The Benefits (and Difficulties) of the Ten Day Brown Rice Fast


I first read about the ten day brown rice fast in Herbs, the Magic Healers, by Paul Twitchell. He wrote about benefits. Difficulties? Not so much. It’s sort of left up to the individual to discover those, perhaps in part because Twitchell, who became the Living Eck Master in the 1960’s (i.e. the spiritual leader of Eckankar, the Religion of the Light and Sound of God), was a mighty disciplined person. A ten day fast, at least a brown rice fast, probably didn’t seem like all that much of a hassle to him.

But it did to me.

Still, the benefits sounded like they were worth it. Brown rice is the closest thing to a single complete food we have on the planet. It can’t completely replace good old red meat, but ingesting brown rice and brown rice alone for ten days can be done without serious suffering and will do much to gently cleanse the human body. Inspired, I tried it several times over the past several decades. Not every go-round came out all that well, primarily because at times my motivation was weak, my discipline was lacking, and I cheated. Once I quit after seven days, once after three, and from time to time I’d make excuses, adding salt and/or vegetables (particularly frozen peas), thrown in the pot when the rice was pretty much cooked).

On the other hand, there was at least once when I got it right…and it paid off.

The year was 1983. I was employed as a social worker at the time, in Blaine County, Montana, but for two years before that, my jobs had been in the oil patch covering eastern Montana and western North Dakota, first as a cement tanker truck driver for Halliburton and later as a derrick hand on workover rigs for Western Oil Well Services out of Glendive, Montana. The work had been grueling at times, the hours long, and my on the job diet a mix of sandwiches, chips, cheap pastries, and cheaper soda. As a result, the toxins in my system were extensive, to say the least. As a warning symptom, my lower back was killing me.

Okay, not literally. At least not yet. But it was painful enough to get my attention, and had been that way for a couple of years. Time to fast, December, 1983.

That time, not daring to flinch, I stuck with it. After three days, the back pain was definitely slackening. By seven days, it was completely 100% gone and did not return until I overdid it with a three hour job pushing a lawn mower with a handle too low for my height in July of 1996. Thirteen years pain free following a single ten day brown rice fast. I could live with that.

Fast forward to Here and Now: March, 2014. I started another ten day brown rice fast three days ago because of swollen lymph glands that needed attention. It wasn’t surprising that my lymph system was having difficulty dumping all the junk from my body. After all, I’d abused it considerably in recent years with, more than anything, massive intake of Dr. Pepper loaded with high fructose corn syrup. Slow suicide. Then about six months back, after I went cold turkey off the soda, the lymph system hit overload. Prior to that, a 45 minute walk around the property had been enough to settle things back down.

Lately, not so much. It had been getting worse for weeks. I could knock ’em back down a bit with a walk or a healthy sweat-puffing jog, but not all the way. By the time I decided the fast had to be done, the biggest swollen lymph node at the right side base of the neck was a good two inches in length and an inch in diameter. There were others definitely noticeable in the right and left armpits and a similar though much smaller pair on either side of the spine at the base of my skull.

Time to get real.

For the rest of this post, I’ll be transcribing notes from my daily fasting journal.

Preparation: Purchased 10 pounds of long grain brown rice (Mahatma brand) from Safeway. Probably won’t need all of that but don’t want to risk running out mid-fast and possibly seeing that as an excuse to quit.

Fast begins:
1:30 p.m., March 6, 2014. Just left Denny’s after chowing down on a sirloin steak. Nothing but brown rice for the next ten days. No steak, no supplements, no salt, no herbal teas. Oh, joy. Beginning weight: 167 pounds.

March 7. I’m generally a day sleeper, slumbering through the mornings after writing online during the nights, but there are things that need doing today. I’m up at nine. Somewhere in midafternoon, I check the time and realize: Day One complete! This is good. On earlier fasts, I’d always started at midnight. The middle of the day is better, at least so far. Lymph glands going down? Not yet.

March 8. It’s 1:30 p.m. Day Two complete. Stomach cramps a bit, so I cram down some more rice. That takes care of it. Best way to keep going is keep busy. Grabbing a spoonful of rice and methodically chewing it while working on the computer works well, allowing me to ignore the process. Yay. I go out to the semi trailer to muck some more boxes out of storage. The contents have to be sorted, some for saving, some for the landfill, some for the burn barrel. I move slowly, not pushing it because (a) there’s no rush, (b) my energy level is down by at least 20 percent, and (c) when I get up after squatting for a bit, I’ve almost blacked out a few times.

