Dr. Herbert S. Shelton
Can Save Your Life
is possible to break a fast with any food available. Either whole fruits or whole
vegetables may be used. In order not to overconsume food, we have found it advisable
to weigh the food for the first few days.
Virginia Vetrano, who has been my able associate for a number of years, has been
breaking fasts on whole foods for several years and finds that in most cases it
is far superior to breaking the fast on juices, as was formerly advised. She reasoned
that animals in the wild have no juicers
or blenders and therefore have to break their fasts naturally on whole foods.
Why should man be an exception?
her knowledge of physiology, she further reasoned that the bulk in the food is
necessary to promote both peristalsis and mixing contractions in the stomach and
intestines. Bulk is also necessary to promote secretion of the digestive juices
of the stomach and intestines. The bulk of the food touching the stomach and intestinal
walls is the stimulus for muscular contraction as well as for proper digestive
secretions. Because of this, solid food is digested and handled more efficiently
than juices. It is held in the stomach and intestines long enough for proper digestion
and absorption, whereas juices, lacking this bulk, are hurried along the digestive
tract. Lacking in bulk, juices do not occasion strong peristaltic waves and do
not elicit the gastrocolic reflex as strongly as slid foods. Because of these
facts, when the fast is broken on juices the first bowel movement after a fast
is delayed. When solid foods are used to break the fast, bowel movements are re-established
Importance of Chewing
of food is necessary both psychologically and physiologically. Another advantage
of breaking the fast with solid is that the faster does not become bloated and
over-filled with fluids. Taking the bulk with the food prevents overeating and
the post faster is more satisfied with his meals. When fruit or vegetable juicers
are used, there is a loss of vitamins and nutriments by oxidation no matter how
carefully nor now quickly the juice is prepared. Some fasters are afraid to drink
the juice rapidly and one sip every fifteen minutes. By the time they have taken
four ounces of juice in this manner, almost two hours have passed with the juice
oxidizing all the while. Breaking the fast with four ounces of whole orange, a
section at a time may be eaten with a minimum of oxidation.
fast may be broken at any time of the day or night that hunger recurs. If broken
in advance of the return of hunger, it may be broken arbitrarily at 8:00 a.m.
A number of techniques for breaking the fast have been worked out. Indeed, almost
every many who conducts fasts has his own favorite plan. The main need is wholesome
food; but not too much of it.
used to give a faster an orange to eat in breaking the fast. The well-known
Henry Lindlahr, MD, now deceased, formerly of Chicago and Elmhurst,
Illinois, who was director of the College of Natural Therapeutics
in Chicago, broke fasts with a handful of popcorn. His reason for
this was that the corn served as a broom to sweep out the digestive
tract. I any case, the popcorn did no harm.
Rest is Important
should be continued through the first week or eating and activity
begun very gradually. It is common for the faster to want to become
active as soon as he resumes eating. This is unwise. He is not so
strong and he does not have the endurance he thinks he has. Also,
activity retards his gain in weight if he has fasted to add weight.
fasters want to take long walks as soon as eating is resumed. Such
activity is often over indulged to the extent that it often retards
recuperation and causes the individuals weight to stand still.
One must take it easy for a few days before resuming normal activities.
fast has been less than two weeks in duration, breaking it maybe done
with eight ounces of whole fruit every two hours the first day, then
the preceding program followed from there. Less caution is required
in breaking a short fast of this kind, and activity may e resumed
sooner after a short fast.
this is true, of course, in those individuals who are in a fair state
of health. If there is need for added rest and for light eating for
some time after breaking a short fast, the faster must be guided by
judgment of the adviser.
most important advice, for all fasters at the breakfast point is this:
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