Wanted: Weight-Loss Stories

Our local newspaper asked for weight-loss stories in the September 15, 2013 issue:

“Have you lost a significant amount of weight, or did you finally lose those stubborn last 10 pounds? If so, we’d like to hear your story. Tell us in 400 words or less about your weight-loss journey. Why did you decide to lose weight? What were your biggest challenges? What was your diet? Did you go it alone, or did you join a weight-loss group? Are the results what you expected, and have they changed how you feel about yourself? Send your stories to aharris@bayareanewsgroup.com with the subject line ‘How I lost it.’ Include your name, age and city and a contact phone number. Also, send before and after pictures in jpg format, if available.”

Since I have been on The Fast Diet for six months and am very happy with the results I decided to send in my story (please go to //www.eatfastheal.com/blog/howilostit to read Bonnie’s “How I lost it” Story).

If you have a weight-loss story I’d love to read it. Please email it to me at rlo@road-to-health.com with the subject line “How I lost it” and I will publish it on my blog, or send it to the newspaper or, better yet, send it to both!



Bonnie’s “How I lost it” Story

I decided to lose weight because I’ve gained 60 pounds over the past 12 years.
I used to be able to maintain my weight by cutting out carbohydrates a week whenever I gained a few pounds, but for the past 12 years I couldn’t do it for a day (my daughter thinks it was because she has been ill for 12 years and I’ve been caring for her and worrying about her).
There are two reasons why I chose The Fast Diet (2012) by Michael Mosley −
 Video: //vimeo.com/54089463 to lose weight: (1) On several very traumatic days I have gone without eating all day with no ill effects and (2) The Fast Diet is recommended for lowering levels of chronic inflammation, which, in turn, reduces the risk of numerous diseases including heart disease, cancer, stroke and Alzheimer’s.
The diet consists of fasting on 500 (women) to 600 (men) calories on two non-consecutive days per week and eating normally the other five.
I started the diet March 5, 2013 by myself. I fast for 24 hours Thursdays and Sundays. When I start my fast I don’t eat anything for 12 hours, then I eat 250 calories twice during the next 12 hours.
The first three months I lost 17 pounds without exercising. The next three months I only lost one pound a month, so I started walking on a tread-mill (I walk 20 minutes daily and plan to work up to one hour).
For six months prior to going on the diet I had suffered with what Ricky Gervais has, which can take up to two years to heal. He calls it a “Frozen Shoulder” or the “50-year-old Shoulder” (I’m 76). I couldn’t raise my left arm because whenever I tried I experienced excruciating pain in my left shoulder. If I didn’t try I had no pain, so I stopped trying. My doctor urgently recommended exercises for my arm so my muscles wouldn’t atrophy but I simply couldn’t do them. The Fast Diet Results: Within two months I regained complete pain-free movement of my left arm. Within two months my lifelong springtime allergies did not reappear and my cravings for potato chips and ice cream vanished. Within three months my cholesterol was reduced by 40 points, triglycerides 75 points, and glucose 5 points − and I love being 20 pounds lighter.

The Mystery in Your Milk

I've been informed by a knowledgeable source that the probable reason my IGF-1 level came down after three months on the Fast Diet is because I have stopped eating ice cream most evenings (by fasting — and consuming only 500 calories — twice a week — for 24 hours each Sunday and Thursday — I have lost my desire for ice cream).

After reading the article below and watching the YouTube video "Your Milk on Drugs" by Jeff Smith I read the label on my favorite brand of ice cream and, sure enough, it does not have a "Milk from cows not treated with RBST" notice on the label (which means the next time I purchase ice cream — for a special occasion — I will switch brands from Häagen-Dazs to Ben & Jerry's or another brand that has that special notice on the label). (My favorite cheese does have the notice on the label — it's from Switzerland.)

This an 18 minute video about Monsanto's RBST in regular milk in the US:


If you are wondering what is so important about your IGF-1 level please read The Fast Diet by Dr Michael Mosley and Mimi Spencer at the Telegraph Bookshop

The Mystery in Your Milk

by Jane Akre & Steve Wilson

The report that Monsanto and Fox TV didn't want you to see. Published for the first time.

Jane Akre and Steve Wilson, a respected reporting team at WTTV, a Fox Network Station in Tampa, Florida, were fired from their jobs after refusing to broadcast what they knew and documented to be false and distorted information about Monsanto's bovine growth hormone (BGH) — a genetically engineered product that has been linked to the proliferation of breast, prostate, and colon cancer cells in humans.

On August 28, 2000, a Florida jury unanimously decided that Akre had been fired for threatening to blow the whistle on Fox for pressuring her and Wilson to broadcast a false, distorted and slanted news report and awarded her $425,000 for lost wages and damages. Fox is appealing.

This is the first time that the script that got the reporters in trouble has appeared in print. This important document has been edited for length but not censored. For the full version, go to the website: //www.foxbghsuit.com.

Reporters' Version — Part I

"Nature's most nearly perfect food" — that's how most of us have always thought of milk; wholesome, nutritious and pure just like it says on some of the trucks that deliver it. But down on the farm where most of us never see? Some Florida farmers have been quietly squeezing more cash from their cows by injecting them with an artificial growth hormone so they'll produce more milk than nature intended.

Thurman Hattan, Florida Dairy Farmer: "Yes I would say, people in Florida are using it. (Reporter Jane Akre): And you yourself? (Hatten) Ahh ...

Narration: Hatten is one of many Florida dairymen reluctant to admit that they're injecting their cows every two weeks ...

Hattan continues: " ... it's possible I could be using it. "

Narration: The drug some Florida farmers don't want you to know they're using is a Monsanto laboratory version of bovine growth hormone known as BGH.

Here's how it works: when the cow gets injected with extra BGH, it stimulates the production of another hormone called IGF-1. That's really the stuff that speeds up the cow's metabolism, causing her to produce up to 30 percent more milk.

But some scientists like Dr. Samuel Epstein are warning what might be good for the farmers' bottom line might be big trouble down the line for people drinking the milk from treated cows.

Samuel Epstein, Scientist, University of Illinois: " ... there are highly suggestive if not persuasive lines of evidence showing that consumption of this milk poses risks of breast and colon cancer."

Narration: Dr. Epstein is a scientist at the University of Illinois School of Public Health. He's earned three medical degrees, written eight books, and is frequently called upon to advise Congress about things in our environment which may cause cancer. He and others like Dr. William von Meyer point to what they say is a growing body of scientific evidence of a link between IGF-1 and human cancers which might not show up for years to come.

William Von Meyer, Research Scientist: "We're going to save some lives if we review this now. If we allow BGH to go on, I'm sure we're taking excessive risks with society."

Narration: Dr. Von Meyer has spent 30 years studying chemical products and testing their effects on humans. He's supervised many such tests on thousands of animals at schools such as the University of London and UCLA. He's headed agricultural, chemical and genetic research at some of America's most prestigious companies.

Monsanto is the giant chemical company which sells the synthetic hormone under the brand name Posilac; and Monsanto has consistently rejected the concerns of scientists around the world.

Dr. Robert Collier, Chief Monsanto BGH Scientist: "In fact, the FDA has commented several times on this issue after there were concerns raised. They have publicly restated human safety confidence ... this is not something knowledgeable people have concerns about."

