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Fast or Not to Fast

Fasting isn’t a diet.

The literal definition of fasting is to abstain from food and drink from a specific period of time.
It’s been around for thousands of years, as spiritual fasting is a part of many religions. But in this context, I prefer looking at fasting as simply a change in eating patterns.

Fasting – isn’t that starvation?

No. Fasting differs from starvation in one crucial way. Control. Starvation is the involuntary absence of food. It is neither deliberate nor controlled. Fasting, on the other hand, is the voluntary withholding of food for spiritual, health, or other reasons.

Food is easily available, but you choose not to eat it. This can be for any period of time, from a few hours up to days or even weeks on end. You may begin a fast at any time of your choosing, and you may end a fast at will, too. You can start or stop a fast for any reason or no reason at all.

Fasting is nor deprivation. You’re not eating less, you’re eating less often. When you do eat, you eat delicious, healthy foods until you feel satisfied. You won’t have to fear healthy fats, grass-fed meats, organic vegetables, or strategic amounts of healthy carbs. You hold off eating to allow your body to burn its own fat, and then eat until you are full. Does that sound like starvation to you?

Fasting has no standard duration, as it is merely the absence of eating. Anytime that you are not eating, you are fasting. For example, you may fast between dinner and breakfast the next day, a period of approximately 12-14 hours. In that sense, fasting should be considered a part of everyday life. I have been practicing intermittent fasting for 6 month. Now, it is a part of my life.

How does intermittent fasting work?

At its very core, fasting simply allows the body to burn off excess body fat. It is important to realize that this is normal and humans have evolved to fast without detrimental health consequences. Body fat is merely food energy that has been stored away. If you don’t eat, your body will simply “eat” its own fat for energy.

Life is about balance. The good and the bad. The yin and the yang. The same applies to eating and fasting. Fasting, after all, is simply the flip side of eating. If you are not eating, you are fasting. Here’s how it works:

When we eat, more food energy is ingested than can immediately be used. Some of this energy must be stored away for later use. Insulin is the key hormone involved in the storage of food energy.

EAT FOOD——> INCREASE INSULIN ——> STORE SUGAR IN LIVER/PRODUCE FAT IN LIVER

Insulin rises when we eat, helping to store the excess energy in two separate ways. Sugars can be linked into long chains, called glycogen and then stored in the liver. There is, however, limited storage space; and once that is reached, the liver starts to turn the excess glucose into fat. This process is called De-Novo Lipogenesis (meaning literally Making Fat from New).
Some of this newly created fat is stored in the liver, but most of it is exported to other fat deposits in the body. While this is a more complicated process, there is no limit to the amount of fat that can be created. So, two complementary food energy storage systems exist in our bodies. One is easily accessible but with limited storage space (glycogen), and the other is more difficult to access but has unlimited storage space (body fat).

BURN STORED SUGAR/BURN FAT <—— DECREASE INSULIN <—— FASTING/NO FOOD

8 Benefits of Fasting

1. Fasting is an excellent tool for weight loss.

There have been studies that support fasting as an excellent tool for weight loss. One 2015 study found that alternate day fasting trimmed body weight by up to 7 percent and slashed body fat by up to 12 pounds.
Another study, this one out of the University of Southern California, discovered that when 71 adults were placed on a five-day fast (eating between 750 and 1,100 calories a day) once every three months, they lost an average of 6 pounds, reduced inflammation levels and their waistlines and lost total body fat without sacrificing muscle mass. If you want to lose weight and lose belly fat, fasting even irregularly could be the key.

2. Fasting promotes the secretion of human growth hormone.

Human growth hormone, or HGH, is naturally produced by the body, but remains active in the bloodstream for just a few minutes. It’s been effectively used to treat obesity and help build muscle mass, important for burning fat. HGH also helps increase muscle strength, which can help improve your workouts, too. Combine these together and you have an effective fat-burning machine on your hands.

3. Fasting may be good for athletes.

Fasting has been found to have positive effects on body mass as well as other health markers in professional athletes. This is because, as previously mentioned, fasting can effectively shed excess fat, while optimizing muscle growth, because of HGH production. Traditionally, athletes are advised to consume high-quality protein half hour after finishing their workouts (post-workout nutrition) to simultaneously build muscle and reduce fat. Fasting is advised for training days, while eating is encouraged on game days.

