The Fasting Cure

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M. Kennerley, 1911 - Fasting - 153 pages
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Really good, serious, published science on fasting is being done by Valter Longo at USC and fasting patients is being done at The True North Center. Yoshinori Ohsumi's 2016 Nobel Prize was for work in autophagy or cellular recycling which occurs at a greater rate during some stages of fasting. Sinclair was on to something and I think the testimonials in his book are an important reminder that there's a healing system, like sleep, that's built in to our physiology. 

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An interesting perspective on fasting from over 100 years ago.
If the clogged up pinhead who wrote the previous review had bothered to read the book, he would know the Upton Sinclair did not
recommend fasting for 50 days nor did he recommend fasting until one became a "skeleton". Sinclair was a proponent of periodic fasting, but he himself never fasted more than 12 days at a stretch.
The book is a collection of anecdotes, and testimonials received from people who read his article on fasting which was published in Cosmopolitain back in the day. Some of those testimonials came from people who did extend their fast to 40 or 50 days, and even longer. The letters came from people who obtained tremendous relief from various ailments, some of which were more serious illnesses common at that period, like "consumption".
I do not agree with all his recommendations on diet, especially his advice on how to end a fast. But in all fairness, he does state that his recommendations do not work for everyone, and that everyone has to discover that for themselves.
I am a big fan of fasting, and have been doing it for years. I like intermittent fasting, and am especially a fan of the once weekly 36 hour fast. I like to start mine Saturday night and end it sometime on Monday. The longest fast I have ever done was 8 days. I was planning on a 10 day fast but stopped short, not due to hunger or any negative symptoms, but because of the awkwardness of having to explain the rapid weight loss to friends and co-workers. The weight came back quickly once I broke my fast, along with improved digestion, improved fasting blood sugar levels, and a leaner more muscular physique.
Might I also suggest Brad Pilon's book on intermittent fasting Eat Stop Eat. It is a more moderate and scientific approach to fasting. He does present scientific studies, fully referenced, which demonstrate the positive physiological changes which occur during fasts of different length..

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Page 58 - ... recollection serves me), and by dint of vigorous exercise meanwhile, he got rid of one hundred and thirty pounds. I think I never saw a funnier sight than Mr. Fausel at the conclusion of this fast, wearing the same pair of trousers that he had worn at the beginning of it. But the temptations of hotel-keepers are severe, and when he went back home, he found himself going up in weight again. This time he concluded to do the job thoroughly, and went to Macfadden's place in Chicago, and set out upon...
Page 27 - ... who has already had the experience. He should not have about him terrified aunts and cousins who will tell him that he looks like a corpse, that his pulse is below forty, and that his heart may stop beating in the night. I took a fast of three days out in California ; on the third day I walked about fifteen miles, off and on, and, except that I was restless, I never felt better.
Page 19 - I pettishly asked why she did not call a domestic to do it. With a look of mild reproach which I shall never forget if I live to be a hundred years old, she said, " And will not my daughter bring a glass of water for her poor sick mother?
Page 20 - I was very hungry for the first day — the unwholesome, ravening sort of hunger that all dyspeptics know. I had a little hunger the second morning, and thereafter, to my very great astonishment, no hunger whatever — no more interest in food than if I had never known the taste of it. Previous to the fast I had had a headache every day for two or three weeks.
Page 11 - This trait of his goes still further in the words "and there is not one of these people" (cases of different severe forms of illness) "whom I could not cure if I had him alone for a couple of weeks; no one of them who would not in the end be walking down the street as if it were such fun!" "The reader may think that my enthusiasm over the fasting cure is due to my imaginative temperament.
Page 47 - Of course they had always been consulting with physicians, and the physicians had told them that my article was "pure nonsense"; and they would write me that they would like to try to fast, but that they were " too weak and too far gone to stand it." There is no greater delusion than that a person needs strength to fast. The weaker you are from disease, the more certain it is that you need to fast, the more certain it is that your body has not strength enough to digest the food you are taking into...
Page 7 - ... been accomplished toward enlightenment and progress in public health matters in our own country. Excuse for the book's existence. — "I received ten or twenty letters a day from people who had questions to ask or experiences to relate" and "the flood has not yet stopped." "My object in publishing this book is twofold: first, to have something to which I can refer people, so that I will not have to answer half a dozen 'fasting letters...
Page 41 - Several people asked me if it would not be better for them to eat very lightly instead of fasting, or to content themselves with fasts of two or three days at frequent intervals. My reply to that is that I find it very much harder to do that, because all the trouble in the fast occurs during the first two or three days. It is during those days that you are hungry, and if you begin to eat just when your hunger is ceasing, you have wasted all your efforts. In the same way, perhaps, it might be a...
Page 49 - ... possible, for the book must be sold at all hazards. Therefore these words: "We have some one hundred and forty thousand regularly graduated medical men in this country, and they are all of them presumably anxious to cure disease," yet, "out of six or eight hundred letters that I have received, just two, as far as I can remember, were from physicians ; and out of the hundreds of newspaper clippings which I have received, not a single one was from any sort of medical journal. There was one physician,...

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