Narration: While other companies have dropped by the wayside, Monsanto has invested a mountain of money into Bovine Growth Hormone.

Company sales tapes encourage farmers to use it as a tool to milk more profits out of every cow.

Video Clip of Monsanto sales tape: "Of course you'll want to inject Posilac into every eligible cow, as each cow not treated is a lost income opportunity."

Narration: A number of critics, including at least one state agriculture commissioner, have called it "crack for cows" for the way it speeds up the cow's milk production ... but despite its promise of profit, some dairymen say the product doesn't always lead to happy trails for the cows or for those who tend them.

Charles Knight, Florida Dairy Farmer: "It's a tool that can be used, but you better be careful, 'cause it can burn you..."

Narration: Near Wachula, Charles Knight won't use Monsanto's synthetic BGH anymore. He is one of many farmers who say they've watched Posilac burn their cows out sooner, shortening their lives by maybe two years.

Narration: Knight says he had to replace 75 percent of his herd due to hoof problems and serious udder infections. Those are two of more than 20 potential troubles listed right on the product warning label. But apart from potential suffering for the animals, the major concern is how the hormone injected into the cow changes the milk that ends up on our tables.

Robert Collier: " ... this is the most studied molecule certainly in the history of domestic animal science."

Narration: While that claim may be open to dispute, Monsanto ... did put the product through a decade's worth of testing before it was approved by the FDA's Center for Veterinary Medicine as an animal drug. But that's part of the problem, according to many scientists who say since BGH alters the milk we drink, it should meet the higher safety standards required of human drugs. The critics say tests on BGH milk that could have answered these concerns about long-term risk to humans were just never done.

Dr. William Von Meyer, Research Scientist: "A human drug requires two years of carcinogenic testing and extensive birth-defect testing.  BGH was tested for 90 days on 30 rats at any dose before it was approved."

Robert Collier: "But suffice it to say the cancer experts don't see the health issue and it's unfortunate the public is being scared by an issue that shouldn't be of concern."

Narration: Monsanto's dairy research director points to what the FDA has repeatedly said since the day it approved BGH back in 1993: "The public can be confident that milk and meat from BGH-treated cows is safe to consume." ...

Part II

Narration: You won't find Ol' Flossie and Bossie on Fred Gore's dairy farm in Zephyrhills. On Fred's farm, all the cows have numbers instead of names — and they're watched by electronic eyes 24 hours a day.

Farmer Gore, Florida Dairy Farmer: "They help tell me if proper procedures are being followed."

Narration: At a modern dairy farm, cows wear transponders that even tell a computer how much milk she gave today.

Farmer Gore: "She's giving 121 pounds a day."

Narration: In the competitive business of dairy farming these days, productivity is paramount. That's why Fred Gore and others like him were all ears when the giant Monsanto chemical company started promoting its new product called Posilac.

Video Clip from Monsanto sales tape: "Posilac is the single most-tested product in history and it helps increase your profit potential."

Narration: Monsanto promised that Posilac — a laboratory version of the cow's natural growth hormone — could get Ol' 2356 and her friends to produce up to 30 percent more milk. That was good news to Florida farmers who need all the help they can get in a state where high heat, humidity and little local grain make dairy farming a struggle.

The "promise of Posilac" sounded great to dairyman Charles Knight ... but he says it didn't turn out that way.

Charles Knight, Florida Dairy Farmer: "About the same time we began having a lot of foot problems with our cows because they got so crippled they couldn't walk."

Narration: Right after he started using the drug on his herd near Wachula three years ago, Knight says his animals were plagued with those problems and serious infections of his cows' udders. Troubles he attributes to Posilac eventually caused him to replace the majority of his herd. He says when he called dairy experts at the University of Florida and at Monsanto, they both had the same response.

Farmer Knight: "[T]hey said you're the only person having this problem so it must be what you're doing here. You must be having management problems."

Narration: The University of Florida, by the way, did much of the research on BGH and has received millions in gifts and grants from Monsanto. Knight says neither the university nor the company ever mentioned Monsanto research that showed hundreds of other cows on other farms were also suffering hoof problems and mastitis, a painful infection of the cow's udders.

Farmer Knight: If untreated, the infection can get into the cow's milk so farmers try to cure it by giving the cow shots of antibiotics ... more drugs that can find their way into the milk on your table, which could make your own body more resistant to antibiotics.

Dr. Michael Hanson, Consumers Union Scientist: "In fact, there are over 60 drugs that they believe can be used on farms and they test for a very small percentage of them."

File video of protesters chanting: "Boycott BGH. Boycott BGHS."

Collier: "There are no human or animal safety issues that would prevent approval in Canada once they've completed their review, not that I'm aware of."

Narration: But long-term human safety is exactly the concern expressed by a Canadian House committee on health. Here are the minutes of a 1995 meeting where members voted to ask Canada's Health Minister to try and keep BGH off the market for at least two more years. Why? " ... to allow members of Parliament to further examine the human health implications" of the drug.

It's still not legal to sell the unlicensed product north of the border, despite the company's efforts to gain the approval of government regulators.

Narration: In the Fall of 1994, Canadian television quoted a Canadian health official as reporting Monsanto offered $1-2 million if her government committee would recommend BGH approval in Canada without further data or studies of the drug. Another member of her committee who was present when Monsanto made the offer was asked: "Was that a bribe?"

File Video Clip of CBC documentary — CBC Correspondent to committee member: "Is that how it struck you?" (Dr. Edwards): "Certainly!"

Reporter Jane Akre on camera: "Monsanto said the report alleging bribery was "a blatant untruth," that Canadian regulators just didn't understand the offer of the money was for research. Monsanto demanded a retraction. The Canadian Broadcasting Company stands by its story..."

Hansen: "Monsanto has a very checkered history with some of its other products ... "

Narration: Dr. Michael Hansen of Consumers Union is another American scientist still very skeptical about BGH. He says Monsanto was wrong years ago when it convinced the government PCB's were safe. Those were put inside electrical conductors for years ... until researchers in Japan and Sweden showed serious hazards to human health and the environment.

And you've heard of Agent Orange, 2-4-5-T, the defoliant used in Vietnam? Monsanto convinced the government it, too, was safe. It was later proven to be extremely harmful to humans ... and a government investigator found what she said was "a clear pattern of fraudulent content in Monsanto's research" which led to approval.

In the case of BGH, Monsanto was required to promptly report all complaints from farmers. Florida dairyman Charles Knight says he was complaining loud and clear that Posilac was decimating his herd ... but four months later he found the company had not passed one of his complaints to the FDA as required.

Charles Knight, Florida Dairyman: " ... so how many more hundreds of complaints out there sat and were not registered with FDA?"

Narration: Monsanto admits a long delay in reporting Knight's complaints. A company spokesman claims despite a series of on-farm visits and telephone conversations with Knight, it took four months for them to understand he was complaining about BGH. As for those safety claims for previous Monsanto products that turned out to be dangerous, the company offered no comment.

Part III

Narration: Whether you know it or not, by the time it's bottled, chances are milk from treated cows ends up in the jug you carry home. It's made the milk on your table one of the first genetically engineered foods ever to be fed to your family ... and the population at large.

Jeff LeMaster, Consumer/Dad: "And for her, now that she's eating people food, we want to give her as much good stuff without the chemical additives as possible."

