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.
Sorry for the delay in posting on the final days of my 7-Day Fasting Challenge, but I had a sick doggie and husband that needed some attention. Plus while going through the last 4 days of my fast, I thought they were uneventful. The intense hunger I felt on Day 3 was gone. Once in a great while my stomach might grumble a bit, but a sip of water took care of it (Day 3 I was obsessed with food thoughts).
I even stopped opening up the fridge.
But my little notes to myself indicate there was a lot more going on than I realized at the time. Physically, my menopause symptoms were gone. I could easily get 8 hours of sleep each night. The hot flashes and chills disappeared. My anxiety dropped through the floor. Mentally I was crisp.
Worrying that my fast would cause more stress on my body (thus raising cortisol levels and stress me out further) was unfounded. Yes, I lost weight not eating for 7 days, but that really was side benefit.
Below is the highlights of days 4-7 of my fast. Read More
Day 3 didn’t start with a bang. Where I was loaded with energy morning, noon and night on Day 2, my third day of fasting transformed me into low energy mouse. Low energy mouse is much different from my lazy mouse days. When I’m a lazy mouse, I have the energy. I just don’t want to use it.
On Day 3 I had absolutely no energy for a little more than half the day. I also had a slight headache and a whole lot of hunger pangs going on. Read More
Yesterday I felt a surge of energy coursing through me. I’ve read that you feel more energetic during a fast. I have to say this is the first time it’s happened to me. Hoping to go for a walk, I was thwarted by the rainy weather. So I turned my attention to my house. Mounds of laundry, dirty floors, clutter and dust – none of it stood a chance against me.
Energy Level Goes To 11
I spent a chunk of the day cleaning the basement, where the husband and I are setting up a very small home gym. We’re not buying machines. We’re using resistance bands with the possibility of buying dumbbells and kettle bells. I planned to do some work with the bands yesterday, but it turns out I got a different type of workout. Read More
This is how you bring in a New Year. Not one, but two challenges. I’m doing both to improve my health. Following my cancer diagnosis back in June, I’ve been on a six-month pity party, and that resulted in a lot of unhealthy behaviors creeping back into my life.
It’s time for a reset.
After a festive Christmas it’s a blur of activity in my kitchen. No I’m not cooking. It’s my annual After Christmas Purge. Between my 2 pantries and refrigerator I’m discovering lots of strange items – some green and furry, some smelly and squishy. Others decidedly not low carb.
Two full trash bags later my kitchen is back to normal (other than all the food storage containers in the sink). And I’m starting to feel that way too. The mindfulness is helping with my stress levels. That doesn’t mean the rage monkey doesn’t escape the cage. Nor are those depressing thoughts fully at bay. But I’m working on both.
On January 1 I start a different type of purge — my 7-day fast begins. I can’t wait. After the rollercoaster of the last 6 months I can’t think of a better way to kick off 2017.