High protein and fat, low carb and sugar – The Bulletproof Diet
Plus, a 15-day cleanse, which included a 10-day water fast.
On a trip to Costa Rica for a month, after the kids headed home, Barbara and I decided to do a cleanse and extended water fast. The Nicoya Peninsula on Costa Rica’s west side is one of the five Blue Zones in the world (the healthiest places to live on the planet), partly because of their water. Because of this, and the fact that the conditions were so ideal—we were staying in a villa overlooking the Nicoya Gulf, there was an abundance of natural, high-quality fruit and vegetables, we had a private pool, the beach was a quarter mile away, and the weather was perfect—we decided to try it. I had done a five-day water fast once before, but it was many years ago when I was in my twenties. So, even though we had great surroundings, both of us being over 60, this was a brave undertaking for us to try in a foreign country.
Both my mom and my late wife of 45 years died of cancer, and based on the research, I totally believe they could have cured their cancer through prolonged water fasting. There is plenty of research for those dealing with cancer to read so they can decide if they believe it or not. A great documentary on the subject is “The Science of Fasting,” which is available on Netflix.
Here is our experience, to help those thinking about doing something like this.
Day 1 & 2: We spent a couple of days preparing for the fast by slow-cooking some good chicken bone broth. We read that helps prepare the body with nutrients for a prolonged fast. We also shopped for a lot of fruit because we didn’t know if we would be too weak to go out and get some later. The first two days prior to starting the water fast we ate just fruit—lots of watermelon, mango and apples. Our systems were filled with healthy fruit, which was cleansing. Some people recommend a colon cleanse before a fast, but we decided to do the fast after we arrived in Costa Rica, so we didn’t have the tools or facilities for a thorough colon cleanse.
Day 3 (1st day of water fast) was kind of scary; we wondered if we could really do this. We felt lucky to be in such a peaceful, healthy environment, though. That day consisted of drinking a lot of water and getting in the pool and air drying over and over. That night we were both up every couple of hours peeing, so it was not a great night’s sleep.
Day 4 (2nd day of water fast), the hunger pangs started to subside, but we both had some low-grade headaches, which were not fun. We assumed they were a result of detoxing. The boredom of just getting in and out of the pool and air drying in the shade started to set in. You forget how much time it takes to buy food, prepare it, eat it, clean up afterwards, and plan the next meal—three times a day. It’s amazing the amount of time we spend around eating! We took a walk down some back roads of the resort just to break up the day. Another not-so-great night’s sleeps; lots of peeing.
Day 5 (3rd day of fast) we talked about how this was actually not as hard as we thought it was going to be. I still had a low-grade headache, but Barbara seemed to be fine. The water started to not taste very good; I think we were tired of just water, but we forced ourselves to drink lots of it. The boredom was overwhelming, though, and our nerves were getting frayed. We found ourselves staring at the bay for what seemed like hours on end. At this point I was starting to think maybe a five-day water fast was going to be long enough. Yep, another not-great night of sleep.
Day 6 (4th day of fast) was a breakthrough day for both of us. No more hunger. Of course, food sounded good but the hunger pangs were gone. You would think that not eating for over three days, you would have no energy and would be weak. Honestly, it was not that way at all. Even with only a few hours of sleep the last several nights, we both had plenty of energy and never slept during the day. I tried to nap just to pass the time, but couldn’t. And I can generally sleep anywhere, anytime. I think the body wants to go find food, so it does not want to sleep. At this point, the hardest part was the boredom, so we cast around for things to do: we played a lot cards, watched Netflix (no TV reception here), read a digital book or two, had quite a few deep conversations, surfed around (and did some work) on our computers, and watched the antics of the colorful birds that visited our pool for an occasional drink and a daring dip into the water. That night I only got up twice and slept much better.
Day 7 was even better. My body was getting used to not eating. The weight loss was noticeable. I failed to mention that during the early days of the water fast both of our bodies had some aches and pains, especially in our lower backs, which was most likely our kidneys being overworked dealing with all of the toxins. I have had a gallbladder issue for years any time after I ate a lot of greasy foods. During the water fast, I had some pain in my gallbladder several times. I figured it was from my body reacting to eating my greasy fat from my big gut. The pain was very manageable, but uncomfortable. Research shows that when you are not having to use energy to digest food, the body has energy to heal itself in amazing ways, so hopefully it was healing my gallbladder. There is tons of research outside the US that shows how the body heals itself and will start eating cancer cells for fuel during an extended water fast. Barbara said the water started tasting sweet to her about day 4 or 5; it tasted salty to me. We decided to go down to the beach and dip in the ocean, thinking the minerals in the water would be good for us. During the night of day five I never got up once, slept a full eight hours, amazing! This was the first morning I was able to do some lucid dreaming after my meditation. WOW, it was amazing!
