Today was an awesome day. I ran a ton of errands, steamed cleaned a carpet and moved furniture around. Despite all the activity I didn’t feel hungry once. Not bad 5 days into my 7-day fast.
Day 4 of my 7-Day Fasting Challenge is winding down, and I am a bundle of energy. I’ve been running around my house going from chore to chore for about 10 hours. I took a “quick” break for social media and 30 minutes later I start crashing.
I just moved to the next project. BAM! Energy levels come roaring back.
As for hunger, well, I’m just have no interest in food. Oh sure there were a few small rumbles, but they went a way as fast as they came. Heck, I was working in my kitchen about 5 feet from my refrigerator and I had no urge to eat.
My hunger is just gone. Sweet!
Right before bed I decided to test my ketone levels. I just had too. I used two different strips — one I got from CVS and another that was sent to me by One Health to test. I’ll do a review of One Health’s ketone strips next week. However, I say they have one immediate advantage over the ones I currently use — length! When you have to pass the sticks through a urine stream, having a long stick is awesome.
Anyway, last night the strips showed that I was excreting trace amounts of ketones. By morning the strips showed I was releasing small amounts (1.5 mmol/L). A few hours later the amount increased to “moderate” levels or 4.0 mmol/L.
Using Ketosis To Protect Cells
So I am fat burning mode and loving it. The added benefit is that ketones protect our cells from cancer. In his presentation at the 2017 Low Carb Down Under conference, Dr. Gary Fettke talks about how things like protein and fatty acids serve as building blocks for cancer (glucose is the fuel), but are not readily available. So Cancer basically poaches them from nearby cells.
That’s where ketones come in. When you are burning fat for fuel instead of glucose, the ketone bodies act to protect healthy cells. So not only does it stop cancer from stealing from healthy cells, ketones also starves cancer cells. Pretty Awesome.
Check out the video for yourself.
Yay! Three fasting days down, just 4 more to go. And I’m feeling awesome! Day 3 was easier than Day 2 by far. My energy returned. And that ravenous feeling I had the day before disappeared.
Like Day 1, I stayed busy all day. So there were no stray thoughts about food. I was just too busy to eat. And today I was lifting lots of heavy boxes and home office equipment. I may have missed my workout on Tuesday, but I had plenty of resistance training today.
I will add that I got very hungry after I was done with all the heavy lifting. That was expected and I just rewarded myself with a tall glass of water with a tablespoon of apple cider vinegar. That’s the way i role on a fast!
I did have two little hiccups. The first appeared in the form of a minor headache. Since I’d had to get up twice last night to go to the bathroom, I knew I lost a little too much sodium. A nice cup of bone broth with about 1/4 teaspoon of sea salt fixed me up in about 20 minutes.
The second happened around 6:00 p.m. That’s when the husband cooked his dinner. I went up stairs, thinking of the phrase “out of sight out of mind.” Well, that doesn’t really work when it comes to smell. Wow, that was a tough one. But I prevailed.
Opps! Forgot About Measuring Burning Fat?
During an extended fast it can take between 2 to 3 days before you reach full ketosis. Ketosis is a natural state where your body is almost completely fueled by fat. Normally on Day 1 of my fast I would track my ketone levels (ketones are small fuel molecules, produced in the liver from your body fat). However with all the excitement with my mom’s unexpected hospital visit, I completely forgot to measure my ketones. Ugh!
Well better late than never. Tomorrow morning I’ll start tracking my ketone levels. I’m using the urine sticks (you basically pass the stick through your urine stream). Besides getting a reading first thing in the morning, I plan to also test my ketone levels after having my morning coffee and afternoon bone broth.
I’m just curious to see the effects both have on my fat burning.
Day 4 is coming up next and my biggest challenge is I’ll be home, working 10 feet away from my refrigerator. Here boredom is the enemy.
But between cleaning the basement, picking out a new kitchen sink, counter top as well as the color we’re painting our cabinets, I’m thinking I’ll have a pretty busy day.
Today was rough. I had no energy and just wanted to sleep. I ended up canceling the morning workout with my trainer. My gas tank was on empty. That was probably a good decision. Why?
Right on time, they Day 2 hunger pangs started at noon and seemed to never let up.