4. Fasting is great for normalizing insulin sensitivity.

When your body gets too many carbs and sugar, it can become insulin resistant, which often paves the way for a host of chronic diseases, including type-2 diabetes. If you don’t want to go down this route, it’s critical to keep your body sensitive to insulin. Fasting is an effective way to do this.
A study published in the World Journal of Diabetes found that intermittent fasting in adults with type-2 diabetes improved key markers for those individuals, including their body weight and glucose levels. And another study found that intermittent fasting was as effective as caloric restrictions in reducing visceral fat mass, fasting insulin and insulin resistance. If you’re struggling with pre-diabetes or insulin sensitivity, intermittent fasting can help.

5. Fasting can normalize ghrelin levels.

Ghrelin is known as the hunger hormone, because it is responsible for telling your body that it is hungry. Dieting and really restrictive eating can actually increase ghrelin production, which will leave you feeling hungrier. But when you fast, though you might struggle in the first few days, you’re actually normalizing ghrelin levels.

Eventually, you won’t feel hungry just because it’s your usual meal time. Instead, your body will become more adept in discerning when it actually needs food.

6. Fasting can lower triglyceride levels.

When you consume too much bad cholesterol or too much sugar, your triglyceride levels may shoot up, increasing your risk of heart disease. Intermittent fasting actually lowers those bad cholesterol levels, decreasing triglycerides in the process. Another interesting thing to note is that fasting doesn’t affect the levels of good cholesterol in the body.

7. Fasting may slow down the aging process.

While not yet proven in humans, early studies in rats seem to link intermittent fasting with increased longevity. One study found that intermittent fasting decreased body weight and increased the life span in rats. Another found that a group of mice who fasted intermittently actually lived longer than the control group, although they were heavier than the non-fasting mice. Of course, it’s not clear that the same results would happen in humans, but the signs are encouraging.

8. Fasting increases autophagy.

Autophagy’s main roles are: Remove defective proteins and organelles, prevent abnormal protein aggregate accumulation, and remove intracellular pathogens. So, your body has a chance to clear cellular debris and abnormal cells, like cancerous cells.

Precautions Regarding Fasting.

The health benefits of fasting are extremely appealing, but fasting isn’t always for everyone.

You should not fast if you are:

  • Underweight (BMI < 18.5)
  • Pregnant – you need extra nutrients for your child.
  • Breastfeeding – you need extra nutrients for your child.
  • A child under 18 – you need extra nutrients to grow.

You can fast, but may need supervision, under these conditions:

  • If you have diabetes mellitus – type 1 or type 2.
  • If you take prescription medications.
  • If you have gout or high uric acid.

However, for most of the population, intermittent fasting can be a really helpful tool in managing your weight and health.

Types of Fasting.

Fasting offers infinite flexibility. You can fast for as long or short as you like, but here are some popular regimens. Generally, shorter fasts are done more frequently.

Shorter fasts (<24hrs)

16:8 fast

This involves daily fasting for 16 hours. Sometimes this is also referred to as an 8-hour eating ‘window’. You eat all your meals within an 8-hour time period and fast for the remaining 16 hours. Generally, this is done daily or almost daily.
For example, you may eat all your meals within the time period of 11:00 am and 7:00 pm. Generally, this means skipping breakfast. You generally eat two or three meals within this 8-hour period.

20:4 fast

This involves a 4-hour eating window and a 20-hour fast. For example, you might eat between 2:00 pm and 6:00 pm every day and fast for the other 20 hours. Generally, this would involve eating either one meal or two smaller meals within this period.

Longer fasts (>24 hours)

24-hour fasts

This involves fasting from dinner to dinner (or lunch to lunch). If you eat dinner on day 1, you would skip the next day’s breakfast and lunch and eat dinner again on day 2. This means that you are still eating daily, but only once during that day. This would generally be done two to three times per week.

5:2 fast

Dr. Michael Mosley popularized this variation in his book ‘The Fast Diet’. This involves 5 regular eating days and 2 fasting days. However, on these two fasting days, it is permitted to eat 500 calories on each day. These calories can be consumed at any time during the day – either spread throughout the day, or as a single meal.

