Fasting and Healing

Fasting and Healing

Fasting and Healing

There is so much information out there about how to heal your body that it can get very confusing very fast.  Not to mention, so many diets claim to provide the best regimen for helping you lose weight and live longer. The truth is though that many of these claims are not backed by any evidence-based research. On the other hand, fasting has been shown time and again through research to help reduce the risk of disease.  Let’s explore a bit about fasting and what it can do to help your body heal.

Fasting has been shown time and time again
through research to help reduce the risk of disease.

About Autophagy

Autophagy is a fancy name for a process of the body cleansing itself of damaged or old proteins and organelles in the body that are no longer needed. It also helps cell growth, regulation, and is known for helping to prevent chronic diseases and other illness.

How Can Autophagy Help Me Heal? 

Research shows that autophagy can help heal the body and mind and can be triggered by short-term fasting.  Not only that, but preliminary research reports that autophagy may be linked to the treatment and prevention of certain cancers.

Intermittent fasting is a type of short-term fasting that can be helpful for those at risk or with diabetes. One study looked at the effects of intermittent fasting on those with type 2 diabetes. This study found that after two weeks, those on the fasting regimen had improved fasting blood glucose and body weight.

Another study looked at men with prediabetes and the effects of intermittent fasting on their health. After five weeks, the men on the intermittent fasting regimen had improved insulin sensitivity, blood pressure, and oxidative stress with weight maintenance. This study shows that the benefits of fasting go way beyond weight loss. For example, oxidative stress, which can lead to cell damage, has been linked to increased risk of inflammatory conditions such as heart disease, and diabetes, as well as skin conditions like eczema and psoriasis, to name a few.

So, How do I fast?

Fasting can be done in many ways. The way that you choose will depend on several factors such as:

  • Your health status
  • When you work out and how often
  • Your current eating regimen and history

Intermittent fasting is a great way to start dabbling in the fasting world. If you fast too much too fast (no pun intended), then you will likely not be able to maintain your fasting regimen. Therefore, intermittent fasting, which involves a few to several days a week of 12+ hours of fasting, will get your body used to a longer non-eating period.

If you have a history of diabetes or low blood sugar, then you may want to do a shorter intermittent fast such as 12 hours of eating and 12 hours of fasting, informing your healthcare provider ahead of time. The biggest risk in this situation is having your blood sugar levels drop too low. The same recommendation goes for someone that would be on a certain medication that requires eating when taking it. You will want to plan your fast around this. Perhaps make your fasting time during bedtime, and your eating time during the time when you must take your medication.

If you work out at a certain time each day and work out intensely, then you will want to plan your fast around these times. It would be best to plan your eating time for the time before you work out and a bit after, then plan your fast for later that day or evening. This will ensure that you are able to consume enough protein and carbohydrates for muscle recovery after working out.

Finally, you will want to be sure you are used to eating a healthy diet before you start fasting.  This is because if you start fasting and just eat lots of processed foods during your eating hours, then you are not doing much good for your health. It is important that you understand how to balance your meals with plenty of whole foods like unprocessed proteins, fresh fruits and vegetables, and fiber-rich nuts and seeds. These foods will provide your body the nutrients you need during eating hours.

If you want to fast, but don’t have a lot of time to prep and cook meals, try FastBlast® Smoothie to supplement your meals. FastBlast is a delicious banana-berry smoothie that contains a balance of organic protein, carbohydrates, and healthy fat to help curb your cravings and appetite all day. Just replace your meals on your fasting days with six smoothies and eat sensibly on your non-fasting days.  If you feel like you may not be getting all of your nutrients on fasting days, use FastBlast® Daily Essentials to give you a daily dose of fermented foods and gut healthy beta-glucan for digestive support.

“If you want to fast but don’t have a lot of time to prep and cook meals, try FastBlast Smoothie to supplement your meals.”

Weight loss and intermittent fasting

The popularity of intermittent fasting has stemmed from the fact that it has been shown to help people lose weight. Although for some, just the avoidance of over-grazing throughout the day can help with this success, fasting is effective for reasons other than weight loss too.

Recent research has shown intermittent fasting to help with improving metabolic factors such as glucose and insulin sensitivity in the blood. In other words, this type of diet regimen can help reduce your risk of type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure and other related chronic conditions.

So, should I fast?

The bottom line is that there are many ways that fasting can help your body heal. And every day, more research is showing us these health benefits. Therefore, unless your doctor shows concern, a little bit of fasting may do your body good.

FastBlast Makes Fasting EASY.
By giving you the tool you need to get “unstuck” — FastBlast Smoothie — 
and hit your weight goals.

