This will be my journal of the experience.
|There was once a whole season, where food might
not have been so plentiful and readily available as it is today.
We had to be highly adapted to even prolonged fasting.
Why do I conduct a prolonged water fast even though I do not need (or even can afford) to lose any weight?
As for most people, who embark on the journey of a water fast, my reasons are health related. Nine years ago I have been diagnosed with intestinal disorders called ulcerative colitis and crohn's disease. Yes, doctors diagnosed me with both, whereas the usual reasoning is, that you can only have one.
Even though I know think that the outbreak of these illnesses were stress related, I did not see that back then. And from a medical perspective it is said to be an incurable condition. And that pervaded my thinking for many years.
About six years ago I switches to a mainly plant based diet and through trial and error found out that I could control my symptoms. But I never really managed to stick to one approach and become completely symptom free for an extended period of time. Most of the times I have done blood test, the marker CRP, showing the systemic inflammation level, was slightly elevated. Thus increasing my long term risk of developing complications in other areas as well.
With the water fast I try to restore completely healthy tissues in the digestive tract. Starving out any harmful intestinal bacteria that might be present. Restoring digestive capacity. Gaining healthy weight, so that I my weight is back into the normal weight range. And increasing nutrient absorption efficiency so that my body is able to digest what I eat.
In parallel to the digestive disorders I developed a skin condition called psoriasis. It is only limited to my scalp, but there is almost always present. It is not in a very bad condition, but I have to make sure to wash my hair daily, otherwise dandruff will be visible. Additional itching of the scalp makes this a very annoying condition to have in the long run.
Lastly I have three further "injuries" that I hope to heal during the fast:
- while running a couple of weeks ago in the cold weather and stretching before being fully warmed up, I pulled a muscle in the back of my upper leg. It is quite painful at times and did not heal yet
- Three years ago I injured my shoulder while training in the gym. Even prolonged pauses from training did not manage to heal it. Every time I resume even moderately heavy lifting with my shoulder I feel pain in that area.
- When running for more than 3-4 km at a time, my right knee starts to hurt. From an MRI scan I know that it is a small cyst, which is too small to operate. I hope that a fast to completion might dissolve this obviously unnecessary tissue.
What are the specifics of the fast?
I go about the fast with one primary rule in mind: I will listen to my body and my instincts.
I set secondary rules to ensure I can trust my body, its signals and my instincts.
What do I mean by that more specifically?
- I am drinking according to thirst and not any set amount that I think I need to drink according to some theory. This is probably much less than the recommended two liters per day.
- I will resist to put food in my stomach based on the feeling of emptiness/acidity in the stomach. This is supposed to last for 2-3 days.
- I will resume eating once the unmistakable sensation of true hunger arises. This is supposed to feel similar to true thirst, which is felt in the mouth and the throat. And only the desire for pure water is present and strongly sought after
The secondary rules are the following and serve the purpose of creating an environment in which our instincts evolved and can be trusted:
- When breaking the fast I will resist the urge to indulge in unnatural food. I cannot consider to trust my instinct when I allow for unnatural food to be part of the choices that they can safely judge.
- I plan on continuing my high fat whole food plant based diet after the fast
- Being optimally adapted to fat burning after the fast, I do not plan on breaking the fast with carbohydrate-rich foods, as those might not be the foods a fast could be broken with under natural circumstances.
- I plan on drinking half a glass of nut milk at each hour after the sensation of natural hunger returns
- On the second day I increase that to a full glass every to hours.
- On the third day I plan on having nuts, seeds and leafy greens blended into smoothies, gradually increasing in size
- As it has not been done many times before to break a fast in such a way I have to be extra careful of any symptoms of indigestion
So this is how I plan to go about this fast and what I hope to gain from it.
I would like to hear about your experiences with fasting and what you think about my approach and the reasoning behind it!