INTERVIEW WITH FASTING EXPERT
The Power Within
Gini Czernin walked from Vienna to Mariazell – that is, while fasting. Gini will introduce the concept of fasting to guests at the Hochleger Chalets this November and teach how taking a break from food has a complete restructuring effect on body, mind and soul. ZillerSeasons Journal met with her to exchange these ideas.
JOURNAL: Fasting is not some new discovery, it’s been practiced for centuries, but this type of abstinence is more popular than ever. From your perspective, why is this?
CZERNIN: In earlier times, fasting was a part of the normal rhythm of natural cycles. There were times of plenty and there were times of food shortages. It depended on the season and food wasn’t always available. These phases grounded people, forcing them to focus on the essentials, the most necessary things in life. Today we live in excess and abundance where you can get anything you want – anytime. We too, are ready at any time, which is again different from the past. Additionally, we are overexposed to stimulation. Fasting offers a counter point in our lives. This desire to reduce, minimalize and retreat to simplicity lies in our nature.
Fasting is more than just abstaining from food, it’s also a ritual. In your opinion, what is it about?
Fasting is a time-out where you can shed not just physical weight, but other burdens as well. You forgo eating as well as other stimuli, like media or habitual routines. It’s all about feeling lighter as a whole, to clean and purify yourself physically and mentally. I see it as a new start, a self-correcting fresh impulse on a body/mind level. It gives you more motivation to lead a healthy, conscientious life.
What type of person fasts? Is it for people who want to lose weight?
Generally we talk about fasting for healthy people. Weight loss is the motivation for some, but it’s only a side effect. There is a significant mental component to fasting that raises the mood and spirit. On a biological level, fasting improves cellular function and strengthens the immune system. Toxins and acids are removed. If it’s only about weight loss, a fasting week can be the perfect motivational impulse to improve how you nourish and feed the body and engage in more activity and movement. You do lose weight in the first week.
Fasting is both mentally and physically challenging. Does one need serious discipline to succeed?
A little bit has to do with the type of fast. There are fasts where you eat, like the alkaline diet. They are more challenging than the Buchinger fast, where you drink only fluids and totally avoid solid foods.
That sounds contradictory.
No, it’s just the opposite. It’s a logical natural process. When the body only gets low-calorie fluids, it programs itself to get the nutrients from within. In this way you don’t experience hunger because the digestive juices are reduced to a minimum and the body’s own fat deposits are tapped for use.
How does the Buchinger fast work?
During the fasting week at the HochLeger Chalets, we gently guide you into the fasting method. One week before, it is advisable to stop consuming stimulants like coffee and alcohol. On your arrival day and the first day of the Buchinger fast, you purge the system. There will be soup and a light meal to help the process. On fasting days, you will only ingest tees, juices and broths. Glauber salts are taken for a complete release and encourage the cleansing process. After five days, we break the fast with carefully chosen solid foods slowly introduced into the body.
There are so many different fasting methods. What is so special about the Buchinger fast?
The Buchinger method has an extremely intense impact on the body, mind and spirit. It has the most powerful effect of all the fasting programs I have worked with thus far. This tradition gives the body an extreme amount of energy and power.
That seems counter intuitive at first glance. The body is denied energy during a fast and with the Buchinger method there’s no solid food at all.
Above all, the time after the fast is quite special. You feel like you could rip trees from the ground, you want to move, the spirit is more awake, you feel totally unburdened. In a nutshell, you are free, light and fresh. This is the feeling you want to hold onto. During the fasting surprising how much unexpected energy you feel. The mystery lies in the body’s own ability to use its own inner nourishment – only for a certain time frame – to optimally supply its own nutrients. I wanted to see for myself what I was capable of during the fast, and I succeeded in walking from Vienna to Mariazell, 20-25 kilometers a day for a week without solid food. It was easier than I expected.
From November 12-19, 2017 the Hochleger-Chalets become the ideal place to purify in the truest sense of the word. Accompanied by the medically-certified Fasting Coach Gini Czernin, you will discover new energy and power through mindful reduction. Following the Buchinger method, you forgo solid foods and stimulants for a short period. Properly followed, you won’t feel hunger, but rather a totally unexpected inner energy and many beneficial effects for body, mind and soul.