How Intermittent Fasting Can Help You Look & Feel Amazing

As a naturopathic physician who has practiced intermittent fasting (IF) for the bulk of my adult life, I am uniquely positioned to speak both scientifically and anecdotally to intermittent fasting's profound benefits.

As well as its potential drawbacks.

Intermittent Fasting - Have Your Cake & Eat It Too

Before I even had a name for it, I have been following some form of intermittent fasting since my late teenage years.

My adoption of intermittent fasting paralleled the increased autonomy I obtained over my dietary habits.

As I moved out of the parental nest to begin undergraduate engineering, I was struck by the realization that - for the first time in my life - I was completely responsible for what I ate.

And - perhaps even more critically - when I ate.

Experimentation with various dietary strategies soon demonstrated that intermittent fasting provided me with vast benefits in cognition, energy, productivity, time-management, and quality of life.

In the intervening years, I have experimented zealously with many other dietary strategies.

Those varying what I ate.

Including raw, paleolithic, ketogenic, and caloric restriction with adequate nutrition (CRAN) diets.

And also those affecting when I ate.

Including by shifting meal frequency and/or timing of caloric intake.

Some of these - notably the aforementioned raw, paleolithic, ketogenic, and CRAN dietary strategies - undoubtedly produced significant benefits.

And yet ...

... none could match the pronounced, sustained, and all-encompassing benefits offered by intermittent fasting.

Clear Brain Fog With Intermittent Fasting

Mental confusion, tiredness, and/or clouding of consciousness - otherwise known as "brain fog" - is a frequent side effect of impaired food digestion or absorption, as well as inappropriate selection or volume of food.

Foods which may bring on brain fog are highly individual.

That said, frequent culprits include:

  • Fungi (mushrooms)
  • Fermented foods
  • Easily fermentable, carbohydrate-rich foods

Intermittent fasting provides one of the fastest, most effective methods for clearing such brain fog.

Unlike simple fasting, intermittent fasting provides the body with the nutritional precursors - including glutamine and other essential amino acids - necessary for digestive repair and health.

And unlike eating patterns involving frequent meals, intermittent fasting allows the gastrointestinal system time - away from not only potentially-irritating foods, but the simple diversion of energy required for digestion itself - to rebuild itself stronger than ever.

Get Energized With Intermittent Fasting

Fasting - and particularly intermittent fasting - can profoundly infuse your life with energy, passion, and creativity.

While this may appear to fly in the face of much conventional wisdom, it is in fact a natural corollary of several well-understood evolutionary and biological principles.

Nowhere is that more apparent than in the popular link between overindulgence and sleepiness.

This link is highlighted in the popular mnemonic - "rest & digest" - for the functions of the parasympathetic nervous system.

And while famously associated with melatonin-producing tryptophan in Thanksgiving turkey, such soporific effects of food are actually universal.

Digestion diverts blood flow, energy, and resources from the muscular, cortical, and nervous functions required to operate at one's peak state.

Digestion also promotes insulin and glucose volatility, leading to highs and - ultimately - lows of energy.

Such blood-sugar effects can be partially mitigated by food choices, such as by:

  • Increasing fibre, fat, and protein-containing foods
  • Decreasing foods with high glycemic indices, and
  • Increasing natural, unprocessed, raw foods

However, even with the best food choices, the enervating effects of digestion are universal.

Consequently, limiting digestion to well-defined periods can lead to dramatic increases in energy and well-being.

Increase Productivity & Time-Management With Intermittent Fasting

Increased productivity and time-management are one of the most immediate and profound benefits of intermittent fasting.

Just as digestion physiologically diverts blood, energy, and other physical resources away from higher muscular and nervous functions, the preparation and consumption of frequent meals diverts time, energy, and other psychological resources away from focusing on what truly matters to you.

The total amount of time spent preparing food and eating may - if weight loss is not desired - be similar with intermittent fasting or frequent meals.

However, by permitting extended periods between meals in which food preparation and consumption are not required, intermittent fasting frees up your psychological resources.

Allowing you time, space, and energy to focus on what truly matters to you.

Moreover, hunger can be profoundly positive - fueling your drive, motivation, passion, and dedication to your higher goals and deepest purpose.

