Ok, I’m trying a longer fast. My office manager was fussing at all of us hired pediatricians to use some vacation days earlier in the year, but I’m on call during spring break. So I took next week off.
Back in late 2018 when I was researching fasting, I read a researcher who said that everyone over the age of 50 should do an extended fast once a year as an anti-cancer strategy. My usual one meal a day plan creates a daily caloric deficit. After 12 hours of fasting, I’ve burned up all my glycogen and I start burning fat.
If I do an extended fast, I develop a protein deficit. When your body is low in protein, and you’re not eating anything, you engage in autophagy. I get this mental image of guys with clipboards walking around and pointing at things, saying “what is this? Is this doing anything? Do we need this? No? OK, we’re taking this.“ People describe losing skin tags on extended fasts. People who lose large amounts of weight by fasting do not require plastic surgery to tighten up their skin. They just seem to shrink. The idea is that the body will munch up little baby cancers during an extended fast.
So, I was planning to take this week off for a staycation. Then I saw a video message from Amanda Palmer, where she said “I just finished a six day fast, and I feel amazing!“ And that reminded me that an extended fast was some thing I was curious about.
So Wednesday night, three nights ago, was my last meal. I had about a half cup of beet ginger sauerkraut Thursday night, and last night I had another small serving. I’m having bulletproof coffee in the mornings, and I also made some beet Kvass, so I pour about a half ounce of this deep red salty liquid into a glass and then fill it up with cold water. I’ve also had some herbal tea.
Last night I watched an episode of the Netflix series “Unwell“ that was about fasting. They were going for drama, so they concentrated on water only fasting. They followed a very overweight and unhealthy woman who did at least a three week fast at a seriously medically supervised fasting place in Santa Rosa California. There was also kind of a crazy place in Costa Rica run by a guy who thought that you can cure absolutely anything, if you fast long enough. One of the most interesting stories was of a man who combined fasting with his chemotherapy . The plan was for six rounds of chemotherapy, but he had a scan after two rounds, and they declared him to be cancer free! It makes sense to me that the stress of fasting will increase the punch of chemotherapy on cancer cells, which are pretty primitive and tend to run on sugar. Anyway, from my research it makes sense to take in salt during a fast, to avoid feeling faint and having headaches.
My main point for this fast is protein deprivation. I’m also curious to see how I do on an extended fast. I’m wondering if I could manage to fast and go to work at the same time. I can report that yesterday I did normal things: I rode my bike to the yoga studio and did a rather intense yoga class followed by a restorative yoga class, and then rode back home and I don’t think the fast affected my ability to do those things.
This morning there was a permies staff meeting, and I was *perhaps* a little edgy and irritable. Of course these things start before 7 AM my time, and I hadn’t had any coffee yet, so who can say? Right now, I am frustrated that I still feel pretty darn hungry. Writing this post was a strategy to distract myself! It’s working pretty well.
So, I will try to post again to let y’all know how I am managing with this extended fast. My on call week starts Friday at 7 AM, and I’ll just have to see how I feel with respect to when I want to end the fast.