Raw, adjective: 1. uncooked, as articles of food: a raw carrot.

Early spring and autumn are excellent times to do a fast.  

(You're scared already?  Don't be.  It's not as crazy as you'd think.)

Many homeopaths recommend doing a cleanse a few times a year to give your body a chance to breathe again, reset a bit, and clear itself out.  Most of us give our bodies little time to do this on a day-to-day basis (unless you have taken my advice to eat only fruits before noon, which is a great natural cleanse), and as a result, our bodies get toxic, dense, clogged up and kind of miserable.  So when the equinoxes bring change to the seasons, it makes sense that we'd do the same kind of thing for our bodies.  And fasting is a natural, instinctive activity; think of the ways many animals, when sick, stop eating so as to divert all of their metabolic energies toward getting healthy again.

I woke up this morning with a nasty case of the flu: achy everything, runny nose, nauseous head, bleary vision, miserable coughing.  It was all I could do to get out of bed.  That's no surprise, really, given that I've spent the last week eating a lot of crap that I usually don't: having a beer here and there while watching the debates, eating more cheese and white refined flour products like chips and bread than I ever really do.  So it's no wonder that the ol' bod finally said: Enough with it!  Give me something nourishing!

So I cancelled all my plans for the day and set in to get things back in order.  I had boatloads of writing to do, and an empty house, and plenty of detox tea, which meant that the day turned into a quiet clear respite with only an intensely detoxifying yoga practice to break things up a bit.  And it just so turns out, my fridge was already stocked with Fujis and Granny Smiths.

Have you heard of the Apple Fast?  A friend recommended it to me some 7 or 8 years ago, and I've found it useful from time to time when my body needs a seasonal reboot of sorts.  Like I said, most alternative health practitioners encourage doing a fast of some type a few times a year, for many reasons.  But I've never been able to get on board with full 100% juice fasts, and the Apple Fast provides the same sorts of results without having to spend your whole day shoving cored apples into your juicer.  Plus, there's fiber involved, which is super important for a fast.

Basically you just eat apples all day for 3 days; the apples are rich in pectin, which is really useful for a cleanse.  Drink tons of water; I mean tons.  Cut back on coffee and tea if you can, too.  You'll have plenty of energy because you're getting the simple sugars from the apple, but they take longer to digest than, say, faster-moving melon sugars would.  And because apples are so easy for your body to digest, it will divert its metabolic energies toward healing and cleansing any toxins that might have built up.

I have one of the craziest weekends of the year coming up at work starting tomorrow, so I don't know if I'll be able to sustain this through Saturday night, but already after just one day my flu symptoms are sloughing away and my skin is looking more like its glowy raw self instead of the pasty dull white-sugar-influenced tone I've been rocking of late.  And my body feels lighter and clearer than it has in at least a week of bleu cheese and Trumer Pils.

There are plenty of variations on this online; just google "apple fast" or "apple cleanse" and you'll find them.  Some people recommend doing this once a month; I really like that idea, as a regular sort of break for your body.  Choose a day wherein your physical exertions aren't particularly extensive, and start chomping those Granny Smiths.


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