Oct 16, 2017

Growing up on a progressive farm in the beautiful lush green countryside in the Netherlands, we had many different animals. Interestingly, as a young boy, I noticed that cows behaved quite differently from the rest of the herd when they got sick. Furthermore, I observed a specific behaviour that, i.e. a cow did that, seemed to contribute significantly to their recovery.

Most people nowadays, when they get sick, quickly pop into the chemist or rush off to the local GP or go and see some other health practitioner to get better. And if that doesn’t work, we are off to the hospital to be diagnosed by a specialist.

One of my duties on the farm at 5:15 p.m. was to herd the cows grazing in the green fields to the milking stable. But there were always a few cows that had separated themselves from the pack. They positioned themselves away from the pack on the edge of the field near access to water.

I always wondered why sick or injured cows would walk further than others. At the time, I thought they wanted to be left alone like I did when I was ill. I also liked having a quiet place to rest when I felt unwell, so it made sense. 

But there was something else going on. I observed that the very unwell cows stopped eating. They only wanted to drink water and not eat food, no matter what my father gave them. Somehow, the animal knew that not eating equalled a quicker recovery.

It seemed that fasting was part of their strategy to get better and was very effective. They only wanted water; my father would give the cows warm water rather than cold when they felt sick.

Sometimes, the animal would go for a few days without food, and you could see the animal shed weight. The cow’s eyes looked dull dark blue instead of their typical shine; the ears behaved differently, as did its temperature. The cow’s coat lost its lustre, and it became more mat.

A note on animal farming: I do not support animal farming anywhere. But as a kid, I never really questioned it. I did not know any better and thought it was normal to farm animals. Although I never liked certain practices I witnessed on the farm, I will leave that for another time.

Later in my life, after having mastered the field of neurolinguistic programming, Ericksonian hypnosis, and whole food plant-based (WFPB) nutrition and disease. I came across an ancient practice called fasting. I was intrigued and wanted to know more about it. The stories that people were telling online and offline captured my interest. I liked the sound of a clean body, a new body – getting rid of a lifetime of accumulative toxins. Reversing the effects of toxins from everything I had intentionally and non-intentionally eaten, drunk, inhaled, worn (cloths), put on my skin, taken as medicine, tooth treatments, inhaled, injected or exposed myself to become my focus.

Complete a full bodily detox made so much sense. The idea of doing this felt so good I decided that all I had to do was to model somebody successful at fasting, and I would be on my way.

But this is where it all started to become quite confusing. Every so-called health expert had their own recipe, and they all seemed to know best. So it couldn’t be that all of them were right and wrong simultaneously – or could it? 

After talking to several more people and a so-called ‘specialist’, I realised that there was an endless variety of ways to detox, but what about fasting?

It made me question the whole meaning of fasting as well as detoxing. I know I fast every night, So I abstain from food and water when I sleep. Is true? Does that mean I am detoxing as well?

Some say that fasting strengthens the body. That allows the body time to repair and recreate itself during the night, so you can feel fresh and energetic when you wake up.

Others say fasting is about detoxing the body, getting rid of anything that has taken up shop in your cells that doesn’t belong there. Are they saying the same?

Some others would say fasting/detoxing is about healing the body of ailments, diseases, pains, aches, stiffness and injuries. 

Or detoxing is about sharpening the senses, becoming conscious and tapping into your spiritual side. 

Some say fasting releases stress and lets go of depression, tension, dullness, foggy mind and chronic headaches. 

Others say detoxing is about purifying your blood and removing the plaque from your veins and colon so it can function as it was meant to.

Some say fasting is about getting rid of inflammation and infections in your body so that your immune system can attend to what it is supposed to.

Or they say detoxing is about assisting all the organs so they can function close to 100% capacity. 

I was confused as people did not clearly distinguish between fasting and detoxing. Wouldn’t it be great if all the above were possible?

I wondered if animals innately know that fasting equals recreating their body and more. Do they have a conversation with their mothers, fathers, aunties or uncles when they are sick? Are they told what to do? Or does an animal innately know what to do when it becomes ill or injured? Perhaps animals know how to listen and trust themselves.

When I researched fasting and detoxing, some seemed more intense than others, yet people called them fast or detoxes or used both words interchangeably, and all claimed to have a positive effect. So, I needed to look into it more, as these vast differences didn’t make sense.

