Following on from such a phenomenal month of cleansing in Bali I want to emphasise how important it is to transition back in to food SLOWLY and easily using these simple tips. After fasting and cleansing for 21 days or less (or any time frame for that matter), it is really important that we don't rush into choosing a mixture of food and large sized meals, that we think we want. We still need to use some self control and will power to prevent over loading and harming our digestive system, as it finds it's feet again and begins breaking down and assimilating nutrients to feed our cells.
Whether you are reading this, following your fast in Bali or following a shorter fast of your own, or simply want to be organised for the next time you do a colon cleanse, juice fast or water fast - if is important to know exactly how to exit your fast.
It is important to ensure you are STAGING your exit from liquids back on to solid foods. Please consider the following outlined suggestions for your transition.
1. Stay well hydrated despite introducing smoothies, fruit, etc. It is really easily to let this lapse as it tends to not become your first preference. 1L for every 22kg of body weight. It is also really important to hydrate half an hour away from meals to allow your digestive juices to be performing at their optimum.
2. Smell your juice or food - let your mouth salivate. This gets all the required enzymes and stomach acids ready.
2. If you have come off a water fast, transition on to juice for 2 or more days to re-assimilate the body with nutrients.
3. If you have just completed a juice fast I would recommend lots of fresh fruit and a smoothie - do this mindfully. Sit down to eat your food. Remember - smell your food, let your mouth begin to salivate. Take your time. Stop and breathe during your meal. There is no rush. You will waste an opportunity to absorb maximum nutrients.
4. Following these water rich choices (fresh fruit and smoothies) I would recommend a salad on the 3rd day along with a smoothie & some fresh fruit if you feel your body can cope with the variety. If not, that is okay. Just stick to one item and have it for each meal. If it is just pineapple, then enjoy your pineapple mindfully. There is no rush. Everyone's body is individual.
5. Keep your salad, smoothie & fruit choices simple as mentioned above. Consider mono-dieting or simple recipes with no more than 2 or 3 ingredients. A delicious smoothie or salad with few ingredients will create less confusion for your digestive track. For example a salad with cos lettuce, tomato, avocado and sea salt. Or a smoothie with banana, dates, coconut flesh and water. There is no harm choosing to stick to more of ONE food if you feel your stomach is not handling the variety. Remember, there is no rush.
6. Consider the texture of the food you are eating - perhaps you need to grate your carrots, instead of eating carrot sticks - as they can be hard to break down for some. Consider spiralling zucchini for your salad. If you are ready for warmer foods by day 3, 4 or 5 (following a fast) consider a simple veggie soup made with vegetables and sea salt or just the broth. A simple dahl or kitchari recipe using simple herbs and spices can be very kind and nourishing to your gut as well. Please ask me for recipes if this interests you.
7. Don't forget to continue with all the important 'other' nutrients that you have been savouring while fasting...including sunshine, quality fresh air and deep breathing, moving your body with walking, yoga, etc. also taking note of who is in your closest community. Are you feeling supported and uplifted by those around you. Are you nourishing your mind with meditation, music, nourishing conversation?
8. Trust that you will find your own rhythm and what is right for YOUR body. Breathe. Everyone is unique and there is no competition. You have just completed (or intend to complete) an amazing achievement, to fast, so be kind to yourself with the transition.
I look forward to answering any of your questions below or hearing your feedback about your own transition on to food, in the comments below.