"In 1986, I made a prodigious discovery in the field of fasting that forced me to revise my Sheltonian method [water-only]. This is how I was led to make this discovery: a 37-year-old man came to fast under my supervision. He had taken 104 different tranquilizers for his nervous state during the past 14 years. As soon as a drug wasn't having any effect anymore, his doctor prescribed him another one, thus the incredible number of different tranquilizers he took. He wanted to cure himself without drugs of any sort, so he fasted for 29 days. Then he became tense, incapable of relaxing or sleeping and unable to drink water despite an intense thirst and an acute kidney pain. I told him that he could not continue this way, even though he still had a lot to eliminate. His tongue was still very coated, his urine dark, his breath foul and he had pains in the kidneys despite all the water he had drunk. He responded that he still had a lot of time and that he wanted to complete his detoxification. So I thought that the opportunity had come, for the first time, to make him follow a detoxification diet. Every time a faster breaks his fast, he only wants to leave and I can't monitor his tongue anymore. For all those that come for a cure, my greatest concern is to facilitate the reintroduction of food, in a manner that avoids all the problems. I must ration the quantities each day, increasing them and change the types of food according to each case. I do all this while watching the various symptoms that will guide me in the process. I rarely have this chance. I was fortunate to have such a determined man in my care.
Three days after breaking his fast, I entered his room to bring him a few small apples. He told me, "Mr. Mosseri, look at my tongue" it was charcoal black! It didn't take long to understand this surprise. I had already seen a few cases where the tongue turned black during a fast, but this man was eating again! Yet the color was not accidental; I had provoked it with this "detoxification diet". I had restarted his elimination, the profound elimination of a fast. I also realized that I could have done this much earlier a week earlier at the 20th day of the fast. He thus lost about ten days, during which time his elimination was very weak. His tongue stayed black for a few days, then it turned a mustard yellow for many weeks, before returning to a healthy rose color. At the same time, hunger came back a true hunger and the kidney pains disappeared. I then fed him a normal diet. I wondered if this case was an exception, or if it could be imitated as many times as possible with other fasting patients. Obviously, this "half-fast" had accelerated his elimination, but one case does not mean much; I needed verification through numerous, varied cases.
I started again in the same manner with two sisters that came after the man. The very day after they broke their fasts, their tongues were coated brown. Since then, 90% of my patients develop a colored tongue upon breaking the fast and commencing the half-fast and the other 10% develop it during a second cure. This half-fast must, of course, be continued as long as the tongue is even a little colored; a black tongue shows that elimination has deepened, reaching into cellular level to root out decades-old drugs and toxins. Other questions came naturally in my mind: at what moment do we break the fast and go to the half-fast? What quantities of raw foods must be given to the patients? Having observed it many times, I already knew that a day comes when a patient's weight ceases to drop... only now do I understand why! As for the food quantities, with a lot of trial and error, I arrived at the actual rations, more or less according to the height of the person. In the classical method, promoted by Shelton, the fast is pursued with water in bed. But when the fast is continued, though the body ceases losing weight, elimination becomes insignificant and time is lost. When someone noted to Shelton that a faster was only losing 200g a day and that the elimination barely continued, he answered that it was 200g gained and that it was still better than nothing. He did not see we could "jump start" elimination instead of standing about, making no progress. When the fast is pursued at this stagnant stage, weight hardly falls and elimination barely proceeds because the body does not have enough vitamins and enzymes for it. The body has just enough to survive as we have seen earlier; the body's reserves are imbalanced. There is always too much fat and toxins and too few essential elements; when they run out, we go to the next phase, the half-fast, and the tongue colors itself in 90% of cases; for the other ones, it will color at a second fast. I could not find out the reasons why. On the other hand, with the classic Sheltonian method, it is very rare that the tongue will color itself, even if the fast was pursued to 60-70 days. When the tongue colors itself (black, brown, mustard green, beige), the half-fast must be pursued until the color returns to a natural pink; that is, until the end of elimination. Then, the more concentrated foods can be introduced. The tongue becomes pink at the same time that spitting stops, the urine becomes clear, the breath becomes pleasant, and the headaches are gone.
The half-fast can last for one week or many, according to the degree of toxemia. With this new method, the fasting becomes easier, with fewer risks and problems, and is more efficient. The fast becomes mathematical, precise, scientific, and without blind spots or surprises. This important discovery condemns the long fasts as a risky waste of time. I called this second part of the fast that follows the water fast the half-fast, but in reality it's an elimination diet, since two pounds of food are eaten every day, half fruits, half vegetables. But I preferred to call it the half-fast, to strike the imagination of the fasting person; otherwise, he would be tempted to think that he's breaking the fast and that he can eat any food and in any quantities. He has to stay with the impression that he's continuing elimination, and that his cure also continues, although in another, less intense form than the complete fast.
