390: Modified Fasting
Robyn Openshaw And Ashley James
- What is modified fasting
- What is autophagy
- Is fasting safe?
- While our bodies are going through a fast, our bodies are trying detox and cleanse and heal
- Four day modified fast before chemo for cancer patients
- Fasting decreases inflammations
- Intermittent fasting is offsetting the damage to the liver and kidneys
- Atkins and keto is the same diet
- Diabetes is manageable
- If weight loss is a goal, you could do modified fasting once or twice a month
- Other benefits of modified fasting
- Refeeding process
- Hormone balancing effect
- Book: How to Get The Health Benefits of Fasting Without Going Hungry
- Antibiotics wipe out good bacteria
- Who shouldn't do modified fasting?
- Eating small meals in a window of 12 hours
In this episode, Robyn and I will talk about modified fasting and its benefits people who are undergoing cancer treatment, people who are trying to lose weight, and people who are experiencing hormonal imbalance. Robyn also shares with us how fasting decreases inflammation and the other benefits of modified fasting.
[00:00:00] Intro: Hello, true health seeker and welcome to another exciting episode of the Learn True Health Podcast. You're going to love today's interview with Robyn Openshaw. She's giving us a free copy of her book. To download her book, go to www.learntruehealth.com/fastbook. That's learntruehealth.com/ fastbook. As in it's a book that teaches you how to fast. But it's also a fast read. So it'll be easy for you to remember learntruehealth.com/fastbook.
Now, Robyn talks about her Flash Fast. And to get the listener discount on that, go to learntruehealth.com/flashfast. That's learntruehealth.com /flashfast as in a very quick fast, Flash Fast. All those links are going to be in the show notes of today's podcast as well. So if you're driving or exercising or running around and you don't have a pen, you can always jump to the beginning of this episode to hear those links again or go to the show notes of this episode to grab them.
I definitely want to grab that book though. I could not put it down. Robyn sent me a physical copy of it. It's 70 pages long. So you can finish it in one sitting. And I just couldn't put it down. It was a really good book. It's well-written. It's an easy read. And it is chock full of science and the data. And she is referencing the latest studies showing how we can fast in a way that is the healthiest, that staves off disease. People are seeing now – it's amazing, people are actually reversing MS, autoimmune disease. There are cases of cancer being reversed. People are reversing type 2 diabetes. We are able to heal our body and do it in a way that triggers our own body's self-cleaning mechanism called autophagy.
So we get into that in today's interview. You're just going to love it. Please share this interview with your friends who have struggled with metabolic syndrome, who struggled with losing weight, balancing hormones, autoimmune conditions, type 2 diabetes, as we talk about how they can utilize a specific type of fasting that isn't removing food from their diet. It's utilizing food in a certain way that triggers the body's own self-cleaning mechanism. And the mechanism the body uses to repair and heal.
So I know you guys are going to love today's interview, please share it with your friends because I want to get this information out there. There are people who are suffering like I was suffering for so many years. All through my 20s, I was so sick with six different illnesses. And I reversed them naturally with food and with lifestyle changes and supplements. And I wish I'd had this information that you're about to learn today. Because it would have definitely made my journey a lot smoother and my healing a lot quicker. I know that we can get this information out there and help a lot of people to heal and support their body's ability to heal itself. Enjoy today's interview. Thank you so much for being a listener. And go to learntruehealth.com/ fastbook to get Robyn Openshaw's free book that I'm really excited that she's giving it out to everyone so we can get this information out there and help as many people as possible to learn true health.
Welcome to the Learn True Health Podcast. I'm your host, Ashley James. This is Episode 390.
I am so excited for today's guest. We have back on the show with us Robyn Openshaw. She's Green Smoothie Girl. You can go back and listen to our Episode 178 where she taught us the high vibration foods that bring in the nutrients and the energy, and the vibration that brings in vitality, and to do away with the foods that lower our physical vibration. And it was a phenomenal interview. Actually, that was the interview that convinced my husband to go from basically being an Atkins style meat eater to a complete vegan whole food plant based overnight. I came out of that interview and told him what you said. And he said, “I am never eating meat again.” So that is a pretty powerful interview I have to say. And then you came back on the show, Episode 358, to teach us about how to protect ourselves from EMF.
What I love about learning from Robyn Openshaw and she has a wonderful podcast called Vibe, published 16 books, and just constantly coming out with great information. Robyn, you are who I want to be when I grew up. So I just love that you are pulling in the data, the research, the science and showing people how they can change every single aspect of their life, emotionally, mentally, physically to optimize every part of your being to living truly healthfully in a joyful way. So I must thank you so much. I know my listeners love learning from you. And as always, it's a pleasure to have you back on the show.
[00:05:18] Robyn Openshaw: It's so nice to be here again, Ashley. And that is high praise. And as you know, I've told you this a long time ago, I have a secret fantasy that we co host a podcast one day. I don't know how to make that happen. It's just a little throwing that out there.
[00:05:30] Ashley James: That'd be awesome. We have to figure it out. That'd be super great. When you are with your tribe, when you're with the people that are on the same path, it feels so good. And I know my listeners feel that way, too, being part of the learn health community because they're finally finding the people that are all really, really interested in gaining health. But not just physical health, all aspects of life. And you exude that. I love following you on Facebook. I recommend listeners check you out and follow you on Facebook. Because the stuff I learned for you every day is wonderful. And you give such great advice. And you ask such great questions. And make us all think, think about the things in our life. Instead of being the ostrich and just digging our heads in the sand and wanting to be put back in the matrix, we have to open ourselves up and start advocating for ourselves.
Now, today's episode, I have been really excited to do because fasting has sort of become a buzzword. But there's a lot of misconceptions. There's a lot of misinformation. And for some people, there's a lot of fear and belief that we can't do fasting, especially if someone has an illness like type 2 diabetes. There's an idea that we can't do any form of fasting. And that just is not true. And there's lots of studies to prove that. And you're here today to make sure that you clean up all the misconceptions, do all the myth busting, and show us how we can utilize fasting to support absolute optimal health.
[00:07:01] Robyn Openshaw: Yeah. It's a big question. Basically, is fasting safe? And should people be afraid of it? I think mostly people are afraid of fasting because they've never – I learned this on a speaking tour. I spoken 450 cities in six years. And I had many, many people tell me they've never missed a meal. And that was shocking to me. And I don't know why it would be. Because I was raised in a very small community of – well, not really – I think there's, like, 12 million Mormons worldwide. But I was raised Mormon – or LDS is how they prefer to be called. And we've fasted for 24 hours the first Sunday of every month. And so for me, it was just no big deal. Not that it's fun. It's not fun to go a whole day without food or, let alone, a week without food. And the most I've done water fasting is 12 days without food.
But I think that because we live in a time for the first time in the history of the world where people don't just naturally go without food for long periods of time because we're not hunter gatherers. And we don't have droughts and famines. We have just food anywhere all the time, inexpensive food. Even people who are in poverty, many of them don't, in North America at least, want for food. I mean there's food banks, whatever. So just most people haven't gone without food. And that's not true. The thing to think about here is that maybe the most powerful thing that people were doing for their health, for literally thousands of years, was something they're doing unintentionally, which is they just would go hungry. I know we're going to get into why fasting is possibly the most health preventative, disease preventative thing you can possibly do.
But I agree that it's scary to think about not having food for a week. In the last four years, I've done four different water fasts that were between seven and 12 days. And I don't go out there and talk on radio shows and podcasts about that because I know that nobody else is going to do it. It's going to be, like, one in 1000. I mean, it's kind of like my job to research and write about and publish my own experiments when it comes to health and wellness. And sometimes I do my own trials of people. We're going to get into, hopefully, my own trials of people doing modified fast. But I really wasn't out there saying everybody should do, like, seven day or 12 day water fast like I've done. But even though I'm open to it, and I was raised fasting once a month, I flew to Texas to stay at an ashram just to literally have the temptation removed. It's not easy. It is not easy to fast. I would agree with that.
And I do want to say since you mentioned diabetes that people who are on some diabetes medications really do need to be careful about fasting. You can't just take those medications and go and start water fasting for days, or a week or two at a time. You really do need to have some good guidance from your practitioner. And a functional medicine practitioner is going to be a lot more likely to guide you. But there are some contraindications. Most people can fast, no problem. But people are a lot more toxic than they were even a generation ago. You know, it's no joke that we have 80,000 chemicals approved for use in our air, food, and water. And they're all in our organs now. And we all have pretty extraordinary levels of heavy metals. Any anybody who's tested for that knows that we all pretty much have a variety of heavy metals that are highly toxic. So we have risk factors that maybe two generations ago people didn't have.
But what's cool and what we're going to get into today, I know that's what you want to talk about, is a way that we can fast and that we can get all the benefits of it without just going cold turkey and having nothing but water for a week.
[00:10:48] Ashley James: Absolutely. I've done a variety of fasts. And you're right about the temptation to try to do what only fast at home. Well, still cooking for my husband and our son who's young, he's four. But he was a little bit younger when I was doing some water only fasting. And just to be around food is difficult the first few days. And then after that the hunger goes away. But I think the first two or three days can be the hardest in my experience. But also then you have to be resting. If you're water only fasting, you can't necessarily get up, get the kids ready, make their lunches, take the kids to school, go to work, work a full day, come home, handle the chores. Just everything that we need to do, all the energy we need to put out there. While our bodies are going through a fast, our bodies are trying detox and cleanse and heal. And so we really have to take a break from life and schedule a time to just maybe lie on the couch or go for a gentle walks or read and not really do a lot. And that is not necessarily reasonable to ask the modern mom or dad right now.
But these modified fasts where you we still get the benefits of the water only fasting are much more doable for the average person. I'd love for you to get into how did you get all this research? And how did you get excited about teaching people about fasting? What happened? Because you've been fasting, I think you said, since you were eight. That's when in the LDS church, eight year olds on the first Sunday of every month spent a whole day not eating or drinking. So that's just been part of your life. But at what point did you start to get into the science of wanting to then teach people how to fast in a way that's modified so that they can still get the benefits and still actually do it and make it realistic?
[00:12:52] Robyn Openshaw: Yeah. So my exposure to fasting early on, it was really for religious reasons and cultures since the dawn of time have fasted for spiritual purification. And the basic concept is – and anyone who is exposed to these religions or these philosophies, this will be no surprise – that as you humble the body and, like you mentioned it, that if you water fast, you can't go out and play a tennis match. I've done two modified fast in the last two months where I went out on day two and on day three of my modified fast and played a competitive match and they were both in July and August in the Utah desert heat, middle of the day.
This is not something I would have ever scheduled myself for doing a water fast. And so when I fly to this ashram to water fast to basically get away from my refrigerator and my car – like you can't even get an Uber there. You're literally out in the middle of nowhere. I pretty much lie in bed. And I might go for, like you said, a slow walk. I mean, I'm not a competitive athlete. And I play sports between one and three hours really every day besides Sunday. And I've always done that. And so for me to be so incapacitated by water fasting, you're right, I would literally have to take time off work or take a week off work or, like I said, I did I did it for 12 days once. And I did it because there has been more and more actual published clinical research of how powerful fasting is.
