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Valiant Vegan

Posted November 12, 2009

Published in Health

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Slow things down with a Fast

Read More: fasting, heart disease, vegetarian, weight loss

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I'm a 55 year old man with a history of heart disease. About 6 weeks ago I had hit the wall with regards to losing the weight I gained after my heart attacks.

I began to research once again for a way to win this battle. What began to make sense to me was that I had lost touch with my body and all understanding of what real hunger felt like, so how was I to reconnect, was my next question.

My decision was to fast and give my body a chance to clean things up inside me. Today I am on day 17 of a 21 day water only fast. My success is assured and as it comes to a close I believe I am entering into a state of natural hunger for the first time since I was 19 years old.

With that I have decided that I will begin a whole foods lifestyle. No more meat, of any kind. I've spent the last few days buying vegan and vegetarian cookbooks as well as a book on food combining. I've been to our local health food store that has continued doing business for 3 years now, even though the population of our town is just over 17,000 people. I guess a lot more people than I thought are beginning to eat healthy foods.  I'm very excited about this.

Until now I just thought I was getting old. It turns out that the food I was eating was making me old and killing me slowly. Now with my body all cleaned out, I'd be a fool to go back to eating the way I use too.

I really appreciate this community and hope to learn a lot from you veterans. If you'd like to see my daily progress on my 21 day fast you can go to http://www.musicpuppet.com and watch my YouTube Video that I post each day.

 


20 Comments | Leave a comment

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Welcome to the Community Blogging! This is terrific. Are you fasting at TrueNorth? Best of luck.

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What is TrueNorth?

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True North is a medically-supervised water fasting clinic in Northern California. See: http://www.healthpromoting.com

They have a lot of good info on their site you might want to check out.

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No I'm doing the Fast on my own. There are no clinics like that in or around Oswego, NY. I got your message and I will post any responses here from now on.

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Wow, you are doing awesome Man! You're instincts were right on to lead you to a fast as a way to stop old patterns and begin a new way.

The method for breaking the fast is a very important step, so go very slow with that. The first meal should be very small and light. Most fasting practitioners that I have consulted recommend a piece of juicy fruit like a slice of melon. An hour or two later, THAT may be when you recognize your hunger reflex!

You seem to have great stength of character and mind, so your body co-operates with what you decide. Because you have decided to fast for 21 days, your body is going along peacefully, not complaining or tempting you with hunger. But once you give it permission to have food again, it may respond like a kid at Christmas! :-)

So, like Mom may have told you at Christmas, "One present at a time!" What that means now is "Break the fast slowly." So have a few meals of just fresh fruit and salad on day one. Day two can include some cooked veggies. Go easy and light. Give your cells a chance to refill with the healing power of anti-oxidants that are provided only by plant foods.

Plant foods are what the human body is built to use. They provide us everything we need without anything burdensome. It's good that you are a reader, because over time, I'm sure you will convince yourself of that. The worst battle is likely to be with your taste buds rather than your hunger. :-)

My family and I didn't intend to go vegan at all. We just thought we'd cut back on animal products a little, so we kept increasing the number of days between meals with meat. After we had gone a whole week of eating and enjoying a vegan diet, we had a beautiful Sunday chicken dinner. It was properly cooked and delicious. The next day, all three of us were so sick, we got the message. That was the last time we ate meat.

Since you are wanting to reverse a heart condition, I hope you will consult someone like Dr. John McDougall or Dr. Neal Barnard. These and other knowledgeable clinicians are listed in the links section on the home page for this website;
and they all recommend vegan diet. I have personally seen a low-fat vegan diet work miracles for men recovering from "metabolic syndrom" (excess weight with heart disease, high blood pressure, diabetes, prostate troubles, etc).

All the best...

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Thank you so much for your kind words and encouragement. I really appreciate your guidance on breaking the fast. Let me ask you another question if I may. I've read in several places that I should wait for natural hunger to return before I break the fast. Is that an easily identifiable sensation or is it just something I'll recognize when it occurs. Thank you in advance.

Love and Light,
Mike

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When fasting experts talk about recognizing hunger reflex, I think they are trying to point out the difference between health-supporting hunger for nutrition compared to cravings for stimulating eating experiences.

By noticing the differences between those two catagories, we learn to feed our desire for what truly nurtures us, while working through whatever cravings we may experience for edible options that may be highly entertaining but counter productive!

