At 7 PM on Sunday, August 26, 2018, I finished my last glass of organic juice and herbal tea and consumed only water until 4 PM on Tuesday, August 28, 2018. I started out with a goal to fast for 120 hours, or five total days. I made it 44 hours. This is my second water fast that I've ever done, with the first being 72 hours. I want to share a little bit about this last journey, as it had a profound effect on me emotionally as well as answer some typical questions I receive about fasting.
So What Is Water Fasting?
Simply put, water fasting is where you only consume water for a period of time. Usually water fasts are 24+ hours. You do not consume anything else. Some fasters believe that adding lemon juice, raw and organic apple cider vinegar, black coffee, or herbal tea is ok. I personally feel that water fasting should only include water. I learned from this podcast (2:28:00) with Joe Rogan and Dr. Rhonda Patrick that herbal tea or black coffee starts a metabolic enzyme clock. Even though there are only one or two calories in these beverages, there are still calories. In order to allow the body to truly rest, only water can be consumed.
Are There Any Exceptions?
Some people recommend taking electrolytes during extended water fasts of 48+ hours. These include sodium, potassium, and magnesium. I did put some salt in my water both times I fasted and I used magnesium oil on my body. I did buy some Hi-Lyte Electrolytes on Amazon, which are zero calorie electrolytes. They didn't arrive in time and I didn't end up using them for this last fast. Apparently minerals do not start a metabolic process because they truly have no caloric content.
Is That Even Healthy? Don't you get hungry?
It depends upon who you ask, but most people believe that fasting is healthy for people who are healthy. If you think about it logically, we evolved by fasting. We were hunter-gatherers. Fasting allows the body's digestive system to rest and starts a process called autophagy. Essentially, this is the body’s mechanism of getting rid of all the broken down, old cell machinery (organelles, proteins and cell membranes) when there is no longer enough energy to sustain it. It is a regulated, orderly process to degrade and recycle cellular components. People have healed all kinds of digestive and skin issues, and much, much more.
Do You Get Hungry?
I do get hungry, but the hunger comes and goes in waves with the hunger hormone Ghrelin. Fasting is 100% more of a mental challenge than it is a physical one. If you understand that the hunger will come and go you can work through it much easier. Drinking more water also helps. Most people find that after 72 hours they are not hungry at all. I haven't made it beyond three days, but that is definitely the goal!
The Spiritual Side Of Fasting
I choose to fast primarily for the health benefits mentioned above, and also for the mental challenges. Beyond that though, I believe that fasting also provides incredible spiritual cleansing. It is believed deeply buried emotions are able to come out because they are no longer "stuffed" inside. There is a fantastic article about fasting and emotions here, and this is what leads us to my recent experience.
My Emotional Cleansing and Revelation
This recent fast was MUCH harder than my previous one. I woke up physically exhausted and feeling out of sorts on Tuesday morning (about 36 hours in). I had a dear friend call and we were chatting for a bit, but I started to fall asleep on the phone with her. When I told her that I needed to go, I started to feel this bubble of emotional pain come up through my stomach and chest. I began to tear up, and she kindly held a safe space for me to express the feelings that were abruptly coming up. I started to sob, but I had no logical reason why. I knew from researching that this was normal, but it was much more intense than my last fast. She began to help me process, and together we concluded that this fast was probably much harder because I've had a challenging summer emotionally. There have been quite a few changes with BaeBlu and a lot of those changes have been very difficult to overcome. The fast allowed some unresolved emotions to come up.
For the next few hours I felt extremely vulnerable and weak. I decided to break my fast early because I knew I had an inordinately busy work day scheduled for Wednesday, and I was in no shape to execute the next days' tasks in my current condition. So I had some organic bone broth to wake up my digestion, and about 30 minutes later I ate. When I bit into my first bite of food, I savored the salt. It was as though I was tasting the most delicious piece of food I ever had times a million! I sat, fully present, savoring every bite. Every second I delighted in the flavors, the textures, and the experience. And then it hit me. I started sobbing again. But this time I had a reason. As I was savoring my broth, I realized how many starving people there are all around the world. Here I am, forgoing food as a mental and physical challenge. But I have food in my house, and plenty of it. At any point in time I am able to walk to my refrigerator and pull out a snack. I never go hungry, unless I am intentionally fasting. But I am one of the lucky ones. SO MANY PEOPLE around the world are starving, and DIE from starvation. You can read about the stats here. I continued to sob for several minutes as the weight of my realization swallowed me up. I texted my mom and shared my experience and she cried too. We both counted our blessings. We have so much more than we even realize.
What I'm Going To Do About It?BaeBlu's Impact:
I decided that I must do something. I've always wanted to give back, but now it is no longer a desire, but a burning need. Something inside of me changed, and I realized that the time to act is NOW. So from September 1st until December 20th, BaeBlu will donate fifty cents for every full-sized product sale on our website to feed a family (or more families) for Christmas. I understand that fifty cents doesn't seem like a lot of money, and it isn't. But as a full disclosure company, as a full disclosure person, I will tell you that that is the best we can do right now. We are a very young company, not even two years old. Most of the extra capital that we have earned this year went to paying off an investor. And I'm not taking all the extra money out in salary either. I'm earning less than $40k per year. I can tell you if it were anyone else, I don't believe they would do this. But where there is a will, there is a way. We can at least help one family this year. And next year we're going to help even more than that!
So If You've Made It This Far...
If you've read this far, I want to thank you for taking the time out of your day to read my journey. I'm excited for BaeBlu to give back this year. This is the start of an even bigger journey, and I hope that you are part of it!