Showing posts from June, 2021

Day 40 from First Day of Fasting

I am 10 days out post fast and the world is a very sobering place I must say. I gained 3-4 lbs during refeeding and another 5 lbs. during my home time. I always knew home time was where the hardest work would be, and here I am. My friend from Pasadena Michele said “don’t beat yourself up, get up and make it work.” Good advice. I feel that my gains are slipping through my hands. When Joni Mitchell broke up with Graham Nash in 1971 just before her seminal work Blue 50 years ago, she sent him a note at the age of 27 and said “if you squeeze sand in your hand it will run through your fingers.” Somehow I am feeling it applies in this situation.  I liked the new me, but now I feel that I am slowly returning to the old me, the one I was leaving  behind. Maybe the new me never really was…. I am in an intense burst of back to back visits of inlaws and family vacations, steeped on the excesses of food and alcohol typified by these visits. I feel like the outsider looking in on their partying and

Last Day - Leaving TrueNorth

  This afternoon I leave TN for San Francisco where I will be staying  overnight near the airport and will be catching a 6:10 am flight early Thursday to Albany NY.  Yesterday I made it to Bodega Bay on the ocean for a great afternoon with my friend Michele from Pasadena. It was a lovely ride through the Redwood Forest and through the rolling meadows overlooking the ocean.  Today I say my goodbyes to friends made and an enchanting place with a mixture of thankfulness, sadness, and wanting very much to return home. I am pleased that the chef will be packing me up with food to go on my journey home,  helping me avoid the airport food along the way.  More thoughts coming while I fly out tomorrow. 

Day 7 of 9 Days of Refeeding

  Expanding my palate to include grains and starches. My body is tolerating these added foods well as I rejoin the eating world. Weight has stabilized.  Ventured out to do some shopping with some friends today while maintaining daily checkins with medical staff. Gearing up for 100 degree weather during the last two days here, with plans to visit the redwoods tomorrow just before the heat hits the area. Life is pivoting to my new normal. 

Day 6 - Refeeding- Wim Hof Method of Breathing

  Today I attend a class titled “Mindset” with instructors Sadiq and Nanda. After an overview of how thinking, eating and doing are inter related, and how important breathing is to full body health, we go through a group exercise from youtube of Wim Hof breathing.    This youtube video takes you through a series of 30 breaths, then holding you breathe for 1 to 2 minutes, then breathing in again for 15 seconds, then all repeated two more times. This was followed up with a guided meditation. The result was extraordinary. I have lone lots of different mediations throughout my life but have never had the calming serene experience like I did after this exercise. It was truly amazing. Most everyone in the group of about 30 were totally affected.  The take a way for me was that this should be built into a daily practice as part of my returning health plan, to stay focussed and centered, and as a premium method of self care. So much of what I have learned here at.

Day 5 of 9 - Refeeding - Approaching Normal Eating

  Slept about 5 hours last night, not untypical for most people staying at TrueNorth. I am getting back into the routine of 3 meals a day and it feels good so far. Everyone here are so cordial you feel that you can just walk up to anyone and talk and be accepted.  I attended a workshop this morning about functional movement. At the risk of repeating myself, the center of all human movement is the core. Without core integrity and proper functioning, the rest of the body has to find ways to compensate and this can through everything off. Backpain, shoulder pain, hip pain, can be mitigated by proper spine posture and by building strong core functioning through breathing and practice. When the core is inflated through a deep diaphramatic breathe it adds strength and support for the rest of the body. When we were infants that is how we learned to breathe naturally, now it has been unlearned by us and the goal is to get back to the deep belly breathing and core strengthening. This is a lesso

Day 4 of Refeeding - Mobility Evaluation

  I am  doing well eating fruit and veggies and I will continue with this diet and will also add steamed veggies as well tomorrow and Saturday.  My body is feeling well and slept 7.5 hours last night, which is an improvement.  I had an mobility assessment today to prepare my self for running when I return home. The assessment taught me about how I can strengthen how to rewire my brain so that my muscles and my core will assist my arms, legs, back, hips, etc. I also  learned how important breathing from my diaphragm is in building a strong core. I will be practicing all that I have learned daily when while I am at TrueNorth and while at home.  I met a woman today from NY City today who has osteoporosis and has found that her numbers in regards to osteoporosis have dropped in half over just a few days.  I also found out that her last name is Proctor, and she believes to the original family of Proctor in my home town. This should be a pretty interesting discussion. I can’t wait to see Che

