Fasting…It could be the better meal option
The benefits of fasting and intermittent fasting are being promoted more frequently online. One of my favorite Fasting stories is taken from Paul Bragg. It goes like this…
“On my first test I hired 10 husky, strong young college athletes to make the hike in Death Valley from Furnace Creek Ranch to Stovepipe Wells, a distance of approximately 30 miles.
The boys had salt tablets and all the water they could drink . . . and a station wagon filled with plenty of food that contained salty foods like bread, buns, crackers, cheese, luncheon meats and hot dogs. They each ate, drank and took as many salt tablets as they desired. I had no salt, no food, only water during the 30 mile hike. We began the hike on a sweltering July morning. The higher the sun rose, the hotter it became! Up went the heat until at noon it stood at 130 degrees – a dry, hot heat that seemed to want to melt and defeat all of us!
The college boys gobbled the salt tablets and guzzled quarts of cool water. For lunch they drank cola drinks with ham and cheese sandwiches. We rested a half hour after lunch and then continued our rugged hike across the red-hot blazing sands. Soon things were beginning to happen to those strong, husky college boys. First, 3 of them got violently ill and threw up all they had eaten and drunk for lunch. They got dizzy and turned deathly pale and great weakness overcame them. They quit the hike immediately! They were driven back to the Furnace Creek Ranch in poor condition. The hike went on with 7 college athletes continuing. As we hiked, they drank large amounts of cold water, soft drinks and took more salt tablets. Then suddenly 5 of them got stomach cramps and became deathly ill. Up came the drinks and their lunch. These 5 had to be driven back to the ranch.
That left but 2 out of 10 hikers. It was now about 4 pm and the merciless sun beat down on us with great fury. Almost on the hour, the last remaining salt-tablet eating athlete collapsed under that hot, burning sun and had to be rushed back to the ranch for medical care.
Only the Non-Salt User Finishes Hike
That left me alone on the test and I felt as fresh as a daisy! I was not full of salt tablets and I was not full of food because I was on a complete fast. The college boys wanted cold drinks, but I drank only pure distilled water, not chilled. I finished the 30-mile hike in around ten and a half hours and I had no ill effects whatsoever! I camped out for the night. The next day I arose early and hiked another 30 miles back to the ranch without food or salt tablets. The doctors gave me a thorough examination and found me in perfect condition! I am ready and willing to repeat this hike across Death Valley, California for any scientific group that wants to do research on man’s mythical “need” for salt. (I get organic sodium from my food.)” (excerpt from the book by Paul Bragg- The Miracle of Fasting)
The reason this story is so interesting to me is that this gentleman (Bragg) was significantly older than the hikers he was walking with. The second thing that is striking is that he did not eat and he still out-performed them.
This message is counter intuitive and counter culture. Especially in the performance and athletic community.
We have all been programmed at a young age. Think about what your most important meal of the day is.
Is Breakfast really the most important meal of the day or did your mom, teacher and doctor tell you that because they wanted you to scarf down some breakfast cereal?
Food is a fuel source. But you can survive for up to 40 days without eating food (probably even longer). (1)
Our culture has become very involved with food. Emotionally, physically and chemically we are dependent on food to keep us happy. On every corner is a restaurant that will cater to our desire to be fed.
Food has not been as abundant to the majority of the world as it has become for us in America. Even today it is believed that over 10% of the world do not have enough food to eat. (2)
What is alarming about this is that Americans are also seeing a massive rise in chronic diseases whereas people who have less to eat seem to avoid cancer. (3)
Fasting should be looked at more frequently and more seriously as a healthy option for helping the body rest from all the digestive processes that it is engaged in over the course of a lifetime. It has been declared that if you fast for three days you can regenerate your immune system. (4)
A great way to begin with fasting is to try intermittent fasting (create hyperlink for intermittent fasting ideas). This is where you consume all your food between 6-8 hours per day. Combined with exercise this is an amazing way to quickly repair your body’s systems. If that is too challenging try skipping a meal once per week and allow your kids to do it too.*
Just like our tests that you can perform at home (create link for online testing) fasting is something that you can do in the course of your normal life. It is something you need to incorporate regularly into your life to help your immune system. It is the “new diet”.
Read more on the benefits of fasting.
Fasting for your hormones
Fasting for your brain (dementia)
Fasting for athletes
*Please consult your doctor when you are beginning a program of fasting as there may be some conditions that need to be monitored.
Sources and References