The difference between fasting and lifestyle changes.

SR Cheers sunset L
SR Carla con leche
SR Regen dinner

As most of my clients know, I periodically fast, or as I like to put it "I'm just trying to balance the books."

Nobody bats an eye when we collectively gorge ourselves at Christmas or let’s face it, any excuse to indulge, it’s a Thursday night. We are super spoilt in London. We can eat what we like, when we like, any season, almost any ingredient, home cooked or delivered to our doors, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

I have been experimenting with my diet since my early 20’s. Stiff sore joints were initially my motivation and are still a barometer for when I have been on the indulgent side of life a little too much. I have always tried to maintain my health through diet. It’s about feeling well in the here and now. I was lucky that pain at an early age meant I developed some knowledge and good habits.

Last week I completed the 5day fast that we do on our Regeneration Retreat. I try and do it a number of times a year. It had been about 8 months since my last one and I really struggled to find the motivation. I had been putting it off for months, always finding an excuse why this week was not a good week to do it.

But then, with absolute clarity, the week was now, and I went into it with the right mindset: determined to succeed. This is rule number 1.

Like it or not, food means so much to us. We all have a relationship with food and choosing to restrict yourself will bring up an emotional response. Each time I do it, it brings up old and new responses. Different each time and always interesting.

The science is simple: Fasting will first put you into ketosis, which by the way is a natural and healthy state that the body feels good in. Soon after, autophagy starts, which is the bodies own cleansing mechanism. At this point your body starts to cleanse on a cellular level, killing off damaged cells and using these as a fuel source. (help, I’m starving) Then finally the reason we fast for 5 days is to get to the time of Stem Cell renewal. This is when healing may happen, depending what you as an individual need and what is possible for your own body.

The joy of this fast rather than a water fast is that you eat 3 precise meals a day and still remain in a fasted state. It’s almost a walk in the park, though my energy levels do not allow such activity when fasting. When doing this in London, I still go to work every day, I just make sure that I add in lots of rest, think slow mornings and Epson salt baths in the evening. I also always book myself in a massage or two as a reward.

A week later my head is still clear, my digestion is better than it has been in months, my desire to stay healthy and repeat the fast is strong. I’m calm, productive, less achy, my clothes fit better, and people keep telling me I look well.  I do this so I can indulge. It is not a lifestyle change. It is part of my lifestyle.

It’s about being able to drink champagne and eat schiacciata when I want, it’s about trying to create a balance in the indulgent world that I love to live in.

Fasting and it’s benefits are all over the internet, juice, broth, water, there is almost too much information and too many choices. The reason we chose to work with this 5 day fast on our fasting retreats is due to the research behind it. Professor Longo studied exactly how much you can eat and remain in a fasted state. It’s doable, it’s not extreme and once done with support, you can repeat it at home easily.

If you want your hand held metaphorically then come and join us for The Regeneration Retreat in June or September in Italy.

If you fancy indulging with me, then our Tastes and Treats retreat may be right up your street.

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