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Showing posts from May, 2021

Day 13 - The Joys of Ketosis

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  After several days of waterfasting, the body shifts from burning glucose for fuel and energy to burning Ketones. Ketones are manufactured from the liver and take fat and  create ketones which are then used for fuel. It just so happens that the brain thrives on ketones as they provide more energy than glucose. As a result, the brain becomes clearer and sharper and functions more optimally. One of the many advantages of waterfasting is bathing the brain in keytones. This occurs also when people are eating and do restricted eating or intermittent fasting on a regular basis as it provides the brain with keytones during those times without food and helps the brain maintain peak functioning.  PAIN WORKSHOP I attended a workshop on the nature and treatment of pain. I learn about how joint or muscle pain can present itself and that the cause can come from multiple sources, such as stress, emotional conflict, poor diet, sedentary lifestyle. Oftentimes our movements are not in synch with the w

Day 12 - Food Astronaut

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This I have learned inthe workshops I have attended.... Most of our chronic health problems are associated with diet and lifestyle. Amazingly, we have control over much of our future health. By adopting a health supporting diet as opposed to a disease promoting diet we can avoid many of the calamities headed our way and significantly reduce our cancer risks and enjoy a quality future. UPDATE My glucose has had a steady rise for the past 4 days which has been concerning to me. In talking with the doctor this morning he explained that my liver and my kidneys are working overtime during the fast in this typically causes a spike in glucose readings.....not to worry. 

Day 11 - Horse Latitudes

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Feeling like I am in horse latitudes with 11 days in and 9 to go. It has been good to take a step back from regular life and relax and chill, but today I am missing Vermont and all that it brings me. Soldier on....   Today starts like all other days, waking up after a good nights sleep, read the NY Times, visit with the nurse for vitals and blood sugar test. Vitals are good, blood sugar is acting stubborn and after initially dropping is now trending upward (2 days).  I attend an inspiring lecture from self proclaimed food addict George Taraviras who has fasted at TrueNorth 26 times. He offers helpful practical advice about health promoting eating at home, restaurants, and with family and friends. 

Day 10 - Waterfast Midpoint

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  Arriving at this point feeling amazed that I have gone for 10 days with no food and still feel with good energy and no noticeable signs of not eating. All the while my body steadily burns the excess fat I have been hauling around for the past few decades. Amazing! As I look at the next 10 days I am a bit bewildered about not eating for another 10 days. I am told by a new friend that I will be cruising to the finish line from here on out.  Roommate John leaves today after a 9 day fast back to Chicago to his high stress job. He leaves today after making progress with his chronically high levels of cortisol which got tamed by a waterfast. We wonder who will join us next in his room. I hear that TrueNorth is so backed up with people wanting to come that some are waiting till September to start their fast.  I attend a cooking demonstration with Chef Ramses Bravo our resident chef.  https://youtu.be/RGBuE3DA4wE Today tells us the the first corn of the season has arrived and decided to make

Day 9 - Feeling Well & Raw Food

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  Days are starting to blend into each other here at TrueNorth. Weather has been idyllic and in many ways it feels like a resort without the drinks or pool but the vibe is so chill and all the docs and nurses and staff are positive and helpful.  I meet with my doctor today and go over my initial blood test and one conducted yesterday. The levels are encouraging and some adjustment is needed on my B12 intake when I leave.  RAW FOOD DEMONSTRATION I attend a raw food demonstration from a doctor at          the research department who only eats uncooked food. This is not an area that I have much familiarity with and attend this workshop with some curiosity. Today she demonstrates various techniques she uses to make salads and salad dressing all SOS free (no added salt, oil, or sugar). I find the dressing intriguing with her use of mangoes and nuts combined with red peppers.The homemade tahini dressing looks creamy and delicious. I will remember this when I return home to make dressings

Day 8 - Feelings of Wellness

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  I start the day with an early blood test performed every 7 days, I am told it takes 2 days for results. I will be interested in the results. As the doctor monitors my electrolytes one thing to watch out for is potassium. In talking with a fellow faster I learn that if that occurs,  instead of just giving you a potassium pill they take a more informed approach. The thinking here is that a reduction is an indication of your system not taking well to the fast and that just giving you a pill to solve the potassium issue would miss other things going on that are not detected. So, the response here is to put a person on a juice fast for the remainder of the fast. I am impressed with their understanding of fasting is such a deep level, obvious from over 30 years providing this service.  During my daily doctor’s visit I have a discussion about the importance of taking my pulse. She indicates that one of the things she is listening for is a skip. If that were to occur, it would also indicate

