Ep. 146: “How to Get the Remarkable Benefits of Fasting–Without Going Hungry” with Robyn Openshaw
I’m reading from my brand-new book, about how you can get the benefits of fasting, without actually being hungry. The clinical evidence is incredible, and I think modified fasting is possibly the greatest health discovery of this century so far!
Theflashfast.com is where you can get an incredible price on a 3-day Flash Fast, covering all your bases to get the autophagy and regeneration and abdominal weight loss of fasting, while carrying on with life as usual, and eating 5 small meals a day, made for you.
LINKS AND RESOURCES:
Get the Flash Fast
HIGHLIGHTS FROM THIS EPISODE:
- [00:31] My latest book, the Flash Fast program, and why they are healthful to you. The book is called How To Get the Remarkable Benefits of Fasting Without Going Hungry and is a companion to our new Flash Fast health program. You can lose weight while maintaining all the right nutrients and without going hungry. Purchasing the fast donates to the charity Mothers Without Boarders and feeds a child in Africa for three days.
- [10:19] You benefit by fasting. Something called “Autophagy” gets kick-started when you fast, and cannot be oversold by how much it helps your body, protecting you from cancer and more. And, you lose weight!
- [19:04] Six types of fasting and you. My book defines six different types of fasting, what they entail, and how they can help and reward your body by making time for this healthful (and sometimes spiritual) dietary practice.
- [26:45] Three incredible benefits of fasting. These benefits of fasting are backed by studies and include mental clarity and energy, cellular renewal, and clearing the body of toxins, mucous, yeast and bacteria (all necessary in this modern toxic soup we live in daily!)
This transcript has been edited for clarity.
Robyn: Hey everyone, it’s Robyn Openshaw here, and welcome back to the Vibe show.
Today we are talking about my brand-new book. It’s my 16th. You actually cannot buy it, but I’m going to read you a part of it today.
The book is called, How to Get the Remarkable Benefits of Fasting Without Going Hungry. I’m going to read you part of this today because it’s about to be exclusively available as a companion to our Flash Fast coming out in late August.
It’ll be out in August of 2019, the Flash Fast, and it’s a package of three days’ worth of food, everything you need to achieve all the benefits of fasting without actually going hungry.
The reason I wrote this book is to educate you about the work of a number of different researchers, which include Dr. Alan Goldhamer, whom we have interviewed here on the Vibe show.
He and his colleagues at True North in Santa Rosa, California have done a fair amount of research about the health benefits of fasting. They’ve also done literature reviews about the health benefits of fasting, and that’s in this book that I wrote. I’ve leveraged a lot of their work. They have taken 20,000 people through a water fast.
Even more interestingly to me, since most people are not going to go to some place and do a medically supervised water fast, is the work of Dr. Valter Longo.
I have also interviewed Dr. Longo here on this show. He’s affiliated with USC and also, I believe, another university in Italy, which is where he’s from. He’s Italian. All these researchers have documented what happens when you go without food entirely. The results are so profound that I don’t know if there’s a better health preventative anywhere than fasting, no supplement, no practice, no diet.
Even more exciting, for those of you who don’t see yourself water fasting for a week or two weeks (like the crazy experiments I’ve done that I’m often bringing to you in this book I’d like to read some of you today) I share with you what we know from the scientific literature. Quite a few animal studies and human studies show that you can achieve the health benefits of fasting while eating 800 calories a day or less.
It has to be in a specific macronutrient ratio. It has to have all the micronutrients, but that’s why we are about to launch the Flash Fast. My guess is — this is a pretty difficult product to put together — my guess is that we will sell out. So, if you go to get it when you’re hearing this at some point later and it’s sold out, just know that we will do our best to keep it in stock.
I have a feeling this is going to be the most popular thing we’ve ever done. It is less than 800 calories a day of highly satiating, quite delicious, plant-based, less than 800 calories. Five mini meals a day with the right ratio of macro nutrients, all the right micronutrients, as well as super foods in the blends. Very, very nutrient dense, perfect modified fast.
Even when you do it, even as inexpensive as the Flash Fast is, we use some of the proceeds to feed a hungry child for three full days. Every single time you buy a Flash Fast, it’s really inexpensive to do it. I can just about guarantee you, you’re spending more right now on your food than the Flash Fast will actually cost you. But we are feeding a child for three full days every single time you Flash Fast and we’re doing that through my favorite charity, Mothers Without Borders.
You’re in the first world, where we need to eat less. We have food everywhere and is really cheap. A structured, modified fast is super health promoting. You remember how your mom said when you were a kid, “Finish your dinner. There are children starving in Africa,”? We’re literally going to be able to feed a child in an African village for three days every time you eat less for three days.