Day 8 I felt great, most likely because of a great night’s sleep. Unfortunately, Barbara did not sleep well and starting feeling weak. I’ve always been blessed with being a good sleeper. Another small detail I’ve failed to mention: you do start to stink during an extended water fast because of all the toxins leaving the body. It was not a big deal for us, but I heard of a couple who decided to sleep in separate rooms. For those who astral travel or are able to do lucid dreaming, WOW, get ready! The last two days have been amazing. Having the frazzled nerves gone has made sitting and looking at the ocean a different experience. Watching the clouds, birds, butterflies, waves, white caps, ships going by and small fires burning on the other side of the bay at night was enjoyable. We had lots of fun finding shapes in the clouds as they floated by.
Day 9 I woke up feeling great; was able to astral travel after my meditation, which was amazing. Barbara was feeling quite weak and decided she needed to end her fast, so she started drinking the bone broth we had prepared before we started, and eating fruit—very small amounts several times a day. The hunger was totally gone for me. I had lots of energy, and the spiritual part of this experience was really starting to kick in. By getting to this point, it made me think I want to make this a regular practice in my life. Now I have a whole new understanding of how the body functions during an extended water fast. I’m sad that the US AMA doctors would keep the research on the benefits of extended water fasting away from their patients, maybe because there is no money in it for them. By day 7, going to sleep at night was exciting because my mind was very clear, my body was out of the way, and I looked forward to what follows after my early morning meditation—astral traveling, lucid dreaming and communicating with my loved ones on the other side.
Day 10, another amazing morning after my meditation. I felt great and believed I could go on like this for at least another week or more. I’ve heard that sun gazers can derive enough nutrition from gazing at the sun for long periods of time that they don’t need to eat. I have no idea if that is possible, but our bodies don’t need all the food we shove into them. If I were diagnosed with a serious disease like cancer, I would check myself into a fasting facility like Tanglewood here in Costa Rica, and I would go on an extended water fast. I would let my body digest the cancerous cells and just burn them up. From the spiritual side of what I’ve personally experienced, I totally believe that is possible, and there is research that backs it up. Our bodies are amazing; if we let them do the healing instead of using harmful drugs, they can perform miracles.
Day 11 I woke up feeling great. It was another amazing morning. Most of the day there was not a cloud in the sky. We watched a big freighter sail down the bay, which was fun. Life becomes amazingly simple when you’re not eating. When your mind clears and your body gets out of the way, you begin to see things differently. Life becomes clear. I realized that if I were stranded on a deserted island, the first thing I would do is find a good water source. That is the key to both survival and fasting. If you have water, you can survive for weeks, and maybe even months, and have plenty of energy. We think we need to eat three times a day; that is BS. No wonder most of us are overweight. I will never think of food the same way again. After I’m done, my goal is one to two meals per day. By the way, I failed to mention (grossness alert) that when on a water fast, because you are not putting food in, very little if anything comes out. Don’t be alarmed if you don’t poop for days. I went a small amount twice in the first nine days. This is why I wish I would have done a salt-water flush or other type of colon cleanse at the beginning, before starting the water fast. Also, I DO NOT recommend going to the grocery store nine days into a water fast. During our fast we drove around on a regular basis and went to the beach and stuff. When we stopped at a store to pick up fruit, I walked down the CHIP aisle and almost could not control myself. We were lucky to be by a beautiful beach where we could swim in ocean water; that was very therapeutic. Slept amazingly on day 11.
Day 12 I woke up feeling great again, who would have imagined? WOW, thinking this was my last day came with mixed emotions. One side of me was ready to eat, and the other knew the benefits (more weight loss and detoxing) of continuing. I needed to spend a few days refeeding so I would be ready to go back home, though, so it was time to stop the water fast. And since Barbara was eating and the smell of food was pretty enticing, it felt right to end this wonderful experience. Doing an extended water fast is not easy. There is lots of preparation, such as getting bone broth ready and having access to a good source of water, being in a comfortable place, and not having to smell food. But after you start the fast, it’s amazingly easy. We worked on our computers some daily, walked and drove around, swam in the ocean and maintained a pretty normal life. But as I said before, when you’re not eating, you have a lot more time on your hands. The spiritual side of this experience is amazing, with your mind so clear and your body out of the way, it opens you up in ways I can’t express. Barbara’s spiritual experience didn’t start until after she started refeeding (she had some amazing dreams), so I’m looking forward to that part continuing.
Refeeding is a very important part of ending the water fast and helping your body continue to cleanse. Experts recommend one day of fruit for every three days of water fasting. And they suggest eating very small amounts (3 oz.) of just one fruit 6 to 8 times per day for the first day.
