Yes, you read that right. As of this moment, I haven’t eaten for 53 days. There are many reasons why I chose to do this, which I will get into below, but the one thing I can say for sure is, the experience has not even come close to what I expected.
But first I must caution you not to try this at home. If you’re thinking of doing an extended fast PLEASE do your research first, and ease into it. You should also know that the way you break your fast is equally as important. Many P.O.W.s (prisoners of war) have died after returning from concentration camps because they ate too much food too quickly, so this is not something to be taken lightly.
Why I Started This Fast
To be totally honest, I’ve always wanted to embark on a “serious” fast. I had tried a 3-day and 7-day juice fast in the past, and although they were challenging, I felt I needed to go a little deeper.
In the process of making my first documentary (Psyched Out Click here for more info) I started exploring ways to reach altered states of consciousness and fasting kept popping up, so I started interviewing people about fasting and the experiences they’d had, and found myself increasingly fascinated by the topic, not to mention all the religious references to fasting and experiences those seekers encountered while out in isolation on long fasting expeditions. Many people use these types of fasts as a healing mechanism but for me it was out of sheer curiosity.
“Everyone has a doctor in him or her; we just have to help it in its work. The natural healing force within each one of us is the greatest force in getting well. Our food should be our medicine. Our medicine should be our food. But to eat when you are sick, is to feed your sickness.“
-Hippocrates, M.D., 460-377 B.C., Father of Western Medicine
At around the same time, my wife told me about this group on Facebook of people withering away, taking pictures of their poop (and many other nasty things coming out of them), and some even having their eyes change colour. At first I thought nothing of it, but a few days later she added me to it, and I was totally intrigued. Intuitively I knew right away that this was for me, (im a sucker for punishment) but the icing on the cake was when I found out that the creator of the fast, Gino DiSerio, lived in the same town I grew up in. I knew the universe was sending me a message so I got in contact with Gino, and within two weeks, I would be embarking on the Master Fast System.
The Master Fast System
Basically, the Master Fast is an extended fast that combines intermittent dry fasting (having a 6-8 hour window that you can drink juice in) with weekly and monthly extended dry fasts (24-48 hours of no food or water), drinking 1-3L of concord grape juice mixed with lemon juice daily within that window, taking a few tablespoons a day of a psyllium husk mixture with bentonite clay and activated charcoal (which they call psyllium pudding) to draw toxins from the intestine and keep the bowels moving, and some herbal tinctures taken with a kidney tea to filter the kidneys and support organs and glands through the detox. Enemas and colonics are also part of the system and are HIGHLY recommended to assist removal of toxins on the cleanse. All of this information can be found on the Master Fast website.
They recommend doing the fast for 108 days, which is very extreme and not appropriate for most people. I told myself I would aim for 40 days, which Gino says is the minimum required to get a good cleansing of the GI tract — the ultimate goal of the cleanse and the best way to reset the body. We have been clogging our system for years with foods and toxins that do not belong there, so in theory most of us need a good clean to reset. Gino also believes we are meant to be mainly fruitarian, which he dives into a bit on the podcast (my youtube channel was deleted for no apparent reason but this interview can be found in the master fast facebook group..somewhere).
In the Master Fast Facebook group, there are many incredible stories of transformation and healing on the physical, emotional, and mental levels. For example, there is a testimonial of a guy who healed his paralysis through extended fasting and is seen swimming in the ocean on a YouTube video. (***Update*** there are also some stories of people who had negative experiences on this fast especially coming off of it so let this act as a disclaimer to try at your own Risk)
So I was ready to start, not knowing what to expect but open to any and all possibilities. I expected to feel lethargic and irritable (as I did on my 7-day juice fast a few years back), but it was quite the opposite. In the first week I felt amazing, and as the days went by I just felt better and better.
In the second or third week I started feeling aches and pains in my body, but I had read somewhere in the group that people claimed that old injuries would start to heal, and when I focused on where the pain was coming from (my middle toe and right hip flexor), I quickly realized these were old sports injuries, and within a few days the pain had subsided.
I think the theory goes something like this: when you start saving all the energy used to digest food it starts getting diverted to other places like brain function and healing. I’m not sure how to verify this scientifically but I can say that I felt it for sure!
“Instead of using medicine, rather, fast a day.”
“The best of all medicines are rest and fasting”
– Benjamin Franklin
I still thought about food A LOT in the first three weeks. I was really contemplating how I would eat and what I would eat when I was done, and this would go on almost all day every day. I started to see what an addiction food was and slowly began to realize we don’t need to eat as much food as we do. We are responding more to cravings than a true need for food.