You know how, back when we were kids in the 1970s — or eighties or nineties depending on how old you are — your mom said that, and you had the thought to yourself, “What are you going to, package up my leftovers and send it to Africa?” Well obviously, that’s not going to work, but we have decoded it and that’s one of the great things that I think we accomplish here, launching the Flash Fast.
You can find the Flash Fast as we launch it with $10 off just for our podcast listeners at the flashfast.com, to get $10 off. So, your whole Flash Fast is only $50 now.
Dr. Longo himself has released a package called ProLon, and it’s a great first concept to show people how to do modified fasting. He calls it in his research what I call modified fasting; he refers to it as “fasting mimicking diet.” I call our program the Flash Fast. I also refer to the concept and the research around it as modified fasting, so as not to infringe on his trademarked concept.
It costs about $13 a day if you are on subscribe and save. So if you get your first package at $10 off and then you want to get on it and do it once a month or even once a quarter, you can get on subscribe and save and pay no shipping and get it for literally $13 a day, which is amazing. The Flash Fast is also three days rather than five days, which I think makes it really easy to do once a month.
For people who want to lose weight, think about this: our average weight loss from our first group of Beta testers was three to four pounds in three days. None of our Beta testers lost less than three pounds. I’m sure if you are a very thin person, it’s possible you could lose less than three pounds (and you probably don’t want to lose three pounds if you’re very thin).
We find that that’s real weight loss. A lot of people will say, “Oh, that’s just water loss.” Listen, if you do this program and you lose what you might call “water loss,” what that is, is releasing dirty fluids in inflamed cells.
That’s not water loss, like you got dehydrated, that’s water loss you needed. That was part of the healing process. The vast majority of it will be fat loss, primarily from the abdominal area.
Some of Dr. Longo’s research shows that loss in abdominal or visceral fat is where you’re going to lose it from. So, if you set up to do the Flash Fast once a month and you did it for three days, once a month for a year, you would lose between 36 and 48 pounds if you had it to lose. That’s just doing that for three days a month. That’s not doing anything different except for those three days a month.
Again, our Beta testers all lost three pounds or more, and 100% of them reported that inflammation was very noticeably decreased. They got up and they felt like their knees didn’t hurt, or their hands; their knuckles didn’t hurt. I won’t get into a ton of statistics because as I record this episode, I have statistics for only our small group of Beta testers.
We did the same thing six years ago with the GreenSmoothieGirl 26-Day Detox. We had a small group of 30 Beta testers. Right now, as I record this, we actually have a hundred more Beta testers coming in to complete their three-day Flash Fast and tell us their results. So later I will have all the intel from that experiment.
I’m going to start reading from the book, and reading it will be a two- or three-part series. We’ll see how far we get in it in this episode today before I finish. But I want to mention that on subscribe and save, you’re going to be paying only $13 a day and I believe get free shipping as well.
The other thing is that with your first purchase, you’re going to get my book for free that I’m reading you parts of today. Try it at the flashfast.com.
When I participated in our Beta test (I was actually one of our Beta testers) I worked out for an hour every morning of the three days, and later each day I either played tennis for 90 minutes with my team or I did a yoga class. I definitely added the optional — but encouraged — one serving of fruit and or two servings of veggies. What I would do is, I love asparagus and so I’d buy an entire bunch of asparagus every day and I would augment each of my five mini meals — well, a couple of them — I would have a big handful of steamed asparagus, just because I love it.
So, you have a bunch of different choices like that, but everything you need comes with the package. You can just add more fiber, more fresh food if you want within some limits. I was satisfied even though I was really active during those three days; I was able to work then do my whole daily routine just fine and I felt like 1 million bucks at the end of the three days.
In fact, in addition to doing the full Beta test, I’m on day one right now. It’s late in the afternoon on day one and I’m doing the Flash Fast again. I’m just doing because I feel so good when I do it. So, as I read you this book, we’re going to get into why autophagy is a word you’ve got to know. It’s spelled auto-phagy. You may have seen it maybe and not known how to say it. I say it aa·taa·fuh·jee.
The Benefits of Fasting: Reading From My Book
What happens, not only in a water fast, but also in a great effect of the Flash Fast as well, or what we call a “modified fast,” [is autophagy].I cannot overestimate the power of autophagy in preventing cancer, in preventing multiple sclerosis and other neurodegenerative disorders like Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, ALS, dementias, even preventing reversing diabetes. Dr. Longo has shown reversing type two diabetes through fasting.
