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I pulled out my phone and Googled something and it was probably, you know, hormonal, stubborn that menopausal women help me and, um out popped the words intermittent fasting, which I had never heard before. I was familiar with long term therapeutic fasting through human history. But I didn't know that a person could deliberately consciously have a pattern of fasting and eating each day fasting, and then having an eating window. I didn't know that that was a way to heal my body every day, burn excess fat I was carrying around excess. It's there. It's stored on the body to be used as fuel, except mostly we don't ever tap into it. And I stayed up all night and I read and I learned and I went down the stairs in the morning as the sun was coming up over the Rocky Mountains. And I said, Thank you for your prayers, I think I found something.
David Sandstrom 1:02
Welcome to the Natural Health Matters podcast where it's all about maximizing your health potential, so that you can look and feel your best at any age. I'm your host, David Sandstrom, Naturopathic Doctor and Biblical Health Coach. This is episode number 119. Today, we have in the show, Laurie Lewis. She's a certified health coach and author, and an expert in women's health over 50. Her specialty is using intermittent fasting to solve health challenges related to aging. Laurie, Welcome to Natural Health Matters.
Laurie Lewis 1:36
Hi, David, good to see you. Thank you.
David Sandstrom 1:38
Good to see you. Again. I've really been looking forward to this conversation. This is such a great topic that I think a lot of the listeners a lot of the natural nation is very interested in, you know, we're all getting older. We can't We can't stop, you know, time from passing by. But we all want to age gracefully, don't we?
Laurie Lewis 1:54
Yes, we do. And I think it seems kind of obvious to say it, but as the older we get, we tend to in our society feel worse and worse, which is a bit alarming. But many people have been dieting and struggling with their bodies, their whole lives. And so it's, it's a joy to be able to, you know, you said over 50 Because yes, that's when the aging really seems to kick in, in terms of who I serve and help. But I love catching people earlier, as they're kind of waking up to ah, I don't think that I want to be struggling so much with my body.
David Sandstrom 2:36
You know, my dad, my dad died at 87. But he used to say, you know, if I knew I was going to live this long, Dave, I've taken better care of myself.
Laurie Lewis 2:45
Yes, I love that. So that's a great springboard what your dad said, I love it.
David Sandstrom 2:51
It's true. But anyway, why don't you just give us a little bit of a background as to how you got to what you're doing today. And just give the listeners a little bit of a 35,000 foot view on what you're doing today?
Laurie Lewis 3:04
Well, I had kind of an epiphany, if you will, when I was in my late 20s that I'm really grateful for I had a thought one day, which was, it was quite quiet, which was I think this diet coke might not be good for me. This diet coke. And that had me kind of often running in my thinking about what else am I putting in me? That seems to be normal, you know, in air quotes normal, that might might not be good for me. And I decided at that point that I two things that I was going to get very interested in nutrition and learning more about how we fuel our bodies. And two, I just decided that there was a whole category of food that I was going to think about as not food kind of hyphenated not food. And so for me that I decided I don't, I don't like dessert as like, well. I did like dessert, but I don't know why it was seemed to be so wise at age 29. I was like, I'm just gonna decide that I don't like it anymore. And then I'm not going to eat it anymore. So I stopped eating all Ultra processed food. I mean, sometimes they'll have crackers, but Ultra processed food, diet coke, all soda, even orange juice because it's so highly processed. I just decided that all this category of stuff was not food. And I stopped eating I stopped so in your head and how old were you when you had that epiphany 29 29. Then fast for all these years. I studied nutrition I was really interested in it for myself. I never wanted to be the food police. I never wanted to disparage others for their choices. It felt very personal. And so when I hit my early 40s I felt like I was at the top of my game I you know, people bemoan turning 40. And I thought, Gosh, I feel great. And then I started experiencing the symptoms of Peri menopause. But, David, you know, they don't send us to biology class for older ladies. And I had no idea what was happening. And I just started suddenly feeling worse and worse. And when I went into menopause, which means a woman goes through perimenopause, which is the adjustment phase, which can be anywhere between four and 10 years. And then when you go into menopause, or post menopause, that's when you don't have your cycle for a year. And when that happened, I suddenly gained 50 pounds, boom, wow, I didn't change anything about my food. Remember, I was already fit and, and eating like a healthy person. And so I was as confused as anyone but everyone in my life was like, Wait, how could you suddenly gain 50 pounds, you're the healthiest person we know. And I really suffered for four and a half, almost five years. And the suffering David was, it was the excess weight because that wasn't comfortable for in a lot of ways. But it was brain fog and memory loss. And my balance was off. And I was hate aching head to toe. So I was really hurt and pop. And I went home to Colorado, I was living in New York for 25 years. And I went home to Colorado, where I grew up. And my mom said in all her thoughtfulness. But it didn't sound thoughtful to my daughter ears. She said, let's use this time that you're home to turn the weight around. Ouch. So I was standing in her kitchen wailing and having