For instance, my friends who own True North in Santa Rosa, California. If I were going to go water fast again, I would go there. Because you're getting medical supervision there. I knew I could do it. I knew I was healthy. So me flying to the ashram in Texas is fine. But I don't recommend it to people. Because they don't have any real oversight medically. And some people really should be watched over and your vitals taken twice a day and all that. But they've taken 20,000 people through a water fast and if people are into that they should totally do it. However, what I found is the vast majority of people won't do it. So I was becoming aware.
And then Yoshinori Ohsumi, Japanese researcher in 2016. I'm talking this is new information. This is literally less than three years old. He won the Nobel Prize in Medicine for discovering the mechanisms of autophagy. And I became just as a researcher – and my full time job is research and health and wellness and I'm an author of 16 books. And I became completely obsessed with this idea of autophagy. And I especially been preoccupied with it, because I researched cancer a lot. I have a lot of history of cancer in my family going way back. And I've always wondered, like, “What would I do? What are the things that I would do if I had cancer?” And then my cancer research all over the world, a lot of these doctors highly recommend fasting. And so I was curious about the mechanism of it.
Well, when autophagy was discovered and quantified, what we learned is that when we deprive the body of food, when the body is not in a fed state, when it is a fasted state, the body shifts its energy. It no longer has to spend 65% of its energy metabolizing food and taking this raw input and taking it through a lot of different processes so that it becomes mitochondrial energy. We're talking about the very end points of what that food is going to eventually do. So you free up the body from what it spends 65% of its energy doing. Ad guess what it does, it doesn't take a nap. It goes into repair and clean up. And we could call that process autophagy, which means self- eating.
And in the process of autophagy, the body's immune system mobilizes – highly, highly mobilized killer T cells and white blood cells. White blood cells and stem cells are mass produced. And the body goes into tearing down broken parts. On the cellular level parts of cells are stripped down, broken down, metabolized, recycled. But also on an organ level and a systems level,your pancreas, for instance – and this is really exciting for diabetics, pre-diabetics, all of us considering that there are people projecting that by 2050 every single one of us will be diabetic if we keep going at the rate we're going of diagnosis – the pancreas actually strips down broken parts and rebuilds. And those beta cells become more insulin sensitive. So we literally regenerate parts of the pancreas, functions of the pancreas. We become more insulin sensitive. And there are multiple human and animal trials showing that just from modified fasting, not even going completely without food.
And really what I want to talk about is modified fasting because everyone can do it. And doing it a few days a month is the most powerful thing I've discovered in my lifetime of being a health and wellness researcher, the most powerful thing could possibly do to avoid disease, to reverse the effects, the ravages, the symptoms of disease. I mean, I'll tell you what I think is the most mind blowing thing they've discovered is, is repairing myelin sheath – rebuilding myelin sheath. I mean, there are millions of people suffering with Parkinson's and multiple sclerosis. And all timers. We're not we're not getting on top of these problems at all. And the methods of Western medicine are doing nothing for us, for people with Huntington's disease and ALS. I mean, what a nightmare of a disease. But multiple sclerosis, it's where you're developing these lesions in the central nervous system and the myelin sheath is eroding. Well guess what? A few days of doing a modified fast in both animal and humans, we're seeing rebuilding myelin sheath. That's unbelievable.
[00:19:11] Ashley James: I love it. It is so mind blowing. I actually had Dr. Goldhamer on my show, Episode 230. And he's the founder of the True North Medical Center that you mentioned. And he said autophagy happens on day three of fast. And then on day five of fast they see a huge spike in stem cells, the body repairing itself .Which is brilliant. It's like a self-cleaning mechanism. It's our own self-cleaning mechanism that the autophagy is digesting pathological tissue, bacteria, and viruses, and also cancer, and unwanted cells that are kind of broken or scar tissue, even cysts. And they've seen cystic breasts or cystic ovaries that diminished. So the body's just digesting scar tissue and unwanted tissue, unneeded tissue.
And then after it does the self-cleaning mechanism then it has this boost in the human growth hormone and in the stem cells. Which actually, what I found fascinating is it protects us from losing muscle mass. Because I think that's a big fear people have is that they're going to waste away. “If you lose weight on a fast, it's just your muscle you're losing. You're not losing any fat. You're just losing your muscle.” That's a fear people have. And yes, we might have it. There's a very small percentage of muscle that is lost. But then there's a protective mechanism that kicks in that stops the body from using muscle as fuel in a fast. And I thought that was really interesting. and he published a study, Dr. Goldhamer, showing a woman who came in with end stage cancer. And 30 days after fasting with him walked out with zero cancer. She went and got scans before and after her 30 day stay there at the clinic. And he published it. And that is just, like, mind blowing because no oncologist is going to tell you, “Why don't you try fasting?”
[00:21:08] Robyn Openshaw: They're not. I think they're going to be. The functional medicine doctors are and they're putting cancer patients on. And I think that we're going to see an explosion in this with anybody who's open to functional medicine, nutritional medicine, are going to start putting people on a modified fast before chemotherapy. And this isn't even released yet. But Dr. Valter Longo – you've mentioned our mutual friend Dr. Alan Goldhamer, and his work is some of what I cite in my new little book. I know you're going to offer it for free to your readers. You can literally read it in an hour and you get an overview of all of the health conditions that the modified fasting research is showing is super, super beneficial for. And it runs the gamut.
And I want to talk about cancer right now for a second since you brought that up. Because I'm actually telling you this before this clinical trial comes out. But Dr. Longo is the main researcher at USC's Longevity Institute. And he and Sebastian Brandhorst are behind a lot of the clinical trials. They're just going to town on all these different, very specific disease states that they study. What happens when you put people on three, four or five days of modified fasting? Johns Hopkins has some great stuff that I also quote in this little 70 page mini book in reversing asthma.
But let's go back to cancer. The animal studies, usually any hypothesis comes, then you go to an animal study. And then when animals see a major reversal in disease, then you take it into human trial. And that's what they're coming out with. They're going to be recommending a four day modified fast before chemo, because what they found in animals and apparently the human study that they're coming out with, also really, really exciting results. But three different major mechanisms. Actually, there may be a fourth or fifth. But how it helps cancer patients is several fold. And that is if you deprive the body of food, then the cancer cells and these colonies of cancer cells – and usually by the time somebody is diagnosed with cancer that cancerous growth has developed a vascular system and it's threatening an organ system. Usually by the time it's detectable, you've got that.
And anybody listening to this, it's like, “Oh, this doesn't apply to me. I don't have cancer.” I don't want to be Debbie Downer here, but we all have cancer. And most of the holistic cancer doctors I've studied with all over the world – which is more than 20 of them- say that your body develops a detectable cancer condition several times during the course of a lifetime. But your body metabolizes. So your body is metabolizing cancer everyday. About 50,000 aberrant cells. Cells that were healthy and mutate. And that could be because of exposure to low grade radiation that we all have from the electromagnetic pollution in our life. It could be like garbage foods we eat. It could be stress. There's a lot of reasons why cells mutate. We've got 50,000 cancer cells forming every day in the average person. And your body is metabolizing it all the way until it isn't. And when the cancerous growth starts to get the upper hand and the immune system starts to function in a more and more dysfunctional way, so just imagine your immune system is getting weaker, the cancerous growth is getting stronger. Once it's over about a million cells, that's when it becomes detectable. That's when it potentially could compromise some functioning of an organ system.
Well, one thing that happens when you go into autophagy and also ketosis, by the way, when the body is in a fasted state is that cancerous cells can't put up a shield. And sort of when they when they go into chemotherapy, they're going to drown in those chemicals. The cancerous cells become more vulnerable as a result of the modified fast. And the healthy cells in the fasted state can put up a shield of sorts. And they become more resistant to chemotherapy. So that's one of the ways that modified fasting is useful.
Another way that it's useful is mass production of stem cells increase, like you mentioned, of human growth hormone. Another way that it's beneficial is that the immune system is strengthened. In a fasted state your white blood cells become very, very active. And other components, the lymphocytes, the killer T cells, like I said. And they all become highly mobilized. They're hungry. They're not sluggish. They're not overfed.
And so we're going to wait and hear what all the details are of what Longo is coming out with. But he's basically recommending a four day modified fast now, apparently, for people going into chemotherapy. And so I would be surprised if the oncology industry can continue to ignore the benefits of fasting. Now, I'm not saying a stage four cancer patient who is in cachexia where the body is metabolizing muscle. There's probably a contraindication for some cancer patients to fast, especially to do a full blown water fast. When they're in cachexia and the body is sort of breaking down muscle quite quickly, usually, they have people eating extra protein and trying to put on weight to stem that process.
But you're right, a lot of people are thinking that if – they think a couple things about if they're fasting. They think that it's going to slow down their metabolism. And Dr. Jason Fung has proven that, in fact, when you fast or when you do a modified fast for several days, your body's metabolism actually increases. And people are worried that their body is going to break down muscle. Listen, trust your body to be smarter than that. Your highly intelligent body knows when it's cleaning up. It knows what to throw out and what to keep. It knows the weeds from the cultivated plants. It knows to not go after healthy muscle tissue. Healthy muscle tissue is extremely durable. Now, it might grow go after some broken down muscle tissue. Because like every other tissue and organ in the body, there's old skin cells. There's old cells and tissues that need to be broken down. That's the muscle tissue that is going to break down.
And let me mention another thing, because you mentioned breaking down muscle tissue and that people are afraid of fasting for that reason. You know what? Another thing that happens is, you know, were studying 2500 people right now who are just starting into our three day modified fast and following our protocol. But before I ever went to a larger group like that, we put 100 people through our Flash Fast, which is a three day modified fast. And it follows all of the science. It follows all the research. Because I collected it all. I analyze it all. And I was like, “Okay. Here are all the principles that all of these researchers like Longo and Brandhorst are using in their clinical trials. They're getting such great results. And we got to follow that.
In fact, we're doing one better than they are. Because Longos's fasting protocol isn't even organic and ours is organic. So we put 100 people on this three day modified fast and the average weight loss was four pounds. And several of that first group of 100 lost 6.4 pounds. That was the highest we saw. Several people lost that much. Now, you're going to hear that. And you're going to say three days of eating – we kept it under 800 calories. And we put them on five mini meals a day so that they never got very hungry. Their average highest hunger level was 3.4 on a scale of 1 to 10. That was their self rating. So you got to ask yourself if you're scared to do a modified fast, if you're scared to do a three day modified fast. And you're like, “Oh my gosh. I'm going to be so hungry. And I won't be able to exercise. And I won't be able to take care of my kids. I won't be able to work.” I've done it nine times. I've done the Flash Fast nine times. Like I said, I've played my competitive sport. I work out every morning. You can do that. I don't know I would tell everybody to work out super hard. But you can totally be active while you do it. Well, 3.44 average hunger level of scale 1 to 10.
But here's what I wanted to say because people also think, “Oh, that's just water weight.” And I want to point out what we're talking about when we lose water in fasting. We're not talking about dehydrating the body. When the body releases fluids in the fasting process it's because of wide scale healing of inflamed tissues. And if you imagine an inflamed cell or an inflamed organ, if you want to go bigger, if you want to step up the ladder and think of an inflamed organ. Imagine that that organ has billions of cells that are trapping fluids because they're inflamed. So just imagine the outside of the cell is kind of red and angry and injured and trapping fluids. Well, when the fasting process allows you to heal inflammation – and by the way, in that first 100 people we put through the Flash Fast, 100% of them said that they noticed inflammation decreasing or disappearing. And I'm talking about puffy circles under your eyes. I'm talking about joints that hurt. Those are the things that people tend to notice when it comes to inflation. Those are things you feel.