My wife is worried I’m pushing myself while fasting, but I know what I’m doing. I think. Definitely weak, though. Weight: 165 pounds, a two pound loss in two days. I’m only managing to cram down about one blue bowl of rice per day, which I calculate at 400 calories. Pam freaked at that, but 10 days at that intake won’t kill me.

March 9. Wrote two posts last night, making up for the night before, and still made it to bed by 2:30 a.m. Back up at 10:30. Whoa! My body has adjusted to the brown-rice-only (temporary) diet. I feel fine, normal, 100% regular energy level. My stools have adjusted, too; no more liquid remainder that took a long time to wipe clean. That had been going on for years, more often than not. Plus, while none of the swollen lymph nodes are completely back to normal, they are all significantly reduced in size. The largest (right side of neck) is no more than an inch in length now, perhaps a third of its original mass. The smallest (left side base of skull) can barely be felt at all. It’s now 2:25 p.m., so Day Three complete.

Urine is strongly colored, but I don’t worry too much about that. Drinking enough water to lighten my urine 24/7 is a good way to never leave the bathroom. Besides, part of that deep coloration could well be from toxins exiting en masse. I feel good, and that’s enough.

March 10. No significant changes. Day Four complete.

March 11. No significant changes. Day Five complete.

March 12. No significant changes. Day Six complete.

March 13. Weighed 157 pounds. In seven days of brown rice fasting, I’ve dropped ten pounds. Didn’t need to, but there’s still fat around my middle; I won’t starve to death. Calorie intake is going down, though. The plain brown rice gets less palatable every day. I’ve only cooked up two batches of rice so far, five 16 oz. plastic cups of water to two 16 oz. plastic cups of rice. The first day or two, I managed to get somewhere around 400 calories down, but it’s trailing off noticeably. One more batch of rice will do it, and probably not much of that.

Fasting, even brown rice fasting, is not for the faint of heart or feeble of will. In order to get my liquid intake up (I wasn’t able to force enough water down and was way too dehydrated), I had to break enough to allow myself herbal teas. Plus a drop of honey for some of them, depending on the flavor. By alternating mugs of Celestial Seasons flavors (Cinnamon Apple, Sleepytime, Peppermint) and bulk spearmint, I was able to get the hydration factor back in order. Day Seven complete.

March 14. Swelling in lymph nodes is down noticeably…and there’s a sudden, unexpected surge in bodily strength as well. I took a sizeable load of trash bags to the county refuse transfer station this morning. We’re mucking out a 40 foot semi trailer we use for storage, sorting and discarding stuff the mice have gotten into. The bed of our pickup truck was loaded with 23 big black trash bags, some of them fairly heavy–at least they must have been, because the money taker lady at the weigh scale said I had an “unusually heavy” load of 423 pounds I’d pitched from the vehicle. Yet as I was slinging the bags out of the back of the truck, backhanding them with either hand, sometimes two handed, they were flying a good 40 feet through the air before landing.

The strength boost didn’t come from any deliberate form of exercise, and I’m not on steroids. Fasting, the way to power up. Who knew. Day Eight complete.

March 15. Ah, the Ides of March. Windy as the Devil’s own backside out there today. Nasty, nasty, nasty. Weighed 154 pounds. Strength tested by trying a pull-up on the bar holding the curtain leading into my bathroom. There’s roof right overhead, so I couldn’t do the chin-over thing, but it felt obvious that with the right bar, I could have done so. I’m honestly surprised, having basically starved myself for this amount of time, that no real (long term) weakness has manifested. Then again, back in my rodeo days, there were sometimes weeks on end when I didn’t get much to eat either–because there was no money in my pocket–and that didn’t stop me from conquering a few critters here and there. Hm….

Not that I don’t push it and get a bit faint every now and then. Example: Today, I had to go to Home Depot, but ye olde rice looked so unappetizing, I left the house after ingesting no more than 50 calories, max. Ran all day on that. It took longer than expected at Home Depot, and when I was at the checkout stand, I realized I’d left my billfold in the Subaru. Ran across the parking lot to get it, not a jog but a real run–and like those trash bags, I was flying. Felt like a runner again, no slam-down sense in that left knee. Haven’t felt like that since…let me think…probably the early eighties, when I was running fifteen miles a week.