Narration: Grocers and the dairy industry know synthetic BGH in milk worries consumers like Jeff and Janet LeMaster. A whopping 74 percent of those questioned in this University of Wisconsin study released just last year expressed concern about unknown harmful human health effects which might show up later.

Robert Collier, Chief Monsanto BGH Scientist: "What they need to know is that the milk hasn't changed...."

Narration: That's the assurance of Monsanto ... It's the company position, despite scientific studies which show the milk we're getting from BGH-treated cows has a higher level of something called IGF-1, a hormone believed to promote cancer.

Narration: Government regulators in Canada, New Zealand and all of Europe have expressed similar concerns and refused to license the drug for sale in all those countries.

File Video, consumer protesters chanting: "Boycott BGH!"

Narration: So three years ago when the drug was approved in America and protesters started dumping milk that contained the synthetic hormone, your grocer and your milkman decided something had to be done to protect sales.

Riley Hogan, Tampa Dairy Co-op: "For good business reasons, Publix [a marketing chain] and I both wanted to avoid the use of the product until there was public acceptance."

Narration: Maybe you recall these media reports from 1994 when Albertsons reassured Florida consumers: "We will do our utmost to ensure that (people) don't get it" in their milk. Publix issued similar assurances ...

The truth is, nobody ever did anything but go through the motions of asking farmers to keep BGH out of the milk supply ... 

And when we visited seven Central Florida dairy operations chosen at random, how many were heeding the grocers' request? Not a one.

Albertsons acknowledged: "It is widely accepted in the industry that most all dairy farmers now use BGH" but "we do not know which or how many dairies use it." ...

But not everybody's using it. Ben and Jerry, America's icons of ice cream, don't want anything to do with it ... and they're leading the fight to give you a choice at the grocer's dairy case.

Part IV

Ben Cohen, Ben and Jerry's Ice Cream: "A big part of the issue is that consumers are well aware that what the FDA said was fine and healthy 10 and 20 years ago, the FDA is saying is really bad for you today." 

Narration: It's one of the big reasons Ben and Jerry, makers of some of America's favorite ice cream, are so opposed to farmers injecting their dairy cows with Bovine Growth Hormone genetically engineered in a Monsanto chemical lab ...

Narration: Our investigation has found only one dairy in Florida which produces milk from cows not treated with BGH and what happened when the folks at the Golden Fleece dairy in Central Florida wanted to label their products as synthetic BGH-free?

Well, first they say Commissioner Crawford's people strongly discouraged it, but what really deterred them was a fear Monsanto — the company which makes the hormone — would come after them in court.

Glen Norton, Golden Fleece Dairy: "From the information I heard and read, I was afraid at some point that if we tried to do extra labeling, that Monsanto could cause damage to my small, fragile business."

Narration: Norton and others like him may have reason to be scared. Right after Monsanto started marketing its BGH three years ago, a number of dairies that didn't use it began to label their products so consumers would know.

Robert Collier: "In fact, there are quite a few co-ops that do just that and we have not opposed that at all."

Narration: But that's not true. Monsanto did file lawsuits against two small dairies, forcing them to stop labeling. Then the company spread the news with follow-up letters to other dairies that apparently saw the writing on the wall ... and they also stopped ...

The labels on Ben and Jerry's ice cream will soon be different, too ... The label will also carry wording that says the FDA has said there is no significant difference between milk from treated and untreated cows — a claim some scientists sharply question. That wording, by the way, was written by Michael Taylor, an attorney who worked for Monsanto both before and after his time as an FDA official.

Some dairy people say Ben and Jerry have jumped on the anti-BGH bandwagon as just a way to sell more of their ice cream.

Ben Cohen: "The tremendous amount of chemicals that's used in conventional agriculture is having a horrible effect on the environment and on the health of our citizens and our customers and you know, (laugh), if you want to say is it our self-interest? Yeah! We want to keep our customers alive. They eat more ice cream when they're alive!"

Narration: As part of an effort to influence these reports, a lawyer hired by Monsanto wrote a Fox television executive saying the discussion of any possible link between the use of synthetic BGH and cancer is the most blatant form of scaremongering."

In a second letter, he said Monsanto critics are in all probability "scientifically incompetent." He is referring to critics such as Dr. Samuel Epstein at the University of Illinois School of Public Health. Epstein has three medical degrees, he's the author of eight books, and is frequently called to testify before Congress about the environmental causes of cancer.

Like other BGH critics, Epstein contends it's just wrong to introduce a product into the marketplace when there are so many important and still-unresolved human health questions.

Samuel Epstein, Research Scientist: "We're living in the greatest democracy in the world in many ways but in other ways we're in a corporate dictatorship in which big government and big industry decide what information the consumer can and should have and it's the objective of me and the Cancer Prevention Coalition to assure that this information be made available and let the public decide ... and let grassroot citizens take over where government and industry has failed."

This is the first time that the script that got the reporters in trouble has appeared in print. This important document has been edited for length but not censored. For the full version, go to the website: //www.foxbghsuit.com

Earth Island Journal — Summer 2001 Vol. 16 #2


This is an excellent example of the challenge that truth frequently faces in getting to the public. This information is not presented through the media as a result of economic and political pressures.

I am delighted to be able to work with Dr. Epstein in promoting some of his outstanding efforts to inform the public about some of these dangers. If you live in Illinois please be sure and attend the Symposium he is sponsoring next month.

If you are still drinking regular milk I would encourage you to discontinue this practice as soon as possible. The growth hormone issues discussed above are only one of the reasons why this should be considered.

The major issue is the pasteurization of the milk which completely changes the structure of the milk proteins (denaturization) into something far less than healthy. Then, of course there is the issue of the antibiotics and pesticides and the fact that nearly all commercial dairy cows are raised on grains, not grass, like they were designed to. This will change the composition of the fats, especially the CLA content.


The Fast Diet by Dr Michael Mosley and Mimi Spencer at the Telegraph Bookshop

The following article, which was published in England in The Telegraph, is the best written description of why we should be concerned about our IGF-1 level that I could find. I did not re-print the whole article, so if you want to read all of it please go to this link:


The 5:2 diet: can it help you lose weight and live longer?

A new eating plan that involves 2 days of dieting each week is being promoted as the key to sustained weight loss and increased longevity. Dr Michael Mosley tried it... 

By Dr Michael Mosley 16 Aug 2012

Several months ago I set myself an ambitious goal: to find a way to live longer, stay younger and lose weight. I also wanted to go on enjoying the foods I normally eat and make as few changes to my lifestyle as possible. After talking to several scientific experts, I have spent the past few months trying a controversial diet that challenges conventional views about how and when we should eat. It is called intermittent fasting – reducing your food intake on alternate days.

One scientist who has been studying fasting for many years is Professor Valter Longo, the director of the University of Southern California’s Longevity Institute. When I visited him for BBC Two’s Horizon, he showed me a remarkable little mouse that had been genetically engineered to live longer.

“This,” he proudly told me, “is a dwarf or Laron mouse. These mice hold the record for longevity extension in a mammal.” The average mouse has a lifespan of about two years. Laron mice can live for up to five years.

The mouse I held was the equivalent of an 80-year-old human being. Like his genetically engineered relatives, he should live to the equivalent of 120, maybe even 180.

