By Sharmini Jayawardena
UPDATE 091222: Having recommenced my fasting after having recovered from Covid-19 on 9th November 2021, I have dropped the routine of one meal of three or four courses and gone on to observe a one course meal a day routine and I’m happy to say I am doing well. No hiccups. I have about two or three snacks of fruit, chocolate or nuts, thereafter. I also drink about five glasses of water from 4.30pm until about 10.30pm every day after I have my first and only meal for the day. I have stopped being a vegetarian for now. I may recommence this as well as time goes on.
Having fasted for seven months, beginning January 1st to July 24th of 2021, I consider myself qualified to share some benefits of this experience.
I fasted for eighteen to twenty hours everyday, during this period. By fasting, I mean, not partaking of food and drink, or abstaining from taking liquids and solids during eighteen hours of the day.
I would wake up and get down to my work online. I will take a break at 4.30pm, at which time I will have my first meal 🥘 for the day. After which I will drink a tall glass of lime juice.
Small Portions of food
My meal consisted of a small breakfast 🧇 🥞 🍳 meal of a small portion of fruit 🍉 🍎 🍌
and cereal with milk🥛 . Often, almond or coconut 🥥 milk with a sprinkling of sugar.
This would be followed by an egg 🥚 in the many ways of having it –
sunny side up ⬇️
hard boiled ⬇️
The next dish I would eat is a rice dish 🍚, noodle 🍜 or pasta 🍝 dish.
Rice dish. Steamed rice, sautéed chow chow, fried bean curd with vegetable salad, a vegetable soup and a sauce.
Noodle dish. Fried egg noodles with veggies and fried egg.
Pasta dish. Spaghetti with sauce.
Sometimes it would be a dish of flat bread with accompaniments like dhal curry, chickpea kurma curry or a potato 🥔 kurma with green peas.
Apart from the first meal, I will have snacks if I feel hungry. It could be a bowl of ice cream 🍨, chocolates 🍫, a slice of cake 🍰, fruit or nuts 🌰 🥜.
I stop eating at 10pm.
Since I’m a vegetarian, I did not eat any meat 🍖 🥩 or fish 🐠 🐟 .
What I want to emphasise here is that I did not eat large portions of food or even feast on food. My meals were all taken in small portions of whatever was available in the kitchen.
No Recitation of prayers
I also want to state that I did not recite any prayers before and after my fast, as most people who fast for religious reasons do.
However, my daily observance of right living, prayers and right mindfulness, may have assisted the fast.
Reason for fasting
My fasting was entirely voluntary and easy. The reason for my fasting was because I did not want to waste time prepping and consuming three meals that would take up a lot of my time. I realized that fasting would ease the work I intended to do during the course of a day, as I would have more time in which to finish it. This was the reason I engaged in the fast. It was purely a measure taken for the purpose of convenience.
I must mention here that the key words about fasting are – you burn body fat for energy ! So it is also a means by which you can bring your weight down. However, I have not really lost any weight after having embarked on the fast.
Time is of the essence. You can’t buy time! Once spent, that time is gone. You can’t retrieve that time with anything. But time well spent is well worth it. So, you must use your time very carefully.
I recently found out quite by accident, that, this type of fasting is known as the Warrior Diet. I need to emphasize here that this diet involves feasting at the end of the fast, which I did not indulge in.
Here’s a review of the Warrior Diet.
Here’s an introduction to the book, Warrior Diet.
Observations and Conclusions
What I want to impart from my seven months of continuous fasting is that you don’t need to follow any of the methods observed by those who fast for religious reasons.
You don’t need to follow the feasting after the fast as observed in the Warrior Diet.
It is entirely super easy to fast!
I also did not experience any changes to my body like aches and pains. Nor did I feel hunger during the fast.
I also heard that a person who fasts will experience thinning of the blood. I’m not entirely sure of this as I have not done any studies, nor researched on this.
During the time I was in hospital with COVID, I did not have any problems with blood clotting, which was a common symptom of the disease. The nurses did administer anti blood clotting medication to all recovering patients, daily.
I have read about many deaths from COVID taking place due to blood clotting.
My oxygen levels were fast receding, and that’s the only symptom of the Disease I experienced at the time of being hospitalized.
It seems fortuitous that I should’ve engaged in the fast for seven months, leading up to my being sick with the Virus 🦠. I believe the fast helped in maintaining a robust body. It would’ve prepared my system to face the COVID attack and ultimately survive it.
I hope to recommence the fast just as soon as I’m ready to do so, after my recuperation at home. I shall also go back to being a vegetarian.
I followed a normal diet during the period of my fast.
I must state here that I do not drink beverages like tea, coffee, animal milk, coco, or fruit juices, except for lime juice once a day and water. I may have had the occasional cup of tea during the fasting period.
While in hospital, many samples of blood were taken from me, and they were all found to be of good quality.
Fasting strengthens your body in general and boosts your immune system by repeatedly assaulting your system with a strenuous regimen. This can prepare you well for any contingency.
On top of all this, you also halve your food bill.
I found that what we have been taught and what we have been told about nutrition and eating three meals a day is not altogether true or correct.
You don’t have to eat certain types of food to nourish your body. Every type of food is a super food as long as you eat them in small proportions and irregularly. There is some benefit to be gained by eating every fruit, vegetable, pulse, nut or lentil!
The three meal a day myth is debunked.
You give your body way too much work when you consume too much food way too often. By reducing your intake of food, you leave your body free to build tissues, and clear your system of toxins, among other tasks with ease. You do not waste your energy and resources simply digesting food!