March is a month of new beginnings and this year the beginnings seem to be coming earlier than previous years. The official start of the spring season will come this month and the month will conclude with the celebration of Easter. During this month, some will choose to abstain from a select food or activity in observance of Lent. Choosing to abstain from something can be a good exercise in self-control. This type of practice helps an individual to understand how much something truly influences their life. Perhaps during this season, you may consider the activity of fasting.

Fasting can take many forms from abstaining from one meal to not eating any food for a few days or up to 40 days. Various religious practices around the world have incorporated fasting as a way to focus more attention on spiritual activities and less time on physical activities. However, there are some significant benefits to the physical body when a healthy fast is practiced.

A simple, healthy fast would begin in the evening after your final meal of the day. Once dinner time is complete, the fasting clock begins. No midnight snacks, only water as needed and go to bed. The majority of the first 12 hours of fasting will be spent sleeping through the night. The next day only drink water, a small amount of herbal tea, or possibly some vegetable broth, if needed. By the time you reach the next dinner hour you have stayed away from food for 24 hours. Continue drinking water only and go to bed. By the next morning, you will have completed almost 36 hours of fasting and now is a good point to break your fast with a healthy breakfast. This 36 hour fast is a good first step to practicing what fasting on a regular schedule may look like.

Benefits of fasting include:

- Reduces high blood sugar levels

- Decreases high insulin levels and reduces insulin insensitivity

- Increases immune cell activity

- Improves clarity of thinking

- Can reduce inflammation

- Stimulates detoxification systems in the liver and kidneys

When you go into a fasting season, you force the cells of your body to do some clean up work. Activity inside the cells will remove anything that has become non-functional or is unhelpful. With this activity, cleaning helps the cell to prioritize healthy activity. This can be a helpful activity when your body is recovering from an illness. Improving healthy activity at the cellular level is what fasting stimulates.

A variation of fasting is becoming popular with many individuals called Intermittent Fasting. The general concept is reducing the window of time each day when food is consumed. Instead of eating food within a 12 hour window of the day, the time frame may be reduced to only 6 hours in the day. The remaining 18 hours of the day would only drink water or sleep. Some individuals reduce the eating more strictly to only 4 hours per day for eating, or only eating every other day. Intermittent fasting has gained popularity since 2010 when research studies on animals observed the animals living longer when their food intake was restricted.

While fasting may seem the exact opposite of living a full life, consider how the alternative has affected our society. We live in a culture where no restriction is given. You are encouraged to eat at all times of the day and to eat whatever you want. Grocery stores are filled with more choices than you know what to choose. The result has been increased obesity, increased diabetes, chronic inflammation, and a generation that does not know how to prepare healthy food. An occasional season of fasting can help bring clarity and focus to food preparation and a healthy lifestyle.

I invite you to join me this spring at the Northfield Holistic Health Summit “New Beginnings” Saturday, May 4, 2024, to learn more about healthy lifestyle choices and the resources available to you. Ten local health practitioners will be presenting information on – herbs, homeopathy, acupuncture, toxins, neurology, allergy therapy, and more. Come join us for the day and enjoy a healthy catered meal by Café Shawn. More information at or scan the QR code.

Make your health a priority in 2024. Change is required, but the outcome is worth the effort. Little changes can make a big difference over time. If you would like to pursue a healthy lifestyle and increase longevity, I can help you start a plan.

Contact me to discuss your health goals for 2024. I can help you reach those health goals with whole food plans customized to your specific needs. You can contact me at, or check out my website at