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Can a person be successful with Daniel’s Challenge without fasting? Yes, by following the dietary recommendations alone anyone will experience significant health benefits as they implement all other recommendations included in Daniel’s Challenge.

Why does Daniel’s Challenge recommend a fast to initiate the challenge? Average Americans consumes 51 percent of their food from processed and refined foods, which means they have developed a preference for salt, sugar, fat, and animal-based foods. These foods are lowest in nutrients and do not contribute to overall health or to a slim body. Fasting at the start of Daniel’s Challenge helps reset appetite towards more healthful food choices that will be enjoyed during the challenge.

What else does fasting do? During a fast when the body is free from the task of digesting food, energies that would otherwise be directed toward digestion are used to release toxins and other waste from the body. As this occurs, vitality and strength increases significantly and noticeably. Fasting also helps to clear the mind and heart and to free the spirit to enjoy greater insights.

Unsupervised water fasts of seven to ten days may be employed safely by most people to achieve cleansing, healing, and weight-loss results. Many individuals, who suffer from degenerative conditions, including heart disease, arthritis, various autoimmune diseases, etc., have discovered fasts of this length to be safe and extremely beneficial, provided a person remains well hydrated.

There are a few genetic conditions that would preclude an individual from fasting. Conditions include porphyria, as well as a rare fatty-acid deficiency that prevents ketosis from occurring. Fasting is also unadvisable for anorexic or bulimic individuals, or for any person whose body is emaciated or in a state of starvation. Neither nursing or pregnant women who are diabetic should fast, nor should anyone with anemia (clinical or congenital). Prior to fasting, obtain approval from a healthcare specialist who is able to diagnose conditions mentioned above to determine fasting safety.

Some people should never fast without supervision. These include those who desire to fast but fear fasting, young children, non-diabetic pregnant women, individuals with serious disease conditions, insulin users who suffer from type-I or type-II diabetes, those with histories of recreational drug abuse, or persons who have been subjected to high levels environmental toxins, such as DDT contamination. Fasting allows the release of toxic elements into the blood, and it can be dangerous if amounts are significant.

Other than the exceptions noted or any personal risk conditions noted by your healthcare expert, fasting is extremely safe. In fact, it is considered to be the safest, least expensive, and most effective intervention that can be used to improve health. Fasting once a week or once a month for 24 hours or even once or twice a year for seven days is a wonderful and safe lifetime habit that enhances health more than any other single activity.

Fasting Quotes:

"A little starvation can really do more for the average sick man than can the best medicines and the best doctors. I do not mean a restricted diet; I mean total abstinence from food. I speak from experience; starvation has been my cold and fever doctor for 15 years, and has accomplished a cure in all instances." (Mark Twain; 1835-1910; American author and humorist)

"Fasting is an effective and safe method of detoxifying the body..., a technique that wise men have used for centuries to heal the sick. Fast regularly and help the body heal itself and stay well. Give all your organs a rest. Fasting can help reverse the aging process, and if we use it correctly, we will live longer, happier lives." (James Balch, M.D.; Prescription for Natural Healing)

"I fast for greater physical and mental efficiency." (Plato, 428-348 B.C.)

"Fasting is the master key to mental and spiritual unfoldment and evolution." (Dr. Arnold Ehret; 1866-1922; German Father of Naturopathic Medicine)

"Life is a slow suicide. Nine humans in ten are suicides." - "To lengthen thy life, lessen thy meals." - "The best of all medicines are rest and fasting." (Benjamin Franklin)

"Fasting and natural diet, though essentially unknown as a therapy, should be the first treatment when someone discovers that he or she has a medical problem. It should not be applied only to the most advanced cases, as is present practice. Whether the patient has a cardiac condition, hypertension, autoimmune disease, fibroids, or asthma, he or she must be informed that fasting and natural, plant-based diets are a viable alternative to conventional therapy, and an effective one. There are hundreds of journal articles in the medical literature documenting the value of fasting in improving the function of the entire body, including the brain. The time may come when not offering this substantially more effective nutritional approach will be considered malpractice (Joel Fuhrman, M.D.)

