Dr. Gabriel Cousens answers questions about the safety of fasting, losing weight and smoking cessation with fasting.
KEVIN: Some people will say fasting is unhealthy. What do you have to say about that?
GABRIEL: Well, there is a quote from Atheneus, a Greek physician, he said, Fasting cures disease, dries up bodily humors, puts demons to flight, gets rid of the impure thoughts, makes the mind clear, and the heart pure, and the body sanctified, and raises humanity to the throne of God. And again, you're talking about, you know, 2000 years of observation. Fasting is extremely safe. Now, let's qualify what we say, when we say fasting is extremely safe. We are talking about a 1-week fast, extremely safe.
GABRIEL: Humans on water can go 40 days and may naturally push on it. We do not recommend that at all and I just can go a 100 days. We do green juice fasting here. We don't use any foods because it is way too sweet and it creates sugar imbalances and aggravates diabetes and hypoglycemia, which we don't like to do. We use green juices and in the juices, you get the minerals and the enzymes which help stimulate and support the fasting process. The problem with water fasting, while we don't really recommend it and try to discourage people, is that even though you obviously get detoxification from it, you get really weak and so you can't really enjoy life in the same way. The second thing is the mineral deficiencies can show up being the heart palpitations and other kind of weaknesses that are actually potentially dangerous. We don't have that on juice test. So, those are the big things, plus you got the enzymes in the vital life force. I mean, there's vital life force. We only at the Tree of Life, we only use organic.
GABRIEL: And it is fresh, very very fresh, like within a few minutes. So people are getting the tremendous vital life force in nature. We said that earth and water elements are being really actively pooled into the system. This is really safe. We've been doing this for, you know, since 1988. Well, that's quite a few years. That's almost 20 years now.
GABRIEL: And no one has really, really had problem. Water fasting, different things. So there may be a crossover. People say fasting, end. Now, there's another thing that we need to understand is that going without food is immediately threatening the people. Why? Because the Americans overeat. And why do they overeat? Not just because they like being the numbness of bowel toxicity, which is what happens, you get numbed out when you overeat, but it is a way of suppressing emotions.
GABRIEL: I am depressed. I am going to treat myself, you know, or I am going to celebrate, so you eat all those kinds of junk food. I don't know what kind of a celebration it is, but apparently some people say this is a celebration.
GABRIEL: And so, this is the point, and does that make sense? This fear because it goes into an ego defense called eating, if you see what I am saying.
GABRIEL: And the fact is we can live a really long time without eating food, you know, on liquids. You do not have to, but a week fast is completely safe.
KEVIN: Right. And what are some of the longevity benefits from not eating as much? I guess it's the best way to say it. What are some of the studies on that? What are some of the things that have been proven to show that this is the case?
GABRIEL: That is a good question. Dr. Spindler who is a biochemist at the UC Riverside, published in Science, the magazine, in 2001 a research he did with rats and he underfed them 40%, and after 1 month, the rats had a 400% increase in the anti-aging gene expression. He was using 1100 gene chip-type system at 400% and also anti-aging and anti-inflammatory. So what he concluded, now there's lots of research since the early 1900s that the less you eat, the longer you live, that's clear. But you usually thought it was actually just slowing the aging process down, right?
GABRIEL: But now we are talking something different after Spindler's research. You're actually activating the anti-aging genes. You actually had the potential to reverse the aging process. That is the whole of the statement.
KEVIN: Wow. It does not stop, it's reversed.
GABRIEL: And what happens when you are fasting? Fasting usually begins in the 2nd or 3rd day and when the body goes into what we call autolysis where it begins going after the dead and dying cells, OK, and clearing them out. The pre-cancer cells and the not so healthy cells. And so that process speeds up. So by the end of the fast by 7 days, you have increased the healthy vibrant cells and you have decreased the dead and dying the cells, so you're really into a rejuvenation process. You see what I am saying?
GABRIEL: Whereas before, when you're toxic, there are a lot more dead and dying cells because they had all the toxins and then they couldn't survive or they are half alive. That's how most people feel anyway, they're half alive.
KEVIN: Sure. I've heard that before. Yeah.
GABRIEL: And that's what we are talking about. But the research is, the literature is enormous and the basic summary of all the research, animal research and human research, the cultures that are long-lived like the Karmacoma Indians in Ecuador I think in the 100s, is that their calorie intake is half as much as other people.
GABRIEL: Because they're primarily, not a 100%, but primarily vegan.
GABRIEL: So those seem to be the 2 things. Eating the animal products can secrete a lot more toxicity and speed up the aging process.
KEVIN: OK. And now let's say I wanted to put together a fast on my own, I mean , is that advised to 7-day fast on your own? I mean, would you lock yourself in a room with a juicer? I mean, what kind of protocol would someone consider taking?
GABRIEL: Well, what really happens here is that it's really a generally good idea to have somebody guide you the first time.
