503: From Self-Talk to Autophagy: Ashley’s Inspiring 5-Day Water Fast Experience
In this captivating podcast episode, Ashley and her husband Duffy delve into their transformative experience with a water-only fast, shedding light on its profound effects on their minds and bodies. They explore various intriguing topics, including the power of self-talk, the remarkable process of autophagy, the intricate workings of the addiction brain, and ultimately the liberating sense of freedom they discovered through this challenging yet enlightening journey. Tune in as they share their insights and reflections, offering a fascinating perspective on the holistic benefits of fasting and its impact on overall well-being.
- Ashley's first five-day water-only fast
- Power of self-talk and overcoming resistance
- Autophagy and its healing effects
- Insights into the addiction brain
- Discovering freedom through fasting
Welcome to the Learn True Health podcast. I'm your host, Ashley James. This is Episode 503.
[0:00:13.9] Ashley James: Hello, true health seeker, and welcome to another exciting episode of Learn True Health podcast. I just finished my first five-day fast, and I know my husband is shaking his head. He feels like I'm really late to the party. How many fasts have you done? How long have you been fasting?
[0:00:33.7] Duffy James: At least, maybe, half a dozen, or maybe more. I don't know, eight?
[0:00:37.1] Ashley James: Yeah, we kind of lost track. But when did you start fasting?
[0:00:40.3] Duffy James: It was right after I stopped eating meat since early 2018. My first one was around July mid-2018, I think.
[0:00:55.2] Ashley James: I remember one that you did in 2020, February of 2020. I remember that one because it was like 17 days, and that stuck in my mind. I remember what we were doing. It was right before all the COVID shenanigans, and that was a 17-day one. How was the longest one you've done?
[0:01:17.9] Duffy James: I can't remember if it was 21 or 28 days now because I don't keep track of it.
[0:01:23.0] Ashley James: You just kind of go, and then the days go by.
[0:01:25.1] Duffy James: Yeah, they do.
[0:01:27.3] Ashley James: So my husband has slowly become way more of a fasting expert than me.
[0:01:33.6] Duffy James: Not an expert. I just can do it. It's system muscle, right?
[0:01:37.2] Ashley James: Yeah, well, so this has been, I guess, my third official fast in my life. I did when I was a kid because I had to because they were doctor's orders. Actually, I wasn't a kid; I was thirteen. And that was the doctor's order, though, because I had a stomach bug. And he's like, you have to stop eating. I'm like, what? And then I did it, and I was fine. I was just hungry all the time, but I was 13.
[0:01:58.6] Duffy James: Well, it wouldn't work now because you don't take orders from doctors.
[0:02:00.9] Ashley James: Yeah, I don't take orders from doctors. I do take advice from holistic doctors.
[0:02:05.1] Duffy James: True. But you don't want medicine—those kinds of doctors.
[0:02:08.8] Ashley James: Yeah, those kinds of doctors. Then they also had me on antibiotics. So it was my first time ever to be on antibiotics, actually. I was thirteen, and it's totally my fault because I binged on Halloween candy against my mother's wishes. And that's what you get when you rebel and eat too much sugar.
[0:02:26.5] Duffy James: You have an addictive personality. Is that what it is?
[0:02:27.7] Ashley James: Yeah, and you also happen to have an addiction brain. But I learned my lesson. So, yeah, I just finished my first five-day fast, and I've gotten a lot of insights, and I wanted to hit record and share it because I thought it would be really helpful. But I wanted to just jam with my husband Duffy here because he's done so many fasts since 2018. How many years did you think you did?
[0:02:55.1] Duffy James: I think, two. It's been two.
[0:02:58.0] Ashley James: Yeah. I mean, sometimes when you just don't eat, you're just like, I don't eat today. And you will just do it. And then sometimes it'll be like, I didn't eat yesterday, so I guess I'm fasting.
[0:03:13.0] Duffy James: And I don't feel hungry anymore.
[0:03:14.7] Ashley James: Did you feel hunger before fasting?
[0:03:18.5] Duffy James: Yeah. Even on the first couple. But these last few I've done, it's just like, okay, I'm not going to do it, and then I don't, and I don't feel any hunger or any shift until my body starts slowing down for not having enough fuel.
[0:03:35.3] Ashley James: I wanted to definitely ask you a few questions since you've done so many fasts, and now it's transformed your body. It transformed more than just physical. It has transformed your relationship to food, your relationship to hunger and hunger cues, and food doesn't have that hold on you as much as it did. So I definitely want to ask you a few questions. But I'd like to share some of my stuff.
Okay, so before I get into my story, I wanted to say to listeners because I know there's going to be one, just like my mother-in-law freaking out right now because on day 2 of my fast, she goes, “What about the people who die of starvation?” And she's looking at me, and I'm like, “Do I look like I'm going to die of starvation in five days of not eating?” But for someone who's never missed a meal or never has missed a day of eating, for so many people who eat three meals a day, the thought of not eating is crazy. It's ridiculous. And Duffy did that. He's making gestures with his hands, like putting his hands by his head and going ‘boom.'
[0:04:39.3] Duffy James: I think I could do that because I have a face for podcasts.
[0:04:42.5] Ashley James: Yes, and you have a voice for podcasts too. But it's definitely a mental shift, and I resisted fasting so much. But I had Dr. Alan Goldhamer on the show back in Episode #230. I remember that because that is Duffy's, one of his dad jokes. What is keto, the joke?
[0:05:06.5] Duffy James: You already said it.
[0:05:08.4] Ashley James: Well, I didn't say the joke.
[0:05:09.2] Duffy James: What's the perfect time to go to the dentist?
[0:05:10.9] Ashley James: It's what?
[0:05:11.8] Duffy James: It's at 2:30.
[0:05:12.3] Ashley James: 2:30. Tooth hurty. Yes, your tooth is hurting, so tooth hurty, yeah. So, Episode #230 with Dr. Alan Goldhamer. He runs a fasting clinic, and he's a holistic doctor. It's really interesting this whole episode because he talks about an example, one of them being a woman who came to his clinic with end-stage cancer and left his clinic a month later without cancer. So what happened? What happened in that one month? And he talks about autophagy and this amazing process of how the body, after 30 hours of fasting, is digesting pathological tissue. It's like turning the dishwasher on. We need to clean out our bodies and clean out the pathological tissue. And we were actually supposed to fast. And he talks about how we, as humans, fasted regularly out of necessity before we figured out how to store food, so our body went into healing mode as a means of survival and cleansing. And so he reassures us that anywhere from one to five days is completely healthy under normal circumstances. I mean, if you're on a bunch of medications, you should definitely speak to someone, like speak to the naturopathic physician or licensed doctor that's also hopefully holistic-minded that can guide you through it.
[0:06:43.6] Duffy James: Usually, a lot of churches can help too because that's part of the.
[0:06:46.9] Ashley James: Oh yeah, that's why we keep hearing our church say stuff like, you got to fast and pray, fast and pray.
[0:06:54.4] Duffy James: We got the fasting part figured out.
[0:06:56.4] Ashley James: We definitely got the fasting part figured out. I always wondered why fasting and praying. Is it just because you're sacrificing yourself? Is it because it really prepares the mind?
