on this diet of a minimum of ten days. People have been known to go considerably longer than ten days. I usually did the minimum ten-day suggested use however there’s a couple of times I went on it for 18 days and another time for 22 days with no ill effects. I had plenty of energy and no hunger pains at all.
Being in my mid-sixties I wanted to give a plain water fast a try. The benefits being, unlike the Master Cleanse, you give your entire digestive system a break. One expends a lot of energy digesting food and juices. Medical research shows that once the body isn’t expending energy digesting food it can direct it’s attention to self-repair and rejuvenation. The liver, kidneys, and other organs get a thorough cleaning. However, you do go through a detox stage. Nonetheless, I was determined to give it a try. Two months earlier I started to do a water fast and wasn’t too successful. The first day everything was fine. The last half of the second I developed an annoying headache that continued throughout the night, prevented me from getting a good night’s sleep, and continued into day three. Halfway into that day I stopped and drank some organic vegetable broth to break the two and a half-day fast. I gave up. This time around I did a little research and was more prepared.
As I started writing this article I’m at the beginning of day 5. I thought it would be interesting to chronicle my adventure and give another viewpoint to others so they could determine if this is for them. Please understand the detox symptoms and results can vary for individuals. I definitely encourage everyone to do research in order to educate themselves on water fasting.
Thursday-Day 1: I drank close to 2 gallons of water throughout the day. My ego was playing with me a little bit by saying this was a stupid idea and you need food for nutrition. I also peed a lot. I wasn’t weak or had any hunger pains at all.
Friday-Day 2: I woke in the morning with both of my thighs aching. As the afternoon went on it developed into aches and pains throughout my body. Like the first time I tried water fasting, I could feel the headache starting. However, this time around it never developed into a full-blown headache. I consumed close to 2 gallons of water.
Saturday-Day 3: I woke to an increase in the body’s aches and pains. I also felt lighter and my tactile senses were on the intense side. A pair of socks felt like 5 pounds each on my feet. My skin was super sensitive to the touch in every aspect. My mind/ego was kicking in with thoughts that I was craving salt and, though I haven’t touched one in years, steak. That “verge on having a headache” was still present. I also didn’t sleep too well. I continued to consume close to 2 gallons of water.
Sunday-Day4: Aches and pains were still present when I woke up with my thighs aching more than the rest. I did a little lawn work that morning with feeling slightly light-headed and walking a little slower due to my thighs. Around noon I started a series of tiny silent burps. This continued for 3 1/2 hours with a burning/aching sensation where the lungs met as well as at the base of my throat where the esophagus is. These sensations increased as I was burping away. Right after that period, I was in the kitchen pouring another supply of water feeling a bigger burp starting up. I immediately felt it wasn’t going to be a burp and I was going to throw up. Having no time to rush to the bathroom I stood over the garbage disposal. It turned out to be a whopper of a dry heave. Immediately followed with a series of 4 outright vomits. The liquid that came out looked dark brown mixed with clear liquid with brown specs in it. Those heaves were wretching, to say the least, with my throat burning, my mid-back aching and the area around my lungs burning as well.
That’s when my ego really kicked in. “Am I sure I know what I’m doing?” “Do I have the flu virus?” “What the hell is that brown stuff?”
My heart rate was increasing and I was feeling on the weak side. About 6 hours later I again was standing over the garbage disposal when my girlfriend returned from work. I gave her a recap of the day’s events and she immediately went to her laptop and did some research on water fasting symptoms. She eventually discovered that vomiting can be a symptom and the brown liquid that came out was from the liver detoxing bile. Apparently the bile can go through the intestines or excrete into the stomach thus cause the vomiting. I was relieved to hear that and my ego calmed down considerably. When it came time to lie down and go to bed I started the slight burping again. About ten minutes after lying down I could tell the next burp wasn’t going to be a burp and sat up and wretched into a big pot I brought to the bedside “just in case”. Good thing I did.
I told my girlfriend I was going to sit up in the recliner and spend the night there. I felt lying down was encouraging my chances of vomiting more. I kept burping off and on throughout the night and ended up not getting any sleep at all. All the while still experiencing my aching thighs.