Day 3 of Refeeding

  I finished my two days of eating blended soups and I feel fine as a result. Today I begin eating salad and fruits for breakfast lunch and dinner which will continue for another day. My early morning fasting glucose remains low at 98 which is atypical for me at home usually 130-140. .Blood pressure was remarkably low for me at 104/64; I am hoping this continues. I gain .4  lbs since yesterday.  Kathy Taylor does a workshop this afternoon. Kathy was a school teacher in Macon Georgia who has struggled with being overweight and obese her whole life. She and her 5 brothers were raised on some type of grease or fat in every meal. The whole family was either obese or morbidly obese. Kathy tried all kinds of diets and programs and went to the University of Colorado for a two week program with a year follow up. She lost 80 lbs and gained it all back. She tried Keto diets and became ill. She was on 17 different medications include meds for depression. She came to TrueNorth 1 1/2 years ago and

Day 2 of Refeeding - Confrontation

 (This is a long blog posting today) My time spent fasting required relaxation and restrained physical activity.     Dr Hammer (Director) suggested that ‘use this time for reflection and perhaps evaluate your life like many of the great religions do as they fast.”  During my time here, I attended a number of lectures about sleep, reflexology, self beneficence, physical mobility, “how to return home”, the dangers of salt, oil, and sugar, about raw foods, and a number of cooking demonstration by chef’s and experts. All informative and all supporting a healthy lifestyle. These lectures/demonstrations resulted in introspection related to ourselves and with a greater understanding came self evaluation. For example, understanding the science of sleep in regards to health increased the urgency of understanding our own sleep habits and how they do or do not serve us. When you are learning and thinking, it is hard to not confront yourself. Clearly, the motivation and driver is functioning fully

Day 1 - Refeeding - What Is This?

  As I leave the fasting behind I begin refeeding today. One of the most dangerous times with waterfasting is the refeeding period. There is documented evidence that some people have experienced complications with returning to their normal diet and have overwhelmed their digestive system. Here at TrueNorth, they have over 30 years experience treating 20,000 patients and have developed a gradual and effective reintroduction to food after a fast. The refeeding is long, about half of the time spent fasting, so for me it will be 9 days. I will start out with blended soups of sweet potato and zucchini for two days. I will progress from there to steamed veggies for a couple of days, then on to raw veggies and then add legumes and starches such as rice and white potatoes. This will build up my glycogen stores in my liver and muscles and is the main storage of energy in the body.  This is also  geared towards getting my digestive system fully functioning before I leave and to build the micobio

Day 20 - Fasting Finish Line

  After 2 years of research about fasting last winter I contacted TrueNorth to inquire about doing a waterfast. I was told that the schedule was three months out. I prepared during the three months as best as I could trying to imagine going even a day without food. It seemed promising and terrifying at the same time. Today I think back on the 20 days that I have gone without food and am amazed.  Logic and intuition tells me that my body would suffer without the proper nutrients that daily eating provides. And yet, I do not appear to have suffered these problems as my weekly lab tests show and daily doctor’s visits can attest to. My electrolytes appeared fine except for chloride which was down slightly. One thing I have learned is that the body is truly amazing. During the last 20 days, it has been supplied with all that it needs within existing systems in the body such as body fat and ketones. It gives me a glimpse into the millennium when our ancestors depended on these systems to fun

Day 19 - Passing the Rubicon

  I am here with 1 more day left of fasting after today. 19 days, no food, just water. I maintain good energy levels with no noticeable negative side effects. As I evaluate where I am and where I am headed, I remind myself of my goals. One goal was to get my weight down to 170 which happened two days ago. In conversation with a one of my suite mates who is a physician he told me waist to height ratio was a very important evaluation of health. I used an online calculator and found that I am 1 pound within the range of what is considered healthy. I am very pleased that I went from being 200 lbs and borderline obese 6 weeks ago at my doctor’s visit to landing in the healthy zone today. What this tells me is that I will have to lose another 10 - 15 lbs to be squarely in the “healthy” range. The work will continue.  Resident Chef Bravo cooks with first corn of the season making a hot dish and a cold dish as part of the TrueNorth lecture series.


