On the extraordinary emotional and spiritual side effects of fasting

by Jean-Claude Gruau © 2002, excerpt translated from a speech held at Tours, France, on December 9, 2002 (original published at

Translated, prefaced and annotated by Healing Cancer Naturally with permission of the author copyright © October 2008

In the following, Jean-Claude Gruau, who healed his bladder cancer via macrobiotics and water fasting further reports on the very positive emotional & spiritual side benefits he has experienced from fasting and gives advice how to reap these benefits yourself (and hopefully make them permanent). Continued from “Side benefits” of fasting I have experienced and On fasting and spirituality.

Fasting has such extraordinary side effects that I'd nearly like to thank my illness [see Two Bladder Cancer Cures Achieved via Fasting] for having forced me to use this technique.

As I will tell everyone who will listen, the person who hasn't done a week of fasting misses an important experience.

Joy from inside

Here is what I wrote to a somewhat depressed friend nearly two years ago (on January 30, 2001): Living sometimes comes with hiccups which are all the more confusing since public rumor has it that a person who's happily married, holds down a job, has a three-piece suit and a car etc., must be happy since he’s comfortable.

But well, one can feel depressed while living in perfect comfort: so why am I writing to you? Well, today, January 30, 2001 at 3.33 pm, I have been feeling over the moon for several days. What I mean is that I have a feeling of permanent joy deep inside.

How come? While I can't answer that, I can say the following: Since one or two months, on waking I had the unpleasant sensation of having pigged out the night before, even when I had just eaten sensibly (which occasionally does happen to me).

So, determined to put a stop to that state of affairs, I began a fast of several days where I didn't eat anything. And in keeping with my scholarly prognostic, I did manage to start my mornings without that unpleasant feeling of "morning after" (without the precursory after, just the morning...).

In addition, my anatomy has been superbly redistributed (5kg in less than 5 days is rather spectacular and incidentally, unbelievable to media people). (I need to add here that a rather portly lady did indeed lose 5 kg in 5 days, after reading my first speech [see Two Bladder Cancer Cures Achieved via Fasting].

After 5 days, her family opened the door to her room to see if she hadn't expired in the course of the night, so she stopped her fast after these 5 days and another 5 days later, she had regained her 5 kg.)

The DISCOVERY is that Joy settles in (?), I am not sure wherein exactly: not in the stomach cause one quickly feels more like vomiting than eating; in one's soul is a "Barbara Cartland" expression, in the centre of one's being while sounding utterly philosophical has a ring of pomposity.

Since this wasn't my first fast (having already done many of them), I knew all these states well, it's only that it's the first time I am drawing a conclusion, like Newton did after receiving his gravitational apple on the head: When one stops eating for a week or so, a little light comes on in the middle of (?) which shows that Joy is there,


Joy about what? Joy for what?

It simply is Joy: this means that the simple act of feeling one's blood run in one's veins makes you supereuphoric, the simple act of rubbing your thumb against another finger is superpleasant, the simple act of breathing is great, and wow when you get up in the morning, inhaling a breeze from outside is delicious, extraordinary, orgasmic as it were. In summary, you make love with the morning air.

You need to understand that I find all these adjectives after the fact, in an effort to describe that the entirety of these feelings is there, conscious, you are "one with them". That state is a permanent state of "being in love".

Although I also feel very much in love with my wife, the love for one's spouse is only a reflection of that Joy which is flooding me: a kind of peace covers me like an internal bandage. To the point that when I am driving, where often I am greatly stressed by other drivers (which is normal since my approximate driving style stresses them in the first place, so they destress themselves by honking, hence stress me by destressing themselves), in any case, their honking simply rebounds off the jubilation I feel inside (I have to admit that my car's body is less rebounding).

So the principle which suddenly became clear to me is the following: "Eating gives pleasure, not eating brings Joy."

And that's A U T O M A T I C.

What's that, Mr. Gruau, you seem to be saying that my personal problems, my philosophical views regarding the Purpose of life, Meaning, past, future, consciousness, psyche and all sorts of things going by names of Greek and Latin origin could be resolved by a little fasting?

Well, try it and you'll see: the state of being in love dominates, surmounts, gives a global, peaceful perspective, and questions that used to be pressing become simple questions, like the questions a young child will ask of their mother. The mother knows that none of the questions her child is asking has any real importance. What matters is that mom loves her baby and baby loves its mom. All the rest is void, perhaps will be important later.

The deep questions will be discussed by men of science, the philosophers, the "specialists" of all stripes, but as of now, the only important and obvious thing of which baby isn't perfectly aware since it is asking questions, is that mom loves her baby.

