I know that a lot of "experts" say that technology is actually ripping families apart, and though that may be true on some level (more distractions means less face-to-face time), in some ways, I think it's brought our family closer.
I have two teenage boys (for those that don't know) and I'm lucky if I get grunts, let alone actual words. And trying to get them to talk about their days? Is nearly impossible. And I try, believe me. In fact, I do some of the silliest things in an effort to make them laugh and open up. Once in a while, I'm successful, but most times, they just roll their eyes at me. I'm afraid I only reinforce their opinion of me – lame-ass mom.
But the boys got new phones for Christmas. These phones have pop-out keyboards which make texting easier. And we text back and forth. Not a lot, they are teenage boys after all (which basically means teenage boys aren't typically chatty to begin with), but I feel like I talk to them more now because of the texting feature.
We also watch YouTube videos together. ("Hey mom! You have to watch this funny video!") And of course, there's Facebook (sometimes reading their statuses is the only way I know what is going on in their lives).
I honestly think I would know a lot less about my boys without today's technology to fall back on.
It's certainly easy to get distracted by technology. When I think about making the boys give up their technology in favor of real life I have to think, "how would I feel if someone asked me to give up my favorite gadgets?" I'd resent it.
We have come to accept that that is what our boys like. They enjoy their computers, they love playing their games with their buddies online. Texting is crack to teenagers – our children have grown up with technology, it's what they know, it's what they enjoy. Sure, we teach our boys to take breaks, to come back to "reality," but as with anything, using technology comes with responsibilities and too much of anything is never a good idea.
Do I wish our boys had more one-on-one social skills? Yes. And I daresay they're going to learn those skills pretty fast when they get jobs and/or go to college, but they're also learning skills with technology, too; skills that I daresay will come in handy in our technology-saturated world.
I mean come on, can you imagine your world without your cell phone and your computer?
Okay fine, I can imagine it too, but the REAL question is, do we WANT to?
So I read more about fasting …
I’ll admit, some of it sounds a little hocus-pocus to me, but I think there are definite benefits from fasting. Here is a bit of the information that I found (you can find a lot more information at allaboutfasting.com).
What are the benefits of fasting:
When we cease the over-indulgence that has become so common in our modern world, even for a short while, our lives and our priorities become clearer.
1. rest the digestive system (BINGO! And the biggest reason I would even consider fasting).
2. allow for cleansing and detoxification of the body (!!)
3. create a break in eating patterns, while shining a spotlight on them
4. promote greater mental clarity (I have my doubts about this)
5. cleanse and heal “stuck” emotional patterns (sounds a little new age to me – however, if you feel better physically, I’m sure the emotional is not far behind)
6. lead to a feeling of physical lightness, increasing energy level (I could definitely use more energy)
7. promote an inner stillness, enhancing spiritual connection
Apparently, fasting initiates the body’s own healing mechanisms. In fact, this site claims that when someone fasts, they can often times experience flu-like symptoms because the body works overtime to rid itself of toxins. I can buy this because your body goes through something similar when you start an exercise program. Have you ever exercised after a long period of being lazy and felt more sick than good? It’s because your body is burning fat, which traps viruses and when it burns, the toxins release thereby causing your body to go into protective mode, fighting off the released viruses. I’m sure fasting does something similar, at least, that makes sense to me.
When we overindulge, our bodies are overwhelmed and it creates a burden on the body. When this happens, the body goes into survival mode and concentrates on the areas of the body that need attention first, shoving less important issues to the side. When you fast, the body can concentrate on those less important issues and work on healing/fixing them.
During fasting, we rest our system from the constant onslaught of food stuffs. We usually think of food as giving us energy, so it can be a new way of thinking to understand how the food we eat actually requires energy. Digesting, assimilating and metabolizing–these activities require a great deal of energy. It is estimated that 65% of the body’s energy must be directed to the digestive organs after a heavy meal.
Free up this energy and it can be diverted to healing and recuperation. It can detox and repair cells, tissues and organs, eliminating foreign toxins as well as the natural metabolic wastes (which are also toxins) produced even by our healthy cells.