36-hour fast

This involves fasting for the entire day. For example, if you eat dinner on day 1, you would fast for all of day 2 and not eat again until breakfast on day 3. This is generally 36 hours of fasting. This provides more powerful weight loss benefit. The other great benefit is that it avoids the temptation to overeat dinner on day 2.

Extended fasting

You can fast almost indefinitely. Generally for fasts greater than 48 hours, I recommend a general multivitamin to avoid micronutrient deficiency. The world record for fasting is 382 days, so going 7-14 days is certainly possible.

I have been doing 3 days fasting for about 9 years and now I start extending my fast to 5 days with just water.

Ready to try a fast? Here’s how to make it easier.

1. Decide what type of fast you’re going to do. 
I recommend easing in with time-restricted eating, starting with 12 hours of fasting. If that feels good after a few days, you can increase the fast to 14 hours and up to 18; I don’t recommend fasting for longer than that.
Have you fasted before? Then you might want to try a more ambitious fast, like alternate day fasting or few days fasting with a bone broth or just water.

2. Set some goals.
What do you want to accomplish by fasting? Lose weight, be healthier, feel better, have more energy? Write it down and put it in a place you’ll see frequently during your fast.

3. Make a menu and stock the fridge. 
Before beginning your fast, decide when you’re eating and what you’ll be eating then. Knowing this in advance takes the pressure off, especially if you feel like you may eat everything in sight “because you can.” As you become more used to fasting, you might find it’s unnecessary to sort out meals beforehand, but I find having a range of healthy food waiting for me in the fridge makes fasting a lot easier.

4. Listen to your body. 
Fasting can take some time to get used to, as your body sheds old habits and learns new ones. But listen to your body! If you’re in hour 10 of 16 hours of fasting and feel like you absolutely need a snack, then have healthy one. If your fasting time is up but you’re not hungry yet, wait until you are. There are no hard and fast rules here. You’re not “messing up.” You might find it helpful to jot down a sentence or two each day about how you felt; you might find that certain times of the  month or year, different types of fasts work better for you.

Here are the ten top tips for easier fasting:

  • Drink water
  • Stay busy
  • Drink coffee or tea (except on water fast)
  • Ride out the hunger waves
  • Consume 2 teaspoon of sea salt per day (mix with water) if you experience discomfort
  • Don’t tell anybody who is not supportive that you are fasting
  • Give yourself one month
  • Follow a low-carb diet between fasting periods. This reduces hunger and makes fasting much easier. It mayalso increase the effect on weight loss and type 2 diabetes reversal, etc.
  • Don’t binge after fasting

If you would like to get more into the science of fasting there is a great book “The Complete Guide to Fasting” by Jason Fung.

Also, you can watch an interview with Dr. Fung.

Have you been fasting for a while and want to challenge yourself? Join me and other health enthusiasts for a 5 days fast “Fasting for a Purpose” on September 23 here.

Do you have more question about fasting? I am here to help and support you.

To your health and happiness.

The Human Longevity Project

It’ll come as no surprise to you that meditation and mindfulness are good for you.

A new project by my friend and colleague, Jason Prall, actually looked into things like meditation, gratitude, and human connection in the planet’s healthiest people.

He also spoke to some of the world’s thought leaders and luminaries, and for the first time, uncovered some of the underlying mechanisms that afford these people such vibrant health and longevity.

In his new series, The Human Longevity Project, Jason gives us a blueprint for living a life filled with purpose, abundant health, and profound happiness.

This series is such a game changer and will forever change the paradigm for health in the Western World.

We can no longer ignore what so many of us know to be true…

 

Watch The Trailer Here. <=

That health and wellness have as much (or more) to do with things like mindset, energy, and gratitude as it does with diet, exercise and certainly, conventional medicine.

People in these “Longevity Regions” woke up every day with purpose.

They didn’t identify with disease.

They didn’t compare themselves with their neighbors or friends.

They were quick to forgive others… and quicker to forgive themselves.

These traits and more were stunningly apparent in each region Jason visited.

Now, you can experience this journey for yourself–for free!

Join me and register for The Human Longevity Project Here. <=

See you there.

