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Let the Survival Begin

Then I Ate - Soup

December 8, 2016

I am getting into the habit of fasting every once in a while. Yes, starving myself on purpose for reasons unknown and ‘crazy’ to my family, but for reasons very sound to me. I like the challenge of learning my limits, I want the experience to pass on to students, I want to know I can do it if I ever have to and it is, undoubtedly, a great way to test one’s will power.

Fasting is a healthy approach to cleanse the body of toxins and recycle unused or damaged immune cells. That means your body learns to fend for itself better than most prescribed medications which train your body to not fend for itself. That equals longevity, you may just live longer because your system can even fight the aging process. The reported health benefits of fasting include (and in alphabetical order): antiaging effects, better attitude, better resistance to disease, better sleep, change of habits, clearer planning, clearer skin, creativity, diet changes, drug detoxification, improved senses (vision, hearing, taste), inspiration, more clarity (mentally and emotionally), more energy, more relaxation, new ideas, purification, reduction of allergies, rejuvenation, rest for digestive organs, revitalization, right use of will, spiritual awareness, weight loss. From The Benefits of Fasting, www.allaboutfasting.com/benefits-of-fasting.html.

Aside from those awesome points, we need to know how fasting is going to work in a survival situation. It’s about making smarter choices with your food resources. Most people would think, if they had a four day supply of food on a seven day trip, it is more logical to ration that food to stretch out the seven days. Untrue. This decision will do more harm to your body than good. The Rule of 4 we use goes like this: 4 minutes without air, 4 hours in extreme weather, 4 days without water, 4 weeks without food. Four weeks without food. Your body is designed to withstand certain extreme conditions and going without food for extended periods of time is one of those conditions. During a fast, your body will use up its stores of glycogen from the liver and muscles before it begins ketone production, meaning it starts dipping into the fatty acids for energy. This process does not occur if the caloric intake is less than what your basal metabolic rate requires. So you will be more hungry, more tired and less capable of maintaining your comfort zone. Eat all of your food over the four days as normal, then fast.

Every time I fast, I will extend the time frame and gauge the outcome to find a method that works best for me. My personal experience with a seven day fast so far has shown me that I will go the first three days on water and coffee (bush tea if I’m out in the wild). By the third and fourth day I was the most uncomfortable and started to add 100% real fruit juice (no sugar added) because I knew I was ending and back to normal eating by the seventh day. Day five, I kept on the water/coffee/juice diet and soup, not heavy soup and only two bowls, one at lunch and one at supper. By the sixth day I had a very light breakfast, soup for lunch and a half portion (largely because my stomach shrank) at supper of deer burger meatballs, potatoes and ceasar salad. I lost ten pounds but I knew most of that was everything I still had in my digestive tract and I will get some of that back but I can now eat less and manage my caloric intake with my daily output of energy more efficiently.

The first three to four days are the hardest, I will not sugar coat this fact. I was the most run down and my skin was taking on a pale grey colour by the morning of the fourth day. The juice helped with that. The next time I plan to fast, I will stay on just water for five days to see if the grey colouring still appears. Fasting truly is good for your health, both physically and mentally, I believe that but it is something you want to work yourself into before jumping right into a 7 day fast. Start with one day, then try three and so on. Note what you are experiencing so nothing is unexpected for longer trials. There are side effects you will experience such as hunger, headaches, stomach aches, irritability and fatigue but the longer you stick with your fast, the less you will feel these symptoms because your body is adjusting and conditioning itself.

Further info:

http://masterwoodsman.com/2014/edible-wild-plants-survival/

http://www.lifehack.org/articles/lifestyle/10-benefits-of-fasting-that-will-surprise-you.html

https://authoritynutrition.com/10-health-benefits-of-intermittent-fasting/

https://basisgear.com/edible-wild-plants/

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