We’ll get into that, but consider as a part of your approach to strengthening your health (not just weight loss), this is a fantastic and sustainable thing to do to teach yourself to do: a modified fast three days a month to lose weight. But even people who have a healthy weight also benefit massively.
Autophagy just means self-eating. It’s where we are breaking down broken parts and rebuilding healthier parts and really increasing stem cells and leveraging stem cells, and so many other processes in the body when we just give our body a break for three days and let our body put its effort into rest, rebuild, repair, instead of just maintenance.
I think it’s going to be August 22nd of this year, 2019; you should be able to get your Flash Fast on that $10 off sale.
Let’s go, and I will start my reading of how to get the remarkable benefits of fasting without going hungry.
“Fasting is, in essence, consuming very little to no food anywhere from 12 hours to a month or more. This practice offers impressive health benefits, which you’ll soon see.
“For thousands of years, fasting has been a common practice for political, spiritual, and physical cleansing reasons. The ancient Greek scholars, Socrates and Plato, fasted in order to purify the mind and body, and fasting was recognized in biblical times for spiritual reasons. Fasting for health has been documented in practice since the 1880s, and, in the past decade or so, emerging research is showing that fasting may be the best thing you can do for your body to reduce disease, increase your health, and live longer.
“Documented health effects include ketogenesis, hormone balancing, reducing inflammation, improving stress resistance, fat burning, and autophagy. The research in human subjects shows disease reversal and symptoms improving or disappearing for certain conditions.
“For example, clinical trials show multiple sclerosis reversing through fasting. When someone has MS, their myelin sheaths, which are sleeves of fatty tissue that protect the nerve cells, they can be damaged, resulting in weakened muscles, damaged coordination, and even paralysis. Though no available drug has been able to rebuild myelin sheaths, the human body can do it when you fast.
“Additionally, a landmark study showed that a modified fast, such as the Flash Fast, appears to be able to reverse type two diabetes and even type one diabetes. Healthy insulin production, reduced insulin resistance and more stable blood glucose levels we’re seeing even in the later stages of the disease. This is remarkable. Other studies show significant improvements in hypertension, rheumatoid arthritis, cardiovascular disease, metabolic syndrome, osteoarthritis, fibromyalgia, chronic pain and quality of life.
“I wrote this book to guide those doing our modified fast, the three-day Flash Fast, and I wrote it to educate and inspire those who decide to take their goals of cleansing and autophagy and disease prevention even further with our 26-Day Detox.
“In this book, you’ll discover what happens when you fast or do a modified fast. I’ll share why autophagy is a word that should be in your vocabulary from this day forward if you care about your health, and you’ll see why you don’t have to starve if you want to achieve the health benefits of fasting.
“So, why do people fast? Hippocrates, the father of Western medicine and the famous Hippocratic Oath believed that eating when sick simply feeds the illness. Pythagoras required individuals to fast before becoming his students, and he considered a 40 day fast necessary to access deep truths. Quote, ‘through this purification, my center of being has changed. From the intellect, it has come down to the heart. Now I can feel things now. Truth is not a concept to me, but life.’.
“That’s Pythagoras, following his 40 days of fasting. Many religious groups encourage fasting. Muslims fast from sunrise to sunset during the holy month of Ramadan. Roman Catholics observe a two- to 40-day fast during Lent and Latter-Day saints, also known as Mormons, observe a fast Sunday — the first Sunday of each month — where they eat no food for 24 hours. Mormons believe that as the physical temple is weakened by foregoing food, their humility, faith, and devotion to the source becomes strong.
“So, fasting for health and longevity is becoming more popular today. In this book, I discuss a newer practice I call ‘modified fasting.’ Many people who may be weakened by leaky gut and other gut imbalances or cancer and related treatments, and even the rest of us who are exposed to some of the 80,000 chemicals approved for use in our air, food and water cannot fast, or find it very difficult because of a high toxic body burden and resulting frequent herxheimer reactions.
“Your toxic body burden is the buildup of toxins in your body’s tissues and organs through food, air, and the environment, minus the body’s innate abilities to eliminate toxins through your organs. Your toxic body burden may be different than someone else’s due to your unique exposures to metals, plastics, drugs, and other chemicals, and how your elimination systems are functioning.
“Many western doctors will scoff at detoxing, or the need for such, saying, ‘That’s what your kidneys and liver are for.’ However, assuming your liver and kidneys can handle 80,000 chemicals and vastly more particulate pollution as well, is like saying that your Model-T Ford should be able to run forever in the 1930s dustbowl without ever changing the air filter or oil filter. Simply put, the modern individuals’ organs of elimination just can’t keep up. Spiraling disease rates are the consequence.