Well, if you're feeling that your joints hurt, you can guarantee that there are billions of cells that are injured. And so when the body goes into this repair mode and you lose some of that water weight – because I would agree that a minority of that 6.4 pounds is going to be water weight. – what it is, is those inflamed cells healing and releasing dirty fluids. And so it's not water you want. That water that you're releasing is dirty fluids from inflamed cells. And it's a good thing.
[00:31:58] Ashley James: I love it. I love that you can do – anyone can do your fast, the three day modified fast. Even people who are diabetics because they're not starving themselves. And they'll have enough energy to still go to work, take care of the kids. Maybe they'll need to just rest a little bit. Maybe they can't run the marathon that day. But you still play tennis while you're on your modified fast. So it just shows that – and the fact that the hunger levels are under four out of ten is phenomenal. But during the three day fast, people are getting great results.
Now, those listeners who have heard other maybe interviews from other people about the ketogenic diet, I know I was on the ketogenic bandwagon early on in the show. So back in, like, before Episode 100 maybe I was talking about ketogenic. And I was doing ketosis. I thought it was the best thing in the world. And then I went to my Naturopath – my husband and I were doing it for a few months. We went to Naturopath and my husband who had had perfect blood pressure developed dangerously high blood pressure. And then we did some more blood work and urine analysis. And it turns out the ketogenic diet had damaged his kidneys severely. And I had an inflamed liver that was very angry and enlarged. And so we found out. And it took me a while. It took me being really diligent with the Naturopath and getting on the protocols. And completely getting off of the ketogenic bandwagon and getting on a whole food plant based healing plants protocol to heal my liver but and to heal my husband's kidneys and his heart.
And that's when I woke up and went, “Wait a second. Everyone is kind of this fad.” This ketogenic diet is this big fad and I've been promoting it because I'm listening to all these people who also think it's amazing. And people get some good results during a ketogenic diet. But there are some big negative results that you can get. And so then that's when I started to look into interviewing whole food plant based people and started to see the light. So some people who are listening go, “Hey. I'm doing ketosis right now. I'm getting great results.” Or, “I've done ketosis. I got great results.” But your diet is not this 90 or 100% fat fast. Like some people say they're fasting but they're eating coconut oil a day long. Can you just clarify the for us that you could get into ketosis when you're fasting, even water fasting, you don't need to eat fat. But that your program is not a ketogenic diet.
[00:34:53] Robyn Openshaw: No, it's not a ketogenic diet. And I'm really troubled by this fad. And people always push back when I post science about the danger of the ketogenic diet. I mean, US News and World Report every year since this became sort of the reigning fad, it sort of took the limelight away from the Paleo diet, that was the rain raining fad before that. There's a panel of nutrition experts that collaborate and they rank all the fad diets. The ketogenic diets always almost dead last, it's like in the bottom three of almost 40 diets that US News and World Report ranks every year. And they don't just look at do people lose weight. Although it actually does pretty poorly there, too, compared to many other approaches that are more sustainable, that are more healthy, that are more useful in your heading on out to the rest of your life and how you can eat for the rest of your life.
But I have a theory and it's a theory based on my life's work of studying nutrition. That if people do well on the ketogenic diet – and generally people do well for a short period of time and they get over committed to it if they lost some weight – if they lost some weight, it becomes religious for them. They're not listening anymore. It becomes like this very emotional thing. Like, “I lost 10 pounds. Therefore, it's a good diet.” Well, you can lose ten pounds doing the cotton ball diet, too, or the Jelly Bean diet. But here's the thing, I believe – here's my theory – that if people do well on the ketogenic diet and they haven't yet evaluated how devastating it is for the liver to have to metabolize more fat than the human liver was designed to be able to break down and deal with, that's just the 70% average ratio of fat that people on the ketogenic diet are eating is really, really hard on the liver. And I'm very sorry that that happened to you. And your husband, I am sorry to say, I'm not surprised. But my theory is that people are, to the extent people are doing well and there's lots of stories like yours. And there's course like all the keto rash and the bad breath and the bad smells and all the things that happen when you put your body in a really unnatural state and it's really struggling. Those are all signs of struggle. It's not a good way to treat your body. They're doing well not because they're over eating fat. If they're doing well, it's because they skipped a meal.
The intermittent fasting is a great idea and that is offsetting the damage they're doing to their liver and kidneys. And the other thing that's offsetting the damage they're doing to their liver and kidneys is that if you take someone on a standard American diet, where they're drinking rock stars or their eating Pop Tarts for breakfast, or they eat a candy bar with every lunch and dinner or whatever it is, whatever your dietary sins are, potato chips, you name it. If you take them off of those things because as bad as I think the ketogenic diet is for over feeding fats and that people say, “Oh, I ate good fats.” Yeah, but you still can't eat 70% fat and expect your liver to keep up it's not designed for that. You have to know a little bit about the liver to go into an unnatural state of eating like that. But I really believe that getting people off the processed food and the intermittent fasting is why they're actually pretty bad diet. They're overeating fats diet is why they might lose weight or why they might feel better. It's because they got rid of the processed food. It's really that simple. And unfortunately, because they get people off of sugar, and stimulants, and alcohol while they're doing the “keto diet.” The overeating of fats gets the credit for that that it doesn't deserve.
[00:39:01] Ashley James: Right. And now, the science will eventually catch up and will eventually see. But it's so new as a fad. We have to remember that it was designed to mimic fasting for epileptic children that were unresponsive to drugs. And its beneficial for a very small percentage of the population. And that these children, in the quality of their life, is significantly lowered if they're not in a state of ketosis. They created the diet originally, the ketosis – the ketogenic diet originally was created because these doctors were doing fasting with children. They were doing water fasting and they found that the children – because going into a natural state of ketosis when we're not eating anything – that their epilepsy would get better or significantly lowered amounts of seizures. And then they had to figure out how to modify it so they could still eat because they – I don't know what it was but legally they couldn't do fasting with children or something. That's why the diet came out of basically trying to mimic the benefits of fasting. It's like why people going after the copycat? Just go to the original source and do a fast and get the benefits from it.
[00:40:25] Robyn Openshaw: Yeah. And you said eventually science will catch up. And I'm glad to hear you being bold and speaking the truth. Because it's not popular right now to be a critic of the darling diet of the day. But let me just say, because I'm a lot older than you, that the science already did catch up with the last time keto was around with a different name. They put lipstick on a pig, it's still a pig. The fact of the matter is that it's the Atkins diet but you add intermittent fasting. Actually, it's a better diet than Atkins was. Because Atkins in the early days was like eat unlimited hamburgers and cheese, you just can't have the bun. And for God's sake don't have any fruit. And most of us are aware of how Atkins diet went down is lots and lots and lots of studies of people who had done it off and on for years. Here's the thing, you can't really separate out the all the animal products that people are in Atkins from keto. It's the same thing. You can say, “Oh, that was higher protein and this is higher fat.” Keto is higher fat. But you're really splitting hairs. And if you take a look at what the diet was they were actually eating on Atkins and the diet people on keto, it's the same diet.
And Dr. Atkins because he was so under fire for the nutritional deficiencies that people on his diet had. He sold people over 60 different supplements. So it was brilliant in terms of a marketing plan. And that people buy his diet and then they were really suffering. And they smell bad. And they were losing energy. They could hardly function. And so he would sell them a whole bunch of supplements. And people did lose weight. And so they just thought, “Oh, this is the price I have to pay, I guess, to lose weight. And people will do anything to lose weight. That's why diets are billion dollar industry.
But we already know what happened because there's lots and lots of published studies. I mean, Colin Campbell wrote the Low Carb Myth. Ari Whitten, Dr. Wade Smith wrote Low Carb Fraud. Michael Greger wrote Carbophobia. And these are just digests of all the published research that came out after 15 years of the Atkins diet. It got run off the stage by science. So exactly what you just said. All we have to do is go back and look at the high levels of diabetes that people who did Atkins for long periods of time had ongoing. They had been paying the piper for that. They still are for years and years and years. Much higher rates of heart disease, much higher rates of cancer.
[00:43:07] Ashley James: One final thing I want to say about that diet where it's a low carbohydrate – and these are the good carbohydrates, like the healthy potatoes and vegetables and fruit, and legumes. Really cleansing and healthy for the body filled with vitamins and minerals and phytonutrients and anti-cancer properties. So when you're eating a diet that's almost nonexistent, no carbohydrates. And then you're just consuming fat and animal meat, which is carcinogenic. And there's a lot of research that shows that. They're eating that way. Of course, blood sugar, like A1C hemoglobin – I used to be type 2 diabetic and I healed myself with food. And so I'm really passionate about this.
Because people when they go to their MD are told that they will have diabetes for the rest of their life and they manage it with drugs. But there's no drug on the market to cure diabetes. You can manage it. And yet if you were to walk out of that doctor's office and go to a holistic practitioner, they would say to you, “Of course type 2 diabetes is reversible. It's reversible in a few months, a matter of months. Let's get you on a healing lifestyle and healing protocol.” And so on a ketosis or an Atkins or ketogenic high fat diet or an Atkins high fat and protein diet, of course, your blood sugar levels will come down. You're not consuming any carbohydrates. But it is doing damage throughout the body. And it is not addressing the insulin resistance. The insulin resistance actually becomes worse for many people. And then if they go back to eating the standard American diet or just even start eating fruits and adding some carbohydrates in, they will quickly see that that diet did not help them to reverse the diabetes. So they'll become they'll be just as sensitive to carbs if not more.
So we have to look at how can we help the body come back into balance. Don't do extreme things. Some people think fasting is extreme. Fasting is a natural state that we're used to. And like you said, only up until recently we've had access to food for three or more meals a day. But fasting is something that it's a natural state. This is a natural thing the body wants to do. And when we can aid it, either by doing modified Flash Fast, which is that 800 calories a day – very specific calories, not just inner calories of donuts a day. The coffee and donut diet. It's not the coffee and donut fast. But that we can take our body back into this natural state of self-cleaning – the self-cleaning protocol to clean out the cancer cells, to clean up the water. And the fact that just in three days, the 100 people that you did this experiment with that 100% saw a decrease in inflammation and a decrease in overall that that water that was in their organs and in their tissue because of the inflammation was able to be released is phenomenal.
So how did they feel after the fast? And obviously they weren't that hungry. They was less than four to ten, that's just totally fine. That was the most they were ever hungry was like 3.6, you said on average. But how did they feel afterwards?
[00:46:41] Robyn Openshaw: Yeah. I feel like a million bucks afterwards. In fact, I didn't intend to do the Flash Fast nine times in the last three months. It's just that I feel like one million bucks. And then so like, Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, I do it. And I'm going and I'm playing 90 minutes of tennis with my team. I generally will do 45 minutes of cardio as soon as I wake up. Sometimes that night, I'll go to a hot yoga class. Now, I'm not saying everyone should do that. That's my normal lifestyle.