P.S. This beautifully shot, and exciting film series is a game changer in health and wellness. Save Your Seat Here. <=

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7 Superfoods to Fight Cancer

There are so much evedence that what we eat matter. The food that we consume every day can kill us or heal us. Dr. Young S. Kim and her team of researchers of The National Cancer Institute of America in July/August 2012 concluded that a poor diet (too much glucose, bad fats, dairy, too much salt, too many refined and junk foods) could cause a cancer to regrow from the Cancer Stem Cells left behind after conventional treatment. Dr. Kim also concluded that certain natural compounds in foods could stop this regrowth. High level of beneficial natural compounds like vitamins and minerals makes it SUPERFOOD. There are few superfoods that can reverse or prevent cancers.

Green leafy vegetables

Green vegetables long with avocado, beans, carrots, apricots, pumpkins, and egg yolk will give you folic acid if your gut bacteria are strong.
This will help your DNA to replicate properly and protect it during radiotherapy.
400 micrograms is a recommended amount. Folate, biotin, choline and inositol, niacin and vitamin B12 are all B vitamins that help in the cancer fight. Niacin has been shown to kill cancer cells. Green vegetables and sprouting seeds are a source of sulforaphanes which have strong epigenetic (gene expression) benefits and have been shown to aid survival from colorectal cancer. A diet rich in greens will help alkalize your body. A slightly alkaline body is important as it improves the performance of your immune system and research shows it stops new metastases.

Broccoli

Like other green cruciferous vegetables (cabbage, kale, Brussels sprouts), broccoli contains fibre which helps eliminate toxins.
Moreover, the fibre binds to damaging agents in the intestine, and is one of the favorite foods of good, helpful gut bacteria (as are carrots, apples, chicory and onions).
Broccoli also contains indoles, and especially indole-3-carbinol which modifies and diminishes aggressive estrogen action, can modify cellular estrogen receptor sites, and aids in fighting estrogen-driven cancers like some breast, prostate, brain and colorectal cancers.

Ginger


Fresh, raw ginger has a number of very important benefits in cancer. It is a terrific anti-inflammatory agent. It also lowers blood sugar levels, and gingerols have been shown to have effects against prostate, breast, leukemia and other cancer cells. Grate 5 gm or more of ginger each day into your juices. It is also full of helpful vitamins and minerals and is anti-parasitic.

 

 

Garlic

It is a truly wonderful food. Active ingredients like allicin seem to act to stop the spread of cancer in a number of ways, for example by stopping blood supply formation for tumors.
Garlic also kills microbes and yeasts and anti-inflammatory in the body. It contains selenium, tryptophan and sulphur-based active agents that attack cancer cells.
Two or three raw cloves of garlic per day will chase away cancer as well as vampires.

 

Beetroot

Beets as well as any purple colored fruits and vegetables like cherries, plums, red grapes contain anthocyanins (and sometimes also resveratrol). Anthocyanins have been shown to kill cancer cells; Resveratrrol has research supporting its role in fighting certain cancers like blood and brain cancers.

 

 

Fish oil

Fish oil will provide long chain omega-3, a powerful anti-inflammatory in the body. Omega-3 has been shown to re-lengthen telomeres, which shorten when you have cancer, putting the DNA structure at risk and reducing longevity. Fish oils also contain vitamin A, an important vitamin in the fight against cancer (herring, mackerel and salmon are top of the list). Fish oils have been linked to reduced levels of prostate, breast and colon cancer. Research shows they help prevent cachexia (weakness and wasting of the body) when having chemotherapy. You´ll also get a little vitamin D from them, another proven cancer-fighter. Omega-3 from fish is an important ingredient in your cancer diet. Please note that the omega-3 from flaxseed is short-chain, equally important but has different benefits (for example, it helps oxygenate the tissues and provides essential fiber).

