My fasting adventure

I’ve been cognisant of the remarkable power of water-only fasting to facilitate healing and recovery from illness since my early 20s, when I worked for osteopath and naturopath Greg Fitzgerald, while I was at naturopathic college.

Along with my first nutrition lecturer at college, Brian Pettiford, Greg introduced me to the comprehensive system of healing known as Natural Hygiene, the forerunner of today’s Lifestyle Medicine.

Along with a healthful plant-based diet, regular exercise, adequate sleep and rest, and ‘mental poise’, which roughly equates to mindfulness, Natural Hygiene practitioners utilised water-only fasting to activate self-healing.

I saw remarkable recoveries from both acute and chronic illnesses in people who fasted under Greg’s direction (including a man who recovered from acute appendicitis) or at Arcadia Health Centre under the supervision of the late Dr Alec Burton, a legend in the Natural Hygiene world.

A few years after I graduated, I landed a job at Hopewood Health Centre where I witnessed fasting working its magic on rheumatoid arthritis, high blood pressure, psoriasis, chronic fatigue syndrome and a host of other maladies.

I always planned to do at least a 10-day fast before starting a family, in order to get my body into the best possible condition for pregnancy… but it turned out that my son didn’t get the memo :). Once I found out that I was pregnant, fasting was out of the question. Extended breastfeeding, a second pregnancy, a busy work schedule and several degrees and graduate diplomas ensued, pushing fasting off my radar except for short fasts when I was acutely ill with gastroenteritis or a head cold.

Then, a couple of weeks ago, I scheduled a minor surgical procedure to remove a dermal neurofibroma from just above my left knee. The surgeon informed me that I would need to avoid anything remotely resembling exercise for a week, which initially stressed me out quite a lot as I love my daily exercise routine, and it keeps me sane!

However, I got to thinking that I could make the proverbial lemonade out of this lemon by taking the opportunity to fast. Coincidentally, a few days later I was listening to an interview with Dr Michael Klaper on the Ian Cramer podcast, while walking my dog, and Dr Klaper mentioned that one of the reasons people undertake a fast at TrueNorth Health Center, where he has been working for the last 8 years, was to hasten recovery from surgery. Bingo!

Then, I had the privilege and honour of speaking at the Nutrition in Healthcare Symposium, alongside Dr Klaper, and grabbed the opportunity to mention my fasting plans to him. We teed up a Skype consultation to sort out the fine details, and I began my fast the day before the surgery.

I decided to document the whole process with a daily vlog, which you can view below.

Day 1

Day 2

Day 3

Day 4

Day 5

I covered the science of fasting in all its forms – prolonged water-only fasting, intermittent fasting and time-restricted eating – in a webinar called Fasting for Health which is available to members of my EmpowerEd health and nutrition education program. You can take a free 1-month trial of EmpowerEd here, and check out this and hundreds of hours of high-quality content, with absolutely no risk.

Need help with your health recovery plan? Wondering whether fasting is right for you? Apply for a Roadmap to Optimal Health consultation today!

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