My partner in shine Matt and I both LOVE BrothMaster’s Bone Broth. It is flavorful and rich. My kiddos even love it, and they are quite particular. I’m a Nutritional Therapist and a health/nutrition writer. I’m currently working with a Doctor on a book all about fasting! So I decided to be brave and embark upon a (3) day bone broth fast journey. I’ve done some intermittent fasting, but never an extended fast of any kind.
What are the health benefits to not eating? Resting your digestion gives the body it’s ability to focus on healing. Fasting helps to reset our microbiome. While digestion is resting, the body can place it’s energy elsewhere, essentially eating bad cells and bacteria, and healing. Drinking bone broth during a fast can be a great way to ease into more strict methods of fasting, such as water fasting. The broth adds both electrolytes and nourishment to help repair digestion, and takes the edge off of the ‘hungries’ we may experience. Bone broth is full of amino acids such as proline and glycine that helps to repair the gut, as well as help with healthy hair, skin, and nails.
When embarking on a fast of any kind, I recommend starting low and slow. Make sure you are fat adapted or in a ketogenic state first, which will help with adjusting to not eating, and pulling from fat stores for energy. If you are a sugar burning metabolizer, you may experience more severe symptoms of hunger and headaches, as well as irritability, especially those first couple of days. Your hunger hormone signals may be very intense (especially for females), and this can make fasting much more difficult. You may still experience these symptoms when fat adapted and fasting, but not as severe if you have already taken the time to increase healthy fats in your diet and decrease processed carbohydrates.
It’s important (in my opinion) to set intentions when fasting, as it can be an emotional experience as well. Write down your healing intentions, and journal how you are feeling throughout the process. This can make the experience more fulfilling, while making less focus on physical changes, and more on overall health. Take time each day to review your intentions, as this gives you strength and reason to carry on.
I set the intention of taking this fast day by day, and stopping if I was feeling too terrible. This is my first fast, and I didn’t want to push my body too much too fast. Originally we planned on a 5 day fast, and then decided to start with 3 days, as to not stress our body too much. On day one we waited until about 4pm to have our first cup of broth. I had my boys with me, and we actually decided to all go for a hike. This might not have been the smartest way to start a fast, as hiking burns calories and loud kids can ‘inflame’ an already irritable/hungry person. Needless to say, we hiked in the Adirondacks while fasting, came home around 4 pm and had our first cup of broth. The broth helped to take the edge off of the hunger, and was soothing and satisfying. We had one more cup before bed, and we both slept amazingly! I was thinking I would be up at night and hungry. However, I ended up sleeping great. Matt did as well! We both woke and were surprised to wake up not feeling super hungry. I was so pumped to make it through the first 24+ hours of fasting. My symptoms were definite hunger, irritability, headache, and strong food cravings, during the day. All were expected, and the bone broth helped tremendously! We actually sat out in the sunshine with our first cup (it was finally warm here in upstate NY) and slowly sipped the broth. This provided for a calm, grounding, and ‘in the moment’ way to enjoy our first cup. We both really appreciated it. How often do we rush down our meals and don’t even take the time to appreciate the food in front of us. Fasting brings about a new appreciation.
The "hungries" really hit hard on day 2. The bone broth helped to take the edge off for a period of time. However, it was definitely the most challenging day to get through in terms of headaches and hunger. I had my kiddos student teacher conferences on that morning. I’m not going to lie, it was hard to focus. The hunger was deep and intense, and sipping water did not help. I really looked forward to that first cup of broth! We waited until early afternoon to have our first cup. The hunger came in waves, and there were moments it did go away. These moments gave me strength to push through the hard moments, as did refocusing on my intentions for healing. The broth seriously helped tremendously! It was incredibly nourishing and soothing, and helped to increase my energy to get through the day. The one thing I noticed on day 2 was an increase in mental clarity while working that afternoon. I’m a writer, and the ideas were flowing in like crazy! It was a very steady, clean feeling, like less ‘blocked’ in the brain, if that makes sense.
We slept great on the second night, and woke up feeling good! Experienced much less hunger today! I bet if we stuck it out longer the hunger would dissipate even more. Let me stress that I am a light sleeper and have always struggled with sleeping through the night. I was expecting that being hungry would make my sleep even worse. My sleep has really improved! I am thankful for that. No more severe ‘hungries’ on day 3. We made it until noontime before having the first cup of broth. We felt wayyyyy less hungry today, and actually had a boost in energy. We worked out today as we planned to break the fast afterward. With fasting, comes a rise in growth hormone. Therefore, working out fasting is the best way to get bang for your buck! We broke the bone broth only fast on the evening of day 3. We also took some digestive enzymes to ensure we could handle the solid foods. We continued drinking the broth for a few days afterward, in conjunction with small amounts of high fat, nutrient dense foods.
Overall the 3 day fast was a very positive experience, and one we definitely plan to embark on again in the near future, extending to 5 days. If you are going to try any fast, I highly recommend starting with a bone broth fast. If you are crunched for time or just don’t want to make your own broth (ideally broth should be cooked for 48 hours) BrothMaster’s is by far the thickest, richest, tastiest broth out there!
Some final observations Matt and I both made, most of which we experienced on day 3 and after:
- Increased energy
- Improved digestion
- Increased mental clarity
- Less distracted
- Brighter skin
- Deeper sleep with dream recall
- Neither of us weigh ourselves (ever), and weight loss was not our focus, but I do feel I slimmed out some
- Killed it at Crossfit too :)
- Kathryn Kos