I know this is a very bold statement, but I compare it to when people say they need a cigarette or are dying for a cigarette — they are not going to die but really want it to the point that they will feel withdrawal. If we have been eating a certain way for many years, of course we will feel like that too. I’m not sure how to explain it, but you can see how close a link there is to food and emotions. As you stop eating, these emotions and cravings begin to disappear…or do they?
I have been doing a lot of reading and researching on the breatharian concept and an amazing author named Arnold Ehret created a theory that we are “air-gas” machines and we get our energy from the air and the various gases within it and very little from food, which may actually do more to slow us down than anything. He says the nutrition and protein theories that so much of our common nutritional understanding is based on were created based on very weak experiments and are still only “theories.” I don’t want to get too much into this here, but I just felt I needed to share that. I plan on writing a separate article that goes a lot deeper into why these theories appeal to me. You can easily search him online I totally loved his books.
With this in mind, I made sure I was doing deep breathing exercises every day. The weight came off pretty quickly — I lost about 30 pounds in the first 30 days — but other than the way I looked (people couldn’t believe how skinny I got so quickly), I felt incredible. This is not normal for everyone, as most people will experience detox symptoms as their bodies release waste and toxins that have accumulated over a lifetime. Around the 30 day mark my food addiction had subsided, and I was at peace with not eating.
I started to experience a type of mental clarity that can be best described as what I saw in the movie Limitless starring Bradley Cooper. I was able to easily make difficult decisions and my intuition and creativity were operating on a whole new level altogether. I could sleep less (approximately five hours a night) but maintain an incredible focus on my work for extended periods throughout the day. I was reading books at an astonishing rate and am learning new things daily. For example, I learned how to edit videos in a single day, and this was something I had wanted to do for years but never got around to actually doing. I also had a to-do list that seemed to have an ongoing list of things I would never get around to and yet managed to tackle in its entirety during this time.
More Than a Physical Cleansing
On day 40, I passed a two-foot-long worm (Or at least something that closely resembled one you can find the pics and video somewhere on my facebook page if you really look, warning its gross). It was either a rope or a tape worm, (some people even suggest it could be my entire intestinal lining) but I’m not an expert so I’m not going to guess. This happened after I embarked on a 72 hour dry fast followed by a lemon and water enema. It felt amazing and I know almost every single one of us, especially those of us who eat meat and dairy, has parasites of some sort, and they literally suck your energy. Every time I would pass a few more buggers I would feel better and better. I also recently completed a 4 day dry fast (no food or water) and again something long and worm like came out with the enema.
I also noticed that my desire to be more organized had changed as well.
As I cleansed myself internally, I felt the need to clean and organize the external as well, which, for 35 years on this planet, had never been the case. I started cleaning out my computer files, desk drawers, and closets. For some reason I just needed to be more efficient, and I knew that every second saved in my life of rummaging through crap would benefit me in the long term.
All the ancients wrote and spoke about fasting as a spiritual practice to cleanse the body, mind, and soul, and I can totally understand that now. Christians, Jews, Muslims, Buddhists, and indigenous peoples from North and South America, among many others, use fasting as a ritual in their spiritual practices. I haven’t had a psychedelic experience while on this fast yet, but as I work myself up to longer dry fasts, I anticipate deeper experiences. There have been incredible shifts in myself and the way I see the world that I can attribute to this fast and I encourage anyone who resonates with this to give fasting a try, even if only for a couple of days. I have felt this incredible sense of peace and calm while on the fast; it’s like I am in a constant meditative state where I don’t react to situations and can easily see what the best outcome and course of action for me to take is. (And yes, sounds crazy to me, too.)
I have decided to break the fast after 55 days and losing 35 pounds, and will rebuild as a fruitarian on a mono diet and see how I feel. My intuition is telling me to do this, and I intend to listen. (update the fruit fast lasted about a month, I loved the feeling but I found it hard to socialize, and another realization with this experience was how social we have made food as a society, and if youre not eating or cant eat what everyone else is eating you sort of feel left out, not a huge deal but a real eye opener)
After a lot of reflection I probably would advise against this long a fast to anyone or do it this way again myself. I think shorter more frequent fasting is the way to go. A very long extreme fast may be beneficial in some cases of extreme sickness where all other options have been exhausted. This cant replace a healthy diet and frequent fasting.
So as another update, people ask me what I now do? I try to eat once a day some people call this the warrior diet. I try to keep the window as small as possible. I’m vegetarian and eat very little dairy or eggs. I also try to intermittenant fast most of the time and have a cheat day on the weekends. I listen to my body and follow my intuition. I try to do a 24 hour fast once a week and a longer fast every few months for maybe 2 or 3 days.
If you have any questions feel free to connect with me firstname.lastname@example.org