Laron mice are largely immune to heart disease and cancer, and when they die it is usually of natural causes. Oddly enough, when the mice are examined, scientists are often unable to find a cause of death. The heart just stops.

One of the links between fasting and longevity seems to be a hormone called insulin-like growth factor 1 (IGF-1). As Prof Longo explained, IGF-1 and other growth factors keep our cells constantly active. It’s like driving along with your foot hard on the accelerator pedal.

You need adequate levels of IGF-1 and other growth factors when you are growing, but high levels later in life appear to lead to accelerated ageing. The evidence for this comes not just from animals such as the Laron mice, genetically engineered so that they don’t respond to IGF-1, but also from humans.

Prof Longo has studied certain villagers in Ecuador who have a genetic defect called Laron syndrome. It is incredibly rare: fewer than 350 people worldwide are known to have the condition. Like the mice, people with Laron syndrome don’t respond to IGF-1. They are short, typically less than 4ft tall, with prominent foreheads and underdeveloped jaws.

Most surprisingly, as Prof Longo explained, they appear immune to cancer: “There are no reports, not a single one, of them ever dying of cancer, yet their relatives in the same household, the same age, get cancer like everybody else.”

They are long-lived but, unlike the mice, not exceptionally so. Prof Longo thinks this may be because they have learned that they are naturally resistant to cancer and diabetes, and tend not to be terribly careful about their diets.

“They smoke, eat a high-calorie diet, then they look at me and say, 'Oh, it doesn’t matter, I’m immune.’ I think they would rather take the 85-year life and do what they want than the 100-year life and have to be restricted.”

Fasting lowers levels of IGF-1 and also appears to switch on a number of DNA repair genes. The reason seems to be that when we run out of food our bodies change from “growth” to “repair” mode. But Prof Longo warned me that fasting is not for the faint-hearted, and is safest done in a specialized center or under supervision.

“There’s going to be a drop in blood pressure, a drop in glucose levels and metabolic reprogramming,” he said. “Some people faint. It’s not common but it happens.”

I started my fast on a Monday evening, after a final slap-up dinner of steak, and finished it after more blood tests on the Friday. During that time I drank black tea, black coffee and lots of water but consumed no food.

Before I did it I was convinced that hunger would build day by day, getting steadily worse until finally I gave in and raided a local bakery. But what I found was that, after the first 24 hours, things got better. I had hunger pangs, but they passed.

On the Friday morning, I had myself tested again and discovered that I had lost just over 2 lb. of body fat, my blood glucose levels had fallen dramatically and my IGF-1 levels, which had been towards the top end of the range, had halved.

So I had improved my body chemistry and learned that I could tolerate hunger better than I imagined. Professor Longo warned me, however, that to maintain these benefits I would have to change what I ate.

According to Professor Longo, like many of us on a Western diet, I eat too much protein, and that helps to keep my IGF-1 levels high. Foods such as meat and fish are rich in protein, but so is milk. A skinny latte, which I drink most mornings, comes in at around 12g of protein. Recommended levels are a relatively measly 55g of protein a day.

Now this is clearly bad news for anyone on a high-protein diet such as the Atkins or the Dukan. But it is also tough for someone like me who enjoys their meat. Prof Longo is pretty much a vegan. I was prepared to give up lattes but not to go that far.

I met my next scientist, Dr. Krista Varady of the University of Illinois at Chicago, in an old-fashioned American diner. We ate burgers and fries while she told me about a diet that she has been testing on human volunteers. It’s called Alternate Day Fasting (ADF) and is very simple. One day you eat whatever you want. The next day, you fast.

Fasting ADF-style isn’t as drastic as the fasting I’d tried with Prof Longo. On Dr. Varady’s fasting days you are allowed about 600 calories a day if you are a man, 500 if you are a woman. The real surprise was that on my “feed days” I could eat exactly what I wanted.

Dr. Varady has finished a trial, to be published next month, in which she took two groups of volunteers doing ADF for 10 weeks. One group was put on a low-fat diet on their feed days, while the other was encouraged to eat lasagnes, pizza — a typical American high-fat diet. As Dr. Varady explained, the results were unexpected.

“When they signed up for the study, the people randomized into the high-fat group weren’t happy because they assumed that they wouldn’t lose as much weight as those randomized to the low-fat diet. But they did. People on the high-fat diet were losing as much and sometimes more weight, week after week.”

And it wasn’t just weight loss: the groups saw similar falls in LDL cholesterol — “bad cholesterol” — and blood pressure. Dr. Varady is running a year-long trial to assess the longer-term effects of ADF on weight loss and health. She is keen to see how much her volunteers lose and how many will still be on the diet after a year.

I thought long and hard about doing ADF, but decided in the end that it sounded a little too much like hard work and would play havoc with my social life.

Instead I opted for a less dramatic variant: the 5:2 diet. With this regimen you eat what you want five days a week, then twice a week you restrict yourself to just 600 calories.

There have been few human trials of the 5:2 diet, so no one is certain whether it is better to eat those 600 calories in one meal or to spread them out through the day. I decided to try different approaches, to see what would work for me.

I tried skipping breakfast and lunch, then eating my 600 calories in one go at supper time. The trouble is, I hate starting the day hungry. So then I tried a large breakfast and nothing else. I got really irritable in the evenings.

Finally, I went for a split: 300 calories for breakfast and 300 for supper. A typical breakfast now means two scrambled eggs and a slice of ham (quite a lot of protein, but well within limits), with plenty of water, green tea and black coffee to see me through a working day. Then, in the evening, I tuck into something like grilled fish and lots of vegetables. It is impressive how few calories there are in vegetables, and when you are hungry they are unexpectedly delicious.

There is no official guide to what a 600-calorie meal looks like — Dr Varady gives her volunteers specially prepared low-calorie meals — so I made mine up by trawling recipe websites.

It doesn’t seem to matter which days of the week you do it; I prefer to do my intermittent fasts on Tuesdays and Thursdays — something, apparently, that the Prophet Mohammed recommended.

I have kept this up for two months and, after a settling-in period, it has become quite easy. It is reassuring, when you are on a restricted-calorie day, to know that the next day you can eat whatever you want. The surprising thing is that you don’t. Dr. Varady said that her team expected people to gorge on their feed days, but most people are happy to eat their normal diet. Such is the power of habit.

Six weeks after starting the 5:2 diet, I had another full medical. The results were impressive. I had lost well over a stone, down to less than 12 stone. My blood glucose, which had been borderline diabetic, was normal and my cholesterol levels, previously high enough to necessitate medication, were also down in the healthy range.

I have swapped lattes for espressos and generally cut back on protein, so my IGF-1 stayed low. I look better and I feel good on it. I still sometimes eat burgers, biscuits and cakes, but on my fasting days I eat healthily.

Intermittent fasting is not something that you will find many doctors recommending because, while there is plenty of animal data, so far there is limited evidence of its efficacy in long-term human trials. It will not suit everyone, nor is it safe for everyone. It worked for me and I will keep doing it. Or I think I will. We shall see.

Note by a Blogger: What impressed me most about the program but was not mentioned in the article above was the fact that nurons were noticed to grow. A worthwhile experiment for anyone who might be concerned about Alzheimer's or Parkinson's — what have we got to lose?