“So, in an increasingly toxic world and depending on each individual’s toxic body burden, herxheimer reactions or ‘Herxing,’ are normal symptoms such as headaches and lower energy that some people experience for a short time as the body goes through detoxification. Brain fog, muscle weakness, fatigue are common herxheimer symptoms.
“A modified fast is safe when done right, is easier than fasting, and it offers the benefits of fasting while still getting to eat food.
“Can fasting diets be dangerous? Please remember, no two fasts or detoxes or cleanses are created equal. In fact, some programs may be less than useful or even dangerous programs that recommend highly processed, high protein shakes, refined and packaged foods, or those promising to force your body into a state of Ketosis by overeating fats, are simply lowering or controlling your caloric intake and are designed for usually unsustainable weight loss. They’re not designed for improving your energy and digestion or clearing your body of wastes, toxins and disease. There’s a significant difference between simply minimizing your food intake for weight loss and therapeutic fasting.
“So, what are the different types of fasting? Let’s take a look at six types of fasting and which ones may offer the greatest benefits for you.
The Six Types of Fasting
“First of all: water fasting. Water fasting is going without food and drinking only water for an extended period of time. This practice gives the body time to rest from the processes and energy normally devoted to digesting food, and gives it the opportunity to focus on burning up accumulated toxins and fat stores and cancer growths, repairing tissues, and renewing at a cellular level.
“Keep in mind that it’s useful to prepare for a water fast by preceding it with a week or two of a cleansing diet — –organic, no processed food or animal products or stimulants — and then follow your water fast by a few days of fresh juices and only organic plant foods. And that’s because you are in ‘rebuilding state’ at the end of your fast. Preparing the body gradually in this way allows waste products to move through the various organs of elimination and not overload the body as they break down.
“The body will, given time and deprived of food sources, begin to consume everything that is not vital to daily functions such as viruses, bacteria, chemicals and heavy metals, to name a few. It will even break down a little bit of muscle tissue, but only the muscle tissue that needs to be replaced anyway. Remember, muscles must regenerate too. The body does not consume healthy tissue first because it’s resistant and it’s hard to break down.
“Number two: let’s talk about juice fasting. Juice fasting is similar to water fasting in that your digestive system is getting a needed break from solid foods. It differs from water fasting in that your body is getting a limited amount of energy from nutrient dense, fresh vegetable, and greens and fruit juices. These nutrients help maintain the alkalinity of the body as well as your glucose and electrolyte balances. Because your body is getting some calories, autolysis — when the body begins digesting itself in search of energy — or the more advanced autophagy, is not quite as pronounced that first few days.
“The wonderful part of autolysis or autophagy is that your intelligent, amazing body goes after diseased and weakened tissues first.
“Number three: dry fasting. Dry fasting is, as I see it, fasting at its extreme. In essence, it entails denying yourself both food and water. This type of fasting seems to be most often performed as a sacrifice or a show of faith. LDS, or Mormon, adherence are instructed to avoid both food and water for 24 hours on the first Sunday of each month. My seven siblings and I did this every month starting at the age of eight. It was a rite of passage and an important spiritual preparation for growth and learning in the faith of my childhood.
“Some doctors who lead fasting retreats claimed that the burn in the body is exponentially increased by a day or two of fasting with no water. I have not been able to find any published scientific evidence to prove this, however, your body is still going through the detoxification process only without the aid of water to carry away the toxins.
“So, if you feel compelled to undergo a dry fast, be sure to complete a detoxification process first, and I cannot see the value of doing it for more than a day at a time. Water is essential. For those of you who are nervous at the thought of no food for days on end, you’ll be happy to hear that alternatives exist.
“Number four: the fasting mimicking diet. Dr. Valter Longo, director of the longevity institute at the University of Southern California, and one of the world’s leading researchers in longevity, developed the ‘fasting mimicking diet.’ In his book, The Longevity Diet, he describes how his plant based protocol allows you to experience the full benefits of a several day fast while still consuming small snacks and meals that have been designed so your body doesn’t recognize the nutrients as food, and therefore mimics a fasting state. This protocol allows you to reach a biological fasting state while still consuming food.
“Later in this book, we’ll cover research by Dr. Longo and fellow researchers that suggest that fasting mimicking health benefits are possible from eating 600 to 800 calories a day for up to five days at a time. I’m a fan of Longo’s work, and in this book I refer to his research on the many proven benefits of eating 800 calories or fewer of plant-based whole foods only, but we call it the Flash Fast, or what I refer to as a ‘modified fast.’
