A Salty Arguement

Ayeayeaye…. I’ve been doing a lot of research into fasting.  In the age of the ‘net that of course has led to watching youtube videos.  And cringing.  A lot. cringe-embarrassing-funny-humour-humor

really hope people take a lot of the info out there with a grain of salt (literally in this case!).  There is a slew of videos that advocate water fasting, which is fine, but these people are drinking up to 2 gallons of water a day.  They also report feeling weak, sick and nauseaous.  For the simple reason that they are flushing out their electrolytes and putting themselves at risk of hypnatremia; a legit, potentially life-threatening medical condition in which your body doesn’t have enough sodium.

People have been taught to think of salt as bad and water as good.  It’s way more nuanced than that.  Proper hydration includes salt.  Salt is an essential nutrient, necessary for your survival.  If you’re not taking it in, in amounts needed to balance water intake, you are risking water intoxication.  People have died from excessive water intake.

My old pastor actually suffered a concussion when he passed out from low sodium on a 40 day water fast he was doing for spiritual purposes.  He hit his head and was lucky it wasn’t worse.

You do not ever need to force down 2 gallons of water a day.  You probably do not even need 1 gallon.  If you are taking in a lot of fluids, or sweating heavily, you need to be mindful to replace lost electrolytes just as much as lost water.  If you are doing a strict water fast I’d either limit the water to a reasonable amount or add a pinch of healthy salt.  In this case more does not = better.

You body is intelligent and you can follow your thirst cues.  When you’re thirsty, drink.  If you’re not, don’t.  It’s pretty simple.  You wouldn’t gorge yourself on food if you weren’t hungry, because you doubt your hunger cues (or I hope you wouldn’t…) so why would your hunger cues be accurate but you thirst cues are faulty??  the-iconic-picard-facepalm

Sorry, I’m ranting at this point.

But one of my first “breakthroughs” came when I realized the standard health advice on drinking water was wrong.  I too believed dehydration was a constant threat to be diligently guarded against.  I brought my giant water cup everywhere.  I needed a cup holder at all times and quick access to a bathroom.  I was also always cold and tired.  I was keeping myself in a constant low-grade state of hypnatremia. CwJTMri

When I stopped that nonsense I felt better almost immediately.  I now add liberal amounts of sea salt to just about everything.  I drink when I’m thirsty.  It’s pretty simple.

In conclusion, don’t be afraid to go against conventional health “wisdom”.  Remember when the experts told us margarine was good and butter was the devil??  Exactly.  But please, most of all, do your own research.  Listen to your body’s cues and feedback.  Our bodies are trying to communicate to us what they need, but are we listening?  I’d trust your body over a youtube expert any day.  😉

 

 

Fasting and Reeses

Sorry it’s been so long since my last post!  Juggling kids, work, life can suck up all my time or at least whatever creative energy I might have had 😉

In my last post I mentioned feeling tired.  I was worried that my diet could possibly affecting my thyroid function.  I started researching it right away and doing little things to help my thyroid out.  I bought some brazil nuts and I’ve been eating a few a day.  Brazil nuts are SUPER high in selenium (one nut has 100% of your daily needs!) which helps you body convert your T4 hormone to the active T3 version.  I’ve also been taking a supplement which naturally supports thyroid function.

But since I’ve had a lot of issues with my thyroid in the past, I went in to get it checked out- just to cover all my bases.  Like just went in, I still have the bandaid on my arm!  While I am all for googling symptoms I also really believe in working with a doctor when you’re treading into the deep end.  Because otherwise you could just be shooting into the dark and completely missing your target.  I’m also checking my vitamin D and iron levels, because in the past I’ve been anemic and deficient in vit. D.  I supplement but it’ll be nice to know if my levels are optimal.

I did throw in some high carb days to see how that would affect my energy.  Yes, I had copious amounts of butter chicken and may have binged on some Reeses easter eggs!  It was super fun eating those foods but it really didn’t do much to boost my energy levels.  I know, I know, I shouldn’t be carb-cycling with reese’s.

homer
This is me, people

You’re so right.  I guess when I go off the wagon I do it with a gusto.  There is a wrong way to eat a reese’s and it involves eating an excess on an otherwise very low-carb diet!

So I’m back on strict keto and doing pretty good.  The next thing I want to try out is intermittent fasting.  I’ve shied away from fasting because, really; who likes being hungry?  I like my food!  I don’t like going without it, not even a little bit.  However, there are very compelling reasons to integrate fasting.  The main being that fasting for at least 16 hours induces a huge increase in your cellular autophagy  When your body isn’t working to digest food it can focus on deep cleaning on a cellular level.  Autophagy is the process by which your body intelligently kills off weak cells and cleans out the cellular clutter that is mucking up your system.  This is crucial for your health.  So crucial that it can not be overstated.  Our bodies are meant to fast and have breaks from food so that they could function optimally.  For everything from healthy aging, to disease prevention, to beating cancer… we need and want regular autophagy to be happening.  And fasting is one of the most powerful boosts you can give your body.  You want to shoot for 16 hour periods every other day.  You can have black coffee and tea but any calories will break the fast.  I’m going to try starting my fasts in the afternoon so that I can break them mid-morning.  Like from 5 pm to 9 am.

Thanks for reading and I hope you all have a wonderful weekend!