a temper tantrum like a five year old and she listened so thoughtfully and lovingly. And then she said, let's pray for an answer. And that is really what I needed. And I went upstairs to my room in her house. And I tucked into bed. And you know, I did as we all do, and we know we shouldn't I pulled out my phone and Googled something. And it was probably, you know, hormonal, stubborn that menopausal woman help me. and up popped the words intermittent fasting, which I had never heard before. I was familiar with long term therapeutic fasting through human history. But I didn't know that a person could deliberately consciously have a pattern of fasting and eating each day fasting, and then having an eating window. I didn't know that that was a way to heal my body every day, burn excess fat I was carrying around excess. It's there. It's stored on the body to be used as fuel, except mostly we don't ever tap into it. And I stayed up all night. And I read and I learned and I went down the stairs in the morning as the sun was coming up over the Rocky Mountains. And I said thank you for your prayers. I think I found something. And she asked what it was. And I explained it. And she said it makes perfect sense. And she asked How may I support you, which I think are the that's a great phrase How may I support you. And so I told her that I was going to aim for noon, that I was going to drink plain water and have a cup of black coffee in the morning. And that was over six years ago, and I've had an eating window every day, it's changes. And this is what I love supporting and coaching people with. But what's so amazing is that I slowly and methodically, safe safely I lost the weight over 15 months, 51 pounds in 15 months. But I felt better in three days. And so people think, fasting or intermittent fasting or having an eating window or going without food for, you know more hours than you might think you're comfortable. That seems really hard. And yet what I love sharing with people and showing people is that you will feel so much better, very quickly as I did, and I was coached 1000s of people and it's such a joy to have you feel better.
David Sandstrom 9:33
Yeah, you know, thank you for sharing this story that's very inspirational. You know, when I had my health coaching practice, and I'd have I saw people in an office of brick and mortar setting. And I would give them recommendations, get them on a protocol and counsel them on lifestyle changes. And occasionally you'd hear has somebody say a lot of people thought it wouldn't say is that day these recommendations are going to be hard. This is going to be tough to implement. And in my responses. Yeah, it is But you want to know what's harder, going through life with compromised health? far more difficult than anything we're going to do to rebuild or hopefully maintain our health? Yes. So, you know, it's it's easier to keep up than it is to catch up.
Laurie Lewis 10:16
That's for sure. That is for sure. And never too late.
David Sandstrom 10:20
It absolutely doesn't matter. If you woke up breathing this morning. There's hope. All right. I wanted to go back to circle back just a minute to what you talked about diet coke, you know, and I found, believe it or not, even even now, in the information age, that there are people that actually think that Diet Coke is a healthy choice. Yeah, because it's diet, you know, and they're getting their health information from well funded clever marketing. Right? I'm making a healthy choice. I'm drinking diet. Well, the sweetener in there is a chemical sweetener that the body doesn't know what to do with. So it stores it as fat if it can't eliminate it all, which would prefer to do, but it's a toxin. And it's not designed. God never designed our bodies to deal with these, this onslaught of toxins that way. Just real quick story I was, I used to fly for Delta Airlines. And a guy who was flying with said, we're talking about diet coke. And he said, you know, my wife had debilitating joint pain. She was in a wheelchair. The doctors thought it was lupus. And I read an article about how aspartame can cause joint pain. And she used to be like, you know, live on diet coke. He said, Why don't you try cutting out the Diet Coke and see what happens. And she did. And she completely recovered?
Laurie Lewis 11:39
Well, good for her for being able to do it. Because yeah, David, I have so many clients who their biggest biggest suffering is the addiction to the soda. And yes, I just really applaud this woman for being able to do it, because that is very hard. And then the result how beautiful
David Sandstrom 11:59
Yeah, beautiful. So encouraging, just, I love hearing those kinds of stories, you know, a simple fix wasn't even complicated.
Laurie Lewis 12:06
It is and it really shows a reverence for our bodies, our relationship with our bodies, the this gift of this body that we got given to go through this life, and are with and I am really interested, inspired by the opportunity to support people, and eradicating all those diet myths, that diet prison, that diet culture, the diet noise that we're in, and tune inward to this exquisite body and have a reverence for it. And really begin or continue to develop a, just a miraculous relationship with this
David Sandstrom 12:51
I love that term reverence, you know, because the Bible teaches that the body is the temple of the Holy Spirit. You know, when we walk into a church, we want to have a bit of a reverent attitude, because we're going there to worship the Creator of the universe. And he created us as well. And he lives inside of us. And, you know, we ought to honor that and, and take care of our bodies in a special way. You know, I there's got to be somebody listening right now, that says, Oh, here we go the fasting thing again, that's going to be so difficult to implement. Can you speak to that a little bit about how you would ease into a fasting lifestyle? I would love to, because I bet that's, that's on somebody's mind right now.