Seeds

Seeds are full of good oils, whole vitamins in a natural form (like vitamin E) and fiber to strengthen your gut flora. People who consume the highest levels of natural fiber have higher immune systems. For example:

Sunflower Seeds
: High in zinc and natural vitamin E. Zinc helps vitamin C do its work and accelerates healing time. It is important to a healthy prostate. You need 15 to 25 mg per day. Five tablespoons of sunflower seeds give you 10 mg. Sunflower seeds will also provide a little selenium.
Pumpkin Seeds: 
Can be mixed with the sunflower seeds and added into cereal,  oatmeal or snacks.   5 tablespoons will each provide 20 mg of vitamin E, the ultimate cancer buster, which inhibits cancer cell growth and protects immune cells from free radicals. Vitamin E boosts your immune system´s fighting abilities.
Sesame Seeds: The unique lignans in sesame seeds can reduce blood pressure and lipid levels. Research shows they can fight inflammation and also cancer! Gamma tocopherol vitamin E reduces inflammation around the body. Both sesame and flax lignans are converted to compounds that can arrest estrogenic cancers.

Try to incorporate all of these superfoods into your diet to heal your body and chase away not only cancer but also many other degenerative diseases.

To your health and happiness!

detox

10 Day Holistic De-Stress Online Program

Do you feel…

     Tired all the time?

          Something is off, but you’re not sure what?

               Extra pounds cling to you and won’t let go?

                     Like you haven’t slept?

                         Out of control with food cravings?

                              Stressed out, anxious or depressed? 

 

These might be symptoms of a toxic body.

 Let’s clean you up from the inside out!

 

 Good news! It’s easier than you think with the 10 Day Holistic De-Stress Online Program”

 

 

 

 

To have…

  • More energy
  • Clearer thinking
  • A stronger immune system
  • Easier weight loss
  • A more positive attitude
  • Fewer cravings                                         

                                  …And sleep better

“The detox program is very unique and easy to follow. After completing this program, spiritual growth was the primary benefit for me.”  ~Martine

“Patience, kindness, dedication and love represent a few characteristics of Larisa. She maintains this positive attitude that makes change easy. Larisa’s guidance and knowledge are both helpful and beneficial as I was dedicated to help myself.” ~Lea

Here’s how it works:

 During Our 10 Day Holistic De-Stress Online Program you will receive:

  1. Daily e-mails with tips, affirmations, and empowering messages
  2. An easy-to-use Handbook
  3. Meal Plan templates
  4. Cookbook with Simple and Easy Recipes 
  5. Private Facebook group support

Please join us in for our  10 Day Holistic De-Stress Online Program and enjoy 50% off for a limited time

Regular price  $139

 Join today for a special $69

Bring a friend with you for $30 


REGISTER



For more information and registration
email lara@holisticexpert.org or call 732-735-1527

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Oxidative Stress and How to Prevent It

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In my October newsletter, I talked about acid environment that causes our body to create a breeding ground for cancer and many other chronic diseases. This months newsletter concentrates on the topic of Oxidative stress and its link to chronic inflammation. Oxidative stress is essentially an imbalance between the production of free radicals and the ability of the body to counteract or “detoxify” harmful effects through neutralization by antioxidants.

Chronic inflammation is a pathological condition characterized by continued active inflammation response and tissue destruction. From recent articles, it appears that there is a general concept that chronic inflammation can be a major cause of several types of cancers, as well as increasing the aging process. Moreover, many studies suggest that chronic inflammation could have a serious role in a wide variety of age-related diseases including diabetes, cardiovascular and autoimmune diseases. The inflammatory process induces Oxidative stress and reduces cellular antioxidant capacity.

Recently, new findings of free radicals and Reactive Oxygen Species (ROS) in biology is producing a medical revolution that promises a new age of health and disease management. It is ironic that oxygen, an element indispensable for life, under certain situations has deleterious effects on the human body. Most of the potentially harmful effects of oxygen are due to the formation and activity of a number of chemical compounds, known as ROS, which have a tendency to donate oxygen to other substances.

 

Free radicals and other ROS are derived either from normal essential metabolic processes in the human body such as Mitochondrial or cell malfunction,  inflammation, and exercise.  Varying external sources can be exposure to X-rays, ozone, cigarette smoking, environmental pollutants, drugs, and certain food types.

Reactive Oxygen Species play an important role in Carcinogenesis. ROS induces DNA damage, as the reaction of free radicals with DNA includes strand break base modification and DNA protein cross-links. Numerous investigators have proposed participation of free radicals in Carcinogenesis, mutation, and transformation; it is clear that their presence in a biosystem could lead to mutation, transformation, and ultimately cancer.