In fact, I’d forgotten what it felt like to be a runner. Amazing. Until I got back in and the lack of food caught up to me, that is. Had to drop my head a few times to keep from blacking out. But all in all…amazing. Day Nine complete.

March 16. It’s closing in on 1:30 a.m., which will leave just 12 hours remaining in my 10 day brown rice fast. I’m munching rice as I type, alternating bites with sips of Cinnamon Apple tea. Strike that; I just hit my limit on the rice. Maybe I’ll munch a few mouthfuls more between now and finishing the fast at 1:30 p.m., but probably not. I’ll be day sleeping after publishing this, and then, when I get up–or shortly thereafter–it’ll be time the break the fast. (Yes, that is what “breakfast” means.)

And I have the exact Hebrew National kosher hot dog already picked out, too!

Later, I’ll get around to amending this section to include “Day Ten complete” but, as I’m currently only writing on Saturday nights (a change from the nightly writing I was doing when the fast started), that may take a week or so.

In the meantime, a summary of the benefits and difficulties of the ten day brown rice fast–for me, at least–goes like this:


1. Sticking with it is not easy. It was for me this time, but the last full bore successful fast I managed was in 1983. It’s taken me 31 years to get it right a second time.

2. Staying hydrated can be a challenge. Somehow, a brown rice only diet made me less willing to swallow water, even ice water. The herbal teas were a slight cheat (very slight) but were the only solution I could think of trying.

3. Getting enough calories down isn’t simply difficult; it is–for me, anyway–literally impossible. The first day or two, I took in perhaps 400 calories per day. That was down to 200 calories or less by the end of the fast, with an overall average (based on the amount of rice cooked and actually eaten) of perhaps 250 calories daily.

4. Initial weakness (mine passed by the third day) and occasional tendency toward fainting–which I never did but had to watch from time to time.


1. Reducing swollen lymph nodes. It did work for that. Not completely; there’s still some swelling in one small node at the base of the skull on the right side, for example. But the big bugger on the right side of the neck is down nearly 90%, no longer visible in the mirror, and not “offensive” in size when palpated with a finger or two. Basically, what started out as a lump the size of my thumb is now roughly the size of the tip of my index finger. The cluster under my right armpit is down by 75% or so, to the extent that I have to hunt for it (with finger pressure) to find it. The similar cluster under the left armpit is almost completely gone, and the tiny swelling under the left side base of the skull is smoothed out completely. All in all, not perfect but not bad.

2. Strength enhancement. That was a surprise. A welcome surprise, but definitely a surprise.

3. Knee joint improvement. Did I get rid of a bunch of toxins in that left knee, or was it all about pushing 154 pounds (instead of 167 pounds) over the tarmac? I have to think it wasn’t the weight only. At any rate, there was no discomfort at all when running, which has not been the case for the past couple of decades.

4. Weight loss. By end of fast, I’ll weigh 153. Or possibly slightly less; I’ll try to post that final update next week. 153 pounds will mean a weight loss of 14 pounds over the ten day period. Not a bad feeling, hitting my old rodeo weight at age 70. Lost a couple of inches around the gut, too.

5. Better stools with less paperwork to do at the end.

How soon will I do one of these again? Hopefully, not soon at all. Once every 31 years sounds about right.

UPDATE: March 1, 2016. I was wrong. This is Day Ten (the final day) of another brown rice fast, done just two years after the one discussed in this post. Far cry from thirty-one years.

Still, it turned out to be worth it. In the two year interim between fasts, the lymph nodes had continued to increase their visible presence, most especially down the right side of my neck to below the collar clavicle. Seemed about time to do the brown rice thing. Which had interesting spiritual benefits this time, too, but this post is about lymph nodes, so I took a couple of photos to see if there was any difference when the fasting was done.

My lymph nodes before starting the 10 day brown rice fast.

My lymph nodes before starting the 10 day brown rice fast.

My lymph nodes on Day Ten of the brown rice fast.

My lymph nodes on Day Ten of the brown rice fast.

Yep. The nodes are certainly not squared away by any stretch of the imagination, but there is definitely a difference.