The point is, I have been astonished doing it that I don't have to stop doing that kind of thing. But everyone has their own reaction to it. And we have just tons and tons and tons of people filling out the questionnaire and telling us their results. I mean, people who are seeing their hormone systems balanced. And they go into their next period and they can't believe that they haven't had a period like that for ten ears. They just sail through it without the headaches, without the PMS. without the cramps. We have people reporting similar things to what we've read in the scientific literature which led me to develop the Flash Fast regarding stabilizing their mood. That's a huge issue for people. And people are embarrassed to talk about it because they don't want to talk about that they have a hard time controlling the ups and downs in their moods. So we have so many of us who struggle with anxiety and depression.
And those were some of the exciting things that I had read in this just avalanche that's coming out especially through Longo and Brandhorst at USC about the many, many categories of health benefits from just doing a modified fast a few days a month. We have people who are doing it now monthly. Especially people who have weight they want to lose. If weight loss is a goal, you could do it once a month, you can do it twice a month. There's no contraindications for that. There's no problem with that. Like I said, I've been doing it three times a month. If you had a few glasses of wine on the weekend and you wake up on Monday morning, you don't feel great, instead of it taken two days to feel great, do that modified fast and your body regenerates the liver so quickly. You can't believe how good you feel by the end of the day, Monday. Now, are you going to be hungrier than you are when you eat your normal 2,000 calories or whatever it is? You are. You are. I no longer dread it now that I've done it nine times. Like, I don't even dread it. It's not difficult. I know exactly what I'm going to eat. I have my five mini meals. And I like them. They're delicious. They take two seconds to prepare. And so I mean, some of them take two minutes to prepare. And some of them it's just a bar made from greens, seeds, nuts, vegetables, and fruits. And so that one doesn't take any time at all to prepare.
But people are reporting to us that they feel energetic, they feel light on their feet, their joints don't hurt, their brain the pistons are firing. They don't have that cognitive delay and the sort of mental slowness. Especially after you come out of a weekend, people tend to let down a little bit on the weekend. But the cognitive, the mental clarity, and energy effects of doing a modified fast are super exciting. Before I put the flash [inaudible 00:50:14], before I started doing my own research, there were some trials where the clinicians who ran them found that fasting, also modified fasting, between days two and seven, people in these studies – there are also animal studies so they're observing behavior instead of self-report – they have an improvement in mood. They have an increase in alertness. And they have a sense of serenity. Those three big things are things that we are now from our first 2,500 people just now going through the process. They're reporting to us and it's beyond exciting.
[00:50:59] Ashley James: I love it. What about this fear that after doing a three day fast, we would rebound and overeat? As a – I don't know – as a way of reacting to it. So it's like if I eat very little for three days, aren't I just going to eat more the next few days? Some people are afraid. Maybe they're overeaters or emotional eaters or they binge eat. And they're worried that by restricting that they would then binge afterwards. What's been the experience with your cohort?
[00:51:30] Robyn Openshaw: The interesting thing is that with dieting, we know that that happens. There have been lots of studies that show that people just go face first into a plate of nachos when they're done. But I want to, first of all, tell you academically why not to do that. But I also want to say that even with water fasting, I didn't do that. You talked about this stomach shrinking and other phenomena that make you actually not super hungry after a fast. I haven't experienced that at all. There's one study that track people doing a monthly cycle of modified fasting who kept the weight off. And they followed them, so in six months – they continued to lose weight, they did not regain it.
There are a bunch of studies – this is one of the things that I think is most exciting about modified fasting – where the insulin sensitivity and other health benefits are long term. The myelin sheath, for instance, these are long term health gains. This isn't like a little shot in the arm, “O, I eat fewer calories. Of course, I feel better because I lost four pounds or whatever.” The kind of work that the body is able to do when it's in a fasting state is very restorative. It's very reparative. And it's not like we do it once for three days and call it good for life. However – and I'm really advocating for people doing it once a month. Once a month, if you have weight to gain. If you're completely healthy but you're just doing it as a preventative, at least consider doing it quarterly.
We at Green Smoothie Girl, we actually feed a child in Zambia through Mothers Without Borders. I've supported Mothers Without Borders for many, many years. And I talked to my followers about Mothers Without Borders all the time. They do such amazing work around the world. But specifically, we feed a child in Africa for three days. And we're talking about AIDS orphans in a place where there's no public education. And so they're provided education and food. And for one Flash Fast that when you eat less for three days, I feed a child in Africa for three days in your name. But there are long term weight loss. If you lost an average of four pounds a month doing a three day cycle, potentially that's 48 pounds in a year just doing a modified fast three days a month. You're not even addressing the rest of your diet. Now, if the rest of your diet isn't good, we highly recommend, of course, to a more whole foods plant based diet.
[00:54:15] Ashley James: Refer to Robbins other books.
[00:54:18] Robyn Openshaw: Yes. I don't want to imply, “Hey, keep your crap diet and just do a three day modified fast.” However, we all live in the real world. I just got back from five days in Cancun with my children who are college students. And I can officially report I did not eat a perfect diet there. And I love that I have a quick reset. I mean the liver is the most regenerative organ we have. And it's also super, super scary when we turn it to rubber. Or end up with fatty liver disease. It's hard to come back from those things. But you know what? When we do little fine tuning once a month, I think it's extremely powerful. I can absolutely tell that my liver is serving me well after I do this three day process. I'm just on point. I find my words quickly because I have to. I have 25 employees and I'm constantly in the media and I need to not be on a decline like most people are in their 50s, at my age.
[00:55:22] Ashley James: Do you find or have people reported that after the three day modified fast, that they are more satiated from eating. That they really do feel like their stomach may be shrunk. And that they're not – they find that they can eat smaller portions or happier with that. Or is there any kind of reporting on that? I just wonder if the reason why they lose that four pounds on average in those three days but then it stays off. If it stays off then, eventually, they do this fast three days once a month for every month. Eventually, they're losing fat. Not just water weight because they're hopefully eating a good diet. They're losing the inflammation. And you said, it's restorative, long lasting results. And if they do it consistently, like maybe twice a month or once a month, then eventually they're losing fat. And I'm just wondering if the reason why it stays off is that it helps to reset our relationship with food. And also physically we just feel satisfied and fuller quicker.
[00:56:34] Robyn Openshaw: I have definitely gotten that feedback from hundreds of people who've done our 26 day detox. With the three day Flash Fast, I don't know that I have longitudinal enough data or enough data to be able to say that yet. But I haven't heard people say they want less food after three days. But I do not have the experience myself personally. And I also haven't heard that the flip side is true, which is that they just want to eat everything in sight. You don't come out of it the next day wanting to eat like crazy.
And here's what I wanted to say before. I'm glad that what you just asked me reminded me this. I want to talk about the refeeding process. Because there's if you do a three day Flash Fast and if people are willing to do six days, do two of them back to back. Our Flash Fast costs 30% of what ProLon is. ProLon is the company spun off by Dr. Longo and those guys who the researchers. I don't know if he owns it or he just endorses it or what, but it literally costs $225 for five days. Ours is like 40 bucks for three days. It's less than some people are spending at Starbucks. It's like $13.33 a day. And ours is organic. And there's isn't. And I actually like their product. I don't understand some of the stuff in it like the glycerin drink. I don't want to drink glycerin. I don't understand why I have to drink glycerin. Orange flavored glycerin, no less. I mean, I love what they're doing. And I love Longo's research. I don't really understand the ProLon protocol. I don't understand why it has to cost $45 a day. So I saw that and I was like, “God, I love the idea.” And some people will go and figure it out themselves. And we're happy to help them with that, too, figure out how to do what – Longo calls it fasting mimicking diet. And you notice I haven't said that because he has that trademark. But that's what is in his book. I call it modified fast. I think that's a simpler, more intuitive concept.
Basically the same thing. But he is very adamant about this. And I think it's important to bring up that when you take your body deep into autophagy, three days doesn't take you deep into autophagy like a 12 day water fast does. But it does get you into autophagy. So when your body goes into breaking down broken parts, Longo talks about the metaphor of the wood burning train. So when I interviewed him on my podcast, he said imagine with fasting – or what we're calling here modified fasting -he says fasting mimicking diet -imagine that your body in a fasted state is like a wood burning train. And you aren't going to get to the station. You realize you're going to run out of fuel in the fire. And you're not going to make it to the station. So what do you do? You rip out a couple of chairs. So you rip out some of the wood chair. Some of the ones that look like they're old anyway. And you chop them up and you throw them in the fire. And that way you get to the station. Well, then you get to the station and you got two missing chairs. So you have to rebuild them. And that's the metaphor for what's going on if you do the three day modified fast.
If you're feeling ambitious, if you're trying to reverse a chronic illness like diabetes or MS or whatever your specific reason is, those folks who are trying to reverse a chronic illness they're really suffering from, those are the ones who are more likely to be willing to do two Flash Fasts in a row. If you're willing to do six days, great. Go for it. Flash fast was built to be something that anyone will do. I have talked to – it's about one in ten that I've pulled very, very, very informal research here. People who tried to ProLon and most of them dropped out after day three. I, personally, did three days and I couldn't take it anymore. And I went back and did another two days later. I never finished –
[01:00:40] Ashley James: Of the ProLon. Not of your program. Of the ProLon which has weird chemical glycerin flavored stuff and not whole foods, not nutrients.
[01:00:49] Robyn Openshaw: Yeah. And his is a five day. His is a five day. And my own informal research says people don't finish the five days. The Flash Fast is built for three days. Anyone will do it. Virtually, everyone finishes our three day Flash Fast. If you want to double it and do six days to get into deeper states of autophagy, go for it. There's no contraindications for that. It's inexpensive to do.
However, here's the thing I want to say about refeeding, where you get to the station, you get to the end of the three days. Now, it's time to rebuild. You have to be aware that after all that effort by your body in autophagy to break down broken parts in cells, broken, defective, old parts of organs, aberrant cell clusters like small cancer clusters. Your body broke all that down. Now, it needs to rebuild. And so for however many days that you did that modified fast, that many days afterward, consider your body to be in refeeding mode. And you want to make sure that you give your body really quality materials. Because that old saying of you are what you eat is never more relevant than we were talking about the refeeding process after a fast. And so you don't want to do a Flash Fast for three days and then go out and have nachos and beer for your next meal. You don't want to ask your body to rebuild tissues out of garbage. So the materials you want to use are primarily greens, vegetables, fruits, legumes, whole grains, nuts and seeds. So plant-based whole foods.
[01:02:42] Ashley James: Exactly. And then we could also choose to do it in the form of smoothies or soups or stews, which are very gentle. Very gentle on the on the gut. I like refeeding in a way that is moist food. Just taking your favorite vegetables and blend it into a soup or a stew and add some legumes to it. I did that this morning. I took a wonderful soup that we made. It was just very basic broccoli, potato, onion, cauliflower, water. Boil it then hand immersion, blender it. And that is the foundation. Either I just drink that. I warm it up and drink that. Or I'll add – this morning I took that as the base and took a bunch of – I had leftover sweet potatoes, leftover [inaudible 01:03:31], leftover mushrooms, and leftover zucchini and threw that into the soup. And so it became a nice kind of fix stew. And then leftover brown lentils and added some – there's no salt seasoning from Costco, which is really, really delicious. It was something like 23 herbs I think are in it. And it tastes so good. It tastes really, really good. But it's very gentle and moist. So it's hydrating to the body and really gentle on the gut. Potato is really good for supporting the microbiome, the good bacteria.
