Water Fasting and Powerlifting with FoodnSport

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Losing and Adding Pounds

My first water-fasting experience with Dr Doug Graham and FoodnSport was January of 2005. We were at a lovely facility a few hundred feet above Uvita here in Costa Rica on the west coast. I entered that event as a pretty healthy person after more than 10 years vegetarian but well overfed- I remember that I was doing 50 pull-ups a day as part of my workout in two sets of 15 and two sets of 10, so I had reasonable muscle mass.  I started the event at 203 lbs.

The awesome thing about this event was that for the participants, the only responsibility or issue was, well…really – none.  The only ‘issue” we faced was that there was a window of time of about an hour and a half in which the sun was on the pool, providing the optimal sunning time; so it was best to track that bit of time.  Other than that. we had nothing to do, as during a fast, one’s only objective is complete rest in every way possible. I had a routine of spending most of the day in a hammock outside at the edge of the jungle, looking forward to every afternoon, at about 3, when the capuchin monkey troupe would come by.

I sailed through that fast, a total of 27 days and losing about 35 lb.  My body, completely unsupervised, had rather amazingly preserved the muscle mass that I came in with as it was consuming 35 pounds of ugly fat. Such  faith in the wisdom of the body – this is one of the fundamental tenets of Natural Hygiene, as well as chiropractic, which are among the real sciences of health.

I was so energetic after that fast that I went back to the United States and started running a few times a week after almost exactly 40 years as a very committed, die-hard non-runner. My sports during high school had been sprinty kind of sports like soccer and baseball – I had never run distance and never pictured myself a runner.  I was on the track team one year, and did finish 5th in the trial for the 4×100 team, but then was throwing shotput and discus.  Back to 2005, my girlfriend at the time had run a half-marathon, and we thought it would be fun to train together and might surprise people if this Clydesdale could amble the 26.2.  We both ended up meeting our goal, of finishing the 2005 Richmond SunTrust Marathon in under 4 hours, me at 3 hours and 54 minutes and she at 3:59. I went on to run three more of those, in the top third of my age group, except for 2008, only “barely” – well, 7 minutes or so – missing qualifying for Boston in 2007.  

Here is your answer to losing muscle mass on a fast:

So, on the raw vegan diet, about a case of bananas a week and the better part of a pound of organic mixed greens in my huge serving bowl every night, I had to do only 2 of what I called the “Fast Four”  miles, which really wasn’t that fast – I tried to run it in about 32 minutes, normally more like 34 per week.  A lot of know-nothings will tell you that you need a lot of miles to run a Marathon, and I will tell you that I know it’s not so.  I did run a fast 10 every year, as calibration – The rule about your marathon pace being a minute per mile slower then your 10 mile pace held for me.  I would also do a 20 mile shakedown run September of each year at the FoodnSport Health and Fitness Week.   As Dr. Graham says – you shouldn’t have to recover from your meals, meaning you also shouldn’t have to overtrain to compensate for your meals..

In the intervening years, I drifted back to a cooked vegan diet.

My second fasting experience with Dr. Graham was also exceptional. We were at a mountain resort in Costa Rica, not far from Mount Chirripo. One could hear the river below at all hours of the day and night it was a common to see birds flying BELOW us, as well. The buildings were aligned to permit the rising and falling air masses in the morning and night to pass through the building. I spend a lot of time this time as well at the swimming pool, and/or in a hammock. This time I easily fasted 24 days, losing about 25 lbs.

I attribute a lot of my ongoing good health to these events and my time on 80/10/10.

The amazing thing about these events is not just the weight loss, it’s camaraderie, shared mission, support, team spirit, and amazing simply delicious food.

Possibly the coolest thing about observing a group fast is seeing the changes in people everyday – eyes get whiter,  skin gets clearer, and even teeth can get whiter, because teeth are living tissue, very well vascularized, and as blood flows through them and the body is at rest and has the opportunity to clean up that includes toxins of some kind which color the teeth, as far as I can tell.

In 2018, I worked with Dr. Graham and the facility owners to coordinate the fasting event at a new location in central Costa Rica. This is a lovely location close to the Talamanca Mountains, with perfect temperatures, although we did give out a few blankets at night which makes for a very pleasant sleeping experience. The property has several ponds and one can always hear flowing water because water is being circulated for the fish which are being raised. There are a lot of gorgeous flowers on site and significant bird traffic in and around the property.  In addition, our preferred pineapple supplier is only a couple of hundred yards away. 

This location has a 50 foot swimming pool, quite nice, and very minimally chlorinated because the pool is filled with groundwater and it’s changed frequently.. Pools are a rarity in this part of Costa Rica. There’s a large restaurant area with plenty of space for us to sprawl out for videos and lectures during the day, and there are always plenty of hammocks hanging from trees for those who care to relax outside, a very popular option.

Dr. Graham has held several, and still holds, a few age and weight powerlifting records for his home region of England. So at the end of the 2018 event, we had powerlifting training (that’s the reference to adding pounds in the title), with the fasters joining the staff at the end of their recovery. A bench was constructed and we had squat towers and about 400 lb of weight plates.  Just from being and eating at that event, I dropped more than 20 lbs. in the 5 week duration of the event, which allowed me at around 185 to squat 385, more than double my weight, which is reasonably respectable.  This could be called completely untrained, as I was living in Costa Rica, without access to any kind of gym or weights.  At the same event, I also did a 5×5 at my weight on the bench press, again, untrained, except for the duration of the event.

We are only about an hour from Perez Zeledon, the capital of the Canton and second largest city in Costa Rica, which has available all amenities that one could want including shopping, haircare, dental, medical, optical, electronics and repairs, etcetera.

Here are some photos

If you’d like a “reboot”, could use a deep rest, some weight loss, and a chance to start (again?) on your raw lifestyle, this event is for you.

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40 years in pursuit of health and dynamic wellness, now a thriving 50-something after 25+ years veg*n.  On the Intermittent Fasting train in a big way.

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