An antioxidant is a molecule stable enough to donate an electron to a rampaging free radical and neutralize it, thus reducing its capacity to damage. These antioxidants delay or inhibit cellular damage mainly through their free radical scavenging property.The antioxidants acting in a defense system work at different levels:

 

  • The first line of defense is the preventive antioxidants, which suppress the formation of free radicals.
  • The second line of defense is radical scavenging antioxidants that scavenge the activeradicals to suppress chain reactions.
  • The third line of defense is repair antioxidants that are present in the Cytosol and in the Mitochondria of mammalian cells. They recognize, degrade, and remove modified proteins and prevent the accumulation of oxidized proteins.

There is a beneficial balance between free radicals and antioxidants for proper physiological function. If free radicals overwhelm the body’s ability to regulate them, a condition known as Oxidative stress ensues. This Oxidative stress is associated with damage to a wide range of molecular species including lipids, proteins, and nucleic acids. Studies have indicated that Oxidative stress is now thought to make a significant contribution to all inflammatory diseases (arthritis, vasculitis, glomerulonephritis, lupus erythematous, adult respiratory diseases syndrome), ischemic diseases (heart diseases, stroke, intestinal ischema), hemochromatosis, acquired immunodeficiency syndrome, emphysema, organ transplantation, gastric ulcers, hypertension and preeclampsia, neurological disorder (Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, muscular dystrophy), alcoholism, smoking-related diseases, and many others.

 

How to Reduce Oxidative Stress in the body?

 

  •  Reduce emotional, physical and environmental stress. Chronic stress exhausts the adrenal glands and leads to adrenal dysfunction.  Try some stress-reducing techniques: relaxation breathing, meditation, tapping, yoga. Avoid harmful ingredients in food, household, and personal care product
  •  Reduce exposure to internal and external toxins and regularly detoxify the whole body. Toxins stimulate production of free radicals through detoxification pathways. Try daily and seasonal detoxification to reduce toxic overload.
  • Balance your blood sugar level. High sugar stimulates insulin surges that subsequently increase Cortisol production.
  • Keep your Gastro-intestinal microflora healthy (gut microbiom). Friendly bacteria in the gut fights pathological organisms, helps to digest food, manufactures many vitamins, minerals and other important nutrients.
  • Eat whole, organic, nutrient-rich and antioxidant containing food. Research has demonstrated that nutrition plays a crucial role in the prevention of chronic diseases. eating functional food is the best way to reach our nutritional goal and fight oxidation.

Examples of functional food:

  •  Whole foods represent the simplest example of functional food. Broccoli, carrots, and tomatoes are considered functional foods because of their high contents of physiologically active components (Sulforaphen, B-carotene, and Lycopene, respectively). Green vegetables and spices like mustard and turmeric, used extensively in Indian cuisine, are also beneficial.
  • Nutraceutical is a food or part of food that provides medical and/or health benefits, including the prevention and treatment of disease. Nutraceuticals may range from isolated nutrients, dietary supplements, and diets to genetically engineered “designer” food and herbal  products. A Nutraceutical is any nontoxic food extract supplement that has scientifically proven health benefits for both the treatment and prevention of disease. Examples of  Nutraceuticals: Rasveratrol, Co-enzyme Q10, and fish oil.

 

Consuming of whole food is ideal for maintaining proper antioxidant levels. Nine to twelve servings of rainbow-colored vegetables and fruits is optimal to meet a necessary nutritional goal. Veggie and fruit smoothies are easy and fast ways to achieve the recommended intake.  Whole fruits can be consumed for in between meal snacks.  For vegans, vegetarians and for those who do not eat meat on a regular basis or do not get enough servings of fruits and vegetables good quality food supplements (nutraceuticals) can play an important role in meeting their Micronutritional goals.

 

Even though eating nutrient-dense whole food is a number one priority, I personally add vitamin D, salmon oil, probiotic and Protandim to my daily regiment with additional vitamin C during flu season. It helps me to fight any inflammation and infection during cold months, prevent any chronic diseases and delay aging.

Do you consume enough fruits and vegetables to meet your nutritional goal?

If not, learn about my favorite Nutrraceutical here.

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