“THE BEST OF ALL MEDICINES IS RESTING AND FASTING.” – BENJAMIN FRANKLIN
Through some combination of divine intervention and listening to my gut, I recently started seeing another naturopath and Singapore’s only Medical Herbalist, Dr. Sebastian Liew. I even bought his book! More details about the journey leading up to this another time.
After hearing about my condition, my health background and some physical examinations, Dr. Sebastian was started me on this fasting protocol which I have recently completed.
Part 1: Purging
I don’t really know if ‘purging’ is the right word but it certainly felt like it.
He prescribed me a magnesium supplement and warned me in advance that this would cause loose stools in the morning. I was to take it 1 hr before bed for 3 nights.
About 7 hours after my last meal on the 1st night, I experienced lots of uncomfortable gastric churning as I slept. I would wake and think I needed to run to the loo but could then sort of control the urge and didn’t feel like going anymore.
Then true enough, at about 530am, I had a huge toilet bomb which first consisted of my usual solid, pebble-like stools but immediately following that I can only describe as a landslide of greenish-black excretion. (my apologies for the vivid description😚)
This continued for a couple of times but, thankfully, eventually stopped. I was afraid I’d be running to the toilet every few minutes for the rest of the day!
On the second night (Day 1 of fasting), it was almost the same except I did not get as much gastric churning – which was good as I slept better. However, again at around 530am, I felt the urgent need to rush to the bathroom to ‘purge’.
This time though, the landslide was more orange-brownish like mud (hence the pun). I think I had up to 5 landslides in the morning of day 2! I was puzzled as I wondered where all this excretion was coming from since I hadn’t eaten anything for a day.
In my previous fasts, after day 1 I would not have to ‘download’ for at least a couple of days. There was simply nothing to excrete.
Could this be the toxins that have been ‘stuck’ inside my digestive tract for god knows how long?
These episodes continued into day 3 of the fast which won the prize for having the most number of toilet runs – 10! About 5 in the morning, 2 in the afternoon and interestingly, a few at night after I’d taken my spelt broth. This led me to wonder:
Could the broth be stimulating excretion?
In the past, this was certainly the case for any kind of solid food I’d taken as my first meal after a fast. The food would stimulate some ‘poop’ which my body had somehow been holding back for a couple of days.
If so, then I would have to alter my initial theory about our digested matter being stimulated to flow/excrete after we eat some solid food to after we consume something nutritious, broth included.
Despite stopping the magnesium capsules on the night of the last day of fasting, I still continued to experience some gastric churning that night and had a couple of runs on the morning of day 4.
This time though, it wasn’t much like a landslide but more like a shower of still orange-brown excretion 😄. I’d post some pictures but that would probably get me in some sort of trouble or attract the wrong types of readers… 🤔
Later when I questioned Dr. Sebastian about this, he said the magnesium does a good job of stimulating the intestinal tract and colon to excrete water and thus flush out whatever is inside. Your body will only absorb whatever magnesium you needed and the excess would be excreted too.
I guess it helps to flush out not just toxins and ‘stuck’ wastes but also pathogenic bacteria so I can start to repopulate the gut with good ones after the fast.
Lastly, one uncommon thing that happened was that I did not have any bowel movement for 2 days after stopping the magnesium tablets. This despite consuming plenty of fiber from salads and a new vegetarian diet that the doctor suggested I try.
I guess there was nothing to excrete and so I needed time to build up the digestive waste haha.
Part 2: Lemon Juice Concoction
While fasting from all solid foods, during the day I drank this concoction.
It consisted of:
- about 1.5L of filtered/distilled water
- Juice of a lemon
- 2 tbsp of Maple Syrup
- pinch of Cayenne Pepper
Taste wise it is pretty good and not sweet at all even though it consists of 2 tablespoons of Maple Syrup.
I guess the syrup provided important minerals while the lemon juice nourished me with vitamins and enzymes.
As for the Cayenne pepper, I couldn’t quite figure out why at first.
Eventually I asked the doc and he explained that it was for stimulating my metabolism. Now that I think about it, my metabolism does get very low when fasting – my energy levels are low and my body doesn’t produce as much heat as usual hence I also get cold easily. Quite ingenious if you ask me!
On all 3 days, there was enough juice in that 1.5L glass jar to last me through the day until dinner time where I drank a bowl or two of delicious homemade Spelt Broth!
Part 3: Spelt Broth
- 2 cups overnight soaked Spelt Kernels, rinsed and drained
- Couple of carrots, washed and chopped
- 1-2 cucumbers, washed and chopped
- Handful of parsley, washed and chopped
- Enough filtered water to cover all ingredients
*Ingredient quantities can vary depending on your preference and pot size 😉
Making this broth is very simple. I purchased the spelt kernels from his clinic and first soaked them overnight in filtered water with some apple cider vinegar to release the anti-nutrients from the grain. Then I rinsed and drained away the soaking fluids and dumped the kernels into a stockpot.