Note by Bonnie: If you want to read the whole article please go to this link:



Monsanto’s Roundup Herbicide—Featuring the Darth Vader Chemical

I was horrified to learn that some of the food I was eating on my Fast Diet is laced with Monsanto's Roundup Herbicide. A reader asked me to research Dr. Mercola's information on the subject and I am so thankful she did. I've switched to eating everything GMO-Free or at least as close to it as possible.

As far as I know Whole Foods is the only grocery store that is trying to provide GMO-Free food (and even they have some food that may contain traces of GMO containing food because it takes time to change food preparing facilities from one that provides GMO containing food to one that provides GMO-Free food and is therefore able to place the GMO-Free sign on their labels).

Below please read an excellent article (there were many on his website to choose from) and view a video featuring Dr. Mercola on the subject.

By Dr. Mercola

In recent weeks, we’ve learned some very disturbing truths about glyphosate, the active ingredient in Monsanto’s broad-spectrum herbicide Roundup, which is generously doused on genetically engineered (GE) Roundup Ready crops.

GE crops are typically far more contaminated with glyphosate than conventional crops, courtesy of the fact that they’re engineered to withstand extremely high levels of Roundup without perishing along with the weed.

A new peer-reviewed report authored by Anthony Samsel, a retired science consultant, and a long time contributor to the Mercola.com Vital Votes Forum, and  Dr. Stephanie Seneff, a research scientist at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), reveals how glyphosate wrecks human health.

In the interview above, Dr. Seneff summarizes the two key problems caused by glyphosate in the diet:

  • Nutritional deficiencies
  • Systemic toxicity

Their findings make the need for labelling all the more urgent, and the advice to buy certified organic all the more valid.

The Horrific Truth about Roundup

In 2009, a French court found Monsanto guilty of lying; falsely advertising its Roundup herbicide as "biodegradable," "environmentally friendly" and claiming it "left the soil clean."

Mounting evidence now tells us just how false such statements are. I don’t believe that Monsanto is one of the most evil companies on the planet for nothing. The company has done absolutely nothing to improve their worldwide influence on human and environmental health.

In the video above, Jeffrey Smith, author of the bestseller Seeds of Deception, says Monsanto, during some reflective moment, must have asked “What would Darth Vader do?” Because what they’ve come up with is a way of pretending that they’re beneficial and then insinuating themselves into the food and agriculture industry, and now it turns out that what they have is very, very dangerous.

Indeed, according to Dr. Seneff, glyphosate is possibly "the most important factor in the development of multiple chronic diseases and conditions that have become prevalent in Westernized societies,” including but not limited to:

Autism Gastrointestinal diseases such as inflammatory bowel disease, chronic diarrhea, colitis and Crohn's disease Obesity
Allergies Cardiovascular disease Depression
Cancer Infertility Alzheimer’s disease
Parkinson’s disease Multiple sclerosis ALS, and more

How Glyphosate Worsens Modern Diseases

While Monsanto insists that Roundup is as safe to humans as aspirin, Seneff and Samsel’s research tells a different story altogether. Their report, published in the journal Entropy1, argues that glyphosate residues, found in most commonly consumed foods in the Western diet courtesy of GE sugar, corn, soy and wheat, “enhance the damaging effects of other food-borne chemical residues and toxins in the environment to disrupt normal body functions and induce disease.”

Interestingly, your gut bacteria are a key component of glyphosate’s mechanism of harm.

Monsanto has steadfastly claimed that Roundup is harmless to animals and humans because the mechanism of action it uses (which allows it to kill weeds), called the shikimate pathway, is absent in all animals. However, the shikimate pathway IS present in bacteria, and that’s the key to understanding how it causes such widespread systemic harm in both humans and animals.

The bacteria in your body outnumber your cells by 10 to 1. For every cell in your body, you have 10 microbes of various kinds, and all of them have the shikimate pathway, so they will all respond to the presence of glyphosate!

Glyphosate causes extreme disruption of the microbe’s function and lifecycle. What’s worse, glyphosate preferentially affects beneficial bacteria, allowing pathogens to overgrow and take over. At that point, your body also has to contend with the toxins produced by the pathogens. Once the chronic inflammation sets in, you’re well on your way toward chronic and potentially debilitating disease. In the interview above, Dr. Seneff reviews a variety of chronic diseases, explaining how glyphosate contributes to each condition. So to learn more, I urge you to listen to it in its entirety. It’s quite eye-opening.

The Overlooked Component of Toxicity

The research reveals that glyphosate inhibits cytochrome P450 (CYP) enzymes, a large and diverse group of enzymes that catalyze the oxidation of organic substances. This, the authors state, is “an overlooked component of its toxicity to mammals.” One of the functions of CYP enzymes is to detoxify xenobiotics—chemical compounds found in a living organism that are not normally produced or consumed by the organism in question. By limiting the ability of these enzymes to detoxify foreign chemical compounds, glyphosate enhances the damaging effects of chemicals and environmental toxins you may be exposed to.

But that’s not all. Dr. Stephanie Seneff has been conducting research at MIT for over three decades. She also has an undergraduate degree in biology from MIT and a minor in food and nutrition, and I have previously interviewed her about her groundbreaking insights into the critical importance of sulfur in human health. Not surprisingly, this latest research also touches on sulfur, and how it is affected by glyphosate from food.

“[W]e show how interference with CYP enzymes acts synergistically with disruption of the biosynthesis of aromatic amino acids by gut bacteria, as well as impairment in serum sulfate transport,” the authors write.

“Consequences are most of the diseases and conditions associated with a Western diet, which include gastrointestinal disorders, obesity, diabetes, heart disease, depression, autism, infertility, cancer and Alzheimer’s disease.  ... [T]he recent alarming increase in all of these health issues can be traced back to a combination of gut dysbiosis, impaired sulfate transport, and suppression of the activity of the various members of the cytochrome P450 (CYP) family of enzymes.”

The Roundup-Autism Connection

For the past 30 years, Dr. Seneff has been passionate about teasing out potential causes of autism, after seeing what it was like for a close friend whose son was diagnosed. She points out the clear correlations between increased glyphosate use over recent years (the result of genetically engineered crops causing weed resistance, necessitating ever-larger amounts to be used) and skyrocketing autism rates.

The rate of autism has risen so quickly, there can be no doubt that it has an environmental cause. Our genes simply cannot mutate fast enough to account for the rapid rise we’re now seeing. The latest statistics released by the CDC on March 20 show that 1 in 50 children in the US now fall within the autism spectrum2,3, with a 5:1 boy to girl ratio. Just last year the CDC reported a rate of 1 in 88, which represented a 23 percent increase since 2010, and 78 percent since 2007. Meanwhile, I remember when the incidence of autism in the US was only 1 in 100,000—just short of 30 years ago!

Dr. Seneff identified two key problems in autism that are unrelated to the brain yet clearly associated with the condition—both of which are linked with glyphosate exposure (starting at 10 minutes into the interview, she gives an in-depth explanation of how glyphosate causes the many symptoms associated with autism):

  1. Gut dysbiosis (imbalances in gut bacteria, inflammation, leaky gut, food allergies such as gluten intolerance)
  2. Disrupted sulfur metabolism / sulfur and sulfate deficiency

Interestingly, certain microbes in your body actually break down glyphosate, which is a good thing. However, a byproduct of this action is ammonia, and children with autism tend to have significantly higher levels of ammonia in their blood than the general population. Ditto for those with Alzheimer’s disease. In your brain, ammonia causes encephalitis, i.e. brain inflammation.