"Yes but I am not a baby and additionally, I have no mom" (some say there is no God to play this role): well, I am writing this to give an image, it's well possible that there is no God-mom, nor even God at all, but the fact is that with a little fast, one feels "loving" and from there to feeling loved is just a little step.

So what is this discovery of Joy via fasting?

Since by nature I am rather extreme, I can recognize when I am euphoric, generally too much so, like a fire built from straw which while being made from straw is no less a fire, an enthusiasm which is too concentrated, has no true deep roots, since a fire of this kind will die and often give way to regrets and a feeling of emptiness. In summary, during my "enthusiasms" outside of fasting, I light up - and am quickly reduced to embers.

Here nothing of the sort: to take up the fire image again, this is not a fire built from straw but it's the sun's heat, a warmth that lasts and still imparts a constant state of wellbeing. I am not happy because I feel loved by my wife or because of this or of that, but I simply am happy.

This goes so far as to make the slight inconvenience felt when leaving out a meal or two negligible when compared to the joy which is going to arise from it. To give a pictorial comparison, a man in love will hardly find it difficult to wait in the rain for his beloved as long as he knows she's on her way.

The state of Joy which settles in when I return to eating is so pleasant, so "balancing" that the initial inconveniences one feels at the beginning of the fast are a small price to pay when looking at the final results. To fast for a day may appear like a stupid thing to do since one only feels the unpleasant sides of it. To fast two days is however not twice as difficult!

Additionally as the number of days keeps growing, a kind of happy state sets in, one feels the body transforming. Men, without any prior investigation, believe that daily food intake is required. But all preconceived notions are harmful.

For a long time, I considered that a true high means stuffing oneself to excess. But when stuffing oneself takes the joy away and transforms a man full of enthousiasm into one who's simply overstuffed, the celebration hasn’t worked out!

Breaking the fast: the most precious moment

I’ll give an example of how to break the fast. This is the most precious moment, and at the end of my speech, I will tell you how this moment can be extended, in fact, I hope it can be extended to last your entire lifetime:

On Saturday, 19th January 2002, we went to see an old friend who offered us wine and cakes. I have 15 days of fasting behind me. I take a very small piece of cake and pour myself a drop of wine (approximately a teaspoonful). I drink this drop by wetting my lips so that with each “mouthful” a few drops of wine accompany the few crumbs of cake which are waiting for them under my tongue.

Never have I tasted a better wine! It was a very fresh Sauvignon. I held each of my "wettings" under my tongue for some 5 minutes, and after a minute, I am suddenly submerged by all the aromas of the slopes of the Loire river...

I am telling you if you don't have any concrete reason for fasting, here is one of which I hadn't thought... you will taste wine which is truly divine (at least the new Sauvignon). One can easily understand that wine is half of the word "di-vine" (in French) and that the blood of Christ is represented in this fashion.

One of the first effects of breaking the fast is a feeling of extraordinary union with one's environment: the food, chewed for a long time, is put under my tongue until all taste has disappeared. This is what I call the process of mastication.

Instantly, waves of wellbeing flood me to the tips of my fingers, and according to a French expression "I chew the liquids and drink the solids". Many foodstuffs become like the wine described above: saliva knows how to bring out all the perfumes the plant has accumulated during the seasons.

You'll interject that in summary, fasting is good above all after breaking the fast, like the budding philosopher who will hit himself with a hammer to enjoy the relief he feels after he's stopped! But that's not it, what happens is that you start appreciating the full range of the tastes of foods. So here we have an unexpected motive to do a fast: if you are gourmet, don't hesitate, you will discover the quasi-divine pleasure of eating afterwards...

The fast acts with my body like my antivirus program with my PC, on which I click, whereafter a doctor clad in white appears to detect and repair the problems it has. 20 to 30 minutes later, all is detected and repaired...

For me, one week of fasting later, numerous small problems have been fixed: I had great difficulty bending down to close my sandals, that's gone! Similarly, to get into my car, one of my legs didn't fully bend any longer, now it does. Incidentally, to go from 72 to 66 kg is always agreable but that's not the purpose of the game. The real goal has been reached, i.e. to "reset the system".

The most interesting is this Joy that settles in, the surging enthousiam. In spite of an "exciting" life, in the recesses of my heart I had felt emptiness and pointlessness, which were all the more confusing since everything is all right, I get along very well with my wife, I do some bistrosophy*, some philosophy (in another circle), some theatre, informatics, I give private lessons... and also go for many walks.

* a play on words from French Bistro = pub

Well, that's a rather extraordinary change! I feel full: full of what?

Well, in any case, full. Additionally before returning to food, the fast allows one to repose oneself while feeling good: I feel a beneficial fatigue, very different from the tiredness of the insomniacs who can't do a thing, neither sleep nor live, because of their lack of energy. Well, I can do nothing and feel good, and just become aware that my body is restoring itself. After a long walk one is overjoyed to find oneself on a bed!

