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Bone broth fasting, why choose it? Dr. Matthew McAlees discusses the importance of improving gut health and the overall immune system through different methods of fasting. 


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Bone broth fasting – the number one reason you would choose this plan is for gut health. We are learning more and more about the gut and the microbiome, and how you have ten times more bacteria in the digestive system. Ten times more bugs in there than cells that make up your entire body. So you’re really more bacteria than you are YOU, and we’re learning the bacteria have a specific job – each one, and there’s tens of thousands if not more individual strains that live in your body. And so you have some that might digest fiber. But guess what? You have others that make serotonin. So did you know that 90 percent of serotonin is actually made in your gut? It’s used in the brain, but it’s made in the gut which is why with depression (always an inflammatory brain and gut disease) you have to look at the gut. If you’re just taking an SSRI which helps you recycle more serotonin, why don’t we also look at the gut and think that maybe we should actually be looking where the serotonin come from? Maybe you don’t have the bacteria you need to make serotonin?Maybe you’re feeding those bacteria foods that they don’t like, and therefore they’re starving and that’s why they’ve died. 

We’ve got to look deeper and so when we come to bone broth fasting and gut health – bone broth fasting really and truly is best for leaky gut and gut issues. So what you’re going to do is use a grass fed bone broth. You could make it at home or you could buy it online – whatever you want. But the point simply is you’re going to consume that as your food for a handful of days. I suggest a minimum of four days. One of my mentors said day three or four is where the magic happens, that’s why I say a minimum of four days. And then after that we’re going to reintroduce the good, healthy, probiotic based or fermented foods. Because one of the mistakes that I think most people make is they haven’t been told that you have to repopulate your gut. So we’re going to starve off the bad bacteria, kill off the bad stuff, and allow your body time to heal and start working properly again. You’ve got to reintroduce the good stuff at the end. You’re going to have this raw tube called your intestines and digestive system. You don’t just want to start throwing food back in there, so its fermented foods — just a little bit at first for a couple of days. Some probiotics, Kombucha or something like that is a great alternative. We can slowly start getting back into the real food again as your gut repopulates. We talked about this earlier, but again we talked about 150,000 calories and fat sitting there so why would you ever get hungry if you’ve got all that fat as fuel for later? Why are you getting hungry? Because you’re addicted to sugar and addicted to food, and we’ve got to give your body time to learn how to go back to the body and burn that fat again. 

When we talk about just fasting in general there are a couple kinds. The first one is called block fasting. Again, there’s also something called “water fasting” which is where you’re just drinking water and I recommend getting a really therapeutic salt like sea salt to keep your electrolytes and your heart protected because you obviously don’t want to mess with that. In some rare cases, If you do get just water and your electrolytes were already a little off it can affect your heart rate so we want to make sure when you’re in a water fast, it’s just water and some really high quality ideally therapeutic grade salt. Again, if you need help with this we’ve got some of this here in the office it’s like $12 for this therapeutic salt to make sure that your electrolytes are protected.

What “block fasting” means is days of fasting. Again, I’ve already told you the minimum. My dad at one point in his life did a 30 day fast – that’s blocked fasting from like 4 days to as long as you want to go. Longest one on record was just over 365 days with 390+ days. The gentleman started at around 400 pounds. Water and sea salt only and this was about 40 years ago documented he was under 200 pounds by the time it was done, but he clearly didn’t eat for over a year his body just consumed the fat that he had stored up. A little bit more on that real quick. The reason you would do a block fast is because there’s no doubt that’s the healthiest. If you need the most amount of health benefits and change. Water fasting then followed by that with bone broth fasting would be the way to go because when you fast your body it has to survive and your body is very much designed to survive.

Similar to what we saw on that video with that macrophage eating the bacteria, the brain spinal cord and nerves getting out to the organs your body will keep you alive at all costs, but it has a really hard time when it’s being poisoned day in and day out three to six times a day when people are eating food. Look inward and do some spring cleaning. So when we fast we’re forcing the body to say I’ve got to survive, I’ve got to look in. Because the body is so smart, guess what it starts eating first? It’s going to eat that bacteria, some of the rogue cancer cells and It’s going to eat the stuff that shouldn’t be there to begin with, such as the cells that should have died but haven’t quite died yet and might eventually become cancerous. It’s called a “top G” where it’s going to start eating those cells specifically because your body’s that smart. Then it’s going to decrease inflammation and clean your body up. It’s also going to be eating the fat and it’s going to learn to eat that fat again because that’s what it’s there for.

So we would then follow that up with something like intermittent fasting which is where you’re going to go anywhere between 16 to 24 hours from dinner to the next meal. So, what does that mean? It basically just means you’re going to start skipping meals, but the body is really smart and so it can’t be the same meal and it can’t be at the same time. So on some days or weeks it might need to be you’re not going to eat breakfast and then you’re going to eat lunch and dinner so that we’re getting that 18 hour span. The magic comes in when you can not eat for at least 18 hours – when you don’t eat for 18 hours and all of a sudden your hormones will start to change. Specifically vaso dilating, meaning opening up the blood vessels to the hard to reach areas like lower abs, face, under your arms — that’s when your body actually says, okay I’ve got to start looking everywhere.

