#1 Best Seller in Alternative Medicine Healing
Well, this is information I could have used four years ago when I first started creating an intermittent fasting lifestyle. If you are a woman who is considering taking a bite of the fasting buzz, this book is essential.
Dr. Mindy Pelz is on a mission to help women reclaim their health. Her book opens with an alarming situation. Statistics show that women’s health is in rapid decline. Apparently, women are at higher levels of risk than men for many chronic diseases. I had no idea that 80% of people who have an autoimmune disease are women, or that 41% of women over 21 are obese. The chances are that you or somebody you know has been diagnosed with a life-threatening health condition.
What is going on here?
Dr. Pelz outlines the failures of trendy diets and how this has contributed to the problems we see today. We were told not to eat fat, reduce calories, and exercise more. The quality of food has become excessively processed and denatured. High levels of stress cause cortisol spikes to surge and raise blood glucose levels, leading to insulin resistance. Environmental toxins known as obesogens cause weight gain as they disrupt the balance of lipid metabolism and block hormone receptor sites. What a mess!
There are plenty of places to point the finger and put blame, such as genetics, bad advice from doctors, wrong medications, and the list goes on. It’s counterproductive though, and Dr. Pelz drives home the point that women need to go within and trust the body. It was designed to self-heal.
She emphasizes that blaming others and comparing oneself to other women will offer no solutions. It’s not a one size fits all kind of world, and every individual has distinct needs to address when it comes to bringing the body back into alignment with optimal health.
The case for healing the body with fasting is made as Dr. Pelz goes on to explain how our ancestors paved the way for our bodies to go through periods of feasting and famine. We are predisposed to experience times of abundant food and scarcity. However, in our modern society it is more likely that you have 24-hour access to convenient food. I know there are still hunger and starvation problems in the world, but for the sake of this conversation, I’m talking to the portion of the population who has access to food delivered to their doorsteps with one click on the phone.
It is well known that fasting has been used as a healing technique throughout ancient history, but there are more scientific studies that have been conducted in our modern time to prove how and why it works. Dr. Pelz makes reference to several studies outlining the evidence to support fasting as a remedy for many common conditions that people are experiencing, including metabolic disease, cancers, autoimmune disorders, hormone dysregulation, neurodegenerative diseases, and even infertility.
benefits of fasting
Reduce total body fat percentage, visceral FAT, AND waist circumference
Lowers blood pressure
decreases LDL cholesterol
decreases hemoglobin A1c
Increases ketones, the alternative fuel source that is reparative to nervous tissue and damaged neurons.
Produces brain derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF), stimulating the production of new neurons.
Produces GABA, a calming neurotransmitter.
Mitochondrial stress resistance
increases insulin sensitivity
Increases growth hormone production
Resets dopamine pathways
Repairs the immune system
Improves the microbiome
alleviates autoimmune conditions
mobilizes toxins to be removed from the body
Reduces the reoccurrence of cancer
slows the aging process
The distinction between Dr. Pelz and other people who talk about fasting is that she bases all of her protocols on the fluctuations within the 28 day menstruation cycle. It’s not that fasting isn’t for men, but she clearly is speaking to women in this book. Though I think the information is still sound for people of all spectrums and the benefits of fasting are still applicable.
There are six different fasts that Dr. Pelz outlines based on what specific goals and conditions you may have. They are thought of as an effective reset tool to use periodically and in variances, rather than fasting every day at the same time and length. As you fast for anywhere between 12 to 72 hours, your body will switch into deeper levels of repair modalities.
One of my personal favorites is the 24-hour gut reset fast.
Recently, I convinced my husband to try it because he was having problematic symptoms that resembled small intestinal bacterial overgrowth (SIBO). Going that long without food is no easy task for a man who loves to eat! He was fed up with the symptoms and on the verge of getting antibiotics to kill the bad bacteria. The problem is that would also kill off his good bacteria and leave him with a weakened immune system.
I suggested that he start a 24 hour fast in the late afternoon to early evening. That way he will have eaten recently enough that by the time he went to bed hunger issues would be manageable. He was already used to skipping breakfast and omitting cream in his coffee was easy enough. The rest of the day was all about staying busy and having projects. I didn’t eat around him, but I did make him some elixirs of soda water with electrolytes and apple cider vinegar when he was struggling. By the time he only had a few hours left, it was easy to stay committed to completing the full 24 hours.
After months of dealing with this gut problem, it was nearly completely remedied within 24 hours. For two more consecutive days, he eliminated all sugar and ate mostly a carnivore diet. The symptoms are now eliminated, and he has reincorporated some carbohydrates back into his diet.
This example is obviously anecdotal and not a clinical study but is still relevant as a personal experience of how fasting has worked to correct a metabolic issue.
There are many more astounding stories of healing and regeneration of health through a lifestyle of fasting. Just ask Dr. Mindy Pelz, she hears them every day and it is inspiring her to get the word out that there are answers to the question of how to restore health and cure disease. Her thesis is based on using metabolic switching between fasting and feasting to support the health of individuals and their specific needs.
I agree with her, and echo the message along with my two bits.
Yes, the body needs balanced biochemical homeostasis. We can affect these processes by manipulating the fast and feast cycle while supporting our bodies with clean nutrition. However, she doesn’t get into the psychology of fasting and how it can work to heal trauma. Fasting can also be a lever that pulls up our deepest wounds to the surface. It’s a whole other topic, but part of the holistic model of healing.
Dr. Mindy Pelz has a straightforward warmth and an approachable style of presenting a very scientific topic. The information isn’t overwhelmingly detailed, making it suitable for people who shy away from technical explanations. On the other hand, it may leave something to be desired for those who are wanting a textbook style read. I appreciate that she presents a wealth of information regarding when and what to eat to support different hormones and has included plenty of recipes to get you started.
If you are seriously considering fasting as a tool for optimizing your health, Dr. Mindy Pelz has created a community of people within her Fasting Reset Acadamy. It’s possible to do this on your own but having a support group of people with the professional guidance of an experienced leader is going to be far more likely to result in success.
It is wise to be in communication with your primary care doctor before making any changes with medication use and introducing fasting. Use your own discernment and educate yourself.
Shauna Mayfield – Thera Phase Art
If you’re interested in learning about how trauma can be healed, I am reading The Body Keeps the Score by Bessel Van Der Kolk and writing a series of blog posts as I go through the chapters.
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- I am a Soul Technician with Resolve that is Sure as the Sunrise
- Plant Biophilia: Impulse to Thrive by Growing Abundant Food
- North Gate Book Club: The Body Keeps The Score: Chapter Four Summary & Discussion
- Book Review: Fast Like A Girl by Dr. Mindy Pelz
- North Gate Book Club: The Body Keeps The Score: Chapter Three Summary & Discussion