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

For about three years, I was suffering from unpleasant symptoms with my digestion which eventually triggered my social anxiety that was going to the extent of periodic panic attacks occurring in crowds, before going out of home or with no apparent or trivially discoverable reason.

At first, the remedy Andy gave me made some gradual, slow changes, but we weren't quite there, yet. Later on, Andy found some interesting homeopathic solutions that improved my quality of life big time. 

Like with any sensible approach, I didn't become absolutely okay overnight (and I still have some issues) but it looks like my social anxiety came down to a much more tolerable level and I forgot when was the last time I experienced a panic attack like I did before. Suffice to say, I am not obsessed with my condition anymore — and that's a huge step forward.

Also, the probiotics and various herbal medicines Andy gave me to improve my digestion were working quite well, albeit at times those solutions were rather temporary.

I don't normally take any of these things regularly now and yet my stomach is doing much better than before.

Thank you, Andy!

Yurii, Vancouver (Kerrisdale), BC

I had mono years ago, and then started getting all these immune problems - wheezing, itching, coughing up phlegm, and having really low energy levels.

And it used to feel like I was allergic to everything!

I got sicker and sicker for years before I found Andy.

His homeopathy and neuroemotional technique gradually made me feel stronger and healthier.

Now I just get infections once or twice a year, and when I do, they're not severe or debilitating at all.

Even my dyslexia and reading problems seem to have gotten better with the Bowen technique and biofeedback.

G.D., Burnaby, BC

I had such angry red inflammed acne on my face and neck, it didn't matter how much foundation I put on, it would never look normal.

I also had low blood pressure and blood sugar problems that would make me weak, shaky, and nervous.

I had tried the normal drug route but that just made me feel worse and made my periods even more painful.

Andy's homeopathic remedy and neuroemotional therapy made me less anxious, jealous and irritable, almost overnight.

The Bowen technique also seemed to make things flow better, and my periods better.

The acne started to lessen after a couple of days and the flare-ups became less and less until they were not even noticeable.

The healing has been so gradual and complete that before Dr. Andy reminded me I forgot I used to have restless legs, anemia, or vomiting problems.

J.B., Sunshine Coast (Gibsons), BC

Back & sleep both are very good now - I don't feel pain or tight muscles any more! Mind is less anxious and worried too, and eyes don't blink without control as before.

Christine R., North Vancouver (Pemberton Heights), B.C.

Andy helped me overcome my battles with alcohol addiction, and I don't get anymore liver pain.

The warts on my feet are gone, and I don't get the tonsillitis every winter like I used too either.

K.S., West Vancouver (Dundarave), BC

The pain in my abdomen, hips, pelvis, back and intestines were there before pregnancy, but they all became 100 times worse during.

The pain was with me constantly, and just got worse as the pregnancy wore on.

Your bowen therapy was a lifesaver.

The pain was at a 9 or 10 out of 10 before the first session, but went down to a 5 or less afterwards.

With every bowen treatment, and your homeopathic remedies and emotional technique as well, the pain decreased more.

I can't say that the birth was completely pain-free, but it was way better than my first, and I'm certain I would've needed heavy-duty drugs if not for the bowen therapy.

C.P., Vancouver (Marpole), BC & Little Rock, Arkansas

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 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

For most of my life, I felt as though I couldn't breathe - there was so much mucus and congestion in my lungs and nose.

I was sick a lot too, in my lungs and nose, plus infections in my bladder. 

But I would also get this same congested feeling when I would get panic attacks.

Andy's homeopathic remedy, bowen treatment, and neuroemotional exercises let me get to the source of my sickness and cure it.

Now I only rarely get sick or panicky.

And I always seem to get over it pretty quickly when it does come.

The change in my mood is like night and day too.

Carol K., Burnaby, BC

I truly believe that, without Andy's homeopathic remedy and the neuroemotional work we did, I wouldn't have come back from my thyroid cancer.

I've been cancer-free for almost a decade now.

I also used to have to avoid cell phones and X-rays because they would make me feel like crap and affect my bowels, but am not so sensitive to radiation now thanks to the homeopathy.

James L, Delta (North Delta), BC

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