Today is my last day of a 5 day water fast and although a couple of the days were pretty tough to get through, I am now feeling more clear headed, energized and healthier than ever. My husband and I did the fast together and that definitely helped, but I have to say it also wasn't easy smelling all the yummy foods our four kids were making in the meantime :)
So, why the fast? I just finished a 4 week intensive Biology Basecamp course with Dr. Zach Bush. He taught us all the incredible health benefits of a water fast and said that it was the"most anti-aging, anti-cancer thing you could do for your body", among many other incredible benefits. I'm in!
Fasting is so interesting because there are different facets to it. Beyond clearing toxins and fats, and giving your gut and immune system a rest, it also creates a quiet within you. A time and space to reflect and rest within yourself. When you take away planning, prepping and eating meals for five days you open up quite a bit of time in your day. It's a beautiful time to reflect on your relationship with food. Is there a stress-reward relationship? What are you trying to silence with food? What are the drug like aspects of food?
The most incredible thing though that happens is we allow our body a time to re-set, detoxify and rest. Our bodies are incredible and given half the chance will heal from anything. Sometimes we can get stuck leading such linear lives and rigid belief systems. We coast on autopilot. We eat foods that are tough to digest and then stack the next meal on top of that etc. and our gut, liver, kidneys etc. are constantly stressed and working overtime. We know that about 70% of our immune system is in our gut and we want healthy, strong immune systems so we need to give it time to rest and regenerate.
The fast is intentionally 5 days because on day 4 and 5 autophagy is enduced and the real magic happens. Let's back up though to the beginning. We first want to turn off our ghrelin hormone. This is the hormone our body releases around 4:00am each morning that signals our body to prepare for food intake. This hormone will turn off completely after around 24 hours of fasting. Once this hormone turns off our bodies will then burn our stored glycogen and fat. After it has gone through the stored glycogen and fat, the autophagy stage begins and our bodies consumes the damaged cells in order to regenerate new ones! This is what happens in day 4 and 5!
New cells = New You!
A few tips for hydration protocal:
* include electrolytes in some of your water
* warm water with lemon and Celtic sea salt is nice in the morning
* you may have some warm water with miso paste to create a broth if needed