Caveat: On Day Six of the fast, I added topical applications (to the affected area all around the neck and down onto the chest) of Frankicense essential oil, mixed with coconut oil as a carrier oil. How much of the lymph node size reduction ended up being due to the brown rice fast and how much was due to the essential oil, I have no idea.

37 thoughts on “The Benefits (and Difficulties) of the Ten Day Brown Rice Fast

  1. I love white rice, but have a problem getting brown rice down unless it is fried rice. That seems to go down all right. I need some kind of flavoring though. I have made brown rice with chicken broth and it tastes pretty good. Brown rice is good for you but you know it is because it tastes bad. Watch those glands, they could be a sign of something else. Mine puff up every time I get an infection and then I need antibiotics to get rid of it.

  2. Yeah, I know about the glands vs. infection. Mine started acting up about a year ago. I can think of several possible inspirations for that but have yet to really pin it down.

    I think white rice would be even tougher to tolerate (for 10 days) than brown rice. Like you say, though, flavoring makes a huge difference. Or frying. At the Golden Dragon in Sierra Vista (best Chinese restaurant), chicken fried rice is my favorite dish.

  3. I’ve never heard of this fast. I love brown rice, but don’t know if I could eat it without some kind of flavoring added to it. I definitely don’t think I have the willpower to eat nothing but rice for 10 days. The weight loss is impressive, tho. I’m glad you’re feeling better, Ghost. You’re very resourceful when it comes to identifying and fixing your ailments.

  4. Thanks. Actually, though, I wasn’t feeling bad in the first place. The swollen lymph glands were not painful; they were simply of logical concern. I’ll be gaining the weight back soon enough, too; Pam has started cooking again. Fried chicken breast fillets and fresh asparagus tonight. 🙂

  5. Great Share, Ghost!

    I first learned of the 10 brown rice diet from Paul Twitchell’s Herb Magical Healers. 20 years ago, I practiced this diet before following he suggested ECK Vidya diet. The diet was not easy back then! I successfully followed the diet for 10 days and had a dramatic improvement in energy increase and weight loss. I continued following the suggested monthly mineral intake. After 5-6 months a loss a total of 87lbs! Paul’s book also mentions you can use Kelp instead of brown rice. Here I am 20 years later on day 7 of the brown rice diet and I have lost 9 lbs. My wife and I plan to follow the recommended monthly mineral intake after completing our 10 day fast. We do sprinkle Ms. Dash Fiesta Lime over the rice prior to eating and we incorporated a small amount of vegetables or fruit to the diet. We’ve actually discussed extending the diet for more than 10 days because of how much we enjoy the benefits. Thanks for the share!

  6. Thanks for commenting, John; glad you enjoyed the post.

    I’ve never tried Paul’s full ECK Vidya diet. Read up on it at one time but never took any action. It would be pretty cool to have a spouse on the brown rice fast with me…but since anorexia is one of Pam’s numerous health challenges, that’s probably not a realistic option. I had never heard about Ms. Dash Fiesta Lime; may have to look into that.

  7. Hi, thank your for the post. Do you think the only reason you lost weight was the severe calorie restriction? I want to do this, but I eat a lot. I mean a lot. The last thing I want to do is gain weight. Thanks for the input

  8. Lucy, I’ve never failed to lose weight on the brown rice fast, no matter how much of it I ate. I would be surprised if you gained weight on that diet, regardless of intake amount(s). Much of the weight loss, I’m convinced, comes from toxin flushing, not just calorie restriction.

  9. Hi there,
    I remember the 10 day brown rice fast from my teenage years after reading You are all Sanpaku by George Ohsawa. I thought he was the one who invented it but see you are crediting another, so I’m not sure. I always thought you could add tamari (a natural soy sauce product) Have you ever heard of that addition? I’m tempted to try this again after only lasting 3 days in my teens 🙂

  10. Joanne, I suspect the ten day brown rice fast predates either of our sources. Twitchell and Ohsawa were contemporaries; it’s quite possible one picked up the concept from the other. If that happened, you could well be correct that Ohsawa was the first to describe the fast, especially as Twitchell was known as a master compiler, not inventing things so much as discovering what others around the world were doing and pulling them together.

    I haven’t tried it, but I’m sure you could add tamari to the rice and still come out well ahead of not doing the fast at all.

  11. Buddhist monks tend to eat only vegetables and brown rice and normally only once a day.

    This is a requirement for tiger temple.