[0:07:05.6] Duffy James: It changes your frequency, right? Remember, that's what got me started in fasting. It's that episode you did with the woman, I don't know her name, but she talked about the different energies of food and how that animal is like the lowest frequency that you can get your body.
[0:07:21.4] Ashley James: Robyn Openshaw?
[0:07:22.2] Duffy James: Oh, okay.
[0:07:23.2] Ashley James: Yup, Robyn Openshaw came on the show a few times, and one of them was Episode #390, and in Episode #390, she talked about how we can do modified fasting for people who are maybe on medications or can't do full water-only fasting. There's a way to do modified fasting or eating a little bit, but it's under a certain amount of calories so that you still trigger autophagy which is the healthy, programmed cell death star. I'm sorry, that's apoptosis. Autophagy is the healthy cell cleansing where the cell digests its own pathological tissues and digests scars and cysts. This has been published in clinical observations, but in some cases, tumors are even known to be digested by the body during an extended fast.
Another really interesting episode I did was with Troy Reicherter, and this was Episode #369. That's another one to check out if you're interested in learning more about fasting. He does a 30-day fast once a year. And you got him beat because you do two fasts a year. You're not doing a full 30-day fast, but you do two or three weeks fast.
[0:08:38.0] Duffy James: It's kind of three. I think there was a year that I skipped because I think I've done eight. So, however many that is.
[0:08:46.9] Ashley James: Well, okay, eight very long fasts compared to me.
[0:08:51.9] Duffy James: Well, now that you're doing it, I'll probably do it more.
[0:08:54.1] Ashley James: We'll see.
[0:08:55.7] Duffy James: We'll see because you've had success.
[0:08:56.4] Ashley James: I've had success, and I'm looking forward to doing more. Let me walk you through my fast and why I did it. Sometime about a week ago, maybe it was in church; I can't actually remember when it happened. But I got a voice saying, you're starting a fast on Friday. And I'm like, okay.
[0:09:22.9] Duffy James: But what was the date?
[0:09:24.7] Ashley James: I don't remember. Do you remember when I told you I was going to start the fast? Because I was like, it might have been last Monday, but I got a message.
[0:09:38.7] Duffy James: Oh, that. I don't think you shared that.
[0:09:41.0] Ashley James: No, I know. That's why you're looking so surprised because I haven't told you this yet. But I got a definite divine…
[0:09:47.5] Duffy James: Request?
[0:09:49.9] Ashley James: Command? I don't know.
[0:09:52.4] Duffy James: Well, you have free will.
[0:09:53.0] Ashley James: I do have free will, but it was definitely like a strong suggestion. But it wasn't an internal voice and nudge. It was a spiritual nudge. It was a divine nudge. So the Holy Spirit said, “Hey, guess what? You're doing a fast on Friday.” And I'm like, “Alright, I'm ready.” And the thing is, every time I thought about doing fasting, I would always come up with excuses like, “Oh no, I have an interview next week.” There are no five days in which I didn't have something on my plate, and I'm like, “Well, I have to have to be eating for this.” That was my first excuse. My brain would come up with all kinds. So the body doesn't want to fast. Your brain wants you to keep eating, and it doesn't like the idea of fasting. So it's going to tell you all kinds of things. So my brain was like, “Well, you have an interview. You can't do it. You have this business phone call. You have these client calls. You can't not be eating.”
[0:10:56.1] Duffy James: You know what I'm thinking of? It's how your dad was a master salesperson. So you got him in your head, selling you. You've got his skills in your head, so you can talk to yourself at a master level.
[0:11:13.9] Ashley James: I have my own sales.
[0:11:16.1] Duffy James: And then with all your training, and all.
[0:11:17.2] Ashley James: Yeah, you know, like the angel on one shoulder and the devil on the other. I've got a little salesman on one shoulder. It's my body speaking to me like, “Okay, these are the reasons why you're not going to do it. I'm going to totally sell you on not doing it.” So your brain can be pretty convincing. And then the other reasons were like, “Well, you have to cook every day for your family. You can't do that. You can't fast, and there are lots of reasons.” But something happened, and I think it's been working on me for a while. I don't know if you've ever had that experience where you feel like the holy spirit's working on you for a while, and it's suggesting, nudging, and bringing things to your attention, putting videos in front of you, or putting whatever it is in front of you over and over. You feel like it's maybe whittling away layers of, I don't know…
[0:12:07.2] Duffy James: Pulling out the spiritual earplugs.
[0:12:09.3] Ashley James: Yes, yeah, and those layers of resistance of, “No, I don't want to change. I like being comfortable. I don't want to be uncomfortable.” So I'm just going to say the holy spirit said, “Go fast.” And it was Friday. It was just very specific. So I said, “Okay.” And I looked at my schedule, and it's like, “Well, I guess we'll see how I feel. I might have to reschedule this. I might have to reschedule that.” But you know what? I'm ready. I've been thinking about it for a long time.
[0:12:38.7] Duffy James: I was really excited for you when you told me. I would have been way more excited if you told me about the spiritual nudge.
[0:12:45.1] Ashley James: Right.
[0:12:47.2] Duffy James: I get what it was for now.
[0:12:47.6] Ashley James: Yeah, it was for now. He's smiling. I wish you could see him. He's proud of me. That's cool. So here we have this, “Okay, I'm going for it.” I did not want to tell Duffy because I'm then committed. Once I tell my husband, he's going to feel like, “Where's this fast?” if I back out, if I chicken out.
[0:13:09.8] Duddy James: I'm going to hold you accountable.
[0:13:10.5] Ashley James: I know. So I told him pretty much right away, though. Because I remember, I think we were standing in the kitchen, then I was like, “Hey, so by the way, Friday, I'm starting a fast.
[0:13:19.8] Duffy James: Yes, you were pretty excited.
[0:13:21.6] Ashley James: And I knew the second I said it, it was real. So I had to do it as soon as possible before I chickened out. And then Thursday, I had plans to go to the spa with my friend to celebrate something that happened in her life, and I really overdid it. We spent like three hours in the hot tub and then in the sauna. And I was chugging water the whole time, but I was acting kind of invincible, and that's not recommended. Usually, when I do infrared, it's for thirty minutes, not for three hours. So I came home very dehydrated with like a heat stroke headache. I pulled out all my holistic stuff and got myself on the mend. But that was an interesting way to start a fast because the next day, I was kind of wrecked from being in a sauna and a hot tub for three hours, feeling a little bit hungover. But I was committed. I was like, “Okay. Now I'm starting my fast.” I've been drinking water. And so all day Friday, I just felt really awful and hungry, and at some point, the headache from the heat stroke went away. And then the headache from not eating took over.
[0:14:31.9] Duffy James: Yeah, Friday was pretty rough for you.
[0:14:33.4] Ashley James: Friday was rough. But all in all, it wasn't unmanageable. I never needed it. I don't go on pain meds. I have to be feeling really bad to go to an over-the-counter. Yeah, I would have to be really, really bad. CBD cream on my neck and shoulders helped, magnesium soak, and doing a PS really helped. I used the phototherapy patches. That really helped. And I used bioactive carbon supplements through Dr. Jay Davidson. He is amazing. Go listen to his two episodes. I don't have the numbers pulled up right now. But if you type Jay Davidson in learntruehealth.com, you'll listen to him. He created a carbon supplement that soaks up toxins, and it really works. I took four of those capsules, and within twenty minutes, I felt it sucking away the toxins, and I started really feeling better. You can check that out by going to learntruehealth.com/cleanse.