Why Isn't Everyone Practicing Intermittent Fasting?

Those who follow my writing know that I'm a tireless advocate of individualization in all aspects of health.

Including diet.

And, one may reasonably ask - "if intermittent fasting is so great, why isn't everyone doing it?"

There are many reasons.

Some legitimate.

Others less so.

Social Barriers To Intermittent Fasting

Social norms.

These represent some of the most prominent barriers to widespread adoption of intermittent fasting.

Social interaction is undoubtedly an extremely important part of success, health, happiness, and life itself.

And one who profession revolves around business dinners and cocktail parties may find some, more extreme versions of intermittent fasting more challenging to adopt.

More obstinate social barriers, however, are often presented by those closest to us.

Our friends.

Our family.

Our cultures.

And even ourselves.

In fact, any dietary change away from familiar, habitual patterns often incites fear and rejection.

Despite - or perhaps because of - profound potential benefits.

By creating seeds of doubt that the tried and true of the old ways may be tired and through.

As such - to paraphrase Arthur Schopenhauer - such truths are first ridiculed, then violently opposed, before being finally accepted as self-evident.

Fortunately - unlike dietary patterns restricting what you eat - intermittent fasting is less likely to promote such social opposition.

As it can be adapted to virtually any lifestyle and social situation.

Allowing you to partake in the meals which truly matter to your career, your loved ones, and - ultimately - to yourself.

Who Should Avoid Intermittent Fasting

As noted above, I am an advocate of individualization in all things.

Accordingly, there are legitimate reasons why intermittent fasting may not be for a given individual.

Blood Sugar and Intermittent Fasting

In general, intermittent fasting is quite beneficial for stabilizing blood sugar, as well as avoiding or even treating diabetes.

However, Type 1 diabetics, underweight individuals, and those who find eating more than very small portions at any given time induces nausea may find it difficult to eat sufficient quantity or quality of food under an intermittent fasting regimen to satisfy their nutritional needs.

That said, most calorie-related or nutrient-related obstacles to intermittent fasting can be overcome by varying caloric intake and fasting / feeding cycles in accordance to need.

Individualized Responses to Intermittent Fasting

The above notwithstanding, however, individual reactions to anything - including intermittent fasting - vary.

As a result, I encourage those interested in intermittent fasting to consider experimenting with such a regimen to determine whether it can be beneficial for them.

However, those with chronic or advanced conditions - particularly those revolving around blood sugar regulation - are advised not to make any dramatic changes to their diets without the support, advise, and supervision of a qualified and experienced healthcare professional.

There are many varieties of and nuances to intermittent fasting regimens, and such a professional can permit you to find the best one for your individual nature.

I would be overjoyed to assist anyone interested in finding, refining, and sticking to their optimal diet - via intermittent fasting, or otherwise.

Whether myself or another qualified healthcare professional, I wish you the best in your healthcare journey, and remain here to offer support and advice to any who may desire or require it along the way.

Naturopathic Medicine & Homeopathy Testimonials

I have seen a huge shift in myself - mentally, physically and emotionally.

It's awesome! 

Things are going really great and most importantly I am connecting on all these different levels. 

Yesterday, I was jumping on my bed with my kids and I wasn't having those crazy heart palpitations, I wasn't even out of breath, I am not cold...I could go on and on...thank you.

Tamar Conner, Kentville, Nova Scotia

I had been living with prostate cancer for months, and the symptoms just got to the point that I had to do something.

The pills that my regular doctor gave me just made me dizzy and tired.

So I went looking for natural alternatives. 

After getting lukewarm results from the acupuncturist and chiropractor, I decided to then see Dr. Somody.

The homeopathic remedy and bowen therapy treatment he gave me made my urination more controlled and regular.

I went from having to get up four times a night to pee to being able to sleep through the night.

My eyes and hearing have also improved, and don't have to live with that annoying chronic cough now either.

R.L., Chilliwack, BC

My jaw had been frozen shut by a bony fusion, and nerve damage from many destructive surgeries.

I had such severe and destructive scar tissue in my mouth.

Andy's homeopathic remedy, neuro-emotional work, and especially the Bowen therapy helped to unlock my jaw and break up this scar tissue.