Staci Gulbin, MS, MEd, RD, LDN.
What The World’s Healthiest People All Have in Common

What The World’s Healthiest People All Have in Common

My name is William King, and years ago, while I was bedridden due to a tragic skiing accident; I made the conscious choice to do whatever it took to figure out the secrets to vibrant health.

This quest has spanned decades and it was a specific incident while on a business trip in Nosara, Costa Rica, that changed my life for the better. 

My friend, Marco, made me aware that many of the people that inhabited the tiny town of Nosara regularly lived healthy, vibrant lives well into their 90s and even living well past 100.

It was this discovery that led me to partner with research scientists who were aware of these types of pockets around the world which have been deemed “Longevity Hot Spots.”

But what was it that was so different about the people of Nosara, and the rest of the people that lived in these “Longevity Hot Spots”?

Here are just a few examples of what these people consume on a daily basis to become the longest living and healthiest people on Earth:

1. They consume a wide variety of organic fruits and vegetables.

2. They use herbs such as turmeric, ginger, ginseng and black garlic.

3. They have specific ingredients like cacao in Costa Rica and green tea in Okinawa. 

4. They all have very healthy digestive systems.

5. And, amazingly, they all consume fermented foods on a daily basis.

What Are Fermented Foods Anyhow?

If you initially thought of beer or wine when you heard the word “fermented” then you’re not alone.

The easiest explanation is that fermented foods is food that is broken down while it is simultaneously being preserved.

The reason why fermented foods are so good for you is for two primary reasons:

1. The food is easier for your digestive system to process, and;

2. It also creates enzymes called probiotics that improve your gut health.

Some common examples of fermented foods that you might be familiar with include: pickles, saerkraut, yogurt, kimchi, and kombucha. The list goes on and on.

If you’d like to take a deeper dive into this subject, our friends from Reserve have put together a terrific list of some of the more popular fermented foods along with some quick facts: Fermented Food List.

It’s not as though fermented foods are new, either. Research suggests that people have been creating fermented foods for over 8,000 years.

Ultimately, people have developed these fermenting techniques out of necessity to preserve their foods for long periods of time since refrigeration and canning did not exist.

How Can I Start Consuming More Fermented Foods?

If you want to introduce more fermented foods into your diet, you can pick them up at a local grocery or health food store. There are also DIY home kits that allow you to produce fermented products yourself.

Of course this is a trade-off between your time and money as a buying fermented foods will cost more but save you the time that it takes to produce them yourself.

If you do choose to produce fermented foods yourself, you’ll obviously save money by not purchasing the store goods but the fermentation process is rather arduous and time-consuming.

If you’re interested in producing your own fermented foods, check out these step-by-step instructions that Cultures for Health has put together.

What do you think? Would you be willing to try fermented foods every single day? Leave a comment below and tell us about your experience!

Fasting and Healing

Three reasons why I am so excited about FastBlast (And You Should Be Too)

Three Reasons Why I’m So Excited About FastBlast (And You Should Be Too)


I was very excited to receive a box of FastBlast banana-berry smoothies from The Nutra Company recently, and I cannot wait to get started. Here’s why:

1) I have no willpower 

I am a nutritional therapist, and I believe passionately in the power of healthy eating. I have no doubt that if the human race collectively overhauled our eating habits – and happily it is the case that many people are starting to do so – that the world would be a better place for us and our descendants to live in.

I also know that sometimes, eating nutritious food all the time (ok, most of the time) isn’t enough. Sometimes, you also must be a bit less greedy. And that’s the bit I find hard. When you’re cooking dinner for two children, you must make plenty, don’t you?

And sometimes you don’t want to keep leftovers – there just isn’t enough Tupperware. And at other times you just want to eat six sweet potato brownies, rather than just one. No point in leaving them to go stale.

In short, I have a bit of extra cushioning I would like to get rid of. Trying to get twenty minutes of exercise a day (sadly it often ends up being less) is one highly effective way of turning that cushion into a nice hard seat. But something else needs to happen too.

Diets don’t work because our bodies compensate by slowing down metabolism and storing calories as fat more readily after the diet has finished in case there is another food shortage. However, intermittent fasting is showing promising results in terms of a more effective way to lose weight. 

Dr. Michael Mosley, author of The 5:2 Diet and intermittent fasting expert, claims that intermittent fasting benefits the metabolism by improving insulin use. And recent research from longevity expert and biologist Valter Longo suggests that when mice are put on an intermittent fasting eating regime, they lose weight even though they consume the same number of calories as when they eat normally. ‘In humans, we’re starting to see something very similar,’ says Longo.

I’ve done the 5:2, but I only lasted a few weeks, as I somehow ran out of steam. But having these tasty FastBlast pouches full of goodness, and being allowed one every three hours or so, is going to make intermittent fasting so much more fun and do-able. They are going to make all the difference between ‘planning to do the 5:2 someday soon’ and actually doing it.