So all of these things — I'm pulling out all the stuff, and of course, the phototherapy patches were so helpful. Hunger was manageable. It was just drinking water, but what was really interesting was every fifteen seconds, my brain would say, “Hey, it's time to eat. You're hungry. It's time to eat. You're hungry.” I wonder if you've ever had self-talk that was insistent, like your brain and body are going,” It's time to eat.” And then I would say — I would think this in my head, “No, I'm fasting.” And then my brain will go, “Oh, yeah.” Fifteen seconds later, “It's time to eat. You're hungry.” And I always had this constant OCD thought. I had to constantly remind myself. It was really interesting. I had to constantly remind myself, “I'm fasting. Oh yeah,” over and over again. It was like noise in my head, just constant noise. And so this was it. But on the first day, I was like, this is impossible. It was just like the chatter. Like, “I'm hungry,” and I had to keep saying, “I'm fasting. I'm fasting. Drink water, drink water.”
The next day, Saturday, I was feeling pretty good. I was a little tired in the morning, but I was in a good mood, and I noticed that it was only every forty-five seconds I had to tell my brain that we were fasting instead of every fifteen. I felt just a little bit light-headed, not too bad, and it would come and go, and it was totally manageable. And then we ended up taking our son to the park. We went for a long walk with our friend and her kids, and I felt great the whole time. I thought I brought enough water. Always bring more water than you think you need because I brought what I thought was enough water. And then our son spilled half of a jar, and then he drank the other half. So I ended up running out of water, and so I'm like, “No, I got to get home.”
[0:17:29.3] Duffy James: That's one of the main things I like about fasting. It's so easy to get water in. You just chug it.
[0:17:37.1] Ashley James: Yeah, you got to drink it. Also, I want to know how much my fast was helped by drinking the structured water from the analemma; all the water I stirred with the analemma. And I have an episode about that, with structured water. You can check it out on the website as well, learntruehealth.com. You can find it there. And so, Saturday, I came home, and I had a tiny, maybe 1 out of 10 headache. I drank some water. I even went to the grocery store to get some supplies for the kid who never stops eating and is growing like a weed. I came home, and I just felt good. And then, Sunday, I was on top of the world. That was just day three.
[0:18:29.6] Duffy James: I believe that's the high.
[0:18:31.5] Ashley James: I was on top of the world, and I was just really full of energy. I was actually surprised at how full of energy I was. And we ended up going to church, and I couldn't believe that I stood, we sang. I felt so good. I felt so full. And I noticed something shifting because that constant, “You're hungry. Eat. You're hungry. Eat,” was gone. Maybe three or four times that day, it was like, “I'm hungry.” And I was like, “Yeah, but we're fasting.” Okay, and I'd drink some water, and it would go away. The hunger doesn't stay. It would come, and it would be painful. Not painful, but it would be uncomfortable, which is what we don't like. We don't like being uncomfortable. Our body doesn't like being uncomfortable. But that's something that we need. We need to be uncomfortable at times to push, grow, and learn.
So Sunday, this is day three, I just felt amazing. And I noticed these moments where my mind was empty in a good way; that I was just being in the now. And I kind of lost the capacity, somewhere around day two, to fully multitask. Women can sometimes listen to the radio, listen to kids talking, text, do three or four things at a time.
[0:19:54.8] Duffy James: Yeah, I see you do that. I still don't believe it. I don't know. I can't. I'm, like, one channel.
[0:19:57.2] Ashley James: I can do it. Usually, I can multitask.
[0:20:04.6] Duffy James: I know. I still won't believe it when you do it.
[0:20:06.5] Ashley James: I know. I can do it. But on the fast, there was only one channel. And so, when I was driving, our son started talking to me, I'm like, “No, no, no, I'm driving. I can only focus on driving. I can't also focus on you talking.” And I just noticed that this single channel took over. And that's where I think the praying, the fasting and meditating, or fasting and praying, comes in because there's no chatter. There's no chaos going on in my brain. It was peaceful in my brain. Other than the occasional, like my body nagging for food.
[0:20:43.0] Duffy James: When your brain has changed its state, it's in a break state.
[0:20:46.4] Ashley James: It is a break state, yeah.
[0:20:47.8] Duffy James: And on a slower time frame.
[0:20:52.1] Ashley James: So then Sunday afternoon, evening, I started getting this huge rush. Now, I was also wearing the phototherapy patches, which I definitely think was one of the reasons why I had this huge rush of energy, and I spent hours picking away at the house, cleaning, running around, and Duffy just wanted me to sit down and chill with him, and watch some TV which he normally does not. He very seldom.
[0:21:17.3] Duffy James: I needed you in the evening to slow down.
[0:21:19.1] Ashley James: Yeah, he was trying to get me to slow down so he'd put on something on TV for me, and I was like, “No, we're cleaning. I want to run around.” And I got really productive. I also noticed that I was very hot like I was making a lot of heat in my body. So it was like burning off energy, and I just felt happiness, peace, and I felt fulfillment. Not full of food, but I felt full of spirit. So then, I don't know what, I hit a wall. So Sunday was the best. That was day three. Originally I was only going to do a three-day fast because I wasn't told how long the fast was supposed to be. I was just told you're starting to fast on Friday. And originally, I was going to do three days, and then Duffy's like…
[0:22:02.3] Duffy James: Well, you don't get the benefits until day five.
[0:22:04.9] Ashley James: Well, come on. You do get some benefits on day three. The big stuff happens on day five, like the human growth hormone spike and the stem cells spike. There are some great benefits for 5-days. To be honest, there was, I think, a part of me that was kind of terrified because we have a friend, who's a naturopathic doctor, and she's afraid of fasting because a long time ago, she had a boyfriend who fasted, and then she had to rush him to the hospital. This was back before she was a doctor, and she didn't know what was going on and so she's afraid of fasting. She's like, “Don't ever fast. It's so bad for you.” She was so afraid of it. And I've talked to so many doctors there since then who were saying, “Yeah if you do it properly.” Sure, some people can experience some issues, but for the most, it's very safe. There are ways to get around issues and start slow. Don't do more, like Dr. Goldhamer says, don't do more than a five-day fast. Like he says, one to five-day fasts is totally safe to do at home as long as you're in fairly good health. You're not on a bunch of meds. And then my husband's like, “No, I'm just going to listen to my body, and I'm just going to keep fasting until…
[0:23:19.3] Duffy James: Yeah, I didn't really have any trouble. Something comes up, usually, and it's like, I should probably get back to food. I think every time I end it, it's because of some external circumstance. But I wanted to keep going. But it was like, in my best interest to eat.