And this type of fast doesn't really drastically affect the microbiome. Water only fasting kind of kills off a lot of the bacteria that we have to rebuild. But this doesn't do that. How about people who have SIBO or gut dysbiosis or Candida, what kind of results do they see on your protocol?
[01:04:32] Robyn Openshaw: I don't have data like that. We're too new out there with our specific three day Flash Fast. However, there is evidence that fasting can help repair or seal up that leaky gut disorder. Ad when you starve the body for a period of time, you're also starving the yeast. And when the body goes into autophagy, we've mentioned that it goes after cancerous growth. We've kind of focused on that. But also the body can then really go after viral colonies and bacterial overgrowth. Most of us have bacteria and viruses. If all of us got full panels of blood testing, a lot of us would find out we have a Subclinical Epstein Barr. A shocking number of us would find out that we have Subclinical Lyme Disease. We would find out a lot of things that would be disturbing. I know this because I take people to Switzerland and actually get these tests.
And I have found out my own low grade bacterial and viral load that you only think that you “have something” like the flu or whatever when you become ill and you're in bed. Well, guess what? If your immune system is struggling against a high burden of bacterial and viral load, it just has a hard time doing stuff like staying on top of cancer growth. And another couple of examples that you're bringing up is, like, that small intestinal bacterial overgrowth. In autophagy, the body goes after that stuff. In fact, when I went to – the last time I was at that ashram in Texas, the fourth time I went, there was a gentleman there named Eric, who had been in the hospital for a month on antibiotics. He had been on antibiotics after antibiotic and it was because he was a heroin addict for many years. I want to say, like, 12 years. He was about my age. And the man looked nine months pregnant. And he showed up in a total desperation because he couldn't eat anything without looking nine months pregnant. He was thin guy. He was, like 6'4″. And he's a pretty fit looking guy. He had given up meth a long time before. But because he was so sick from his drug use, he ended up in a MRSA infection. And they just had to just nuke him with every kind of antibiotic there is. So here he has no good gut bacteria. He's just a disaster. And his long term effects of that, even though he hasn't done street drugs since then, is that anything he ate would blow his belly up. And he would have all this pain and swelling. And that's why he looked, well, maybe eight months pregnant. And I actually have a picture of him in a video masterclass I did about our detox. Well, this guy was there too fast for two weeks. And he was there to starve out the bad bacteria that had totally taken over his whole GI tract. And he left there. He texted me weeks afterwards and he said, “I still feel like a million bucks. It's just a miracle.”
[01:07:51] Ashley James: I love it. Oh, it's so cool. So many people are suffering with gut dysbiosis and Candida or small intestinal bacterial overgrowth. And this is such a gentle way to get rid of it. Because you go to – even [inaudible 01:08:08] doctors they'll bombard you with these really powerful herbs to kill it. And then you're dealing with that and you're dealing with the die off and it doesn't feel very good. But this is a natural way to, again, self-cleansing. And it's part of that – almost like a parasite cleanse, the microscopic parasites. It really does feel like we should be doing this on a regular basis to do that self-cleaning. I mean we take our car through a car wash, especially in the summertime. We'll pay good money to keep our car clean, to keep our carpets clean, to wash our clothes, or even take our clothes to the dry cleaner. We pay good money to look clean on the outside. But what about on the inside? And that's what this is. This is just the self-cleaning.
What about those with autoimmune conditions? A lot of listeners have Hashimoto's and other autoimmune conditions. I know MS is considered an autoimmune condition. And it's amazing to see that people are able to rebuild myelin while doing a fast. Have you heard any information about people with autoimmune, specifically seeing good results?
[01:09:23] Robyn Openshaw: Yeah. And diabetes too. Yes. There is quite a bit of evidence starting to emerge. And I think that Longo and the researchers at USC are taking on more clinical trials with humans for autoimmune. But you can actually break down broken parts in some of the glands and the organs as well. That's the principle behind it. That's the mechanism. And help rebuild a healthier thyroid. Help rebuild a healthier pancreas. I mean, when the liver and the pancreas are rehabilitated and can release enzymes appropriately, when the thyroid is regulated and in balance and producing the right amounts of hormones at the right times, that's when we see this hormone balancing effect. So there are some exciting, new emerging data points that lead to, my great hope, that as we all embrace a few days of modified fasting – if you don't want to go cold turkey and do water fasting, then don't. But that's one of the major benefits that researchers are discovering is that, your hormone system balances itself. And that's pretty exciting for people who are on chemical or synthetic drugs.
I mean, I'm a fan of the bioidentical approach to hormones. But what if you could actually clean up these organs and glands that produce the hormones in the first place? What if we could, in the process of autophagy, eliminate a lot of the toxic body burden that keeps our thyroid and many other upstream and downstream organs and glands functioning properly? So they're just not always doing so much battle. I love the idea when I'm fasting of the fact that I'm just stripping it all down, stripping down the garbage. And I'm enhancing and rebuilding and strengthening the various parts of my immune system that I need to keep me strong going into healthy aging.
[01:11:37] Ashley James: I love that you brought up balancing hormones. And we have a Facebook Group, the Learn True Health Facebook Group. And several members have shared recently their dilemma that they're on the birth control pill to regulate their period. We have some mothers sharing about their daughters, their teenage daughters who are having too heavy of a period or periods are lasting longer than two weeks. Or the PMS is so drastic, they can't go to school. And so the doctors put them on the pill to regulate it. Which I've had several interviews about the damaging long term effects of being on the pill. And that is definitely worth listening to. You can go to learntruehealth.com and in the search box type in birth control or the pill and find those episodes. It's really good for us to fully be informed before we get on any medication, both natural and pharmaceutical. But especially pharmaceutical because it is man made. We have to really acknowledge that there are always side effects.
Wouldn't it be wonderful if we could arm these women with a way to balance their bodies in a completely natural way? I mean, you're saying that even as simple as a modified fast could support their hormones, could support their endocrine system to come back into balance.
[01:13:05] Robyn Openshaw: Yeah. Absolutely. Because there's two things to look out. One is your body isn't producing the right amounts of hormones that are all in the right proportions to each other. Because just throwing some Cytomel at it – or what's the other one? Not Synthroid. Cytomel and Synthroid, yeah. Just throwing some Synthroid at is not actually solving the problem. But fasting has the capacity to get at the actual problem. The actual problem isn't just misfire of specific glands that are supposed to serve you. But it's also the fact that those glands are drowning in chemical toxins, which is another one of the virtues of just stop eating for a few days or eat a lot less.
[01:13:54] Ashley James: Now, I loved your book. You're giving it to the listener for free. I loved it. I couldn't put it down. You said we can finish it in an hour. I just didn't want to put it down. It's a really easy read but it is chock full of really good information and constant references to the studies. So it's not just your opinion. It's not a fad thing. This is absolutely 100% science based. And it's a really well-written book. And the fact that you're giving it to us for free is even better. Listeners can go to learntruehealth.com/fastbook to get the free ebook.
And then and I want to talk next about your Flash Fast program. Like you said it's about $40 for three days, which would save me money. Because I'm pretty sure I spend more money on groceries just for myself. More than $40 in three days. So that is probably saving a lot of people money to even just do it, like you said, for three or six days. And listeners can check that out by going to learntruehealth.com/flashfast. And all these links are going to be on the show notes for today's podcast at learntruehealth.com.
How many times in a row would it be safe to do your three day fast? Like you said someone could do it for three or six days if they bought two kits and did it back to back. But let's say someone wanted to just – I don't know – do it for 12 days or entire month. At what point do you think people should take a break from it?
[01:15:22] Robyn Openshaw: Yeah. So far we've only had people who do two of them back to back. But we just released this product two months ago. And I did it because I was so excited about ProLon having read Dr. Valter Longo who deserves a ton of credit for discovering how powerful modified fasting is. And by the way, the name of the book -just so you guys know why I'm saying, “Hey, this is worth an hour of your life to read this.” It will totally deeply commit you to the idea of fasting. The book and Ashley is giving you a link to get it for free. And we send you with your first Flash Fast. We send you a printed copy of it. But it's called How to Get The Health Benefits of Fasting Without Going Hungry. And Longo deserves so much credit. He's got a bee in his bonnet about what does it do for this? What does it do for that? What does it do for this other thing? And I think he's especially going to really enhance the lives of cancer patients. I mean, his animal study, he did a modified fast on all these mice before he then put them through a cycle of chemotherapy. And after, I think, it was four days of modified fasting, he put the mice on. The ones who got the chemotherapy without fasting first, they were all dead. And the ones who did the four day modified fast cycle before chemotherapy, they were all running around in their cages. So that's what made him go, “Okay. We got to go take this to human beings.”
But I didn't love his program. And I didn't understand why when you're eating less than 800 calories a day. how does it cost $45 a day? I mean, I could eat in a restaurant for breakfast lunch and dinner for that amount and so much packaging – incredibly much packaging. So I was like, we already make at Green Smoothie Girl, we make these products. They're organic. They're plant based. We've made them and tweaked them and gotten feedback from our followers for years. And I was like, “Okay. If we put this, this, and this and single serves.” And so we tested the heck out of it. I've been working on this for a year. I was like, “How can we bring the cost of this way, way down? ” And read the book, you can do a fast yourself. It's not for everyone to have it be super, super easy. But on the other hand, it's not for everyone to have to cook their vegetables and prep it and take it to work and all that.
So it is a little bit higher in protein than your average vegan diet. There's a significant amount more protein in there. But it's whole food plant based. One version of it has some bone broth in it. And the other version is 100% vegan. And so you can choose whichever one you want. All of them right now are shakes and bars and sprouted flax that you add two shakes. So everything in, all of the ingredients are superfoods, greens, vegetables, fruits, nuts and seeds. That's the end bone broth in one of the kits. And so for the vegans, don't buy the one with bone broth in it.
[1:18:30] Ashley James: But the bone broth is really healing for gut especially if you know you have leaky gut or gut dysbiosis. Any autoimmune condition, just automatically assume you have leaky gut. It's just really good to just start with healing the gut. So even if you have like distension, like you said that guy who's thin but he looks seven months pregnant. Anything that has to do with healing the gut and if you're not vegan, go with the bone broth because it is so healing for helping to close up those gaps in the in the microvilli.
[01:19:04] Robyn Openshaw: There's twice as many people choosing the bone broth one than the vegan one. And my assumption is, it's because that's the number of people who are noticeably suffering from gut issues. I mean, anyone who's been on antibiotics in the last 10 to 20 years, most people haven't really recovered from that. It takes some serious work to recover from antibiotics. And I mean, the average American is being prescribed an antibiotic every 11 months at this point. Actually, that's American children. I don't imagine that American adults are much different. So antibiotics, they really wipe out whole swaths of those good bacteria that keep us in balance so that our immune system can do its job. Most of the immune system is in the gut, which I'm sure you've said that like 20 times in your – what have you done, 500 episodes now, Ashley?