2) I prefer eating nutrient-rich foods on the ‘fasting’ days

According to its proponents, including Dr. Mosley and Kate Harrison, author of The 5:2 Diet Book (I recommend Harrison’s book – compelling and entertaining), it’s fine to eat junk food on your ‘fast’ days, so long as you keep to below 500 calories (for women) or 600 (for men).

That means that all your calories could go into one chocolate fudge sundae (I just Googled that, and it came in at 437 calories, leaving 63 to play around with, so you can have a small glass of lemonade as well).

Personally, that would make me feel gross; but I also have two other problems with it. One is that you only get one eating-time during the day (boring!) and the other is that you aren’t giving your body the nutrients it can really use to get through its ‘to-do’ list.

For example, if your liver has a lot of toxins in its ‘in-tray’, a nutrient-rich FastBlast pouch is going to provide some of the raw materials it needs to neutralize the ultra-toxic products of the first phase of liver detoxification, send them through Phase II, and have them eliminated from the body.

So, for me, it’s FastBlast pouches all the way. I know I’m going to feel great for it, and that the concentrated nutrients will give me the energy I need to get through the day, as well as providing health benefits.

3. I want to stay well, age slowly, and remember where I’ve left my keys

‘A little starvation can really do more for the average sick man than can the best medicine and the best doctors,’ said Mark Twain. I couldn’t agree more. I have read many, compelling reports of people being cured of chronic illness by fasting, including in a book called Fasting Can Save Your Life by the great fasting expert, Herbert Shelton.

Proponents of the practice claim that when the body is in fasting mode, enormous amounts of energy and resources, which would normally be put into digesting food, are liberated, and, put simply, the body gets a good ‘spring clean.’ Immune bodies scour the blood for diseased cells, gobbling them up and disposing of them. Cells are rejuvenated. The digestive organs get a break and have a chance to rest and repair.

We could do with some more research into the mechanisms and benefits of fasting; unfortunately, the diet industry and Big Pharma aren’t too keen on investing, for obvious reasons. But the information we do have is compelling.  Here are some of the key findings:

  • Longevity expert Professor Valter Longo claims that fasting reduces free radical damage and inflammation, optimizes metabolism, and boosts cellular protection.
  • When we fast, our stores of glycogen are used up, and our bodies burn fats in the form of ketones which promote improved function of our brain synapses. Mice predisposed to dementia had better brain health and ‘younger’ brains when they were given an intermittent fasting regime than mice eating normally. 


There’s never been an easier way to consistently lose weight and become healthier overall. If you value your time, don’t want to worry about a rigorous diet or exercise program, and just want to make life easier; FastBlast is definitely the solution for you.

Disclaimer: do not fast without the close supervision of an expert practitioner, particularly if you suffer from any medical conditions.


  1. Fernanda Reis de Azevedo, Dimas Ikeoka & Bruno Caramel (2013). Effects of intermittent fasting on men. Revista da Associação Médica Brasileira 59(2) 167-173.   
  2. Valter D Longo and Mark P Mattson (2014). Fasting: Molecular Mechanisms and Clinical Applications. Cell Metabolism 19(2):181-192.
  3. Bronwen Martin, Mark P Mattson & Stuart Maudsley (2009). Caloric restriction and intermittent fasting: two potential diets for successful brain raging. Ageing Res Rev 5(3):332-353.
 by Sally Beare

by Sally Beare


Nutritional therapist and author of The Stacking Plan, 50 Secrets of the World’s Longest-Living People, and The Live-Longer Diet

You can check out her website at

How to Consistently Lose Weight and Keep It Off with Intermittent Fasting

How to Consistently Lose Weight and Keep It Off with Intermittent Fasting

Obesity markedly increases risk for diabetes, heart attacks, strokes and many cancers, all of which can lead to premature death. Aside from the chronic illness, once a person becomes obese, it is very difficult to return to and maintain a normal weight.

All of the widely-promoted diets (Jenny Craig, SlimFast, Atkin’s Diet, etc.) have failed to stop the incredible increase of obesity in North America over the last 50 years. The reason is because they encourage calorie counting and unsustainable eating habits while simultaneously pumping our bodies full of processed foods that contain sugar, salt, and processed wheat.

The medical community is beginning to discover that just eating regular meals five days a week and reducing calories for the other two days may be the best way to lose weight and keep it off. This approach to weight loss is called “intermittent fasting.”

We have some excellent data on how effective this diet regimen is for animals, and are just starting to see the results of this research on humans. It’s an exciting time to be a part of the intermittent fasting lifestyle!

Most of the studies on humans do not ask participants to avoid all food on their “fast” days. Participants usually eat normally for five days and restrict food to about 500 calories a day for two days a week.