[0:23:34.2] Ashley James: Yeah. But it's usually like two or three weeks, and then you refeed. So, something happened yesterday, and I hit a bit of a wall. Wall in that, I was hoping the energy I had on Sunday would continue. And that was not the case. My body wanted to rest, and maybe that's because I was kind of coming out of the third day. I'm coming into the 5th day, the fourth day. There were some big transitions for me, and my body wanted to rest. And so we went to the park; I brought my lawn chair, and I sat in the sun, put my feet up, and closed my eyes. My friend, we were talking, and half the time, I couldn't even keep my eyes open. I was yawning, chugging water, yawning, watching the kids play, and just relaxing. And what I noticed is that that level of peace deepened, and I had really just a deep and full sense of peace. That's when I was like, oh yeah. I get the whole meditation, praying, or fasting thing because I'm already there. I'm already halfway into meditation, just sitting in my lawn chair, just relaxing into my body. There's definitely an experience of emotions, an experience of the spiritual aspect of yourself and of life. And I started to reflect on the things I've been working on, on myself, and the things I'm improving. I'm healing, and I'm grappling with the idea of an addiction brain and how I would look at food, like preparing food for our son or you. I'd look at food while I was on the fast, and I'd look at it, and I go, you know, there's this part of me that it's like, there's never enough. There's a pit inside, and nothing will satisfy that pit, and I think that's the addiction brain, right? Like nothing will satisfy that, and it was an interesting observation. I kind of looked at this from different angles throughout the years, but to look at it from a fast, it's like it's okay. It's okay not to try to fill that unfillable void.
[0:25:53.7] Duffy James: It's a totally new perspective for your brain.
[0:25:56.3] Ashley James: Yeah. And also, it's like looking at a part of me that I'm ashamed of. Because in society, it's definitely not respected to have an addiction brain and to talk about it, right? And so, I feel vulnerable talking about it, but at the same time, it's like I'm also working on it. I'm looking at it like, when did this start? And I was asking myself, when did this start? As a kid, I remember I did not care about food. I did not think about food as a kid.
[0:26:30.7] Duffy James: But when you usually talk about it, you'd say, “I turned into a teen. I started to rebel.” It was high school when you'd buy french fries in the lunchroom.
[0:26:39.0] Ashley James: That's exact. And that's when I was at the park and with my eyes closed, just with the sun and the breeze, and just being with myself; it's like the fast gave me the ability to not have any mental capacity for handling tasks. I was not a taskmaster. So I just sat there, and I was just with myself. I remember as a child, I just ate what was put in front of me, whether I liked it or not. I wasn't happy when they fed me fish. I didn't like picking the bones out, but I ate it because I didn't think that there was a choice. And they would put food in front of me, and I'd eat it. Sometimes I'd like it, and sometimes I didn't. Once in a while, we'd go to the restaurant. I liked that. But during my life, I wasn't even thinking about food, overeating, emotional eating, or caring about it. And then, right around thirteen, when I had the antibiotics because I rebelled and ate the candy. That's my first experience with antibiotics. And so, just looking at the shift, and then I saw in my teenage years how my mom would put me on a diet after diet even though I wasn't overweight.
[0:27:51.0] Duffy James: And so, that might have messed up your metabolism that you're learning now.
[0:27:55.7] Ashley James: Yeah. And then going towards food, because I had this void in me, the hurt and the rejection, and all that stuff from my parents and from being an angsty teenager, food is the drug and can be used like a drug. But now, coming out from the fast, it's like, I can see more clearly that part of me. When it's going like I just want 100 bowls of that food, or whatever it is, there's that part that's just there's no satisfying it. And can I quiet it? I don't always have it. But it definitely became loud in the fast because I wasn't eating. And that's what it wants. It wants to be fed.
[0:28:51.8] Duffy James: But I think what you'll notice when you start eating as you're refeeding is that your relationship with food will have been completely reset. And the cravings, or at least this is what I noticed, that the food cravings or the need to eat out of boredom or anything like that, I felt like I had a completely new perspective on it. And I could just not be interested in it like I was for the same reasons that I was in the past. So it will be interesting to hear if you noticed that too.
[0:29:27.4] Ashley James: Well, my second official fast, which was…
[0:29:31.4] Duffy James: What were your two experiences?
[0:29:34.2] Ashley James: So this is my third fast. My first was when I was thirteen. My second was right when we got the Sunlighten sauna, and our son broke his arm, right? That kind of happened right around the same time. That was 2017. So in 2017, I did a 3-day fast, and then I broke the fast because our son broke his arm. We had to go to the hospital, so I wanted to eat something so that I could handle the mental hula hoops I needed to go through because we were going to a children's hospital.
So overall, I had a really good experience. I noticed fears coming up around food, like interesting thoughts, and they weren't me. Sometimes it's like your thoughts, aren't you right? And so, I've become the observer of these thoughts, and I'd say, “That's interesting.” Like, this is an interesting thought because this thought was recurring. So I'm like, okay, so there's something to work here and uncover. It would help that I'd say, “Hey, this is a thought that I keep having, but it's not me. I don't own this thought, but it is a pattern, so there's something going on. And this thought kept coming up like, almost a few saying something like, “What if this doesn't fix me?” These are the fears. I know it's illogical, right? Fears aren't logical. But I kept going. This is interesting. So I go to the kitchen, and I cook you guys some food. I wouldn't eat, and then the chatter would come back. “Oh, I want to eat that.” And I'm like, “Well, how much do you want to eat it? Like, how much do you want it?” It's like, “I want all of it.” That void is like I want unlimited amounts. So the void, the addiction, the craving, or whatever it is, is like there's none. And I kept looking and going, but there was no amount that would satisfy that craving. So I don't need to try to satisfy it because there's no amount that would. The fear was something like, what if when I refed and got back to eating, it's all going to be the same? You know what I mean? What if this doesn't change me, or will this work? It was a weird, interesting thought. And I was like, okay. So I'm just observing this. I'm observing this thought because it's an irrational fear, right? But it was interesting because I guess these voices — not these voices. They weren't voices like a possession or demon or something. It was just more like the voices of this draw, this pull, this addiction. I keep calling it addiction because it's the best way I can describe it. Maybe I could call it a relationship I have with food and my self-talk around food. And so I just got to examine it.
So anyways, I had dinner tonight. This is my refeed, and it was a very small meal because it was like I did three steamed carrots and a little bit of mashed potatoes. I ate slowly. I chewed. And I noticed that I got full really fast. I mean, that's predictable, right? But I put the food down, and there's still food in the bowl, and I'm like, I'm fine. I'm done. And that's something I expected. I expected to do that. But there was peace. There was peaceful eating, and there was peace afterward.
[0:32:59.8] Duffy James: But did you notice that when you set it down when you haven't finished it, you felt complete with it, instead of needing to feel complete with an empty dish? That was my thing because when I grew up, you ate everything on your plate, and it had to be done that way. So I think I had been programmed to finish my plate no matter what, and then the fasting showed me a feeling of need in the moment, instead of the need my brain is telling me or my programming is telling me to eat, to clear the plate.
[0:33:34.6] Ashley James: Not until too full. Like, we would just eat too much. And you know, the studies with longevity are that those who eat nutrient-dense food, low calories live the longest. They have the least amount of disease, and we can survive on way fewer calories. I know calories are not a good measurement for food because really it's about nutrient density. We don't need as much, and there's something beautiful about eating simple. And a lot of people rebel when I talk about cutting out oil, cutting out sugar, cutting out flour, cutting out salt. “What am I going to eat?” Or cutting out meat, or eggs, and dairy.