[01:20:00] Ashley James: We're approaching 400 episodes. But yes, I believe it's something like 70% of the immune system is surrounded by the gut. It surrounds the gut and there's an absolute relationship between gut health and immune health. And you can't fix one without the other. You have to address gut health. And what's wonderful is a whole food plant based diet has all the wonderful prebiotics to support bringing the good cultures in. And a fast helps to starve the bad stuff. So we can do this . We don't need to be on crazy medications. We can do this naturally.
[01:20:41] Robyn Openshaw: And I wanted to mention that too. Is if you're interested in rehabilitating gut health, you got to eat starchy foods. And so these foods are high in fiber. I mean, it's really very simple. People think they need some kind of medication and to go to the functional medicine doctor to rebuild their gut. But please don't forget the key in all it, most people are not going to bring their gut health back just by taking probiotic, even if it has prebiotic. Even if it's alive. Like, I've done Facebook demos where I show several brands of probiotics and most of them are dead. Most of them won't culture milk. But even if you get a good living probiotic and it's really broad ranging. It has a bunch of different types of probiotics and it's got good prebiotics for it to feed on. You still need to eat that the bulk. You need to eat the fiber so that there's something in the gut for the probiotics and the cultured foods that you might be eating to build on. And if you eat the standard American diet, it's extremely scarce in that fiber. I mean. average American is getting 11 grams a day of fiber. And you got chimpanzees who might eat hundreds of grams of fiber Their gut isn't a whole lot different than ours. And so we're very, very similar to the primates. And so 11 grams. I mean, just your court of green smoothie a day, you're going to double your fiber right there. So habits like that. Veg salads, sweet potatoes, rice, regular potatoes, they've been demonized but they're really great for gut rebuilding. Starchy foods, they've gotten a bad rap because the last two fad diets are anti-carbohydrate. But you know what? That's a lot of why everybody's suffering with gut issues is there's people scared of carbohydrates. That's where the fiber is, friends.
[01:22:44] Ashley James: These are foods that support a healthy gut biome. So people are on at least one antibiotic a year and then they're not eating any foods to help support healthy gut bacteria. And then they end up with a slew of medical conditions. Because if we cannot digest and assimilate our nutrients, we can't build ourselves. And what's really interesting is that the healthy gut bacteria actually help us. There's about between two and three pounds of bacteria in our body that isn't us. Like, cells that aren't us. It's just pretty crazy how much of our gut health has nothing to do with us. These are bacteria. But that they are part of our digestive process that without them we could not assimilate and absorb nutrients. So we need them. This is a symbiotic relationship. We can't be sterile. We need to think about there's an entire colony inside us that helps to break down and assimilate and absorb nutrients.
What's really interesting is if you go on a farm and eat, let's say, strawberries. You pick them right out of the ground. It's all organic. There's bacteria on the strawberry. And when you eat it, it gets into your gut. It starts to populate in your gut. That bacteria on the strawberry that's native to being on the strawberry helps us to break down assimilate the nutrients from strawberry. So the more variety of fruits and vegetables we eat, especially fresh ones – organic and fresh and as fresh as possible right from the ground. So that's why farmers markets and having your own garden if you can or finding friends that do have their own garden and eating foods that are still alive will also help to repopulate the gut. But then also help you assimilate that food. That's why people have done studies where they ate nothing potatoes for a year and they weren't nutrient deficient, which is mind blowing.
I love that you brought up fiber. I've had a man on the show twice and he has been doing – he spent $20,000, he's a school teacher. But his is a masters in acupuncture but now he's a school teacher. But his passion is doing fasting and proving that fasting is healthy. So he spent about $20,000 of his own money doing these blood tests every six months. Retests the PCBs and bisphenol A, and all of the toxins, glyphosate, all these toxins that are on our food and in our water and air. And he tests his levels. And he's doing these 30 day fast and then testing to see how long these – how much progress he can make. And what he noticed is that, you do a long fast once a year and he's a vegan. He eats whole food plant based. So he's always eating cleaner. He was eating organic. But he still had these high levels of heavy metals and pollution, basically, in his body. And he noticed that he was getting kind of good results. But then he decided to do, “Okay. I'm going to do a fast and sauna.” And then he would watch and see after every six months taking his blood work. And he'd see that was getting even better results. Then he added something to absorb the toxins in his gut. Which he had an activated charcoal and he got the best results. So the best results, absolutely, sauna therapy and fasting. He did like a big fast once a year.
But using activated charcoal during the fast because our liver takes toxins out of our body when we're fasting, puts them in our bile, and then shoots them into the small intestine is trying to get rid of them. But the problem is our body wasn't designed to recognize all these toxins. And so to make itself more efficient, the body then reabsorbs the bile. And with all the toxins back in – reabsorbs most of it and reuses it. Because bile is kind of costly for the body to make.
And so fiber, if we did a kind of detox like a modified fast which is your – I love your product, specifically because it's high in fiber. Fiber binds to and stores and holds onto the bile so that we cannot reabsorb those toxins of the body's trying to get rid of. And that's why I really love your fast because people can do it and still go to work. They will still have enough energy to get through the day. In fact, they start feeling even better. They're dropping inflammation and water weight so they're noticing that they have less aches and pains and they have more mental clarity. They're probably saving money. Because saving money on food while still eating, like your 800 calories of organic food. And then their body is – the fiber is able to pull out the toxins and get them out of us while also the same kinds of fiber also supporting the healthy gut biome. So there's just so many reasons why someone should try your Flash Fast. Are there any reasons why someone shouldn't do it? I mean, we just really want to be up front. Is there other people for whom this wouldn't be good for?
[01:28:10] Robyn Openshaw: Pregnant and nursing women. Nursing being like when breast milk is most of the babies calories. When baby is recreationally nursing later, probably not a problem. But pregnant nursing moms, stage 4 cachexia patients, people in renal failure. People on diabetes medications, you got to work with your doctor. You can go to your doctor and say, “I want to do this fast. What do you think?” And have your doctor watch your meds because you're probably going to – and this is not me saying to get off your meds, okay? This is like, talk to your doctor, do not go off of your medications without the competent care and oversight of a doctor you trust. But the research is showing that people are getting off of diabetes meds. There are clinical trials showing that people reversed the symptoms of both type 1 and type 2 diabetes I mentioned that one study shows regeneration of the insulin producing beta cells. And then a 2017 study and this is animal study, but four day modified diet triggered changes in mice. That led to – I'm reading from the book here – led to pancreatic beta cell regeneration and the return of insulin secretion. These are changes that correspond to the reversal of type two diabetes. And so I think that diabetics should be completely fascinated by the idea of a fast. I wouldn't go do a water fast while you're on meds. So with that one with diabetics, I would say work with a practitioner. I'm not saying don't do it. I'm not saying do do it without any worries in the world. I'm saying do it with some advice from your practitioner.
[01:30:15] Ashley James: Absolutely. I love this. I had a client who was very thin and she wanted to reverse some blood sugar issues but she was- she really couldn't afford to lose any more weight. And so this idea of water fasting scared her. And she actually called Dr. Goldhamer and talked to him. And he said he did not recommend that she did a water only fast. He recommended that she did a modified fast, exactly like you're saying. That she can still gain the benefits, the healing benefits to her pancreas and her insulin sensitivity through the exacting – through of the what you've designed the Flash Fast where there's a modified calories. But the calories are designed to be healing for the body.
[01:31:02] Robyn Openshaw: Well, a lot of people who are underweight, like people think, “Oh, you just have a quick metabolism.” No. I'm sorry to say that a lot of the people in our culture who are underweight – and watch them, watch them eat. I mean, unless their gut hurts, which some of them have gut dysbiosis so bad that they literally don't enjoy eating because eating hurts. But besides the fact that some of them are eating less because eating causes suffering for them because of their gut dysbiosis. The other thing that's going on is that food just goes right through. And people know that. Even people will just be like, “Oh, food goes right through you.” And they may have diarrhea and they're not absorbing the nutrition.
But here's the thing about a modified fast, it allows that leaky gut to repair, to seal up. And if that happens, then you can absorb nutrition better. And you can, therefore, achieve a more healthy weight. So all the people – the two-thirds of America that is overweight looks at the skinny people and they assume that skinny people are eating less food than they are or eating healthier food than they are. And the crazy thing is that the people who are thin – anywhere from thin to super thin – the vast majority of them are actually thin to super thin for the exact same reasons that two-thirds are overweight. Is that the food they're doing is doing so much damage but just it's a flip side of the same coin. So don't assume that the thin people are healthier than overweight people.
The fact of the matter, certainly there are people who are thin because they eat a very disciplined diet, of course, or very healthy diet. But there's a significant number of them who are actually not absorbing nutrition. So I am not surprised that Dr. Goldhamer actually recommends that because – then you can get some of that gut sealing effect and that gut healing effect. And so you can absorb nutrition and get up to your healthy weight. Because a lot of people are underweight because they aren't getting the nutrients they need even though they're eating the food.
[01:33:12] Ashley James: I love it. Now, listeners can get the free book to learn more about how to do this Flash Fast by going to learntruehealth.com/fastbook.
Tell us a bit about the Flash Fast, which I think that the majority of listeners will just do it. Just buy the kit. You've made it incredibly affordable. It's all very healthy ingredients and organic and just follow your program for three days. So it's like this no brainer. They don't really have to do much. Like you said, it's a maximum two minutes of preparation to do their mini meals. And they can do it any day of the week and still maintain going to work. So it's not disruptive. So tell us a bit more about the specific things they would be doing during the day with your kit.
[01:34:06] Robyn Openshaw: Yeah. I like to do it Monday through Wednesday. Like I said, I've done it nine times the last three months. And some people might say that's kind of obsessive. But I'm the researcher who flies to Texas and sits in an ashram and doesn't eat any food for 12 days too. And some people call it biohacking. I call it experimenting for science. You're going to get this kit. We're giving your followers on the link that you give them $10 off their first kit. The retail price is $70. You can get $10 off your first kit or you can get $30 off or 43% off if you sign up for Subscribe Instant Save. So subscribe Instant Save means that every single one that you get is $40, just $30 off. You also get the book in that first package How To Get The Health Benefits Of Fast Without Going Hungry.
You get a little one page insert that tells you not only how to do it, which is like, so easy. But you also have a couple several recipe ideas in the right column telling you ways that you can make it taste different. You can add handfuls of greens, you can add up to two vegetables a day, which I kind of highly recommend. At the beginning of my three day Flash Fast on Monday morning, I'll steam a whole head of cauliflower and I'll steam a bunch of asparagus. Now, why cauliflower and asparagus? Because those are the vegetables I like best. So I'm talking about non starchy vegetables. So you can add up to two servings. And the reason for that is that your five mini meals give you 650 total calories. And the research coming from all these different institutions, especially USC, are showing that you can eat up to 800 calories a day to get the benefits. I would love to tell you that men can eat a different number of calories than women. And I would tell you that if I had seen the published evidence about it, but I haven't seen anybody do that study yet. So unfortunately, right now, all I can tell you is a maximum of 800 calories so you can add to non-starchy vegetables. Like, I do the asparagus. I'll also cut up a cucumber. You can do stuff like that unlimited. You can cut up a cucumber. You can add handfuls of spinach. You don't have to do any of those things.