Laurie Lewis 13:32
Yes. And, you know, you said lifestyle, and it is. And yet that word, I think for people feels a little cringy or scary, because mostly we don't know ourselves as able to continue anything for very long. And so when we're, when we envision ourselves doing something forever, it's like, I don't trust myself to be able to do that I you know, I quit everything. And so I would say, to begin with the thought that this is just this really is one eating window at a time. And you get to choose when it is and then back it up even a little more, and start to get inspired and motivated by why you might be doing this. Why would I wake up in the morning and drink plain water and have a glass of cup of coffee, black coffee, and wait until later to eat? You know, if you're thinking about that, that just sounds terrible? Well, why you would do that is that that has integrity with how our bodies are designed. Imagine even 100 years ago and then way back all of time. Human beings didn't have constant access to food every time their stomach stomach grumbled. They didn't have a fridge or a snack pantry. And so they had to use that stomach grumbling as an alert system to remember to go out and find food. Well, we don't have to go very far to find foods so it has integrity with the way our body is designed to wait and eat later. Why does that have integrity? Well, our body is now optimized after all of human history and evolution. To thrive in a fasted state we get stronger, brighter, sharper, we make new brain cells, we tap into our own body fat for fuel, we have this deep cellular repair system called a autophagy. And so we're not depriving ourselves when we're fasting. We're actually in repair. So if you can kind of get your, your head around, I'm in repair. I'm eating all the delicious foods I love later. It's kind of the best of everything. The way you start is you start with today. You start with tonight, this afternoon, or tonight. What time are you going to close your eating window? That's the first question. So David, when you look at your day today, and what time your last meal might be scheduled? When would be a good time for you today? To close your eating window?
David Sandstrom 16:15
Well, personally, I like to finish eating around 5pm
Laurie Lewis 16:18
Oh, that's nice. That's nice and early.
David Sandstrom 16:21
So I'll start eating around 11 ish. And finish eating around five ish, that would be my choice. Now that's a flexible schedule. Yeah, if we're gonna go out to dinner with some friends, and I'm eating at seven, eight o'clock at night. I'll do that once in a while. But if I eat within three hours of going to bed, I don't sleep as well. When I when I was 21 years old. I'm 60 years old today, by the way, everybody listening? Laurie is 60 years old. Yeah, not today. But she is 60. And she looks terrific. If you watch it on YouTube, you'll you'll know what I mean. But you know, it's a flexible window because you don't want to stress yourself out and go out of friends where everybody's enjoying a dinner together and say, Nope, I can't do that. You know, that's that. That's the stress that that brings is probably worse than compromising the eating window. That's right. So when I was 21 years old, I used to be able to eat right before bed I would love to eat. It makes me sleep better than 21 years old anymore.
Laurie Lewis 17:16
Okay, so you've got 5pm. Now someone out there might be like, Oh, no, you know, I start my eating window at five. You know, everybody's different. So for everybody out there, you want to look for yourself. What What am I you know, what's, what am I working today? And what's my commute? And how long will it take to make dinner? And when does everybody else want dinner? And when is a reasonable time to finish that last meal. Now other people are like, well, I like breakfast and lunch. I don't even want dinner. Okay, great. So each person, whether it's 10pm, or noon, or 3pm, or like David five, you get to say, today, it's not you're not even thinking about the rest of your life. Today, what time are you closing your eating window? So let's say somebody out there's like, 7:30, okay, 7:30, great. After 7:30 You may have to change some habits, you may have to take a walk instead of sitting in front of, you know, in your favorite chair and Netflix when you might have popcorn or a glass of wine, right? So you may have to shift your habits up a bit to make it easier on yourself. But you're going to close that eating window at the time you decide. You're going to drink plain water after that. Now plain water what is that? Plain unflavored no lemon, no food like sweetness or flavors. It can be hot, you can have a cup of plain hot water and a mug can be cold. It can be of ice, it can be sparkly, it can be you know, tap water, plain unflavored water, then you're gonna go to bed, wake up tomorrow, and you're going to add 12 hours now for David that would be 5am. For someone else. 7:30 could be you know, you get to say you're going to add 12 hours 12 hours. With only plain water or plain black coffee has been proven to extend our lifespan now is a 12 hour fast long enough to tap into your body fat and get that deep healing and increase your human growth hormone. Probably not yet. No.
David Sandstrom 19:20
But it's a great place to start. If you've only gone maybe six hours, you know for the last decade or more 12 hours is a great place to start.