    We are as americans, just spoiled with unhealthy foods. We eat to much and to much meat. Meat is good… just the quantity is absurd.

  12. Thanks for commenting, Cori. I’m pretty sure the physical body I’m wearing at the moment would have a good deal of difficulty surviving if I were to ask it to get by on the tiger temple diet, but your points are certainly valid.

  13. interesting post, i’m interested in trying this. one question though, with all of the arsenic in brown rice, how can it be considered a “cleanse”??

  14. Wow. Jon, I knew NOTHING about arsenic in brown rice until I read your comment. Thanks! You’ve opened up a WHOLE new can of worms–for this page, anyway.

    First, to answer your question: Based on a bit of Googling and reading, I’m guessing that a ten day brown rice fast probably does add a bit of arsenic to the bloodstream. That said, however, ten days is a relatively short term–no one is recommending a ten year brown rice fast–and the danger, if any, is in my opinion (which is of course only my opinion) minimal when the intake is limited to ten days.

    Secondly, brown rice does have a lot of nutrition packed in there (along with that arsenic, apparently) and it also serves quite well as a “bulk mover” without all of the usual “junk” most of us are adding to our bodies, either ingesting or contacting from our environment.

    Thirdly, my experience is simply that it works. Not for everything; I did my most recent brown rice fast a couple of years ago in hopes that it might help solve the swollen gland node challenge I’ve been having four the past…roughly 4 years now, if memory serves. (The glands go up, the glands go down…but they don’t all stay down, popping up like characters in a Wack-A-Mole game.)

    NOTE: I did find (on WebMD) a statement indicating that the highest arsenic in U.S. grown rice comes from the southern states while the lowest comes from California. If memory serves, my luck has been good in that I’ve always ended up using California grown rice, simply because that was what I found in local stores.

    Now, moving on just a bit: As you are no doubt aware, but I wasn’t, arsenic is also a major consideration when it comes to drinking water. Possibly other water, too, such as that used for bathing or doing laundry, since arsenic can penetrate the skin, but–according to the posts I read–drinking water is the big one. Researching that, I discovered (no surprise) that bottled drinking water, which is the only water we drink at home, varies widely in contaminant levels. Fortunately, one athlete did a bit of research for us and posted a list of bottled water brands that do NOT contain arsenic (or certain other contaminants). It should help some to use an arsenic-free water to boil your arsenic-laden brown rice during a fast, eh?

    Here’s the link to that page:

  15. Swollen glands especially wide spread mean lymphoma, other malignancy, widespread infection, not toxins…

  16. Partially correct, Anonymous. Swollen glands SOMETIMES mean malignancy or widespread infection. But if they go back and forth, up and down, swollen but then flat again, guess what? It’s NOT malignant, and despite what the experts have to say, I’m not convinced it’s always a whole lot of infection, either. It’s overload on the lymph system, or over production by the lymph system, or the dreaded “unknown something else”, including (but not limited to) toxins.

    You are of course quoting the traditional belief(s) in this matter, and there’s nothing wrong with that. But there’s always something new to discover (in any field of human endeavor, as far as I’m concerned). Currently, I’m working a couple of “new” angles. New to me, that is. One is a set of spiritual exercises, inspired by a talented healer I know and trust with my life, especially as she has saved my life at least twice in the past. I consulted her late last summer and was informed that I had several people draining energy from me, leaving me with less energy to run my own bodies.

    By bodies, plural, I mean not only my physical body, but also my astral (emotional) and causal (memory) bodies. It’s very likely that I would have completely healed myself by now…but I’ve had limited success in following her prescription of 3 spiritual exercises per day for 3 months. I’m lucky if I get one in, due to the combination of (a) having so much piled on my busy, busy plate, (b) having difficulty sticking to a given exercise long term, even though it’s usually one I designed myself, and (c) falling asleep. I have reason to believe I’m making SOME progress, but it’s not yet the sort to which I can point with any certainty.

    Then there’s a statement I came across recently that mentioned an inadequate diet, which ends up producing a gut that’s not doing everything it should, eventually results in overloading the lymph system with more hard work than it should ever have to encounter. That one gave me an “AHA!” moment. My daily diet is nothing to brag about, mostly meat and potatoes, etc. I’ve long since gotten rid of most of the really ugly intake (such as sodas) but had not, in my opinion, sufficiently countered the glaring deficiencies. Some supplements, yes, but hardly enough to cover the gamut. Today happens to be my first day with a particular “whole food” supplement that might do just that, however, and within another month or two I HOPE to have something positive to report.

