Well here it is. I’m putting it out there for all of you to know … admittedly, while I’ve completed many ‘fasts’ over the past few years, my decision to embark on my October 31 Day Water Fast still seems overwhelming.
What the HECK have I signed myself up for?
I’m writing this post so that I have a place to answer questions that will no-doubt pop up. This post will be being a moving target, getting updates and additions throughout my journey (instead of a bunch of individual posts). So, you’ll probably want to check back to see what’s happening. And if you have questions for me about fasting or my experience, feel free to comment and I’ll either answer you in the comment section or add your question & my answer to the post.
And of course, your encouragement is always welcomed!!!!
DISCLAIMER: I am not engaging with “experts” who want to ARGUE the safety of fasting. Everything has risks, fasting is no exception. As I have stated, I am not a rookie to fasting, nor am I jumping into something that I have not throughly researched. I am not encouarging anyone to embark on their own fast, but simply sharing my own fasting experience for your entertainment.
I do not have a eating disorder, I am not starving myself. I am simply abstaining from food for 31 days, my fast is no different than what humans have done for millions of years. I will be using common sense to guide me through this process.
Respectfully if you disagree with my choice to fast, you can simply leave this blog post and be on your merry way. Feel free to start your own space on the WWW sharing your own life experiences and you can connect with people who are like-minded. I encourage constructive conversations, however if you’re acting like a fool, it won’t be tolerated.
Learn more about fasting through these books:
My Pre-Fast Jitters
It’s Friday, September 30, 2016 and it’s the last day of normal life before my October 31 Day Water Fast begins tomorrow. While I’m not bingeing prior to my fast, I’m certainly feasting. I had 2 giant cups of coffee with lots of raw milk for breakfast, will have a Grilled Maitake Mushroom Steak for my lunch, then going to a late dinner with my husband.
Am I nervous? Yes. Of course I am. Not really nervous about the idea of eating vs not eating (been there, done that) but of the disappointment of not completing the full 31 days is slightly overwhelming, having several glasses of chardonnay helped calm my nigh-before nerves.
My pre-fast feast was at a local favorite restaurant, where Ray and I split our appetizer & 2 entrees, giving me a big variety. Our appetizer was Spicy Tuna Poke and our entrees were Sizzling Ribeye Steak with steamed veggies & french fries and Hamburger Steak with fried onions, gravy and rice. It was all delicious.
My October 31 Day Water Fast Rules
Fasting is a highly individual event and while there are general guidelines no two fasts will be identical. Not all fasts are created equal. Many people refer to different ways of eating as fasting, and speaking from someone who’s completed several juice-only fasts and bone broth only fasts, I respectfully understand that it’s imperative to share the details so that you can fully understand my definition of fasting.
In order to give myself some clarity and less wiggle room, I’m establishing some rules from the very beginning.
Here’s the list of what I will be allowing myself during my fast:
- Sole Water – One quart of room temperature water (filtered/purified) with 1+ tablespoons of sole water every morning, first thing. More later in the day to combat headaches, as needed. No restriction on quantity. I’ll be sharing more about Sole Water later in a separate blog post – it’s therapeutic salt water, which helps to keep minerals and electrolytes in balance in a quick nutshell – everyone needs Sole Water in their healthy diet!
- Water (filtered/purified or natural spring) – Unlimited quantities, iced, chilled, cold, warm, hot, room temperature, etc. I do not have a minimum daily water requirement, only looking to drink what feels naturally satisfying.
- Sparkling Mineral Water – up to 1 liter bottle per day, if needed, not required. It’s a great fizzy treat and full of minerals.
- Fresh Lemon or Lime Juice – Warm lemon water is wonderful for aiding detoxification. I’m allowing myself the juice of 1 lemon or lime per day, if needed, not required.
- Herbal Tea – While I don’t regularly drink herbal teas often, when fasting I typically get cold easily and warm tea is very soothing. Like water, they are fine in unlimited quantities. No sweeteners or anything added, just plain herbal teas steeped in filtered/purified water.
- Ceremonial Grade Matcha Tea – One cup per day made with 175 degree water before 11 am, if needed, not required. There’s numerous health benefits to matcha and from my experience it will not interfere with fasting. Again, no additions or iced lattes (which I adore)
- Black Coffee – Iced or hot, one mug per day before 8 am, if needed, not required. I am not addicted to caffeine and I do not consume it regularly. Much like matcha; there’s numerous health benefits to coffee as well and from my experience it will not interfere with my fasting. In addition to my allowed 1 mug of drinking coffee – I will also be including coffee enemas regularly – probably not daily but as often as I can talk myself into them. They are old news and not a big deal – however I suck at taking the quite time to myself in the morning.
- Culinary Tasting – This is a tough bulletpoint to explain. While I’m fasting I will still be cooking at times and when I am cooking, it would be irresponsible for me to prepare foods for others without tasting it for seasoning. I will be doing my best to avoid cooking while fasting but I do have 2 events which my culinary skills are required. But this does not mean that I will be EATING by any stretch of the imagination, this means that I will be TASTING sauces only, like dipping a teaspoon into a sauce then touching my tongue to the spoon to ensure the sauce is perfect. Does that make sense? Again this is my fast and I have to establish rules that work in my life. In a perfect situation there would be no cooking and no food in my house.. but this is real life and I live in it. If there is a food I am preparing that I need more than a tongue touch to taste, I will consume only the very minimum needed.