Laurie Lewis 19:29
It sure is. And so everybody out there you've decided when you're closing your eating window, you've had plain water you sleep you wake up in the morning you have plain water as I've said a few times you can have a cup of black coffee. And then at the time you choose now what if that 12 hours rolls around and you're like I'm not even hungry. Then wait, go a little longer. And then when you decide to open your eating window, eat normally. Well what's normally you get to say what do you normally eat, that's when you can have as I call your candy coffee, you can have a meal. And then I really recommend the next step in the practice is eat a meal until you're satisfied. Pause, wait for the next meal, pause, wait for the next meal. Most people in our society don't ever eat actual meals, maybe they'll eat dinner. But mostly, we just kind of eat stuff, you know, eat the car in front of the computer, have a little snack, grab a little snack, and someone hands you a muffin, you suddenly it's in your mouth, you know. So just like, bring a little mind bring a little awareness to when you're eating in that eating window. And then again, you close it, you as we say fast clean, you drink plain water, you go to bed, you wake up tomorrow, you add your 12 hours, well, then maybe it's a little more, maybe it's a little more. And I think that most people can get gradually increase and get to a 16 hour fast within a week to 10 days. So you want to be increasing it. So then you got a 16 hour fast and an eight hour eating window, you just take the 24 hour day and divide it into the clean fasting hours in the eating window. And then I would kind of play around with an eight hour eating window. Now you said David that you like a six hour generally around 11am generally around till five. And then what you do everybody is you settle in. And you have that kind of become your routine for three to four weeks. And you see how you feel. And if you're invited to a thing, you adjust it, you either make it longer or you move it earlier or move it a little later. Don't sweat it, you didn't ruin anything. You want to start noticing how the diet culture would have us think that we did one little thing a little different. And we wrecked everything. And I throw in the towel and I quit you know. And people will say about intermittent fasting. They're like, Oh my gosh, I've never done anything for two weeks. I've never done anything for a month. I've never done anything for six months. And it's because we're really tuning in, specially in that first and second month to discover what's going to make us feel really well. This is a game of feeling well not like in diet culture. We'd like I'm trying to be good. So this isn't about being good. This is about feeling good.
David Sandstrom 22:28
Very good. Yeah. You know, there's so much to say there. You know, the diet culture, you know, I'd like to hear your thoughts on this. But we've been hearing for so many years, oh, you're overweight? It's because you're undisciplined. No, you need to eat less and exercise more. And we now know, I mean, if you if you have, you know, any any observational skills whatsoever, but that pretty much doesn't work for almost everyone. It's just it's a fallacy, you know, this counting calories thing has been, you know, dogma for so long that, that people believe it, but it's just not true. Can you speak that a little bit and just, you know, tell us why that doesn't work.
Laurie Lewis 23:12
I could speak about it forever. And I love my job. Because however we speak about this could light you know, could crack something open for someone that could see something new that they hadn't before and their life is different. And that means everything and so what I see has happened is that the food company manufacturing companies, were really providing people a service, quick food that's shelf stable and cheap. Okay, that sounds appealing to everyone. Except the food is designed to keep us addicted. We can't stop everybody says it's kind of a joke. I open a bag of whatever and I you know, suddenly the whole thing's gone. Well, there's a reason for that. There's a beautiful design. Each food is perfectly crafted to keep us needing and wanting more. It's it's got a the mouthfeel and the crunch and the goofiness and the sweetness and saltiness and it's designed to keep us addicted and resent right then because we can't control ourselves around it. Then the diet industry swoops in and says, something's wrong with you. You have no self control. It's like what? Okay, so everybody come on be real. If you think about broccoli, and steak, and apples and oranges and greens and eggs and sweet potatoes. Nobody would say boy, I you know, bake up a sweet potato and I'm out of control. I can't stop. Okay, so when we're talking about real food, real whole food. We do tend to have some constraint because our satiety and hunger hormone They work. When we're eating real food. The minute we open a bag, or a bottle or a box of ultra processed food, which is basically everything at the grocery store, I always joke and say they don't sell food at the grocery store. People are like, What do you mean? That's all they sell? No, not much. So even you know, the food like products. That's right, even look at the the coffee creamers and the substitute substitute milks, you know, look at all those ingredients. Okay. So then, understandably, people are like, throw up their hands. And they're like, Well, it seems so complicated. What am I supposed to eat. And I encourage people to gradually, like we're gradually increasing the fasting hours, and we're gradually shrinking the eating window. I also want people to again, be mindful of having a meal and pause and a meal and pause. And step three would be gradually add in real food. Now people call that I'm trying to eat healthy, well know that you're actually just trying to eat more actual real food with actual real nutrients in it, and fiber in it. That actually is delicious. Once you get used to it again, right, though that hyper palatable, ultra processed food has been designed. It's numbed our tongue. So we need more exciting flavors. So to circle back to your question about diet culture, really the prison that we're in, and we've been deceived, to think that something's wrong with us, the food is causing addiction, the food is causing the craving, the food is causing this insatiable desire for more, which is never satisfying. And it's not your fault, and calorie counting. And having lots of little unsatisfying meals, from the minute we wake up to the minute we go to bed. Imagine if you took all those little diet meals, and you squish them into one eating window. All the same amount of food, this is an intermittent fasting isn't about calorie restricting. There have been plenty of studies that show that if you eat your food and an eating window at the same amount, you're much more satisfied, because when you're in the fasting hours, the body's so happy, happily chugging along, you've got great energy, you're not fixating on food, you're not ravenously hungry, you're burning your own body fat, and then you eat your food in your eating window to your satisfaction, your body can start will it's capable of starting to tell you when it's had enough. And right now, because of the constant eating from the minute we wake up is even some people are like, well, I don't eat till lunch. It's like, Yeah, but what's in your coffee? And what are you actually putting in your mouth? From the minute you wake up until you think you're starting by eating lunch? Everything that you're currently having, unless it's plain unflavored water? Or plain unflavored? Black coffee or plain unflavored? black or green tea? Is there nutrients and food flavors? And we can quiet it all down? Including this diet noise and the blaming of the individual?