Additionally I feel totally integrated into my environment: the sky becomes a marvel again, the smallest oak leaf a masterpiece. And I, who normally is a gluttons' glutton, don't feel the slightest like eating. The smell of the food my wife is eating is very mild and I imbibe it like the scent of a rose.

Here lies the essential difference between fasting and dieting. Dieters will keep talking about food and working out dishes, steeped into food to their neck. When fasting, I not only don't feel hungry but often some kind of nausea, incompatible with any appetite! The important point is that Food is totally struck off my mind.

I also feel a pleasant tingling in my arms, hand and legs. I really get the impression that my body is putting things back into order and sorting things out.

In November of this year 2002, I may have found the key to paradise. I say "may" since I've only had one month to assess it. As mentioned, the most interesting result (apart from healing from cancer which isn't negligible) is the state of grace in which I find myself just after breaking the fast.

Unfortunately until I discovered what I will shortly explain, this state of grace would only last a few days, and here's the reason why: Very quickly I would restart eating more than my body required without becoming aware of what I was doing.

During my fast, I had been detached from food, like an ectoplasm. Then all of a sudden, I would find myself hurled back to earth, transformed into a swine amongst the companions of Ulysses (on Circe's isle). Like when the summer sun sets into the night via ever so slight variations in light levels: one suddenly finds oneself in pitch-black darkness, noticing what has transpired when it's too late.

My problems stem from the fact that I don't get any signs of satiety, so I will gulp down prodigious amounts of food without ever knowing at what moment I have passed the yellow line. Finally I've found that line:

Only swallow a mouthful of food when, transformed into a liquid, it no longer has any taste.

Right after breaking the fast this is done spontaneously. Transforming food into a liquid at that time comes as a natural process for which no effort of will is required. A little vigilance is called for, however, to only swallow when all taste has disappeared from the food. This is exactly where the signal is: I realize very clearly when I swallow at the moment when my saliva only has the taste of saliva left to it!

In this manner, I eat exactly what my body needs. In contrast, eating "normally", i.e. more than required, makes it impossible to follow this process since eating after this fashion would make mealtimes a bothersome chore, assuming that one even possessed the collossal volition required to do it in the first place. The body must know that it's already nourished, with mastication becoming totally inadequate and perfectly tiresome.

Two friends, intrigued by the above-described effects, wanted to do it, not after breaking a fast but from one day to the next: both had to give up next to immediately (and under the conditions I would have done the same).

In contrast to this, I've been practising this method without much effort on my part for a month now, after just 6 days of fasting. I hope that it'll work my entire life. I check that I lose or gain very little weight and above all, don't show signs of weakness while riding my bike, walking upstairs (I currently take them a few steps at a time) or doing any physical task which I'm normally able to do. This is not at all the case after 2 or 3 weeks of fasting, which shows that what I eat is sufficient to furnish me with those famous calories which nutritionists love to belabour.

In summary, the "admission fee" is at least 4 days of fasting, to set the process going. After that, it's no longer tiresome at all, au contraire, it's extremely rewarding: You gain an appetite for life, much more heady than normal appetite, and what's even more unexpected, your eating pleasure will be decupled. Note that I've said eating, not swallowing...

But don't just believe me, experiment for yourself:

1) Do a strict fast during at least 4 days to set the process going.

2) Apply the mastication process described above.

I wish for you to be able to set it going, it’s worth your while to try. The main point isn't to improve your health, but particularly to enhance your Joie de vivre, to become re-aware that the simple act of breathing, of seeing the sky or a tree is wonderful.

And the crowning glory is that you'll appreciate the joy of eating more than you ever have. The simplest piece of bread now gives me as much pleasure as a mouthful of a 5 star menu. The goal of my speech will be attained when I have been able to convince you to give it a try. I am not asking you to believe me, I am asking you to experiment.

Thank you for your attention.

P. S. I recently understood what the choice between the "process" and the normal way of eating is about: with the latter, we are consuming, and with the former we are communing. And that is the choice of each moment in life: to grab things to make the pleasure last at any cost, or to harmonise and blend, and to simply notice the Joy of the moment.

About the author

Jean-Luc Gruau was a retired maths teacher who lived in Tour, France, with wife Christine.

... and for the best, easiest, and least expensive ways I know to heal cancer

after studying the subject for some twenty years, click here.

Sponsored Links

Related section


Copyright © 2004-2023 and respective authors.
Unauthorized republishing of content is strictly forbidden. Each and every breach of copyright will be pursued to the fullest extent of the law.
Use of this site signifies your agreement to the disclaimer.