It can take time, sometimes years, of study and experimentation to figure out which is which. With focus and informed choice, we can train ourselves to hunger for that which will actually feed us on ALL levels: physical, emotional and spiritual.

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I wanted to update the group on my new website. http://www.letsnotmeat.com It isn't complete yet, but any comments about whats up so far would be appreciated.

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Looks good Mike!

I'm very glad to hear that you are beginning with a raw vegan diet. I agree, it is powerful, a healthy way to lose the extra weight and excellent for recovering health. My family and I ate 100% raw for 2 1/2 years.

We made a mistake though, that I hope you will be smarter about: we neglected to take vitamin B12. It is a necessary supplement in any plant-based diet. I'm sure you have read that already; I just wanted to emphasize it. Vitamin D is also necessary but can be obtained through responsible exposure of the skin to sun when it is high enough in the sky. For us, between October and March, a supplement is necessary. Neither of these are supplied by a plant food diet.

Eating 100% raw really helped us focus in on eating for nutrition rather than entertainment. We ended up returning to a mixed raw/cooked vegan diet largely because we live in part of the world that gets cold in winter and we needed the heat that eating cooked food provides.

Eating 100% raw is awesome for keeping cool during the hot part of the year though because raw food down-regulates the internal thermostat. I still eat a high percentage of raw, much more than I did before living that way. I think of fruits and veggies as "food" now, whereas before eating 100% raw, I thought of them as something that came with food. :-)

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Mike, congratulations on completing your 21 day fast! That is a serious accomplishment, something of which to be very proud.

I had a look at your "breaking the fast" video. I totally relate to the surge of relief and joy at the first taste of food after a fast. That first food tastes better than anything!

That's a lesson to take from your experience: it is because your body was very hungry that the food tasted THAT good.

So, from now on, if you find yourself eating something without experiencing that sense of relief and joy, food may not be what you most need in that moment.

I hope you will eat the majority of your calories WHOLE, that is to say, in their natural form. While juicing can be useful at times, it also robs you of many of the essential nutrients the whole food offers.

Juicing strips the food of most of it's fiber which is essential for the health of the digestive tract. Fiber also slows down the absorption of carbohydrates, which is good. Juice raises blood sugar faster than whole food, followed by a plummet which can be upsetting both emotionally and physically.

Eating foods whole is helpful in maintaining a more even blood sugar, emotional state and wellness.

You haven't mentioned exercise yet, so I will. If you don't already, I hope you will also get a moderate amount of exercise daily. The most common definition of "moderate" seems to be 30 minutes of continuous vigorous walking, swimming, dancing, biking which gets your blood and lymphatic systems flowing, creates "feel good" brain chemistry.

Whatever exercise you choose needs to be something you enjoy: if it hurts, stop.

Moderate is better than "extreme" simply because over-exercise can be as bad as none at all. So get moving and build up your stamina gradually. Stretching and strength training is also highly recommended as a healthy component of exercise. Wishing you all the best... :-)

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No one on this site wants to hear about you "jumping on a chicken". Vegans are not fanatical, people who abuse and torture and eat animals are fanatical. I wish you the best but vegetarians continue to promote cruelty by consumption of eggs and dairy and animal by products which harms health despite your perception that this makes them "flexible". You are cordially invited to one of my many vegan potlucks where you'll find wonderful warm intelligent people, not "fanatics" who love animals and live that love every day, and who love to eat and eat healthy delicious joyful food, not death food. Good luck to you and may you find your way out of a misguided perception of vegans.

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Way to go! You're on your way. Good luck with your vegan/vegetarian diet! :)

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21 days is a very long time to go on a water only fast.

FYI Water fasts of 1 week or more are generally considered dangerous due to the medical risks for your body, especially those affecting your heart and brain.

Start eating some organic vegetables and stop starving your body.

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I think your a little late, that was last year.

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How're you doing, Mike? All good? Cheers.

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I'm doing great Jeff, I'm currently on day 23 of a 92 day Juice Feast. I'm preparing to plant my 1st acre of Organic Vegetables for supplying the Let's Not Meat Restaurant and Health Center. I believe I have found my passion.

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Congrats, Mike. Sounds terrific. Keep us posted.

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Man Mike, God bless your heart body and soul. You will receive great benefits from your fast. Just a reminder , remember to break your fast properly as well so you will receive the maximum benefit and possibly avert any adverse issues. Peace and Blessings.

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