Fasting & Cleansing
Food For Thought 12/04/18. Every year at this time, I find myself looking forward to the holidays with its family get-togethers, festive spirit and all the things I shouldn’t eat. I was a little horrified, though when I went to Costco three days before Halloween and they were already selling Christmas! The kids hadn’t even gone trick-or-treating yet.
Starting to sell Christmas in October doesn’t quite seem fair, and Halloween isn’t even for little kids anymore! Those same commercial interests are worse than the Grinch that stole Christmas. Maybe I’m just getting a little old, but the commercialization that Dr. Lee was so upset about truly bugs me.
Even before we got past the feasting of Thanksgiving- everyplace I looked it was starting to look like Christmas. The original Thanksgiving lasted three days, which is scary enough when you think Americans today consume an estimated 450,000 pounds of green bean casserole in just one day on Thanksgiving. All made from cans. How’s that for a healthy treat?
Then you have the vegetarians warning us how we shouldn’t consume those poor turkeys because they’re unhealthy (which should make the turkeys grateful), but meanwhile they’re eating a tofu Turkey (which is a processed food), and consuming carrot cake, zucchini bread and pumpkin pie (all laced with sugar) on their quest for health over the holidays?!?
I know I’m probably being too hard on them… After all, how do you turn down a turkey sandwich with mayonnaise, leftover turkey, dressing and Trader Joe’s citrus cranberry sauce?
My rationalization is “I’m only having one piece of bread” – as if I haven’t had enough bread and cranberry sauce the day before. I know better and I try, but never seem to succeed. So how do we stay healthy with so much temptation over the holidays? Recovering from all those excesses over the holidays isn’t easy for most.
The nutrition pioneers always recommended fasting and cleansing, which almost sounds harder than it is since most think of fasting as sitting on a mountain top living on water. I love this quote from Dr. Frank McCoy’s book, published in 1926, The Fasting Way to Health; “the problem with Americans is they can’t tell the difference between starvation and fasting”.
This is understandable, when you look at definitions from the web: “Fasting is the act of going without food for a certain amount of time. The act is not distinctly Christian, nor is it distinctly spiritual either. It could be physical”. See how one could believe fasting could be difficult and unpleasant? But most of us are just trying to lose a couple of pounds and rebalance our body chemistry after those excesses. There’s got to be an easy way!
The pioneers in nutrition and medicine all recommended fasting and cleansing some 70 years ago or more, as a natural way to maintain health and prevent disease. So, what is it and why do we need to do it is the real question. How do we reframe this discussion on fasting and cleansing?
After pondering this question with Dr. Michael Carter, one of our board members who had just returned from a three day conference at the University of Southern California, here are some of the takeaways on the different forms of today’s fasting and cleansing methods that might be helpful for all:
- Alternate day fasting is difficult to maintain. You might be able to do it for a week, but for the long-term it just doesn’t work.
- 2-5 day fasting: Although this fasting method is the most widely written about and the most widely used, it is also difficult to maintain long-term. This method was most commonly used by the pioneers using only green juicing, which allowed the body to ingest the nutrients and minerals with a minimum amount of energy.
Some vegetarians will point out that were not getting the benefit of the whole food and its fiber, and they are right. But that’s not the point of this type of a fast. The point is to get the nutrients they need to rebalance the body in the easiest form to absorb.
- Time Restrictive Feeding (TRF) can be very effective and is oriented to restoring Circadian Rhythm. The TRF system is a dietary strategy that focuses on when you eat, rather than what you eat. By limiting your daily food intake to a period of time when your body can utilize the nutrients the best, the body has more of an ability to properly use the food, rather than store it.
Many people think that by shortening their timeframe to eat, they are eating less food, making this ideal for weight loss. But the real focus needs to be on eating the right foods, i.e. The Page Food Plan, which will help to rebalance the Circadian Rhythm.
There are a variety of ranges recommended for eating all your meals within 8 to no longer than 12 hrs. But research suggests that eating within 8 hours is the most effective with larger meals in morning, which will helps:
- Improve subjective quality of sleep.
- Improve motor coordination and endurance
- Promote short-term fat loss and long-term weight loss
- Improve glucose levels
What is Circadian rhythm? A name given to the “internal body clock” that regulates the (approximate) 24-hour cycle of biological processes in humans, animals and plants. The term circadian comes from Latin words that literally mean “around the day”. Although we don’t think about it, this natural 24-hour rhythm is the same for the ocean, plants and the human body. It’s a natural 60 cycle wave form, not like the digital signals that put everything in a box.
