Whether you do a fast for 1 day or 40 days it's vital to know the proper way to break it! Care needs to be taken to avoid over burdening your digestive system. During a fast your body goes through numerous biological changes. Normal production of enzymes produced by the digestive system are generally reduced if they have not ceased production altogether. Introducing food slowly allows your body to readjust and allows the digestive system a chance to "catch up" or produce more enzymes for proper digestion. Over eating following a fast is much worse than over eating at any other time and can lead to a host of difficulties many of which could even lead to a heart attack or stroke. I don't tell you this to scare you but I tell you because it truly is that important. I will give you a few examples of how NOT to break a fast along with the symptoms that follow breaking a fast in a poor manner.
*Be sure to avoid all forms of sugar including artificial sweeteners and refined carbohydrates. Breaking a fast with sugar or sweetened food item(s) will obviously cause your sugar level to elevate. When the body has been deprived from sugar and is introduced to a large quantity the pancreas will secrete an abundance on insulin. This can induce a full alcoholic state complete with hallucinogenics and can literally put you into an insulin induced shock causing heart attack or stroke. This is absolutely one of the worst ways to break a fast.
*Breaking a fast with bread or heavy carbs. These items need to be introduced v e r y
s l o w l y back into your diet. Getting to many all at one will cause your digestive system to shut down and your colon to back up with generally extreme blockage. Constipation is not a strong enough word for this, it literally causes blockage. When you get a blockage in the colon things back up and this can become a life threatening situation.
Breaking a fast the correct way: Introduce foods slowly. Generally a good method for breaking a fast is to take as long to break it as you did to fast.
Whether you were on a water only fast or only fasting meat, it is best to work from the top of this down to achieve the best results.
1. First introduce raw vegetable and fruit juices for a day or two
2. Vegetable broth
3. Raw, Dark leafy green veges
4. Raw fruits and veges
5. Steamed Veges and soup
6. Light grains and beans
7. Nuts & Eggs
8. Dairy if you regularly eat dairy products.
9. Meats and other foods.
Remember to document in your journal as you are adding new foods back into your routine. This is a good way to alleviate foods that may have caused previous problems. Again be sure you do not over eat through this process. Many people find eating frequent small meals to be beneficial to help curb the feelings of hunger.
Chew, Chew , Chew....chewing helps to promote the digestive enzymes and get the biles working.
You may find it beneficial to add digestive enzymes and/or -pro-biotics to replenish the good bacteria in your digestive system and to help boost your immune system.
If at any time you feel bloated or constipated while breaking your fast go back to the beginning of the list and start breaking your fast again. Call me if you need assistance or if you have questions!