Results of one of the best studies we have of intermittent fasting in humans showed that fasting every other day for 12 weeks caused 32 people to lose an average of 12 pounds more than those who followed a daily program of calorie restriction (Nutrition Journal, 11/27/2013).

The intermittent-fasting group also markedly lowered several heart attack risk factors:

  • They lost an average of eight pounds of fat.
  • Their triglycerides dropped 20 mg/dL. (High triglycerides signify increased risk for diabetes).
  • Their bad LDL particle size increased. (The larger the particle size, the less likely you are to become diabetic).
  • CRP decreased 13 percent. (CRP measures inflammation that causes heart attacks. The lower your CRP, the less likely you are to develop a heart attack).
  • Blood adiponectin increased six percent. (Adiponectin is released from your fat cells. The higher your levels, the less likely you are to become diabetic).
  • Blood leptin decreased 40 percent. (Leptin predicts weight gain. Lowered leptin levels indicate fat loss).

A study from Great Britain showed that over three months, intermittent fasting caused twice as much weight loss as daily calorie restriction. Sixty-five percent (65%) of those who fasted intermittently lost weight, compared to only 40 percent of those on calorie-restricted diets (British Journal of Nutrition, April 2013).

In another study, 107 overweight women who spent six months eating 650 calories per day for two days a week lost an average 14 pounds of fat and three inches from their waists, compared to 11 pounds of fat and two inches from waist for daily calorie-restricted dieters (Int J Obes, 2011 May;35(5):714-27).

Weight Loss Does Not Mean Muscle Loss

Dr. Krista Varady of the University of Illinois at Chicago showed that eight weeks of alternate-day fasting helped 32 overweight volunteers lose an average nine pounds of fat with no obvious loss of muscle tissue (Metabolism, January 2013;62(1):137-143).

Low-calorie diets usually cause considerable loss of muscle. Mark Mattson, chief of the laboratory of neurosciences at the National Institute on Aging in Baltimore, has shown that intermittently-fasted animals retain muscle better than those on calorie-restricted diets.

Intermittent Fasting Helps to Prevent Disease

A review of the medical literature shows that intermittent fasting can lower blood sugar and fat levels, reduce high blood pressure, help people lose weight, and help to prevent and treat diabetes and heart attacks (British Journal of Diabetes and Vascular Disease, April 2013).

Intermittent fasting lowered blood pressure, resting heart rate, cholesterol, triglycerides, weight, and blood sugar levels, according to a study reported at the Annual Scientific Sessions of the American College of Cardiology in New Orleans (April 3, 2011).

Another study showed that intermittent fasting caused a greater change in: body weight, fat mass, signs of diabetes (belly fat, blood sugar and insulin levels, and LDL particle size), and heart attack risk factors (LDL cholesterol, homocysteine, and heart rate (Nutrition Journal, 2012;11:98).

Intermittent Fasting May Even Prolong Your Life

A high rise in blood sugar after meals damages every cell in your body and increases risk for diabetes, heart attacks and many cancers. Intermittent fasting appears to help you lose weight by making your cells more sensitive to insulin.

Fat inside cells blocks insulin receptors and prevents insulin from doing its job of lowering high blood sugar levels. One study shows that mice that eat fatty foods for eight hours a day and then are forced to fast for the next 16 hours of each day do not gain weight or lose their ability to respond to insulin.

The meal-skipping mice gorge when provided food so they do not eat fewer calories than mice on unrestricted diets. Mice that fast every other day while eating double the normal amount of food on non-fasting days have better protection from becoming diabetic (lower insulin and sugar levels and better response to insulin), and less brain damage than mice on 40 percent calorie-restricted diets (Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, May 13, 2003; 100(10):6216-6220; and The Journal of Nutrition, June 2003;133 (6): 1921-1929).

Try Intermittent Fasting (IF) Out for Yourself

Future scientific and medical studies will be sure to reveal if intermittent fasting is more effective than overall calorie restriction in preventing disease and prolonging lives in humans. Meanwhile, you may want to try intermittent fasting to lose weight or to avoid the inevitable weight gain that often comes with aging (and thus a slower metabolism).

All you need to do is eat your normal diet five days a week, and just pick any two days of the week to restrict your intake of food to fewer than 700 calories. You will get the best results if your “normal diet” is one that is sensible and full of lean protein, whole grains, beans, leafy greens, legumes, fruit, and so forth. It’s important to note that you do not need to try to restrict calories on your non-fast days.

Try to restrict your consumption of red meat, processed meats, fried foods, alcohol, sugary drinks, and sugar-added foods and desserts. Adding exercise to your program of intermittent fasting will help you to lose even more weight.

For a detailed discussion of intermittent fasting, with step-by-step instructions, recipes, and much more; we highly recommend The FastBlast Diet by our founder, William King.