GABRIEL: Because as a holistic physician, as a kind of yogi, you know, I did the 40-day fast but that's an exception. I do not recommend that for most people. It's not that safe you know, OK. So it's really good to have a run through.
GABRIEL: In about a year or two, I will be coming out with the book on spiritual fasting but right now I'm writing a book on diabetes and I don't really have time. But after that then what we see a pattern as what people will do, maybe fast at home and may be come here twice a year, so they're doing it that way. What you want is an optimal situation where you are vitalizing the body, so where you can get good sun, fresh air, healthy water, and you know, clean organic juices. That's what you want.
KEVIN: Yes. So you wouldn't recommend anyone go into their high stress job?
GABRIEL: Right. Because the body doesn't open up. The body...that's work, in that the body has to be able to relax to let go to heal itself.
GABRIEL: And if you're going to continue, you can do it. You can lose weight that way. .Let's put it that way.
GABRIEL: And aside from losing weight, there's not nearly as much healing because a high stress job tends to shut the body down. It doesn't tend to go into that kind of place where it really works to heal.
KEVIN: And do you recommend a fast for people who want to lose weight?
GABRIEL: That's the best way to lose weight.
GABRIEL: For the last 5000 years, it's been the best way. We have started 2 programs here. One is what we call juice feasting which involves really liquids and juices, 4 juices a day and then blended fruit.
GABRIEL: And people could be on that for a 100-120 days if they do really, really, really well, and they lose weight gradually, you know. In live food itself, we could lose about 100 pounds in a year.
GABRIEL: Because with live food you can eat half as much. Because when you cook your food, you lose 50% of the protein and 70%-80% of vitamins and minerals and up to 95% or so of the phytonutrients. Well, the math is simple. If you just simply go on live food, you eat half as much. That means you take in half as many calories. You're taking double the nutrition but half the calories and the result is you lose weight.
KEVIN: A 100 pounds in a year. That's pretty intense.
GABRIEL: Yes. But it happens gradually and you're not doing any physiological tricks. This is very important. Fasting is not a physiological trick. You're actually helping the body accelerate the process. Now, during that time, your stomach tends to shrink and so you will not be that hungry. You really start to lose that interest. So we have, you know, let's say, a lot of people have done 70-day fast, 85-day fast for weight loss. And that's usually people who are between 100-200 pounds overweight.
GABRIEL: It's a very good thing that is also a very good for smoking. Agatha Trash, and I don't know if she is alive but she and her husband are the 2 physicians at the head of anti-smoking clinic in Arkansas and they saw over 3000 successful cases of helping people to get off cigarettes. Why? Well, fasting helps you lose your cellular memory for your toxins. OK. And it also alkalinizes you. The result is that when you're alkalinize, it's a lot easier to break the nicotine habit.
GABRIEL: The moment that you get 5 days, it's really good, 7 days is really excellent. Now when you use a few other homeopathic remedies and things like that, pack and release to help people break their smoking habits. But then we also recommend the psychological aspect and that's why we use the Zero Point Course, which we use to do 1 day afterwards. So, they're linked, but fasting is really good for all of us. It's so simple. It's really quite simple.
KEVIN: Right. What are some of the best things to juice? What are some of the best things that will get you the most minerals?
GABRIEL: I think the thing that's most important is the organic.
GABRIEL: And we get whatever is in season although we use a lot of cucumbers and celery because they have lots of minerals particularly sodium which we need, healthy sodium, and flushes out the toxic sodium in the system. And then we get whatever greens are in season. And mostly, we are growing a lot of our own, but we also will use beet and carrot diluted, which is good for the liver.
GABRIEL: But what were finding is it doesn't matter. We really...basically, if you're doing juice fasting, everything gets better.
In this excerpt, Dr. Gabriel Cousens shares what zaps energy and fogs mental clarity.
GABRIEL: The reason people don't have energy is the term that Paul Brad coined as autointoxication.
KEVIN: Okay, explain that.
GABRIEL: What it means is really the toxins, in my opinion, it's primarily bowel toxins.
GABRIEL: Build up in the system, and really cause general weakness in every muscle, and affect your mind, and affect all your organ systems. They poison the system. And most people again, suffer ... from bowel autointoxication. Auto meaning yourself, toxifying yourself.
GABRIEL: Mostly it's through our lifestyle, and also primarily through our food. So when we fast in a good setting, meaning fresh air, fresh water in a kind of relaxed setting, so your body can let go, this is very important principle here. Dr. ...was one a natural doctor, who in the turn of 19th century, talked about and he basically said that you had a buildup and a lot of people are so toxic that they couldn't really respond - the bodies couldn't respond. It was only when they began to detoxify, and then they can build up a kind of a deeper life force energy.
GABRIEL: You see, and so that's what we're talking about. And when we're fasting, we're really feasting. Now, what do I mean by a feast? Well, there are 4 forces of nature that we feast on - air, sunlight, water and earth.
GABRIEL: And when you look at our life today, what we find is that the air is not pure. The sunlight is blocked because the atmosphere is cloudy. Then most people can't see the sky at night, right?
