This past month was symbolic for women as it marks Breast Cancer Awareness Month. Many families reflect on their loved ones who may have battled or are currently battling the disease, others schedule wellness checks and many double down on preventative measures in the fight against breast cancer.
Take, for instance, our CEO Danna Pratte.
Danna, not one to sit around and let life call the shots, decided to embark on a water fast in hopes of sharing her journey with all of our fans. Moreover, Danna recently had three close friends diagnosed with cancer and she wanted to explore ways she could help others. And while it's vital readers should always consult their personal physicians before trying the same, it's her hope that women (and men, alike) can learn from her experience to enact detoxes, cleanses and healthy habits at home.
Preparing for the Water Fast Danna chose a water fast because she knew it to be an affordable, approachable option for anyone. She also landed on a 5-day fast because the timeframe felt ambitious, but feasible all the same.
Danna is what many people would already call "very healthy". She eats well, works out often and keeps up with her vitamins and minerals. The water fast, however, would be a test of will and she was up for the challenge to inspire others.
Why a Water Fast? Simply put, studies show that water fasts, detoxes and cleanses may help prevent disease. In a nutshell, after roughly 36 hours of fasting, the body runs low on energy and must shift into the conversion of stored glucose, protein and fat. In addition to weight loss benefits, a water fast is also an effective way to rid your system of metabolic waste, built up toxins and other factors that may play an adverse role in overall health. For anyone committed to doing what they can to combat cancer and other diseases, fasting may be one home practice with real benefits.
Fasting Experience by the Day She didn't want to project false expectations for anyone interested in trying a fast of their own, so here's how Danna's fast shook out each day.
Day 1 was tough. It was the kickstart of the experiment and she committed to only water through a mineral filter. No food. No vitamins. It was a total fast.
Day 2 was easily the most difficult. She noticed a crash in energy levels and experienced headaches off and on. Upon multiple checks, her blood sugar levels were noticeably lower than normal. When she needed to "splurge" she took a sip of sparkling water to mix things up.
Day 3 was a high point. Danna felt more energetic and even snuck in a light workout at the gym.
Days 4 and 5 were manageable, but not a walk in the park. Her hunger subsided but she did note feeling "empty".
Days 6 and beyond included the re-introduction of small, clean, natural meals and the benefits we'll discuss momentarily.
Fasting Takeaways, Benefits and Learnings While it wasn't the central goal, Danna was happy to report that she lost 10 pounds over the course of the fast. 5 days off of meals and she became very aware of the food that now enters her system and its impact on her body. It's also become much easier for Danna to stay properly hydrated each day as those 5 days really conditioned her to drinking all the water her body demands to perform its best. As far as thoughts and presence, Danna reported feeling much clearer and focused over the course of the fast. In fact, now six weeks out, Danna still notices an overall spike in energy and mental clarity that she attributes to her supremely clean house and routine urges to organize and declutter.
The hardest part, beyond making the decision to start the fast, was saying no to social outings and dinners with friends. Danna mentioned that in order to be successful in your fast you've got to honor that timeframe and it may require missing some of your favorite gatherings or cravings.
"Don’t be afraid of not being able to eat. Once you get over the day two hump, your mind takes over and you believe you can do it. You will have to change a few lifestyle things but its only five days but the benefits are huge." -Danna Pratte