[0:34:14.6] Duffy James: It seems when you're cutting out all these things, you have to buy or worry about, or it will go bad, or all these things. You just have to worry about so much less.
[0:34:26.0] Ashley James: Just try. Try cutting out these foods. They're left with, “Well, food is not going to taste good.”
[0:34:32.8] Duffy James: It's better.
[0:34:34.0] Ashley James: Well, it does. But first, you have to adapt your palate to that. And a lot of times, people's addiction brain comes up, or their relationship with food, and their rebellion with food, and how they seek pleasure and comfort from food — that comes up. And it's a big conflict because they want to stay comfortable instead of making themselves uncomfortable to get healthy. So it's a challenge, but it's interesting. Ask anyone who wants to be healthy. Ask them, “Are you willing to give up these foods in exchange for these foods and just eat vegetables, fruit, starchy vegetables, and some non-gluten grains? Can you eat brown rice, kale, and broccoli? First, they think it's going to be gross. I'm not going to get pleasure. What about the holidays? And that's just like me and the self-talk at the beginning of every time I thought about doing a fast. That self-talk comes up. It's like, “What about this? What about that? I couldn't eat that way. I couldn't do it.” It's like, why not? It's because of your relationship with food.
And so I was going into this fast. My intention really was to go into the experience. Everyone talks about how cool fasting and praying is, or fasting and meditating. So I wanted to know what's up. Does fasting really help prayer? Or does it feel like you're more connected to the source? And certainly, I did when I prayed because it's the only thing happening in my mind. It was the only thing happening in my body. I was so in the moment. That's another thing I haven't talked about. I was so in the moment. It's like the past melted away. The future melted away. I did not know what was happening in five minutes. I did not know what was happening tomorrow, and there was no anxiety about it, no worry about it. There's no thinking about the future. I was so in the now. My body was so present. I was just melted. It was like I melted away, and I just became the observer being in the moment. Even when we were cleaning, talking, walking, or just sitting, whatever I was doing, I just felt like I melted away, and I was just being in the moment. I had long stretches where there were no thoughts in my mind, and it was so peaceful. I was just in the moment, and I wasn't even trying to. That was just an effect of the fast. So I was like, there's something really cool about this. But everything came to the forefront and was really loud, so I could examine it easily.
[0:37:16.2] Duffy James: That's a good way to put it.
[0:37:18.9] Ashley James: Yeah. It allowed me to mull over things like, “Oh, what's going on here?” Sometimes our worst enemies are our habits have created our own health problems — the things we choose to eat, the habits we choose to do, and the things we choose not to do.
[0:37:39.8] Duffy James: And supporting those toxic systems that want you to eat toxic food.
[0:37:43.9] Ashley James: Right, yeah. And all of that can be let go, and there's going to be resistance in your head. I don't know who it is. I don't know if it's the ego or if it's the unconscious, or if it's some kind of programming, or if it's the body, or if it's the dopamine you're seeking. Whoever it is, there's something in us that fights change, that fights the uncomfortable, that fights taking away little pleasures that are hurting us. And that fast brought forth a lot for me to process. So it was worth it. I really loved it, and I love that I had my husband here to cheer me on. And also, I can complain to him and say, “I'm hungry,” and he's like, “Keep going. You can do it.” And I'm like, “I know, but I'm hungry.” And then I would drink some water, and we would do something else. Oh, today, I'm on my fifth day, he gave me a foot rub, and that was really sweet of him. So thank you.
[0:38:45.9] Duffy James: You're welcome.
[0:38:48.3] Ashley James: So, your experience with fasting, did you have any ‘aha' moment that you can remember?
[0:38:53.8] Duffy James: I think the reset with the relationship with food, and it's more of a body experience instead of a mind or brain experience.
[0:39:06.1] Ashley James: Yeah, cool. Anything you learned from refeeding after your fasts?
[0:39:12.2] Duffy James: Oh, that. I suck at that. I go straight for food. I take the pain.
[0:39:18.7] Ashley James: It's not good for you.
[0:39:19.5] Duffy James: It's just easier for me to do it that way. I know you freak out about it.
[0:39:24.5] Ashley James: I definitely support him in refeeding by making him soups and smoothies, and what he's supposed to eat like soft foods for a few days, and then he's like, “Whatever! I want a burrito.”
[0:39:38.4] Duffy James: I was like, “When I'm done, I'm done.”
[0:39:40.6] Ashley James: You can't just go for a burrito. You need to not eat salt. You have to definitely make sure you avoid any form of added salt.
[0:39:51.1] Duffy James: But that's just my personality.
[0:39:52.6] Ashley James: I know, I know. For me and for the listeners, do you have any advice for people who've never fasted?
[0:39:57.6] Duffy James: Well, do it. You just start. For any length of time, just pick a length of time and go for it.
[0:40:07.5] Ashley James: For those who've never fasted, how do you get over the initial hunger? How do you get over the initial feeling of being tired? How did you do it?
[0:40:16.3] Duffy James: Brute force. This is what's happening, and any pushback is ignored.
[0:40:25.9] Ashley James: I kind of felt like I had to dig deep into that. I know deep down I'm really powerful, and I can do whatever I really, really put my mind to.
[0:40:36.3] Duffy James: I'd use a whole lot of won't power. I just won't do it.
[0:40:42.7] Ashley James: Right. I'm just going to drink water and not eat.
[0:40:47.0] Duffy James: Right. Just set the intention and go.
[0:40:48.4] Ashley James: And warn your family that you might be grumpy because there were a few times I was hangry and…
[0:40:53.5] Duffy James: You weren't that bad.
[0:40:55.1] Ashley James: I know. But I wasn't sweet.
[0:40:59.4] Duffy James: I can't see that any other way, so I don't know.
[0:41:01.6] Ashley James: Look at this kissing up to me. Love it. Did you observe anything in me during my fast that I haven't talked about? Were you surprised I did five days?
[:41:19.0] Duffy James: No, I knew you could do it. I was bummed when you ended it because I was like, “Oh, go for seven,” because it gets better.
[0:41:27.4] Ashley James: Tell us about how it gets better after day five.
[0:41:30.3] Duffy James: I just remember it gets better. I need to journal because I don't.
[0:41:36.2] Ashley James: Oh, you need to journal. You need to journal.
[0:41:42.2] Duffy James: There's no need to edit.
[0:41:44.4] Ashley James: I'm not taking that out. It is down. You said it. It's on.
[0:41:49.7] Duffy James: It's been said before.
[0:41:52.7] Ashley James: It's been said. That would be so cool. You should totally journal during your fast.
[0:41:56.5] Duffy James: Yeah, maybe I will.
[0:41:58.0] Ashley James: And that's why I'm doing this. This is my journal, by the way. You could do an audio journal if you wanted to.
[0:42:03.0] Duffy James: Click play, episode 510.
[0:42:10.4] Ashley James: I think this is going to be 503. I'm not sure. I got to look. But yes, I'm going to play it for you, and you're like, “See? Listen to yourself. You say you need to journal.” Why are you sticking your fingers in your ears? What have you said in the past? This marriage didn't come with earplugs?