Day 7 - One Week Status Report

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  IF READING THIS ON A MOBILE PHONE YOU MAY HAVE TO TURN IT SIDEWAYS  TO SEE THE DATA CORRECTLY As I complete my first week of fasting, I thought I would share some of the numbers I have been tracking of my health.                             PreFast           Day 7 of 20 ____________________________________________________ Weight:                 191                  179.8         - 11.2  Blood Pressure:     138/72.            109/68       - 29 Blood Glucose:      130                  78.            - 52 Comments: WEIGHT - I have been losing about 2 lbs a day this week and expect that I will average 2 lbs a day according to Dr Goldhammer. That will leave me at a weight of roughly 155 lbs when I am done (my ideal weight should be in the range of 128 - 158 for my height).  BLOOD PRESSURE: My blood pressure was slow to respond to the weight loss during the first 5 days of the fast however has dropped on day 6 and 7 to 109. For the healthiest levels I will want to get the systolic number

Day 6 - Hammer Time

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  Today I am feeling completely normal without fatigue, or any negative symptoms. I lose another 2 lbs, blood sugars are stable at 76, and blood pressure drops to 112/70 which I am pleased with. I go for a short walk around the block and it is nice to see the neighborhood with all the California flora.  My roommate leaves today and I am sad to see him go. He is a physician who wanted to improve his health and as he says “if you go to the doctor and he tells you that you are insulin insensitive (diabetic), ask him how do you change that? He will not be able to give you an answer and he will prescribe you a pill to manage the cell wall insensitivity. A waterfast improves cell wall insensitivity and that is why I am here.” We have another vacant room, it will be interesting who comes into our suite next.                                            Dr Alan Goldhammer - Director of TrueNorth Healthcare I attend a popular lecture today by Dr. Goldhammer who is a captivating lecturer. Alan tal

Day 5 - New Skin

  Fasting is going well today. Hard to believe that I am not eating and have NO hunger. The reason is that my body is in a ketogenic stage and it feeds my brain and the rest of my body with what it needs from my fat reserves. The beauty of humans is that our survival depended on times of food scarcity so we developed a mechanism to store fat (as we all know all too well.) This reserve of fat is burned for energy and provides us with everything we need except for water. I am living on these reserves now and my fat burning starts with visceral fat which surrounds our organs and is bad for our health. Then the fat from around our body starts burning up next. When the fat is gone, muscles are targeted as a source of energy that no one wants to lose, fat  must stop before that begins. That may be the point where starvation begins.  Today as I am lying in the sun I notice that my skin is shinning and glistening. I am amazed to see my skin changing and improving after 5 days of no food. It se

DAY 4 WATERFAST - EYEING THE LONG RUN

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  Saturday - Good night sleep, stomach ache early this morning and sporadically throughout the day, pretty manageable. Casual relaxing day.  My high school roommate leaves today at noon...... We spend the morning doing a puzzle, chatting about his life back home with his grandmother, mother, and two brothers. I ask about his culture as he looks hispanic, which he confirms “and some African American.” As we wait for his mother, they start cleaning out his room for the next person coming and I see him quietly standing there with his acoustic guitar. I tell him I brought an electric guitar with me and he reply’s “I have never held one before.”  I bring mine out and set him up to play it through my ipad and headphones and he is thrilled. We talk about the feel of the strings and he try’s it out. As he is just starting to play it after about 10 minutes, he receives a phone call that his mother and brother were here to take him home. He gets up says his goodbyes and leaves. As I am putting t

DAY 3 - NO FOOD TODAY BUT A BREAKTHROUGH

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I awake today after a restful 7 hours of sleep and feel refreshed and rejuvenated. Yesterday I was feeling sluggish, low energy, had a headache, and experienced some short term memory problems which concerned me greatly! Dr. Soler visits' me and chuckles when I tell him “oh yeah, that is what we call fasting brain, not to worry.” I am much relieved. Combine that with feeling great this morning and this tells me that I caught over the “hump” yesterday when your system converts from glucose burning to ketogenic and fat burning. This usually results in some misery which I experienced yesterday. I am told by my roommates that it has passed and I am cruising ahead on my fast as the weight comes peeling off.  I attend a lecture with Dr Zhu who gives us a lecture on cleansing the liver. It was a reminder for my how important it is to provide your liver with good nutrition for the 500 things it provides to your body and just how much we often abuse it. I will be using this information to g

No Food - Day2 “Fluff and Buff in the Emerald City” - Thanks Josette!