    TO OUR OTHER READERS: Anonymous is not necessarily “wrong” per se, but over the years I have become extremely wary of anything that looks remotely like a dogmatic statement, an “absolute” if you will, when it comes to my own personal challenges. Is it a malignancy? Not. Widespread infection? Doubtful. Toxins? Not so much those, either, though a growing sensitivity/allergy may tie in there somewhere. Nutritional deficiencies? Yes, quite possibly; those are at least my latest major suspect. Spiritual factors? Also yes, and that one’s definite, though perhaps too far “out there” for a lot of folks to consider.

    As always, I’ll let y’all know when I finally get it figured out–and that I will. Guaranteed.

  17. Thanks a lot for taking the wind out of my sails !!!!! 🙂
    Here I was thinking I was doing great, especially for someone who very very close to beating her 33 year binge eating disorder.

    I use organic brown rice, 2 cups dry to allow me to have 1,200 calories per day, which is low enough to still be ‘on a diet ‘, BUT…………………….. ( and this is a big butt ), I have continued taking my supplements ( Vit D, calcium, Bio Sil, iodine, vegan glucosmine, and my 4 prescription medications daily ), plus I have been using sea salt to give it some taste.

    I guess I will not yield the full if any benefit then, since I have two infractions. Boo hoo. 🙁

  18. Oh, goodness, Elizabeth-Anne. I did NOT mean to take the least bit of wind out of your sails! What you describe is an awesome diet for what you’re needing to accomplish. In your case as you describe it, I believe you’re doing it EXACTLY RIGHT. First of all, if I were on daily prescription medication, there’s no way I could do the brown rice fast in the exact way that I do it; as my wife and I know from her multiple challenges, you don’t mess with a prescription regime that’s actually working. Nor would I (if I were you) even consider putting gaps in the supplement intake routine.

    Let me take that another step: There’s no way I could force myself to consume two cups (dry) of the rice each day. If a bit of sea salt is helping you to do that, then bully for you. I’ve always been a tad radical in tackling challenges; your approach sounds a whole lot more sensible to me. It’s just that BECAUSE your way is sensible…I’m pretty sure I couldn’t do it!

    You might or might not get the “full” benefits, but you’re going to get a whole lot more than “if any”, and you don’t have to wander around the planet all spaced out in starvation mode toward the end of it! 😀

  19. Now it is my turn to say OH GOODNESS. Today is day 3, i just woke up and i feel like I am 7 months pregnant, there is no way I will go on the scale as I know it will be up. I was doing fairly well, albeit mega slow ( I am 55 and nearly 3 years post menopausal. Before I developed agoraphobia, I used to walk 3-15 miles per day ), losing about 18 pounds since Sept, which for someone my age I guess is ok, 3 pounds a month. But the weight loss has totally died, dead as the proverbial doornail. All the scale has done for the past 3 weeks is go up and down like a see saw within the same 3 pound range. It just keeps hopping back and forth from 178.8-181.

    As I have major hair loss including my eyebrows, cold hands and feet, low morning temps and trouble with my weight, I don’t think anybody can accuse me of the ‘fat girl’s excuse ‘ this time – I truly belive something is up with my thyroid. I was not losing when I went down to 700 calories a day, lost a few pounds when I went up to 1,000-1,200 a day, but now no movement at all.

    I will find a endocrinologist today and make an appointment tomorrow, though I have heard Synthyroid is not always such a great pill to take. On the other hand I LOVE intermittant fasting, I keep a 4 hour window of eating, and the rest of the time I don’t eat, but part of those hours are spent sleeping, so for me it is quite easy.

    55 and still fighting with my body. Sigh ……………….

  20. Elizabeth, I was reading Your communications and I immediately thought THYROID. I had to have mine killed 19 years ago because it went radically hyperactive. I have been on synthroid since about a year later, when my thyroid finally was dead. I have never had a problem with it except I do not lose weight any more. I manage to stay the same though. Make sure you get the levels checked yearly though, especially the first 5 years while they get it leveled out.