[0:42:28.6] Duffy James: No, I did not.
[0:42:29.2] Ashley James: No? Alright. Well, I do remember on your fast that somewhere in week two, you're just kind of so happy. And you've never had moments where you can't drive. You act like yourself, which is great because I'm down to one channel. I can only do one task at a time when I'm fasting. And you, you're great. You do the dad stuff. You drive our kid around. You do stuff in the business. But in week two, I do notice that you sort of kind of got cold.
[0:43:13.3] Duffy James: Oh, one thing that I did notice with two of the fasts that I've done that are longer than a week, is I was not strict with what went in my mouth. The gummy supplements we have, I would take a couple more. I would take a handful of cashews; that won't hurt anything. And that's a slippery slope. That's a lot harder to cheat. It's very hard to recover. Whereas if it's a strict fast, it's actually easier. You're not taunting yourself. So that would probably be the biggest advice. Don't even cheat a little bit, even though it's still considered fasting if it's less than 300 calories a day.
[0:44:19.2] Ashley James: I think it depends. Yeah, somewhere around 500 calories. It's like if you're going to eat complex or starchy carbohydrates, it will take you out of ketosis. But there are certain foods you could eat. It's more of individuals. I know someone who could eat asparagus or zucchini, and it takes them out of ketosis. Whereas another person could eat a potato and they're still in ketosis.
[0:44:42.3] Duffy James: I just found it was best not to. It's a slippery slope.
[0:44:47.0] Ashley James: Sometimes, occasionally, you would have an electrolyte drink or clear vegetable broth with no sodium, just for electrolytes, and you felt fine. But anything beyond that would put a monkey wrench in the whole thing, and then it would make the fasting really hard. You kind of got grumpy.
[0:45:13.8] Duffy James: Yeah, and then I'd give up. I know I said they ended up external. There were two of them. Now that I'm thinking about it, I sabotaged it. I did not, really, because it wasn't like six cashews. It was only five.
[0:45:30.9] Ashley James: Yeah, you justify it. Those are the voices in the head. I know we're justifying it. This is just this. It can totally be fine. And those little voices, you got to observe them and then talk to them. Glenn Livingston, I had him on the show, like, five times, and he's amazing. You should definitely check out his episodes. Glenn talked about how we have this inner. He calls it his inner pig, and I call it my inner brat because I totally have a brat that's like, “I want what I want when I want it.” And Duffy definitely has his own inner brat that we all do. Is it a brat?
[0:46:16.4] Duffy James: Uh-hm.
[0:46:18.0] Ashley James: Yup? And sometimes, we get stubborn, and we just want what we want when we want it. There were a few fasts I noticed where you got cold. Your hands got cold. Do you always get cold during fasting or just sometimes?
[0:46:37.6] Duffy James: I think so. That's just part of it.
[0:46:40.8] Ashley James: I noticed I was cold. Actually, I was cold today. I wanted slippers on my feet, and I did notice that I was getting cold. So that's part of it. Nothing to worry about here. Cool. And sleep, was sleep deeper for you on fasting? Because I noticed some nights, I was in a deep sleep, and some nights it was almost like I felt I was still awake. I think I was detoxing. I noticed I felt like I was awake half the night.
[0:47:08.3] Duffy James: I'm not as in-tuned in my sleep as you are. I just do it. Whether it was good or bad, I slept.
[0:47:19.5] Ashley James: So when is your next fast?
[0:47:21.5] Duffy James: I don't know. Do you want to do it together on your next?
[0:47:25.7] Ashley James: Ah, yeah. But this isn't going to be like…
[0:47:29.4] Duffy James: Would you ever do five days or not?
[0:47:31.3] Ashley James: I'm probably going to do five days again.
[0:47:32.2] Duffy James: I want double digits. It's more fun.
[0:47:33.5] Ashley James: Oh, I don't know. I'll work up to it.
[0:47:35.1] Duffy James: Okay. Well, I'll do it with you. I'm getting on the next one.
[0:47:38.8] Ashley James: Yeah, sure. I'm very happy about this fast, and I'm glad we could come on and share about it. It's an interesting experience. I like that I set an intention. I like that the universe, God, Holy Spirit, whatever we call it, was like, “All right, you're ready. Let's go.” So it does kind of help to have a higher power telling you, calling your name. But then, just the observation of what's going on mentally, what's going on emotionally — and the best thing was when I could become the observer instead of buying into the drama. If the brat was still freaking out in my brain about how hungry I was, or how I just wanted to eat, or “I'm so grumpy today. I just want to eat.” Well, I could just watch that and go, “Wow, this is an interesting behavior.”
[0:48:34.5] Duffy James: I think the biggest thing is the change in perspective because it's completely different.
[0:48:38.4] Ashley James: Well, like today, when I had dinner to break the fast, it was a very small amount of food. I felt satisfied. I put the bowl down. There's still food in it, and I took a breath, and I felt my whole abdomen. I just checked in with it, and I went, “This feels right. This feels good. This feels right. This is good. Okay, cool.” And I noticed because we've been having this talk with our son who's fighting us on eating healthy. Well, we don't serve him junk food, but I'm trying to get more vegetables into him, and he's like, “I don't like vegetables.” He's decided he doesn't like them.
[0:49:12.7] Duffy James: Can you blame him?
[0:49:13.8] Ashley James: I love vegetables. They're so healthy.
[0:49:15.6] Duffy James: I don't.
[0:49:15.9] Ashley James: I know. Dude, you can't be a vegan that doesn't like vegetables.
[0:49:20.7] Duffy James: But I do it.
[0:49:21.7] Ashley James: I feed him vegetables. So, I'm having these conversations with our son, who's like, he didn't want to eat dinner tonight. He's like, “I don't like the taste of this,” and he starts crying. He's eight years old. He's like, “Oh, please don't make me eat this.” I'm like, “I'm not going to make you eat it. But yeah, we made this, and we don't want it to go to waste, and it's healthy for you.” And so I negotiate with him. “What else will you eat? Pick another vegetable.” And I keep talking to him about how it doesn't need to taste good to make it healthy for you. That's just enjoyment. That's just a bonus. But it's okay to eat something that isn't the tastiest thing in the world, as long as it's healthy for you and it's building your body. So I don't love cooked carrots. I really don't. It's not on my top 50, and yet that's what I cooked, and that's what we had in the fridge. And I was like, fine, I'm making it. And I ate it, and I enjoyed it. It's not my favorite. I don't love it, but I'm like, I'm just going to be here in the moment chewing this food, feeling it, and asking it to nourish my body. And I'm going to be okay with and be at peace with eating food.
I already eat super clean and healthy. I'm very, very good about the food. But I did in the past find that I was choosing meals based on the pleasure factor instead of the health and nutrition factor. Even though I was still eating whole food, plant-based, super clean, and organic, I still noticed that cravings would come up there. Like, oh, you know, don't eat that, eat this, because of the pleasure. I'm like, that's not what I want. I want to be able to make food choices based on how good it is for me and be okay with the different levels of pleasure I may or may not get from food. So that was another thing that I got out of this fast. Yeah. Awesome.
[0:51:19.2] Duffy James: Well, thanks for having me on.
