For various reasons, including the good old-fashioned sacrifice of it all, I have struggled with fasting since I first started trying to do it as a non-denom charismatic. I didn't have a good understanding of the spirituality of it (which I don't believe is all that complicated). However, the biggest obstacle for me to overcome was my natural penchant when it comes to food. Some people will eat when stressed; I tend to starve myself when stressed. So, I couldn't get passed the notion that fasting was all about beating myself up and treating myself terribly because God somehow delighted in that.
Ok, that's weird.
And it isn't at all God's intention.
I'm sure those with far more experience than myself could wax eloquent on the spirituality of fasting, but to me it suffices that Jesus says that some spiritual pathways are only cleared up by prayer and fasting.
In more recent times, I've learned that, yes, fasting produces powerful results. I've also learned that I have to find a way to fast that is healthy. I have a sort of hyper-sensitive chemical make up, it seems, and while I have no problems while I am fasting, and often feel really good physically, when I come off of a fast I can experience a few days of brain-chemistry mishmash. Which is a euphemism for saying I go a bit loopy in my head. I hate it when that happens. It's not a good scene.
I checked this out with my Naturopathic doctor, who explained that starving the adrenal glands of protein makes them overwork to maintain blood sugar levels, and makes for an unpleasant crash. He suggested an approach that is more healthy than, say, fasting just on veggies or just on bread. This approach integrates the work of Dr. Peter J. D'Adamo and the Blood Type diet, which is research showing that different foods are digested differently by different folks with differing blood type categories. (Which is why, for example, people say that eating less red meat helps people avoid heart disease. Blood type A people tend to have a higher rate of heart disease, and also tend to do better not eating red meat. The opposite is true, however, of blood type O.)
This is actually the first week of a 28-day regimen that my doctor sent me. He also recommended a protein shake called Vital Clear and 64 ounces of water every day.
While this might not seem like fasting in a traditional sense, eliminating whole groups of foods can be challenging and require just as much discipline as not eating at all.
I should note that this is designed just for Type O people. I have the others as well if you are interested. Or contact Ohio Naturopathic.
Blood Type O Dietary Guidelines (The "Yes, Eat" list)
• Vegetables: fresh vegetables are preferred but frozen are acceptable. Avoid canned or creamed
vegetables. Focus on: artichoke, broccoli, beet, Brussels sprouts, collard greens, kale, romaine,
spinach, Swiss chard
• Lean Animal Protein: beef/buffalo/lamb/venison/poultry, cod/halibut/wild salmon/sardines/
• Vegetarian Protein: black, garbanzo bean (chickpea)
• Fresh Fruit: apples, berries, cherries, lemon, pineapple
• Gluten-Free Grains: brown rice, quinoa, buckwheat, millet, amaranth, chickpea, arrowroot, and
• Non-dairy alternatives: almond, hemp, rice milk
• Nuts/seeds: almonds, pecans, pumpkin seeds, walnuts
Avoid Foods (The "No, Don't Eat" list)
• All avoids on Blood Type Diet
• Gluten: wheat, barley, rye, spelt, kamut, and triticale
• Dairy: milk, cheese, ice cream, yogurt, butter, whey, casein
• Eggs: yolks or whites, commonly allergenic
• Peanuts/Peanut Butter: commonly allergenic and high in mold
• Corn: high glycemic index and not well tolerated
• Soy: commonly allergenic
• Alcohol: beer, wine, hard alcohol
• Caffeine: coffee, soda, tea, energy drinks; can drink green tea throughout the day, will help with
• Refined Sugar: candy, cakes, jam/jelly, syrups, canned fruits, soda
• Processed Meats: pork, sausage, hot dogs, cold cuts
• Nightshade Vegetables: tomato, eggplant, bell pepper, potato