There is one small thing that you can change in your diet in order to improve longevity, reduce oxidative stress, improve your metabolism, and even lose weight. It involves no pills, no special kits, no supplements, no colonics, and no new crazy diet trend.

So What Is It?

It’s called intermittent fasting and it’s really easy to do!

Contrary to popular belief, you don’t need to eat food all of the time. Your digestive organs need a break from time to time. They are not designed to be working 24/7 for every week of your life!

Furthermore, when your body is constantly eating and consistently in a state of digestion, it sends the message of ‘abundance’ to your cells. This allows your cells to reproduce faster. They divide instead of fixing the broken ones. This is not what you want.

Intermittent fasting involves not eating for a period of 12 to 24 hours. If you ate dinner at 6:30pm for example and then waited until 12:30pm the next day to eat, you’ve just gone on a 18 hour intermittent fast. All you did was skip breakfast. And the benefits include: better productivity, mental acuity and energy.

When you fast, it sends a message to the body of ‘scarcity.’ Now the cells focus on repair of damaged cells in addition to cleaning up cellular debris. During the repair session, cells target the most damaged mitochondria. This reduces sources of oxidative damage in addition to reducing inflammation. This is what you want to stay healthy and vibrant!

Fasting is no new phenomenon. In the animal kingdom, animals fast when they are sick. We tend not to eat when we’re not feeling well, either. It’s for a reason. Our bodies use over 70% of their available energy towards digestion at any given moment. Instead, we can redirect that energy towards healing our bodies by going on intermittent fasts.

Countless books have been written about the benefits of fasting. Fasting is the best detoxifying method. It’s also the most effective and safest way to increase elimination of waste buildups and enhance the body’s miraculous self-healing and self-repairing process that keeps you healthy and youthful. The “secret” to health lies in maintaining internal cleanliness and regeneration. This requires eating natural, organically grown live foods, combined with other healthy practices such as fasting, exercising and deep breathing.

The toxic debris and wastes of metabolism (from the biological process of converting food into living matter and that matter into energy) bring on many physical ailments and premature aging! This is in addition to an unhealthy lifestyle and living in our modern toxic world. Many, if not most, of common ailments can be removed by making intermittent fasting a common part of your routine.

If you are new to intermittent fasting, I suggest you start with one day a week. Try an 18 hour fast to begin. Eat dinner around 6:30pm and don’t eat again until lunch the next day. Feel free to drink water, tea or coffee for breakfast. All you did was skip a meal. We’ve all done that here or there. Congrats! You’ve just fasted. Helping your body to achieve greater health.

From there, you can try a 24 hour fast. Eat dinner and wait until dinner the next night to eat again. I promise you, it’s easier than you think. Pick a weekend day where you can rest, enjoy light exercise and rest your mind.

I tend to fast on a daily basis. Here is what my schedule looks like (you may have to adjust the times based on your work schedule):

7am – 8am – Wake up. Drink water, tea or coffee.
8:30am – 9am – High intensity work out for 30 or 40 minutes.
12:30pm – Lunch
3:30pm – Snack
6:00pm – 30 minutes light exercise/yoga
6:30pm – Dinner
10pm – In bed

And that’s it. I’m also drinking plenty of water and tea throughout the day as well to flush out toxins. More or less, I’m fasting for 18 hours every 24 hour period and eating during a six hour period. I’m not stuffing my face with calories, and at the same time, I’m not starving either. I eat a plant-based diet filled with fruits, vegetables, high-quality fats and eat the occasional fish and eggs.

The average person gets up and eats breakfast whether hungry or not. The body has been at rest all night. It has been in detoxification mode but has not expended energy, so why should a person get up after the inactivity of sleep and put a big breakfast into the stomach? Instead, water, tea or freshly prepared juices are a better way to get started in the morning. Rehydrate. Flush out the toxins. Don’t immediately put the burden of digestion on the body. It takes 70% of your available energy, remember?

Traditionally, the longest lived societies are those that eat the least amount of calories. They are not suffering from malnutrition. Instead they are consuming minimally the amount of calories they need to survive while at the same time meeting all their nutritional requirements. In North America, it is said that we are ‘overfed and undernourished.’ I couldn’t agree more. Instead, how about focusing on real foods like grass-fed meat, free-range chicken and eggs, and organic fruits and vegetables. Try eating what is local and in season as much as possible. You get the idea. A healthy diet is not a challenging one. Eat foods that are composed of one ingredient: Chicken. Rice. Banana. Spinach. Toss aside the boxed, packaged and plastic-wrapped ones.

Says Michael Pollan: “If it came from a plant, eat it; if it was made in a plant, don’t.”

There is nothing more expensive than bad health! Think about the cumulative expenses of missed time at work, missed time with loved ones, medical bills, health insurance, etc.

“Some people will blame everything on earth except food as the cause of their physical miseries and premature aging. Why they are suffering is always a mystery to them. The average person does not know how horribly unclean the inside of their body is, caused by years and years of overeating, eating when not really hungry and, in many cases, wrong-minded eating of dead, devitalized foods. All these unhealthy habits build up internal poisons and clogging toxic wastes in their bodies.”
– Paul C. Bragg, The Miracles of Fasting

You don’t get sick. You earn it.

Are you ready to take control of your health?

(P.S. Do not fast for longer than two or three days unless properly supervised. And if you have a history of eating disorders or are trying to become pregnant, please consult your primary health physician before engaging in intermittent fasting.)

Emyrald Sinclaire is a Certified Natural Health and Holistic Nutrition Practitioner (CNHP; CHNP) She specializes in detoxification programs, internal cleanses, and helping clients build strong immune systems. She also travels internationally to do raw food workshops, yoga retreats, and personal coaching. In addition, Ermyrald is a Certified Power Yoga Instructor and a Certified Raw Food Chef from the SunKitchen. For more information, visit PureRadiantSelf.com.

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