I’m so excited!! I sent a message to Dr. Valter Longo, and he responded!! I could barely get my own profs to respond when I was in university, and my grades depended on it! But I sent a message and he responded to me, quickly! I wanted to thank Dr. Longo for his research on fasting, and I had a question I hoped he could answer, and he did! Yes, I’m having a fan girl moment about a university professor and researcher. What of it?!?!
Okay, maybe not everyone finds fasting as exciting as I do, but when I was diagnosed with cancer so many friends tried to help by sending links to pages touting one cancer cure after another. I know their hearts were all in the right place, but it was very frustrating to read that eating 600 lemons a day would cure my cancer, or coffee enemas. Seriously, I think I’ll take the chemo thanks! Besides being very unpleasant, science has shown they don’t actually work. Oh certainly, lemons do have cancer fighting properties, but eating lemons, even seeds and rinds, and all, will not cure cancer.
But while my friends were sending me all these links, I was also searching for scholarly articles on ways to make chemotherapy easier. I wasn’t trying to find a way to skip chemo, or to cure cancer. I just wanted to continue living while I went through it.
I stumbled upon news articles about Dr. Longo’s work, and from there, I dived in and found an article or two that showed more of his work as well as detailed information about the methods employed in his research.
I believe in God and the power of prayer. I prayed, and felt compelled to try fasting.
I approached my oncologist, and he was super excited to have me fast prior to and during chemo, his words were, “I’ve seen the results in rats, and I can hardly wait to see what happens in a human!!”
Some people may have been put off by that, but I really was just as excited!
Though I quickly learned most people weren’t. Pretty much every other medical professional I met insisted that fasting would be bad for me, and since chemo leaves a person feeling so nauseated and unable to eat to begin with, it’d be bad to choose not to eat on purpose.
I fasted anyway. But I wasn’t able to find solid information on how to fast properly for during chemo. Over the course of my first 2 rounds, I discovered what not to do. By the 3rd round I knew what to do.
I started my fast after dinner. I’d have a couple glasses of water before I went to bed, but that was it. The next morning when I woke up, I’d have a litre of water with a tsp of apple cider vinegar. I’d also have about 2 tbsp of chia seeds soaked in water to eat. It took the edge of, and I didn’t feel hungry. I continued to drink and drink, and drink all day long. I’d have chia for breakfast each day, otherwise nothing but water until the fast was done. My fast lasted for 72 hours before chemo and 5 hours after. Just over 3 days total. The first fast was hardest, each fast after that was easier and easier.
I tend to have low blood pressure, so as a precaution, I didn’t drive after the 24th hour fasting. Otherwise I went about my life. Not everyone would react the same, and even by my 3rd or 4th fast I wasn’t reacting to the fast as I had previously. It was a lot easier, and better.
After chemo, I waited 5 hours minimum to eat anything. I usually went home, took a nap, and then when I woke up I’d have some bone broth and a light meal. The next day I’d eat as usual.
One of the important points I’ve taken from Dr. Longo’s work is that fasting can be beneficial to anyone. The positive effects are numerous. So even though I’m less rigid than I was during chemo, I’ve continued to fast on occasion and plan to continue the practice for many years to come.
Anyone who knows me, knows how much I love to eat, so it may come as a surprise, but I actually really love how I feel during a fast! Yes, this girl (who got kicked out of university orientation because I was a bit hangry when they wouldn’t let me eat a snack) enjoys fasting and honestly thinks it feels good!
Dr. Longo’s work has impacted my life so greatly, I wanted to send him a message to thank him. And he responded!