Day 6 and 7 of my 7-day fast and the aftermath
Part 1 is available here: http://bartoll.se/fighting-morgellons-and-tumors/my-path-to-recovery-part-1/
Part 2 is available here: http://bartoll.se/fighting-morgellons-and-tumors/my-path-to-recovery-part-2/
All previous and future posts will be available in this category:
Saturday, April 21: sixth day – sweet wonderful water
Water never tasted this good.
I had some problem sleeping due to pain and stiffness in my lower back – the exact spot where I had an injury back in 2000. This sensation is from the boosted repair process – as in breaking down scar tissue and remodeling. I could not find any sleep position that was comfortable, so I tossed and turned most of the night. Actually, I only got about 3 hours of sleep and got up at close to 3 am in the morning. However, I was still feeling somewhat better (especially mental energy and clarity) than previous months – and that’s after six days of fasting and with mild sleep deprivation. That says a lot of the power of fasting.
Urination was still regular with 150 to 250 ml every 3 to 4 hours. No color or odor as far as I could tell. This constant production of urine is another confirmation of being in deep and efficient ketosis.
During the night and at some very short moments in the early forenoon I did experience stronger- and faster-than-usual heartbeats. This was only noticeable when lying down in bed (when I was trying to sleep) and when I had a powernap – and it was only for 10 seconds or so.
I felt really energetic and good in the morning. At noon my mouth felt a little bit sticky and my voice was a little bit off. But still not to any degree that it bothered me. I also felt restless with high mental clarity, but with no real desire to do anything mental or physical.
Lower back still sore and during the day my right arm started to ache – exactly where I broke it in early 2001. Especially the brachialis and the mid triceps felt really sore. And yes, that’s exactly where my bone healed with a slight angle and where I have some deep scar tissue and trigger points. My body is simply healing these spots by recycling damaged and useless tissue (autophagy.)
I broke my dry fast at 6 pm to give me a few hours to rehydrate before hitting the bed. That resulted in 51 hours without any liquids at all. I started with sipping on a glass of cold distilled water with 1 tea spoon of baking soda (sodium bicarbonate) and then I threw in some sodium (sea salt) at the side. A few hours later I had some additional potassium and magnesium with even more sodium, another tsp of baking soda, and some regular cold tap water (the tap water in my city is decent, so no worries.) Since being in deep ketosis from dry fasting, your body can become quite acidic, so baking soda will help your organs.
Since I began drinking water again I also took a nice footbath in room-temperature water. Why not hot water? Well, A few hours before I ended my dry fast, my body temperature had increased a little, probably from detoxifying and repairing (which is in overdrive on a dry fast.) A lot of old toxins that was being released, and the lymph system and lymph nodes was without a doubt working overtime.
Later in the evening I actually ran a fever of 38.8 Celsius (101.84 F.)
The thing is, if you’re healthy and do a water fast, or a dry fast, with the goal to repair an injury, re-booting your immune system, or simply to improve some health markers, it’s not that tough. My previous 7-day water fast when I was fairly healthy was a breeze compared to this one.
You see, if your body is fighting multiple injuries and/or other health problems, it can be really tough. The toxic load can be immense, and you will feel really drained and lethargic – maybe to a degree that you might have to step back, do some maintenance, and then do a new fast in a month or two.
With that being said, I was not going to quit early. Being uncomfortable or feeling lethargy and/or pain have never bothered me. I know my body and I was going to stick with it to the end. After all, the only reason I didn’t plan a 10- or 14-day fast was the realization that it would be too tough on my organs and body, and with my very low body fat, it could back fire instead as a lot of energy is required. Fasting for too long with a low body fat could push you into starvation, and that is never healthy. So, 7 days it is. Then stabilize, increase my body fat a little (to provide energy for the next fast), and then probably another water and dry fast – where I might extend it to 10 days.
Sunday, April 22: seventh day – breaking the fast
Fever down to 37.5 Celsius (99.5 F), which is just above my normal body temperature of 36.8 to 37.2 C. Still experiencing some pain and stiffness where the body is healing. Other than that, I’m feeling pretty decent.
I broke the fast at 6 pm by consuming 300 ml of homemade orange juice, followed 30 minutes later by eating an orange (very slowly – chewing as much as possible.) Two hours after that I had some flaky cod with butter, avocado, and cooked “mushy” vegetables to make it easier on the digestion (broccoli, carrots, and cauliflower.) And as always, chewing until it turns into a liquid.
If you’ve ever done a longer fast, then you know what a rich and amazing experience it is to taste food again. It is truly a transcendental experience!
The flavors are more intense, vibrant, and living; and the textures are much more distinct and noticeable. The only way to truly appreciate the gift of food and drink is to live without them for a while.
Monday, April 23: the day after – reflections
Body temperature was back to normal this morning. Still feeling a bit drained and “off” after the massive dump of toxins and from the healing that took place – especially during and right after the second dry fast.
Not hungry at all. I’m actually feeling full after only half a plate of food – probably from a temporarily shrunk stomach, lower production of stomach acid and thus slower emptying rate.
With all this in mind, I do not recommend dry fasting to anyone who hasn’t done at least a previous 7-day water fast. If you have high levels of toxicity and some health issues (as I do, and most people do in modern life to various degrees), you will experience some really nasty detox symptoms. With a dry fast, the cleansing is very fast and very, very powerful.