[0:51:20.9] Ashley James: Yeah, thanks for coming on. Maybe we'll have you on again.
[0:51:23.8] Duffy James: Yeah, we'll see how when my arm heals. Maybe I'll come on again.
[0:51:30.4] Ashley James: Well, welcome to the 500s.
[0:51:32.1] Duffy James: Yeah, thank you. It took me that long to bring up the courage to do it.
[0:51:36.5] Ashley James: But I think you said one sentence in an episode, like, maybe twenty episodes ago. So yeah, good job.
I hope you enjoyed today's interview with myself. I hope you enjoyed today's conversation with my husband, Duffy, and me. I was talking about our experiences with fasting. When I recorded this conversation that you just listened to with my husband, Duffy, I had just finished my 5-day fast, and it had been a few hours after my first meal breaking the fast. Now, I'm sitting here about to hit publish. I wanted to update you. So it's been two days now into refeeding. A really interesting development — I thought the hardest part about fasting would be hunger. But the hardest part is refeeding. I just want to go back. I just want to jump back into regular food, and you can't. You really shouldn't. The longer the fast, the more gentle you should refeed. And as Troy Reicherter said in our interview, Episode #369, where he tells his story, he fasts one to three times a year doing these really long 30-day fasts. So you definitely go back and listen to Episode #369. He's been on the show a few times. Interestingly, he has spent over $40,000 of his own money and invested in blood testing because he wants to prove that we can use fasting to get rid of forever chemicals out of our body and to take out these chemicals that are known carcinogens, known as cancer-causing. So you can go back and listen to that Episode #369.
One thing he tells is a story about how he got a little cocky. He had to fly to Asia. I believe it was a funeral he was going to. He is kind of distracted. He was just wrapping up a 30-day fast. And on the flight, he ate a bag of peanuts or whatever they gave, like pretzels or whatever they gave out. And I've seen the video where he's like, “Oh, I'm at the end of a fast. It's fine. I'll just eat regular food.” And the problem with that is, and Troy explains to us in the interview, our kidneys, while we're fasting, are so efficient. Then when we stop eating food, they concentrate our electrolytes. So they'll concentrate the salt and the potassium. They'll concentrate the wonderful electrolytes. And those who have kidney problems, if you're on medication or have any organ issues, you definitely want to talk to a doctor.
You know, you could talk to Dr. Alan Goldhamer. That's Episode #230, and you can contact the True North Medical Center. That's his center, and it's a non-profit. It's a live-in center where you go and stay there. You can stay there for a week, for a month. He's had one man do a 100-day fast with him successfully, very healthily because you're constantly monitored by doctors. It's on my bucket list. I really want to go there. It's just a matter of money, and maybe when our son is older, so I would feel comfortable leaving my family to go do that or maybe taking my whole family if we could afford the expense of it. Last I looked, it was something like $180 a day, which is room and board. And when you're not fasting, they feed you amazingly healthy, delicious food. They have classes, and they teach you, and you're surrounded by holistic doctors who are all there to support you in your success. So it sounds wonderful. For me, it's just like a vacation. Like, I want to go to a fasting clinic where it's like a little fasting resort in California. But the True North Medical Center has Dr. Alan Goldhamer and other doctors you can call and do a consultation. Just go to their website. Just Google True North Medical Center and you can talk to them. So if you're concerned like, “Hey, I have these issues, and I'm wondering if fasting is good for me or right for me,” there are doctors who are really well educated on fasting. A lot of doctors aren't educated on fasting. So they would just kind of tell you what they think, but they wouldn't have the background, the science background, or the clinical experience to inform you correctly.
So having said that, Troy ate some peanuts. Now, remember, the longer you fast, the more your kidneys are being very smart in that they're reclaiming the sodium and concentrating it, so instead of you urinating it out, it's keeping it, putting it back in the blood, And so, when you start refeeding, you want to eat soft foods like steamed vegetables, or broth, soups, juices, smoothies. But you want to make sure that it's soft. There's no added salt, no sodium added. I mean, if it's naturally occurring, like a carrot, there are five micrograms of salt and sodium in it. Okay, it came from the ground. And you do this for several days and slowly until you can eat solid foods again.
Well, he just fasted so many times. He was like, “Oh, what could this do? It's just a bag of peanuts.” And you are on this very long flight, coupled with maybe the stress, and maybe he's not drinking enough, and even just flying tends to kind of bloat people — well, he almost died. He ended up with his whole body becoming a balloon. His fingers became like sausages. He couldn't close his fingers. His feet wouldn't fit in the shoes. He ballooned out, and I think he told me he ended up going to a hospital or almost did, and then he realized, “Oh yeah, I broke my fast with possibly the saltiest snack in the world, with peanuts from an airplane.” That's a really good indicator, a really good warning.
So it's so important whether you are doing a one-day, three-day, five-day, seven-day, whatever water-only fasting you're doing, you want to make sure the whole time that you're healthy with your electrolytes. If you start to get cramping or have any of those symptoms where you may feel like your electrolytes are a little off, I hear that diluted coconut water is a great natural electrolyte without fully breaking the fast. And so is the sodium-free broth. Not low-sodium, not regular broth, but clear, no sodium, vegetable broth. There's only one brand I can find, and it's at Sprouts. And so I buy up a few and keep them around for when Duffy's on his very long fast. When he does several weeks, he likes to drink one once in a while and just a little bit to keep him balanced.
So, I refed and slept the last two days. And you know, five-day fast refeeding takes like two days. It's not that big of a deal. I'm back to eating solid foods again. I noticed that I eat slower. I chew more. I mean, I'm asking myself to chew more, but I also chew more because I'm really enjoying the flavors. I noticed that during the fast — I didn't mention this in our conversation when I talked to Duffy — I noticed that through the fast my sense of smell was heightened. Or maybe I did talk about it. I can't remember now. Because Duffy and I did mention — he says he has kind of, like people who say, they quit smoking and all of a sudden they can smell food again. They can taste food again. It's not like they couldn't before, but now it's just that everything's elevated. And that's what I feel, like my senses elevated, but I was expecting that to not be as intense and in a good way. And what's great is, now, two days after the fast, my sense of taste is elevated, and I am so chewing, and I'm going, “Wow, what's that flavor?” I made a salad, and I'm like, “Oh, what's that flavor? What was that? That was a tomato? What was that? That was some cilantro? Oh my gosh.”
I noticed that I'm happier. I'm just happier in my body. Not that I was sad before. I'm generally a very cheerful person. But I have this peace, and I'm not going to say it's gone completely, but the intensity of the self-talk around food is calmer and more peaceful. Once in a while, my self-talk is a little judgy, like, “How many of those are you going to eat? I'm like, “Wow, a judgy voice in my head.” I'm going to eat one because I'm going to just feel my body and see how I feel. Even if it's healthy food, it's like, I could eat a salad, and this little voice in my head is going, “Wow, you're eating so much.” I'm like, “Where did you come from?” But I can hear those voices now instead of it being like this constant frustration, and the fast brought them forward. So now I'm working on the self-talk. And I've had interviews, by the way, on self-talk. Type in ‘self-talk' at learntruehealth.com. I've had some mental health counselors come on and talk about working with self-talk and, why did we develop negative self-talk, and how to calm it, how to heal that or get rid of it. I've had different guests come on. So I've been leaning on those tools and listening to the self-talk; I'm going, “Wow, this is really interesting.”