“After Dr. Longo spent years studying how a modified fast can achieve similar benefits to water fasting. He developed a $45-a-day ProLon package. It is plant-based and below 800 calories a day. The Flash Fast from GreenSmoothieGirl is high in protein, but it’s clean, plant-based protein and it’s nutritionally complete with sprouted organic ground flaxseed as well as other nuts and seeds for healthy fats, which increase satiety and protect cell membranes.
“You also have, in the bars and shakes, vitamins and minerals and dried fruits, super foods, vegetables and greens in the blends and the bars. The food in the Flash Fast is organic and quick and easy to eat, and you can do the Flash Fast for as low as $13 a day. You can also blend unlimited leafy greens into your protein shakes, adding nutrient density in live enzymes — which are the catalyst for every chemical reaction in your body — and you can also add up to two servings of steamed or raw vegetables, and or one fruit daily for extra fiber and satiety.
“Number five: intermittent fasting. Growing in popularity, this method of losing weight and reducing disease risk involves lowering caloric intake for a few days, once a week or once a month. For instance, with the Flash Fast, you consume less than 800 calories for three days. If you do this once a month, the average person will lose about 48 pounds in a year, just focusing on this three days a month.
“Number six: let’s look at time restricted eating time. Restricted eating is also gaining in popularity. This method of fasting involves not eating for an extended period each day. The hours you abstain from food vary dramatically, anywhere from 12 to 20 hours a day that you abstain at a minimum. Historically, people have not eaten between 7:00 PM and 7:00 AM anywhere in the world, anyway throughout history. So, limiting eating to a 12-hour quote ‘feeding window’ is a good idea as a general practice year-round. But to me, it’s a strange modern American phenomenon that people eat all day every day, and this is likely part of why we have unprecedented levels of health problems and obesity. It’s not just what we’re eating, it’s also how often and for how long.
Three Benefits of Fasting
“So, let’s talk about the benefits of fasting, according to studies. Studies show that when done correctly, fasting offers a wide array of benefits. These include the following.
“Number one: increases mental clarity and energy. Clinicians have found that fasting, particularly between days two and seven, corresponds with an improvement in mood, an increase in alertness, and a sense of serenity. In a study conducted by Dr. Longo, mice that received a low-calorie, plant-based diet for four-day cycles twice a month, starting in middle age, showed better short- and long-term memory, as well as calmer behavior and increased learning abilities.
“Number two: aids in cellular renewal and stem cell-based regeneration. A study published in USC news showed that prolonged fasting induced immune system regeneration, shifting stem cells from a dormant state to a state of self-renewal. Dr. Longo and his team of researchers discovered that fasting for prolonged periods, which is going without foods for periods of two to four days at a time, broke down a significant number of white blood cells, which triggered stem cell-based regeneration of new immune system cells, thus stimulating strengthened immune function.
“Later they found in both animal and human studies that suppressing calories to 800 or fewer for a few days at a time achieved very similar health benefits to water-only fasting.
“Number three: clears the body of toxins, mucous, yeast and bacteria. Unfortunately, we live in a toxic soup. There are 80,000 chemicals in use in the United States, with nearly 5,000 of them in our food, air, and water supplies. The average baby is born with about 280 chemicals in her umbilical cord, 180 of which are known carcinogens or cancer starters.
“To really thrive, you really need to clear these toxins and chemicals and carcinogens from your body. Your liver, kidneys, lungs, colon, lymphatic system, and skin have the responsibility of eliminating these pathogens and waste products. To support them, consider including a low-calorie plant-based whole foods diet for three days out of every month. Or, if you want to commit in a bigger way, take on a process that eliminates accumulated toxins in all the organs through your natural detoxification pathways through our 26-Day Detox.
“An example of what we need to clear from our body is bisphenol A, or BPA, which is a synthetic estrogen that leeches out of plastics and other materials and hides in your fat cells. In fact, this toxic chemical is so prevalent that it’s difficult to avoid. It does not degrade or break down, ever, in the environment, and it’s been linked to cancer, cardiovascular disease, and diabetes.
“This is just one of the many toxins we’re faced with. But the good news is we can flush it out of our systems by undergoing a modified fasting or more extensive detox program, and, for instance, sweating in an infrared sauna.”
I’ve covered the first few well-documented health benefits of undergoing a modified fast, such as our new Flash Fast. Because I’ve covered a lot of ground here and you’ve been very patient, I’m going to do a second episode to continue reading from my book all about how to achieve the health benefits of fasting without actually going hungry. So, I’ll pick up where I left off, and I’ll see you next time.
[Related Episode: Ep.74: Fasting for Longevity with Valter Longo]