Therefore, my suggestion is, if you want to try fasting or even dry fasting for its healing properties, you need to approach it gradually. I would break it down in these steps:
- Get accustom to the ketogenic diet – get fat adapted. You need to teach your body to use fat and ketones for fuel. It usually takes 2 to 4 weeks to get fat adapted to a degree that you feel fine on a ketogenic diet.
- Try a 24 to 36 hour fast. You will experience short bursts of hunger, because you’re programmed and used to eat several times a day.
- Try a 3 to 5-day water fast. Hunger will disappear by the third day. You will probably experience more mental clarity than you ever had before. If you have a lot of toxicity, you might feel a bit lethargic by day 4 or 5.
- Try a 7-day water fast. You should be good. Perhaps a little fatigued at times, especially if you need to detox and heal. If you felt drained, weak and lethargic, repeat a 7-day water fast after a few week or so before even considering a dry fast.
- Try a 36-hour dry fast. Start with a water/electrolyte fast for at least 2 days, then cut water.
- Try a 48 to 60-hour dry fast. Once again, ease into it by starting off with a water/electrolyte fast.
There you have it. A simple strategy guide to gradually get into fasting. If you’ve read this series thus far and all the provided links to previous articles, you should be familiar with each and every step by now.
April 24 and 2 weeks forward: The aftermath
This is what I’ve noticed during the two following weeks after completing the 7-day fast with two shorter dry fasts.
April 8, 1 week before starting the fast – looking a bit worn and fatigued.
The first thing I noticed was that my ability to focus and concentrate had increased quite a bit. Before the fast, I could only focus on writing for 15 to 20 minutes – after that I had to start re-read what I just wrote several times to remember how to continue or to get new ideas. Same with reading – after 20 minutes or so, the words would begin to float and the information would not really stick. Also, my eyes would get tired and my vision blurry within a few hours – especially in the afternoon.
Now however, I can easily focus for an hour or more. I actually have to hold myself back, because if I try to write and “work” as I used to before I got sick, I will get drained and almost apathetic for several hours before I recover and can focus again. I learned this the hard way as I usually get overly immersed and “lose track of time” when writing or reading. So, while all this has improved, I still have a long way to go.
Another thing I noticed was that I could handle a lot more fats in my meals. Before the fast I could run into trouble when exceeding 120 grams a day. Now I can easily consume 250 grams of fat a day. Actually, my digestion has been pretty much perfect since finishing the fast.
It’s the same with protein. I can now consume more than 20 to 25 grams in one sitting without albumin showing up in my urine. And I don’t get the same level of inflammation and water retention when experimenting with more protein in the diet. Still, I’m more than happy with 80 to 120 grams of protein a day. I don’t really need more; so, there’s no need to push it or experiment with a higher intake.
Before the fast I could experience some pain and stiffness in my lower back when sitting for too long (where I had my old injury.) Now, I haven’t felt a thing in the two weeks that have passed.
1 week after fasting – looking healthier and gained some muscle mass. And sorry for the bad image quality – a lot of muscle definition and veins has been smooth out.
No noticeable muscle loss. You obviously lose glycogen and water from your muscle cells, making you look smaller and somewhat flatter during a fast. But due to the muscle protein sparing effects of fasting, there’s very little muscle loss as long as you don’t go into starvation. I will cover this in the next blog post (and many other myths.)
It only took a few days of eating to “fill out” and actually look better and somewhat bigger than before starting the fast.
And finally, when I’m in the gym it’s now a bit easier to activate the nervous system and get that crucial feeling of alertness, focus, body awareness and presence. The muscle-mind connection is a little bit better. It’s still not like it used to be, where I could just enter the gym and start ramping the weight to both warm-up, activate, and potentiate the nervous system and feel 100 % in the zone on the first set.
Now I can feel my muscles contracting against the resistance after 10 to 15 minutes of working with the nervous system. Before the fast, it could take 30 minutes – or not happen at all. It’s a small and important improvement.
To summarize, I’ve noticed a lot of small and significant improvements. I still have a long way to go, but these experiences and the results once again show that you can heal your own body. It might take months or years. But it’s the only real way back to health.
Observations after 3 weeks
During the last 4 or 5 days (little over 2 weeks since the fast), I’ve noticed a small decay in the positive effects the fasting brought me. My mental energy and my ability to focus for longer periods of time have declined slightly. While my stomach is mostly fine, it can act up a little from time to time.
This is without a doubt because of my illness and the large tumor with “unidentifiable” mass (nano/Morgellons) in my left leg.
My body is still under constant attack, and although the fast did an enormous amount of healing, the illness is still present and it slowly eats away at you.
In other words, I still need to do a lot of healing. Keeping with the ketogenic diet as a safe and anti-inflammatory base. Diving deeper into an epigenetics diet (still doing research and applying some stuff), and even more importantly, doing more long-term fasts.
Actually, I’m already longing for another dry fast. Considering my illness, I really miss the temporary boost in mental energy and clarity – and all the health benefits I could actually feel and experience following the fast. So, with this in mind, I will probably do another fast within 1 or 2 weeks.
Since I finished the previous fast, I’ve been eating really well; re-gaining some more muscle mass (that I lost in late 2016 and early 2017), and my mineral status should be excellent.
So, another fast (only a month after the first one) should not be a problem, just the opposite, in fact. I’ll keep you updated!
In my next blog post, I’ll write more about fasting and how it works. Busting some myths, explaining the huge difference between starvation (unwilling scenario) and fasting (willing scenario), why your metabolism may slow down and you lose muscle on a calorie reduced diet, while metabolism actually revs up and your muscle mass is protected during a fast, and much more.