David Sandstrom 28:20
Yeah. So what they end up with the industry ends up doing the diet industry ends up doing is shaming people. Yes. Right. And then then you start beating yourself up saying yeah, I'm just I'm just a slob. I don't have any discipline. And none of that is true. And you touched on so many great points there. Laura, just just go over a couple of them here in one is, is what I say eat food in its God given natural form as close as possible. Yeah. If someone is something comes in a box or a package, or through a window, it's suspect. Right? Yes, yes, we want to read ingredients, but we want it to the furthest extent possible by single ingredient foods, you know that that's you don't have to worry about pulling out your smartphone and Googling this ingredient. Because you're buying broccoli, or you're buying beef or chicken, you know, without any additives. That's that's a great place to start. And another thing that you mentioned that I just want to just reiterate, and that is we're not talking about restricting calories here with an intermittent fast. We're talking about just squeezing the timeframe that you're eating the same amount of calories. So counting calories has some value. And I almost hesitate to say that because you know, if you starve yourself enough, you will lose weight. But the problem is you cannot maintain that if you're walking around hungry 24/7 You can do it for a little while, but eventually hunger is going to win the day.
Laurie Lewis 29:45
Well, I want to provide a little clarity about something you just said because someone could be confused in there and I totally agree with you. You said if you're walking around hungry people like Well, isn't that what Lori's telling us to do? I'm like, no, no. Okay. So when you go that that engine that eating engine going. So when you wake up in the morning, you take in any flavors or nutrients, you're that that digestion engine has begun. You've raised insulin, okay, which is a hormone. Now, if you're taking in tiny little diet meals throughout the day, you're keeping your insulin up, you're never tapping into your own body fat stores, and you're never eating to satiety. So you're always feeling hungry. Exactly. But when you fast, clean and tap into your own body fat, and your body's feeling really well, while you're fasting, you're not walking around hungry, you are looking forward to your eating window later. And that's going to be delicious. So it's kind of the best of everything, you're feeling great when you're fasting. I'm really happy that you brought up about calories and not calorie restricting, and not even paying attention to calories. Again, remember our ancestors ate food. They didn't have to it's only the food industry feeding us food that makes us addicted. And then the diet industry saying you need to count everything and restrict everything. You can see the cycle here, right? It's a trap, it's a prison or then making us feel like we're the problem. Okay, so once you It's again, so important this first month and then that second month, you've figured out what fasting hours feel good to you what eating window timing feels good to you eat normally this isn't the at the beginning of of establishing an intermittent fasting regimen, is not the time to also start dieting and eating healthy. Okay, eat normally. So you look forward to your eating window. It's very simple for you, you eat what's in your fridge, you eat what you like, you know what your family likes. As time passes the first month, the second month, you're settling into your eating window, you're settling into your fasting hours, your body will start telling you what it wants, and it will start losing interest in the ultra processed food for the most part, okay. So again, there's nothing wrong with you out there that there are foods that you can't imagine your life without. And in the beginning of your fasting regimen, you don't have to go without them. Your body's the boss. This is where the reverence, the noticing the tuning in, things get quiet. And there, you begin to develop a beautiful appreciation for how the body works.
David Sandstrom 32:35
Yeah, the body is super, super smart. And that you know, and I'm trained as a naturopath. And if you want to embrace nature, apathy, we want to come alongside the body's natural design and encourage our natural processes boosts because God gave us a built in intelligence to our bodies. And our default setting is health. You know, I'm a geek, so I so I did the math on this, it's estimated that the human body has about 75 trillion cells. And that's a massive number. And to put that in perspective, if you started counting seconds, how long do you think it would take to count 75 trillion seconds?
Laurie Lewis 33:11
No clue, no idea.
David Sandstrom 33:13
People if people will take you guess and, say 100 years, it's actually 3.2 million years. So yeah, that's a lot of cells that are communicating with one another. And being let, as you said, being tuned up with a autophagy and being eliminated at times with apoptosis and being replaced. And this so the body is so incredibly complex. I don't even like this term biohacking. Because we can't we can't outsmart God,
Laurie Lewis 33:42
I agree with you. I don't like that term, either. Let's just work with our bodies just work with smarting.
