After a 36 hour fast

“I fast for greater physical and mental efficiency.” – Plato

Fasting is an age old practice of abstaining from food. Today many are availing of it to enhance their health and wellbeing. This presentation is neither about substantiating nor refuting the benefits of fasting. My goal here is to share what has been working well for me as to the foods to eat after a 36 hour fast. If you don’t consume the right foods after a long fast, then diarrhea and/or stomach cramps may follow.

My first meal is limited to a serving of sardines (4 oz). The second meal consists of two boiled eggs. My third meal may include an avocado and/or salmon. Allowing for an hour or two between consumption works for me, but it may not be a good standard for everyone. For the remainder of the day, you will typically find me eating less frequently and gradually taking in veggies, cereals and nuts.

The primary reasons for my weekly 36 hour fasts are thus: It strengthens resolve, moderates appetite, and detoxifies the body. Furthermore, it allows for a state of consciousness that is conducive to meditation and creative thought. Even though there are other ways to attain such results, fasting happens to be a direct and uncomplicated approach that suits my lifestyle. However, not everyone has the physical constitution or the appropriate environment for fasting, so it may be prudent to consult a health professional if you wish to learn more about regulating your food consumption.

About Jason Youngman

An explorer of volition and soul, a song under a night sky and a dream that forever yearns to be.
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29 Responses to After a 36 hour fast

  1. zennfish says:

    I used to find it easier to fast when I was younger – for a day at the most. 36 hours is quite a feat.

    • Do you recall the quality of your poetry-writing during fasts?

      • zennfish says:

        I never paid attention to that. Back then, I mostly journaled. The fasting was often a part of a ritual (there were hunger strikes too). It was a kind of petition to god. Give to be given. Do you notice a difference in what you write or how you write when you fast?

      • ‘Give to be given’ has an authentic feel to it; both transcendent and down to earth in nature. There’s something rather lovely about sharing our core beliefs, don’t you think; for in so doing we make ourselves vulnerable to the scrutiny of others, which in truth may encourage us to examine ourselves even further. What can be more beautiful than shedding erroneous opinions; i.e., to move our souls ever closer to the truth by which no one can be harmed…

        Re question: Yes―there seems to be a difference in the quality of my writing while fasting. In some respects, what we are naturally good at often reveals itself while under intense pressure and/or when deprived of our creature comforts. It can also show our ugliness, which we need to see and accept in order to make appropriate adjustments; that’s if we genuinely want to harmonize with others and our environment. But my gut reaction is suggesting that you posed your question out of a general sense of politeness, rather than a scientific aim to ascertain a truth, thus my reason or judgement in leaving my response as is; however, the floor remains open if you care to dance with me through the eloquence of words.

      • zennfish says:

        The question comes more from a place of curiosity than politeness. But yes, I also did want to shift quickly from sharing my beliefs, myself because I am not fully comfortable sharing my beliefs. I am still learning to move away from, I have moved away from, what others think of me, want of me, project on to me, and I am trying to get back in touch with that authenticity I left behind when I began to choose from a place of fear instead of my heart. That said, I am still curious 🙂 I feel better when I write without the discomfort or distraction of hunger, which now reminds me of Knut Hamsun’s ‘Hunger’ and the passion for words that superseded material lack and hunger, which was not a choice.

      • Kewl! I can relate in part. As a child I was overly sensitive around others, so much of my personality morphed into something rather eccentric. It took years to get real with myself, and it’s possible to lose my bearing even now while around people who have a tendency to criticize, condemn, complain, compete and connive. On the other hand, it’s empowering and freeing to participate in artistic pursuits that eclipse the trivialities of mundane existence.

      • zennfish says:

        Agree. The dreaded Cs! Writing has in a way been liberating but i find it easier to express myself through fiction

      • Fiction keeps the spotlight off the writer, allowing the imagination to shine brighter.

      • zennfish says:

        It creates detachment and allows things to blossom uninhibited, lifts the limitations. There is the imagination as well as liberation.

  2. H. Scott Armstrong says:

    I was really interested (and surprised) to see that sardines were your first stop. I never ate sardines in my life until just a few months ago, and now I make a point to eat at least one serving every day. They really are a good healthy and I can definitely tell the difference they make in my diet.

    • You can take the man out of the bay but you can’t take the bay out of the man. Fish has been a significant part of our diet as a human species long before Kellogg’s came on the scene.

      • Shawn says:

        As a fellow east-coaster, I can relate!

      • Kewl! How do you fast, generally speaking?