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Evening yoga and meditation last night helped after a day of “lounging.” I really enjoyed it.  Early morning rounds reveals a drop of another 2 lbs since yesterday, yikes! Blood sugar drops further and is normal, blood pressure is OK but not where I want it to be. I set up a Chiropractic visit for tomorrow for an adjustment, my first ever. I skip the morning lecture and hang out with my roommates one who is a physican (actually doing a fast!) and another one who trades in cryptocurrencies. The physician is ending his fast and starting the refeeding which he is very excited about, whole foods for him today.....smiling from ear to ear. I learn from that that showers are frowned upon here. Apparently, when fasting the blood is concentrated in your core and a shower, especially a hot shower, stimulates the skin and diverts blood flow away from your organs and can cause dizziness and falls. Toothpaste stimulates the salivary glands and interferes with  the fast as well. I am not sweating an

Just Water - First Day Without Food

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  After a good nights sleep, my day begins with have a visit from the nurse to get vitals and get my blood taken. Vitals look good today and in regards to my weight I have lost another pound since yesterday and the fasting starts today! I am down a total of 10 pounds during the past month which includes 5 pounds in the last 5 days on a vegetable and fruit menu.  After the morning rounds I meet two of my room mates and wondered why I had not seen them in the past day. One person I will call Ed is actually working remotely while on his fast and that is why he was sequestered in his room. The other person Will, was having a particularly bad day on his fast and though he too was working remotely, just felt awful. I learn that both Ed and Will had sizable guts which have disappeared. They seemed pretty happy about that. Our conversation shifted to returning home the challenges that it poses.  The rest of the morning and afternoon is spent between my bedroom and sitting around the water foun

First Day at TrueNorth Health Center

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  After taking the 6:30 am shuttle from San Francisco Airport, I arrive at TrueNorth at 9:00 and get checked in. I met some great and wonderful staff and checkin to my apartment suite with 3 other room mates. Only one I meet today and he is a high school student completing a 16 day water fast. Lovely polite young man with a killer smile.  I meet with my doctor and he reviews my history, conducts an examination and helps me set goals for this fast....20 days of waterfasting, with 8-9 days of refeeding is the plan.  I meet with a member of the research team that I had initially signed up with and review more questions with her. I am disqualified from being in this research project because my blood pressure was normal. I had discontinued my bp medication 3 weeks ago at the suggestion of my Primary Care PA and my bp has been borderline. With recent dietary changes I have made it is now normal. Hoping that fasting will result in my bp being at an optimal level.  I attended a cooking class o

Long Distance Masking

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  Albany, Baltimore, Chicago, San Francisco - thats my travel schedule today. My prefasting diet yesterday and today is strictly fruits and veggies. So far I have found no fruits or veggies at the Albany  Airport, thankfully Kathy packed oranges and veggies. Airport security opened my bag and carefully examined and squeezed each orange, glad to be able to throw away the handled peels! Withdrawing from coffee during a fast is not wise so my lifelong coffee consumption end a week ago better positioning me to start the fast. On Tuesday, maybe..... My schedule tomorrow is: * I have been asked by TrueNorth researchers to eat all day today in anticipation of my participation in their research. So I will continue to eat fruit and veggies today so that the initial tests will occur during a period of eating.  9:00 Check in at TrueNorth 11:00 Medical examination with  Dr Antonio Soler MD- This is where I will be setting my goals for the fast. Even though I signed up for a 20day fast and 10day re

Starting An Extended Waterfast

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  I am flying 3,000 miles and spending some of my savings to eat no food and drink only water for up to 20 days. Why waterfasting and why me!!!! And, when I return home after 20 days of fasting with 10 days of refeeding, I am committed to eating a plant based diet with no meat or dairy and no salt, oil or sugar......as my local primary care professional said to me “Mike, why are you doing this?”     You are probably asking the same question. My friends in conversation with me  refer to this weight loss program as an extreme action. “ Mike, rapid weight loss is bad for your health” I can hear being said. “Mike, most people who lose weight gain it all back especially quick loss programs. “ Other’s have said to me “oh I can’t go without salt, or oil or sugar, what are you going to eat?” The facial expressions reflect bewilderment and a complete shock at how awful it must be to go without anything to eat a few hours. Impossible, terrible, no way.  So let’s talk about something most of not