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There’s a difference between Mont Blanc and Mt. Everest and that’s how I see water fasting, compared to say, juice or intermittent, bone broth or brown rice fasting, not to mention all the ‘other’ fasting protocols out there.
I’ve experimented with most of them and I actually do a 14:10 Intermittent Fast daily, but this time around I really wanted to take things further. To do a solid reset on my immune system and improve my insulin resistance, which hopefully turbo-boosts my body’s ability to burn fat. Especially now since my mid-40s body is having a crazy hormone party, leaving me with an ever-growing tyre in my mid-section where I’ve never had one before.
You see the thing is this. An extended water fast is like climbing Mt. Everest. Nothing works as deeply and heals so completely, not even close. The science is out there. I’ve already written two other articles on fasting here Intermittent Fasting and Fasting – The Truth Behind the Health Craze based on my experiences. Just to be clear I am no medical expert. And my go-to guides are ‘The Complete Guide to Fasting’ written by Dr. Jason Fung with Jimmy Moore and The Science of Intermittent Fasting by Dr. Michael VanDershelden.
So three weeks into Covid 19 lockdown in London, I decided it was time to go for it and climb Everest. Yup it was time for me to try and conquer a seven day, not one, three or five, but a SEVEN day water fast. I was going the whole nine yards.
You might be thinking why on earth would you do that to yourself at a time like this? And you would be right. Firstly I’m a bit mad when it comes to doing these sorts of wellness experiments as I tend to go all in. And I LOVE experiments and am always happier when doing one, like a wellness scientist of sorts. Also I did it during lockdown because there was zero chance for me to get FOMO which I suffer from badly, especially since becoming a solo mum and finally cos let’s face it, LOCKDOWN SUCKS.
There. Writing that in CAPITALS was very therapeutic.
Everyone’s stuck at home. Nobody’s going out to eat in lovely restaurants, sipping wine, gin & beer in buzzing bars or chilling out with chai lattes and americanos in cafes with friends or whilst working. Let’s face it, there was no more lounging around like lizards in parks having picnics or showing off holiday snaps and nights out. You get the picture. It seemed like a pretty good time to go for it. In my mind lockdown was like a prison and my neighbourhood in London felt like a ghost town so what did I have to lose other than a few cheeky kilos?
I’d like to say that I prepared well and started reducing my consumption of sweets, carbs, chocolate, and meat so that the landing into my fast was smooth sailing, but no. I had a home-delivered burger via deliveroo from Five Guys with obligatory cheesy fries and a packet of the fizziest haribos I could find for my last supper. Not exactly the smartest move in the book. And to top it off I even had a glass of wine in what was supposed to be, a booze-free 2020, as a celebration of my fasting prowess before I had even started. I know I know pretty stupid huh. To be fair I’ve only had wine six times in the whole of 2020 so far as part of my no booze experiment, but that’s a whole other story.
Before you buckle up, as I take you on my extended seven-day water fasting odyssey, I’m going to share with you a few of the habits I desired to break and some new habits I wanted to make.
Habit Changing Goals
- Stop guzzling fizzy Haribos like they’re nuts and erm, well replace with the real thing, nuts. Almonds, Brazil, Pecan, Hazelnuts, Macadamia, Walnut.
- Drink LESS hot chocolate and Drink MORE water
- Quit salivating over bad carbs and lemon drizzle cake and go back to consuming more good fats like wild salmon, Haas avocados, and fresh fruit and veggies, drizzled in healthy oils like olive, coconut, and flaxseed. Oh and eat more eggs.
- Get back into my daily habit of eating a plate of supercharged greens like kale, spinach, swiss chard, and broccoli drizzled in organic extra virgin olive oil with fruits and cheese and a sprinkle of seeds. Actually writing that has made me really hungry. My tummy’s grumbling like a lion now.
- Press pause on those food comas and brain fog which inevitably make me very lazy and less likely to do a decent high-intensity workout or yoga practice. Replace with at least one hour of movement / exercise / yoga every damn day.
- Remove the lack of creativity and writer’s block by Meditating for at least 20 mins daily to cleanse my mind and feel more creative
- Quit the sugar to improve my insulin resistance to prevent diseases like diabetes, press reset on my immune system, and make me better at burning fat.
- And last but not least, finally shed some of those pesky pounds to have more energy and feel more attractive.
My ultimate aim is to RESET and RENEW my mind, body, and spirit. In truth whenever I’ve done any kind of fast before, the biggest benefits for me have always been the stark improvement in my mindset, particularly around how I feel about myself and having way more creativity. I always seem to get a tonne of good ideas during fasting, some of which I’ve even ended up taking action on, like starting up my company Voyage & Soap and having a baby on my own. Despite my fears of f*cking up or making a hash of it.
The best thing that always comes out of a fast for me is that my mind seems to lose that patchy negativity that rears its’ ugly head sometimes. Instead, I’m left with a great sense of achievement and bags more confidence. It’s an added bonus that my body’s also undergone autophagy and lipolysis (more on that in Part 2) during the fast.
As they say out with the old and in with the new.
In Part 2 of my seven-day water fast I’ll take you through some of the science……..and the myths around fasting to whet your appetite.
Pardon the pun!
A bientôt de te revoir
DISCLAIMER: Do Your Research Before Trying Fasting
If you want to do a fast, definitely spend some time reading up on it and proceed at your own risk. I am not a medical expert. I am not responsible for the decisions you make for your health. I’m writing these fasting articles based on my research and experience.
Needless to say pregnant and breastfeeding women, children should NOT undertake fasting. Whilst anyone with an underlying health condition should also consult a medical professional before attempting to embark on a fast.
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