The 3-Day Fast is ON!

I woke up today feeling good, but not hungry. In fact, I really didn’t feel hungry all morning or afternoon. I brought a banana to work (just in case) but didn’t eat it. Around 1:00 I decided it was go time. Now here I am, at the end of the first day of my 3-day fast. Go me!

I expected the first day to be easy. I do this once a week, after all. Except that today I have had no
food at all, which I have done before but only like twice. No yogurt or banana in the morning. No eggs or soup for dinner…well not soup like I usually have. I’m opting for my only “food” for these 3 days to be bone broth. I’ve read all about the healing benefits of bone broth. I’m not going to include any links. You can Google that for yourself and read about it on whichever alternative-healing information website you prefer.

I went to a famous bone broth place here in NYC to get my supply. It’s called Brodo and it’s in the East Village. It was very difficult walking there from the train. It was a really nice night and people were sitting outside at cafes eating their delicious food, the smell finally triggering my first hunger pangs of the day. The guy at the window is super nice. He assured me the broth only has about 50 calories per cup and said it will stay good in the refrigerator for about a week.

Getting it home made me nervous too. I was ridiculously protective over this quart of murky water, afraid it was going to leak or spill and then I would truly have nothing to look forward to at the end of these next 2 long days. It all worked out. I got it home, heated it up, and it was delicious. It makes me feel better about day 2 — which I’m kind of dreading.

By Tuesday afternoon I’ll officially be in unchartered territory. I can already feel my anxieties coming back, wondering: “how am I going to feel? Am I going to get dizzy and pass out?” What if I do all this and I don’t feel better?” I know this: if I can get through work tomorrow then I’m going all the way.

Wish me luck!

Pre-fast Jitters

For those of you who do intermittent fasting, do you get nervous the night before your planned fast? I used to. There was a fear of hunger and all that comes along with it: headaches, irritability, food going bad before I can eat it. It’s been a few years now, so I’m used to the physical discomfort (which is minimal lately) and I adjusted my habits to minimize food waste.

But I’m feeling a little anxious tonight because I’m about to start a 3-day fast. I have never fasted for this long, so I don’t know what to expect. I can put up with one rough fasting day because I know it’s only for a day, but this time it’s for 3 days. How is this going to play out?

A moment of silence for the food that won't be eaten...

A moment of silence for the food that won’t be eaten…

I haven’t decided if I’m going to start Monday or Tuesday. I would like to start Monday just so it will be over sooner, but I don’t know if that will be possible. I had a lot of fun today (Mother’s Day) and maybe a little too much wine. I never actually know if I drank too much wine until the next day. So if I wake up Monday and have to take a pain reliever or something for heartburn then I will take care of it and start the fast on Tuesday. If you saw the video in my last post, I’m going to follow a routine similar to what Dr. Mosley did:

*No food for 3 full days.
*Drink only water and black tea throughout the day.
*Less than 100 liquid calories per day (He had a cup of miso soup at night, I’m going to have bone broth).
*No exercise.

If you didn’t catch an earlier post about why I’m doing this, the short story is that I have been diagnosed with gastritis and it causes me pain when I eat a lot of foods that I enjoy — specifically the foods that need to be chewed, so basically everything. Fasting does help the pain, but it usually comes back after I have a big meal. I hope fasting for a longer period of time will give me more time without pain and also activate all the other healing properties of fasting. A study out of USC by Prof. Valter Longo shows fasting for 3 days can regenerate the immune system. I hope it will have some type of healing effect on me.

I’m an otherwise healthy person and I just had a full workup of tests by doctors within the past month so I’m not concerned that I’m putting my health in danger. I’ve been fasting long enough to know when something isn’t right and if I get that sense then I will bail. It’s simple as that. I’m not going to let my pride become more important than my health. Otherwise, what the hell am I doing this for?

Can I heal myself with a 3-day fast?

Publishing this post is the hardest thing I will do all day because now that I’ve written it down and sent it out to the world, I have to do what I’m about to say…or have a damn good excuse why not.


In a previous post, I mentioned that I was considering a 3-day fast. I believe the time has come to stop considering it and actually do it.


I knew you would ask.

Let me start with the problem that I’m having: gastritis. It’s inflammation of the stomach lining and it sucks. It’s usually caused by an infection, but I don’t have one. I do have reflux, but I couldn’t get a clear answer from the doctor as to whether or not that is causing this problem. She put me on a soft diet and told me to take Prilosec for 2 weeks, but that did NOTHING. I felt better for a little while but here I am again, in pain.

Fasting does help me feel better, especially the day after the fast. My stomach feels more relaxed because I’m still eating light, but then when I go out to dinner later in the week I go back to square one and have pain again. I can’t live like this: stuck between only eating food that doesn’t need to be chewed or being in intense pain.