Another devastating agent you really do not want in your body is formaldehyde, which a recent nutritional analysis discovered is present in genetically engineered corn at a level that is 200 times the amount that animal studies have determined to be toxic to animals. Formaldehyde destroys DNA and can cause cancer.

Other research backing up the Roundup-autism link is that from former US Navy staff scientist Dr. Nancy Swanson. She has a Ph.D. in physics, holds five US patents and has authored more than 30 scientific papers and two books on women in science. Ten years ago, she became seriously ill, and in her journey to regain her health she turned to organic foods. Not surprisingly (for those in the know) her symptoms dramatically improved. This prompted her to start investigating genetically engineered foods.

She has meticulously collected statistics on glyphosate usage and various diseases and conditions, including autism. A more perfect match-up between the rise in glyphosate usage and incidence of autism is hard to imagine... To access her published articles and reports, please visit Sustainable Pulse4, a European website dedicated to exposing the hazards of genetically engineered foods.

When Food Is Poison...

What the biotech industry, spearheaded by Monsanto, has managed to do is turn food into poison... quite literally, and in more ways than one. Here, we’re just talking about the effects of Roundup. There are plenty of indications that the genetic alteration of a crop itself can pose significant health concerns. So with the vast majority of GE crops, you have no less than two potentially hazardous factors to contend with, glyphosate toxicity being just one part of the equation.

As discussed above, glyphosate has a number of devastating biological effects. So much so that it may very well be one of the most important factors in the development of a wide variety of modern diseases and conditions, including autism. In summary, these detrimental effects include:

Nutritional deficiencies, as glyphosate immobilizes certain nutrients and alters the nutritional composition of the treated crop Disruption of the biosynthesis of aromatic amino acids (these are essential amino acids not produced in your body that must be supplied via your diet)
Increased toxin exposure (this includes high levels of glyphosate and formaldehyde in the food itself) Impairment of sulfate transport and sulfur metabolism; sulfate deficiency
Systemic toxicity—a side effect of extreme disruption of microbial function throughout your body; beneficial microbes in particular, allowing for overgrowth of pathogens Gut dysbiosis (imbalances in gut bacteria, inflammation, leaky gut, food allergies such as gluten intolerance)
Enhancement of damaging effects of other food-borne chemical residues and environmental toxins as a result of glyphosate shutting down the function of detoxifying enzymes Creation of ammonia (a byproduct created when certain microbes break down glyphosate), which can lead to brain inflammation associated with autism and Alzheimer’s disease

How to Protect Yourself and Your Family from This Systemic Poison

It's important to understand that the glyphosate sprayed on conventional and genetically engineered crops actually becomes systemic throughout the plant, so it cannot be washed off. It's inside the plant. For example, genetically engineered corn has been found to contain 13 ppm of glyphosate, compared to zero in non-GMO corn. At 13 ppmGMO corn contains more than 18 times the “safe” level of glyphosate set by the EPA. Organ damage in animals has occurred at levels as low as 0.1 ppm. If that’s not reason enough to become a label reader to avoid anything with corn in it, such as corn oil or high fructose corn syrup, I don’t know what is.

You’d also be wise to stop using Roundup around your home, where children and pets can come into contact with it simply by walking across the area.

Until the US requires genetically engineered (GE) foods to be labeled, the only way you can avoid GE ingredients is to make whole, fresh organic foods the bulk of your diet, and to only buy 100% USDA certified organic processed foods. Meats need to be grass-fed or pastured to make sure the animals were not fed GE corn or soy feed.

Last but not least, do not confuse the “natural” label with organic standards.

The natural label is not based on any standards and is frequently misused by sellers of GE products. Growers and manufacturers of organic products bearing the USDA seal, on the other hand, have to meet the strictest standards of any of the currently available organic labels. In order to qualify as organic, a product must be grown and processed using organic farming methods that recycle resources and promote biodiversity. Crops must be grown without synthetic pesticides, bioengineered genes, petroleum-based fertilizers, or sewage sludge-based fertilizers.


Bonnie’s Statistics After Three Months on The Fast Diet

Test                           March 5, 2013    June 17, 2013    Normal Range

Total Cholesterol          282                    245                     100 -- 199

Triglycerides               135                     123                         0 -- 149

HDL Cholesterol             59                       57                   More than 39

LDL Cholesterol            196                     163                         0 -- 99

Glucose, Serum             94                       89                       65 -- 99

IGF-1                           109                      90                       35 -- 168

Height and Age 5’7” (67”)            76 Years, 6 Months

Waist Size                   47.25”               42.5”                        33”

Weight                      202 Lbs             185 Lbs              118 -- 159 Lbs

BMI                          31.79 (Obese)     29 (Overweight)  18.5 -- 24.9

I lost 17 pounds in 15 weeks and to get to to 159 pounds or less it will probably take another 30 weeks, which will be sometime in the middle of January 2014 (Dr. Mosley reports the closer you get to your normal weight the slower the weight loss).

There is another test that Dr. Mosley recommends. It is balancing your weight on your non-dominant foot. In March I couldn’t do it for more than one second. Now I can do it for 15 seconds. Not much better, but I’m improving.  (Dale and Sandy can each stand on one foot for 15 minutes or more.)

Other Improvements:

  • The inflammation I had in my shoulder (due to injuring my left rotator cuff somehow) for six months prior to beginning the Fast Diet disappeared and I regained full use of my arm
  • My lifelong spring allergies did not appear this spring and I did not need to take pancreatic enzymes to alleviate the symptoms
  • My sensitive hearing problem (loud noises hurt my ears) has ceased
  • I'm not snacking on potato chips or ice cream as I used to (I'm having vegetable soup instead)
  • My weight loss is not causing me to look ill (this is most likely because I’m not losing muscle as I did on other diets)

Note: Dr. Mosley reported in his Fast Diet book that Dr. Krista Varady of the University of Illinois at Chicago is now researching why people on Alternate Day Fasting (ADF), which is her research specialty, lose fat but don’t seem to lose significant muscle mass, and why people on ADF don't seem to fully compensate for the calories they've missed by eating more on their feed days.



A Friend’s Fast Diet Success Story Plus Updates From Bonnie

June 21, 2013

Hi Bonnie,

I have been reading the road to health for a long time. Before the internet when everything was done by the mail.
I just wanted to let you know that I really appreciate your articles and especially the article and video attachment on fasting.

I have been fasting pretty much twice a week for about 6 weeks–two months.  I keep my calories down to 400-500 calories on the fast day. I don’t make a soup like you do. I just have organic miso soup (50 calories) and put some lettuce in with it.

Two good things have happened.

1. For many years I could feel my liver enlarged. I have done tons of liver cleanses to no avail. But now my liver doesn’t feel so large. The pressure isn’t there. I know I am more healthy.

2. My allergies are very bad in the summer. I get hives really, really bad. One year it was so bad I had to take prescription steroids and I don’t believe in taking medicine. But this year so far I really haven’t had my problem with hives. A slight itching.

I just wanted to tell you my experience and to say I am grateful for your information you send out. You’re doing a great job. Keep us posted on how you are doing.

Light and Love, Ginny C.

