I was asked what sort of health benefits are expected from a 30 day water-fast.
Depending on who you talk to, long fasts cure everything from cancer and HPV to diabetes and depression. I didn’t jump into the craze for miracles, though:
I got into intermittent fasting in the mid 2000s through Ori Hofmekler’s “The Warrior Diet” which presented the most intellectual account of muscle building I had heard anywhere. Strategic eating (a feast / fast model) is popular even today; the popular “Engineering the Alpha” program, for example, utilizes intermittent fasting. The practitioner of the program eats all he wants (from an authorized list of healthy, whole foods), but must do so within an 8-hour feeding window; the rest of the day, he has to fast. In this way, the studies show, a man might naturally boost his testosterone and human growth hormone production. Of course, I’m not saying that’s *the* way to eat or that it ought to be a life-style choice, but if someone’s interested in training or preparing for some physical event, it’s a good plan.
So that opened me up to the idea of fasting.
Later on, though, I got into holistic health and naturopathic healing. With the discovery of organic produce and its health benefits, I became aware of organic agriculture and slowly developed a dream of small-town farm life with a sweet finesse – living holistically, sustainable, and as independent as possible. What fascinates me about the agrarian life especially is the important use of animals on a sustainable farm. Everything from cows, ducks, chickens, and rabbits, to dogs, owls, and fish, can add tremendous benefit to the farm, but one step crazier: I realized that even the tiniest of creatures like insects, worms, and even bacteria can be managed and play a profoundly important role in a sustainable life. I realized these microbes not only help in the making of compost and the maintaining of healthy plant growth, but that actually, there’s a very large population of them living inside our own bodies.
I became fascinated with probiotics and the managing of the human “micro-biome.” I began growing my own Kombucha and, well, I’m still trying to develop a taste for sauerkraut. These foods are packed with healthy microbes that enter the digestive tract and help establish a “balanced” gut.
It may sound crazy to my readers, but the full moon affects me in strange ways. It’s *not* just a placebo effect, I assure you. I get really aggressive and outgoing when the moon waxes and I stay that way until it wanes. It’s almost like a manic high, but unlike a bipolar person, I never really experience manic lows, and these mood shifts only occur during the full moons. I can wake up in the morning and know the moon is full. I began doing a layman study to try and figure out why this might be happening and while reading up on gut microbes, I suspect I stumbled over a possible solution.
Those who talk about probiotics are adamant that gut health has major psychological ramifications, affecting mood, thought process, and so on. I discovered that certain gut microbes react to the moon cycles. Imagine that! My theory is that I have a gut-bacteria imbalance (thanks to all those youthful years of vaccinations, sugary cereals, and the American diet) and that, during the full moon, these gut germs are in hyperdrive, thus affecting my mood.
There are candida type cleanses and probiotic programs I could do, but after my research, I’m convinced the best, most powerful way to balance the gut micro-biome, is by doing a long water fast (20 days or more).
That’s my biggest goal (physically) with all this.
Spiritually, well, that’s for another post.