At first, the thought of abstaining from food for five days seemed daunting, and I felt a sense of apprehension and fear. I knew that it would not be an easy path with temptations and stimuli all around me for food cravings. However, as I was going through this journey, I realized that the hunger pangs were not the biggest obstacle I faced!
So, why did I want to do this fast?
1. Curiosity – what would happen if I did it?
2. Challenge – can I really do it?
3. Spirituality and self-discovery – what kind of self-awareness or insights could I gain?
Most people do fasts for quick weight loss, but that was not my goal. I wanted to practice what I preach, to be conscious and aware of why and how I am eating and observe my thoughts throughout this process to see how/if they affected my physical and mental state.
Biohacking the fast
To stay in tune with my body’s needs and to understand how my water fast was affecting my physical and mental state, I turned to the use of biohacking devices. These devices give you real-time information for self-awareness and self-empowerment to really understand how your specific body reacts to your actions, emotions, and environment.
- I used a continuous glucose monitor to track my glucose levels and stress level.
- I wore an Oura ring to monitor my heart rate, hearth rate variability (HRV) sleep quality, readiness, and stress level.
- During meditation and silence time, I used the Inner Balance device that gave me instant feedback on my level of mindfulness.
How I made the fast possible
We all need a “reset” in our life from the constant “nonstop going” of everyday life and its chores. I considered this fast a “spring cleaning” of my mind and body – an opportunity to reset my mind and bodyand start another year refreshed and rested.
- To make it easy and minimize temptations, I chose to do the fast while my wife was out of town so I would not be tempted by any delicious food smells or seeing her eat. I also turned off all social media (TV, Instagram, Facebook, etc.) that are intentional designed to stimulate us with wants and needs.
- I drank simple spring water or water that was mixed with Redmond salt. I only use Redmond salt from Utah because I know it is from an ancient salt lake and it is uncontaminated. The salt provided me with essential trace minerals and electrolytes in a natural form that my body could recognize, digest, and absorb easily rather than any other processed iodized salt, supplement, or medication. It also made me feel full!
- I did 90 minutes of yoga and walked 2-3 miles each day in parks or in nature. This also helped me to be active and not be bored – as boredom is one of the main reasons we eat, not because our body needs food. I enjoyed these activities taking time to really feel each step I was taking during a walk, observing my environment, my thoughts, my movements and being in the “now” present moment – not thinking of something in the past or anticipating something in the future.
- I spent 2 hours each morning and each night in either guided meditations or in silence. I used an eye cover to keep my visionary sense at bay and reduce distractions. This helped me to observe the 100s of thoughtsthat were passing through in my mind at any given moment and be more aware of my unconscious habits.
- I realized that although I had turned off all media and stimuli externally, the internal radio in my head was constantly playing! I made it a game and a fun exercise to just observe the types of thoughts I was having while in silence or in meditation without any judgement or attachment.
My Mind-Blowing Experience
As I completed my fast, I felt a sense of accomplishment and pride, not just for what I had achieved but for the journey of self-discovery that I had embarked on. The journey toward self-discovery is not an easy one, but it is a journey that is worth taking and this fast is just one step!
I learned that most times hunger comes when we let our unconscious mind take over. As I walked in silence, observing my thoughts and feelings, I realized how often I ate out of habit, out of boredom, or just because it was time to eat – not because I was actually hungry!
The fast forced me to be more conscious of my thoughts and feelings, to be more present regardless of what I was doing (washing dishes, walking, talking to someone, etc.) and to truly cherish that “now” moment – the generous present moment.
The fast is not for everyone, and it should only be undertaken with proper guidance and preparation. However, for those who are willing to embark on this journey, the rewards can be profound. From improved immune function, increased energy levels to weight loss and better mental clarity, the benefits are well-documented and supported by scientific research.
Perhaps the greatest benefit of the fast is the sense of empowerment and self-discovery that it provides. Through the fast, I was able to unlock a new level of mental clarity, a state of being (beyond the unconscious habits and actions we engaged in every day) that transcended any material possession or external validation.
I learned that true happiness comes from within and that we have the power to find it within us – if only we take a few minutes to be aware our internal radio and learn to change its channel when it is not serving us.
By taking control of our physical and mental state -understanding that we have the power to change our thoughts and we should not be bossed by our thoughts – we can learn to navigate the challenges of life with greater ease and resilience. It enables us to be more aware of our internal radio (self-empowering versus disempowering thoughts) andbe more compassionate towards ourselves and others.
I am not providing medical advice or promote fasting as a method for improving health. It is important to consult with your healthcare professional before embarking on any fast. I am just sharing my experience and what is possible for all of us.