This is why Dr. Lee would have been warning us about the many digital devices we have embedded in our lives today being counterproductive to the electrical energy field of our body. Research is showing how the use of digital devices upsets the analog wave form of 60 cycles- your body’s natural pattern.
Sorry for getting distracted from fasting and cleansing, but you will now see how number 3 and 4 are very closely aligned.
- The Fasting Mimicking Diet (FMD) is easy to follow with good compliance. This program grew out of researching the need to detoxify patients with cancer after chemotherapy. The original concept was to utilize a 5-day water with electrolytes fast, but unfortunately it was a little too severe for the patient, even though it had fabulous results.
Unfortunately researchers could not get any participants to go on a 5-day water and electrolytes fast, so they developed a diet that mimics a fast. Basically a low protein, high fat diet with no refined carbohydrates; the 1st day consuming only about 1100 calories; day 2 to 5 only 800 calories – allowing 3 meals a day and 1 small snack to be consumed within 8 hrs.
The recommended cycle is 3 fasts a month for 3 months, then 1 every 6 months the following 2 years. There is no danger in doing more if one feels the need or would like continued results. This is recommended in conjunction with TRF (diet plan #3, above). The following benefits can be expected from FMD:
- Increased Stem Cell growth and activity
- Decreased IGF-1
- Decreased CRP
- Weight Loss
- Decreased abdominal fat
- Increased Lean Body Mass
- Decreased Systolic BP
- Decreased Diastolic BP
- Balanced Cholesterol
Note: This method also leads to all the pluses you would receive with Time Restrictive Feeding (TRF) as well. The problem with all diet fasting or cleanse plans is that as a patient, one does not know where to start or what you do after you end the program. That’s why we recommend the Page Food Plan, by Dr. Melvin Page who discovered the calcium phosphorus ratio in blood chemistry. This reflects the body’s balance or Circadian rhythm. The Page Food Plan handout is about six pages, giving you a good foundation and explaining what you can do and eat, not what you can’t.
The 5-day mimicking fast is basically the Phase 1 part of the Page Food Plan and Phase 2 is the maintenance part. Phase 1 is what was originally recommended by the nutritional pioneers, which is almost identical to The Fasting Mimicking Diet (FMD).
The popularity today of the 5-Day Fasting Mimicking Diet Plan is based on Professor Valter Longo’s original research at USC on fasting after chemotherapy. This research was an amazing breakthrough because they found that patients did not have the side effects from chemotherapy.
Realizing that patients weren’t interested in such a severe form of detoxing, Professor Longo released a book on fat loss and anti-aging titled The Longevity Diet. This was much easier than trying to tell patients to fast on water and electrolytes before and between chemotherapy visits.
The Fasting Mimicking 5-Day Diet.
Day 1: 1,100 calories (Dr. Page’s caloric intake was recommended around 1200 calories a day)
* 500 calories from complex carbohydrates: vegetables such as broccoli, tomatoes, carrots, pumpkin, mushrooms, etc. Dr. Page recommended unlimited quantities of vegetables that are 9% or less on the glycemic index.
* 500 calories from healthy fats (Avocado, nuts, seeds, olive oil)
* 1 multivitamin and mineral supplement (Catalyn and Organic Bound Minerals)
* 1 omega-3/omega-6 supplement: Omega-3 fish oil (tuna or cod liver) and Omega-6 (Linum B6)
* Sugarless teas (up to 3 to 4 cups per day). Not recommended because any liquid taken in by the body that is not water triggers a digestive response.
* 25 grams of plant-based protein, mainly from nuts
* Unlimited water
This is predominantly a vegetarian diet as you can see, where Dr. Page recommended 8 to 12 ounces of animal protein with fats each day. In their books on toxicity (Toxicity Explained and Food Is Your Best Medicine), Dr. Tilden and Dr. Bieler recommended a vegetarian diet of green juicing for a limited time because, as they explained, it stopped most patients from consuming the foods they shouldn’t eat in the first place; refined carbohydrates like sugar and white flour, plus bad fats and oils.
Days 2-5: 800 calories
* 400 calories from complex carbohydrates: vegetables such as broccoli, tomatoes, carrots, pumpkin, mushrooms, etc.
* 400 calories from healthy fats (nuts, olive oil)
* 1 multivitamin and mineral supplement
* 1 omega-3/omega-6 supplement
* Sugarless teas (up to 3 to 4 cups per day)
*25 grams of plant-based protein, mainly from nuts
* Unlimited water
The above components can be divided between breakfast, lunch, and dinner, or they can be taken as two meals and a snack.
