Can Feasting and Fasting Be Equally Healthy for You?

By Ed Bauman, M.Ed., Ph.D. and Debbie Gisonni

The insatiable desire for a quick fix to achieve health and weight loss sends most people from one extreme to another in their diets and, ultimately, their lives. Deprivation is usually the common thread in most diets, and traditional fasting takes that concept to the extreme. On the other hand, feasting is seen as an act of pure gluttony. Cultural norms tell us that deprivation is good and feasting is bad. But what if feasting and fasting were equally healthy for you?

Edward Bauman, M.Ed., Ph.D., founder and President of Bauman College: Holistic Nutrition and Culinary Arts, explains that you don’t need to choose between the two. He believes that Eating For Health is about balance, not about extremity. Dr. Bauman should know—he has been a healer, teacher, and nutritionist for forty years and is a groundbreaking leader in the field of whole foods nutrition and holistic health.  

Dr. Bauman states that every meal should be a feast. Food is beautiful, flavorful, and sensuous. If you take the time to be present, enjoy your meal with others, and eat mindfully you’ll have an emotionally rewarding experience. It will be a feast for the body, mind, and spirit.

On the other hand, there are times when your body and your life need cleansing. The Bauman College Vitality Fasting Retreat, held at the serene Stillheart Institute in Woodside, CA, is not a typical fast where you feel like you are starving. At this fast you are being nourished. You actually get to ‘eat!’ During the retreat, participants consume mineral-rich teas, organic fruit and vegetable juices, mineral broth made with cooked vegetables, herbs and spices, and green food powder.

Dr. Bauman says, “When you empty and cleanse the body, the mind rejoices.” Dr. Bauman’s unique approach to cleansing opens people up on a multitude of levels as they de-stress and detoxify. He creates a gentle and quiet environment that allows people to go deep within their souls and make positive changes in their lives.

It may be called a fast, but the retreat is truly a feast of love, life, food, spirit, and relationship.

Dr. Bauman’s Tips for Cleansing for Health

  • Always have enough to eat or drink; support your blood sugar.
  • Eat and drink slowly and mindfully; use all your senses and breathe deeply between bites.
  • Eat and drink in a quiet place where you can hear and focus on food and conversation.
  • Know when to stop eating and drinking.
  • Say grace or thanks after the meal to reflect upon the goodness of all you’ve consumed.
  • Surround yourself with positive and healthy people.
  • Don’t go to extremes in your diet or your life.