For example, I learned that people who abstained themselves for a week from alcohol, coffee, sugar, or processed food all felt better. But that wasn’t the kind of fasting/detoxing I had in mind. Instead, I wanted to do something more meaningful and profound.

I thought back to the animals on the farm. They were fasting (not eating and only drinking water). This made more sense to me, so why not model what nature provided? You might think, but did I feel sick? No, I did not feel sick, but my body was not performing as it could, and I felt strongly about changing this!

I sometimes had constipation issues but did not fully comprehend what that meant or what caused it. I did not overthink it other than that it was uncomfortable and annoying. I did not realise that my bowel had a problem and that my nutritional uptake was affected, nor did I realise at the time that I was chronically dehydrated.

I knew I needed to start looking into water fasting. But how many days would I do? I came across ancient knowledge that spoke about 40 days of fasting. At first, the idea was pretty daunting. Forty days of drinking only water and not eating any food. Who does that? It didn’t seem possible. But I felt so intrigued, and something inside me kept directing my attention towards it.

There are many conflicting ideas about fasting; however, with all the research I do, I see after while patterns of truth emerge. So, after months of research and talking to different people about fasting, water fasting remained the number one; I decided to do it. A certain calmness came over me, and I started to become excited!

It became clear to me that during a water fast, your body goes into a process known as Autolysis, whereby the body feeds itself on the most impure and inferior materials, causing chaos (harm) in the body.

I kept thinking back, animals on the farm did they know this?

It was clear that I wanted to do it in a supportive environment where I didn’t have to do anything and felt safe.

So, I called my parents in the Netherlands and explained what I wanted to do and what to expect during my 40-day water fast. Of course, they had doubts as they couldn’t comprehend how it would improve my health. But, it is all very understandable, considering they had never really heard of it other than what was written in the bible about 40 days of fasting. 

I had to convince them that it would benefit my body and spirit, that I had studied the subject for months and talked to several people who seemed to have done it successfully. I even told the story about the cows on the farm, but they quickly pointed out that I was proposing only 40 days of drinking water, not one day or a week, but 40 days. Ultimately, my parents became comfortable with the idea and agreed I could stay with them. Now that I had 24/7 support, I felt even more excited to begin.

There was something else to look forward to because my sister was about to get married, and I would be there just in time!

Neither my parents nor I knew what it would be like to go through this process together. And whilst I’d heard stories about what it could be like, nothing prepared me for what I was about to experience.

When I landed, I was keen to start as soon as possible, but I had my sister’s wedding first, and I had promised that in the first week, I would catch up with everybody and take it easy.

After a beautiful wedding and reconnecting with friends and family, it started quieting down, and a sense of peace came over me. I knew I was ready to start the water fast. So I switched to my fasting prep diet, slowed my food intake for one week, made all the necessary preparations for my bowel, and developed an appropriate state of mind to start the 40-day fasting process.

The first four days went well. I felt great, and nothing seemed to bother me much. I was not hungry, and my energy levels were pretty good. However, I did notice that I started to lose weight rapidly.

Between day five and day 18, things started to happen. First, my body started detoxing vastly; I experienced nausea 24/7. At night, I had trouble sleeping, and although it was summer, I slept under several blankets, wore woollen socks, jogging pants, and a jumper and still felt cold at times. Sometimes, I woke up in the middle of the night, bloody freezing, and the only thing that would warm me up was to take a hot shower!

I was shredding kilos of weight as the days went on. I tried to walk 5 km daily to stimulate the lymphatic system and keep the blood flowing to assist the detox process. My breathing changed and was sometimes very shallow. It felt like my body was working hard to process the toxins that were being released. 

I had to pull myself together on more than one occasion. I was very challenged and, at times, pretty sick and uncomfortable. Then, I started feeling strange movements in my stomach and my bowel. I could see the movement from outside my body; it was like my stomach and bowel had a wrestle.

At night, my legs ached, and I often couldn’t lay them still. My breath was terrible most of the time, and I experienced an extremely toxic metal taste in my mouth. Another strange thing that happened for a few nights was my nose became ice cold – very uncomfortable. I just tried to put something on it to warm it up. 

But despite all the strange sensations, I was still optimistic and focused on my goal to clean my body from top to toe. To see if I could connect with myself and everything else more profoundly.

