Over the past two months I have been having a lot of gut discomfort. My digestive system has felt like it hasn’t been doing it’s job and I have felt a lot of inflammation there. Whether this is a leaky gut issue, a parasitic issue or me being a hypochondriac, I’m not sure. What I did know is that it wasn’t something I wanted to live with. After weighing up the options of getting stool testing and meeting a naturopathic doctor I decided to try a bone broth fast and elimination diet first a foremost.
Plus it seemed like a better option than parting with $500! I was also 3 weeks out from going to India which made me slightly worried. India is a hot spot for stomach infections and if you do travel there and don’t get sick, you’re a rarity amongst western travellers.
First off, a three day fast is no joke. This is something you really need to commit to from the start. I did a three day juice fast about four years before and intermittent fasting on and off since then but never a bone broth fast. In fact bone broth is something that I had never really eaten (or drank?) until recently.
The next step is to choose your days. I picked a Thursday, Friday and Saturday. This worked best for my work week. Once you have decided on the days and made the commitment, get yourself some bone broth. I bought mine locally. There are lots of good online resources with recipes here if you’d like to make your own.
I had my last meal at about 8.30. I had some chicken and vegetable soup left over so I finished this. I probably over ate slightly here as it was my last food for a few days.
Woke up feeling full from the night before. I had a few hours work in the morning which were all fine. I did some Ashtanga Yoga for about 75 minutes late in the morning and had my first bone broth afterwards. It’s actually pretty tasty, It’s similar to drinking stock. I found it challenging today and felt my energy was quite low in the afternoon. I actually did a short handstand and locomotion workout as I had to do some tests for GMB Fitness. In the evening I started to feel very calm.
I slept very well and woke up in a meditative state. I had found that over the past few weeks a lot of nights I was gong to bed with an upset stomach so this was a welcome change. A big shift I felt was accepting the whole situation. Instead of feeling resentment, like “I’m so hungry”, “I wish I could drink coffee, eat a burger, blah blah blah”. I just accepted that I will be food free for the next 40 or so hours and just accept it. Of course I would prefer to be stuffing my face with salsa eggs but if a three day fast will positively effect my gut and my mental resolve then I felt that’s a pretty solid return on time.
After lunch I just took it easy. I did some online work, some study and chilled out for the evening.
Saturday morning was the toughest part of the fast. I felt very tired and run down. Once I showered I felt a whole lot better. Again I took it relatively easy throughout the day. I broke the fast on Saturday evening with some Vietnamese Pho. This is a noodle soup which went down a treat!
After the fast
A mistake I have made countless times after eliminating food, coffee or doing fasting is over doing it on the day I stop. This is a terrible idea for a few reasons. Your system is going to be more sensitive so eating a lot of processed food, coffee or alcohol will put a lot of stress on your gut right off the bat.
It’s taking away from a lot of the positive benefits that occurred over the previous 48-84 hours. For the sake of the results keep your food simple and healthy. Think, good quality protein and veggies. Steer clear of gluten and anything else that is a possible problem. For me grains, dairy, coffee and sugar are the four items that I feel I’m quite sensitive to. So I have kept away from them and will steer clear of them for the next 3-4 weeks. Coffee is something that I love but feel it’s very harsh on my stomach. It’s something that I’ll have to avoid until my gut feels recovered and even then it’s something that I plan on drink 2-4 times a month.
I found that I was very peaceful throughout the fast. At one point I was on a tram sitting and felt disconnected from everyone else. Everyone were on there phones or eating. Everywhere I looked there was addictive behaviour. The fast allowed me to practice mindfulness more easily as I wasn’t waiting or looking forward to food. I had accepted that I wouldn’t be eating for 3 days. It made me realise how much a part of my daily thoughts food is!