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  • Quick fasting cheat-sheet?

    Hi, to the three people likely to remember me here.

    I'm a long-time primal convert and missionary, but I've never really fasted seriously. I've done intermittent fasting every now and then, and the occasional 24-hour fast, but that's it. So I've never really read many of the big fasting threads here.

    Now I'm sort of fasting against my will -- under my doctor's orders. I landed in the ER this past Thursday night with acute diverticulitis (and all the joys that entails). I'm told it's a very mild case (I certainly wouldn't want to meet a bad case of it in a dark alley...) and it's my first experience with it. So since Thursday night I've been on antibiotics (I know, I know) and a clear liquid diet to "rest" my digestive system. (I went to work on Friday, since I felt generally okay, if exhausted from being up late in the ER; that turned out to be not one of my best ideas ever.)

    I haven't had any solid food since Thursday morning at 9 am, and that was just yogurt and a banana. Friday morning, I had some cranberry juice and black coffee, but my body didn't respond well. Since then, all I've had is water (and a lot of it). I have commercially bought (but free range, organic) chicken broth in the house, as well as apple and grape juice, and the means to make jello. I haven't had any of any of that, though the "clear liquid diet" would allow all of them.

    However, I figured this might be a good time to try just actually fasting. Is that crazy? I mean, I'm here, I can't eat anything, why not? I don't feel... terrible... just not particularly energetic. I'm still having some stomach pain, but it's manageable. I'm not on any pain medications.

    I'm supposed to do this for 3-5 days as far as I can tell from the literature. Counting from the first dose of antibiotics, that would be Thursday midnight - Sunday midnight (3) or Tuesday midnight (5).

    So while I'm reading through the big fasting threads I missed before, could anyone give me a summary of a) how to do this properly and b) what I should expect to experience physically between now and Tuesday midnight, assuming I make it that long? I don't want to do it in an unhealthy way - but this seems like an opportune time to do my first big fast (a read on whether that's crazy would also be nice). I'm also not really sure how to go about reintroducing food after such a long fast.

    Any advice or physical anecdata you experienced fasters are willing to share would be greatly appreciated.

  • #2
    Considering that you're actually seriously ill, I would suggest that you not eat if you don't feel like eating. But if you get raging hungry, eat whatever you are permitted to eat.

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    • #3
      Originally posted by merryish View Post
      Hi, to the three people likely to remember me here.

      I'm a long-time primal convert and missionary, but I've never really fasted seriously. I've done intermittent fasting every now and then, and the occasional 24-hour fast, but that's it. So I've never really read many of the big fasting threads here.

      Now I'm sort of fasting against my will -- under my doctor's orders. I landed in the ER this past Thursday night with acute diverticulitis (and all the joys that entails). I'm told it's a very mild case (I certainly wouldn't want to meet a bad case of it in a dark alley...) and it's my first experience with it. So since Thursday night I've been on antibiotics (I know, I know) and a clear liquid diet to "rest" my digestive system. (I went to work on Friday, since I felt generally okay, if exhausted from being up late in the ER; that turned out to be not one of my best ideas ever.)

      I haven't had any solid food since Thursday morning at 9 am, and that was just yogurt and a banana. Friday morning, I had some cranberry juice and black coffee, but my body didn't respond well. Since then, all I've had is water (and a lot of it). I have commercially bought (but free range, organic) chicken broth in the house, as well as apple and grape juice, and the means to make jello. I haven't had any of any of that, though the "clear liquid diet" would allow all of them.

      However, I figured this might be a good time to try just actually fasting. Is that crazy? I mean, I'm here, I can't eat anything, why not? I don't feel... terrible... just not particularly energetic. I'm still having some stomach pain, but it's manageable. I'm not on any pain medications.

      I'm supposed to do this for 3-5 days as far as I can tell from the literature. Counting from the first dose of antibiotics, that would be Thursday midnight - Sunday midnight (3) or Tuesday midnight (5).

