Summary of Eat, Fast, Feast: Heal Your Body While Feeding Your Soul by Dr. Jay Richards

For the podcast episode, click here.

3 Summary Points:

1 – Reality Check

Fasting used to be a normal part of the Christian lifestyle. Jesus fasted. The apostles fasted. All the Saints throughout history fasted.

  • Spiritual reality check: What used to be a water-only fast on a frequent basis throughout specific times of the the year (even for 12 hours before reception of Holy Communion) has now become 1 meal with two snacks not equaling a full meal only twice a year (and only 1 hour before Communion). Reality check – we have lost the practice of true fasting!
  • Cultural reality check: To add on top of that, we’ve trained ourselves – through a grazing diet with heavily-refined & highly-processed carbs – to make fasting really hard! We are victims of a culture of abundance. The average American eats well over 100 pounds of sugar per year, that’s 22 teaspoons or 350-500 calories of sugar per day!

2 – Health Benefits

  • Mental clarity: You might have headaches or pain points at the beginning of the process. But after your body clears itself of toxins, your brain has access to a cleaner bloodstream, resulting in clearer thoughts, better memory, and increased sharpness of your other senses.
  • Lowers insulin & resets metabolism: Done right, fasting does both of these without any harm to our health.
  • Feasting: Fasting and fasting – in a proper balance – is an ancient secret to a long and flourishing life, allowing food to help us celebrate life.
  • Discipline: Fasting teaches your how to control your natural appetites, overcome temptations & addictions.
  • Taps into ketogenic system: God gave us two metabolic systems! Most of us only run on the glycogen (sugar-burning) system but we also have ketogenic (fat-burning) system. We should use it. The goal is to become “metabolically flexible” – where we can easily switch our bodies from sugar-burning to fat-burning and back again, without feeling like a heroin addict going cold turkey (13). There are 2 ways to get into ketosis: (1) Eat nothing for 3 days = hard; (2) Eat a ketogenic diet for several days = easy.

“Fasting is the greatest remedy, the physician within” (Paracelsus +1541, founder of toxicology and one of the free fathers of modern Western medicine).

3 – Spiritual Benefits

  • As unities of body and soul, the health benefits of fasting should directly connect with spiritual benefits too.
  • Elevates prayer (ACTS): Adoration – to worship God alone; Contrition – to feel our need for God and repent; Thanksgiving – to be more grateful for food; Supplication – adds power to intercessory prayer!
  • Fasting is meant to be sacrificial – yes – but not torture! Jesus said His yoke is easy – so yes it’s a yoke – but it’s easy.

“True Christian fasting is not a pitting of the spirit against the flesh, but rather body and soul united together against sin, body and soul converted together to the Lord. The whole man must cooperate with God’s grace. The whole man must love the Lord” (Susan Matthews).

Dr. Jay Richard’s 6 Week Program

  • Dr. Jay gives a 6-week program to follow in the book. Fantastic way to start Lent and to incorporate in your routine for the rest of your life.
  • Click here for the Small Group Study Guide

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