  21. Hi Ghost,
    So for years I have done a brown rice diet to reboot the system once a year. I also read about it in the eckankar book back in 1983 or so. It has served me well. Not only do you get the purge physically and correct the body at some level, you also get off the pleasure path of whatever your eating vices are…which in and of itself is a great benefit…taking the mental choice stage back…at least for awhile–LOL. Thanks for posting your experiences…it was fun to see that someone else out there in the universe is doing the brown rice diet…even if it is when it is absolutely necessary.


  22. Hi Becky :
    Thank you so much for commenting. I went to my health insurance’s website and marked down 5 or 6 endocrinologists within 10 miles of my home. I have never tested positive during so many blood tests throughout the years, but now with the hair loss and 1/2 of my eyebrows gone as well – someone will listen to me and help me.

    I know they take a dim view on overweight who complain about not losing weight while there is a Cadbury tucked in their bags, but I am about 96 % healed from my eating disorder which I had suffered from since I was 22 and still in college.

    Fingers crossed ……………………..

  23. Elizabeth-Anne, even though I don’t personally have a thyroid problem, it looks to me like you and Becky have hit the nail on the head. My first wife had thyroid difficulty by the time she was 20. Even on medication, she was not able to lose weight (regardless of calorie intake) until she got her stomach stapled, many years after we parted ways.
    There you go, Mike, and thanks for commenting. I’d very likely be better off if I followed your routine, rebooting once a year with the fast. I’ll have to think about that.

  24. Fasting once a year and also fasting one day every week is a great way to reboot our insides. Pick a day of the week that best fits you and a time of the year to your liking. Winter/late Fall or early Spring usually works for most.Thanks for the post cowboy.

  25. Lundberg California rice is supposed to have the least arsenic. I went to a presentation Sunday at a Vegan Festival here in Portland, Oregon.

  26. Dear Ghost, Thank you for your blog. We do brown rice fasts occasionally. Your information is very helpful. I am on a water fast right now. I would like to suggest that inside of a swollen lymph glang, you may have a fatty lipoma of the neck. It would make sense that it would shrink during weight loss. I can think of no scenario where a lymph node would be swollen unless you had cancer or an infection. And, yes, I am a physician.

  27. Thank you Naz, and I appreciate your mentioning that you are a physician. To which I must add: Cancer no, infection yes. For one thing, the swollen nodes cover pretty much my entire body (neck, base of skull, armpits, groin, and occasionally elsewhere) and have been in this condition for more than four years now. In my opinion (and no, I’m not a physician, but I do know my body), that kind of spread of any known kind of cancer for that length of time would already have me dead, or at least sufficiently debilitated to make denial impossible.

    But infection, definitely. Not until late December of 2016 when I got on a FIFTH antibiotic, specifically Bactrim, which turned out to be necessary to beat a right-side-only sinusitis that had progressed all the way down to involve my right lung (never did go to the left side)…well, the Bactrim not only conquered the sinusitis, but it made HUGE headway against the various node swellings. As much as 90%…but then it could do no more.

    After the Bactrim usage was stopped (I’d been on it for a long time, 40 days, before the sinusitis was completely gone), the node swellings slowly rebounded to approximately the amount shown in the lower photo (above).

    Another interesting tidbit: I lost 20 pounds during the illness, down to 143 (I’ve been running right at 163 for the last couple of years)…and the nodes did NOT shrink in size until Bactrim was introduced to the equation. So yes, the problem is definitely infection based, but how to kick it’s tail? That is the question, without question. Or something like that. 🙂

    NOTE: My wife came very close to dying in hospital in November, and I followed up by nearly kicking off (at home) in early December. I believe in karma, believe that I’d taken on some of hers (not deliberately, but as Soul I seem to be quite willing to blindside my limited human self when the situation requires drastic action). It was extremely close for both of us, and I may not have bought her that much time, but as of today (February 24, 2017), we’re both still kicking. And yes, I do have my weight back up to 163.

  28. I have never posted a comment because I have not found most sites interesting enough or have been appalled by the viciousness of some of the comments. What a delightful site! If you have time in future, could you address some of your spiritual beliefs? I was particularly puzzled and intrigued by your statement that you had taken on some of your wife’s karma. Please understand that I am not digging for details. Just fascinated by the concept as I have not heard of it before. Nice to see such a pleasant audience posting comments and appreciate so much that you took the time to answer each person. I will be praying for your and your wife. Thank you for the article.