David Sandstrom 33:49
Let's work with the way we're designed. Yeah, you know, one of the things again, circling back to the diet industry again, diets don't work, eating less and exercising more doesn't work, because we have a metabolic setpoint. And we've been told by the medical industry in the diet industry and food industry, that there's a setpoint that's determined by our genetics, and that is your Metabolic setpoint is that point at which you've eaten enough? That's all you need. And if you eat any more than that, it's going to get stored as fat. That's what we've been told. But the problem is, it's not cast in stone that setpoint and it's not determined by our genetics alone. Our bodies will adapt to what we're going through their bodies are smart, they'll adapt to our environment. So if we calorie restrict for a period of time, the body is going to lower that setpoint it says, Hey, we're starving. We're going to have to We your body wants to do what it needs to do to keep you alive. And that if your body will move that metabolic setpoint and now you've got a lower metabolic rate. And now when you go back to eating your regular food, guess what happens? You get you get fat easier. So That's why diets don't work. And that's why counting calories is a waste of time. You want to as as Laurie said, eat until you're satiated. Eat until you're satisfied not till you're stuffed. Just eat until you're there. You say, Yeah, I've had enough. And your body will tell you as, as you go through this, you're going to start tuning into your body more, and your body's gonna talk to you. Everybody's are always talking to us, right to tell us when we're hot, warm or cold when we're sweaty, you know, when we're tired, but there's other ways the body talks to us as well. You know, how's your mental clarity? You know, how's your energy? How's your mood? Are you jittery? Are you edgy, you know, these are all clues as to what's going on inside of us. And when we start tuning into that intelligence and listening to that, well, great things happen. So anyway, I love a little bit of a rant there,
Laurie Lewis 35:47
I love it. And fasting, believe it or not, is the thing that allows for the quiet the clarity. It's, you know, throughout all human history, and it's, as you know, part of all our most religious and spiritual and meditation traditions, right to go quiet yourself, commune. And in that quiet of fasting, we are tuned in. And so that's where I circle back to this deliberate reverence for the body. But fasting actually enhances that ability to have respect and quiet and get communications that we otherwise wouldn't have absolutely enabled,
David Sandstrom 36:35
You know, Jesus said, When you fast, he didn't say, if you fast, it was just a given that you were going to fast. You can fast for for physical reasons, what was what we're talking about here today. But you can also fast for spiritual reasons. If you're looking for a spiritual breakthrough, or you need an answer to prayer, or you would just like to hear from God, fasting is a really, really good way to clear out the stack in that communication line. And it's, I've used that in the past, and it is just incredible, I, it's hard until you experience it yourself, it's hard to put it into words. You know, a couple of things, there's so much to talk about here. But, you know, we use we're using the term intermittent fasting quite a bit, but I'm not crazy about that term, either. Because all all fasting is intermittent, right? So it can get a little confusing. So I prefer short term and long term fast or daily, fast and longer term fast. So you know, my daily fast, if I have my way, is about an 18 hour window, and then I'll eat in that six hour window. And you know, if you're starting out at a 12, you know, you might want to go you to start off at 12 and 12. And then go to 14 and 10. Or maybe go to 15 and nine, you know, and work your way up to a longer period of time where you're fasting. And by the way, you will not be hungry if you if you do this, right. Right, you won't, your body is gonna gonna talk to you. And it's gonna say, Hey, I'm gonna give you more GABA, I'm gonna give you more serotonin, and you're gonna feel a calm and a sense of peace. And you're also going to feel good that you're doing something good for yourself. Right? It's all good.
Laurie Lewis 38:12
We do want this to be easier for people. And that's why I one of the reasons that I talk about the clean fast, people think, Oh, it's just gonna be so much easier if I just put a little lemon in, or can't I have a little bit of this or that and you can find anything on the internet that will give you permission to have, you know, oh, 10 calories while I'm fasting. But here's the body, as you said, is so smart. And the minute it tastes any sweetness or food flavors like lemon food flavor, the body starts its digestive process, the hormones align, the body gets ready to receive food. Yeah, because it got a little taste. And you think you're fasting, so you're not eating? And the body's like, where's the food you just promised me was coming, you gave me a taste of lemon, where's the food, and then it gets grumpy and fasting becomes hard. Right? So when, when someone goes through this first week, and it's gradual, and you're working up to 16 hours, and you're gonna have your eating window from you know, 10 to six or one to nine, I don't care, you know that you're settling then into an eight hour eating window. Within two weeks, or even three weeks. If someone says they're really struggling to get to 16 I suspect they're not fasting clean. Because having plain water, one cup of plain black coffee, plain green or black tea. Of course your medications as prescribed. If someone's taking in any flavors or nutrients, it does make fasting harder. So we want the best of all the healing and the repair and the fat burning and the balancing of hormones. So fast, clean, and we want fasting to be easier. So fast, clean, and then it's like oh, there's so many things that aren't allowed what's allowed while I'm fasting that is clean, and eat all those have the flavor party later in your eating window. So again, remind yourself, it's the best of everything. And fast and clean now, I'm eating all the yummy things I love later. And then your body's the boss, some people will be like, I can't eat this or that anymore. It's like, well, your body never wanted you to have that anyway. So
David Sandstrom 40:21
Yeah, that's right. That's, you know, you mentioned this earlier, but I want to, I want to circle back to that as well. And the body has two sources of fuel. It has glucose, which is blood sugar, or fat. And, and when we're eating constantly, our bodies using sugar, it's using glucose for energy. And glucose is is good, it's useful, we need it. But it's a little bit like throwing out a newspaper on a fire, you're gonna get a flash of energy, and then it burns out and it's gone quickly. Whereas when you fast for a while, and you go in use, your body shifts into the fat burning mode, you're producing ketones, which are a great brain fuel. And it gives you that sense of peace and calm and focus and concentration and all that. That's, that's a very good, it's like throwing a log on the fire. It's a, it's a sustainable energy, that is really, really good. And that's what you'll get to if you if you do the intermittent fasting as Laurie is talking about and then extend your fasting window, you'll be burning fat for energy and producing ketones. Now, there's a lot of talk today about a ketogenic diet. And I would suggest, and there's a lot of, you know, science to back me up on this. And that is, either we don't want to go to extremes either way. You don't want to stay in a ketogenic state, your body doesn't like that either. It's almost as bad as staying in a sugar dominated state where you're you're overloading your body with sugar, therefore, insulin is up all the time cortisol is up. And you know, that's not good either. So we want to get to the point where we're cycling back and forth, and a body becomes efficient at shifting between glucose burning and fat burning. That's part of that's our design.
