by Nick Polizzi
Why did our ancestors
fast on a regular basis?
If you think about it, spiritual leaders went for long durations of
time without eating anything - on purpose. Was it just a way of
showing reverence to the almighty or was there more to it
When we look beyond the religious texts, it becomes clear that this
customary practice is not only good for our spirit, but is also
highly beneficial for our health and longevity.
Fasting is an
innate human behavior
For our distant ancestors, 3 square meals a day were not always
In many cases, the waking
hours were spent hunting, gathering and trekking through the
wilderness. There was often only one large meal eaten when food was
available and the circumstances were safe.
7,000 years ago may seem like forever, but it's a mere blink in time
when it comes to the evolution of our human form.
Is it possible that
we're more suited to these ancient eating habits than our usual
routine of breakfast, lunch and dinner - with snacks and
caffeine in between?
I'm starting to believe
the answer is YES.
Fasting may seem like a tough thing to do, but believe it or not, we
all fast every day (well, every night actually). The word
breakfast literally means to "break" or "end" a fast.
That period of 8 to 12
hours between dinner and your morning meal is a mini example of this
actually occurring in your body when you fast?
When you temporarily cut back on your intake of food, your body runs
out of carbohydrates to use for energy and begins to burn the fat
stored inside of you instead.
This process is called
ketosis - a new buzz word in
the world of fad diets.
Beyond the obvious weight loss effects of this practice, there is a
growing body of evidence that points to the power of ketosis to heal
your body on a cellular level.
Recent studies have shown promising evidence that ketosis
ketogenic diet) has a healing
effect on diseases such as,
type 2 diabetes
...to name some of the
It's also been shown to enhance brain function, including,
How to pick a
fast that is right for you
I write this with a
keen awareness that eating disorders have become a serious
concern in the modern world. I propose this eating ritual as a
temporary experiment to be approached with mindfulness
and a degree of caution.
A fast can be as long or
as short as you want to be, but the idea is to abstain from eating
specific foods OR any food at all for a set period of time.
This is often done for
religious reasons, but I am about to suggest that you try it for
your own physical, mental and spiritual wellness.
The holy men of old fasted to free themselves of distraction
so that they could focus on prayer and connection to the higher
power. In a way, that's what I'm getting at here as well.
My own spirit path has involved far more subtraction than addition.
In other words, the subtraction of old patterns of behavior and
stale beliefs rather than the addition of new shiny lifestyle
In addition to the scientifically proven health benefits of fasting,
the act of simply noticing what it feels like to be hungry, then
sitting with that sensation and ultimately making peace with it is
one of the most powerful spiritual practices I know of.
Often times those initial
pangs of hunger are phantom sensations, disguising some other
wound-based pattern that is waiting to be acknowledged and healed.
A sacred challenge for you this week - a two day fast
Now, I'm not asking you
to stop eating for two days straight, but to create a consciously
altered meal plan that eliminates one meal (or more) on both days.
As always I will be in the spiritual trenches with you. In fact,
I've been on an intermittent fast for the past week.
No breakfast, just my
morning tea - then a big lunch after 12pm and a normal dinner at
This is a great way to
enter a state of ketosis and also piggy back on the 10 hours of
fasting you have been doing throughout the last evening and early
The act of fasting will
help you quiet your mind so that your soul can speak more clearly to
you. It'll also awaken and begin to tone your body, giving you more
natural energy, flexibility and overall lightness of being.
As usual, it appears our ancestors knew what they were doing - both
spiritually and scientifically speaking. It's time for us to
remember who we are and where we came from.