When I do extended fasts, Day 2 is always the hardest. I assume it’s because my body is basically crossing The Rubicon — switching from glucose to fat burning. I attempted 7-day fasts before and it’s always Day 2 that made me cry uncle (and eat a steak). Which is why I like to stay super busy.
For Day 2 I planned to paint the trim in my living room as a way to take my mind off the fact I’m not eating. However, that fickle finger of fate stepped in.
Instead I checked on mom and to be there for her first in-home physical therapy session. Mom’s recover is way more important than home decorating and stomach rumbling. Still, other than sitting in a chair and asking a couple of questions, I wasn’t terribly busy.
Which means my body did it’s best to break me.
I didn’t give in. Despite feeling exhausted, ravenous…and cranky.
Exhausted because I didn’t get a good nights sleep. Again, I’m assuming that’s because my body is burning up the last bits of glucose.
Ravenous because, well that’s obvious. I’m fasting.
The crankiness surprised me. When I’m hungry, apparently I get ticked off easily. It didn’t help the drive home was horrible. A 10 minute drive took well over 40 minutes. Now I hate sitting in traffic. Today I was apoplectic.
To make things worse, the angrier I got, my hunger increased proportionately. No amount of water could satisfy my stomach. I suspect that cortisol may have been raging. So I was just making myself hungrier.
Once I realized I was sabotaging my own fast, I started calming down. Sure enough, the hunger became more manageable.
I’m hoping that Day 3 will go a lot smoother than today.
As you know, I’m a big believer in the healing power of fasting to kick cancer’s sorry ass. Well it’s that time of the year where I do another week-long fast to help shed any pre-cancerous cells.
I’m wrapping up day 1 of my 7-day fast. Although I started the day with a ton of energy, it’s nearly 9:00 pm and I’m exhausted. That’s how I like it.
Normally I’m much more prepared going into a fast. But my mother’s hospitalization saw that I went into the fast by the seat of my pants.
All you can do is roll with it.
This morning, no bone broth. No bullet coffee. No water (UGH!). I just left for mom’s place. Clearly I forgot about the fast. So I just sucked it up, picked up black coffee from Dunkin’ Donuts, and headed over to mom’s to help her out.
Now before you fasting purist out there say anything, I’m not doing a water fast. I’m following Dr. Jason Fung’s guides on extended fasting. However, my fall fast will be water only.
The good news was I stayed busy all day. Meaning not a lot of time to think about the food I wasn’t eating. If you want to fast successfully, keeping busy is the key. Time just flies by. Oh sure the occasional stomach growling wave hits. But when you are busy it’s easy to ride that wave. Besides, it only lasts 10 minutes at a time.
The bad news was I was so busy I forgot to drink enough water. Thankfully it didn’t lead to a headache. However, the hunger pangs hit when I got the bright idea to make her some chili for the week.
Yep. I cooked on day 1 of my extended fast.
Not too bright. But I didn’t eat one bite…not even to see if it needed seasoning.
All in all, that is pretty awesome.
I’m so ready for Day 2.
Does meat really cause cancer? Nope. Our evolutionary history says otherwise. Human ancestors survived and thrived by eating meat. Meat is way more calorie dense and has all the essential amino fatty acids we need. Plus, humans would not have developed the size brains we have without meat.
I think a much better case can be made that our current food chain, which relies on heavily processed low-fat foods with a ton of added sugar, is a much better candidate for cancer and other metabolic diseases that have exploded over the last 40 years.
The attack on meat (and it is an attack) seems more political than science-based. Check out this lecture by Dr. Georgia Ede. She actually read these observational studies (not the gold standard in research).
I didn’t post this to bash those who don’t eat meat. That’s your choice just like I choose to eat low carb, moderate protein and high fat foods. If a vegan or vegetarian diet works best for you, great. LCHF with awesome animal meat and fat works best for me.
But there is a part of me that this video tweaks those dietary nannies out there (and all diets have them!). They corrupt science to make political points and claim moral superiority. All in an effort to scare or shame me into a certain behavior they approve. Control is the game. They don’t care about my health.
Sorry, but not everything is political (nor should it be). Eating for my health is my business and it is up to me to make those decisions.
I’ve wised up and no longer listen to scare tactics.
I got the results back from my annual physical. I’m still healthy. The news from my physical came about two weeks after my oncologist’s office let me know my test came back negative for cancer. So while I was happy with the results, my oncology report stole my physical’s thunder.
