I Fasted Five Days: Here’s Why, & What Happened
Recently, I had a frozen shoulder for 4+ months that came out of nowhere after a fairly tough workout with hand weights.
That was my motivation for a 5-day fast, because your body mass-produces stem cells starting at about 72 hours.
I was hoping there would be significant natural joint repair.
I read Dr. Mindy Pelz' book on fasting where she said on Day 4 of her 5-day fast, her longtime Achilles tendon injury was "buzzing." And on Day 6, when she started eating, the pain disappeared and hasn't returned.
On Day 4 and 5 of my fast, my shoulder ached. Which I actually hadn't experienced before! I'd just had 20% less range of motion, and sharp pain if I reached behind my back.
I was a little worried about that ache, but hoped that it was just a lot of healing activity going on, in my shoulder.
When I started eating after 5 days (some cantaloupe, and a little lentils and rice) ... in other fasts, I felt like a million bucks an hour later.
This time, my blood pressure stayed super low for another 14 hours. I felt super depleted and weak.
THEN I felt like a million bucks, in the middle of the next day--and have felt great, and normal, since then.
And--the last 2 days, my shoulder has 80% more mobility and less pain!
I'd say it's a huge success. I was hoping for 100% restoration, and didn’t get that.
A local neuro chiropractic office wrote me that they wanted to put me under general anesthesia, to very painfully “break adhesions.”
No to that. I can lift my arm completely over my head; I’m just missing the last 10% of my range of motion.
And the pain isn’t completely gone. I’m considering Prolozone therapy, going to do some exercises daily, and going to seek out physical therapy and/or chiropractic.
The many comments I got on Facebook, from frozen-shoulder sufferers saying they could only flap their hand and dealt with chronic pain—has made me very motivated. To do what it takes, to see resolution.
I ate some party food, 24 hours after my fast ended, and I shouldn’t have. Mostly, though, I'm eating raw, plant-based, nutrient dense food. To assist my body in finishing the repair.
I wrote a (free) book in 2019 about the science behind modified fasting—especially Dr. Valter Longo’s research on how eating 600-800 calories a day of plant-based whole foods can achieve similar autophagy that fasting creates.
Fasting is miraculous, as it frees up 65% of the body’s energy normally spent on digestion, and the body then focuses on repair and “self eating” (autophagy) of aberrant cells, like clusters of malignant growths, scars, and defective cells and parts of cells.
Benefits of fasting include stem cell production, mobilization of the white blood cells, optimized liver function—there are so many mechanisms of action, science doesn't even know what they all are.
Every time I fast, I find that the pre-cancers on my face, from hundreds of sunburns when I was younger, peel off.
When I do the GreenSmoothieGirl 26-Day Detox, John and I both have seen scars disappear. Among many other benefits, like eliminating large gallbladder or liver stones, and parasite die-off.
Your body has the ability to heal itself. Herbs, plant-based nutrition--they don't heal your body. They create the conditions for the body to heal itself.
Millions of people all over the world use natural treatments (yes, not all of them are effective) with great benefit.
It's a blip on the timeline of human history where people eat 3 meals a day, 365 days a year.
It's only you and your parents and grandparents who've had cars to get there, and grocery stores supplying an average of 35,000 things to choose from, year-round, from all over the world.
You’ve been blessed to live in the “golden age,” the post-WWII era of global trade. Before that, most of humanity frantically used every means available to them, in the Fall, to store enough food to get through the winter.
Fasting was a lifestyle for 2,000 years. Not because they read some book, but for survival.
Your ancestors grew and preserved food, many using all the hours in the day, from the Spring to the Fall. That was their job, sometimes their only job.
Before that, they went days and weeks without food and their bodies used glucose reserves in the muscles and liver, to hunt and forage for days.
Even weeks sometimes. Without food at all, if they were unlucky and the ground was covered with snow.
Napoleon's army famously ran around Europe taking territories after 500-mile marches because they knew how to forage.
A lot of what grows natively is food. The stuff you call "weeds" and spray it with glyphosate, to have a manicured "lawn"--which started as a way to signal to others how well you were doing.
“Lawns” and “landscaping” were a status symbol, that you could afford to use land you owned for aesthetics.
Fasting is a natural state, and intermittent fasting was already my lifestyle. Most days I eat just two meals. Maybe a piece of fruit for dinner if I'm hungry--but sometimes nothing.
The "feeding window" and all the IF terminology has always seemed a little silly to me, the vocabulary of both zoo animals and also the "golden age" of America where food is everywhere and cheap.
(Food has become less cheap, the last three years. The worse it is for you, the cheaper it is. Except, the whole plant-based foods most don't eat--they're cheap, too. The kind you can grow or store in 20# buckets. The preparedness stuff I teach in my mastermind.)
Anyway, I would love to encourage you to try it. If you go without food for 17 hours, eating only two meals a day, a few times a week, remarkable things happen for your health.
If you go 24-36 hours, more healing processes occur.
If you're willing to quit eating for 3-5 days, I personally think you're getting in stem cells what people are paying $10K for in a stem-cell injection at a clinic, and without the toxic additives and preservatives.
People always say they don't feel hungry, after the third day. That’s not always been the case for me in previous 7- to 12-day fasts, but I really didn't feel hungry after the third day--this time.
I did have very low blood pressure (I put a pinch of salt in my tea or water and that helped).
I wouldn't have been able to even jog a mile slowly. That's the part that drives me nuts about fasting: feeling like a slug. I lie around a lot and ask for help.
Well, this time, I did. My four previous 7- to 12-day fasts were done at an ashram in TX, with no one to ask for help. There, I also worked full-time but wasn't my most productive self, and I just "did the minimum" using my laptop.
That's my summary! I hope you try it. If 5 days sounds scary, start smaller! Dr. Mindy Pelz’ book, Fast Like A Girl, is geared to women.
You can also search YouTube for a great 90-minute interview she did with Steve, on a channel called Diary of A CEO, for a great short version of the book!
Robyn Openshaw, MSW, is the bestselling author of The Green Smoothies Diet, 12 Steps to Whole Foods, and 2017’s #1 Amazon Bestseller and USA Today Bestseller, Vibe. Learn more about how to make the journey painless, from the nutrient-scarce Standard American Diet, to a whole-foods diet, in her free video masterclass 12 Steps to Whole Foods.
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