And this is what the body will do during a fast. It will take advantage of that time and energy to do some housecleaning. The overloaded, overworked system, unable to properly handle all the toxins, has been storing any excesses in the tissues where they can be dealt with later. This is one of the great health benefits of fasting in that it offers this opportunity to play “catch up”.
Fasting itself isn’t necessarily a “cure” for anything. What it does is “set the stage” or create the environment in which healing can occur. Our bodies know how to heal themselves. We just have to “get out of the way”, and this means on all levels of our being. Fasting has a way of rebalancing us on all those levels.
Interesting. Oh wait, I already said that.
It warns that people who are anemic should not fast. Hmm … I am anemic, but not severely. I think if I build up my iron reserves before starting the fast I should be okay. I will also have to wean myself off caffeine before starting as well to save myself from the killer caffeine-withdrawal headache. (Which are pretty killer for me).
Oops. Just read that people recovering from surgeries should not fast. Rats. That would be me. I’ll have to wait a few more weeks at least before I attempt this. But that’s okay, that will give me more time to properly prepare myself. Because a person who is prepared to fast will often suffer less than a person who hasn’t prepared.
There are different types of fasting:
Fruit Fasting – A popular form of fasting is fruit fasting, ingesting only fresh, raw fruits. This is a good fast for beginners, especially the one-day fruit fast. It offers some choices as to the fruit to use, and like all fasts, you can create your own specific routine.
A fruit fast, like any of the fasting methods, will create an environment for your body to heal. You will experience an internal cleansing as the body’s systems begin the housekeeping they’ve been unable to do before. Toxins stored in the tissues will have an opportunity to be flushed out.
This detox will come with symptoms resembling the flu. Headaches, nausea, diarrhea, sore throat, coughing, fatigue, body odor, body aches, and sinus discharge are all considered normal reactions during a fast. If you find yourself with any of these side effects, take heart! and know they are a sign that your body is healing.
Does the sugar content of fruit concern you? Don’t let it. Fructose, the sugar in fruit, is slowly broken down and converted by the body through several complex processes, into sucrose and glycogen, supplying energy over a long period of time. Fruit is actually recommended for many with sugar-metabolizing disorders, such as hypoglycemia.
A fruit fast is actually what they recommend for one-day fasters and/or beginners. I’d probably stick with apples, though there are many more fruits you could choose from. They recommend four apples for the day – one for each meal and one for a snack. I could easily do this for one day and this is probably the one I’ll start first. I’d then like to go on and try the juice fast. You can read more about the healing effects of a juice fast here. (This will also give me some time to shop deals on juicers).
There’s a rice fast, I’ve never heard of this one. (Who am I kidding, I’ve never heard of 95% of this stuff) and “a brown rice fast can alleviate many digestive troubles.” Hmmm, I may have to try this one, too.
I think I’m going to have to try this over the weekend as I will have the time to simply rest, which is what is recommended. (They actually recommend taking naps – I can do that!) I’ll try a one-day fast to begin with and possibly work my way up to a two, or even a three day fast, but we’ll see how it goes. I’m really curious to find out how my body reacts to eating nothing but apples and drinking two quarts of lemon-flavored water.
Be careful not to fast too frequently; allow your body sufficient time to rebuild nutritional reserves. Two days per week is too frequent, as is one week every month. Recommended fasting times for regular, occasional “maintenance” and rebalancing are one day per week and/or 3 days per month and/or 10 days yearly.
I’m thinking two days per month might be better for me, but again, we’ll just have to see how my body reacts.
I’m excited to try this. I’m not looking forward to the detox symptoms, but I’ll prepare and hopefully it won’t be that bad. I’m most excited to see how this affects my digestive tract. If I can keep it cleaned out, then I shouldn’t have any problems. Right? At least, in theory. We’ll see how it works out when I actually start one.
In the meantime, hide your candy. 😉
P.S. By the way, things are quietening down again. I think it was just gas yesterday. I just picked at my food all day so my intestines wouldn’t have to work as hard. There is definitely a learning curve to this experience.