Day 13: I had started counting days from 4 PM—when I stopped eating regular food, stopped eating fruit and stopped the water fasting. At 4 PM on the 10th day of my water fast I ate about 3 oz. of watermelon. I chose watermelon because I felt the high fiber and water content would be a good scrubber of my intestines, and I’ve read about others who say it was a good fruit to start with. The first bite was amazing: there were flavors in the watermelon I did not know existed. What surprised me was I thought that small portion was going to leave me wanting more, but it didn’t. It was delicious, and I enjoyed every bite, but I was satisfied. I waited a couple hours and had another 3 oz., and again was very satisfied when I was done. Unfortunately, the next morning, all of that first watermelon was gone and the next one we cut into was just OK, but it still tasted fabulous, and I kept eating about 3 oz. every couple of hours throughout the day. It surprised me that I was not wanting more food. My body had become used to not eating, so I had to remind myself it was time to eat a little more. Also, I felt no big increase in energy from when I was fasting.
Day 14: This day I started with a different kind of fruit than I have ever heard of before; it was a large, black, very ugly fruit called Guanábana. I ate about 4 oz. of that; it was good, but not my favorite. Every couple of hours I ate a little more fruit, but only one fruit per m
eal-watermelon, papaya, mango, etc. I ended the day eating about 6 oz. of watermelon.
Day 15: I continued eating different kinds of fruit every couple of hours and ate until I was full, which was not much more than maybe 6 to 8 oz. I also started drinking a little all-natural fruit juice mixed with some water. Apparently, drinking undiluted juice is hard on your kidneys. Toward the end of the day I drank a small amount of bone broth and finished the day with watermelon.
I had my first solid food at 5 PM the next day—about a cup of beans and rice, with a poached egg on top. It tasted absolutely fantastic, and I was completely full after that little amount. The next morning we had our Bulletproof beverage (see below) in the morning and ate some beans, rice, chicken and an egg about 1:30.
Background info: in the early part of November of last year Barbara and I had changed the way we ate, based on a recommendation from some friends from Canada we met through a home exchange. We switched to a high protein and fat, low carb and sugar diet, eating only one large meal per day around 2 PM. We were nowhere near perfect on this diet; we ate a little birthday cake, popcorn, etc. occasionally, but 98% of the time it was very healthy protein and fat only, along with some vegetables. Each morning we drank a hot beverage blended with organic grass-fed butter, coconut oil, collagen powder, raw milk, hemp hearts, raw pumpkin seeds, molasses, honey, cinnamon and cacao powder. The latest research says to stop eating in the late afternoon or early evening, so we would generally have a snack around dinner time—something like celery, carrots or apples with peanut butter, humus, salmon and cream cheese, etc. Both of us felt great eating like this, and combined with playing pickleball on a regular basis (also introduced to us by our Canadian friends), we both started to slowly lose weight. In the two months prior to going to Costa Rica I had lost almost 15 lbs. and Barbara lost almost 10 lbs. One of the biggest factors that helped me decide to do a 15-day cleanse with a 10-day water fast was that I knew my new eating lifestyle supported losing weight, and I felt the likelihood of maintaining the weight loss would be high. Without an eating lifestyle that I enjoyed—that didn’t make me feel deprived—I knew I would just gain all of the weight back.
What we did may not work for all body types, but it worked for us. Because we enjoyed the way we were eating—the Bulletproof Diet—and it worked so well for us, we both felt like doing the fast. But I can’t stress enough to find the eating plan that works for you first, and make sure you enjoy it and it is working before wasting your time doing an extended water fast, just to gain the weight back again.
The health benefits we felt afterward:
For me, besides losing over 20 lbs. in 15 days, on about day five the ringing in my ears stopped that I had experienced since I broke my eardrum during a surfing accident in my teens and kept reinjuring scuba diving through the years. I hope my gallbladder and kidneys have healed some, but I have no way of knowing that right now. We both got a full, very detailed blood panel done just before we started the Bulletproof Diet, so when we return, we plan to get another one. In my initial blood report, it showed early signs of kidney issues, but was not at a level 1 yet. It also showed high cholesterol, slightly high blood pressure and that I was way overweight. Can’t wait to see what the next report says; for sure it will say I’m skinnier!
For Barbara, the weight loss was about 13 lbs. Her fingernails have gotten stronger, and the joint pain she has had in her thumb for years has lessened. Her blood panel said she is at stage 2 kidney dysfunction, and her thyroid hormones were way elevated, so she is anxious to get another blood test to see what changes occurred.
Doing an extended water fast with a companion is much easier than going it alone. However, unless you are in good health, you may want to go to a facility like Tanglewood here in Costa Rica or one of the other facilities all over. If I had a loved one who had a serious disease who wanted to do an extended water fast I would offer them housing and assist them. The truth is, there is nothing to do for a guest like that, except maybe get them a glass of water. The assistance is easy because you don’t have to feed them! They would have access to our pool, though, and would be in a peaceful, supportive environment.
We could go on forever about this amazing experience; we will never forget it.
My fat belly before I started all of this:
After the Bulletproof Diet for three months, a 15-day cleanse with a 10-day water fast:
I need to give a special shout-out to Jeff Russell with BodyWellness MD in Las Vegas who motivated me to begin this health journey and gave me a jump-start with his ultrasound cavitation weight-loss system. I lost several inches around my waist with his “fat-busting” machine and found it to be a great support to the Bulletproof Diet.