Monday-Day:5 My girlfriend told me that morning, “You’re a brave man. I couldn’t do this.” Then she asked me how long I planned on doing this. I told her I wasn’t sure but I wanted to get to that “breakthrough point” of detoxing where afterward you experience untold amounts of energy. From the research I did at this point my body was in ketosis and using my body fat as fuel. Early in the morning, I remembered I had purchased a muscle stimulator machine and applied the pads onto my thighs. A couple of 15-minute sessions alleviated a lot of the aches. My back muscles were sore from sitting in the recliner all night so I placed the pads there with the same results.
I’ve been slowly drinking water with a few burps here and there and at 2 pm I haven’t drunk nearly the amount of water compared to the previous days due to caution from the tossing up episodes of yesterday.
However, around 10 in the evening I was about to go to bed and that all familiar intense burp sensation arose and I knew to get the metal pot immediately. Yup. I tossed up twice with the same liquid consistency I described earlier, only smaller amounts. I went to bed to get some much-needed sleep without success. After lying awake for a couple of hours I think I got around three hours of sleep somewhere in the night with me tossing and turning afterward hoping for more. It never happened
Tuesday-Day 6: I arose around 6 with no aches and pains or headaches. I feel a little on the loopy side. If I stand up after bending over it takes a moment or two to get my bearings. A friend gave me a call on the cell this afternoon and shared with her my water fasting experiences. It made sense to her because she thought by the way I was speaking I sounded drunk. I explained my detoxing adventures combined with lack of sleep the last two nights then it really made sense to her.
Once again I used the muscle stimulators on my back from sitting in the recliner reading. One crazy thing I noticed I can’t stay on my laptop for more than a couple of hours without feeling the electrical vibes emanating from it. It starts to make me irritable and uncomfortable. Who would of thunk it? To tell you the truth I don’t think that’s a bad thing.
Wednesday-Day 7:I woke up this morning feeling pain-free but still a little “off” in the head. All other symptoms are definitely gone. I drank close to 2 gallons of water over the day and into this evening. I thought I’d quit the fast on Sunday day 11 but I did some muscle testing on myself:
Me (while doing a muscle test), “I will break this water fast on Sunday day 11″. (I tested weak)
Me: I will break this water fast on Saturday day10″. (I tested weak)
Me: I will break this water fast on Friday day 9″. (I tested weak)
Me: I will break this water fast on Thursday day 8”. (I tested STRONG)
Since I’ve learned the hard way of not listening to my divine consciousness I will break the fast tomorrow. I told my girlfriend and she was elated. Then she confessed back on day 4 when I was tossing up the bile from my liver she thought about persuading me to end the fast then. It wouldn’t have worked. I was determined to break through the detox.
Thursday-Day: 8 I drank a glass of water and my esophagus still burns some. I heated up about 2 cups worth of organic vegetable broth and slowly sipped on that. I managed to keep drinking the water and later in the afternoon I drank about 2 cups of liquified broccoli soup. Everything went down the hatch without trouble. I’ll admit it felt good to TASTE food as simple as it was.
Friday-Day:9 Overall I feel pretty good. I did some lawn work most of the day and stopped at 4 pm. In doing the work I did notice my strength is about 90%. I didn’t push myself but kept it at the same pace listening to Yo Yo Ma playing classical music. I graduated to green drinks. I started in the morning with tossing into the Vita-Mix celery, kale, and cucumber with water. Man, that tasted good! I then continued with the water routine. Early evening I heated up the vegetable broth and put diced cabbage, celery and carrots with it (but not too much, very minimal). Being conscious to chew the diced vegetables while consuming the soup. Probably about 2-3 cups worth.
I did Friday evening yoga online presented by Amanda. After not doing it for a good 5 or 6 days I was very rusty and it was nice to get stretched out again.
Another realization I have is no more eczema! I would have “spotty” attacks on my feet, ankles, and elbows for the past few years and I don’t have a trace at this writing!
Reflecting back I’m glad I did this experience. Many people would have discouraged me if I shared my intentions before doing the water fast. Once upon a time, I believed you would starve after having no solid food for a few days. To think something as simple as water alone is enough to provide me with the necessary life force is not only amazing but God-given. What a gift!