Laurie Lewis 42:08
Yes, exactly. And that fat burning state really feels good.
David Sandstrom 42:14
It really does, doesn't it? Yeah. Yeah. So like, there's another question I have for you. And that is, does intermittent fasting mess with your hormones, especially as a woman going into menopause?
Laurie Lewis 42:28
Well, that's, you know, throughout human history, also, people have said, Oh, things are dangerous for women. Oh, boy, we got to be careful. Okay. Look, there was no food for all humans throughout all human history. Okay, food was scarce. So human beings, all humans, including women, have thrived in a fasting state, in a fasted state. So here we are in a society where we have an abundance of food 24/7. And that has not served us well. Everybody can look around, having food around all the time has not served as well, ultra processed food all the time. And so when we talk about hormones, for women, we all have over 80 hormones. Insulin is a hormone, cortisol, our thyroid hormones, I mean, it's just the list is long. For a woman who is cycling, still, so any woman under 50, you're still having your cycle. You want to be mindful of that cycle. And that oftentimes for some, if not most women, those days before your cycle comes, you may need to have a longer eating window, and be mindful of that we're craving oftentimes craving a lot of food that isn't so good for us. And during those craving days, and when we have a longer eating window, if we can train ourselves to eat foods, that is really good fuel with wonderful nutrients that fuels us. Well, that's the next step.
David Sandstrom 44:00
But again, a woman needs more carbohydrate during that time, right?
Laurie Lewis 44:04
That's why women are craving sugar and chocolate before their period comes. Yeah, but this is another trap of the diet industry, which is if a woman is enjoying intermittent fasting and feeling really well and maybe she's losing some fat and she's got great energy, and then she's instructed, okay, be show yourself some respect and have a longer eating window on those days before your period comes. Yes. diet culture would then have us think oh, no, aren't I ruined? I'm ruining everything. No, this isn't about ruining anything. This is about working with your body. And the way I coach people when they're talking about, you know, bad for women's hormones. Use me as an example. Immediately. Hunger hormones, satiety hormones, estrogen, progesterone, testosterone. DHEA. Like all of these hormones, get balanced, they actually they're a network, a hierarchy, if you will, of little chemical communicators, they all have their own job. And when we're fasting and quieting things down, they actually can do their jobs better. Now, one thing that people are concerned about with women and fasting especially, is we have been trained in diet culture to push really hard, were extremists. Now, we see the pendulum swings this way, and we try really hard and we pull it all the stops. So we put a lot of pressure on ourselves, and then we can't take it anymore. And the pendulum swings the other way, we start and quit and start and quit. I'm not telling anyone to push hard and struggle and suffer. I'm not telling anyone to fast so hard that you're raising cortisol. And, you know, having chronic stress and living in an environment of upset and struggle and stress. No, we're talking about quiet everything down, tuning into your body, starting gradually discovering the fasting hours in the eating window that feels really good to you. Sometimes there are moments when it takes a little determination to get through a hunger wave. But we're not talking about the fasting Olympics and putting a lot of pressure on yourself. Right? So when it comes to all people's hormones, you can trust that when you are starting gradually, you're being good to yourself. You're having a nice eating window, you're eating meals, you're closing your eating window, you're drinking plain water, you're tuning into your body, you're sleeping better, your digestion is better. Your stress feels better you become Believe it or not a more patient focused person, right? That's good for our home hormone.
David Sandstrom 46:49
Absolutely. It's good for your relationships as well. Relationships are good for health, by the way, so it's nice. It's a nice merry go round there, isn't it? Yeah, I want to mention a couple of resources if you're if you're interested in especially a female hormones down eat around your cycle. The book fast like a girl by Mindy Pelz is an excellent read. I'm currently reading that book right now, but halfway through. And she's she's really got a lot to say in that that areas. Very, very good book. Also, if you want to go deeper, Episode 48. On this podcast, I interviewed Dr. David Jockers, of the functional nutrition podcast. And he wrote a book called The fasting transformation. And he's a real smart guy. And he got, you know, pretty technical, but it's a it's a good episode if you want to go deeper on this subject. And one of the resources I wanted to mention when you first start out beef, it may take a period of time before your body starts producing ketones and burning fuel for energy producing ketones. One of the things you can do to help ease the transition is to take some exogenous ketones that is, you know, orally, actually in the form of a pill, and Dr. Josh Axe of the ancient health podcast. He has a new supplement company called Ancient Nutrition. And he calls it a Keto fire. And it's a form of exogenous ketones with some caffeine that will help push you into that ketogenic state, and will just accelerate or ease the process into that fat burning state. So that's, that's a resource that you might want to use if you haven't trouble extending that fasting window. So Laurie, as we wrap things up, what is the the low hanging fruit or the most important thing that you would like to leave with people?