Sobering statement but true. I assumed that even before I came to TrueNorth, that the real work would be upon my return home. I have been an avid drinker and enjoyed drinking beer and wine with friends and at restaurants. In January I came to the realization that if I wanted better health it could not include alcohol for my body and my situation, others may be different. It’s terrible for diabetes, it is terrible for psoriasis, and only served to increase my weight. The writing was clearly on the wall. Honestly, I have not missed it which surprised the heck out of me.  An important philosophy here is to let the body do what it does best. Fasting is a built in mechanism to cleanse and rebuild. Our survival throughout the millennium depend on that. Fat storage helped us survive times of scarcity. Now we live in abundance, and our bodies cannot handle it resulting in numerous chronic health problems. Cleansing, building new cells, will continue for another 2 days for me and then after ref

Day 17 - Waisting Away

  In the last day or two my weight loss seems to be now focusing on my belly. My understanding is that visceral fat  around the organs is the most dangerous fat and the first to go later followed by other parts of the body. The belly is last. During the first two weeks of my fast I lost 4 inches on my waist. With all the weight I lost I was hoping for a smaller waist. Well my waist seems like it is now targeted as I have lost 1 1/2 inches in the last 2 days. I have 3 days  left on my fast and I am hoping that this trend continues.

Day 16

  Today I am buoyed by the idea that in 4 days I will be done with the waterfast. I am not real excited at the idea of following the fast up with 9 days of refeeding. It is essential to build back a balanced gut biome.  Last night my suite mate shared that people who leave tend to gain back 75% of their weight lost. This is a quite sobering statistic that has my head spinning. It makes sense that if people return to the diet and lifestyle  that got them here, naturally they will get the same results. The lectures and food demonstrations here are a hedge against this slide back. I hear from two other doctor’s that it is just not true.  I send my Primary Care Provider back home my three blood lab reports, and current outcomes for weight, blood pressure, and glucose. I also include a list of my 9 goals here. Hard to say how it will be received, however I am not optimistic.  I am engrossed in a book called “Overstory” about people and their relationship with trees. Redwood trees occupy a g

Day 15 of Waterfasting - Where are the Redwoods?

  I continue to receive twice daily visits from nurses and doctors reviewing my vitals, checking possible negative signs of dizziness, nausea, or lightheadedness and todate I have experienced none. I receive my third and final blood test this morning and look forward to receiving the results.  The past 15 days have been sunny with no clouds or rain and in the 70’s during the day and high 40’s at night, pretty spectacular. I start the refeeding period next Tuesday which will begin with juices for two days, then adding raw veggies for a couple of days, and then adding nuts and seeds and starches. Even though I have only 5 days left of fasting, I am actually only half way through my total of 30 days. This is quite sobering as, as nice as the people and the place is, I am feeling the urge to get back to my life. I remind myself that I am on a journey towards vitality and that there are no quick solutions, and that if I want to realize my goal of achieving optimum health, I must manage one

Day 14 - Two Weeks Without Food Status Report

During moments of contemplation part of me is shocked that I have not eaten a morsel of food in two weeks. It feels like anything but starvation as my body has been nourishing me by burning my unwanted fat maintaining mental clarity and energy. I have six days left on this fast and then 9 days of gradual refeeding.                                   Starting.               Today Weight                        191.2                    173.      -18 Blood Pressure.            130/70.                115/70.  -15  Sleep Apnea.            Wait till sleep study, likely resolved Cholesteral.              Blood test in one week Glucose.                   Lower but variable Psoriasis.                 Clearing slowly Gout.                       No symptoms Unanticipated results: clearer skin, no muscle stiffness or  pain ( previously, occurred daily). Dr. Goldhamer (Director of TrueNorth) presented health information during his lecture. The slides to the left were part of that talk. These statisti