Saturday, June 24, 2017

The Hunger Games: Starved To Life

In keeping with my last post, I figured I'd give the title of this post a little cinematic touch.

Today (Saturday, June 24) I'm starting another round of the Fasting Mimicking Diet that I did last month. For those who missed  last month’s hoopla, I wrote posts recounting each of the five days of the diet, starting with a comprehensive explanation of how’s and why’s of the plan which you can read by (clicking here).

I’ll be using the same prefab diet marketed by Prolon (click here). A few people asked if I’m being sponsored by Prolon, and I promise you, I am not. I understand that the price of the diet kit is prohibitive for a lot of people, and I plan on getting in touch with the company and seeing if we can work out some kind of deal to make the kits more affordable for people with MS who want to try the diet but find the price too steep. Seems like it would make for good publicity for the company and be of benefit to many patients, a classic win-win situation. Meant to do that earlier this month, but, as usual, the days somehow got away from me.

Just a quick recap of what the diet entails: this is a strict reduced calorie diet, done in the hope (expectation?) that forcing the body into a fasting state will allow it to recalibrate some of the out of whack processes seen in diseases like MS, reduce inflammation, and jumpstart the body’s own stem cells to do some regeneration of damaged tissues. On day one of the diet consumption is restricted to 1150 calories. On days 2-5, this is cut further to 800 calories. The diet consists of prepackaged high nutrient soups, protein bars, kale crackers, olives, and a glycerol based energy drink. Other liquid intake is restricted to herbal teas and water. All of the food provided is vegetable-based.

Last time around I found getting through the five days surprisingly easy, and instead of feeling weak at the end of the diet, as I expected, I actually felt quite energized. So, this time around I’m going to take an even more draconian approach and try to extend the diet by two days, consuming only the energy drink, water, and herbal tea on days six and seven. I am doing this under medical supervision, and, rest assured, if I find that things aren’t going well during those extra two days, I’ll pull the ripcord and eat a fruit salad. But desperate times call for desperate measures, and my Creeping Paralysis isn’t showing any signs of relenting.

I was inspired to extend the diet after reading a 2012 article from Harper's, which recounts the long history of fasting for medicinal purposes and tells the tale of the author’s own successful 19 day fast. Incredible stuff. You can read the article by (clicking here). I plan on engaging in at least one more round of the diet after this month, probably more. My naturopath said she’s seen patients start to respond after the second round. Here’s to hoping. I didn't see any additional benefit from the first round other than some lost weight (5 pounds) and a temporary increase in energy levels, but for whatever reason I have found the idea of eating red meat absolutely revolting since doing the diet last month. Go figure.

For those foodies out there, I chose as my last meal before starting this month’s diet a very yummy Thai dish, crispy duck in red curry sauce with lots of pineapple, lychee nuts, and veggies. One of the great things about living in NYC is that you can get pretty much any type of cuisine delivered right to your door, and the aforementioned deliciousness arrived about 25 minutes after we placed the order online. The wonders of modern technology.

I’ll not recount every day of this month’s diet as I did last month, but I'll check in again when this cycle is over. Hopefully, I’ll make it through the entire seven days.

Here’s mud in your eye…

14 comments:

  1. Good luck, Marc! Hope you start seeing some good results!

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  2. Good luck. I hope you start seeing positive results quickly. If Prolon can make its kits more affordable, I am definitely interested. Thank you for all you do.

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    1. I'm trying to talk to the company this week. Hoping to get my naturopath involved in the effort. I've heard that the company donates most of the profits to charity, and if that's true it seems like this could be a distinct possibility.

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  3. I wish you the best, and that the fasting cure will show real results. I was reading the 2012 article, and am now exhausted. And hungry.

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    1. The article is long, but well worth it. And, it's very well written. Thanks for the well wishes…

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  4. I don't know anything at all about fasting but lots of people swear by it. One thing that is puzzling me about this one, though, is what seems to me to be a higher caloric intake than I would have thought effective. In the old days, when I was young and fit, I gained weight if I ate more than 1,000 to 1,200 calories a day unless I got in at least 30 min of aerobic exercise. So I am asking myself, how can 800 to 1200 calories a day be a fast? That's still what I have to eat every day to stay at the same weight because I'm sure not getting much aerobic exercise these days! I know men have different metabolic systems, so I'm curious: do women eat even less on this program you are doing?

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    1. According to the company, the foods included in the diet trick the body into thinking it is fasting. Thus, it's called a "Fasting Mimicking Diet". There's much more info on the company's website, just Google "Prolon". It does seem like a lot of research has gone into the makeup of the diet, and they have published lots of papers…

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  5. If it will lead to a better health, then go for it! I think the mind also has an impact on our eating habits. The more we condition our mind, the easier it is to be able to control the diet. Monks do fastings as well.
    As long as you have enough fluids, it's okay.

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    1. The mind impacts most everything about us. A well conditioned mind can alter our very concepts of reality, and channel negative emotions away and foster positive ones.

      Most religions have a tradition of fasting, Jesus fasted for 40 days, the Jews traditionally fast on Yom Kippur, the Muslims fast during Ramadan, and Buddhists and Hindus also engage in the practice. Coincidence? Probably not…

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  6. Bon appetit! As I think about it, most species "fast" regularly because of limitred food supply. Until modern agriculture, most humans as well. It does make a lot of sense that it would be built into our DNA.

    I am intrigued and will be contacting Dr Bates to try this.



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  7. The great thing about playing games, is that not only do the participants get pleasure in playing games, but also the people watching them being played. Playing games have such a tremendous influence on us; emotions can often run very high. This will cause the onlookers to group together, to cheer the participants. This can be the source of tremendous solidarity for all participants as well as the fans. max

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  8. Wishing you every success and looking forward to your positive observations.

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  9. I see Dr. Bates too (not recently though). I did the 5 day fast twice last year. I felt fine. I'm going to try to do it more often this year. It's easier to do, in my opinion, if you are eating low carb for a while before doing it. I did not use Prolon. I read another website that said for the fast try 1/2 an avocado and then water. See here:

    https://thequantifiedbody.net/fast-mimicking-diet/

    I used the avocado so that I could take some medicine/vitamins without gagging. The Prolon is expensive, and I wanted to try something closer to a real fast.

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