At the same time, I wanted to assure my parents that I was OK, although they could see I had less energy and was a bit flat sometimes. The one undeniable thing was the weight that I was losing. Therefore, my parents kept asking me, ‘Are you sure this is a good thing? Don’t you think it is time to start eating?’ I assured them that it was all part of the process and that there was nothing to be concerned about. 

I am unsure if they believed me because they knew I had a powerful will.

It was around day 13 that my senses heightened explosively. I am unsure what happened, but I had to leave my parent’s house. Suddenly, I could smell my dad’s socks in the living room, the carpet, the wallpaper, the curtains, and the couch. It was like every smell was magnified x 10. The air in the house became so stale, and I could no longer stand it; I could barely breathe. It was an eye-opener! 

I moved to my sister’s wooden house, which was much more bearable. It was truly unbelievable how heightened my smell had become. It was so intense that I could not stop wondering if we were meant to smell at this level. How dull had our senses become?

I ensured I walked daily and drank 4 to 7 litres of water (with a pinch of Celtic sea salt). I further ensured I was soaking up the sun as much as possible. Boy, I loved the sun; it felt so good to know it was nurturing me and helping purify (detox) my body.

On day 18, I walked to my brother’s house, where something exciting happened. I had to lie on his couch as I was not feeling well. Something big seemed to be happening. I was not sure what, but it felt pretty strange and a bit frightening. So I checked in with my unconscious and asked, ‘Are we still good?’ I got a firm yes!

I woke up four hours later, and an incredible change had occurred. I felt like a new man! I could not believe the way I felt. It was like the weather had changed, from the middle of a storm to a beautiful, fresh spring morning. WOW, what a difference! It’s challenging to explain. I stood up and felt like something had left my body. My vitality was through the roof, and my spirit was high!

I was excited; this experience was welcome after an arduous couple of weeks! 

That day, I heard a clear inner voice, ‘Start drinking juice’. Years prior, I had identified how to tap into my innate wisdom. A specific signal in my body meant ‘yes’ and another ‘no’. My unconscious signalling technology helps me navigate through life relatively smoothly. It is probably one of the most powerful tools we have.

I got a strong confirmation through my ‘yes’ signal that I needed to start juicing that day. So, listening to my innate wisdom was an agreement I had made with myself when I embarked on my fast, even if it would mean stopping halfway through my fast for reasons I did not understand consciously.

So, I started drinking organic slow-pressed juice. 

Another quite incredible experience happened. I could sit in the sun for six hours straight without getting burnt (my fair skin would typically burn quite quickly). My mum warned me a few times about potentially getting burnt (thanks, Mum!), but she had to admit I was not getting burnt. Instead, I was getting tanned.

I started noticing that I had much greater joint mobility and that my skin, nails, and eyes were getting clean and clear.

I was still, at times, detoxing hard and could occasionally see my bowel making all kinds of movements under my skin.

On day 32, I once again heard a loud and clear voice telling me to switch back to the water for the remaining eight days and to make sure I asked my innate wisdom and got a firm ‘yes’. So, I made the switch and was happy to do so, and it felt right. 

In these last days, my teeth were so white, and the mobility in my joints was astonishing. On days 36, 37 and 38, it felt like Pac-man was eating up anything that didn’t belong in my body and brain. It was a strange feeling, but I kept checking in with my innate wisdom to see if what I was experiencing was OK. I kept receiving strong ‘yes’ signals, so I knew whatever was going on, it was something very good! Something that my body needed to get rid of. 

After Pac-man had finished doing what it was doing, it was like an extra light had been switched on in my head; my head felt so fresh; WOW!

I had been curious from a spiritual perspective to see what kind of connection I could make with nature and myself during my fast. So, did all of those things happen? Oh boy, did it ever! At the end of my fast, I gained many insights about life, the meaning of food, my relationship with food and nature, and the healing power of water and juice. I started to look differently at life and gained absolute clarity about how extraordinary life is.

Often, I sat outside in the house’s backyard, looking at a big tree standing near a small white bridge about 300 meters from where I sat. One day, I was drawn to this tree with such intensity, almost as if it wanted to say something.

This big tree, this incredible life force that came out of one tiny seed. How can one seed hold all this intelligence and know precisely what to do in all four seasons? I all in the sudden connected with this tree and fully sensed its real miracle; spontaneously, tears flowed freely down my cheeks as if our souls connected for a moment. I never looked at a tree in the same way again.