- Bone Broth – While I’m not planning specifically to include bone broth into my fast, I am listing it here as an allowed beverage. Here’s the thing, while I can pretty easily resist food and eating, I get very complacent when I’m not cooking or creating in the kitchen. And allowing bone broth MIGHT be key later in my fast to keeping me going – both for a savory flavor craving and my desire to just make something. Any bone broth that I make will be only made from chicken, beef or wild game, sea salt, black pepper and a splash of ACV – and maybe a little onion/garlic but no carrots or other starchy additions. No soup, just plain-jane clear broth.
- Supplements – Ok another tricky bullet point. I don’t want to take any supplements and don’t feel they are necessary… HOWEVER I do know from prior experience that when in the midst of fasting you are so full of energy (I’m not joking) that you have a really really hard time sleeping. I want to stay up late and be busy, but I also want to still get my 8+ hours of sleep per night (and be asleep before 10 pm optimally) In the past I’ve taken relaxation/sleep encouraging supplements while fasting and they helped immensely. I will be using supplements as a last resort, after herbal teas and a strict bed-time routine (more coming on that in a separate blog post too)
Fasting Days 1, 2 & 3
Well, I’ve officially made it through the first 3 days of fasting, which are always the hardest. On Saturday morning (day 1) I woke up early with irrational anxiety about this whole idea, no doubt the aftereffects of the chardonnay from the night before.. We headed to the farmers market and for a 6 mile mountain foraging hike, when we got home I cooked until late at night prepping for the next day.
Sunday (Day 2) I was up early getting ready for our table at the church calendar party, our table theme was Farm to Table. I did the decor, food & drinks, it was a great day and while I was focused on serving food pretty much all day I wasn’t tempted to eat, only dying for a big glass of sangria! Everything I prepared was gluten-free, healthy-real food and mostly from local farms.
Day 3 (today, Monday 10-3) has been uneventful. I throughly enjoyed a big cup of black coffee this morning but haven’t drank much else. Not hungry, not even thirsty. Full of energy and starting to worry about fasting sleep (or rather lack there of) – getting ready for a cup of bedtime tea after I publish this post. While I had hoped to initially share this post pre-fast, life got in the way!!
Fasting Days 4, 5, 6, 7 & 8 – This shit is getting real.
The past 4 days haven’t been very eventful, so I haven’t felt very motivated to write. The only comment I can make is that I’ve been in a REALLY BAD MOOD. I’m trying very, very, very hard to not complain or agonize over not eating and I think holding it all in is bubbling over. My level of frustration is at an all time high. I can almost feel the angst in my throat.
I’m typically the quiter one in our marriage, but find myself wishing (even more than usual) that Ray would just stop freaking talking. I feel like I’d rather it if we took a vow of silence all weekend or perhaps the rest of the month, I don’t need to talk and don’t need anyone to talk to me. Just leave me alone to wallow in my own misery.
Perhaps one of my biggest struggles while fasting is the lack of Grand Finale. Fasting is kinda like going to watch fireworks that are just barely going on and on and on, there’s not big grand finale to the day, to the week, to the anything.
Dinner is highlight of my day, going out for Friday-night-date-night-dinner is my favorite part of the week, big weekend breakfasts to ease into your relaxing day. All of them are gone.
My struggle isn’t not-eating my struggle is dealing with the parts of life that typically when I don’t want to deal with, I would sooth myself with food or even a cocktail, I can’t. and it’s hard.
I’m notoriously not an emotional person and I’m starting to realize that my defense mechanism against feeling has been turning to food/drink. I’m grateful to be on this path, giving me the opportunity over the next 22 days to break that vicious cycle, no matter how much I cry. Wish me luck.
Days 9 & 10
Day 9 started out with a quick hike where we found some great mushrooms. The highlight was a near perfect Lion’s Mane Mushroom that I cooked up for Ray’s breakfast. Isn’t it breathtaking? The rest of the day was spent drinking water and watching the big Steeler Win.
Oh and I started making a headboard for our bed out of up-cycled pallet wood Ray salvaged from work – maybe I’ll blog about it? yes? no?
Day 10, I’m officially 1/3 of the way through my 31 day fast! Woot Woot. I still physically feel great but emotionally I’m still in my funk, fingers crossed it passes soon.
There is something else that’s happened; my hair is different. Basically I have lots of thin, fine hair – so it’s thick but just in number of hairs but not in the thickness of the hair itself. Generally my hair is a little wavy and rather flat, until now. My hair seems to have doubled in volume over night and refuses to be straight. I don’t know what is happening but it’s BS and I don’t like it. For a few days it even felt like there was a waxy coating on my hair, like I didn’t rinse or applied a bunch of product – only I did rinse and didn’t put on any stuff. We will see how this plays out.
Will I make it through until the end – I’m 99% sure. Despite my emotional challenges at the moment, I’m committed 100% and don’t feel like that will change.
Have I lost weight? yes. But I’m not critically weighing myself as I have done in the past. In fact I didn’t even weight myself on day 1, as a purposeful reminder that that is not the focus of what I’m trying to accomplish. However, my weight is lower than it’s been all year, probably lower than in the past 2 years, I feel lighter and thinner. Based on what I weigh now vs my general weight pre-fast I’ve lost about 12 pounds in 9 days. On day 20 I’ll talk about my weight again, but not sooner.