      So while I'm reading through the big fasting threads I missed before, could anyone give me a summary of a) how to do this properly and b) what I should expect to experience physically between now and Tuesday midnight, assuming I make it that long? I don't want to do it in an unhealthy way - but this seems like an opportune time to do my first big fast (a read on whether that's crazy would also be nice). I'm also not really sure how to go about reintroducing food after such a long fast.

      Any advice or physical anecdata you experienced fasters are willing to share would be greatly appreciated.
      Bone broth, gelatin, chicken broth - there's a reason these are recommended. The broths to keep your sodium intake up and the gelatin provides some protein.

      This is a condition that can return. What did the doctor recommend for a long term diet for you?
      What have you done today to make you feel Proud?

      Comment


      • #4
        I haven't followed up with a gastroenterologist or PCP yet, due to the timing - the ER visit was Thursday night, no time to make an appointment. I'm sure I'll get full details on what my diet should be going forward from them. Right now I'm just meant to be on a clear liquid diet "for a few days", then reintroducing low fiber foods as tolerated. This is basically water, coffee and/or tea (no cream), juice with no pulp, and clear broth.

        But from what I can glean from mayoclinic.org and emedicine/medscape, it looks like paleo is still fine, though I will probably need a higher fiber version of it than I've done in the past. The ER doc said I should never again eat corn or nuts. I don't care about corn, but frankly I'm not sure how I feel about a life without pistachios. The internet seems split on that topic, so I'll probably quiz the gastroenterologist about it.

        I did end up drinking some broth tonight, but it was a rather disgusting storebought one. Tomorrow I need to go hunt down a chicken. That will help with both a nice gelatinous bone broth and reintroducing myself to food in a couple of days, I think?

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by merryish View Post
          Any advice or physical anecdata you experienced fasters are willing to share would be greatly appreciated.
          Disclaimer: I've never done this during illness or injury so please heed your doctor first

          Signs of protein breakdown occur around the 48-hour mark so I don't exceed that if I can help it but until then a lightly active body should function fine. Appetite doesn't necessarily escalate, it comes and goes in short spells. Sipping on fluids is a welcome time passer but overdoing it can backfire via electrolyte loss. I'll do maybe 1 pint of seltzer, coffee, or tea every ~4 hours. If you experience low BP/dizziness try a little sodium and/or potassium (e.g. pickles).

          My first meal is large but not heinous. I spread the courses over ~2 hours for digestibility--soup and salad, wait, protein and starch, wait, fruit and cream.
          37//6'3"/185

          My peculiar nutrition glossary and shopping list

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          • #6
            Originally posted by merryish View Post
            I haven't followed up with a gastroenterologist or PCP yet, due to the timing - the ER visit was Thursday night, no time to make an appointment. I'm sure I'll get full details on what my diet should be going forward from them. Right now I'm just meant to be on a clear liquid diet "for a few days", then reintroducing low fiber foods as tolerated. This is basically water, coffee and/or tea (no cream), juice with no pulp, and clear broth.

            But from what I can glean from mayoclinic.org and emedicine/medscape, it looks like paleo is still fine, though I will probably need a higher fiber version of it than I've done in the past. The ER doc said I should never again eat corn or nuts. I don't care about corn, but frankly I'm not sure how I feel about a life without pistachios. The internet seems split on that topic, so I'll probably quiz the gastroenterologist about it.

            I did end up drinking some broth tonight, but it was a rather disgusting storebought one. Tomorrow I need to go hunt down a chicken. That will help with both a nice gelatinous bone broth and reintroducing myself to food in a couple of days, I think?
            The advise against corn and nuts is rather old. The theory being that these 'indigestible' fibers get lodged in the diverticulum and foster infection.

            After you get things back to normal I hope you look into rebuilding your digestive system with prebiotics and probiotics. A healthy gut is the basis for a healthy immune system.

            Look into resistant starches as well. After a steady application of potato starch some of us are currently able to cause corn seek coatings to breakdown such that we no longer see them in our stools.
            Last edited by gdot; 07-19-2014, 09:55 PM.
            What have you done today to make you feel Proud?

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