Other than my menopausal weight gain, I expected results similar to last year’s physical. Read More
Every 3 months I have to go in for a check up to make sure the cancer hasn’t returned. Nearly a year post surgery and I just got the latest lab work back: All clear.
My oncologist told me I’ve got another year of this “aggressive” testing. Then for the next 2 years I get checked just twice a year. Then the 5th (and final year) I’m tested just once. If all is clear after that, then I’ve officially kicked cancer’s sorry ass.
So how do I celebrate the good news?
I’m lifting weights today. And if the weather holds, a bike ride. Finally I’ll cap the day by grilling a burger to top my tasty, big-ass salad.
Apparently deciding to see an endocrinologist to help balance my hormones is easier than actually getting an appointment with one. Turns out the two hormone doctors my physician referred me to feel I’m not worthy of their time.
When I called to schedule an appointment, the receptionist pretty much blew me off before I could give specifics as to why I needed to see one of the two doctors I was referred to. She didn’t need to hear that I my very high estrogen (a hormone) levels caused my cancer or that I was insulin resistant (an other hormone problem). Once I said “menopause” I was told to “just go see your gynecologist” because “it’s just menopause.”
I ended up calling 3 other endocrinologists and pretty much got the same result. However, during one of these calls I was asked, in a somewhat hopeful tone, if I was a diabetic. When that didn’t pan out as hoped, the voice on the other end of the phone told me to see a gynecologist.
So I did contact couple of gynecologist offices. They were up for pelvic exams (I already get 4 of those a year via my oncologists!) or hormone treatments – a big no-no for me.
Enter Functional & Integrative Medicine
This week I visit a doctor with a functional and integrated (F&I) medical group that treats menopause. I’m curious about this visit. While the idea of integrated and functional medicine is appealing, I also know marketing speak when I see it (“we don’t just treat the disease, we treat the whole patient”).
So what is functional & integrative medicine? Well the best that I can figure is that both rely on conventional western medicine (testing, labs, medications, etc.) but integrative doctors include alternative treatments like vitamins, minerals, acupuncture, or stress reduction techniques. Functional medicine tends to stress nutritional therapy.
And I’ve read lots of articles online about the traditional medical community hating on F&I community. “Quackery” is the main word I see when talking about F&I.
Certainly when it comes to nutrition, western medicine has it’s own “quackery” to own up to.
Traditional doctors still embrace the standard American diet (high carb, low-fat) despite following its introduction the obesity and diabetes epidemic began. They believe exercise makes us thin, and many pretty much reject my embrace of the ketogenic diet to drop 150 pounds. Hmmm…
There are aspects of F&I that I’m very skeptical of, like HeartMath or detoxing (the kidney & liver do that just fine!). But unlike traditional medical practitioners, I’m not skeptical about essential oils, eliminating foods from the diet, herbal medicines, supplements or mindfulness. I never considered any of these things as alternatives to treat my cancer. But my own experience tells me they have a place in helping me become a healthier person.
The bottom line is that traditional medicine is driving me to integrated & functional medicine. But hey, “it’s just menopause.”
This morning I stepped on the scale for the first time since January. I expected to gain weight back from my week-long fast (usually half comes back). Turns out I kept just 2 pounds off. As a ‘glass half full’ gal, I’ll take that.
So I’m officially stepping on the scale once a week. I’m tracking my food consistently once again. The wine is officially out of the house. For the foreseeable future, eating out is over with.
Funny how exercising regularly improves your mental focus. I know exercise doesn’t help with weight loss. It’s all about building strength, improving cardio and balancing hormones.
Most importantly it clarifies choices.
Battle Of The Final 40 Begins
Stepping on the scale I start my new journey – getting to a healthy level of body fat. I know focusing on weight is dumb and doesn’t do any good. I need to focus on reducing my body fat while maintaining/building muscle. It was those fat cells that went wonky on me and caused the cancer after all.
I’m using the same calculations I made back in August when I figured out my ideal body weight. For the sake of sanity I’m calling this challenge “The Final 40” since the balance of lean body mass and fat pegs my ideal weight at 165.
That doesn’t mean 165 pounds is my maintenance weight. Before cancer came a knockin’ I was dealing with a nasty infection due too excess skin (sigh…those were the days).
I’m looking forward to those days once again.