GABRIEL: In the least, we can still see that where we are in Patagonia, but most of people can't see the sky at night. There's you know, tremendous amount of smog, pollution. So suddenly your ability to draw prana with vital life force in the air is greatly diminished.
GABRIEL: Same with the water. Water is all kinds of toxins, and plus chlorine, fluorine in many cases, and so, literally it's a poison to the system. Now, when I say poison, I mean explicitly chlorine and fluorine are explicit poisons. Chlorine specifically blocks our enzyme function in many, many places in the body, and process all kinds of problems. We do not want to get all over into that but at least in the principle. So, water. Now, the air of course we need, the sunlight we need, and the clean water, and then the earth is the food element. And the juices are pure earth and water element. And so, suddenly you're feasting on those elements, and you're being able to pull in the life force or prana from those elements and that rejuvenates you.
GABRIEL: That's a very important thing. So, does that mean you can't fast and say yes you can fast in the city, but it is nowhere near the same result because you're not really being able to pull in those 4 forces of nature which actually activate every body.
KEVIN: Okay, so those 4 aspects of nature are the basic principles of fasting. So say someone is, you know, realizes now after this call that they might have bowel toxicity which as we've established they already do. You know, how would they go about putting some of those together to create something that will help them feel better, look better, live better.
GABRIEL: Right. Well, the first thing is you know if you're going to do fasting and I recommend instead of long fast because it's a lot of time and energy, and if people don't know how to do it, it can a be little depleting, now we use it more as the fast, long faster more is medications, if you follow what I'm saying.
GABRIEL: I'll give you an example of how powerful it can be. There's a lady who is for 5 years hospitalized in a mental hospital, and she's on lots of medications. She was grossly overweight from her stay in the hospital and so forth and so on, and also her medications. When she first got here, she could barely walk 25 yards.
GABRIEL: After 2 weeks of fasting, she was off all her medication and she was beginning to function and she went 85 days. She lost an enormous amount of weight. She became this very beautiful 26-year-old lady, and her depression left her, and she can walk up the mountain. We have a mountain ... high where we are you know after about a month. I mean, it was a total rejuvenation on mind, body and spirit, simply with the fasting focus. I mean, she took our zero point course which is of course a psycho- spiritual course, but it was the fasting that really did it. And she never went back to the hospital.
KEVIN: Wow! And, and what brought her there? For that hope? The hope to be able to do that?
GABRIEL: Yeah, I don't know how she got there. I'm not sure but she was actually from Mexico and her family had sent her to a place in Boston, the very famous mental hospital in Boston, and they put her on medication, and she was just stuck in the hospital. I guess they let her go out in a break and she came.
KEVIN: A-ha. That's great.
GABRIEL: She had learned about us, The Tree of Life in the website but that's the point, that's the long term. Now, those are the kinds of things that happen. You know. Now, we're using fasting also medically for high blood pressure and also for diabetes.
GABRIEL: We have what you call 21-day plus diabetic program and literally within 4 days while people are fasting, and this is a medical thing, OK, so you won't do this on your own, we have people off their insulin and other on no medications for days, and pretty much within a few weeks, their blood sugars come to normal.
GABRIEL: So, because we're - this is one of the great things about fasting is it actually after about a week , minimum, it resets your genetic expression and turns on the anti-aging genes, the anti-inflammatory genes, that's one of the reasons that is so good for arthritis, anticancer genes, and antioxidant genes. So, you're really literally upgrading your genetic expression. Literally now, this is experimentally shown. It is not a metaphor.
GABRIEL: So, those are things that I have. So really a 1-week fast twice a year, 4 times a year if you can do it is a really good thing.
GABRIEL: Really good thing because it really supports you in a lot of ways, and it keeps you - your bowel toxicity at a very minimum. And what happens to is people go back in the world, it's like Uh-uh-uh-uh-uh, this is really hard! and they start to fall back into old habits although we do a lot of support work in between but it's nevertheless the thing that really works is they come back, and they fast, and they get good. I have a poem here by Rumy, and it really speaks to it. And upon this, there's a hidden sweetness in the stomach's emptiness. We are loots, no more or no less. If the sound box is tough, full of anything, no music. If the brain and belly are burning clean with fasting, every moment a new song comes out of the fire. The fog clears. A new energy makes you run up the steps in front of you. Be emptier and cry like reed instruments cry. Emptier, write secrets with the reed pen. When you are full of food and drink, say dance sets where your spirit should. An ugly mental statue instead of the Kabah. When you fast, good habits gather like friends who want to help. Fasting is all interim. Don't give it to some illusion and lose your power. But easily if you have, if you have lost all will and control and they come back when you fast. Like soldiers appearing out of the ground, pellets flying above them, a table descends to your tense. Jesus table, expect to see it when you fast. This table spread with other food better than the broth of cabbages. That's really in his poetry book Open Secrets.
KEVIN: Wow. That's great.
GABRIEL: It tells you the whole story right there.
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