  29. Thanks, Diane. First, about my spiritual beliefs: I’ve been a member of Eckankar (more information available at and/or through numerous writings by Paul Twitchell and Harold Klemp) for the past 43 years. I don’t have any current plans to write complete posts about that, but feel free to drop me an email at at any time.

    I agree completely; this site does enjoy “such a pleasant audience.” Of course, it helps that the site is entirely mine (I’m the webmaster as well as the sole writer), and I have no need to tolerate comments that are too far out of bounds. I can simply delete them and on rare occasions have done so. Fortunately, that doesn’t become necessary very often.

  30. This is a truly enlightening site. I did the 10 day brown rice fast 30 years ago and loved it. After the first few days I started feeling much better, after the toxins were being released. I also did a 10 day water fast a few years before that. That one was harsh but worth it for me. Now at 62 I can’t see myself doing that one again though. I just started the 10 day brown rice fast tonight so we’ll see how it goes this time around. Thanks for all of your info on this. I’ll be referring back to your site during my fast.
    May the blessings be!

  31. Thanks for commenting, Dee, and good wishes for your fasting results. 😀

    May the blessings be.

  32. Hi Ghost32!
    I wrote a comment back in 2014 (oh my- how time flies) and I’ve just read the entire post and comments again and would love an update from you on your lymph nodes and also if you have done the rice diet again.
    I’ve actually been periodically doing a day here and there on potatoes only- in the same fashion as the rice- with nothing added. This came about after reading about Andrew Taylor (Spudfit) who went the whole year of 2016 on spuds only. I think these 2 highly nutritious carbs can probably be interchangeable in these diets/challenges. For my part I’ve only managed 3 days on both. I just need a good kick in the guts to get past that day lol – hopefully soon.
    Good luck and kind regards to you

  33. Great timing, Joanne. As of last November, I finally started asking my spiritual guide, “Please take me to where I can learn to heal the physical body.” I would think this before going to sleep and then take it from there. Note that I was not asking for a healing, just directions to the classroom. My lymph nodes, despite continually trying new protocols that worked partially but then gave up, had enlarged to the point that I looked like a bullfrog on steroids. One cluster was even pressing on my windpipe.

    The first huge clue came 3 days later. I saw nothing (that I can recall) but clearly heard the words, “DECONTAMINATE THE SALT.”

    From there, things progressed rather quickly. It turns out nearly all of the planet’s sea salt now contains microplastics, MPs, so I was going to need to start cooking everything from scratch, using Red Utah Jurassic Salt as my go-to salt. (More details and backstory on this available at .)

    At present, the nodes are down a lot but certainly not completely restored to “flatness” just yet. For now, Pam and I would just appreciate getting over the flu! 😀

  34. Hey there, just came across your corner of the internet searching for rice fasting. I’m wondering if the same benefits would come from white rice as well? I can’t tolerate brown rice due to very messed up gut problems from Lyme Disease. I did a white rice fast a few days ago and added some salt and seasonings, just to test the waters so to speak without being too restrictive (also have an eating disorder history). I don’t think that was enough time to tell the benefits though. But because of my history of eating disorders I was thinking of doing one every few days, then eating normally on the other days, perhaps at least to give my digestive system a rest. Do you think that would have any benefits? Any thoughts on any of this?

  35. Thanks for asking, Kristen.

    You’re not alone in being unable to tolerate brown rice. Whether due to Lyme Disease (or other disease), genetic predisposition or whatever, there probably isn’t a food on the planet that can be tolerated by everybody.

    Regarding white rice (vs. brown), your thoughts on how to use it (rice days but not extended 10-day fasts) to give your digestive system a rest …well, that makes sense to me. White rice doesn’t have the vitamins, minerals, or fiber that brown rice does. It does, however, provide both protein and carbs. With several “regular” days separating “rice” days, it seems to me it would be worth a try.

    Doing it that way won’t get the hardcore detox that a ten-day rice fast will do…BUT it sounds like that (detoxing) might be awfully hard on your system anyway. I’m no longer doing the ten-day fasts, either, but every time (in the past) that I completed one, I started “really noticing” remarkable effects after about a week of the fast, 70% of the way through it. That’s just me. One thing I’ve learned over the years is that everyone’s body system is unique and one size does NOT fit all.

    Hope this helps.

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