Intermittent fasting and its benefits became a thing a few years ago.
When I first heard of all the advantages of this practice, I started doing it, but never quite connected to something more profound to make it stick.
Recently I had a live session with Dr. Nasha Winters. She is a licensed Naturopathic Doctor (ND) and a Fellow of the American Board of Naturopathic Oncology (FABNO); and a global healthcare authority in integrative cancer research. She also wrote The Metabolic Approach To Cancer.
She talked about the ketogenic diet and how it can make all the difference when you’re treating cancer.
Now that was super impactful for me because my mom died of cancer when I was nineteen years old – and she was fifty-one. She was first diagnosed with lung cancer when I was seventeen.
And before you ask: no! She never smoked a single cigarette in her entire life.
She had two recurrences, and the second was in her brain. That was the one that eventually took her life.
Having gone through that experience, I started valuing my health more and more. One year later, I became a vegetarian, stopped drinking alcohol, and started researching more and more about health and longevity.
Dr. Nasha said that if you can’t do fasting for 13 hours, it could be a sign you are metabolic inflexible. And that will open up a door for cancer, diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and osteoporosis, no matter your age.
Isn’t that mind-blowing? For me, it sure was super impactful to get that information. So guess what I started to do immediately – as on that same day?
You guessed it: fasting!
I’ve settled on 16 to 20 hours twice a week, and the rest of the days 13 to 14 hours to make sure I keep myself as metabolic flexible as possible.
She also shared one piece of information that made me prioritize rising with the sun even more. It’s called the six best doctors.
Here they are:
Watching the sunrise and sunset at least a few times a week will make you get a better sense of the cycle around you.
You also get the opportunity to expose yourself to that red light that will wash and renew your mitochondria and bathe your pineal gland to set off a circadian rhythm that is more in balance to your physiology.
You will charge up your batteries at a mitochondrial level and enhance your vitamin D levels.
Those are all notes I took during the class. Doesn’t that make you want to set your biological clock to the sun? It sure did me!
I have been making sure to watch the sunrise and sunset every single day since! And every time I imagine all the cells in my body celebrating with me.
Super important to have a filter in your home to get particles and lots of carcinogens from the water. And if you can get a whole-house one.
Quality is key! I have been drinking mineral water only for so many years I can’t even remember how long it’s been. We also have a filter in the shower. It’s not a whole-house one yet, but it will be soon!
You can say: “I get my 8 hours every day”. Awesome!
But are you asleep between 11 pm and 3 am? Because that’s when the body is in regeneration plus restoration mode.
I’ve also had my functional MD tell me that every hour of sleep you get before 10 pm is worth double in terms of health and longevity.
Because I want to rise with the sun every day – and that is no easy feat for me – I am in bed, most days, at 8 pm. And I have to say I’ve noticed the difference in my vitality doing experiments with my bedtime.
The earlier I fall asleep, the more vitality I have the next morning. So I am committed to that.
This one was decidedly the most surprising to me. Dr. Nasha mentioned the correlation between air pollution to glioblastomas (brain tumors) in a young population.
The recommendation here is to get air filters or purifiers for your home.
I’ve been living in a small city near the ocean for the past three months. So I feel it was a significant improvement in air quality.
But I’m still looking into what I can do to make my environment even “cleaner.”
Not too much, not too little.
When you overexercise and don’t make a recovery, you’re causing so much oxidative stress, so much high cortisol – which is also stimulating insulin. It’s altogether aging your body that much faster.
So that means no more killing yourself in the gym for 3 hours straight every single day. Recovery is an intrinsically vital part of any training.
I used to have a hard time training my recovery because it made me feel lazy. But for a while now, I have been finding so much joy in recovering well with sauna, Epson salt baths, naps, etc.
Self-care for the win!
It’s very straightforward!
Keep the food real, at its source, seasonal, local, not processed, and nutrient-dense!
And guess what? Sugar is not on that list! Here are two direct quotes from her book The Metabolic Approach To Cancer:
“The deal is that cancer cells ingest sugar—all kinds of sugar—at a rate that’s almost fifty times faster than healthy cells, and it’s the main fuel that helps them to grow and spread.”
“…we know beyond a shadow of a doubt that low-glycemic, ketogenic diets and intermittent fasting should be an integral part of an effective anticancer diet program“.
So I’ve adopted a low-carb – which she says is the normal carb intake by the way, with no sugar and no processed food type of diet. And I am an avid label-reader.
Most of the time, I don’t even buy things that come in boxes. I prefer to either do them myself to control the ingredients or remove it from my diet.
And just by making those few adjustments, I have been feeling better, healthier, and more energized.
My next goal is to get to 24 hours of fasting. But I’m taking my time with that one. I’m still having fun with my 16 to 20 hours.
Here’s to living healthier and longer.