21 Day Water Fast: Day 1 & 2: Headachin’ and Hangry Evening Edition!

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I’ve seen plenty of social media posts about new attitudes, working out, and those who shame others who are doing detoxes, cleanses, etc. Here is what I believe, people live in their own truth, how they need to at the moment, and if it doesn’t directly impact me I pray the best for them. And, still if is does I have the choice to release myself from the relationship or connection, and in the case of social media just don’t read it. It really is simple.

With that off my proverbial chest, there are things to expect from your fast today Screen Shot 2016-01-01 at 6.21.14 PMand tomorrow. It is easy if you choose to see it as a part of the process. We eat all the time! We are driven by our desires for the most part. I love popcorn, Mexican and Mediterranean foods, ice cream (which I should not have), and Boston Cream donuts. When the feeling hits I might get two Boston Cream donuts and be elated with my choice. The fact is that they are d@mn good – yes, I said it. Such cream-filled, chocolate glaze topped pillows of lovely fried goodness. Why must they be so good?  Good to me, not necessarily good for me. And then, there is Mexican food! I Screen Shot 2016-01-01 at 6.24.34 PMneed help with this one. ¡Aye dios mio! I love it all. My favorite restaurant, right now, is Mercado Juarez and it is way too close to my home. However, the beef, sour cream, guacamole, flour tortillas, chips, refried bean, flan, and probably their whole menu are not the healthiest. Is there a way to eat at Mercado Juarez that is healthy? Probably. But, honestly, I don’t go there to be uber healthy. I go there to enjoy every bite. And, the consequences are seen in the toxicity in the body.

What does all that have to do with day 1 and 2? I’ll tell you. With all of the foods we love come impacts to our health. They can be good and bad. With all of the foods we love come impacts to our mental health. They can be good and bad. The first two days are where many people are ready to quit because they are not used to being uncomfortable, eating to soothe themselves, having that soda or coffee to drink, or having dessert. Automatically we go into a survival mode that psychologically says “I MUST EAT RIGHT NOW!” and you have to be prepared to win over the mind.

Knowing what is going on through the process will help you tremendously. Here is Stage 1 breakdown:

Stage 1 (Day 1-2)
On the first day of fasting, the blood Sugar level drops below 70mg/dl. To restore the blood to the normal glucose level, liver glycogen is converted to glucose and released into the blood. This reserve is enough for a half day. The body then reduces the basal metabolic rate (BMR). The rate of internal chemical activity in resting tissue is lowered to conserve energy. The heart slows and blood pressure is reduced. Glycogen is pulled from the muscle causing some weakness. The first wave of cleansing is usually the worst.

Effects: Headaches, dizziness, nausea, bad breath, glazed eyes and a heavily coated tongue are signs of the first stage of cleansing. Hunger can be the most intense in this period.

Many of the most dramatic changes that occur in the body during fasting take place on the first three days of the fast. These occur as the body switches from one fuel source to another. Normally, the primary form of energy the body uses for energy is glucose, a type of sugar. Most of this is extracted or converted from the food we eat. Throughout the day, the liver stores excess sugar in a special form called glycogen that it can call on as energy levels fall between meals. There is enough of this sugar source for 8-12 hours of energy and usually, it is completely exhausted within the first 24 hours of fasting. (However, once the body shifts over to ketosis or fat as fuel, this new fuel is used to also restore the body’s glycogen reserves.)

Once the liver’s stores of glycogen are gone, the body begins to shift over to what is called ketosis or ketone production – the use of fatty acids as fuel instead of glucose. This shift generally begins on the second day of fasting and completed by the third. In this interim period there is no glucose available and energy from fat conversion is insufficient but the body still needs fuel. So it accesses glucose from two sources. It first converts glycerol, available in the body’s fat stores, to glucose but this is still insufficient. So it makes the rest that it needs from catabolizing, or breaking down, the amino acids in muscle tissue, using them in the liver for gluconeogenesis, or the making of glucose. Between 60 and 84 grams of protein are used on this second day, 2-3 ounces of muscle tissue. By the third day ketone production is sufficient to provide nearly all the energy the body needs and the body’s protein begins to be strongly conserved. The body still needs a tiny amount of glucose for some functions, however, so a very small amount of protein, 18-24 grams, is still catabolized to supply it – from 1/2 to 1 ounce of muscle tissue per day. Over a 30 day water fast a person generally loses a maximum of 1-2 pounds of muscle mass. This conservation of the body’s protein is an evolutionary development that exists to protect muscle tissue and vital organs from damage during periods of insufficient food availability.

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I recommend that you go to a few sites to read as well. They helped me to check in on my own symptoms and see what others experienced.

Additional tip: Considering you are attempting to remove toxins, I recommend only natural lotions, soaps, and oils for your skin. I don’t wear much make-up as it is, but endeavor to use less when fasting. A combination of shea butter and coconut oil can be sufficient as a lotion – I will share the recipe later. Eventually, you will probably not have a need for deodorant or find that you need very little.

Remember if you have any questions or comments please level them below. Most notably, I am not a physician and would never present myself as being one. If you have health issues a fast can be beneficial, but I do recommend doing your research as you go through the process.


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