Why Intermittent Fasting?
According to recent research, there have been tests on mice and on humans which show that Intermittent Fasting (IF) reduced IGF-1 which is a human growth hormone that is needed when we are growing children, but after the age of 40 (or possibly younger), it can actually cause, premature death, aging and cancer. Watch this movie to get the whole story on how to look and feel younger and healthier.
A brief history on my fasting history:
I have been practicing a clean, plant based diet since 1997, and Intermittent fasting has been a big part of my healthy lifestyle. The first fast I ever did was my when I did an Arise and Shine Intestinal Cleanse in 1997. Back then I had no idea what I was really doing, I just followed the instructions that came in the box. Needless to say I do not look back on that cleanse with fondness as I went in blind and had no guidance (other than the book). In 1997 there was no google, no place to research these types of things or to get any kind of support online. Because of my first experience without support, it is my intention to help and support others as much as I possibly can, and to make your journey easier as you cleanse and fast your way to a healthier, leaner and more joyful life. After my first fast, I continued to do cleanses and fasts over the years always with trial and error, sometimes with great success and always glad in the end that I went through the darkness to come out into the light again. Long term fasting is not really my favorite thing to do, however I greatly enjoy the benefits. The first benefit I notice right away after a day or week of fasting is how light I feel. I also feel more energized, clearer minded and I usually need less sleep. Now this is not to say I have not had my awful fasts where I wanted to eat so bad and everything in my body seemed to ache. One time in Thailand I was doing a water fast for 10 days on my own, and I ached so bad I that I couldn’t sleep. I couldn’t walk without feeling pain in every joint. I just laid in bed, hoping to feel better soon or that maybe I would have an epiphany or spiritual awakening of some sort. Well it seems with fasting you don’t always get what you want, but you always get what you need most. In that instance in Thailand I never got to that spiritual place I had so wanted to be at, in fact I felt very negative about everything. It wasn’t until I ended the fast and began eating again that I felt that flood of good feelings come into me. Even with all the pain, looking back, I’m so glad I had that experience and I know my body is the better for it. I tell you all of this not to discourage you, but to tell you that fasting is “The Hero’s Journey”. Which mean, you will venture forth to improve your life, and all kinds of obstacles may come your way. The Hero will keep going no matter the difficulties.
My favorite kind of fast:
That was my long term fasting experience. My experience with Intermittent fasting (IF) has been very different, it has, in fact, been delightful. After all of these long water and juice fasts (my longest juice fast was 84 days) I discovered IF and now have a better routine around fasting. There are several ways you can do IF. The first way is to only eat in a 5 or 8 hour window daily, and fast the rest of the time every day, always. Brad Pilon made this type of fasting popular and I consider him the expert on it. The other type of IF, is the kind I like to practice, which is fasting on only water, tea or small amounts of green vegetable juice for 24-36 hours 1-2 times per week (2 times is ideal) and eating a normal diet the rest of the week (whatever that means to you).
What I consume:
Some people who are blogging about IF say that you can pig out on the off days and still lose weight and get all the health benefits. Honestly, I feel if I am going to go to the trouble to fast, then on my off days I am still going eat the best possible diet I can, which for me is a high raw, plant based diet (80% or more). My nephew Christopher and I are now fasting every Sunday and Wednesday. We love having the support of each other as it motivates us to keep going since we live together. Yesterday was our Sunday fast. I had about 16oz. of green juice (Cucumber, celery, kale, lemon and ginger) for the whole day plus one cup of tea. I didn’t drink much water because I’m also and advocate of dry fasting so I feel the less liquid I consume on a fasting day, the better. See my blog on dry fasting for more info. I fasted for 32 hours (a night, a day and another night). It’s easier when the last 8 hours are during sleep time. I woke up bright and perky at 6am and felt energetic and excited to start my day even though no food had passed my lips for 32 hours. I did my regular meditation and then proceeded to go to the kitchen. Christopher and I had an 8am weight lifting workout in which we walk to the gym planned so I thought I might eat or drink something before going, but all I wanted was to drink more green juice. It wasn’t until after the 1 1/2 hour workout that I was ready for my superfood smoothie around 9:30. Then around 1:30 I had a light green salad with some avocado and salsa for dressing. I’m trying to stay light because I have the most amount of energy when I only eat enough to just stop the hunger. Tonight I’ll have another salad with more avocado and perhaps some cooked beans or steamed veggies with it. I like to use coconut oil as my fat on top of my steamed veggies and then some Himalayan salt, and perhaps some sautéed garlic or onion powder and cayenne. It’s delicious and adds so much to my salads. Today is one of the most productive days I’ve had in a long time. I’m so excited about how great I feel after only one day of fasting at a time, then eating for 2 or 3 days then fasting for a day again, as opposed to when I used to do 3 or 5 days at a time without a break. During the longer fasts my energy usually tanks on day 2 and I feel pretty ineffective in getting anything done other than laying around.
I hope you decide to try it out for yourself. Remember that the more you do it the easier it gets and the more benefits you will receive. After the first 1-day fast you may not feel much different but after fasting 2x a week for an extended period, you should really start feeling great! And the best part is, you are helping reduce your chance of getting cancer and other diseases as well as getting younger biologically!
Here is a link about IGF-1
Here is a link to the one-hour long feature documentary on the benefits of intermittent fasting: http://www.dailymotion.com/video/xvdbtt_eat-fast-live-longer-hd_shortfilms