If you do have those hard to reach areas, that’s going to be one of the best strategies we know about. Let’s get you doing maybe one day a week where you just don’t eat, but again the body’s smart in adapting over time so it can’t be every Monday and it can’t be every Sunday. Again, that’s better than nothing. Hear me out. That’s better than not doing it, but long term I also have to tell you the truth which is you do need to change it up, which is where diet variation comes in and one of my other mentors, Dr. Popper talks about this all the time. If you’ve heard of carb cycling or fat cycling, We’re not day in and day out or a meal in a meal out but, we should take weeks and do a certain type of plan (weeks to maybe even a month or two) and then we’re going to change it up. Think about it, we used to do this before the agricultural revolution.

You would work through this season, store food and you would eat it through the winter, but then when it ran out, it ran out so you might have fruit in the summer but the fruit wouldn’t make it to the winter. So that’s what diet variation is – your body does really well not changing day to day or meal to meal, but if we take let’s say four to eight weeks and we do a certain plan and then we change up the plan you can see tremendous results for weight loss and health. So this is what we say seasonally. So every season we might change it up, so we might do healing diet one season then we might do the ketogenic diet a different season and we’re going to cycle through these.

We might have higher fat though, and to drop the fat down we might have more carbs and we would drop the fat down. Always keeping in mind your calorie intake which really and truly is called your basal metabolic rate, that’s the number of calories you need daily to stay the same weight you are right now. And if you haven’t had that done yet you can find some some calculators online, but they’re not all that accurate. It’s a general number for your height and weight. You need to get into somewhere that actually has a really good scale that has a computer built into it that can tell you your basal metabolic rate — we’ve got one here at Align.  You’ve got to know what your basal metabolic rate is not only for you, but for everybody in your family so we’re not overeating because that is the number one thing that’s just going to be terrible for your body. 

If you just fasted twelve hours – that’s not long enough. I think most people can cyclically fast, which is at least 16 hours, three days a week.  On one of my other friend’s websites there’s the warrior fast — a one day fast.  You just go to drjackers.com, he’s one of the smartest smartest people I’ve ever met in my entire life. I just want to be like him when I grew up. He is a brain and I love him so much. He’s got a lot of great resources there also.

Cycling back real quick to bone broth fasting, when you’re doing that you can do up to 48 ounces of grass-fed bone broth daily. You still want to keep it at meal time, but you might do breakfast, mid breakfast, lunch, mid lunch, and evening, although we don’t recommend that when you’re eating food. The point is, it’s already hard enough and so if you need to have an extra dose in between meals that’s okay because you have to function. We’ve got kids and jobs so we understand that. Let me explain why it’s so beneficial for gut health — the collagen in there is going to help seal up the tight junctions in your intestines. Basically, think about it like a wall in your intestines that can eventually have holes poked through it and when the food starts to leak out and cause a whole host of symptoms. Auto immune problems can spring up. It’s terrible, so when we get rid of the bad bacteria and it’s dying off, the collagen and the nutrition from the bone broth is in there and it’s going to pave those holes just like there’s a pothole on the road, and they come through and they seal it over — that’s what the bone broth is able to do.

Water fasting is the most healing. You’re not giving your body any distractions or anything else to cope with – it’s going to be water and sea salt in your body. I’ve got to heal, optimize and fix myself so that I can move forward and get better which is why you would choose a water fast. Again, I recommend a minimum of four days, but really that’s where the magic happens is days three to four. It’s going to suck, you’re going to have symptoms and it’s going to suck more the worse shape you are in, so maybe you start with some intermittent fasting where you only eat in an eight hour or six hour window a day. Then maybe once a week you start going a full twenty four hours and that doesn’t have to be morning to evening, that could be lunch to lunch meaning you have breakfast, but then you don’t have lunch and dinner. Another option, you don’t have breakfast and then maybe you have lunch the next day or you take it a little bit further and you have dinner that night. Water fasting is always going to be the healthiest to make sure that you’re healing as much as possible inside, and so again let’s look at the benefits. 

It’s going to eat the bad cells. It’s going to clear away the junk and debris. It’s going to eat the cancer cells. It’s going to kill the overactive white blood cells that are being hyperactive which can lead to autoimmunity because they should die off. The inflammation is going to remove all the bad protein fibers from your muscle tissue. It actually helps stem cells begin that creation or regeneration process. It’s actually going to be stimulating these stem cells inside your own body. It’s going to help reset your DNA by maybe switching off the bad genes that have been turned on through the lifestyle choices, and turn the good ones back on. Those genes have been linked to everything from obesity, allergies, autoimmunity, and cancer. 

It’s amazing what the body will do when you just stop doing the bad stuff. Stop poisoning it with the bad food and give it the good food again that will reset your microbiome.

The gut here it’s going to change your cravings. It’s going to kill the bad bacteria, reset your weight and ultimately it’s going to reset your body, and so really and truly if you are healthy enough to do some type of fasting. 

I cannot stress to you enough how amazing it can be.



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