One of the reasons I started intermittent fasting was because of the healing properties of fasting. You can find the scientific research to back up this claim in The FastDiet, but the simplest way I can summarize it is like this: Most of our immune system lives in the gut (intestines and such) and if we constantly bombard the gut with food to digest, then it doesn’t have time to heal whatever is wrong in our bodies. When we fast, we give our bodies a rest from digesting all the stuff we eat (difficult considering all the processed food in our diets) which frees it up to start repairing our damaged cells.

In the book, Dr. Mosley started his fasting journey with a 4-day fast under the supervision of Valter Longo at USC. He has published studies about how fasting for a few days can reset parts of the immune system. Is this what I need? I don’t know. What I do know is that fasting for a day makes me feel better. So I hope fasting for 3 days will give my body more time to heal.

Obviously the whole process will take more than 3 days. I’m planning a pre-fast cleansing day and a few recovery days after the fast. I’m going to blog about it everyday so you will know if I survive each day and so you can witness this human experiment in progress.

And it starts Monday.

The FastDiet Inventor on Dr. Oz!

Hey, y’all!

If you missed The Dr. Oz Show episode about fasting recently, he interviewed Dr. Michael Mosley, one of the authors of The FastDiet (aka, the book that changed my life). Check it out if you have some time. He talks about why he started it, how he cured his type 2 diabetes, and responds to the critics who say there isn’t enough evidence to show intermittent fasting is effective or safe.

Link to the episode is in the tweet. Let me know what you think!




Fast Days & Exercise

A lot of people on Instagram have been asking me if I work out on fast days.

Yes. I do.

“I’m fasting today” sounds like the perfect excuse to skip the gym, but I don’t fall into this trap (too often). Plenty of studies suggest working out on an empty stomach is not only safe, but can help you burn more fat than if you eat before a workout. 

I had concerns about this when I started fasting: “am I going to get dehydrated and pass out? Where will I get the energy to work out if I don’t eat during the day?” Sound familiar to any of you starting to embrace the possibility of intermittent fasting in your lives?

IMG_4869I’ve been doing hot power yoga for about 7 years now. It helps me get a good sweat on, gives me some definition in my arms, and gets me moving so I don’t settle into old age at this point of my mid-30s. It may not be cross fit or running or weight lifting, but it’s the only workout I’ve been able to consistently tolerate for more than a few years at a time. And isn’t that what everyone needs: a form of physical activity they enjoy?

In the book, The FastDiet, the authors encourage working out on fasting days, so I gave it a try. Back then, I had a different work schedule and I was able to work out in the mornings. For early workouts, I always ate afterward anyway (fast day or not), so I thought this would be the easiest approach. My body wouldn’t even realize it was fasting yet. I got my exercise in, stayed hydrated throughout the day, and all was well. Once I realized working out while fasting wouldn’t kill me, I tried an evening workout on a fast day — when I was mid-hunger. That turned out to be fine too. So as long as I feel good (hunger aside) and I’m able to hydrate, I definitely work out on fast days. After all, it’s one more thing to keep me distracted from thoughts like “I really want fries right now”.

When I started fasting, I was getting to the yoga studio between 4 and 6 days per week. I moved less than a year ago and the studio I go to now isn’t as easy for me to get to, so I only work out 3-5 days per week…but more like 3…and sometimes 1. Fasting helps me control my weight enough that I don’t see working out as “urgent” anymore. Good for peace of mind, but probably not so good for the body. Exercise is still a priority for me, but I don’t freak out if I have a busy week and can’t make it to yoga.

Workout or not, I still keep it to 500 calories or less on fasting days. Burning calories gets me no reward of eating extra calories. Sorry to disappoint if that’s what you really came here to find out.

Oh, the time I save

I know. I’m the worst.

It’s been a while, but I have been working on something else that will hopefully get a lot more people reading this little blog o’ mine. I can’t wait to share it with you all!

It’s almost funny that I have had little time to write a new blog post and I’m now going to talk about how much more time I have when I fast.Watch

I was at yoga class recently and heard a woman talk about going on a “water fast”. She said she did a fast for a day and only drank water. One of her biggest observations was that she had so much more time in the day. Not that she was starving or that it was soooo hard, but that she was able to get more shit done. Bravo to her for having a good attitude about it.

I didn’t chime in because I don’t go to yoga to speak to people. Instead I eavesdropped. Whatev…The point is: she’s right!

I really never gave much thought to how much time eating takes. It’s so much more than just chewing: deciding what to eat, going to get the food, (sometimes) preparing the food, sitting down to eat, not moving around too much after you eat. This isn’t my process for every single meal, but a lot of times it is. The “deciding” part is especially time consuming. How many hours have I spent standing in front of open cabinets or an open refridgerator door unable to decide what I’m in the mood for? Probably the same amount of time I spend standing in my closet doors wondering what I’m going to wear.

When I decide to fast, I’m also unintentionally deciding a lot of other things for the day. Like…

What am I going to have for lunch?

Should I see if some friends are around to go out for drinks tonight?

I’m so bored. What should I do right now?
Blog, dammit.