You could also instead of the vegetables, you could add one fruit. And I like to sometimes do my one fruit being a banana. It's an organic banana. And all this is in your kit – all these little tips. But I cut an organic banana with the peel into my little shake. So my little superfood shake that's superfoods and plant based proteins. And it's got some little bit of fruits and vegetable extract, blend that up with a handful of greens. Sometimes I do two. Sometimes I do my two shakes at once. That way I only have to whiz it up in the blender once. But I've got two meals. And then I just have it there at my desk or in the fridge to just get my other one out. And then you have a bar that's super delicious. And you'll probably, at the end of your Flash Fast day, “I want these bars. I want to have them for my kids. I want to have them in my purse.” They're the healthiest bar that you've ever ordered. And again, organic, everything in it organic. The whole bar is certified organic. And again it's vegetables, fruits, superfoods, nuts and seeds. Delicious.
Pretty soon we're coming out with two soups. And they're high protein plant based soups. And I think they're quite lovely and quite delicious for those who want something hot in their Flash Fast. But anyways really quick, really easy. I like to do it Monday through Wednesday. You could do it any day that works for you. The reason I like Monday through Wednesday is I don't really have a social life then. I'm pretty much just at home working. And I don't have to say no to business lunches or whatever. If somebody reaches out to me for a business lunch, I say, ” Sure. Thursday or Friday, what works?” And if people reach out to me wanting to go to dinner, I'm like, “Sure. Anytime on the weekend.”
And so let's see what else should I tell you. So keep it under 800 calories. Keep it 90 to 100% plant based. Keep it organic. Make sure it's high in fiber. Make sure, for satiety purposes, you're eating small meals in a window of, at the most, 12 hours. So I'll eat it like 9:00 a.m. And then my last meal will be like 6:00 p.m. The only time I get significantly hungry – if you just follow the plan, eat the five mini meals, space them out. The only time I get really hungry – and again, I probably only get really hungry because I am playing sports every single day that I've done the Flash Fast, all nine times. But I get hungry about 9:00 p.m. So you know what I do? I go to bed early.
[01:39:00] Ashley James: Yes. Yes. That's so good. I love that. Those are just two tips that you could do every day even without the fast. love starting my day – I'd say about four days a week, I start my day off with steaming a pound of vegetables, non-starchy vegetables and that's what I eat first. And then when I'm hungry next, I'll just eat like potato, brown rice, beans, something like that. But I I'll start my day with a pound. And pound sounds a lot, but it's maybe two-and-a-half cups. It's not that much. And I actually really enjoy the flavor. But you can always add herbs, super simple seasonings to it. But I noticed that when I start my day off first thing in the morning, obviously, a glass of water and then steamed vegetables and eat them, my body buzzes. It buzzes. It has energy. It just feels – it really rewards me almost immediately. I can feel it working. I can feel the difference. And then going to bed at 9:00 is like magic. It's magical. And people will stay up crazy late. And right around 10:00 p.m. is when our cortisol kicks in. So we have that second wind. And if we stay up until 10:00, that is that magic moment where we have now screwed ourselves for good sleep. It really does.
Because we'll stay up watching TV or looking at our phone or computer. But at 10:00 p.m. – I don't know if people noticed – they got like a second wind and they're like, “Oh, I'm not tired. I don't need to go to bed.” And then it's like midnight. Because the body goes, “Oh, we're up late because we have to run away from the bear. We have to survive some kind of situation where we need to be awake.” Because why on earth would we be awake at this hour if it wasn't for the fact that we needed to fight the bear? And so the body turns on the stress response and stops making melatonin and just get this kick of cortisol. So if we can get in bed by 9:00 and, hopefully, fall asleep soon after, then our body goes into deep restorative sleep. We don't have that exhaustive spike of cortisol. And then we can wake up maybe a little bit earlier and get all the things you wanted to do done at the end of the day. Just do it at the beginning of the day. But it's so healing to do that. So I love those two points. I think we should do them anyway regardless of if we're doing the Flash Fast or not
Now, you talked about this subscription where someone can get it once a month so that they can do this healing, especially people have weight loss or really long term health goals. What's the feedback you've been getting by people who've been doing it for more than one month?
[01:41:50] Robyn Openshaw: Well, I mean, we only released it the end of August – end of August? End of September? So we don't have longitudinal data. So I can't say. However, the studies that Longo does tend to be one cycle a month. And I've seen some of the other researchers, like Johns Hopkins, some of those researchers, they don't all do the exact same thing. But I see these health gains coming out. Basically, what I'm seeing is a once a month and some cases with significant illness, I'm seeing them putting subjects on a twice a month cycle of modified fasting. Now you have to be fairly motivated to do a three day Flash Fast twice a month. So you know, either you're just a person who loves little health experiments – like I do – and you're really super committed to your health. Or you have a significant health challenge. So if that's you, if you're in either one of those categories, and you're like, “Yeah, I will. I'll do it once a month.” I highly recommend people get on a once a month modified fast to really gain all the health benefits of it. And with weight loss, there's no reason why you can't do it twice a month.
And I think I failed to answer your question earlier when you asked, how often can you do this? Honestly, you could do it long term. I mean, listen, there are prisoners of war who lived like 10, 15 years longer than the average person. And they think it's because of low calorie, like chronic long term calorie restriction. I mean, did you ever read that novel Unbroken? About that prisoner of war, Louis Zamperini. He just died not long ago. Just a fantastic book. Laura Hillenbrand wrote it. She's the same author of Seabiscuit. But this guy, Louis Zamperini, who was an Olympic runner and then he went to World War II. He ended up in a concentration camp – not a concentration camp. That's an obviously –
[01:44:00] Ashley James: Prisoner of war camp?
[01:44:02] Robyn Openshaw: Prisoner of war camp. Thank you. And the Japanese fed him nothing for four years. He would volunteer to do laundry all day so he could lick the starch off his fingers from the spray starch cans or whatever. So these are people who are chronically calorie deprived. And obviously, we're not going to do that. Obviously, you're not going to go four years with essentially no calories. But the guy lived to be, like, 90 something. And obviously that is a case study and it proves exactly nothing.
But if we know one thing about longevity, it's people with chronic calorie restriction. So there is no contraindication for people to eat 800 calories or less for a long period of time. And if you don't feel well, that's how you know to stop doing it. I don't think I'm really going to have a whole lot of people who are going to suddenly eat 800 calories or less for long periods of time. But if you did it twice, if you did it three times in a row – I mean I've done water fast for 12 days. And it's the deeper states of autophagy. I mean, Dr. Thomas Lodi, the Columbia train medical doctor, the first thing he wants people to do when they're diagnosed with cancer is go do a 30 day water fast. Literally eat nothing for 30 days. So I'm not worried about people doing the Flash Fast too many times because, remember, you're getting nutrient dense food, you're getting 800 calories. You can pretty much do anything.
I met a woman, she's a medical doctor. She came to my Swiss retreat that I've been doing for eight years. She had my Swiss retreat two summers ago. And her husband who was also a medical doctor had not eaten any food for 70 days. He went to work, the whole thing. He lost like – I don't even know how many pounds – somewhere around 100 pounds, maybe it's more like 70 or 80. But did not eat food for 70 days. And she said he's felt completely fantastic.
And people who are really into water fasting will tell you that you know when it's time to stop fasting, it's when you don't feel good anymore.
[01:46:05] Ashley James: I love it. So yeah, so doing three day stints a few times a month of 800 calories. The very specific calories that are dense nutrition and high in fiber and organic and non-GMO, and really super foods and designed to nutrify the body, nutrient dense calorie restricted. That is in no way going to throw someone into some kind of deficiency. The blue zones – a lot of them – these blue zones where they've documented people living with almost no disease well into their hundreds. They all live in a calorie – they have calorie restriction. They have times of famine where they fast because that's what they have to do. Or they only eat one meal a day. So we've never seen a gluttonous society eating thousands of calories a day every day, several meals a day, live longer disease free than the rest of the population. That's part of this habit. This health habit is part of long term health.
[01:47:16] Robyn Openshaw: Right. None of the blue zones eat to excess. And all of the blue zones eat 90 to 100% plant based. And a lot of people want to ignore that because they're – not only a lot but maybe even a majority of health and wellness experts out there, they want to just – the denial about the massive body of evidence that says we've got to eat mostly plants. I'm not going to say all because I don't think the evidence proves that we have to eat 100% plant based to be healthy. I don't think they reprove that. I, personally, rarely eat animal products. And if I do It's generally because I'm out traveling or whatever. But the longer you do it, the more you just don't resonate with those animal products anyway. Like, eating animal flesh just doesn't appeal to me anymore after, literally, decades of not doing it. It doesn't smell good to me. It doesn't look good to me. I don't crave it. I, certainly, in my 20's was eating as much of it as anybody was two times a day, probably.
But yeah, the blue zones eat 90 to 100% plant based. They eat clean, close to the land, not sprayed, not processed kind of food. And they had periods where they eat less. And they probably are a lot more in tune with their body because they're not constantly upping and downing.
You said do people have negative reactions. And I do want to say this, because we have a Facebook page with two health coaches who support our Flash Fasters. And not all the 2,500 people who've gotten themselves a Flash Fast in the last month since I told my audience about it – a month to two months as I told my audience about it. Not all of them are in there. But I think close to 1,000 are now. And the one thing is the caffeine drinkers. Because we tell them during that three days, if you want best results get off the caffeine. Well, here's the thing, if they go off the caffeine right at the same time that they do the Flash Fast, they'll tell us about their headache. And it's a little bit frustrating to me, because I'm like, “Well, it would be really great if you could have gotten off the caffeine a few days before.” So that's what we recommend. But then people don't do it. Because I swear, you can't you can't pry coffee out of some people's cold dead hands. It's become this American staple. Like, what is it? Two-thirds of Americans drink an average of two cups of coffee a day. Maybe it's even worldwide. I think it's literally like the Western world. And so coffee is such a staple.
But here's the thing, if you want your ducts to dilate, you want the most amount of detoxification during the period of time that you're dedicating to the Flash Fast, best if you're not coming off of coffee where your neurological system is going to be reactive. As your body is like, “Oh good. She's not dumping caffeine into here anymore.” Which is dehydrating by the way and which it dilates some vessels. I mean people like what it does for their digestive system. But the long term effect is energy depleting. And it's dehydrating. And we are trying to hydrate and to dilate and relax ductwork to allow for the flushing of the kidneys and the flushing of the liver. And so we ask people to stay off the coffee. If you're like, “No, can't do it.” Then do the Flash Fast with the coffee. I would rather have you do the Flash Fast with coffee than not do it at all. However, if you're willing to go off the coffee for a few days first so that you realize that it's your coffee withdrawal or your caffeine withdrawal. It's not a Flash Fast doing that to you. That's where my frustration comes in.