      • Shawn says:

        I often find myself frequently fasting for 8 to 10 hours for bloodwork, given my Type-1 Diabetes. But occasionally, I will do something akin to fasting, but includes fluids since I can’t really go without any and all nutrition for more than about 18 or so. Otherwise, Diabetic chaos ensues!

      • In regards to your occasional fasts, are you certain this is ok for your overall health in view to your condition? What are the advantages?

      • Shawn says:

        As long as I can keep my blood sugars controlled, I can work my way through a fast the same way as most people. The issue that arises comes from the potential for a low or an extreme high, which ends up requiring intervention that usually involves eating. Even high blood sugars, which only require insulin to correct, eventually require the intake of food due to the “boomerang” effect where blood sugars drop dramatically after correcting a significant high. As long as I’m willing to pass on working out for the two days and monitoring my blood sugars on the regular (much easier now, with continuous glucose monitoring), I can get through a full day or more of fasting without any significant issue.

        The benefits range from allowing the body’s natural detoxification functions to take hold or shedding weight to a mild extent.

      • It sounds to me that fasting can be somewhat risky for you, and seeing that the same benefits can be ascertained through other means, it makes sense as to why you resort to occasional use. As a family man, martial artist and an avid writer, maintaining balance and perspective certainly trumps unnecessary pursuits.

      • Shawn says:

        Absolutely. This is why I keep it to a minimum, despite the fact I believe there are definite benefits to fasting on occasion.

      • Dear Jason and Shawn,

        Speaking of diet and fasting, for reasons of health and the environment, I am mostly a vegetarian and occasionally a vegan, even though I consume a little meat infrequently. In any case, I do not have a craze for meat, not to mention that eating less meat is good for the environment for many reasons.

        I also keep my consumption of fat to a minimum, preferably less than 10% of food intake or energy.

        Here are my general guidelines to remaining healthy and slim. I do not necessarily or invariably stick to them very strictly.

        (A) Diet:
        1. 20 minutes before every meal, either drink a glass of water or eat an apple.
        2. Use smaller plates to hold meals.
        3. Cut out all soft drinks, sugary drinks and fruit juices.
        4. Cut out junk food and processed food. (I do have some high-quality biscuits and chocolates in small quantity).
        5. Check food label to ensure that the sugar content is below 20%.
        6. Do not add too much sugar to home-cooked food.
        7. Reduce salt intake.
        8. Fast for two days per week. On the fasting day, either eat only one third at every meal, or eat only one meal. Not eating for a whole day or longer is also fine.
        9. Have two rather than three meals a day.
        10. Restrict mealtimes to within an eight-hour period, outside of which drink only water and have no food. In other words, whether a person has one, two or three meals per day, the meal(s) should be consumed within eight hours.

        (B) Exercise:
        1. Do High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) once or twice a day, or at least once every second day. Each session needs to be as intense as possible and lasting no more than 20 to 30 seconds or one minute at most, followed by one to a few minutes of rests. Repeat twice. This can be running, skipping or cycling on the spot. Running upstairs and downstairs can also help.
        2. Reduce sitting time by standing to work or study. Buy something like Veridesk or make your own by improvising or using existing materials.
        3. Do some skipping or jumping.
        4. Whatever exercises you do, vary the intensity.
        5. Doing some physically taxing house chores can be helpful too.

        Happy December to you soon!

      • Shawn says:

        These are fantastic guidelines, and I’m even pleased to see that I follow most of your list (with the exception of fasting). My family and I try to keep our meat intake to poultry and fish, and of course my exercise regimen is widely varied, including martial arts, HIIT, cross-training, circuit training and weights.

        I like that you mention a variety of intensity for exercise, as it is important to keep things varied in order to promote muscle growth and keep oneself motivated. I had a standup desk at the office before the world went to hell in a hand basket and I absolutely loved it. It makes such a difference. Thanks for including your thoughts.

  3. 36 hours… were you taking juices, fruits or nothing at all? I mean absolutely nothing… ?

  4. Thank you for your interest Laurie but it may be best to consult a health professional. There are a few of them here on WordPress who both advocate and practice fasting. Most of them, if not all, would probably welcome your questions. All the best.

  5. Walking Independent says:

    You know what a fast will do me some good. Let me prep myself. I will start this week.

  6. inese says:

    I am fasting once a month and find it very beneficial. Like you, I eat very small portions, and love fish and seafood. Spoiled living by the sea 😉 I am afraid I wouldn’t be able to fast for 36 hours, but if you are ok with it, no harm. We eat more than we really need anyway.

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