My nerve pain is also less intense than it's been in years, and is still getting better with every treatment.

Brent G, Burnaby (Whalley, North Surrey), BC

I have had chronic neck pain for over twenty years which improved significantly as a result of Dr. Somody's treatment.

Similarly, my daughter has had lower back pain for many years, which had dramatic improvement as a result of Dr. Somody's treatment.

She had low back soreness often, especially at night or when she was resting.

That disappeared very quickly as a result of the first Bowen therapy session.

This shift seemed to stick, too - she hasn't needed any more treatment in almost a year, and now barely even mentions her back.

Her stomach pain - it seemed that she had a low-level of parasites that were really good at hiding from her immune system.

Something about the treatment - the mind-body connection, perhaps, or the homeopathics, Bowen [therapy] sessions, dietary counselling, or something else - all I know is that she doesn't even mention her stomach now, and hasn't since the first session.

It's more difficult to judge the effect of the treatment on her anaphylactic allergies, as we've been trying to avoid her biggest anaphylactic triggers.

However, whatever the reason, she hasn't any anaphylatic attacks in the year since she began Dr. Somody's treatment.

Her dyslexia's also dramatically improved to where it could be considered cured, or at least so small that it barely interferes with her life.

Dr. Somody has been both professional and respectful in his care of both my daughter and myself.

I have great regard for Dr. Somody, and for the health results he has achieved in attending to both myself and my daughter.

Catherine Matthews, West Vancouver, BC

Before coming to see you, if I ate anything but raw food, I'd feel like my abdomen was so bloated, painful and swollen.

I would get tired and fuzzy in the head from eating almost anything!

Another naturopath diagnosed me with leaky gut, but the supplements she prescribed didn't really help that much.

Your homeopathic remedy and Bowen therapy made a huge difference though.

And I was happy to not have to take so many vitamins!

The mental-emotional technique also made me aware of the past events that had probably contributed to my health problems.

I also appreciated that you could tell me what foods were good for my body, and which foods I was allergic to.

Although, as you told me would happen, it seems these allergies have become less with time, I can now eat almost anything without having any gas, pain, confusion or tiredness.

Bernadette, Vancouver (West Point Grey), BC

My jaw and tooth pains used to be constant, but have gone away almost totally since the homeopathy treatment. The migraines were so intense before that they made me miss work; they're 90-95% better now. My blood pressure is normal for the first time in years too.

A.K., West Vancouver, BC

I started working with Andy to get some help with my son, who has had issues with anger, attention, aggressiveness for some time.

With Andy's help, my son has made a huge turn around in all areas of his life.

Seeing the success my son had, my wife and myself started seeing Andy with great success for the both of us.

Andy is very passionate about what he does, along with his compassion and kindness.

I would recommend Andy to anyone.

Brian Dierolf, Vancouver (Kerrisdale), BC

I used to have an constantly inflamed sore throat, as well as itchy, irritating skin problems.

These all got better after your homeopathic remedy and Bowen therapy.

It took a little longer for the vitiligo to respond, but it's no more than half as noticeable now than it was before.

Your neuroemotional technique and biofeedback seemed to particularly help it.

C.R., Sunshine Coast (Sechelt / Gibsons), BC

My MS had gotten almost uncontrollable before I saw Andy. I was losing control of my body - my muscles, balance, and even my bladder.

And when my body wasn't failing me, I was in excruciating pain from the muscle spasms.

Dr. Somody's homeopathic remedy and biofeedback have helped me regain a huge amount of control over my body.

And the Bowen Technique that he uses helped my muscle spasticity and paralysis.

All my symptoms have decreased by more than 80%.

If everything keeps getting better at this rate, I'll be totally cured in a few weeks!

Gail, Chilliwack, BC

According to my most recent lab tests, my MD said my diabetes is so well controlled it's like I don't even have diabetes anymore! I definitely feel much better, and am able to eat all my favorite foods again without my blood sugar spiking like it did before your naturopathic and homeopathic treatment. Even my daughter is doing much better, gaining weight and hitting her development milestones, since I've finally been able to breastfeed her without pain. Thank you for everything!

V. Chu, Richmond, B.C.

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