[01:51:03] Ashley James: Absolutely. My husband was addicted to coffee. He was drinking 90 ounces of it a day. And this was the strong stuff. We've been married for over 11 years and he kind of jokingly complains that I've taken everything away from him. Because when I met him he was drinking three Monster Energy drinks a day, venti coffees from Starbucks, he had some other unsavory habits with tobacco and sugar, addicted to ice cream. And so just the standard guy thing. He was a carpenter. And he was, you know, just the standard guy thing. Eating only meat and fries and nachos and cheese, things covered in cheese. So I don't think I ever seen him eat a vegetable until I came into his life. And so I started with sugar. I took away sugar from – when I say take away, I showed him. I showed him the light. And he decided to do the challenge and try life without sugar, seeing how bad it was. He just didn't know. And so we got rid of sugar then we got rid of ice cream addiction. And that was fun. I used an NLP technique called Like to Dislike. I neurologically made him be repulsed to ice cream and he couldn't walk down that aisle in Albertsons for over a year without feeling like he was going to vomit. So he just completely gave up ice cream cold turkey, which was great. And then giving up dairy. And then giving up fried food and tobacco and alcohol – that was another one. He would drink beer every day and so that was gone.
And now finally, he's like this clean vessel. Ad caffeine was the last thing to go. I mean, he held on to it. He got rid of all that stuff over the last 11 years. And he's just this clean vessel that just needs nothing but plants. And doesn't have any vices at all. He doesn't touch processed food at all. But he was still doing coffee and so we got rid of coffee. And his headache lasted two weeks constant. And so I read up on it because I was a little worried. And it says basically after – if you really are this consistent coffee drinker and you get off of it, the blood vessels in your brain contract or dilate or they do something where they're just like freaking out. And so your brain is just getting an abnormal blood flow. And that's what's causing the headache. So it's an abnormal blood flow to the brain. And he pounded back the water and just powered through it, went cold turkey. Because he's one of those guys, he's either on or off. There's no just turning it down a little bit. He's either doing it full blast or he's not doing it at all. And probably, why it was so easy for him to go vegan just total overnight transformation.
But now he doesn't need it. He doesn't need it. And his sleep is better, obviously. But he just notices his heart rate, his respiratory rate, everything is an optimal levels, and he sleeps better. And he now has – this is the funny part – he now has more energy. And that's because it does, like you said, we think it gives us energy, gives us that boost, but it really exhaust our adrenals. And so when we need an energy boost at our house, we steam a pound of vegetables each or we make a smoothie. And we noticed that our body feels vibrant and gets a jolt, like a really cool rising in energy from these nutritious foods. So I love your protocol because even on your Flash Fast we can be raising and elevating our energy levels using non-stimulants. Using food, which is what our body supposed to use to make energy from.
[01:55:07] Robyn Openshaw: Yeah. Exactly. I mean, how impressive. How impressive that he got off all that stuff. I mean, he basically went from one end of the spectrum to the other. It's really, really inspiring. It's too bad he didn't do a documentary about it. I mean, it's like my friend, Drew Manning. I don't know if you know him. But he's here local. And he's a longtime friend of mine. And he wrote the book Fit To Fat To Fit. And he was like this body builder. He was a personal trainer. And he purposely gained 70 pounds. He went and did all this national media about it. He purposely gained 70 pounds to feel what his clients felt. And then he lost it again. He's a super ripped, super gorgeous guy. And then he went and did that. And he just kind of showed how he gained the weight. He just went face first into a giant – an entire box of cereal in the morning. And giant burgers and fries at night, and whatever. So your husband did the exact opposite. And it's really inspiring because it just goes to show you that these things that we think make us happy, like, “Oh, I need sugar because it makes me happy.” Or “I need alcohol so that I can do social things.” My guess is he probably still does social things without the buzz and that's really –
[01:56:24] Ashley James: Well, he's a high introvert. So alcohol was never social to him. It was all an escape. And so we've had long talks about – me too. I mean, It's both of us have been on this health journey. But we both talked about why do we use this? What is it giving us? Why is it this crutch? So whether it was sugar or overeating or emotional eating, or whether it was the Starbucks or the alcohol or tobacco or whatever it was, it was why do I run to this? And what is it masking? And since we removed it – also, we didn't have this crutch. So we both had to talk about, “Well, what kind of strategies can we build on our life now that allow us to face things instead of put our head in the sand and kind of numb our emotions.” So we do a lot of processing and talking together. And that, I guess, has made our relationship even stronger.
So my thing has always been like, we're on this health journey but health isn't just physical, it's emotional. We have to address the emotions because there's absolutely – you can't remove emotions from food and substances that we constantly use. And the way food is designed nowadays, it's hyperpalatable and designed to hijack the brain. And so we often we'll go to food. It's socially acceptable to go to McDonald's and have a shake when we're feeling upset with our boss or when we're feeling dissatisfied with our life purpose. Instead of actually face it. So we're using food as a drug. And we use these substances every day, like coffee or alcohol or like legal substances every day, and now, of course, pot is legal and other substances are becoming legal. And so a big part of my healing journey has been to remove what's unhealthy but then also face why I was using it in the first place. And so my husband has been doing that as well. And it's been a wonderful journey.
I love you, you know, you point out that you're kind of experiment on yourself. I'm always experimenting on myself too. And that's what's been so great is that when we're willing to do these experiments and we're willing to change our diet and try new things that we often find ourselves. We get to strip away so much that isn't us anymore and it's not serving us anymore.
[01:58:39] Robyn Openshaw: Yeah. I love that.
[01:58:42] Ashley James: You're Flash Fast is wonderful. I really do love it. Everything in it is delicious, by the way. So I am a really big fan of it. And I love all the products you've created. I think you're just stand alone. Your bars are delicious and they're these whole food – superfood bars. Your smoothies are wonderful. I love everything that you create because you are so diligent to make sure that every ingredient is clean. You don't just put a filler in there just because it'll make it cheaper or save you money so you can make more money. You really are ethical. And so I love your products. And I've gotten to know you and know that as you stand as a very ethical person and I trust everything you put out because of that.
You had shared with me, I think back in September or August, you shared with me a testimonial of someone who it blew my mind. I love this testimonial. Do you have any testimonials on hand or that you can remember you can read off the top of your head of people who've had outstanding results working with your Flash Fast?
[01:59:53] Robyn Openshaw: Oh my gosh, I'd have to go into Facebook and read them. But people who get their Flash Fast, we immediately put them in the Facebook Group. It's a closed group but anybody who buys a Flash Fast, we want them in there so they can go through the experience with other people and see the experience they're having and ask questions. And I have two help coaches in there. You know what? I could go in my Facebook Messenger right now. So the testimonial that you're talking about that I sent you is a woman named Dolores. And she said, “End of day three on the Flash Fast. and what a miraculous three day Flash Fast it has been. I had my three shakes with added organic kale, organic mixed berries, ginger, and turmeric. I had my bar and an organic apple and organic banana every day. I have been pain free in my hips and knees since hour 15 of the fast. I've been in intense searing chronic knee and hip pain 24/7 for 15 plus years. And it's gone just like that. I feel like I'm dreaming. and if I am, I don't want to wake up. I'm beyond thankful.”
So yeah, that testimonial that I had sent you, I had to think for a second what I sent you because we see a lot of these. Although, that one was really quite astonishing. I mean 15 plus years of pain, zero relief whatsoever. And 15 hours and her pain disappeared. It didn't come back after day three. She reported back to us, she said, “I'm completely astonished. I still have no pain.” I think the point here is – and it's a great one to end on – is that the body knows what to do. And the body needs the raw materials. It needs a little space and time. And that's what you're giving the body as a little space and time. A little breather to instead of having to do all the urgent tasks that are coming at you in your work – and anybody who works for a living can relate to – they get urgent stuff coming at you all day every day. And when you have some space and time and those tasks – that would be food coming in are not there – then you can turn to those important but not urgent tasks. And that's what the body does. It immediately turns to those long overdue maintenance projects and gets it done.
[02:02:14] Ashley James: I love it. Awesome. Thank you so much, Robyn Openshaw for coming on the show again. It's been such a pleasure having you on. These two hours just flew by.
Get the free book. Listeners, please go to learntruehealth.com/fastbook and get that free ebook. And also by the Flash Fast. Do it. Check it out. I actually prefer doing your flash, fast getting the kit versus doing it myself because then I have to calorie count and restrict myself and try to stay under 800 calories. Then there's temptation. Whereas if I have your program, it's like, “No. I'm just following this.” So it makes it really clear cut. And then I could just do it and forget about it. I don't have to put a lot of mental energy into it. So that's why I love your program. It just saves me my mental energy so I can just focus. Just do what you put in front of me, do your kit, and follow the protocol. Like you said, it has one card, basically. Do this, do this, do this, do this for three days. And then and then reap the rewards, reap the benefits. So listeners can go to learntruehealth.com/flashfast to get the – was it $10 off their first kit and try it for themselves.
And I'd love to hear what you think of it. Of course, we're going to talk about this in the Learn True Health Facebook Group. I want to know what you guys think and what kind of benefits you've seen from doing this kind of fasting.
Robyn, I definitely want to have you back on the show. Anytime you want a platform to come share and teach, you are always welcome. Thank you so much for coming on the show today and sharing with us the Flash Fast.
[02:03:57] Robyn Openshaw: My pleasure. Thanks, Ashley.
[02:04:00] Ashley James: Hello, true health seeker. Have you ever thought about becoming a health coach? Do you love learning about nutrition? And how we can shift our lifestyle and our diet so that we can gain optimal health and happiness and longevity? Do you love helping your friends and family to solve their health problems and to figure out what they can do to eat healthier? Are you interested in becoming someone who can grow their own business, support people in their success? Do you love helping people?
You might be the perfect candidate to become a health coach. I highly recommend checking out the Institute for Integrative Nutrition. I just spent the last year in their health coaching certification program. And it really blew me away. It was so amazing. I learned over 100 dietary theories. I learned all about nutrition. But from the standpoint of how we can help people to shift their lives and shift their lifestyle to gain true holistic health.
I definitely recommend that you check them out. You can Google Institute for integrative Nutrition or IIN and give them a call. Or you can go to learntruehealth.com/coach and you can receive a free module of their training. So check it out and see if it's something that you'd be interested in. Be sure to mention my name, Ashley James, and the Learn True Health
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We need more health coaches. In fact, health coaching is the largest growing career right now in the health field. So many health coaches are getting in and helping people because you can work in chiropractic offices, doctors offices. You can work in hospitals. You can work online through Skype and help people around the world. You can become an author. You can go into the school system and help your local schools shift their programs to help children to be healthier. You can go into senior centers and help them to shift their diet and lifestyle to best support them in their success in their health goals.
There's so many different available options for you when you become a certified health coach. So check out IIN. Check out the Institute for Integrative Nutrition. Mention my name. Get the best deal. Give them a call and they'll give you lots of free information and help you to see if this is the right move for you. Classes are starting soon. The next round of classes are starting at the end of the month. So you're going to want to call them now and check it out. And if you know anyone in your life who would be an amazing coach, please tell them about it. Being a health coach is so rewarding and you get to help so many people.
Are you looking to get the best supplements at the lowest price? For high quality supplements and to talk to someone about what supplements are best for you, go to takeyoursupplements.com and one of our fantastic true health coaches will help you pick out the right supplements for you that are the highest quality and the best price. That's takeyoursupplements.com. Takeyoursupplements.com. That's takeyoursupplements.com. Be sure to ask about free shipping and our awesome referral program.
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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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