"Seest thou what fasting does: it heals illnesses, drives out demons, removes wicked thoughts, makes the heart pure. If someone has even been seized by an impure spirit, let her or him know that this kind, according to the word of the Lord, 'goeth not out but by prayer and fasting'" (Bible; Mathew 17:21)

"O ye who believe, fasting is prescribed for you..., as it was prescribed for those before you, so that you may safeguard yourselves against every kind of ill and become righteous." (Quran; c.651 A.D.)

"All the vitality and energy I have comes to me because my body is purified by fasting." (Gandhi)

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When doing a long fast, how do you manage to maintain enough energy to get through the days? I have done fasts of 24-48 hours, but beyond that I feel like I can't function. Is this a withdrawl symptom or low blood sugar level?
When you don't feed the body, it must create energy from fat and muscles. It takes three to four days before the body moves into a full state of ketosis (a state that converts fat to usable energy). Before this occurs, fasting can be very difficult for about a day. The first couple of days aren't bad, but day's three and four can be difficult. Once you go through this phase, fasting seven versus ten days is only a matter of time, not increased hunger.

Also, the greatest mistake made that leads to utter exhaustion during extended fasts is inadequate hydration. While fasting for longer periods of time it is important to drink a lot of water. When I forget to do this, my suffering is immeasurable. When I drink a gallon of water a day or so each day, the experiences is night and day different and is relatively pleasant. Keep these two concepts in mind and you should enjoy a much more delightful experience.

One final thought; during fasting restrict exercise to slow pleasant walks and do not over exert yourself. There is not sufficient energy production occurring to support overt physical exertion.
What do you suggest for mothers of small children? I have two kids, 4 and 2 and I worry that a fast of that length would make it difficult for me to care for them or respond to their problems with a high level of competency. Would I need to be away from my children in order to fast?
Extended fasting is only for those who can afford to take the time off from exerting lots of energy; if you cannot, begin the food portion of the challenge immediately without implementing the fast first. Energy levels are much lower when in a fasting state and a state of ketosis.
I am finishing my fourth day in my fast and have felt much better than during previous fasts because I am drinking sufficient water. However, this afternoon I experienced nausea and wonder if you have felt that before and what was your solution.
The only nausea I've experienced during fasting was related to my personal disgust toward ketone breath, which begins during the 3rd or 4th day. I would brush my tongue with fresh water several times each day, simply because I could not tolerate the taste of the ketones. Extended fasting is best done at fasting clinics that specialize in both the symptoms of extended fasting, as well as routine blood tests they run to monitor safety factors. I have chosen to conduct my own extended fasts, and have enjoyed doing so very much, but can only share my personal experiences. A very small percent of the population has a condition that does not allow the body to go into ketosis. Look over the fasting section within Original Fast Foods. Pay attention to the various conditions to be concerned with and determine if you are at risk and should continue your fast under medical supervision.

I have a question.  Just found out I am pregnant, which I am really excited about.  :) But, I was planning to do a 7-10 day fast in the next month.  I would guess this probably isn't a good idea.  Is it safe to fast at all while pregnant?  Are there any books, etc. that talk about it?  A preliminary search on the Internet hasn't given me much.

Not sure if this is something you ever came across specifically in your research.  Obviously, I know any advice you give should always be taken with my common sense, etc.  (Just covering any liability concerns you could have).  Just wanted your take on it.

I researched this question several months ago and the best information I found was about pregnant women and the Ramadan, where some pregnant women fast all day and eat just one meal after the sun goes down each day for 40 days. The report was favorable and said that while it is not required for pregnant women to do so, many devoted women did anyway, with many health benefits. Try doing a search with the parameters of Ramadan and pregnant women. That search also led to several pieces of research that you could consider more fully. Jim

Thank you!  I honestly didn't even know where to look.  This gives me something to go on.  I appreciate it.

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