June 22, 2013

Hi Ginny,

How wonderful that your liver feels better. And your allergies are not as bad. This fasting information is so valuable.

I couldn't wait for another three months (as I originally planned) to find out how my IGF-1 level is doing so, on June 13th, I had another blood test. In three months on the Fast Diet my IGF-1 level dropped 19 points (it was 109 on March 21st and, on June 13th, it was 90). The US recommended IGF-1 level is between 35 and 168.
Dr. Mosley's IGF-1 level dropped 13 points in three months and I'd like to know how to compare that to my 19 points because in England they use a different scale of recommended numbers (his IGF-1 level was 28.6 before starting the fast diet and three months later it was 15.9). The English recommended IGF-1 level is between 11.3 and 30.9.

A lower number is better as it means you have a lower risk of developing a number of age-related diseases, such as cancer.

The only visible improvements in my health lately have been noticed by Sandy. When I couldn't think of anything and I asked Dale and Sandy if they had, Sandy said "Yes, definitely, you are not wincing at loud noises like you used to and you're not eating ice cream or potato chips anymore." Wow, she's right and I never thought of either one!

The loud noise problem I had was so bad that one day last year I asked at Costco about it (they have a department where they test people's hearing) and the answer was that feeling pain when hearing a loud noise could be an indication of hearing loss. (One of the loud noises that made me wince was when someone sanding behind me in line at the grocery store would answer a cell phone and start talking -- it felt like they were shouting right in my ear and it actually hurt.)

I could hear just fine when listening to people talk (calmly) in person or over the phone, but I was missing words when watching TV. Dale fixed that by turning on the Closed Caption feature on the TV. Now, I think I can hear what people are saying on the TV better, but I still like reading the printed words on the screen, especially when the words to a song that is being sung are shown.

Something as simple (and inexpensive) as fasting, which everyone seems to be able to do when they get a glucose or lipid profile blood test done, for 12 hours twice a day twice a week, seems like a small price to pay to get such huge improvements in our health like your liver pressure and allergies getting better and my shoulder pain and allergies getting better.

Your organic miso soup sounds like a good alternative to my vegetable soup. I just spent a few hours today trimming vegetables. I'm lucky I have the time, however, Dale is helping me even more now by using some new attachments he bought for our Bosch mixer and it cut the time I'm spending on the project every week by half (he cut up the green onions and leeks with the Bosch and all I had to do was trim them).

Thank you so much for your encouragement. I love being the guinea pig, especially when I have a gut feeling that the experiment will be a success.

Love, Bonnie

June 23, 2013

Hi Bonnie,

Fasting really is a small price to pay. Plus you’re not paying for a vitamin, mineral or machine. Its just our body doing what is natural for it.

I also forgot to mention that for 30 years I have been getting a chiropractic adjustment.  Basically since I was in a car accident 30 years ago. I get the adjustment once every couple of weeks. The adjustments are always hard to do.

The chiropractor has to really yank each adjustment. Plus only 1-2 alignments go into place. After a few weeks on the diet all the adjustments were very easy and 5-6 alignments went into place. The past few years I have felt my bones getting weaker. But with this diet I feel my bones are getting stronger.

I would love to have a Bosch. – But not now, plus I don’t have the time. Good to hear you do have the time.

Light and Love, Ginny

Fasting and Cancer

I started to follow the fast diet initially to lose weight, but after reading The Fast Diet book I am very interested in the link between fasting and cancer. My father (at 63), his two brothers, and his mother (at 58) all died of cancer.

This is an excerpt from the “The Fast Diet: Lose Weight, Stay Healthy, and Live Longer with the Simple Secret of Intermittent Fasting” by Dr. Michael Mosley and Mimi Spencer:

My father was a lovely man but not a particularly healthy one. Overweight for much of his life, by the time he reached his sixties he had developed not only diabetes but also prostate cancer. He had an operation to remove the prostate cancer, which left him with embarrassing urinary problems. Understandably, I am not at all keen to go down that road.

My four-day fast, under Valter Longo’s supervision, had shown me that it was possible to dramatically cut my IGF-1 (insulin-like growth factor 1) levels and by doing so, hopefully, my prostate cancer risk. I later discovered that by doing intermittent fasting and being a bit more careful with my protein intake, I could keep my IGF-1 down at healthy levels. The link between growth, fasting, and cancer is worth unpacking.

The cells in our bodies are constantly multiplying, replacing dead, worn out, or damaged tissue. This is fine as long as cellular growth is under control, but sometimes a cell mutates, grows uncontrollably, and turns into a cancer. Very high levels of a cellular stimulant like IGF-1 in the blood are likely to increase the chance of this happening.

When a cancer goes rogue, the normal options are surgery, chemotherapy, or radiotherapy. Surgery is used to try to remove the tumor; chemotherapy and radiotherapy are used to try to poison it. The major problem with chemotherapy and radiotherapy is that they are not selective; as well as killing tumor cells they will also kill or damage surrounding healthy cells. They are particularly likely to damage rapidly dividing cells such as hair roots, which is why hair commonly falls out following therapy.

As I mentioned above, Walter Longo has shown that when we are deprived of food for even quite short periods of time, our body responds by slowing things down, going into repair and survival mode until food is once more abundant. That is true of normal cells. But cancer cells follow their own rules. They are, almost by definition, not under control and will go on selfishly proliferating whatever the circumstances. This “selfishness” creates an opportunity. At least in theory, if you fast just before chemotherapy, you create a situation in which your normal cells are hibernating while the cancer cells are running amok and are therefore more vulnerable.

In a paper published in 2008, Valter and colleagues showed that fasting “protects normal but not cancer cells against high-dose chemotherapy,” followed by another paper in which they showed that fasting increased the efficacy of chemotherapy drugs against a variety of cancers. Again as is so often the case, this was a study done in mice. But the implications of Valters work were not missed by an eagle-eyed administrative judge named Nora Quinn, who saw a short article about it in the Los Angeles Times.

I met Nora in Los Angeles. She is a feisty woman with a terrific, dry sense of humor. Nora first noticed she had a problem when, one morning, she put her hand on her breast and felt a lump the size of a walnut under her skin. After indulging, as she put it, in the fantasy that it was a cyst, she went to the doctor; it was removed and sent to a pathologist.

“The reality of your life always comes out in pathology,” she told me. When the pathology report came back, it said that she had invasive breast cancer. She had a course of radiotherapy and was about to start chemotherapy when she read about Valter’s work with mice.

She tried to speak to Valter, but he wouldn’t advise her because, up to that point, none of the trials he had run had been done with humans. He didn’t know if it was safe for someone about to undergo chemo to fast, and he certainly wasn’t going to encourage people like Nora to give it a go.

Undeterred, Nora did her own research and decided to try fasting for seven and a half days, before, during, and after her first bout of chemotherapy. Having discovered how tough it can be to do even a four-day fast while fully healthy, I’m surprised she was able to go through with it, though Nora says it’s not so hard and I’m just a wimp.

The results were mixed.

“After the first chemo I didn’t get that sick, but my hair fell out, so I thought it wasn’t working.” So next time she didn’t fast, and she was only medium sick. “I thought, seven and a half days of fasting to avoid being medium sick, this is a really bad deal. I am so not doing that again.”

