Day 4 of My 7-Day Fasting Challenge

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.

No problem.

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!

Checking Ketosis
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.

 


7-Day Fasting Challenge: Day 3

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.


7-Day Fasting Challenge: Day 2

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.


Week Long Fast: Day 1

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.


The Science Behind LCHF & Fasting

why we get fatLately I’ve had a few questions about fasting and low carb/Keto lifestyle.

  • Should I eat breakfast?
  • How do I know I should fast?
  • Aren’t saturated fats bad for you?
  • Isn’t fasting the same as starving?
  • Won’t eating all that fat cause a heart attack?
  • Why I can eat brown rice or whole grains?

For me, when it comes to reclaiming my health and losing weight, nothing beats a low carb diet combined with intermittent fasting. Unlike the standard Western diet, there is actual science behind the therapeutic benefits of LCHF/Keto and fasting.

I’m not saying LCHF/Keto and fasting works for everyone. But the science for each is rock solid.  For me, understanding the science of why we get fat was key to making better decisions on what to eat AND when to eat.

So for those who are new to, curious or want a primer on LCHF/Keto and fasting I’ve posted a few videos below to help you out.

Also keep in mind to do your own research like I did. For me, the science was compelling so I gave it a try and sure enough LCHF & intermittent fasting worked.  That may not be the situation for you.

Science Behind LCHF/Ketogenic Diets

How LCHF Works

Fasting

Cholesterol & Heart Disease

 


Thinking About Eating Before A Workout? Think Again

An interesting article in the New York Times about the potential benefits of fasting before exercising. I know a lot of bodybuilders and athletes play with timing their meals and workouts. And scientists like Jeff Volek have studied ketogenic diets and athletic performance. Well a new study looks at us regular folks and how when we eat may play a role in lowering insulin levels.

Gee, I wonder where I heard that before?

Anyway, it’s nice that science is starting to put to the test the “benefits” of fasting.


Thyroid, Calories Or Vitamins: Which Is Causing My Ice Cold Hands, Feet?

HEALTH

Have cold hands and/or feet? Sometimes doctors overlook these symptoms as frivolous. But ignoring them could lead to bigger problems. Image courtesy of freedigitalphoto.net and Kromkrathog.

The game plan for the week was to start a 7-day fast on Sunday. It started off great but about 12 hours into the fast I started feeling cold all over. The next thing I knew my hands and feet were freezing. Now cold hands and feet are nothing new to me. But this wasn’t normal (not that cold hands and feet are normal). I’m talking ice-cold extremities. No amount of mittens or socks could warm me up.

So I started doing a little digging. Turns out there are a few options as to why this happens

A Sluggish Thyroid?
The butterfly shaped thyroid is a gland that sits above the collarbone in the front of our necks. It pumps out hormones that regulates our metabolic rate. If the thyroid starts slowing down your body temperature can drop, causing hypothyroidism (an over active thyroid is hyperthyroidism and another set of problems).

Too Little Calories?
On non-fasting days I’ve been eating between 1600-1800 calories a day…or at least that’s what My Fitness Pal claims. Of course I’ve railed against this app about inaccurate data before. However, going into a fast I’ve never felt hungry.

Low Red Blood Cell Count?
Too few red blood cells means anemia. I experienced anemia when I was obese and had month-long periods (Yikes!). But with the weight loss my red blood cell count has been normal…or at least that’s my assumption. However, when I had my surgery in June, the only problem I encountered was the very slow recovery of my red blood cells. In fact, I was kept in the hospital because of it. I remember my husband and mother commenting on how pale I looked. While lack iron can be the major cause of anemia, there are a few other micronutrients — vitamins B-12 and D — that can also trigger it.

Other micronutrient deficiencies  that can trigger cold extremities? Niacin (Vitamin B3) and magnesium.

I ended up calling off the fast for now. We ended up going out for dinner and I made sure I ate my full calories for the day. That helped to warm the hands and feet, but they were still a little cold.

I’ve got a month to go before visiting a doctor regarding my menopause symptoms. But the cold concerns me. A lot of thyroid symptoms are identical to menopause. In fact, most doctors mistake thyroid problems for menopause. And frankly, you can have both problems at the same time.