* Transition Diet: For 24 hours following the end of the 5-day FMD, patients should follow a diet based on complex carbohydrates (vegetables, cereals, pasta, rice, bread, fruit, etc.), and minimize the consumption of fish, meat, saturated fats, pastries, cheeses, milk, etc.
This transition is where most patients fail, because their program is basically a vegetarian 5-day fast which lowers HCl production in the stomach and ignores creating healthy eating habits that the Page Food Plan offers for long-term.
So let’s look at what the pioneers like Dr. Lee offered over 70 years ago, and what we’ve been ignoring by not using their Page Food Plan. Using Dr. Page’s Phase 1 diet plan for 5 to 14 days can accomplish the same things as the Fasting Mimicking 5-Day Diet. The Phase 2 maintenance plan discourages foods like cereals, pastas and bread, and limits tropical fruits while encouraging a healthier diet based on the use of calcium phosphorus ratio. This program can be an ideal transition.
The major difference that makes Dr. Page’s plan better is using the Phase 2 maintenance program for one month and then repeating Phase 1, over a period of one year. After that, Phase 1 was recommended once a year or whenever you felt you needed it, like after Thanksgiving and Christmas.
The Page Food Plan allows you to eat unlimited quantities of green leafy vegetables, which have little or no calories compared to other foods. Those foods are full of vitamins and minerals that our body needs and trigger our body to burn fats, keeping us from feeling deprived.
Now let’s look at the 10-day and 21-day cleanse program from Standard Process in conjunction with the Page Food Plan. You will see why we feel these two programs are a simple and more effective way to rebalance the body chemistry that will counter the excesses of the holidays.
The 10-day Sugar Control Cleanse
This is the perfect time to start the 10-Day Sugar Control Cleanse, right after Thanksgiving with pumpkin and pecan pies. There are a couple of things that you should be aware of about blending in fruit to sweeten up your shakes and smoothies. The fructose in fruit, even in small amounts, hampers your body’s ability to burn fats and rebalance- that’s why Dr. Page doesn’t encourage fruit on the Phase 1 part of the plan, and only a moderate amount of northern fruits in Phase 2.
The 10-day Sugar Control Cleanse starts with SP Complete. You can order this from your practitioner as a kit, but we suggest a slight modification: either adding some vanilla extract or ordering the Vanilla SP Complete separately, which keeps you from wanting to add fruit. Another trick is to add the powdered inositol from SP. Remember, even with artificial sweeteners the brain will kick in triggering a physical response just like you’re eating sugar.
SP Cleanse is designed to speed up your metabolism, with 20 unique whole food and botanical ingredients designed to support and increase the body’s toxin-removal processes. It supports digestion, gallbladder/liver, and kidney function. Diaplex was Dr. Lee’s unique formula to counter the impact of sugar and refined carbohydrates on the body systems.
Lastly, Standard Process recommends Gymnema for controlling sugar cravings, where we recommend 3 to 6 AF Betafood between meals with a glass of water, and 1 chewable tuna omega oil to control blood sugar issues. This also will support gallbladder and liver function, making the fasting program much more effective overall and killing sugar cravings.
According to the old research on rebalancing biochemistry, cleansing the liver is a long-term process taking anywhere from 9 months to 2 years, depending on the patient’s commitment to help the process. Is it no wonder that patients are confused with what is the right approach?
So let’s look at a couple of basic concepts that the food manufacturers and the pharmaceutical companies don’t want you to know. Dr. Lee recommended The Page Food Plan because contrary to the concept of dieting, where you eliminate or eat just a certain food, the Page Food Plan is designed to become part of your daily diet and lifestyle.
Using the 10-day Sugar Control Cleanse and the Page Food Plan together, you can create those positive effects listed under Time Restrictive Feeding (TRF) and The Fasting Mimicking Diet (FMD). When the body is in balance or in a state of Circadian Rhythm, you sleep better, you have more energy and you feel better. What more can somebody want?!
The most exciting part is that new research on stem cells validates Dr. Lee’s and many of the pioneer’s research on whole food nutrition. “It’s reported that fasting (after the second day) starts to increase regrowth and stimulates stem cell activity, meaning increasing the body’s ability to rebuild”.
Now, think about Dr. Lee’s protomorphogens, that cost dollars (not thousands of dollars like stem cell therapy), being used properly with the Page Food Plan and the SP Cleanse programs. This will stimulate the rebuilding of those glands and organs! That’s what health and prevention is all about.