By day 40 of my fast, I had lost considerable weight. This translated into my body letting go of accumulated toxins, mucus, inflammation, plaque, stubborn fat deposits, damaged tissue, excess proteins, potential abscesses and perhaps even unknown tumours.

I went from 83 to 59 kilograms throughout the 40-day fast. This was a dramatic change, but it was never an objective of the fast. Whilst my preparation was excellent, I could have never prepared myself for everything I experienced throughout it. 

Mental toughness, the proper support (thanks, Mum & Dad), and having a perfect relationship with your unconscious and, therefore, knowing how to tap into your innate wisdom was essential to me. It proved to play an important role in my insightful and bodily recreation 40-day fasting process.

I checked in with my unconscious frequently. And because I had my clear ‘yes’ and ‘no’ signals, I always felt safe and supported in making the right decisions. So even though I had very challenging days – mainly when I felt very sick because of all the toxins leaving my body rapidly or when I felt strange things happening, or when I had to make the switch to juice and then again back to the water, or Pac-man doing its work in my head, in these moments, it is advantageous to be able to check in with yourself and be reassured that it is all part of the process.

The 40-day fast had ended, and an essential part of the entire fasting process was about to begin: deciding which food to break my fast. I remember sitting with my mother at the kitchen table, staring at the plum on a small plate. I was curious about what it would be like to put my teeth into it and taste it.

With the first tiny bite, I can remember that the flavours were so rich, and it was so overwhelming all I could do was suck on it, sit back and enjoy it intensely. It took me more than 30 minutes to eat the entire plum. Yet, it was like I was tasting something for the first time. My senses totally recalibrated and refreshed and perhaps close to their natural state. It was quite an emotional experience.

It is essential to know how to break your fast, what foods to eat, how much, and how often for the first two weeks after your prolonged fast. After that, many people make big mistakes with unforeseen negative consequences. 

I therefore strongly recommend involving your innate wisdom (yes and no signals) to determine which food your body wants you to break your fast with. Then, there is a straightforward process to take yourself through to decide which foods they are.

One of my big motivations to do the water fast was to have smooth and regular bowel movements, as I realised this was key to good health.

I was so excited about my first bowel movement; I could not believe how smooth it was. I had five small bowel movements in one day; I was so happy as this had never happened before. 

I realised that good health starts in the gut and bowel.

After a week, my bowel movements were reduced to three per day, and now, many years later, I still average two to three daily bowel movements. It shows what is possible and how great you can start to feel when your body functions as nature intended.

Other physical changes happened during the fast, too. For example, since I was 13, I couldn’t do push-ups without severe pain in my wrists. Therefore, I always had to do push-ups on my knuckles, but the pain had left my wrists entirely during my fast.

Inflatmion & dehydration = pain

But I experienced more changes during and after my fast. For example, before the fast, I had a constant twitch under my left eye, which completely disappeared during my fast. And an old knee injury from playing football that always caused pain had disappeared, too.

Please note that what I share with you is unique to me. No two personal records and experiences are the same. I have not shared everything that happened, but you have hopefully gained an insight into prolonged fasting.

Preparing your body and mind is very important before you embark on a fast. It is a bit like getting ready for a hiking trip. I strongly recommend setting up clear yes and no signals so you always communicate, check in with your innate wisdom, and be guided.

Before commencing the fast, bowel preparation is critical. You can and should do several things during the fast to stimulate and help the detox process. It is recommended throughout the fast to pace yourself, especially when detoxing hard. After you have completed the fast, you need to know how to break your fast by knowing what to eat, how much, and how often. 

After the fast, I gradually worked towards 80% food intake capacity. But along the way, I was challenged by my temptation to eat more. 

Since finishing my 40-day fast many years ago, I have done many fasts ranging from dry (no water, no food), juice, and water fasting.

Fasting is abstaining from eating solid foods giving your body a rest and an opportunity to detox and recreate itself.

I am an experienced holistic health coach helping people detox and fast safely. Many people’s goal is to recalibrate their senses and be free from aches, pains, illnesses, and diseases, now and in the future. Feel fantastic within their body, connect with themselves and life, and gain insights that might serve them for years. 

I hope this blog post was helpful and inspired you to start fasting.

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