Some religions believe that restricting certain foods can have a powerful impact on the health of an individual. Vegetarian diets are known to reduce heart disease and promote a longer life expectancy. There are those who point to the book of Genesis as proof that humans should eat a plant-based diet. “And God said: ‘Behold, I have given you every herb-yielding seed which is upon the face of the earth, and every tree that has seed-yielding fruit to you it shall be for food.’ “
Many of our great spiritual leaders used fasting as a tool to inspire and motivate others:
- Prince Gautama became the Buddha after years of fasting and meditation led him to understand that the reason for all suffering is our human attachment to desire, outcome, and pleasure.
- Mahatma Gandhi used fasting as political motivation to move his country towards freedom in a nonviolent way.
- Mother Theresa fasted as a way to give the money she saved on food away to those in dire need. This in turn inspired others to do the same.
- Saints, prophets, and religious people have all used fasting as a sacrifice for prayers to be answered or penance for harm done in the past.
By giving up that which we love so much, the food and drink that sustains our bodies, we are rewarded with the sublime knowledge that the Divine moves through each of us to work in the world.
Excerpted from The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Detoxing Your Body, by Delia Quigley