When Fasting, You Don't Have to Be a Purist

I use Keto-Diastix when I'm fasting. It tells me when I've gone into ketosis, and how far I've gone. It's a little stick you pee on that changes color depending on how many ketones are in the pee. I've noticed that I don't like how it feels to be in deep ketosis, so I often suck on a mint or drink a little juice to raise it slightly — to stay in ketosis but not too deeply. I like to stay around moderate or a little more (as it shows in the picture).

I also occasionally, when it feels right, have a little chicken broth. Probably average one cup of broth a day, but I don't stick to any regimen about it, unless I'm doing an experiment, like when I wanted to find out what happens after the third day of a water-only fast (read about that here).

This morning, the sixth day of a fast, my hip hurt and I felt generally yucky. But I didn't want to break my fast yet, so I compromised and had about an ounce of cooked hamburger meat (about the size of my little finger) and a single cooked Brussels sprout, and a piece of lettuce. After awhile I felt fine. Apparently that's all I needed. It is now ten hours later and I still feel fine, haven't had anything else to eat, and am still in ketosis.

The point of this is that you don't need to think in terms of absolutes. It doesn't have to be all-or-nothing. Fasting can be relatively pleasant, and you don't need to be hardcore about it. If you go for awhile without food, that's good. If you have a little something and then go even longer, that's even better (until your fast turns into starvation, which you should avoid).

Adam Khan is the author of Principles For Personal Growth, Slotralogy, Antivirus For Your Mind, and co-author with Klassy Evans of How to Change the Way You Look at Things (in Plain English). Follow his podcast, The Adam Bomb. 

The Difference Between Fasting and Starving

Most of the literature on fasting makes a distinction between fasting and starvation. When you fast, you go through distinct stages. The first day you're using up glycogen stores in your muscles and liver. You're also burning fat for energy. The second day you're still burning fat, but without glucose, your body breaks down some of your muscle to burn the fat (not much muscle — not enough to worry about). Sometime during the third day, you enter ketosis (where you are burning fat for fuel).

If you are like most of us, you have some fat on your body. So you have enough fuel for awhile. Eventually, if you keep fasting, you will run out of fat and your body will have to start breaking down muscle for energy.

The moment you burn your last gram of body fat, you are no longer fasting. As soon as you start breaking down muscle for energy, you're starving and it is unhealthy to continue. You should stop fasting and start eating.

I've never gotten that far, and you probably shouldn't either. But in the fasting literature, it says that you know it when you hit that point. You are suddenly no longer merely hungry. You feel a dangerous, urgent, starvation. They all say it is an undeniable, easily recognizable change and you will have no doubt about it.

Adam Khan is the author of Principles For Personal Growth, Slotralogy, Antivirus For Your Mind, and co-author with Klassy Evans of How to Change the Way You Look at Things (in Plain English). Follow his podcast, The Adam Bomb.

The Cost of Fasting

Fasting is so good for you in many different ways. Profoundly good for you. And yet, it is effortless. It is a lack of doing something. And how many things can you think of that are really good for you that not only don't cost you any money, but save you money? And save you time.

So here's something that requires no physical effort and no money, and saves you money and time. And it is really good for you.

That's amazing.

The Accidental Discovery of Atmospheric Lead Poisoning

Episode 7 of the new Cosmos series was about a scientist, Clair Patterson, researching the decay of uranium and lead in pieces of a meteorite. In the process, he accidentally discovered that our atmosphere had far more lead in it than it did two hundred years ago.

Patterson tracked down the source of this atmospheric lead to leaded gasoline. Until 1987, lead was added to gasoline to prevent "knocking."

Unfortunately, the oil industry was funding Patterson's research, and, needless to say, they didn't like it. Patterson made a major discovery, but it was another 20 years before lead was made illegal as a fuel additive. The oil industry had already paid a highly credentialed scientist to testify with assurance that the amount of lead in the atmosphere was completely natural. Patterson's work showed it was not.

This Cosmos episode was a surprising place to learn about the reach and power of oil money, and the oil industry's determination to maintain its monopoly at all costs.

Read more:

A Monopoly Endangers Consumers

The following was an email message from Fuel Freedom Foundation:

Nobel Prize-winning economist Milton Friedman said that “the great danger to the consumer is the monopoly.” True to his famous words, consumers are once again threatened by the oil monopoly and actions forced by its chokehold on our transportation.

One underreported factor contributing to unseasonably early, skyrocketing gas prices is oil companies abandoning their refinery operations to feed their drilling and exploration divisions. This development has alarming consequences for our economy and we have little power to respond to this issue as long as viable replacement fuels are barred from competing on an equal footing with oil.

Refinery closings lead to the immediate loss of direct and indirect jobs in the local economy.

Refinery closings in Hawaii and New Jersey are causing residents of those states to increasingly rely on imported gasoline and other refined petroleum products to meet demand.

Higher gasoline prices, as a result of tighter supplies, tax the already overburdened budgets of working Americans.

Since most food and consumer retail goods are transported throughout the country, higher gasoline prices increase inflationary pressure on the price of these items.

Friedman also said, "The most important single central fact about a free market is that no exchange takes place unless both parties benefit." Surely, companies should be permitted to do what they can to succeed, but in a monopoly, the absence of free-market forces means that one side benefits all the time while the rest of the economy always loses. As long as the oil monopoly stays intact, the consumer and the economy at large will be put in danger by every action the oil industry takes.

Let’s bust this trust, once and for all, with replacement fuels. Ethanol, methanol, natural gas and electric vehicles will create a free market for transportation fuels and save us from the predatory pricings of big oil.

Work of prominent climate change denier was funded by energy industry

"A prominent academic and climate change denier’s work was funded almost entirely by the energy industry, receiving more than $1.2m from companies, lobby groups and oil billionaires over more than a decade, newly released documents show.

"Over the last 14 years Willie Soon, a researcher at the Harvard-Smithsonian Centre for Astrophysics, received a total of $1.25m from Exxon Mobil, Southern Company, the American Petroleum Institute (API) and a foundation run by the ultra-conservative Koch brothers..."

Read the rest: Work of prominent climate change denier was funded by energy industry.

This is not fuel competition. This is deception.

US taxpayers subsidising world's biggest fossil fuel companies

"The world’s biggest and most profitable fossil fuel companies are receiving huge and rising subsidies from US taxpayers...

"A Guardian investigation of three specific projects, run by Shell, ExxonMobil and Marathon Petroleum, has revealed that the subsidises were all granted by politicians who received significant campaign contributions from the fossil fuel industry."

Read the rest: US taxpayers subsidising world's biggest fossil fuel companies.