The Rationale for this Method
Whenever we stop eating, elimination starts, and is evidenced by a white tongue coated with mucus, a foul breath, a bad taste in the mouth, a loss of weight and other symptoms according to the individual. As the fast goes on, elimination slows down because it uses up the body's stock of vitamins and minerals [assuming they had enough when the fast began]. Depending on the individual, this stock of vitamins and other essential elements lasts approximately 7 to 20 days. At the end of this period, elimination slows down, as revealed in the following symptoms:
Thus, when these symptoms of the slowing of elimination appear, elimination must be relaunched by breaking the fast and replenishing the body with nutrients in the form of raw, natural foods: 500 grams of raw fruits, spread throughout the afternoon, this quantity varying according to the person's height; 500 grams of raw vegetables and salad, in two sittings in the evening. These amounts should not be increased, otherwise digestion will take the energy needed by elimination and bring elimination to a halt. The patient should drink a lot of water between midnight and noon, because that's when elimination is at its strongest. If the person is not able to drink at least one liter a day of plain water, then we flavor it with lemon juice.
The fruits that I prefer to give are apples, because they act like a good broom in the intestines. Sometimes, a water-rich fruit, like melon or watermelon, must be given. As soon as we switch to the half-fast, rekindling elimination, we must examine the tongue every morning before putting anything in the mouth. The tongue should not be washed! Within a few days, if not a few hours, it colors itself black, mustard, or brownish red.
The half-fast is pursued until the tongue is completely clear, it becomes pink, and all eliminative symptoms (thirst, bad taste in the mouth upon awakening, bad breath, spitting, etc.) disappear. It does not matter if, in the meantime, hunger comes back or not, because this instinct is usually defective amongst civilized people. Since the discovery of fasting, at the dawn of times by primitive men, this discovery in the health field of the half-fast is the most prodigious that has ever been made."
From the book, "Le Jeune, Meilleur Remede de la Nature"
Yet there are fasting advocates who say,
I am both fascinated and disheartened by some health educators' aversion to adopting truly helpful protocols that are reality-based and square with Nature. And I'm saddened by so-called health educators who, in my opinion, misrepresent things in order to market their products or services. But human nature being what it is, I'm not surprised.
Bottom line: Just like diets, there are healthier types of fasts. And just like diets, the most popular type of fasting is not necessarily the healthiest way to fast.
The "Gradual" Fast (progressive fasting)
Additionally, there is a Biologist, Désiré Mérien who uses gradual hygienic diets to prepare a person for a water-only fast. The weight and symptoms of the faster are noted every day. When a plateau is attained in weight that is identical to 2 or 3 days on the same diet , an even healthier diet is adopted and followed...down to juice...and then to water. This is much healthier for the body compared to going from a typical Western diet straight to an extended water-only fast; in this way people complain much less of backache and kidney pain caused by sudden fasting on water without any dietary preparation which can overwhelm the kidneys and liver with toxins. Mérien is also a physicist, and this very dedicated and sincere biology professor discovered this method by compiling data from all the people who fasted at his fasting clinic/school in France. Details of his method are currently only available in French (but he's looking for someone to translate them into English... Google does a good job of translating his website).
From his website: Désiré Mérien, biologist, fasting specialist, author of numerous books on the subject, founded "Nature and Life" movement in 1970 and has created a center in Ploemeur, France as a place of healing utilizing diet and fasting. Passionate, both a man of science leading a rigorous theoretical study on the issue and field man accompanying many fasters in the center he has acquired a great deal of expertise in this area. Particularly, he has developed a method of progressive fasting, known as fasting food levels, which regulates entry into fasting conditions [the name might have lost something in the translation].
How do I prepare someone for a water-only fast?
If a person's body wants to fast, it's important to make sure they go into the fast with enough nutrients to get them through the fast. If the person has existing nutritional deficiencies and then stops eating all food, this will deepen those deficiencies, which is counterproductive to healing (which is the reason the person undertook the fast).
So I recommend people first test for D, B12, and iodine, resolve any deficiencies found, and also add to their diet Daily Green Boost for a month before starting the fast. When people who've had a fast scheduled at a fasting center do this, they often find that they no longer need to fast because their ill-health issue either resolves or begins to resolve. So they cancel their fast (which is not well-received by the fasting center), and they continue to improve. Why? Because the vast majority of ill-health is caused by, 1) too much of things the body doesn't want, and 2) not enough of the things the body requires for optimal functioning.
With a little education, it's easy to recognize the things in that first category. That latter category includes sufficient rest, sleep, strong enough sunshine, enough hydration, stress management, appropriate physical activity, and also enough nutrients. That last one is a "trouble spot" for many people who have adopted a much healthier diet, because they have been assured that their new diet will provide "enough of all" (the food-provided nutrients), but in many cases, it simply won't. Getting some people to believe this by understanding why this can happen is a Herculean task; getting others to understand it is easier. It depends on how indoctrinated the person is and how open-minded they are. More on this issue here.