Next, wash the vegetables, chop them and add them into the pot. Fill with enough filtered water to cover all ingredients. (you can add more water to make more broth!)
Bring the broth to a boil. You’ll have to watch for this as you don’t want it to continue boiling for too long. Once boiling, immediately lower the flames and let the broth simmer for 30 minutes. (when simmering, you should see small bubbles rising from the bottom constantly)
You can drink it straight from the pot or drain and keep the remaining in the fridge for up to a week. Freeze if you want to store longer.
As for the remains, throwing them away made my heart ache as I can’t bear to waste food. Besides, they tasted alright, especially the spelt kernels which tasted like a cross between brown rice and barley. My family kept the remains and ate them as a substitute for rice for a couple of meals in the following days.
Taste wise, this spelt broth tasted like a barley soup but felt very clean. You can kinda feel the amount of nutrients in the broth. I enjoyed it regardless of temperature. It was nice to drink it cold in the morning when I woke up, after the 3 days of fasting, as it soothed my throat and esophagus. During the fast, I looked forward to that warm bowl of broth every evening. It was a comfort food.
3 Days of Fasting
Although I would like to say I’m more conditioned to fasting, having dabbled in numerous fasting experiments over the last few months, I still have to admit that every fast humbles me.
Each time I fast I am brought to the realization of how much I appreciate food and eating. Not just the feeling of content at a full belly, but also savouring the myriad tastes and textures of different kinds of food in your mouth.
Fasting tends to induce a sense of abstinence and tests your discipline and ability to let go of and resist these pleasures for a designated period of time. It is also somewhat spiritual as most religious have some sort of fasting practice to connect or be closer to the divine through abstinence, prayer and meditation.
Surprisingly, I did not feel much hunger throughout the 3 days of this fast!
I guess it could be due to the constant drinking of various nutritious fluids such as various teas in the morning (I find green and pu-erh tea helps to stave off the hunger pretty well!) to the lemon juice and spelt broth.
The broth was a delicious meal replacement in the evenings and I went to bed with my belly almost ‘full’ of warm spelt broth.
Day 1 was the lowest. Starting from the afternoon, my energy levels dropped and I started to feel lethargic and sluggish. I had to remind myself to take things easy, relax, meditate, pray or nap more as it is counterproductive to be too active or busy during fasting.
Day 2 was an anomaly.
I’d booked a trial session for a hydrotherapy bath which the doctor recommended would be very good for my condition. It was a trial because in order to do it frequently, you’d have to purchase the equipment home. I don’t think there are spas that use this special machine. I’ll write about this in the future.
After this trial session, I experienced the exact same feelings I had during my time in Japan at the sulphur-rich hot spring baths! I felt very light, as if I was floating with each step I took. Very relaxed and calm too. Most interestingly, I felt full of energy! So much so that I could not fall asleep that night… 😂
I was tossing and turning for 3 hours before I decided to take my go-to sleep aid, Traditional Medicinals Nighty Night Tea, and finally fell asleep. Still, this insomnia continued for the next 4 nights. 😭
My energy levels dropped again on day 3 but not as much as day 1.
As with most fasts, the pain caused by abnormal amounts of inflammation in my immune system subsided with each passing day of fasting. It was at its peak on Day 1, maybe even more painful than usual. Subsequently, I could feel the inflammation ebbing away on Days 2 and 3.
I also started to feel more mobile, as if someone had put some oil in my joints to lubricate them.
I felt this fast was one of the more gentle ones on the body compared to a pure water fast or juice cleanse. Although there was the induced purging, the nutrients from the lemon concoction and spelt broth were more than sufficient to replace what I lost.
Furthermore, I barely felt any hunger throughout the 3 days. This in itself is a great psychological load to bear whenever fasting. I did not have to constantly keep myself busy to ‘distract’ myself and forget about the hunger pangs.
Thus, this is a very well thought out protocol for detoxification, as expected of an experienced naturopathic medical herbalist. Thumbs up! 👍
Thanks for taking time to read this! Please share if you found this useful!
Questions? Tips? Suggestions? Opinions? I’d love to hear them. Comment below!
Links, References and Products Mentioned
- The Medical Herbalist Dr Sebastian Liew
- From Leaf to Life: Unlock the Secrets to True Health by Sebastian Liew
- Bragg Organic Raw Apple Cider Vinegar (Amazon.com)
- Traditional Medicinals Organic Nighty Night Valerian Tea, 16 Tea Bags (Amazon.com, iHerb.com)
- Whole Grain Spelt Kernels (Amazon.com, iHerb.com)
IMPORTANT DISCLAIMER: This blog was created mainly to educate and inform and should not be mistaken as professional medical advice. I’m not a qualified physician and even if I were, I’d still advise you seek a consultation with your preferred holistic medical practitioner before attempting any self-medication or fasting. He/she will be able to assess your unique health constitution and tailor-make a treatment or fasting protocol for you. God bless!