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  • Writer's pictureDr. Kari Young

All About Fasting

The History of Fasting

Fasting has been used for thousands of years for healing and religious purposes. Fasting is a time of reflection, and an opportunity to focus inwards.

Fasting is as ancient as the beginning of humanity. Even animals fast during times of stress, illness or uneasiness. 

Fasting is a proven tool to promote longevity and overall health. The Hunza people live for 120 years, and fast each spring for 2-4 months. “In a fast, the body tears down its defective parts and then builds anew when eating is resumed.”, "Fasting is the greatest remedy, the physician within."

Block Fasting

Warning and Disclaimer: You should NOT fast if you have the following conditions or health concerns - any eating disorder, fear of fasting, diabetic or on insulin, pregnant, certain medications, or other conditions without the advice of your healthcare practitioner.

Fasting is powerful to heal the following:

  • Inflammation

  • Food allergies

  • Autoimmune diseases (rheumatoid arthritis, lupus, thyroid conditions, etc.)

  • Cancer

  • Chronic diseases

Fasting is an important part of achieving optimal health. Just two block fast (3-5 days) a year reduces cancer risk by 98%

Scientific research proves that fasting promotes unseen healing energy within the body and naturally inclines the body toward balance and health.

The 7 Benefits of Fasting

#1 Autophagy

Autophagy is the natural mechanism of the cell that removes unnecessary or unhealthy components. It eats up and removes bad cells that can lead to a variety of health ailments in the body. 

Studies show that fasting improves and normalizes your immune system by allowing the gut to rest and reset. The gut comprises 80% of the immune system, and autoimmune conditions are connected to an overactive immune system which causes the body to attack itself. Animal studies have proven that the pancreatic cells are able to regenerate themselves during fasting which heals diabetes.

#2 Stem Cells

Stem cells are often described as “master cells” because they can grow into any of the body’s 200 types of cells. During and after fasting, our bodies are able to increase our stem cell production which is a huge benefit and one of the main reasons that fasting creates so much innate healing in our bodies.

Did you know that if you experience pain during a fast, it may be a good thing? One of two events may be occurring:

1.“Re-Tracing.” If you had an old injury, your body may be reacting to its memory of a past injury, and is now redirecting its energy to fix and heal the injured area.

2. Your body is producing stem cells and autophagy to an area of the body that needs healing now. Our bodies are smart and amazing, and it innately knows how to heal itself.

#3 Ketones

Ketones are produced from the burning of fat cells for energy and helpful for down-

regulating cellular inflammation, and healing the gut and brain. Ketones have the ability to turn off bad genes and turn on the good ones that help us live longer, healthier lives.

After approximately three days of fasting, the body adapts to using these ketones, increasing their numbers dramatically. As a result, your body is forced to use them to obtain their health benefits.

Benefits of ketones include:

Ketones are the byproduct of fat metabolism (fat burning). When your blood ketone level reaches .5-10, you are now in what is known as nutritional ketosis.

Please Note: Nutritional ketosis should not be confused with diabetic ketosis, where the ketone level soars to levels above 50. Nutritional ketosis occurs when carbohydrates are limited to below 50 grams per day. This will force the cells to use fat as a primary energy source. The cells use either sugar (carbs) or fat for energy, so when carbs are severely restricted during fasting, it switches over to burning fat which is the preferred fuel source for the body and burns clean.

#4 Energy Diversion

Energy diversion occurs when your body’s energy is used for healing instead of for digestion and assimilation metabolizing. Food utilizes up to 90% of your energy every time, and I mean every time you eat (yes, even a small snack).

Fasting, and eating less frequently, is recommended as a method to decrease cellular inflammation. For example, a woman who lived to be 114-years-old shared that her secret was to eat once daily, thereby creating health and longevity.

In 2015, a research study by the Longevity Institute, conducted with mice, found that fasting extended lifespans, lowered visceral fat, reduced cancer incidence and rejuvenated the immune system. The study later saw similar reductions in disease risk factors in humans. In addition, research has proven that mice that ate once a day lived up to 40% longer than those with access to food around the clock.

Energy diversion is a secret weapon used to promote health and longevity.

#5 Hormone Optimization

Daily, weekly, and block fasts creates hormone optimization by allowing your cells to become more hormone sensitive. When your cells are hormone sensitive, they allow those hormones inside the cell membrane where they are needed to have energy, receive their function and feel good. 

Hormone imbalance occurs when your body is not sufficiently sensitive to your hormones, and the cells block them from permeating. Fasting promotes hormone sensitivity, allowing those precious hormones to do their work. The human body only needs 1% of its own hormones in the bloodstream to permeate the cell membrane.

Many people seek external hormones to attempt to balance their hormones, but without proper cellular sensitivity, those external hormones are not permitted to enter the cell. I tell my clients that it is similar to pouring gasoline on top of your car, expecting it to fill the tank!