Laurie Lewis 48:29
This is so simple. If you start feeling like oh my gosh, it's so complicated. And there's all these schedules. I don't know which one to pick and what what am I really supposed to eat? And am I supposed to take a supplement? It's like who? Okay, breathe. Remember, there's two parts to every day, your claim fasting hours, and your eating window, and you get to say when they are. So step one, just decide when's my eating window today, I, David, I have this fantasy for human beings, that we would just naturally ask each other. When's your eating window? Out of curiosity or kindness? Or, Oh, I'd like to have a meal with you. When do you normally eat and you would say 11 to five, I'd be like, Great, let's have lunch. Right Like once your eating window today. And you could say, well, I normally have an eight hour eating window, but I've kind of been enjoying alternating Sundays, I have a three hour eating window and sometimes I have an eight hour eating window. So I have this desire that people keep it very, very simple. You settle in and discover for yourself the eating window that feels really well to you. And that when things get complicated and confusing and you don't know if you should have this supplement or you don't know if you should you're allowed to have these foods or not, that you be peaceful. You decide on your eating window today. And you keep tuning in when you have questions about how am I doing and am I doing it right and is it working? You tune in Do your own body and check in how you're feeling. And you can ask it, you know, should I eat this or this and your body will tell you, your body is the boss and this beautiful, quiet reverence that we can have in a simple fasting clean and eating window will lay the foundation for clarity, and joy, and all these other areas.
David Sandstrom 50:26
Absolutely. That's really good. You know, one thing I'd like to add to that and that is fasting gives the body an opportunity to heal. And the body can do all kinds of housecleaning and corrections. When you're in a fasted state did an interview with Chris Gibson. It's episode number 102. And he wrote a book called acne three Acne Free In three days. And that's what he did. He fasted and his acne that has plagued him for years, and he'd been down the medical route done everything the doctors told him to do wouldn't go away. He fasted for three days in his acne cleared up and never came back. Yeah, so there's a correction that can be made. Oh, and it happens rapidly as well. Your body knows what to do. You just need to give it a chance.
Laurie Lewis 51:13
Everything from psoriasis to plantar fasciitis, I had a cyst on my pretty big cyst on my spine that went away. My plantar fasciitis went away aches and pains and arthritis and autoimmune and type two diabetes. I mean, this is this is a healing regimen.
David Sandstrom 51:30
Absolutely. Well, you know, one of the things fasting does is it lowers inflammation, systemic whole body inflammation, and inflammation is research is pointing this out, is bringing this out these days. And that is inflammation is the root cause to almost any health challenge. And if you can calm the systemic inflammation, you're gonna go a long way towards healing just about anything,
Laurie Lewis 51:52
and feeling amazing, you know, there's a big kick right now everybody wants to talk about biohacking, and longevity. And, you know, I'm like, Okay, you people enjoy all of that, you know, I certainly want to live as long as possible. But I have discovered that what people really want is to feel better today. So let's get everybody feeling better today. And within three days, and this that first month of settling into a fasting regimen. And I just imagine your listeners out there feeling better and better and better, which makes me very happy.
David Sandstrom 52:26
Very good. Thank you, Laurie. So if someone is resonating with this message, and they want to get a hold of you, what's the best way to get in touch with you?
Laurie Lewis 52:32
My business is fast forward. So it's fastforwardwellness.com. And people if they're like, Wow, I just want to remember everything she said, you can download a checklist of how to start. And I love it when people you start on your own or you have a conversation with me to to get some extra coaching. I'm happy to do a complimentary short coaching call, which is not a sales call, I really offer a free coaching session. If someone's like, Oh, I like her, I have some questions. And you can write to me, and we can set that up. And I love hearing how people are doing and I love discovering if there are ways that I could support you long term.
David Sandstrom 53:12
Excellent. Very good. Laurie, thank you so much for sharing your wisdom with the natural nation today.
Laurie Lewis 53:17
David Sandstrom 53:20
For more, go to the show notes page at davidsandstrom.com/119. There you can find an audio as well as a video version of the podcast. Always put links to all the resources that we mentioned, as well as some type of a content upgrade to help you go deeper with that subject. If you're enjoying the show, sure would appreciate you telling a like minded friend about it. The number one way someone hears about a podcast is that a friend tells them so if you have a like minded friend that's a follower of Jesus Christ and wants to hear about health from a Christian biblical perspective. I'll bet they'll be grateful for you telling them about the show. Thanks again for listening. I appreciate you. I'll talk with you next time. Be blessed.