Nutritional practice I am trying: 48-hour fast
For the first time in 42 years, I finally gave my body a chance to recover from all the food I had shoveled in my mouth. I was able to successfully fast for 2 days while only consuming water and decaffeinated tea. I was inspired to do this challenge after watching the show Limitless with Chris Hemsworth on Netflix (the actor who plays Thor in the Marvel movies). My goal was to give my body a chance to wipe out some of the old, damaged cells that can lead to cancer and other diseases in the future. I also wanted to give my digestive tract a break from having to process food around the clock for decades. Below is a list of the changes I noticed during the 48 hours of not eating food.
- Reduced patience
- The smell of my breath changed
- Less energy
- Increased sense of smell
- Increased gratitude for being able to eat on a daily basis
- Time slows down
- I lost 5 lbs over the two days
- Staying busy helps to occupy your mind
- The realization that I normally consume way too much food
- Fasting with other people (thanks to my wife and best friends who did this with me) helps a lot.
Overall the fast was a lot harder and a lot easier than I thought. Harder, in that on the second night, I woke up at 1 AM and couldn’t go back to sleep for an hour due to hunger. Rough… And easier, in that I was able to generally live my regular life without consuming any food which to me was surprising. If you are considering doing a fast, you might think about slowly ramping up the amount of time without food rather than going straight into a multi-day situation. Or, you might try intermittent fasting in which you only consume food during a small portion of the day and then fast the remaining hours.
Show I am recommending: Stutz on Netflix
Actor Jonah Hill and his psychiatrist Phil Stutz have created a really amazing documentary that is available on Netflix. In this film, Hill, an actual patient of Stutz, attempts to share the insights and strategies he has learned from Stutz over the last five years. Along the way he discovers that the way in which he began filming the project was incongruent with the entire message of the movie and accordingly redirects it mid movie. If you, like me, wrestle with the common afflications of being a human, this film can be a huge help in improving your understanding of the human condition. Give this one a watch and lets chat about it in the clinic!
Quote I am repeating: “Love is a decision, not an emotion.” Lao Tzu
After watching the movie Stutz, described above, and thinking about its core message I believe that it can be summarized in the quote above. One of the most difficult parts about being a human is making the choice to choose love in the face of adversity. Fear of not being loved, fear of not being accepted and fear of a million other things all get in the way of our true nature. This week I challenge you to choose love, even when it is hard.
Have a kick ass week everyone!
Dr. Devin Shea, DC