External hormones may have the effect of making your blood work appear optimal, or even or having hormone levels of a 20 or 30 year old. However, when those hormones can’t get inside your cells where they are needed, they will not have the desired benefits of performance, anti-aging and longevity.

#6 Resets the Microbiome (Gut Bacteria)

Fasting fixes the gut barrier! Environmental changes and stressors have been shown to change the microbiome, which has a dramatic effect on the health of your gut. Fasting is especially restorative for a leaky gut, which is described as tears or holes in the intestine wall allow leaking into the bloodstream. Leaky gut creates inflammation, bloating, and food sensitivities.

Fasting allows the gut to repair itself by giving it the time and opportunity it needs to heal. If you have a wound and you just keep scraping it, then it will never heal. So when the gut can rest and spend time sealing up the tears and holes, it can repair its own lining. in order to work properly.

I have seen clients rid themselves of food allergies from even one fast. One client in particular told me that every time she ate an avocado, her tongue would become numb and swollen. She fasted one time, and when we reintroduced the avocado, the symptoms were completely gone.

The gut represents over 80% of your immune system, and is known as the second brain. The gut makes neurotransmitters which send signals to the brain for proper functions like sleep, mood, and cognitive performance. The gut microbiome is also responsible for influencing our genetic expression.

Fasting starves out bad bacteria and knocks it back down to the proper balance of 10% bad bacteria and 90% good bacteria. Then it works on repopulating the bacteria toward the ideal and optimal level of over 2,000 strains to achieve the best health and resilience.

#7 Resets DNA (Gene Code)

Recently, several medical studies have proven what holistic doctors have known for years. Bad genes are responsible for only 5% of disease, while an unhealthy lifestyle and toxins are responsible for 95% of disease.

One of the things I learned from this research is that you can have the best protocols, diet, and intentions; but, if a bad gene is turned on, it must be turned off in order to live disease-free. Turning off the susceptible bad gene is possible through removing interference in order to fix the cells and membranes.

How to know how long to fast?

In the morning, measure your glucose and ketones. Before you consume your first meal, measure them again. You should see a slight drop in glucose and rise in ketones. This indicates that you are using fat in that specific window of time.

If that doesn’t happen, push your eating window back. Most autophagy starts in 16 hours, so as you decrease your eating window and do more block fasts, your efficiency will begin to improve. Doing this while following a ketogenic diet is key.

Type of fasting

Choose either Bone Broth fast or water fast in order to get all of the benefits above.

NOTE: Juice fasting or using maple syrup is NOT a true fast. Because all the sugar from the vegetables/fruit or maple syrup, will throw you out of a true fasting mode, which is ketosis and fat burning mode.

Both intermittent and block fasting are the premier ways to harness our bodies’ innate ability to heal itself naturally. However, breaking a fast and refueling your body is just as important, if not more so. You don’t want to throw all the hard work you’ve done out the window. Remember to go low and slow when breaking a fast, and your body will thank you.

How to Block Fast

Choose either a 3-day water fast, or a 4-day broth fast. Some people can extend their fast to 5-10 days, in certain cases.

Keep Your Bowels Moving

Take extra magnesium, vitamin c powder, bowel mover. (Reach out if you would like to order). Some people when they do a fast it kicks in a detox and the bowels speed up and others because no food is going in the bowels slow down. You want to keep the bowels moving to keep the toxins being released moving out. plus just because you are not eating does not mean you do not need to poop, b/c this is a perfect time to allow you colon to do some extra cleansing without having to just process the current food intake.

Help Your Detox

Typically you want to take a break from your supplement routine when you fast. This will allow your own body to do the work, while it is busy going around using 100% of its energy and intelligence to heal your body.

If Struggling:

If you are struggling with detox symptoms, take Biotoxin Binder 1-2 caps, 2-3 times per day, if needed. (Reach out if you would like to order). Remember, also must take the sea salt - 1 tsp. 1-2 times per day because is is the antidote to any possible detox symptoms, such as fatigue, headache, nausea, weakness, and GI upset.

What you will need:

  • Use Distilled water

  • Ceramic crock pot if making your own broth, 10 organic bones, herbs/spices

  • Get high-quality organic broth at the store or online

  • If hungry, you may add good fats into broth: coconut, grass fed butter, ghee, tallow

  • Other drinks allowed: organic tea, organic coffee, sparkling water

  • Have on hand Vit C powder, Magnesium malate, oxalate, Bowel Mover to ensure

  • Electrolytes: Use LMNT, and/or sea salt (1tsp. 1-2 times per day) as the antidote to

Keto adapt first:

If you are struggling to do a block fast it means that you need to keto adapt first. This can take some people 2-8 weeks. Keto adapt means that you are a fat burner, not a sugar burner.

How to Break the Fast

Choose soft, easily digestible foods, such as eggs, avocados, soft protein, sweet potato or yam, coconut yogurt, berries, add coconut oil, butter,  ghee, or tallow.

Eat a small amount, wait 1-2 hours then eat another small amount.

To heal autoimmune, chronic disease, and to have optimal health, fasting is a powerful tool.

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