So when it was time for her third course of chemo, she didn’t fast. That, she now feels, was a mistake. “I got sick. I don’t have words for how sick I was. I was weak, felt poisoned, and I couldn’t get up. I felt like I was moving through Jell-O. It was absolutely horrible.”

By the time Nora had to undergo her fourth course of chemo, she had decided to try fasting once again. This time things went much better and she made a good recovery. She is currently cancer free.

Nora is convinced she benefited from fasting, but it’s hard to be sure because she wasn’t part of a proper medical trial. Valter and his colleagues at USC did, however, study what happened to her and ten other patients with cancer who had also decided to put themselves on a fast. All of them reported fewer and less severe symptoms after chemotherapy, and most of them, including Nora, saw improvements in their blood results. The white cells and platelets, for example, recovered more rapidly when they had chemo while they were fasting than when they did not.

But why did Nora go rogue? Why didn’t she fast under proper supervision? She says: “I decided to fast based on years of information from animal testing. I do agree that if you are going to do crazy things like I did, you should have medical supervision. But how? None of my doctors would listen to me.” Nora’s self-experiment could have gone wrong, which is just one reason why such maverick behavior is not recommended. Her experience, however, and that of the other nine cancer patients, helped inspire further studies. For example, Valter and his colleagues have recently completed phase one of a clinical trial to see if fasting around the time of chemotherapy is safe–which it seems to be. The next phase is to assess whether it makes a measurable difference. At least ten other hospitals around the world are either doing or have agreed to do clinical trials.

Bonnie and Dale January 13, 2013

Bonnie and Dale, January 13, 2013  (Bonnie's "Before" Fast Diet Picture)

Bonnie and Dale, January 13, 2013 (Bonnie's "Before" Fast Diet Picture)

Maybe it’s my brain producing increased levels of neurotrophic factor (see below: Recap of Dr. Mosley’s First Chapter of His Book, The Fast Diet), but I’ve been feeling more and more like learning how to use the computer and sharing my experiences in the alternative health world with people who are as interested as I am in how to be healthy and live a long life.

I’ve been creating slide shows. See the latest: “Making Dr. Gerson’s Hippocrates Soup” on www.bonnieosullivan.com and I’ve even posted a “Before” picture of myself (with Dale at his niece's wedding reception in January).

My next project is to get dressed in the same outfit (and get Dale to put his suit on again) to see if anyone can tell that I’ve lost 16 pounds since starting The Fast Diet on March 5, 2013.

Recap of Dr. Michael Mosley’s First Chapter of His Book, The Fast Diet), as to why intermittent fasting works: People lose excess fat, they benefit from the switching on of countless repair genes in response to the fasting stressor, it gives your pancreas a rest, which boosts the effectiveness of the insulin it produces in response to elevated blood glucose (increased insulin sensitivity will reduce your risk of obesity, diabetes, heart disease, and cognitive decline) and, last but not least, it gives an overall enhancement in your mood and sense of well-being (this may be a consequence of your brain producing increased levels of neurotrophic factor, which will hopefully make you more cheerful and in turn should make fasting more doable).

Note: Neurotrophic factor is best known for roles in both development and continued maintenance of the nervous system.


Bonnie and Dale

A Reader’s Questions and Bonnie’s Answers About The Fast Diet

  •  Question: Why did you decide to try The Fast Diet?
  • Answer: To lose excess fat and to improve my health.
  • Question: What convinced you that The Fast Diet would help you get to your desired weight?
  • Answer: I’ve tried several other diets and, after losing weight following them, I looked like I was gravely ill and didn’t like it so I stopped dieting and thought I would just enjoy my life being overweight. Then I read what a medical expert said (who was interviewed for The Fast Diet book): “There is nothing else you can do for your body that is as powerful as fasting.”
  • Question: Don’t you think The Fast Diet is an extreme way to lose weight?
  • Answer: No, because there have been two times in my life when I didn’t plan to fast and I didn’t eat anything at all for long periods of time and I didn’t suffer any harmful side effects: once was the day I waited for Dale at his dentist’s office while he had his teeth extracted (December 2012) and once when I didn’t eat for several days after my daughter, Cappie, died in a car accident (July 1980).
  • Question: Wouldn’t just cutting down on calories be less of a hassle?
  • Answer: I have followed several groups of people who are practicing calorie restriction (CR), which is eating a lot less every day for the rest of your (hopefully) long and healthy life, and I’ve given a lot of thought about committing myself to that way of life (to help prove whether it works or not). [The reason people become CRONies (Calorie Restriction with Optimum Nutrition) is to find out if it will extend human life, because so far, by restricting calories, scientists have only been able to extend life in animals.] At first, I thought it might be the only way I would ever cut down on calories, but, the more I thought about it the more I thought it was a form of torture.
  • Question: Can you give me a progress report on what you are doing instead of CR?
  • Answer: Yes, I’ve been following the Fast Diet for three months (March 5, 2013 through June 6, 2013). I've been fasting two days a week for 13 weeks and I've lost 16 pounds (I was 202 pounds, now I'm 186 pounds). I'm finding that fasting gets easier every week. My shoulder pain (bursitis) got better within two months (it had restricted my arm movements for the previous 6 months) and I haven’t had allergies this spring (I’ve had excellent results in controlling my lifelong spring allergies by taking enzymes every spring, but this year I had no need to take them). I've also noticed that some pre-cancer skin spots on my back are shrinking. When your body starts healing things that weren't healing on their own before, you know without a doubt that what you are doing is good for you.

Dale's Article on "Why you should take enzymes"

Enzymes Purchase Link

  • Question: How do you handle the hunger?
  • Answer: I'm able to feel hungry without feeling deprived because I know I'm doing something good for my body (as soon as the 24 hours are up and I can eat, I eat meat, cheese or eggs and I enjoy an occasional small dessert with no guilt!). Fasting for 24 hours is really doable. I usually stop eating at 7 PM on Wednesday and Saturday and have a well-planned meal the next day (Thursday and Sunday) at 7 PM. For my 500 calories during the 24 hours I have a large cup of my homemade vegetable broth, green soup and Hippocrates soup mixed together before I go to sleep. I have grapes or an apple at 10 AM (15 hours after starting the fast) followed by another large cup of my homemade vegetable broth, green soup and Hippocrates soup mixed together. After that I can usually wait until 6 PM when I’ll have a banana, more grapes or another apple. It doesn’t add up to 500 calories and there’s not very much protein, but that’s okay. I have enough protein during the next five days that I feel I’m not short-changing myself.
  • Question: What is your opinion as to why the Fast Diet is working for you?
  • Answer: I agree with what Dr. Michael Mosley says in the recap of the first chapter of his book, The Fast Diet, as to why intermittent fasting works: People lose excess fat, they benefit from the switching on of countless repair genes in response to the fasting stressor, it gives your pancreas a rest, which boosts the effectiveness of the insulin it produces in response to elevated blood glucose (increased insulin sensitivity will reduce your risk of obesity, diabetes, heart disease, and cognitive decline) and, last but not least, it gives an overall enhancement in your mood and sense of well-being (this may be a consequence of your brain producing increased levels of neurotrophic factor, which will hopefully make you more cheerful and in turn should make fasting more doable).
  • Question: When you reach your desired weight are you going to continue fasting?
  • Answer: When that happened to Dr. Mosley he switched to a “Maintenance Mode” and he is now only fasting once a week, so I plan to do that, too.