Fasting at work helps me get things done sooner. Whatever breakfast I do bring to the office is quick to eat. I don’t have to stop working to take lunch and I concentrate harder on my work so I don’t think about food. It all works out well.

When I fast on my days off, I make other plans: run errands, clean the house, do some writing, or even pay my bills! All those annoying things I have to do suddenly become my saving grace.

Of course, sometimes there aren’t enough hours in the week to get everything done even when I do fast.

OK, enough excuses and apologizing. I’ll do better next week.

Take it Easy Tuesday

Let’s talk about Tuesdays.


**This meal was not consumed on a Tuesday.

I know I’m abnormally excited about Tuesdays. I have thus far spoken of seeing a rainbow outside my window every Tuesday morning and comparing the feeling I get to waking up on Christmas Day. They’re just normal Tuesdays to everyone else, but they’re milestones for me because I have already fought what is usually my biggest battle of the week: Monday fasting.

If Monday is the best day to fast, Tuesday is the worst day to go to a buffet.

Fasting, even for a day, does change my body — specifically the size of my stomach.

I have tried to take out my “hanger” on burgers and pasta the day after a fast and came to realize it was not smart. It only turned me from hangry into angry because eating all I wanted made me feel stuffed and sick — feelings that are totally acceptable on Thanksgiving and select other occasions, but not on an average Tuesday.

Here are some things I do on Tuesdays to check myself before i wreck myself:

*Wait until I’m hungry to start eating.
I let my stomach tell me when it’s ready for food.

*Start off by eating something light.
Fruit, oatmeal, or scrambled eggs. This is not the time for bacon, pancakes, or bagels.

*Eat slowly.
It takes me a little while to tell when I’m full. If I eat slowly then my brain gets the message that I’ve had enough before I go too far.

*Avoid the “spite” junk food.
Sometimes I really want to grab a doughnut on the way to work or buy a bag of chips or a cupcake to have with lunch because “I earned it, dammit.” That’s still the residual hanger talking. If I wake up on Wednesday and still really want those things, then I go for it.

But remember, this post isn’t just about Tuesdays. It really should be called “Take it easy [insert day after whatever day I choose to fast].” Not really catchy.

That’s not to say I haven’t had a burger or a pancake breakfast the day after a fast. I have. And I have paid the price, which is obviously not too high since I have paid it more than once. I’m just more selective and conscious of when I choose to go hog wild.

On Tuesdays, I ease back into eating and the rest of the week is so much fun.

NY Post Article on Fasting

The NY Post wrote an article about fasting diets!!!
Regardless of what you think about the Post, people read it so I think this is good news and the story was well done and informative.

CLICK HERE TO READ: Forget calorie counting — this it the real secret to weight loss

It even talks about another book on the subject, which I’ll probably order and read this week.
Let me know what you think about it!

<3 Mara

5 reasons Monday is a great day to fast

One of my mantras is: I don’t eat on Mondays.

Try bringing that up on a first date without getting a weird look.
But hey, if there’s going to be a second date, at least he knows it’s not going to be on a Monday. There are lots of reasons why I’ve chosen to make the most hated day of the week a little worse for myself. Here are some:

1 – Mondays suck anyway.

Since the weekend is over, there’s usually a cloud hanging over Monday anyway. So, why not add just one more sucky thing to it? It’s like intentionally creating a rainstorm in your life, but you know what they say: after the rain comes the rainbow. I actually feel like there’s a rainbow outside my window every Tuesday morning. Isn’t that nice?

2 – There’s lots of time on Sunday to prep.

Sunday is usually the day many of us prepare for the week ahead. I plan out most of what I’m going to eat for the week and Sundays give me extra time to prepare fresh fasting meals, which do take a little more time to make since they involve careful measuring. This saves me a lot of time on Mondays, not only preparing what to eat, but also thinking about what to eat, which is not something you want to do on a fast day.



3 – It’s an excuse to go all out on the weekend.

I thoroughly enjoy myself on the weekends and I feel no shame, guilt, or worry about it. I eat too much, drink too much, and it I’m a lot of fun because of it.

4 – Super fun things rarely happen on Mondays.

Who goes out on a Monday? Some people do. I definitely have a couple of times in my life, but I find most fun, “let’s go out”-type things don’t happen on Mondays. Most people are still recovering from the weekend. They use Monday to reset and get back to a routine before making fun plans. Also, lots of service and entertainment businesses (restaurants and such) are closed on Mondays because they too need a break from working all weekend. The point is, I don’t feel like I’m missing out on much, but on the rare occasion something fun and exciting does come up on a Monday, then I fast on Tuesday instead. Simple as that.

5 – The rest of the week seems like a breeze.

One fast-day down! When I was in the weight-loss stage and fasting 2 days per week, once Monday was over, I felt like I already fought half my battle. Getting one fast over with early made the rest of the week much easier. I could choose my second fasting day whenever it suited my schedule. Now that I’m only fasting once a week, I wake up on Tuesday feeling like the hardest part of my week is behind me. Now that’s a lot to accomplish on a Monday.