It's much calmer. There's much more peace in my head and in my heart. But in my body, there's a feeling — and it's so cool because I didn't know this would continue — but since the fast, I feel elated. It's very similar to euphoria, but it's not ungrounded. I feel grounded. I feel in the now. I feel at peace. My cells are buzzing with happiness, and I'm eating good food. Everything I've been eating has been pretty much vegetables, really healthy stuff, a little bit of fruit here, and I've got a lot of vegetables. I just made the most delicious white beans with garlic. They're so good. And I just had a little bit, and I'm going, “I can't believe how good this tastes.” I can feel my body is just happy. So I really wanted to share that with you. So if you're someone who has been just frustrated, struggling with their emotional health or their feelings around their body, please try it. Just try it for whatever you can. If it's right for you, do it. It's beautiful. It's similar to when I switched to whole food plant-based, and I started going, “Wow, I'm feeling happy. I'm feeling happy.” Every day was like layers and layers of inflammation went away, and also the gut microbiome and everything. My body just felt more and more happy with my choices.
I love how Duffy mentioned cognitive dissonance. And when you have cognitive dissonance, there's that really uncomfortable right before the shift where you make your behaviors be in alignment with your values. That's uncomfortable to be there because part of you wants to keep doing the old behavior, but you know it's not right for you. For example, eating meat with something, or eating cheese, or eating pizza, or whatever. It's just, “I like it. I don't want to give it up, but I know it's bad for me.” And then if you do give it up and instead you replace it with amazing delicious, whole foods, and then a week since that, you're going, “Wow, I didn't know this could taste so good. I didn't know I could feel this way. I didn't know I could feel this feeling I have in my body 24/7.” It is way more important and worth way more than a slice of pizza. Like, a slice of pizza and beer gives you what? Fifteen minutes of pleasure? And then, the rest of the day is this constant background noise of misery because the body is suffering, and that spills over into emotions. So your physical health, your emotional health, your mental health, your spiritual health, all are connected. And when you do something for one, it helps the other.
There is one more thing I wanted to share, and that is that when I was talking about my three-day fast that I did back right around when our son broke his arm, it was almost at the three-day mark, and I didn't know he'd broken his arm. I know he had a fall, and then we put him down for his nap because he was a toddler, and everything seemed fine. And while he was down for his nap, I had this intense voice in my head, kind of similar to this voice that told me to do this fast. And this voice said — and it wasn't me, it wasn't a voice in my head because I was actually doing really well. I was totally congruent. It was right around day three, the time when everything started getting really good in fasting because your body switches over from burning glycogen, which is our sugar stores, to burning fat for fuel, which is ketosis. This isn't the ketogenic diet. This is the actual state of ketosis, which is burning fat for fuel and making ketones for your brain, and for your body, for fuel, instead of relying on what you're eating, which is glucose.
So our son's down for a nap, and this voice says, “You have to eat right now.” I can't remember exactly what it said, but it was like, “You break the fast.” I think the voice was ‘break the fast' because I remember it was like a very short sentence. It was very clear ‘break the fast.' And yeah, that was it. And then I was like, “Okay, I'm listening to this voice.” Because it had been just like within hours of being on a three-day fast, I was like, all right, you know, it's not much for refeeding. I'm just going to serve myself what Duffy was eating, which I think was mashed potatoes and vegetables. It was something soft anyway. So I was like, okay, I'm just going to sit down and eat some of this. And I did, and right as I finished my meal, our son started screaming. He was waking up from his nap screaming, and I was like, “Oh my gosh, that's intense.” And then I went and got him, and then that's when we realized, oh, wow, yeah, there's something wrong. He couldn't move his arm, and that's when we rushed him to the hospital. And then Duffy asked me, like, “Why'd you break your fast?” And I'm like, “Well, it's good that I did because I needed the energy to be up half the night, waiting in the hospital, and x-rays and the doctors and everything that had happened. I don't think I could have really been there and been present while fasting, or at least it wouldn't have been fun, like, it was fun anyway. It was much more manageable, having had a meal going into that situation.
I didn't mention that in the previous conversation that you just listened to because it just didn't come to mind to say that. But I didn't break the fast after we knew his arm was broken. I broke the fast right before we knew his arms were broken because I got a clear message that told me to do it. I don't know if you've ever had that, where you've had a voice not your own, but a familiar and not a threatening voice not your own, say something with a very clear message to follow it. I've heard some people say, “Yeah, I heard change lanes, and then I almost died in a car accident,” or, “Marry that woman.” Sometimes we are guided divinely, and we just got to listen. Listen to our intuition, which is listening to our own self, but then sometimes we receive divine guidance, and at least that's my experience of life.
So thank you. Thank you for being on this journey for me. And if you do decide to fast, come into the Facebook group. I'd love to hear about your experience. The Facebook group, you could just search Learn True Health on Facebook, or you can go to learntruehealth.com/group, and that will take you to the Facebook group. We have a wonderful listener community that's there to support you in your success, and I love answering your questions. The group comes together, and we all help each other as we're growing on this journey.
I've mentioned here at the beginning of this episode the three episodes you can listen to for more information on fasting and the science behind it — Episode #230 with Dr. Alan Goldhamer, Episode #269 with Troy Reicherter, and Episode #390 with Robyn Openshaw. So you can go ahead and go to your favorite app for listening to episodes, listening to podcasts, or you can go to learntruehealth.com and search for those.
Thank you so much for being a listener. Thank you so much for sharing my podcast with those you care about. I don't know if you know my story. I was sick and suffering for so many years. I had multiple diseases. I was told by doctors I'd never get better, and I turned to holistic medicine. I was able to get my health back. I was able to reverse and end all those diseases, including I was told I'd never be able to have kids. But we have an amazing son. And it sparked a fire in me to want to help drive a passion for helping people to no longer suffer the suffering. It's so horrible that so many people out there have health problems, and there are answers for you. And the answers aren't readily available because the mainstream medical system is by profit, not by results. So, if you're new to this podcast, if maybe someone shared it with you, come on this journey with me. Through my interviews, let me show you how to no longer suffer, how to take control of your health and your life, and learn true health.
Get Connected with Ashley James!
Health Coach, Podcast Creator, Homeschooling Mom, Passionate About God & Healing
Ashley James is a Holistic Health Coach, Podcaster, Rapid Anxiety Cessation Expert, and avid Whole Food Plant-Based Home Chef. Since 2005 Ashley has worked with clients to transform their lives as a Master Practitioner and Trainer of Neuro-linguistic Programming.
Her health struggles led her to study under the world’s top holistic doctors, where she reversed her type 2 diabetes, PCOS, infertility, chronic infections, and debilitating adrenal fatigue.
In 2016, Ashley launched her podcast Learn True Health with Ashley James to spread the TRUTH about health and healing. You no longer need to suffer; your body CAN and WILL heal itself when we give it what it needs and stop what is harming it!
The Learn True Health Podcast has been celebrated as one of the top holistic health shows today because of Ashley’s passion for extracting the right information from leading experts and doctors of holistic health and Naturopathic medicine
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